Dec
24

2014 Hunting Trips Reports

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12/23/14 Guided Duck Hunt

One officer and three members (four total participants) had a great time at the 12/23/14 Guided Duck Hunt with Brett Jensen of Three Curl Outfitters near Frost on a rainy and cool morning.  Michael Armstrong, Roy Brigman, Chris Rowley, and Randy Rowley hunted in layout blinds and bagged 21 ducks (six drake gaddies, four hen gaddies, four drake ringnecks, four hen widgeons, a drake GWT, a drake pintail, and a drake mallard – Randy’s first drake).  We highly recommend Brett!

12/22/14 Guided Duck Hunt

One officer, two members, and two guests (including one first time guest; five total participants) hunted with Andrew Simmons of Simmons Waterfowl Service near Seagoville on a cloudy and cool morning.  Jonathan Sherwin bagged a drake hooded merganser and a drake woodie and James Songer bagged a hen woodie (Jonathan and James hunted at one pond and Roy Brigman, Chris Rowley, and Randy Rowley hunted another tank.  Roy squeezed off two shots at a high flyer.  Chris and Randy didn’t pull their triggers (we only saw four flocks of ducks and none were within range).  The larger group didn’t have much cover (we were told that we would hunt out of a blind, but due to the drought the blind was 30 yards from the water).  It was evident that the guide either didn’t scout before the hunt or, if he scouted, he didn’t call us and offer to reschedule.  He also did not offer a re-hunt.  We do not recommend him.

12/6/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

One officer and one guest (two total participants) mostly enjoyed the scenery at the 12/6/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Belton Lake.

Things didn’t start out well.  Champ, Randy Rowley’s boat, ran aground about 50 yards from shore.  Randy and Jason Cox then had to wade in with Randy’s dekes, mojos, and stake and burlap blinds, along with their guns, blind bags and buckets.  They then walked Champ out to some trees about 100 yards from shore and tied him there.  They selected a spot to hunt where someone had created a blind out of tree branches and then reinforced it with Randy’s blinds.

Unfortunately they only saw five flocks that morning, none of which flew within range.  While Jason was doing some scouting, a lone duck flew within marginal range of Randy but by the time he got his gun to his shoulder he was presented with a shot to its rear and decided not to take such an iffy shot.

Then Mr. Murphy found them on the way back.  They loaded up Champ and Randy started to back them out but they weren’t moving very fast.  A quick look back revealed that they were digging up a lot of mud.  They finally got in deep enough water for Randy to turn them around and start to move forward.

It took a long time, but they finally reached a depth of three feet – deep enough for Champ to get up on plane, but he couldn’t.  All he could do was pop a wheelie.  It was like there was a lot of weight in Champ’s rear end.  Randy tried a couple more times but got the same results.  Randy then had Jason move to the front to put more weight there but it didn’t help.  They also had about two inches of muddy water in the boat and it seemed to be coming up from the two drains.

They proceeded to the ramp at Champ’s best possible speed.  Jason backed Randy’s truck and trailer down and they trailered Champ and pulled him out of the water.  They then found the problem – the plug had come out!  Water gushed out of the drain hole for about 10 minutes like it was coming from a garden hose on full power!

The muddy water that Randy noted earlier had indeed come up from the drains because Champ’s bilge was completely full of water!  Randy later learned that Champ’s battery compartment had flooded as well, as water was in all three battery boxes.  The water ruined his 3-bank battery charger.  He later replaced the drain hole with a 1-Way drain safety plug that allows water to drain from the bilge but not back in.

Because the plug hadn’t stayed in the drain they were fortunate that Champ hadn’t sunk!

11/23/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and two members (four total participants) mostly enjoyed the scenery at the 11/23/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Somerville Lake.  Unfortunately only three ducks came within range.  Ian Daniels and Burl Fulenwider combined to down one, but it escaped when it swam into deep water.  Another flock flew high over us and a third flock flew high and far in front of us.

11/15/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and three members (five total participants) enjoyed the scenery at the 11/15/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Granger Lake.  Unfortunately we didn’t have a duck come anywhere near us while we were hunting, despite it being near perfect duck hunting weather (cold and overcast).  We saw a couple flocks in the distance and a lone duck flew within range as we were picking up the decoys.  We heard maybe a total of 10 shots.  We also successfully righted Tim Price’s boat and towed it back to the ramp.  On 11/11/14 Tim and Garrett Coleman were planning to hunt ducks on Lake Granger.  They encountered strong winds.  Rather than to try to go across the lake, they skirted the shoreline.  Tim’s 14′ flat bottom boat went down one wave and then got swamped by another, causing it to capsize.  When we righted Tim’s boat, we found that most of their gear had gotten caught in Tim’s camo netting, except for two shotguns.

11/11/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

One officer and two guests (three total participants) had a good time at the 11/11/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Somerville Lake.  Warm temperatures and sunny skies were predicted, but the cold front, which was predicted to come in later in the afternoon, came in early, with strong winds.  It blew most of our decoys to shore and Randy Rowley has 8 oz. of weight on each deke!  After an initial group of teal, everything was up in the stratosphere!  Jonathan Sherwin bagged two green winged teal and Jason Cox bagged one, but it fell in the woods behind us and we couldn’t find it.  It was quite the hike from Fischer Road to where we set up, probably over 1000 yards and we had to make two trips there and back.  This may be our first and last walk in hunt on Somerville (we’ll take Randy’s boat next time).

11/1/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

One officer, one member, and one guest (three total participants) had a good time at the Self-guided Duck Hunt on 11/1/14 on Granger Lake.  Burl Fulenwider bagged a hen redhead and Jonathan Sherwin bagged a hen shoveler (spoonbill).  He had four groups of ducks come within range, but none of them came into our spread.  Randy Rowley and Jonathan were able to turn a flock of shovelers and get them to come back within range.  We were hampered by a blue bird (cloudless) day.  The ducks for the most part stopped flying shortly after the sun rose.

10/4/14 Dove Hunt – San Saba (report by Mike Walsh)

One officer, seven members, and three sons (11 total participants) had a memorable hunt on 10/4/14 at the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  The birds were flying steadily in large groups and coming to the Texas Gum elastic trees to feed on the ripe seed. Everyone had a fantastic shoot with 100% limits had by all.  After getting everyone into the field I hunted near where Randy Rowley hunted on 9/6/14 and shot a limit in an hours time. Burl Fulenwider and Ken Miller had the birds swarming all around them in the middle open area.  Jeff Knebel and sons were also in the zone and the action was fast and furious.  Jerry Ray Clark and son were also in the middle zone and also got limits.  Kelvin Cheung was on the fringe and hunting in the shade of  the trees so I recomended he move and drove him to the middle zone where he rapidly ran out of shells.  After I drove Kelvin to his truck to retrieve more shells, and brought him back to his spot, he finished up with a limit in short order. Even the hunters on the perimiter by the trees to the south like Harold and Edward Terry had lots of birds swarming over the tree tops and got their limits.  I would say with certainty a good time was had by all.  Sid welcomed us all back next season to dove hunt.  All the hunters were respectful of Sid’s wishes and picked up all their hulls and trash.

9/20/14 Dove Hunt – San Saba (report by Mike Walsh)

Six members, two guests, and three sons (eleven total participants) had a good time at the 9/20/14 Dove Hunt at the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  Mike Walsh reported that they had a good group of hunters and everyone shot some birds and left with a smile on their face.  The weather was cloudy to partly sunny.  WE did not get any rain on us, but we drove through some in Lampasas.  The recent rains moved a lot of birds out of the area, but there were enough white wings to keep folks shooting.  Some hunters got limits by 5:00 PM.  Sid (the ranch owner) mentioned that every day he saw more and more birds moving into the area , until the rains began.  Where I hunted the birds were cutting through the middle and more open area to the south.  I managed to get 7 birds.  The Drott brothers and Jim McGee were in the middle and limited out, as did Jerry Ray Clark.  Burl Fulenwider bagged 12 and Jeff Knebel and his sons bagged a lot of birds.  Jerry Ray’s son bagged eight.  Mike bagged seven.

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

Two officers, nine members, and three guests (14 total participants) had a good time at the 9/13/14 Blast and Cast (Dove Hunt and Bass Fishing Trip) near Lometa on the AOK Ranch (Joel Kirby’s land).  A cold front came through the evening before with thunderstorms.  It knocked the temperature down to 60 but also blew most of the dove out, as they were few and far between.  Edward Terry bagged five.  Jim Gault bagged four, including two Eurasian (ring necks).  Ken Miller and William Voges bagged three.  Jim McGee, Kelvin Cheung, Will Voges, and Burl Fulenwider bagged one.  Several people didn’t hunt at all or rather, fished with shotguns over their shoulders or besides them.  Will Voges caught eight bass including a 3 1/2 pounder.  Randy Rowley caught four bass including a 4 pounder.  He had another big one on that wrapped itself around the fence that goes through the pond (you would think that he would learn – the same thing happened last year).  Ryan Rowley caught three including an 8.4 pounder! (his personal best plus the biggest bass that has been caught on a Blast and Cast).  Jim McGee caught a bass and a big perch.  Joel cooked burgers for lunch.  Randy led a devotional on Seizing Opportunities.

9/6/14 Dove Hunt – Uvalde report by Art Barrera

Four members and six guests, including two first time guests (10 total participants) attended the 9/6/14 Dove Hunt near Uvalde.  Upon our arrival, Mr. Tony Arce, the outfitter, was already waiting for us at the gate.  Mr. Arce also came back later during the day to follow up and ensure that everything was going all right.  After the hunt, we spoke telephonically as he inquired further of our experience.  He provided excellent service.
The field we hunted was a large grain field with a water tank at one end.  We were in the field just past twilight.  By 9:30 A.M., most of the hunters had already harvested their daily limit.  The rest continued to hunt until about 10:30 A.M.  We stopped at that time and ate lunch.  After lunch, Jose Primera led us in a Bible study and devotional with a topic based on the Book of Jeremiah, Psalms, the Gospel of Luke, and St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans.
Some of the hunters returned home after the Bible study while others went back to the field to continue hunting.  At the end of the day almost every hunter had their daily limit.  Those who didn’t, had harvested a respectable amount of birds; to include Chris Cox who harvested six doves on his first-ever dove hunt!
All the hunters had a great time, but they especially enjoyed the fellowship with other Christians who endeavor to be Godly men in all aspects of their life with the help of the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ!
It was quite the successful event, ALL PRAISE TO GOD!

9/6/14 Dove Hunt – Salado

Two members and three guests (five total participants) hunted the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the shores of Lake Stillhouse Hollow, west of Salado, on 9/6/14.  There were few birds.  To the best of Dennis Koch’s knowledge no dove were taken.  Dennis had three shots.

9/6/14 Dove Hunt – San Saba

Two officers, eleven members, three guests, one son, and one grandson (18 total participants) had a fantastic time at the 9/6/14 Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  100% of the dove were whitewings.  We got there early in the afternoon.  Dozens of dove were feeding or resting underneath the oak trees.  Someone shot and dove were flying everywhere.  We didn’t see nearly as many flocks of 10 – 20 birds as we did last year, but there was still a steady flow of dove.  Most hunters limited out in short order, including Roy Brigman, Jerry Ray Clark, Ron Denison, Burl Fulenwider, Frank Hamilton, Ken Miller, Tim Price,  Randy Rowley, Ryan Rowley, Chase Westover (on his first dove hunt), Mike Walsh and Miles Wilson.  Jerry Ray’s 10 year old son, Garrison, bagged 11 birds and it took him only 2 1/2 boxes of shells to do it!  Allen Mueller bagged 10, Chris Rowley bagged eight, John Bobo bagged four and Jason Galloway bagged two.  John’s party was in an area that didn’t have nearly as many birds.

9/1/14 Dove Hunt – Salado

One officer and six members (seven total participants) had a good time at the 9/1/14 Dove Hunt at the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the shores of Lake Stillhouse Hollow, west of Salado, even though the birds were not flying as well as they did last year. Steve Baker bagged six.  Paul Ellis bagged four.  Burl Fulenwider bagged three and lost one.  Binh Chu, Dennis Koch, and Ryan Rowley bagged two.  Randy Rowley bagged one.  We were among the first to arrive, so we were able to get the spots that we wanted.

4/6/14 – 4/8/14 Semi-guided Hog Hunt (Report by Art Barrera)

Eight members, five guests, and two sons (fifteen total participants attended the 4/6/14 – 4/8/14 Semi-guided Hog Hunt at the Wild Hog Hunting Ranch near Gonzales, but one did not hunt.  After ranch orientation, the Lord helped me lead a Bible study on 1 Cor. 13:1-2.  The fellowship throughout our stay was fantastic!  The food and accommodations were great and the service was outstanding.  A record seventeen hogs were taken by hunters as listed below:

1.       Ted Lieb and his two sons (Isaac & Blake) – five hogs!  One weighed 80 lbs., the other four less than 50 lbs each.

2.       Ian Daniels – four hogs (WITH ONLY 3 SHOTS FIRED!)  One weighed 80 lbs., the other three were less than 50 lbs each.

3.       Greg Moerbe – one hog weighing 80 lbs.

4.       Justin Primera – one hog weighing 75 lbs.

5.       Art Barrera – two hogs; one weighing 65 lbs. and one less than 50 lbs.

6.       Jose Primera – one hog weighing 65 lbs.

7.       Jim McGee – one hog weighing 65 lbs.

8.       Christopher Cox – one hog weighing less than 50 lbs.

9.       Burl Fulenwider – one hog weighing less than 50 lbs.

Everyone had a great  time.  It was good seeing old friends again from the past two years and it was great making new friends.  It was an honor to hunt with this group of guys who strive to share the good news of Christ’s free gift of salvation with others.  Everyone is looking forward to next year’s hunt!

3/7/14 Guided Quail Hunt

Two members and one first time guest (three total participants) had a great time at the 3/7/14 Guided Quail Hunt with Schumann Brothers Outdoors near Dime Box.  The group killed 50 quail!  That’s one bird shy of 17 birds per man!  This was not only a record for an upland bird hunt, but shattered the 11/01 Guided Goose Hunt were 8 hunters killed 119 geese (one shy of 15 birds per man).  Miles Wilson reported that it was a beautiful day.  Their guide was a young man named Phillip who worked hard, was very pleasant, and handled the dogs quite well.  He used three dogs during the day, two Brittanies and a German Shorthair.  They were very good and well trained and were a pleasure to watch and hunt behind.

2/21/14 – 2/23/14 Self-guided Quail and Hog Hunt

One officer, six members, one first time guest, and one son (nine total participants) had a good time at the 2/21/14 – 2/23/14 Self-guided Quail and Hog Hunt on Frank Hamilton’s land near Trickham.  Frank purchased 110 quail over a one month period and Tim Price and him placed them at several locations on Frank’s ranch.  We ran into one covey on our first hunt on Saturday morning but the birds flew behind trees so our shots were ineffective.  We went back for breakfast, but a covey was spotted behind the cabin that caused a delay in the festivities.  Ron Denison nabbed one.  After breakfast we hunted again and located a covey in an extremely heavy grove of trees.  We killed eight quail from that covey, although they were very reluctant to fly.  Tim Price and first time guest Steven Strickland got 2 1/2 each, Binh Chu got two, and Randy Rowley got one.  Later, while Randy was cooking dinner, Frank spotted a couple quail and the group went after them with Ron bagging one.  On Sunday morning Jim Gault chased a quail for 50 yards before he could get it to flush and bag it.  A total of 11 quail were bagged during the two days of hunting.  Randy was the only hunter to see a hog, and it was a monster!  He killed it after dark with a head shot.  It took four of us to get it into Frank’s truck.  We estimate that it weighed 300 lbs. and it had three inch long tusks.  We would like to thank Dick Matteson and Steven for bringing their dogs, Buck and Mo respectively, and especially Frank for allowing us to hunt on his land!

2/8/14 Guided Upland Game (Pheasant, Chuckar, and Quail) Hunt

FCS had a great time at the 2/8/14 Guided Upland Bird Hunt with Schuman Brothers Outdoors at their ranch near Dime Box.  The ranch consists of 900 acres of blackland prairie covered with native grass and short brush, post oak savannah with improved pasture, lightly wooded uplands, and heavily wooded bottomlands – an ideal match for upland birds like quail, pheasant and chukars.  Hunters were Bruce Crockett, Chris Romano and his 11 year old son Vincent, Ronnie Ross, Brian Smalley with daughter Kallie and son Chris.  Dick Matteson didn’t hunt, but brought his dog to get some work in.  There were eight total participants.  The final taley was 41 quail, 4 chukars, and 3 pheasants (48 birds).  Pictures from the hunt have been posted in the website’s gallery.

1/25/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

One officer and one member (two total participants) had a good time at the 1/25/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on Somerville Lake.  Unfortunately, it was all about location and we weren’t at the right location.  The guys in the west corner of the cove were getting shots but the closest ducks that came by us (in the middle of the cove) were around 300 yards away.  We finally gave up on our spot and relocated to the point at the mouth of the cove but there was no action there either.

1/17/14 – 1/18/14 Guided Duck Hunt

One officer, two members, and one first time guest (four total participants) went on the 1/17/14 – 1/18/14 Guided Duck Hunt with guide Matt Strayer on the Colorado River near Altair.  The group bagged three widgeons and two teal (five ducks).  It was a blue bird day and few ducks were in the air.  We went to the hunting grounds in an air boat, including going over some rapids!  The bank where we hunted was extremely muddy.  We stayed at the America’s Best Value Inn in Columbus the night before the hunt.

1/10/14 – 1/12/14 Self-guided Saltwater Duck Hunt

Does anyone remember the Lake Uno Mas hog hunt?  (If you haven’t heard of it see Joy Comes in the Mudding.)  Well the 1/10/14 – 1/12/14 Hog Hunt gave Uno Mas a run for its money!  The hunt involved two officers, four members, and three sons (12 total participants).  On Friday around 7:15 AM, eight of us hit the road to Port Aransas. The fun began just after we stopped for breakfast at the McDonald’s on RR 620 near Hwy 183 in Austin. Randy Rowley’s truck was in the lead. After making it unscathed through the drive-through, he pulled over in the parking lot as far as he could get to the right and waited for the other guys to get their food.

He had made this particular right turn many times, as McDonald’s was a frequent stop on his way to duck hunt Lake Granger or Lake Somerville, so he thought nothing of it. But, this day was different. For his previous trips, at 2:30 – 3:00 AM, there was no one on 620, so he was able to make a leisurely right turn. But, on this morning rush hour traffic confronted him.

He spotted an opening big enough to fit his truck and boat and went for it. He made the turn with the truck and then gunned it. But he didn’t account for his rig being so close to the curb. At the same time that he gunned his engine, Bob’s (his boat) trailer hit the curb. This cause the trailer to roll to the left. He saw movement in his rear-view mirror and much to his surprise witnessed his boat and trailer rolling over.

Fortunately our over 100 decoys were well strapped in, but several items fell onto 620, including blind bags and buckets. Miraculously nothing was hit by a car and the group, with the help of a kind motorist, was able to get Bob on both wheels again. The only damage to Bob was some scrape marks on his left side.  Also miraculously the trailer stayed attached to the ball.

We made it to Port A without further incident, set up camp at the IB Magee campground and went off for our first hunt off Wilson’s Cut. We launched Bob and he ran perfectly down the around one mile jaunt to “our” island. Alex and Jake Denison and Randy unloaded guns, bags, buckets, Mojos and dekes from Bob. Randy then fired him back up to go get a load of hunters. The motor sounded fine but when he put it in forward gear it died. Several other attempts to get it to go met with the same failure.

Randy got out of Bob, checked his prop and discovered that a decoy bag rope had wrapped around it. He freed it and fired Bob back up again, but now he only ran at idle speed. This was not a huge problem as Randy only had about 100 yards to go to pick up a load of guys on the other side of the cut.

Our first hunt proved to be our best. We bagged a limit of 16 redheads (two per hunter) well before sunset. When we got back to our campsite Allen Gann worked on Bob’s motor. He found that Bob’s throttle arm had become dislodged. He put it back into place and secured it with a zip tie.

But when Randy fired Bob’s motor up the next morning it only ran at full power. When he put it into gear, it would die, so we loaded Bob back on his trailer and drove down to our usual rendezvous point on the cut. We launched Bob and Randy used his trolling motor to ferry the hunters to and from our island. The redheads were scarcer and we bagged only 11. We had not launched Bob from this point before, and there was concern that the spot can be muddy, but we didn’t have any problems trailering him.

After we got back to camp, Allen adjusted Bob’s motor again and it ran at about two-thirds power during the evening hunt, but also died several times (it was later determined to be a bad fuel pump). We bagged one more redhead and had three new hunters join us who bagged four redheads. We again didn’t have any problem trailering Bob.

But Sunday was a different story. After bagging five birds we went to trailer Bob but Randy’s truck couldn’t pull him out of the sticky mud (the tide had gone out) even in four-wheel drive low. After numerous attempts to pull Bob out all we succeeding in doing was getting Big Red (Randy’s truck) stuck. But we had a Plan B. Ron Denison hooked his truck up to Big Red and pulled it, Bob and half of his trailer out of the muck. Yes, the trailer had broken in half.

We pushed Bob back into the water, got the other half of the trailer out of the muck and went to work on Jerry rigging it. Ron and Binh Chu then went and looked at two used trailers that they found on Craig’s List, while Burl Fulenwider, Alex, Jake and Randy went to break camp, and Ken Miller stayed with Bob (which Randy had driven to the end of the cut).

Neither of the trailers that Ron and Binh looked at would work, so Ron put Plan B into effect – he bought two steel bars and used them to connect the wheel yokes with the center yoke (drilling holes through the bars and yokes and securing them with large bolts, nuts and lock washers). In a few minutes he made Bob’s trailer stronger than ever. We finally arrived at Randy’s house 5 1/4 hours later than we had planned.

Although we had more than our share of trials on this trip, were worn out and disappointed from only seeing about 5% of the amount of ducks that we normally see, the conduct by these men was Christ-like. They came together and worked the problem as a team.  They did FCS proud.

1/1/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Two officers and one member (three total participants) had a good time at the 1/1/14 Self-guided Duck Hunt on 1/1/14 on Somerville Lake.  Ken Miller and Randy Rowley combined to bag a teal, but it fell in water that was two deep to retrieve.  Only one other duck came to our spread and one other passed by.  It was dead calm.  Few shots were heard.  All of the dozens of redheads that we saw 12 days before were gone.

Categories : Hunting Reports

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Bible verse of the day

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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