Archive for Devotionals

Oct
09

Groaning by Randy Rowley 10/09/18 ©

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Over many years of deer and hog hunting I’ve heard a lot of sounds – soft, barely audible sounds, loud frightening sounds, crashes, growls, howls, shrieks, and cries of agony.  But I never heard a buck grunt in person until a hot Saturday afternoon deer hunt in early October.

As I driving towards a property that I hunt near the west side of Round Rock, I was greeted by a doe that ran in front of my truck and then down towards the creek.  She was soon followed by a young 8-point buck in hot pursuit. Read More→

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In late March, David Chalmers, Warren Hoke and I headed to the El Portillo Ranch near Charlotte for a weekend of hog hunting.  When we arrived we were met by the outfitter, who took our money and then showed us around the ranch.

Later that afternoon I took David and Warren to their chosen stands and then headed for mine.  As I was driving down the dirt road I saw 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. Read More→

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It was a warm Saturday morning on Lake Decker, but that was the norm for early June.  My son (Ryan), his future wife (Claire), and I headed over to the hot water discharge.  I’d caught bass there on a couple trips in the late spring and thought that it would be a good place to start.

I went halfway up the discharge, shut down the main motor, and started the trolling motor.  After the wake from Bob (my boat at the time) had dissipated we saw several tiny splashes on the surface of the water.  It looked like rain, but we knew it wasn’t as we weren’t getting wet.  It took a few seconds to figure it out due to the darkness – the little splashes were caused by small minnows hitting bugs on the surface.

With great anticipation, I cast a Heddon Zara Spook Jr. to the far bank.  I walked it back to me, bracing for the strike that would surely happen, but it never came.  Ryan and Claire also threw topwater plugs with the same results.  We chunked topwaters for a good 15 minutes and had nothing to show for it.  We all eventually gave up on topwaters.  Ryan and I started to throw lipless crankbaits, while Claire covered her head with a seat cushion to escape the rain that has started to come down. Read More→

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My second motor boat was a 1989 18’ 4” Champion 184 bass boat with a 150 HP Mercury motor that I named Champ.

Champ proved to be a good bass boat.  I could cruise at 50 MPH with two guys in the boat and 48 MPH with three.  But Champ has his limitations.  For duck hunting he was just a transport vessel, due to his mostly white hull.  As he wasn’t camo, I couldn’t hunt out of him like I could from Bob, my previous camo boat.  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→

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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. Read More→

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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.

Motor boats are allowed on the lake, but are only allowed to use their trolling motors.  As I had sold my gas motor for parts a few weeks before this trip after a piston went bad, a trolling motor was all that I had.  I had bought a new 12-volt deep cycle battery shortly before this trip and had hooked it up to a sister battery to power the trolling motor.  I felt confident that my boat was up to the task of handling the projected winds. 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 Champ, my 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 stopped working 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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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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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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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), and a few other species also call it home.  Redheads are easy to decoy and are not picky about what your spread looks like.  It is not uncommon for redheads to land among our decoys as we set them out in the afternoon or pick them up after a morning hunt. 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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On a Monday morning in early September, Rex Yokum and I met at the 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 for 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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In late November, 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 had seen it – 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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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.

In mid-November, my family and I launched at Owl Creek Park on Lake Belton 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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On a Friday morning in mid-January, 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
23

Dunked! by Randy Rowley 7/23/15 ©

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In late August, during a self-chartered bay fishing trip out at 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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May
11

Flee! by Randy Rowley 5/11/15 ©

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On a Friday in early May, four friends, my son and I headed to the Y.O. Ranch near Junction for a three-day long hog hunt.

None of us saw any on the first night, but the next morning that changed.  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 blind where Tim Price and I were sitting. The hog moved cautiously and slowly. It stopped for a few seconds and looked around. It then slowly turned around and looked in the direction that he had come from. 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→

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On a Saturday in early December, Jason Cox and I decided to give Lake Belton a try for ducks. Unfortunately we only saw five flocks that morning, none of which flew within range. While Jason was doing some scouting, a lone duck flew within marginal range but by the time I got my gun to my shoulder I was presented with a 50+ yard shot to its rear and decided not to take such an iffy shot.

Then Mr. Murphy found us on the way back. After we loaded Champ, my bass boat, I started to back us out but we were barely moving. A quick look back revealed that we were digging up a lot of mud. After what seemed like minutes, we finally got in deep enough water for me to turn us around and start to move forward. Read More→

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On a hot day in early June, Burl Fulenwider, Dustin Rhodes, and I launched my boat on Lake Decker for a morning of bass fishing. Soon after arriving at the hot water discharge, I caught a 15” long bass on a moss back shiner colored Rapala Clackin’ Rap, which is a lipless crankbait.

As he only weighed about a pound and a half, I didn’t bother with my net and instead swung him out of the water and into my boat with my rod. For a reason that I’ll never know I then lipped him (grabbed his lip with my thumb and index finger), with my right hand, which was not my norm, as I normally lip bass with my left hand and use my right hand to remove the lure.

I was not 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→

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The week of August the 10th saw the best of times and the worst of times. The best was on the night of August the 13th I finally became the owner of a genuine bass boat. Champ is a 1989 18′ 4″ Champion 184 side console fiberglass bass boat with a 1996 150 hp Mercury fuel injected outboard motor, two live wells, two fish finders, and a built-in ice chest. He cruised Lake Georgetown that night at 50 MPH with three of us on board. Read More→

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Jul
11

Thirst by Randy Rowley 7/11/14 ©

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My son, Ryan, had a football game on Friday night, so my father-in-law (Ken Brigman), Ryan, and I missed the first day of the Fall Dove Retreat on the Ewald day lease near Dilley, about 60 miles south of San Antonio. We arrived on Saturday around noon and were amazed to see that there were still a lot of dove flying about, especially near the tanks. We were also amazed at how hot it was. I didn’t have a thermometer with me, 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 that they had ever seen and most got their limits in short order. Read More→

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The exotic Mouflon and Corsican sheep hunts that gave birth to the Burp & Poot (B&P) Club (the predecessor to The Fellowship of Christian Sportsmen) were held at the Appletree Ranch, which is close to Leakey in Southwest Texas and only about 15 miles from the extremely popular Garner State Park, which has the clear and cold Frio River flowing through it.  The country there is absolutely gorgeous – mountainous with steep ravines and lush green forests.  Many Texans believe that this area is the jewel of the state.  This belief is supported by the fact that campers often have to wait up to a year to get a campsite reservation at Garner. Read More→

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Have you ever been called on at work, in class, or with a group of strangers to lecture on and/or demonstrate a skill that others assume you know?  For many people when this happens they stand there stammering because they weren’t prepared or are unsure of themselves.

Several years ago I was leading an FCS promotion at a Legacy Outfitters Outdoor Expo at Brushy Creek Lake.  They had demonstrations on how to set up tents, set up camp, build fires, etc.  All was going well and then their leader came over to me and asked me to give a lecture on bass fishing with lures (no more than 30 minutes) plus a demonstration (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→

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Early one morning during deer season I sat in my pop-up blind and listened to a commotion behind me.  I couldn’t see what was coming, as my Dog-house blind doesn’t have a rear window but from the sounds it was making whatever was coming my way was big and it didn’t care that other creatures knew it was there.  The closer he came the louder he got.  It must be at least an 8-pointer, maybe a 10.  Or maybe a 300 lb. boar.  I readied my gun.  Just a few more steps and I’d see him and then I’d have him.  Then after a few more seconds he finally popped into view! Read More→

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On a Saturday in late August I manned an FCS booth at the Outdoor Sportsman’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 be, 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→

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I’ve always loved to bird hunt, especially for ducks and dove.  I also love to fish, especially for bass.  But it’s very rare when I get to do both on the same morning.  So when I get the chance to do a ‘blast and cast’ I jump at it.  Early one September, I had such a chance on Joel Kirby’s A-OK Ranch near Lometa. Read More→

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Genesis Chapter 27 tells the story of Isaac mistakenly blessing his son Jacob, instead of Jacob’s older brother Esau.  Moses wrote, “So he [Jacob] went to him [Isaac] and kissed him.  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. Read More→

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Something unexpected happened during a self-guided duck hunt on Lake Granger on an overcast day in early December.  Tim Price, Ken Miller, and I hunted in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area in a small arm off the main lake.

Ducks started to fly almost exactly 30 minutes before sunup.  A duck came in low over the dekes from right to left and I nailed it.  As I went to get it a flock of teal came in.  Tim and Ken shot at them, which encouraged me to get back into my boat with my drake gadwall.  A high passer flew by and Tim nailed it.  It landed about 35 yards behind the boat in the flooded trees, which were up to 20’ tall.  Tim eventually found it – a hen gadwall.

Then things slowed down.  There were a lot of ducks in the air and several more flew near us, but they were very high and not interested in the decoys, which looked like statues from the lack of wind.  Tim noticed that several ducks had flown down the tree line.  He decided to walk further down the slough to try to ambush any ducks that were bypassing the dekes.  I went further up the slough to try to ambush ducks heading out into the main lake.  Ken stayed in the boat.

It didn’t take Tim long to start shooting.  I heard a shot and then a couple shots a little later.  I hadn’t pulled my trigger since I left my boat so I decided to go join Tim.  When I got within shouting distance, Tim announced that he had four ducks down that he was trying to find in the heavy layer of trees and bushes. Read More→

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On a cool Saturday in mid-March, eight men headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a weekend hog hunt. We set up camp and then baited the stands that we had decided to hunt. After dinner we headed to the stands. Tim Price hunted his stand 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 a blind in a hay field that overlooked a feeder on the edge of the woods. Read More→

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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 start 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, deer can be hunted with guns. Spring turkey hunting starts in March. Hogs, rabbits, and exotics can be hunted year round.

But hunting usually is impractical after May due to the heat. Meat spoils quickly in the Texas sun and it’s just not much fun roasting in a blind or stalking through the woods in the hotter months. Read More→

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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 in .25-06. It has the old style hinged floor plate (popular before box magazines came into vogue) with a quick release button. It also has a button to release the bolt. It is presently topped with a Vortex Crossfire II 3X-9X x 50mm matte finish scope with a V-Brite (illuminated) reticle. It is mounted with Leupold see-through rings, which allows the rifle’s iron sights to be used. The rifle is covered with a Kane gun chap, which completely protects the Monte Carlo high gloss walnut stock. The stock is further covered with a bullet band that holds nine shells. Attached to the rifle is a Safari Sling. Read More→

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Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his “You might be a Redneck” skits, created a skit a few years ago where he pretended to berate his off stage wife for not being appreciative when he brought her the world’s most expensive meat. He stated that 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→

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On a warm November morning I headed slowly to my ground stand on my lease near Georgetown.  I had spent a couple 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 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→

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Feb
11

Stand Fast by Randy Rowley 2/7/12 ©

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On a very cold and windy Friday in late March five men journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a three-day weekend of hunting hogs. On Sunday morning we conducted our usual 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 poop. Beyond that pile was another and beyond it was many more. I counted at least 15 piles, many of them fresh, and radioed that fact to the other hunters. I then took a couple of steps forward and heard movement in the heavy brush to my right. I radioed that there was probably a hog to my right and circled the brush, going to my left. Read More→

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In Galatians Chapter 6, Paul exhorted the Christians at Galatia to be personally responsible and to help others.  He wrote, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:1-2). Read More→

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Early one Saturday morning in February Jim McGee and I headed to an upland bird preserve near the tiny town of Thrall. We were dressed and outfitted poorly for quail and pheasants. Both of us were in full camo and instead of bringing shotguns we had brought along scoped semi-automatic deer rifles. No, we had not lost our minds – you see our quarry wasn’t upland game birds – it was hogs.

The preserve had a bit of a hog problem. The pigs liked to come to the tanks for water and to wallow in the mud. They also liked to root around in the fields. As is typical with pigs, the rooting wrecked havoc to the preserve’s landscape. The landowner made it known that we could shoot as many pigs as we saw. Read More→

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Aug
18

Devotional Distribution List

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FCS member Jim McGee sends out frequent devotionals.  He will gladly add you to his e-mail distribution list, if you ask him at jimfmcgee@yahoo.com.

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Over the years I learned the importance of scouting properties that I was considering to hunt. My early scouting was done by word of mouth and via “boots on the ground.” But now most of my scouting is done via the internet, especially search engines. It wasn’t too many years ago that little information could be found on the net about a land owner, outfitter, or guide. Now reviews abound aplenty. Yet no matter how many reports I read nothing takes the place of talking to hunters who have already hunted the property and seeing it with my own eyes. Read More→

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I had more preparations than normal for the March FCS self-guided hog hunt at the Walter’s Ranch near Jarrell.  I got my hunting and camping stuff ready and went to buy groceries for all nine hunters, as I normally do, but I also took a rifle scope that I had bought to McBride’s and had it bore sighted and then went to Eagle Peak and sighted it in.  I also made a trip to Academy to buy three six-foot long tables that we gave to our host as a gift for allowing us to hunt on his land. Read More→

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On a spring hog hunt near Mercury, which is located in the heart of Texas, six of us spent Saturday afternoon fishing on a large tank (pond) on the ranch where we were hunting.  I tied a dark perch colored Rapala Jointed Shad Rap, which is a round bill crankbait that runs at a medium depth, to my line and made a few casts.

Suddenly, I felt a tug on my line as I was reeling in my lure and I tugged back.  The bass fought hard for a couple of minutes but I finally got it to shore.  It was the largest black bass that I’d ever caught.  We didn’t have a scale but out collective guess was that it was about a seven pounder. Read More→

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I’ve never owned a bird dog.  I’ve been offered free bird dogs several times, but I have always turned the offers down.  I have nothing against bird dogs but I’ve never bitten the bullet and tried to become the master of one.  The reasons that I declined are simple – my back yard is too small to give a big dog room to roam and I just simply don’t have the time to give a bird dog the training that it needs. Read More→

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Around the first of each February, the eyes of men all across the country start to glaze over and many get a panicked “deer in the headlights” look.  What is it that causes such widespread panic?  The end of deer and duck seasons?  After Christmas sales?  Cabin fever?  Income taxes?  No, it’s the dreaded “what am I going to get her for Valentine’s Day this year syndrome!” Read More→

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Nothing was moving on the property where I was hunting on the last Saturday morning in November.  Even the squirrels hadn’t awoken.  Suddenly my reverie was broken by Ron Denison, telling me on my two-way radio that a buck was heading my way. Read More→

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Bible verse of the day

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

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