Outdoors Pictures

I’m still getting a lot of pictures about our great, sporting outdoors and the following are some of the real good ones!
A cousin in Arkansas sent me this one heralding springtime (according to AlGore).

Randy Pfaff sent me this one of a south Texas rattlesnake. It is BIG even for Texas! The hunter doesn’t even have on any snake-guards. Maybe he took them off for the pic?

Randy sent me another one of a huge white tail buck shot this past season near Junction, Texas. He had no information on the buck age, weight, etc, but I’ll bet it was from a high fence ranch, maybe even a “brood” buck?

Winter Storm

We had moved from Phoenix to Atlanta in August of 1976 and by January of 1978 had really settled in. We didn’t live in the city but in an unincorporated area of Fulton County, Sandy Springs, that was a ‘buffer’ between Atlanta and Roswell. We had selected a home in the Lost Forest Subdivision and it truly was a lost forest, very hilly, a lot of pine trees, 10 minutes from my work and outside of the Atlanta ISD.

Being ‘flatlanders’ and since the winters of 1976 and 1977 had been mild for the area, we really didn’t know what to expect when the TV weather alerted us for ‘a severe winter storm and possible ice storm’. Since this was a new, high corporate mobility area, most of our neighbors were at a loss too. Finally a local surfaced and told us, “Folks you’d better prepare for the worst. We could be shut down anywhere up to a week!”

Early the next morning the storm hit in full force, rain, sleet, snow, high wind and plummeting temperatures. By evening the temperature had dropped to +5 degrees and by early morning of the storm’s second day, -5. The coldest weather I’d ever seen!

Sleeping soundly, I awoke to the loud crack of what I thought was a rifle shot, but in reality was the crack of a pine tree snapping. At the time, I didn’t even know that could happen. Trying to turn on the lights, no power. Rats, we had an all electric home too! At least we had fireplaces on 2 floors of our 3, story house along with a cord of wood. The fireplaces and wood certainly came in handy over the long haul of the storm.

Long haul it was! We were iced in and our house was in the middle of a hill and we couldn’t go up or down. We knew we would slide down and never tried to go up the hill, even in our 4WD, Dodge Power Wagon. Our freezer was in the garage and since we had below freezing temps for 2-1/2 days, we just about cleaned it out and even had ice cream.

The biggest fireplace was in the basement and our lives, for 3 days, centered around it. We were without power for almost 4 days and all cooking was done like the early settlers, over the fireplace fire. The family, 5 of us, and our pets, Rooster and Nick, the cat, all slept around the fire. We never lost water pressure and our bathwater was heated over the fire and they were only quick ‘rinses’.

The fourth day of the storm the weather moderated some and we loaded up my 4WD, Dodge Power Wagon with a sleeper, camper on the back end, with 4 of my neighbors, we all worked for the same large company, and crept in slowly to our office. Nothing much could be accomplished since we only had a skeleton staff that could make it in, but by the next day, schools were opened, business began ‘humming’ and power was restored to our part of Fulton County.

Tending to personal needs, keeping the fire roaring, heating water for baths, cooking all day long, venturing to the colder portions of the house for clothes and needed items, took care of most of our time. Our time outside the protection of our basement fire was spent visiting with neighbors and helping, and being helped, with the clearing and cutting up of the numerous pine trees splintered by the ice accumulation.

This was a real learning experience for me, but just stop and think all that our forefathers had to endure, that today, we take for granted. Think of the effort expended, cutting, trimming, splitting, hauling and stacking a cord, 4’X4’X8’, of wood; or raising enough food to feed the family and livestock for the winter; or digging a 10 to 20 foot well for water or hauling water every day for the family’s and animal’s needs; or shearing, making the yarn, weaving and sewing clothes.

No power tools, no electricity, no running water, no cell or telephones, no ‘modern medicine’, only the strength and ingenuity of the individual. I think we’ve gotten soft!

Randy’s Axis Deer

Last spring Randy Pfaff hunted at Warren Blesh’s RRR Ranch and bagged a nice axis buck. When Randy shot him, the buck had been busy “fighting” a tree and Randy picked up the loose tree scraps and took the cape and the tree scraps back to his home in Colorado.
He found a local taxidermist, presented him with the cape and tree scraps and described how he would like the finished product to turn out. Randy recently picked up the trophy and then sent me the following picture.
The taxidermist did a great job in capturing the moment, just like Randy wanted!

Outdoors Pictures

Knowing about this blog, a lot of folks send me some pretty neat wildlife pictures and I gather them up and post the most interesting. Some recent ones follow.
{Clayton Gist}, a Goldthwaite local, trapped two more Bobcats. That makes 4 he gotten this year. I’m sure he’s a favorite of the goat and sheep ranchers!
My Daughter, Suzanne, sent me this picture of a huge 30+ point buck taken in Wisconsin, supposedly, by a 14 year old Amish boy armed with a homemade longbow!

Dave Lazor, a softball buddy, sent me this picture of a 260 pound, mountain lion, that was hit by a car, west of Aspermont, in the middle of the Texas panhandle. I don’t know who the lucky ‘hunter’, or driver, is, but that’s some lion!

Randy Pfaff sent me this unusual picture of a big, white tail buck on ice in the middle of a river. Also this “shooter” snapped from his back porch.

Almost A Relic

I was reading “The Best Of Nash Buckingham”, by George Bird Evans and came across Nash and his friends using 10 gauge, W & C Scott And Sons, shotguns on ducks and geese in Mississippi and Arkansas.  Around the turn of the 20th century, when he was a boy, if the owner of one of these prized guns wasn’t using it, Nash laid claim to it.  The adult members of their exclusive shooting club, Beaver Dam Duck Club, preferred the large charges, 4 drams of powder and 1-¼ ounces of number 4 shot, that these big bore, 10’s propelled at their quarry.
Now for the rest of the story!
When I was a mere lad in high school, I traded a throwing knife to one of my friends for an old shotgun, a Damascus barrel, 10, gauge with a gold shield inlaid into the comb of the stock.  The gun was in good condition except that it had a severely broken stock right where the action joined. My friend said that he thought someone had been hit with it.  Into the closet at my Mom’ and Dad’s it went for 20 years until I moved to Arizona.

Having a real good job and some extra money, before I left I took the stock to a local gun shop that specialized in repairing antique fire arms. And, for safekeeping, I took the shotgun, sans stock, to my brother-in-law, Jim.   With the owner mentioning what a pretty piece of wood it was, I left it with him and told him that I would call in about a month.
That month turned into 5 and when I went back to Houston, I stopped by the shop and was greeted by a vacant building.  One call to another gun shop and I found out that the proprietor had died and creditors claimed the inventory.

For the next 35 years the old, shotgun slipped my mind, until Jim died and his wife asked me if I knew anything about the old shotgun without a stock?  The memories of the original trade, leaving the gun, taking the stock to be fixed and the shop being vacated, flooded through my mind.  “Yes, I certainly remember my old gun!”

Brad, who is an excellent gunsmith, picked up the gun for me and said he could get another stock for it and fix the trigger sear.  Over the years the trigger sear had been broken, probably from the original wallop.  Brad, really doing a great job, added a new stock and he also machined a new sear and then the old gun went up on my ranch house, wall.
We knew the gun was a 10 gauge, W.& C. Scott And Sons, shotgun and the mention of one like it in the book, spurred me to get it down and take a closer look.
Sure enough, the underside of the barrel shows that the gun is a 10 gauge and can safely handle 4 drams of powder and throw out 1-1/4 ounces of shot, just like Nash mentioned.

The serial number is 6492 and the gun, a very low serial number one, since the numbers ran into the 60,000’s, was a Premier Model, probably built around 1890 and it has over 50 percent of the “brown” still on it.  Back then guns weren’t blued.

Except for the barrels and stock, the gun is covered with beautiful engraving.  The receiver frame, trigger guard, hammers, sight ramp and even the release mechanism on the fore end are covered with the etchings.  This along with the “flowerly” shapes of the wrapped steel, better known as, Damascus, barrels give the old shotgun loads of appeal.

The W & C Scott And Sons, 10 gauge, graces the wall in my ranch house eagerly awaiting a call to service that will never come, the twist steel barrels are just too risky to chance, but it is a great conversation piece – Almost A Relic!

Stock Tank Bass

This past weekend, Layla and I visited our daughter, Suzanne, her husband, Paul and our grand kids, Wesley and Will, in Paris, Texas. During supper Friday night, Suzanne had mentioned that four or five years earlier, the previous owners of their property had stocked their quarter acre, stock tank with bass. Quickly filing that away, I thought to myself that I would just go and check it out Saturday afternoon.
Sure enough, by 5:00 Pm this past Saturday, we had finished “shopping” and had stopped by A Piece Of Cake Bakery and picked up some delicious pastries, tea cakes and lemon bars, then we saw some sights, yes there are “some sights” in Paris, and we topped all of this off with a multi-course Chinese dinner.

We were sufficiently “fatted” and after napping for a few minutes, I thought that I’d give Suz’s stock tank a go! My choice of baits was a green and white, H & H, better known as a “Piggy Boat”.
Here’s the stock tank as I walked up to it.

Having fished in a lot of stock tanks, I know that if there’s a bass in it, he won’t be able to pass up a “Piggy Boat”. My second cast produced a hit and the little bass put on a show rolling at the surface, running and zipping the line through the cold water.
Lipping it, I passed it over to Wesley and took this picture.

My thirty, minute stay at the stock tank produced 10 small bass, no keepers, and probably 20 more strikes, all of this on a cold, February day. Here we are with another little one.

Wesley fished diligently, had a couple of strikes but didn’t connect.

Before we left for Goldthwaite, I mentioned to Suzanne that they should catch as many of these little bass as they could because they were stunted. Besides adding a food fish for the bass, like minnows or sunfish, they need to thin them out. If they caught a bunch, filleted ‘em and fried ‘em up, they would not only have a nice fish fry, but would really help the overall fishing.

The “boys” assured me they would take care of this chore!

My Kind Of Politician

There’s another famous relative in my family tree, a Great Uncle, Morgan G. Sanders (1878-1956). He was my Grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders Wallace’s, brother and was a Democrat back when southern Dems were very conservative. But that’s getting ahead. Morgan was a teacher, newspaper owner, Assistant Clerk of the Texas Senate, lawyer, County Attorney, District Attorney and then, he really hit the ‘big time’.

In 1920 he was elected to the United States Congress and served from March 4, 1921 until January 3, 1939. In 1921, he also was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court. When John Nance Garner was sworn in as Vice President in 1933, Morgan took his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. This is the committee that originates taxes, tariffs and funding of our Government.

Morgan was a staunch supporter of states rights and a balanced federal budget and broke with President Roosevelt over the packing of the Supreme Court and many other New Deal programs. He sure sounds like my kind of legislator! Breaking with FDR proved costly because he lost his reelection bid in 1938 and then returned to Texas.

Morgan died in 1956. “Uncle Morg” was one of Mother’s favorites and she spoke about him often. I never met him but I did meet his Son, Dr. Gurley Sanders. I’m fortunate to have men like Morgan Sanders in my ancestry!

Another Trip To Cabela’s

This past Monday Brad and I had gone to meet with one of his Doctors at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and finishing early, stopped and met Randy at Rogelio’s Mexican Restaurant for another fine lunch, Driving back home, Brad said, “Dad, why don’t we stop at Cabela’s.” Enough said, even though we had stopped there 2 weeks ago!

Driving in, the parking lot was almost half full and this at 1:30 PM on a work day. Once inside we headed for the gun department and most of the crowd, truly a testament to diversity, was there. Signs were up to the effect that they couldn’t keep adequate supplies of reloading supplies. I wonder why? We even had to take a number.

We bought some .22 bullets and Brad stepped up and bought a single action, .22/.22 mag. pistol. Since Brad has a “carry permit” this transaction went quickly. When you buy a gun there, you check out at a register in the gun department and, for the appearance of safety, the salesman walks you out of the store. As we were walking out, our salesman leaned over to me and said, “We’ve been Obamanized for over a month.” I smiled and walked on to Brad’s truck.

It looks like the folks in central Texas are stocking up for the long haul!

Get Active, Our Second Amendment Is At Stake

Yesterday, our “rulers” in Washington rammed the pork laden, stimulus package down our throats, even though polls showed that almost 70 percent of the American people were opposed to it. These same “rulers” want our guns!

As shooters, hunters and gun owners, we are already being targeted by this new administration with subtle threats that all point toward the taking away or seriously limiting our access to our guns and even our ammunition! Some of our adversaries are all to familiar; Eric Holder, Attorney General, Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State.

These politicians, our “rulers” and their anti gun cronies, are all to eager to force us into gun registration, gun licensing, ammunition bans and the imposition of huge Federal taxes on our guns and ammo. All of this with the intent to neuter our Second Amendment!

You ask, “But what can I do.” You’d be surprised at what one person can do. Make a lot of noise! Join the National rifle Association who speaks loudly for our gun rights! Upgrade your NRA, membership to a Life or Endowment member. Call and fax both your State and Federal Congressman, and Senators and don’t forget your Governor. Let them all know that you oppose any efforts to weaken or dilute our Second Amendment.

If we sit on our thumbs, we’ll lose this right that so many Patriots have fought and died for. Everyone must get involved and get active!

Pet Peeve

One of my pet peeves is our 4th estate, the media. They have lost all sense of fairness and their fawning over our new President borders on the ridiculous! A sample of headlines four years ago after “W’s” inauguration party and after the recent party vividly points this out. These were pulled out of a recent e-mail sent to me by one of my Cousins.

Nothing like fair & unbiased coverage of the news!

Headlines After Bush’s Inauguration Party 4 Years Ago:

“Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees”

“Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times”

“Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft”

Headlines After Obama’s Inauguration Party:

“Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million”

“Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party”

“Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate”

“Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration”

“W” sometimes stumbles with his words and that was the reason the new President stumbled during his swearing in ceremony. It was Bush’s fault!