Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'd like to start this off with a short story. When I started turkey hunting, I learned that a semi-distant relative hunted land very close to the land I was hunting. Every year, he harvested a large Eastern Turkey. After hunting hard and having little luck, I wondered how the heck he managed to do so well every year. I eventually found out his secret. Prior to and during the hunting season, he would take a bucket of corn and dump it in front of his favorite place to sit in the woods. Every day, equipped with a new bucket of corn, he took to the woods. He never had to wait long to pick the bird of his choice to harvest.
The BIG questions here: Is this cheating? Is baiting, in general, a dishonest way to hunt?
At the time, I'll admit I was furious at the idea of baiting or feeding. What he was doing took no skill. He never had to call or stalk the turkeys. He just had to sit there and wait. It wouldn't matter if he spooked the birds off--they would be back for more corn, and he would be waiting for them (another BIG question: Is this really hunting?)
My initial reaction is this:
Is this cheating? Yes. By placing a food source in an area and intentionally sitting over it for the purpose of harvesting animals gives the hunter an unfair advantage over the game they are after.
I wanted to push the issue a little further, and the first comment on Rick's post helps me do so. "Native" writes:
Great thing that feeders are starting to lose their undeserved stigma Rick!
It is so funny how (here in California) a person will disparage the use of a
feeder, but will go right out the very next morning to hunt over a Barley Field.
Same thing No? The other reality is the fact that we must supplement the food
source for today's wild life. Just as with Factory Farming for people, so must
it be with our wild life because (There just ain't enough land to support us all
anymore without doing so)
One might suggest that there is still a clear difference between using a feeder or food plot and sitting on the edge of a corn field: a feeder or food plot has one specific purpose--to attract animals. A corn or bean field might be considered a more "natural" food source for animals because they don't exist for wild game. The farmer who grows the field has an agenda for the crops, and that agenda doesn't include the feeding of wild animals. Because of this difference, one could also suggest the use of food plots or feeders should be rendered illegal because they are meant specifically for the attraction of wild game. While this solution seems logical for a "fair" hunt, it just can't happen for one simple reason: wildlife/habitat restoration. Every year, tons of money is spent to increase habitat for animals. This is exactly the same as creating a food plot or using a feeder. For example, a farmer patronizes the Conservation Reserve Program or CRP in a field on their land to increase habitat for pheasants. The farmer also plans to hunt the pheasants when a decent population exists in the CRP. Creating habitat, even in the name of hunting, is seen as a noble cause. No one has a problem with this. But what is the difference between giving animals a home and giving them food? Creating a CRP field and feeding game can both be done in the name of hunting, and both benefit the wild game and hunters. If we allow increased habitat for hunting, we must allow feeders, food plots, and salt blocks.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
After closer inspection, however, I noticed this...
The screw wasn't loose...it was gone! The screw played an intricate part in And as luck would have it, I had to be shooting in tall grass--there was no finding the lost screw. I tried to put in another screw...only to find that the hole has been stripped!
My frustration level is at an all-time high for this bow. I decided at the beginning of the Summer that I would learn how to set up and tune my own bow. This was a reaction to the lack of local bow technicians. I was being forced to drive long distances to a larger outfitter for any tech-work. I was also becoming very dissatisfied with the quality of their work. With this in mind, I purchased a bow square, serving material, and other small odds and ends with the mind set to teach myself the art of tuning. I've learned the hard way that tuning itself is a very difficult task, especially if you don't have all the correct tools to get the job done.
For the last month and a half, I've been tinkering around with my bow. I've been working rather diligently on getting the "fishtail" flight out of my arrows. At the beginning of this practice, my arrows were finally flying straight...making this malfunction just that much worse.
I have a new arrow rest on the way, but I am not necessarily looking forward to the set-up and tuning process. The Iowa bow season starts in a matter of weeks, and I definitely don't want to lose time getting my arrows to fly straight. If you happen to have any helpful set-up/tuning tips, please leave a comment--it will be greatly appreciated!!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I still have the sketchbook I used in high school art class, so I decided to take a gander through it before I started my new sketches. It has been 8 years since I've seen this sketch book, and I was a little surprised at the quality of my sketches.
Here are a few sketches I found while flipping through the pages:
The class in high school required sketching on a regular basis, so I often used my left hand as a model for my sketches out of convenience--it was always something I had with me. I could kick open my sketchbook at any free moment and continue my sketch.
Then I came across my pride and joy...
This was an endeavor I took on towards the end of my art career in high school. I've always been a huge fan of Larry Zach, an amazing wildlife artist. This was my first (and sadly, last) solid work I've done in outdoor art. The rigors of high school athletics put my art aside at the time, and the constant business of college life has left me little time over the years to continue it. The Scene Design class, however, is forcing me back into the sketchbook, which isn't at all a bad thing. I'm actually looking forward to dust off some of my dormant skills and possibly pursue more outdoor and wildlife pieces.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Here is a very short test clip of me catching a Brook Trout from my last fly fishing trip in Northeast Iowa!
I realize it isn't all that interesting of a clip, but it has opened up an entire new world to my outdoor experiences. I can't wait to create more videos this Fall. I have an interesting editing program on my computer, so I hope to create some polished videos of my hunting endeavors. I'm really excited...this is going to be AWESOME!!