Psalm 113:3

An outing with family, wading the shallow waters of the Pease River.  Sunsets always inspire me and always remind me of this scripture.
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How Times Change

When I was a teenager, my father took my brothers and me hunting. We spent the better part of opening week as a part of a larger hunting party in the pursuit of Whitetails in the Hill Country of Central Texas.

College

Marriage

Career

Children

When my children were old enough, I took them hunting. Family friends who were the organizers of our hill country hunts invited the kids out to harvest does in the open country of North Central Texas. I sat in deer blinds with all of my children, teaching them how to look for wildlife, coached them when to shoot, and helping them field dress their deer. My children harvested as much deer as we could eat or give away.

Career

In-laws

Grandchildren

Yesterday afternoon I was in the panhandle region of Texas, where I sat in a deer blind with my daughter and watched a few deer in the late afternoon and early evening sunset. img_8424-1My daughter took me to that deer blind. And just this morning, my son-in-law took me hunting. My children no longer need me to guide them, and in fact are now guiding me. This morning I harvested my first deer in thirty five years.img_8442How times change.

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.img_7504

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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 . . .

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.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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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