Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome Maya!

On Memorial Day weekend we came home with our new pup, Maya. My daughter Emma picked the name based on sound rather than meaning. But the various meanings (spring, renewal, rebirth) feel like good omens to me. I’m looking forward to some renewal and great days ahead. Maya, Emma, and me (maybe Ben, too, if he picks up his sister's love of dogs).
Maya is a black and white Llewellin with a half mask. The breeder thinks she will be heavily ticked, like her half sister in the photo (black is the new white!).

I am technically co-owner and co-trainer in this enterprise. I get the back end and the part that wakes up at 5am. I also get October and as much bird dog as I am willing to create. Emma gets to be a 12-year old raising a puppy and training a best buddy. I am buying Emma a set of hunting chaps and a check cord. My "No Father Left Indoors" campaign is off to a great start.

A poem just for Maya
By Emma

When I look at the rain,
I think of the saddened tears rolling off of God’s face
When I look at the babies running around and screaming,
I think of all of the mothers at the spa
When I look at the color yellow,
I think of the giant sun that is warming the hearts
and souls of others
But, when I look at my English Setter
I think of the most beautiful, elegant and graceful
dog in the world
But, the one thing that is the most important about her
is that she is my very own

Friday, May 29, 2009

New pup

A long lost member of Grousers will soon return with dogge news (the Afore mentioned Grouser is pictured here at about the time his dissertation replaced all recreational activity except the occasional visit to a bear den). Looking forward to rejoining the fold.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Kids just love the outdoors.

Twenty-seven hilly acres of sandy soil in Hampshire County, West Virginia. Huckleberries, white and chestnut oak, Virginia and Scotch pine, sassafras, hickory and honey locust. Big boulders and wet-weather creeks. Deer and turkey sign everywhere.

After many years of dreaming about it, Karin and I finally have a place to release our kids into the woods. It’s quiet there, except for the phoebe, great-crested flycatcher, chipping sparrow, pileated woodpecker, and Carolina chickadee calls – and the incessant, insistent voices of the whip-poor-wills in the evening and early morning. The house on the property is very nice, came with a cappuccino machine and has a mountain view.

The kids have already constructed a lean-to against some boulders and dammed-up a creek to make a swimming hole. My first projects are to sow native wildflower seeds over the septic drainfield, and pick out a couple trees for next season’s deer stand.

The dogges are loving the place. Nos takes particular joy in clambering up boulders to survey her new domain, Stella is excited about the infinite variety of things she can get her nose into.

The habitat looks bearish (huckleberries galore, natch), neighbors have reported seeing el bruno, but I haven’t noticed sign. No bear season in Hampshire County, but one in nearby Hardy.

On a morning walk this past weekend, I bumped a whip-poor-will. She only flew 10 feet from me, perching on a fallen log. I stared at her for a bit, then looked for her nest. I found two eggs laid on bare ground to my right. I retreated and walked back to the house to make myself a cappuccino.

Sibley’s guide says whip-poor-will chicks can fly off into the woods within ten days of hatching.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Why Hunt" video

pretty well done video from California Waterfowl on "Why Hunt" . . . . Enjoy.

Why Hunt from California Waterfowl on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Post yer Kids Fishing over Memorial day Weekend!!

Here's mine... this was Friday. There will be more if the weather holds. Click here for more of the story.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brookies in Jefferson County

After meetings at Fort Drum and Jefferson County Extension yesterday, I slipped away for a few hours in the afternoon for some Brook Trout fishing. Had 7 on, four of which I landed, all decent fish. Caught 'em on a little terrestrial imitation of the black flying creatures that were dining on my forehead. Felts Mill Creek is a very pleasing pastoral bit of water, and 15 minutes from the extension office.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Welcome Izzy

Beer camp has a new member as of 5-7-09 and her name is Izzy. She is a small yellow lab, about 55 lbs., that Carol found through a dog rescue program in the Rochester area. She is between 6 and 8 years old and very well trained already. She comes with an existing dental problem that lead to the removal of 14 teeth earlier in the week but it appears she is handeling that well as she is eating good and shows no signs of discomfort. hopefully this will give her a soft mouth when it comes to hunting. She is very alert to birds and small animals in general. Carol is thrilled to have a dog back around the house and we look forward to enjoying her for a long time too come.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Geneva firearms auction May 9

for those of you with money or curiosity or both . . . Hessney Auction House is having a big gun auction in Geneva, NY, this Saturday, May 9.

Here's the link to the catalog listing on the web: Lots 1 - 400 are guns and decoys; lots 400 - 1200 are army surplus.

Lot 262

Great Shad Fishing Adventure of 2009

Fishing was slow--Lou caught 2 doinky little shad and I caught, as my friend Rob says, "fvck all". A comedy of errors: Fri aft Lou picked me up from the bus from NYC--we rushed back to the motel, got gear ready, and were ready to blast off to the river. Checked boat trailer lights--nothing. The aft fishing degenerated into trying to trouble shoot the trailer: checking wires, connections, etc. Cussin' Pete and Reigel the whole time for the trailer still not working right. Of course, Fri pm at 6 no real place is open, so we got to know the folks at Walmart automotive real well. Jen was kinda cute with her horse tattoo 'n all, and I did get one classic line from her:
"we don't really have any tools here".
Finally got the bright idea to find a Lowe's (up in Port Jervis) with a utility trailer parked out back. We plugged in Lou's truck to the trailer. Nothing. A problem with the truck, rather than the trailer. Sorry Pete, sorry Eric.
Choked down a truly crappy dinner at Apple Valley (never again), had a couple of beers and fell asleep exhausted. Next day, by God screw the trailer, we were gonna fish. And we did. And not much happened (see above). Except that the motor wasn't running so well. Seemed to not be getting gas, and some disturbing white smoke. Middle of the day, Lou cut out to go to the NAPA store to get a new relay converter box for his lights. We fished until dark with one small shad that barely fought.

Back to the hotel with a pizza. Let's work on replacing the relay box. Yeah right.
His wiring system had 5 wires, this box had 4. No biggie says Lou--we'll just cut this red one. Say WHAAAAT? And the helluva it was, it actually worked. Triumph!! Boat loaded for the morn, ready to go--THIS TIME, we're gonna kill 'em. On the water early. Full of coffee and hope. Load the boat, stow the gear, and...yank the starter cord on the outboard. A lot. Nothing. Smell of gas. Lots of gas. Hmmm...gas dripping in the river. That can't be good. Open the cowling. Squeeze the pressure bulb. Hmmmm...why is gas spraying all over the inside of the motor every time the bulb is squeezed? Seems to be coming out of that little crack there...

Checkmate. I told Lou it took me back to being 8 yrs old and wanting so badly to fish while my grandpa screwed around with machinery---lesson being that these things never work right.

Thus endeth the great Shad expedition of 2009. Better luck next year?

Lou--who is currently all geeked up on Springsteen because he is playing State College (!!!) on Friday night, made the following changes (6 letters only!!) to his classic "Badlands". To wit...

Shadlands, you gotta live it everyday

Let the broken hearts stand

As the price you've gotta pay

We'll keep Fishin' till it's understood

and these Shadlands start treating us good

I guess we have to go back!