***Hittin' 'em Hard ***
Spring Gobbler has come to pass here in the Old Dominion. What a season it was. Josh tagged out with his first gun -- 20GA 870 that Dad bought him when he was about 8. Dad and I had another memorable hunt to add to our growing list of great memories Spring Gobbler hunting together. This one, I don't believe Alzheimer’s could fade away.
Forget about how much he weighs or how long his beard is. I don't measure my hunts in inches or pounds. No, what really matters are the good times with friends and family.
Now we’re working on the fishes. So far, it’s shaping up to be a pretty good year. We’ve had a 60+ striper weekend on the river; landed 3 citation flatheads – 45lb, 40lb and 35lb and single day best of 47 fish whacked with the bow.
So, scroll on down and check out what we've been up to lately.
Memorial Day - Bowfishin'
Me and Josh decided on a trip to bowfish Lake Gaston in North Carolina for Memorial Day. Neither of us had ever been. We plotted and planned on Google Earth...man, it looked like prime time! The main lake was just as clear and beautiful as you've ever seen. Oh yea, looking good, but how quickly the tables turn. The first cut we trolled up was so muddy you could cut it with a knife. Didn't see many fish...and that's putting it lightly...but we managed to put 2 in the boat.
On to the next spot we scoped out on Google Earth. What the !@#$%!! It was fenced off!!! Now, I'm starting to get a little irritated. Drove all this way, it's hot as 40 hells and we've seen hardly any fish. On to the next spot we go.
3rd spot looks just as bad as the 1st spot...maybe worse. I don't know if it was muddy water or watery mud. It was bad. And not bad meaning good either. But we're here... So we drop the trolling motor and pick up the bows. We troll and we troll... Bumping stumps that we couldn't see; trolling faster than we should have. Then it happened... We nailed a stump square on. The trolling motor mount flexed all she could and then it gave. SNAP!!! Busted a $54 piece on my mount. I'm not sure what I said and that point...but I know there were a lot of curse words involved.
We headed back to Buggs Island to finish out the day. We trolled...and we trolled some more...and it was HOT...and we trolled. And we put 2 more fish in the boat.
2 states, 2 lakes, 4 fish, 1 busted TM mount. Bad day fishing beats a good day working.
Memorial Day Weekend - Catfishin'
Dad and I set hit the water Sunday for our night fishing of 2011. On the way up river we picked out 5 holes. The plan was to start high and fish back down. First hole didn’t do much. Second hole wasn’t much better. We’re motoring to the 3rd hole of the night and things aren’t looking too good. We dropped anchor in hole #3; 20 minutes later the fight was on. I set the hook and she peeled the drag. Big fish on!!! We got her in, weighed her, made her smile for the camera and slipped her back into the Dan river to fight another day. 40lber…looking a little better.
It was starting to get late by the Ol’ Man’s standards. He was ready to reel up and head home to saw some logs. When Dad started reeling he realized that a fish was swimming the line upstream. He set hook and the 2nd fight of the night was on. This time it was a 35lb flathead posing for a picture. Two nice fish on the first night out…we’ll take it.
20 Gauge Tag Out
Last day of turkey season started off by waking up late but ended with a notch in my last tag. I rolled out of bed at 5:25 and had to make that call to my brother and dad who are waiting on me to tell them I’m not going to make it. Instead I threw my stuff on, grabbed my trusty 20 gauge 870 and headed out to try to fill my last tag. On the way in he gobbled and as I got closer I knew just what he had in mind. So I set out the Pretty Boy and a hen and gave him a few soft yelps and cuts. He pitched down about 30 yards from the set up and came running in, jumped on ol pretty boy and knocked his head off. BOOOOOMMM tag # 3 filled. Last Tag Last Day. Three birds with my first gun.
***Spring Is In The Air ***
...and it smells like gunpowder and dead fish!
Me and Dad continued the RBO tradition of hunting together on the opening day of Virginia's Spring Gobbler season. We split up and went to different locations to roost birds for the morning hunt. Neither of us heard a peep from ol' Tommy Longbeard that evening.
The morning was chilly. We snuck in early to chase down a strutter that we had spotted earlier in the week. He gobbled on the roost, but I wouldn't go so far as to call him hot...not even lukewarm. He must have pleaded the 5th before he pitched down. Once he hit the ground, he never made another sound. I called and we waited...and waited - rinse repeat. Finally at 8:40am I heard a stick break and then another. One after the other, 5 hens came marching in. Those pretty ladies dragged ol' Tommy to us like he was on a leash. BBBOOOMMM....showing off for the ladies, it'll get you every time.
Sunday, the sun came out and things heated up just enough. The fishing bow kept bugging me to hit the water and I was obliged to take him. He did good for his first trip of 2011. We got a late start - hitting the water at 2:30pm - but still managed seven carp whacked and properly stacked in the fish barrel.
Monday, the birds were H-O-T! I was able to get in close to one longbeard that was on fire. One problem...I had to compete with a frisky hen for his affections. We've all heard the rule about not calling while he's on the roost. Well, rules are meant to be broken and that's just what I did. She would call and so would I...and he would sound off. Now, I'm sure I didn't sound as good as her. But luckily, I was a little closer and easier to get to. That 2 year old pitched down and charged in. BBBOOOMMM...Tag #2 filled.
***Old Dogs... ***
Took the old man and Uncle Bradley out for a night of predator hunting and we managed to get ol’ Wiley in the crosshairs. We heard the pack howling before we fired up the FoxPro and it wasn’t long before he popped out into the pasture. He came in as quick as a grey fox and the Ol’ Man put a .17 caliber hole in his neck….dropped him dead in his tracks, 54 steps.
***Cats & Dogs ***
Managed to talk myself into going predator hunting the night of my birthday and boy did it pay off. On the 1st setup I had a grey come rolling in to about 20 yards but I couldn’t get a good shot at him. As he slipped out of the field to my right I turned and here came fox number 2 from my left. By the time I saw him he was about 5 feet from the call and he spooked. Again, I couldn’t get a shot off. I changed the call and out came fox number 3 from my left. Determined not to let this one get away, I took a quick 45 yard shot and it was game over for him. I thought to myself, damn this might turn out to be a good night. Little did I know it would turn out to be the best night of predator hunting I had ever had.
On to setup number 2, with the cottontail distress blaring out across the cutover, I gazed around with the red light in hopes of popping another fox. The call had been on for about 2 minutes when I spotted those glowing eyes. After almost 10 minutes of calling I decided to try to get the scope on it without it detecting me. I settled the crosshairs 3 inches below the eyes and squeezed one off, dropped her in her tracks. My first bobcat with the predator call to date! To say I was excited is an understatement.
***Fly By Night ***
The sun is down, the FoxPro is crying and the arrows are nocked. The RBO boys are bowhunting under the stars.
Bowhunting foxes at night is without a doubt challenging. Your patience is tested, along with your experience. It can shake your resolve to watch lighted eyes skip back and forth within boomstick range. But the wisp of an arrow always brings more satisfaction than the pop of a rifle or the blast of a shotgun. Josh has added the 2nd nighttime bowkill to the River Bottom Resume (the 1st for the 2010-2011 season).
The moon was full. We could only sit and watch as fox #1 danced in the brush at 55 yards. An easy shot with the gun, but almost impossible with the bow. The FoxPro was calling to him, but in his gut he knew something just wasn't right. After a few minutes he disappeared. Pack up and leave? No. We switch the call and listen. We can hear fox #2 galloping through freshly fallen leaves. Ol' Bushytail pokes his head out at 20 yards and that's all Josh and his trusty Switchback needs. He lets the arrow fly and the fox folds like a losing poker hand. Headshot with the bow, now that's gettin' it done!
***Where Oh Where Are You Tonight ***
I searched the woods over and had you on the trail camera....then came bow season and <insert fart noise> you were gone.
Well, bow season has passed and with that starts the Virginia Smoke Pole season. I did managed to whack one doe with the bow. Dad took a turkey. It was not a banner bow season for us. If we managed to see a buck he was way out of range or it was too dark to shoot. I had some pretty decent bucks on camera days before the season started. Then like magic, they all disappeared. But I haven't given up yet... It's time for those bucks to start chasing tail and acting stupid.
***Slackin' On Updates ***
Been putting in some hours at work, working on my boat and being lazy in between. Just kiddin', you know the RBO boys have been gettin' it done.
The weekend before bow season I went for one last bowfishing hoorah. I made some carp holy and finally got my first citation carp with the bow. The fish weighed in at 22lbs and measure 35" long. What a fight. When the arrow slammed home...it was on! As she made run after run, I all could do was plead "Please don't pull off...Please don't pull off!". After getting the fish to the boat, I gaffed her as quick as I could. I knew it was a nice fish...but didn't realize just how nice until I pulled her over the side. Carp may get way bigger, but this is my 1st 20+ pounder...I'm tickled.
The first day of bowseason was bloodless for RBO. We all saw deer and I passed on a turkey shoot. Dad did have some luck this week. He smoked a feeding hen with the bow from the treestand. When the arrow met it's mark...the turkey only made it about 5yds. A testament to the ol' man's shooting ability and RAGE broadheads. Josh has his eye on one; I know my shooter is out there and there's an echo in my freezer cause it's so empty. So, we'll hunt hard and see what happens.
***Bath Time ***
This past weekend me, Dad and Josh hit the Staunton river to fish for some Channel cats. But the fish caught had nothing to do with the most memorable moment of the day.
I was standing on the bow of the boat as we were idling along when the rear anchor that I forgot to pull in hung a log. I scrambled and tried my best...but there was no stopping it. In I went into 5 feet of water. Lost my sunglasses...sonuva! Even worse...had my BlackBerry on my hip and it was fried. We had a good laugh over it and I'm sure I'll have to hear about it for the rest of my life!
Me and Josh had a pretty good shoot Saturday. The sky was overcast and there was a good breeze most of the day. But thanks to Lake Fest in Clarksville, VA the water was void of boats. We had a tough time out in the flats, most fish were shot on the edge of the river bank. We ended up getting soaked after making the call to head to the landing after a warning call from Dad. Finished with 13 carp in the boat and 5 pull offs. 18 fish total impaled.
Bowfished Friday...bowfished Saturday...bowfished Sunday...bowfished Monday. All from the Killer Kanoe...water was too skinny for just about anything else. Assassinated 16 carp and 1 gar.
Me, Dad and Josh did some flathead fishing above South Boston. Water was super shallow. We hit one stretch that was registering a foot on less on the depthfinder. Josh caught one small flathead before we got all the rods in the water. Turned out to be the only one of the night. The bite was slow; we finished with that small flattie and a few blues.
While I'm in the typing mood, I want to send a big thanks out to the dumb ass who was staying in the cabin down from the landing at Aaron's Creek on Sunday. I had just put in and was paddling along when POW! ZING! a .22 ricocheted off the water about 20 yards from me. Let's just say I dropped a few F-bombs in his direction. And the idiot had the nerve to say "If I woulda known you were down there I wouldn't have shot"...what a !@#&* moron. Thanks buddy...nice too know what you woulda done when I'm in the emergency room geting a .22 round dug out of my guts or worse. It's idiots like this that give the rest of us a bad name. #1 you don't know your field of fire and shoot anyway, #2 you fire a rifle at a public waterway and #3 you're bouncing shots of the water??? I can only hope no kids were around to learn this guys version of firearm safety. Am I still pissed about it...what do you think, wouldn't you be?
***Hook & Arrow ***
Saturday I met up with our buddy John Jones and his buddy David Waller for some bowfishing. It was their first crack at this bowfishing thing. We hadn't trolled very far when I spotted that familiar gar silhouette in the water. We got a little closer and David loosed his first bowfshing arrow. THWACK!!!!! He nailed a 12lb gar. A citation fish on this first ever shot...not too dang shabby. We trolled and trolled some more but the fish were nowhere to be found. We turned back and headed to another spot that Josh and I had scoped out earlier in the year. The water there was dingy and rippled by the wind. We saw a few more fish and I whacked two more gars. I had a good time with the boys. Of course I was giving them a hard time with every chance I got. We'll do it again sometime.
After the bowfishing trip was over I hauled tail to the bait hole...and then to bait hole #2. Two and half hours had past and I had four pieces of bait. Off to bait whole #3. Finally....pay dirt (or water???). With the bait secured, the River Bottom Boys hit the river. We pretty much only fished one hole for the night. Which was fine by me....since we landed a nice 45lb flathead!!! Tack on a decent 19lb blue, a few more smaller fish to boot.
Now where exaclty did we catch that fish, you ask... In the lip my friend. ;-)
I bowfished Friday...Saturday...and Sunday. All from the canoe...what a work out.
Friday, I left work an hour early and hauled tale to Aaron's Creek. I had paddled up stream for about 45 minutes when the clouds moved in and the thunder started to roll. I made it back to the landing just in time to see a huge bolt of lighting touch the ground. The thunder that followed was earth shaking and immediate. It was close. Finished with to small male gars. I turned those into Sunday night's supper with a pair of tin snips, a fillet knife and a cleaver.
Saturday, I took off to Rudd's Creek after hearing rumors of gar. It turned out to be just that...a rumor. The water was as clear as could be. I saw bluegill after school of bluegill. A few nice sized bass, but no gar in the cutbacks. After 3 hours of non-stop paddling, I hit the road for Aaron's creek again. Another couple of hours paddling and two more gar notches on the belt.
Sunday, I decided to make a trip to Grassy Creek. I'd never fished there. Wasn't really sure what to expect. Big open water...lot's of paddling...any fish??? The wind was really howling and while the water wasn't that big...it was rough. So, I whipped out my Buggs Island map and looked for bridge crossing. I drove around until I found a suitable bridge that had a nice pull off and easy access to slide the canoe in. The water was up and stained. The wind blew the canoe around and rippled the water. The sun kept dipping behind clouds. It just wasn't good conditions for bowfisihng. I did see quite a few gar fish. With the poor visibility it was hard to get a shot off. I did manage to make 4 gars holy. The two biggest both looked like citation sized fish to me, but I didn't weigh or measure them.
Now it's time rig the catfish poles for some monster flatheads and shoot some fish with the bow. I just ordered a new bowfishing rig. That's bad news if you're a gar or carp.... The RBO boys with 2 bows in the boat? Slaughter On The Water Pt. 2! Look for it soon!
***Sometimes...It Just Works Out ***
It was a busy weekend....
Me and Dad set up for another Spring Gobbler bowhunt. We heard one gobbler and he sounded like he was roosted in the next county. We decided to pack up early and go fishing. We worked for bait and headed for a hole that was in the shade. We landed a few small blues. I had brought the bow along and with the sun beating down I knew we had a good opportunity to shoot some fish. We found the carp but I couldn't hit a bull in the butt. No telling how many fish I missed. Me and Josh have been doing a lot of bowfishing from the Killer Kanoe, maybe that threw me off? Sounds like an excuse, don't it? Haha! But hey, I did kill a couple and Dad got him one too.
I was dog tired from work and I just couldn't get my butt out of bed. I piddled around until a little before lunch time and decided that with the sun shining, I needed to put the Killer Kanoe in. It was a 5 hour float on the slow moving Hyco River and it was a prime time day for bowfishing. I saw more gar than I could shake a stick at. Most were swimming but a few were laid up here and there on top soaking up the sun. I finished with 10 gars and 1 carp whacked and stacked.
It was windy. I mean windy. You couldn't hear a thing. We road over to a small field and hoped to hear one that had roosted close by......nothing....and more nothing. We sat around in the back of the truck which was parked in the wide open and shot the bull. Then Dad says in a half-whisper, "There goes a turkey." Of course I said, "You're bullshittin'!" But he wasn't....so I pulled out the binoculars. It was a hen. She wasn't paying any attention to the truck but she keep looking back at something. I had a feeling it was a gobbler. Then Josh spotted him. We slipped out of the truck, threw on the gear and cut through the bush to get closer. A few yelps on my trusty slate call. Gobble...gobble. Oh yea...he likes it. A few more yelps...gobble...gobble. Then BBBOOOMMM!!!! Josh smoked him at 11 steps. Sometimes you chase and chase birds....sometimes you think it's in the bag and he hoodooes you....but sometimes....sometimes it just works out in the most unexpected way. Turkey hunting...there ain't nothing like it.
***Curiosity Kills The Turkey ***
Friday Me and Dad worked a small group of turkeys. A gobbler, a hen and two jakes. We couldn't get the gobbler to cooperate but one jake did get a little to curious for his own good. We've all heard that curiosity kills the cat....but we may need to change that to turkey! He wandered over to check out the decoy setup and I loosed a Guillotine that nearly took his head clean off.
***Straight To The Head! Update
OH YEA!!!! We got 'im!!!!!
*Last time I checked the video was still processing so the resolution may not be that good*
Well...we got hoodooed on the opening day of spring gobbler.
Josh has had his eye on a bird for over a month now; he was practically setting his watch by him. We decided to go after him with the bow and bring along the video camera. So, of course after a month of watching him.....he not only doesn't show up, he doesn't even make a sound. Hoodooed... If that's not a Spring Gobbler hunt, I don't know what is. Since hunting is over at noon we decided to put the Killer Kanoe in and take out some frustration on some fish with the bow. We whacked 2 carp and 6 gar. Picture in the RBO Photos.
I took a 1/2 day off from work to bow hunt Monday morning. I had a good feeling about the place I was headed to. When the sun started coming up and the Thunder Chickens started letting loose, I had an even better feeling. When I saw that jellyhead pop around the corner of my blind, I had a great feeling. Then....I managed to screw it up.....watch the video.
***New Video!!! ***
Me and Josh put the Cherokee-Choctaw stalk on some monster gar fish this weekend!
Check out these photos I snapped of a wild turkey gobbler breeding a hen. Pretty cool. First time I've seen this first hand.
***New Video!!! ***
Footage from white bass fishing on 03/26.
***I Fish, Therefore I am ***
I've been doing a lot of late night work this week. In fact, it's 2:30am and I'm updating the blog while we watch the paint dry on a mission critical upgrade here at work. The boss gave me Friday off for a little R&R to prepare for this long night.
This time of the year R&R stands for Fish & Fish. And that's what we did. Friday me and Dad hit the water early looking for white bass. We picked up about 6 or 7 at one creek mouth early in the day on SSR-5 (shallow runner) and white grub jig. Before getting there we trolled up on a longbeard doing the strut dance for the ladies. I snapped some pictures, but none of them turned out very well. After that we fished and fished....but no bites. We turned back around and headed for the landing where we picked our good buddy Jason Milam and trolled down river. We picked up a few more fish...one here...two there. Then the rain came and we hauled ass. I'd say we finished the day with a dozen or so.
Later on that day I snapped some pics of turkeys taking a mid-afternoon shower. I may have already said this once or twice.....I"m itching for Spring Gobbler season!!!
Saturday me, Josh and Dad hit the water again. The SR-5 ruled the day...particularly the one on the end of Josh's pole. In that same creek mouth we caught 6 or so large mouths. Josh landed two pretty decent fish, one pushing the other side of 2 pounds; the other 3. We trolled up a little farther than the day before and caught one here and one there. We turned it around and headed back down. In the flats we did the same thing...a fish here, a fish there. I took a shot at a carp that Josh spotted...still early for that too...but what the heck? Luck changed when I put a 6lb large mouth in the boat. Nice fish. Tall, measured out a 22 3/4 inches but he didn't have much of a belly for weight. Still citation by length though. Second citation fish of the year for us...not too shabby. Just as soon as we got him in the livewell "The Man" stopped by to make sure we were all legal like. Just the routine stuff....fishing license, safety gear and inspect the livewell. Nice fellow, chewed a little fat and turns out he had checked out the site the night before.
We didn't set the world on fire but we put in the time and finished with 25 white bass and 15 large mouths. We kept a few for the frying pan.
***Get The Grease Hot ***
Two Saturdays of trolling for crappie yeilded about 50 eaters for us. Like most, we only keep the ones that are worth filleting. If we did the math, I'd say we caught at least twice that many. We had our best luck on 1.5in baby bass with chartreuse tail Slider grubs.
*** The Last Hunt...For Now ***
Me and Josh both took this last Friday off so that we could finish out the rabbit season with a BANG!!!!. The wind blew like hell Friday and the hunting was slow at best. We hit a spot that looked promising but only killed 2. Carl & John both agreed that the weather and the time of year was to blame. Hopefully, next year we will get in there a little earlier. Around lunch time we hauled tail to a different spot and had a little better luck. It was still tough hunting and at the end of the day everyone was dog tired....especially the dogs.
Saturday, we were back at. Carl was the first to pick up a rabbit. We hunted and hunted...and walked and walked. Carl picked up another rabbit. Then like a flash, Josh kills 3. I blasted on one 'em with 3 shots from the .410 but he was a little too far and moving a little too fast. But it's the last day of the season....so no need holding back! We hunted and hunted....and walked and walked. Then John picked up his rabbits. We hunted and hunted and walked and walked....but Ol' Jonah Bug never did get another shot.
Once again, we can't thank Carl & John enough for letting us hunt with them this year. They are all around great guys and we made some great memories. The RBO boys are looking forward to next year for sure. I enjoyed myself so much so that I'm planning on slacking up on the late season deer hunting so that I have more time to stomp some briar patches for ol' Peter Cottontail.
So now it's time to slay some crappie and wait for the Spring Gobbler season. I know I can't wait.
*** Hunt...Hunt...Fish...Life Is Good
The RBO boys had a pretty good weekend and we needed it. I think I speak for all of us when I say that Mother Nature has caused us to come down with a severe case of weekend cabin fever. This weekend the weather broke....and we took full advantage.
You know where to find us when the sun goes down. Nope, not the local watering hole. We were in the red light district though. The red spotlight district. Handing out red light specials. Doing it with the light on...I think you know where I'm going with this.
First setup: We road the fourwheeler into a real good looking spot. The moon was only a sliver in the night sky. It was crystal clear and the little snow that had not melted yet made for a somewhat bright night. We setup in the shadows with the 1187 and let the FoxPro go to work. It didn't take very long for the first fox to slide in. She zigged, zagged and then made a bee line right for us. I dropped her at less than 12 yards. If I wouldn't have shot she would have jumped in my shirt pocket I think. On the same set and within minutes of the first kill, here came fox #2 trotting down the road. He slipped into the broom straw and made his way in. Thirty yards out...BBOOOMM!!! Winchester Supreme #5s dropped him like a drunk driver's insurance plan. We kept gettin' it while the gettin' was good. A 3rd fox snuck in undetected to around 10 yards. He made us, got nervous but didn't bolt off. He offered up some shots but no good shots. With 2 in the bag I didn't feel the need to try him. The night was lookin' good.
Second setup: We hooked up with our buddy Kevin Satterfield and went over to the spot where a few weeks earlier we smoked 17 rabbits. We called in one loner. He trotted in from a good ways off. About 80 yds out he saw something he didn't like. He slipped into some cover and we never saw him again. 80 yds for a lot of predator hunters is a good shot. We like 'em close...real close. To us, it's just more exciting.
Third Setup: It was Josh's turn and he made good. Within seconds of turning the call on we had two in. They juked and jived in the cover. Just when Josh would get the cross hairs on one, he would dance a jig. One of the pair finally came out into the open. Josh put a .17 hollow point right through the boiler room. Fox #2 ran back and forth and back and forth in the cover. Barking and growling. It was pretty cool. We've heard plenty of foxes bark at the call but none quite like this. He never offered up a good shot, so he lived to see another day. We finished the night with 6 foxes called and 3 KIAed. Batting .500...not too shabby.
Finally, like a relapsing dope fiend...we were back on the rabbits. I know I had a bad case of the DTs. The story of the day goes to Dad. He was looking for a new challenge so he left the shotgun at home and strapped on the pistol. He has one of those Taurus "The Judge" pistols. It shoots the .45 Long Colts or .410 gauge shells. The dogs pushed two rabbits by him. He Judged one, found him guilty and sent him straight to execution. We were a little handicapped by a home surrounded by the land we were hunting on. We didn't want to get too close and it seemed the rabbits new that fact. When the dogs jumped he would take off for the house. We lost at least four or five because of it. When it was picture time I ended up with two, Josh picked up two, Carl 2, John and Dad had 1 a piece. Once again, it was another good hunt with John & Carl; jumping 14 rabbits and killing 8.
Dad is itching to start crappie fishing. We met around 8am and headed towards the lake. We stopped at the place were we usually get minnows but they were closed. We waited thinking surely they would open at 8am...but they didn't. We drove up to another store. They had a minnow tank but it was under repair...denied. To hell with it...let's go fishing. We trolled and trolled....and trolled...and trolled for around 4 hours. I saw only a couple of fish on the fish finder. We finally picked up one fish!!!! Yea....one fish!!! Back at the boat ramp an ol' crusty fisherman told us they were slaying them on a different part of the lake. Sonuva@#$%&!!! But hey....A bad day fishin' beats a good day workin'.
Fulled sized pics in the RBO Photo album.
*** Ol' Dogs Don't Need New Tricks ***
Mother nature has been a pain for most of the month of February here in Southern VA. If it's not snowing, it's raining. If it's not raining, the wind is howling. She's really puttin' a hurtin' on our huntin'. But this past Tuesday night we finally got to make something die. We loaded up and headed out for some after dark fun with the FoxPro. We setup facing the direction that we thought the fox would come from...so naturally he came from the opposite direction. We called...saw nothing. Then Josh said, "Shine the light behind us." There he was coming across the field. He slipped into the woods and made his way down towards the call. Broadside at about 60yds and the Ol' Man don't miss. The red light was on, but for the fox it was lights out.
*** R.I.G. Rest In Grease ***
A moment of silence for 17 cottontails that lost their lives this past Saturday. Then a 21 shotgun salute!
The RBO boys got an invite from Kevin Satterfield to do a little rabbit hunting in his neck of the woods. So we took him up on it....and we're glad we did. Of course, we were with Extreme Rabbit Hunters Carl & John. What a beautiful spot. We dropped the dogs at about 8 am...less than 15 minutes in I smoked one with the .410. The day was off to a good start. We covered a lot of ground and walked some big hills. Good for the ol' waistline....bad news for the rabbits. You can't run...you can't hide.
*** New Videos!!! ***
You asked Santa for 2 new videos from the RBO boys??? Well, it's Christmas come early for you then!! ;-)
Check out Monster Catfish - James River, VA. This footage was shot on my fishing trip with Michael "60lb Club" Connor. Adam Morris gets his very own 60lb Club membership.
5yr Old's 1st Smoke Pole Hunt - Josh took his step-son Trace on his first deer hunt. This video shows what hunting is all about. The excitement and enthusiasm of a kid on their first hunt is simply awesome.
*** I got the blues....I got the James River blues ***
Even though the weather only cooperated for one day out of the 3 day trip, I still had an awesome time. Friday it was superduper cold and windy, we finished the day with a big goose egg. But the deer roast Micheal cooked on the grill made up for it. Something about grilling on the water... Saturday was beautiful. We landed a 44lb blue (my personal best) and more than a dozen pushing 30lbs. Sunday, we fished a local 2 fish, winner-take-all tournament. It rained all day. We finished in 2nd place with 53lb and 23lb blues.
I want to thank Michael "60lb Club" Connor for inviting me and showing me the James River ropes. It is much appreicated.
Check out the RiverBottom Photos for a few pics from the trip.
*** Give 'em The Cold Steel!!! ***
Saturday morning I added a doe to my list of bow season victims. It was a flash hunt just like my albino kill. Before I had a chance to pull my bow up, two does quickly wandered up within 30yds. I eased my bow and gear up and strapped on my release. I had already made up my mind the night before that if a slickhead came into range, she was gonna get the cold steel. After waiting and waiting I finally took a 10 yard, slightly quartering away shot. I don't really like those close shots because the angel of attack is so steep. I've learned that in those situations I have to aim lower than I normally would. I picked my target and loosed the arrow. The Lumenok disappeared exactly were I wanted it to. If you didn't know the scenario you would probably think the shot was high and slightly back, but actually it was perfect. The arrow passed through leaving an exit hole right around the 12 ring. Her lung was shredded. Easy tracking job...I like that.
Dropped her off for processing and picked up my albino. I had 7 sticks of summer sausage made from him...the rest cubed and ground. I also brought home the hide. I'm looking for someone to make a rug for me. I want the felt backing and all, but I'm only finding people who can do the soft tan part. I may just go the simple route and forget about the backing....we'll see.
Rage 2 broadheads leave a mark. These broadheads are amazing.
*** Stick It To Whitey ***
I passed up on hunting the morning of opening day so that I could film Dad. He put the smack down on a small buck, compliments of his Hoyt Alpha Max and a Rage3. Man, those Rage broadheads do some damage. He also stuck a doe. We tracked her for a least 200 yards. At one point we were on hands and knees crawling through some thick stuff. Unfortunately, we didn't find her. I shot some pretty good footage of a fawn with spots and some does eating acorns, but I flinched on the actual shots.
That afternoon all 3 of us had bows in hand. Dad saw zilch. I passed on a doe, I should have whacked her. Josh put one trough the boiler room on a 6 pointer.
I took Monday off. The day didn't start off too well for me. I stuck a doe with what looked like a good shot. The Lumenok disappeared a little farther back than I would have liked but I was confident it was in the kill zone. The shot was a pass through and the arrow had good blood. I tracked her 150 yards until the blood just stopped as if someone had turned off the spickett. Disappointment....the highs and lows of bow hunting would have an ordinary man on prescription meds.
That afternoon it was a different story. A story of a lifetime. Picture me climbing the tree in my Summit Viper. Picture me settling into my seat. Now picture seeing a snow white deer at 40 yards walking straight towards me. The adrenaline kicked in instantly. I eased the two Velcro straps on my release loose. I was quite as could be but it sounded as loud as a jet engine to me. I strapped it on with my heart thumping like a bass drum, luckily my arrow was already nocked. The deer was within 30 yds now. He milled around behind some saplings crunching acorns from the white oak stand. I thought to myself, "Go right...or go left...either way". He started making his way left. He was ready to step out into the shooting lane. I drew, he stopped short. I held it for as long as I could but he never moved. I let the bow down and waited. Finally he gave me a near perfect broadside at 20 yds. I put the Rage2 right through the 12 ring, double lunged. He made it about 40 yds and crashed. I immediately called Josh...he didn't answer...I called Dad. I couldn't wait to tell someone. Turns out the small buck was not a white deer, but a true albino. Pink nose and all. I read on one website that albinism affects 1 in 30,000 white tails. It is a recessive gene and albinos often have poorer eyesight because of the lack of eye pigmentation. Tell you what....he never saw it coming. ;-)
Few more pictures in the RiverBottom Photos album...