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Wednesday, September 29. 2010
In 1960 the mourning dove season had just opened in Falls County, Texas, and my Dad and I had enjoyed some fine shooting!Â My Uncle Shelly, Shelton Gafford, had directed us to a couple of stock tanks where doves were watering and we were rewarded with some good action.Â .
Our mornings were free, because back then, in Texas, dove hunting was only allowed after noon.Â Uncle Shelly told us about another place where we could fish, but no guns or hunting were allowed by the rancher.Â No problem with us!Â He told us to take Hwy. 7, east out of Marlin, cross the Big Creek bridge, and turn right at the second â€œgapâ€, or wire gate in the fence, and follow the road to the stock tank.
Following the instructions, the second gap was almost to the road to Blue Ridge and ignoring the â€œPosted, No Huntingâ€ sign, opened it and followed the dirt road until it came to an old, no longer in use, rock quarry.Â Not a stock tank, but looking into the very, clear water, it was easy to see bass milling around, plus several large bream beds.Â We figured this must be the place, got out our tackle and quickly started fishing.
Keeping the sun in our face, we stood several feet away from the water and whipped our Piggy Boat, spinner baits toward the fish.Â Immediately, we were both rewarded with two sharp strikes and soon landed two scrappy, 12 inch, bass.Â They were unusual looking little fish with large mouths and small bodies. We guessed, correctly, they were stunted and probably undernourished.
We kept on casting and catching.Â We added several, good sized, goggle eye perch.Â These fish looked somewhat like a bream, but slimmer, with bigger mouths and their eyes protruded from their heads.Â They were good fighters on light tackle and very tasty when fried!
Lunch was the big meal of the day and as we loaded up, we reviewed our morning trip with him.Â He smiled and shook his head and asked, â€œYou went right through the â€œPosted, No Huntingâ€ sign?Â Did they catch both of you all?â€Â â€œWhoâ€™s they?â€ my Dad answered.Â He replied, â€œMr. so-in-so or his Foreman.Â They have some expensive bulls on the place, besides thereâ€™s a lot of quail and they donâ€™t allow anyone but family out there!â€Â Answering him, I said, â€Uncle Shelly, we didnâ€™t see a soul, or any bulls or quail, all morning!â€Â He just smiled and shook his head.As he got up and headed into his den, he looked back, smiled and said to both of us, â€œTurn left at the second gap!â€
Monday, September 27. 2010
Checking my game camera last Friday, there were two interesting pictures. One, â€œshotâ€ on the morning of September 21st shows two deer, one walking away and the other, apparently surprised by the flash, looking at the camera. What was funny was the cottontail, rabbit, also surprised!
All last week was bright moonlight so no bucks showed for a â€œshotâ€, but just after daylight on Friday morning a spike showed itself outside of the feeder. During our Stateâ€™s special Youth Hunt, this one will be a target for one of my Grandsons!
Last week Layla sent me an e-mail with a very interesting picture attached. You may know that our Stateâ€™s Flower is the bluebonnet, but just think about this next time you stray into a bluebonnet patch!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, September 25. 2010
When our Stateâ€™s south zone, dove season opened in 1967 my Dad had just retired and I had received a nice promotion from the large computer company that I worked for.Â Because of the promotion my ex wife and I had sold our old home and bought another.Â Like so many times happens, our move-in date slipped a month and we had to find an apartment for our growing family; she and I and two boys, one 4 and the other, 11 months old.Â Storing most of our stuff we found a nice, two-bedroom one on Bellaire Blvd.
As usual, my Dad and I opened the south zone dove season south of Houston limiting out, see my post on November 17, 2008, â€œVacekâ€™sâ€ and the Monday afternoon following the opener, my family and my Mom and Dad, drove out to see how the construction was progressing on our new home, progressing very slowly, of course!Â As we drove out Bellaire Blvd and crossed Highway 59 (the freeway was just under construction), south of Braes Bayou, my Dad and I noticed a lot of cars parked along the roadside and out in the cut, milo fields beside the road people were moving around, looked like hunters to me and one quick left turn confirmed this! Â
At this time, Houston had just passed a million folks and the city limits in our part of town had just been extended out past Gessner Rd. and the hunters were at least two miles out into the â€œcountryâ€.Â We watched them hammering away at the doves coming in to feed in the milo field, however one problem with this set up, the land was owned by a local oilman and real estate developer and later one of the â€œpowersâ€ behind construction of the Astrodome.Â He was also one of the benefactors of the Houston Medical Center.
My Dad and I got out of the car and talked to a hunter just going out into the field and asked him if he had permission to hunt in this spot?Â â€œNoâ€, he replied, adding as he hurried out to get into the fun, â€œI was told this was an open spot since the construction would eventually eliminate most of the grain field.â€ Â
The next day, 3:30 in the afternoon found my Dad and I hunkered down with fifty or so other hunters in the milo field awaiting the doves.Â Our wait was a short one, we enjoyed some fine shooting and within an hour we both had our limits.Â We repeated this, limiting out, for the next three afternoons and after our Friday hunt and we had cleaned the birds, we hosted a tasty, dove, cook out for our apartment dwellers.
This was fine shooting while it lasted, but the road construction moved on, progress came to southwest Houston and today, the grain field is gone and the part of the area south of the bayou is taken up with a shopping center and the other part, to the north, is a nature conservancy.
Thursday, September 23. 2010
The State of Texas allows hunters to â€œbaitâ€ or feed deer.Â Some states donâ€™t allow this practice, but when in Rome etc.Â Â Real big, bucks generally will not come into feeders but they draw many doe and spikes, so we do have corn feeders near some deer blinds on our ranch.Â During the 2008/09 season on the ranch we shot 8 doe, 2 spikes and one 15 pointer, see my November 12, 2008 post, â€œRandyâ€™s Big â€˜Unâ€ and last year we added 4 doe and two spikes.Â The feeders pay off!
The best deer hunting on our ranch is in what we call the back part and earlier this year we decided to open it up for the cattle to graze in.Â Besides food plots there was one corn feeder near a tree stand and corn feeders and cows just donâ€™t mix because eventually theyâ€™ll just turn the feeder over.Â The solution to this is to put a fence around the feeder and yesterday Layla and I completed this project.
Hereâ€™s a pictures of the empty feeder before we put up the fence.Â Building it wasnâ€™t hard but two operations of the installation require two people.Â One is holding up the fence posts before theyâ€™re driven into the ground and the other is holding up the 20â€™, hog wire, panels during attachment to the posts.
After a couple of hours work, hereâ€™s the finished product.
Tuesday, September 21. 2010
My morning walk on Monday actually started (some may say) the Sunday evening of September 19th.Â After coming home from church, I was sitting out on my porch with our pets and looked out over the hay field and there was the melanistic deer feeding away. Â
Retrieving my camera I got this â€œshotâ€.
Being greeted by cool air as I walked outside yesterday morning, the sarcasm in me was thinking, Fall doesnâ€™t start until the 21st and not having walked fifty yards, there was a deer standing in my neighbor's field.
Maybe this morning the deer will be moving around, but for the mile plus of my walk, there were no more deer.
As I walked back toward the old, ranch house, out in the other end of the field stood the melanistic deer! The doe, mother of the dark one, was standing in the sunshine about fifty yards away.Â The contrast between the two is fascinating.
Maybe the fawn/yearling is really a melanistic deer?
Sunday, September 19. 2010
Being a very tight person, I finally invested in a brand new, digital, game camera and last week on the 15th, installed it in one of my corn, feeder pens.Â Pens, yes, because to keep the cows away from everything, weâ€™ve built fences around them.Â Â This feeder wasnâ€™t my first choice of locations, but will be fine for the next couple of weeks.
After installing the camera, I was careful to move away from it outside of the range finder, so no pics of me slinking away, but the first visitor that afternoon was, not the mighty buck Iâ€™d been expecting, but a cow.
Friday afternoon was hot and muggy and before cleaning up to go watch Goldthwaiteâ€™s homecoming, football game, I took a quick trip out to check on the game cam.Â Not thinking about the cameraâ€™s range, it captured me driving up in the Jeepster.
Sure enough on the morning of the 17th the deer had found the feeder and, because of the human scents in the fenced area, I was not expecting any â€œshotsâ€ of bucks.Â Here at 8:29 AM a doe is in the pen and her fawns are outside and at 8:39 another doe has jumped in.
Transferring the pics, I even got one of my PC.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
At the game Friday night there was a nice rain, the ranch got .3â€, but the halftime activities were halted because lightning was detected in the area.Â Goldthwaite came out smokinâ€™ in the second half and won the game 25-0.Â This was a hollow victory because three of our starters, my Grandson, Colton included, were held out of the game with injuries.Â All three were All State last year: a running back that gained over 1900 yards; A middle linebacker, the leading tackler in the State with 211, and a tackle, the teamâ€™s second leading tackler! Â
We always need the rain, but a second bright side is that the human scent will be washed away and when I check the game cam next Friday there should be some buck pics.
Friday, September 17. 2010
James Crumley, my neighbor, just got back from an elk hunt near Cuba, New Mexico with his son and brother and we talked at length about it. He said they were covered up with elk, but kept passing up shots with their bows, until it was too late to get one. They didnâ€™t take cameras on their hunts so nothing but mind pictures of all the elk they saw, but they did take a pic of James and his son loading up of loading up a mule.
Hereâ€™s a pic of James riding into the camp with Brownie in tow. James said that after they made camp, he rode Brownie for the rest of the trip.
The other one shot by the same game camera shows two of the big boys dukin' it out. Itâ€™s too early for them to be fighting over does so they are probably just practicing or fighting over the corn?
Randy Pfaff in Colorado sent me this pic of a bear in his tree stand. Randy said he let the bear have it and walked, hurriedly away.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, September 15. 2010
On September 13, Donna from â€œRubber Ducky Nursery, Donnas Rebornsâ€ left a comment on my post of August 8, 2008, â€œThe Writinâ€™ Spiderâ€.Â Checking out her site, I'll admit that Iâ€™m not much into dolls, but what this lady does remaking dolls is unbelievable and I heartily recommend that you check this website out!
Yesterday I was out mowing the yard around the old, rock house and found two webs in progress from two writinâ€™ spiders.Â In 2008 I came across one web and spider, but didnâ€™t notice any last year, but it looks like the 2008 hatch was successful!
The first one that I ran across was in the yard and it was just building its nest under the branches of a cottonwood tree.
Remember, donâ€™t kill these big spiders because they are one of a gardens and a yards good guys, specializing in undesirable insects!
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