Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 Relaying a neat post

I received this my in box today and thought I'd pass it along.
Man Minute by Jason Cruise

"November 4th the Lord added to the roster of Team Cruise by bringing us our second son, Tucker.

I'm forever amazed at how, through the birth of a child, a parent can instantly love someone so deep, so fast, and so full. It is a kind of love that must be experienced first person in order to be understood, and even then it is unexplainable.

It wasn't until I became a dad that I finally understood what it meant to be ready and fully able to give my life for another person. I would gladly exchange my life to insure that my two sons could keep theirs. Yet, in that same moment, I cannot find any reason to give either of my two sons lives for someone else. You can take me, my possessions, my money. Take whatever you want, but you cannot have my boys. Call me unloving, call me less than a Christian, call me whatever you want to call me. No person's life is worthy the death of either of my two sons.

My mind drifts to a night years ago when a mama held a baby in her arms, while a guy, just like me, looked on in speechless amazement. Thirty-three years later that same mom and dad would look in amazed disbelief watching just a few yards away as blood flowed out of His body, the same body that they once held in their arms. No pain is so great as that of watching your kids hurt from being injured. I cannot relate to the feeling Joseph must have felt standing there on the dirt of Calvary's hill. I cannot relate to the feelings going through the heart of God as He watched Jesus gasp for breath, all the while knowing that it was the both of them that blew breath into Adam. 

That night in the manger, the Heavenly Father, present there in the barn along with Joseph, knew the outcome for this pretty little baby boy. The Heavenly Father knew He would have to give up His boy if the whole world were to have access to forgiveness, for "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

It is love I do not understand, for the raw truth is that I am sure I would have let the whole sin-sick world suffer in order to save Cole or Tucker. To give His son is love of the deepest root, planted in the heart of a God who knew there was no other way.

I stand amazed in the presence."

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30,2010 Haul

My in-laws came for a visit and surprised me with some spectacular loot!  It's been a long time since I was able to read some of my favorite outdoor magazines.  It took me about 30 minutes to read the first 10 pages of Deer & Deer Hunting.  At this rate I should be good for the next 6 months.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


In association with the National Hunting and Fishing Day the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission is sponsoring a special day in honor of NC's fishing and hunting heritage.  The event will "provide opportunities to connect with nature, test outdoor skills and learn about wildlife conservation through exhibits and demonstrations, many of which are interactive and hands on."

For more information visit the NCWRC webpage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8, 2010 Dove Death

Every year I read or hear about hunters and fishermen who die while pursuing their dreams afield due.  The WRAL article below reminded me of an incident that happened on my first dove hunt. 
An 18-year-old man was killed Monday afternoon while hunting near Louisburg, according to Lt. John Reams of the state Wildlife Resources Commission.
Reams said an uncle and nephew were hunting near Rocky Ford when the uncle swung his gun to shoot a dove. The gun went off at the base of the nephew's head, killing him instantly, Reams said.
An autopsy will be performed on the teen’s body at the Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill.
More details, including the identity of the victim, haven't been released. 
I was around 12 years old and my brother asked if I wanted to tag along on a dove hunt.  Not sure he wanted his snot-nosed brother to tag along but I didn't hesitate.   He'd given me a BB gun the previous Christmas but it wasn't exactly dove killing material.  So I sneaked into Daddy's closet and "borrowed" his.  It was a beautiful Browning 12 gauge and, although I'd handled and fired guns before, I had no idea what I was doing.  No instruction, no training, no hunter safety course, nothing.
We, my brother, one of his buddies and me, headed to a local farm and my brother paid the farmer a small fee for us to hunt.  I don't remember much about the hunt itself but something happened right before we left that I will never forget.
It was a large cut-corn field with a hedgerow running through the middle.  Hunters were spaced around the circumference of the field and along the hedgerow.  We had arrived a little later and were relegated to middle of the field, with no shade, in September, in North Carolina.  It was hot!  The birds weren't flying so after a couple hours we all joined up to drink Pepsi's and eat snacks from a small cooler.  Man, that Pepsi tasted good and it was so cold it burned going down.   Sure enough, it happened.  As it always happens.  Three hunters standing in the middle of the field and a group of birds fly over.  I pulled up my (errrrrr "my father's") shotgun and when I broke the first rule of firearms, "Always point the gun in a safe direction."  Instead I pointed the barrel right at the head of my brother's friend.  No one else even noticed but boy did it shake me.  What if I had pulled the trigger?  What if he died?  I was done for the day! 
We got back home and I sneaked the Browning back into my father's closet, unbeknownst to him.  I deserved a trip to the woodshed that day.  For more than one reason!

Note:  My prayers go out to the family involved in the tragedy above.  May God give them peace in the eye of this emotional storm!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4, 2010 Doves!

This is the second consecutive year I've missed the opening day of dove season.  I pray the weather cooperates and NC sportsmen and women have a safe and productive opener!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

08.05.10 Dream Build

One of the things I miss most about being out of the states is shooting my bow. Usually this time of year I am shooting 10-20 arrows per night at 3-d targets set up in various locations in the backyard. 20 yards from the top step of the deck to the deer by the fence. 15 yards to the black bear beside the maple tree. 30 yards to the feeding doe next to the chicken coop. 10 yards to the block target in front of the shed. Initially my goal was to be in proper form prior to the NC archery season. But it turned into a daily self-therapy session. Some days, no make that MOST days, I could use some of that mental detoxification.
I have done some asking and scoured the internet looking for archery shops and clubs here but have thus far struck out. Even if I find something I would say it's near impossible to get a bow through customs. My coping mechanism has become designing a new hunting rig to buy when we get back to the states. Here's what I've come up with thus far.  Easton Full Metal Jacket Arrows (white wraps with white blazers, tipped with Slick Tricks and I'd like to try lighted nocks for the first time), Custom Braided Sling and string leeches or cat whiskers and the items below:
Mission Eliminator II with M5 Quiver
Octane Hostage Pro Rest
Sword Twilight Hunter Sight
Limbsaver Modular Stabilizer

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7.27.19 Another Outdoor Show

I haven't attended the Antler Insanity Jamboree before (or even heard of it for that matter) but if the name is any indication it's gonna be a good one. Some pretty big names, Michael Waddell, Nick Mundt, T-Bone Turner, etc will be in attendance. August 13-15 are the dates. Asheville is the location. For more information click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7.16.10 Upcoming Show

I won't be able to attend but wanted to tell how all my hunting buddies know about an upcoming outdoors show.  The Big Buck Expo will be in Greensboro next week, July 23-25.  Check out the link for more information.

7.16.2010 "Fly Tie Guy"

A great video of friend and fly tier extraordinaire, Jeff Wilkins of Jeffrey Wilkins Flyfishing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

7.12.10 Winds of Change

The proposed hunting and trapping rule changes approved by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in March 2009 but delayed for legislative review will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2010.
Along with these delayed rules, hunting, trapping and fishing rules proposed for the 2010-11 seasons, approved by the Commission in March 2010, go into effect on Aug. 1.
Fifteen hunting and trapping proposals were referred to the General Assembly by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission in April 2009 in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. As a result, the rule changes could not take effect until they were reviewed by the legislature, which convened in short session on May 12 of this year. Legislators had 31 days to propose bills disapproving the rules.
Four bills were introduced disapproving the Commission’s rules. Because none of the bills was enacted into law, the following changes will take effect Aug. 1, 2010:
  • Allow bow hunting on Sundays on private lands only, except for migratory game birds.
  • Allow the use of crossbows anytime bow and arrows are legal weapons.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Email Update: Migratory Game Bird Seasons Set

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 8) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved the season dates for dove and other webless migratory The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved the season dates for dove and other webless migratory game birds, as well as September seasons for Canada geese and teal.

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides frameworks from which to choose the seasons and the Commission selects the actual dates within these guidelines. The Commission allowed public input on the seasons throughout June on its website,

The 2010–11 seasons for webless migratory game birds and waterfowl early seasons are:

  • Mourning and white-winged dove: Sept. 4 – Oct 9; Nov. 22 – Nov. 27; and Dec. 18 – Jan. 14; daily bag of 15 and possession limit of 30
  • King and clapper rails: Sept. 4 – Nov. 12; daily bag of 15 and possession limit of 30
  • Sora and Virginia rails: Sept. 4 – Nov. 12; daily bag of 25 and possession limit of 25
  • Gallinule and moorhens: Sept. 4 – Nov. 12; daily bag of 15 and possession limit of 30
  • Woodcock: Dec 31 – Jan. 29; daily bag of three and possession limit of six
  • Common snipe: Nov. 12 – Feb. 26; daily bag of eight and possession limit of 16
  • Canada goose: Sept. 1 – 30 (statewide); daily bag of 15 and possession limit of 30
  • September teal season:  Sept. 11 – 29 (East of U.S. 17 only); daily bag of four and possession limit of eight. Species include green-winged, blue-winged and cinnamon teal.
With several exceptions, shooting hours for all species are from a half hour before sunrise until sunset. For doves, shooting hours are from noon until sunset on Sept. 4 only and from a half hour before sunrise until sunset thereafter. For Canada geese, only during the month of September and only in that area west of U.S. Hwy. 17, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. In addition to the extended shooting hours for Canada geese, unplugged guns and electronic calls will be allowed for Canada geese in that area west of U.S. Hwy. 17 and only during the month of September.

The Commission also approved 2010–11 extended falconry season dates for webless species, which are:

  • Dove: Oct. 16 – Nov. 20
  • King, clapper, sora and Virginia rails: Nov. 20 – Dec. 25
  • Gallinule and moorhens: Nov. 20 – Dec. 25
  • Woodcock: Nov. 13 – Dec. 30 and Jan. 31 – Feb. 26.
Falconry hours for all species are from a half hour before sunrise until sunset, except doves on Sept. 4, when falconry hours run from noon until sunset. Falconers are permitted to take a daily bag of three migratory game birds and may also hunt during the applicable gun seasons.

In late August, the Commission will establish regular waterfowl seasons for ducks, geese and swans.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6.18.2010 Survival

It's been almost a year since I accepted a new career path and we packed up everything and moved overseas. We love our new home but hunting and fishing opportunities are nonexistent and to be honest I am having outdoor withdrawals. It's interesting, sometimes pathetic even, some of the measures I have taken to cope with this malady. Below are some examples:
  • We bought an aquarium for our apartment. Some days I will stare at the fish for hours at a time, wondering what lures, tippet sizes, etc. it would take to catch one.
  • We visited a local zoo in town. I spent 45 minutes making clucks and purrs trying to entice a couple toms to gobble.  The locals thought I was crazy.  The toms fell in love.
  • I took possession of my boys' Wii for a week and spent an hour or so each night chasing prey on their Cabelas hunting game.  My thumbs are still swollen. 
  • Our satellite has a channel that shows fishing infomericals 24/7. I have them all Italian.
  • My Bone Collectors, Realtree Roadtrips, Trout Bum Diaries and Duck Commander DVD's have been watched so many times the grooves on the discs are almost worn smooth.
  • I found an outdoor magazine, written in English (real English...from England) only to find out it contained an article on skinny dipping, complete with pictures, once I got it home.  The missus censored it with a pair of sharp scissors.
  • We have some doves that hang out around the house.  I have them patterned just in case the government lifts the ban on BB guns and casting nets. 
If you have some tips for surviving long term absences from the outdoors be sure to send an email or post a comment!  In the meantime pray for me to cope!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Email Update: N.C. Wildlife News Brief

2010-11 Regulations Digest and Season Information

Beginning this year, the inland fishing, hunting and trapping regulations digest, as well as season dates, will be effective Aug. 1 to July 31, instead of July 1 to June 30.
The 2009-10 regulations and season dates will remain in effect until July 31.
The 2010-2011 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting & Trapping Regulations Digests will be available Aug.1.
These changes are the result of the agency’s adoption of a new rulemaking cycle schedule. For more information, see the New Rulemaking Cycle FAQ.


Operation Dry Water, a national weekend of boating sobriety detection and enforcement aimed at reducing alcohol-related accidents and fatalities, is June 25-27. In North Carolina, a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is against the law and carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 and possible jail time.
Operation Dry Water is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, assisted by partner law enforcement agencies, leads the North Carolina campaign.
Throughout the summer, wildlife enforcement officers will conduct an ongoing “Boat Safe, Boat Sober” campaign to increase public awareness of the dangers of alcohol consumption on the water and enforce boating sobriety laws.

Purchase Fishing License
If you’re headed to the coast, particularly for the popular and busy July 4 week, you should purchase your saltwater fishing license before you leave home to avoid potential long lines at tackle and bait shops, sporting good stores and other wildlife service agent locations along the coast.
You can purchase a license by:
Calling the Wildlife Resources Commission at (888) 248-6834. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 7 days a week.
Going to the Wildlife Resources Commission’s website,, and clicking on the yellow “Purchase License” button at the top left side of the page.
Visiting a local Wildlife Service Agent. Most are located in bait-and-tackle shops, hunting and sporting good stores and larger chain stores.
Free Fishing Day
July 4 is designated as a free fishing day in North Carolina, meaning anyone —resident or non-resident — can fish for free in any public water, including coastal waters, without a license. All other fishing regulations, including length and daily possession limits, as well as bait and tackle restrictions, apply.
To find a fishing spot near you, visit the Commission's website for a list of more than 500 free fishing-access areas across the state.

Small Game Awards
Do you know a person or organization whose actions have positively impacted North Carolina’s small game population? Nominate them for the annual Diedrick Small Game award.
In the individual category, previous award winners were landowners who improved and integrated small game habitat into their forestry or farming operations. In the organization category, award winners have included corporations, government agencies, and non-government organizations whose actions improved small game habitat.
For more information on how to nominate someone, see the press release on our website.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
The Commission has completed work on the Chowan River Bridge Public Fishing and Boating Access Area, and scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 10:30 a.m. June 18 at the bridge. The media and public are invited to attend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

3.12.10 All About the Groceries

I was thinking the other day about how important food is to a culture.  It seems each community celebrates its own recipes and dishes.  So it is with the outdoor community.  Much of the outdoor experience revolves around the breaking of bread.
Ahhhh, the most important meal of the day and probably even more so for the outdoorsmen.  If you don't start the day off with a good meal you're gonna hit the wall pretty quick.  Although there are much healthier choices, many of my mornings afield have started with a biscuit from either Hardees, Bojangles or Biscuitville (yes "Biscutville").  More often than not its a breakfast bar and a banana. When there's time or opportunity, the full-blown country affair with grits and gravy and eggs and some type of meat that originated from a pig is always good.  Me and the kids love Neese's Liverpudding but my wife won't touch the stuff. 
Snack Foods
If you don't have snacks crammed in your tackle box or in you hunting jacket I question your sanity!  Here are some my favorites:
Lance Crackers, Toast Chee to be more specific.  My dad called 'em "nabs" and always had them, Vienna sausages and something with Little Debbie on the label, either Oatmeal Creme Pies or Swiss Cake Rolls, or something along those lines.  I tried the sausages a couple times but preferred those bright orange crackers. 
Crisp Braeburn Apples - I can eat a Roma, Granny Smith or just about any type apple but if you want to know my favorite it's gotta be Braeburns. 
Trail Mix - Composed o the usual suspects; Raisins, almonds, peanuts, m&m's, dried apricots or bananas, etc. 
The mid-day meal is usually something from a local, preferably hole-in-the-wall type, restaurant.  The Burger Shack in Mt.Gilead for burgers or fried chicken, BBQ from Lexington #1 and El's Drive-In in Morehead City for a shrimp burger are a couple great examples. 
This is the meal where you get to cook what you caught or killed.  Some of my favorites are:
Bluefish, drum, speckled trout, flounder, etc lightly coated w/House Autry, fried and served with homemade hushpuppies, a fresh salad and whatever fresh fruit is in season.
Grilled dove breasts (wrapped in bacon) w/grilled squash and garlic mashed potatoes.
Venison chili w/blocks of sharp cheddar and slices of apple.
Crappie fillets w/cheese grits, french cut green beans w/sliced almonds.
Basically anything cooked over an open fire, in a dutch oven or iron skillet.
Would love to continue this post but have worked up quite a hunger and need to go raid the refrigerator.  Bon appetit!