Side One & The Stand Stealer

 

This is a buck named "side-one" a memorable buck I took in the mid 80's ~PostOak~

One of my favorite things to help me through the summer is to replay some of my old hunts in my mind. I wish I had owned a video camera back in the 80s but, they were too big and mainly too expensive for me to consider. Yesterday I had a MONDAY and it seemed that most of the clients I spoke with were angry, stupid or both. By the time I got home I knew a “Tang & Tonic” was over-due, so I poured one up and settled in to my screen porch chair to “think of better things than work”.

As I walked through my den, my gaze rested on a buck I have mounted there, along with several others, and I thought about the hunt that resulted in his being there and how angry I was that afternoon but, things did not turn out so bad.

We had nick-named the buck “Side-one” since he had a very nice rack on the right side but his left side rack was stunted and deformed. He had eluded us for several seasons and we never saw him in the daylight after bow season. Even in bow season he had managed to be wary enough to stay out of range and then he went nocturnal all through gun season. He was an old, wise buck and even with the rack anomoly we all sought him as a good buck to “take out”. A couple of the guys on the lease with me said he was a cull buck and I told them I would cull him right up on my wall if given the chance. But, he was a sly old swamp donkey and the trail cameras were the only way we knew he was still around. Even then, most of the photos were time stamped from 10 p.m. to around 3 a.m. We even had a few “man-drives” through some of the bedding areas on the place  that resulted in a couple of other bucks getting whacked but, old “side-one” was never spotted.

I took a few days off for Christmas and drove up to Tuscaloosa from my home in Mobile to hunt the rut that generally peaks around Christmas week over in south Tuscaloosa county where we had the hunting lease. I hunted on the “river tract” the first day from dawn until dusk. I saw good rut activity and had numerous opportunities for some young rack bucks but, no shooters came through. The next day was Christmas Eve and it was cold, clear and all I could ask for in a nice winter day. I sat the morning hunt in a ground blind out near a spot we called the “duck slough” since it often flooded in the winter and attracted a good number of the local wood duck population. It is a beautiful swamp with just enough elevation around it to for a great hardwood stand of old growth trees that looked like a hunting paradise, and it was! Still no shooter! lots of rutn and running and it was fun but, I moved on.

Christmas Eve afternoon, I signed out for stand # 6 that was located near where the property corners next  to a “pay hunt” operation and they had a stand so close to the property line, if they put a hunter in it I could not hunt there and feel like I was isolated enough. I slipped into the woods about 2 p.m and walked the trail to my ladder stand location but, when I got there, it was gone! I was fighting mad! my afternoon hunt was ruined and my ladder stand was stolen!  I walked on over to the property line and walked up on a hunter in one of those orange jump suits just over the property line sitting in a ladder stand but, it was not mine.

Frustrated, I turned and walked about 200 yards to a small clover field and decided to sit on the ground and hunt the field. I found a good brush pile to hide in and the wind was right so I doused myself with a little extra “Earth scent” for cover and got in hunting mode even as I fumed about my stolen stand. A little after 3:30 I saw the movement of deer coming to the clover patch and a nice herd of does and yearlings piled into the field and attacked the clover. I watched them until 5:10 and other deer had come and gone but, no bucks. Then, one of the does looked into the woods and literally pranced toward the woodline, then turned and bounced back to the clover but, she was not feeding, I believe she was flirting! And that did the trick! Old “side-one” walked up to the far end of the clover patch and stood there for several minutes, then started that “rut walk” posturing and his hair was standing up on his back like he was going to fight! I did not see any other bucks and thought his actions odd, then he just trotted on out and went to the does rear for a whiff of “love potion number hind”  He had an actual smile on his face when the 150 grain 30-06 ended the affair!  Actually not a bad way to go if you think about it!  The big buck weighed 245 lbs and was a 5 and half year old buck.

He died with a smile on his face so actually that is not a bad way to go!

~Postoak~ Dreaming about deer season!

Respect The Animals You Take!

Respect your game. This nice Venison makes great meals! Use it wisely and completely! ~postoak~

This is the time of year when the wait for fall hunting season is almost unbearable so I use different strategies to get through it.

One such strategy that is a good money saver and  provides some great summer suppers… and breakfasts is to make sure that I use the venison from last season before this season arrives. I cook the steaks in the traditional skillet fry method, bake them in the oven with olive oil and rosemary, grill them with garlic and “Dales” sauce, cook whole hams or roasts on my electric smoker with hickory chips, make fajitas, pepper steaks, you name and the venison steaks work well in it. Ground deer has an almost endless list of recipes, is almost 100% lean since I make sure my processor adds zero fat. It is organic, tastes great and makes me feel like I have taken care of the animal in a way that my hunting ancestors would be proud of!

My granddad, my dad, and all the adults who influenced my hunting philosophies were serious about respecting the animals you take in the wild. They were just as serious about the use of our farm animals. And I understood that since they were our possessions, that money was invested in so you wanted to use all of the feeder pig or the feeder calf or the chickens from our coop.

However, the transfer of that to wild game was a bit more difficult for us kids to understand. I might come home with only one squirrel and it would have been my preference to toss it to the dogs, who would have been glad to “take care of it”. A single small game animal such as a squirrel, small rabbit, coon or a single quail did not offer much meat and as such, we often considered and even a few times did, give them to the dogs instead of making the effort to clean and prepare them as food for the table.

But, my daddy better not catch me doing that! He would ban me from hunting for 2 weeks after he whipped my rear with a belt! I used to think he was crazy, but the more I grew, I came to understand that disrespecting the game was a terrible sin and a terrible waste. During earlier times, a single squirrel, rabbit, coon or even a quail made the difference in him and his siblings having anything to eat. He said that people did not deserve to kill any animal they were not going to eat. He told me about his great grandmother “Granny Randolph” who was half Cherokee and how she taught all the kids many of the native American ways for gathering food, herbs and medicines from the woods. One of the biggest lessons was respect for all other animals and that everything is worthy of respect, even after it is killed. We considered lots of it as old superstitions but, as we aged we learned it was something else, wisdom.

It is wise to not waste, wise to be frugal and wise to value the gifts we get from the woods and fields. After all, I figure the venison I have in my freezer probably has an aggregated cost over $100.dollars a pound so I need to eat it instead of that pitiful $8.00 a pound T-bone!

I recently cleaned out a second refrigerator we has outside in the garage, like many people have, so I could give it to a friend for his kid in college. We used it mostly for sodas and beer and summer produce. What I did not realize was that I had stuck a whole wild turkey breast in the freezer behind some wurkey wing feathers and a couple of turkey fans that I was going to preserve. I was very upset with myself since I was the one guilty of putting it there and not taking care to get it in the freezer and stored properly to prevent the freezer burn that I saw had ruined it. I love wild turkey breast and was ticked at myself for this waste of a noble bird.

Repect the game you take and use it for good meals and great nourishment for you and your family. To not respect it and not use it wisely is a real shame!

~postoak~

 

 

Summer Outdoor Shows, Expos, Events to help You make it to the Fall!

Hunting Season is coming again! Just hold on!! ~postoak~

One thing is for certain, and those of you over forty will agree upon, is that the years roll by faster and faster as you age. As my old grandaddy stated on his death bed at 87 years of age is “when you are young a year seems to last forever and by the time you get old, the years seem about four months long”. I am understanding his logic more and more as time flys by on this old blue ball, except for Summers!

Summers are just too dang long! Too dang hot! and people get too dang mean during the summer heat! Throw in a supersized full moon like the recent one where the full moon and perigee are in unison and I am ready to take a vacation and go up to Canada for a outdoor excursion of some type!

However, I got so much to do at work that is not possible so the best I can do is attend some great outdoor shows indoors where it is nice and cool! This past weekend I attended the Gun Collectors show at the BJCC and had a pretty good time trying to sell a few guns and buy a few more. It was not the most successful for me personally but, I did get to see several old friends who are ACGA members like me and we had some great conversations about the upcoming season and last turkey season’s successes since I had missed the spring show because they hold it at the early part of spring turkey season so I always miss it. Can’t miss out on turkey season so long as I am able to get to the spring woods!

Next Weekend, the 31st Annual World Deer Expo is at the BJCC and my granddaughter is fired up about attending the big show. They are expecting about a thousand exhibitors to be showing a whole bunch of hunting gear, hunting trips, guns, bows, novelties and who know what else!  It is sure to be a fun event for us outdoor addicts to go spend a Saturday out of the heat. http://worlddeerexpo.com/

This weekend is a great one for visiting the AWF headquarters in Millbrook it is the GO HIKE weekend! During any ANC General Public Weekend, you can enjoy hiking five miles of scenic ANC trails while learning about the fascinating natural history of central Alabama. From distinguishing between a white oak and a red oak to observing the natural processes of a seasonal pond, you get more than just a walk in the woods when you pause to study the interpretive signs along the trails. From ponds and creeks to forests and fields, you can always find some kind of new life waiting around the next trail bend. You can even add to the outdoor experience with a tasty picnic under or around the ANC pavilion.http://www.alabamawildlife.org/events/?eventID=179&date=07/19/2014

Hope these suggestions provide you with some summer relief so you can hold on until our fall hunting season starts!

~postoak~

Finally, I Got to Go FISH!!

 

My fish cleaning table was full again after a nice summer day fishing trip ~postoak~

I have been wanting to “go fish” for several weeks now and it amazes me how difficult it is for me to carve out a little time for some awesome lake fishing over at my families’ farm in Tuscaloosa. Well, yesterday after swearing I was too tired to even go outside, I got the fishing bug and slipped off for an afternoon of bream bustin’ at the family ponds!

I was tired, but Friday I had to host about 35 in-laws for the fourth of July BBQ and I needed a bit of R&R so I just took off! I guess part of what prompted my fishing fever was several of the kids wanted to fish in my small pond at my house and they looked like they had so much fun catching little bream, a couple of little bass and even a nice catfish. All in a pond that gets fished alot by neighbors and neighborhood kids. Most have the philosophy “big enough to bite, big enough to be bitten” so I never expect to see much come out of my little pond. Not so with the big ponds, lakes over on “the farm.”

We have one lake stocked with F-7 tiger bass and my nephew said they had been “tearing it up” so I wanted to go experience that first hand. However, I simply love the taste of fried bream with home fries and cole slaw so , I started my afternoon by cranking a white and green Beetle spin across a 20 acre lake that is down on the farm and out in the woods. The hot afternoon was tempered by a nice breeze and I found a couple of shaded areas to cast from as I worked along the bank with my ultra light reel and pulling a cooler on rollers to drop the fish over in on a bed of ice. The action was good, not smoking hot but, the bream I generally catch on the beetle spin are the big copper nose hybreds ans they fight really well and fry up even better!

Aftter I got a couple of dozen in the cooler, I walked back to my truck and drove around to my last casting spot, picked up the cooler and my gear and headed for the F-7 pond that is closer to town. It only takes about 20 minutes to get from the lake in the woods to the F-7 and In 10 minutes after that  I was reeling in a nice three pound tiger fish who was living up to his name. I caught several of the bass so I would be able to have enough fillets for my picky eater granddaughter and my wife, who both prefer fillets to whole fried bream.. go figure? Just kidding! I love them both! but, bream fried up right and scored vertically down each side so you can peel the fish right off in strips about an inch wide are pure delights for the summer palate!

GO FISH! it is a great summertime outdoor activity and the fish just taste great!

IF you don’t like to “go fish” but, do like the outdoors, let me suggest a real nice outing that is close by and coming up in a couple of weeks, It is the AWF’s Nature trail at Lanark in Millbrook!  GO Hike! July 19-20 at the ANC Cool off this summer with a shady stroll along the trails of the Alabama Nature Center.
All visitors of the Alabama Nature Center must check in at the Pavilion Outpost located inside the Lanark Pavilion before hiking on the trails or attending the hunt. General Admission is $4 per person/per day for adults, $2 per person/per day for ages 4 to 12, and children under 3 are free. The Alabama Nature Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 and from 1 pm to 6 pm on Sunday, July 20.

~postoak~

Upcoming Outdoor Events To Help You Get Through The Summer!

 

The Quest for one of these starts with the right mix of location, preparation, and luck! start now! ~postoak~

IT was over 100 degrees when I climbed in my truck to go home after another day at the office. It must have been about 72 in my office right after lunch and I was starting to sweat! …. Well, just kidding!

I used to work outside many years ago and it was tough in the summer heat! I did air conditioning and electrical work and the summers were brutal! Our work load was always heavy and every day or two we had some extra emergency repair work that pushed us into a ten or twelve hour day. I remember coming home to the cold AC and a cold beverage and relaxing by thinking about how many more days it would be until Labor Day. Labor day was our official close to summer atleast in our minds. Even though we still had plenty of hot weather repairs to perform, the worst of the summer was over! Every year we had an end to summer celebration and often we had a BBQ or fish fry to symbolically bury the old “heat monster” with a big cooler of iced “products” and the feel that hunting season was almost here brought grins to most of us.

We had a lease over over 1600 hundred acres of river bottom land and our annual pursuit for the biggest buck got underway the week after labor day. At that time, there were no trail cams in common use and we relied on scouting to determine what our chances might be for taking the best buck on the property before our fellow members did. Trails, tracks, browse lines, early season rubs and plain old observations by spending time up in the box stands and tree stands were the standards for finding bucks and figuring a pattern that might bring you in bow range early in October.

I was not the most ardent bow hunter back then, after working in the heat all week the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in the hot woods of an early fall day and try to spot a buck in the heavy cover of the full foliage out in the bottom land woods. Spotting deer in the pine hills is much easier than the hardwood bottoms and the mosquitos, snakes, biting flies, gnats were all a real hassle in the scouting processes of the “old days” of the sixties, seventies and even the eighties.

In the early nineties, I bought my first trail cam and it cost over $300. I put it out on our lease pointing down a good trail and when I came back later to retrieve it since you had to take it back home and download to your PC, I thought I had lost it. But, after more than an hour, and spotting boot tracks in the mud, I realized it had been stolen! I was so mad, I waited two years to buy another and the price had dropped to less than $200. I use a small cable with a lock for extra theft protection, but as best I could tell, no one ever tried to steal it. I did get a photo of the two crooks who stole my ladder stand as they walked by the trail cam’s location and I thought it would be enough evidence to get them prosecuted. The local deputy advised me that I was watching too much TV if I thought I could get a prosecution from a trail cam photo and that was the last of that issue and my $300. double ladder stand!

Oh well, I have lost, misplaced, worn out and had stolen, more outdoor gear than I can even remember ! The upside to that is that I have the money to buy new outdoor stuff! And each summer there are several great outdoor expo events to enjoy, buy new gear, book new places to hunt, meet new people and have some more good times in the outdoors! I am ready for fall but, first I am ready forthe big outdoor shows of summer to help me get through to another fall in the great Alabama Outdoors!

 

The Alabama Gun Collectors Summer show will be at the BJCC on July 12th and 13th in a show that has more guns for sale than you can see in most places and the show’s theme for this date is Guns of the Cowboy Era. Check out the following link for more information! http://www.algca.org/showdates.html

The 31st Annual World Deer Expo is coming to the BJCC in Birmingham July 17th, 18th and 19th and it is an absolute monster of a show! Gear Guns, Hunting Trips,Outdoor Celebrities and more will be found there again this year! For more info check out;http://worlddeerexpo.com/

Hopefully you will get to enjoy one or both of these July events to help you cope with the long hot Alabama Summer and help you make it to another fall hunting season!

~postoak~

 

Hunting Lease info is Here!

 

Time to find a big buck is by finding a good lease, or a good club! Links to those below! ~PostOak~

 

I just leased my second tract of hunting rights for next spring’s turkey season and I am always left wondering ” Did I lease too soon?”  The real answer is that I will never know.

Every Year, I lease turkey rights from two or three smaller deer clubs or I join a club that offers turkey memberships only. The process has worked well for me over that period but, I always “second guess” my choices. Some years more than others. My latest lease is in east Alabama about 75 miles from my house and I swore I would not exceed my 60 mile self imposed range. Time and gas burned both take a toll on me since I am far from being a “jake” or the proverbial “Spring Chicken”. My mind tells my body to do things like I did in the past but, my body says “not happening!”

This East Alabama lease also cost me more than I intended to pay and it seems like everything but, my salary is in an upward flight faster than a covey of quail used to leave from underfoot back when you could actually find them! So I now have reluctantly agreed to a couple of new leases to go with an older one that I keep swearing to myself I am going to get out of ! Is this the symptoms of an addiction?!? I think I know the answer but, don’t want to verbalize it! Anyway, I only got just so many Springs and Falls to enjoy the hunting experience that I am sure I have spent my money wisely even if my common sense says otherwise.

You say you have not gotten your lease yet? not even joined a hunting club for this upcoming season?!? Then friend, you are MISSING OUT!  Check out a few of these web sites and spend some money to join a club or lease a tract of hunting land for your own! The dollar is getting worth less every day and your money is shrinking!

http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm -AFOA is a great site and has listings for hunting tract leases and current hunting clubs looking for members.

http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/hunting -is another timber company with a few leases left around the state. They had a bunch early this year but, many are now gone.

http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm is a huge land holding company with leases and hunting membship information for many clubs in West Central Alabama.

http://www.rayonierhunting.com/ is another good resource for hunting leases around BAMA and may have just what you are looking for!

http://resourcemgt.com/hunting-and-recreation/AL/350/AP-185 Resource Management generally has tracts to lease and sometimes hunting clubs looking for members.

If you are looking for an out of state lease, this next one is in Missouri and I have no info as to how good it is but, the prices are not bad all! http://www.saracinifarms.com/recreation/hunting-leases/

Find your place to hunt soon so you will be set for the fall season! Life is short you need to hunt more than you do! You know it, so what are you waiting for?

~postoak~

 

 

An Outdoor Dad is a Special Blessing!

Double Bucks in Greene County! Velvets up and antlers growing!! ~Postoak~

 

With today being father’s day, I am often reminded of the blessings I received because my dad was an “outdoors loving” dad! If there was any type of hunting in season, we were in pursuit! Except doves, Daddy would not shoot a dove and always chastised us for wanting to shoot doves. He said the dove was special ever since the days of Noah’s ark and they should not be killed. Us boys respected that until we got old enough to hunt alone and then we figured if everyone else was going to shoot them, a few more from us wouldn’t hurt. Daddy later found out and all he said was “don’t bring any home”. So we always gave ours away or grilled them at a  friends house.

All other games animals however, did not enjoy the “untouchable status” of the dove and daddy was truly an outdoorsman of some renoun in our area of west Alabama. He killed on the biggest and perhaps very first deer killed in Tuscaloosa county when they reintroduced deer to the area in the 1930s. He and his hunting buddy, Bill Wedgeworth, were hunting rabbits early in the fall that year when a nice 10 point buck jumped up out of a brush pile where the beagles were sniffing. Both Daddy and Bill were expecting a rabbit when the big buck exploded from the cover!  Daddy said they were both momentarily stunned since there were no deer in that part of Alabama at that time, having all been killed out by market hunters and depression desperate families. All they ever found to hunt back then was squirrels and rabbits, with rabbits being the preferred meat so it was their main prey at that time.

Well, when the buck jumped up he ran to the crest of the hill, about 50 yards away and then stopped and looked back. Big Mistake! Daddy sent a 22 long rifle into the bucks right eye and he dropped in his tracks! For some reason, back then everyone would cut the deer’s throat so it could “bleed out” and they told us that would make the meat taste better. So daddy got out his pocket knife when he reached the old buck and laid down his 22 rifle. He straddled the deer, reached down and picked the deer’s head up and about that time the old buck proved he was far from dead!

Daddy intinctively grabbed hold of the buck’s antlers and it took off down the hill side stumbling and falling into trees and bleating at the top of his lungs! Daddy was yelling at Bill to shoot him! and Bill was yelling back “I can’t! I might hit you!” Daddy said he still had the small pocket knife in his left hand and he proceeded to stick it in the buck’s neck several times until the old deer collapsed about 75 yards from where the wild ride began! I would have loved to have been there! But that was 25 years before my birth. I did hear the story over and over on many camping trips my dad carried me on. Along with a “ton” of other strories of his hunting and fishing adventures in his youth.

Daddy loved to camp, hike, hunt and fish. He loved to just go down on the farm and work on cleaning the  woodlines around the pastures, fixing fences, making swings and benches at random places on our farm for us to enjoy the solitude you can only find in nature.

I miss my dad, I miss camping, and I miss the solitude he taught me to savor. This morning in Sunday School, everyone was talking about their dads, I sat in the corner and enjoyed the memories of mine!

Take your children outdoors and teach them to enjoy the peace and grandeur of the wonders in nature. None of us, I believe can show our children a better glimpse of real beauty and a little bit of heaven.  Hope it is a great day up there dad!

~postoak~

Now Is a Good Time to Hunt Hogs, But…

Feral hogs! ain't nothin' pretty about em' ~postoak~

June and July is a like being stranded in a desert for us hunters. Just a stretch of 61 days to sweat it out until August when we can start to really get ready for the fall hunting season.

There is one species to hunt in the summer and that is hogs! They are multiplying at an alarming rate across central Alabama and you could do a great service to your own hunting tract as well as others that join you by taking some hogs off the property. Hunting, day or night, over piles of corn, by using hog traps, hog dogs, whatever! Just do your part and make a start, by killing some of these destructive swine!

Did you know that hogs are carriers of over 30 deseases and host to 37 different parasites??! They have infected livestock, people, our dogs and can be deadly to domestic swine through the transmitting of brucellosis. A feral hog’s blood, meat, feces and urine can all infect humans with the brucellosis bacterium. While there have been only a dozen or so confirmed cases in Alabama over the past few years, Just as sure as the hog population is rising, you can bet the number of cases will rise as well. Yet, I see hunters that lay on hogs for photos after the hunt, they butcher the hogs without using latex gloves and take other chances that are just not necessary to take! Now I have eaten wild pigs on various ocassions over the past 30 plus years and had no problems other than eating too much when it is good BBQ. But, in my younger days, I took some risks in handling game animals that I will not take anymore. Shoot some Hogs, But! be careful in handling them until they are cooked!

Have you seen the deer hunting season updates for this upcoming season? there are a number of them! Including extending deer season in more counties across south Alabama from the south side of US Highway 80. This will include most counties with the exception of some parts of Henry, Houston, Russell and Lee counties. When the new season dates info is posted on the ALDCNR web site, I will post it on an upcoming weekly blog.

If you want to get an alligator tag this year it will cost you more! The tags are free but, the application fee has gone from $5. to $20. to cover the costs to the conservation department as they administer the alligator hunting season. Gators also have to be a minimum of 8 feet long. The deadline to apply for an alligator hunting permit is July 16th and will now be limited to one application onstead of being able to make multiple applications.there will only only be 50 tags issued for the west central zone.

In other changes they have passed a new rule for trappers to be able to trap raccoon and opossums year round. This is good since these two omnivorous critters are also spreading due to lack of predators and hunting. They both kill birds and various reptiles in large numbers so to reduce the population is a good thing. Raccoons are particularly detrimental to birds, amphibians and reptiles, consuming many eggs each year. Not to mention the association of raccons and deseases such as rabies being transmitted to pets who have not been properly vaccinated.

Watch for news about the Birmingham World Deer Expo coming next month! It is a good way to enjoy some “hunting” fun in the middle of these long hot summers!

Post Oak….. Outdoors..

 

Some Got Away

Post Oak with a swamp buck

Hunting memories, Some get away! So make plenty while you can! ~postoak~

I recently purchased turkey rights to a tract of land and it was near a property I hunted about twenty years ago. I had posted an ad wishing to purchase turkey rights and when the young man called who hold the lease called me, I immediately started to work towards getting the “deal done” and got just a little frustrated when he postponed our meeting several times over a six week period.  I was a bit concerned when I finally met him, as he did not represent himself all that well and left me considering opting out before we even got to the property. Things are however, not always how you envision them and I have dealt with a wide range of folks while leasing properties through the last 40 plus years. When we got to the property and I saw the location was near my old lease, I knew it was a lease I had to take a chance on. The old property was 2200 acres of the best turkey hunting I have had the pleasure of enjoying over a six year period and this property was 500 acres less than a quarter mile from the border of the “old tract”.

The new property may be too near the rural suburbs that have sprung up around the area but, The row crop fields had numerous turkey tracks in the plowed ground and I found a couple of dusting beds as well. Knowing how the area used to be covered with gobblers, I jumped on in and paid the guy on the spot. I knew I would later second guess my decision but, It was one of those questions that won’t be answered until next spring. Sometimes you just got to take a chance before something “gets away”.

When I was informed the club I was in back then was giving up the hunting rights on the 2200 tract, I bid on it but, lost out to a more agressive bidder. I told myself the money they paid was far too much and that they would release it after a year or two. Now after twenty years, they still have it and are happy with the amount they paid!

Hunting leases are priced ridiculously high in my opinion but, others are paying the high prices and glad to get the leases. I was wrong before in my estimate of what others will pay so I let a couple of properties get away, that if I had a chance to bid on them again, they would be some of my favorite places.

Some get away! Whether it is good hunting properties, good hunting club memberships, good hunting trip opportunities, or any number of events that looking back, I let some get away and was wrong to do so. As I have gotten older, price is not as big an issue in the overall scheme of my hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, having the time and physical fitness to take advantage of my outdoor opportunities are the biggest obstacles to overcome in my quest for another great day outdoors to make memories.

Yes, sometimes the game or fish we are attempting to take do get away, but to tell you the truth, some of my best hunting and fishing memories are of the ones that got away! The big buck that I missed,  or opted to not take a shot at, or even worse, hit solid but, he still got away. Several old gobblers that I worked different mornings of various spring seasons that just did not come in close enough for a shot. A huge crappie I nearly “had in the boat”  that would be on my wall now before he straightenend out the wire hook over in Brush creek back in the 1970s. A largemouth that was easily over 10 lbs that my brother had in the net for me one morning on the Tombigbee river but, it gave a mighty heave and jumped through a hole in the side torn open by a bowfin earlier that morning.

Even though many hunting memories are of the ones who got away. They are still sweet! The “Some Got Away” I really hate is making the choice to not take that trip, not join that club, not lease that land. Not to  take advantage of the  opportunites that fade quickly in our short stay in this glorious place. I am of course talking about the OUTDOORS..

~POSTOAK~

Summer is a great time for learning about Alabama’s Mammals

Mammals of Alabama, a new book that would make some great summer reading for any animal lover!

As that country song from a few years back stated, It is too hot to fish, too hot for golf and all the hunting seasons are gone, or something like that! Summer time is here and most of us hunters are marking calendars to the start of dove season, squirrel season, bow season, or some kind of hunting season.

ANY kind of hunting season is a welcomed diversion to help us “hunt-a-holic” types scratch the itch until we get through these 100 + days  that separate us from the fall hunting seasons.

I do some predator hunting at times, last year I shot hogs twice with some hog hunters and that was fun, but just too dang hot and sticky, even hunting at night ! I think that may be in part to me being of those “office dweller” types and just can’t stand the heat like I used to. I know it can’t be related to my age since I will only be a young”senior citizen of 60 years on my next birthday.

I have always found  trap, sporting clays shooting to be a very good outlet for my need to smell some gunpowder burn It is lots of fun and has given my sons and me a neat time to spend with each other.I bought a spring loaded trap thrower that really works well. Check out my friends over at Bass Pro in Prattville and they can show you how to have some fun “bustin clays”. For youngsters it is a great way to teach markmanship and gun safety. Be sure to wear hearing and eye protection gear!

We have access to a small piece of property out in Autauga county a friend owns and we have enjoyed several recent ventures. My boys also recently went to the indoor range in Montgomery and said it was really fun for pistol practice. It is located on the east side of town on Carmichael and is open 7 days a week. A buddy who is a retired law enforcement office told me last Sunday that he has been out to the Montgomery indoor shooting complex and it is a very nice place with a friendly staff of folks to help make your time spent there a fun and safe shooting venue. http://www.montgomeryindoorshooting.com/

Summertime is also good for reading and research to step up your performance and knowledge of the flora and fauna around Alabama. It is interesting the amount of outdoor knowledge you can gain by studying a good book written from field observations and research conducted by the very smart people who have graduated from both Alabama and Auburn. They may be rivals in many ways but, they really do work well on collaborative efforts to produce some great works about the plants and animals that make our state on of the richest in the diversity of any state, for your copy, contact www.uapress.ua.edu  or  jdwilson@uapress.ua.edu.

 

Hopefully, between some fresh water fishing trips, a beach trip and some gulf fishing in August, or sooner, the summer will not be too bad. I think I just got a new NWTF turkey magazine that will help me make it a few more days…

~POST OAK~