High School Football

Having been in Phoenix playing Senior Softball last week, I missed the football update, so here goes. All four of my Grandkid’s football teams are in the running for the district championships.The Goldthwaite Eagles, ranked 23rd in class 1A, scored 2 big wins, one over Chilton, the early season choice for district champions, by a 54-14 score and Colton had one of the best games of his young football career.

The picture shows him, number 65, against Chilton, dropping back in pass coverage.Then, last Friday night, the Eagles coasted to a 53-0 win over Valley Mills. The first team only played 2-1/2 quarters. This week the 7-1 Eagles, take on Bosqueville in what will be the determining game for the district championship.

Meanwhile, Mikayla’s, middle school Eagles scored an easy win over Valley Mills running their record to 5-1.Sara’s Copperas Cove Bulldawgs scored two big wins, one against Belton 52-26 and last week against Killeen Shoemaker, 31-14. Cove is leading their district with an 8-0 record and a number 7 state, Class 5A, ranking. This week Cove, takes on A&M consolidated out of College Station in what looks like a real good game! Here’s Sara Cheering against Shoemaker.

Finally, Austin’s, San Marcos Diamondbacks, middle school, posted 2 more wins to run their record to 5-2 and play for their district championship this week.
This Friday and Saturday will be busy, 2 big football games, then Brad, Sara and Austin are coming over to hunt deer Saturday morning and after Colton reviews game films, he’ll be over Saturday afternoon. Maybe there will be some good deer pictures!


Monday morning, on my way to town, on my ranch, not 400 yards from our house, there stood a beautiful 10, point buck, an easy B&C 160 pointer. The morning was cool, his neck wasn’t swollen and he was just standing watching me drive by. Of course, by the time I got my camera up, he had trotted into the thick stuff. The last time I saw him was about a month ago in our hay field. Too bad for him if I seem him this Saturday!

The last 2 mornings, I’ve been sitting in deer stands trying to determine deer movement. Yesterday, when I climbed up into the tree stand, a spike was feeding in the food plot, but my creaking up the ladder spooked him off and I didn’t get a ‘shot’. But, here came a squirrel passing through and I got a good ‘shot’ of him.
The condition of the food plot is awful. The oats are barely discernable and after getting a perfect rain two days after planting, we’ve gone 3 weeks without a drop. The oats are up but really need moisture, and to compound the problem, the deer are clipping the young shoots off.
This morning I was sitting a corn feeder and got a ‘shot’ of 2 deer picking up the kernels.
I’ll be back out Wednesday afternoon and maybe, ‘Big Boy’ will stop by?

Neighbors Score Big

While I was in Phoenix playing Senior Softball, two of my friends and neighbors were taking advantage of some excellent hunting and fishing opportunities.
Warren Blesh, owner of RRR Ranch, bagged this excellent 5X5 mule deer in Colorado.
And, James Crumley caught this 42″ redfish along the jetties at Port O’Conner, Texas. The estimate was that the fish weighed 30pounds! Some guys have all the fun!


Stumpy Plays in National Championships

Stumpy, and his team The Texans, just finished playing in the Senior Softball World Championships held in Phoenix.

 Stumpy’s ready to hit!

The Texans finished second out of sixteen teams, falling 11-4 to a very strong team from Syracuse. In the Texan’s defense, before playing Syracuse for the championship, they had unluckily fallen into the losers bracket, and that day, had already played three games, all in 90 degree, heat. The Texans ended with a 7 and 4 record and in the three National Championship tournaments, finished first once with two seconds.                                                                                                                                                             The Texans have qualified for the Tournament Of Champions to be held in Winter Haven, Florida in mid January, 2009 and, as of this writing, haven’t committed to it. About this, Stumpy says, “We’re all still to tired and sore from eleven games in four days, in 90 degree temperature, in Phoenix, to worry about Florida this winter!

An Update On Brad, 27 October 2008

On Monday, 20 October, Brad visited his Oncologist in San Antonio and received more encouraging news! The antibody treatment that he began in May is still showing results. The treatment has caused a rash that the Doctor is treating, but still, in most cases, the worse the rash, the better the success!
Two weeks ago Brad had a bone scan and CT scan. His Doctor told him on Monday that the bone scan was clear and the CT scan showed that the tumors had shrink or remained the same size! Brad looks great, he weighs 195 and this past Saturday we worked getting the place ready for deer season opener on 1 November.

Here’s Brad sighting in his M-14.
His next visit to his Doctor will be in late November and I’ll update his status then.
Thank you for your prayers and keep praying and keep expecting a miracle!

The Ace

The coveted title of ‘Ace’ is bestowed on fighter pilots that have shot down a minimum of 5 enemy aircraft. Would you believe this honor could be attached to a Suburban?

Pulling out of Lawrence Marshall Chevrolet in Hempstead, Texas on my way to Goldthwaite, I was admiring the new Chevy Suburban that I had just picked up for Layla. It had everything but 4WD – cargo doors, leather, trailer pulling package and I even had them put on a heavy, duty cattle guard.

I was picking her up in Goldthwaite and we were heading 80 miles west to Millersview to open Quail season. The hunting that day was fabulous, near limits and no rattlesnakes and we packed up and headed home.

A few miles east of Millersview we noticed large herds of deer in the fields on both sides of the road and one doe was rapidly changing positions, and we were right in her sights and, ‘crunch’, she slammed into the rear panel of the new Suburban! She went spinning off, dead, on to the shoulder of the road. We stopped and checked the damage and it was minimal. We called USAA and set up a repair job for the next week.

The repair job went quickly and the next weekend, after a morning’s deer hunt we, Brad, Mike Mitchell and I, hooked up the Jeep and headed out to Millersview for some Quailing. Results were excellent again and heading home, in exactly the same place we had hit the deer the week before, here came another one and she nicked the rear bumper and slammed into the Jeep. Another dead deer, rear bumper problems on the Suburban and a small dent in the Jeep. Another call to USAA and they cheerfully took care of the problem.

Deer 3 was another doe, in the same place, east of Millersview, that we hit, head on as it crossed the road. The cattle guard saved us, but we still had almost $4,000. in damages! Another call to USAA solved the problem.

Deer 4 was recorded on Hwy. 16, north of San Saba, early on New Years Day. We had attended a party down there and I had 2 drinks and because of this, Randy said he’d better drive home. Relenting to his request, I cautioned him that on this dark night there would be a lot of deer out, so slow down. He didn’t slow down and at 70 MPH we hit another one. Another call to USAA and they passed on to us that it appeared that we were in a high, deer impact area.

The coveted ‘Ace’ title was achieved when driving to Houston, Layla, was routed around some construction and on the shoulder of the road where a group of buzzards was cleaning up a dead coon. Passing them, one flared toward the Suburban, hit the right rear view mirror destroying it and crumpled dead.

Calling USAA, they took care of the problem and the representative quipped, That makes 4 deer and one buzzard. This Suburban qualifies for ‘Ace’!


Excused Absence

October 15, 1973, was on a Wednesday and around 11:00 AM, I stopped by Brad’s school, Cocopah Middle/Elementary School and told the Principal that Brad had a doctors appointment that afternoon and he wouldn’t be back. It was an easy OK for the principal, one less kid to worry about. At the time, Cocopah, besides being an open school and unbelievably noisy, was the largest school of its type in the U.S., with over 3,000 students.

Brad’s doctor’s appointment was really a Quail hunt on the southern slopes of Sombrero Peak, two hours northeast of our home. Jake Schroder and Candy and Ned, his Brittanies, accompanied us. The week before, during one of our quests for Indian artifacts, we had scouted this place and knew it would really pay off!

It was hot, well over 100, as we parked our 4WD truck, unloaded Candy, Ned and Rooster (my Brittany), on a road that overlooked a mile long sloping hill that ran toward the upper part of Tonto Basin and within a hundred yards the dogs were down on a hard point. The three of us walked in, up came the Gambels and our guns erupted, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam and 5 birds fell.

We held our ground as the dogs ran down the cripples, and then moved ahead for the next covey. This scenario was repeated 6 times and by sundown we had 3 limits of Gambel Quail. The coveys were huge, 50 to 100 birds each, and even after chasing the singles and taking 45 birds out, there were still over 400 left for later! The dogs and all 3 of us were worn out, but what a great hunt!

On the way home, Brad told me, “Dad, this was a lot more ‘funner’ than school!”


Another Whopper

During the spring of 1970, drifting around Greens Cut in Galveston West bay, I caught, at the time, a personal record, 7-1/4 pound, Speckled Trout. In the late fall of 1991, I tied, or maybe surpassed this feat.

January of that year, our rancher at our Brady deer lease, let us know that he was hiring a foreman and that we would loose our spacious accommodations on his ranch. I understood his requirement for a ‘ramrod’ for his 2,000, acre, ranch, but it galled me that after 10 years we were being ‘evicted’. I’d show him. I’d just buy my own spread, which I did, but that’s a lot of ‘rest of the stories’. The end result of the rancher’s decision and my frustration was that on opening day of Quail season, I didn’t have a place to hunt. Solving the problem was easy, I’d just go fishing!

Just after sun up, the last weekend in October found my Son, Randy, his friend, Doug and I drifting toward a shell island in Jones Lake. There was a light wind blowing from the north and the tide, that just changed, was rushing in, and wouldn’t be high until well past mid morning. Spotting a shrimp hopping on the top of the water, Randy looped a cast, a shrimp under a weighted popping cork, and was rewarded with a solid strike, a nice Speck and the fight was on.

Many times, foraging fish will drive Shrimp to the surface, causing the Shrimp to hop around trying to escape the hungry predators. When Sea Gulls spot these tell tale dimples in the water they rush over to inhale the hapless Shrimp. A well placed, cast usually results in a savage strike from a Speck or Red.

Randy’s fish was netted and put in the cooler and Doug and I, both with fish on, soon boxed our own Specks. The action slowed and we moved out into the lake to start a new drift and about 200 yards ahead Randy spotted 3 Gulls circling what must be fish ‘on’ shrimp and a closer inspection showed 2 birds floating on the water, another sure sign of fish.

Cutting back the throttle, we eased toward the birds and randy and Doug let go with two long casts and started vigorously popping and retrieving their baits, and bam, bam, two hard hits. Under these birds there was a nice school of Specks and for the next few minutes we thinned their numbers. The fast and furious action ended and admiring our almost full cooler we decided we’d try one more spot and maybe try to pick up a couple of Reds.

Easing several hundred yards towards a channel marker, we started our drift over a hard shell bottom. If a Red and a Shrimp were around, the prey couldn’t burrow in the mud and would be inhaled by the Red.

Casting toward the channel marker, and only keeping my line tight, I let my rig sit for several minutes and didn’t pop it. Then one pop of the cork and it disappeared and I felt the weight of a very nice fish. The fish made a long run and I couldn’t tell if it was a Speck or Red,, until, a long way out from the boat, it started to circle us. This tactic is reserved for big Trout and after a long, spirited fight, Randy slipped the net under the monster Speck.

The Trout was shining, with the black spots seeming as big as dimes. It was a beauty laying in the net on the bottom of the boat, spent from its loosing fight and I noticed one egg had slipped out of the fish’s vent and right away, as I carefully measured her, I told Randy, “Slip the net and fish back into the water. We’re letting her go!”

It wasn’t long before I gently removed the fish from the net and it swam off. In our cooler we had enough for several ‘messes’ and we were happy that this big one, that measured over 28 inches and probably weighed well over seven pounds, would be free to spawn for the second time that year!

Scouting, 10-17-08

Thursday, Brad and I cleared out the underbrush from around Layla’s blind, so Friday morning I was out early to check things out. To the front of her blind is a corn feeder and the left side overlooks a two food plots. There was good deer movement in the area including 2 nice, bucks that wouldn’t oblige me for a picture.

A doe and her two yearlings came into the feeder and I took a ‘shot’. I figured that it was too early for a picture, but what the heck!

Last Friday, Brad and I planted oats in all five of the food plots and God was great furnishing rain on Monday and Tuesday and by Thursday morning the oats were up and the deer had already found the tender shoots. This early morning picture shows a doe enjoying the new sprouts. I was still afraid it was too dark get this ‘shot’.

After getting out of the blind, I noticed movement to my right and looked over at a doe that was wondering what that old guy was doing climbing down out of that funny box. I got a good ‘shot’ of her.
The bucks are still running together, but this week I found the first rubs and scrapes. Things are starting to heat up!

High School Football

This past week my Grandkid’s football teams scored impressive victories. Austin’s, San Marcos Diamondbacks walloped Kyle, Wallace Middle School, 48-8 and Sara’s, Copperas Cove Bulldawgs scored an impressive win over a stubborn Bryan High School 30-10. Number 7 in the state’s class 5A ranking, Cove’s record is now 6 and 0.

The highlight game last weekend was the Goldthwaite Eagles and the Evant Elks, with Goldthwaite streaking to a 75-42, yes 75-42, win. Evant ran an unbelievable 80 plays and Goldthwaite scored on each of its 11 possessions. The 5 and 1, Eagles have a high powered offense but their young defense need to get experience quick as the ‘meat’ of their schedule is approaching.

This week Colton and his Eagles host a tough, fast, Chilton team, while The Dawgs visit Belton. Austin’s, 3 and 2, Diamondbacks are finally at home versus San Marcos Miller Junior High.