Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!  These are the 5 pumpkins that we carved this year.  I decided to go with the Braves theme for myself!  I hope everyone has a great night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We like Halloween!

We like Halloween around our house.  I live with a family of sweet tooth's, so what's not to like.  The kids and the wife enjoy the dressing up and the CANDY!  Me, I like Halloween for another reason.  I like to carve the pumpkins!  I bought a carving kit the Halloween before I got married and surprised my new bride with a dragon fly pumpkin that included her name.  I was hooked from that point.  Above is the pumpkin I carved for myself last Halloween.  I wonder where I got the inspiration?

This is the pumpkin that the wife carved last year.  This one was really cool because the pumpkin was solid white.  It turned out very pretty.  I was proud of her!  It was her first attempt at pumpkin carving, but she is very artistic so I agreed to let her give it a shot!

This is what the kids asked for this year.  I carved them tonight because they didn't want to wait until this weekend.  They are mini pumpkins, so I really did not have a lot of space to work with.  Reid wanted a bat and Mia wanted a girl pumpkin.  Notice the hair bow on the left side of the face.

I have two big pumpkins left to go.  I will spend tomorrow thinking about what design I want to do this year and see what kind of patterns I can find.  The carving will take place on Saturday.  I think I may go with a Braves theme this year!  I'll post pictures when I get them finished for your viewing pleasure!

Happy carving!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My new trail camera!

As some of you may remember, I received a new trail camera for my birthday.  I had the opportunity to get it in the woods this past Sunday afternoon.  I placed it near a high deer traffic area (a feeder) so that I could see how it was going to operate and what kind of pictures it was going to take.  I picked up a sandwich at lunch today and ran out to our hunting club to see if I was able to catch some images.  The camera was in an easy access area so I wasn't really worried about messing up my shirt and tie and pretty loafers.  I checked the camera and it told me that I had 53 pictures for review.  I changed out the card and headed back to the office.

I got the usual pictures of coons, squirrels and a few does.  I also got several pictures of small bucks ranging from spikes, to fork horns, to small six points.  But I also got this guy.  He made the trip worth while.  I actually have two pictures of him three hours apart, but this one turned out the best.  I actually saw this deer this past weekend but elected not to take him.  I think he is a fairly young deer and I would love for him to make it to next season.

Daddy and I have seen several bucks this size so far this year.  I think that we have seen at least 5 different 8 points in different locations on our club.  If the rut brings out the big boys, then we may be in for a great year!

Happy Hunting!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coon Huntin'- Ain't Nothin' Like it!

The Hump Day boys and I spent this past Wednesday night like we usually do.  We socialized, cooked some good food, and spoke about such things as football, fishing, and philosophy.  Towards the end of the evening when things were dying down a little, my fellow mid week celebrator Hal W. pulled up his truck and started playing some Jerry Clower stories for the boy's entertainment.  We all got a good laugh listening to old Jerry tell his stories, the majority centered around Coon Hunting in Mississippi.  Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that even though the Hump Day crowd is full of some mighty fine hunters and fisherman, the majority of them have not done their share of Coon Hunting.  It is a dying art here in these parts and the opportunity does not present itself much anymore.  But Hal and I can say that thanks to one very fine man, we know what it's all about!  We've been there!

J.W. Poole was a tall gentle man who had a great way with kids.  I seem to remember thinking that he was the strongest old man that I had ever seen.  He always had a kind word or would make sure that he spoke to me whenever I would visit the local pool hall for lunch.  I was just a high school teenager at the time.  He sort of became bigger than life in my eyes because my Dad and several others had told me stories about JW in his younger years.  They all said that there was never a badder man than JW and that folks wouldn't dare mess with him even today!  To me he was just a Grandfatherly figure that worked hard all day and played harder all night.  You see ole' JW was a coon hunter and he struck out with the dogs every evening to chase that old coon through the swamps of South Georgia.  I am so happy and consider myself blessed to say that I got to tag along with him.

Daddy and JW were good friends.  Daddy knew that JW chased coons every evening and thought up a pretty good plan.  My Daddy has always said that if you take your kids hunting and fishing, you will not have to hunt and fish for your kids!  What better way to keep up with your teenage son than to take him coon hunting on Friday or Saturday night?  Daddy asked JW if he and I could tag along for some hunts.  JW was more than happy to let us tag along with him and Mr. Jim Dorminy, his hunting partner.  In his eyes we were two young bucks that could carry the light and rifle.  He would be free to just work the dogs! 

I had no idea what I was in for as we pulled up on this dark dirt road to meet up with JW and Mr. Jim.  The meeting place was called the sewer pipe and some nights we would turn the dogs loose right there or we may start in another location all together, but we always met at the sewer pipe.  I was dressed in my best waterproof boots and had been told to expect some trudging through some thick swamp country.  I acted like I was ready, when in fact I had no idea what I was getting into.  I didn't even know how this game worked!  Daddy told me to just sit back and take it all in.  The dogs would let us know when we were needed.  I didn't understand that either!

JW and Jim let the dogs out to start the hunt.  The dogs hit the woods and I remember wondering how in the world we would get them back because they let out of there running 100 miles per hour.  Directly I heard the most wonderful sound in all of the world.  One of the dogs let out the prettiest little howl that you have ever heard as it carried through the cool night air.  JW yelled out "SPEAK TO 'EM"!  The others joined in and soon you could follow the sound of the dogs as they trailed the coon through the swamp.  It was awesome.  The coolest part of the whole thing to me though was that JW and Jim could actually tell you which dog was doing the howling.  "Ole Queen has found us one!"  "I believe ole Belle is on the scent of another one."  There would be 5 or 6 dogs screaming through the woods and JW could tell you the bark of each one of them.  Just as I was getting use to the sounds of the pretty music I was listening to in the night, the chorus changed.  "We got him treed boys!" was JW's cry.  The dogs had started a different song.  They were no longer howling, they were now sort of baying and that I learned meant a treed coon.  It also meant that you gathered up your stuff and hit the woods with light in tow to go to where ever the dogs were.  I have been in some thick stuff before, but never as bad as it gets when you are chasing that masked bandit through the pitch black swamp in South Georgia.  When you finally reach the dogs you shine your light into the tree to spot your coon.  One shot and down he comes and the dogs go crazy.  If he is not dead yet, he will put up one hell of a fight.  JW usually didn't want his dogs fighting with the coon so he would tell Daddy to make sure he put a good shot on him while he was in the tree.  Once you retrieve your coon and your dogs, you head back to the truck, which is always a good 22 miles away at this point, to star over at a new spot.  Repeat all night long!

Now you may be saying to yourself "How can Jerry Clower make that kind of hunting sound funny"?  Well all sorts of things can happen in the woods after dark, and coon hunting is just slap full of stories like this one that my Daddy likes to tell...

JW, Jim and Daddy met up at the sewer pipe, decided on a location and let the dogs out.  JW was proudly listening as one of his prized dogs started that all familiar night music.  Again it amazed me how they could tell exactly what the dog was doing just by listening to it sound off into the night.  The dogs treed a coon and started their familiar baying.  JW said that something wasn't quite right.  One of the dogs sounded a little different.  He couldn't put his finger on it, but something wasn't like it was supposed to be.  When they reached the tree where the coon was supposed to be, one of the dogs was missing.  Then they noticed the tree.  The tree was sort of half blown over and was sitting at about a 45 degree angle.  As they shined the light up the base of the tree they found the missing dog.  He had run up the tree and he wasn't coming down!

Now this was a very expensive coon dog stuck in the top of this tree and the fire department does not make swamp calls in the middle of the night to bring their ladder.  The boys had to come up with a plan to get this dog down.  They decided that they would have to cut the tree down to get the dog out.  They went and got a chain saw and discussed how they were going to accomplish the feat that was set before them.  It was figured that Daddy could just start to cut the base of the tree and it should just ease on down to the ground real slow like.  So Daddy started cutting little by little.  The tree slowly started to bend toward the earth.  The plan was working.  "Just a little bit more John", said JW, so Daddy gave it a little more juice and the tree again started to slowly bend when all of a sudden POP!  The tree broke clean in two and down came the tree and the dog!  Daddy says he can remember that dog grabbing that tree around with all four legs as it started the fall, howling all the way down.  The tree hit and the dog started yelling.  They thought for sure that they had landed the tree on top of the dog.  You have to remember that it is still pitch black dark and they haven't got their light on the dog yet.  Come to find out, the only thing wrong with the dog is that he bit his tongue when he bounced off the ground while holding his death grip on the tree.  Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!!

I could go on and on with stories about coon hunting.  I spent some great time with my Dad and two wonderful old guys that are no longer with us.  JW and Jim have both passed away and the woods are a little quieter at night around here.  I miss those days and whenever the boys bring up Jerry Clower and his coon hunting stories Hal and I just kind of look at one another and know that we have a little bond between us.  You see, JW was Hal's uncle and Hal got to spend time in the coon hunting woods too.  I enjoy swapping stories with him and reliving some fun times as well as rehashing the life lessons that we learned in those dark swamps.  JW was a good man, and I am so glad that he let me go coon hunting with him!!

SPEAK TO 'EM!!   Arrooooooooo!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It was a good Birthday!

38 years ago today I was brought into this world.   Yes today was my birthday and I have to say that I had a wonderful day.  I got hugs and kisses from the wife and kids as soon as we were all awake.  The girls at work gave me a card and some goodies this morning and the rest of the day was followed with wonderful e-mail updates of birthday wishes from all of my facebook pals.  I got phone calls and text messages from others and even an e-mail from a good friend saying that my birthday wish had come true.... the Braves have released Melky Cabrera!!!

I arrived home to find the gifts that you see here and was treated to a wonderful home cooked meal by my wonderful Mama.  The Georgia Southern tail gate chair and shirt were given to me by my "in tune with what I like" wife.  The GSU sign for my shop was given to me by my thoughtful Mother-in law.  The wonderful item in my left hand is a new trail camera given to me by Mama and Daddy.  I have already been to Wal-mart to get batteries and a new SD card.  I am presently taking pictures of the dog as she is sitting in my chair.  They are turning out VERY nice!!

Thank you to all of you who remembered me on my special day!  If you forgot to get me a present you can just bring it by later!

Have a great week!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Opening Day!

It was opening day of rifle season here in South Georgia this past Saturday and I woke to a chilly and clear morning.  I had gathered all of my stuff together the night before as I listened to our local high school football game.  (We won a good one by the way)  I shot out of bed with all the enthusiasm that opening day brings and quickly got dressed a full half hour before my Dad was to pick me up.  I turned on Sports Center and started thinking about where I wanted to hunt.  The wind was right for a number of different locations, but I kept coming back to one stand in particular.  "The New Spot". 

I have been preparing this spot for a few weeks now and was very excited about hunting there.  I just couldn't wait to see how the deer were going to move in this area and from which direction they would come.  I'm still waiting!  I got skunked!  I did see ten turkeys and my Dad saw three deer not 500 yards from me moving in my direction, but either they slipped by me or changed course on the way.  The only deer I saw on Saturday morning was on the way to the truck.  A doe and yearling crossed the road about 100 yards ahead of me.  Isn't it funny how sometimes when we want something to work SO much that God reminds us that he is still in control.  I know what he is doing to me.  He is trying to teach me some patience, which he did not bless me with much to start with!!  It was still a good morning and I was excited about the fact that one of the three deer that Daddy saw was a nice 8 point.

When we returned home I told Daddy that we would have the little man for the afternoon hunt.  I knew that I would have some explaining to do when I walked in the door wearing all of my hunting gear.  Luckily, the wife had the kids up town for some errands so I dodged the bullet momentarily.  I got changed and grabbed my cell phone to turn it on for the day.  I found that I had 4 new voice mails.  I was a little worried as I punched in my code to retrieve my messages.  They were all from my son.  They started at 7:00 am and went until about 8:30.  All four messages went just about the same way-  "Daddy, this is Reid.  You left me!  I thought we were going hunting today!  Call me back!"  Now Reid is not old enough to make morning hunts yet, he is only seven, but you can bet your life that he was in the truck for the afternoon.

I decided to hunt an old faithful stand in the afternoon and Daddy took Reid with him to the double stand that we have set up for that purpose.  My stand is now in the middle of a clear cut, as they cut the timber last year.  We have a long food plot that runs from a bottom all the way to the stand.  I have seen as many as 27  deer at one time sitting on this stand.  This afternoon was not a disappointment.  I saw 9 deer including one 6 point and one nice 8 point.  The two bucks sparred back and forth with each other for the better part of an hour.  The 8 point was about three inches outside of his ears, but his tine length was only about 6 inches.  He is a borderline shooter and I had my mind made up that I wanted to take something bigger than  I already have on the wall.  Daddy went back Sunday evening and saw the same deer off of the same stand.  He said that he thought it was a mature deer and that I might should have taken him.  Now I'm having regrets.  I might should have shot him, but he was 200 yards away and I worry about ground shrinkage.  I don't want to pile up what I think is a good deer only to get my hands on him and wish I would have give him another year.  I'm sure he will be back and maybe I can get a better look at him from a closer distance before I take my shot!

Reid sat with Daddy Saturday afternoon and had a few mishaps like dropping his snack to the ground and even dropping his entire back pack that Daddy said hit every rail on the ladder on the way down.  But they saw some deer despite all of the noise including a spike and another nice 8 point.  Daddy said he was a pretty good one with high G-2's but had smaller crab claws on each end.  He let him go.  Reid was excited that he got to see deer and is already asking to go back.  He is pretty good luck as the last two times that he has been in that stand I have killed an 8 point and Daddy could have killed one!

I'm gonna have to rig up a separate seat for him in the "New Spot"!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Joys of Coaching!

I will be the first to tell you that I know absolutely very little about the game of soccer.  But because I love my son, I have coached his soccer team for the past three years.  It is a time consuming process that involves calling parents, scheduling practices, filling water coolers, scheduling game day hot dogs, ordering trophies, coaching games, and even on some occasions being the referee for said games.  It is mostly a thankless job but sometimes you get a group of kids that make you want to sign right back up and do it again.  The Cruisers were that type of team.

I was so proud of the boys as we finished our season last night with a tie.  Our overall record was 2-1-3.  Given that I have not coached a winning game in my previous two years, I consider that a great accomplishment.  They kids were a very good group of kids.  We were not overly talented, but we had heart and just the right combination of kids who were either good on offense or good on defense.  After I passed out trophies to all of the kids, one of them came up to me and told me I was the best coach he has ever had.  That made me feel really good and reminded me why I do this. I can be hard on the boys and work them even harder, but I just want them to learn what it means to be a good teammate and stick with something like sports.  It might just keep them off the street one day!

Now that soccer is over we will start getting ready for baseball in the spring.  My son already has his ball and glove out and I look forward to doing some little things this winter that will hopefully give him an added advantage when it comes time to put the spikes back on.  We spent the extra time we had this morning before school throwing a balled up sock back and forth to each other.  We may drive his mother crazy!

Speaking of coaching!  The Atlanta Braves have a new one.  Freddie G. will be named the new Braves Manager on Thursday.  I look forward to a new excitement around Turner field next year.

Here's to all of you coaches out there!  Keep up the good work and I want to thank you for all that you do for our children!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

John M Browning- American Gun Maker

Besides family tradition, this book is the reason that I choose to shoot Browning guns.  If you take the time to read this great piece of American history, you may just learn some extraordinary facts about the guns that are still manufactured today by countless manufactures using the same principles that John M Browning designed over 100 years ago in a small shop in Utah.  What this man was able to accomplish in his life is nothing short of remarkable.  In fact his story and impact on the history of this country is such an interesting read that I pull this book out at the start of every hunting season to remind myself how thankful I am that John M Browning loved to design guns!

Browning got his start by working in his fathers gunsmith shop as a young boy.  He would take orders for his father and by the time he was 8 years old he could repair most guns that were brought into the shop.  He loved his tools and to work with his hands but often found himself wondering if he could make a better gun than those he was repairing.  Indeed he could!  As a young man he designed a single shot rifle that was very simple in its design yet very handsome and rugged.  He opened a gun shop with his brothers and starting manufacturing the rifle.  It wasn't long before Winchester got hold of the rifle and came calling on its inventor.  To make a long story short, John Browning starting designing guns for Winchester and did so for years.  Every gun sold by Winchester in the late 1800's was a John Browning design.

Now that John did not have to manufacture guns (or worry about money any more), he could work on inventing them.  Boy did he do that!  John Browning has invented a book full of guns including the first repeating rifle, the first repeating shotgun, the first machine gun, the first airplane cannon, the Colt automatic pistol, and the first over and under shotgun just to name a few.  He sold his designs to companies such as Winchester, Colt, and Remington.  These same companies still manufacture guns to this day using designs sold to them by John Browning who died in 1926. 

Why do I shoot a Browning?  Mainly because my Daddy does, but if you read this book, you just might give Browning another look.  I just consider it going to the source.  If he designed all of the guns that we are still using today, then why wouldn't I want to shoot the gun with his name on it?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I was pretty close!

In a blog earlier this year, I predicted that the Braves would finish the regular season with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses.  I only missed it by ONE game.  Today the Braves defeated the Phillies to end the regular season with 91 wins and 71 losses.  I guessed pretty good!!  I also predicted that the Braves would win the wild card by placing second in their division behind the Phillies.  If the Giants defeat the Padres this afternoon, that is exactly what will happen.  If the Padres win, then there will have to be a playoff to determine the Wild Card.  I hope the Braves get into post season play, but I really do not look for them to do much if they get there.  They do not play very good defense and they simply do not hit enough to be considered a major threat.  I hope I am wrong and they make it to the World Series, but injuries to key players have not helped very much.


To all of my outdoor blogging friends I hope to bring you some trail cam shots very soon.  We spent some time at the hunting club this weekend setting up cameras and getting some work done.  We placed two cameras on two different mock scrapes.  This is the first time we have tried this so I am excited to see if we get any results!


I started blogging back in February and have written what I thought were some very good post that did not get very many comments from friends of mine or people that I know.  To tell the truth, I'm willing to bet that very few members of the Hump Day crowd even read my blog.  Not the case with my latest blog entry.  It seems that if you start talking about college football and what kind of fan you are, it gets the boys attention. Some of my fellow GSU alumni accused me of calling them out directly.  I assure you that I did not have any one person in mind when I wrote it.  My average visits to a blog post of mine is anywhere from 20 to 30 visits (I only have 26 followers, and I only know 11 of them personally).  My last post received 400 visits from over 250 different readers.  Wow!  I also received 15 comments on the blog and my little blog has been the topic of conversation around all of our weekly gatherings.  I have received phone calls, e mails, text messages, a request to print the article in the GSU newspaper,  an even a UGA sign in my yard this past Saturday morning.  It goes without saying that die hard GSU fans love the blog and UGA fans are having fun with it by pointing out the holes in my logic.  Hard copies of the blog have made there way to all of the Georgia parties this weekend and my friends are currently asking me such questions as "If they take an online class at Alabama, can they pull for them?"  Be my guest!

I'm glad the boys are having fun with this thing and it really does not bother me at all because in the long run I hope that they will check back with my blog or read some of my past post that talk about how much my friends mean to me (I got a buddy!).  If they will take the time to do that, then all of this good natured ribbing will be well worth it!

Keep following guys!  You might just like some of the things I have to say!