Archive for Around the Campfire

Aug
08

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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Randy Rowley is selling his boat (Champ).  He includes:

  • Minn Kota Maxxum foot-controlled 80 lb. thrust 24 volt trolling motor
  • Two deep cycle batteries (one is less than 4 months old) and starter battery
  • 3 bank battery charger (one bank does not work) and 2/10/50 portable battery charger
  • 4″ Lowrence color fish finder/GPS
  • 3″ Lowrence color fish finder (that does not work)
  • Automatic bilge pump (less than 1 year old)
  • Two working livewells
  • Two fishing seats
  • Ladder
  • Lots of storage
  • Spare tire
  • Horn
  • Compass
  • CB radio (may not work)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Two life jackets
  • Throwable PFD
  • Paddle
  • Anchor Read More→
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Aug
01

Thwarted! by Randy Rowley 8-1-18

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It was with considerable anticipation that Roy Brigman and I boarded Dannie Golden’s boat on Lake Ray Roberts on August the 15th for a morning of bass fishing.  Dannie is the owner of Get Bit Guide Service and has a great reputation.  We were booked to fish with Dannie on March the 9th but postponed out trip due to a high chance of projected thunderstorms.  Two days before our trip was to have happened one of Dannie’s clients caught a 15.18 lb. bass, setting a new lake record.  Roy and I were hoping to get into some big bass.

Dannie took us over the North East side of the lake.  We started to see trees in the water, but Dannie didn’t slow down, as he was following his usual trail on his GPS.  He slowed down as he came up to a large point and then turned off the motor.  He handed me a baitcaster rigged with a Yellow Magic popper and Roy a baitcaster rigged with a spinnerbait.

He then headed towards the bank, using his trolling motor.  As we neared the bank we heard what sounded like bunches of little splashes.  Then we saw what was making the commotion – a large school of shad was feeding along the bank.  The school was easily 100 yards long and about 20 yards wide.

When we got within casting range I threw the popper towards the bank but instead of the lure landing softly amongst the shad it stopped in mid-air.  I knew what that could only mean one thing – a backlash.  Looking down confirmed by presumption and also revealed that the line had broken.  Dannie retrieved the popper while I worked the backlash out and retreaded the line though the eyelets of the rod.  I then re-tied the popper and resumed fishing.

We stayed in the school for about 15 minutes, but either the bass were not there or they weren’t fooled by our lures.  Our best efforts were thwarted.  With none of us getting a hit, Dannie decided that we would try another spot.

Roy ended up with four largemouth and one sand bass and I caught a largemouth and a spotted bass.  All of the largemouths were decent sized fish, but what we’ll remember most is what could have been if the bass had been under those shad.  Roy will also remember a huge bass that almost took his crawdad a few feet from the boat.  Dannie and Roy saw it swim away.

The Old Testament prophet Jonah also knew something about being thwarted.  In Jonah 1:2 the Lord commanded Jonah to, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”  In 1:3 we learn how Jonah responded, “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.  After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”

In Jonah 1:4 – 3:10, Jonah learned that he could run from the Lord but couldn’t get very far.  The Lord caused a great storm on the sea.  Jonah was thrown overboard by the sailors (at his request) but didn’t drown; instead he was swallowed by a huge fish!  During his three days and nights in the belly of the fish Jonah repented.  The fish vomited him onto dry land and Jonah went to preach to the Ninevites, who joined also repented.  God then had compassion and withheld His judgment.

But that’s not the entire story.  Jonah was miffed with the Lord for sparing the Ninevites.  Jonah 4:2-3 says “He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home?  That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish.  I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  God thwarted Jonah’s desire to see God judge the Ninevites and Jonah responded with a pity party.

The book ends with the Lord setting Jonah straight, essentially telling Jonah that he had nothing to do with creating the Ninevites and, therefore, it was not him who would decide their fate.  Jonah’s most egregious sin was he judged the Ninevites by his standards, not Gods.

Sometimes we make our personal convictions as standards, rather than holding God’s word as The Standard.  Paul addressed this issue in two of his letters.

In Romans 14 some vegetarian believers were judging those that ate meat and some of those who ate everything were treating the vegetarians with contempt.  Also some believers considered certain days as holy and others considered every day the same.  Both groups were judging those who thought differently.

In 1 Corinthians 8 the issue was some Christians were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Those who did not eat such meat were judging those who did.

The Bible had not addressed those issues, but the Roman Christians decided that they would judge others who didn’t adhere to their personal convictions.  Paul’s answers to these debates thwarted what these Christians were trying to do.  They included:

  • “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”  Romans 14:13
  • “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.”  Romans 14:19-20
  • “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”  1 Corinthians 8:8-9

When I was in high school, we had a visiting youth minister come speak to our youth group.  He thought that it was a sin for couples to kiss or even hold hands before they were married.  He was a very persuasive speaker and several of the couples in the youth group broke up after hearing him speak.  Shortly afterwards our pastor apologized to the congregation for inviting this minister to speak.  He told us that that minister was presenting his standards and not God’s and to disregard what that minister had said and told us to do.

In some cases when we try to uphold our personal convictions as God’s standards we do so in a desire to help God out.  In other cases, helping God out has nothing to do with it – it’s just simply pride, arrogance, and over-inflated egos that think that they’re always right.  Regardless of our motivation, we are sinning when we take our personal convictions in areas that God did not address in the Bible and make them standards to judge those who do not share our convictions.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  James echoed this in James 4:12 saying, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy.”  Do we think we are serving God when we judge people by our personal convictions?

When we find ourselves thinking judgmentally about others for not adhering to our personal convictions, we must judge our pride!  We must humble ourselves before God and repent!

And just like Roy and I were thwarted on that hot summer day when we futilely tried to catch bass in that big school of shad and Jonah was thwarted in his ungodly judging, God will eventually thwart us when we set our personal convictions as the standard instead of God’s word.

Randy

Roy

Dannie

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Jun
25

Hardcastles – Germany 2018

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Hello.

I wanted to share upcoming trip Sabrina and I are taking and ask for your support.  We are excited to share our hearts and God’s calling in this request.  We want to ask for PARTNERS to make this summer’s trip to serve in the Frankfurt outreach to the refugees successful on every level.  We know that God has called some to GO, and some to SEND and PRAY.  We are willing to Go.
Please reference the attached PDF guide.  There is lots of information linked to this guide, should you be interested to follow the links and watch/ read.  I would love to share in person, but for those remote I think email is our only option at this point in the game.  Please let me know if you would like to schedule a face to face or call.

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Jun
12

Hunting Safety at Home and Beyond

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Jun
11

Guns and Accessories

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Jun
04

PSE Compound Bow for sale

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May
28

2002 Black Chevy Impala For Sale

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

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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 anchored his boat near the shad, baited a hook with a live shad that he had previously caught, and handed me the rod.  I went and set it as per his instructions – release the bail and pull the mono fishing line from the reel to the first rod guide six times.  As I went to get another rod from Jay, I heard an unmistakable sound – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!  A fish had hit the first shad!  My wife (Chris Rowley) promptly grabbed the rod and started fighting the fish. 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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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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