Archive for Devotionals

On a cool and overcast Saturday in mid-January, three friends and I headed to the marsh between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas for a weekend of duck hunting.  We made it to our launch point at Wilson’s Cut 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 two yaks – one for himself and one for Kevin Wall, Greg brought one, and I used one that Mark rented one for me at a Corpus Christi yak shop on our way down. Read More→

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Jul
04

Snarled by Randy Rowley 7/4/19 ©

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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 south jetty.  We found a spot devoid of jetty fishermen, put on my Minn Kota Terrova Riptide’s i-Pilot anchor lock, and started to offer up shrimp, cut bait, and artificial lures.

We caught a few croakers and perch, but no game fish.  We grew tired of losing our shrimp and headed over to the north side of the 361 bridge where there is a large hole (the water drops from around 7 to 34 feet).  I positioned the boat equal distance between the shore fishermen, put on my i-Pilot’s anchor lock, and started to fish. Read More→

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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 I waited on a wrecker to come get my SUV.  As I waited, I listened to shotguns blasting in the distance.  After the wrecker left I drove over and found the source of the noise.  On Exchange Blvd. I saw seven parked vehicles and at least 20 hunters in a field who were shooting at dove.

When I got home I called the police to report people hunting in the city limits.  However, the officer informed me that Exchange Blvd. was the city limit.  The field (which was on the west side of the street) was outside of the city limits.  I verified this information with a Travis County sheriff’s deputy, who informed me that the Hardin Corporation owned the field and they allowed people to hunt there without written permission. Read More→

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On a warm weekend in late March, four friends and I headed to the Hill Country Hog Ranch near Sabinal for a weekend of hunting hogs with sticks and strings, as guns were prohibited.

The ranch had 3300 acres, but its 35 acre rectangular shaped hog pen is what interested us.  The owner kept around 100 hogs in the pen.  Each side had a couple gates that hogs could push open with their snouts, but they would spring shut when they were no long pushing on them; therefore, hogs could get in but couldn’t get out. Read More→

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May
29

Found by Randy Rowley 5/29/19 ©

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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.  Justin owns the Laguna Madre cabin #2 that we were going to stay on.  After settling up with him and getting the GPS coordinates for the cabin 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 some artificial lures as well.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his iPilot a couple hundred yards from shore.  I elected 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→

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May
17

Blinded by Randy Rowley 5/17/19 ©

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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 at bass).

The dove were sporadic in the mesquite trees, 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→

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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.

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→

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On the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving, I put my safety harness, a light jacket, and my 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 decent-sized 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 that I was hunting (Williamson), which requires a minimum 13” inside spread.  Secondly, my shotgun was unloaded.  Thirdly, he was outside of buckshot range. Read More→

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Oct
09

Groaning by Randy Rowley 10/09/18 ©

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Over many years of hunting I’ve heard a lot of sounds – 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 had never heard before.

As I driving towards the west side stand on a property that I hunt outside 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, two friends 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 Chalmers and Warren Hoke to their chosen stands and then headed to 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 during a couple of late spring trips 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 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.  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. Read More→

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My second motor boat was a 1989 18’ 4” Champion 184 fiberglass bass boat with a 150 HP Mercury motor.  It proved to be a good bass boat.  It could cruise at 50 MPH with two guys in the boat and 48 MPH with three.  But it had limitations.  For duck hunting it was just a transport vessel, due to its mostly white hull.  As it wasn’t camo, I couldn’t hunt out of it like I could from my previous camo aluminum v-hull boat.  With my bass boat, we’d go to where we were going to hunt, unload our gear, move my boat 75 or so yards away, and cover it 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 for a half day, but postponed out trip due to a high chance of thunderstorms.  On March the 7th one of Dannie’s clients caught a 15.18 lb. bass, setting a new lake record.  Roy and I knew that we probably wouldn’t catch bass anywhere near that large, as the spawn was long past, but we were hoping to get into some decent sized bass. Read More→

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On a chilly Saturday in April, Roland Olivarez and I arrived at Lake Pflugerville for a morning of bass fishing.  We found that we had the lake to ourselves.  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 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 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.  I bought a new 12-volt deep cycle battery shortly before this trip to power the trolling motor, along with an 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→

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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 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 previously caught, and handed me the rod.  I set it 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, 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 and I descended on Lake Decker (aka Walter E. Long), just east of Austin, for a morning of bass fishing from my boat. We launched at the only boat ramp on the lake, in Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. 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 Northeast 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 74 lb. thrust 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 an early January 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 hadn’t leaked the last time that I had used them 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 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 while pursuing our passions.

Perhaps it’s because I hunt, fish, and shoot more often than most people, 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→

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On the second weekend in March, my middle daughter, Robin, and I went on a hog hunt with eight friends 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→

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Jul
07

Dominance by Randy Rowley 7/7/17 ©

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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→

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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 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, medium, fast, 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 on an island between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, off Wilson’s Cut.  We have had many successful hunts off Wilson’s Cut, easily bagging our limits of redheads,who winter along the Texas coast.  However, as the daily limit of redheads is two and well over 95% of the ducks that we see and shoot are redheads, it can lead to some frustration as well.  Several times as the first flock comes in to our dekes, my shotgun has gone “bang, bang” and two redheads have gone “splash, splash” and I was done for the day. 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 truck’s thermometer said 31 degrees, which made this duck hunt the first sub-freezing hunt 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 water 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→

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On 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, the GPS on my boat was working just fine, and we were soon fishing the point across from the dam. Read More→

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Aug
07

Hide by Randy Rowley 8/7/16 ©

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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 a guided pen-raised upland bird (quail, chukar, and pheasant) hunt.  (We don’t hunt wild birds as they are 450+ miles away.)  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 pheasants.

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 dog, a Brittany Spaniel, named Buddy, ran through the scrub brush and into an open area 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 came to point. Read More→

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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→

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Oct
10

Move On by Randy Rowley 10/10/15 ©

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

At a September dove hunt 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.

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 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 trees. 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 spotlight 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 my boat 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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At around 7:15 AM on a Friday in mid-January, seven friends and I hit the road to Port Aransas for a weekend duck hunt.  The fun began just after we stopped for breakfast at the McDonald’s on RR 620 near Hwy 183 in Austin.  My truck, which was pulling my boat, was in the lead.  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 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 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 morning rush hour traffic confronted me.

I spotted an opening big enough to fit my truck and my 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 its left side. Read More→

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Jul
23

Dunked! by Randy Rowley 7/23/15 ©

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In late August, my wife, Chris, my youngest daughter, Deanna, Tim Price, and me were fishing with live shrimp in Aransas Bay from Tim’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, six men headed to the Y.O. Ranch near Junction for a three-day-long hog hunt.  We arrived, set up camp, checked out the feeders and stands, baited a stand, and cooked dinner.

None of us saw any pigs on the first night, but that changed the next 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→

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On a Saturday morning in early December, Jason Cox and I gave the White Flint Wildlife Management Area on Lake Belton a try for ducks.  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 gun, 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.
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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” 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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On the night 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 with a 1996 150 HP Mercury fuel injected outboard motor, two live wells, two fish finders, and a built-in ice chest. It cruised Lake Georgetown with three of us on board during the test drive that night at 50 MPH. 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 the third Friday night in September, so my father-in-law (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 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 Fellowship of Christian Sportsmen (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 (cold) River.  Many Texans believe that this area is the jewel of the state, which is supported by the fact that campers often have to wait up to a year to get a campsite reservation at Garner in the summer. 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.

On a Saturday in June, I was leading an FCS promotion at a Legacy Outfitters Outdoor Expo at Brushy Creek Lake in Austin.  They had demonstrations on how to set up camp, 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 minutes 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→

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Early on a Saturday in mid-November, 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 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.  After a few more seconds he finally popped into view! Read More→

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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 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 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.  I put them on the big stock tank, set out my Mojo, and then sat under a big mesquite, which was the only cover that I could find. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
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Genesis Chapter 27 tells the story of Isaac mistakenly blessing his son Jacob, instead of Jacob’s older brother Esau.  Genesis 27:27-29 says, “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.  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→

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Something unexpected happened during a duck hunt on Lake Granger on an overcast day in early December.  Two friends and I hunted in the San Gabriel Wildlife Management Area in a small cove off the main lake.

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.  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→

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On a chilly Saturday in mid-March, seven friends and I headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a 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 a 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 the stand. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
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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, squirrels (for most of the state), 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 deer stand 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 Remington. It has the old style hinged floor plate (popular before box magazines came into vogue) with a quick release button and a button to release the bolt. It has a 24” long barrel. 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 gun chap is covered with a bullet band that holds nine shells. Attached to the rifle is a Safari Sling.  I had the 7 lb. pull factory trigger adjusted to 3 lbs. and had the barrel free-floated, but have made no other modifications to it.

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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 blind on my deer 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 frigid and windy Friday in late March, four friends and I journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a weekend of hunting hogs.  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 those facts to my companions.  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 then circled the area, going to my left. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
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Galatians 6:2 (NASB) says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” When Paul made this exhortation, 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 well as we think that they should.  Instead, Paul directed the Galatians to be focused on others, especially those who were wilting under a heavy load.  We should overlook a brother’s or sister’s shortcomings, as readily as we overlook our own, and look for ways to bear his or her burden. Read More→

Categories : Devotionals
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Bible verse of the day

I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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