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Welcome!

Think of this blog as a comfy room in an old hunting shack. A bunch of pot-bellied guys are sitting around a big pot-bellied stove shooting the breeze about our outdoor exploits, some of which may have actually happened. Several dogs of indeterminate lineage are lying around under our feet, and we’re probably having a drink or two.

How was your duck season? Where’d you shoot that big buck? (besides in the shoulder). Got any hero pictures of the monster trout you caught recently? How’s that new dog working out? Got any good turkey or pheasant stories? Any fly patterns you’d like to share? Read any good books about the outdoors lately? Planning any trips to the San Juan? The White? Canada?

That’s what this blog is all about. What this blog is NOT about is POLITICS unless it pertains directly to outdoor sports. I’m sure you’re not interested in my political opinions and I’m not interested in yours.

So pull up a chair. What’s on your mind?

Another big Kansas Whitetail buck

When this big Kansas whitetail buck was born The Lord told him, “Son, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m giving you a BRAIN. It’s a wonderful thing. You can use it to find food and to keep from getting shot by some redneck with a rifle or bow. And I’m giving you a PENIS, which is also a wonderful thing. It will bring you great pleasure and you can use it to propagate your species.” The little buck said, “Golly! That sounds great! But what’s the bad news?” to which The Lord answered, “I’m only giving you enough blood supply to use one of them at a time.”

You can see where this big guy hides out in the daytime. He usually comes out to play only in the daylight. But look what he’s doing. Which of God’s gifts do you think he’s using now?

A big thank you to my buddy Scott and his army of trail cams for sharing this photo with me.

 

 

 

 

Captains For Clean Water

Captains for clean Water is on a mission to restore and protect aquatic resources for the use and enjoyment of all. Through education and advocacy they fight to ensure that policymakers implement science-based solutions to our water quality issues.

One of the biggest barriers to fixing the problems facing Florida’s estuaries and Everglades boils down to one thing –people just don’t know about them. Captains for Clean Water works to raise awareness and advance science-based solutions to solve Florida’s water mismanagement and secure the health of our water resources, protecting our way of life for future generations.

The Florida peninsula is one of the most unique landscapes on earth. Periodically inundated in a sub-tropical setting, it features one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, the Everglades. The control of this water – draining it, redirecting it, and containing it – has been an evolving story over the last two centuries of man versus nature. It’s a story where there is no true winner unless we can find a balance that ensures the ongoing health of each.

In 2016 two fishing guides, Captains Daniel Andrews and Chris Wittman, decided they’d “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices devastating the estuaries they rely on. They were convinced that if everyone knew about the issues they would have been fixed long ago. The solution is known but has been delayed for decades due to lack of political will and public awareness. So they set out to change that.

They work to advance science-based solutions through efforts focused on awareness and education, empowering people to speak up for our water quality and hold elected officials accountable. Together they have united the outdoor industry, environmental groups,  the business community and concerned citizens around these important issues, and are seeing more people than ever get involved in the fight for clean water. As a result, progress is happening at a record pace but we still have a long way to go.  We must fight to protect these valuable resources for future generations.

THE PROBLEM

Water mismanagement in Florida has led to the near collapse of three nationally-recognized estuaries. The Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers are inundated with polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee, causing toxic algae blooms, seagrass die-offs, and fish kills while the Everglades are starved of the natural freshwater flow they desperately need.

THE SOLUTION

Send the water south. Not east, west, or underground. The solution, called Everglades restoration, was passed by Congress in 2000 in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the roadmap to restoring the Everglades.

PROGRESS

Through awareness, education, and advocacy, Captains For Clean Water has rallied together the outdoor industry, environmental community, businesses, and everyday citizens, providing a platform for their voices to be heard. Because of their incredible supporters they are seeing progress happen at a record pace and critical projects being expedited.

Captains For Clean Water is a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that fights to restore and protect our water resources.

(866) 670-2329

http://www.captainsforcleanwater.org

inf@captainsforcleanwater.org

 

 

Southern Marsh Charters

Capt. Andrew Mizell is a third-generation Floridian. Born in Pensacola, he was introduced to the great outdoors at an early age. His father served in the navy, which gave Andrew the incredible opportunity to fish in numerous destinations around the world including Florida, Cuba, Bahamas, Tennessee Maryland and Maine. After his father retired Andrew set roots in Jacksonville and attended the University of North Florida.

Capt. Andrew is owner and operator of Southern Marsh Charters and General Manager of Strike-Zone Fly Fishing in Jacksonville. He has over 25 years of experience inshore fly fishing. If you want to experience a charter targeting redfish in the shallowest of waters during low tide or chase tailing redfish in northeast Florida’s unique floodtides visit the website of Southern Marsh Charters or give him a call at 850-346-0060. Andrew is a supporter of Captains for Clean Water.

I can tell you from personal experience that he will work tirelessly to put you where the fish are and do everything in his power to help you catch them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Outdoor sports cartoons

If it seems like I’ve been doing this  a long time it’s because I’ve been doing this  a long time. My first cartoon about outdoor sports was published in Sports Afield…or maybe it was Field & Stream, in 1964.It was followed by a long stream of others too humorus to mention.

 

 

 

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Big Fishweir Creek

While eating lunch on the deck at Harp’s Pub, which is only a few thousand yards from my house, you can look straight down into the murky waters of Big Fishweir Creek. This once navigable urban waterway meanders from Jacksonville’s trendy Avondale neighborhood under the Herschel Street bridge and into the Ortega River where it joins the St. John’s River.

Kayakers, fishermen and canoeists once enjoyed the recreational opportunities of Big Fishweir but this urban waterway has become shallow and harder for wildlife and boaters to navigate due to sediment from surrounding development and storm events.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has designated Big Fishweir as an area that should be swimmable and fishable. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to start removing sediment and invasive plants in early 2021. The majority of funding for the 6.5 million dollar project is federal while about 35% is from the city of Jacksonville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Black Bears

A recent Associated Press article in the Florida Times Union States that Governor Ron Desantis signed a bill to protect black bears against poachers. I don’t even like poached eggs so I can imagine how yucky a poached bear would taste.

Anyway, the main reason some people were poaching bears is because the Florida bear population has skyrocketed. Which is a good thing if you like bears. In the ‘70s the Florida black bear population was only in the low hundreds. It  has now rebounded to around 4000. But some Floridians don’t LIKE bears, at least the ones that poop on their suburban yards and turn over their garbage cans which seems hypocritical to me because some HUMAN Floridians do these things all the time.

So, bottom line… the bill means there will be MORE bears which will please the pro-bear crowd but the anti-bear folks will be highly pissed.

But wait… there’s MORE! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has drafted a 10-year management plan that it says takes a scientific approach toward addressing the rising bear numbers. And what is that plan, you ask? They are going to keep the bears off-limits to hunters. Do you see where I’m going with this? How is keeping more bears from winding up as a rug in front of the fireplace in some guy’s man-cave going to address the rising bear numbers?

I don’t know about you but I can’t bear to think about this any more.

 

 

 

 

 

Pets by day, killers by night

They stalk the suburbs by night. With catlike quickness they pounce upon their unsuspecting prey. With no respect for the concept of fair play the nocturnal monsters toy with their helpless victims, often flinging them into the air or swatting them with cruel paws. Eventually tiring of this sadistic game, they commit the unthinkable… they DEVOUR their prey, often while the pitiful creatures ARE STILL ALIVE!

Though these hairy monsters assume their evil deeds are hidden by the cloak of darkness we, thanks to the ubiquitous trail cam, know the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Day In Paradise

Looking east from Jim’s Boatyard at the confluence of Sisters Creek and the St. John’s River…… 6:30 AM…It’s a beautiful sight. I’d love to see it more often if I didn’t have to get up so damn early. It’s a good start for a 4-hour charter with Capt. Andrew Mizell of Southern Marsh Charters.

Saw my first manatee this morning, at least the nose of a manatee. Wasn’t quick enough to get a photo. Maybe next time, if I’m quick enough, I’ll get to see an entire manatee.

Capt. Andrew Mizell displays a flounder