October Outdoor Magic, Go Get You Some!

 

This makes me want to get my Bow and GO!

October is the real kickoff.. For Outdoor sports in the fall woods October beckons like a cold beer after cutting two acres of grass with a pushmower! That first long drink of autumn cool, that eye apealing change of color away from the wash of green summer, overheated carseats and too much work! I am ready for some time away from the world of business and ready to get down to some business out in the woods! Or on a body of water, lake, pond, creek, river, the fish react to the cool down with a good bit of enthusiam too! The crappie will soon come up from the summer depths and make for some fun fishing and stringers of good eating! Bream and Bass too, all will be more eager to feed in the clear, cool waters of your favorite fishing place. You just need to do your part and get out there and get you some!

One of my coworkers took his daughter out to the Coosa this past Saturday and they had a great day pulling in bass, crappie and even several catfish! He said they had a great fish fry saturday night as they watched the Auburn and South Carolina scoring festival. At least I like the fact he caught fish.. I enjoyed the Alabama and Vols game after a day of cutting tree limbs out of my yard. I need to stop doing that!

This coming weekend the squirrels better find a good hiding spot in a sheltered hole because I am coming after them with my granddaughter! If you have access to some good hardwoods, does not have to be a large tract, I bet you can find more than a few squirrels to “stalk up on” or do a couple of “sets” nears some good mast producing trees and you can find some gray squirrels or fox squirrels to fill a cast iron skillet or  a big boiler to make my favorite squirrel dumplings or squirrel stew!

But, for this first bag of squirrels for the season, the frying pan, some peanut oil, and a light coating of flour seasoned with just salt and black pepper is what I am dreaming of like I enjoyed often in my childhood days. Hot buiscuits, white rice and gravy with fried squirrels is a treat unknown to many folks but, they just don’t know what they are missing!

This weekend I am finding some good eating for the skillet, teaching my granddaughter how to shoot a 22 rifle and knock a few squirrels into the frying pan! Why don’t you go try it? Take a kid hunting for squirrels, the magic is out there if you look for it and show a youngster that hunting is better than any video game!

In a few more days, I will be trying out a new bow on some west Alabama does.. I’ll let you know how that goes in my next blog!

~postoak~

 

Hunting Makes Special Memories!

This ole Tom made a fantastic memory for me and My Grandaughter! ~postoak~

I am a guy who lives life around hunting and the various hunting seasons. I love the whole process of hunting. Preparation of field planting, stand setting, lane trimming, checking trail cams has recently became one of my very most favorite activities and seeing the photos of big deer on our farm is a real motivator to get out and get “after them” every chance I can.

I love the early season hunting over food plots and in acorm flats. Sitting in a stand watching a “pinch point” and a big doe lane. scouting the area for scrapes, rubs, hair on fence crossings, wallowed out trails at creek crossings. Watchin’ the sun come up on the cold mornings and how the sky “catches fire” with the morning light.

Watching the shadows advance across a small green field until the magic of dusk is upon you and the woods are so silent you dare not breathe. Then you hear that sound  of hooves on the trail and you get ready…. Yes! I love hunting! and even writing about it fills me with a pleasure that is hard to describe.. Welcome back hunting season!

In recent years, taking my grandaughter with me and watching her grow in her abilities to hunt and understand the art of the hunt has overtaken my need to hunt and take animals like I used to do. I would 100 to 1 rather watch her take a nice buck or a big gobbler and see the excitement on her face and the hear the thrill in her voice moments after she had made a successful harvest.

I have also enjoyed the time on stand we have together just chatting in low voices and watching for the right buck to show up in the green field. The memories we are making in these few hunting seasons we have to spend as grandad and grandaughter in the outdoors learning (both) and living our hunting pursuits really are the very best times in life. Whatever you do, if you are a hunter, do not neglect to take the next generation, or two, with you on some hunting trips so they can discover and learn thelove of the hunt that  all of us who were lucky enough to have been the receipients of such treasure can pay it forward!

Last weekend, I made a trip over to west Alabama and picked up a big gobbler that my gradaughter took last spring. It was her first “TOM” and I had promised her if it was a big one, I would have it mounted for her. Well, it was a very nice gobbler and she shot him at about 2 feet from the end of the barrel, so the hunt was a great one with loads of excitement thatI know we will both remember  for all the days we get.

 

Bow Season, Are you Ready?

Split brows at the feeder Loading up! ~postoak~Crowd around and Chow Down! ~postoak~

The closer it gets to the start of Bow Season, the more intent I get on being better prepared to get to the woods on opening morning and have all my gear ready, my stands trimmed and my clothes all scent washed, packed in my charcoal bag.

But, like so many years past, life gets in the way! The frustration level that many of us feel due to a real lack of time and energy confounds our efforts until the last possible moment to do “most” of the things we should do to meet the minimum requirements to be in our stand before daybreak on that opening morning. So there we are, finally hunting but, then we think of all the little things we could have done better to thwart the olfactories and/ or the visual prowess of the deer. We think we did OK but, then, a doe who is 100 yards down wind of you starts to blow repeatedly and you feel just like that old coyote who has been busted trying to sneak up on some does and yearlings. He slinks on off to look for other prey and you might be better off to do the same thing.

Boww season reality… The measure of success in the deer woods of bow season are measured in very tiny increments. Most are the little thinks we did, but did not do as well as we could or should have done. Scent control, Stand placement, concealment with good camo clothes including a face mask ( that so many hunters refuse to wear) or at the very least some good camo skin cover(makeup) to break up the outline of your face!

Have you practiced ANY yet? How sickening it is to me when I make a bad shot that wounds but does not kill. I would much rather have a clean miss that a bad shot placement. Most of this is caused by “buck Fever” lack of meaningfull repetitions in practice with your broadheads. And for goodness sakes! do not try to be a long shot artist! Long shots = low success and that is for football bets and bow hunting!

Get your practice in and your gear “in gear”! Bow season is almost here!

In the mean time check out some of my trail cam photos to inspire the predator in you!

Crowd around and chow down! ~Postoak~

 

~postoak~

Squirrel and Rabbit Season Starts Tomorrow!

 

Tomorrow is October 1st and it kicksoff the fall small game species hunting season across the state! Squirrel, Rabbit and other small game animals offer kids and us adults

A good 22 rifle and a river bottom can equal great squirrel hunting! ~postoak~

some golden opportunities to sharpen our predatory skills, gain a higher degree of expertise with our guns and hitting small targets in a moving environment. In other words, it is better than any video game and is a lot more fun!

And after the hunt, you get to enjoy the unique taste of fried squirrels and gravy, squirrel dumplings, stewed squirrels with rice and broth, squirrel dressing or any number of great recipes that use the nutritious and very low fat, all natural meat of the “Alabama Limb Chicken”.

The other small game favorite I enjoyed alot in my boyhood days was rabbits. To this day, nothing beats a nice big, “caine cutter” (RABBIT) back strap or hind leg that has been parboiled about 20 minutes, then flour coated and fried in hot peanut oil! My mother and grandmother both excelled at their ability to take rabbit preparation to the level of executive chef and beyond! The rabbits they cooked us were tender, and packed with the fresh flavor of the southern hard woods swamps where we hunted.

Most of them were prepared fresh. although mom frozen them often, wrapped in that white butcher paper and we used to get a happy smile when we saw rabbits thawing in the kichen sink or the refrigerator. Paired with sides of fluffy white rice or real mashed potatoes and always homemade broth based gravy. The meal was as lavish as any restaurant of the day. Mom would prepare it for dinner guest who sometimes thought it was fried chicken. We boys would often watch the face of an unsuspecting “city” guest for that “shock and awe” moment of delight when they chewed the bite and tried to decide if they should comment now or later. More than once, I heard a “grown-up” guest tell mother that was the best chicken they ever tasted and “wanted her recipe”. She would often laugh and reply “just start with a few fresh caine-cutters” and then they would laugh.

A doctor friend of my dad use to pay us boys to go “get him some rabbits” while he was visiting and mother would fry them up for the guys as they sat under the big red oak in our yard doing their best country music singer impressions and strumming guitars while the air filled with the heavenly smell of fried rabbits, fried squirrels, and sometimes a few fresh farm house chickens that I got to wring the neck on..

Eating the fried squirrels or rabbits is some of my favorite childhood memories. Hunting them in the oak flats between our home and the Black Warrior River. Other times we would track through the hills north of our home to find the big fox squirrels that inhabited the hickory hollows and red oak covered hills.

Take a kid squirrel hunting this week or this weekend! Make some hunting memories and harvest some of the finest eating you have ever tasted!

~POSTOAK~ OUT IN THE SQUIRREL WOODS!

 

Dove Action Slow. Owl Rescued. Squirrel Season Soon!

I hope some of you have had better success at finding doves to shoot at than I have. The two times I have got to go hunt, it was a whole lot of sitting in the Sun, having no fun. Very few birds and even way less in gun range. Oh well, Winn Dixie still had plenty of chicken wings so my grill got fired up anyway. I did have a co-worker tell me that he was on a hunt in Marengo county last Saturday where there were plenty of doves flying and they got a good bag of birds for their grill. Lucky fellows.

I did get a “bird” this morning however, My wife and I usually start each morning on the screened porch out back. Me with my coffee and her with her Dr. Pepper. This morning she made it out back earlier than me and she came running in to tell me a big hawk was hung up in the big oak tree that is on my neighbor’s side of the pond he and I share. I went out and found not a hawk, but an adult Barred Owl dangling by one wing. As I got closer, he started to struggle confirming my assessment that he was entangled by fishing line that hung down from the limbs in the old oak. Apparently someone with a bad cast had left the line hanging with a hook on the end. The owl had apparently flew into it sometime during the night and it hooked him on his left wing tip. I got my limb saw with the 10 foot extension on it and was able to reach out over the water far enough to grab the line and pull the worn out creature over to the bank. I handed the saw to my wife and took my fillet knife and was able to cut the line off his wing. He fell to the ground in a heap and just sat there looking exhausted. He sat out there for about an hour and if I approached him, he would snap his beak in loud clicks to let me know he would bite me if I got too close. He later was able to get air borne and he flew out in the woods behind the pond. I sure hope he recovers! Although I am most not an owl fan. I sure hated to see this one suffer a fate from fishing line! Be careful when fishing and dispose of your line, hooks and bait in a responsible way so no animals get trapped in the line and die a slow death!

Squirrel Season is fast approaching and if you have young hunters it is a great way to get them out for good hunting lessons in the early fall woods. A 410 shotgun is probably the best way to make the hunt an easy success, then as they get enough practice, switch them over to a 22 rifle for some fun that will make them forget those video games! My granddaughter  has gotten so good with a bb gun that I am going to take both the 410 and the 22 rifle for her to use as we chase some squirrels through the tree tops on our farm. Try it and take a kid! It is lots of fun! But, please respect the animal and eat what you shoot! Fried squirrels, Squirrel Stew, Squirrel dumplings, squirrel hash are all great outdoor dishes for making meals and memories with young hunters!

~postoak~

September is a Month of Many Outdoor Possibilities

Postoak with a September Pond F-7 Bass. Lots of Fun!

September  is one of my favorite months if for no other reason other than it is the end of summer!  Fishing of both the salt and fresh water varieties is entering a time where the fish are not hugging the bottom so far up under the brush that you can’t get a cast close to them in the freshwater. And the saltwater fish, especially the in-shore varieties such as speckled trout, are hungry, big and downright aggresive towards live shrimp or small sand fleas and other types of crustaceans floated in a free line fashion from a pier, dock, or boat drifting around in the Mobile Bay, Wolf Bay, or any one of the other small saltwater estuaries we are blessed with along the coast. Many of the summer tourist are gone, if you have to rent a hotel room, the rates have dropped a bit in many locations and perhaps best of all, the many great seafood restaurants are still serving up wonderful gulf seafood, you just don’t have to wait in line so long to be served! I love a September or October trip to the Alabama gulf coast for great fall fishing! There are more inshore guide services now than every and if you charter with most of them, you will not be sorry! They can take you to where the fish are and show you the secrets of getting them to bite!  A few I can recommend are Captain Mikes’ inshore fishing, Nelson’s inshore fishing and Backbay inshore fishing. Or if you prefer just click the link to visit for more info: http://www.inshorefishingalabama.com/

Pond or lake fishing for bass and bream is also great in September The bream and crappie seem to find their appetites again after the heat of summer subsides and you can find some great fishing ponds around central Alabama. Check the Bulletin Board and Craigslist Montgomery in the Sporting goods section for pay fishing lakes in the area. Also click here for more fishing guide info: http://www.fishingguidesworld.com/stats/make_stats/220

I love to fish for crappie and bass in September when I can find the time to get outdoors here in Central Alabama! Try it soon! And Take a kid fishing!

On the hunting front, dove season came in with a whisper and most of the hunters I check with for results said the opening weekend was completely underwhelming. I did not get a hunting opportunity  since the folks I normally hunt with cancelled their hunt due to a lack of doves flying the week before season opened. This Saturday morning, I plan to go set up feeders and trim bushes on my hunting place in Tuscaloosa County before the Alabama Florida game, then I am going to go to Bryant Denny and cheer for the Tide! The doves will just have to wait to the following weekend for me to fling some lead toward them! (if any show up)

Until next week, get out in our wonderful Central Alabama Outdoors and have some fun!

~POSTOAK~

 

 

 

The Fall Hunting Season is FINALLY Here!

The smile of a young hunter is one of the best reasons to hunt! Take a kid hunting! ~postoak~

The fall hunting season has finally arrived and the long hot summer dog days will soon be only a memory, I hope! Dove season started yesterday across the part of Alabama that most of us are in called the North Zone. The great news is that this year it will be TWENTY DAYS LONGER than previous seasons lasting into November 9th!

The season takes a break until December7th and then last all the way through December 31st!  This gives us all many more changes to sharpen our aim and also to hunt a mixed bag of Dove and Small game or Dove and Deer through until the end of the year. I love to start a fall Saturday from a tree stand at daylight and end it with laughter around a dove field cheering in between for my college team and razzing my buddies about theirs.

Dove shooting is the most social of all the fall hunting sports and can be done all hours of the day so even if you go to a football game, you can still have time to go shoot at some “birds” before or after, depending on kickoff time. One of the best shoots I was able to go on in the last four years  was on a Saturday when Alabama had an open date  and we had the opportunity to attend a Troy game that had an early kick. After the game, we went to a shoot in Brundidge that was “crazy-good”. I was given a spot on the “valley end” of a long hayfield down near a small pond that looked like a livestock pond but, there were no cattle left on the farm. It had been recently harvested and had the big round hay bales along terraces across the field. A good many oh the participants used the bales for cover and I had a prime spot in the bottom, between the pond and the woods.

The later part of the afternoon, a little past 4:00 doves started to show up in sufficient numbers to make the hunt start to get exciting. By 5:00, it sounded like a small war, with shouts, whooping, hollering and I was hearing about a half dozen shots every few seconds! Now that is when dove hunting is some of the most fun you can have!

There were probably 45 to 50 hunters on this shoot including probably more than a dozen kids. I am talking below 13, not teenage shooters, who can be as good or better than some of us adults. I am talking about kids from 7 to 12 and they were being introduced to the “magic” that is a great dove shoot. Squeals of laughter, fathers proclaiming “great shot son” (or daughter) and the excitement was almost breathable!

That is what good dove shoots can do. Make memories a father and son can share for the rest of their lives, indoctrination for kids into the brotherhood of the greatest sport of all, Hunting! 

When you go to the outdoors this fall, make it a point to take your kids or young relatives so they can experience the magic that is found in the dove fields of fall, the hardwoods chasing early season squirrels or a combination hunting and fishing trip to a local farm with a pond. They will remember the hunt and you long into the future!

TGIF  THANK GOD ITS FALL!!

NOW, GO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!!

~POSTOAK~

Preparation is The Foundation For Success in Hunting

 

We are Getting the Buck Prepared! Are you getting Prepared for Hunting Season? Postoak.

This weekend I could be going fishing with friends, got an invite to go to the gulf for some off shore bottom fishing. Reluctantly, I turned it down. Got an offer of two free tickets to the Alabama game over at the Georgia Dome, very reluctantly turned those down. Got a request from my wife to go with her to west Alabama to see her dad, turned it down. I decided to get to the actual tasks I have around the house and even more, the tasks I need to do in preparation for the kick off of real important season to me and that is of course, HUNTING SEASON!!!

Admitedly, I am not a dove hunting fanatic, but, I plan to be ready next saturday with a well oiled and cleaned shotgun, back up shotgun, pistol (for plinkin) having fresh dove shells, my light weight camo cleaned and treated with tick repellant, dig out my early season boots, my dove stool and two camp chairs, 40 quart cooler, two caps and stuff I haven’t even thought of yet!

I also need to clean the carb on my four wheeler, drain out the old gas and stabil mix and make sure it is running sweet before I show up slowly rolling around the fields at our shoot in west Alabama next Saturday. Dove shoots are some of the most fun hunting, sporting, shooting, socializing, networking, events in all of our fall events. I have had planned meetings and chance meetings around the dove fields that led to hunt offers later in the fall for deer, offers for Bama tickets, gun trades, business trades, and even a great deal on an antique jeep!

Dove “Shoots” are great events to get to know many other sportsmen and sports women who are ready to have a good time and share it with others. I have had so many hunts where it was almost like a reunion, seeing  old friends and even a few cousins that I had not seen in years! Sitting on, and standing around tailgates on pickups under the shade of old oak tree next to a well prepared plowed or cut dove field, enjoying time in the field!

The doves you actually take are just a delicacy and part of the well planned evening meal at the camphouse watching football games and cheering on your favorite team as they beat the tar out of some early season “lesser team”..  I have found I can even smile and be happy for those buddies of mine who yell War Eagle when we are watching or listening to their team. Just don’t expect me to say that. That is something I am never prepared to do!

This weekend, I am waxing my bow string, swabbing out the barrels on my guns, checking and rechecking all my gear, eventhough I have done that before I put it away in May. It is my way of enjoying getting ready for the Kickoff! of Hunting Season!

Good luck with your preparation, may it lead you to hunting success!

~POSTOAK~

Buckmasters, Fabulous Once Again!

 

 

Fall Hunting Season, Are You Ready? I AM! ~postoak~

The 2014 Buckmasters Deer Expo has of course come and gone but, not before I got to make a trip through all the exhibits on Friday night and again on Saturday. What an event! I go to several different hunting shows each year but, none I like better than Montgomery’s own Buckmasters Expo!

I Found some neat camo gear, Enjoyed watching the indoor Bow shooting and added to my turkey call collection. I also found a very nice and very safe lock on tree stand by a guy named James Boekeloo. He has a locking stand that he markets under the name LOCKJAWZ and it is really innovative in the way it clamps to the tree. IT will clamp to trees from small to over 30 inches and it is made of a light and quiet composite that is rock solid! For more info on this new type of lock on stand, contact jimmyboek@hotmail.com or call him at 1-815-878-5469.

If you are calendar watching like me for fall season dates, September 6th is the opening day of the Alabama dove season and that is only two weeks from this coming Saturday! I really do love the dove season since it signals the start of the various hunting seasons and  dove hunting is such a social event. I get to see folks I have not seen since last dove season or even two seasons ago, so the social aspect is very appealing. Last year, in early September, I found myself in ICU for an extended period and did not get to make many doves shoots, so I am really ready to burn some powder on those little gray streakers of the early autumn skies! for more information about the upcoming Alabama dove season please visit the ALDCNR website. I have also included information about the upcoming youth dove hunts, designed to give our youngsters a great dove hunting experience! http://outdooralabama.com/2014-youth-dove-hunts

For all the season dates and bag limits, click here - http://www.outdooralabama.com/season-and-bag-limits  and be sure you have a valid license and know all the rules and requirements for meeting the legal status of a hunter by visiting the licenses section – http://www.outdooralabama.com/alabama-license-information

Hope you find a good place to hunt this fall and I will post additional hunting opportunites here on my next blog. If you have a question about hunting in Alabama or about hunting in general, just drop me an email to postoakman@gmail.com

Get Ready! it will soon be time to pull that trigger!!

~Postoak~ 

Buckmasters Expo is This Saturday!

AWF Fishing Rodeo, Catching some Big ones! ~postoak~

This weekend is one that I wait for all year long! The annual Buckmasters Deer Expo will have Montgomery’s downtown jumping and I will certainly be in the crowd on Friday and Saturday to take in the many exhibits and events offered for a broad spectrum of us deer hunters, turkey hunters and outdoor enthusiast. Celebrities of the hunting shows, vendors from across America, The top indoor Bow shooting competition are just a few of the highlights as we get the start of 2014 fall hunting season kicked off! There will be special events for the kids and a archery contest for the ladies. All this and tons more for an admission price of just a can of food to donate to the Montgomery area food bank! Folks this is the big one! the best deer show around and it is right in our town! put on your camo or your shorts and tees and come enjoy a Montgomery tradition! want more info? just click here –) http://www.buckmasters.com/resources/expo.aspx

Last weekend the AWF hosted it’s annual wild game cook off at Lanark as well the the Youth Fishing Rodeo the morning before the cookoff. Kids from around the area got to fish in the well stocked catfish pond at Lanark and it was a great event once again!

More than 225 young people were on hand for a fun filled morning of fishing at Lanark, the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s (AWF) headquarters in Millbrook Saturday, August 9, from 7-11 a.m.  The day was packed with excitement as children honed their angling skills while catching over 450 pounds of catfish in one of Lanark’s ponds.  Each child got to take up to five fish home with them at the end of the day, and all participants received free tee shirts, and complimentary snacks and drinks.  Many of the participants won door prizes as well. Seven year old Kelsie Ledbetter, who was fishing with her three year old brother, Hunter stated in a very excited voice, “Look, I got a really big one!” This is the 12th year for this event and AWF looks forward to hosting many more youth events like this one at Lanark.  “We can’t wait to do it again”, explained Elizabeth Johnson, Alabama Nature Center Education Coordinator, “Our goal is to instill a lifelong love of fishing and the outdoors in our young people.”
This event was sponsored by: City of Millbrook, Prattville Wal-Mart, Allen & Pat Foster, Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, First Community Bank of Central Alabama, Millbrook Men’s Club, Millbrook-Coosada Kiwanis Club, Bass Pro Shops, Reddy Ice, Courtesy E-Z Go, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Food Outlet, Plano Synergy, Front Porch Grill, Academy Sports & Outdoors and Alabama Dumpster.

This event was followed by the AWF State finals on Saturday night.Swine-N-Wine, Dirty Quail in Gumbo Broth and Mad at Gator were just some of the tasty dishes served up to around 325 people found at the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s (AWF) Wild Game Cook-Off State Finals held at AWF’s headquarters in Millbrook Saturday, August 9.  This championship event is a combination of winners from the over 300 cook teams from regional events held throughout the year.  Eleven teams were there to win the coveted State Champion Title, not to mention the $1,000 grand prize that goes along with it! The judges, Major Todd Wheeler of Alabama Army National Guard; Sean Johnson, Central Alabama Area President of Regions Bank; Chuck Sikes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Tina Denton, Co-Manager of Clanton Walmart had a tough time, but in the end winners from the Lake Martin Cook-Off, Chonita’s Cookers placed first with their delicious Big Buck Flatbread Pizza. The team also took home the Best Presentation Award. Severa and Mark McGrady, Angel and Joey Davis, Jasmine Uribe and Braden Welcher made up team the winning team. Sean Johnson stated, “the quality of food was outstanding and well above all of my expectations. I am certainly not a wild game connoisseur, but the taste, presentation and overall caliber of food was unbelievable.” Second Place Winner, People’s Choice Award and Best Presentation Runner-Up Award from the Covington County Cook-Off, Team Massey including Gary Musgrove, Jeff Owens, Johnny Duggan and Chris Little placed with their delicious Swine-N-Wine. First South Farm Credit of the Limestone County Cook-Off, including Grant Bennett, Randy Allen, Jeff Ferguson and Mike Besh took home Third Place for their delectable Dirty Quail Gumbo Broth. In addition to the great food, there was a silent auction, raffle and entertainment provided by Michael Rhodes.

Great events like these help us hunters to bridge the gap to the fall hunting season across this long hot Alabama Summer!

~postoak~