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Wednesday, November 26. 2014
A rancher friend told our rancher that he had had good luck using emus to check the coyotes. His rancher friend also told him they were tough on bobcats, badgers and coons and, by eliminating these predators, it would help to insure good quail and turkey hatches.
Other benefits were that emus would be self-sustaining and their meat was delicious! His “friend” had 15 of the large birds and told him that he could have them for no cost! Our rancher couldn’t pass up that deal.
Opening morning of quail season found me and 2 other lease members, trailing 2 of our dogs as they tried to locate a covey. Thinking nothing of it, we saw an emu about 400 yards to our front as the dogs worked 75 yards out. Before we knew it, the emu was charging and an emu at top speed is a sight to behold! Whistling our dogs to come in, they responded and we grabbed them as the emu stopped about 50 yards away and looked “daggers” at us. We retreated to our Jeep, loaded the dogs and found an emu free spot to hunt.
During the following week, another one of our hunters was hunting alone with his 2 dogs and was attacked by two emus. They killed one of his pointers and he shot one emu, killing it. The visibly shaken hunter made tracks to the main ranch house and told the rancher of the events. Soon the predator controllers, the emus, became the hunted.
Next trip up the rancher warned us of the emu menace and said to go ahead and kill as many as we could. His son had dropped 3 this past week!
We began our hunt around the stock tank and sure enough, an emu spotted our dogs and charged. We whistled the dogs in, reloaded our shotguns with #4 lead shot and waited for the emu to challenge us. It did, we unloaded on him at 45 yards and scratch one emu. Breasting it yielded 2 ham size pieces of dark meat that I took home for Layla to cook like a roast. It smelled very, good, in the oven, sliced well with a sharp knife, but was uneatable, being too tough to chew. So much for emu’s food value!
The rancher told me shortly after the last emu was lured in and shot, “Jon, I worried about those birds from the start. I had never worked with any creature that literally fought me the entire time I was loading them into the trailer. They were awful to deal with! Good riddance!”
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 21. 2014
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, at the time, were living near Riesel, Texas, McLennan County, were my paternal Great Grandparents and 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 ‘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 “Papa, what is all the racket with the dogs.” 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 “chunk” the “coon out of the tree and not even mess with loading his .44 pistol. With all these kids around, it didn’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, “Let’s go run that varmint off.”
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. “Papa, that aint no ‘coon,” 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 “tight spot” shaping up. Brinson had had his share of “tight spots” 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 would keep the cat treed, he told Peyton, “Boy, hold the light on the cat while I get something to finish it off with!” That “something” 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 “lance” 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 cat’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.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 16. 2014
The next weekend, after signing up on our new Deer lease in McCulloch County, my sons, Brad and Randy, and I headed right back and begin construction of two sturdy tree blinds. The boys have the blinds since I prefer to hunt birds, but, eight years later, by the time we left the lease, I will be hooked on deer hunting.
Brad’s blind, later named “The McCulloch County Hilton”, was a two level affair by a cross fence of the back trap, as the rancher called each pasture, right beside a big, rock, water trough. Randy’s blind was less spacious, but set near the property’s back fence. From their elevated positions, both boys could see each others blind.
Early in the morning the day before deer season opened, my boys and I rushed, as much as you can with a fifty-five miles per hour speed limit (another bad idea forced upon us by a politically correct government), up to our lease and began the annual ritual of making sure the deer feeders were full, checking equipment and sighting in the guns. We finished by late afternoon and began helping with the communal dinner, when the last two hunters arrived.
Mac handled the introductions and my boys and I met the Taub brothers, Ralph and Dennis. Ralph, the oldest seemed like a good guy, but brother Dennis seemed like a jerk. It is funny how first impressions are, so many times, correct.
Supper, steaks, potatoes and green chilies, hits the spot and after dark we retired to the side porch to swap lies, when we saw headlights moving down the road by the railroad tracks that bound the east side of the property. Then from the vehicle we saw a spotlight searching out over our east trap – poachers!
Brad has an M-1A, a predecessor of the M-14, and Jerry Thrash, a lawyer and private eye, came up out of his kit with three .308 Cal. Tracer rounds. I loaded them into the M-1A and prepared to welcome the poachers to our lease, when the legal uproar began.
“Don’t shoot,” “You may hit them,” “We may be arrested,” (do they think we were shooting at law officers), “We may get sued,” Bam, Bam, Bam, I let loose with the tracers, three rounds over the poachers heads.
Results were immediate. As the reddish/orange tracer rounds arced over their car, the spot light went off, their car lights went off, they did a quick uwey and sped off for safer poaching grounds. Poachers never bothered us again for the eight years we were on the lease!
The legal uproar continued, but my boys and I went on to bed.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 11. 2014
My grand daughter, Beckah, (Rebeccah), scored on a big buck on November 9th, she was watching the buck for about 10 minutes then she shot him, with Randy’s old rifle, a Remington 660. We bought this gun at Oshman’s in Atlanta, Ga.; he has shot 36 deer with it. See my post, Buck Fever, of July 24th, 2008.
There was a lot of activity around the thick stuff, turkeys were gobbling, doe and bucks were moving, then Bekah saw her opportunity and nailed him, about 50 yards from MaMaw’s blind.
Yes, MaMaw’s blind. She had gone out with her dad and they had gone to MaMaw’s blind, because Randy had good luck there in the past seasons. I had planned on going to Sunday School, but that wish was cut short when Randy called to let me know that Beckah had shot a nice one, so I took the tractor down to pick it up, however we did make Church!
The buck was fat, had 10 points (almost 11) and scored 130 raw on Boone and Crockett!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:34 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, November 3. 2014
Having gone out to just take pictures of some bucks on opening day, I climbed up into MaMaw’s blind, she always said, “Big bucks are shot from my blind”! Being more into bucks chasing doe, I was more interested in pictures. Not wanting to shoot a buck, I was surprised when I saw a doe and following close behind her was a buck, definitely a shooter! This one had a tall rack, 8 or 9 points and was definitely, definitely a shooter!
I had carried along my .270 I really wasn’t looking to shoot a buck this A.M. being more interested in pictures. But what the heck, centering the crosshairs behind the shoulder, I fired, the buck hopped took one step and fell dead!
He was 5-1/2 years old, he made it this far by being cautious, but chasing a doe got him in big trouble. This was the same buck that had challenged the buck I shot two years ago. The pic shows him kicking up dust, (we have a lot of that around here).
He scored 134 4/8 B&C, I was surprised he scored so low, but weighed around 135-150.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:23 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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