Friday, December 30

Wildfowl Ninja

Always Alert...

The cedar covered blind is his dojo, as he speaks in hushed tones and listens in reverence to the camo clad occupants. He knows that he is the there to learn from the Sensei ShadowGrass, as well as Master Max-4. They deliver nuggets of wisdom on the caloric value of Slim Jim's versus beef jerky. His young mind digests and stores the sage conversations on decoy placement, steel and non-toxic ballistic attributes, and what kind of shotgun Wile E. Coyote would prefer (Acme Accelerator 12 gauge, no doubt)

Above all, he is a patient, considerate apprentice.  Happy to set up dekes, pour hot chocolate and remain statue-still, he is a good sport and I am delighted that he sits next to me.

Once he completes hunter safety and can bring his Weatherby 20 gauge Christmas present onto the field, I know that the inclusion of his 20 gauge round interspersing with other shot going downrange will add another layer of understanding to his inquisitive mind.

When he shoulders the Weatherby, he will have a laser like focus on the bird (not the barrel)

He is the Wildfowl Ninja (in training)

Not content to complete a two dimensional blind placement drawing, the Wildfowl Ninja goes 3-D.
Note: according to him, the turkey leg is a “snack”. He knows my culinary proclivities well.

Turkey Legs for the Long Haul

Sunday, December 25

Sleigh Kebab!!

Santa got run over by a…F-104 Starfighter?!

psst, NORAD...tracking Santa a little close, eh?

I have to give it to the guy..With your main prop being a F-104 Starfighter, the coolness factor was pretty high.  Like any boy-man, I have a long fascination with jets and anything that goes supersonic (added bonus for 20MM Vulcan cannon)

However, when I took in the whole scene, my initial glee turned to concern over the mental health of the creators of this Christmas menagerie, which I will title “Sleigh Kebab”  (alternate title suggestions welcome)

Quite a Happy Scene

There is some tongue in cheek and I get that, but this is also on the main thoroughfare between two towns and am sure that it was a good conversation starter.  “Will we still have Christmas?...Does Santa have another sleigh?..Will Rudolf be ok?”, wide-eyed little Timmy asks  from the back of the minivan, as his parents accelerate past the holiday mayhem and change the subject to cleaning up the pile of discarded cheddar Goldfish at his feet.  
Peppered with over 4,800 questions a day, I am sure those in the front seat would rather not tackle why Rudolf is getting sucked into a General Electric J79 turbojet engine capable of Mach 1.8 on afterburner (sorry for the geek specs)
Considering that they could afford to have a jet moved onto their property, I hope that they put as much effort into providing for those in need as providing a grim view of their Christmas vision. Be safe in the knowledge that Rudolf made it out ok.

Capt. Claus got a new ride.

I heard the afterburner kick in around midnight.

Merry Christmas from Eastern Shore Outdoors!!

Sunday, December 18

Better to Hunt with Your Children than Hunt for Your Children.

Almost Ready for the Second Split

 I started woodworking with my son when he was close to four, as it provided time for us to be together and build things that last. His younger sister got her own nail apron a few years later and joined the sanding and hammering fun. The cuts were not always straight and the nails not in a perfect line, but the projects were ours. The first project, a birdhouse, lasted through hurricanes and still swings in the tree in the front yard of the house we sold six years ago.

 Soon enough, tack hammers were replaced with 16 ounce hammers; hand saws with saber saws. They enjoy designing and then building their creation. The latest projects, I admit, were for their Dad. One was to build stakes for goose silouettes given to me by my son and the other was a gun cradle to cleainng and light gunsmithing.
SBE II in gun cradle

 Correction, as the latter project is for my son and me. You see, there is a 20 gauge Weatherby that will need to be cleaned before Christmas. I hope to be out in the field with them soon, hence the title of the post.

Thursday, December 15

Stolen: Acrylic Strait Meat Honker…Reward if Returned!

 It was the last straw. After another brutal week at the work, I return to my car and find that my goose call is missing. Yes, stolen from my car. I devise ways to exact comeuppance upon the unfortunate soul who "lifted" the call. I can see it now. Walking across the parking lot to [pick a big box store], a dude calls me over to his vintage 1985 Honda Prelude held together with duct tape and caulk and painted primer grey. As I expect him to ask if I want to buy some speakers [remind me to find out who still buys 20" woofers in a wood laminate casing the size of a filing cabinet], I am surprised to hear that he wants to know if I want to buy a goose call. Not any goose call, he tells me, but a “Folles Mahgrah-ter Strayht Meet Hahnker with a smohk bar-ell”…..and a small scratch near the band!!

 As the police arrive and convince me to release my grip on this poor soul’s windpipe, my anger fades as his toes scrape the asphalt. I do not have to convince the police, as they know the fate of a thief who takes a man’s goose call. It is akin to taking his gun and expecting that he will not be given an additional wire brushing for his inability to understand the bond between middle aged men and their gear.

 My melancholy mood continued for twelve hours as I doubted my sanity, muttering under my breath hobo-style that, …“ I never lose anything, what’s my problem!!” I checked the car three times, at night and day, in case the shadows hid the call. Looking through the leaves outside the car door delivered no results and, of course, it did not help I was looking for a Max-4 camo case.

 Despondency progressed… As I readied myself to find another killer eBay deal for the SMH, I checked my briefcase for the fifth time and there it was. In my office, I looked at it on my desk for a few hours and doubted its actual existence. I smiled and knew that I was given a second chance to master the call.

After all, it is not the Arrow, but the Indian.