Texas Dove Opener, 2017

I’m 52 years old and have never, ever, shot a limit of any kind of game bird.  And I’ve hunted a lot, albeit mostly in my youth.  That changed today, after we settled in on the side of a milo field near Wichita Falls, close to where I grew up.

As it turns out, if you take copious amounts of shotgun shells and sit in a field with copious amounts of birds, the law of averages eventually works in your favor.  I shot my limit and even got a few bonus Collared Dove that don’t have a bag limit.

An overall great day;  A day filled with the companionship of brothers, sons, nieces and nephews, in-laws who are more like actual siblings, friends, an amazing meal of grilled Dove with so many sides I can hardly recount.  Tomorrow afternoon will see another hunt, and my daughter will be joining us.  Can’t wait to hunt with all my kids.

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Road Trip

Childress
Wichita Falls
Lake Arrowhead
Little Wichita River
Grandson

All components of a great road trip. Here are a few highlights . . .

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Summer Sunset

After a supper of chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet, fried okra and sautéed squash, tomatoes and onions, I made it out to a local pond to see if I could bring a few bass to hand.  Nothin’ doin’ on the bass, but it was a peaceful, quiet evening.

We had cornbread, too.

 

 

 

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Making The Net

If you look at my Instagram profile, you’ll notice I follow an awful lot of fly fishing and woodworking accounts.  I love both pastimes.  So what better project than to build a hardwood landing net for chasing trout with a long stick?  What follows is a string of photos that tells, step by step, my process for building a trout landing net.  This process was completely learned from Instagram and YouTube channels, as well as a couple of blogs.  It is a hybrid of many people’s methods, with a few tweaks of my own. This is my first net, and it is made of Black Walnut and Poplar.  Details are in photo captions.

Let’s start with the finished product, then go from the beginning.

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A form was needed to bend hardwood laminate strips to the desired shape.

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A handle was cut from Black Walnut, and matched to the hoop form. After the laminate strips soaked in water a few hours, they were bent and clamped around the form and handle, then left to dry.

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These are the dried laminate strips ready for glue-up.

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This is how the glued up net looked after removing it from the form.

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After hand planing and initial sanding, the net began to take shape.

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A groove needed to be cut around the perimeter of the net hoop. A narrow fence was used to allow routing of concave and convex curves.

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A close-up of the slot cutting bit just under the narrow fence.

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A couple of net frames after routing the 3/32″ groove around the hoop.

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3/32″ holes were drilled in the hoop.

 

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After purchasing a net bag, it was stitched here using old fly line; a tough, weather resistant material adding a nice touch by up-cycling the old line.

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The net was finished with Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, which is a mixture of boiled linseed and other oils and specially formulated for gunstocks.  Three very thinned coats were used as a sealer, then 3 or 4 undiluted coats, buffing between coats.  Final treatment was a paste wax.

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Looking forward to getting this wet.

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The rubber net bag doesn’t scrape the protective slime off fish (as bad as nylon or cotton does) and is easier to remove hooks from.

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Walnut and Poplar lamination.

 

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Outing with my Sons

We had a rare treat last weekend; all my kids were home with us.  We love that.  After sleeping in a little, and an afternoon picnic, my sons and I hit a couple of ponds to see if we could hook up with a few bass.

Pond 1:  So weedy we almost immediately left for pond 2.

Pond 2:  Excellent water quality, and the water was way up.  It had even flooded the kayak launch and fishing pier.  Drew and I were skunked, but Zac landed a nice bass on a Junebug colored 10″ powerbait worm.  That’s one effective bait, by the way.

Good fishing . . .


 

 

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Spring Sunset 

Last Sunday evening I revisited a pond I used to frequent.  I discovered the pond while waiting for my daughter during her piano lessons.  I’d cast for 45 minutes or so, catch a few bass, and pick her up and go home.  

This is a park pond, and as is usual for small bodies of water, the pond has undergone drastic changes in just a few years.  Silting, weeds, algae have changed this pond to a shallower, dirtier  body of water than it used to be.  The water level is also several feet low, and hopefully some rain will improve conditions.  

I did manage one  half-pound bass around sunset, and was treated to this spectacular sunset.

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Losing

A while back I wrote about a private 2 man bass tournament between me and my youngest son.  Since that post, Drew has been . . . Busy.


On a recent trip to a lake in Oklahoma, he landed his personal best largemouth bass, at 10lb, 2oz!  And this was less than 24 hours since his previous personal best at 6 lbs.


Not long after that I fished with a brother-on-law, and certainly caught a few, but nothing approaching Drew’s trophys.



So here is the current standing.  We fish through October 31, 2017.  I have some fishing to do.

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