Blast from the past

I love looking at grainy old photos of guys just like us, having a good time hunting and fishing years ago. These snapshots are pictures of my wife’s family and friends; from their clothing I’d guess they were taken  in the ‘30s or 40s.

Notice the man and kid showing off two nice stringers of what appear to be bass and bluegill with maybe a crappie or two in the mix. Yes, the “hero shot” has been around for a long long time.

Look at the three dudes all dressed up in their Sunday finest, proudly displaying their gigantic jackrabbits. Did they skip out from work on their lunch break for a quick rabbit hunt? Or maybe ditch the wife and kids after church  to go out and blast a few bunnies?

How about the two guys with the big game animals strung from a pole? I can’t tell if they’re does or antelope. And what are all the light-colored things on the ground? My guess would be corncobs.

The gent dangling the two big fish obviously hadn’t learned to hold them closer to the camera so they’d look bigger. I’d guess they’re trout but it’s hard to tell. What do you think?

The grinning dude sitting on the car fender is my father-in-law. Those pointy things to his left appear to be antlers. You know this wasn’t the only photo taken that day. Wouldn’t you love to see the rest!

The two guys in front of the tent, with the white dog and the campfire: my wife swears that’s her dad, seated with the cigarette in his mouth. I have my doubts. There are also some antlers beside his left leg. Did one of them bag a deer or were the antlers just used to rattle up a buck?

Wouldn’t you love to hear the story that goes with each photo?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More big Kansas white tail bucks

This big nocturnal, Kansas whitetail buck ,  antlers still in velvet, was hard to capture on one of my friend Scott Morgan’s many trail cams. Scott has several cameras scattered over a wide area near his home in eastern Kansas. He’s hoping to get a shot of a cougar that has been sighted in the vicinity. So far no luck on the cougar but lots of deer and turkey.

Outdoor Communicators of Kansas Conference

I love it here in Florida but one thing I miss about moving from Kansas is the Outdoor Communicators of Kansas twice a year. It’s always fun to get together with old friends. Especially when they’re people whose work you admire and respect.

El Dorado, KS hosted this year’s conference May 3 – 5th. A hardy welcoming dinner kicked off the festivities Friday night followed by a business meeting. Saturday and Sunday were devoted to the important things: fishing and turkey hunting.

A crappie tournament was being held simultaneously with the OCK conference. I’ve never attended a crappie tournament, but if they’re like the three Bassmasters Classics I attended where the contestants had to release their catch, it’s a travesty of justice. Crappie are DELICIOUS and should be filleted, rolled in cornmeal , fried and EATEN!

Fishing was difficult due to recent rains and high water, but the winning team in the Kansas Crappie Club Big Fish tournament had one 2 lb. fish. 

Doesn’t sound too good to me.

I’ve attended many Outdoor Communicators of Kansas conferences in the past. In May of 2008 photographer Blumb and I boated an obscene number of crappie on Clinton Lake near Lawrence with the help of a local fisherman. One crisp November morning in ’09 I lay on my back in a frozen field near Larned and listened to thousands of snow geese squawking overhead and never fired a shot. You can’t shoot what you can’t see and the fog was so thick I could hardly see a nearby treeline. So as you can see, being guided by local “experts” doesn’t guarantee success.

But it’s always fun.

I’ve asked some of the current attendees to send photos about this year’s conference to my blog. Let’s see what happens.

Blumb writes ..”Fishing was difficult due to recent rains and high water, but the winning team in the Kansas Crappie Club Big Fish tournament had one 2 lb. fish. 

Sunday Josh Peck and I went turkey hunting, guided by Jason Barnes of Whitewater, KS. We were near a flock, but the gobbler and jakes ignored our calls, and drifted away with numerous hens, out of sight. We moved to another farm, located a distant solo gobbler, and proceeded to try to sneak closer and call him in. He drifted away, and we had a 1 mile hike back to our vehicle.

To finish the morning, we returned to the area where we started, and Josh attempted a sneak with a fan blind. Still no luck, so we called it a hunt and unloaded our shotguns. The temperature had risen to 72 degrees by noon, and we had walked a total of 4 miles, so I was ready for a break.”

Many thanks to Jon Blumb and Dave Zumbaugh for the photos.

Brad Loveless and Mark Murrell show off a pair of keeper walleyes. Some uninformed people call walleyes walleyed pike which is incorrect. I call them FOOD!

Good morning at the Lone Oak Duck Club

The latest duck count at Four Rivers Waterfowl Management   Area east of Rich Hill, MO is 147 thousand ducks, most probably mallards.

It looks like a few strayed too far from the refuge . After breaking a hole in 1 to 2” ice and braving 17-degree temperatures this morning Jay Lang and son Chuck bagged a goodly number of birds.  Their many hours of work all summer on habitat at the  Club are finally paying off.

 Wish they could field dress one nice, fat mallard and mail it to me.

Fishing On the White River

Long time, no blog. Apologies to my loyal followers …both of you.

Another fun two days on the White River with outfitter and philosopher Miles Riley. No huge wall-hangers but enough action…mostly rainbows… to keep the days interesting.

White River Beach

The first morning Riley’s son Gavin drove us to Rim Shoal where Raleigh Eggers and I stayed out of the way while Miles launched hi battered johnboat and we motored upstream toward Redbud shoal in dense fog, picking up a trout or two along the way. Floating back downstream, fishing was uncharacteristically slow through Rim shoal and lower Rim but picked up as the fog lifted. We finished the day in Riley’s home water. The bite had slacked off considerably but Raleigh and I were too pooped to care. Besides, a cold drink and a hot shower were beckoning.

White River Brown

Next morning, after a false start due to lightening, we motored from Riley’s Station upstream to buffalo shoal where we spent the entire day boating and releasing eleven to fourteen inch rainbows, most of which took a #16 sow bug imitation tied by Miles and Michelle’s 11-year-old daughter Jalen.

Lunch on the White River

After drinks in Raleigh’s “party room” at the Mountain Home Days Inn we headed for nearby Colton’s Steak House where we ate both nights. After dinner we retired to our separate rooms (Raleigh snores something awful) to rest up for the five hour drive back to Kansas City next day.

Want some beautiful Arkansas scenery with a mess of trout thrown in? Check out Miles and Michelle’s website at RileyStation.com. or email Miles at info@rileysstation.com.

R.I.P. The Old North Blind 1985-2015

The Old North Blind had a long and interesting life. Lab pups gnawed its door frames and Canada geese nested in it. Wet, gloved hands were warmed over its charcoal stove while sausage patties sizzled over glowing coals.

Like the men who hunted from it, it began to sag in the middle and its joints loosened with age. Rotten joists were replaced and new plywood flooring added,  to be covered once again with muskrat droppings, spent shotgun shells and assorted feathers.

In spite of annual repairs the blind finally became so dilapidated we feared it could no longer support the weight of men, guns and dogs. So in 2015, like a faded, tattered old flag, it was honorably retired by burning.Blind