Opening weekend at the Five Guys & A Swamp Duck Club


Shotguns boomed… retrievers retrieved… four gadwall, one pintail, and one shoveler fell… and my left knee sent me straight to the DL. It’s an old high school football injury. I didn’t actually play high school football; I got drunk and fell in a urinal at halftime.

Things can only get better from here.

Sunrise from the 26-year-old north blind

Venison Chili Recipe

The other day a guy told me there was a quick and easy way to make chili. I body-slammed the little pervert, then picked him up and threw him down the stairs. There should not be a quick, easy way to make chili! Making it is as much fun as eating it. You’re cheating yourself if you hurry through it.

It should be a drizzly, gloomy day; you should be slightly depressed and in need of a little cheering up. Here’s my recipe:

1. Shoot one deer. If you don’t have a chain saw or weed whacker, have your deer professionally butchered.

2. Brown and drain 2 lbs. of venison hamburger in a big, deep skillet.

3. While the meat is browning melt 2 Tbs. of bacon drippings in another skillet.

4. Sautee in bacon drippings, ¾ C. chopped onion, ½ chopped garlic clove, ½ C. chopped green pepper, sprinkle with Cavender’s Greek seasoning. Add some jalapeno peppers if you want it lethal. Personally I don’t think eating should be painful.

5. While this stuff is sautéing, add the following ingredients to a small container:

  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Chili Powder
  •  2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
  •  2 Tsp. Cumin

6. Add the sautéed ingredients and the spices to the drained meat. Stir in 2 C. of canned tomatoes. Add 1 to 2 cups of bloody Mary mix. Stir and bring to a boil. Add one 15 oz. can of red kidney beans, lower heat, let simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Use these 20 minutes to fix yourself a drink, enjoy the enticing odors coming from your kitchen, and contemplate the wondrous thing you have wrought. Then help yourself to a bowl of your masterpiece, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top and serve with Doritos and a frosty mug of Boulevard Bully Porter.

8. Be sure to have an extra pair of undershorts handy.

Venison Chili Recipe
Venison Chili

Let the bitching begin!


There are many things I admire about the Missouri Dept. of Conservation but their deer hunting regulations are not among them.

I and four other Kansas residents own a 190-acre parcel of land in Bates County, MO. We bought it for duck, deer, and turkey hunting. In the past we purchased non-resident landowner deer and turkey permits for half price. Several years ago MDOC raised the price of deer and turkey tags and did away with non-resident landowner permits. Now I pay full price, $225, to hunt deer on my own land. A fall turkey tag is $110. We pay taxes in MO, $591 this year, so it seems unreasonable to me that we are required to pay the full $225.

My partners who used to hunt deer and turkeys have given up hunting on our land partly for this reason. My love of the sport has compelled me to hold my nose and shell out $225 each November. In my opinion the amount of additional revenue MDOC takes in for this travesty of justice cannot possibly offset the ill will it creates.

Now let’s talk about ridiculous antler restrictions. A legal buck must have at least four points on one side. A spike buck is illegal if one spike is greater than three inches. This may work for bow hunters looking at deer from 20 to 40 yards, but firearms hunters routinely see our quarry at ranges up to 100 yards or farther and must make split second decisions. Deer seldom stand sideways for us, posing like in magazine photos. They are usually walking or partially hidden by brush. (I personally refrain from shooting at running deer.) Are we supposed to climb down from our stands, walk to that spike buck, ask him to hold still while we measure his spike, then climb back into our stand and pull the trigger? I understand the reason for these regulations is to foster the growth of bigger bucks but they are ridiculous, impossible restrictions and should be repealed.

How about the telecheck system? It’s a joke. With this system the only way an illegal hunter gets nabbed is at the processing plant and most rural hunters don’t take their deer to be processed, they butcher it themselves. In reality under this system there is no way to know how many deer are harvested in MO, and with an unlimited number of antlerless tags available at $7 a pop I don’t think MDOC cares.

MDOC should return to the check-in station system, not only to keep an accurate account of the deer kill but also for the social occasions it afforded rural communities. The old spit-and-whittle guys used to hang around the check stations to gossip about the bucks being checked in. Now this annual community event is history, thanks to the misguided policies of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Son of Trail Cam Bucks

More trail cam photos from Scott Morgan. Looks like Scott knows where he’s going to be on opening morning of the Kansas deer season.

Speaking of deer season… we Missouri non-resident landowners now have to pay full price for a MO non-resident deer tag, even though we’re hunting on our own land where we pay MO taxes. Full fledged bitching session coming up soon!  

Two bucks in a Kansas corn field
Hey! Who turned on the lights?

Another Big Buck Caught on Trail Cam

I left this trail cam out for a looong time and captured this buck on July 19th. This is a young deer, probably 3 1/2 years old. He has a minimum of 13 points with at least one back tine (not visible in this picture) and possibly two. Notice that he’s already got nice mass in his mains. Give him three more years and he’ll be yet another Baldwin giant.

Use in your blog if you’d like. Image is in poor focus due to the fact that he is mugging the camera too closely.

Scott Morgan

Baldwin City, KS

Young whitetail buck mugs for the trail cam



New Mexico’s San Juan River

If you’re a trout fisherman who enjoys catching big fish on tiny flies you should treat yourself to a few days on New Mexico’s famous San Juan tailwater below Navajo Lake. And when you go you won’t find a better base camp than Soaring Eagle Lodge. After a hard day of casting tiny flies on gossamer tippets you can sit outside your riverside unit and enjoy your favorite beverage, watch rising trout and sporadic flyovers by ducks, geese, ospreys, and the occasional eagle while working up a hearty appetite for the sumptuous evening meal. A big breakfast next morning will send you on your way to a guided float or wading trip, or if you prefer you can wade and fish on your own.

Raleigh Eggers and I recently spent five days at Soaring Eagle. Like any fishing venue, success can vary if you measure it by numbers and size of fish. But a “bad” day on the San Juan can be better than a good day on other streams. While crowded at times, some afternoons we had areas of the river virtually all to ourselves. Floating two days with guides Jeremiah Spradley and Curtis Bailey we managed to catch and release some good fish.

Breakfast and dinner at Soaring Eagle never varies. It’s always excellent, prepared and served by a courteous, competent staff.  Check it out at

Photos don’t lie (OK. I’ve got long arms). But a big trout is a big trout, and catching them on #24 emergers and 6X tippet definitely ups the sphincter factor.

Heart Of America Fly Fishers

Thanks to fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers member Terry Robbins for providing this excellent photo of a Bennett Spring trout in its natural habitat. And with a borrowed camera yet! Actually its real natural habitat is a concrete holding tank, but it’s a nice photo.  You can check out Terry’s blog and web site at .

Speaking of the Heart Of America Fly Fishers, anyone interested in the sport, whether you’re a beginner or a grizzled old timer with salty sweat stains on your shirt, everyone is welcome. We meet the 3rd Monday of each month (except December), 7:00 PM at Community of Christ Church, 79th & Mission Rd. Prairie Village, KS.

Check us out at

Bennett Spring Trout

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Once you work your way through the labyrinth of airports and layovers, Chena Hot Springs, Alaska is a great place to be in September. 40s to 70s in the daytime with occasional light rain. Beautiful! I was there four days to attend the OWAA conference. Call me stupid, but I didn’t bring my fishing gear. 

Even though I’m mostly a fly fisherman and reluctant to use “heathen tackle”, I did manage to borrow a spinning rod and some lures from a friend and spend an hour or so chucking hardware into the clear waters of a nearby lake , catching and releasing a couple of small Arctic grayling, a first of that species for me. I’m no longer an Arctic grayling virgin!

Saw a moose or two but no bears, which was fine with me. I don’t do bears. I did run across a fascinating book that I haven’t been able to put down… Alaska’s Wolfman by Jim Rearden. It chronicles the adventures of Frank Glaser in the Alaska wilderness from 1915 to 1955. Read it if you can find it!

Lake at Chena Hot Springs, AK

I’m putting the grayling on notice. No more Mister Nice Guy! Next time I’m bringing the nine-foot 5-weight, some leaders, and flies and kicking fish butt!