Friday, December 25, 2009

Whitetail Hunting Season

Well what can I say, this hunting season has been nothing short of a complete disappointment to me this year as I haven't seen any bucks at all and only 4 does during rifle season . The poachers have taken all my deer where I hunt and what the poachers haven't gotten the dogs around here have been running off. My food plots that I planted weren't even touched by the deer cause of this. Next spring I'm planning a trip to Rutherford county, Tennessee to find property there to hunt and if that doesn't pan out then I may have to resort to hunting on management areas which I'm totally against due to the hunting pressures of so many people scouting during the hunting season when they can't find any deer. One day before I die I'd like to go hunt on a outfitter ranch but the cost is so high that probably won't ever happen for me either though it would be great if it did. May come down to leasing a farm to hunt on and if so I have a feew other guys that want to join me and hunt together which will help with the cost of the lease but then you have to worry about livestock getting shot and fences getting cut and insurance to cover those sort of things. There is no easy way to hunt anymore like it used to be but I guess thats the price we pay for our heritage to continue.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ani-Kituhwa-gi , A Nation within a Nation ( Part 2 )

IN 1879, Captain R. H. Pratt opened the first Native American boarding school. Indian children throughout North America were taken from their homes, given white names, wardrobes and haircuts and forbidden to speak any language but english. In 1893 the Cherokee Boarding School was founded but also maintained an english only language with devastating effects on the Cherokee fluency. It wasn't until 1933 that a language initiative grant was awarded from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation to foster the Cherokee language through the Qualla Boundary and beyond. The language of the Cherokee may yet prove to be as resilient as those who have kept it alive.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ani-Kituhwa-gi, A Nation within a Nation ( Part 1 ).

Days pass, seasons change and years come and go all to fast. People live their lives on a daily routine and most of them never notice the changes that have taken place around them. Though many of us can see these changes happening in todays society it was the changes of long ago that actually created the lands we all call home. Over 11,000 years ago in the hills of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee lived a nation of people within a nation. At the end of the Ice Age, their ancestors hunted the great mastodons with spears in those very mountains that we now call The Great Smoky Mountains. Over the years the " Ani-Kituhwa-gi " or Cherokee people flourished throughout the mountains creating towns and villages. The men hunted and fished, helped in the fields and pursued trade, diplomacy, and war required to maintain an empire that included 36,000 people within 140,000 square miles covering eight present-day southern states. The women enjoyed respect and honor, running the household and working the land while the men cultivated friendships. Generosity was a cardinal virtue, meaning that anyone hungry was fed, anyone traveling was housed and for the first 200 years of contact with the European settlers, starting with De Soto in 1540, the Cherokees offered hospitality to newcomers who needed help. The Cherokee people became literate only months after Sequoyah developed a written language of the Cherokee alphabet and presented it to the Cherokee National Council in 1821. This written language of the Cherokee people was called " Talking Leaves ".By 1838 the Cherokee people had proven themselves to be neighborly, industrious and open to outside ideas but with the onrushing settlers and the U.S. government , the Cherokee people were forcably removed from their lands and into the east to Oklahoma, which was known in our history books as The Trail of Tears. One quarter to half of the Cherokee people who began this long journey to Oklahoma died of exposure, disease and shock of exile. Today, from those who hid in the hills ,defying removal and from those who returned, many on foot, live the 14,000 Cherokee of the Eastern band in North Carolina on a 100 square mile tract called the Qualla Boundary.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Land That Talked to Me.

Greens to yellows, reds and golds, the cool, cold air brings on the changing of the seasons. As I drive along the roads and highways looking at the many trees throughout our lands and the sheer beauty each leaf holds, I realize that God has indeed blessed us all with a beautiful earth that we are slowly destroying. Hundreds of thousands of acres of trees, grasses, bushes, rocks, hillsides, pastures, streams, rivers, lakes and even our oceans turning into concrete and wood dwellings. Even the wildlife is being run out of their homes and killed out by people who just don't care for anything other than making money from our lands. Well this past week my wife and I had our 20th year wedding anniversary and we chose to head for one place where man has yet and will never begin to destroy--- The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The three hour drive to get there was all worth it as we entered the park hills and began the climb following the slow moving traffic. The woods and streams seemed to have an air about it that just reached out and grabbed you. Shadows cast by the trees and rocks seemed to speak to you as if they had a story they wanted to tell. Folks stopping by the sides of the roads everywhere taking pictures and looking but not a single one of them listening to the many stories being told. By the time our vacation trip was over I'd found the story I was looking for. A story of a land and the people that live there. Though this story is much to long to put into one post it is one that will be told in it's entirety in my next few postings. This story is of the Cherokee people and the land called The Smoky Mountains.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scouting Adventure with the Grandkids

Friday,September 4th, The day started out slow and easy, coffee and tv then down to dads to try to repair a riding mower for the upcoming yard sale on the 26th of September ( yes I know opening day of bow season here but they'll just have to make due till I return from hunting that morning. ). My dad and I worked all day long on the mower ( trial and error mostly.) trying to figure out the starting problem with the mower and finally gave up on it around 3:30 p.m. when I got called home for supper ( fried chicken -- mmm won't be late for this meal.). After supper I decided to go do alittle scouting across the lake bed to see what the deer were doing over there. On the way to scout I decided to stop and pick up the grandkids that wanted to go along. I ended up with four of them going with me so we loaded into my truck, went to the other side of the lake bed, checked a few mud holes on the way in, then parked the truck, got out and headed of further up the road bed and into the woods. As we entered the woods I explained we were looking for fallen acorns, tracks,rubs and of coarse deer. We worked our way through the woods as I answered questions from the boys about deer hunting and the upcoming hunting seasons. Probably the best question was how I find my way through the woods at 4:00a.m. without a flashlight? this I told them was an easy task to do if you scout the area carefully and take time to look at every detail as you are going in and memorize the surroundings to your hunting stand. You remember every little overhanging limb,bush,rock,stump,fence and fields that you encounter on your way in then picture that scenery in your mind every morning in the dark as you walk to your stand, by doing this you never need a flashlight to see by thus spooking the deer off. The boys had gone with me before to put up stands and hunting and were amazed at how easily I made this act look. By now we had gone well into my hunting area and the sun was beginning to set so I delegated one of the boys to lead us out of the woods back to the truck. This proved to be quite a chore because nobody had really paid attention to detail in the woods and they said everything looked the same. This is when I began lesson number two and the most important one of all for them all. Lesson number two was simple-- stop, look, listen and think. When you think your lost or don't really know where your at in the woods in the dark, stop and look around for familiar things close by, check for security lights in the distance, look for the moon and stars, listen for sounds of cars on roads and highways, tractors on a farm and finally think of the route you took coming in (directionally ). Picture the route in your mind from the truck to your stand and if need be to your harvested animal ( if your lucky enough to get and make a shoot.) then simply reverse this route in your mind to get back to your truck safely. The best plan of action when you start out hunting an area is to scout it fully and completely so you know every square inch of the area. Lesson two over and we were still in the woods following our leader through the brush heading into thicker brush and deeper into the woods away from the truck. Finally I decided the boys were going to be getting tired before long of fighting the brush and briar's so I guided them close enough to an old grown up road bed that they realized where they were and we got started back on track to the truck. One of the boys then decided he knew exactly where the truck was and was going to be first one to get there so he ventured out far ahead of the rest of us just as we cut of on a shortcut and ended up at the truck before him, rode around the road beds looking for him and finally parked again waiting for him to come out of the woods. The boys all had a great adventure scouting the woods with pepaw and learning new ways and tactics for the upcoming years hunts even though one got poison ivy, they were all covered in ticks, a couple of them had scratches from head to toe and mosquitoes ate them alive but the main thing was we all made the adventure safely and laughed about it all the way home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gone Far Too Long.

Where to begin this post is the deliema. By looking around (rather quickly ) I can see that I've been gone far too long from my blogging. Things have been happening that I just couldn't imagine. Anyway that is the past and done with, nothing I can do about that but on the other hand here on the home front I've been busy with work around home and at my parents and then there was the big face off with my live-in daughter and her boyfriend which finally ended in me putting them out of the house after the boyfriend knocked holes in my walls with his fist. That was the breaking point I just couldn't stand for any longer so they had to go. My deer food plot has been planted and is growing with leaps and bounds ( looking great ). The deer are just starting to find their way to it as they change their seasonal routes ( 5 deer-4 does and one small 12 inch spike buck so far ). Rabbits, squirrels and birds of all kinds are also using it. I ended up planting rape, buckwheat and cinnamon red clover but the clover came up in small patches. If the food plot works the way I hope it will next year I'll be adding more clover to the outer edges of the plot and possibly another plot across the field. September 26th is the big day here in Tennessee for bow season and I can't wait for it to get here and the good thing is I've checked my calendar and found out that I'm off work for almost every opening day of every season this year so I won't have to put in for vacation days off. This weekend is free hunting day here in Tennessee and opening day of squirrel season but I'll be working and usually wait till the leaves have fallen off the trees before I go for those wiley varmints due to using a 22 rifle for head shots. I'll try to do more post more often now so I don't get tossed to the wayside by my readers but for now I'll just visit some of my blogroll friends and renew old acquaintances that I've missed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Preping For Deer Season.

I've finally slowed down enough to start back writing on my blog again. Just to fill everyone in on whats been going on with me is as follows. First I've been busy with catfishing with my grandchildren, second I've built a new deer blind at my dads place which will be shared by my grandchildren this year along with a food plot ( though not very big ) that is now ready for the seed to be sown and covered then third I've had to take on doing alot of the work at my parents home due to their diminishing health ( cutting the grass, weed eatting, plumbing, painting,etc. etc. etc.)which is going to take up more of my time then I had planned on or was wanting but hey they raised me now its time for me to return the gift. My daughter was to be married back in June but that got postponed with no set date in mind and still no place to live but my home. Looks like I have a live-in for life if I don't set my foot down and make her find a place of her own. I'm going to try to get pictures of the deer blind and the food plot for my hunting website before deer season opens. I'll be practicing with my bow from now until deer season opens in September and hopefully if the right moment presents itself I'll be ready. I've marked the yardage off on my food plot with a tape measure so as to take all the guess work out of my shooting distance on the plot and have three deer trails coming in on it now. Regardless of where the deer enter or exit the field they have to come by my blind. With all the work I have ahead of me now I'll do my best to continue to post on all my websites for all to read.

Friday, June 19, 2009

OBS Challenge.

I posted my answer to the OBS Challenge on my second website for those interested in reading it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friends of the Net.

Every once in awhile everyone gets an idea about something to write about from a comment left on a post. Monday Othmar left me a comment which put me to thinking about all the friends that I've made over the Internet either here on one of my websites or on my Facebook. Now a body never really knows for sure just what type of person they have leaving comments on their post when it's the first few comments left by that person but sooner or later a inquisitive mind has to check out the background information on everyone leaving comments just to get to know the return visitors a little better. From that point on a relationship is formed and a friend is made usually for life. Many of us who write articles on a website, use Facebook, twitter and other places on the web find friends that we've gotten to know over the years but may never meet. The fact is though that we are still friends with these people and share some kind of close bond with them through our writings and comments. Though our time may be limited on the net we all enjoy checking out sites and commenting on the stories and articles we read and looking for new friends and sites . Even though we may not get to any one specific site everytime we get on the net to leave a comment, the friendship has been made and sooner or later we will always return back to those websites just to remind the writers a friend dropped by for a visit. We've all become such great friends here on the net and one day hope to be able to meet each other in person but until that day happens all we can do is keep reading, visiting websites and commenting. Take time now to renew a visit a friend on the net that you haven't visited in awhile and leave a comment for them just to say hello, They'll be glad you did I'm sure. My next boot-up on blogger I'll be visiting all the sites I can just to renew old friendships until I've visited all those listed on my blogroll and those listed as followers who aren't even writing post but still follow my stories. If I don't get to you on the first round just wait and I'll visit you very soon. Until then keep writing in good health and visit someone today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Blinds, Food Plots, Fishing and Weddings.

Well let me see where to begin. I've been busy visiting family in Alabama,working around the home front, my job,and working with my grandchildren trying to build a deer blind at my dad's place that's big enough for two of us as I have four of my grandchildren wanting to try to take a deer this year. The walls are up with the roof so now I have to get some hinges to put the door and windows on with then figure out the camo on the outside of it. It should make for a great year hunting with my grandchildren whether we take deer from it or not. I'm also planning on planting a food plot in front of it to help attract the deer and starting a feeder tube in the field close by it. A salt lick may not be a bad idea either if I have the time to get all this accomplished. My smoking habit is still an ongoing process I'm still working on and I've been fishing in our company bass anglers tournament at work that we've just started on may 10th. Two tournaments so far and my partner and me have come in second place but this you'll have to read about on my fishing blog ( ). I'm also planning a trip to Gatlinberg this October for a wedding vow renewal with my wife on the 27th ( 20 years ) and my youngest daughter is having a wedding June 21st redneck style ( with real shotguns and everything and everyone drssed in camo including her and her groom and plenty of beer for all). I've had a long year already and it's passing me by fast. I've also joined Facebook and enjoy that alot and have found many of my fellow bloggers there too. I've added a few new links to my blogroll which some of you may want to check out which deals with outdoor clothing, hunting equipment, fishing equipment and climbing gear of all kinds. look under " outdoor gear " for the urls of these three sites. Okay that's about it for now so let me go now to my other websites and update them with some new articles then I've got to get some sleep so I can go to work tonight. Hunting seasons coming quicker then we think so everyone get ready and have a safe year out there this year.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Traveling and Relaxing.

Just a brief update to let everyone know I haven't passed on yet. I'm actually in Alabama right now on my daughters computer enjoying a relaxing weekend with my wife, daughter, her husband and four of my grandchildrens and an ex-son-in law. We came down Friday morning after I finished a 12 hour shift and arrived around 12 noon. We'll be leaving here Sunday morning around 11:00 a.m. heading home. I've kind of left my postings for a while to catch up on some chores at home and find time to relax and work on quitting my smoking and take stress management classes online through my work insurance. As for my smoking, I like 10- 12 cigarettes before I start using the nicotine patch therapy to finish off my habit for good. If I plan it Right without pushing it to fast, it should be about a week or two before I start the patches. I'll start back visiting sites again sometime after I return home this weekend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just a Short Progress Update.

My hunting is been put on hold for a little while to take care of some of my chores around the house and help a friend- neighbor. I've been busy trying to get my garden out between rains and had to work on my chain saw tuning it up and getting it ready to cut my winters wood supply. I've also been trying to take my grandsons fishing on at least one of my days of work ( you can read about that adventure here at ) and plan on going again this weekend which is suppose to be in the 80's and sunny. I still have alot of work around home and my dad's to do but I will try my best to get something posted here on my hunting site as well as my other to sites for all to read. In the mean time I'll be reading other sites and looking for new sites to join the OBS. Everyone keep up the great work and I'll be by soon. Get out and enjoy the great spring weather and the outdoors.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Did I Join The Outdoor Bloggers Summit?

I support the Outdoor Bloggers Summit Kristine over at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit posted this challenge to everyone and I finally decided that I needed to get with the program and follow up with her challenge so here it goes. Why did I join the Outdoor Bloggers Summit?, the answer to that question was simple now that I think about it. The real answer was because it was the only place that I had found at the time that allowed me to read updates of what everyone was doing, locate new sites that I'd not visited before, make new friends around the world, try to gain exposure for my websites and read some really great articles on new products for the outdoors person. There were times I'd visit leaving my comment and others I'd visit just to read everyone elses comments which I find to be of great value and benefit to all ( so don't ever forget to check out the comments folks after reading the articles ). The Outdoor Bloggers Summit I feel has grown with epic preportions ( and will continue to grow ) in a way nobody thought was possible and has given everyone so much insight into the outdoor world without regards to your choosen adventure of the outdoors. I'm a proud supporter of The Outdoor Bloggers Summit ( displaying the Outdoor Bloggers Summit badge on every website ) and will continue to support this website in every way possible including trying to recruit new members. The OBS has now moved to a new site(, taken on a new look which makes you feel at home and is easy to browse through and use and as far as I know has rejected nobody wanting to join us there ( the OBS is open to everyone wanting to join us ). The Outdoor Bloggers Summit is a website that was designed to bring outdoor bloggers together and has done this and will continue to do this through our support and hard work. Joining the Outdoor Bloggers Summit was one of the best moves that I did when I first started blogging and I'm glad to be a member and supporter of the OBS.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Two Historic Events with a Great Future Ahead.

December 2000, 50 elk were released into the Cumberland Mountains of East Tennessee marking a historic return of the elk to Tennessee's landscape. This year a second historic event will take place making the Elk Restoration Program a large success. This year 5 lucky applicants will be drawn to participate in an elk hunt in the Cumberland Mountains scheduled to take place on October 19th - 23rd. Tennessee residents and non- residents of Tennessee may apply for the Elk hunt either by Tennessee license agents or online at Tennessee wildlife Resource Agencies home page found at or at Young adults ( under 16 years of age ) may also apply for the elk hunt but must be accompanied by an adult non-hunting companion 21 years or older. The fee for the application is $10.00 non-refundable regardless whether drawn or not plus all other hunting licenses applicable. All permits are non- transferable and no refunds will be made to anyone issued a permit. Of the 5 permits to be drawn for the elk hunt, 1 will be donated by a NGO ( Non- Governmental Organization ) with the proceeds designated to the TWRA ELK Program. Non-resident applicants will be restricted to no greater then 25 percent of the drawn permits. Photos of the Tennessee Elk herds can be seen at as well as other information about the elk herds and the application instructions. Hopefully with the help of the Elk Restoration Program it will only be a matter of time before the Tennessee Elk can roam the woods and fields of open ranges as the whitetail deer do now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Is Coming.

Wild hogs, wild turkey or shed antler hunting? Just when you thought you were going to get a break and catch up on some work around home you discover it's just starting all over again. For many outdoor enthusiast, the spring thaw is the beginning of another year of outdoor adventures. A time to renew old friendships and make new ones. Just as the weather begins to warm up for the first time in months everyone begins to get the spring fever and wants to get outdoors for the fresh air and a little relaxing time away from all the work. It doesn't matter whether your hunting shed antlers, watching birds, checking your fields or just going for a walk in the woods looking at the wild flowers. Spring is a great time to enjoy life outdoors. Here in Tennessee there are several hunting seasons opening to the hunters that may want to take advantage of the spring thaw such as wild feral hog or wild turkey and even an early spring squirrel season. Those of us who want to take on a new adventure this year can take advantage of the early hunting seasons or can set out engaging our new adventure with a friend who already knows about our chosen adventure.I, myself have decided to try hunting wild feral hogs this year and have researched them on the internet, as well as around the area with some of the local farmers and TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency ). I found a 500 acre farm of which I acquired permission to hunt and found out that they have taken some nice hogs of around 250 - 300 pounds from the farm last year while thinning out the group. I have plans on trying to take my hogs with a bow to start out and if this plan fails I'll go to the rifle. I've been offered the opportunity to go horse back riding on the farm while hunting for hogs but this may be alittle more challenge then I want not knowing how the horses will react. Although spring has shown it's face several times and the flowers and trees are blooming it's not quite over yet and I've still got alittle work to do before I'm ready for my first hog hunt. We,re in the dogwood winter now with blackberry winter quickly approaching then spring and the warm weather it brings will be here and I for one can't wait. Springtime and the beauty it brings is soon upon us so get out there and enjoy the outdoors again this year and be safe during your adventures.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Basics to Hunting Wild Feral Hogs.

When you start thinking of feral hog hunting where do you start? For anyone just starting out hog hunting ( like myself ) probably the best place to start is at your local wildlife agency. Asking the right questions can give you alot of useful information to getting you headed in the right direction. For most of us just starting out probably the first and most important thing to hog hunting is locating a place with a substantial group of hogs on it. Most wildlife agencies can tell you all the management areas with feral hog populations on them and may even give you a list of farms or ranches. Almost every management area is open to hog hunting during the deer hunting season only and ranchers charge a fee to hunt game on their ranch so if you can, try to locate a farm that borders a management area with feral hogs and ask the owner for permission to hunt wild feral hogs on their farm. If you get permission to hunt hogs ask the owner if he can tell you any places he's seen hogs consistently or if there's any fields that the hogs are destroying. Once you've located a farm to hunt and created a good repoor with the owner your next objective should be to look over the farm and decide from the signs and sightings the best place to ambush the hogs. Decide whether you want to hunt from a stand, a blind or just standing by a large tree. If your going to be using tree stands be sure to get permission to use them and never attach them to the trees with nails or any other damaging hardware and the same goes for using screw-in steps, get permission first. Now that your set-up is complete, make sure you acquire all the proper licenses for hunting wild feral hogs. Here in Tennessee, law requires a hunting license and a big game license (either gun, archery or muzzle loader depending on the weapon you hunt with. ). Once you've taken a feral hog it's not mandatory to check it in at a checking station here in Tennessee however, the wildlife agency would appreciate notification of the location and quantity of hogs taken. Okay now, you've taken your first feral hog so now what? Do you take it to a local processor or do you process it yourself? This would depend on you and your abilities, do you have the right equipment? Do you have the knowledge to properly process and package the hog you've taken? Is there someone that can guide you through the process and help you? If you have any doubt about processing your hog properly then perhaps it would be best for you to carry your hog to a processor until you can gain the knowledge to do it yourself. Well your now armed with some of the basics for getting started into wild feral hog hunting so get out there and help thin out the feral hog population and enjoy yourself while in the woods and fields this year and good luck.

Sus Scrofa

Sus Scrofa which is otherwise known as the pig was introduced to North America by the first European settlers some 10,000 years ago and although they have since been domesticated there are still groups of these free-ranging feral hogs today. They have a voracious appetite and destructive rooting behavior that can cause severe habitat damage especially to newly planted food production fields. To add to the feral hog problem is the fact that the females mature sexually at 5-8 months and can produce a litter of 6-12 piglets 2-3 times a year when conditions are favorable. Adding even more problems is the threat that comes from their ability to tranmit swine brucellosis and pseudorabies to farm raised animals causing a serious effect on the economy. A form of E-Coli bacteria has also just recently been discovered that effects humans to an extent of even causing death. Any wild hog found on management areas are considered as wild boars and any wild hog found on private property are considered as wild feral hogs. Hunting of wild feral hogs is open year round on private lands with no bag limits on either sex.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dangerous and Serious Trouble with a Lesson.

Upon getting off work Monday morning at 7:00 a.m., I went home then headed out to Fort Payne, Alabama to take care of some business then drove back home. All together I ended up being up for 31 hours. 12 hours of work, 2 1/2 hours before work just getting ready for work, the drive to Fort Payne and back with the business involvement was 12 1/2 hours then another 4 hours of work at home. After 31 hours of being up I finally gave in to the sleep but then Tuesday morning, I got up again at 7:00 a.m., had my coffee, drove to Crossville to help my daughter ( who just moved in with us after 126 days in jail ) try to find a job then stopped at the TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency ) to inquire about information on feral hog hunting, back home, got the wife and took her to Sparta to eat lunch and get groceries, back home and that's when things really got exciting and dangerous. I got a wild hair and decided because it was a beautiful day and the wind, I thought wasn't blowing real bad, so I lit a small fire in my garden spot to burn off the grass and weeds. Boy was that a mistake and a half. Soon as I lit the fire the wind gusted, the fire spread quickly and I was by myself trying to beat it out with only a leave rake. I ran to the house, grabbed my water hose which was to short, got the wife outside and told her to get help then returned to beating the fire with the leave rake. I beat the fire until I just couldn't beat it any more and was out of breath, shaking and coughing from the smoke. Finally help arrived, the water hose was extended with a second hose and then the Volunteer Fire Department, an ambulance and the White County Sheriffs Department arrived just in time to prevent the fire from catching my neighbors house on fire. After an hour and a half, the fire was out and then the sheriffs department stepped in and told me he was supposed to write me a citation and could even take me and put me in jail for 3 years. Finally after 30 minutes of talking to the deputy sheriff, it was decided by the officer that he wouldn't give me the citation or take me to jail ( lucky me ) but he was going to notify the U.S. Forestry Division and any complaints they received about the fire damage would put me in jail. Good thing I'm on good terms with my neighbor and she wasn't too upset about the fire damage. I had a few hot spots re-lite which I was able to put out quickly by myself and had a tree which was burning on the inside which I cut down and managed to get put out then continued to watch the burnt area till 8:00 p.m. for hot spots and re-lites. Fortunately there was no buildings lost,just underbrush. The good thing is my garden spot is now ready to turn and plant just as soon as it drys out but the bad news is it's supposed to rain here so I guess it will still be awhile before I can plant my garden. The lesson learned here was to get a burn permit from the U.S. Forestry Division and make sure you have plenty of help on hand when you burn and not on a windy day.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Bad Weekends in a Row.

This weekend has turned out to be a big bust for me as all my plans have been overturned by some misfortune. I had planned on going fishing before the final day our licenses run out but the weather just got really messy. I planned on getting out and starting a clean-up routine around my house but there again that darn weather just didn't cooperate. About the only few things I was able to accomplish was going to town for some new clothes, watching the television set ( most of the day ) and visiting a few websites to give my support to my fellow bloggers ( which was the best part of my rainy weekend ). Next weekend I have to be at my job and it's daylight savings time on Sunday ( March 8, 2009 )and I have to make a trip to Alabama on Friday, so no work around home that weekend. As for the following weekend I'll just have to wait and see how things pan out by then. Last weekend I came down sick and ended up going to the hospital on Sunday morning only to find out that I have Chronic Bronchitis and C.O.P.D. ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ) which I have been researching on the web. I've found out that it's worst than I thought it was and can even be fatal. I'm now in the process of having to give up my smoking habit whether I want to or not and when you go from 1 1/2 -2 packs a day for 24 years to 1-12 cigarettes a day with only will-power and a loving wife for support, I think I've done quiet well for my first week. Patches, gums and prescriptions are too costly for me at this time so I'll try the will to live as my savor along with the Grace of God. If I can give up the smoking habit it could add a few extra years to my life and allow me the time to possibly go on that hunting trip of a lifetime I've been wanting to take for so long now or maybe even a grand fishing trip to the ocean for big cobia's or tarpon. For now I'll settle for the extra time with my wife, reading and commenting on blogs, grandchildren and home life as it is now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Great Outdoors Is For Everyone.

Growing up in a small town in Tennessee was an awesome experience. Everyone knew everyone and most would bend over backwards to help one another when needed. Thanksgiving Day was hog killing day and the whole community would get together to help kill hogs. The young, the old and the willing, all came together to do whatever was needed and it didn't matter what the work was there was always enough help to get the job done and still have time to relax before bedtime. Going to the big city of Murfreesboro,Tn. was always a treat what with all the drive-thru fast food joints, big stores and the malls. People of all walks of life would ramble around up and down the sidewalks, with kind " Hellos " and " how ya doin ". The courthouse square was a kind of meeting place for the elderly on the weekends, where you could find from two to fifteen or more sitting around the courthouse lawn whittling on cedar wood, trading knives and good old conversation about the weather or any news worth bringing up in the conversation. Summer nights you could find folks sitting around on their front porches enjoying the whippoorwills, frogs, coon hunters with their dogs howling and the stars. Back then everybody enjoyed the great outdoors at sometime of day or night but these days it seems folks are in to big of a hurry to actually sit, relax and enjoy the outdoors as we used to in the old days. Sure lots of folks say they enjoy the outdoors but just to prove a point try this, after darkness falls go to your neighbors house and walk up to the front porch, if there's no one there try knocking on the door and chances are their in front of the television set watching a show. Now how many of you have sat on your front porch lately with a cold beverage and just listened to nature at it's best? or in early morning sat with a cup of coffee and watched nature greeting the morning light?. Even the city folks can sit by an open window and watch and listen to the sounds of nature ( and yes the city does have nature growing within it ). My parents are 85 and 86 years old and even they enjoy watching birds at the feeders, squirrels around on the ground and in the trees and deer playing as they cross the yard and drink from the pond. I know women who have hunted and enjoyed the outdoors since they were six years old and wouldn't give anything for their time spent there. I have grandchildren wanting me to teach them to hunt and fish and friends at work wanting to hunt and fish with me this year and my only reply I can give them is " we'll go " . I get out working in the yard or on my truck and from time to time I stop and take a break to enjoy nature around me.The great outdoors was given to us by God for our pleasure and enjoyment so whatever adventure or endeavor you decide on taking, get outdoors and relax and have a great time and leave the work behind you for awhile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Passing Of My Life Long Hunting Companion.

In the fall of 1976, I was just out of school and working my first full time job. Squirrel season had just opened and was a beautiful weekend. At this time in my life I had no clue as to what deer hunting was all about but things were about to change dramatically. As a child growing up I'd played with bows and arrows but in August 1976 while hunting squirrel I had my first encounter with a small herd of Whitetail Deer. Yearning for knowledge about the whitetail deer and growing up loving to hunt, I began searching every article I could fine in magazines and asking questions from local friends and farmers. This lead me to a family that kept popping up time after time and one that I'd gone to school with since the first grade. The family known by everyone in my home town of Lascassas, Tennessee as "The Dukes" would soon become my life long mentors, hunting family and second family. If I wasn't at home I was at the Dukes learning about whitetail deer and other wild game, fishing and life. The entire family ( father, mother, sons, daughter and even the grandmother )taught me everything I know today about hunting. The father ( Charles Duke ) who passed away 20 years ago was my biggest mentor but it was the youngest son ( Ricky Duke ) that was my hunting companion. Ricky was a year older than me but had hunted whitetail deer all across America since he was 9 years old. All the Dukes would limit out every year and with that kind of experience, classified the entire family as experts to me and well worth my time to learn from them. On Sunday February 1,2009, I received a phone call informing me that my life long hunting companion Ricky Duke had passed away of cancer. The news was devastating and all I've thought of since was the memories of our hunts and time together over the past 40 years. Though Ricky's astonishing accomplishments are all just memories for me now, they will live on in my heart, the woods and the fields forever more. You'll be dearly missed by all who's lives you've touched here on earth Ricky and may God be with you in your new hunting grounds though eternity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let The Gathering Begin

With the closing of deer hunting season across the states we're faced with a question of what to write about next?. Most of us write about our hunting experiences and adventures while outdoors. Now we have the opportunity to advance our writings. We have an opportunity before us to expand our knowledge and unite this great nation of Outdoor Bloggers. This union has been a long time coming and has been wanted by so many of us that the time for action is finally here. Kristine at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit has so far been doing all the work to get these Regional meetings up and running, with a select few of devoted members willing to coordinate a meeting in their area. Now she is asking for our help and support to make these Regional Meetings become reality. With the weather changing and spring coming soon, I'm sure that just about anyone can find a park, a picnic grounds with a pavilion or some sort of public facility which can be used to facilitate one of our Regional Meetings. We have far too few meeting locations at present for as many bloggers as we have and we desperately need more meeting locations in states everywhere. You don't have to do all the work on your own, alot of you say " I'll do what I can to help " . Well now is the time to help and make a big difference for everyone. Get Motivated, get your brain to thinking on a daily basis about the Regional Meetings and start putting something together in your area. Kristine will be providing the guidelines to go by, use them and create some of your own. Read the postings on the Outdoor Bloggers Summit and get these meetings started into a forward direction. Recruit others in your area to help you and discuss the possibilities of where to have your meeting. In choosing a meeting site you will need to know how many people the site will accommodate, are they handicapped equipped, easily accessible, well marked on the streets and highways for easy location by all attending, what amenities they have, are they sheltered, If it's a park do they have camping areas with water, electricity and showers- if so what is the cost per camp site, can we get cut rates for our group attending, are there food stores near by for the campers to use, what time the park opens and closes,are night time campfires allowed and is wood available. Check every possibility and the amenities for your site carefully and thoroughly before selecting it. This won't be an easy task by far but the overall outcome will all be worth the time and troubles once the Regional Meetings come forth and are started. Lets all do our part in getting these meetings started. I know it will take some time to organize a meeting but it won't happen if we don't talk locally with each other and get something started. One question I will be e-mailing Kristine with is " How large of a radius area should each Regional meeting encompass as a base starting point for members of the group? ". In the mean time start contacting some of your local members to help you coordinate a meeting in your area. I was thinking of the Cumberland Mountain State Park or maybe The Smoky Mountain State Park for members of Tennessee. I'll know more after I contact a few members from the Tennessee area and hopefully be able to get a Regional Meeting started in Tennessee.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year, A New Adventure, A Unity So Wanted

A new year has fallen upon us and with it comes the essence of a brighter future for us all. We have a chance at a new beginning and the ability to start over or add to our existing quest and dreams. A new adventure has come into our midst and is one that is sure to bring with it new insight to everyone of the blogging world. As we embrace this new adventure, we unite together to create groups around the world that will allow each of us to become closer not only as groups but as a whole. We've each come a long way since creating our websites. We've created a window into our own world around us which has allowed others to know only a portion of who we really are. We now are at a point of which our readers and visitors and our friends want to know more about us and we of them.This is why the concept of the " Outdoor Bloggers Summit Regional Meetings " is being formed. Groups around the world, coming together having fun and making new friends for life. Although these meetings are still in the process of being formed it is of the utmost importance that we all do everything and anything we can to help get these meetings formed and become a member for life of the closest group or chapter in your area. Perhaps as things progress within each chapter, visits to other chapters can be accomplished and eventually all the chapters can come together in one central location for the " Outdoor Bloggers Summit Convention " uniting bloggers around the world.