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First Buck

The last week of October 2004 was comfortable not hot, nor sweaty warm, as my grandson Colton, 11 years old, and I climbed into our famous Scaffold Blind, called by some an elevated contraption. It’s ideal for young hunters since it has plenty of room for 2 people and 2 real comfortable chairs. There’s only one drawback, it has no roof, but as I tell everyone, “Don’t worry, if it’s not raining, you won’t get wet.”

Texas hunting law enables hunters to feed or bait deer and there was a feeder 95 yards west of the Scaffold Blind, tucked into a clearing along several deer trails. Texas law also requires that youth hunters take a hunter safety course.  In many other states hunters are required also to take an online [hunter education course].

That afternoon we watched doe and yearlings feed on the corn that was on the ground, and to our surprise, a gray fox trotted not 20 feet in front of the blind. We both wondered what in the world this fox was doing out this early in the day?

We knew the doe would hang around and Colton could take one for camp meat, but he was holding out for a nice buck.  Watching and dozing as Colton whispered, “Poppy, I see a real nice deer!” “Where, son” I replied?  Keeping his hand under the blind’s window he pointed toward a nearby mesquite tree and sure enough, tucked into the tree was a very nice buck, but I was afraid there was too many branches for a clear shot, then Colton said, “Poppy, I can hit him in the neck right below his chin.” I replied, “If you’re sure, take him!”

Pow, Colton’s .257 Roberts barked, and the deer crumpled in his tracks!  Colton had hit him dead center!  A fine shot!  “Poppy, I got him,” he said as he jumped up to admire his feat, but I told him, “Boy, let’s give the buck 10 or 15 minutes and make sure he’s done, no sense rushing it.”  In Colton’s case, the objective of the youth hunt was fulfilled. The boy shot a nice buck, received proper training from an adult and, 7 years later, is a successful, careful hunter.

Colton admires his nice buck and is a very happy, youth hunter!

Today, even though he’s now a senior in high school, weighs 200 pounds, has played in 2 State Championship football games winning one, was chosen All-State in 2009 and 2010 and is really into saltwater fishing, he still remembers this hunt.

That afternoon a new ranch rule was also set up, the next buck he takes must be bigger than this one!

Lest We Forget

The following was well, written by a Christian friend, fellow softball player and neighbor, Mickey Donahoo. It was too good not to pass on!

Lest We forget

By Mickey Donahoo

“The day was September 12, 2010 in Goldthwaite, Texas when I heard one of our locals say, “Everyone needs to get past all of this 9/11 stuff. In fact, everyone needs to get past WWII, Korea and Iraq and get on with life.”

Recently my softball tournament team traveled to Dalton, Georgia to compete in the SPA National Playoffs and at the end of the first day of play, the SPA put on their annual celebration. The festivities included homerun derbies, batting skill competition and all star competition.

Although my wife and I had traveled over 1,000 miles to compete in softball, the part of the tournament that really stands out is not the wins, losses, great plays or the friendships made, but was the celebration remembering our nations military – the veterans who served and those who gave all that we might live in the country we have today.

As the anthem for each military group played, and their flags paraded by – one for the Army, one for the Navy, one for the Air Force, one for the Marines, one for the Coast Guard, one for the Pow/Mia’s, one for Iraqi Freedom, one for the moms who had sons and daughters serving in Afghanistan and one for the United States – there was probably not a dry eye in the entire sports complex. Tears because we do remember whom and what we owe for the country and freedom which we have today. There was also a banner at the tournament that stated, “All gave some, some gave all.”

It is because of these memories that I cannot watch the Stars and Stripes being raised at a football game and sing the National Anthem without a tear rolling down my cheek. When I see the flag being raised, I always see it being raised on Iwo Jima and many other places around the world from where so many of our young men and women and family members did not return.

In spite of the fact that some are trying to erase our history from our history books, or that some say, “We need to get over the past,” I choose to never forget the sacrifices made by some so that the rest of us can live in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We must remember, “Freedom is Never Free.”

However there are some things that are actually better forgotten, so if you happen to see me around town, don’t ask about the tournament – I am working on forgetting it.”

The SPA Nationals was a tournament that I did not attend because I stayed home to watch my Grandson’s team, Goldthwaite High School play their arch rival, San Saba, (Goldthwaite won in overtime), but in the past, I have proudly, walked/marched out on to the field behind the banner of the U.S. Army. It is really something to see hundreds of men and women lined up, according the their branch of services, on the ball field, band playing, people clapping – it makes you feel real good that someone else remembers!

Everyone should always remember that of all the nations we have freed from tyranny, we have only asked one thing – “Just give us the space to bury our dead.”

The “Bull” Goes To Colorado

On October 29th I posted a picture of Warren Blesh’s, 5X5, Mule Deer that he shot on a hunt in Colorado. His Outfitter, Randy Pfaff, wrote the following story about the hunt. Warren sent the story to the local paper,{ The Goldthwaite Eagle} and to me for posting on this blog. It sounds like that it was a good hunt and a great time!

The Bull Goes To Colorado
By Randy Pfaff
“The Bull” and I drove into the Colorado canyon. Water was still flowing in the bottom. A small creek had not given way to the winter cold and ice. Although only a trickle, a few inches deep, it was still fighting, struggling to keep running. We were thankful for this, as we were soon to find out it would be the natural attractant needed for “The Bull’s” success.

Scouting, November 3, 2009

Yesterday was a “no work” day that I devoted to scouting on my place for deer. What a nice morning it was, no wind, forty-five degrees, with a bright blue sky! Walking out to the blind at 5:30 AM, the sky was so illuminated from the moon that I didn’t even use a light and I almost needed sun glasses! I believe every star in our hemisphere was out too! With it so bright and clear, the deer moved at night and I really didn’t expect to see much early in the day.

It was very slow, so slow that I took this “shot” of a male, cardinal.

 

Soon an, almost fawn, yearling, showed up and started picking up the corn outside of the feeder. He was hesitant to jump on in.
Then the little one started getting nervous and took off for parts unknown and out came, an almost spike.

 

This one barely had the horns outside of the skin, but he was bigger so he ran off the smaller one.

The eveninAg watch was much of the same. On my way in I jumped several deer and on my way out several. But, nothing came around the tree stand that I was sitting in.

Maybe I’ll sit out on my front porch and see how many I see tonight?

Paul’s First Deer

Paul’s First Deer

Layla and our 2 Daughters, along with 2 of our Grandchldren, Colton, age 2+, and Mikayla, Age, -1 were visiting at our house in Houston, while Mike Mitchell and Paul Culbertson, our 2 Son-In-Laws and I had taken this opportunity to crowd in a day and a half of Deer and Quail hunting at my “Big Country” lease at Millersview, in Concho County.

Driving to Goldthwaite, I picked up the boys and we hurried the 55 miles to the lease. Arriving, Mike who had been working all day, decided to take a shower, while Paul and I choose Deer hunting.

During past hunting trips to the lease I had scouted for Deer extensively and had come up with several spots that showed promise. One of these was a dead mesquite that overlooked a game trail leading to the stock tank 200 yards south, and as Paul scrooched down behind the tree, I spread out several hands full of corn along the trail to, hopefully, coerce a buck to stop and take a bite. I headed a half mile, to the north, along another game trail, spread some more corn and climbed into a 15 foot Deer blind, tower.

The wind picked up from the east, 12 to 15 MPH, as I checked my watch, 4:15 P.M. and began to scan my immediate area. Here came a Turkey, he’s got a beard, so I just watched it nibble at the corn. The rancher leases the ranch to a Turkey outfitter in the spring and doesn’t allow us to shoot one. The 2,000 acre, ranch had hundreds of the wily birds, so all I could do was watch!

The wind picked up and here came more Turkeys, toms and hens, and they vacuumed up all of the corn I had put down. Counting over 40 big, birds, I continued to scan for horns. No luck, I only spotted several does, no bucks, so when it became too dark to shoot, I climbed down and walked back toward Paul.

Hearing no shot, I didn’t anticipate the smile on his face and he’s not behind his stump, but standing beside a downed Deer. Walking up to him, I saw it was a nice buck and counting 9 points, I said, “I never heard you shoot!” He replied, “Around 5:15 the buck came walking along the trail, stopped and took a bite of corn, and bam, down he went. I’ve been sitting here admiring him.” Below is a picture that Paul snapped the next morning of his first Deer hanging on my windmill.
We headed back to the camp house and found Mike dressed and packed. He had just gotten a call from Laura that Mikayla had pneumonia and they had checked her into the hospital and for him to come to Houston, 5 ½ hours away, ASAP!

We hurriedly cleaned the Deer, packed, loaded up, stopped the Deer and Paul off in Goldthwaite and headed on to Houston. Mikayla recovered nicely and today she is a beautiful, 7th grader!

No Posts For A Few Days

Today, I’ll be catching a plane to Las Vegas, to play in the Las Vegas Senior Softball National Championships and won’t have another post until September 25. This is the second of three national championships and me, and the rest of The Texans will be there, trying to win our second in a row!

Wish us luck!

Our Second Amendment

Generally, this is not a political blog, but sometimes a person has ‘to take the bit in their teeth’ and speak out for what they believe in and I really believe the following.

Being a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, I recently received their September, 2008, issue of ‘The American Rifleman’ and perused with interest their story on pages 40 and 41, “Barack Obama’s Ten Point Plan to ‘Change’ The Second Amendment”. Having scanned in his Ten Point Plan, I want share it with everyone:

Baracks10PointPlan

When it comes to politics, I am definitely not a ‘one issue’ person; and I believe in low taxes, the use of all of our own natural resources, smaller government local, state and federal, the rights of the unborn, strict judicial interpretation of our Constitution and my individual right to keep and bear arms. Most important, I believe in God and love Jesus!

I also love and respect our Constitution and have sworn to uphold it! It is a wonderful, insightful document, written by far sighted, intelligent men. It doesn’t ‘live’, but it does clearly state our rights as citizens and, to me, near the top, is our right to keep and bear arms! The Second Amendment reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As our Presidential election nears, I believe that hunters, shooters, gun owners and their supporters must band together and prevent Barack Obama and the rest of the liberal democrats from gaining control of our government!

What are some of the things that we can do to push our agenda to the front? Here is my 10 Point Plan To Save Our Gun Rights:

1. If not a member already, join the National Rifle Association.

2. Encourage friends and supporters of the shooting sports to do likewise.

3. Contact your local, state and federal representatives to support firearms,

ammunition and right-to-carry laws.

4. Vote only for representatives that share and support your views on this subject.

5. Vote for McCain.

6. Don’t hesitate to speak out!

7. Get involved in shooting sports.

8. Get your family involved in the shooting sports.

9. Get involved in local, state and national politics.

10. Keep the pressure on our elected officials to preserve the Second amendment!

All of these things have to start at the grass roots level! Get involved and, as we say in Texas, “Git’ ‘er done!”

Outdoor Odyssey Blog Carnival – April 9, 2007 Edition

OutdoorOdyssey

Welcome to the April 9, 2007 edition of the Outdoor Odyssey Blog Carnival! This is our FIRST EDITION! Thanks for the great posts! Click Here if you want to be a part of a future edition!

Riversider presents Take A Preston Minibreak posted at Save The Ribble, saying, “Get outdoors – even if it’s just during your lunch hour!”

A good reminder to all of us to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Jon Bryan presents Gig ’em posted at Outdoor Odyssey.

There’s a reason why they have AGGIE jokes!…

Cliff presents Do Deer Lures Lure More Than Deer? posted at Hunting Sense. Interesting, insightful article. Check it out. 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of outdoor odyssey using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.