Monday, December 2, 2013

Camping Tips- The Camp Toilet

Just got back from a very fun camping trip, and I was pretty proud of our camp bathroom.  Yes, it is quite simple... a bucket, some trash bags, a tarp, three tress, and a long rope.  I run the rope from the bottom left corner, and through the eyelet, around the tree to the other corner, up to the top, across in front of the bathroom area and tie off in the opposite corner.  This gives me a little coat rack to hang my gear on while I use the bathroom.  I also had a nice toilet paper holder with the sapling that grew in a good spot.  I have also just used a branch and stuck it in the ground before.  Probably a non traditional post here, but hopefully someone finds it useful.
The left photo is from camp.  Below is the view from the back window of my ground blind.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Big Buck Story - 16 to 26

When I turned 16 my dad asked me to go to the grocery store.  When we arrived I asked him what he would like me to get... He said "no groceries, come back with a job.  You need to work and make your own money now." I said "dad what if they aren't hiring?"  Without missing a beat he told me it "would be a long walk home".  So I got a job and an apron and started the next day.  About a month later I got my first paycheck, and after paying the bills I had taken responsibility of, I had a whopping $200 left!  Being that I was pretty much filthy rich holding that much money at 16, I didn't know what to buy.  I asked dad for some suggestions and he had one, a marlin 30-30 his buddy was selling for exactly $200.  It was lever action, had a scope, sling, case, and came with a box of shells, heck of a deal if I may say so myself.  I took it out and got it sighted in, and have taken it hunting every deer season for 10 years.  I never got to even fire it at a deer, until a few days ago...

My Dad, sister, her husband and I were walking to our spots and everyone veered off down their trail until it was just me on the road walking to the back of the 80 acre section we hunt in East Central Oklahoma.  I was going to be hunting on the back fence line which was atop a big hill.  As I came around the bend from behind some brush I realized that a good size 11 point buck was eating the corn my uncle had placed in his spot the week earlier.  I hit the deck as I was out in the open, I pulled my rifle up and found he was perfectly broadside and ready for the taking....with one exception.  He was on top of the hill and all I could see over his back was blue skies.  Flashbacks to my 11 year old self in Hunter Safety education ran by the OK. Dept. of Wildlife came ringing back... "never shoot unless you know where your bullet is going to land".  I knew I couldn't shoot, and may miss the chance, but it was the right thing to do.  I decided to try to get on the other side of the opening to get a shot into the brush line.  I relocated and found the deer still in position.  I pulled up and found him in my scope and just as I was ready to fire he walked into the woods, I fired and hit him in the lungs.  Not wanting to lose him I ran the 70 yards up the hill, he disappeared into the woods.  It was cold and icy and the dirt stayed together well, and I began to track him through the woods.  I couldn't find a drop of blood.  I made tracker mistake 101, I didn't look up.  I tracked about 50 yards through rough brush RIGHT TO THE BUCK.  He was still up and walking through the woods.  I got within 20 yards before I realized how close I was and again, hit the deck.  I could see he was hit, and would most likely die from his wound, but I didn't want him to suffer or take any chances.  He was facing away, and I pulled out a doe call.  I hit the call and he turned again perfectly broadside.  I pulled the trigger on my ole 30-30 and he was taken.  The only people more excited than me was my family back at the truck.  They helped me load it and clean him.  It had been a while and admittedly, I looked like an amateur.

It took 10 years to get a shot with that 30-30.  It's kind of cool actually because I can reflect on all the lessons from those days to now... work hard, have a good family, be safe, do the right thing.  Who would have thought a young man would learn all that in just the pursuit of a buck with a rifle.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Teal Call- Duck Hunting

I headed out for my first duck trip of the season last night.  The lab hopped right into the truck and we rolled out.  We saw a good number of ducks, but they preferred the other side of the bank.  I called in a few with a whistle call.

I HIGHLY recommend having a whistle call for teal and pintail.  The ducks are just laughing at you if you try to call them in the same way you would a mallard.  If you work your whistle right they will fly right in.  It should be a "peep-peep-peep", with the middle being slightly quicker than the third.

Nothing is more fun than turning them around with a regular whistle!

You can buy one here....

Friday, November 1, 2013

Backyard Worm Bin

I decided to start making some compost from the rabbit manure.  I did a lot of online research and I found a place to purchase them from, and a lot of ideas on how to make the bin.  I decided on red wigglers as the worm, and a brown tupperware as my bin.  I drilled some holes in the bottom for water, and put some rocks on the bottom to allow for proper drainage.  I read everywhere to prepare the materials before adding the worms.  About 3 days prior to the worms arriving I layered my bin with layers of manure and wet newspapers.  You don't want them dripping wet, just spongy.  I added a  little twist of my own however.  I placed a pvc pipe down the center so the worms could go to the bottom and work their way up.  I gave the bin a light watering and waited for the worms.  When they arrived I removed the pvc and dropped them down the hole.  I didn't press down or cover them too tightly, I just let the dry material stay in the middle for the time being and let them leave when they felt comfortable.  I didnt see the results I wanted at first, but after about a week they really took off.  I go out and shake the bin every so often loosening the soil and I always see big fat healthy worms digging around.    You WILL see other bugs in the bin.  Most are actually beneficial, there are a few that are not.  A simple google search will tell you which.  The first bin is nearing compost completion and I have started a second in a 5 gallon bucket.  This one I layered with straw and manure, we shall see how it works.  I am using nightcrawlers in this bin.

 Sites I found useful getting started.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mosin Nagant 91/30

So i decided to buy a mosin nagant, Russian WWII rifle.  I bought it online from Buds gun shop, and it cost $169.  It came with a  bayonet, and an oil it.  When it arrived the bolt was disassembled, and I couldn't stop yelling at it!  Its pretty complicated to get together, but once you figure it out it makes perfect sense.  (I ll attach the video I found useful.)  I got all the cosmolene off of it and took it to the field.  I did some research, and was glad to see that the adjustable sight seemed to be in good shape.  The ballistics for it are pretty interesting.  If it is zeroed at 200 it will be 2 inches high at 100 and 13 inches low at 300.  (note it is in METERS, not yards.)  MAN O MAN was I super excited when I shot it and it was right on target.  It is super balanced and fires well.

I was sure to clean it right after, as I used corrosive old school ammo.

I highly recommend adding one to your arsenal, you wont be disappointed.

Bolt assembly

Buds Guns

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Wounded Doe

Well you may have read the earlier post about the wounded doe.  I was shocked when several days later I saw her on the trail cam.  She had an entry and exit wound.  It appears she ducked and turned and the arrow went in and out of the right side of her body.  It would explain the odd location the arrow was in in the tree next to the deer.  I hate to wound an animal, but I am glad she is at least looking OK.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lost to the dark and the rain - tracking a doe

Well as fate would have it I have been doing quite a bit of reading on tracking deer, specifically on tracking wounded deer with tracking dogs. (not hunting them, just finding wounded ones.)  So I purchased a book online from the John Jeanneney.  I was thinking about it heavily as I have started reading it.  It is currently illegal in my state to use a dog to find a downed animal, and I am frustrated by this.  I am ethical, and I believe that if I shoot something it is my ethical responsibility to do everything in my power to find that animal. 

As I sat in my tree stand thinking on the issue a big Doe walked in.  I pulled back and my sleeve got hung up on a tree, once I got it loose she was quartered away.  I made a judgement call believing I could place it through the ribs at the appropriate angle and I released.  I hit her, possible a little back, but it was all so fast.  The arrow made a clean pass and had some blood on it, and it landed in the tree next to it.  She ran about 150 yard in the thickest thorn bushes you have ever seen.  She then blew and wheezed for about 30 seconds and then nothing.

I waited about an hour, and then headed that way.  We searched for several hours.  I couldn't find a drop of blood besides the blood on the arrow.  Night closed in and it got dark, I couldn't tell which way was what, and then it started to thunder with a rain moving in.  I was unable to find the deer and it bothered me a lot.  I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if I had a highly trained blood tracking dog to help.  I will never know on this one, but maybe in the future things can change.

See the book I referenced HERE.  I have just started reading it, but it seems very helpful and thorough.