Hunting 2014

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SPRING TURKEY HUNTING 2014

Today is March 29, 2014 and have done very little to get ready for this year's Spring turkey hunting season which comes in April 12, 2014 and a week earlier for the Youth hunt.

One of my good friends John Gaddy of Polkton, NC lit a fire under me a few weeks ago and we both checked the point of aim on our turkey guns.  At the end of last years turkey season, I installed a Bushnell Aim Point red dot scope and had already "rough" sighted it in.  Shooting those 12 gauge 3 1/2 inch Magnum Blend Hevi-Shot loads with 2 1/4 oz. of shot will definitely keep you awake.....grin if you must.  I only had to fire two rounds; one of the ole Remington Hevi-Shot # 5 shot shells with a load of  only 1 3/4 oz. and that kicked like a mule that had a briar under his harness, whereas the Hevi-Shot Magnum blend will put a hurt on you if you don't keep it tight into your shoulder pocket.........thank goodness I already had it pre-sighted in at forty (40) yards using regular high brass # 5 shells and a few of the Remington Hevi-Shot shells which is about where I normally keep it.

Randy Steele of Casons Old Field has recently seen both Long Beards and Hens on his farm land and hopefully we can get on an ole Long Beard opening day before they get too spooked from the hunting pressure from the surrounding hunting club lands.    

The past week or two I had to purchase a new desktop to replace my antiquated HP Pavilion 450 desktop that has an XP Pro operating system on it which I have used the XP OS since it came out twelve (12) years ago both at work and at home and totally comfortable and familiar with it.  Now comes along the Microsoft silicon valley pirates and decided they will no longer offer support for the old system which is understandable from a business and profit margin sense.  However, from a consumer standpoint, yours truly, it is a major set-back trying to learn a new operating system and Windows 8 OS sucks compared to the XP Pro operating system.  I am beginning to get the hang of Windows 8 it but the problem is that Windows 8 doesn't support the majority of the programs that I have since my old stuff was 32 bit and the new system is 64 bit and programs like Photoshop, Adobe CoolEdit2000, my flatbed scanner HP 3970 series and Photosmart 1218 printer are not supported by Windows 8 which is adding additional cost just to get back to where I was at.

I have the new Windows 8 system up and running wireless of which I am using to create this webpage and will take the other desktop off line which is connect by LAN before the Microsoft support ends on April 8, 2014 for the security reasons.  I do have the ole system still going and will use it for some of my off-line photo and audio editing needs.  I do have my new desktop with my website software and image editing going but it was a "dawg" to do so and really don't like the folder layout of Windows 8 and the IPad type screen display, however they still have a traditional desktop feature of which I am mostly using.  In time, I guess I will learn to appreciate it but not at this moment.........grin if you must!

Hopefully, my next addition to this page will be some good stuff about turkey hunting instead of crying and whining about the computer stuff.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 03-29-31.

SPRING TURKEY HUNTING SEASON OPENS 04-12-14

Our annual turkey hunting season came in today 04-12-14 and had my gear checked out and most of it loaded and ready to roll yesterday evening.  I got up around 0430 and after a quick shave and shower, fixed a hot cup of coffee for the thermos and headed out the door and stopped off at BoJangles for a couple bacon, egg and cheese biscuits to go. 

After a 15 minute or so drive to Randy Steele's farm at Casons Oldfield, NC, we watched some TV and enjoyed the biscuit with the coffee.  Randy was making himself a hot cup of instant coffee when I arrived.  

I loaded my gear into his truck and we drove to a 40 acre track of land that has a fairly good concentration of Long Beards and at around 0630, we heard a total of five (5) hammering away.  Several of the Long Beards were across the creek on adjacent hunting land and one in particular was hammering away and reminded us of a Long Beard a few years ago we nick named "Motor Mouth" because he constantly gobbled.  However, this morning he would not come across the creek but paced back and forth.  A couple years ago, he came across the creek two different times and sneaked in on us in his stealth mode of operation and didn't make a sound!  Motor Mouth continued to gobble until a large bobcat crossed the clearing and headed toward where he was gobbling and then I heard him make a few putt, putt sounds and then everything was quiet again.

Randy did see a long beard come out on one of the dirt access roads to the clearing where we were set up in the edge of the woods about 70 yards in front of him and the Long Beard did a half fan and strut a couple times but would not commit to coming in to check out the clucks and yelping that I was doing on a Porter Custom Dual Hens box call and a aluminum over walnut pot call.  I didn't have a visual on the Long Beard from where I was set up and Randy related to me what he observed.  We didn't place any decoys out this morning and that might have cost us that Long Beard but the harvesting of a Long Beard is only a part of the enjoyment of hunting.  I heard one Long Beard fly down around 0702 about 80 to 100 yards away but never got a look at him.  We stayed at that set-up location for a couple hours or more and relocated to a small field but we didn't see or hear anything else and left around 1100.

It was great to be in the outdoors again listening to those ole Long Beards hammering away and a variety of other birds doing their normal routine.  

I am so thankful to live in a Country where we currently have the freedom and opportunity to bear arms and be able to hunt of which many countries only allow to most elite to hunt.  Our rights are slowly with subtlety being eroded to cater to the Liberal crowd as I type and hope the Moral Decay of America declines which is my prayer. 

Randy and I will be back out there come Monday morning before daybreak, the Lord willing of course and hopefully hear those ole Long Beards hammering and gobbling away and just maybe, we will be at the right place and time and have some sweet seductive sounds emitting from our calls that the ole boys will not be able to resist and come on in for a closer "look see" with anticipation of doing their annual mating.......grin if you must!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 04-12-14.

TURKEY HUNTING 04-14-14

Today was pretty much of a rerun of the morning start on Saturday with Randy and myself getting into the turkey woods around 0630 after a BoJangles biscuit and hot coffee, however today was overcast and the ole Long Beards were silent. 

The first thing we heard this morning was a Whippoorwill  when we got out of the truck and he/she was sounding off it's mating call to attract another Whippoorwill.

After getting the Jake and hen decoys in position, I placed a length of camouflage netting in front of my turkey lounger chair to better conceal myself since I planned on doing the calling and this would keep Mr. Long Beard from seeing movement while using the box call and friction pot call.

We did hear a couple sound off a gobble or two around 0830 and they were a good distance away.  Heard one gunshot around 0720 on the adjacent track of land and maybe a hunter got lucky this morning.  Below a couple pixs taken of our set-up:

Randy was positioned to my right about 10 feet and there is one of the dirt access roads that terminate into the right hand corner of this field which is where Randy saw a Long Beard come out on opening day.  I harvested a long beard from this field last season on opening day and hoping Randy would have the opportunity to do the same today.  I took a pix of Randy where he was set-up but the pix was too out of focus to use.  We both caught several good naps while turkey hunting this morning.....grin if you must.  Another pix below:

I have the ole Remington 11-87 Super Magnum shotgun in the foreground on this pix with the decoys positioned about 20 to 25 yards from this home made make shift ground blind.  

We stayed at this set-up until around 1030ish and plan to be back in the woods again on Wednesday since the Weather Prophets are calling for rain late this evening and all day on Tuesday.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-14-14.

TURKEY SCOREBOARD:  TURKEY 1 HUNTERS 0

This weeks hunting has been a roller coaster weather wise with lows dipping down to 31 degrees on 04-17-14 of which I elected to stay under the covers.  The day before the weather was 33 degrees around 0515 and dipped a little lower at day break and the wind was blowing kind of fierce.  Below are posted a few pixs taken at different set-up locations.  Click on thumbnails for a larger screen view:

The cold weather shut the gobblers down as far as making their normal early morning vocalizations and the crows were silent too which was hard to believe since they make a fuss at anything.

The weather forecast for Friday 04-18-14 was very promising for the early morning and mid-day with rain starting in the afternoon and continuing through out Saturday.  Therefore, Randy and myself planned to hunt across from his home on the back side of a field of planted "Lobloly Pines" with a small food plot strip he left for the deer and turkeys that is a good 55 yards in width at the narrow end and 200 yards in length of which we harvested a good Long Beard there a few years ago. 

We got at our set-up location around 0620 and placed a Jake and Hen decoy about 19 yards from Randy's make shift ground blind of a few broken pine limbs, etc. and I was about 8 yards to his left.  I had a good 50 yards plus visibility to my left where the pines jutted out into the edge of the field making a kind of J hook and could see about 75 yards to the other side of the field.  Below is the view from my home made ground blind location:

At 0632 a gobbler sounded off to our left maybe 100 yards away and gobbled a few times and all was quiet again.  I gave a soft tree type yelp and decided not to do much of any calling at all since he knew where the sound came from.  Sometime around 0700 there was some loud clucking and cutting where we heard the Long Beard sound off earlier and I gave a few yelps on the aluminum over glass pot call.  About 15 minutes later, I gave a series of clucks and cutts with the box call and it was around 0730 when I saw a mature Long Beard approach from the extreme left area in the above picture and was in full strut; e.g., tail feathers spread in a perfect arch and fan, both wings stretched downward with the tips dragging the ground with the longer feathers slightly spread showing the beautiful white and black barred pattern, back and chest body feathers puffed out and he looked twice his normal size.  His  black feathers with the brown tips had an awesome glow and shine to them even with the sky being overcast.  His head was a brilliant bright blue with a snow white crown and his waddles were crimson red looking like two glowing red light bulbs hanging off his neck and he kept his head tucked down and back into his chest the entire time he was strutting his stuff.  I thought about taking a picture of him but afraid I might spook him as I was facing East toward the rising sun and decided to stay still and observe him while he was slowly and methodically making his way toward the Jake and Hen decoys that were 19 yards directly in front of Randy's set-up and definitely wanted Randy to harvest this magnificent mature Eastern Long Beard.  The ole Long Beard would take about 10 steps, turn broadside in the direction of the decoys, turn back around and do a little fancy dance foot work continuing to strut.  When the Long Beard got directly in front of me, I could hear him spitting pretty loud but didn't pick up on his low frequency drumming that normal goes with the spitting; guess my hearing is not as good as it use to be.  My heart was racing pretty fast and I knew this ole boy would be in the bag when he got in front of Randy's shotgun.  The Long Beard got within a foot of the Jake decoy and eyed the decoy pretty good and I kept waiting for Randy to shoot but nothing happened!  All at once, the Long Beard ceased his strutting posture and stretched his neck out a little on full alert mode and looked in Randy's direction but still no shot was fired.  I heard the safety click on Randy's shotgun and the Long Beard appeared to stretch his neck out another foot so it seemed.  Suddenly, I heard the loud report of Randy's 12 gauge shotgun but the turkey didn't drop and flop as I expect but immediately took flight like an F35 fighter jet launched from the flight deck of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier.  I kept waiting for Randy to fire a follow-up shot since he has an autoloader with three shells and I fired a couple quick shots from my ole Super Magnum but I could not get the bird centered in my Bushnell Aim-Point scope fast enough and I could tell that each shot fired was far behind the Long Beard that had already reached supersonic speed heading across the field at an upward angle like a twin engine Learjet35.  We both might be in the market for a Blunderbuss type weapon for our turkey hunting but don't think that would help any.........grin if you must!

I looked over at Randy and said, "Damn Randy, I can't believe you missed."   Randy later related to me that he didn't see the turkey approach from his left and only saw him when he was directly in front of him adjacent the Jake decoy and was then looking through the overhanging pine limbs which had his view of the decoys partly obscured.  Randy admitted that he dozed off and the last thing he remembered was myself making clucks and cutts with the box call and when he looked up he thought the hen decoy had moved around by the wind since he saw the ole Long Beard with his fan fully spread facing in his direction.  I guess when you come out of a sleep aka nap, things will tend to become discombobulated at first. 

There will not be any giblets and gravy, turkey stir fry or turkey nuggets from that ole boy, but a good story to tell with many grins.........maybe next time.

Below is an archived pix from last year of what state Randy must have been in: 

Randy said he saw the gobbler perch in a pine tree about 75 yards in front of him and stayed there awhile and then pitched down to the ground but it was not a smooth flight/landing of which a turkey will normally just glide down to the ground from overhead and hope we didn't cripple him.  I bet the ole Long Beard while perched on the pine tree limb was thinking, "What the heck just happened"; "I was ready to make war and love and the next thing was boom, boom, boom with myself getting out of there as fast as possible!"

Everything was quiet again and we heard another Long Beard sound off around 0830 in the vicinity where the first series of gobbling came from which is the back side of a pasture which has a hot wire fence around it.  We stayed another 30 minutes and retrieved our decoys and went to the end of the field and scouted around and saw a few fresh turkey tracks, etc. and called it a day.

Like I said, Turkey 1, Hunters 0.  We definitely will not forget this hunt which was a classic one for sure.  I have a prior engagement on Monday and Randy will be back out in the turkey woods again, the Lord willing of course and just maybe, there will be REDEMPTION for this hunt....grin if you must!

It is great to be outdoors enjoying the wonderful nature that God created for all of us to enjoy.  I grin every time I see the reprint of an article in a California Newspaper where one lady had written to the editor about hunters killing wildlife: The text reads: To all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you; you ought to go ... store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed.   Only in California...........had to be an anti-gun, anti-hunting Liberal for sure with a low IQ or no understanding at all how domestic animals end up in the meat market!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-19-14.

TURKEY HUNTING 04-23-14

Randy and myself are still getting into the turkey woods as much as we can and have heard a few Long Beards sounding off and saw a hen while exiting our hunting location yesterday and have not had a chance to get one within gun range since the 19th.

We hunted this morning across from his home and heard one gobble a couple times around 0615 and set up in the same place as we did last Friday.  Within about 30 minutes two more Long Beards joined in on the gobbling were hammering away about 200 yards from our position and they would respond to the cackle from my box call but would not commit to coming on in and checking our decoys out.  The first Long Beard we heard stayed in the far corner of the pasture on adjacent land while the other two Long Beards would apparently pace back and forth on a gravel road that separates the property line.  I saw a couple deer crossing the field in front of me....pix below of one of them which quickly exited the place after hearing my camera shutter release go off:

Sometime around 0830 we decided to go check out the location where we heard the last two Long Beards hammering away and construct a couple impromptu ground blinds and set up on them in the morning since this is not the first time we have heard Long Beards in that area.  We got our ground blinds built from broken pine limbs left over from the last snow and ice storm and added some sweet gum saplings where I planned to set-up.

On the return trip home, I stopped off on Capel Dairy Road and took some pixs of plants that will be used to extract the rape seed oil aka Canola Oil, (turnip rape) Brassica Rapa.  I have noticed a tremendous amount of large fields planted through out the Anson County area that has those plants in the ground during the winter months and the plants appeared to be some type of mustard greens.  I checked with several individuals and the consensus was they will be harvested to produce Canola oil.  Below a few pixs of one of the fields and a couple close up shots of the beautiful yellow plant growth:

There are many, many acres of this stuff planted in Anson County and very curious to see what the plant looks like prior to harvest in the fall of the year.

I plan to keep check on the turnip rape plants aka renamed Canola plants by Canada and Monsanto who owns the patent for the GMO (genetically modified organism) and find out exactly how they harvest the seed from the plants in order to press and extract the oil from the seeds.

I personally boycotted Canola Oil years ago when I found out that Canola Oil is processed from genetically altered rape seed of which has been much controversy over the long term effects of using this product.  Click on the rape seed link and watch a YouTube video and believe and consume what you want........you will ultimately die of something right?  However, I am not in a big hurry to depart this earth since I do enjoy Life!

No turkey harvested today but had a wonderful time with my friend Randy and had another chance to observe nature and capture a few pictures for others to enjoy as well.

Two of the Greatest Ships that ever Sailed:  Friendship and Fellowship!

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-24-14.

HUNTING UPDATE 04-26-14

Randy and myself have hunted the past few days and heard a few ole Long Beards gobbling off in the distance and saw some hens fly down off the roast into a large cattle pasture about 150 yards from our position and we decided to get closer to the action this morning. 

We set up at the edge of the large pasture mentioned above and got a few decoys out and hadn't been still but a few minutes when several hens flew off the roast down in front of us and a Jake came out into the field and walked past our decoys sometime around 0635 which is a "guesstimate."  Randy was close enough to the hens and could hear their very light clucking to one another before they flew down.

Sometime around 0700 a couple Long Beards gobbled a few times at each corner of the field/pasture and Randy saw a couple hens followed by three Long Beards and a Jake.  I finally spotted them from my position; three Long Beards and one was in full strut and watched them through my 7 x 42 power binoculars and they didn't respond to any of my calling at all.  They were in a position to see the two decoys that were about 30 yards out in front of Randy but they never lost sight of the two hens they were following which is very understandable, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" and the ole mature Long Beards were not leaving a sure thing.  The largest and lead Long Beard had a very wide beard which is called a paint brush due to its width.

The Long Beards went into the edge of the woods following the hens and it took about an hour before they made a loop and returned into the field and stayed awhile before exiting.  We stayed until around 0930 when everything was still and quiet again and plan to return on Monday and set-up at each corner and maybe catch one of the Long Beards coming off the roast and hopefully the Long Beards will be without a hen and come to our decoys and/or calling.  I believe the late cold freezing weather we a few days before Easter put a damper on their breeding and they appear to be getting into full swing with it now.

We both got a good laugh the first time I inflated a blow-up Jake decoy (Billy Bad Act) by Cherokee Sports and about passed out trying to get enough air into the thing.  I had to stop and rest and Randy was chuckling for sure and thought to himself that he was going to have to administer CPR to me since I was leaning over on the decoy and not moving.  Pix below of the decoys and the gobbler does look real.......grin if you must! 

The cattle in the pasture were totally amused and mesmerized by the turkey decoys and to personify the decoys; I believe the decoys knew how Custer must have felt at the Battle of Little Bighorn! Click on thumbnail pixs below for a larger screen view:

1 Timothy 4:4  Different cultures and religions abstain from eating different types of meats and The Apostle Paul wrote a few verses in 1 Timothy Chapter 4 enlightening the Christian believers.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-26-14

WILD TURKEY BREAST STIR FRY MAIN INGREDIENT 04-29-14

Randy Steele and myself hunted yesterday morning and saw a hen and Long Beard at the end of the field where we hunted a few days earlier but the Long Beard would not leave the hen and never got within shooting range.  However, the ole boy would respond to some cutts, clucks and purrs but that was all he would do. 

This morning we accessed the field from Randy's property since the adjacent land owner gave permission to hunt his land and with the weather overcast and a fog in the low areas, it would be ideal to slip into the back door to this large pasture and use the make shift ground blinds from last week.  We decided not to place any decoys out since the Long Beards were with hens and once they spotted our decoys they would hang up and not come on in and of course they were with hens and definitely would not leave the hens. 

We got set up with good available shooting light since we planned to concentrate on watching the field again and both of us put camouflage netting around our home made ground blinds and left the front area of each blind open.  I had a couple small sticks and fresh cut greenery to help break up my outline and left the back of the camouflage netting up pretty high to further help conceal my outline yet still offer good visibility and ability to move my shotgun in the front and left side of the ground blind.  Below is pix of our normal visitors that come by a couple times during the morning while grazing on the short grass:

We had only set-up about ten (10) minutes when I heard a loud flop, flop, flop sound to my rear and far right and observed a Long Beard and Hen glide down into the pasture/field slightly to my right with the Hen flying down about 20 yards ahead of the Long Beard.  The Long Beard did a few full spread fans with his tail feathers and strutted a couple times and continued to slowly follow the hen.  Once he cleared the cattle, I lined up the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 red dot on his neck, squeezed the trigger and didn't feel the huge recoil from the Remington Super Magnum shooting the Hevi-Shot 2 1/4 ounce payload of Magnum Blend shot produces which is a compilation of 5, 6 and 7 shot size pellets which rolled the ole boy backwards.  The Long Beard remained motionless for about 15 seconds and then began to flop around profusely trying to take flight to no avail and I thought for a second I was going to have to fire another round or run out there and make certain he didn't take flight.  By this time, the cattle got very curious about the turkey flopping around and got pretty close to him and every time he would flop his wings, the cattle would take a few steps quickly backwards.  I went out and retrieved the now still Long Beard and stepped off the  distance back to my ground blind and it was 50 yards +- which is a far piece for the ole scattergun.  The distance didn't look that great from the ground blind since there was nothing in the field to reference off of but very happy the Long Beard went down.

I called Randy on his cell phone and we decided to continue to hunt awhile longer since everything had settled back down.  Below a couple pixs that Randy took to document our hunt today:

Seems like each hunting season, I get a much larger glare off the ole cranium real estate.........

One of my NCDPS (North Carolina Department of Public Safety) friends, Linda Driggers stated that it looked like I was out walking my bird PS  That would have been nice if I could have walked him out since by the time I got back to the truck walking up hill, he felt like he weighed 50 pounds.  Whew, this sure beats being around a bunch of "Jail Birds", another grin is in order.

After getting back home, I weighed the Long Beard and he was 17.5 pounds with a 9.75 inch beard and spurs were 3/4 inch and 5/8 inch with the age of the bird two years old.  While weighting the Long Beard, I weighed my other gear with my hunting vest at 13 pounds, turkey lounge chair 7 pounds and the shotgun at 10 pounds and no wonder I huff and puff on the way out walking up hill.

As I am typing, the Long Beard breast fillets are soaking in salt water ready to be vacuum sealed and later transformed into some "beautimous" wild turkey breast stir fry and/or wild turkey breast nuggets.

While at Randy Steele's farm/home, I decided to shoot my Super Magnum at 60 plus yards to see what the shot pattern placement looked like......I had earlier zeroed at 40 yards with the Bushnell Trophy TRS25 Red Dot scope and it was dead on.  Randy stepped off 63 yards and I got ready to fire into a cardboard box which was probably three (3) feet square.  I kneeled down and placed the red dot centered onto the box and when I pulled the trigger, I heard the hammer fall onto an empty chamber and the shotgun raised up like it would normally when the gun fires.  I thought Randy was going to burst a gut and I let out a good grin and chuckle as well.  This is a good text book example of flinching which is caused by one anticipating the gun recoil and a very bad habit which effects accuracy of which sometimes is very hard to break.  I taught firearms off and on for 15 years with the NC Department of Correction and should know better!  BTW, the 12 gauge 3 1/2 inch Super Magnum with those 2 1/4 ounce payload shells do kick like a mule with a briar under it's harness even though the shotgun is gas operated. The moral of this story is;  I had witnessed Randy do the same thing while turkey hunting a couple years ago when he took aim on a coyote that I had called up from about 100 yards away and it came directly to my Ernie Wilson Custom Cocobolo predator call less than 20 yards from out position and Randy basically did the same thing; pulled the trigger with the safety on and/or an empty chamber and I watched his gun recoil even though a shell had not been fired.  You know that I did a serious grin too!  With Randy watching myself do the flitching thing this morning, that was sweet pay back for sure!  PS  Randy did regroup and bag that coyote............grin if you must.

We had a great time this morning hunting and there are some serious storms forecast for the next couple of days that have already done tremendous and serious damage to life and property in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and a few other States and we plan to be back out in the turkey woods again once the weather has calmed down.

To reiterate, it is great to be outdoors with a friend and partake of what God has created for all of us to enjoy!  Many object to killing any kind of wild game but without the employment of proper game management techniques in place; e.g., "harvesting a certain number of game animals each year", wildlife population would explode and ultimately decline due to over population and the spread of diseases.  Hunting license fees and sales tax on manufacturers hunting equipment, etc., place more resources (money) directly into wildlife management than any of the so called charitable and animal protection rights organizations and groups which are required by law to apply at least ten (10) percent of donations received to the actual cause/charity with the remaining ninety (90) percent going to administrative costs which is the fat cat's salaries at the top who created the organization or who continues to manages it.......those type of charities know exactly how to sucker and reel in the less informed into their profit game with orchestrated commercials praying on the kindness, compassion, sympathy, humanity and generosity of individuals who think they are doing good deeds and service with the end results appalling!  Do your homework and research before giving to any of those bleeding heart blue fin type sucker organizationsHowever, there are many charitable organizations that do great and fantastic works with nearly ninety to 100 percent of donations received going to the charity!  Enough of my whining.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-29-14.

RANDY'S REMINGTON 1100 ON TARGET THIS MORNING 05-03-14

Randy Steele and myself got set up a little earlier than yesterday after our enjoying our BoJangles biscuit and coffee since it is getting day break much sooner now that we are into three (3) weeks of turkey hunting already.  It is hard to believe that three weeks have gone by so fast and when you are having fun, that seems to be the norm.

We spooked two turkeys off the roost a couple days ago at this same location while walking a gravel access road in route to the lower end of the large pasture and hoping it didn't happen again this morning.  We got set up and it was beginning to get good shooting light around the pasture and Randy did a few clucks and yelps on his glass call and it wasn't but a few minutes later that I heard a boom and looked to the right in his direction and saw a turkey flopping at the edge of the woods adjacent the pasture.  I looked at my watch and it was 0618 and the earliest we have bagged a Long Beard to date for a morning hunt.

I called Randy on his cell phone and but mistakenly dialed my house land line telephone and my bride answered and told her I was trying to get Randy's cell phone.  Randy did the same thing calling my house phone instead of my cell phone....we had to grin on that one.  Don't guess my bride got to do any serious late sleeping this morning.

The ole Long Beard was still flopping trying to get airborne but there was too much Hevi-Shot in his head for that to happen and went over and got hold of the ole boy and thought he was going to fly off with myself but he soon gave up the ghost.  I took Mr. Turkey to Randy's hunting blind and we continued to hunt since it was so early yet.  Randy related to me that he saw the Long Beard come from his right up one of the farm gravel roads and he was approximately 25 yards away when the Remington 1100 smoked him.  Several birds flew down off the roost a few minutes later but didn't come out into the pasture which is understandable.  This Long Beard definitely wanted to check things out early and see what the Lady hen looked like that was making those seductive clucks and yelps in hopes of another sexual/mating conquest.  I have heard the ole cliché since childhood, "The early bird gets the worm" but in this case the early bird got shot dead!  Pix below:

We continued to hunt until around 0830 to 0900 hours and did see one hen turkey and Randy said he heard one gobble to our rear and left at the end of one of his fields about the time I was talking to my bride on the cell phone.  I thought I heard a few clucks to my left but never did see what was making them.  Below a few pixs taken to document our hunt:

The Long Beard had a ten (10) inch beard, 3/4 inch length spurs and weighed 17 pounds with both legs cut off at the knee joint and a two year old bird.  Note:  I removed the beard and legs for Randy prior to taking him home to remove the breast fillets.  That ole boy will make some good vittles for sure.

Another pix of Randy's Long Beard and the Remington 1100 shotgun which did him in.

    

Randy kept the beard and spurs off the Long Beard and I brought him home and removed those "beautimous" breast meat fillets from him and have them soaking in some cold salt water before rinsing, draining, drying them off, vacuum sealing and freezing for later usage.  Randy peppered the Long Beard's head pretty good with the Hevi-Shot #5 pellets and there was only a single pellet in its beast.

We had a great morning turkey hunt and enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of one another.  As I have posted many times on this website:  "Two of the Greatest Ships that ever Sailed, Friendship and Fellowship" and Give God the praise, glory and honor in all things!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-03-14.

FRUITS OF THE HARVEST 05-03-14

A couple days ago I got out my remaining wild turkey breast fillet harvested last year and sliced it across the grain into about 3/8 inch width pieces; placed in my basic wild game marinade covered, refrigerated until this afternoon and transformed it into some fantastic vittles. 

Below a pix of the plated Wild Turkey Breast Stir-Fry served over a bed of Yellow Rice.  It was wonderful and my bride cleaned her plate off too which is a good indication that is was very tasty!

My Wild Bill's Basic Wild Game Marinade compliments the wild turkey meat exceptionally well without over powering the mild wild game flavor of the meat.  You will never find store bought tame turkey that has the taste and texture of Wild Turkey meat that is properly prepared!

God's bounty is wonderful and as his Good Stewards, it is our responsibility to manage all that he has created and provided for us with our utmost diligence and care. 

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-03-14.

PORTER'S TAG OUT TURKEY HUNT 05-05-14

My hunting buddy Randy Steele had to work today and tomorrow and went hunting solo this morning.  I set up at the place I hunted on 05-03-14 and got the camouflage netting in place and checked my watch via flashlight and it was 0541 and got way ahead of the turkeys this morning.

I didn't hear any turkeys fly down off their roost and did heard a Long Beard sound off around 0646 at the far end of the pasture and back into the woods and not another gobble was heard.  Around 7ish my bladder was needing relief and I eased off my turkey lounge chair and heard a loud cluck or two directly behind me and everything got quiet again.  Whatever it was, Long Beard or Hen turkey, I certainly did spook and/or alert it and thought I had ruined my early morning hunt! 

The crows were on full alert this morning sending scouts out to survey the area and about every song bird within hearing range was singing all it could do.  A most beautiful morning; wind fairly calm, temperature low 60s, slightly overcast and a spectacular sunrise at about a forty-five (45) degree angle from my right. 

I continued to cluck, yelp and purr with my calls about every 15 minutes and at approximately 0932, I saw a bright blue/white and crimson color turkey's head and neck appear from behind the knoll about 75 to 100 yards directly in front of my ground blind which is open in the front with the Long Beard heading in my direction.  The way his beard was swinging back and forth, I thought it might be Paint Brush that we had seen a couple times earlier in this pasture.   Sometimes you have luck on your side and let me try and explain what I mean.  Just prior to seeing the turkey's head and neck suddenly appear over the knoll in the field, I had removed my hunting camouflage gloves and powered up my cell phone but the signal was too weak and at that moment the Long Beard appeared.  I had to slowly get the cell phone on the ground beside me and get my camouflage gloves back on in super slow motion to avoid detection from the approaching Long Beard of which the Biologists tell us their vision is comparable to a human looking through a 7 power pair of binoculars and that is some serious vision.  I eased my Remington 11-87 Super Magnum into firing position like a snail crawling on a cold morning and watched the Long Beard walk in on full alert getting closer and closer.  He would stop and stretch his neck as far as it would go vertical turning his head from side to side intently searching for the hen that made those seductive sweet clucks and yelps, however he never did strut or spread his fan.  He was definitely in a seek and search mode since I didn't place any decoys out and he was expecting to see a hen or two which will normally make their way to the Long Beard if they are in the mood to breed.  I had a small piece of green shrub sticking in the ground at fifty (50) yards directly in front of my position where I harvested the Long Beard on 04-29-14 and the Long Beard continued on past the marker another five yards toward myself and looked to see if he could locate the hen.  He clucked a few times and turned around and started walking back the way he came from and I already had the Bushnell Red Dot positioned a little above his head and squeezed the trigger of which the 2 1/4 ozs. of Hevi-Shot #5 knocked him over and he began to flop and thrash around.  I went out and pinned him to the ground with my lower right leg and stuck my Buck knife blade through his neck/spine and he didn't move much anymore.  Below is a self-portrait of myself and the Long Beard near my home made ground blind:

The Long Beard weighed 17 pounds, 10 1/4 inch beard, 1 inch length spurs and age him at three (3) years.  His beard was 2 1/4 inches in width and just might be the Long Beard we nicknamed Paint Brush, but I am more inclined to believe that it isn't him since Paint Brush's beard looked as wide as your hand from a distance.  Below is a pix of what seed pods were in the ole boy's craw:

I don't have a clue what type of seed pods they are, but will pick my hunting buddy Randy Steele's brain and get his opinion........grin if you must!  Most two and three year Long Beards that I have harvested in the past during the first week of the hunting season will normally weigh between 19 and 21 pounds but we didn't harvest one during the first two weeks of this season and they apparently didn't consume much food but had more important things to do like breed all the hens they could.  The other two Long Beards harvested didn't have hardly any food items in their craw which tend to validate my non-scientific observations.

Pix of the Long Beard's beard and spurs.  I have the breast fillets soaking in salt water and will change the water in the pan a couple times and get them vacuum sealed for later usage. 

This has been an excellent turkey hunting season and I will go with Randy on Wednesday and Thursday and maybe those Long Beards will still be looking for those Lady Hens and get within gun range of Randy's scattergun.   With both of us calling, the ole mature Long Beards might think they have entered the Hen Harem of a Lifetime!

Thanks to God our creator, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for his many blessing and the opportunity to enjoy and partake of what he has created!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-05-14.

TURKEY HUNTING SEASON 2014 COMES TO A CLOSE

Randy Steele and I hunted the past two days without an ole Long Beard sounding off or showing itself and this has been an exceptional hunting season.  We saw and heard more ole Long Beards than ever before and certainly did have the opportunity to harvest the limit!  We educated a couple of them for sure and they will be an extra challenge next hunting season.

Randy has to go back to his place of employment (JOB) tomorrow, but it want be many more years and he will join our retirement community.  Below is a pix of our last set-up beside one of the small ground blinds which is definitely cramped for two people:

This morning was another one of those perfect hunting times with all the conditions just right except no turkeys were gobbling or traveling in our vicinity but was a great day to end this years Spring 2014 turkey hunting season.  Prior to getting set-up, there was a strong fragrance emanating from Honeysuckle blooms which has to be one of my most favorite smells.  The Lord willing of course, we plan to be back out there next year listening for those ole Long Beards hammering away letting the Lady turkeys know they are ready for business.

Thank you Lord for all your Grace, Mercy and Salvation and the Friendship and Fellowship Randy and I shared!  Amen.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-08-14.

ARCHERY SEASON 2014

The past few weeks, I have shot a few practice broadheads at my 3D deer targets and much to my surprise, all have been good "kill shots" and with a very tight grouping with most of the arrows released.  The ole Mathews Drenalin model bow is still holding its settings and hopefully, a few deer will meander into my bow range and become "fruits of the harvest" since I do enjoy venison very much.

With each successive birthday, I find myself more safety conscious and climbing 40 feet with a foot climber tree stand is a thing of the past.  My comfort zone is now around 25 feet with 20 feet being the ideal.  After helping my friend John Gaddy get a few 20 feet ladder stands up, I decided it was time to get a better safety system.  John's ladder stands have a built in safety and/or shooting rail but most tree stand related hunting accidents happen while you are ascending and descending the tree.  One of my favorite hunting platform stands is about 27 feet off the ground and ordered a Hunter Safety Systems harness and their safety lifeline, whereas you are tethered at all times to the life line while ascending and descending the tree.  I certainly didn't like the idea of shelling out 180 bucks for the entire system but that will be money well spent from a personal safety standpoint.   I have used some of the standard safety harnesses that comes with your tree stand but most require a degree in mechanical engineering to get them on and are not comfortable at all and a dawg to get into and out of.  As soon as the safety equipment arrives that I ordered today, I will post a few pixs on this page and field test the system before an actual hunt.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 08-23-14.

Today is September 15, 2014 with the weather much cooler than normal, however I have my mind set for hunting next month.  My HSS Hybrid Hunter Safety Systems harness along with their Lifeline arrived and plan to field test if very soon.  Below pix of the safety system harness:

Today is September 26, 2014 and the weather has been cooler, however the misty rain and drizzle has kept me out of my hunting platform tree stand even though it has a roof over it.  One of my friends Randy Steele and I were talking about different hardwood trees especially the oaks and there was a question about the shape of the leaves for the different trees and decided to take a pix of the White Oak, Red Oak and Water Oak for comparison.  I didn't take a pix of the bark on the trees but it is easy to remember that the White Oak has very loose bark easy to pull off the tree, whereas the Red and Water Oak has very tight bark.  Also, the tannic acid is much stronger in the Red Oak and  centuries ago, Red Oak bark was used in the tanning of hides due to the strength of the tannic acid.  Deer prefer the much "sweeter" meaning less tannic acid of the White Oak acorns but will eat the Red Oak acorns when the White Oaks are gone or not present in their feeding areas.  Believe me, I have tasted all three types mentioned and have first hand knowledge of which is the most bitter and it certainly is the Red Oak acorns.  Pix below:

Another clue in remembering which leaf goes with the tree, I use a reverse clue for the red oak with the leaf being pointed instead of round or just think of Remington Peters; Red Oak Pointed and it probably doesn't make any sense to anyone but me so go ahead and grin if you must!   The water oak has the smallest acorn and kin to the red oak and we also have the willow oak and blackjack oak which also has the small acorns on them and in many areas they are the first ones to fall from the tree.  On our property and adjacent property, we have all three and also a couple willow oaks which the deer love the small sweet aka less bitter acorns from them and will visit them until they are all consumed.

In a couple weeks, I should be sitting in the platform stand waiting on the deer to come by and check my shelled corn offerings which should yield some "beautimous" venison for the freezer and eventually on a plate with some biscuits, gravy and rice.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 09-26-14.

FIRST ARCHERY HUNT OF THE 2014 SEASON

Finally, the weather conditions are getting more favorable; e.g., day time temperature in the mid to low 70s with the wind coming from the North and West which is ideal for this senior citizen to get back into the saddle again or in this case, tree stand and start hunting with the ole bow and arrow which is my favorite form of deer hunting.

Deer of late have slacked off feeding on the shelled corn offered to them since the acorns are falling from the trees like droplets of rain making a big thud sound when hitting the ground, especially the larger White and Red Oak acorns.  Also, the leaves are turning into various shades of rainbow colors and the brisk winds are aiding their lofty descent to the forest floor below for nature to recycle them back to the elements of the earth.

Today is October 4, 2014 and got into my practice platform stand and released about a dozen broadheads into three (3) 3D deer targets and all arrows were in the vital area although I hadn't shot any arrows in the past week or more.  The 60 pound draw weight Mathews Drenalin solo cam bow pulled back extremely hard for the first few shots but my muscles quickly got loosened up and the bow pulled back without much effort.

I hadn't placed any shelled corn out at my most productive hunting platform stand the past few days of which the platform is more than 27 feet off the ground and decided to take a 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full of shelled corn and broadcast it before I got into the platform stand which was a little before 4 PM.  It was a little awkward pushing the Prusik knot loop up the Hunter Safety Systems lifeline for the first time but soon became second nature by the time I reached the 27 plus feet platform.  I pulled my bow up the tree and placed an arrow on the string and positioned the Mathews Drenalin bow onto a hook within arms reach ready for Mr. or Mrs. deer to get within bow range.

It was great to be sitting on the platform padded seat which the squirrels had decimated one end of the black naughyde covering exposing the foam padding and forgot to bring a small inflatable seat cushion since I knew the seat was damaged but things like that happen on the first hunt; so it seems anyway.....grin if you must!  Nevertheless, the seat was fairly comfortable after nearly three hours of sitting. 

The wind was blowing pretty fierce at times coming from the North to North East and the large tree the platform stand is located on was swaying back and forth a little in the wind giving the allusion of over medication or a few to many margaritas.  I have observed deer at various times from this platform but until the annual rut kicks in, this platform stand is an evening hunt stand with deer coming out as early as 4 PM until after dark but when the rut is on, anything goes and a good morning to mid-morning hunting stand too. 

Normal wildlife activities were taking place with squirrels feeding on the acorns from a couple of close by Water Oak trees and various species of birds were visiting the broadcast corn on a regular basis.  The Cardinal birds seem to be the dominant birds at this location and will exhibit their "pecking order" very quickly when too many of them get into the feeding area.  In the distance the shrill sound of a Pileated woodpecker mimicked the cadence of Uzi machine gun and it is one humongous sized woodpecker and use to be on the endangered species list.  It is fun to watch all the things going on while waiting for deer to get their turn at the corn and there is one Cottontail Rabbit that frequents the shelled corn just about daily and normally will see him when I hunt from this platform stand.

Sometime around 6:15 PM, the sun made its slow descend behind the trees on the far ridge line looking like a giant fire ball with the sun's golden rays filtering through the tree line with a somewhat mystical quality displaying God's wonderful creation with such simple beauty and an awesome sight for sure!  The wind got calm again bringing about a little chill in the air which was fantastic.  There were a few blood thirsty mosquitoes trying to break through the barrier of my face mask to extract some blood DNA but the breeze prevented the majority of them and with an occasional puff of air from yours truly directed toward the more stubborn and persistent ones, off they went on their merry way sounding like miniature helicopters on a recon mission trying to dodge incoming hostile small arms fire. 

Around 6:40 PM, I heard something rustling leaves to my left and behind my stand which sounded like a deer and it moved to my right and I didn't dare move for fear of spooking it.  I heard two more deer follow the first one and they made a circle and saw the first one approach the feeding area in front of my stand from the right of which I was down wind.  It was a yearling and another one entered about a minute later.  I had seen four does in this area recently and hopeful that the larger does would join the yearlings offering me a good shot.  A few minutes later, two more does entered the feeding area directly in front of my stand and the largest doe was facing straight away and decided to wait and see if she would turn offering me a broadside shot.  She continued to feed facing straight away and finally quartered slightly to my right and I decided to take the shot since I have been shooting practice broadcasts fairly accurate up to this point.  By this time, I had already rotated my upper body on the tree stand seat at a right angle to the deer for a proper shooting position/stance moving in slow motion to avoid detection.  I attached my Scott release aid to the string loop and with all deer eyes looking away and/or down, I slowly pulled back the Mathews Drenalin bow without any effort, anchored at full draw with the string touching the center of my nose and got a good sight alignment and sight picture through the string peep and single vertical pin fiber optic scope.  Once the sight pin settled on the deer which I had to hold further back than normal due to the acute shooting angle, the trigger of the Scott release aid was squeezed without any real thought or effort and the Easton Super Slam XX78 arrows flight was very quick striking the deer where my point of aim was or in very close proximity.  The doe after the deadly arrow made contact, exited straight forward and then cut back to the left heading for a small branch and drainage ditch which is surrounded by extremely thick undergrowth and small saplings, etc.  I could see a small portion of the yellow vanes protruding from the deer's back for a brief instance since all the deer left like a rising covey of quail getting up ahead of your favorite bird dog.  The doe was heard crashing into the dense undergrowth and within a few seconds all was deafly quiet. 

It didn't take long to lower my bow to the ground, put my back pack on and descend down the ladder stand feeling safe using the HSS safety harness and lifeline.  There was still some daylight left but it was getting gone very fast.  Since I observed the arrow placement on the doe and the crashing sounds she made while exiting, I was sure of an instant kill, therefore no waiting was necessary to give the deer time to expire.  If you suspect a marginal shot placement on any big game animal, it is best to wait a minimum of 30 minutes before tracking the animal, however there are exceptions to the rule and nothing is chiseled into stone.  I quickly checked for any sign of blood where the doe was standing when the arrow buried deep into her vital organs but didn't see any blood sign and went into the cover in the direction the deer was heading and had to use my LED flashlight which does a good job of illuminating blood.  I have taken many deer from this platform tree stand and the deer have several trails leading to and from the thick cover to the feeding area and will normally follow one of them.  I criss crossed back and forth looking for any blood sign but could not locate any and continued my search heading toward the wet weather branch/drainage ditch which is several feet deep and across and located the deer.  Once she got into the branch aka drainage ditch, she was unable to climb out the nearly vertical incline and went maybe 10 feet more before expiring.  The only blood trail was in the branch which is a good 50 yards or more from the platform tree stand.  Below pixs taken of the doe in the branch/ditch:

I noticed that the broadhead had pushed the skin forward on her brisket right below the neck and about centered which you can see in the above pix if you look very close, however the broadhead did not cut through the hide and exit.  With no exit hole, blood builds up in the body cavity instead of spraying onto the ground and it is very difficult to track a wound of this type and that is why I don't attempt this shot too often.  To retrieve this deer, I relied on being able to hear and see the direction the deer was going and know this area extremely well.  A deer hit very hard will exit the immediate area making all kinds of crashing sounds, whereas one not hit good (non fatal) will usually exit the area without making much noise at all.  Below pix taken after I rolled the doe over and you can see the arrow entry point which did a number on cutting vital internal organs.   I shoot full length arrows @ 31.5 inches not counting the broadhead length and surprised that the arrow did not exit.  One of my friends Randy Steele of Casons Old Field, NC will call this deer a milk mouth deer since he harvest trophy class bucks and any small deer whether buck or doe he calls a milk mouth deer, implying that the deer still had milk on his mouth from his mother.  This doe is literally a milk deer for sure.

  

I field dressed the doe where she laid and it was a job getting the deer out of the branch/ditch onto level ground and then I had to cross another ditch before getting back onto level ground again.  I "guesstimated" the live weight at around 100 pounds but she felt more like 250 pounds by the time I got her out.  I used the adjustable dragging strap supplied with the HSS Hybrid Safety System harness attached to the rear loop of the harness and looped it around the doe's neck and it worked great.  I readjusted the adjustable strap so the deer's head would be off the ground while walking out with the deer in tow which helped keep the deer's head from hanging up on the undergrowth.  The harness evenly distributes the pulled weight without digging or cutting into one area and I was totally impressed with the performance.  I have some friends that have four wheelers to transport deer but a few of them are getting advanced in age to where they can't load the deer onto the four wheeler anymore without help......grin if you must!  I guess we need four wheel drive on our feet!

Below is pix of the deer skinned and quartered up ready to be placed into my basement game refrigerator to age out a few days before I debone the meat, grind most of it into burger and slice the loin strap for some "beautimous" cubed steaks.  In the background is an ole archery rag target used for a couple decades and removed the cloth rags from inside the frame and in the process of recycling the 4 x 4 x 8 feet treated timbers to construct a table such as the one below.

  

Usually, the first time you hunt a stand, the odds are in your favor since the area has remained undisturbed since the last hunting season.  I later checked the stomach contents of the doe and acorns appeared to be the primary food source with a little corn and a lot of green leaves, etc.  My arrow was cleaned up and spun true and replaced the three replaceable broadhead blades with new ones ready to go back on the hunt again.

As always, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for his many blessings and the opportunity to be able to enjoy what he has created and for our Salvation. John 3:16 KJV Bible

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 10-05-14.

VENISON READY FOR THE FREEZER 10-09-14

After letting the quartered doe age in my basement game refrigerator, I deboned the front and hind quarters and neck.  I cut the loin back straps in half and packaged them whole along with the tenderloins.  I weighted the deboned meat less the loin straps and tenderloins and it was 22 lbs.

Click on below thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

It takes a little work and effort along with a few equipment items to be able to process your own venison but I do receive enjoyment from doing so and save some money by avoiding the wild game processing facilities which charge about 80 dollars to process a deer.  Also, I know exactly what I am getting.  Check out my Wild Game Recipes which has some excellent venison recipes along with a pictorial cooking tutorial and the finished plated food.

NOTE:  I arrowed a small deer on 10-16-14 that was small and tagged it, however the humane society would be upset if I posted that pix not to mention my deer hunting buddies......the deer did look much larger at about dusk dark.  Meat Hunters Club Rule #1, "If it is brown, it is down."

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 10-16-14.

MUZZLELOADER OPENING DAY 11-01-14

This 2014 muzzleloading hunting season started off with a solid steady rain the night before opening day and continued to rain throughout the day with a light drizzle to a little heavier at times.  We haven't had much rain the past couple months with a deficit of several inches last month and a welcome sight for sure. 

My favorite hunting platform stand has a roof over it, therefore a light rain is no big problem and decided to hunt around 10ish which seems to be about the time deer are moving in the area as the rut approaches.  I wasn't paying too much attention and must have been looking the other way or could have been cat napping and noticed a fork horn buck in my feeding area facing away from me and decided to try for a head shot when he turned.  It was sometime around 1030 A.M. and he finally gave me a good head shot and touched the trigger on the antiquated Knight MK85 left hand .50 caliber muzzleloader and the smoke from the Triple Seven powder belched from the muzzle and obscured the scene for a few seconds, however the buck was down for the ten count when the smoke finally drifted off.  Below a few pixs taken:

The buck's neck was swollen indicating that he was ready for some serious rutting activity but his rutting days are over and will end up in some of my Wild Game recipes.

The Knight 260 grain .45 caliber soft lead bullet encased by a MMP black sabot ahead of 100 grains of Hodgdon Triple Seven powder did a number on the deer's neck.....looks like he was hit with an large broadhead or axe by the size of the entry hole in his neck.  Without any mechanical means to help drag a deer from the woods, it appears that I will have to continue to harvest these small "Milk Mouth Deer" as my friend Randy Steele calls them.  It seems with each passing hunting season the deer are getting much harder to drag out of the woods and I keep forgetting that I am a Senior Citizen.  My right shoulder blade is hurting as I am typing since I used my right hand holding onto the deer's rack while dragging him out.  I should have used one of my webbing slings across my shoulder and back to help evenly distribute the weight but that is hind sight now............grin if you must!

I used a Victorinox Swiss Army multi-purpose knife to skin and quarter the deer with the aid of the meat saw and meat hook to split the hind quarters at the pelvic bone, etc.  I did use a heavy blade Chicago Cutlery blue handle knife to sever the hind quarter and shoulder at the knuckle joints but could have done it with the Swiss Army knife.  The Chicago knife came from a poultry processing facility and was worn out by their standards but still usable for my needs.  The large blade length below is only 2 5/8 inches in length.  I grin at the hunters with those Rambo size knives on their side which could skin and quarter a Mastodon.  Below pix of the "McGiver" type knife I used:

My bride has a much larger Victorinox multi-purpose tool in a lamp table drawer next to her recliner that she uses for many things including some of her crafts, etc. which gets used regularly.  Working in a correctional environment for over 33 years, we were not allowed to carry any item that could be used as a weapon and since retirement, I am finally getting back in the routine of carrying a pocket knife and/or multi-purpose tool such as the Victorinox Swiss Army knife above.  

A few other custom skinning knives used over the decades:

The Buck Lock Back knife on the left has finger grooves cut into the handle long before they were available on factory folding knives and one of my custom Mother of Pearl designs inlaid into the handle.  The two knives on the right where made from a Buck 7.5 inch fixed blade of which I cut into two sections and reground the blades and formed a tank on each that is glued into the antler.  The center knife handle has angular finger grooves cut into it and works great for a right hand user.  The knife aka tool on the right is for removing a deer hide using the tip of the antler to go between the meat and the hide which renders a deer skin with less fleshing to do......works pretty good.  I basically retired the above blades and the Buck Lock Back blade was ground back more than 1/8 inch from usage over the decades and the tip of the blade was slightly exposed when fully closed and a safety hazard.  The blade could be replaced but I have plenty more blades to utilize.

I recently recycled a 20 plus year old archery rag target and salvaged the 4 x 4 x 8 feet treated timbers and made a work table near my deer hanging tree.  I had some left over 1 x 6 material from my hanging porch swing project and also some 2 x 4 material of which all were treated along with a few scrap pieces of 3/4 inch exterior plywood that was barely wide enough for the top and didn't have any overhang to it but that is ok.  A couple coats of clear water seal was applied and hopefully, will get another decade or two out of those treated timbers.  I will add a couple hangers on one end for my meat saw and meat hook.  Above is the buck quartered up ready for my basement game refrigerator to age the ole boy out for about four (4) days.

With the deer meat aging in the game refrigerator, it is now time to do a "shake and bake" cleaning on the muzzleloader which is no more than a wet patch of solvent down the bore and then dry it out with a few clean patches and remove some of the powder residue around the breech plug and cap nipple.  I will do a full take down clean at the end of the two week muzzleloader season or before if I decide to pick up the bow and arrow again to finish out this 2014 hunting season.  My brother needs some venison and will probably use the muzzleloader or .270 Winchester to tag one for him.

As always, I am thankful for each and every day that the Lord allows and to have the opportunity to be able to harvest wild game for food.  Fall hunting season is a wonderful time to be outdoors and take in all the beautiful colors, the sights, sounds and smells of the earth with all the wildlife activity taking place and fully acknowledge that God created all of this for us to utilize and enjoy, whereby exercising appropriate stewardship of these resources.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-01-14.

MUZZLELOADER HUNTING 11-04-14 

Got a chance to hunt some this afternoon at one of my favorite locations, whereas the wind was variable and brisk at times.  I put out a couple scent vents with Tinks 69 Super Doe Lure and urine that I have collected from bucks the past couple years that I keep in a sealed quart Mason jar in my basement game refrigerator with some salt added......it is pretty potent stuff and about ready to get some fresh deer urine when I harvest a deer that has urine in it's bladder.

Nothing really eventful happened until after the sun had gone down which was after 5:20 P.M. and a ghost buck appeared seemingly out of no where and was standing at the edge of my broadcast corn in some concealing cover surveying the scene.  He stayed there a few minutes which seemed much longer but finally walked on in and starting eating my corn.  The heavy duplex cross hairs on the ole Leupold 3.5 x 10 x 50 MM Vari-X III scope was placed low behind his left shoulder since he was broadside to me and the light trigger on the Knight MK85 was touched, whereas white smoke immediately billowed from the muzzle obscuring the field of view for a few seconds.  The buck headed into the thick cover on the left (sound wise) since the scene looked like a smoke canister was deployed to hide troop movements during WWII and within a second all was quiet again.  He didn't leave a blood trail and I walked to where I heard him last and there was a little blood about a yard from him on the trail he used to make his death run which was about 30 yards at the most.  The Knight 260 grain bullet hit him low in the shoulder and exited behind the knuckle (joint) of the right leg.  I field dressed him where he "kicked the bucket" and I "guesstimate" his live weight between 150 to 180 pounds.  His neck was swollen and he had a couple tines that had the tips broken off so there is no doubt another buck around here that is about his size as evidenced by his broken tines.  Then again, he could possibly be the runt or another milk mouth deer........grin again.  Below is pix where he fell:

Below is a pix of the modified Chicago Cutlery boning knife that was recycled from worn out knifes used at a Poultry Processing plant in Union County.  I cut about 3/4 inch off the tip of the blade for a total blade length of 4.5 inches which is about the maximum I desire for field dressing a deer.  The tip was reground to a spear point similar to a drop point and left the cutting edge at a thicker angle to keep the edge from turning while cutting through the sternum.  The blade was worn out by the processing plants standard but still has plenty of useful life left for what I plan to do with it.  Appearance wise, it looks like a "rat turd in a flour sack" but it was no trouble to open the buck up from "stem to stern" cutting through the sternum and brisket with ease.  The thickness of the blade is around 1/8 inch and the height of the worn down blade is small enough to insert between the deer's rectum and pelvic bone to detach the rectum from the wall of the pelvic to allow pulling the rectum through the pelvic bone attached to the viscera which is the way I learned to field dress deer.  I have owned my share of good drop point hunting knives including a custom made Randall # 3 hunting knife with a 5 inch length blade (circa. 1999), Buck Vanguard, Smith & Wesson skinner, etc. and various other blades which worked fine too.  I kept the basic re-grind lines that the poultry processing plant placed on the blade before it was taken out of service.  Apparently, they use an industrial two stage grinding machine which rough grinds the large hollow ground portion of the blade and the final stage grinds the angle of the cutting edge as evidenced by the pix below.  

 

With the thinner blade of the above knife, it will double as a skinning knife and make a good utility knife when needed.  The disadvantage of some of the above mentioned knives; their blade thickness can go up to 1/4 inch in thickness and operate like a sharpened chisel which makes them good for field dressing big game animals and not much good for anything else.  That was the reason the fifteen year old Randall # 3 was sold at a good premium mark-up on EBay; it just wasn't the knife for me, although it was about perfect for what it was designed to accomplish!  I desire a much more versatile and utilitarian blade yet with enough back bone to cut through the sternum of a deer without much effort and the edge of the blade not turning, aka become dull.  The above knife handle has a good non slip textured surface with a molded in finger guard for safety.

Open this hyperlink:  field dressing deer 101 for a short photo pictorial of how I field dress deer.

The buck has three points on each side and a split brow tine for a total of 10 points with a small kicker point and 12 3/4 inches inside spread..........a good buck for myself since I harvest those small milk deer for my freezer or whatever comes out first, go ahead and grin Randy Steele.  It was about all I could do to drag the ole boy out from the thick cover.  Another pix taken at my hanging tree:

My brother was needing venison and I gave him a call before I started skinning and quartering him and he said he would be down to pick him up.  I registered him on line and that is my second buck for Anson County and will try and tag out with a couple does if my freezer will hold them or my brother needs additional venison.

After getting him skinned and quartered up, I sawed the horns off and below a pix of them on my work table near my White Oak hanging tree I nick named Tom Dula aka Tom Dooley:

I will add the above horns to my deer horn stew pot below which is overflowing for sure.  Some of those horns have been "air marinating" for several decades but don't think they are any more tender than the day they were harvested and placed in the ole antique cast iron 3 leg pot that was designed to be used over an open fire aka bed of burning embers/coals:

While looking for the deer, I used an Ozark Trail LED multi-color headlamp which advertises an ultra bright 150 lumens of light and the headlamp is lightweight and gives off plenty of light powered by three (3) AAA batteries.  I have used the headlamp on the last two evening tracks and it works wonderful!  It has a high power, low power and a red light setting but the low power isn't bright enough for my ole cataract eyes.  The headlamp also features a tilt adjustment, whereby the light is directed closer to you and ideal for tracking.  I also used the headlamp to skin and quarter the deer and no longer have to bring out the large quartz stand lights and electric power cord.  Below pix of the headlamp with an adjustable head band for us melon heads:

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-04-14 and hopefully, the telephone will stop ringing from all the political parties wanting to get reelected or new comers desiring to take their place  in DC or Raleigh, NC and throughout our Country.  Our mail box should go on a starvation diet too since it has been inundated from all the political campaigning crap.  I wouldn't trust a politician in an outhouse with a muzzle on!   Figure the analogy of this one out for yourself.

Leaving on a positive note, I am thankful for each and every day that God allows and give Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the praise, glory and honor and still believe that America is the greatest nation on this earth for the opportunity for one to achieve success with personal freedoms allowed that other Nations could only hope for, even with all the short comings created and manifested by those that are self serving, whereby systematically weakening and destroying her "water heading" the voters in the process!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-09-14. 

PORTER'S TAG OUT HUNT 12-11-14

I haven't been really doing much hunting since my freezer is about maxed out but had room for one more deer.  The opportunity presented itself this afternoon about dusk dark when an ole herd doe circled my favorite hunting stand before coming on in to get a snack of broadcast shelled corn.  Daylight was getting away pretty fast and hurriedly placed the Heavy-Duplex crosshairs of the ole antiquated Leupold VariXIII 3.5 x 10 x 50mm scope behind her shoulder and touched the light trigger pull on the 31 year old left hand Remington BDL .270 Winchester and she didn't go but about 50 to 60 yards before running out of steam leaving a horrific blood trail that a blind man could follow. 

The doe was field dressed immediately and didn't worry about contaminating the area since this will be my last deer harvest of the 2014 hunting season and the coyotes, foxes and buzzards have to eat too.  After getting her home at my hanging tree, she was quickly skinned, quartered and placed in my basement game refrigerator reserved for such purposes.  She had been eating very good since there were rolls and rolls of fat on her.  The hand loaded .270 caliber 130 grain Sierra Game King Spire Point Boat Tail soft point bullet damaged her right shoulder pretty bad as it exited leaving a whopping big hole since the bullet hit a rib going in and one going out.......awesome.  Pixs below:

This has been an excellent hunting season and my friends are still deer hunting trying to get ole mossy horns for their trophy rooms but my trophy is when that beautimous venison is on a plate with some gravy, mashed potatoes and/or rice and biscuits to drag through the gravy.

I am thankful for each and every day that the Lord allows and the opportunity to be able to hunt and friends that enjoy the outdoors as much as I do.

God richly bless each and every one of you and Merry Christmas to all and remember that, "Christ is the Reason for the Season." 

In closing, "Two of the Greatest Ships that ever sailed; Friendship and Fellowship."

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 12-11-14.    

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