Messed Up!

Jeremiah and sheepshead mushrooms

I met my step father, Bob for some hunting time. We set up in the darkness at two different sites. There was frost in some areas meaning the temperatures had to be around the freezing point. The day was very windy.


I was watching a doe at around sixty yards. (Two other deer were about ninety yards.) I was wondering if the closest deer would move closer to me. I

Bull Thistle in mid-October

would soon find out…NO! Bob shot at a deer. The doe I was watching stood at attention only to unnerve and run away from me. I went to Bob to find out his flintlock had a hang fire and he began to drop the barrel only to have the sounds of Ka-Boom occur. (A hang fire is when the pan powder goes off followed by the flintlock. The shot is possibly a half second or more after the pan power ignites.)  

We set up a short time to watch for deer and had no luck. Bob moved to a favorite log and I circled to move through thick crabapples and dogwoods.  I spotted the doe at around twenty yards. She was feeding, but all I could see were her back legs and head and neck. Suddenly, she raised he head and gawked directly at me. We eyeballed each other before she turned away not offering me a shot. At around thirty yards she turned and was broadside to me. However, much of her body was behind honeysuckle cover.

I readied the smoothbore and she moved. I knew one more step and I would not be seeing the deer. I hurried the shot and shot over her back. Bob saw her go past.

I was getting warm since the temps reached over fifty degrees and I was thinking of quitting early. (Bob had already left around 10:15.) I was almost to the jeep when I spotted a feeding doe. I stalked her waiting for an opening to shoot. At about thirty yards I shot and hit her brisket area. I was disgusted with myself. How did I fail such a shot.  I spent just shy of two hours searching for the deer to no avail. Sign was almost non-existent. Once I determined to end the search I quit hunting for the day.                                                                                                      

I saw less squirrels this day and only thirteen deer. I did see three Woodcock and a few turkeys. I found five Sheepshead mushrooms, but didn’t pick any for I already had some in the freezer. I think my next hunt will be the flintlock rifle.



Hiding rabbit





Deer Everywhere!


Nice bedded buck.

October 16, found my arrival to my parking area a little late. However, my  failure to be on time by fifteen minutes granted some deer sightings in area fields. I Began my trek into the woods around 7:10 A.M.

Fog in the Cherry Run Watershed

I saw a porcupine as I walked up the hill to my planned station for a short while. I had my “wooly bottoms” on for the temperature was in the thirty degree area. Most of the day was fine in regard to the extra warming attire.

As stated I would see over thirty deer sightings  this day.  They were everywhere! Jeremiah, my smoothbore, was anxious to get a shot, but no shots were to be had this day. However, I had some deer to under the forty yard range, but dense vegetation seemed to always be in the way. I believe 98% of the leaves are still on the trees and lowland shrubs. Color isn’t very vivid this year as to date.

In total I would see five buck. The one in the photo included here was in it’s bed. A second one was behind and out of my site until they both raised up to run. I saw a smaller chestnut-colored antlered buck. The rack was nice, but only about twelve to fourteen inches wide. I saw a small spike and a four-point chasing about five doe. Squirrels were all over the place, as well.


Interestingly, I found a Black Snake enjoying the sun.



A Shot Not Taken

  The morning produced rainy conditions, so any thoughts of chasing deer with a flintlock smoothbore would need to wait. Jeremiah, my .62 caliber smoothbore was anxious to get out so once radar showed rainless conditions, I called my step father, Bob Miller about hunting. He agreed to meet me and travel to a nearby game lands.

Yesterday was Bob’s eighty-fourth birthday so my plans were to set him up and push some of the thick brush hoping to move some deer. Family is coming later this afternoon for a meal and cake to celebrate his day.

The first three drives produced no deer for Bob. I was surprised for this is great habitat for deer hideaways. I did find an old weathered arrow from some person’s hunt of the past. We did see a Ring-necked Pheasant.

However, the fourth push granted me an experience to enjoy. I was moving through the thick vegetation when I spotted a deer about fifteen yards away. The doe hadn’t seen me which very much surprised me.  This young doe began angling to my right. MY thumb was on the hammer, but I did not cock the flintlock. I just didn’t feel like shooting this deer. The doe was as close as ten yards and, yet, never saw me. Two more deer were down over from my position at about twenty  to  twenty-two yards.  I was happy with my decision!

Bob never saw any deer.

I need to write an update in regards with my sighting issues. They are gone! What a joy to see the sights of my flintlock with clarity again.  I suffered with this for over a year. I picked up a new pair of glasses Friday morning and immediately sensed better vision. So what was the problem over this time frame? The only answer I can come up with is an error in prescription form the glass-making side of the eye-glasses scenario.

My eye doctor once I complained about checked my prescription again and conducted other eye-related tests. He said his numbers were correct and the prescription was correct. The paperwork was correct with his numbers from the company that actually produced the eyeglasses. I truly believe someone at the company had all the paperwork correct, but the actual production of the eyeglasses was not correct with my prescription and the paperwork. Could this be possible?  Anyway, I am so elated to see the sights clear again!!! Wish me luck!


Old arrow remains

Some Carp Fishing


Last week I spent a morning walking back to an area to fish for some carp on light tackle. I had a great time. I caught some and a Bullhead Catfish.

Happiness is a taut fishing line.


An Aster

This day turned out much better than a recent Saturday morning hike.  That hike was one where I was walking about an hour. I could hear either the rustling of leaves due to an oncoming breeze or the approaching onslaught of rain. The second option was the result and I knew it.


Black-Throated Blue Warbler

I closed in tight under some hemlock trees. Fifteen minutes later the rain was soaking me. I leaned tight against an oak and did not improve the   drenching. I made an executive decision and pranced off towards the jeep. I was drenched by the time I gained entrance into the jeep. I turned the heater on with the fan on full. Needless to say the flintlock shooting plans with my step-father, Bob were to be cancelled.

This week we planned the shoot again. The plans were similar for I was going to hike early and meet at the Cherry Run Gun, Rod and Reel Club to shoot some. Originally I wasn’t going to shoot for an ongoing eye issue I have been having. However, I gathered my flinter named, Old Jacob and decided I was shoot a few rounds.

Those of you who have been following my posts may remember of serious focusing issues while hunting deer last year. This past summer I talked with specialists concerning Lasik surgery. I was disappointed to learn I was not a candidate for the operation. I recently visited my eye doctor and have new glasses to be arriving this week…at least I am hoping. I am getting a special anti-reflective lens this time to help, hopefully, with my low-light seeing.

I enjoyed the morning time to reflect on my life and remember about my Uncle Carl Smail. I usually think about him as the hunting season comes along. He died in 1976 at 48 years of age while hunting waterfowl at Keystone Dam in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. I arrived at the dam to see the fireman bringing him out of the woods. A very bad time for me!


Bob with his Thompson-Center Flintlock

I was blessed to see several deer and about six turkeys on this jaunt.

I arrived to see Bob waiting. The shooting began. I need to say my shots would have all been fatal on a deer, but each shot took twenty to thirty

Cherry Run

seconds of careful sighting. The front sight and the rear sight are blurry and seeing the front sights position in regard to the rear sight is very difficult. A friend had me almost convinced to place peep sights on my flintlocks, but I have yet to make such a move. My flintlocks are custom-made firearms and are historically accurate. I can’t bear putting the sight on…yet!




Huge Sycamore


Skunk cabbage for next spring



Muskrat droppings



This boulder marks the site where Flight 93 ended the journey.

I was driving a pick up towards southern Armstrong County , Pennsylvania. I was delivering  signs for a bridge repair job. I turned the radio on to hear of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Towers in New York City. Suddenly, the reporter exclaimed of a second plane striking the second tower. I remember looking at my friend and saying, “We are under attack!”

The faces of those 40 brave individuals.

Yes, that day was one of fear and wonderment as to what was next to occur. Soon words were heard of a third plane at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Time would continue with reports of a plane going down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We would learn of bravery among the passengers taking

People leave items for closure.

this plane down to prevent a fourth hit to an unknown position, possibly the United States Capitol building. The crash was eighteen minutes from Washington D.C.

That evening all of America was glued to the televisions attempting to understand what had happened this day and by whom.

Eventually, we would learn of the Islamic terrorists being the culprits to such tragedies. As I type this the events occurred seventeen years ago on September 11, 2001.

Today, we visited the Shanksville area to see the Fight 93 memorial.

The day began rainy, but at the time we arrived at the site the rains stopped and blue skies and some sun began to be the norm.  Laurie and I visited the visitor’s center which is a museum. Very little of the jet was discovered with the impact of over five-hundred miles per hour. (563 MPH) The massive fireball could be seen for miles. Thirty-three passengers and seven crew members passed away in an instant. The four terrorists died too.  The probable target was the United States Capitol building. Their bravery and willingness to act with a plan that meant certain death was heroic. I must admit the wet eyes happened periodically as we traveled about the site with thoughts of that day. Little else was found at the site because the fire destroyed so much.                                                                                                                                         

A tower under construction is one where forty chimes will be placed. Workmen were present at this memorial. The tower is called the TOWER OF VOICES!

At the visitor’s center one has the opportunity to pick up phones to listen to the frantic calls of that day. Laurie picked one up and quickly returned the phone. I wasn’t as brave. I knew what would happen to me.

We walked this bridge over a wetlands.

Later we walked the 1.7 mile trail and ended up at the actual crash site.  The memorial construction and mowed grass in the field makes it easy to see the flight path of the 747 jet.

We walked away saddened  to realize such an event could easily happen again under a lapse in security or intelligence.  A sad reminder is how so many of the young people of today do not have any realization of that terrible time in our history.

God bless America!



I bet the three men known as the Three Stooges would be very surprised to see the longevity of their shenanigans still being enjoyed today. The three men I am talking about were Moses Horwitz (Moe Howard) his brother Jerome (Curly Howard) and Louis Feinberg( Larry Fine).  I have laughed at those old jokes for many years. They had completed many short films and a few movies. A recent movie about the Three Stooges was made I believe in 2012. There was as a cartoon series about them, too.

Laurie and I went to see the stage show known as the same name, The Three Stooges.  Interestingly, Curly’s grandson was , also, part of the show.

The three along with others utilized many of the original Three Stooges skits into a storyline to save a vaudeville-like business. The original stooges received their start in Vaudeville many years ago. In fact, they did a show locally in the town of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. The place was known as the Casino Theater. This building has been renovated and has various shows and concerts today.  I live approximately twelve, or so, miles from the Casino Theater. We attend events there regularly.

We weren’t sure what kind of show we were to see, but admittedly we were laughing throughout. I even laughed and smiled periodically while traveling home. The three managed to work a pie- throwing skit within the show. The famous Curly shuffle and foot maneuvers were great to see.

Yes, those three men, along with third brother, Shemp, (Samuel Horwitz) have made people laugh for generations.