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Friday, June 1. 2007
Continue reading "Outdoor Odyssey - Blog Carnival - June 1 2007 Edition"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Blog Carnival at 14:06 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, February 18. 2007
During lunch hour one day in June of 1987, Dana Sawyer, R. E.â€œBubbaâ€ Broussard, and I, went â€œshoppingâ€ at Sporting Goods, Inc., which in 1987, was the best hunting and fishing store in the area. During this specific trip, I bought a new fishing rod for $19.95
The reader has met Dana before in "The Sunken Shrimp Boat". Bubba was a computer contractor and was the first customer I had met with when I returned to Houston in 1979. Layla was the second. On my first meeting with him, I happened to have a picture of the twelve-pound bass I caught in March of that year, which I promptly showed him. He responded by pulling out a picture of a six hundred pound Blue Marlin he had just caught. Our friendship was sealed and lasts till this day.The rod in question was inexpensive. So inexpensive that it didnâ€™t even have a name. But, its shaft extended all the way through to the end of the handle, it had a strong reel seat and trigger grip made of chromed steel, had a good reverse bend to it, had stainless steel eyes and it felt good to hold. It was six and a half foot long, with a medium to heavy action and I knew it would be just the right fit for my Ambassadeur 6500C, wide spool, reel, loaded with twenty-pound line. History would show that I had made a good buy.
I got to try the new rod out the next week, when Layla and I and Bubba and his wife went to Grand Isle, Louisiana, attempting to catch a Stripped Marlin. We caught everything but a Marlin. A hundred miles, yes a hundred miles out in a twenty-three foot, Formula with two, 455 cubic inch, engines and MercCruiser out-drives. A fifty-five MPH boat. We did have company, Jay Prudhome and his wife in Jayâ€™s new twenty-seven foot Proline, with two, two hundred horsepower sea drives. The seas were calm with no wind. We went fast!
After a less than three hour run, one hundred miles out, we pulled up to acres of floating Sargassum sea weed and with my first cast with my new rod, I had a strike from a Chicken Dolphin (small Dolphin weighing less than five pounds) and the fun started. We boated over one hundred that morning. The new rod was fine. I filleted all of those fish before supper that night. During our fishing we lost many fish to sharks! They were a nuisance.
Around noon, I had a big hit and immediately knew it wasnâ€™t a small dolphin. The fish was a great match for my new rod making a long run, it was too far offshore for a Kingfish, maybe a Wahoo, maybe a â€œbullâ€ Dolphin, but no jumps, getting it alongside the boat we saw it was a eight to ten pound Albacore Tuna being followed by a large, six foot, Bull Shark. Bubba grabbed for his .357 Magnum as the shark clipped off the Tunaâ€™s body right behind the head. The shark happily lolled on the surface long enough for Bubba to shoot it right in the middle of its head and, the last we saw of it, it was sinking. Revenge!
We slept in the next morning, and around 10:00 AM we headed out to some rigs to try and catch some really big Red Fish, thirty pounds and up. We randomly picked a rig, tied up to it, baited up and my new rod was bent double by a savage strike and a long, head shaking run â€“ a big, big â€“ Red! Fifteen minutes later we netted a thirty-five pound Red. He worked me, and my new rod out, but back into the water for him.
Not ten minutes later another savage strike, these fish mean business, and, after what seems like two hours, we boat and release a forty pound Red. My new rod did just fine. Mid morning in the middle of July, no breeze and the fish have really worked me and my new rod out, and, splash, cold, cold, splash, my lovely wife and my best friend have unceremoniously dumped an Igloo water cooler full of ice and cold, cold, water on my head to cool me off.
Layla now laughs about this, saying, â€œThis is the only time I ever saw you loose your temper.â€ Which I did. Being a lady, Layla doesnâ€™t approve of swearing, anyway I copied a page out of my Dadâ€™s cussing book and the â€œBlue Streakersâ€ started, and me trying to choke them both at once, and both of them laughing so hard, my temper cooled. They have never tried that again. Meeting Jay and his wife, we headed back out, one hundred miles, to our weed patch.
Fishing around our weed patch, we catch more chicken Dolphin and loose some fish to the sharks. We have a nice Dolphin on and up come a big Bull Shark and eats the Dolphin, lolls on the surface and we see the hole in its head where Bubba shot him yesterday. Incredible, the same shark and not dead! I guess he missed any vitals, if any happened to be up there.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 15:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, January 29. 2007
In January of 1971, I was transferred to Phoenix, Arizona to be Sales Manager in charge of all new business.Â The first months were spent missing the Gulf Coast, then a one month bout of Aisian Flu and then, whatever else time I had getting into my new job.Â Shortly after the Asian Flu, we met the Schlindler family, and Jack Schlindler became my hunting and fishing companion for the next fifteen years.
Jack was from East Texas, and grew up hunting and fishing in Texasâ€™ great piney woods.Â He was also a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Texas A & M College (now University).Â In 1971 Jack was VP of a large grocery chain, one of several local chains trying to gain control of the Phoenix market.Â Jack hung the dubious nickname of â€œBeechnutâ€, or â€œBeechâ€, on me because I chewed Beechnut Chewing Tobacco.
We had many adventures, some spine tingling, like when I slipped and fell/slid fifty feet down a two hundred foot canyon wall at the Black River.Â As I was sliding down, something inside told me to flatten out and spread my arms and legs to slow my fall.Â This saved my life!Â By lying flat and â€œscroochinâ€ up inches at a time I finally got to where Jack could reach me and pull me up and out of my fix.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 12:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, January 12. 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.Â Just remember, if it was easy each time out, it would be called â€œshootingâ€ instead of â€œhuntingâ€.
Leaving my house, the phone rang and a very close friend was calling from
Yes it was late, almost 5:00 PM, so I decided to hunt a special â€œhideâ€ of mine, ten yards off from a well used deer trail and reluctantly decided not to take my Deer horns with me.Â No â€œrattlingâ€ this trip.Â My â€œhideâ€ was cut into a cedar tree and some buck brush, a very concealed spot and sneaking into it and pulling on my camo face cover, quietly chambering a round into my Ruger Lightweight .270 and slipping my â€œgruntâ€ caller over my head, Iâ€™m ready for the deer.Â I thought.
Not a minute later, looking down the trail, a Doe is running, about half speed, toward me followed by a beautiful ten point buck, with tall horns at least six inches past his ears, a twenty inch spread for sure!Â Boy, am I ready for him, I thought.Â The Doe flashes by and I can hear her hooves pounding (or is that my heart) as I raise my rifle with my left hand and try to slide my â€œgruntâ€ caller under my face mask.Â When I â€œgruntâ€he will stop in his tracks, but, the caller is tangled in the mask and as I try to blow into it, nothing happens and the Buck, nostrils flared and mouth half open, as if in a mocking smile, flashes past me, and both Deer turn into the brush.
Wow!Â What a sight.Â Not to be outsmarted by the Deer and finally untangling my caller from my face mask (I am very frustrated now), I blow a defiant challenge call to the apparently, long gone Buck, â€œGrunt, Grunt, Grnt, grnt, grnt, grnt.â€Â Barely a minute later, looking down the trail, here comes the Buck trotting back looking for this unseen challenger.Â He is more interested in fighting.Â Iâ€™ve got him now I thought.
Facing me, a large cedar tree blocks out a portion of the trail, and my mind, in overdrive, quickly calculates he will clear the right side of the tree, and I shoulder my rifle and prepare for the killing shot.Â Waiting, for what seems like an hour, no Buck.Â I cut my eyes away from the scope and look to the left of the tree and there stands the Buck, not fifteen yards from me, behind a knarly, dead mesquite.Â
Moving my rifle slowly, ever so slowly, from the right side to the left side of the cedar tree and moving the safety to â€œfireâ€, I see there is no killing shot available.Â Maybe a head shot, but I choose not to as the Buck wheels and moves off, masking me with the cedar tree.Â I donâ€™t even know where my â€œgruntâ€ caller is, I guess still around my neck, so instead of fumbling with it again, and my â€œstoreâ€ teeth prohibiting me a whistle, I yell â€œHEY!â€Â Â The Buck doesnâ€™t even acknowledge me, no stride breaking, no tail flashing me, just trotting back into the thick stuff.
Thinking to myself, well Jon, you really blew this one.Â The Buck has â€œmarkedâ€ me at this spot, so I ease out of my â€œhideâ€ and begin slipping toward a new spot about three hundred yards away. After slowly moving about fifty yards and rounding a curve in the trail, all the while looking â€œthroughâ€ the heavy cover, I spot my adversary again, watching me from behind a mesquite that hasnâ€™t shed its leaves.Â The Buck is approximately seventy-five yards away and slowly moving my rifle to my shoulder and sliding off the safety, he is in the cross hairs, along with several mesquite limbs.Â My mind racing, can this 115 grain bullet traveling at over 3,100 FPS, break through the brush and score a killing hit, or will it be deflected. Should I shoot?Â Not taking the chance of wounding and loosing this fine Buck, I lower my rifle and he turns and walks back into the thick stuff.
Walking back to my Jeep, my thoughts are a â€œjumbleâ€.Â I really screwed up a good opportunity to bag a trophy, and, on the other hand, I choose to pass on a marginal shot.Â There will be another time for both of us.Â In spite of my earlier well wishers, my luck wasnâ€™t â€œgoodâ€ this hunt.
Like my Dad said, â€œIf it was easy, it would be called shooting, instead of hunting.â€
Continue reading "Why it is called â€œHUNTINGâ€"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 17:44 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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