Posts Tagged hunting

It was the rifle, really!

So another muzzleloading season has come and gone, and my luck has proved itself out again.

I spent 4 days in Meade County the first week of the season and only saw deer 1 of those days. I made a quick trip out to El Dorado reservoir on the last Saturday of the season and came up short there also.

In Meade, I was hunting a silage field. They had a test cut through the center of the crop circle and the irrigation pivot was leaking so there was a nice little marsh of fresh water that I was sure the deer would come in to. I sat off the pivot about 30 yards watching back to the east figuring the deer would come in from that direction since the generator for the irrigation equipment was running and sitting at the west entrance to the cut.

Sure enough, about 30 minutes before sundown, a small 4 point buck stepped out of the crop about 150 yards or so and walked away from me to the east. He was joined by a few does who came in from the east entrance. I watched them for nearly 20 minutes before they spooked at something (probably me) and ran out of the cut.

I set back and contemplated my plans for the next day’s hunt, figuring I’d need to move my stand further east in the cut.

Have you ever had that feeling something was watching you out on the stand? As I was sitting there thinking, I happened to glance towards the pivot and there he is, a nice 8 point standing there watching me. I’m frozen in place as I’m caught totally off guard.

I slowly pull the rifle up to my shoulder. He doesn’t move. I pull the hammer back. He’s still there. I set the trigger. He doesn’t flinch. I pull the trigger…

My view is blocked by the black powder smoke as there was practically no breeze that night but I can hear him crashing through the crop back to the east. While reloading I’m thinking how bad I don’t want to have to try to track the buck through that silage. He was so close, there’s no way I could have missed, I’m sure of it.

A bit later I see him step out of the silage into the cut. He’s about 100 yards or so and walking away. He stops, turns and looks back down the cut towards me. I’m frozen again. I’m afraid to move thinking he’ll run so I hunker down and glass him watching to see what he’ll do.

“Drop! C’mon, drop!” I say to whoever…

I watch him for over thirty minutes, until it gets too dark to see. So I get my flashlight and head down the cut to see what’s up. Meanwhile I had texted Keith to let him know I thought I had a deer down. I get to the place I think he should be…

Nothing. Nothing! No deer, no blood.

I keep walking, nothing. I don’t see a trail at all. As I meet Keith at the east end of the circle he asks if it was a nice looking 8-10 point. Yeah.

“Well, he was just in my head lights and then took off across the next field to the east. He didn’t look hurt to me.” Keith says.

That can’t be right! I’ve been to the range, the gun was shooting fine. I can’t believe it.

The next day I do some target practice, trying to figure out what happened. I set up  a steel target at 25 yards ad put a square of orange duct tape on it. First shot, dead on. Next shot, 4 inches to the left. Next shot, dead on. Then 4 inches to the left.

I check the front sight and find that it’s moving back and forth about a 1/16th of an inch. So sometime between my range time and the hunt, I must have knocked it loose. So really, it was the gun.

I didn’t see any deer the rest of the hunt or the last Saturday. I blew it by not checking my equipment over before going into the field. Stupid mistake.

Oh well, there’s always December right?

 

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Opening Day!

My favorite weekend of the year is coming up! Dove opener on Labor Day weekend is the kick off to the hunting season for me. I’m so ready this year to hit the fields. Heading out west to Meade, Kansas to do some dove hunting with my buddy Keith and youngest daughter Maria. I’m also going to do a bit of scouting for the muzzleloading deer season later in September. Can’t wait!

Anyone else heading out this weekend? Where you all going?

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Schrade Old Timer 150T Deerslayer

old timer 150t deerslayerAs you may not from previous posts, I love vintage knives, of all kinds. My father picked up a Schrade Old Timer 150T “Deerslayer” the other day at an auction. It’s definitely seen some use, and misuse as well. The sheath is pretty rough and looks like something has been chewing on it. The knife itself is in decent shape, but the blade does have some discoloring. But it has a great edge to it.

I thought it was a rather strange shape for the blade as the top 3/4 inch of the blade has an edge much like current tactical or fighting knives do. Doing some research, that isn’t how these knives were made. So that has been added. Most likely, the tip was broken and that was the fix decided upon.

I’m wondering how this might make for a hunting/skinning knife? That tip mod might come in handy when field dressing a deer. It might. Or it just might get in the way. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. The knife has a good feel and a nice heft. It’s certainly sturdy enough to handle dressing a deer. I like the finger guard on the bottom and the thumb placement indention on the top of blade. The only concern there is the thumb indention is serrated, so that could be bothersome with long use.

I would love to know the story behind this knife, who used it and what for. That’s the real interesting part of collecting old knives and guns, the history behind it and the owner.

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Upland Final Weekend

I was able to get out for the final weekend of pheasant and quail season. I was invited along by an old friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in a while, nor had I ever hunted with before. He took us to some family land down in south central Kansas. And like what we had seen back in November on opening weekend, the birds were a bit few and far between.

But as the saying goes, it’s better to be out hunting than not. And we still had a great time. I came home with one pheasant and a quail. Two others of the group took 4 quail. Again, not a great hall, but typical for this season (due to the heat and drought of last summer). I hoping we don’t have a repeat of the heat again, or next season could be even worse.

I’ve also found my favorite way to enjoy quail and pheasant, Pheasant (and quail) Teriyaki. I got the idea from another hunting buddy who did something similar with Goose. Here’s the basic recipe, I don’t measure much, but it’s pretty simple.

I cut up the quail and pheasant in bite size pieces and marinated in teriyaki sauce for a couple of hours. Chop up some onion and garlic. I probably used a small onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Saute the onion in oil to soften, don’t brown it. Once the onion is soften up a bit, toss in the garlic and game with all the teriyaki sauce. Saute for a few minutes until the meat is almost done. I had about 1/2 cup of chicken broth left over from the rice, so I tossed that in with a few more dashes of teriyaki. Simmer until meat is fully cooked and liquid is reduced some. Server over rice or noodles.

Yumm!

I’m grateful for good friends and good food. Thanks Alan for taking us out for one last chance to get some game.

Keep your powder dry.

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Best Hunting Commercial Ever

I love this! Chevy Fish Hunter – Extended Version

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Kansas Quail and Pheasant Opening Weekend

I was able to make it to the opening weekend for pheasant and quail this year after missing it in 2010 (which was a banner year, right guys?). The reports weren’t good for western Kansas due to the heat and drought we had over the summer. But this year, it was about more then just going hunting. Keith had beat cancer and was finally back home. This year was a celebration, hunting was just the vehicle to celebrate with.

 

The usual crew was there, minus a couple of friends that couldn’t make it. We only saw 5 roosters that Saturday, but we got into 3 large covey of quail. The quail was a pleasant surprise as I expected to see even less of them. Of the roosters, only 1 was in range for a shot, and one of the Nate’s took it. Lots of quail were taken, not sure of the final count. My daughter Mariah ended the day with 3, I managed to drop a couple.

Keith even managed to accompany us to one of his favorite spots, the infamous “tail water pit”. That was one of the spots we busted a covey of quail at. Keith even managed to drop one. I think that was the highlight of his weekend.

I was excited to see quite a few deer all three days were were out there and am looking forward to deer season coming up in December. My wife is as well. This will be her second hunt. We’re going to set up our stand at an old ranch south of Meade thanks to Jason Edwards. Keith and I had scouted that back in 2010, but we never made it out there to hunt, so I’m looking forward to setting up on a new piece of land. I’m hoping that the wife and I both get a shot, we definitely need some meat in the freezer.

All said, it was a great weekend and we’re all relieved of Keith’s outcome and glad to see him back home. We had lots of great food, lots of great discussions around the bonfire. We feasted on elk stew and the ladies made some great dutch oven cobblers. And of course, the traditional visit to the Duck Inn for a burger.

I hope everyone had a great time out. Looking forward to getting in the field again. Keep your powder dry.

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It’s Pheasant Time

Can’t wait! Heading out tomorrow to see the guys and walk some fields. I’m taking my Grandfather’s old Winchester Model 12. Hardly any blue left on, it’s longer than most shotguns these days, but dang if it ain’t a sweet old 12 gauge.

Good luck to all the Kansas hunters this weekend.

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