Archive for Devotionals

On a cool and overcast Saturday morning in mid-January, three friends and I headed to the marsh between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas for a weekend of duck hunting.  We miscalculated when we needed to depart and didn’t make it to Wilson’s Cut until a little after sunrise.  The blasts of several shotguns going off in the distance greeted us as we unloaded the kayaks (yaks) from Greg Souther’s trailer.

Mark Dillow brought his two yaks, loaning one to Kevin Wall, Greg brought his yak, and I used a yak that Mark rented at a Corpus Christi yak shop. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jul
04

Snarled by Randy Rowley 7/4/19 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On a hot and muggy morning in late June, Ryan (my son) and I launched at the Marker 37 Marina in Corpus Christi and headed over to the Packery Channel’s south jetty.  We found a spot devoid of jetty fishermen, turned on my Minn Kota Terrova Riptide’s anchor lock, and started to offer live shrimp, cut bait, and artificial lures.

We caught a few croakers and perch but no game fish.  We soon grew tired of losing our shrimp for no tasty rewards and headed to the large hole just west of the 361 bridge, where the water drops from around seven to 34 feet.  I positioned the boat at an equal distance between the shore fishermen, put on my Riptide’s anchor lock, and started to fish. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a Saturday in mid-September, my SUV croaked about 100 feet from a clinic in East Austin.  Fortunately, I was able to push it into the parking lot.  The next afternoon as I waited on a wrecker to pick up my SUV, I listened to shotguns blasting in the distance.  After the wrecker left, I drove over and found the source of the noise.  It was on Exchange Blvd.  I saw seven parked vehicles and at least 20 hunters in a field, shooting at dove. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a warm weekend in late March, four friends and I headed to the Hill Country Hog Ranch near Sabinal for a weekend FCS hog hunt.  Guns were prohibited, so we brought sticks and strings.

The ranch had 3300 acres, but we were interested in its 35-acre rectangular-shaped hog pen.  The owner kept around 100 hogs in that pen.  Each side had a couple of gates that hogs could push open with their snouts, but they would spring shut after entering the pen.  Therefore, hogs could get in but couldn’t get out. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
May
29

Found by Randy Rowley 5/29/19 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On a Friday afternoon in mid-April, seven friends and I met Justin Cooper, the owner of Laguna Adventures, at the Marker 37 Marina in Corpus Christi for an FCS self-chartered bay fishing trip.  Justin owns Laguna Madre Cabin #2, where we were going to stay.  After settling up with him and getting the GPS coordinates for the floating cabin, we headed to our home away from home.

After we arrived, we stowed our non-fishing gear.  We then headed to The Boat Hole.  We mostly fished with live shrimp but also tried some artificial lures.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his iPilot about 200 yards from shore.  I decided to try to get as close to the short rock wall as I could.  This proved easier said than done, as we kept running aground. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
May
17

Blinded by Randy Rowley 5/17/19 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On an overcast and drizzly day on the second Saturday in September, three friends and I headed to Joel Kirby’s A-OK Ranch near Lometa for a blast and cast (blasting at dove and casting for bass).

The dove were sporadic, as they often are in that part of Texas.  Kevin Wall led the way with nine dove, I bagged seven, Mark Dillow bagged two, and Ken Miller bagged one. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the third Saturday morning in November, Ron Denison picked me up for his first deer hunt on a ranch near Hamilton Pool.  By 5:45 AM, we settled into a stand made for two.

About four minutes before legal shooting time, a deer suddenly snorted at us to our left.  That was surprising because there was no wind, we weren’t making any noise, and we were wearing full camo, including mesh facemasks.  We found two does in our binoculars, one bigger than the other.  One or both continued to snort at us intermittently, about 25 yards away in a thick grove of oaks.   It soon became legal shooting time, and I had a clear shot at the bigger doe.

But I had a dilemma.  She was on my side of the stand, but our primary mission was to get Ron a deer.  For Ron to shoot, he would have to lean over me, which would probably make a lot of noise.  As I mulled over the best solution, the does walked away. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving, I put my safety harness, a light jacket, and backpack on and walked towards the west side ladder stand on a small property near Round Rock.  As I neared the creek, a doe ran out, followed shortly by a mature eight-point buck.

He was in range, but I had three problems.  For starters, my binoculars were in my backpack.  I couldn’t tell if he was a legal deer for the county I was hunting (Williamson), which requires bucks with branched antlers to have a 13-inch minimum inside spread.  Secondly, my Winchester Super X4 (SX4) 12 gauge shotgun was unloaded.  (I was hunting with a shotgun as the property was too small to hunt with a rifle safely.)  Thirdly, he was outside of buckshot range. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Oct
09

Groaning by Randy Rowley 10/09/18 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Over several years of hunting, I’ve heard many sounds, including soft, barely audible sounds; loud, frightening sounds; crashes, growls, howls, shrieks, and cries of agony.  On a hot Saturday afternoon deer hunt in early October, I heard a sound that I’d never heard before.

As I was driving towards the west side stand on a property I was hunting outside of Round Rock, a doe ran in front of my truck and then down towards the creek.  A young 8-point buck soon followed her in hot pursuit. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a Friday in late March, David Chalmers, Warren Hoke, and I headed to the El Portillo Ranch near Charlotte (about 45 miles south of San Antonio) for an FCS semi-guided hog hunt.  David Smith, the owner of Texas Wild, met us when we arrived.  After settling up, he showed us the ranch.

Late that afternoon, I took David and Warren to their chosen stands.  I then headed towards mine.  As I was driving down the dirt road, I noticed what I thought was a stick standing straight up about 50 yards ahead.  I was a little perplexed, as I didn’t remember the stick being there during our tour of the ranch. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

It was still dark when my son, Ryan, his future wife, Claire, and I arrived at Lake Decker, just to the east of Austin.  It was also warm, but that was the norm for early June.

After launching my boat, we headed over to the hot water discharge.  I went halfway up the discharge, shut off the main motor, and turned on the trolling motor.  After the wake from my boat had dissipated, we saw several tiny splashes on the surface of the water.  It looked like rain, but we knew it wasn’t raining as we weren’t getting wet.  Due to the darkness, it took a few seconds to figure it out – the little splashes were caused by small minnows hitting bugs on the surface. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

My second motorboat was a 1989 18’ 4” Champion 184 fiberglass bass boat with a 150 HP Mercury motor named Champ.  Champ proved to be a good bass boat.  He could cruise at 50 MPH with two guys in the boat and 48 MPH with three.  But he had limitations.  For duck hunting, he was just a transport vessel due to his mostly white hull.

As Champ wasn’t camo, I couldn’t duck hunt out of him like I could from Bob – my previous camo aluminum V-hull boat.  With Champ, we’d go to where we were going to hunt, unload our gear, move him 75 or so yards away, and cover him with a camo tarp. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Aug
01

Thwarted! by Randy Rowley 8/1/18 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

With considerable anticipation, my brother-in-law Roy Brigman and I boarded Captain Dannie Golden’s boat on Lake Ray Roberts on a Saturday in mid-August 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 in early March for a half-day but postponed our trip due to a high chance of thunderstorms.  Two days before our scheduled March trip, one of Dannie’s clients caught a 15.18 lb. bass, setting a new lake record.  As the spawn was long past, Roy and I knew that we probably wouldn’t catch bass anywhere near that large, but we were hoping to catch some keepers and a decent-sized one or two. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a chilly Saturday morning in April, Roland Olivarez and I headed to Lake Pflugerville for an FCS bass fishing trip.  When we arrived, we found that we had the lake to ourselves.  But, it wasn’t the cold that kept other fishermen, who are usually kayakers, away; it was undoubtedly the projected 15 – 25 MPH winds with gusts up to 30 MPH.

Motorboats are allowed on the lake, but they cannot use their gas motors.  But I couldn’t have broken that rule if I had wanted to, as I had sold my gas motor for parts shortly before this trip after a piston went bad.  That left my Minn Kota 74 lbs. thrust trolling motor and two paddles for propulsion.

Two months before this trip, the trolling motor and paddles weren’t up to the task on a windy day on Lake Decker.  Shortly before this trip, I bought a new 12-volt deep cycle battery to power the trolling motor, along with my existing one-year-old 12-volt deep cycle battery.  I felt confident that my trolling motor was now up to the task of handling the projected winds. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a hot Monday in June, two friends, my wife, Chris, brother-in-law, Roy Brigman, and I hopped in Captain Jay Garrett’s boat on Lake Belton for an afternoon FCS guided hybrid bass catching trip.  After several years of these annual trips, I started calling 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 caught earlier, and handed me the rod.  I set it per his instructions – press the spool release button and pull the line from the reel to the first rod guide six times.  I cranked the reel 1/4 turn and set the rod in the bow port rod holder.

As I went to get another rod from Jay, I heard an unmistakable sound – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!  A fish had hit the first shad!  Chris promptly grabbed the rod and started fighting the fish. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On an overcast but mild Monday morning in February, two friends and I arrived at Lake Decker (aka Walter E. Long), just east of Austin, for an FCS bass fishing trip on my boat.  The weather forecast called for 10 – 20 MPH south winds, but it was calm when we got there, so after we launched, I decided to head along the Northeast bank using my foot-controlled trolling motor.  A piston in the gasoline motor on my boat had blown the previous July, and I sold it for parts rather than rebuild a 21-year old engine.  That left my 74 lb. thrust Minn Kota 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 had to head 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 my trolling motor’s power. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jan
30

Patched by Randy Rowley 1/30/18 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

As five friends, my son, Ryan, and I were preparing to leave my house for an early January FCS coastal blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) to Port O’Connor, Daryl Shipper asked to borrow my spare neoprene waders.  Daryl had brought vinal waders, but 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 hadn’t leaked the last time I used them about a year before this trip. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

As every sportsman and shooter knows, hunting, fishing, and shooting can be hazardous to your health.  Almost all of us have experienced scratches, cuts, scrapes, punctures, bruises, and burns while engaging 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 or met him while pursuing our passions.

Perhaps it’s because I hunt, fish, and shoot more often than most sportsmen, or maybe I’m just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I’ve experienced what could have resulted in severe injuries or death on at least four occasions. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the second weekend in March, eight friends, my middle daughter, Robin, and I went on an FCS hog hunt on the Pierce Ranch near El Campo.  On the first afternoon, the guide put Robin and me in a stand made for two.  The stand was about 100 yards from a feeder.  We didn’t see any hogs on that first hunt, but God instead treated us to a display that neither of us would soon forget. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jul
07

Dominance by Randy Rowley 7/7/17 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

It was a cold yet 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 deer feeder was about 300 yards east of it.  Instead, we set up south of the feeder, which put us 100 yards closer to it.

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

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

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 my boat off and engaged the trolling motor.

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

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Often when my family, friends, and I go on a duck hunt at the Texas coast, we hunt on an island between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, off Wilson’s Cut.  We have had many successful hunts there, easily bagging our limits of million or so redheads that spend the winter along the Texas coast.  However, as the daily limit of redheads is two ducks and well over 95% of the ducks that we see and shoot are redheads, it can also lead to some frustration.  Several times as the first flock or one of the first comes into our dekes, my shotgun has gone “bang, bang,” and two redheads have gone “splash, splash,” and my hunt was over.
Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Feb
13

Help! by Randy Rowley 2/10/17 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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

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 lake up to his neck.  He crammed the buttstock of his unloaded shotgun into the muddy bottom and got up quickly – so quickly 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→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Early Labor Day morning, Rex Yokum and I met at the Lake Decker boat ramp east of Austin.  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, my GPS was working fine, and it got us to our starting point across from the dam.

In no time, Rex had a strong hit on a plastic worm but missed the bass.  Then it became the fishing equivalent of silence.  There were no blow-ups, and I didn’t even get a bump on my dog walker (a topwater lure that zigzags with the proper wrist action) or hollow body (soft plastic) frog.  Rex’s topwater torpedo lure with a soft, pliable rotating tail on its harness also didn’t generate any interest. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Aug
07

Hide by Randy Rowley 8/7/16 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On a bright and sunny Saturday in early March, eight hunters, including me, and four spectators converged at Mike Schumann’s ranch near Dime Box for an FCS guided upland bird (quail, chukar, and pheasant) hunt.  My group, consisting of my wife, Chris, my son, Ryan, Michael Armstrong, and I, opted to go after pheasants first.  We drove to the field and waited for a few minutes while the guide positioned six pen-raised pheasants.  (We don’t hunt wild birds as they are 450+ miles away.)

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 guide’s pointer, a Brittany named Buddy, ran through the scrub brush and into a small open field with a few clumps of high grass the size of basketballs.  I thought to myself, “There can’t be a bird there!”  Then, suddenly, he stopped and pointed. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

In late November, four friends and I went on a blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) near Port Aransas.  We hunted in the marsh between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi off of Wilson’s Cut. The water was the highest that we had seen it – there was no dry ground on “our” island, which 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→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Oct
10

Move On by Randy Rowley 10/10/15 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

A hunter who changes positions (moves) while bird hunting is often more successful than those who stay put.  That isn’t just true for quail, pheasant, and chucker hunters, who are almost always on the move – it’s true for dove hunters as well (and sometimes duck hunters).

At a Saturday afternoon FCS dove hunt in September on the Evans Ranch near San Saba, I started hunting at the edge of a grove of oak trees.  Twenty-five yards in front of me was a grove of Texas gum elastic trees.  When Sid Evans fired the “start hunting” shot, several birds flushed out from the trees.  I collected three birds in the initial melee with my Browning Gold Hunter 12 gauge.

But, I quickly ran into problems – when birds flew over the oak or Texas gum elastic groves, they had already been shot at, often by several hunters, so they were flying at Mach 3.  By the time I got my gun to my shoulder, they were over one grove or the other, and I wouldn’t have time to shoot.  It was an exercise in futility.  I then moved 25 yards to my right and started shooting birds as they flew over the groves. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Oct
09

Wading In by Randy Rowley 10/9/15 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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 many 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 necessary 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 underwater 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.

Such an event occurred in mid-November on Owl Creek off of Lake Belton.  My family and I launched at Owl Creek Park and headed up the creek.  I had only been on those waters once before, and that was in daylight.  Now it was pitch black, and things looked very different.  We spotted most of the stumps with my spotlight but staying in the winding creek channel was another matter.  As the waters narrowed, my prop started to vibrate from hitting bottom.  Then we ran aground. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

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→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

At around 7:15 AM on a Friday in mid-January, seven friends and I hit the road to Port Aransas for a weekend FCS duck hunt.  The fun began right after we stopped for breakfast at the McDonald’s on RR 620 near Hwy 183 in Austin.  I led our caravan of two, driving my truck, which was pulling my boat.  After getting breakfast in the drive-through, I pulled over as far as I could get to the right by their parking lot entrance/exit and waited for the guys in the truck that was following us to get their food.

I had made this particular right turn many times, as McDonald’s was a frequent stop on my way to hunt ducks on local lakes, so I thought nothing of it.  But my previous right turns had been made around 3:00 AM, when there was no one on 620.  Now Austin Friday morning rush hour traffic confronted me.

I spotted an opening big enough to fit my truck and boat in and went for it.  I made the turn and then gunned it.  But I didn’t account for my boat being so close to the curb.  At the same time that I gunned my engine, my boat trailer’s right tire hit the curb, causing the trailer tire to jump up, and centripetal force caused 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 onto their left side. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jul
23

Dunked! by Randy Rowley 7/23/15 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

In late August, my wife, Chris, my youngest daughter, Deanna, Tim Price, and I were fishing with live shrimp in Aransas Bay from Tim’s 16’ long v-hull boat.  We were mainly catching hardheads, so we decided to try to find game fish closer to Mud Island.  Tim started to head into the two-foot-tall waves, but he couldn’t get his boat on 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 put the throttle (gear shifter) in neutral, but that didn’t help.  He then put the throttle back in forward at full power 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→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
May
11

Flee! by Randy Rowley 5/11/15 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Five friends and I headed to the Y.O. Ranch near Junction for a weekend FCS hog hunt on a Friday in early May.  After we arrived, we set up camp, checked the feeders and stands, baited a stand, cooked dinner, and ate.  Then we headed to our chosen stands.

None of us saw any pigs on the first night, but that changed the following morning.  About 5:45 AM, while it was still very dark, a probable 200+ pound boar came out from behind a large cedar tree around eight yards from the bow stand that Tim Price and I were sitting in.  The boar moved cautiously and slowly.  It stopped for a few seconds and looked around. It then slowly turned around and looked in the direction from which he had come. He gave us the impression that he was the lead pig for a herd and was about to tell the others that the coast was clear. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a Saturday morning in early December, Jason Cox and I went on an FCS duck hunt in Lake Belton’s White Flint Wildlife Management Area.  Unfortunately, we only saw five out-of-range flocks.  While Jason was doing some scouting, a lone duck flew within marginal range, but by the time I mounted my Browning Gold Hunter, it presented me with a 50+ yard going away shot.  I declined to take such an iffy shot.

Then Mr. Murphy found us on the way back to the Leona Park boat ramp.  After we loaded our gear in my boat, I started to back us out but ran into an underwater bush, so I made a U-turn. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a hot day in early June, two friends and I launched my bass boat on Lake Decker for a morning of bass fishing.  Soon after arriving at the hot water discharge, I caught a 15-inch-long bass on a moss back shiner colored Rapala Clackin’ Rap lipless crankbait.

As he only weighed about a pound and a half, I swung him into my boat with my rod instead of netting him.  I then lipped him (grabbed his lip with my thumb and index finger) with my right hand, which was not my norm, as I usually lip bass with my left hand and use my right hand to remove the lure.

I wasn’t able to unhook him with my left hand, so I reached down and grabbed a pair of pliers and then grasped the hook with the pliers. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the evening of August the 13th, I finally became the owner of a genuine bass boat – a 1989 18? 4? Champion 184 side-console fiberglass bass boat.  “Champ” had a 1996 150 HP Mercury 2-stroke fuel injected outboard motor, two live wells, two fish finders, and a built-in ice chest.  Champ ran on Lake Georgetown at 50 MPH that evening, with the seller, my wife, and I onboard during the test drive. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jul
11

Thirst by Randy Rowley 7/11/14 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

My son, Ryan, had a football game on the third Friday night in September, so my father-in-law, the late Ken Brigman, Ryan, and I missed the first day of the south zone dove hunt on the Kanapick day lease near Dilley, about 60 miles south of San Antonio.  We arrived on Saturday around noon and were surprised to see that many dove were flying about, especially near the tanks.  We were also amazed at how hot it was.  I didn’t have a thermometer but guessed that it was already above 100 degrees.

We set up camp and chilled in the shade until the afternoon hunt.  The ranch owner had a covered storage area that had no walls.  We sat under it to avoid the blistering heat.

We headed to a large sunflower field around mid-afternoon.  Although we had 25 hunters, there was plenty of room to spread out.  The birds starting flying and falling in short order.  There were no whitewings, but the sky was black with mourning dove.  Most hunters enjoyed seeing the most dove they had ever seen, and most got their limits in short order. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

FCS was born at the Appletree Ranch, close to Leakey in Southwest Texas and only about 15 miles from Garner State Park.  The area is absolutely gorgeous – mountainous with steep ravines, green forests, and the clear Frio (Portuguese for “cold”) River.  Many Texans believe that this area is the jewel of the state.  Campers often have to wait up to a year to get a Garner campsite reservation when school is not in session. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Have you ever been called upon to lecture on and demonstrate a skill that you possess?  When this happens, many people stammer because they weren’t prepared or are unsure of themselves.

On a Saturday in mid-June, I worked an FCS dispay table at a Legacy Outfitters Outdoor Expo at Brushy Creek Lake in Austin.  They had demonstrations on how to set up campsites, set up tents, build fires, etc.  All was going well, and then their leader came over to me and asked me to give a no-more-than- 30-minute-long lecture and demonstration on bass fishing with lures.  (I had brought a rod and a small tackle box in case I had an opportunity to fish.)  I said “sure” but then learned that I would be on in five minutes!  Not having adequate time to prepare, I hemmed and hawed through that presentation. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On an early mid-November Saturday, I sat in my pop-up blind and listened to a commotion behind me.  I couldn’t see what was coming, as my blind doesn’t have a rear window, but from the noise, whatever was coming my way was big, and it didn’t care that other creatures knew it was there.  The closer it came, the louder he got. It must be at least an 8-pointer.  Or maybe a 300 lb. boar.  I shouldered my shotgun.  Just a few more steps, and I’d see it.  And then I’d have it.  After a few more seconds, it finally popped into view! Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the last Saturday in August, I worked an FCS booth at the Outdoor Sportsmen’s Expo at Fellowship Church in Liberty Hill. As dove season was just around the corner, I would try to engage those who stopped by my booth by asking them how they thought the season would go, where they were going to hunt, etc.

A man who stopped by told me about a dove hunt at the Balcones Canyonlands Federal Wildlife Refuge near Liberty Hill, where he worked as the deputy director. The hunt was held each September the 1st through the 4th. He said that a four-day permit was only $15.00. He also said that the hunting was great on the first day, good on the second, fair on the third, and poor on the fourth. Burl Fulenwider and I decided on the spot that we would give them a try. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

I love to bird hunt, especially for ducks and dove.  I also love to fish, especially for bass.  But it’s exceedingly rare when I get to do both on the same morning.  So when I have an opportunity to go on a ‘blast and cast,’ I jump at it.  In mid-September, I had such a chance at Joel Kirby’s A-OK Ranch near Lometa.

It was cool when we arrived, but my eight friends and I knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long.  We gathered our guns, shell bags, buckets, and Mojo’s (motorized decoys) and headed over to the mesquites and stock tanks (ponds).  I also brought along a dozen teal dekes, as it was the opening day of teal season.  I put them on the largest stock tank, set out my Mojo, and then sat under a big solitary mesquite, which was the only cover that I could find. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Genesis Chapter 27 tells the story of Isaac mistakenly blessing his son Jacob, instead of Jacob’s older brother Esau.  Genesis 27:27b-29 says, “When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.  May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness — an abundance of grain and new wine.  May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.  Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.  May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.'” Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On an overcast morning on the first Saturday in December, two friends and I went on an FCS duck hunt on Lake Granger in a small cove in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area.

Ducks started to fly almost precisely at legal shooting time – 30 minutes before sunrise.  A duck came in low over the dekes from right to left, and I nailed it with a load of Winchester Xpert 2 shot from my improved cylinder choked 12 gauge Browning Gold Hunter.  A flock of teal came in as I went to get my drake gadwall.  Tim Price and Ken Miller shot at them, which encouraged me to get back into my boat blind quickly.  A high flier flew by, and Tim nailed it.  It hit the water about 35 yards behind us in the flooded 20’ tall trees.  Tim eventually found it – a hen gadwall. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a chilly Saturday in mid-March, five friends, two relatives, and I headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend hog hunt.  We set up camp, baited the stands that we decided to hunt, cooked dinner, ate, and then headed to the stands.

Tim Price hunted his stands with his two sons, Isaac and Tyler.  Jesse Price and Jim Gault hunted solo in different stands, and I hunted solo in my stand.  My brother-in-law, Roy Brigman, and his son, Leroy, hunted an elevated stand in a hayfield that overlooked a feeder on the edge of the woods.  As the stand was only made for one, Roy sat in it while Leroy sat in a chair underneath the stand.  But when it got dark, Roy joined Leroy underneath it. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Texas is a rare state in that we are blessed with, among other things, hunting year-round.  Dove season starts each September the 1st, followed briefly by a two-week-long teal season.  In late September or early October, hunters can begin to chase deer with sticks and strings.  Quail season starts up in late October.  Turkeys, duck, and geese join the hunting menu in early November.  In addition, hunters can finally hunt deer with guns.  Spring turkey hunting starts in March.  Hunters can hunt rabbits, squirrels (for most of the state), and non-game animals such as hogs and exotics year-round.

But hunting usually is impractical during the summer due to the heat.  Meat spoils quickly in the Texas sun, and it’s just not much fun roasting in a deer stand or stalking through the woods in the hotter months.  So after spring turkey season, hunters usually have a four-month wait before they can once again answer the call of the wild.  This four-month hiatus can only partially be assuaged with fishing trips, shooting clays shoots, and hunting and gathering trips to Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops, etc. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Do you have a favorite gun, one that you show off to your friends more often than any other?  Mine is a Remington Model 700 BDL chambered in .25-06 Remington.  It has the old-style hinged floor plate with a quick-release button and a button to release the bolt.  It has a 24-inch long barrel.

A Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50mm matte finish scope with a V-Brite (illuminated) reticle presently tops it and Leupold see-through rings, which enable using the rifle’s iron sights, mount the scope.  A safari sling is attached to the rifle, and a Kane gun chap protects the Monte Carlo high gloss walnut stock.  A bullet band that holds nine shells also covers the stock.

I had a gunsmith adjust the 7-lb.-pull factory trigger to 3 lbs. and free-float the barrel when the rifle was about 20 years old. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his “You might be a Redneck” skits, created a routine a few years ago where he pretended to scold his off-stage wife for not being appreciative when he brought her the world’s most expensive meat.  He said he incurred the following expenses:

$500 – lease
$800 – new rifle and scope
$150 – camo clothes
$50 – magazines
$200 – bullets
$6,000 – 4 wheeler
$500 – food for the lease
$8,200 – total Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a warm November morning, I crept slowly to my ground blind on my deer lease near Georgetown.  I had spent a couple of hours in my tall tree stand, but nothing was moving, so I decided that I would try my box blind a few hundred yards away.

As I approached the blind, I came upon a small herd of deer in a clearing.  We saw each other at the same time.  A doe snorted, and then high-tailed it away, and the rest of the herd quickly followed her.  Most of them ran until they were out of sight.  But a spike only ran about 50 yards and then stopped, turned 90 degrees, and looked back. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Feb
11

Stand Fast by Randy Rowley 2/7/12 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On a frigid and windy Friday in late March, four friends and I journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend hog hunting trip.  On Sunday morning, we conducted a group stalk.  We wore blaze orange caps as we walked alongside each other in a line about 30 yards apart.

As I walked down a trail in a heavily wooded area, I came across a large pile of hog scat.  Beyond that pile was another, and beyond it were many more. I counted at least 15 piles, many of them fresh, and radioed that I had found the hog outhouse to my friends.  My announcement resulted in movement in the heavy brush to the right of the trail.  I softly radioed, “Hogs!” and then headed to my left in the hope of finding an opening. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Galatians 6:2 (NASB) says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” When Paul made his appeal, he painted the picture of a person wilting under a heavy load.  His focus wasn’t “Expect others to bear your burdens” because that is self-focused.  Such a focus will usually result in frustration and disappointment, as most people will not meet our needs as we think they should.  Instead, Paul directed the Galatians to focus on others, especially those waning under a heavy load.   We should overlook a brother’s or sister’s shortcomings, as readily as we ignore our own, and look for ways to bear their burdens. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Bible verse of the day

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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