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Saturday, April 28. 2007
From 1966 to 1970 Bart Paxon and I were members of an â€œexclusiveâ€ hunting and fishing club south of Danbury, Texas. The club catered to Duck hunters, but allowed fishing and frogging when it didnâ€™t conflict with the hunting. The club offered a nice air conditioned and heated lodge that slept twelve, a complete kitchen, including a cook during Duck season, game cleaning facilities and six, flat bottomed, aluminum boats and, on top of all of that, family members could use the facility for fishing, etc. without the member being present.Besides the camp house and one hundred acres of woods, the club consisted of three lakes, rice field reservoirs, of about twenty acres each. A deep channel was cut all around a square impoundment with the excavated dirt piled up to form a type of dam, with about ten feet of shallow water along the damâ€™s inside, before the excavated channel dropped off to about six feet of water. The channel, the only structure in the lake, was approximately thirty feet wide, sloping up to a large, shallow flat, two feet deep, which covered the center of the lake. The lakes were over twenty years old and had excellent aquatic vegetation flourishing in and around them. Plenty of snakes but, strangely, no Alligators
My Dad was retired and his fishing companion many days was Brad, his Grandson and my Son. Brad was five or six at the time but loved fishing with his â€œPoppyâ€. I was meeting them down there one Friday afternoon and my Dad and Brad went down early. When they arrived, the owner was draining one of the three reservoirs to clean out the channels and increase it holding capacity. The lake was down to only a square channel of twenty feet, or so, wide, behind the dam.
My Dad had told stories about low water conditions and pounding something against the bottom of a floating boat, creating vibrations under the water, causing the fish to jump in the air, some falling back into the boat. Hookless fishing! I have seen salt water Mullet become excited and jump into a boat, especially at night, when flounder gigging, in shallow water.
Launching a boat into the channel, he and Brad, climbed in and while Poppy paddled, Brad smacked the bottom of the boat and the fish started jumping in. Brad was excited and laughing at the sight of the fish landing and flopping in the boat. Most of the fish were thrown into one of the adjoining lakes but Poppy kept three for supper that night.
I had gotten down to the club in time to take this picture that clearly shows the low water channel behind my Dad and Brad. One of the two adjoining lakes is visible in the background.
As soon as the picture was taken, Brad began jumping up and down wanting me to take him fishing and see the Bass jumping into the boat. I did, and we quickly â€œcaughtâ€ six more Bass in the boat and put them in one of the other lakes.
What if a four or five foot Alligator Gar had jumped into the boat?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 12:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 26. 2007
My wife is kinda shy. She was afraid I would post this story on my blog, but I assured her that I wouldn't.
But as I sat here tonight, I thought why not? She is really an excellent cook and that Sunday dinner was past good!
Sometimes something real simple turns out to be something great or a real memorable event. I had one occur to me on Sunday, April 22, 2007. The following is a tribute to some real good cooking!
Our son, Brad, had come over to our ranch on Saturday to help me with some chores and get some practice in for a 3 gun target shoot he was participating in the following Saturday. Layla and I thought he would spend the night, as he does many times, and that we would all go out to eat after Church on Sunday, so, for supper, from the freezer, she took out some Venison round steak and black eye peas I had put up the past summer. Supper would be great.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 21:40 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, April 22. 2007
This story has been passed down through my family for well over 100 years. I have heard it from my Dad and his Brothers and Sisters. Brinson and Fannie Bryan, who were living near Riesel, Texas, McLennan County, were my paternal Great Grandparents and their son, Peyton Bryan, was my paternal Grandfather.
The Dogs were raising a racket outside, waking Brinson Bryan and his wife, Fannie, up from a sound sleep. He figured they had a Possum or â€˜Coon treed in the large oak tree near the Hen house. Next thing he knew all eight of his kids were awake and asking him â€œPapa, what is all the racket with the Dogs.â€ Fannie was expecting their ninth, and she hoped the last, child the next month, December 1889.
Brinson slipped on his heavy clothes, it was cold for mid November, and lit a coal oil lantern. He was going to â€œchunkâ€ the â€œcoon out of the tree and not even mess with loading his .44 pistol. With all these kids around, it didnâ€™t pay to leave the old pistol loaded. He handed the lantern to his oldest son, Peyton, slipped on his boots and said to him, â€œLetâ€™s go run that varmint off.â€
Stepping outside and heading the 100 feet to the old, oak tree with the Dogs furiously barking, Peyton held the light up towards the tree and he and his Papa were rewarded by seeing two of the biggest, yellow eyes staring back at them. â€œPapa, thatâ€™s no â€˜Coon,â€ he exclaimed, as he and Brinson edged closer to the tree, plainly making out a very large cat, rather a very large Mountain Lion, crouched on a branch about eight feet off the ground.
This looked like another â€œtight spotâ€ shaping up. Brinson had had his share of â€œtight spotsâ€ in his life. Joining the Texas Rangers in 1845 he had fought Mexicans and Indians during the Mexican War. After that war he guided wagon trains to California facing more Indians, wild animals and thieves. Next was his three and a half years of service with the Confederate Army of Tennessee and experiencing some of the fiercest battles of that war. He had married Fannie in 1867 and settled into a life of farming, mule trading and raising his family.
Now, he is being stared down by a big Cat and knowing the Dogs will keep the Cat treed, he tells Peyton, â€œBoy, hold the light on the Cat while I get something to finish it off with!â€ That â€œsomethingâ€ happened to be his old Bowie knife, almost two feet of it, which he tied onto a walking stick, or Moses stick. Counting the knife and stick, his â€œlanceâ€ was nearly 6 foot long. He knew if he shot the Cat with his pistol that it would die, but not before it would leap down on he and Peyton.
As Peyton held the light, Brinson shinnied up into the tree and with one thrust shoved the knife into the Catâ€™s throat and then, with both hands, held tight to the stick as the animal thrashed about, impaled on the knife. After it was over and the Cat lay still on the ground, Brinson thought it funny that his three Dogs could tree the Lion and keep it treed, while the Lion could easily kill the Dogs and also how the light from a coal oil lantern had kept the Cat off of them.
The Dogs had apparently intercepted the Cat before it had gotten into the Hen house. It ended up a very lop sided victory for Brinson and Peyton, no Dogs or Chickens injured, just a little lost sleep.
This may have been the last Mountain Lion killed in McLennan County, Texas.
Continue reading "Treed"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 09:08 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, April 16. 2007
Once outside, being five years old, the first thing I did was go right up to the dog and try to play with it and it responded, not very playfully, by jumping up on my chest and biting me! Inside I ran bleeding and crying, not caring about all of the â€œwe told you soâ€™sâ€ heaped on me.
The shots saved my life, but by the third morning, I resisted the shot so bad, that before it could be administered, it took four adults to hold me down. This went on for the next eleven shots and scarred me forever. I now have a terrible case of â€œwhite frightâ€ whenever I go into a doctorâ€™s office. My blood pressure goes up twenty to thirty points and my heart rate up twenty beats or more per minute. I have fainted getting a shot in my arm.
I was laughing about this, my â€œwhite frightâ€ and my rabies shots, one day while talking to Mickey Donahoo, a softball playing buddy of mine who retired, with his wife Doris, to the Goldthwaite area shortly after I did, and he casually mentioned, â€œâ€You know, Jon, I have had rabies shots too,â€ and then began one of the most bizarre hunting stories I have ever heard!
Mickey and Doris, were spring Turkey hunting on their hunting lease outside of Ozona, Texas, crouched down in a â€œhideâ€ trying to lure a tom Turkey into range. Mickey had a shotgun and Doris her trusty .243. Mickey had been calling, soft clucks imitating a hen, with no success and they decided to move along a nearby game trail and make a new â€œhideâ€.
Walking down the game trail, hearing noise in the brush, Mickey and Doris, were shocked to see a Bobcat running down the trail toward them. Bobcats are shy, mostly nocturnal animals, but this one kept coming and was soon almost on Mickey and as the Cat closed on him, Mickey kicked it as hard as he could, under its chin, knocking it up in the air. Then the Cat surprised them both, while up in the air, before it hit the ground, it spun around and viciously attacked Mickey!
I own a big, house cat, Bo, and some times he will try to grab me around the knee and wrap his paws around my leg, playing of course, but this Bobcat meant business, attacking Mickeyâ€™s knee area, wrapping its paws around, and planting its razor sharp claws, firmly into Mickeyâ€™s leg and began biting at his knee. When going for a kill on large game, Cats will, almost always, try to disable a leg joint, slowing the animal down, before the kill. Someone famous once said, â€œIf you want to study Lions, but think it may be too dangerous, study small cats first. Cats are Cats.â€
Trying to grab the Catâ€™s throat, Mickey drops his shotgun. Afraid of hitting Mickey, Doris canâ€™t shoot the Cat with her rifle nor can she club it for the same reason. Her next choice is taking off her ball cap and whacking the Cat with it. This whacking and Mickeyâ€™s continued pressure on the Bobcatâ€™s throat forced it to let go and retreat into the brush. Mickey and Doris had dropped their guns during the melee and couldnâ€™t retrieve them in time to get off a shot.
Through his shredded pants, along with the blood, he could see, and feel, numerous puncture wounds and they both knew that he needed medical attention quick, the closest being a clinic in Ozona. Driving to the clinic and recounting the attack, they thought it strange that the Bobcat smelled like a skunk and that it had no fear of them. Rabid animals have no fear of humans!
At the clinic Mickeyâ€™s wounds were cleaned and bandaged and the Nurse told both of them, â€œBased on your allâ€™s story, the Bobcat was probably rabid and you canâ€™t take a chance, and should start rabies treatments within seventy-two hours!â€
Today, treatment for rabies consists of five shots into a muscle, which he had, just like a normal shot, but in his case, to prevent infection and assist healing, each of his, over one hundred, puncture wounds had to be injected with Gamma Globulin, a thick liquid that doesnâ€™t â€œspread outâ€ like a normal injection and is painful when injected and remains so for hours. I hate all shots, but having had one Gamma Globulin shot myself, I can only imagine what over one hundred would feel like.
Mickey and Doris have hunted big, dangerous game for years, having made eight trips to Africa after Lion, Cape Buffalo and Elephant, but the encounter with the Bobcat, and the following rabies treatment are etched forever in their memories.
Do you think Mickey has â€œwhite frightâ€ now?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:53 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 12. 2007
On Wednesday, April 4, the weather forecast was for a front to come in on Friday, with a low temperature in the 40â€™s. Thursdays forecast for Saturday was for a low of 35Â°, which changed on Friday to a low of 33Â° in Waco, with freezing temperatures in the rural areas and a chance of sleet and possibly snow in northwest, Central Texas. By Saturday this possibility became a reality!
Saturday morning, during breakfast, I looked outside and noticed sleet/snow falling. At the time I thought, snow, neat! Layla and I had to go to Copperas Cove for a Grandsonâ€™s 18th birthday party and, all the way over, sleet/snow was still falling with some sticking under the trees and on plowed ground. No big deal!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:24 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, April 10. 2007
The following story was written by one of my friends, Warren Blesh, owner of RRR Feeds in Goldthwaite and RRR Ranch, here in Mills County. He is also a Director of The Texas Wildlife Association.
Fourth Quarter And No Time Remaining
Wow, earlier this month Doris told me â€œWorld Famous Horsemanâ€ Craig Cameron was on the phone. Craig wanted to bring his son Cole â€œLinebacker for Arizona Wildcatsâ€ hunting when he came home from college for his present. Well, I told Dori, this hunt will be tougher than most. We should have Craig and Cole come next year. She would have nothing to do with that and said, â€œthey are coming and you find them a blackbuck or nice whitetailâ€.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 17:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, April 9. 2007
Welcome to the April 9, 2007 edition of the Outdoor Odyssey Blog Carnival! This is our FIRST EDITION! Thanks for the great posts! Click Here if you want to be a part of a future edition!
Riversider presents Take A Preston Minibreak posted at Save The Ribble, saying, "Get outdoors - even if it's just during your lunch hour!"
A good reminder to all of us to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!
Jon Bryan presents Gig 'em posted at Outdoor Odyssey.
There's a reason why they have AGGIE jokes!...
Cliff presents Do Deer Lures Lure More Than Deer? posted at Hunting Sense. Interesting, insightful article. Check it out.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the
Posted by Jon Bryan in Blog Carnival at 11:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, April 3. 2007
Having been blessed to have hunted all the species of Quail from Arizona to South Carolina, over the years I have had ample opportunity to sample Quail cooked many different ways. Through trial and error I have been able to invent one of my favorite dishes, â€œQuail Jonâ€, which I would like to share with you.
The ingredients are Quail legs, however, Dove, Bull Frog, Teal or Woodcock legs can be substituted, but I find large Duck, or Pheasant, legs too tough, and, depending on how many legs, one or two jalapenos, sectioned into 1/8 inch slices, sliced garlic pods or a copious amount of Garlic powder, Â½ to one full stick of butter (no margarine!) and lemon/lime juice to taste.Â Remember, you canâ€™t use too much garlic or jalapenos.
Clean and wash the legs and prepare your ingredients.Â Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after slicing the jalapenos!Â Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet, and when melted, add all of the ingredients at once and simmer, covering the skillet with a lid, for 15 minutes, then stir and turn the mixture, recover and cook until done.Â Feeds as many as you have legs for.Â Small legs are very good served as an appetizer, Frog legs can be the main course.Â Best if served hot, but be sure and eat all of the ingredients!
The sauce; butter, garlic, lemon/lime, and jalapenos, can also be used with small fillets of any white fleshed fish.Â Speckled Trout, or â€œTrout Jonâ€ is very tasty prepared this way, but caution, donâ€™t overcook, the fish being done when the meat flakes.Â
Both Shrimp and mushroomsÂ are "passed good" when prepared with this sauce.
Continue reading "Camp Fire Quail"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
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