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Wednesday, July 23. 2008
Last Saturday evening, with the temperature still hovering around 95, I snuck into one of my deer blinds just to see what I could see.Â Packing my trusty .17 HMR, I was looking for a stray predator, but with a full moon and the temperature, my chances of seeing anything were slim.
In the picture, notice how green and lush the cover looks, but in reality, our area is locked in a severe drought!Â
There was a nice breeze, but my ghillie coat was blocking most of it, and the sweat was pouring off of me as I sat and saw nothing! Right at dusk, I half-heartedly blew two rounds of an injured rabbit call, not expecting results and none presented themselves.Â My sweaty frame of mind didnâ€™t â€œexciteâ€ my confidence much!
Iâ€™ll keep trying!Â Just think, itâ€™ll start to cool off in about 3 months!Â
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, June 2. 2008
At our softball practice this past Wednesday, I told Mickey Donahoo, a Mills county resident and Senior Softball player, about how good my new .17 HMR rifle shot. He wanted to try it out so this past Friday morning, early, after he took some Barbados Sheep, to the sale barn, he came by and we went out to my shooting range.
To warm up, we popped some pistol targets then got down to the serious business of the .17 HMR at 100 yards.
Forgetting the rifle rest, we tried shooting free hand from 100 yards and hit the target OK,
You can see his free hand group was about 1-1/2 inches. The picture isnâ€™t upside down, I just pasted a small target over the center of the larger target that Brad and I used on Memorial Day, and, of course, I used duct tape strips to give us a center, reference point.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Shooting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 23. 2008
This past Tuesday, I went with Brad to San Antonio to visit his oncologist. His trip was successful and we finished up with the doc before 11:00 AM. Since we are both â€œgun nutsâ€, we decided to visit the new Bass Pro Shops, west of the city.
Asking the salesman to show us a Marlin, 917V, .17, HMR, cal rifle, we both admired it, and I decided why not just go ahead and buy one, which I did! Adding a 3X9 scope, sling and 2 boxes of Hornady,20 grain, bullets, I walked out of the store a new, proud owner of this neat, little rifle.
Brad is putting on the scope and sling and we will sight it in this weekend and I will have suitable pictures of the event.
Layla, congratulating me on my purchase, said, in jest I hope, â€œWhat you really needed was another gun!â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Shooting at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, December 4. 2007
Last Tuesday, November 26, I had been working early on a book and took a break and walked to the back porch of our old ranch house and saw our 2 â€œpetsâ€ grazing behind my freshly plowed garden. Right beside them was what appeared to be, at least, a 4 year old, 8 point buck, tall, heavy rack, definitely a shooter!
The first picture shows our â€œpetsâ€ behind my plowed garden, and the buck was right at the far corner of it, about a 50 yard shot. The buck stood and looked at me as I turned to go inside and fetch a rifle. As I now â€œsnuckâ€ back outside with my .270, the last thing I saw was the buckâ€™s rump fading into the tall grass. We had been keeping our rifles in the old house, but now I have moved one back to the new one and Layla and I both keep a close watch for the big guy.
This past Saturday, the 1st, it was cloudy and drizzling all day and the 24 hour crud had a hold of me and I had gone in to fix me a Coke, when I looked into our back yard, 40 feet from the house, and there, beside an old soccer ball, (I donâ€™t support the sport. Not manly enough!) was our â€œpetâ€, grazing. Layla snapped the picture.
Whatâ€™s the law about a live Deer decoy?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 20. 2007
For the past 12 months, the Sovereign State of Texas, received record rainfall and our cover, including our grasses, have exploded! It really looks strange when you see only a does head moving through the grass and broom weed. Because of this unusual cover and a much warmer November, our hunting is much different this year!
My friend, Warren â€œBullâ€ Blesh, owner of RRR Ranch and RRR Feeds, here in Goldthwaite, has written a very informative and thoughtful article pertaining to our unusual situation that appear in this weekâ€™s local paper, â€œThe Goldthwaite Eagleâ€. Warren brings up some very good points; use enough gun, take your shots early, take good shots and be a careful tracker! His complete article follows:
â€œTurkey Day Hunting Tips 2007
By Warren â€œBullâ€ Blesh
This Thanksgiving hunting weekend is different and I encourage you to read on and see what is happening locally. Lost deer is what is happening all over the county.
Earlier this year we had record rainfall, some 40+ inches in the county. Our rangeland usually expects about 30 inches so native pasture grass has exploded and yes, we are all happy. Big bluestem, indian grass and little bluestem dot the landscape with most grasses over three feet high.
So Bull you ask, â€œwhat does this have to do with my hunting preparation?â€ YOU WILL HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME FINDING YOUR DEER IF IT RUNS FAR!
Here are my tips!
1. Pick the largest caliber gun in your camp that you know is sighted in. Start with bullets sizes over .243. I suggest a .270, 25.06, 30.06 or even a big 7 MM. I know this seems excessive, but I know a guy still looking for a drop tine buck that was hit.
2. If you must use sporting calibers like the .204, 22.50, .222, and .223 then use the old fashion mushrooming bullets that are soft core. No more ballistic tips this year. Major guide services have banned ballistic tips.
3. Avoid late evening shots. Right now, if you take a shot around 5:30 you got 20 minutes to find your deer. Tracking in waist high grass at dark is like trying to win the lottery.
4. Go to the spot you first hit the deer. Look for blood and mark that spot with your hat. Now, mark each spot of your trail as you go with something you can see. You will get a better idea where the animal headed.
5. Take good shots where you have confidence you can hit the vital zones. This is not a year for â€œHail Maryâ€™sâ€.
Have a great weekend and be sure to attend the Hunter Supper at the Civic Center."
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 11:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, May 3. 2007
Years ago, after a dove hunting trip that was hard and yielded very poor results, my Dad passed on some sage advice to me, saying, â€œBoy, donâ€™t worry about todayâ€™s bad hunt. Just remember, if it was easy each time out, it would be called â€œshootingâ€ instead of â€œhuntingâ€.
Being retired and having a ranch five miles southwest of Goldthwaite, Texas, gives me ample time and sufficient opportunity to be in the field hunting. I had planned an afternoon hunt in a tree stand, in very thick cover, on the south side of my property, to try and â€œrattleâ€ up a nice buck.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:00 | 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)
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)
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