Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holidays and Turkey Hunting

Well, we spent much of the last week on the road traveling to see Cathy's family.

I was able to hunt Sunday evening and Monday morning and was hoping to shoot some pigs but didn't see any. Nothing of tremendous interest on the trail cameras, a few good shots of some younger bucks and a bunch more pictures of pigs but they sure seem to have me figured out. I saw 6 deer on Sunday evening and 4 deer on Monday morning but didn't want to shoot any until next year when I have my population figured out better.

On Monday morning I busted a flock of turkeys off their roost on the way to my blind and they scattered everywhere. The rest of the morning they were trying to group back up and I saw and heard several groups at 75 to 100 yards away and then a straggler came by at 43 yards and stopped right in front of me and streched it's neck out and I couldn't resist and I shot it with my rifle in the neck. It dropped right there and with the shot in the neck I didn't ruin any meat shooting it with the rifle. In Texas you can shoot a either sex Turkey in the fall season with any legal weapon. We ended up taking the Turkey with us and cooked it for Christmas dinner with Cathy's family. It was a fairly young turkey and it ended up tasting pretty good.

Later in the morning I saw 2 coyotes just hanging out on a hill about 275 yards away but I didn't take a shot at them. In retrospect I should have tried it, I have target practiced out to 300 yards with fairly decent accuracy and at one point one of the coyotes even layed down for a while so I would have been able to take my time with the shot, but I kept thinking they might come closer but they never did and then they went down into the brush and I never saw them again. If I see them again I'll try the shot.

Eli had a good Christmas and got pretty spoiled. He is starting to walk pretty decently now and goes about 10 or 15 feet at a time now. He had a cold for the last couple weeks but he is about over it now so that is really good too. He got a wagon and some other stuff but we haven't let him play with them outside yet because it has been pretty cold and we don't want to risk him getting sick again.

I'm getting pretty busy at work, it's rapidly getting to be that time of year for me. Nothing else exciting that I can think of.

That's it for now. Nathan

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Eli is 1 year old!!!!

Well, I was late on my last post so I figured I would post this one a day early.

Eli turned 1 year old this past Friday and we celebrated it with a cozy evening at home. We lit a candle on a cupcake for his birthday cake. He ate the entire cupcake and that was after he ate a full dinner just an hour earlier!

His newest pictures start on page 12 of his photo gallery. Eli's photo gallery

He still isn't walking yet. I thought for sure when he started pulling up and walking around holding onto things a couple months ago that it would just be a week or two before he started walking but I was wrong. He has taken a few steps here and there, but if he wants to get somewhere he just drops down to the ground and starts crawling. I think he has a turbo button or something because sometimes he sure can crawl fast!

He can still get into plenty of trouble though, he crawls over to what he wants to get into and then climbs up and starts grabbing things. We are working on teaching him what he can and can't do, and there is no doubt he understands, but he sure likes to push the envelope whenever he can!

It is amazing how fast the year went by. It seems like just a couple days ago that we were bringing him home from the hospital! He goes in for his 1 year checkup on Monday and we are going to have pictures taken on Tuesday. Christmas is right around the corner!

That's it for now.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Male bonding

Well, not much to report from first hand knowledge of Cathy's 1/2 marathon in Dallas. Eli ended up with tonsilitis and he and I stayed home while Cathy went to Dallas to run the 1/2 marathon. We had a pretty good time hanging out at the house and Cathy had some good alone time. She was pretty happy with how she did in the race considering that she hadn't been able to run as much as she wanted to over the last few weeks before the race. She hit the wall around mile 12 but still finished in under 2 1/2 hours which was her goal.

I made a quick trip down to the land one evening this week and checked on my trail cameras. I had a picture of the biggest deer yet and a few other neat pictures as well. Click on my trail camera photo gallery to see all of them. The newest pictures start on the bottom of page 10. Photo Gallery

Eli turns 1 year old tomorrow!!! It is amazing how fast the year has flown. I'll try to get some pictures of his party up on my next post.

That's it for now. Nathan

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pheasant Hunting.

Well, Saturday I went pheasant hunting for the 2nd time in my life. This ended up being a MUCH better experience than my 1st pheasant hunting experience in nearly every way!

The biggest differences were that this time I actually shot a pheasant, and even more importantly this time we didn’t find a dead guy laying out in the middle of a rarely used dirt road! It doesn’t take much to beat that day of hunting!

I was really wondering how this hunt would go because this would be my first time ever going on a professionally guided hunting trip, meaning that someone was actually paying for it, thankfully I wasn’t the one that was doing the paying. A local bank hosts the hunt for some of their customers and this year I was able to go. They provided a great breakfast at their office, and provided us each with a box of shells, a game bag and a nice blaze orange hunting cap that ended up proving very useful on the hunt. After the hunt was over they provided us with an AWESOME lunch.

We hunted 2 areas that were each 300 – 400 acres. Most of it was grown up CRP land, but there were a few areas that were planted in Sudan grass and Johnson grass that was over my head and I’m 6’3”. At some times during the hunt the only way you could keep track of the guys on either side of you was looking for those blaze orange caps!

It had rained the night before and it was pretty windy that morning so the walking was more like wading than anything. The grass was VERY thick and you had to work hard not to trip and fall. There were about 20 hunters and 2 dog handlers running a total of 6 dogs. On both areas that we hunted we would fan out about 15 – 20 yards apart and walk toward the end of the property with the dogs moving back and forth in front of us. Sometimes the dogs would get out too far ahead and I think they actually flushed some of the birds a little earlier than they should have and they just flew ahead of us. At each area one group of guys would go up ahead in a pickup and spread out at the end of the property to act as blockers so the pheasants would actually fly up instead of just running across the road. On the first area we hunted we only had 3 guys volunteer to act as blockers, but the walking was so tough through the thick grass that on the last area we hunted we ended up with more guys blocking than walking!

They did tell us that they had released some pheasants in these areas the day before. I had been worried that this would be a canned hunt with us just walking through the first field and pheasants flying up right and left with us just picking them off as they were released. It didn’t end up being that way at all. For one thing, we saw as many hen pheasants as we saw roosters so I know there were plenty of wild birds in the area. Also with the windy conditions alot of the birds either didn’t flush at all or sometimes they flushed 100+ yards in front of us. I was happy to shoot 2 birds, but it was so thick that even with 6 bird dogs we were unable to find one of the birds that I shot. Overall as a group we ended up shooting just over a dozen birds with about 20 guys so it was not anything like shooting fish in a barrel that I had worried it might be. I had plenty of opportunities and I should have limited out with 3 birds but I hadn’t been bird hunting in a couple months and I was a little more rusty that I thought I would be. I should have gone out and shot some clays a few days earlier. Also I probably should have had a little tighter chokes in my gun for pheasants at least that day. I had an IC and a Skeet choke in and I probably will go with a Skeet and a modified next time I go pheasant hunting.

I didn’t get a picture of the bird before I cleaned it but I may get a picture of the group emailed to me so if I do I will add it later.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience, but it was a lot more work than I anticipated. I was pretty sore the next day as the muscles that you use to wade through that thick grass are completely different that your normal walking muscles.

That’s pretty much it for now. Cathy will be running a ½ marathon in Dallas next weekend and I’ll try to get some pictures and post on that.