Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011 Cabin Fever

One of the best things to cure cabin fever is to look through photos of previous outdoor adventures.  Here are a few taken during in February and March in years gone by:

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 17, 2011 Nigh-Nothing Dogs

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, 
but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

We call them "nigh-nothing dogs." You know the little dogs that bark incessantly in the little old lady's apartment next door. Maybe you've seen them perched on someone's lap as they drive.  Recently they were Hollywood fashion statements, maybe you saw them being carted around in some socialite's purse. Me, I'm more of a Labrador Retriever guy or possibly a Weimaraner guy , so even the mention of a chihuahua makes my stomach sortof curl. I'm not sure why that is. When I was growing up my family had small dogs. There was one German Shepherd, Pepper, in the mix but mostly it was Toy Poodles.
I can see the value of some smaller dogs, like bunny chasing beagles or squirrel treeing feists but for the most part they seemed like a waste of Puppy Chow to me at least until recently.  I stumbled upon an interesting article about hunting with Dachshunds, WEINER DOGS of all things and it's got me rethinking the whole nigh-nothing mentality.
"Several years ago I received a phone call from a woman in Chapel Hill, N.C. asking me for some recommendations on where she could go hunting with her dogs. When I questioned her about what kind of dogs she intended to used for hunting in our state she replied that she’d use her 'Teckels.' She soon explained that the 'Teckel' is another word for the little dog that many of us know as a 'Dachshund.' I’d always heard that Dachshunds were originally used as badger hunting dogs in Germany, but since we didn’t have badgers here in North Carolina I furthered my questions to Sian Kwa by asking her what she intended to hunt with her dogs. I was floored when she said 'rabbits, ducks, deer and bear.' Envisioning a 600-pound black bear with a little 'wiener-dog' held firmly in its teeth, I then asked Kwa just how big her dogs were anyway. 'Oh, they’re about (15 to) 20 pounds each' she replied. My reply to her was that, 'Lady, a Tar Heel bear will eat a dog of that size like a sausage biscuit.' Kwa replied that her 'Teckels were very capable of hunting about any animal that she expected to come across in North Carolina.'"  
It got me to thinking about something else.  How many times have I missed out on opportunities because I had preconceived notions of how something should be done?  Creative or novel thinking has produced great results in the outdoors and it seems like every year innovative gear is released and I ask myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" 
There are tons of stories in the Bible about God using uncommon things or people to do big things.  One of the best known, the account of David and Goliath, is also one of our family's favorites.  David, just a boy at the time, was the only person in an army full of seasoned, grown men not afraid to fight a giant.  Here's Samuel's account of the fight:
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel's armies— you have defied Him. Today, the LORD will hand you over to me. Today, I'll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the LORD saves, for the battle is the LORD's. He will hand you over to us."  When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung [it], and hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. Even though David had no sword, he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He grabbed the Philistine's sword, pulled it from its sheath, and used it to kill him. Then he cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran. The men of Israel and Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. Philistine bodies were strewn all along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. (1 Samuel 17:45-52 HCSV)
His appearance, his age and his size didn't matter.  What mattered was that the David was obedient in the face of adversity.  A nigh-nothing boy, in the sight of man, was a do-something hero in the eyes of God. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13, 2011 No Specks!

NCDMF Closes Speckled Trout Harvest Statewide
by Craig Holt

"For the first time, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has been forced to close all speckled trout fishing in North Carolina waters. And cold weather is the reason. The moratorium for commercial and recreational anglers starts Friday, Jan. 14, at noon. No one will be allowed to catch, possess or sell specks after that time.
“This action is being taken in response to recent cold-stun events affecting mainly spotted seatrout,” Dr. Louis Daniel, the NCDMF’s executive director, announced in the proclamation, which was posted Jan. 11 on the division’s website. “The intent of this action is to prevent harvest of vulnerable cold-stunned fish which may recover with warming water temperatures.
“In approving the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission authorized the director to intervene in the event of a catastrophic event and do what is necessary in terms of temporary closures.”
Daniel said the proclamation would stay in effect until the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission’s decides it should be lifted. The Commission’s next meeting occurs in four weeks at Pine Knoll Shores.
The coldest December on record, including a snow storm on Christmas Day, followed by a snow-and-ice storm that blanketed the state a week later, lowered temperatures in many coastal inshore waters, especially creeks where spotted seatrout live during winter. Those cold waters “stunned” trout, causing them to die because they could not swim and force oxygen over their gills.
Daniel said he was forced to err on the side of caution in proclaiming the speckled trout moratorium.
“We’ve seen some of the fish are stunned but recover, but with the (cold-stun) event of (January) 2009, plus this year’s events and the fishing pressure from commercial and recreational fishermen, I couldn’t take a chance,” he said. “I just couldn’t sit by and do nothing.”
Cold weather started affecting speckled trout (and other species) as early as December and continued almost unabated until Daniel’s proclamation, according to Beth Burns of Manteo, the biologist who heads up NCDMF’s spotted seatrout program.
“When officers checked out Campbell’s Creek (off the Pamlico Sound near Hobucken) for the third time the morning of Jan. 11 and saw hundreds of specks on the bottom and more stunned trout swimming around, it was the last straw,” she said.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011 Not again?!?!

Photo and story by Jeffrey Weeks
"Taking advantage of a NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) decision to allow them back into the ocean, commercial striped bass trawlers off of Oregon Inlet again killed and discarded thousands of striped bass today in a tragic and wasteful repeat of last month’s fish kill.
Despite the massive striped bass kill last month, DMF director Dr. Louis Daniel reopened the ocean trawler striper season and once again the commercial trawlers left a miles-long trail of wasted, dead stripers.
“There are thousands of discarded striped bass covering an area approximately 1-1 ½ miles wide and 3-5 miles long,” said one eyewitness observer who flew over the fish kill in a helicopter. “There is no disputing the fact that these fish came from the trawler fleet as there were no other boats in the area.”
Continue reading on

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8, 2011 Next Generation

A friend emailed me pictures from the last day of the NC waterfowl season.  Here's a great shot of 2 young men, sons of hunting buddies, that enjoyed the day.  If I couldn't be there with them the next best thing is getting photographs of their adventures.  One, I can't believe how tall Bailey and Brice have gotten in the 2 years since we've been gone.  Two, they're both apparently better shots than their fathers!  
Pictures like this always make me think of the next generation of sportsmen.  What hardships will they face, what new legislation will they have to adhere to, will they even be allowed to hunt?  For the sake of these two young hunters and the 3 junior outdoorsmen and 1 junior outdoorswoman in my house (all of which possess their lifetime hunting & fishing licenses) I certainly hope so.  I've tried pretty hard to instill in each of them a love and respect for the outdoors.  Hopefully some of it has stuck.
There are other things I'm hoping will rub off on my kids, as well the most important being my faith.  Deuteronomy 6:4-10  says "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."  This is not an option and it's not something I can be passive about.  The next generation is important to God. 
On the way home from dropping my off 2 oldest boys at school each morning I pass a billboard for Philip Patek watch company.  It says, "You don’t own our watch:  you merely take care of it for the next generation." I looked up these watches and my Casio-wearing mind was blown away by the prices.  You could buy a beachfront home on OBX for the same price as some models.  However, I dig the slogan and I think it applies to both my stewardship of wildlife and my beliefs in and love for God.  So, I'm refocusing on the importance of the next generation.  May we all be strengthened as we teach these things diligently to our sons (and daughters)! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3, 2011 Trespassing

Although the story below didn't happen in Carolina, with the number of trespassing incidents seemingly on the rise in the Tarheel State (see my devotion from '07 about it), it's easy to see how it could.
 "Three farmers from the Karibib district were arrested on Saturday after a man, whom they suspected to be a poacher, accused them of torturing him on one of the farms where they allegedly held him hostage.
Klaus (53) and Patrick Sp├Ąth (21), and Bruce Visagie (38), made their first appearance on a charge of attempted murder in the Karibib Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
After hearing their statements, Magistrate Razikua Kaviua changed the charge to assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and released them on bail of N$1 000 each.
On Friday, the farmers apprehended a 21-year-old man whom they had found on one of the farms near Otjimbingwe. A spear and bloody clothes were found near him, the Police told The Namibian.
The farmers allegedly took him to one of the farms where they allegedly locked him up in a room, tied him up with wire and beat him. The area has been plagued by poachers over the last couple of years.
The suspected poacher allegedly managed to escape after the farmers untied him, and made his way to the Police station at Otjimbingwe where he laid a charge of attempted murder against them.
However, Police sources said the man showed no signs of torture and a medical check-up confirmed this. The farmers were allegedly questioned by the Police, during which they allegedly admitted to apprehending the man on suspicion of poaching and "treating him harshly".  
"We arrested them on a charge of attempted murder, alternatively assault GBH on Saturday, and they made their first appearance in Karibib in Tuesday. The magistrate lowered the charges to assault GBH," the source said.
The case was postponed to March 29.
According to the Police, the suspected poacher may also be facing a charge of unlawful entry. His excuse was apparently that he was part of a group of five men who went for awalk in the bush and got lost."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011 The DDC

While we're going to miss the Dixie Deer Classic again this year it doesn't mean you should.

Plans for the 2011 Dixie Deer Classic are taking shape, and we are pleased to announce the return of our special guests Michael Waddell and Lee and Tiffany Lokosky. In addition, we will also have from the Duck Commanders Operation, Jase Robertson. To accommodate the overwhelming attendance to the seminars this year, we will move our “Main Stage” to Dorton Arena, in hopes that everyone that wishes to may find a seat. We also are working on plans to have a North American Big Game Species display at the show that will include mounts of all the hunted game animals of this continent.
We may still encounter some changes that could affect our exhibitor floor plan, but we are ready to begin accepting applications for booth space. Squatter’s rights have expired for returning exhibitors that wish their same booths, so it is time to begin leasing space.
Exhibit space pricing remains the same as 2010. As part of the move to Dorton Arena with the speaker’s stage, all regular booth space has been deleted in that building. Exhibit space will be limited to Gun Sales Tables and the operation of the 3-D Archery Tournament. Exhibitors that were previously located in normal booth space have been relocated into Building One.
If you have any questions or concerns please drop us an email at
Bruce Blackwell
General Manager
Dixie Deer Classic

Go to the Dixie Deer Classic website for more information.