2013 Hunting Trips Reports


12/28/13 – 12/29/13 Guided Duck Hunt

One officer, three members, and two guests (including one first time guest; six total participants) duck hunted on 12/29/13 with Vince Thornton on Navarro Mills Lake right after a cold front came in after several warm days in a row.  Unfortunately the cold front must have pushed the birds out.  Roy Brigman and Burl Fulenwider combined to kill a drake mallard.  Roy and Chris Rowley combined to get off shots on two other ducks.  Nothing else came close to our spread and few other shots were heard.  Four of us spent the night in Corsicana on 12/28/13.

12/28/13 Dove Hunt (Central Zone) – San Saba

Two officers, 12 members, four guests (including one first time guest), and two youth sons (20 total participants) had a good time at the 12/28/13 Dove Hunt (Central Zone) on the Evans Ranch near San Saba. Unlike our 10/12/13 hunt, which was 99% whitewings, this hunt featured 100% mourning doves.  There were several hundred dove in a large field but we couldn’t sneak up on them.  Dove flew in certain areas more than others, resulting in a wide variance of dove bagged.  At least Flint DeShazo and Don Hardison bagged their limits.  Roy Brigman and William Voges each killed a hog.

12/21/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Finally, a good duck hunt this season! Two officers and one member (three total participants) had a good time at the 12/21/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Lake Somerville on a cool and wet morning that later turned very windy when a storm rolled in. The group bagged five redheads and five green winged teal (Randy Rowley bagged two redheads and three teal, Brian Suter bagged two redheads and a teal, and Ken Miller bagged a redhead and a teal; Ken shot three more ducks that got away and Randy shot one that got away). The teal came in early. After that it was all redheads. They were swarming us, but usually flared away (they probably saw the boat/blind or didn’t like the motionless decoys).

11/24/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and one member (three total participants) had a good time at the 11/24/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Lake Somerville on a cold and very windy morning. Although we saw several groups of ducks there were not any on interested in the choppy water. We only got off one shot. We only heard a few shots and no calling. We had to set the decoys out very close to shore as the water got deep fast.

On the way to the lake, at around 3:30 AM, between Thorndale and Rockdale on 79 I saw that a vehicle was about to merge onto the highway. I moved to the left to give them the right lane. Then things happened very quickly. The vehicle (a big truck – the size of a F250 or F350) was going way too fast to make the turn. He hit his brakes, fishtailed, looked like he might flip, smashed into the concrete dividing wall, bounced off and headed back towards me. My truck and boat missed him by inches. If we had been there a second earlier we would have gotten creamed between him and the wall. Before we ate breakfast, Ken Miller prayed for protection while we traveled. Praise God for answering Ken’s prayer!

11/16/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers, one member, and one first time guest (four total participants) had a good time at the 11/16/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Granger Lake. The only problem was the ducks forgot to show up. We had one group come by, partially circle and start to come in but turn away. Two teal also passed by, but we let them go hoping that they would circle (they didn’t). One redhead headed towards the dekes but pulled up. We also let him go, hoping he would circle (he didn’t). It was very overcast and we were well hidden, so it’s a mystery as to why they didn’t come in. We only heard about four shots and almost no calling. We had to set the decoys out from the boat again. The water was too deep for our mojos.

11/2/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and one first time guest (three total participants) had a good time at the 11/2/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Granger Lake. All three hunters shot a teal, although only Randy Rowley’s was recovered. All three blasted a drake wood duck. Ken Miller plans to mount it. We saw lots more ducks but few came within range. We were hampered by the fact that the lake rose three feet in one week and was a totally different lake. We tried to set up at several places and even five feet from shore the boat was in four feet of water. We had to set the decoys out from the boat. The water was too deep for our mojos. Also it was a blue bird day without a cloud in the sky.

10/12/13 Dove Hunt (Central Zone) – San Saba

One officer, six members, and one guest (eight total participants) had a fantastic time at the 10/12/13 Dove Hunt (Central Zone) on the Evans Ranch near San Saba. I (Randy Rowley) have been hunting dove for 38 years and this was, by far, the most dove that I have ever seen! The dove were 99% whitewings and they were big. We got there early in the afternoon. Things started off slow but within 30 minutes our barrels were starting to get hot. As the afternoon progressed so did they dove. They came in in wave after wave of flocks of 10 – 20 birds. There were far more flocks than singles or pairs. What was also unusual was where we were hunting – a large oak tree grove. Most hunters limited out in short order, including Ryan Rowley getting his first limit. Larry Dowden, Mike Coppedge, John Bobo, first time guest Allen Mueller, and Randy Rowley also limited out. Chris Rowley bagged nine dove before she pooped out (three times more dove than she’s ever bagged before). Larry reported that this hunt was akin to the dove hunts that we’ve had near San Angelo with Whitewings Galore.

9/14/13 Blast and Cast (Dove Hunt and Bass Fishing Trip) – Central Zone (Lometa)

Three officers, eight members, three guests, and one minor son (15 total participants) had a great time on the 9/14/13 Blast and Cast (Dove Hunt and Bass Fishing Trip) on Joel Kirby’s ranch near Lometa in the central zone. Randy Rowley bagged 12 dove; Jim Gault bagged 11, including a double; Jim McGee, Ken Miller, and Tim price bagged 8; Burl Fulenwider bagged 7; Steve Baker bagged 6; Roy Brigman, Ryan Rowley, and Flint DeShazo bagged 5, first time guest Will Voges bagged 4; and Flint DeShazo bagged 2. It was very good to see Mike Coppedge in our midst on a hunting field again. Mike was at death’s door several times over the past five years and it was amazing and wonderful to see that the Lord has allowed him to continue to hunt with us and to bless us with his presence. Burl also bagged a blue wing teal. Tim and Jim Gault caught 3 – 4 bass each; Randy caught 3, and Jim McGee, Steve, Harrison, and Claire Wick caught 1. Claire also caught a carp on a lipless crankbait! Jim caught the biggest bass – around 18″ (3 lbs.). Tim’s group kicked out two small pigs, but didn’t get off any shots. Randy did a Bible study on Heaven on Earth. Thanks to Joel for opening his land up to us and for a great lunch of burgers, beans, chips, and drinks and thanks to his friend, Chris, for cooking it!

9/13/13 – 9/14/13 Guided Teal Hunt

One officer, one member, and one guest (three total particpants) went on a guided teal hunt with Nick Kissamiss of Max Out Guide Service near Katy/Brookshire. They hunted with a group of seven other hunters on a levy. No shots were fired. They only saw teal off in the distance. The guide will give them a free re-hunt.

9/7/13 Dove Hunt – Central Zone (Knippa) – Report by Art Barrera

Five members (Rich Beitel, Ron Burgi, Steve Baker, Jose Primera, and Art Barrera), eight guests, and two sons (15 total participants) had a great time at the 9/6/13 – 9/7/13 Dove Hunt near Knippa in the central zone.

Steve Baker and his friend, Otis, hunting on Friday afternoon, During the Saturday morning hunt, the doves were sporadic, at best. Only a few dove were harvested.

Four hunters in our group could only hunt the morning, but the rest of us went to the ranch house garage and grilled fajitas and sausage. After lunch we held a Bible study on the book of Acts, Chapter 2:1-37. The group held discussions, had question/answer sessions, and shared personal life experiences with one another describing how the Lord has revealed Himself to us. Jose Primera shared a very moving story with us about an experience he had while in the Middle East that shows the love that God has for all His people

After the study, we started getting ready to go back out to the fields, but a heavy downpour hit that lasted over an hour. After it subsided the only things flying for a long time were swallows.

At around 6:30pm, a breeze picked up and then the doves started coming in around camp. All the hunters got to harvest doves, but only guest George Solis limited out. The rest of us averaged anywhere between six to nine doves.

Ron’s son, Will, was hit with some falling birdshot. They took him to the ER in Uvalde. The doctors said they were minor injuries. Two of the pellets penetrated skin, but the doctors said it’d be better to leave them in there than to attempt retrieving them. They said that the pellets wouldn’t hurt him and that they would do more damage to Will if they tried going in after them. Since Will was one of the hunters who harvested the most birds, and he now had an adventure to tell, he was all smiles!

Thanks to Art for leading this hunt!

9/7/13 Dove Hunt – Central Zone (Salado)

Two members had a good time at the 9/7/13 Dove Hunt at the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the shores of Lake Stillhouse Hollow, west of Salado in the Central Zone. Dennis Koch bagged one. Burl Fulenwider killed two with one shot, but couldn’t find either of them. The brush, broomweed, and other weeds made downed dove very hard to find.

9/2/13 Dove Hunt – Central Zone (Liberty Hill)

One officer and four members (five total participants) had a good time at the 9/2/13 Dove Hunt on the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge near Liberty Hill in the Central Zone. Ryan Rowley killed four and bagged three. Randy Rowley killed two and bagged one. Chris Rowley bagged one. The birds were not flying well (the hunters shot less than eight times, with the exception of Ryan). A heavy thunderstorm force us to call it quits 45 minutes before sunset. There was a lot more shooting in the field next to us, but it was full of hunters.

9/1/13 Dove Hunt – Central Zone (Salado)

One officer, seven members, and one youth (nine total participants) had a good time at the 9/1/13 Dove Hunt at the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the shores of Lake Stillhouse Hollow, west of Salado in the Central Zone. Burl Fulenwider, Ryan Rowley, and David Sanchez killed seven each and bagged five. Randy Rowley killed five and bagged three. Dennis Koch killed three and bagged two. Dick Matteson and Jim Gault bagged one. Binh Chu killed two but could’nt find either of them. The brush, broomweed, and other weeds made downed dove very hard to find. There were a lot of hunters there and we were late arrivals. Next year we’ll get there a lot earlier for opening day. We also anticipate that we’ll do better as we now know where to set up at.

4/26/13 – 4/28/13 Self-guided Hog Hunt

One officer, five members, and one son (7 total participants) had a great time at the 4/26/13 – 4/28/13 Self-guided Hog Hunt at Frank Hamilton’s ranch near Trickham.

On Friday evening Jim Gault bagged two jake turkeys and shot two more (that got up and ran after they were knocked down by a .30-06)!

Tim Price and Randy Rowley saw what Randy thought was a flock of turkeys as they were driving to their stands on Friday afternoon, around 5:30 PM. They were around 300 yards away and looked like a flock of turkeys in Randy’s scope (he swore he saw a turkey fan). They knew they couldn’t sneak up on the turkeys, so instead tried to drive quietly closer (sometimes turkeys won’t run from vehicles). When they got around 100 yards closer the “turkeys” turned into a herd of hogs! Unfortunately, they were not able to get off any shots at the running pigs.

Randy hit a big hog at around 10:00 PM on Friday night. It was crossing the wheat field by the corral stand and he wasn’t sure if it was headng to the feeder. He decided to shoot it as it as walking fast and he didn’t want to lose it’s dark body in the dark trees on the other side of the field. He could only see the top of his crosshairs and a little to both sides, so he center massed it. The pig ran off squealing. The hunters followed it’s blood trail for two hours but lost it. The next morning they picked it back up and followed it to the neighbors fence, where it had went under the fence. This ended the pursuit, as they did not have permission to enter the neighbor’s property.

Frank brought chicken and veggies for Friday night, Randy and Tim brought breakfast tacos and sausage bisquits for Saturday breakfast, and Ron brought venison backstrap and veggies for Saturday dinner. Thanks to these men for bringing food and for Ron and Randy for cooking. Thanks to Frank for making his land available for us to hunt!

4/7/13 – 4/9/13 Semi-guided Hog Hunt

One officer, nine members, and two first time guests (12 total participants) had a great time at the 4/7/13 – 4/9/13 Semi-guided Hog Hunt at the Wild Hog Hunting Ranch near Gonzales. A record 17 hogs were killed (shattering last year’s record of nine)! Everyone got at least one pig, except Al Weiss (who was stand hunting and not stalking).

142 lbs. – first-time guest Doug Gill (he also shot another hog)
140 lbs. – Jose Primera
120 lbs. – first-time guest Dexter Travis (he also shot another hog)
100 lbs. – Rich Beitel
95 lbs. – Art Barrera
90 lbs. – Art Barrera
82 lbs. – Warren Hoke
82 lbs. – Greg Moerbe
80 lbs. – Greg Moerbe
70 lbs. – Jim McGee
65 lbs. – Burl Fulenwider (he also shot one that had previously been shot before and was diseased – it was disposed of)
60 lbs. – Tim Price (he also shot a dead hog that he thought was sleeping)
50 lbs. – Frank Hamilton (and a little piglet)

Tim lost his phone and some other hunters found it on Tuesday morning as our group was leaving. He has it back now.

Thanks to Jim McGee for heading up this event.

3/15/13 – 3/16/13 Semi-guided Thermal/Night Vision Hog Hunt and Self-chartered Crappie Fishing Trip

One officer and two members just enjoyed the scenery at the 3/15/13 – 3/16/13 semi-guided thermal/night vision hog hunt near Hubbard with Heart of Texas Guided Hunt/Texas Thermal Hog Hunts.  We did not harvest or see any hogs and we will not return for the following reasons:

  • Lodging and meals (dinner, breakfast, and snacks) were supposed to have been included according to the Groupon deal that we paid for in advance. When we arrived at the ranch we were told that we would be charged for lodging and meals would not be provided.
  • They put us on deer/hog stands that had no active hog sign (my stand had very old hog tracks and grayish/white hog feces – which is indicative that it was at least one month old). Guides have a duty to scout and ensure that the stands that they put hunters in will give them the best chance for success.
  • Their deer (corn) feeders only ran for two seconds each, putting out hardly any corn. The hogs need to smell the corn in order to come in and eat it. If you only run a feeder for two seconds there is not going to be enough corn to attract anything except birds and raccoons (which is all that we saw, in addition to some rabbits). Most ranches run their feeders from six to eight seconds. We brought hog slop with us but they said that we wouldn’t need it as the hogs are used to coming to the feeders. So in addition to not putting out adequate corn to bring them in we were prohibited from bringing to our stands what could have brought them in.
  • Their ad said, “cutting edge optics let you stalk your prey in total darkness.” There was no stalking involved (it was all stand hunting).
  • They also had a policy that if you shot a hog you couldn’t gut it in the field. They took you to the stands at 4:00 PM. Although hogs are nocturnal (you hardly ever see them in daylight) there is always the possibility that if you shot one at 5:00 PM and they don’t pick us up until 12:00 AM that your meat will rot if you are not allowed to gut it, especially when the low temperature was only 68 degrees.
  • They only had one thermal image scoped gun, so two of us had to use rifles with night vision scopes. They were first-generation night vision. None of the equipment worked very well (you could tell that something was under your feeder but couldn’t tell what it was or which end was which). Roy Brigman and Randy Rowley had to use their Kill Lights and Warren Hoke had to use his Streamlight to have enough light to see what was under the feeders.

They were not able to get their lodging and food money back. (A word to the wise – if you buy a deal on Groupon or another such service print the details and bring it with you.)

The fishing trip was much better. The fishermen fished in Roy’s boat. It was very windy so we stayed close to a cliff. Roy caught three crappie. Warren Hoke and Randy Rowley were skunked. This was the second time in 32 years that Roy caught more fish than Randy (but who’s counting?). Roy was quite happy with his accomplishment, although Warren and Randy were convinced that he was cheating somehow! :^)

2/16/13 Guided Pheasant, Chukar, and Quail Hunt

Five members, two guests, one son (minor), and two youth (minors; 10 total participants) had a great time at the 2/16/13 Guided Pheasant, Chukar, and Quail Hunt with Schumann Brothers Outdoors at the old Dismukes/Bieberstein Ranch near Dime Box. David Meldau reported that all that participated shot birds. In all over 60 quail, 11 Pheasant, and 10 Chucker. Mike Schumann and his boys were great to hunt with and the setup they have worked nicely. He recommends hunting with them again.

2/9/13 Guided Chuckar and Quail Hunt

One member and three guests (four total participants) had a great time at the 2/9/13 Guided Chuckar and Quail Hunt with Schumann Brothers Outdoors at the old Dismukes/Bieberstein Ranch near Dime Box. Flint DeShazo reported that they ended up with 16 chukar and 27 quail and finished about 1:00 PM. It was a good hunt with a great dog.

1/25/13 – 1/27/13 Self-guided Saltwater Duck Hunt

Three officers, one member, two guests, and two sons (eight total participants) had a good time at the 1/25/13 – 1/27/13 Self-guided Saltwater Duck Hunt near Corpus Christi/Port Aransas. We hunted off of Wilson’s Cut in the marsh near Corpus Christi all three days. On Friday afternoon we bagged eight redheads and Tim Price also got a bluebill. On Saturday morning we bagged six redheads. We finished our limit with seven redheads Saturday afternoon. We were skunked on Sunday morning. (Randy Rowley’s boat died so we had to hunt from shore far from where we normally hunt). We probably only saw 10% of the ducks that we normally see (the warm weather probably had them heading north early). A total of 22 ducks were taken. Randy led us in a devotional on Saturday night on The Unexepected. We camped at the IB Magee Campgrounds in Port Aransas.

1/18/13 – 1/20/13 Guided/Chartered Blast and Cast (Saltwater Duck Hunt and Bay Fishing trip)

One officer, two members, two guests, two sons, and one youth (eight total participants) attended the 1/18/13 – 1/20/13 Guided/Chartered Blast and Cast (Saltwater Duck Hunt and Bay Fishing Trip) near Corpus Christi. Elizabeth, David Meldau, his son and son’s friend were guided by Chris Reeves, of Shallow Minded Guide Service, on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the ducks were flying too high and they didn’t bag any that morning. The other group consisting of Bruce Crockett, Roy Brigman, Ron Petru, and his son Nathan were guided by Chris’ friend, Trevor, in a different area, and took one redhead and two widgeons. Roy, Elizabeth, Ron and Nathan enjoyed an early afternoon fishing trip in the bay. Later that afternoon, the combined group hunted again and took 12 ducks. On Sunday morning, 17 ducks were taken by the group and a great time was enjoyed by all. Refer to the Gallery for pictures from the hunt.

1/12/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and on member (three total participants) had a good time at the 1/12/13 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Granger Lake. Randy Rowley shot a drake shoveler and Ron Denison shot a hen ringneck. Those were the only ducks that came into the decoys. The lake was up around 3 feet from recent rains and was a differnt lake. The river channel in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area was very hard to find! We also hunted an inland tank that was now one with the lake. Ron got off three shots and Randy got off one. Wayne Weilnau also got off a couple shots at passing ducks.

1/2/13 – 1/5/13 Guided/Self-guided Duck Hunt

One officer and two members (three total participants) had a great time on the 1/2/13 – 1/5/13 Guided/Self-guided Duck Hunt.

On the afternoon of 1/2/13, Roy Brigman and Randy Rowley scouted Eagle Mountain Lake (which had the best duck hunt reports on the DU website). There we learned that you must not hunt any closer than 150′ from shore (lake regulation).

On the morning of 1/3/13, Roy, Randy, and Chris Rowley hunted with Terry Orr and Limitless Outdoor Adventures near Sherman. We hunted a private pond in layout blinds. It was a blue bird morning. We bagged seven ducks including two gadwalls, a widgeon, a green wing teal, a ringneck, and two unidentified ducks. Randy doesn’t recommend a layout blind if you are as well insulated as him.

On the afternoon of 1/4/13 Roy and Randy hunted by themselves (no guide) on a private pond near Terrell. They both bagged a green wing teal. They jumped ducks on a small pond, but only two came in after that.

On the morning of 1/5/13 Roy and Randy hunted with Todd Condiff on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 5 acre pond near Wylie. They bagged 11 ducks including four buffleheads, three scalps, two gadwalls, and two wigeons. We got, by far, the most shots at this pond. It started off as a clear morning, but an unpredicted cold front came in with overcast skies.

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.