Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I went hunting for deer and shot a Peacock


The day started off talking to a hunting buddy as I was about to leave and go to my spot a few hours North of my house and he replied "My wife is gone till Thursday, I've got some time lets go." I am always up for some company, so we rolled into my favorite spot where I had passed up on good 3x2 a week before. We unloaded the gear and started the stalk. Up the trail a ways there  were signs of deer and bear were in the area. 

  I crested a bend and glassed a grey shape moving along a trail then up an embankment.  My heart was racing, I brought my binos up and......A large male Peacock.  What the... Yes I said Peacocks, let me tell you how weird it was to see a Peacock about an hour and change from the nearest small town in the middle of a secluded hunting zone mind you. So we talked and decided we did not want the Peacock to sound the alarm that we were there, so at 60 yrds I let the Slim Stick do its magic. Feathers flew everywhere, bird rolls into some really thick stuff and commence us trying not to laugh too loud and scare the deer out of there.
  Upon inspection of the arrow, blood, a crap load of feathers but still no bird. My hunting partner kept looking for the bird as I walked up the trail looking for my 3x2 that I passed up on a few days before.  Let me tell you it is really hard to look in thick blackberry bushes and try to not to be too loud. Sadly both up of were struck out, no Peacock and no Deer.  As darkness grew near we headed back with vigor for we could hear Mama bear and her cub above us skirting our path. 
   At least we did not come home empty handed, as we were driving down the mountain we came across a nice rattler that was crossing the road.  We dispatched him and through him into the back of my truck.
  The next morning we did jump some deer, one was small and or too fast to see, more bear tracks and the march of death through areas even the dear avoid. But all in the name of hunting. So as it turns out so far this year Deer 3, Me 0, but Me 1, Peacocks 0.

I call it a wash so far.
Bearded Boar

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Generational Hunting

  I am a second generation hunter and I am raising the third generation as we speak.  My son Chew has already shown the desire to hunt for over a year now and October 15th he will be accompanying me on his first hunting trip for California Valley Quail.  He is normally camo clad through out the day, wears a holster with a squirt gun inside it and is clutching a plastic bow and makeshift arrows.  Two nights ago he and I were watching Pigman Tv while I was editing a video and he jumps up, grabs a piece of paper and starts to draw an epic hunting scene.  In his world arrows were being flung, Deer, Elk and Pigs were dropping like flies.  All by his hands.  I sat there asking question about the hunt, shot placement and how he wanted to cook them. It was a great moment for me as a father to see my son, without prodding (kinda), follow my footsteps of being an outdoorsman. It was a good day.

Thanks all,

The Bearded Boar

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hands

I'm sitting here at work on a Saturday morning looking looking at my hands. They're not smooth, they are not pretty and they are not well taken care of. To be honest they are callused, dry, rough and curently a little cut up, blistered and bloody. My nails have paint on the, not nail polish (though I am from Cali, but thats not my thing), its auto paint from working on camera mounts for my bow and I've got a few thorns in my fingers from tearing out blackberry bushes at my house. This got me thinking, am I different than a lot of hard working people that made America great, no probably not, but i can say that I am in good company.

   I am proud of my hands, I actually like it when people say something like, "Man you hands are tore up!"  It's kinda funny, but to me it says that I work hard and dedicated.  That is something that is very important to me and something that I never want to loose.  You don't get hands like this typing on the computer or signing papers, it take practice and pain.


So to all the hard working, callused handed brethren out there this dirty cut up thumbs for you. Stay safe this weekend for those of you who are hunting or working.

So that being said I need to get back to work and remove some more chain link fence on my job site, with out gloves of course.

The Bearded Boar

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bowfishing the Canal.....And Video Editing Wall

   I had a blast shooting the footage for video this week, but I hit the wall last night and the two nights before.    I have been getting to bed at around 12am for the past couple of nights trying to be the video the way I want it.  Hard part has been getting up for work at 430am the next morning. But for vids this awesome you have to do what you have to do.  The Vid went thought three rewrites and the final product I am happy with enough to share it with you all.  So with much exhaustion, passion, sore arms, and exhaustion here is the vid.

Enjoy,

The Bearded Boar

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Open letter to Camouflage Manufactures

Dear Sitka, Badlands, Predator, Ultimate, Redhead, Sent-loc, Under Armor, Natural, Russell and everyone else,

   I am writing this letter in an effort to try and talk some sense into you about how to manufacture hunting clothing for the hunter who does not sit in a tree stand, blind, or travel to the Arctic Tundra to harvest his monster.  I know that the majority of your target clients spent much of their hunting season in cool to snowy climates and require fleece line this and that to stay warm.  Base layers, mid-layers, side layers and wind stopping shell technology as well.  Here in the west at certain times of the year we need that too.  But not all the time, most of the time we don't require that level of warmth.  Frankly it is hot out here, from March through November and beyond. So, unless you get to higher elevations it is not necessary to look like the Michelin Man.

Here are the facts,

  1. I am a bow hunter.  
  2. I like to be quite when I hunt.
  3. I like to blend in.
  4. I like to be comfortable.
  5. I cover a lot of ground on foot.  
  6. It is hot in California most of the time.
  7. Wearing quiet, comfortable, camo'd clothes on long hikes for the most part is really uncomfortable in California and other warm climates.
  You make top notch gear if you are only walking from your truck to a tree or a blind where you can strip down to a black base layer. But if in August I am going to hike 8 to 10 miles in 80 degree weather in silent whatever technology with a 20lb pack and maybe dragging a 100lb field dressed animal, I'm gonna get a little warm.  I am pretty sure the thermal signature I am putting off can be seen from outer space.  As of right now my options are to hunt naked (but that might be little awkward explaining my birthday suit camo to the Department of Fish and Game), wear some kind of short sleeve shirt and hope my white/redness blinds the deer or pig into a stupor and allows me to shank them with the slim stick.    
  
  My suggestion to you is to try and make a small line of clothing that is geared to the hunter who hunts in the heat, aka the south, southwest, west.  It is a win/win you sell more cloths, and my body temperature is not 1000 degrees in March through October.  [Side note: Nylon is not an acceptable option, chaffing for big guys hurts and it is highly flammable in the sun (not really, it is just really uncomfortable when it sticks to you). A blend of poly might be approved in the proper configurations.]

Here are a few quick design tips,
  1. Venting- Look at some of the Fishing shirts and pants that the guys in the Florida Keys wear, mesh vents.  Airflow is always a plus.  Also UA you hit a home run with your mesh front Boxer Jock, take note others.
  2. Moisture Wicking- Lets face it, I sweat like a pig in a sauna even if I'm naked in the snow (sorry not a good image I know).  I have been used as a human salt lick in Colorado as a mineral supplement for Elk and Mule Deer.  The entire shirt does not need to wick, try the underarms and back for starters.  
  3. Small Pocket on the upper left arm. There is no real benefit in the heat, I just want that  to hold my calls and wind powder in.  No too big, just big enough to hold a small stack credit cards say.
  4. Collars- Though not mandatory, but they have a cool factor for sure ie Miami Vice.
  5. Sleeves- If you can get the lower arms to have a four way stretch I would be stoked, trying to manage your release and a cuff can be a nightmare when you are trying to adjust your strap.  Plus some straps are bulky or have big buckles.  With a buttoned sleeve you feel like you have a circus tent at the end of each arm.
That is it for now, lets just start with those five.  Once you work on those we will move on to the next requirements for the perfect warm weather bowhunting setup.  I have a plethora of ideas on how to perfect the Camo industry.  Remember trial and error, and I am willing to trial and tell you the error.  Just throwing the offer out there, take it or leave it.  

Thanks for all your time, 

The Bearded Boar

PS.  I have patent pending and marginal intellectual ability or I mean property to the above, so don't just steal the ideas without telling me you are.  I need something to brag about on this site.

We have a winner!

We indeed have a winner, Mark aka SoloAdventure!  Check out his blog, a man after my who heart for sure, hunting, photography, and family.  Not a bad life for sure. Thank you all who participated in the give away and sorry for those who missed out, maybe next time.

  We have slated for the next time around, a new product that it coming out on the market soon....A little hush hush at the moment but what I can say is, "It will be a new perspective on filming your hunting videos."

Till the next time,

The Bearded Boar

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A "I was almost a Headline on CNN" fishing trip.


I Should Have Known Better.....


Here is a story from the last time Blair Edwards and I went out together, and oldie but a goodie.

After watching programs like "I Should Not Be Alive", "Man vs. Wild", and "Never Again" for as long as I can remember Blair Edwards and I agree We should have known better. But the fishing was too good to care at the time.

Friday Night Blair Edwards and I decided to make a kamikaze trek up to the Sequoia National Park to explore a few new fishing spots. On its face we knew we were up for a grueling 24 hrs just because we were leaving late Friday, fish Saturday morning, pick up his trailer one hour away, head back up to fish the afternoon/evening and then drive back to Ventura County towing a trailer. If everything went to plan it was going to be rough, no matter what. to add to the heaping helping of fun we have never been to any of the places we were fishing, so the unknown was weighting heavy upon us.

After a late night of driving, discussions, food and refreshments we finally went to sleep about 2:30 or 3 am, not sure really when my phone and watch were in the cab of my truck. Jump 4ish hours later we were up with coffee and oatmeal brewing and stewing feeling a little wiped from the previous 12 hours events. We broke down camp and headed up Marble Creek for a few hours a fly fishing exploration. The beauty was for sure there, large boulders, small wandering stream, lots of poison oak, towering Oaks and Sycamore trees and medium sized trout to be had with minimal effort. Not great fishing, but good. Flash forward to 10am, "We should go." exclaims Blair as he casts into another pool trying to coax a Brook, Rainbow or Golden into a false meal of yarn, feathers and steel. 1015 am, "We really need to go!" declares Blair. So we say sure, and discuss the fastest way out of the canyon. This is the point of the day for me that we should have been taking cues from and would have saved us a larger headache later, but I digress lets finish Marble creek first.
We decided to see if we could find the trail above us, though neither of us had a map or even the slightest idea of where the trail was. So the bushwack begins, up-down, left-right, over and under, scratch, tear, poke, rattlesnake, and we should have just headed back down stream. But that would have been to easy.
Jump a few hours forward, we have been to Kingsburg, retrieved the trailer and an assortment of items for the Edwards kids and were headed back to the Sequoia National Park. We decided because of the heat to leave behind the waders and just wear shorts and wading boots only. Light and quick......our downfall. This is where the story becomes blog worthy.
To protect the spot from eager adventures I'll just say that we fished the Keweah River at the end of a dirt road. A little about the spot, there is no trail, no detailed info on the internet and absolutely no sign of human life of the river itself. It seems to only be frequented by bears, coyotes and small game, which is just the kind of place the gets me stoked to be outside.

So at the end of a nondescript dirt road we gear up,
Wading boots........................Check
Shorts.....................................Check
Thin Collard Shirt.................Check
Rod and Real.........................Check
Fly Box and minimal Gear..Check
CRKT Knife...........................Check
Unprepared for fishing
in late afternoon....................Priceless

Our only brief glimmer of wisdom was when Blair says, "Lets bring the map just in case." My reply "Ya sure, bring the topo." Everything our fathers, Backpacker Mag and Best Case Scenario game cards said were left there in the truck along with our better judgment at 330 pm in Western Sierra Nevada MOUNTAIN Range. We know the a creek is just ahead we we proceed to there, scurry down a few waterfalls, traverse a rock outcropping and eventually hit the river. Commence great fishing.

We proceeded to fish deep clear pools, short shallow rapid sections, sandy banks and I must say some of the most beautiful stretches of river I have walked in the Western Sierra's. Oh ya lot's of fish, wild Rainbows that are almost completely silver with black spots, sorry no pics left that in the truck as well. We know there were bear in the area because we found many areas were they have been taking bathroom breaks, usually on top of large boulders, weird honestly, but maybe they liked the view. So with bear, rattlesnake and the quickening of darkness on our minds we hit up the last hole on "The River". I will say that I was the one who caught the last fish, but the following events were no trophy for sure.

Lets set the scene,

Fade into two strapping young bucks who looked like the just walked out of a Patagonia catalog atop a towering waterfall. One looks like the ugly stepchild of a red-hard Grizzly Adams and the other a thrift store version of Bear Grylls with a beard. Dirt, grime, scrapes, thorns, stickers and bloody knuckles adorn them showing their dedication to the untouched river. The reality of their situation starts to set in. We are pretty far from our ride out of here and between us is a stretch of boulders and cliffs that we barely made it up. "So how are we going to get out?" we ponder. Enter the small glimmer of brilliance, the crude map. Upon studying the map and surrounding terrain we find the bend in the river that may be our ticket out of here and hopefully/prayfully prior to dinnertime for the bears and other large woodland creatures.



To the North of us is either 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile of steep terrain that is covered with thick trees and towering Sage. Our hope is a steep granite out cropping ahead about the same distance that we have already covered fishing (later verified via google earth this morning). We think that if we can get there before dark we have a chance to catch the trail that should be right above it. Commence the march through the river, up steep embankments, over boulders, through cracks, up more embankments when the river is impenetrable, back down them when the brush gets to thick, walk past more bear latrines then I cared to count and then to top off the trek, holding my rod in my mouth we wrap ourselves around a tree that rest 40ish feet about a waterfall to the base for the Granite out cropping. Of ya can't forget the fact that we walked along the top of the waterfall to get to the other side.
Passing our last bear nuggets we head up the hill in the quickly fading twilight, to our left what resembles the possible trail cutting the mountain side. Ahead of us steep rock littered with moss, slippery vegetation and the occasional yucca that seemed to find their way into our flesh very often on the accent. Our hike was becoming a death march of pain and blood with every foot we climbed. Did I mention that I had major knee surgery 2 months ago, no well that was feeling great to. Upon our arrival to the top of the rocks we are greeted with the largest game trail we have seen all day long. A thankful sight for sure because that meant we would be able to progress our way though dense undergrowth, but bad because we might come face to face with a ill tempered bear. As I became hung up for the thousandth time that day I hear a cry of victory from Blair and victory it was, the trail.
We reunited on the yellow brick road that was our ticket to water, food and safety. Darkness was nigh so after a quick exclamation of God provision in our journey we humped it back towards the trail head. We consistently let our presence be know to all the ne'er-do-wells of the animal kingdom through song, tribal grunts, loud conversation and movie quotes. If you haven't hiked though bear and rattler country in the dark before lets just say that it will test your nerves at times. To our great delight and we made it to the truck just as the last hint of light faded from the sky. The river fished, navigation skills tested, body worn we set out down the bumpy dirt road in search of a very large and very refillable glass of lemonade and piles of steaming barbecued meat to consume. Which we did.

Over diner we discussed our adventure, exhilorating, manly, dangerous, and very foolish. We are glad our fathers taught us how to be wise outdoors men and think on our feet, but we agreed that we should have been a little more prepared. But hey if we were then it would have been just another fishing trip and nothing more. Now we just need to drive home towing a trailer on 4ish hours of sleep and treking all day.....yawn.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gander Mountain Gift Card Give Away



The Prize is a $25 Gander Mountain Gift card.


To Qualify

  Okay kids it is simple, for every comment on this blog post, you will get 1 entry.  If you follow me on Twitter you get 1 entry, leave a comment on this blog post saying you did so. For every Retweet of a Twitter post you will get 1 entry, leave separate comment on this blog post saying you did so.  If you follow the Bearded Boar blog you get 1 entry, leave a separate comment on this blog post saying you did so. A comment on other social media sites such as Facebook or Huntvids will be give 1 point as well, make sure you leave a separate comment on this blog post.  Please leave separate comments for each entry! 1 Comment = 1 Entry!

The Deadline

The give away will start time is 930 pm PST 9/15/11 and the contest will close 5pm PST 9/19/11.  During this time entries will be considered valid.

The Winner and Prize Acceptance
The winner will be announced Tuesday September 20th via email and post on the Bearded Boar site.  The winner must respond within 48 hours of the announcement, if contact is not made then another winner will be chosen via the same method as the first.  Winner must respond with their contact information for the prize delivery or they will forfeit their prize.


Good luck all and have at it.

The Bearded Boar



** Disclaimer- This promotion is not affiliated in any way shape or form with Gander Mountain or any of its subsidies, vendors, clients or affiliates.  They are not paying me to give the card away nor did they give me the card to give away.  It was purchase with my own blood, sweat and tears and I'm a nice guy and want to share myself with you.**   

Social Media or Hunting Buddies that is the question.

   I belong to a couple of hunting, fishing and general outdoor forums around the web and contribute to a few more.  Most have great insight and fun stories that will help you pass the time when you are stuck at your desk filing paperwork or spending a lazy afternoon tripping around the internet.  Sites like Jesse's Hunting Forum, which is a great example of a general Outdoors site that is about camaraderie, technical information and some great hunting stories from everyday blue collar guys.  No frills or massive giveaways to draw people in, just men and women who want to share their thoughts and ask questions.  Platforms such as The Almighty Facebook or Twitter (both which I use) give off a much different type of sporadic and at times spastic information feed.  With out a doubt they have their place in the social media world that we live in, but they are not the cornerstone.  Most outdoor sites tend run off a different platform which mainly convey a more focused and complete train of thought or idea.  In Outdoor forums and or blogs, information and discussions are not delivered like a flash in the pan, but mulled over and sometimes beat to death by a group of like minded people.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages and both I use, for example this site.

   So whats with the Social Media and Hunting Buddy and other nonsense about websites?  Well, it comes down to information and the balance between reading off a computer screen and looking another person in the eyes and having the same conversations.  For example, I had a great talk yesterday with a Gentleman that I met at Big 5 a few months back.  I met Ed while standing in line purchasing a hunting licenses and me being the every talkative nice guy started asking a few questions about where he was going to hunt.  After about a thirty minute talk on my tail gate with maps opened about deer hunting in the D zones of California, I had armed him with some information on where to start looking for bucks out here an my number is he had more questions.  Fast forward to yesterday, Ed and I were again on my tail gate narrowing down and fine tuning his plan of attack on the upcoming riffle season.  I was thinking to myself, "Self, this is fun, I enjoy talking to guys that just love being outside."  Though "Self" didn't say much back, must have been bored with all the topo maps we were looking at and discussion of Deer/Weather movements, but that's what I get for being slightly ADD.  I did however realized that both online interaction and face to face have their place in our modern lives and both build crucial relationships, but they are different. A computer screen does not smile and give you a high five and on the other hand one person can only know so much about a subject.

   Together the friendships that build up to the hunt from the blending of cyberspace and a tailgate meeting, when done properly, can bring an amazing experience on a trip.  The info that I had for Ed came from me scouting an area sure, but also the internet.  Forums, blogs, and Google Earth all played their part in it so that opening day could be a success.  You see opening day of Deer Season, or any other creature for that matter, to the Outdoors man is just like a women and her wedding day.  The workouts, the prep and  planning which culminate into a beautifully orchestrated event of pure enjoyment and satisfaction, though I guess you can say sometimes the Groom, ie Mr. Big Antlers, doesn't show up.  But, it is still can be great hunt, unlike a women being left on the big day, that is not so great. And Wifey, I loved our wedding day and I am talking about other guys not me.

  So, to wrap up my incoherent babbling, I have realized 'The Brotherhood of the Outdoors' in which ever form it comes in, Ed at Big 5, Jesse's Hunting Forum, Facebook or Twitter, is what makes hunting and fishing great.  I have found it is not about the kill or the trophy that I love, but the build up and teamwork that makes me more passionate about being a Western Athlete.  Every run, day surfing, sit up, bow shot and conversation is training for that one moment when I need to be ready to seal the deal or as the great modern day philosopher, Larry the Cable Guy says, "Get R' Done." 

Bearded Boar

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Bearded Boar Weekend- The Movie

The Run Down 
  So here is a run down of the past weekend for me, Friday I ran up La Jolla Cyn to the fire road which is a 5.2 mile run.  Not too bad for a 235 lb, for now at least, fat guy.  I had just enough water to get to the top and they Dehydrate myself on the way back down wishing I had brought more.  My saving grace came in two forms, my camel like ability to store water in my hump (not really) and my keen knowledge of the secret water fountain that is hidden within the parking lot at the trail head.  Right next the the first parking space.  After four bottles of water I was off to a quick bowfishing expedition for an hour and half around the local tributaries of the V-County.

  Next the Wifey took off the Santa Clarita for the night, leaving me and the kids to fend for ourselves,  searching for whatever scraps of food we found on the floor to sustain ourselves.  That and some stuff I picked up from Trader Joe's.  So it was a 24 hr, Dad and Kiddo sugar bender filled with doughnuts, pancakes, sugary fruit substitute drinks (aka McDonalds), and general lawlessness.  Very Lord of the Flies-ish, except for the whole loin cloth, military school and living in caves thing.  Really it was more like they came with me to work picked up a two doughnuts and then we headed off to the beach via a Deluxe B-fast meal.

  Sunday the wifey was home so we did the Church-Trader Joes-Petsmart and another Beach run with the whole group thing, so simple and yet so satisfying.

The Critics Review
  This past weekend got me thinking. Sometimes it takes a simple, yet fun, weekend with the fam to recharge and get us ready for the next big adventure.  Life is not all about big bucks, trophy fish or perfect waves, it can be as simple as making sand castles and watching a lizard eating crickets with your kids that makes life really memorable.  Man I love this life.

Until the next time,

The Bearded Boar

Some people don't read the novel, they just wait for the movie to come out.  If that is you here you go.

The Movie

video


Tonight we are Spearfishing and surfing so stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Day of 20 Misses"

  Here is the second Video in Bearded Boar Video Store, "Day of 20 Misses" chronicles my best and worst day of my bowfishing career.  I saw more fish yesterday than ever before, but I missed more fish then ever before.  Not sure if it was just me or if I just folded under the pressure of trying to self film.  Either way it was a humbling experience to say the least and lets all face it, we have off days.
  
  So with out further ado, here is a good laugh at my expense.


video



The Bearded Boar

Here is a link to another version to the video with different music.  20 Misses w/ Zac Brown Band

PS. Weight is coming down, 235 and My eating habits are under control. Looking forward to my run this afternoon, an hour through the fields of Oxnard, CA.

   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chumash Trail Run and Bowfishing

Here is my first video, ending is a little rough because my battery died after that last shot.  So no trophy pics, sorry.  All that being said, I am now hooked on filming.

Enjoy.

Bearded Boar

video

From Fish to Finish

  Today is Labor day, a wonderous day in which we celebrate all things Laborious.  Our jobs, (which I put a few hours in this morning), the morning commute, the paycheck, the really bad office coffee and of course that special someone in your office that makes you want to hurl a computer monitor in their general direction.  To me labor day is a little strange, we have a day to celebrate our jobs? I thought that was called the weekend, but I digress.  And before anyone emails me I know that it was set up in the late 1800's by Presdent Cleveland in response to the labor strikes and clashes they had with the military.  But that does not really the point of an outdoors blog, to discuss the finer points of the labor movment.  So now off into the world of bowfishing and trail running, things that are worthy of celebrating.
 
  Today was an hour run up the Chumash Trail starting at Mugu Rock and the basically went vertical.  900 feet of elevation gain in just over half a mile.  Lets just say I was a little winded by the time I got to the top and I was not even half way done with my run.  It is one of the most beautiful places on the PCH for sure.  So after an hour of assending and dessending the the Tower of Babel I headed to the river for some skinny stick sling'n. 
   Rolled up to the first spot to find the alge bloom in full swing, which means no visibility to speak of.  So, off to the next spot.  Once I got the the second spot I was greated with the sight of Carp feed near the bank.  I grabbed my bow and hooked up my camera and I was off.  Yes, I am filming my hunts now and I am currently editing yesterday's run and bowfishing session.  Anyway, lots of Stinging Nettles, which hurt when you are wearing shorts, and lots of fish.  My only problem was that the light was fading fast and I was running out of light.  On my first shot I connected and I had my first camera/bowfishing experience.  It was not easy to say the least. 
 
  With success comes an inflated ego and despite the setting sun I stuck around for a few more shots and the high tailed it out of there.  Good day, exhausting, but great.  Like I said I am currently editing the video and will post it as soon as it is done.
Later,
Bearded Boar

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the hotest of times.

    To start it was really hot, then not so hot, then really really hot, and then really really hot and humid with a splash of rain.  During all of which I was dealing with a malfunctioning Browning Light 12, but I was still able to shoot my limit each day.

   I headed out Tuesday afternoon and went to the Medina of the Outdoors, Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucumunga, CA.  After a three hour wandering session and an in depth look at everything that would complete my life as a Western Athlete I hopped into their Archery Shooting lane and shot a few dozen arrows.  So I checked that off my list for the day.  Man, if I only had a million dollars and lack of purchasing will power I would have had to purchase a trailer to take all the stuff I wanted with me.  But, a famous quote rang within my head "Alas poor Tony,  for I knew him well.  That is until he bought a ton of stuff from Bass Pro Shop and his wife found out and killed him." -William Shakespeare (kinda).  So, sigh, I spent 5 buck out of pocket, well really $85, but I had some store credit.

  Thursday I awoke and headed out with my Uncle Dale to the great town of Wellton, AZ.  Complete with no stop lights and a bar called the Beachfront Bar, but without a beach so go figure.  We did the first thing that all hardcore hunters do when they get to their base camp, we went to the pool and cooled off.  I mean come on my temp gauge on my truck said 115 degrees when we pulled in.  After a round of how have things been with all the guys in the hunting party we headed out to our respective happy hunting grounds that we lease to check the skies for the bombarding patterns of the dove.  First field not a whole lot, but after talking to the ranch manager we hit gold.  With mouths agape we watched the skies fill with Mourning and White-wing doves.  It seemed that it was going to be a good hunt over the next few days.  Or so I thought.  So with the scouting done we heading to a secluded area of the farm and brought out the AZ legal AR-15s out for some tactical shooting.  Man, tricked out guns, lots of ammo and a tactical weapons instructor make for a good evening if you ask me.  Shout out to Tom Reese, owner of Firepower Depot in Riverside, CA.

  Opening day 5am, I am standing in the fields with my Browning Light 12 that was given to me by my father on my 20th Birthday.  I was like a fat guy at an all you can eat burger buffet, waiting for first light to hit to watch'em drop.  Oh baby!  Exactly 1/2 hour before sunrise I loaded my shot gun and started the spastic event of dove hunting with a Bang and Click?!  I thought that was weird, reloaded and then Bang! No click this time.  Oh no, my gun in not chambering another round!  I have one shot and that is it, You can have 1 in the chamber and 2 ladies in waiting nothing more. As Boston Tom, aka "Plug", found out with a ticket from AZ Department of Game and fish for failing to refit his plug in after his trip to Colorado.  But that is only a mood point, the real crisis is that I am now shooting with only one shell in my shotgun.  Lets just say I spent most of the morning breaking down my gun only to find I have a worn spring that will not eject the spent round and ready the pin to fire properly. 

  But in the name of good form and a stiff upper lip, "Tally Ho!"  The Bearded Boar is not about giving up, a Western Athlete does not crawl up in a ball and cry because it is really hard to shoot a single shot.  No, failure is not an option. The great Dylan Thomas Wrote,

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

So I did what needed to be done and pressed forth with a single shell in hand and finished the hunt without incident.  I must say it did make me a better hunter for sure, every shot was my only shot.  Every squeeze of the trigger was my last.  My eye was focused and my aim was true, most of the time anyway.  I indeed limited out both days fairly quickly and I called it a very successful hunt for sure. 

  Lessons from the trip, even check your "Old Faithful" gun before you go out.  I do it with every other piece of equipment that I own, I should have done it with my Browning.  2nd, if you break out your bow to shoot dove with it, remember even flu flu's get lost in the tall grass, do a better job spotting where they go down. 

  Tomorrow I've got a killer Recipe for Bacon and Jalapeno Dove with a pepper cream sauce. 

Thanks all,

Bearded Boar

Oh ya, eat like I should have on the trip, salads and small portions.  I lost a few pounds, but I just chalked it up to heat stroke and dehydration.  Work, Bike, Run and some arrow slinging tomorrow.