Archive for Around the Campfire

See https://thefederalist.com/2018/05/03/springfield-armory-severs-ties-dicks-sporting-goods-gun-control-lobbying/.

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Apr
30

Classified Ads

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This web page is solely a service provided by the Fellowship of Christian Sportsmen (FCS). This service does not constitute or imply FCS’ association, endorsement or recommendation of any of the following listings.

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Apr
23

Yeti and the 2nd Amendment

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Yeti Coolers has severed ties with the NRA Foundation and dropped its sponsorship of Friends of the NRA banquets around the country.  Many pro-2nd Amendment groups consider Yeti giving the Bird to hunters.  See http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/04/daniel-zimmerman/yeti-coolers-drops-nra-affiliation-rtic-coolers-steps-right-in/.

However, Yeti has a different take on how this went down.  See http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/24/yeti-calls-nra-claims-inaccurate-says-it-has-unwavering-belief-in-second-amendment.html.

This may be, as Cool Hand Luke famously stated, a failure to communicate.  At the very least, with several businesses pulling the plug on the NRA, it is bad timing on Yeti’s part.

 

 

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On a chilly Saturday morning in April, Roland Olivarez and I found that we had Lake Pflugerville to ourselves for our bass fishing trip.  But, it wasn’t the cold that was keeping other fishermen, who are usually kayakers, away; it was undoubtedly the projected 15 – 25 MPH winds with gusts up to 30.  Pflugerville allows bass boats on the lake, but does not allow them to use their gas motors.  This was not an issue with me, as I had sold my gas motor for parts a few weeks before this trip after a piston detonated.

I had bought a new 12-volt deep cycle battery about three weeks before this trip and had hooked it up to a sister deep cycle battery to power the trolling motor.  I felt confident that my boat was now up to the task of handling the projected winds. Read More→

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This is a website that shows the depths of most fishing spots.  It loads fast and they have a mobile app.  See http://www.gpsnauticalcharts.com/main/us/us_tx_fishing_maps-texas-fishing-maps-fishing-maps-folio.html.  Note: Click “i-Boating” instead of “i-boating US”, as the latter’s link is broken.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Approves Changes to Fishing Regulations for 2018-19 Read More→

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On a hot and partly cloudy Monday in June, five fishermen hopped in guide Jay Garrett’s boat on Lake Belton for an afternoon of hybrid bass catching.  After several years of these annual trips I started called them catching trips instead of fishing trips, as we usually engaged in the former.

We ran across to the dam side of the lake and slipped into a cove.  We knew that Jay had found the right spot, as we soon spotted a large school of shad right by the bank.

Jay baited a hook with a live shad and handed me the rod.  I went and set it as per his instructions – six pulls from the reel to the first rod guide.  As I went to get another rod from Jay, I heard an unmistakable sound – a fish was already on the first rod! Read More→

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On an overcast but mild Monday in February, two friends, Jim McGee and Roland Oliverez, and I descended on Lake Decker, just east of Austin, for a morning of bass fishing in my bass boat. The weather forecast called for 10 – 20 MPH south winds, but when we got there it was calm, so I decided to head along the NE bank using my foot-controlled trolling motor. A piston in the gasoline motor on my boat had detonated the previous July and, rather than rebuild a 21-year old engine, I sold it for parts. That left the trolling motor and two paddles as our means of propulsion.

Two hours later, and having thrown every type of bait we could think of without success, we decided to head back the way that we had come. The south wind had picked up and we were headed right into it. So I turned my trolling motor up to half power. As we progressed, the wind became stronger, causing me to continue to increase power to the trolling motor. Read More→

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Feb
07

Samson Society Men’s Group

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Do you have a group of men you can be ‘rot gut honest‘ about your struggles and needs?  All men are fighting against sin in their lives, and many are losing because they don’t have “Traveling Partners” to share the journey, gain encouragement, and biblical support.  Samson Society is a men’s group that supports men in their Christian discipleship and fight against sin, such as isolation, depression, anger, marital issues, sexual temptations and failures, substance abuse, online gaming, and more.  There are two Samson groups in Austin.  One meets at FM 620 & FM 2222 on Thursday nights and the other meets at Wells Branch (North Austin/RR) on Tuesday nights.  If you want to learn more, call FCS member, Mike Hardcastle at 512-423-8710 or visit their website at:  https://sites.google.com/site/samsonnorthaustin/home.

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Jan
30

Patched by Randy Rowley 1/30/18 ©

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When we were getting ready to leave for our early January self-guided/chartered coastal Blast and Cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) at Port O’Connor, Daryl Shipper asked me if he could borrow my spare pair of waders, which were made from neoprene.  Daryl had a pair of waders with him, but they weren’t made of neoprene and he knew that the water would probably be cold, due to recent cold fronts.  I said “sure” and we threw them in my truck with the rest of our stuff.  I wasn’t concerned about them because they had worked fine the last time that I had used them.  But that was about a year prior to this trip. Read More→

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Dec
31

1/1/18 State of the Club Report

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Dec
27

Guns and Accessories

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As every sportsman and shooter knows, hunting, fishing and shooting can be hazardous to our health. Almost all of us have experienced scratches, cuts, scrapes, punctures, bruises and burns while participating in our favorite pastimes. Fortunately, fewer of us have broken bones or experienced other injuries that required ER visits while doing what we love. And even fewer of us have almost met our maker while pursuing our passions. Perhaps it’s because I hunt, fish and shoot more often than most sportsmen do or perhaps I’m just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I’ve experienced what could have resulted in serious injuries or death on more than my fair share of occasions. Read More→

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On a weekend in mid-March my middle daughter Robin and I went on a hog hunt with about eight other hunters on the Pierce Ranch near El Campo. On the first afternoon, the guide put Robin and me in a box blind for two. The blind was about 100 yards from a feeder. We didn’t see any hogs on that first hunt, but were instead treated to a display that neither of us would ever forget. Read More→

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Jul
07

Dominance by Randy Rowley 7/7/17 ©

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It was a cold and sunny December afternoon for a meat deer hunt on the Hymeadow Ranch near Lampasas. Robin, my middle daughter, and I lay on our bellies on the edge of a 9-acre field. We decided not to hunt the natural blind, as the feeder was about 300 yards east of it. Instead, we hunted south of the feeder, which put us 100 yards closer to the feeder.

Within a few minutes a couple does came out, but I had already killed two antlerless deer (a doe and a button buck), so I passed on them hoping that I’d get a shot at a decent spike. Read More→

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It was a crisp and clear Saturday in early May, a perfect day to go bass fishing. My son, Ryan, my grandson, Hunter, and I launched at Mansfield Dam on Lake Travis and headed to Commodore’s Point Cove on the northwest side of the boat launch. We arrived at the northward point and I shut Champ, my boat, off and engaged the trolling motor.

About the 15th cast with my Whopper Plopper (a hard body top water propeller bait) I hooked a bass and quickly brought him in. He didn’t put up much of a fight, as he was only around 12 inches. After another 15 or so casts with no hits, I switched to a square bill crankbait. I tried slow retrieves, medium retrieves, fast retrieves, and stop and go retrieves, all to no avail. Then I tried a lipless crankbait, then a spinnerbait, then a deep-diving crankbait, then a jointed swimbait, then a Roadrunner, then a creature bait, and finally a worm. All generated the same amount on non-interest. Read More→

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May
08

Feral Monkeys Near Dilley, Texas

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See http://blog.wildlifejournalist.com/2017/05/feral-monkeys-in-texas-photo-and-more/.

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Apr
12

The Trials of Fishing

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See https://www.youtube.com/embed/tSiAnJBGc7w?wmode=transparent&fs=1&hl=en&modestbranding=1&iv_load_policy=3&showsearch=0&rel=0&theme=dark&hd=1&blocked=true.

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See http://saladovillagevoice.com/mountain-lion-kill-spotted-downtown-salado/.

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Usually when my friends and I hunt ducks down at the Texas coast we hunt in the marsh between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, off Wilson’s Cut.  The area is the wintering grounds for 80% of the one million redhead North American population.  Pintail, widgeon, scaup (blue bill), bufflehead, and common merganser also call it home.  Redheads are easy to hunt as they easily decoy.  They are also not picky about what your spread looks like.  It is not uncommon for redheads land among our decoys as we set them out or pick them up. Read More→

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Feb
13

Help! by Randy Rowley 2/10/17 ©

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For central Texas in early December, it was cold.  The thermometer in Ryan’s (my son) truck said 31 degrees, which made this duck hunt the first sub-freezing hunt of the season.  We launched at Friendship Park on Granger Lake at dark thirty and proceeded west to the Sore Finger Wildlife Management Area and our usual cove.

Unbeknownst to us, our frequent hunting partner, Mr. Murphy, 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 neckline and up his left sleeve, but not much. Read More→

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Jan
31

Access to a Creek

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The State of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sent a letter to a home/landowner asking for permission to access a creek on his property to document the decline in a certain species of unheard of frogs. 

The property owners’ response in the second letter is EPIC.

Original Letter from Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife: Read More→

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Event Attendance Comparison Read More→

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Why not to go duck hunting or fishing when high winds are expected – http://www.click2houston.com/news/coast-guard-searching-for-3-missing-houston-area-hunters-near-corpus-christi-bay

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Jan
01

1/1/17 State of the Club Report

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2016 was a fair to good year for the club. Highlights include: Read More→

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We decided to post this story on the FCS website as a warning to our group concerning the potential dangers to hunters and fishermen of wearing waders without a life jacket or wading belt.
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Nov
14

Steel vs. Lead Shot by Randy Rowley

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A few years ago I went on a dove hunt at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.  One of their rules was that you had to hunt with non-lead shot.  I bought three boxes of 12 gauge steel dove shot (7 shot) but we didn’t see or shoot at many dove that day. Read More→

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On a Monday morning in early September, Rex Yokum and I met at the Lake Walter E. Long (aka Decker Lake) boat ramp. After we launched, we slowly proceeded to the north arm of the lake. Our crawling speed wasn’t due to the darkness. No, it was due to a far worse enemy – heavy fog! Fortunately, Champ’s (my boat) GPS was working just fine and we were soon fishing the point across from the dam.

In no time, Rex had a strong hit on a worm, but missed the fish. Then it became the fishing equivalent of silence. There were no splashes on top and I didn’t get even a bump on my dog walker or frog. Rex also didn’t generate any interest in his Whopper Plopper. Read More→

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Aug
07

Hide by Randy Rowley 8/7/16 ©

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On a bright and sunny day in March, eight hunters and four spectators converged at the Schumann Brothers Outdoors property near Dimebox for a quail, chukar, and pheasant hunt.  The group that I hunted with opted to go after pheasants first.  We drove to the field and waited for a few minutes while the guide positioned the birds.

The cover was a mixture of open country and thick mesquites, oaks, cedars, and scrub brush.  In less than five minutes, we had two birds in the bag.  The dog, a brittany spaniel named Buddy ran through the scrub brush and into an open area that had a few clumps of high grass the size of basketballs.  I thought to myself, “There can’t be any birds there!”  Then all of a sudden, he came to point. Read More→

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On 3/15/16, I read an article in the online version of Field & Stream (F&S) called How I Became a Gun Owner, by Tom McHale.  The author was neutral on gun issues until the unthinkable happened – early one Saturday morning his business partner was shot 11 times for no reason at all by two punks and left for dead.  Now Mr. McHale is a fierce advocate of gun rights and a shooting expert.  The article was as harrowing as it was well written. Read More→

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Feb
21

Wild Game Processing

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Kevin Wall recommends Smokey Denmark’s.  The owner attends Hyde Park Baptist Church.  He processes hogs, as well as javelina, deer, and exoits.  Only Hudson’s and him process hogs in the Austin area.  Your game must be quartered and on ice.

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Feb
21

Gun Selling Service

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Randy Rowley offers a service to sell guns on gunbroker.  He’ll take pictures of the gun, create the ad, and post it.  After it sells he’ll package it and ship it to the buyers FFL dealer.  He charges 10% of the selling price for this service.  This fee does not include gunbroker ad fees, packaging costs, and mailing costs.  He has sold a $2,500 shotgun and a $350 rifle (for two separate customers) successfully on gunbroker.

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Feb
19

Remington Sweepstakes

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Remington is turning 200 years old in 2016. To celebrate, corporate is having a massive sweepstakes, and giving away a TON of guns every month.

If you’re interested, see the link below, for full rules and eligibility. Pass on to your friends and family that may be interested. Good luck!

http://200sweepstakes.remington.com/rules

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On 11/20/15 – 11/22/15 five hunters went on a self-guided duck hunt in the marsh between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas off of Wilson’s Cut. The water was the highest that we have seen – there was no dry ground on “our” island, that borders the Cut.

We limited out on redheads on Friday afternoon in short order and Burl Fulenwider also bagged a hen widgeon. We ended up with 11 ducks bagged. Read More→

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Jan
01

1/1/16 State of the Club

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2015 was another fantastic year for the club! Highlights include: Read More→

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Oct
10

Move On by Randy Rowley 10/10/15 ©

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Movement while bird hunting is often the key to success. This is not just true for quail, pheasant, and chucker hunters – it’s true for the dove and duck hunters as well.

At a September dove hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba, I started out at the edge of a small group of oak trees. 25 yards in front of me was a small group of Texas gum elastic trees. When the first shot went off and the birds flushed out from the trees, I picked up three birds in the initial melee. But, I quickly ran into problems. When birds would fly over the oaks or Texas gum elastic tree groves, they had already been shot at, often by several hunters, so they were flying at Warp 9. By the time that I got my gun to my shoulder they were over one grove or the other and I wouldn’t have time to loose a shot. It was an exercise in futility. I then moved 25 yards to my right and started smacking birds as they were flying over the oaks and Texas gum elastics. Read More→

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Oct
09

Wading In by Randy Rowley 10/9/15 ©

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One of the greatest dangers in pursuing ducks is walking around in the water at night, wearing only a headlamp to help you spot hazards. Besides a myriad of stumps, branches, rocks, trash, and other things to trip on, the bottom of a lake, river, or pond is often uneven and sometimes has holes and drop offs. This can be quite hazardous when wearing waders, which are an absolute necessity to keep one dry and warm. (The only time they are not needed is during early teal season in September.) If a hunter steps into a large hole, he can suddenly be under water with his waders quickly filling up. Waders that are even partially full of water make wading difficult and swimming or treading water a real challenge.

One November on a duck hunt on Lake Belton, my family launched at Owl Creek Park and headed up the Creek. I had only been on those waters once before and that was in day light. Now it was pitch black and things looked very different. We were able to spot most of the stumps with my Q-beam but staying in the winding creek channel was another matter. As the waters narrowed, my prop started to vibrate from hitting the bottom. This was shortly followed by Bob (the name of my boat at the time) running aground. Read More→

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Finding Jesus in unexpected places…

The Bible is about Jesus Christ. If we study carefully we can find Him on every page – not just in the New Testament, but also in the Old Testament. “Here I am,” our Lord said, “it is written about me in the scroll” (Hebrews 10:7).

One place we find Jesus in the Old Testament is in “type”. A type is an example or illustration that points to a person or an event. Finding Jesus hidden in type is a most exciting and rewarding study. As it says in Proverbs 25:2: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

So let’s study Noah’s Ark as a type of Christ and see what we discover. Read More→

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Aug
07

Complacency by Randy Rowley 8/7/15

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In case you didn’t see the update to our Vote & Polls web page, on 7/28/15 I initiated a poll among the members and future members regarding whether our 2016 annual dinner should be a banquet instead of just a dinner.  I conveyed that basically a banquet would look like our dinners to date – lots of opportunities to talk and to eat.  In addition we could have a speaker, door prizes and other awards, a slide show, etc. Read More→

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On Friday morning 1/10/14 at around 7:15 AM, seven duck hunters and I 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.  My truck was in the lead.  After making it unscathed through the drive-through, I pulled over in the parking lot as far as I could get to the right and waited for the other guys to get their food.

I had made this particular right turn many times, as McDonald’s was a frequent stop on my way to duck hunt on Lake Granger or Lake Somerville, so I thought nothing of it.  My previous trips were at 2:30 – 3:00 AM, so there was no one on 620.  But, on this morning rush hour traffic confronted me.

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

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Jul
31

The FCS Theme Song

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(Sung to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas)

 

As a FCS Club member, I will pledge to thee,

                To burp and poot at every opportunity!

 

As a FCS Club member, I will pledge to thee,

To never say excuse me,

and to burp and poot at every opportunity! Read More→

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Jul
30

The Lumberjack Song

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To be sung loudly when rising at FCS events (You don’t believe me?  Check the Bylaws!)
Oh, I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay,
I play all night and I work all day.
And if a tree should fall on me I’d say,
I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay!  Hey!
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Jul
29

Operation Orphans

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Jul
23

Dunked! by Randy Rowley 7/23/15 ©

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On 8/25/07, during a self-chartered bay fishing trip out of Port Aransas, four of us were fishing with live shrimp in Aransas Bay from Tim Price’s v-hulled boat. We were mainly catching hardhead catfish so we decided to see if we could do better closer to Mud Island. Tim started to head into the two foot tall waves but he wasn’t able to get his boat onto plane. Having no choice but to press on, he reached deeper water and then turned towards the island.

Suddenly a wave crashed over the bow (the forward part of the boat), swamping the front of the boat. Tim tried putting the engine in neutral but that didn’t help. He then put the engine back into forward, gunned it and tried to steer back into the waves, but that just made the bow dive under the water like a submarine. In the blink of an eye, the boat rolled to the right and we capsized. Read More→

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Mike Walsh has the 2016 Texas DU Calendars available for sale.  A calendar purchase enters you into the DU Two-Gun-A-Day Giveaway raffle and since 2016 will be a leap year there will be 732 guns given away.  Also, included in the calendar price is a chance to win a four wheeler.  Hoffpaur Auto Group is donating two Polaris Sportsman 570 ATV’s.  The first ATV will be given away on July 4th 2016 and the second on December 25th 2016.  The calendars sell for $50.00 each and a $25.00 Ducks Unlimited membership is included.  The raffle is limited to 20,000 calendars.  82 cents of every dollar raised goes to support wetland conservation efforts in the state of Texas.  DU has spent  54 million dollars to date in Texas restoring wetlands.  Please contact Mike at 512-560-7001 to place your order or if you have any questions.

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