Sunday, December 27, 2009

Video from the Cibola NWR Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Here is the video from the Cibola NWR Youth Waterfowl Hunt. Enjoy watching the kids get their first goose.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Ebberbody From Redlands CA

I'd like to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas. No snow here this year in Redlands. I hope everyone has a warm fire going and some eggnog to enjoy.

Please don't drink and drive or let anyone else, I want to see you back here in 2010.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cibola Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Got some pics to share from the Cibola NWR Youth Waterfowl Hunt that was held December 12-14 2009 at Cibola NWR along the Colorado River. Thanks to all that helped put this great hunt together. AZ Fish and Game, Cibola NWR, Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club who served up the hot chow, Sprague's Sporting Goods for the 20 ga. shotgun in the raffle. Cibola Sportsman's Club for letting the kids shoot their two ranches and use the club for staging. DU (Ducks Unlimited) for the mentors and help.

The kids knocked down 18 honkers and 1 snow and busted over 50 ducks. The Cibola NWR let the kids shoot in the afternoon this year and they had a ball getting most of their ducks then.

First geese ever for these two young ladies who were shooting on the farm unit of the Cibola NWR. And a band on one to boot.

First geese ever for these 2 guys who were shooting on the farm unit of the Cibola NWR.

This lil guy could hardly see over the pit blind but he smoked 2 geese Saturday.

Kids plucking their first goose.

Tim Corbett from Cibola Sportsman's Club setting dekes for the Sunday morning hunt. The rye grass was up but you can hardly see it in this pic. This is the pit blind where the two kids shot geese Sunday morning that I missed with the video camera. My deer blind could only see 1 field, the one south of this field.

Always great sunsets at Cibola. Looking out over the flooded milo marsh at Cibola Sportsman's Club.

I've got some video I'm putting together from the hunt, if you were there and want to share some pics to be included in the video please email me. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blitzen Fired? Tough Times Continue

This just in from the Mule Deer Forum. Times are tough as we all know and it looks like Blitzen has just been fired.

Imagine throwing the scope up and seeing that. What would ya name him? "Blinky"? "Twinkles"?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Time For The Wayback Button

This gem is an awesome video our member cnggack from Minnesota made to showcase the pics entered in the 2008 JHO Game Cam Pic Contest. If you're like me and just love to grab a cup of hot cider and scroll through great animal pics then you're gonna love this montage of wildlife. Enjoy.

Just a reminder, the 2010 Game Can Contest will start in February 2010. Please check in to our JHO Game Cam Forum to see the pics or post your pics in the contest. We'll have some nice prizes for the many categories. If you have a game camera, want to buy your first one or want to build a homemade unit the Game Cam forum is a great place to get help and advice. Many cammers also share their pics there.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I'm very thankful to have you here to share my ramblings in the field. Please don't drink and drive or let anyone else either.

I usually venture out every Thanksgiving for a quick hunt and this year had no joy in the local San Bernardino National Forest . This was a small Merriam's hen I shot with my shotgun in the Kaibab National Forest AZ in 2001 during a November hunt.

I'll be heading out this weekend one more time to try and lure in a turkey bird. I actually like hunting turkeys almost better in the fall than the spring. There are less hunters out and not quite the pressure. The turkeys are usually bunched up and more vocal than in the spring in my opinion. Plus you can shoot a hen or tom so your chances of potting one are higher.

I like taking small hens, called "Jennies", in the fall so I can make use of their wingbones for making wingbone yelper calls. The smaller hen bones make a higher pitched sound then the bigger tom turkey wingbones. Here's an example of a wingbone yelper made by my buddy Jim Groenier from Wisconsin.

Native Americans have used wingbone yelpers since as early as 6500 B.C. The first wingbone design of the Native Americans used just the radius bone or mouthpiece of today's designs. In the late 1800's, a call maker named Charles Jordon helped the wingbone yelpers gain popularity with hunters by mass producing the yelpers. Hunters later added cane or the humerus or ulna wingbones to make a new style of 2 bone call. At the turn of the 20th century, callmakers started using trumpet-like bells made of cow horns or wood to make the 3 section calls we know today. Some refer to these trumpet wingbone yelpers as "Turpin" calls. If you'd like to learn how to make a wingbone yelper call click here.

If you're headed out, good luck on pulling a sneak on a fall bird. Let us know how you do by dropping by our Turkey Hunting Forum.

P.S. We're also have a Fall Turkey Hunt Pic Contest on the Turkey Forum. It's here
The winner will receive a nice custom JHO glass call made by Gene's Custom Turkey Calls.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Brace yourself, this one's a doozy for SoCal.


BIGGEST BUCK EVER? Jim Matthews column-ONS - 29oct09

San Bernardino Mountains' buck may be the biggest ever taken from local mountains


Richard Sturgis has hunted deer in the San Bernardino Mountains for over 30 years, and this past Sunday he shot what may be the largest buck ever taken from the region. The old deer was a heavy-horned, symmetrical, five-by-five buck with cheater points protruding out of both sides of the main frame.

"I couldn't believe it was on this mountain," said Sturgis, a 43-year-old San Bernardino resident who has taken at least one buck a year from the local mountains "for as long as I can remember."

Taxidermist Herman Magenheim of Herman's Taxidermy in Beaumont said it was the best buck he's ever seen from the San Bernardino Mountains. "He's a dandy," said Magenheim. He's' a deer you'd have shot in Utah or Colorado, and he's the best I've ever seen here. I'd say he'd score 170 or 180 points [using the Boone and Crocket scoring system."

A 160-point buck of the mule deer subspecies (California) that live in the local mountains is the equivalent of a 220-class Rocky Mountain mule deer, a much bigger subspecies. A buck gross scoring over 170 from the local mountains is simply unprecedented.

Fires that have burned massive areas of the National Forest over the last decade have turned old, decadent chaparral habitat that was poor forage for deer into a veritable supermarket of high value browse. The good feed is growing better antlers and bigger deer, and production has been better in the burn areas.

Mangenheim said he was seeing a lot of quality bucks from all of the local deer zones, and he thought the recent fires were a big factor in the increased number and quality of deer taken in the local mountains.

The late Bonnar Blong, a former Department of Fish and Game deer biologist for this region, said fire suppression was one of the worst things for our local deer herds. Deer thrive in burned areas. One of his colleagues quoted Blong as saying, "The problem with these arsonists is that we need to get them a map. They've got the right idea, but they start these fires in all the wrong places to help our deer."

Recent fires have burned some of the right spots if the latest crop of deer being taken by local hunters is any indication.

Sturgis, who had to pack his boned out and caped buck out of a nasty canyon, said he thought the live weight of his deer was around 200 pounds.. That is a healthy buck.

Hunters will be interested to know this buck wasn't miles into the backcountry. In fact, Sturgis said they spotted the buck from a paved road with a 20-power spotting scope in a steep, rocky area that had been burned five years ago. The buck was spotted Oct. 23, and Sturgis tried to get a hunting buddy in on the buck on Friday. His friend got a shot at the deer, but managed to only punch a hole through the buck's ear and spook it off into a deep canyon.

Sturgis spent the next three days hunting this big deer and finally got his chance Wednesday when he spotted the buck again. His long stalk brought him within range of the buck, but the deer sensed or heard Sturgis and was moving over a small saddle. Winded, Sturgis decided not to take a hurried shot like his hunting buddy had done Friday. Sturgis climbed higher and sat down, watching a clearing and ridgeline. The buck snuck back up over the ridge and Sturgis made the 200 yard shot in the late afternoon.

While it was only about an hour hike to the truck, it took Sturgis until past dark to backpack the meat and cape out to his vehicle out of the nasty canyon where it ended up after the shot.

"It took me 30 years to get a buck like this," said Sturgis. "I doubt if I'll ever see another one this big."

End article


Congrats Richard, there are some of us with tags who won't sleep a wink now after seeing that pic. Heck of a buck for D14.

FYI for those licking the screen and wondering if there are any D14 tags left, the zone sold out this year for the first time in a few years. The Station Fire closure pushed a lot of D11 hunters over our way I think this year.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missing Guide/Outfitter Larry Heathington In AZ

I'm posting this on behalf of Don Martin, Ariizona Wildlife Outfitters.

For those of you that haven't heard, my friend Larry Heathington, the owner of Sheep Limited, who lives in Williams has been missing since Friday, September 11th.

Larry was suppose to meet two clients on Friday in New Mexico to go on a private lands antelope hunt, and when his cousin last spoke to him he was two hours from Secorro.

He hasn't been heard from since Thursday afternoon. Larry was in his gray Ford F-350 Super Duty, towing his Jeep.

A missing person's report has been made with the Holbrook, AZ Police Department as someone close to Larry said they had seen his truck/jeep on Monday in Holbrook.

Please, we are very concerned about this situation and fear for Larry's safety. If you know Larry, you know it is not like him to not show up where and when he is suppose to.

If you know ANYTHING about where Larry is, or have seen his vehicles please contact the Holbrook PD or call me at 928-681-4867.

Thank you, Don Martin Arizona Wildlife Outfitters

Larry is on right

Here is the picture of his jeep note the custom plates....SHPLTD ARIZONA PLATES

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stake In The Heart. Dove Opener Cancelled For Me

Well almost, with the fires raging in SoCal my dove opener looked grim. I had to cancel plans to head to Blythe to film the Big Breast Contest. That's biggest "dove breast" for all you knuckle draggers.

So today I went into the bosses office and made a pest of myself, more like I threw a fit a 3 year old would have been proud of. I had been doing yeoman's work all weekend working at the La Canada fire and I asked for just a bit of time to go shoot some gray rockets. It must have been when I ran my bosses favorite thumb drive through the shredder when he decided it might be in his best interest to get rid of me for the night

Off I raced home to sneak out for an evening hunt.

A few singles all out of range at first. No worries, I had scouted the old haunt a few times in the month before.

Friendly sheriff volunteers stopped by to say hello. They let me know they had seen 8 rattlesnakes in my spot earlier in the day. Lovely. I was overjoyed at the news since I'm known as a snake magnet on dove hunts.

Right about sunset a flight of 4 low fliers came in from behind me and I missed the lead bird going off into the sunset. I dropped the 2nd bird but it was out a bit far and it dropped into a boulder strewn wash I was next to. I scrambled down the dirt berm to get the bird when I heard that distinct sound, a snake buzzin'.


I could see my bird but them big boulders are easy to get bit by a snake in since you can't see under them real good and the light was fading. I wasn't real sure where the buzzing was coming from either and I wasn't going to press my luck so I ended up leaving my only bird.

Old orange orchard where I set up.

I repositioned so as not to drop any birds into the wash again but never saw any more birds in range. A few high fliers going to roost and that was it.

Sunset on another dove opener. Haze is from the smoke from all the fires here. Twas good to take the shotgun for a walk and bust the first caps of the season on live game.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bass Pro Fall Classic Booth Pics

Every August Bass Pro Shops is kind enough to let us man a couple of booths at their stores. Bryce Mann from our JHO staff has been working a booth at the Manteca CA store and I've been doing my part at the Rancho Cucamonga CA Store.

Here's some pics of the fun we have teaching kids the sounds of the animals and how to make the calls for them too. We also enjoy meeting the outdoorsmen and women who visit the stores.

We'll be at the Bass Pro stores 1 more weekend Aug 21-23 2009. I will be at the Rancho Cumcamong CA store and Bryce will also be doing seminars on upland hunting and upland dogs at the Las Vegas Bass Pro Store. Stop on by for a free JHO decal.

Young hound dawg and owner stopping by to say hello.

Jim Matthews, outdoor writer and owner of Outdoor News Service, passing out info.

Boy learning how to run a turkey boxcall. The girls pick up how to run the calls a lot faster than the boys for some reason.

Brother and sister goofing with the rattlin' antlers.

Skip Clemens from Adventure Hunts and Jesse (me) from JHO.

Skip and his wife at California Pizza Kitchen in the nearby Victoria Gardens Mall.

Jim Matthews and his wife Becky at California Pizza Kitchen in the nearby Victoria Gardens Mall

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sugar Gliders & Flying Squirrels. Childhood Pets

As adventurous kids we were always dragging home garter snakes, box turtles, lightning bugs and leopard frogs to mom's despair. Springtime was when we found many pets as the little ones tumbled out of their nests and got lost. One of the best finds in the woods behind our house was a flying squirrel. There's something magical about animals that soar and these little guys are fearless. They can sail like Superman from tall oak tree to maple tree.

I first saw a flying squirrel along Coldwater Creek behind our home in MO. At first glance it looked like many of the tree squirrels that sailed limb to limb along the lush park that bounded the creek. Something was different about this little guy though so I moved closer to watch it fly. My friend Randy later caught a baby flying squirrel and we made it our pet.

The first thing we noticed was they should come with a butt plug because they pooped everywhere. Even when you made sure it had taken care of business before you took it out of it's cage it would proceed to crap all over mom's new couch. We took the squirrel to school for show and tell and he was the hit of the day.

The longest I can remember one sailing was about 70 feet in a tree to tree jump. I thought he was going to break his little neck in the descent and hard landing.


He got up, dusted himself off and started scoping out his next DZ.

Nowadays I see sugar gliders from Austrailia as pets in MO, they're illegal to own here in CA and a couple other states. A bit cuter than the flying squirrels we knew but the same poop warning applies.

A video of some of the fun you can have with the high wire acrobats of the forest.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You're Up Rookie. Ronnie's First Hunt.

We recently gave away a hog hunt on our Hog Forum from Cedar Canyon Ranch near Tehachapi CA. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a brand spanking new hunter named Ronnie from Fremont CA was the winner. A "Rookie", "Norman New Guy", or "Fresh Meat" as we call them in the sporting world. Let the razzing begin.

I always enjoy watching kids and new older hunters discover how much fun it is to be out hunting. The awe and amazement on their faces is all the reward I need to keep me going. It's like teaching a kid to ride a bike when they pedal away and look back as if to say, "Look at what I can do now."

The affliction is spreading it appears, Ronnie's friend Paul, who came along to help out, is now studying for his hunter safety class.

Huge thanks to Bill Taylor who runs Cedar Canyon Ranch, Paul our guide and the rest of the crew. They were great hosts.

Enough yapping, here's Ronnie's hunt. The Rook did just fine.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's All About The Food

"Find the food, find the game", my dad and uncles used to always tell me. During September in Missouri the fox squirrels and gray squirrels are already cutting hickory nuts, it sounds like rain when the shells hit the leaves on the way down.

Pic courtesy of

In early bowhunting season in Missouri the preferred deer food is persimmons. Deer flock to eat the tasty fruit when it hits the ground, the same for ripe apples. I've seen deer about break their necks standing on their hind legs trying to reach the highest apples on a tree.

Come rifle season in November white oak acorns are the tasty morsels the deer want. Many times I watched does feed all day long near my stand in Rothville MO. One small buck I shot one year was so engrossed in eating white oak acorns we walked right up on him as we tracked another deer my uncle Larry had shot just minutes earlier.

Last week my hunting partner Rick (Westy) and I were checking on a local spot for some varmint calling. As we turned to leave we spotted these band-tail pidgeons dive bombing some scraggly looking trees along an old abandoned orange orchard.

"Hmmmm", we wondered, they can't be loafing in those trees in the 102F heat. What are they doing?

A closer look with the binos gave up their secret, fresh fruit was hanging on some Blue Elderberry trees.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Childhood Temptations. The Devil Made Me Do It Mom.

When our family moved to near St. Louis in the 1960s the city had just built this fine new mall called Northwest Plaza. A trip there was like heaven, all kinds of sights and smells you'd never experienced before. The tool and sporting goods department at Sears, ice cream from Walgreen's soda fountain counter, Orange Juliuses.

On one such trip our moms parked us kids near the escalator to wait on the bench while they looked at washing machines. Right next to the escalator was a huge awesome water fountain, about 50'x50' with water running down from the ceiling on tiny plastic tubes. Everyone tossed coins in the 1 foot deep fountain so it was like looking at a broken open piggy bank to us poor kids.

With visions of a new model and more baseball cards my friend Will and I made a deal with his little brother Mark to get him to go fetch some coins while we watched for our moms or any store employees. This included the usual bribe to my lil sister to keep her quiet.

With a little encouragement Mark hopped over the low rail and was sloshing around pretty good in no time, we were even smart enough to remove his shoes and roll up his pants to evade any questioning later. He must have been up to around 3 or 4 bucks when I heard my mom holler.

Poor Mark didn't even get half way over the rail before his mom snatched his azz right back over to the bench. His mom lit into him right there. Naturally he only held up to questioning for about 2 minutes and we got it later back home.

Needless to say it was a long time until we got asked again if we wanted to go to the Mall.

Got any childhood temptation stories?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Navigating The Legal Morass On The Wild Wild Interwebz

Many of us that own websites or pound out blogs are small companies or sole proprietors who don't have legal representation on staff. I just found this website BlawgIT that does a really good job of explaining the do's and don'ts for conducting business on the Internet for the small potato folks.

Brett Trout is the BlawgIT lawyer who covers subjects like , patents, trademarks, ID theft, social media accountjacking, copyright and more. Brett gets the Internet, writing in a switched on style about topics that website owners and bloggers need to learn about. He's "switch on" as we used to say in the military.

Brett has also written 2 books that are highly regarded for Internet users and business owners. Cyber Law: A Legal Arsenal for Online Business and Internet Laws Affecting Your Company. I just ordered mine for handy reference in the office.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Big Bear Valley Sportsman's Club Shooting Range

Westy and I managed to sneak out for some bowfishing this past weekend at Big Bear Lake in SoCal. When the carp refused to come into the cold shallow water where we stood shaking like dogs passing a peach pit, we headed for the Big Bear Valley Sportsman's Club Shooting Range to reconnoiter.

The range has some history with the likes of John Wayne, Jeff Cooper, Jack Weaver (Weaver Stance fame) and others practicing their shooting when up in the high pines around the lake. We happened to bump into actor Christian Slater and his friends who were looking to rent some guns for some shooting fun. Unfortunately the range doesn't have any guns for rent and we didn't have any to lend them.

So if you're ever headed up to the mountains around Big Bear and want to throw some lead downrange or bust some clay targets there is a nice range just north of the lake at the Stanfield Cutoff. With all the famous folks running around the area you never know who you'll run in to.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

CA DFG & NWTF Cuts Us Loose. No Turkey Transplants.

Been awhile since I've had something to good to rant about, something to sink my teeth into. "Brace yourself", as the doc told me on my last prostrate exam.

4 of us were there at the Inland Empire chapter NWTF meeting last Wednesday night at Bass Pro. You can really see how important the turkey transplant issue is to the local turkey hunters by their overwhelming support. /sarcasm.

Not to be a Debbie Downer but the turkey transplants starting back up are not going to happen here in San Bernardino National Forest. NWTF has come out and said they are more worried about banquets and the money generated from them. NWTF regional director Dave Halbrook said they are happy with their local chapters even without any huntable turkeys in SBNF. Tom Dockter, a member on the CA state NWTF board, told Yucaipa Mike and me that the NWTF regional directors biggest and only concern is banquets and generating money. NWTF corporate couldn't care less, they dismissed Yucaipa Mikes plea for help.

Worrying more about lifting as much money as they can out of my pocket and not about local issues was the biggest reason I left the NWTF years back. I'm headed that way again.

Bottom line, we're being told habitat improvement is the only thing we can do now since the turkey transplant EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) was poorly written by DFG and just invites being sued by the Native Plant Society. The same Native Plant Society that stopped the transplants of turkeys into San Bernardino and San Diego back in the late 1990s by filing a lawsuit.

As far as a hunter or a hunting group suing DFG, that's not possible I'm told. Wishful thinking but not something that can be done. I'm being told to just keep the heat on DFG to do the right thing.

I am a bit ticked also in that I was lead to believe the transplants were coming the past couple years. Every year there was a new hurdle for us to get over like prove there were still turkeys in the local forest only to find out there never was any real push to get the transplants going. We only just recently got the California DFG and NWTF to admit it publicly. Well, actually, it's the same line from years back, we just had them restate it to be sure.

Dave Halbrook said they would try and get money to fund another biologist position to help the local DFG biologist (Jeff Villepique) study turkeys and the habitat here but as local outdoor writer Jim Matthews told me, that's BS. Have the local DFG biologist just do his job, that's what he's paid for. Ryan Mathis, the California NWTF biologist, was down here in San Bernardino 2 months ago to meet with Jeff Villepique for a mind meld on what to start doing to help the local turkeys and Jeff Villepique was a no show for some reason. Same ole same ole, nothing getting down and nothing but more excuses.

I'm going to post this on the national NWTF forum, WON (Western Outdoor News) and so it's gets even more publicity in the last ditch hope someone will light a fire under the DFG or NWTF to do something. If they refuse to help us out, I'm done with the NWTF. They can bleed other fools for their banquet money to send Regional Directors on grand turkey hunts around the country while we scrap for turkeys on the crowded public land here in San Diego or travel hours north.

In fact, that's how it was put to us by Dave Halbrook. Hey, others are having fun right driving half a day one way to hunt right?

Not me, I'd rather stay local a few weekends to save money and hunt less crowded land, but that's me.

You folks make up your own minds.

Here is the thread on our CA turkey forum with more info. It's a sad tale of betrayal, complete with antis, money grubbers and skunk belly gubmint workers.

Turkey forum post

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Story About a Big Squirrel And a Baby Squirrel

Continuing on the spring young theme, a fun video from the Interwebz for a Wednesday. Every once in awhile you see nature and the human race interact and you wonder what if we could talk to the animals.

What critter would you want to chat with?

What would you ask them?

What would you tell them?

Have you ever helped a critter out that was in a bad situation?


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring's First Casualty For 2009

Spring has sprung as they say but along with the fresh green growth and new babies we have our first casualty around the homestead here.

I've been doing some garden work in the backyard lately so I already knew there was a bird nest nearby. What kind of bird nest? I'm still working on that part, my best guess right now is a California Towhee (Pipilo crissalis). The colors, size and beak are close.

Anyhoo, every time I went near the ivy covered fence by the pool filter momma bird would scold me relentlessly. I figured something was wrong this time when momma and poppa's frantic chirps caught my attention since I wasn't even near the nest. A predator maybe? The neighbor's cat out for a tweety sammich?


It turned out to be a baby bird floating in the pool. It must have fallen in while eagerly trying to learn to fly. Mom and dad were hopping wire to limb encouraging the dead bird to get back up and out of danger with no luck.

I fished the baby bird out of the pool and gently laid it in the high garden grass. The parents seemed to lose sight of the bird when it was in the pool net and they went crazy trying to get sight of their lost kin again. Both birds flitted around the pool, landing on the mower handle, then the electric wires above for a better view.

Every spring us kids found baby birds dead or flopping around the yard after getting the heave ho out of their nest. What an introduction to the world, fly or get eaten. Wood ducks have it the worst I think, they get pushed out and fall several long feet into the wet water.

Gee, thanks Ma.

What a wake up call that must be.

The big lizard under the pool filter slab was the next one to turn up toes up, not sure what enticed him into the pool. He's the first one to commit Hari Kari in the water like that.

Hopefully, that's the end of the spring deaths, it's not fun to find baby anythings laying silent.

P.S. If you recognize that bird please post up in the comments here or drop me a line.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Gettin Stuck. It Must Be Turkey Season

Ah, tis that time of year for slippin' and slidin' down icy snow covered ridges. Turkey season is about to be unleashed and that means time to explore and tear up some vehicles. Even the local gendarme's SUV is taking a beating rescuing pilgrims who venture out only to find themselves stranded in the dark high a top a mountain.

This was near Green Valley Lake in CA. Don't ever trust a woman for a road condition report. We met this lady on the way in and she said the road was fine. One turn later and we slid sideways to the bottom of a nasty mud and ice hole. 100 shovel scoops later and we were free and up the hill.

Note: Get winch installed.

The good news is Mike and I found some Merriam's turkeys to let the air out of. San Diego is a better hunt for bird numbers but holy mackerel, do they draw a crowd down there.

The bad news was the dumping and crashed gates we found on local forest roads. That and the trash we picked up after some donkeys left it. I pray there is a special room for these folks in Hades where they can live with their trash they dumped on Earth.

This was down at the T6 bridge crossing of Deep Creek by Lake Arrowhead CA. The crik hasn't flowed like this in awhile so I'll be back when it gets hot for a soak in the cold pools. I love hiking and hunting in this drainage.

I don't understand how folks can visit such a beautiful location in the country and then leave their trash. Makes me want to put a boot in their azz. Here's Mike picking up shotgun shells some clown left all over the bridge area. They must have shot almost 3 boxes from all the shells we picked up.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Are They Really Hunts?

I have to be brutally honest about these planted bird shoots that we've put on the past couple of years, JHO won't be participating anymore for several reasons.

1) The biggest reason is the safety issue. Every time I've been out on a planted bird shoot we've had issues with folks who are not aware of where their muzzle is pointing or had fingers on the trigger while walking. Even after warning the shooter we've had the same issue pop back up again the same day which puts in in a jam over kicking someone out of the shoot.

In these bird shoots we're also mixing small groups together that have never shot with each other and it's caused some strife. I know I've hit the ground a time or two over the past couple years when someone swung too far and almost blew someone's head off. I know 2 people who've been shot in the past 2 years while at pheasant shoots like this and I don't want any part in any shooting.

2) It's a canned hunt. I grew up chasing pheasants in the frozen cornstalks of Iowa and Missouri and these hunts, or shoots as they should be labeled, are just not my cup of tea. The dogs do get a work out but that's about it. You walk up and kick the pheasant out of sparse cover and bang! Wild pheasants are a completely different game, they use their cover to best many upland hunters. That, and many times a bird gets pounded by 3 or 4 shooters as it flies across field, leaving a bloody mess you can't even salvage for a bite to eat. Antis also use this type of canned hunt in their argument on hunting being called fair chase. I've always been for fair chase and these type of shoots do not make the cut for me.

3) The other issue we've had to deal with is dog owner's who have NO control what so ever over their dog or dogs. The last hunt we had a springer flushing out a pheasant from our field even before we walked out, the owner was no where in sight. Later, this same dog came back and we hollered for someone to reel in their dog and no one around responded. We never did figure out who was letting the springer run all over other fields. The hunt before that we had to ask one person to put their lab up in his truck after the dog ruined several fields by flushing birds out of them. Some folks who think they have control over their dog are completely oblivious to the whole program. This issue has also caused some heartburn between groups at these shoots as they watch a loose dog flush out birds they just paid to shoot.

The bottom line, just too many folks in tight quarters swinging shotguns around with many of them newbies or just way too careless for me. The California DFG youth hunts are more controlled in that they have several mentors around the kid and only hand them a shell when it's time to shoot. That's great but it's still a far cry from a fair chase hunt. One young hunter put it best to me after teaching him to shoot pidgeons at the local dairy in Chino. We were on his first planted pheasant hunt and after kicking the bird several times the pen raised bird finally flushed up and he shot it. The kid turned to me and said, "This ain't no fun, let's go shoot pidgeons." So we did, leaving our 2 other birds for another shooter in the next field to finish off.

I'm not trying to dis the DFG or the pheasant clubs it's just I have to be truthful on how I've always felt about these shoots. I tried to go along for the kids and group shoots for the comraderie but it's just not going to work for me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

From the email. Wolf pack takes down a moose

Every once in awhile you get an email containing something worthwhile, something that makes you just say "WOW!!". No idea who the pic owner is on this one, email said they were from a treestand in Idaho. One heck of a view this person must of had.

Growing up around St. Louis MO I saw coyotes and feral dogs pack up like this and run whitetail deer. The coyotes would try and chase the deer down to the rivers where the frozen ice was a deathtrap for any animal with slick hooves. It usually ended with the deer too weak to stand on the ice and the canines would brutally rip the deer apart while still alive.

This is nature in one of her purest acts.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Recipe For Disaster. Idjits Who Drink While Hunting.

Skipping throught the blogs yesterday I spied this waterfowl hunting in MS piece on Holly's (NorCal Cazadora's) blog that I thought would be kewl to read. About half way through the article one pic just froze me in mid thought.

The Huntress Club: Duck Hunting Sorority in the Swamp

What kind of friggin idiot takes swigs of booze while hunting and then lets someone photograph the act and publish it? What kind of hunting group lets another bring the booze into the blind? Absolutely disgraceful. What a black eye to hunters and gun owners. Shame on the Swamp Witches as they call themselves. This IS NOT the message we want to send to the public. What part of gun safety did this gal miss? Drinking while hunting is also illegal in many states and I recommend if that is the case in MS, that the state cite her goofy azz.

Does anyone sane really want someone in the blind next them who's buzzed swinging a shotgun near their head? The unsafe act is bad enough but this is prime beef for the antis who will hold this pic up and exclaim that not only are men hunters drunken slob bubbas, their women are too.

The pic caption says she's taking a swig to keep warm. This is a fallacy as alcohol DOES NOT warm up the body, it acts just the opposite by fooling people into thinking they are warmer after drinking. Add another layer if you're that dang cold. Then agin, she may have a drinking problem and as we all know, alcoholics can find a million excuses why they need a pick me up.

It's unbelievable to me that with all the hunter ed and alcohol education out there we still have idiots like this endangering others in the field. The sad part is these fools usually don't off themselves, they shoot the poor SOB next to them. Then we get the lame "I'm so sorry" that is supposed to somehow mend the maimed or dead hunter.

Don't be afraid to speak up when one of these oxygen stealers shows up to your hunt. I flat out ask them to leave, even if that means they drive 300 miles back home. If it's not my hunt I simply ask the booze be put up until the guns are cased. If my request is not honored I ruck up and move on. I'm not going to suffer, or watch someone else suffer, due to this stupidity.

And just for the record, I enjoy my bourbon after a long day humpin' the hills and swamps, I just make sure all the guns are up first.

Guns and alcohol simply don't mix, it's a disaster just waiting to happen. I don't know many folks who could endure the guilt they would carry if they shot someone while drinking on a hunt.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Year's Eve JHO hunt at Fort Hunter Liggett

This was our annual New Year's Eve JHO hunt at Fort Hunt Liggett near Jolon CA. The hunt was for hogs, quail and predators. Whatever we could find or track down. The weather was perfect for strolls on the oak covered hills, overcast with temps in the low 30s in the mornings going up to the mid 50s in the afternoons.

You hear a bugle sound retreat in the beginning of this video. Of all the time I've spent hunting FHL and training there in the military I've never heard retreat before. We were miles from the cantonment area and the wind was blowing the other way with a huge ridge between us and I could hear that bugle perfectly. Wild!

That's Eric (XDHunter) and REM3006 skinning the second hog, their "bald headed" boar. Rem3006 hit another big boar the night before and Eric tracked it late that night and the next morning but he said the hog wasn't hit that bad judging by the distance and the hills the big black boar covered.

My hunting partner Westy is seen at the end of the video creeping in on a bobcat we shot. There are several things I learned from trapping as a kid, you keep an exit picked out when wading in on a wounded bobcat. This one turned out to be dead but the hissing and spitting before it died puckered up both us a wee bit. Westy lost the flip of my two headed quarter so I got offer my encouragement from afar.

More info on hog hunting and FHL:

JHO FHL info page

JHO Hog Hunting Forum

CA Hog Hunting Info

Friday, January 9, 2009

Unleash The Hounds? "Spider" The New WR Elk

Well, that didn't take long. Boone & Crockett just announced the new word record bull elk, taken by Denny Austad of Ammon Idaho on Monroe Mt. in Utah last fall. The jackals were not far behind with jealous and character coloring posts dripping from their sharp fangs.

The shameless lynch mob mentality is one reason I don't think I'd want to shoot or even tell anyone about killing a large buck or elk, or anything. All the clueless fools who come out afterward to take their potshots really annoy me. It reminds me of a neighbor in MO (Randy Simonitch), who snuck up on a large whitetail buck (190+ P&Y) in a beanfield with his bow and whacked it. Suddenly every wannabe on the hunting forums was claiming it was a sick deer, or it had been hit by a car. No one could sneak up on a buck like that in a bean field they ranted. Total BS since not ONE of them was there or even had a clue. One azzhat claimed beans never grow that high to pull off the sneak. Obviously, he hadn't walked in the beans in Lincoln county MO that fall because I had to lift my bow as I walked through the beans, they were so high.

"Buzzkillers" it what I call them. If you don't know the facts of the hunt how can you besmirch someone's name with baseless allegations and innuendo? Word is B&C curry combed everything about the hunt so they wouldn't end up with egg on their face. So the guy has some money and can buy some help on the hunt, I'd do it in a heartbeat if that is what I wanted and had the money. And let's not BS each other, so would many hunters. If they cheated and blocked roads or interfered with other hunters on this elk then the proof needs to brought forward and the bull DQed. Until then, some folks need to hold their venom and hate.

And finally, being a forum moderator we've had to pull some of the trash posts over this elk on our forum. Yeah, you're sposed to be welcome to post your opinions on hunting forums, but when you go over the line and trash someone with your nasty rumors and allegations it's not going to fly. Why would it? Would you like it if the shoe were on the other foot?

Rant off

P.S. Doyle Moss was the guide and videoed the hunt. Check Doyle's site MossBack Fever for the video release.