Michael Horstman of Horstmanâ€™s Kodiak Guide Service JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017
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A Shot of Texas Magazine™ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 CONTENT
A Shot of Texas Magazine
“Where Outdoors Meets Industry”
Teffany and Robert Kahn Founders/ Co-Editors
7. Trump Win Proves the Election & System isn’t “Rigged” by Howard Barbanel
9. Night Vision Scopes For Hunting by Staff
Kendall Rae Kahn Camo Girl Product & Ranch Reviews
Rod Daigle Senior Industrial Editor
10. January Hunting Tips by Staff
12. Landmarks in Antarctica by Staff
Dan Verrips Wildlife Photographer
Larry Weishuhn ‘Mr Whitetail” Field Writer
Shamus Dartanyon Political Editor
Jim Miller Bow Hunting Editor
Efrain Martinez Safety Editor
13. A Glimpse Into the Life of a Polar Bear by Staff
14. Choosing The Right Hunting Knife by Staff
16. Backcountry Skiing Staff
17. Riding & Shooting by Kerry O’Day
20. On the Middle Texas Coast
by Nathan Beabout
22. Weishuhn on Hunting - Rattled! by Larry Weishuhn
26. Rivers & Rapids & Bears Oh My! by Debbie Jacobs
Thank you Michael Horstman of Horstman’s Kodiak Guide Service for the beautiful photo of his hunt with his Draughthar, Adelle. They hunted this Sitka black tail deer on Kodiak Island.
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Terry Blaukamp Shooting Editor
Jeanine Johnson Product Review Editor
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6 Shot of Texas Magazineâ„¢
Trump Win Proves the Election and System isn’t “Rigged”
By Howard Barbanel
The election wasn’t rigged. Confounding the pollsters, the pundits, the media and conventional wisdom, Donald J. Trump, entertainer, entrepreneur and real estate developer was elected as the next President of the United States. Improbably, a billionaire became the voice of the common man having run a populist campaign pledging to give voice to the ignored, the dispossessed and disenfranchised – those left behind in the high tech revolution, those passed over in the massive cultural changes of the past dozen years, those who felt palpable insecurity with the evaporation of much manufacturing, the explosion in health care costs and those who tired of accommodation and appeasement of violent Islamic extremists. Trump put together a victory without the benefit of carrying the Northeast or the West Coast – the Donald and Melania Trump Voting Yesterday in New York Trump win was a win for the “Flyover States,” as the middle of the country is sometimes derisively the polls just two weeks ago, Comey’s letter to Congress dismissed by the coastal elites. It was also a win for Texas and about Huma Abedin’s laptop and more Clinton emails was Dixie – the South rose up to repudiate an increasingly liberal the tipping point for many Americans. No matter that just and progressive vision of America as embodied by eight years before balloting Mr. Comey cleared Hillary yet again, the of President Obama. Even Florida narrowly slipped out of the sense of many people was that Hillary was slippery, unDemocrats’ grasp. This is the first presidential election in per- trustworthy and dishonest. That Trump was able to mainhaps a century that was accomplished without winning New tain two weeks of self-discipline, stay on message and not York, Illinois or California. go off the cliff on irrational Twitterized tangents made a The Trump win can be compared in to Richard Nixon’s big difference for many undecided voters. in 1969 when Spiro Agnew’s “Silent Majority,” the evFinally, the Trump victory also shows that the path for eryday folks ignored by the media ushered in GOP rule Republican majorities is in part paved with stifling disas a reset to America’s “cultural revolution” of the 1960s. course about people’s bodies and people’s bedrooms. Trump’s victory also has echoes of Andrew Jackson – a Trump was heavily reticent on abortion and highly tolersometimes vulgar and coarse blunt-speaking, hard-charg- ant of the LBGT community, two areas of often strident ing guy who eventually also overcame the disgust of the posturing by GOP candidates in the past. People just want entrenched elites of his day and the dynastic entitlements more tolerance and want candidates focused on big picture of the Adams (John and John Quincey) family. issues, not what goes on in their boudoirs. A majority of American voters were just not that into HillMr. Trump gets a solid GOP majority in the House and ary. Never an especially likeable figure and never an espe- a secure one in the Senate along with winning The White cially good retail politician, Hillary oozed aristocratic entitle- House. A big mandate to roll-back much of the past eight ment and fixed, smoke-filled room inevitability, which is why years. Now all the kids have to play well together to get Obama was able to beat her in 2008 and why Bernie Sanders things done for the American people and we all have to came awfully close in this primary season. That it was “her hope and pray that Trump is capable of rising to the autime” and “her turn” didn’t resonate with most folks. gust office of the presidency so his late parents, his family, In a sense it really was FBI Director James Comey who the GOP and the American people will be proud to have put Trump over the top. With his campaign swooning in elected him.
A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 7
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8 Shot of Texas Magazine™
Night Vision Scopes FOR HUNTING
ight vision scopes for hunting are often overlooked by even the most avid hunter because they seem cumbersome and unnecessary. Why would you need a night vision scope when most of your time is spent in the daylight? The fact of the matter is that conditions are not always ideal which makes having a variety of scopes a smart idea. Night vision scopes for hunting can greatly enhance your hunting capabilities in harsher environments and weather thus enabling you to hunt more animals than ever before. Hunting nocturnal creatures can be a hassle. Their eyesight is much more accustomed to darkness than ours, making them a lot harder to sneak up on and take out. Having a night vision scope for hunting can make discovering and killing nocturnal creatures ten times easier than without a night vision scope. Hunting at night can make taking down daylight prey a lot easier as well. You will be able to catch them unaware and possibly asleep at night. You will also give yourself a huge advantage because many daylight animals have limited visibility at night as well. With a night vision scope for hunting you will be able to become a silent and more effective killer. How does it work? Night vision scopes take in the limited amount of natural light in an area and enhance it to maximize your field of vision. It even brightens infrared light which is invisible to the naked eye. Night vision scopes for
hunting can cost an exuberant amount of money which makes most hunters choose to purchase night vision binoculars instead. However, many soon find out that separate night vision devices are not as useful as night vision scopes. A scope allows you to keep your eye on your target before, during, and after the kill is made. If youâ€™re using a separate night vision device you will have to take the time to readjust your eyesight and rediscover your target when you go to make the kill shot. In that amount of time your target could move and you could lose it entirely. Like any hunter knows, the less amount of time between discovery and kill[Computer Technology Articles], the better. A night vision scope for hunting is an absolute necessity for anyone looking to hunt cave dwelling or nocturnal creatures. It can be a bit difficult to adjust to at first but once you get the hang of hunting with a night vision scope you will be a much more pro-
lific hunter and have an overall easier time. A night vision scope will make it possible for you to hunt effectively all day long; as night falls all you will have to do is switch scopes to continue hunting at your best. Do yourself a favor and get a night vision scope for hunting as soon as possible.
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9 Shot of Texas Magazineâ„˘
JANUARY Hunting Tips
ow that we right in the middle of winter, most deer season are over and hunters putting away all their equipment. It is a good time to check over your hunting stuff, take note of what didn’t work right, what needs to be replaced, wash and store your camo, and reflect on what went right and what went wrong this past season. I also look over my notes to see where I saw any deer while driving around the area so I can maybe find a new hunting spot for next year. It is also the time to thank all of the farmers and land owners that let you hunt on their land.
Every January I will start to put away all my hunting equipment. I will have to take time to check the nuts and bolts and touch up the paint on all the tree stands and ladders before putting away. The camouflage hunting clothes will be washed in baking soda and checked for tears or holes and any new camo needs noted on my list to purchase for next season, then all camo hung and stored away in the basement closet. As I look back over my notes from this past season, I saw that we passed up only, two different yearling bucks very early in the bow season. This year we didn’t have many deer coming to the Food Plots we made. I don’t really know why. Here in SE Wisconsin the hunting pressure is extreme, especially during the gun deer season. I think the DNR overestimates the number of deer. I talked to many hunters from all over the state and everyone I talked to said the same thing; “There aren’t many deer around”. The farm we hunt had soybeans in the field surrounding the woods this year the same as two years ago. We set a ladder stand on a fence line overlooking the field and the woods. In August of 2004 I watched 23 different deer from that tree stand and took a nice two year old buck the second day of the bow season. In 2006, I did not see one deer from that same ladder stand in August. We only saw two different bucks and a doe and two fawns during the bow season. I did not fill my tag. We did draw Iowa deer tags this year which saved our season. We made our 10 Shot A Shot Texas Magazine™ 10 of of Texas Magazine™
first trip down there on October 6th. I did manage to fill my antlerless tag that weekend. In the first week of November I had to travel overseas for work, but my two partners made the trip to Iowa without me. They had good success; John saw quite a few P&Y bucks but fail to bring one home. Randy Platz, AWH Co-Owner did everything right and took his first P&Y buck. We were all happy for him. Finally all the planning and work paid off. (See the above picture). I joined John and Randy for the last few days of the hunt and I had my chance to fill my tag on a real nice buck, but he was smarter then I and he ducked my arrow. Randy did get the whole scene on video so I can relive the moment over and over again. My only hope is to meet up with him next fall. We will apply for tags again in May and pray that we draw tags again. Now that the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season is over, we will thank the land owners and offer venison sausage and other goodies for their generosity in letting us hunt on their land. And hope they will do so again next fall. Keep checking www.advancedwhitetail-hunting.com for updates on hunting permit deadlines, new equipment and new info for your upcoming Food Plots and Mineral Licks. Also, send me any pictures of you or your buddies’ deer and tell me how your season turned out. Enjoy the winter,
A Shot of Texas Magazineâ„¢ 11
Landmarks in Antarctica
ome only dream of visiting that place down below, wherever the penguins are friendly plus the views, exciting. Yes, that location is Antarctica, the land from the South Pole. These days, you will find several cruises that may take you to there and expertise an alternative atmosphere that may parallel no other. Summer time is the perfect time to visit Antarctica, the coldest continent on the. This frozen land is only accessible to tourists throughout the austral season which goes from November to March. When on the cruise ship you’d probably admire the landscape uncovering before your eyes. By and large, tours involve strolling all-around the scientific bases, capturing memories via photos, and viewing the exceptional wildlife. In Antarctica, you might anticipate to see albatrosses flying above your ship; penguins, seals and whales swimming in the cold ocean, all of which would make your vacation considerably more fun. There are likewise tour operators who offer activities for the daring and adventurous. Tours of this kind are merely encouraged for individuals people who are definitely into outdoor sports like skiing, climbing and trekking. Among the best places visit in Antarctica will be the Deception Island, a collapsed volcano that forms a normal refuge. The primary
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of this spot will be the Pendulum Cove, exactly where tourists can take a dip in its thermally heated water. The Lemaire Channel and also the Paradise Harbour are also fashionable among vacationers as a consequence of their pictureperfect views. Because this destination is cold and windy, it is better should you pack garments that you can wear in layers. This is so you are able to dress flexibly dependent on the condition. With the exception of individuals people who have severe sensitivity to cold temperature, there is in fact no need for extreme cold conditions attires because your stop by will likely be throughout summer. It is essential for you to bring great waterproof boots, mitts to keep your hands warm[Science Articles], and don’t forget the bonnet to look after your head and ears from obtaining too cold.
Specialised bear watching tours can see you exploring the Canadian Rockies, hiding out in the Bear hides of Finland, or marvelling at the incredible environment in which the magnificent Polar Bear lives. If you choose the latter, it’s fascinating to learn more about these magnificent creatures and how they go about their daily life.
Into the Life of a Polar Bear A Polar Bear’s Day Polar Bears are most active during the morning and least active in the evening. In the Arctic, females with cubs have been observed spending about 19% of their day hunting during the springtime months, and about 38% of their day hunting during the summer. Males spend slightly longer hunting than their female counterparts. So, what are they doing when they are not hunting? If you are lucky enough to spend some time observing these huge mammals on Polar Bear watching holidays, you will note that they spend quite a bit of time resting and sleeping! If it’s a warm day they will spread out on the ice and sometimes put their feet in the air, but when it is cooler, they will curl up and usually cover their snout to conserve warmth. Despite being primarily solitary, an adult female will stay with its cubs for the first two to three years, and breeding pairs will also stick together during the mating season. You might occasionally see groups of Polar Bears feeding together on a large carcass, such as that of a whale, but it is rare for adults to travel or feed together for extended periods of time. Because of their solitary nature, on bear watching tours, you’re most likely to see the animals on their own. That said, however, you might be lucky enough to see a mother interacting with her cubs or a breeding pair that mate frequently. Occasionally, two males will become aggres-
sive towards one another when a female or food is at stake, and an altercation makes for a fearsome experience to observe.
Hibernation In winter, when food is scarce, females hibernate in order to preserve energy. Polar Bears are not deep hibernators though, and many of their bodily functions still work as normal.
Males that do not hibernate when conditions are harsh and food is scarce have an effective way of conserving their energy supplies. Those embarking on Polar Bear tours will have the opportunity to get up close and personal to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat[Free Reprint Articles], making for a very impressive wildlife experience. A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 13
the right hunting knife
Donâ€™t get caught in the woods with the wrong knives. In this article you will learn how to pick the best hunting knife for your next hunting trip. Find out which handle and blade will work for you under extreme conditions. Which knives are best for a dedicated hunting knife, or an all purpose work knife. Donâ€™t get caught in the woods with the wrong knives. In this article you will learn how to pick the best hunting knife for your next hunting trip. Find out which handle and blade will work for you under extreme conditions. Which knives are best for a dedicated hunting knife, or an all purpose work knife. Choosing the best hunting knife can be a very tricky decision. There are a lot of different factors that can make or break a hunting knife depending on the specific use you intend for it. Some of the choices you will have to make are just your personal preferences, but others are important in making sure the knife functions well for your specific style of recreational activities.
The handle One of the most important qualities of a knife is the handles grip strength and level of safety. There are many traditional knife handle materials 14 Shot of Texas Magazineâ„˘
that may not be the best choice for multi function hunting knives. Some of the more traditional materials such as wood, bone, molded plastic, or even leather, can be smooth to the touch and very slippery when wet with rain, sweat, or blood. This can cause unsafe grip strength and lead to serious injuries. For higher grip strength under these conditions, you may consider some of the newer materials being used in the manufacturing of top quality knives. Both rubber and composite material can give you a safer grip, and are very durable in even the most unfavorable conditions. The newer materials are also being manufactured in more colors, and textures to give them a more stylish look.
The type of knife There are two main styles of knives that hunters can choose from: the fixed blade knife or the folding knife. Both styles offer their own unique set of benefits, and challenges.
Choosing between the two will have a lot to do with the specific type of hunting that you do. This decision will also be based on your personal preferences in how you prefer to carry your knife, and if you want it accessible to both hands. Folding knives frequently come available with a one handed opening feature by utilizing a small thumb lever, or a hole in the blade to put the thumb into. This makes the knife usable with either hand, and increases the mobility of the hunter. Folding knives also have a lock feature that increases safety during use. These knives are generally smaller in size and fit neatly into a pocket or small belt sheath. Many folders also come equipped with a pocket or belt clip so they can be worn on the outside of clothing for quicker access. Folding knives are great for everyday use as well, but because of their smaller size, may not be the best choice for larger game or survival techniques.
Fixed blade knives do not have a hinge to fold with, so they are usually stronger under stressful conditions. The blade is made from a solid piece of metal that extends into the handle. Always being in the open position can increase speed and ease of use when working with just one hand. Fixed blade knives are carried in a belt, leg, boot, or sometimes a lower arm sheath. Which sheath works the best for you will depend on the specific type of game you are hunting[Business Management Articles], and the type of clothing worn. Fixed blade knives are almost always the best choice for hunting larger game and deep woods camping.
The Blade The clip point blade has a more traditional work knife design with the blade only curving near the end of the blade. The drop point knife has a slow curve to the blade that lowers the tip for control and strength. Both knives are curved to make skinning easy but the drop point is better for a dedicated hunting knife. It allows more precision for cleaning and butchering larger or smaller game. The clip point is better for a multipurpose work or back woods knife. Other options are available to choose from on hunting knife blades. One of these is the gut hook. The gut hook is used to open game up with less risk of puncturing the guts and possibly damaging the meat. Having a small section of the blade serrated is useful for cutting jobs such as separating a rib cage or cutting synthetic materials.
Wrap up So before you buy your next hunting knife do your research. Sit down and ask yourself a few questions about what your expectation are for the knife. Then hit the back woods and have some fun.
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Getting there can be Half the Fun
estern Canada is a land of mountains, lakes and rivers. There are also deserts (yes, Walter, small deserts), huge forested plateaus and lush farmland, but mountains are a predominant feature. From the Coast Range in the west to the Rockies in the east, from the Cascades in the south, to the Cassiar Range in the north, there is one range after another; the Cariboos, the Monashees, and the Selkirks, to name just a few.
The mountains of British Columbia offer untold opportunities for every kind of skiing, including backcountry touring, snowcat skiing and heli-skiing. There are many ski resorts and many backcountry lodges, mostly located near small interior towns, away from the large population centers and international airports. Getting to a backcountry skiing holiday can involve travel on roads that traverse narrow valleys and high passes. After heavy snowfalls, roads can sometimes be closed while crews clear away debris from slides. At the end of January 2004, a heavy snowfall caused overnight closures on some BC highways. Two days later, a second storm closed other roads, including the Trans Canada highway. This is a tale of getting from Vancouver to Golden BC in the midst of these storms. The weather in Vancouver was mild. There had been a recent gaggle of small disturbances, but no big storms. The freezing level was too high. We prayed for snow. We watched the forecasts, but things looked “iffy”. After months of anticipation, our trip to Chatter Creek was nearing. In two days our annual powder-bash would begin. Four days of cat skiing in Rocky Mountain powder! This year, we had a group of 24 old friends and regular ski buddies. Many had been to Chatter Creek before and knew what to expect. We were all anxiously counting down the days. Most of us live in Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler. Individually, we had made our arrangements for getting to Golden. Some would fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive together to Golden, a fourhour trip through Banff, Lake Louise and the Kicking Horse Pass. They would arrive in Golden just in time for our 3:00 PM helicopter flight into the lodge. Others would drive from Vancouver or Whistler, at best a long nine-hour trip. With an early start on flight day, and with hard steady driving, they should easily reach Golden in time. I would leave a day early, stay with one of the group in Kamloops, and have a leisurely drive to Golden the next day. Missing the helicopter flight to the lodge was to be avoided. No one’s budget covered an extra night in Golden and a private helicopter flight. 16 Shot of Texas Magazine™
The flights don’t wait. They have to go on time. They would deliver us to the lodge and bring out departing guests. The transfer starts in mid-afternoon (time varies as the winter progresses) and has to be to be completed in daylight. Two days to go and the telephone rang. “Hi, it’s Merle.” My heart sank. A call this late from Merle McKnight, Chatter Creek’s marvelous manager, could only mean trouble. What was wrong? “We’ve had a ‘dump’! The passes are closed in both directions. No one is getting though. Crews will work all night and the roads should open sometime tomorrow. However, there is talk of yet more snow. Get here a day early. Come tomorrow!” Good news and bad news! Lots of fresh snow at Chatter Creek, but getting there would be a challenge. One always heeds Merle’s advice! As my group’s organizer, it was time to start phoning. Hours later, everyone had been alerted. Most were changing their plans but some could not or decided to chance it. Not a good plan! Weather in the Interior can be unpredictable. I called Al in Kamloops. “We’ll be there by 10:00 AM tomorrow, let’s go right through. We can ski Kicking Horse in the morning, before our flight”. “Fine”! Al would be ready. A few hours later, a mate and I were on the road. After days of drizzle, the day dawned sunny and mild. It was like spring! The first mountain road is the Coquihalla. It was bare and the sky was clear. There was no hint of a storm. The roads ahead were reported open. I thought to myself, “I’m never going to hear the end of this! After getting all those people to change their plans, I’m going to get some rockets.” We were in Kamloops in less than four hours. We picked up Al and six hours later we were in Golden. There had been a delay at Three Valley Gap, where road crews were cleaning up a slide. However, there had been no real problem and the driving had been easy. False alarm! Oh well, we would get a morning at Kicking Horse Resort before our afternoon flight to Chatter Creek.
Morning dawned, and I arose to look outside. My car had become a huge white mound. Not even the tires were visible! It had dumped overnight and it was still dumping! On went the “telly”. The road to the east was closed again. The road to the west could close at any time. Some of the lads were leaving the coast in the “wee” hours, much earlier than usual to give themselves extra time. Would they make it? Would they get through Three Valley Gap and then the high Rogers Pass before things shut down? The road was bound to close, it was just a matter of time. At 2:00PM, shaking off the Kicking Horse powder, we headed for the airport. The radio advised that all the passes were now closed. Had our friends made it? As we drove up to the hanger, we saw all sorts of activity. There was Owen, and Jim was there too. The others from the coast had arrived, the last cars allowed through. Great relief! However, as we assembled to count heads; 17,18,19,20….?? We were missing the four who were flying to Calgary. They were not to be seen. A cell phone rang. Chris and Kevin were stopped on the Radium road. The Kicking Horse Pass was closed, so they had tried the alternate route. No luck, it was closed too. They were there for the night. Disaster! Guests fly to the lodge in three flights, one flight of 12 and two flights of 6. If all 20 of us were to fly to the lodge that night, the stragglers would have an expensive private flight the next day. Merle and her husband Mike came to the rescue. A radio call was made to the lodge. “Were there six departing clients willing to stay over and fly out in the morning?” Affirmative! No problem! There were many volunteers. Merle then asked, “Now, are any two people willing to stay tonight in Golden? Then the last flight of 6 will fly in the morning” Silence. Glum faces. Hands in pockets. No volunteers!
There was more discussion. “Was anyone willing to snowmobile to the lodge tonight?” Hesitation, then Tony, good old Tony, raised his hand. He would do it. A ninety-km trip on a snowmobile, following a leader at high speed on a cold night with fresh snow on an unplowed road was not anyone’s idea of fun! Tony would have a 90-km blizzard. Merle explained, “If we sled the luggage to the lodge tonight, and one person sleds too, then we’ll put an extra person in the large ‘bird’ and the last flight will go in the morning. There will be no extra charges and everyone that’s here will get in tonight. Perfect! Relief! We would have warm drinks and a meal waiting for Tony. The flight to Chatter Creek was spectacular, with shafts of late afternoon sunlight striking the surrounding peaks. In 20 minutes, back on the ground, we stumbling though the fresh “powder” to the welcoming door of Vertebrae Lodge. Eighteen glum-faced skiers and boarders passed us on the way. After a great tour, no one wanted to leave. Six smiling faces greeted us at the door. They would get another great meal and an extra night at Vertebrae Lodge, an unexpected bonus. Two hours later, Tony arrived, a frozen “Michelin Man”. It took a while to thaw him out. Next morning, not long after breakfast, we heard the familiar sound of an approaching helicopter. The last four were arriving. Our group was complete, the weather was clear, there was lots of fresh snow and our Chatter Creek tour was launched. It turned out to be the best tour yet! Travel to Golden is not usually difficult. This was an infrequent, but very possible case. The roads from the east and the west both go over high passes, and can pose a problem. The road from the south (Spokane WA) follows valleys and is rarely closed. For more information on getting to Golden for your cat skiing adventure, look at the “Getting to Golden” page on the Chatter Creek Web site, at http://www.backcountrywintervacations.com/ golden-bc.html. A photo journal on Chatter Creek is located at http://powder-skiing.blogspot.com/
A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 17
I have one of the greatest jobs in the world - I build guns! When I’m not building guns I am shooting guns. When I’m not building or shooting guns, I’m having a different kind of fun. My other love is riding and racing motorcycles. In fact, I have a motorcycle racing team called “Old and Slow Racing Team”.
By Kerry O’Day
Kerry O’Day shooting a 2 Crackshot 2
Photo 4 Mik gett e Sc speed ing some t hoby ip shoot ing fro s on m a pr o
Riding dirt roads in the Utah desert.
RIDING AND SHOOTING
What Could be Better
We race at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah each summer and try to set World Land Speed Records. We have a few to our name. So last summer I was invited by Kawasaki for a special ride in Utah with some of the best magazine writers and editors of our day. I had the opportunity to spend time riding motorcycles and shooting various firearms with Eric Poole of Guns and Ammo, Mike Schoby of Petersen’s Outdoors, John Snow editor of Outdoor Life, and Aaron Lach and Jeff Herzog from Kawasaki. Wow, what could be better than hanging out with these guys, riding motorcycles and shooting guns? They asked if I could bring a few long range varmint rifles along for shooting Pot Guts (ground squirrels) and for the long range shooting we would be doing in Price, Utah. The first day consisted of riding from Salt Lake City over Guardsman Pass and into Park City, Utah. Park City is a combination of historical old buildings and quaint bars reminiscent of its mining town heritage along with the new modern high rise condominiums next to the many ski slopes. After lunch we rode the Kawasaki KLR motorcycles to Heber to shoot guns and have a little friendly competition at the local state owned gun range. This little shooting range was nice. It had well laid out, clean shooting areas from 7 to 200 18 Shot of Texas Magazine™
yards and all the workers were volunteers. The cost to the general public was free. Here, we shot the Traditions Crackshot 22’s in a mini speed shoot then tried out the Rock River AR-15’s in a long 200 yard rolling ball contest. We had great fun! Using a Crackshot 22 and trying to hit 10 spinning targets in a row is tough but when you’re shooting against some of the most experienced shooters in the world, I realized that I didn’t have much of a chance to win. The next day was spent riding the KLR’s in the Utah desert, putting up clouds of dust and cooling off in the local stream. We met up with our guides for our next stop after being lost for most of the day, but having a great time riding the dirt roads. Our guides showed us the local artifacts and some ancient pictographs and cave dwellings. Then we hopped back on the bikes to head up to the top of the mountain for the night at the Tavaputs Ranch. It is amazing that in the afternoon you can be riding in 101 degree heat and then that evening you are looking for more clothes to put on to keep warm at 10,000 feet elevation and 40 degrees. This elevation is where the herds of Elk and Mule deer hang out. The Tavaputs Ranch is a working cattle ranch during the spring and summer. In the fall it becomes a hunting camp which is famous for the quality of game
On top of pass Guardsman feet 0 0 0 2 1 at
John Snow speed loading a Crackshot 22
taken from this area. It was one of the toughest rides I have ever done. The road was covered with loose rocks and small boulders. On one side of the road (if you want to call it that) is a mountain while on the other side is a long drop off which would end in catastrophe. After watching some of the newer rider’s crash and even one of the pro riders crash, I decided to park my KLR and hop in the 4 wheel drive Ford chase vehicle. John Snow and Eric Poole did the same. The next day was spent riding to Price, Utah and testing out our long range shooting ability from 300 to 1000 yards with two custom rifles chambered in 6.5 x 284 that I had selected for the trip. From 300 yards out to 1000, the rifles performed well with every pull of the trigger, even with a gusty wind blowing at the longer distances, they proved to be tack drivers. Mike Schoby was shooting an Ultra-Light rifle in 375 H&H at a distance of 300 yards. He had no problem keeping all the shots on a small metal plate. He then decided it would be fun to knock over a metal silhouette at the same distance. He put the shot at the very top of the target and blew it off of the metal base! The 375 H&H is usually used for dangerous game shooting at close range, but I guess no one told Mike that he couldn’t shoot little groups at 300 and
500 yards. Next, we headed to a cowboy town for some cowboy action shooting and to try out the 22’s, 38’s and 45 colt single action revolvers on close range silhouettes. The Heritage SAA guns were a big surprise to me. The quality of workmanship and the feel in my hand was great which helped make the shooting more natural. They had good triggers and with open sights hit what you aimed at. The Heritage revolvers are not the most expensive guns on the market, in fact, most shooters think they are cheap, but I had a great time shooting them and never had one fail or miss-fire. In fact, all of us walked away being very impressed with the way these handguns shot. This range in Price, Utah is one of the best ranges I have ever shot on. They have long range shooting out to 1600 yards, hand gun shooting from 3 yards to 100 yards, a police training facility and a cowboy action shooting town. If you have an RV you can pull up, hook up and spend the weekend shooting and the cost to the general public is just $6.00. Maybe Texas could take a few pointers from Utah and put together a shooting facility like this. The last day we rode to Beaver, Utah and spent most of the afternoon shopping for coffee cups and t- shirts to take home. This is where the trip ended. We were picked up in vans for the ride back to Salt Lake City for the plane ride home. The Kawasaki KLR’s were going back to California to be cleaned up and made ready for the next journalist to try out. The KLR uses a single cylinder 650 cc water cooled engine, which makes about 38 HP and has 44 pound feet of torque. The bike is tall which is great for dirt riding, and is one of the most comfortable bikes on the market. The big single has a top speed of about 90 mph but it will run the freeway all day at 70 to 75 and get 50 mpg. These bikes are my favorite dual sport bike. I ride one every day and use them for my race team. They have enough power to keep up with freeway traffic and yet are light enough to spend all day on the dirt roads and single track trails. The KLR is not a desert race bike or a long range touring bike but I have used them for both of these things. In fact, the KLR may not be perfect at anything but it is good at everything. So maybe it is perfect. This combination shooting and motorcycle ride was a great way to kick off the summer – just getting out and being in some of the most beautiful remote backcountry, having fun shooting guns and being with friends! It was a lot of fun. I hope you have this opportunity someday. A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 19
By: Nathan Beabout
On the Middle Texas Coast January on the Middle Texas Coast can be a blessing and a curse. Depending on how strong our winter pattern is, we can either experience many mild days with great fishing action, or periods of bitter cold followed with a huge drop in tides due to the north winds. Fish that were once patterned and fished over for days can suddenly end, and force anglers to completely re-adjust their plan of attack. As a guide, I take January day by day. I concentrate wades in areas I know hold a good winter time trout pattern. A typical month that offers 4-5 days of what I call normal conditions, maybe partly cloudy and moderate winds with plenty of bay water, I will be found in shallow mud/grass bottoms and secluded marsh. All the pre and post front strategies and rules still apply during this month, but when Mother Nature takes all our water out of the bay possibly making certain areas inaccessible, I turn my attention to chasing the many redfish that will fall out of area back lakes with the tides. During periods with no water in our bays many main lakes and outside shoreline spots can hold big schools of reds. Some of these fish can be hard to get close to or tough to catch, but just keep working these different areas and you can run across schools that are aggressive. Either wading or sight casting from the tower is a fun way to approach these fish. From the tower if conditions are right, with low winds and sunny skies, more ground can be covered and many single cruising reds can be picked off.
20 Shot of Texas Magazine™
With the last weekend of January marking the close of duck season, it can be a very busy month. Fishing one day to hunt the next 2-3, I try to make sure I stay on top of each event. Making sure duck blinds and spots are ready and will produce successful hunts. Many hunters can experience mornings much like the first few days of the season, because warmer than normal Januarys can bring teal back to our area as they are already starting their journey home. We get a small migration back from Mexico along with several other bird species showing up we might not have seen for a month or so. Whichever activity you choose during this month, remember, fishing should hold the same pattern as previous months because of similar weather patterns. Just be sure to know your tides for the day or given area you are trying to fish. With the duck hunting scene coming to a close, our marsh can see a big push of hunters and some areas may tend to be more crowded than others. Stay courteous and mindful of others around you. Everyone out there is
simply trying to enjoy this great resource we have. Whatever outdoor activity draws you in during the winter months, N&M Sportsman’s Adventures has something for every enthusiast. I have dedicated myself to running a full time guiding operation since 2007, and will do my best to meet the needs and standards of any customer. Much of this wouldn’t be possible without great companies and fine folks standing beside me. I am thankful I get to make my living sharing my saltwater/ hunting experience with people. I would like to thank Kresta’s Boats and Motors in Edna, Texas, for always keeping me on the water. Majek boats for building a dependable and smooth ride. Waterloo Rods in Victoria, Texas, for an awesome product that allows me the best sensitivity in a rod. Fins Braid for making line I can depend on to never fail when fighting fish, and Hookset Marine Gear for great wading products. Their wading belts offer so much back support, I do not ache at the end of a long day. Thanks to Down South Lures for provid-
ing my customers and I with durable soft plastics with a great action. Port O’Connor Rod and Gun team, they have a great selection of tackle, clothing, and waterfowl needs for all levels of outdoorsmen. Also, Buggs T. Fishing lures, baits that redfish can’t resist. Thank y’all!
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“You ready?” I asked glancing over my right shoulder at the cameraman. He nodded an affirmative. I brought the two big double forked mule deer shed antlers together with a loud crack, followed immediately by meshing the tine together in a grinding manner. Three seconds later I caught movement running through the mesquite and cactus coming directly toward us. I kept rattling. I could see two bucks, including a very massive ten point, the other only a bit smaller racked. The smaller of the two sailed over a clump of prickly pear and landed about five yards in front of us. The bigger of the two tried to skirt around the cactus at a full run, lost his footing, fell on his side and nearly skidded into the shooting sticks I had set up right in front of me! Trying to regain his feet he kicked dirt and grass all over me.
n h u h s i We
on Hunting Rattled!
Upright the bigger of the two bucks walked back and forth in front of us less than ten feet away. He was drooling, bug eyed, head held high with his ears laid back against his neck in a most aggressive manner! The smaller buck circled us. The two bucks were truly performing for the camera, and for us. No doubt rattling season was at its prime! When the bucks started to walk away, I grunted and immediately they came back. Again they assumed aggressive postures. I was glad I had my Ruger .44 Mag Blackhawk at my side, just in case they decided to make good their threats! The two started walking away again. This time I snort-wheezed (a fit,fit, feeeeeeeeeeeeee sound), the most aggressive vocalization a whitetail buck makes. Back they came. I knew we were getting tremendous footage! After about five minutes of “messing with” those two bucks they walked away. This time I made no attempt to get them to return. I looked to my right. Another buck strode into one of my shooting lanes. This one was a basic ten point with several kicker points, obviously older than the two four year olds that just walked away. This buck cautiously moved downwind, another indication he was likely mature. When he walked from behind a thorny blackbrush, I could see his head, neck and shoulders. He too was drooling like the other two bucks and had the look of an old man with a swelled neck, complete with
22 Shot of Texas Magazine™
what looked like a “baggy” lower jaw line, and darkly stained hocks and tarsals, stained all the way to the “dew claws” just above his hooves. I knew he would not give me many chances or hang around too very long. I have often said a big mature buck will give you no more than five seconds to see him, evaluate him in terms of antlers and age, estimate the distance and make the shot. I had already used up about four of those seconds…. “Don’t shoot, I’m not on him…” came the voice from behind me. I hesitated. The buck turned and walked away. Moments later I saw him jump a bush, only his head and rack above the brush that hid him. Oh, well! So it goes! Assured there were no other bucks responding. I turned to the cameraman. “That was a fabulous show. Did you see that buck fall and nearly slide into me? And that old multipointed buck…I really liked him, would loved to have taken him!” The cameraman was nodding. “Even though I didn’t shoot, that should make a great segment, or possibly be the opening of the show!” I noticed the cameraman had gotten really quiet and had a sheepish look on his face. ‘Er.. ah..ah..I’ve never seen anything like that in all my life!” “Great!” I replied. “Now that we’ve got it on video you can look at it again and again!” “Ah, er..ah.. I’M SORRY!” he blurted, “I got so excited I didn’t get any of It on camera. I was
ttoo enthralled th ll d with ith what h t was going i on…..II did ’t didn’t press the record button!” I really wanted to be mad and bad! But I simply started laughing, I knew crying wasn’t going to do any good. And scolding the cameraman wasn’t going to help. At least now he knew what could possibly happen when I started rattling! It was back in the early 1960’s that I rattled up my first whitetail buck just a little way behind our home in rural Texas. I had read an article by Dan Klepper (then the outdoor writer for a San Antonio newspaper) in Field and Stream about hunting with Bob Ramsey a wildlife biologist in central Texas and how Ramsey rattled up bucks using shed antlers. I had also heard stories from my cousins who hunted the Brush Country of South Texas and how some of the vaqueros they hunted with in the “brasada” called in bucks making the sounds of two bucks fighting. I was convinced if they could do it, so could I. And I did! That first buck I learned later was a year-
old buck, a fork horn. I rattled him in during October, before the deer season opened, but that’s when bucks in our area of Texas rutted. I was thrilled and knew I wanted to do it again! Over the years I have done it again and more than just a few times, not only in Texas but throughout the whitetail deer range in North America! To me, having bucks respond to “rattling horns” is by far the most exciting and satisfying way to hunt whitetail deer! About three years ago I started using “Rattling Forks”, synthetic rattling tools developed by Steven Ray from near Austin, Texas. Steven is a truly dedicated whitetail hunter who is innovative and inventive! He developed “Rattling Forks” so you can make a lot of noise in a loud manner or simply tickle the two forks (build like massive antlers of a forkhorn buck) together to make a little noise. Steven, like I did, years ago learned that if bucks cannot hear the sound of two bucks fighting, they won’t respond! For years I used real whitetail and mule deer antlers, sheds primarily, when rattling. But when I heard the sound of Steven Ray’s Rattling Forks (www.rattlingforks.com), I quickly made the switch. These days I swear by my Rattling Forks! Rattling works wherever whitetail deer exist. It works better where there are a lot of bucks. If you have a buck to doe ratio of 1 buck to 1 doe to 3 does in the population, there are more bucks than if there is a buck to doe ratio of 1 buck to 10 or more does. So when you rattle there is a better chance one or more bucks will hear the fighting sounds when you have a narrower buck to doe ratio. The best time to rattle in terms of season is right before the rut really kicks in. By then bucks have a high level of testosterone and are anxiously looking for a does and a fight! Once the rut fully kicks in bucks will still respond but they may be anxiously following does, rather than looking for a fight. Over the past many years I’ve learned some bucks will respond to rattling horns pretty much any time once you see the first scrapes and do so until the time they cast their antlers. As to the time of day to rattle….I rattle off and on throughout the day from first light to last light. Some times bucks respond better in the morning, sometimes better in the middle of the day and sometimes during the afternoon. But if you don’t try rattling just about every hour of the day you may not have anything respond. I learned this numerous years ago. I was hunting a fabulous bit of South Texas just north of the Rio Grande. I had a friend drop me at the bottom of the property twelve miles from camp. My intention was to rattle and hunt my way back to camp. It was early December, bucks were active. It was cold for South Texas, and there was a slight breeze blowing from the
north. I hunted into the wind, stopping about every 300 or so yards and rattling, watching downwind, knowing that’s where mature bucks would generally appear. The ranch had an excellent deer population and a very narrow buck to doe ratio. The helicopter game survey I had conducted in later October showed forty percent of the bucks were at least four years old and older! From first light until just shy of eleven, I rattled eight different times and locations, staying at least twenty minutes after I quit rattling before moving on. Sometimes the really old and big antlered bucks come in a bit after you finish your sequence. During those eight attempts, I had rattled in one coyote and one bobcat! Then from eleven o’clock until just shy of three o’clock, during six rattling sessions I rattled in thirty-two bucks! These ranged in age from yearlings to several which were five and six years olds. Out of those thirty-two bucks at least eight were certainly shooters. From three o’clock till dark, I did not rattle in another buck! The next day I had my friend drop me off again at the river about a mile farther west than
the day before. I hunted and rattled my way north. The temperature was the same, wind direction and velocity the same, barometric pressure was the same also. Essentially weather conditions were exactly as the day before. At first light I rattled in six bucks, all youngsters. An hour later I had three respond, two yearling and what looked like a three-year old. I did not rattle up another buck until just before dark, a really nice typical ten point. If you decide to rattle where you hunt, don’t just rattle once or twice and then if it doesn’t work give up. Keep trying throughout the day! How long I rattle during a sequence depends on how bucks respond or don’t respond. I may start out rattling fifteen to twenty seconds and then waiting a minute or so to rattle again. If that doesn’t bring in bucks, I rattle continually for several minutes. Once I find a sequence or timing bucks respond to, I’ll repeat it again and again, until they no longer respond to that particular sequence. Then I’ll change.
I dearly love hunting larger properties where I can do a fair amount of moving. But even if I can I’ll stay at one spot at least twenty to thirty or more minutes before moving. Too, I’ve learned some days, bucks simply may not respond to rattling. Why? I have no idea, same as I have no idea why bucks respond differently each day as described earlier. But, I know that’s the case. So I adjust accordingly. And that too is why I carry my Convergent Hunting Solutions’ Bullet HP these days when rattling. Not only does the call have grunt and snort wheeze sounds on it, it also has a rattling sequence I did, as well as many other sounds that will attract coyotes and bobcats. If the bucks are not coming to horns, I can quickly switch to calling and hunting coyotes. The other “tool” I carry is the Nature Blinds shield which provides a perfect hunting blind no matter where I hunt! It also serves as a good solid rest for my Ruger rifle and handgun, loaded with Hornady ammo. These days my two favorite guns to use for rattling are the Ruger Guide Rifle in .375 Ruger, same one I use in Africa and elsewhere. I love the accuracy, short barrel and fast handdling of the rifle. Loaded with Hornady 2250 grain GMX or even 300 grain DGX iit performs perfectly on whitetails as w well as dangerous game. M favorite hhandgun is my old Ruger Super Blackhhawk Hunter in .44 Mag, loaded with H Hornady’s 240 grain XTP ammo. Like tthe Guide Rifle it handles very nicely aand is extremely accurate! it may be approaching summer time, but I am thinking about the upcoming whitetail sseason. And I know of a couple of places w where I intend to rattle in a whitetail buck tthis coming fall. Big mature whitetail bucks ggenerally approach from downwind, that’s a fact! And, it does no good to rattle in a bbuck and not see him. So I am headed to the property to set up some rattling “stands”, cutting shooting lanes. I’ll rattle those spots when the wind is out of the north…so I am cutting shooting lanes to the southeast and southwest of where I will be setting up. That way when that old buck moves to get directly downwind of where I’ll be rattling, I will be able to see him and get a shot before he gets directly downwind. There’s one buck in particular I’m hunting for this fall. I saw him briefly last December. Just in case I do get him and I certainly intend to, I’m moving some of my mounts around so he’ll have a place of honor once I send him to and he returns from The Wildlife Gallery! Be certain to watch “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” on the Sportsman Channel. The show airs 52 weeks a year, primary airing time 9:30 pm Central Sunday nights plus a minimum of three other times during the week. For more information and more stories by Larry, please go to www.trailingthehuntersmoon.com.
A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 23
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She was easy to spot. On her medical form she had noted that she would not be useful for carrying any canoes, the stick drawing she included showed three people carrying a canoe overhead. Standing in between two of the figures, Maxine could not reach high enough to help. By:Debbie Jacobs
Rivers & Rapids & Bears Oh My! Even if she were not ‘pe te’ Maxine would stand out in a crowd. At 71 years old she walks with determined strides and dressed in her outdoor gear, purchased in the boy’s department, she doesn’t fit the mold of ‘older lady’. Spunky is a word that comes to mind, but only if it makes you think of a Jack Russell terrier, small, with a tude. “How’d you know it was me?” she winked when I approached her as she exited the gate at the airport. “I used to be 4’10” un l I shrunk two @#$% inches,” Maxine explained to me at dinner our first night together as a group. We were preparing for a 5 day adventure down Oregon’s Rogue River. The group, all women over 40, were being accompanied by three women ra guides, three to four decades their junior. If the guides thought they were heading out with ‘li le old ladies’ they had a big surprise coming. Besides our three rafts, we also had 2 inflatable kayaks. Every day we were given the option to hop in a guided raft, or captain our own craft. It was late May, and though we had near perfect weather, the kayakers wore wetsuits and had they flipped, a swim would have been invigorating, to say the least. Maxine was among the first to volunteer for the experience. Never having been in a kayak did not deter her. I held my breath watching her descend the rapids, but she handled the boat like a pro. “I love being an active learner,” Maxine explained, “I believe in ‘process’, which includes: acquiring skills that challenge me with physical, mental, and ethical prowess...that’s why these trips are a perfect fit for me.” That’s quite a statement coming from a woman willing to wear a purple helmet and neoprene. 26 Shot of Texas Magazine™
As we traveled down the river, our guides had built up our one night camping in bear territory to the point that we were nervous, but couldn’t wait. A single electric wire enclosure had been constructed at the campsite where our food was to be stored. I doubted the eﬀec veness of the system, suspec ng that a marauding bear would not be deterred by the shock, but I kept my thoughts to myself. When I was a couple of decades younger, I had spent wonderful months backpacking in Yosemite Na onal Park. Black bears were a common visitor at camp and I never ceased to be thrilled by their presence. A black bear in camp would be the icing on the cake. At dinner that evening, Wendy, our young snow-boarding ra guide, was in charge of the ‘bear talk’. We were warned to put our toiletry bags into the electric enclosure. Bears show no reluctance to slicing a hole in your tent with their four inch claws, gobbling your toothpaste and roo ng for the Snicker bar under your pillow. When the talk progressed to include the concerns for menstrua ng women in bear country, a cry rose from the group, “Not a problem in this crowd!” they laughed. Poor Wendy, now a lovely shade of crimson, admi ed that she’d never ra ed with a group of just ‘older’ women. “Don’t worry about it honey,” one woman reassured her, “Estrogen is overrated.” We woke the next morning to discover that the bears had found be er pickings somewhere else and le us unmolested. The one we’d seen, wandering the bank of the river earlier the day before, must have found a group of smellier campers to harass. Si ng in our camp chairs, sipping our morning teas and coﬀees at breakfast, our kitchen area was suddenly overrun by a small herd of deer. Six young deer came scampering
out of the trees and raced each other past our tents, kicking up sand and circling twice before returning back into the woods. Who needs midnight bears when the breakfast show includes Bambi! The women in the group continued to be impressed by Maxine’s exploits, her willingness to brave the rapids on her own, her lively sense of humor, her openness to new ideas and situations. The only complaint I ever heard from her was regarding chair height construction. Another woman on our trip, admirable in her own right, after listening to the accolades go round and round, whispered to me, “I don’t know what the big deal is, she’s ONLY 2 years older than I am!” She was right, Maxine was the senior in the group by a mere two years, so she was not that unusual, BUT, she was the only one in the group whose feet didn’t touch the floor when si ng in a chair, and surely that has to count for something. But then again, I’ve learned that it’s not what we’re packaged in that makes a diﬀerence, as much as what’s inside. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Maxine knows she can. I’ll keep Henry Ford and Maxine in mind when I shrink ‘two #$% inches’, myself. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Debbie Jacobs, founder and president of ExploraƟons in Travel, hƩp://www.exploretravel.com, organizes outdoor and cultural adventures for women over 40 and arranges individual volunteer placements in LaƟn America, the South Pacific and Nepal. She lives in southern Vermont with too many dogs. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Shot of Texas Magazine™ 27
By Kendall Rae Kahn
s y u G
Shrimp Delish Dish! You will need:
3 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup tomato sauce 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.
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