Friday, January 10, 2014

Eden Valley Guest Ranch

My wife and I recently stayed at the Eden Valley Guest Ranch in northeastern Washington and had a great time. They are located in the Okanogan Highlands just to the east of Oroville and are very close to the Canadian border. While they are not a hunting outfitter, they offer lots of fun outdoor activities for all seasons such as hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, cross country skiing, and are located in close proximity to excellent hunting and fishing habitat.



















Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hunting Under Poor Conditions

I’m sure almost everyone is familiar with the ideal conditions for hunting big game (namely white tailed deer) with respect to the rut, wind speed and direction, the phase of the moon, and ambient temperatures. That is all well and good if you live in close proximity to your hunting area or have a schedule flexible enough to hunt when things are as close to perfect as possible. However, like many other hunters out there, I have to hunt when I have time off from work, and that does not always mean I’ll be deer hunting under ideal circumstances. In reality, I've probably hunted many more days under average or below average conditions than the other way around over the course of my hunting years. This does not mean you can’t be successful. However, it may mean you have to change your hunting methods to fit prevailing conditions.

This past year was a great example of having to deal with poor circumstances. I had one opportunity to go hunting on the family land in East Texas for several days just before Christmas. Unfortunately, the timing of our hunt happened to coincide with a period of unseasonably warm weather. The week prior to our hunt had great hunting weather with sunny skies, temperatures in the 20-40°F range, and light winds. We recorded lots of daylight deer and hog activity at multiple locations on our land with our trail cameras.

Earthquakes are scary since you cannot run away from them. Anywhere you go, you can feel your world literally shaking and there is no means to escape the tremor, except when you are flying. Another frightening thing about earthquakes is that they can sometimes cause volcanic eruptions or tsunamis.

Earthquakes are usually caused when the tectonic plates shift or when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. The sudden release of energy causes seismic waves that make the ground shake. When two blocks of rocks or two tectonic plates rub against each other, they stick a bit and for a time they continue to push against each other and after a while they break because of the pressure that’s built up. And when they finally break, it is when an earthquake is unleashed.

Since it will be difficult to run away from an earthquake, there are still some things you can do to ensure your survival. If you are inside a building, take cover under something sturdy like a table and stay away from things that would like fall when there’s an earthquake. When you are outside, stay away from building and streetlights and look for an open space. Be ready and prepare if such a thing would happen, you can use a voucher to buy food, water, and clothes before an earthquake occurs.


This group of hogs showed up twice during daylight hours a few days before our hunt.







Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ted’s First Hog

I just returned from the woods from a successful hunting trip in the woods of East Texas with my father and my cousin Ted (Brian’s older brother). Ted grew up hunting small game with our grandfather in Maryland and has been deer hunting with us before, but had never killed a single big game animal prior to this trip. My father and I aimed to change that on this hunt.

After picking both of us up at the airport in the evening, my dad drove us to our family’s land in East Texas early the next morning. After arriving at our cabin, we checked each of the blinds and feeders and determined that everything was still in working order. It looked like we were getting activity from both deer and hogs at each feeder, which bode well for the hunt.

During the evening of the second day of hunting, Ted was sitting in one of our four deer stands armed with his Ruger M77 in .30-06 Springfield. The stand and the accompanying feeder are located just inside the woods to the west of the main north-south road on the land. A small ravine separates the elevated tree stand from the feeder, which is about 30 yards away to the east. Deer and hogs often travel up and down the ravine and stop to eat at the feeder before crossing the dirt road and disappearing into some very thick brush on the other side.

View of the feeder from the stand

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wright's Liquid Smoke


Wright's Liquid Smoke, the producers of great tasting, all-natural, liquid smoke, is having a giveaway for a $500 gift card to Bass Pro Shop along with a 1 year supply of liquid smoke. To enter, simply click here and follow the instructions on the screen. You can enter once per day until the contest ends on December 20th.

As an added bonus, all fans who enter the contest will receive 3 free delicious venison recipes featuring Liquid Smoke. Below is a sneak peak at one of the three recipes you will receive if you enter the contest. Enjoy!

Sauce for BBQ Venison   Courtesy of Food.com
Ingredients:
5 lbs deer roast
3 cups ketchup
3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic salt
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
Directions:
1.    Place roast in crock-pot let cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.
2.    Let roast cool.
3.    Skim off any fat.
4.    Shred roast.
5.    In medium sauce pan mix ingredients for sauce.
6.    Bring to a boil.
7.    Pour over meat and mix thoroughly.
8.    Reheat.
 Serves 12

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Predator Control

One of the things I’ve noticed since I’ve starting writing this blog is that the discussion of predators in general, especially wolves, is one of the most controversial subjects for people on both sides of the aisle. Regardless of what some people may think, predators, particularly mountain lions and wolves, do serve an important role in nature. However, just like anything else, too many, or not enough of them, can spell very bad things for the health of a given wildlife population. While I’m not trying to provoke a fight with anyone, I would like to take some time to discuss a personal experience I've had regarding the topic of large predators and the effect they have on game populations. 

Not too long ago, I was hunting with an outfitter who had a mountain lion move onto his land during the previous few weeks. His land had a very large and healthy population of deer, and this was probably one of the reasons why the mountain lion decided to stake a claim there. Less than a week after he first noticed the tracks of the cougar, he saw the cougar for the first time. Around this time, he realized that he was seeing fewer and fewer deer on a daily basis as they reacted to the presence of the mountain lion and vacated the immediate area around where he was seeing the mountain lion.

This mule deer doe and her two fawns are prime targets for mountain lions.
Archived content, no longer updated
disclaimer