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Tuesday, November 19. 2013
Bucks, white tail deer, do funny things, this buck that I shot on Saturday, November 9th was more interested in fighting than chasing doe, this was his downfall! The second thing that led to his downfall was that he was hanging around the feeders too much, hanging around in broad daylight.
Then on November 8th, back at the same feeder, feeling real safe, this “shot” caught him.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 11:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 12. 2013
The first week of deer season was a bust for us. We saw very few deer and bucks were scarce.
I know that Layla was looking down from Heaven saying, “All the good bucks are shot out of my blind!”
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 17:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, October 1. 2013
There were worlds of mourning dove coming in to feed on the grain field stubble, in a field, on an Indian reservation in the Phoenix area. This particular reservation allowed hunting in the grain fields, but we had to be careful not to go into the “No Trespassing” areas that were well marked with signs.
My family, Brad, my ex wife and I, were fast into knocking down these twisty fliers, Randy and Suzanne were doing the retrieving and our bird count was rising. This afternoon, we were the only hunters out so we were hunkered down, a hundred yards apart, along an irrigation ditch, now dry. Many of the birds flew over us as they came into the field to feed, providing some easy overhead shots.
We took a break to count up our birds and our tally indicated that we had knocked down 31, five short of our combined limits. Shooting time was just about over so we let Brad, who was an excellent shot with a shotgun and the reigning Arizona, junior state champion trap shooter, finish out the string.
We set to breasting out the dove, leaving both wings on and dusk was settling in by the time we finished. Rinsing our hands, we loaded everything up into the camper, kenneled up the kids and drove off the reservation, we thought. Coming to a cross road, we turned, we thought, the correct way because there weren’t any signs. The next thing we knew, through the dust, here came a pickup barreling toward us, loaded with Indians and as they came closer, we saw they were all armed!
As the truck pulled to head us off, all the Indians were shouting and waving their firearms, we looked to be in deep stuff, but didn’t know of any tribal laws we had broken. One, possibly the headman, yelled over to us, “You’re on private, no trespassing, property and are under arrest! Been hunting, too, we’ll get all of you for shooting after hours?” This really looked serious now.
The year before, we had a run in with an Apache Policeman, he confiscated our .22 pistols and was going to ticket us for carrying firearms on the reservation, until he calmed down some and I told him that I was friends with the Tribal Chairman and named him. He relented, but told us “Friends with the Tribal Chairman or not, if he caught us on reservation with loaded firearms again, we be in big trouble!” Luckily, we never saw this policeman again!
Back to our immediate plight, the Indians were really heating up and I started fearing for my family. My ex had the, formerly confiscated, .22 pistol on her hip and she slipped it over to me, one pistol, 6 shots against a truck full, bad odds, before another Little Big Horn, I thought, I’ve got to get the headman talking. Telling him we thought we were headed out toward Baseline Road, he settled down a little and told us we took the wrong turn and were heading deeper into the reservation. He added, “Over the past weeks, we’ve had an increase in grave robberies, but to me, it looks like you just took the wrong turn.” The occupants in the truck were still yelling until he told them to be quiet and told us, “Just turn around and we’ll follow you out.”
Grave robberies meant that folks were sneaking on to the reservation, not robbing the graves of recently buried people, but rooting around in the desert trying to find graves hundreds, up to a thousand years old. This definitely wasn’t part of our program!
This was to close a call, so during our remaining years in Phoenix, we never went back to that reservation. That truck full of Indians really scared us off!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, September 13. 2013
In the 1970’s, one of our favorite dove hunting spots in Arizona was south of Phoenix on the St. John’s Indian Reservation. Back then, a hunting permit was a whopping $5.00 and like $10.00 for a family and this allowed the hunters access to some great mourning dove, plus real good quail and, believe it or not, some good duck hunting.
One of the best spots on the reservation was along an irrigated, grain field, the north edge bordering on thick brush that the doves were using as a roost and rest area. This particular Saturday afternoon, we, my family and the Schroder’s, had decided to combine a dove hunt along the edge of the brush and, after the hunt, a cook out in a clearing fifty yards in. The afternoon sun was to our right and the birds flew south to north, coming out of the field and flying right over us, providing easy head on, or quartering, shots.
Head on’s are easy. Track the bird, cover it with the muzzle, fire and follow through. The bird flies right in to the shot string, usually providing a clean kill, then falls near the shooter. Not having to walk around much in the sun means a lot on a hot September day in Arizona! Quartering shots are a little different, just be sure to get the right lead and then bang away!
The afternoon flight was just beginning, scattered shots coming from our four shooters strung out along the edge of the field. On my first shot, a quartering one, I knocked down a dove that was just loafing along, not flying anywhere near max speed, but soon, with all the shooting the birds picked up their pace considerably! With the doves pouring over us, we kept banging away. Before long, with the temp over a hundred, combining this with all of our shooting, our barrels started heating up. Just load up and keep shooting, but don’t touch the hot part.
One bird away from my limit, I looked up and here came one heading right over me, an easy head on shot. Tracking the bird and firing, puff, a clean hit and the bird rocketed straight for my chest. Holding my shotgun with my right hand and holding up my left, I was going to be real cool and catch this one, one handed, but at the last moment the dove gained a little lift rising over my outstretched hand and smacked me right between the eyes, knocking me over!
The force of four ounces traveling at, I guess, 35 MPH, applied right between my eyes, was a wallop. Getting up and looking through my broken shooting glasses, covered with mine and the dove’s blood, I saw that, besides being shot, the bird had a broken neck. However, the dove got his revenge, but $100.00 later for a new pair of shooting glasses, I wasn’t to be deterred, and soon, my next free afternoon found me back on the reservation.
After cleaning the birds, we washed up, grilled the steaks and along with green chilies and onions almost had a feast. After dinner, Jake looked over at me and, with a straight face, asked, “Beech, you went down real easy, think you have a glass forehead?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:37 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 5. 2013
Dove season opened on Sunday, September 1st, and between Church, going out to eat and napping, of course, I didn’t get any birds. Besides, the annual hunt in San Saba didn’t pan out because the landowner sold the place. Early Monday morning (3:30 AM) I was driving over to Killeen for Layla to catch an early flight to Atlanta. No birds on Monday either!
Having limited success on Tuesday afternoon, I did get one bird that came into the MOJO dove. Wednesday was dedicated to shopping in Temple, Thursday to getting my truck and the Jeep serviced, then there’s a JV football game in the afternoon.
Friday will be my day to really open the season. A lot of birds are using my pasture to feed, no crop this year because of the anticipated drought, but we’ve had rain at all the right time, I even had some red top grass come up unexpectedly from the seeds planted last year!
We’ll see though how it goes.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 10:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, August 31. 2013
This buck, the one I’ve been “following” for 3 years, has finally reached his mature years. He’s 4-1/2 now and quite a nice buck, in fact I told Mickey Donahoo yesterday that I didn’t know if this buck was a 9, 10 or 11 pointer. Notice how small points have formed below his antlers, the one on the right is definitely over an inch in height, our State, the great State of Texas, says that anything over one inch is to be counted, maybe by the time he sheds his velvet the one on the left will be an incher too!
Several day later the buck revisited the scrape. Who knows if he went through his full routine on this trip by?
If bucks are beginning their scrape activity now, tomorrow it will be September 1st maybe the rut will start early this year? It sure seems like the November 2nd opening day is way off, maybe 2 or 3 weeks, however, we’ll see what it turns out to be.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 4. 2013
Last Saturday, I opened the season right next to my “Corner Blind”, not in it, but within 50 feet of it. No turkeys sounded, in fact, I didn’t see anything but my decoy, that’s pictured below.
Saturday afternoon was much different, jakes galore! Two jakes, young gobblers not a year old, came around my decoy, not quite gobbling, but wait till next year! The jakes were stretching out their necks to see where the clucking was coming from, but the pics didn’t turn out, all I got was clumps of grass.
Monday was taken up with a doctor visit, to treat a stupid mistake on my part. Three weeks ago I’d applied the wrong medicine to an impending fever blister, then played 5 games of Senior Softball (my performance was great) with the wrong meds on my lip, not reading “Don’t Go Into The Sun” label on the tube, resulting with a “fried” lip! Having been to the docs on March 20th, he started treating me on that day, but finally, today, the lips healing
Tuesday morning things changed. Coming back from San Saba, around 9:30 AM, I passed my neighbor’s place. In November two years ago, Randy had shot a nice buck in the “Corner Blind” and we called the neighbor to see if we could go on to his property to look for the buck. See my post “Deer Season, November 27, 2011, (Perseverance)”.
Anyway, in the back of the field next to the tree line, there stood a hen turkey, having the windows rolled up I couldn’t hear her, but she must have been clucking. Then, from the other end of the field, running as fast as their short legs could take them, 3 small turkeys were running to the mother bird. Thinking that she must have been bred in mid January, really early, with a 28, day gestation period for wild turkey eggs, the little ones must have been 3 to 4 weeks old, wow.
As I continued my drive, still watching the small turkeys, I noticed movement in front of my truck, then a gobbler nervously hopped over the fence on to my property and scurried into the thick stuff! Another wow, but lightning was popping around and it looked like rain and I had work to do and couldn’t mess with turkey hunting, but by Friday the rain should have abated and I should be finished with the work!
Then it started to rain and by Wednesday PM we’d gotten over 1-1/2 inches, more rain the end of this week so, maybe, the current drought will be broken!
Tuesday, March 12. 2013
This past Sunday, I drove down to metro Houston, Tomball, Texas to be exact, and attended a going away party for one on my grand nephews, Jarred Buck. Jarred has enlisted in the U.S. Army and leaves next week for Ft. Jackson, S.C. for his basic training. Brad was a big influence on Jarred and his decision to enlist, Jarred, an Eagle Scout, is super qualified for this job and I wish him well for this endeavor!
After the going away party I drove on in to Houston and spent the evening with Chuck and Linda Towne and Monday at 1:00 PM I went on one of the most eventful doctor’s appointments of my life! The doc, who I’d been to several times with my right knee told me right away, “Jon, you don’t need a knee replacement because your right knee is basically strong, just a cortisone shot, (which didn’t hurt at all), some (inhuman) exercises along with heel inserts and within a month or 2 you’ll be fine!” Those were welcome words to my ears because the doc knew me and my love for Senior Softball he was willing go the extra mile for me and rehab my right knee and not resort to a very painful surgery, Praise The Lord!
Eighteen days to turkey season and this one should be fairly good, (they all look fairly good two weeks before), but we’ve had some good rains and very cool nights, maybe the drought is broken and maybe the big birds will be moving around!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 16:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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