Sunday, December 24, 2006

A First

Yesterday morning, my younger brother Michael and I decided to give grouse hunting on state land another shot :) Returning to the area which had been productive 2 days earlier, we began systematically combing the woods, flushing one bird about 4-5 times. Finally, after about an hour, we were walking along when Mike stopped me with an excited whisper, "There it is!" He graciously waited for me to get positioned, then we both fired at once. At a range of about 25 ft. that grouse didn't stand a chance. It's a first for both of us.

Dad also posted on his blog about it.


...that Apple should develop some new products. Things like:

The iBall

The iSore

Or if they ever make a karaoke machine--the iScream

Just some ideas from a tired Mac supporter... :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006


So lately I've been visiting Dad and Daniel's blogs and have become convicted of my few-and-far-between posting habits. I'm going to work on that.

As always the first topic must be hunting! ;) Dad, Christopher, Zach and I went to an area near Vancouver Lake with Mr. Hardy Mr. Koch and his daughter. (We're hunting ducks of course :) The weather looked pretty good--cold and foggy, but no ice or wind. There's this long pond we call the "slough" about a half-mile walk from the parking lot. Spreading out into three parties of hunters, we determined to give any available birds some trouble. Dad and I had the dog, and I got a chance to set up my new hunting/photography blind/tent. Wouldn't you know it though...there weren't any ducks flying, and no opportunities to shoot! Christopher, Zach and I wandered around in the nearby fields pursuing C's latest hobby--coyote hunting--which he tries to attract with a call that imitates a dying rabbit or deer. When Mr. Koch heard it he said it was the worst duck calling he'd ever heard :) Anyway, our trio approached a large (and deep!) pond and flushed a pair of beautiful Mallards. Christopher was the only one to shoot since Zach and I were behind him, and he succeeded in injuring the male. You can read about his adventure on Dad's blog. What a duck to shoot on your first hunt in years!

More hunting stuff... :) Michael and I went to some nearby state land after lunch for a bit of grouse hunting--encouraged by Christopher's bird he shot yesterday. I got to use Dad's Winchester lever action .22 rifle, a very nice little gun. After tromping around in the brush for a while, we entered some promising habitat and soon flushed a Ruffed Grouse about 15 feet ahead of us. The trick with these birds is that they are very secretive and camoflauge, and they usually see you before you see them. To kill one with a rifle you need the bird to sit still... Somehow they never do--they must think we're going to hurt them or something :) I flushed it again a few minutes later, and Mike found it again a little later. Unfortunately we never had an opportunity to shoot. Dad posted on Christopher's bird yesterday.

In case you haven't noticed by now, my oldest brother Christopher is now home from his 5 month internship with Vision Forum Ministries in San Antonio Texas. He's happy to have "normal" weather again--like 35 degrees instead of 85. It's great to have him back for the holidays.

Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year everyone!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Best Hunt Ever!

This past Tuesday Dad, Michael and I went duck hunting at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge again. The night before, the rain was coming down in buckets, and we almost didn't go, but by 4:30 a.m. things had calmed down. Just so you know, I would only get up at 4:45 in the morning to go hunting--normally I'm up at a healthier hour :) Even though we got the 13th pick, a few people didn't show up so we were able to secure blind #6 which had always been kind to us in the past. As it turns out we got the hottest blind of the day.

Blind #6 is a pit blind, which puts the hunter at about ground level, and allows 360 o vision--a big plus.

Our lately injured, purebread, black lab, hunting puppy was finally well enough to come with us again. Duchess lives for duck hunting. Whenever we fired, she would whine at us to let her go fetch the ducks we must have hit ;) She was great to have around, finding some birds that we wouldn't have recovered without her.

Ok, so here's what happened. Before shooting time (7:20 a.m.) we had hundreds of ducks flying right over us. Unfortunately, we didn't take some shots that we should have as soon as it was legal to shoot. Dad nailed a Green-winged Teal drake just as it took off out of our decoys, and soon after I knocked down a hen Pintail. (btw the chronology here is probably wrong, but I'll do my best :) I think we got a few more Teal after that, as well as Michael's drake Pintail. At that point we could legally only shoot one more Pintail, and I wanted a drake! But alas, Dad got one, and from that point on we had to pass up probably a dozen shots so we wouldn't exceed the limit. Normally the action really slows down after shooting time, but this was different. We had tons of birds fly over, and I think we really could have done better if one of us was calling.

Dad got a tiny hen Green-winged Teal, and I got my first double--two Shovelers in two shots. The drakes are really beautiful birds.

So with 3 Pintails, 4 Teal, and 2 Shovelers we decided to leave at about 10:30 (I think).

We had never gotten more than 9 ducks in one trip so I was kinda dissapointed we didn't break the record. As we walked back to the truck, Michael and I decided to keep our shotguns loaded just in case. Wouldn't you know it, a huge drake Gadwall dove right down toward us! Mike fired twice, and I joined him on his second shot, both bringing the bird down. We can't determined who actually killed it, so we decided to split the credit :) I still beat Mike with 3 1/2 birds to his 2 1/2. We got our tenth :)

Harvest Time!

When I got home I naturally wanted to take some closeups of such beautiful birds. The artist emerges once again... :)

Green-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail

Family Enjoyment

This one is priceless! Christianna is coming along fast. She's the one I've taught to shoot rubber duckies in the bathtub! ;)

Yes, Aimee will actually touch a duck! She often talks about those silly boys and their hunting obsession, but she'll come around.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm singing in my first Voices of Praise concert! Dad will probably take pictures so later I'll post a few.

And I'm really sorry everyone, for not updating in so long! :O Laziness has kicked in more than usual, but in a few weeks I'll be going down to Texas--that'll sure give me some interesting stuff to post about. Dad has been posting regularly on the family blog so go there for more family news.

Gotta run...more later!

Christmas Lights

I'd like to leave you with a verse I found particularly meaningful as we enter the Christmas season. In I Timothy 4:12 we read Paul exhorting his young disciple Timothy, "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity." You'll notice that the very first thing he tells Timothy to exemplify is speech and then goes on to list conduct, love, faith and purity. Paul is urging Timothy to devote himself to God in all of life, to be consistent. As we enter the season where we celebrate Christ's birth, all of us will struggle with keeping our focus on God's gift. It's very difficult, especially for young people, to appreciate the true meaning of the holiday when we're all caught up with decorating, shopping and measuring boxes to see who has the biggest present. Most of us celebrate "Selfmas" instead of Christmas. Just last week as we celebrated Thanksgiving, I imagine many of us either silently or vocally expressed our thankfulness that Christ came to earth on our behalf. This Christmas season you have the opportunity to live what you say. Make your conduct reflect the true meaning of Christmas, and if that happens you will stand out in the crowd. It may even cause people to come up and ask you, "What are you doing? Isn't X-mas a time to spend lots of money on presents, pie, trees and lights?" What you say and how you live are a witness to a world that's forgotten God and the birth of Christ. "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity." Paul is talking to us. Let's be Christmas lights of truth this season.