2016 Hunting Trips Reports


12/26/16 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Four hunters mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Somerville.  We had no ducks come in.  We saw a flock about 300 yards away and a lone drake wood duck about 90 yards away.  We heard about four shots.  The was overcast and rained a bit on our boat ride back.  It would have been good duck hunting weather except it was 73 degrees and there was little wind.

12/23/16 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Four hunters mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Granger.  We had no ducks come in.  After an hour we decided to try another spot.  While scouting, waves of ducks started to fly – some looked like they flew over where we had been hunting.  We went back to our spot and set out a couple dozen dekes, but no ducks came by.  We heard about two dozens shots.  The was very overcast and drizzled – perfect duck hunting weather except it was 49 degrees and there was no wind.

12/17/16 – 12/18/16 Guided Duck Hunt

Six participants had a great time at the 12/17/16 – 12/18/16 Guided Duck Hunt with Ricky Ethridge near Marquez.  We hunted a small pond on Ricky’s land that was adjacent to a 23 acre pond.  The temperature was 25 degrees and felt like 12.  To the best of Randy Rowley’s knowledge, it was the coldest official FCS hunt to date.  Five hunters bagged 14 ducks – 5 mallards, 3 wood ducks, 3 gadwalls, a GWT, a redhead, and a shoveler (spoonbill).  We had about a half dozen ducks come in at first light that we missed because we couldn’t see them well.  While retrieving ducks, Ricky tripped over two logs and went swimming in the pond.  He also crammed his shotgun barrel into the mud in an attempt to catch himself.  So, it was a little encouraging to see that even guides can meet Mr. Murphy.

12/10/16 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Four hunters had a good time in the Sore Finger Wildlife Management Area on Granger Lake.  Three teal came in to the right side of the dekes, so only two hunters had a shot and both missed.

Unbeknownst to us Mr. Murphy, our frequent hunting partner, joined us yet again.  Ken Miller started the fun by losing his balance while setting out decoys and falling into the water up to his neck.    He crammed the butt stock of his unloaded shotgun into the muddy bottom and got up quickly – so quickly in fact that the rest of us didn’t know that he had gone down.  Some water went down the front of his neck line and up his left sleeve, but not much.

A few minutes later, Randy Rowley’s Lucky Duck (motorized decoy on a pole) fell over into the water.  He waited about five minutes and then waded over to it to push it back into the mud.  The pole wouldn’t go in any deeper, so he thought that a rock must be hindering him.  He moved it a few feet over and it still wouldn’t go in deep enough to stand up on its own.  So he put his weight on it.  The Mojo went sideways and so did Randy.

Randy went in face first up to his neck.  He quickly sat up and tried to get his feet underneath him in order to stand up but couldn’t do it, as the mud was so slick and his feet couldn’t find purchase.  He then turned the decoy over to use it to push himself up but that didn’t help, although he discovered why the pole hadn’t gone in deeper – it had bent 90 degrees.  He then did the only thing left for him to do – I called for help.  But Binh Chu and Ryan Rowley were already on their way to be human tow trucks, both with big grins on their faces.  (At least they had the decency not to laugh at him.)  They soon had him back on my feet.

The water temperature was in the low 60’s and he was quite drenched.  Fortunately, he had yet to put his heavy coat on. He took off his long john top and two sweatshirts and replaced them with the coat.  Other than having cold feet, he was OK.

Then when the teal came in Randy got one shot off.  The shot didn’t sound right.  He looked down and the first shell had failed to eject.  The brass of the shell was split and the plastic was folded in on itself.  It was basically crumpled up.  It took a couple minutes but he got it out of the breech.  He then checked his barrel and it was plugged with the wad.  He used a cleaning rod and tried to push it out, to no avail.  Fortunately, he had brought along a spare shotgun.  Later at home he had to use his fireplace poker to budge it.  The shell and several others had gotten wet last season resulting is rusted brass.  He soaked them in solvent for about 24 hours to loosen the rust and then buffed them with steel wool.  Apparently the solvent got to the powder, resulting in a misfire.  The rest of those shells will be disposed of.

12/3/16 Guided Goose Hunt

Three FCS hunters joined Rayce Jenkins and his crew near El Campo for a guided goose hunt.  We saw several large flights of Canadians and Snow’s but none of them came within range.  We had a total of 14 speckled geese fly within range and with seven hunters including the four guides, 12 of the speckled geese stayed behind.

11/26/16 Self-guided Duck Hunt

Four hunters hunted the island in the Union Grove Wildlife Management area on Lake Stillhouse Hollow.  We saw a few flights of ducks, but those that landed did so by the coot flotilla that was around 80 – 100 yards offshore, way out of range.  The bottom dropped off quickly, so we had to put our decoys about 10 yards from shore.  No ducks came into our dekes.  Those that flew by didn’t come within range.  The four of us didn’t fire a shot.  We saw a few canvasbacks swimming with the coots.  One flight was teal.

10/21/16 – 10/23/16 Dove Retreat (Trickham)

Six hunters enjoyed the beautiful weather at the 10/21/16 – 10/23/16 Dove Retreat near Trickham on Frank Hamilton’s land.  Unfortunately, the birds had left due to a cold front coming through.  The men got some clean up done around the cabin and some work completed on the feeders and stands.

10/1/16 White Wing Hunt, Evans Ranch (San Saba)

Sixteen hunters had an afternoon of successful hunting and enjoyed great weather and fellowship at the 10/1/16 white wing hunt at the Evans ranch.  Most hunters secured a limit by about 5:00pm, which was much better than the hunt two weeks ago, but not quite as many birds as the opening weekend hunt.  The birds were spread out all around the area with the gumlastic trees and came in spurts at various times over the afternoon.  The participants included:

Steve Baker
Lamar Denney
Mike Walsh
Ken Miller
Harold and Edward Terry,
Earl Prochnick
Burl Fulenwider
Steve Gholson
Mark Berdoll
Paul Ellis
Scott Timpany
Jamie Comstock with John Rogers, Brian Crafts, Krystina Comstock

9/17/16 White Wing Hunt, Evans Ranch (San Saba)

Ten hunters and one spectator enjoyed the outdoors and fellowship at the 9/17/16 Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  There were not as many birds as the 9/3/16 hunt and most hunters went home with less than half of a limit.  Seemed there were not as many berries in the Texas gum elastic trees as the last hunt.  The participants included:

Steve Baker
Mike Walsh
Bruce Crockett
Ken Miller
Louis and Greg Drott
Burl Fellenwider
Luke Snow
Ryan Rowley and son

Mike Coppedge

9/17/16 Guided Teal Hunt

Four hunters had a great time on the 9/17/16 Guided Teal hunt with Rayce Jenkins near El Campo.  The five hunters shot 12 Teal.  The ducks came in five waves from the west, circling around to land in front of our blind on the pond.  The first Teal was in the blind three minutes after shooting light.  The flights were spaced 15 to 20 minutes apart, and many more flew too high to call in.  The flights were generally eight to 10 ducks.   Rayce brought his dog Lux who managed the retrieval for us.  In attendance was Earl Prochnik, Ian Daniels, Neville Letzerich, and guest Jonathan Sherwin.  This was Jonathan’s first duck hunt.

9/3/16 White Wing Hunt, Evans Ranch (San Saba)

Fifteen hunters had a great time at the 9/3/16 Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  There were lots of birds.  They had just come in the last few days as the seeds on the trees were ripe.  There were very few lulls in the action.  The birds were a bit more concentrated and came to the trees to feed on the North end of the field.  The brush pile was the center and Sam and Burl cleaned up in short order.  Ken was hunting in the trees near the road in  the pasture and the birds flew to the trees above him.  Steve and Lamar hunted on the North end in the big trees and limited quickly.  Lamar got his limit with his .410 O/U.  Scott and Paul limited quickly.  Dixon and his 10 year old grandson said they had a great time and they had lots of birds to clean.  Harold and Edward also limited quickly.  Mark and Jared Berdoll hunted the middle section and shot their limits well before 5:00 PM.  Good hunting and good fellowship equals a great day afield. Sid , the owner, invited the last of us hunters to stay for dinner after the hunt.  He deep fried chicken, meatballs, and fries for us under his new pole barn.  Hunters included:

Paul Ellis
Mark Berdoll
Scott Timpany
Ken Miller
Harold and Edward Terry
Dixon Matlock and grandson Hank
Steve Roberts
Burl Fellenwider
Sam Martin
Dennis Koch
Jim McGee
Steve Baker
Lamar Denney

5/20/16 – 5/21/16 Semi-guided Hog Hunt

Four participants had a good time at the 5/20/16 – 5/21/16 Semi-guided Hog Hunt with Tenney Creek Outfitters near McMahan.  Randy Rowley killed an approximately 80 pound sow.  Two other hunters missed pigs.  Ian Daniels killed two raccoons and David Johnson killed one.  We also saw several deer and rabbits.

3/19/16 Guided Upland Bird Hunt

On a cool spring day four hunters harvested twelve pheasant, ten chukar, and ten quail (32 birds) at the Schumann Brothers ranch in Dimebox, Texas.  Guided by Charles Schumann and his Brittany Spaniel, Max, hunters Eric Bonugli, Jacob Bonugli (Eric’s son), Earl Prochick and Michael Armstrong worked as a team to make a successful hunt.

3/5/16 Guided Upland Bird Hunt

Another good time was had by all on the FCS Guided Upland Bird Hunt on 3/5/16 with Schumann Brothers in Dimebox, Texas.  There were two groups of four hunters – the Rowley/Armstrong group and the Frisbie group.  The two groups harvested twelve pheasant, fourteen chukar, and twenty eight quail (54 birds).  Joining the Frisbie group were other family members who assisted in flushing and retrieving birds (there were 12 total participants).  The weather was ideal with a partly cloudy day in the 70’s.

2/27/16 Self-guided Hog Hunt and White Bass Fishing Trip

Three participants had a good time at the 2/27/16 Self-guided Hog Hunt and White Bass Fishing Trip at Granger Lake in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area.  Although no hogs were spotted, a hog carcass and a hog skull were found, along with numerous game trails and tracks.  They’re definitely in there.  The group fished for awhile after the hunt.  Daryl Shipper caught a white bass on a crappie jig.

1/23/16 Guided Inland Duck Hunt

Two hunters had a good time at the 1/23/16 Guided Inland Duck Hunt with Ronnie Ray on the Colorado River near La Grange.  Two or three groups of teal decoyed early and a number of Gadwall landed about 60 yards up river but were always out of range.  Four green winged teal were harvested.  Charles Rightmer reported that Ronnie Ray was outstanding.  They hunted out of the boat with Ronnie’s dog.

1/19/16 Guided Inland Duck Hunt

Two participants had a great time at the 1/19/16 Guided Inland Duck Hunt on a large pond near El Campo.  Randy Rowley, Ken Miller and guides Rayce Jenkins and Colby Snyder bagged 18 teal (around 12 green wings and 6 blue wings) and five shovelers (spoonbills) for a total of 23 ducks (one short of a four man limit).  Randy and Ken hunted from a pit blind, a new experience for both of them.  Rayce and Colby did a great job of pre-scouting and calling and Rayce’s dog was well trained and worked hard.  We highly recommend them.  We also saw several geese and sandhill cranes, although none came within range.  To quote Arnold, “We’ll be back!”

1/18/16 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt

Two participants mostly enjoyed the scenery at the 1/18/16 Inland Duck Hunt at Granger Lake.  The trip actually started out at the Colorado River near Webberville, but the river was too shallow to launch Randy Rowley’s boat and there was a rock shelf at the end of the boat ramp and boulders everywhere.  Granger became Plan B.  We hunted the same site that we hunted on 12/12/15.  We had three groups fly within range, but only shot at two of them, as we were hoping that the first group would circle and come down.  Randy killed a solo duck that flew by the decoys, but it fell in water that was too deep to retrieve it and drifted away (it looked like it was a teal).  Ian Daniels and him couldn’t find it an hour later when they went to look for it in Randy’s boat.

1/15/16 – 1/17/16 Semi-guided Management Deer and Hog Hunt

Six participants had a good time at the 1/15/16 – 1/17/16 Semi-guided Management Deer and Hog Hunt at the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  Seven deer and two hogs were harvested.  Luke Snow led the way with three does taken and Burl Fulenwider shot a nice pig.  The weather was perfect for hunting.

1/8/16 – 1/10/16 Semi-guided Management Deer and Hog Hunt

Nine participants had a good time at the 1/8/16 – 1/10/16 Semi-guided Management Deer and Hog Hunt at the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  Eight deer and two hogs were harvested.  Several hunters passed on shots because the deer were too crowded under the feeders and they didn’t want to shoot an illegal deer.  Stephen Marlow led the way with two does taken.  The weather was perfect for hunting.

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Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.