Friday, February 25, 2011

Otis Technology Hard Core Hunter Cleaning System- A Gear Review

I was recently awarded the opportunity to participate in a "gear review" for the Outdoor Blogger Network.  I simply left my name stating that I would be willing to accept a free product and provide the OBN with a review of how I thought the product performed.  I am in no way employed by the OBN or by Otis Technology.  This review is simply my opinion. (I hope that will satisfy the disclaimer police)  On with the review!

I am a clean gun freak.  In fact the little Browning that you see in the picture at the top of my blog is 20 years old and still looks the same as it did the day it came out of the box.  So you can understand my excitement when I found out that I would be reviewing a gun cleaning kit from Otis Technology.  The kit that I was sent is called the Hard Core Hunter Cleaning System.  As I opened the box and grabbed hold of my newest cleaning toy, the first thing that came to my mind was......tiny!  This little thing is a whole bunch of cleaning genius packaged up in a camo bundle that can fit in the palm of your hand.  I opened the little pouch and was really amazed at how much they put into such a tiny package.  Here is what is found in the kit:

Three memory flex cleaning rods, three forged brass tips, two obstruction removers, Otis 085 Ultra Bore Solvent, all caliber patches, small calibre patches, shotgun brush adapter, two patch savers (for shotguns), six bore brushes, lens cloth, and a bore reflector.

That's a lot of stuff and just about everything you need to give your gun a good cleaning.  So I gave it a try.  Since the shotguns have been put away already cleaned up, I figured I would give my new system a try on a couple of Browning pistols using the short cleaning rod.

This is a Browning Buckmark .22.  You can see me pulling the small pistol cleaning rod into the barrel with a cleaning cloth attached to the other end. (I had to remove the slide after this picture was taken because the rod wouldn't quite make the turn)  I found that the system was really easy to use and I especially liked the flex rods.  Most cleaning systems use stiff rods that must be attached together to run down a barrel.  This is why most cleaning kits come in a long box.  They have to be long to hold the rods.  Not the case with this system.  You just roll the rod back up when you are done and place it back into its section in the case.  After I brought the cleaning patch through the barrel, I simply changed the tip to a wire brush and pulled her through again.  Switch the tip, put on a clean cloth, and give her one last go.  Clean barrel!

You can see where the rods are stored in this picture.  They fit into the back of the kit, while all of your cleaning tools fit into molded rubber slots that ensure that they do not move around.

I spent some extra time cleaning my 9mm.  It comes apart easier and I could use more of the tools that came with the kit.  After cleaning the barrel, I went to work cleaning those hard to reach places inside the grooves of a firearm.  Guess what, this kit has those small tools that help you get into those small places.  I was able to take a tapered brass rod that was provided to run a cleaning cloth into grooves that had collected grime and burnt powder.  When I got finished, I had a clean gun!

I have to give this kit a thumbs up!  It is small so it doesn't get in your way while you are trying to clean firearms of different sizes.  It is easy to use because it is so well organized.  It has all of the necessary tools that I need to clean the guns that I own.  It can fit into any back pack which makes it extremely convenient to carry with you and I absolutely love the flexible cleaning rods!  They were so easy to use!

If you are looking for a cleaning kit in a small package that can be taken in the field or to hunting camp with you, then I highly recommend the Otis Technology Hard Core Cleaning System!

Trust me!  Like I said, I'm a certified clean gun freak!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Justin Wilson Eat Your Heart Out! I Guarantee!!

Shoot it to it!
 I remember watching Justin Wilson on TV when I was younger.  He was a Cajun cook that made everything look so good as well as so simple.  His famous tag line, "I Guarantee! " would always bring a smile to my face.  I have always enjoyed cooking and I am not scared to try my hand at cooking just about anything.

Monday was a good cooking day.  I was off of work for Presidents Day, so I thought that I would prepare some tasty treats using my oil-less turkey fryer.  Since I got such good response from you my readers the last time I cooked up something, I decided to take a few shots of what I was up to.

The first picture shows a turkey breast being covered with some of my favorite seasoning.  This is all you need to do to get this bird ready to sizzle.

I have placed the turkey in the cooking basket and will add a little more seasoning.

This is what the inside of the oil-less fryer looks like.  It uses no top.  A ring of fire is lit around the bottom and heats up the container using infrared technology.

This is what you get one and 1/2 hour later.  It is really very good and just as juicy as it can be.

Since I was on a roll, I decided to do a little BBQing.  In the oiless fryer you might ask?  Yep, here we go!

Rubbed down Boston Butt in the cooking basket ready for some heat!

Cooked for 1 hour and ready for some sauce.  I injected the sauce as well as covering the outside.  I then wrapped it in two layers of tin foil and placed it back into the cooker for another 20 minutes.

This is what I got!  Want some???

Was it good??  Well, in honor of Justin Wilson......


On a side note, today is my Blogging Birthday.  I started Brave Eagles Hunt With Antique Brownings one year ago today.  Thanks to all of you who follow me and especially to those of you who leave me comments and words of encouragement.  I hope to improve on the blog and keep you guys interested in what is going on in my little world!  I have met some great folks during this past year and I hope that I will have the oportunity to get to know all of you better.  Thanks again for reading and here is to another year!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Ready!

Monday was a holiday for me and the kids.  Mama had to work so I stayed home and enjoyed the day playing with the kids and finding things to get done around the house.  With baseball season right around the corner, Reid decided to do a little practicing on his own.  First he set up his pitch back net and threw himself some grounders.  When he got tired of that he picked up his bat and went to the Swing Away machine.  I watched him for a while out of the window and then I figured I had better get out there and try and coach him up a little.  He has happy feet and will keep creeping around the pole if you don't watch him.  This causes him to get to close to the ball swinging back towards him.  You can see in the video that on the first couple of swings he has his feet in a good position.  The more swings he takes, the wider he lets his feet get and the worse he swings.  I'm trying to teach him to attack the ball out front right now and to keep a good solid base under him.  We can work on letting the ball "get deep" and taking it to the opposite field when he gets a little more advanced.  I'm sure my blog following baseball coach named Steve from California can give me some pointers on his swing and could also give me some pointers on coaching a 7 year old in the fine art of hitting, but for right now I'm just happy that he is making consistent contact and is improving his hand/eye coordination with this practice drill.

I shot this video in an effort to show him how he is letting his feet get too wide and how he is moving around the pole.  He wasn't very impressed with my high tech coaching method, but he did want to video his old man showing him how it is done.  Not my best swings, but not too bad considering I was swinging a 28 inch bat and had on my slippers.  His sister can be heard in the background asking to see the video.  What in the world did we do when we were kids and actually had to wait a week or so for pictures and such to be developed?  Steve, how was this???

My back will be sore tomorrow and my elbow, which is already screaming at me, will need some ice.  I have a bad case of tendinitis that needs to be healed up before golfing season!  Overall it was a great day outside with the kids and Reid had a fun time practicing baseball which I enjoyed seeing. 

I also did some cooking in the new oil-less fryer.  I'll post on that later in the week!  Happy Presidents Day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Clear Cut Gobbler!

With Turkey season 2011 fast approaching, I sat down tonight with my turkey vest to become reacquainted with all of my gear.  As I was checking all of my pockets for everything that a good turkey hunter needs, I came across a spent shell with the words "Clear Cut Gobbler" written on it.  I was taken back to a wonderful morning in April of 2010 when I had in fact killed a very nice 3 year old gobbler with a nice beard and 1 1/2 inch spurs.  It was not the biggest turkey that I have ever killed, nor was it the most memorable turkey hunt that I have ever been on, but it was still very special to me because it was my first hunt in which I did it all by myself.  My turkey killing machine father was not on this trip and the pupil became the master for once in his turkey hunting life.

This story starts on a morning hunt that produced no gobblers. Daddy and I had tried to get a bird to talk to us for most of the morning with no luck.  I have always hunted turkeys with my Dad and I let him do all of the calling and I also let him determine how we plan to attack.  If hey says lets go this way, we go.  If he make a suggestion to do something a certain way, we do it.  I really do not mind because he has killed more turkeys than me and usually gets his limit each year.  He hunts every morning of the season and is in tune with what the birds are up to.  Most of the time anyway!

As we were heading home, I threw out a suggestion that we stop the truck on the edge of the woods before we reached the clear cut and see if we could get one to gobble.  He stopped and I got out and grabbed a new box call that I had put in my vest.  He was content to let me call because it was later in the morning and we really didn't have anything to loose anyway.  I hit a few yelps and we had a gobbler thunder back from a long way off.  We quickly grabbed gear and headed for a place to get set up on the edge of the clear cut away from the truck and closer to the gobbler.  Daddy said to hit that thing again.  I did and the Tom fired right back.  We sat down and started the dance.  We called and he would answer but it became clear that he was not coming in our direction.  I sat up to get a better look and thought I saw something in the road about 400 yards away.  I fished out my binoculars and it was easy to see our big boy strutting up and down the road in the middle of the clear cut.  Hens were all around him and we didn't have a hope in calling him away from them.  We let him be.

I spoke up and said that we should try and walk into the middle of the clear cut before daylight and set up on that bird.  I didn't get the impression that Daddy thought that was the best of ideas, so I just filed it away determined to make my plan work.

Daddy was out of town working and I got the ok from my wonderful boss to come in late for work on a Wednesday morning.  I told my wife that I was going hunting and her reply was, "but your Daddy is out of town."  I told her I was going alone and she asked me "do you know how?"  Hell yes I know how and I was going to prove to myself that I could do this on my own using my own tactics and my own calling.  Daddy had hunted earlier in the week, but he had not hunted the clear cut gobbler.  I was determined!

I parked the truck and gathered all of my gear.  I was going to have to make a 1/4 mile hike to get to the place where I saw the Tom the weekend before.  I made it in plenty of time and set my decoy up in the middle of the road.  There were no trees in the middle of this clear cut so I backed up to an old dirt pile and set up my little blind in front of me.  I waited for daylight and for the woods around me to come alive.  Since the gobbler had responded to the box call the weekend before, I figured I would try that this morning.  The box call is a Wet Willy box call from Knight and Hale.  It has a high pitch and sounds great.  It is also loud and the closest roosting turkey to my location would have to be over 250 yards away if he was there at all.  He was there!  He started responding to my calling efforts right off the bat.  I mixed in some soft calling from my mouth call and then I just shut up.  He kept thundering the clear cut and boiling my blood at the same time.  I would let him go on for a while and then I would softly purr.  He would fire right back so I knew that he knew exactly where I was.  He gobbled a few more times and I let a few minutes pass.  It got to the point where you start to wonder if the turkey is on the ground or not, so I reached over and picked up Willy.  I hit a few notes and he thundered back, still in the tree.  I sat the call back down on the ground and looked up.  Standing not 50 yards directly in front of me was two bright red heads.  As my eyes focused and my brain caught up to what was happening, it became clear that my gobbling turkey was still in the tree, but these silent turkeys were already here.

The bachelor pair, made up of a young jake and his studly paint brush wearing friend, were making their way through a clean area among the cut out tree tops.  They stepped into the road just South of my set up.  They saw the decoy and the big boy started to put on a show.  He blew up and started his best "come to me moves".  His buddy was trailing right behind him as they moved closer towards me.  I was able to slowly lift my Browning NWTF Turkey Special and fix my florescent sight on the big gobblers head.  I would like to tell you that I sat there and watched the big bird strut around a few minutes and admire all his beauty, but that just ain't me.  As soon as he got close enough, I let him hold it.  He didn't take it very well and his day was ended just as fast as it started.  His little buddy took off when he saw me jump up from my stand.  I gathered my stuff, admired my bird and called Daddy!!!

I believe my exact words were "I got 'em!"  He knew what I was talking about because I told him the night before what I had planned.  I sent him a picture of his spurs and was headed home.  My total hunt time was less than 30 minutes.

Remember how I said that my gobbling gobbler was still in the tree?  You can see where this is going.  Since I did not have to use my "come to work late ticket" on Wednesday morning, I asked for another on Friday morning.  Permission granted.  This time Daddy was going with ME.  I parked in the same place.  Set the decoys up in about the same place.  I let Daddy pick the set up spot and he chose one better than I had on Wednesday morning (that's why he is the pro).  We got settled in and I showed Daddy the direction that the birds had come from and where I thought they would be roosted.  I sat back and waited for him to start calling.  He finally asked me what I was waiting for.  He wanted to see me in action.  I got Willy again and sang a little song that cut out across the morning.  BAM!  He answered!  We played cat and mouse for a while and things finally got quite.  I got ready.  I heard Daddy say "there he is".  Would you believe that there was again two turkeys?  One jake, one gobbler, walking down the same path as two days before.  Daddy told me to shoot the gobbler and that he was letting the jake go.  He did some soft purring on his call as I readied the Browning.  I dropped my second clear cut gobbler of the week not 15 yards from where I dropped the first.  The pupil had become the Master!  At least for that week!

I'm ready for this season to begin and to get in the woods with Big John!  I'll still let him do all the calling and decision making, but at least now I know that he might just ask me what we should do!  Besides, he went out and bought himself a Wet Willy box call for his own use so I must be rubbing off on him.  I wonder how long it will be before we try that clear cut again?!

I love you Pops!  Thanks for teaching me all that I know!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recreational Hunting Project Gone Wrong!

Sometimes the best intentions do not always work out the way that you want them to.  I am going to go on record and say that I really wish this project would have worked!  Being a wing shooter at heart, I would have loved the opportunity to chase a larger game bird here in the deep South much like my friends in the Great West get to chase their beloved pheasants!  However the project that I am about to reveal to you did not work, and us Southern boys are still chasing doves, quail and ducks to get our wing shooting fix.

Fitzgerald Georgia is a unique little town with a great deal of history.  You can read a little about our unique history in the post in which I met a challenge by The Downeast Duck Hunter to post some old pictures with captions about our past.  We are truly a town to be studied if you are a Civil War buff.  Sadly though, Fitzgerald has become more famous over the past few years for another thing all together.  We have been on the national news, featured in magazines and even shown on The Price is Right wearing a T-shirt proclaiming our town's "claim to fame".  What have we done you might ask?  Have we embarked in a great industry that will benefit millions?  Nope.  Have we uncovered a medical cure that could save lives across America?  Nope.  Have we been named the number one small town in The USA?  Nope.  What could it possibly be that would garner such national attention???

Brace yourselves now!!!!!..................We have chickens!!!!!!

Yep, we have wild chickens that roam our downtown area and weave in and out of parked cars as they make their way to and fro from the medians that divide our streets.  They live in back yards and flower beds of homes in the downtown area and they have started to make their way to homes on the outskirts of town.  These wild chickens are actually Burmese Jungle Fowl and are really quite pretty.  The rooster shown here is full of color and has a lot of personality.  The hens are mostly dark colored and smaller.  They have shorter tail feathers.  How did they get here?  Well that's the direct result of a hunting project gone wrong.

You can read a little about the project here on the City of Fitzgerald's website or you can just stick with me and I'll fill you in.  Back in the 1960's the Georgia DNR decided to try and release these Jungle fowl into the South Georgia habitat in hopes that they would become a game bird that could be hunted by Georgia shotgunners.  I guess you could call them a poor man's pheasant.  A group was released just up the road near the Ocmulgee River.  Well these guys didn't take to the South Georgia countryside to well and they decided to move to town.  Less foxes, coyotes and hawks to deal with would probably be my guess as to why they decided to take in the lights of the greater downtown Fitzgerald area!  Apparently downtown Fitzgerald is the perfect habitat for these Jungle fowl because they have been here now for over 30 years and they seem to be thriving.  It is hard to ride down any street without seeing several chickens just doing what they do.  The people of Fitzgerald either love them or hate them.  I for one like the little guys as long as they are not in my yard.  They can tear a flower bed up in a heartbeat. 

These chickens tend to stay downtown and tourist who may be visiting our fair city just love to take pictures and follow them around.  They are fairly use to people by now and they will let you get close enough to take a nice profile shot.  Just don't mess with a Mama who has here bitties with her.  My son found that out at a very young age.  My mother had taken him to play in one of the City parks on a pretty summer day.  He decided that he wanted to chase a chicken and struck out after the wrong one.  The mama hen turned on him and ran his little behind back screaming for his life.  You don't want to mess with a Rooster either.  We have one that lives here on the grounds at the bank.  I have gotten pretty close to him and he has spurs that I'm guessing are about 1 1/2 inches.  He could do some damage.  No neighborhood cat or dog wants anything to do with them for that very reason!

So Georgia's game bird project moved to town where its only enemies now are on-coming traffic.  I'm not sure that the Jungle Fowl sport hunting project would have taken hold anyway.  I have been told by several people who have tried to make this bird dinner fare on one occasion or the other that they taste nothing like chicken and are not worth wasting your time to prepare.

So come visit Fitzgerald so that you can learn about the Colony City where Union and Rebel soldiers united in harmony after the Civil War and where you can also see the World Famous Burmese Jungle Fowl of Georgia in what is now its natural habitat!!

Got to go!  There is a chicken tearing up my flower bed!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Hero and his Princess!!

Daddy and his world!

For Valentine's weekend, a local Relay for Life team decided to host a Daddy/daughter dance.  The proceeds from the event went directly to cancer research and will add to the bottom line collected here in our little home town.  Well, I just so happened to have a pretty little lady in mind as I went over my choices for my date!  I can't tell you how excited she was to get all dressed up to go dancing with her Daddy.  We found a pink little princess like dress with silver high heel shoes.  I even wore my pink tie in honor of the occasion.  We left brother and Mama at the house and hit the town.

Once we got there it was kind of funny.  All of the girls gathered together and wanted to dance with themselves.  All of the Daddys just stood around and watched and tried to steal kisses as their little princess ran by on the way to grab a quick drink before heading back out onto the dance floor.

Here is my baby girl with one of her best friends.

Aren't they precious!!!
 Here is a quick video of the latest dance craze!  (The lighting was not very good, but you can get the point)

We had a great time and at the end of the evening, I got my reward.....

Sooooo worth it!!!

Thanks for being my date baby!!  Daddy loves you!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rocket Man!

The Georgia Southern Rocket!
 My first memory of shooting rockets was at my Grandparents house.  My uncle Vaughn had those types of rockets that you filled with water and used a pump to build pressure inside the rocket.  You would release a lever and off she would go leaving a vapor trail of water as the little rocket would easily top the tallest pine trees in the yard and then fall back down to earth.  I have always got a kick out of things that went high into the air!  When I was older I received a bonafide real rocket kit!  I remember it sat in my Daddy's shop for the longest time before I convinced him to put it all together.  The day finally came for us to go and shoot the rocket.  We loaded it up in the truck and Daddy told me to get some batteries for the launcher.  We drove about ten miles out into the country and found a large field that should do the trick.  We hooked up the rocket and did the count down.  Off she flew high into the air!  The parachute opened and the little rocket slowly descended back to earth right into the middle of a brier patch.  As I retrieved the rocket, I tore the parachute to shreds.  We decided to shoot the rocket without it.  We loaded up another engine, hooked up the launch controls and mashed the button for GO!  Nothing happened!  You see, I had robbed the batteries out of my TV remote control and little did I know that they would only be good for one launch.  Home we went.

I'm not sure if I can remember ever shooting that little rocket again, but I will never forget that ONE day and that ONE launch!  I still think it is pretty cool to shoot rockets, so as soon as Reid was old enough to understand what was going on, we started shooting them.  Sunday was a beautiful day with just a little wind, so I loaded up the gear and off we went.  We only have to go about 1/2 mile from the house to an open field in the middle of a new subdivision.  All the neighborhood boys have come out to watch us at one time or the other.  I brought three different rockets with us and we had enough engines to shoot each one twice.

Good Ole USA rocket!
I use a C class engine which will propel these little rockets to heights of about 1200 feet.  When the parachute pops out, the rocket will be a long way from you, but if you played your cards right and bet on the right wind direction, you can expect to land the rocket within 100 yards of where it started.  Notice in the picture that this rocket is tilted into the wind.  It came back down within 50 yards of where we were.  This rocket is a little heavier and easier to control.

Now for those of you who have never shot one of these little rockets, I am happy to provide you with a little vidoe taken from my photo camera.  It is not the greatest video, but I am very surprized that I got as much of the flight as I did.  I lost it in the frame as I was trying to see if I had guesed the wind direction right.  What you cant see is the few second pause before the chute blows and it starts to come back down to us.  This is what 1200 feet looks like!

That's pretty cool I don't care who you are!!!

Rocket shooting is just one of those ways that I try to spend time with my son while keeping myself in a younger state of mind.  You can not feel like a grown up while you are chasing rockets across the sky.  I encourage anyone to take up this neat little hobby!  It doesn't cost much at all and you can pick up a beginners kit from Wal-mart.  You can purchase the rockets already assembled or you can order a kit and put it together yourself.  The rocket in the first picture was bought at Amazon and put together by the both of us.  It is kind of like putting together an old model.  We gave it a Georgia Southern Theme by painting it blue and white and listing the National Championship years on one side, with the GSU logo on the other.  The possibilities are endless and...

the memories of your son saying  "Oooo boy!" are priceless!!!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Because I was challenged!!!!

It is a beautiful Saturday morning here in South Georgia.  As I was having my morning coffee and checking out a few blogs that I follow, I was brought to full alert as my good buddy, The Downeast Duck Hunter, has issued a small challenge to his fellow bloggers and followers.  He posted an old photo of two guys in a boat doing some waterfowl hunting.  Now you may be asking yourself what is so special about that.  Well, it seems that our friend from Downeast is quite the history buff.  He is calling for fellow bloggers to post their own historical photo in the effort to remind all of us of our great historical past.  I'm just the type of man to meet that challenge and I happen to reside in the perfect place for all you history buffs.  Fitzgerald, Georgia has quite a history and is the place where the North (Yankees) and the South (Rebels) decided to live together as one in the good old South in 1895.

I am not going to go into the complete history of Fitzgerald because that was not my challenge.  I will just tell you that Fitzgerald, GA was founded by PH Fitzgerald, a newspaper man, as a place for Union Soldiers to come and retire and start a living after the Civil war.  Mr. Fitzgerald purchased a tract of land with tall pines in southern Georgia and then advertised in his newspaper across the nation inviting Union Soldiers to come south and enjoy the fine weather. The Rebels from this area welcomed the Union soldiers, named streets after both Union and Confederate Generals, built great building such as the Lee Grant motel and the Corn and Cotton Palace, lived in harmony, and the rest is what we call history.  You can read a little more about it here.

My challenge was to post some historical pictures with captions, so here we go.  These pictures were taken from the book "Images of America, Fitzgerald", authored by my good friend Cam Jordan and local newspaper writer Sherri Butler.

Fitzgerald became an important cotton market early on.  At harvest, cotton chocked Central Avenue.  The original caption touts, "600 bales $35,000.  City Hall is immediately behind Planters Warehouse.
This picture is special to me because the building that you see in the picture is actually where I work today.  My bank bought this site several years ago and we rebuilt a building to match the old look of The Planters Warehouse.  You can see the new building in the picture below.  My wife works in the City Hall building, which was refurbished 3 years ago and is still used as City Hall today!

Modern day
Some of you may remember me writing a little post about my all time favorite job.  That job was with Fitzgerald Ice Company.  The following photo was taken around 1912 and shows the horse and buggy that was used to deliver ice.  Today Fitzgerald Ice Company delivers beer!  More money in Budweiser than ice!

And lastly, since this is an outdoor blog I will offer up this jewel of what is thought to be a photo of Fitzgerald's first hunting club.

The Empire Hunting Club of 1913 was likely composed of many sons of settlers.  The abundance of game in the area was another selling point for the colony company.
So there you have it Duck Man!  I met your challenge!  If you want to know more about my great little town, come and see me and I will take you to the Blue/Gray museum.  After that, I'll show you a good ole time just like us Southern boys did for those Yankees back in 1895!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My favorite by far!

I'm just like any other Dad out there. I love my kids with all of my being and I try my hardest to make sure that they have a childhood filled with memories. I want their life to be filled with wonder and I want them to think that their Daddy is the coolest on the face of the earth. I also do not think that I would be doing my job as a father if I didn't feed my children's imagination through small magical acts of wonder. For example, up until my son was about 6 years old, he thought that his Daddy was magic. His eyes would always open wide and his mouth would drop to the floor every time that I rolled his window down in the back seat by using the "force" with a simple wave of my hand.   Of course I was just using the button on my window, but he didn't know that.  He and his sister would try and try to move that window, and every now and again it would actually move! :)  I have shown my son other little magic tricks along the way, but the older he gets the more he catches on.  They grow up too fast!

So with that in mind, it was no wonder that this was my favorite Super Bowl commercial.  It wasn't even close.

 Congrats to the Downeast Duck Hunter for leading the Packers to a great win on Sunday, and congrats to the Dad in this commercial!  He is the real winner in my book!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hump Day Field Trip and South Georgia Snow!

There is a saying in South Georgia that is often used when quail hunting. That saying is "South Georgia Snow" and it is used to describe the slowly falling white feathers of a bob white quail as he has been sent home to glory by a well placed shot of a very fine shotgun.  The Hump Day Boys made plenty of "South Georgia Snow" this past weekend as we loaded up and headed to Southern Woods Plantation for a full day afield.

The weather was not in our favor.  Heavy rains from the recent storm systems covering the country had fallen on Friday night and we were hoping for the best as we met for breakfast on Saturday morning.  There was a slight chance that we may have clearer skys as the day progressed, but heavy fog on our 45 minute ride, along with a few showers on the way was not doing much to improve our confidence.  We pressed forward however with rain gear in tow and the closer we got to our destination, the clearer it got.  It was wet, but it was not going to be enough to keep us from hunting and the rains had stopped for now.

After we arrived and got signed in, we took a few minutes to shoot a few rounds of skeet and meet some other hunters.  Southern Woods would be host to 13 hunting parties on this Saturday averaging 4 hunters to a party.  That means 13 Jeeps, 13 wagons, 13 guides, 13 flushing dogs, and 52 different pointing dogs if each Jeep carried the minimum of 4.  They were busy!

The Hump Day Crew made up two of the hunting parties.  We had 8 people with us and had drawn names to determine two 4 man teams.  I was on Team One and we drew Jeep number 7.  Team two was on Jeep 10.  Our guide was a wonderful gentleman named Newt.  We pulled Newt to the side before we began and told him of a little side wager that we had with the other team.  The goal was simple.  Kill more than them!!  Newt understood and off we went.

Newt was from Nashville, Georgia and was a soft spoken man that offered a great deal of bird hunting knowledge.  He had brought his own dogs for the hunt that day and you could tell that they had worked together before.  Watching Newt and his dogs work the pine ridges was a thing of pure beauty.  The dogs hunted close and I don't think I ever heard Newt raise his voice at them.  He would give them a simple "whup" when he wanted them to turn or a "whoa" when they needed to stop.  When it was time to "work careful" the dogs would actually creep to get lower to the ground to get a better scent.  They may have been the best mannered bird dogs that I have ever hunted over.  They also had great noses and would stop on a dime when Mr. Bob White gave away his location.  Then it was Newt's yellow lab's turn to go to work.  Sage was a 5 year old female who walked step by step with Newt all day.  She would wait for her command to "get those birds" and then she would pounce sending a flurry of wings into the sky.  As the boys and their guns met their mark sending South Georgia Snow falling from the sky, Sage would help gather our kill and return it to Newt's hands.  We never lost a bird all day!

The morning hunt was a good one for us.  We all shot well and the rains held off for the most part.  We were a little wet but it could have been much worse.  We met the other group back at the lodge and started  counting up our tally.  Team one ended up with 60 birds on the morning hunt but found ourselves 13 birds behind.  Team two had killed 73.  Apparently they informed their guide about the day's little wager too.  Team two said their guide almost walked them to death in an effort to find more birds and help them win.  The effort paid off with a very good sized lead at the half way point.

After a fine southern lunch of ham, green beans, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, biscuits and sweet tea, we took a nap in some very fine recliners strategically placed around a very large TV.  The time came to load back up and we did just that determined to make a strong afternoon comeback.  Newt and the dogs were great and we actually improved on our morning numbers.  We ended the afternoon hunt with 75, for a grand days total of 135.  Our effort was great but I am sad to report that we still got trounced as Team two also killed 75 in the afternoon hunt bringing their day's total to 148.  That is all I have to say about that!

The evening at the lodge can be summed up with this.  Great friends, Great food, Great service, Great fellowship.  We really had a wonderful time sitting around and reliving all of the day's events and making a few new memories to carry home with us.

Team One!
Doc, Claybird, Councilor and the South Georgia Snow Making King!

I am happy to report that even after a rather late night, most of the boys made it home in time for Sunday School.  This is a great group of men and I am glad to call each of them my friend! 

We will be back to enjoy this again because in my world, ...... I love making snow!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100th Post for Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings!!

Wow!  I never thought that I would have enough things to talk about to reach 100 post here on my little part of the Internet.  My blog is just under 1 year old, and I have to say that I am proud of myself for this very small accomplishment.  When I first started I really did not know what I wanted to do besides get a few ideas down so that I could go back and relive some of my life experiences.  In the beginning, I would write something and all I could hear was crickets in the comments section.  No one was reading this thing except my mother and my preacher.  They would leave a few comments here and there but for the most part I felt like I was all alone.  I started doing something about that.  I did a little research on how to get people to follow your blog.  I came to find out what I already knew.  If you want someone to be a friend to you, be a friend to them.  I started following blogs that interested me and leaving comments.  Some of the first blogs were Whitetail Woods, I Don't Wear Pink Camo, and Scent Free Lip Gloss.  I started linking to blogs that they liked and followed and before you know it I was making blog friends all over the place and even feeling comfortable enough to start joking around with the Down East Duck hunter! (Since it is Super Bowl week, please take note that the DEDH's twin brother is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers!)  I then joined the Outdoor Blogger Network and I finally feel like there are those of you out there that actually read this thing on a regular basis  For those of you that do, I want to say THANK YOU!!!

Most of my followers have started following me in the last few months.  I really do thank you for your effort in the last few months, but I feel that some of my best work was done when I was here all alone.  So with that in mind, I would invite all of you to go back and read some of my earlier post that I am very proud of.

There is this one about Coon Hunting.
There is this one about a very special lady to all the boys in my old neighborhood.
There is this one about the Hump Day Crowd,
and this one about some fun that we had.
And this one about my my dealings with the phone company.
But this one is my favorite and I hope really defines who I am.

It is amazing to me how we are all connected in this world.  I feel that I have made some good friends through blogging and I hope to continue to grow those friendships even though I have never once met most of you in person.  Some people just share kindred spirits even though one of us may live in South Georgia, Texas, California, or Maine.

I love good friends!  I believe that God has blessed me with good friends and he continues to bless me everyday!  You never know who you might meet next as you scroll the blogs of fellow bloggers!  I know for a fact that is the reason I am hooked on this blogging thing. 

You never know who you might meet next!!!!!

So with that in mind I offer the following story.....

  As I was Passin thru the Outdoors, I decide to go Across the Branch to do a little hunting in the Whitetail Woods.  I have had this Outdoor Fever ever since I went on Adventures with (my) Dad at a young age.  He always taught me to carry plenty of Bullets and Biscuits and to be prepared for The Wild Life that may be out there beyond the Massanutten Game Trails.
  As I traveled on the Jerico Road  and checked out My View from My Saddle, my mind started to Ramble like a Hunting Nut.  "This is Troutrageous" I said to myself.  "It is too cold to be here chasing game like some Rabid Maine Outdoorsman". 
  The River Mud was clinging to my boots as my mind started to focus on my stubborn side.  I said to myself, "Hey, You Don't wear Pink Camo to the Woods!"  "Get out there and Hunt Like You Are Hungry!"
  I pressed on like a Fall Road Archer as I was determined to fill my tag and give my buddy Rob something to write in his Hunting Journal.
  Just as I was re-applying my Scent Free Lip Gloss, a nice 12 point buck crossed the logging trail 100 yards in front of my location.  I yelled "HEY BJK!", because I couldn't think of anything else to say, and the buck stopped in his tracks.  I dropped him with one shot and my hunt was over as quick as it began. 
  With deer season behind me, it was time to head Downeast to do a little duck hunting and show my friends the damage that a Browning Maxus can do on a sea duck.  Until then......Happy hunting!!

Thanks to all my followers!  You really are the greatest!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's the Hedgehog's World! I'm just living in it!

Ok, before all of you think that I have lost my mind I do plan on explaining all of this.  This little guy here on the right, Mr. Sonic, has consumed more hours of my life than I care to admit.  For those of us who were gunning for higher education in the early 1990's in universities across our great nation, we may remember that this little dude came roaring through TV sets and sound systems in dorm rooms and fraternity houses like wildfire, taking with him any memory of Mario and his little princess.  As soon as you heard that sweet musical sound of "Saaay Gaaaa" (SEGA for the un-educated) you were ready to take on the world and let this speedy little hedgehog be your guide as he ran, jumped, and worked to gather small gold rings that would ensure his life in his travels! Your goal was to defeat that stupid little man that had all the gadgets and set all of Sonic's little animal friends free.  After you spent the better part of a quarter of school figuring out just how to defeat that stupid little man, out comes SONIC 2!!!!!!  I do miss college! :)

Why in the world would I be admitting to all of this??  Well it all started back during Christmas!

My son has a Nintendo DS, which is a hand held video game system.  He has some pretty neat games that he has accumulated over the past couple of years.  Sometimes he receives games for the system, which was the case this past Christmas when my Grandmother gave him one.  The problem began when Reid opened his present and realized that he already owned the game in which he was given.  No problem, as the receipt was saved just in case this very thing happened.  We brought the game home and made plans to visit a Game Stop to make a swap.

That day came just a couple of weeks ago.  As we entered the Game Stop I was wondering what game my son would choose.  He never picks games that I think are interesting or fun, so I wasn't expecting much.  We gave the lady our receipt and she gave us our total amount of our refund.  As we approached the DS section of the store to look for a new game things started to move in slow motion.  "Dream Weaver" started playing on a loud speaker somewhere in my head.  A spotlight came out of no where and was shinning on what I thought could only be a figment of my imagination, for there on the shelf sitting right next to the Lego Star Wars game was SONIC the HEDGEHOG!!  Not only was my blue little buddy staring right at me, but he was taunting me with the fact that this one game cartridge contained not only the original version, but versions 2, 3, AND 4!!!!!!  ALL ON THE SAME GAME!!!!

I quickly snapped back to the reality of the situation as I pondered my dilemma.  How was I going to sell this idea to my son who had already picked up a different game.  The game I wanted was actually in the "retro" section.  This was not going to be easy.  I started out kind of casual as I mentioned that maybe he should have a look at this game with this little blue guy on it.  He replied, "Hey Daddy, That's Sonic!"  I almost cried as I remembered that Mr. Hedgehog is actually on a Winter Olympic Wii game that we have.  He looked it over as I was calmly explaining to him that this game was actually 4 games in one.  He put it down and moved on to the next one.  I began my sales pitch once again by telling him that Daddy use to play this game almost 20 years ago and that I was sure that he would like it.  To my surprise he gave in and said OK!!

My son has not seen his DS since!

He may never see it again!!

Someone please help me because I really have other stuff that I need to be doing!!!  :)