Archive for Devotionals

Jul
29

Rodeo at the Jetty by Randy Rowley 8/10/22 ©

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Rodeo at the Jetty by Randy Rowley 8/10/22 ©

On a Thursday morning in late July, six friends, my wife, Chris, and I headed to Port O’Connor (POC) for an FCS bay fishing trip.

On Thursday afternoon, Chris and I fished with live shrimp at the south jetty from our bay boat.  We caught a few undersized redfish and trout and non-game fish.  I also put a medium-sized crab on a 13/0 hook out in the channel, away from the rocks.

After 1 ½ hours we decided to go try another spot.  After reeling in my shrimp and securing the hook and rod and reel combo, I turned around so I could reel in my crab.  But something didn’t look right and I quickly discovered the problem – most of the 100 yards of line on my baitcasting reel had been spooled and all that remained was the initial loop knot holding the line onto the reel!  Fortunately, the line went at a 45-degree angle away from the jetties. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments Comments Off on Rodeo at the Jetty by Randy Rowley 8/10/22 ©

The day after Independence Day, my wife, Chris Rowley, and I headed to Lake Austin for a morning FCS bass fishing trip.  We launched at Mary Quinlan Park and headed north, towards Mansfield Dam.

It was very foggy, so I had to go slowly.  I stopped at one of my favorite spots by Harrison Hollow, in front of a huge house on a tall hill, about 2 ½ miles from the park.  The water level drops from around 7’ to around 4’ at that spot. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

In early January, seven friends and I arrived at Port O’Connor for a weekend FCS coastal self-guided/chartered blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip).

On Friday afternoon, Binh Chu, Burl Fulenwider, Daryl Shipper, and I hunted at the back of a small cove.  Although no ducks wanted to come into our decoy spread, we managed to kill four ducks via pass shooting (shooting them as they flew by).  I killed a pintail drake and a redhead drake, Burl and I teamed up to kill a redhead hen, and Binh and Daryl teamed up to kill a redhead drake.

When my group returned to the POC Fishing Center, it was pitch black.  Daryl tied his boat up to a pier post.  As the rest of us exited Daryl’s boat onto the wooden dock, I warned, “Everyone be careful – only two men have ever walked on water, and none of you are them.”  Binh left to get Daryl’s truck and trailer.  When I saw Binh driving towards the ramp, I walked over to Daryl’s boat to untie it from the pier post and took a step where I thought there was a deck – but it was nothing but air (instead of being squared the end of the deck was at a 45-degree angle).  I quickly discovered I also couldn’t walk on water and was completely submerged. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

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 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, activated 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.  After about 30 minutes, we 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 around 27 feet.  I positioned my boat equally between the shore fishermen, activated my Riptide’s anchor lock, and we resumed fishing. 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 went hunting for the source of the shotgun blasts and found it – it was at least 20 hunters in a field off of Exchange Blvd., 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.

It was a 3,300-acre ranch, but we were interested in its 35-acre rectangular-shaped hog pen the owner kept around 100 hogs in.  Each side had a couple of gates hogs could push open with their snouts, but they would spring shut after entering the pen.  Therefore, they 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 the floating Laguna Madre cabin #2 that we had booked.  After settling up with him and getting the cabin’s GPS coordinates, we headed to our home away from home.

After we arrived, we stowed our non-fishing gear.  We then headed towards The Boat Hole.  We mostly fished with live shrimp but tried artificial lures as well.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his Minn Kota iPilot a couple of hundred yards from shore.  I decided to try to get as close to a short rock wall as possible.  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 area.  Kevin Wall led the way bagging nine, I bagged seven, Mark Dillow bagged two, and Ken Miller bagged one. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the third Saturday 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.

Around 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 significantly bigger than the other.  One or both continued to snort at us intermittently, around 25 yards away in a thick grove of oaks.  I had a clear shot at the bigger doe at legal shooting time.

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, probably making 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, light jacket, and backpack on, grabbed my Winchester Super X4 (SX4) 12 gauge shotgun, and walked towards the west side ladder stand on a small property near Round Rock.  I was hunting with a shotgun as the property was too small to hunt with a rifle safely.  As I neared the creek, a doe ran out, followed shortly by an eight-point buck.

He was in range, but I had two problems.  For starters, my binoculars were in my backpack.  I couldn’t tell with my naked eye if he was a legal buck for Williamson County, which requires bucks with branched antlers to have a 13-inch minimum inside spread.  Secondly, my shotgun wasn’t loaded yet, as I would soon have to climb the stand’s ladder. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Oct
09

Groaning by Randy Rowley 10/09/18 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Over many years of hunting, I’ve heard a lot of sounds – barely audible sounds, loud sounds, frightening sounds, crashes, growls, howls, shrieks, screams, and cries of agony.  But on a hot Saturday afternoon deer hunt in early October, I heard a sound I’d never heard before.

I was driving towards the parking area on a property I was hunting outside of Round Rock when suddenly, I was greeted by a doe running in front of my truck and then towards the creek, with a young 8-point buck following 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.

Later 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 a stick standing straight up about 50 yards ahead.  I was a little perplexed, as I didn’t remember it being there earlier. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a warm Saturday in early June, my son, Ryan, his future wife, Claire, and I arrived at Lake Decker, east of Austin, for a bass fishing trip.

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

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

My second motorboat was a 1989 18’ 4” Champion 184 fiberglass bass boat (old style fish and ski) 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.  He was just a transport vessel for duck hunting 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 around 75 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 Get Bit Guide Service owner and has a great reputation.

We were booked to fish with him in early March but postponed our trip because a high chance of thunderstorms was forecast.  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 we probably wouldn’t catch bass anywhere near that large, but we hoped 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 self-chartered bass fishing trip.  When we arrived, we found 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’d wanted to, as I’d sold my gas motor for parts shortly before this trip after a piston went bad.  That left my Minn Kota 74 lb. 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 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 Jay had found the right spot, as we soon spotted a large school of shad right by the bank – they were probably pushed there by hybrid bass.

Jay anchored his boat near the shad, baited a hook with a live shad he’d 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 rod’s first guide six times.  I cranked the reel 1/4 turn and set the rod in the bow (front) port (left) 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 in February, two friends and I arrived at Lake Decker, just east of Austin, for a morning of bass fishing from my boat.  The weather forecast called for 10 – 20 MPH south winds, but it was calm when we got there, so after launching, I went along the northwest bank using my Minn Kota 74 lb. thrust foot-controlled trolling motor.  A piston in the gasoline motor on my boat had stopped working the previous July, and I sold it for parts rather than rebuild a 21-year old engine, leaving my 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 we’d come.  The south wind had picked up, and we had to run 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.
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 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 experienced sportsman knows, hunting, fishing, and sports 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 requiring ER visits while doing what we love.  And even fewer of us have almost met God or met God while pursuing our passions.

Perhaps it’s because I hunt, fish, and shoot more often than most sportsmen, or maybe it’s my friendship with Mr. Murphy, but I’ve experienced what could have resulted in severe injuries or death on at least five 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 semi-guided hog hunt on the Pierce Ranch near El Campo.  The guide put Robin and me in a stand made for two on the first afternoon.  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 neither of us will forget. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
Jul
07

Dominance by Randy Rowley 7/7/17 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

It was a cold and sunny December afternoon 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’d already killed two antlerless deer (a doe and a button buck I mistook for a doe), so I passed on them, hoping I’d get a shot at a decent spike. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a crisp and clear Saturday in early May, 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.

Around my 15th cast, I hooked a bass with my Whopper Plopper (a hard topwater propeller bait) and quickly brought him to my boat.  He didn’t put up much of a fight, as he was only around 12 inches long.  Then, after around 15 casts with no hits, I switched to a squarebill 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 small jig with a blade on it and usually a grub), a creature bait, and a worm.  All generated the same amount on non-interest. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

When my family, friends, and I duck hunt near Corpus Christi, we often hunt off Wilson’s Cut on an island between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.  We’ve had many successful hunts there, easily bagging our limits of the one million or so redheads that winter along the Texas coast.

However, as the daily limit of redheads is two, and well over 95% of the ducks we see and shoot are redheads, it can also lead to some frustration.  Several times as the first flock, or one of the first, would come into our decoys (dekes), my shotgun would go “bang, bang,” and two redheads would go “splash, splash,” and my hunt would be 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 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. 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 lake’s north arm.  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.

Rex had a strong hit in no time 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 quail and pheasants as they’re up to 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 an FCS blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) near Corpus Christi.  On Friday afternoon, we hunted in the marsh between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas off Wilson’s Cut.  The water was the highest we’d seen – there was no dry ground on the island we usually hunted, which borders Wilson’s Cut.

We got our limits of redheads (ducks) 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 an FCS dove hunt on a Saturday in September on the Evans Ranch near San Saba, Ryan, my son, and 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 from the trees.  I collected three birds during the initial melee with my Browning Gold Hunter in 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.  So I 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 hunters wear to keep dry and warm.  (The only time they aren’t needed in Texas is during the September early teal season.)  If a hunter steps into a large hole, he can suddenly go underwater, and his waders will quickly fill 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, but 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 the 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 three-day-long FCS self-guided 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 in my truck, towing my boat, and Burl Fulenwider followed in his truck, towing my pop-up camper.  After getting breakfast in the drive-through, I pulled over as far as I could to the right at their parking lot entrance/exit and waited for Burl and his riders 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 I had made my previous right turns around 3:00 AM when no one was on 620 – now Austin 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.  However, I didn’t account for my boat trailer being so close to the curb.  As 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)

Early on a Saturday afternoon in late August, my wife, Chris, my youngest daughter, Deanna, Tim Price, and me launched Tim’s V-hull aluminum boat at the public boat ramp at the Port Aransas Municipal Boat Harbor.  We proceeded to Aransas Bay and started to fish with live shrimp.  We mainly were catching hardheads, so we decided to try fishing by Mud Island.  Tim turned his boat into the two-foot-tall waves but couldn’t get on plane.  He then reached deeper water and 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 his boat’s gear shifter in neutral, but that didn’t help.  He then put the gear shifter in full forward power and tried to steer into the waves, but that made his boat’s bow dive under the water like a submarine!  His boat rolled to the right in the blink of an eye, and we capsized!

Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)
May
11

Flee! by Randy Rowley 5/11/15 ©

Posted by: | Comments (0)

On a Friday in early May, Five friends and I headed to Charles Batts’s Ranch, which is part of the Y.O. Ranch, near Junction for a weekend FCS self-guided hog hunt.  After we arrived, we set up camp, checked the feeders and stands, baited a stand, cooked dinner, ate, and 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 right next to the bow stand 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 he was the lead pig for a herd and was about to tell the others the coast was clear.

Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On a cold Saturday morning in early December, Jason Cox and I went on an FCS self-guided duck hunt on Lake Belton.  We saw a few flocks of teal that were far away.  After around two hours, Jason went scouting.  Later a lone duck flew by, but by the time I mounted my shotgun, I was presented with a 50+ yard going away shot.  I declined to take the shot, as I likely would’ve wounded it and caused suffering.

On the way back to the boat ramp, Mr. Murphy found us.  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 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 Rapala Clackin’ Rap lipless crankbait (that runs at variable depth, but usually shallow) in moss back shiner color.

I swung him into my boat with my rod and 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 for lure removal.  I couldn’t 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 (old style fish and ski), with a 1996 Mercury 150 HP 2-stroke fuel injected outboard motor, two livewells, 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 FCS south zone dove hunt on the Kanapick day lease near Dilley, about 60 miles south of the San Antonio city limits.

We arrived on Saturday around noon and were surprised to see several dove flying around, especially near the stock tanks (ponds).  We were also amazed at how hot it was – it felt like 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 with a concrete slab but no walls.  We sat under it to stay out of the blistering sun.

We headed to a large sunflower field around mid-afternoon.  Although there were 25 of us, there was plenty of room to spread out.  The birds started flying and falling in short order.  There were no white-wings, but the sky was black with mourning dove.  Most of us enjoyed seeing the most dove we’d seen on a hunt and got 15-dove limits within a couple of hours. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

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

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Have you ever been called on at a work meeting, training conference, during a class, etc., to lecture on things or demonstrate skills others assumed you knew?  People have stood there stammering many times in such cases because they weren’t prepared or sure of themselves.

On a Saturday in June, I manned an FCS table at a Legacy Outfitters Outdoor Expo at Brushy Creek Lake Park in Austin.  They had demonstrations on setting up campsites, building fires, cooking meals, etc.

All was going well.  Then their leader came over and asked me to give a no more than 30-minute-long lecture and demonstration on bass fishing with lures.  (I’d brought one of my rod and reel combo’s and a small tackle box in case I had an opportunity to fish.)  I said “sure” but then learned I would be on in five minutes!  I hemmed and hawed through my presentation because I didn’t have adequate preparation time. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On an early mid-November Saturday, I sat in the woods in my pop-up blind on a small property near Round Rock, listening to a commotion behind me.  I couldn’t see what was causing the uproar, as my blind didn’t have a rear window, but it appeared not to care if other creatures knew it was there.  Its lack of stealth meant it either had to be a hog or a buck looking for a doe.

As seconds ticked by it appeared to be getting closer, and the closer it came, the louder it got.  I shouldered my shotgun, which was stuffed with 00 buckshot.  Just a few more steps and I’d see and be able to take it if I wanted it. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the last Saturday in August, I worked an FCS booth at a sportsmen’s expo held at a church in Liberty Hill.  As dove season was fast-approaching, I tried to engage those who stopped by asking questions about their dove hunting plans.

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 a four-day permit was only $15.00, and 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 we’d give it a try.

Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

I love to hunt game birds, especially ducks and dove.  I also love to fish, especially for largemouth bass.  But it’s exceedingly rare when I get to do all three 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 decoys, 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 tree, which was the only cover I could find. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

As most boys grow up, they long for the approval and blessing of their fathers.  The approval of my father mainly came second-hand.  He didn’t praise me to my face often; instead, he would sing my praises to others.

When I killed my first deer – an average-sized doe, at age 16 on a ranch near Lampasas with a borrowed bolt-action .243, there was nothing special about her.  But the way my dad bragged about what I’d done to anyone who would listen, you would’ve thought I’d shot a 12-point buck!  My dad wasn’t a hunter, but he took me hunting from when I first expressed interest at age 15 until around age 17.  Although we were rarely successful and didn’t know much about deer or dove hunting, I fondly remember those hunts.
Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

On the first Saturday in December, two friends and I went on an FCS self-guided duck hunt on Lake Granger in a small cove in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area.  It was overcast, so we were somewhat optimistic.

Ducks started flying almost precisely at legal shooting time – 30 minutes before sunrise.  A duck came in low over my dekes from right to left, and I nailed it with a load of Winchester Xpert 2 shot from my 12 gauge Browning Gold Hunter.  A flock of teal came in as I went to get my duck.  Tim Price and Ken Miller shot at them, which encouraged me to get back into my boat blind quickly, with my drake gadwall.  A high-flyer flew by, and Tim nailed it.  It hit the water about 35 yards behind us in the flooded 20-foot trees.  (The trees were flooded because the lake was high.)  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 self-guided hog hunt.  We set up camp, baited the stands we planned to hunt, cooked, ate dinner, and 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 overlooking a feeder at the edge of the woods.  As the stand was only made for one, Roy sat in it while Leroy sat in a chair underneath it.  But when it got dark, Roy joined Leroy underneath it. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Texas is a rare state because we’re blessed with, among other things, hunting year-round.  Dove season starts the first day of each September, 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 by hunting and gathering trips to Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, and similar establishments, fishing trips, shooting clays shoots, etc.

As each opening day gets closer, we become more and more excited.  We begin to relive successful trips in our minds, daydream about upcoming trips, and track game whenever we see it with imaginary shotguns or rifles.  We promise ourselves nothing will keep us from hunting on Opening Day. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Do you have a favorite gun you show to your friends more often than others?  Mine is a Remington Model 700 BDL chambered in .25-06 my dad gave me on my 16th birthday.  It has the old-style floor plate with a quick-release button, a bolt-release button, a 24-inch-long barrel, and a Monte Carlo cheek comb high gloss walnut stock.

A Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50mm matte finish scope with a V-Brite (illuminated) reticle with Butler Creek flip-up scope mounts presently is mounted on Leupold see-through rings (which enables me to shoot with the rifle’s iron sights).  Other after-market additions include a safari sling, a Kane gun chap (which protects the stock), and a nine-shell bullet band surrounds the stock.  I also added a Harris bi-pod I use when hunting from pop-up blinds.  It’s designed to use when sitting and detaches from the rifle easily.

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”

(I realize the price for the lease is considerably off now.) Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
Comments (0)

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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

NOAA Weather

Austin, Texas

Last Updated on Sep 29 2022, 9:53 am CDT

Current Conditions: Fair

NOAA Icon

Temp: 73°F

Wind: North at 0mph

Humidity: 46%

Dewpoint: 51.1°F

Your 5-Day Forecast at a Glance

Bible Verse of the Day

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Calendar

 September 2022
SMTWTFS
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301