Sunday, February 9, 2014

I've Been a Slacker!

I sit here and can't believe how I have neglected this blog over the past 4 months. My last post was full of promise for the up-coming deer season and I was excited about the possibilities of shooting a nice buck that was hanging around one of my stand sites. My hopes were quickly dashed as I got word of someone else shooting this particular deer not very far from my stand site. These things happen, but it really took the wind out of my sails and this blog suffered because of it. Not to mention that Blogger has been having problems and typing an actual post has become something of a nightmare.

I have been busy over the past few months, but I am not going to try and rehash every detail. I'll just give you some info to help you catch up.

We dominated soccer this year!  Reid's team won the league tournament as well as the local Tri-county tournament.  He had an excellent year and we continue to build on his soccer success.  He was recently asked to join a local soccer club that will allow him to practice all year long and continue to improve.

Reid killed his first deer!  Hunting with his Papa, he shot this doe with his 20 gauge shotgun with buck shot!  He was so proud of himself!

Big John and I went to Kansas.  We killed a few birds, but the bird numbers are still way down from just a few years ago!

Josey the Wonder dog is still going strong in the dove field as she patiently waits for Reid to bring another grey bird falling to the earth!

We have gone head over heals into archery!!  Reid got a bow for Christmas and now every spare moment we have finds us in the back yard slinging arrows!

His friends have even gotten in on the action!

Archery may be the new golf for me!  Nothing quite like letting that arrow fly!  Here is a late season success shot that helped revive my deer season after the disappointment of missing out on the buck I was after!

And just so you don't think that this is a hunting only kind of family, my little girl is bringing home the bling every other weekend in her gym competitions!

So there you have it.  That's the last 4 months.  I'll try and do a better job and may go back and hit some of the highlights when I have more time, but as you can see, we've been busy!!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I have two different cameras set up on our hunting lease. One is on the South side of the property and one is on the North side. If the pictures that I have been getting for the past month or so tell any kind of story, then I will be hunting on the South side. This camera has produced nothing but bucks for me to look at. In fact, I can just about name them by now. They come to this feeder every night and there is usually more than one there at a time. They range in size from this 11 point all the way down to a small spike, with every size in between. There is even one buck that is messed up on one side. He may have to go. The 11 is on my hit list. I hope to catch him chasing a doe in early November when the rut is in full swing. Since I have no daytime pictures of him, that may be my only hope. Enjoy the shots!

Hello Dad!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rocking September!

My son has had a pretty good month. In my last entry, I wrote about my little man killing his first dove. I actually didn't get to see it as I was falling over my blind, but he shot and the bird fell and he picked it up, so I know it happened. As we sat in a VERY hot dove field this past Saturday, my little dove slayer struck again, and this time I had a front row seat. He gets it honest! He is following a family tradition that goes back several generations. He loves bird hunting. You can tell by the picture above that he is focused in on only one thing. Wackin' and stackin'! While some of his other buddies are in the field chasing bugs or digging in the dirt with complaints of the heat, this boy is constantly looking for a chance to fire his gun and make his Daddy and Papa proud. He is patiently waiting for the day that I will allow him more than one shell at a time in his youth model pump.

I was trying to give him some shots at closer birds, but they were still a little far out of his effective range. I downed one and went out for the retrieve. As I made my way back to the blind, a super floater was headed towards the blind and Reid already had him spotted. The bird sailed right over our set-up and Reid stood, shouldered his gun, aimed, fired, and followed through as the bird fell in a cloud of grey feathers! A very clean kill that was witnessed by everyone sitting in our general area. He chest was poked out with pride as he retrieved his kill to the sounds of hooping and hollering from his fellow hunting partners! It was a good day!
I took the opportunity to try and teach him a life lesson. I could tell that he was really enjoying himself, so I told him that as long as he did well in school and as long as he did what was right, then I would always take him hunting! I hope it sinks in!

My little man is also enjoying a good early soccer season. His team is currently 3-1 and he has scored a goal in all three victories.

I just hope that the next few months will continue to be as good as this one!  Rock on Son!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tis the Season!

This past Saturday was the opening day of dove season and hopefully the re-opening of this blog. It has been a busy summer, but I have not really had many blog-worthy moments to share with all of you. Now that hunting season is here, I hope that I will have some stories from the field to encourage some page views in this dying publication. The first hunting story of this young season comes to you from a very proud Daddy!

My son Reid is shown above holding his very first dove kill. He shot this bird while it was flying with his youth model Remington 870 pump shotgun. I had been giving him one shell at a time so that he could try and shoot a bird off of the ground. The birds were coming pretty fast and I would not let him shoot. I didn't want him to get frustrated, so I was waiting on a super floater to better his chances. A bird flew over and I raised to shoot. I missed with the first shot and the bird circled hard right. I turned to fire my second shot and missed again. I kept turning and I felt my chair tip out from under me. As I was taking the blind and myself to the ground while trying to keep my shotgun pointing in a safe direction, I heard Reid's gun go off. I looked around in a slight panic to make sure he was alright as I heard him say "I got 'em!!" He put his gun down and ran to where the bird had fallen, picked him up and did a little victory dance! He was so proud of his first kill and so was I.

We went on to kill the limit and called it a very good day!!  What a great way start to what I hope is going to be a very good hunting season!

Tis the season fellow hunters!  Good luck!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why This Baseball Player Really Likes Soccer!

Growing up in South Georgia, if you were an athlete you played three sports.  Football, baseball and basketball.  Sometimes you ventured out into track, wrestling, tennis or golf, but for the most part you stuck with one of these three.  If you did happen to come across a soccer ball, you found three bases to use and a mean game of kickball just might break out!  Soccer just wasn't our thing.  For me, my first and only true love was my baseball glove and bat, but I will tell you today that I am really glad that my son loves soccer along with being an All-star baseball player.

Reid just finished his 4th year of soccer camp with Challenger Sports.  It is a week long camp that teaches soccer skills and teamwork.  The camp is taught by instructors from across the pond who really know how the game is played.  We have had coaches from England, Scotland, Whales, and Spain to name a few.  They will spend their summer in the United States going from camp to camp making kids from 4 to 16 years old better soccer players.  I think it is great for the game and the kids love it!

So why does this baseball nut of a father love the fact that my kid plays soccer?  Because here in the South, the game is still pure for these kids.  Us as parents for the most part are uneducated about the game of soccer, therefore we don't feel the need to constantly try and "coach" from the sidelines.  Kids are encouraged to just go out and have fun playing the game.  We are excited when our child kicks the ball no matter what little effect it may have in the outcome of the game.  We encourage the "team" to play as a team.  The defense is just as important as the offense.  It is a game in constant motion where if a mistake is made, there is very little time to dwell on it.  A tie games is considered a great contest!

No take a look at little league baseball.  Every parent thinks they know how to play baseball.  Never mind the fact that they have never stepped foot on the diamond.  They have been watching the Braves for years, therefore they know all there is to know.  They have also never spent any time with their son playing catch in the yard, but they expect the coach to recognize the natural ability flowing out of their child's pores and ask why he isn't starting at shortstop!  Parents are constantly putting pressure on their kids to do better, hit it further, make the catch, run faster, do it the way I taught you (even though it is wrong), don't listen to the umpire, he is an idiot, and on and on and on.

My son has been playing soccer for 5 years.  I coached him for the first 4.  I know enough about the game to try and teach kids to have fun, get in open space for good passes and good shots, play hard defense, etc, but I really don't consider myself to know how to coach soccer.  I have also coached baseball for 6 years.  I know the game of baseball.  I know how to coach kids to play this game the right way.  I think I am a good coach.  I can tell you that my fondest coaching memories come from the soccer field.  I have never had a conflict with a soccer parent.  I have never had a soccer parent complain to me about where their child was playing or why I chose that strategy.  Again, parents for the most part don't know any more about the game than I do.  It is still pure!

Soccer kids are great kids!  You don't have to be the biggest kid.  You don't have to be the fastest kid.  You don't have to be the most gifted athlete to play the game.  In fact, I know a kid that struggles pretty bad at baseball, but he is a good runner that has a lot of hustle, so he makes for a pretty good soccer defender!  Any kid has an opportunity to contribute to their soccer team. I think that's awesome!

So play on Son!  Even though your father was and still is a baseball nut, I have to admit that I really enjoy watching you play soccer and it might just be my new favorite sport!

Here's to a great week!  Can't wait until next year! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So, What Have I Been Up Too??

Baseball, baseball, baseball!!!  It really is a way of life.  Pictured above is the 2013 9-10 year old Fitzgerald All-Star baseball team.  We have had a busy month!  Reid (middle front)was the starting pitcher and played some games at second base.  We competed in 3 different tournaments and several practice games with neighboring counties.  We practiced everyday we were not playing.  It was a lot of baseball for a great group of kids and I hope that they have learned something!

Our season ended last week and that has allowed our family to try and get back to a normal life.  No longer am I running home early to get to the ball park.  No longer will I be living off of sunflower seeds and Gatorade.  No longer will we have to wash a uniform every other night!  It will be a much needed break!  It is back to fresh cooked vegetables and lean meat on the grill!  It is back to evening walks to provide exercise and weight loss due to ball park hot dogs and french fries.  It is back to reading good books and watching the Braves.  It is back to actually spending some quality time with my wife and daughter!

So is the life of having active kids!  I wouldn't have it any other way!  In fact, it has been less than a week and I already kind of miss it.  Won't be long's almost time for......

Camp starts next week!  Bring it on!!

Have a great 4th everybody!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's Been a Great Season!

The 2013 9-10 year old Giants finished the season as league runner-up.  After making our way through the season ending tournament in the winners bracket, we had to face the mighty Phillies in the championship game, and what a game it was!  After spectacular defensive play by both teams, the score was tied after 6 innings at 1-1 and everyone was treated to free baseball!  4 more innings to be exact!  The final score was 2-1 in favor of the Phillies in 10!

We fought hard in the second game but came up a little short in a 13-9 effort.  Our kids never gave up against a team that was clearly the best team in the league.  The Giants finished the season with a 10-5 record.  Our record against the Phillies???.........1-4.  They sort of had our number along with every one else.  They finished the season with a record of 13-2!  Congrats to the Phillies!

Reid had a very solid year, especially in the field!  He is shown here holding his "Golden Glove" trophy that he earned by having the best defensive stats on our team.  We decided early in the season that we wanted to honor some of the kids that excelled on the team and we kept stats on everything from fielding to base running.  We gave a trophy for best defense, best offensive numbers, Team MVP (which was a combination of the two), and a coaches award for the kid that showed the best attitude towards his coaches and his team.  This was a great team to coach because it was full of some really great kids!  In fact, at the recent school honors night, 8 out of our 12 boys were honored in some way, with 6 of them being recognized for having all A's for every quarter for this school term.  Makes us coaches proud!

Reid is also shown holding a sports devotional book titled "Have Fun, Try Hard, and Play Fair".  We wanted to give the kids something that they could use to help them become better young men.  A trophy will eventually loose it's shine, but lessons about how to live a Christian life will last a lifetime!  The book has 365 daily devotions related to sports and how that relates to living your everyday life for God.  Several of the boys got emotional after the game and I have had several parents call me and say that they couldn't believe a group of coaches would care that much for their kid.  I'll be the first to admit that I did not want to coach a team this year, but this team was worth it in every way!

To Coach Hal and Coach Stan-  I'll coach with you guys anytime!  It's been a great ride!  We were lucky to get such a great group!!

The season has not ended for Reid just yet!  It's on to All-Stars to see how our kids stack up against the best in the State!  Reid has made his first All-Star team and I am one proud father and Coach!  Let's go get 'em Son!!  Your Daddy is very proud of you and your hard work!!