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Shoulder Bone Painting

Life around here has been a little hectic at times. We have been at a number of doctor appointments and hospital tests concerning my step-father Bob’s cancer issue.

Today, a scheduled Pet Scan was cancelled due to a malfunction with the machine. The day was, also, mostly rainy so I decided to attack a bear scapula or shoulder bone with a bear painting. I had, previously, rough sketched a layout design and today would be a good day to begin the art.

I began painting prior to noon and this afternoon I actually completed the art and varnished.

Next week is the early muzzleloading season for deer and bear. AT this point of time and I am not sure how many days will be utilized with additional appointments. the Pet Scan is next Tuesday. Another hospital visit will be required to change as well for this Friday to next week.

Rough draft on the bone

 

The unfinished art.

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The target

This morning I went to practice some with my fifty-caliber flintlock named Old Jacob. Some may remember from reading past entries here of how I faced so much difficulty in the last two deer seasons.  I shot ten shots and failed to bring home any meat during last year’s various deer seasons. the year before I shot eight shots. Some of misses were difficult to believe. However, within those eight shots I still harvested three deer. I sensed things were happening with my eyes, but didn’t really seem to grasp how bad my vision had evolved.

I visited the eye doctor and had a  number of tests done. New glasses didn’t seem to help. Gloomy days and low-light conditions of mornings and evenings were hazy. The last years despite new glasses didn’t work. I believe the difficulty was from trying to align two primitive flintlock sights and seeing the target clearly. I think I was subconsciously raising the front end of the flintlock to better see the front sight thus shooting high.

Well, a few things have happened since last deer season. One is that I had primitive peep sites installed on my fifty-caliber.  Secondly, I, once again, went to the eye doctor and received new glasses. Thirdly, I had another pair of glasses made without any bifocal lens. I am hoping for much better shooting.

In July I shot a few rounds with the new sight, but decided to not shoot  until I had the above mentioned glasses bought including the set without bifocals.  However, before acting on the new glasses I had a health issue. I guess I should say I had a potential health issue. Through lab work the doctor discovered a positive reading of potentially that dreaded C-word. I found out definitely in mid-September that the reading was a false reading. I acted on the glasses

My stepfather began having issues and we recently discovered the extent of his health. He does have cancer. As I type this  entry his chemo will begin in less than a week.

I had a day to accomplish some things for the rest of the week is going to be busy. I gathered up my flintlock shooting gear and a cardboard and I left to shoot a few rounds.

The above target has given me some hope The lowest shot was the first one. I adjusted how I used the peep sight and shot a nice group at thirty-five yards. The highest shot was at forty-five yards. these shots were completed without a shooting bench. I could see a slight sway of the front sight. I could use more practice for confidence.

The early muzzleloading season for deer begins on October 19th. Also, the week has Pennsylvania’s first muzzleloading season. The temperatures will determine if I hunt bear or not. Since I will be, most likely, hunting alone I have to think ahead as to how to get any bear out of the woods. The second step is to drive to a bear check station to be determined and then to a butcher while cool temps rule over the area. I don’t want a bear that much to sacrifice the meat if at all possible.

Redbank Creek

Much trouble has been encircling me as of late. I had someone hack into my e-mail and used it to change passwords. HAVOC! I received a call from my doctor stating of a positive reading on lab work. That reading would eventually be deemed a false positive, but those words sure can mess a fellow’s mind up. A beautiful young lady I knew from church passed away at 35 from cancer. I heard of some friends who had just recently heard their daughter had that dreaded cancer. Lastly, my step-father, Bob Miller has had issues and those issues have been discovered to be cancer. His treatment starts next week. So I have been troubled.

  This walk along Redbank Creek was to be an avenue to escape these thoughts.  However, it took some legwork to accomplish that feat.  The walk lasted most of the morning.

I arrived along the creek early as I greeted the sunrise.

Beaver cuttings

Redbank Creek is a beautiful waterways that borders northern Armstrong County and southern Clarion County. the last time I walked this area was in a late winter hike with my friend, Frank Maus. We were fortunate to witness the ice jam let loose.

My walk estimated to be approximately seven miles by using the mile markers on the Redbank Trail. Periodically I would drop over the embankment and walk along the water. I found beaver sign, I saw a couple of Mergansers on the water, as well as, Canada Geese. I saw one deer feeding on acorns and a raccoon. I, also, saw a Porcupine moving in among some big rocks. Another interesting sighting was a Black Racer. The snake moved fast!

The early morning was fall-like with breezy conditions. I actually had some chills early on, but the weather warmed up as the morning progressed.

  On an earlier hike I saw two flocks of turkeys. I accidently walked in under a roosting site and spooked the big birds . later I heard yelping and gobbling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A place to fish.

Yesterday  in the late afternoon I placed my minnow trap in the creek in my back yard. Half an hour later I had more minnows than I needed for the morning’s fishing. I collected about a dozen and returned the remaining minnows for another time.

This morning I edged along the vegetated shoreline to go to a place I have had luck in other fishing excursions.   I am careful while maneuvering the smooth river stones after all I am getting old and feeble.

Smallmouth Bass

Eventually I spotted a wooden pier-like object along the shoreline. The pier had  steel bottom as if it had been made to be pulled along behind a tractor or pickup. This would be an excellent place to fish from. From this site I caught some nice bass from around fifteen to seventeen inches. I caught a catfish around twenty-two inches in length. Nice action while fishing with light tackle.

 

 

 

 

 

Two More Bears!

Thursday morning, September 5, I went for a mile walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. The wildlife was out in force. In that short time I saw twelve turkeys, two deer, heard a Screech Owl and heard a gobbling tom turkey. The fall-like morning must have invigorated the wildlife.

This morning I was out prior to the sunrise and watching the fog lift. I went to another area where I have hunted before. I saw some deer along the walk.

  I came through some open pines onto a grassy gas well road when the sounds of a tank smashing it’s way through the forest abrupted the solitude. BEAR! I scared the bruin at about forty yards. Unfortunately, the thick Autumn Olive, grapes, briars would not allow for any photos. But wait! As I stared off I could see some small tree tops swaying along with some noise activity. The movement was coming towards me. I thought, “this is great!”  

Aster

The second bear came to about twenty-twenty-two steps before the bruin got a whiff of my scent. It turned upslope in a fast paced mode  and sounding like slobbering-grunts. I could see black here and there but no photos.

Of course I was elated to see the bears although I never saw any open enough to size.

 

 

 

 

 

Not a good bear photo but the best when considering the early morning conditions.

I know my weird humor comes to play at times. This title is such a weird title. It is a play on words coming from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The strange truth of this title is even more bizarre for I actually saw seven bear this morning while hiking.

I was moving slowly along the woods where the terrain allowed for more openness.  To my left was a tangled mess of Spicebush, Multiflora Rose and Wild Grapes. One could not see through this mess. However, I could hear movement just beyond the thick brush. I assumed some deer may have winded me and were sneaking out. I was wrong!

Spicebush

A Black Bear walked into the more open woods from behind the brushy area. It was twenty steps away. Our eyes met and the camera came up and the bear turned on a dime. The photo showed a black blur. I moved ahead a little to walk off the distance when I spotted another and bigger bear approximately eight and no more than ten steps away. The same scenario occurred as our eyes met. I would guesstimate the first bear to be about 110 to 120 pounds and the second bear in the mid-two hundred pound range.

I quickly moved and turned left to go up the opposite hill in hopes of seeing the two again. The Spicebush and downed trees mad for less than

One of three flocks of turkeys I saw this morning.

desirable positions. I set on a log for about twenty minutes before exiting the way I came in.

Later, I spotted another bear about thirty-five yards from me. the bear moved over a steep lip on the hollow and went silent quickly. I looked about to try to find a quiet approach through the brambles and elected to listen and watch. Little time passed when I could see black on the opposite side of this steep gulley. There was my bear. I assumed this was one of the earlier viewed bear.

Soon I could more black . Another bear crawled up onto a tree. I immediately recognized this bear as a cub. I continued to watch and the first two bear walked out onto a big fallen tree. I could see three bear now. Shortly, a fourth bear became visible. I took a number of photos anytime an opening allowed. The bear were about seventy yards away. The woods were dark and shadowy due to the sun had not reached that side of the hill.

So I saw two bigger bear earlier and a nice sized mother with four cubs. My day was made!

 

 

A Garden Spider

 

Damaged corn from bears.

 

Sausage…bologna?

Lots of Turkeys!

I have been seeing many,  many turkeys over the last month here in western Pennsylvania. One day while out walking I saw four different flocks.  Some were concerned about poult survival rates due to the amount of rain we had had earlier this summer. I don’t believe the impact from the rain has had too much of an impact.

A few photos from various hiking adventures are below.

Foxtails in the dew.

 

Blue Vervain