Sunday, August 29, 2010

Man's Best Friend!

Every South Georgia boy needs a good dog!  I have been fortunate enough to have several good dogs in my life.  From my childhood Brittany Spaniel, to my 100 lb Yellow Lab, they have all been special in one way or the other.  But there is just something about my Josey!  Josey, named after the Outlaw Josey Whales, is a Boykin Spaniel who is full of love and good attitude.  She is a bundle of energy in a small package who just may be the easiest dog I have ever trained.  Keep in mind that I did not train Josey to be my hunting partner (although I do not think that she would have any trouble picking it up), but I trained her to be a well mannered dog around my children and loyal companion for myself.  She is only two years old but seems mature beyond her years.  Sure she gets excited when she meets new folks or when someone stops by the house, but she calms down quickly and goes about her business as usual.  She really is a great dog.

Boykin Spaniels were discovered in South Carolina.  They are believed to be a cross between a Water Spaniel and a Springer Spaniel or something of the like.  I just call them a Lab in a small package.  They have great hunting skills and are used as dove and duck retrievers as well as upland hunting.  Josey is constantly flushing birds out of bushes and sniffing around looking for something to find.  She is also a very good squirrel hunter.  She will run squirrels around trees and bark until I can shoot them down.  You can tell that she was born to hunt.  Boykins are also great around children.  Josey is very patient with my kids and tolerates more than most other dogs would.  She loves to wake the kids out of their beds in the morning.

Fall is right around the corner and that means more time outside and out in the shop.  I know that Josey will be there right beside me to watch me work and keep me company.  She will get to eat her share of boiled peanuts and watch her share of college football, and enjoy laying by the fire.  I think she likes fall as much as I do.  Who knows, I may even try and take her out hunting a little this year.  If her Mama will let me!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pro for a day!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to wipe the dust off of my golf clubs and play in a Pro-Am event for the Hooters Tour.  They make a yearly stop through Hawkinsville, GA at SouthernHills Golf Club.  Now the Hooters Tour is not the PGA Tour, but they put on a very nice tournament.  My boss asked me to come play in his foursome so off I went.

The day started off well with some very nice Tee prizes.  We received a nice hat, a cup with some small goodies in it, a bag of the best boiled peanuts you have ever eaten and a $100 gift certificate to be redeemed in the Titleist/Foot Joy store which was there on site.  I turned that gift card into two Foot Joy golf shirts.  We then had lunch and met our Pro that would be playing with our group.  His name was Jonathon Hodge and this is his first year on the Hooters Tour.  He played college golf at Chattanooga and is from Knoxville, TN.  He won three college golf tournaments during his career and his highest finish on tour has been 5th.  He will play in three more Hooters Tour events before he goes to Q school to try and make the Nationwide Tour.  He was a great kid and I hope he does well.

We played really well and shot a very easy 16 under par.  We missed a couple of holes we shouldn't have but we had a great time.  We figured we may have a chance to place until we turned our card in and saw that one team had posted 23 under.  Yes 23 under.  There were also several 21 unders so we were toast!  We packed it in and headed for the house!

It was fun to play golf again.  I have not played much lately and I realized yesterday that I have missed the game.  I can still play pretty well and was definitely hitting it out there as long as the Pro.  I am not the same player that won back to back club championships a few years ago, but I can't expect to be either.  Back then I played every weekend, now I spend most of my time with the kids.  Maybe I can start back playing a little now that my son is getting older.  He likes golf and hits his little clubs around the yard.  It looks like our country club is going to reopen sometime in the next few months so he and I will have a place to play.  It will be fun to play the game I love again on a regular basis.

I will be following the Hooters Tour this week to see how Jonathon does.  I wish him well!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wow! I'm a BON!

"School Days"

I have really made the big time now!  The sweet ladies over at "Words of Wisdom" have chosen me to be today's Blogger of Note!  I would like to thank Sandy and Pam for giving me an opportunity to showcase my little blog and hopefully bring some more readers who just might be looking for a man's point of view on things such as family, community, sports, and things that I enjoy.  Exactly what do I enjoy????  The name of my blog just might be a clue.  I like the Atlanta Braves, The Georgia Southern Eagles, Hunting and Fishing, refinishing antique furniture, and Browning shotguns.  I also tend to talk about whatever is on my mind at the time.

Take some time to look around and please leave a comment if you find something that you like.  I was asked to recommend some of my favorite post, so here they are-

Will little league be the death of high school baseball? 
Thanks Ms. Judy!  I now know the dirt patches were worth it!
What would the society ladies think???
Are you kidding me?

To all the new folks who stop by from WOW, please come back!  To all my old friends, thanks for being loyal fans and check out Pam and Sandy's site.  They will lead you to some great blogs! 

                                    "Class Reunion"

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hunting traditions.....

The following article was written by my good friend and outdoor writer Ken Cook.  The article appeared in my hometown paper in November of 2009.  Hope you enjoy!

Hunting Traditions Run Deep in the Luckie Family.

Nothing ignites a conversation better or faster than the subject of our hunting heritage and family traditions surrounding it. This occasion was no exception. It was hard to get a word in edgewise as we sat in Dr. James “Jimmy” Luckie’s den late one July afternoon, trading hunting stories across the room like a fast-paced ping pong match. I was surrounded by two branches of the Luckie family tree—John Luckie, Jr. and his son Trey; Jimmy Luckie and his sons Beau and Zack. Though one generation separated those in attendance, the morals of their stories were the same.

In South Georgia, in a gathering of this type, you would expect the main topic of conversation to be deer and turkey hunting, but not this group. Although the Luckies enjoy hunting deer and turkey, their hearts belong to wing shooting and their most treasured memories are about quail hunts on the family farm in Marshallville, Georgia. John and Jim grew up hunting quail and doves; young Beau is a dyed in the wool duck hunter; and Trey enjoys doves and upland game birds such as pheasant.

Though there is some evidence that quail may be making a comeback in parts of rural Georgia, a state once famous for quail hunting, Jimmy said 16 wild birds was all they could muster last season. Hunters who grew up hunting wild quail get heartburn making the leap to pen-raised quail hunting on commercial shooting farms. Traditions seldom evolve.

Part family reunion and part hunt festival, Thanksgiving was a very special time for members of the Luckie clan. J.A. Luckie and John Luckie Sr. (grandfather and father, respectively, of John, Jr.) were both farmers in Macon County Georgia (Marshallville) and their farm was the gathering place. They hunted quail in the morning; sat down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner around noon; and then returned to the fields in the afternoon. Jimmy said it was a bad day if they didn’t raise 20 + coveys of bob white quail. The Luckie’s Thanksgiving hunts usually extended into the weekend and, for variety, also included dove and duck shoots.

If a Browning Arms representative ever gets word of this, they would be well served to produce an advertising series featuring the Luckies. The whole bunch of them own and shoot Brownings and wouldn’t consider using any other brand of hunting firearm. This tradition seems to have started with their grandfathers and fathers who hunted with Belgian-made Browning A-5 semi-autos with the “gold trigger.” Imagine the years of painful anticipation when your grandpa or father told you, “When you become 18 years old, I will let you have my Browning shotgun.” Implicit in this promise was the expectation that the recipient had to “behave and toe the line.”Obviously, the Luckie boys were expected to earn their Brownings.

The Browning shotgun tradition is apparently so strong that one of the Luckie boys, whose name I won’t mention, and who is a person not given to body art, has a Browning Buckmark logo tattoed on his ankle. If I were a Browning executive, this would be the focal point of my first ad in the “Luckies Love Browning” ad series.

With two generations of Luckies gathered around me and two more preceding generations passed on, I asked the younger Luckies what they are doing to pass the family hunting traditions down to their children. Trey, who has a six-year old son, is busy teaching him hunting and gun safety and taking him along on hunting trips. Beau and his wife don’t have children yet but Beau, who has a Lab retriever, believes that hunt tests are a natural way to get a son or daughter excited about and involved in hunting.

The richness and influence of our hunting heritage and family hunting traditions are nothing short of extraordinary. “If we didn’t behave during the week, we knew we wouldn’t get to hunt on Saturday,” Trey said. “When we were hunting, no one kept tabs on us because they knew where we were and what we were doing.” Beau added. Protect our hunting heritage and may it live on forever.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Who can keep up???

Technology has effected all of us in one form or the other.  I think that most of it is for the good, but some will always say that the "old school" was always better.  Technology has made vast strides in the hunting and fishing world over the last 25 years.  Have you looked at your camouflage lately?  Yesterdays outdoor wear is today considered useless.  I hate to admit it, but I have a different hunting jacket for every different type of hunt including deer, dove, ducks and turkeys.  I have better boots, better accessories, better calls, better bags, better cases, better scents, better scopes, better stands, better ammo, and in some cases better weapons.  But as I stepped into the attic to retrieve my long lost bow and arrow case, I was reminded just how far behind technology had left me when it came to my archery supplies.

Bow hunting in South Georgia is really not my idea of fun.  It's just too dang hot.  The temperatures here can still be in the 90's in September.  But deer hunting is a passion and us deer hunters will look for every opportunity to get in a tree.  I purchased a PSE bow about 10 years ago.  It was a very good bow at the time and I had a guy rig it up with all of the latest "stuff".  I braved the heat and hunted with the bow for a couple of years.  I never felt very good at shooting a bow because I am so short armed and always had trouble being consistent with my draw placement.  In other words, I was only a decent shot.  I missed a deer one season and was so mad about it I put the bow in the case and have not seen it since.  During the years that my bow has sat idle, all of my hunting buddies have fallen in love with bow hunting and have been throwing themselves and their wallets into the sport.  It amazes me the amount of money that they have spent on their super sonic sticks and string.  But on the other hand I can appreciate them wanting the best that the sport has to offer.  I do not have the best that the sport has to offer right now.  In fact, I need a complete overhaul of my bow.  It needs new sights, new strings, new rests, new arrows, new broad-heads, etc, etc, etc.  I think I will just put it back in the case and wait for rifle season when I can go to the woods with the "best there is".  My Browning!

I am a Browning man.  My family has a long tradition of hunting with Browning firearms.  My Grand father and Father both hunted with a Browning A-5 shotgun.  They are in my opinion the best guns made.  Technology has not passed the Browning company by, but what is really amazing is that they have not really needed it all that much either.  John Browning invented almost every gun that is in use today before 1905.  Sure the guns are made different and they have all kinds of different names, but the basic concepts were figured out by John Browning by using his mind and hard working hands.  Most people do not realize that Winchester and Remington made their history by manufacturing guns designd by John Browning.  I figure that if I shoot Browning guns, I am just cutting out the middle man.

So my bow and string may not be up to todays standards, but you can sure bet that my guns are.  Whether I reach for my old A-5 or the new Browning Maxus I know that I will be ready!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm ready for fall!

It's hot and I'm tired of it!  It has been too long since there was a chill in the air for me.  I do enjoy what summer has to offer, but I am more of a cool weather person.   In an effort to try and cool off my impatient soul, I thought I would list the things that I look forward to come September.  Don't get me wrong I love the Braves and yard work in the summertime, but fall can not get here fast enough!  Here are the reason why....

Friday night football games
College football starting with game day at 10:00am
Farmers bringing in their crops
boiled p-nuts
working in the shop on a crisp cool day
dove hunting
Braves in the playoffs (wishful thinking)
a good fire with good friends
your favorite hunting jacket and hat
worn out boots
top out of the Jeep
bow season
food plots
deer stands
deer hunting shows
colored leaves
cool golf cart rides with the family
carving pumpkins
quail hunting
Kansas pheasant trip
Time in the outdoors with Daddy
Woody's flying into a small water hole
a good bird dog curled in front of the fire
Halloween candy
Fried back strap and wild turkey
burning leaves
time spent outside with the wife and kids
and all of my Browning's.

I feel a little cooler already.  It has been too long since turkey season and fall can not get here soon enough!  To me it is the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Productive Weekend!

I have never been accused of letting the grass grow under my feet.  This past weekend will serve as a good example.  The wife was feeling a little under the weather, so I knew I would need to stay around the house to help watch and entertain the kids.  I got up Saturday morning and decided that it would be an outside kind of day.  This would allow for a quite house for Mama and hopefully a fun day for the kids.  First activity for the kids was bike riding and my first job was edging the drive way and all of the flower beds.  We then took a trip to Papa and Cheri's on the golf cart to retrieve the gas powered trimmer.  They watched me as I trimmed most of the shrubbery in the yard.  Reid then went inside while Mia watched me mow the grass.  After I was done mowing our yard, I proceeded to mow my neighbor's yard.  She was out of town and her yard was looking a little ruff.  After that both kids were back outside and they rode the golf cart with me around the yard as I trimmed up some dogwood limbs to allow some more light to get to some shady spots in the yard.  With that completed, we took a small break to visit with Mr. Bill who stopped by.  I then got the pool out for the kids to play in and I mixed up some round up to spray the flower beds for weeds.  Shortly after completing that task it began to rain.  The kids went inside and I stayed out in the shop to watch mother nature do her thing, but I was not done yet.  While watching it rain I decided that it was time to trim back the cherry tree in the back yard.  Some of the limbs were getting on the roof of the house.  In between showers I got out my pole saw and went to whacking.  Task completed!  What a day!  Did I mention that I also washed three loads of clothes?  Time for the Braves!

Sunday came and my hard work ethics spilled over from Saturday.  After church I decided to wash my Jeep.  The I got the bright idea of giving it a wax job.  I have not waxed a vehicle since I was in college and now I remember why.  The Jeep looks great, but it hurts my arms to type this.  Since I was already soaked with sweat I decided to look for something else to accomplish.  I fired the trimmers back up and went after all of the azalea bushes.  Every shrub in my yard is now perfectly shaped.  I cleaned up the clippings and added them to the rather large pile in the alley that was a bare spot just yesterday.  I then cleaned out the wife's vehicle for her.  I was going to wash it but I finally gave out of gas.  The kids and I took a golf cart ride around the neighborhood and I reflected back on all that I got done.  I don't mind hard work and actually consider it therapy.  I had a great weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Shrine!

It started very slowly some many years ago. A man's house was once his castle, but somewhere down the line a very sneaky woman hung a monogrammed towel in the bathroom with specific instructions to never use said towel. It was for guest only! It was on that date that men slowly started turning into what we have become today. We are whipped! The woman has taken over the house and instead of a nice 10 point buck hanging over the mantle, there is now a family portrait of you and your bride and the kids all dressed alike sitting on a beach (not that there is anything wrong with that). The women have taken over every room in the house including your own bathroom. How many of you now take a bath with a little spongy thing and scented soap and dry off with cream colored towels that are to never be hung back up over the shower curtain? Makes you think doesn't it!

Thankfully man has historically proven that he is able to adapt to his environment. We may not be king of our own castle anymore but we have somehow managed to secure one room in the house or one garage in the back yard that is today known as "The Man Cave". Man Caves have become one of the best selling features in new home sales. The man has become willing to give up the rest of the house to the woman as long as he has a basement or finished room above the garage to call his own. Her-"Look honey this house has 16 walk in closets, can we buy it?" Him-"Is that basement finished out and wired for sound?"

Men just want peace and quite every now and then and a place to clear their heads. I don't think we are trying to shuck our husbandly or fatherly duties, it's just sometimes we need to be a man in our own space. Kind of like the need for a woman to go shopping even though she has no money. I had a friend who let his wife talk him into building on to their house. Included in the build was a Man Cave. I liked my friends instructions for his wife when she started talking about how much fun the new room would be for them. He said "Baby I love you, but the only way you will be welcomed into my room is if your are naked or bringing fried chicken." His words, not mine, but I think you get the point on how important the Man Cave has become!

In my experience I have found that there are two different types of Man Caves. The first cave is a high tech entertainment room with flat screen TV's, stereo, video games, plush couches, poker table, full bar etc. These Man Caves are usually found in a finished basement or room above the garage and most of the time require the user to enter the main house to gain access. They are decorated with golf pictures or photos of their favorite college teams. In this part of the country a University of Georgia theme seems to dominate these types of caves. The second type of cave is a shop or garage that is separate from the main living quarters. This cave usually serves a dual purpose as both working shop and entertaining venue. This cave will house tools of all kinds, hunting gear, grills, fryers, fishing equipment, as well as flat screen TV's and a mini fridge stocked with the neighbors favorite brew. It will be decorated with all of the "Man" stuff that your wife will not allow in the main house.

My Man Cave is of the second variety. I built a 24 x 24 shop that serves as my work shop as well as my hang out spot. It is decorated with a lot of Georgia Southern stuff as well as some other pictures and things from my high school sports days. I also have some old bank signs and movie posters. The boys have named my shop "The Shrine".  It seems to fit!  I have really enjoyed having my own place that I can get away from the everyday routine as I work on this project or that, but I also enjoy when the neighborhood boys stop by to watch the Braves or just hang out for a while. I do allow Dana and the kids to come into the shop, but Dana doesn't stay very long. She seems to understand my need for my space and lets me work on my projects without interference. Besides it's hot out there this time of year.

So men, get yourself a Man Cave if you do not already have one. If you have a Man Cave, invite me over and let's watch the Braves or some college football! Just think of the possibilities as you watch this video!