VOLUME 34-----------APRIL 2005
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
Running a little late again this month. I procrastinated because I wanted to wait until my return from our Hunter Education Instructors Conference in Yakima. This In Service Training Conference was held April 2nd and 3rd, providing workshops and training for Washington State's cadre of volunteer Instructors. (For more details and some pictures of the event, navigate to our Hunter Education page.)
I can also report that I have now completed the requirements for certification as a Hunter Education Instructor in Idaho. Since we are so close to Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, ID, this will allow me to fill in, as needed, for classes across the border.
Last month I reported on the warm, sunny weather we were having. Told ya' it would change! A few days ago we awoke to a snow covered landscape that forced me to navigate a slick driveway to get the trash out the to County road. We had about 4 inches here at the house before day's end, with higher elevations getting more than 3 feet in some places!
The area ski hills have had a terrible season for lack of snow, and most had put out 'Closed For The Season' messages, when this bonanza struck. The snow came on Tuesday, and 3 or 4 of the local ski areas quickly announced that they were re-opening for the following weekend! I guess this reinforces the truth of Ol' Yogi's philosophy that, "It ain't over, 'till it's over!"
Turkey season opens April 15th. I had never hunted turkeys until our fall season last year. As I stepped out the door on opening day, with my trusty old Winchester pump, Rick drove in. I was just heading out to stalk a flock that was meandering along about 100 yards southwest of the house. Since Rick also had a tag, I just handed him the shotgun and pointed him in the right direction. He came back carrying a young gobbler in about 3 minutes.
My opportunity came the next day about noon. I received a report of a large flock of mixed birds in a neighbor's front yard. A quarter mile stroll to Larry's front door for permission, and a 20 step stroll to his driveway for a safe shot, resulted in a young jake, that turned out mighty tasty!
My PROfessional turkey hunting friends, Mike and Bruce, tell me that bagging a gobbler during the spring breeding season ain't likely to be that easy! Unlike the fall season, when either sex is legal game, only a turkey with a 'visible beard' is legal. Furthermore, I'm warned that these gobblers are "wary beyond description!" Well, we shall see!
I'm going to the woods carrying calls that include a coyote howler and woodpecker-peacock shock calls, along with a box call, a mouth diaphragm call, and a shaker gobble call. Armed with my Winchester pump and dressed in full camouflage, including face mask, I will place my recently purchased decoys in just the right spot, and entice a Huge Gobbler into range of a dose of #6's!
I'm sure it will work out this way 'cause the guy who sold me the decoys, said these are the kind he uses! The decoys are Feather Flex® brand. One is a 'passive jake' (whatever that means) and the other is a 'three position hen'. Since I keep this a PG rated site, I'll only say that hen's position one is 'standing', position two is 'feeding', and position three, we can't talk about!
I'll make sure Ann gets a picture of me in my full regalia, whether successful or not, so I can at least prove I look like a PROfessional, albeit, very likely a hungry one!
After nearly a year and a half, Little Heifer's shoulder mount of her 2003 whitetail buck was finally completed. We picked it up from Coeur d'Alene Taxidermy last week. The mount looks really good above the fireplace, except it will need to come back down temporarily when we put in a new fireplace insert and re-do the wall later this year.
I refuse to allow anyone near this mount with a tape measure, because I'm afraid it has a wider spread than one of mine from a few years ago that's hanging in the family room downstairs! Here's that one. (I'm gonna' try to enlarge the picture!)
Dang! It didn't work! Well, mine has more points!
Now that I'm really startin' to fret about getting out to do some shooting, it seems to rain every other day. (I have a feeling that all my new loads this spring will shoot into one hole groups, don't you?) Hope springs eternal.
The forecast calls for sunshine and mid 60's temps by mid week, so now the annual mental struggle between shootin' rifles and hittin' golf balls will re-surface. (We're sure glad goin' to work is no longer a factor in that decision, though.)
I'll let ya' know next month, how the turkey huntin' went.
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a source that I now disremember, but it's advice even a Hillbilly can understand:
Never argue with an idiot! In only a few seconds, bystanders are unable to tell which is which.
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!