Monday, January 21, 2013

More Camping This Year

We are over half way through January and I am still not planning on fishing the BFL next year.  I wish there were a club series around here, or water for that matter. 

The longer I go without fishing, the more I wonder if I can make it a year without fishing the BFL's.  Signing up for that has always given me the excuse that I have to go.  I am going to try to fish the first one at Grand Lake, but that may be it. 

We are really wanting to get out camping quite a bit this spring.  Having a tournament series along with family commitments, and friend commitments, and work around the house ties me up so that I cannot go camping.  Maybe, if I don't fish the tournaments it will free up a little time.

Once the baby gets here, I will have a little better idea of what to expect.  The 2 older boys are starting to get to where they can take care of themselves a little bit.

I was thinking about selling the boat this spring but don't think I will.  It would be a good year to do it.  I could sell it and watch for a newer bass boat for when I get back into tournament fishing. 

I'm hoping that Canton Lake will fill back up this spring.  It's now 9 to 10 foot low and would be impossible to put a boat in.  It may be a little safer as I heard that the islands are now sticking up out of the water so you know where they are at.  It's our one close lake at 1 1/2 hours away that I know I can catch fish at.  We can pull both the boat and the camper there.  A lot of the other lakes I would love to try are 2 to 2 1/2 hours away.  It would be quite a bit more costly to pull both the boat and the camper that far. 

This should be a good year for fishing and camping as the boys are at a perfect age to start learning some new things, like tubing, and maybe the older one can start tying on his own lures.  I'll at least put a snap swivel on for him so he can change them himself.

Maybe I will schedule camping trips like I have booked bass tournaments.  I can pick out weekends that I think will work and book a campground at some lake that weekend.  Then I can try out new lakes and be committed to go camping.  Then when somebody says, "Can you help me with this, this weekend?", I can say, "Sorry Charlie, I've already paid for a camping spot for this weekend."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winchester Shells - Bad

Friday around lunch time Dad called and asked if I still wanted a deer.  I have had a few people ask if I wanted a deer this year but each time they did not get one.  I told him I did.  He said to come up then he could pretty much guarantee me a deer.

I took off work about an hour early and headed North 4 1/2 hours to Mom and Dad's.  It was blowing around 45 mph the whole way.  At one point as I was passing a semi going the opposit direction, a gust helped by the truck hit the explorer hard.  I heard the roof collapse a little then pop back out and a loud snapping sound.

When I got to the next town I pulled over and looked at my roof rack.  The wind burst had busted my roof rack and taken one of the cross bars.  I was dissapointed but still excited to get to go hunting with Dad.

During my drive after dark the whole way I had many deer run out in front of me.  I could have gotten several with the truck on the way to Mom and Dad's.  The deer are thick.

It was late by the time I visited with Mom and Dad for a bit and got to bed.

Saturday morning we got up at sunrise and started driving around looking for a whitetail doe to fill Dad's tag.  We saw a ton of Mule deer on the land we have access to hunt and a ton of Whitetail deer on private, no hunting, no tresspassing, keep out, violators will be prosecuted land.

Finally we checked a piece of land that that had trees and a spring surrounded by corn.  We walked in and saw a large herd of whitetails.  We couldn't get a shot at them and they were on top of the next hill by the time we got out of the trees to see where they were. 

We could see they were wanting to come back in there so we left and made a plan to come back before sunrise on Sunday and sneak in there.

Sunday morning I was awakened by Dad at 6:00 to get ready to go hunting. We were out the door and on the road well before sun up. We made it to our hunting grounds by the time the sun was coming up over the horizon.

The first thing we saw was a bunch of turkeys roosting in the trees near where the deer were. It was going to be tough to walk in there without spooking the turkeys and not spooking the deer.

We waited until we could see then started sneaking down a fence row towards the deer hangout. We started sneaking and about 7 steps out of the 100's more to go the turkey's flew down from the tops of the trees. Our cover had been blown.

We continued as quietly as we could, which was far from silent as our coveralls rustled and frozen plants crumbled with each step.

We reached the trees and saw the deer running out the other side. Well crap. That might have been our one chance at getting a whitetail. The deer then stopped in the middle of a corn field at the edge of a draw. We decided to sneak down the middle of the draw and come up close to where they were hanging out.

This time we were downwind as the wind had finally picked up a little bit to cover our noise, and we found a clean path to follow to stay quiet.

I stayed back so I could only see the top of the deers head and let dad get ahead to get a shot. He stood up and sighted in the deer. Click. No boom. I see Dad eject the shell and bolt in another. Click. No boom. Same thing. This time he messes with the gun for a minute. You can see he's taking a little longer to aim this time. Click. No boom. He bolts in the last bullet and takes aim again. The deer are getting ancy but still haven't moved. Click. No boom.

The deer take off and Dad walks back to me. The gun fired fine the day before when he fired a shot at a piece of trash in the woods. Today nothing.

We get back to the truck after a good hike and Dad looks at the firing pin and other features of the gun. Everything looks o.k. We look at the bullets and all four had strike marks in the rim fire. We decided to try a bullet out of another box of shells. Booom! Put in one of the shells that did not fire and click.

Winchester had made a whole box of bad shells. It cost us a deer, my money getting up there and back and my time spent hunting the last 2 days.
We had planned everything out perfectly to finally get a shot and nothing.

I did have a great time hunting with Dad and am not to concerned about not getting a deer, but I am thoroughly peeved that Winchester makes such a bad product. These were new factory shells. I pulled up a search on the internet and saw that they have had other issues with this.

We will probably never by a box of Winchester shells again.

We had to call it a day after that as I had a 4 1/2 hour drive home today.

Now that the season has closed, I have pretty much decided that this year I am going to get my own tags to hunt.  I may not get a deer either, but it is a lot of fun trying.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Epic Bachelor Party Epic Prank

It looks as if most of the party will have budget constraints so we have narrowed down the scope some.  We will try to stay close.  Pending approval of the Bachelor we are looking at renting a houseboat for the weekend.  With several of us chipping in together it is fairly reasonable. 

We found a place that rents them out during the off season like a hotel.  You are stuck on the dock but that's ok with us.  We can still fish and have fun.  We will be outdoors.  I can take my boat so we can go out on the lake if anyone wants to.

We didn't get much other than that planned as one of us didn't make it down to OKC last time.   Since the bachelor doesn't drink we are thinking of having a nice dinner out one night.  The rest of the weekend, LOOK OUT!  The rest of us are going to drink a little.

I like the idea of the heated dock mentioned in the comments on the last post.  If the bachelor isn't up for something like that, I will probably talk to a couple buddies and see about doing that some other time.

To make things epic, I am thinking we will need an epic prank.  I'm drawing a blank on this one.  If anybody has any ideas for an epic prank that will not scar him mentally or physically I'd love to hear them.  If it will only hurt a little, I guess you can throw those in too.  More than one prank has to be more epic!