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Feels Like Spring!

January has been more spring-like than winter with the exception of only a few days. This morning was no different.

I planned to try to harvest a fat doe this day and I came extremely close on fulfilling that plan. While edging along a field I noticed a doe around twenty-five to twenty-eight estimated steps from me. Some young trees blocked her torso, so I continued the sneak always watching from my peripheral vision. As I walked along I cocked the flintlock’s hammer and “set” the Set trigger. Ten feet later I had a completely opened shot and I stopped to aim the sights. Just a mere millisecond later the doe unnerved and off she went.

In total I would have around 43 deer sightings this day, but no good other shots were offered. However, I did see a nice-looking buck, but he was not legal. The buck sported four points. This deer was still chasing does, too. I hoped she would have turned in my direction but she didn’t and this buck began chasing tail, so to speak.

The squirrels were very active with these warming temperatures. I saw plenty including a Fox Squirrel.

In the pre-dawn morning I heard a Barred Owl several times and later I would see one.

Tomorrow morning I will be out again, but I can only hunt a partial day. My services are needed elsewhere by noon.

One of those shoot with a camera deer instead of the flintlock.

Besides the numerous issues, dealing with the family over the last six months, one issue had me in a literal emotional distress. That issue was for federal jury duty in Pittsburgh. I have anxieties about certain things. Traffic, such as one finds on SR 28 and within Pittsburgh is one such issue. I don’t feel comfortable within large crowds. Rapid technology changes and dealing with foreign communicators on the phone find me avoiding as much as possible. The list is longer, but you get my drift.

A Cherry Run tributary.

I am thrilled to know, as of this evening the 7th, I will not  on jury duty. With all the issues bottled up in my senses, I actually broke down upon hearing that news. The burdens have been heavy and that release couldn’t contain my feelings at the time. I hunted very little this year between doctor appointments and worries. However, I did get out a little since New Year’s Day with the flintlock.

January 2, found me in familiar hunting haunts. I spotted three deer feeding along a field’s edge and I circled to try to set up catching them coming through the woods. I kicked up three deer wondering if those deer had already moved this far. I moved on and set down among a couple of logs. In a short time I started seeing deer moving around. A deer started moving towards my position and I readied Old Jacob. The deer was within a range from past years, but I am still being cautious with ranges over forty yards or so. The deer bedded down!

I could see deer off and on among the trees, but most were way too far. Another deer showed up and walked to the bedded deer. AFter a while of  feeding it turned and the bedded deer followed it. I circled again and was walking a field’s edge and spotted a fuzzy-faced yearling at about twenty yards. the deer was wide-open and broadside, but I elected to not shoot. I continued around and spotted another deer among saplings and limb. I tried to fond an opening and shot. The deer stood and looked at me. The shot was farther than I initially thought and I hit one of those limbs. I saw a number of deer before heading home, but no shots were offered.

Yesterday, January 7, I hunted for deer and set up watching a grassy right-a-way. I sat almost two hours before loosing the battle with the cold. I began a warm-up walk and was returning on the right-a-way only to see three feeding deer clear across this deep and steep hollow. They were on a reclaimed strip loaded with goldenrods and briars. I began the stalk.

I was around a hundred yards or so from where they were bedded when I herad a voice saying hello. I turned and a woman on a horse with two dogs. were  just below me. She said to say hello to not scare the horse. We had a conversation and I knew the deer, most likely, would have been moved and they were.

  I continued up the hill seeing some deer ocaasionally, but none were close enough for a shot. I spotted a bedded deer across a gulley and watched it get up and begin feeding. I paralleled this deer as I could but never could get close enough for a shot. I crossed the gulley again and was still-hunting and spotted some deer approximately 40 yards away. I could see three deer, but multiflora rose caused me to wait for a more open shot. Suddenly, to my left were three more deer. Now I couldn’t move the flintlock if I wanted without those three deer on my left spooking.

The three deer began walking across a little saddle and reappeared and walked a rim of this hill about 25 yards. The other three deer were going to come right to me so I waited. Probably this was a wrong decision. No, it was a wrong decison. I should have pulled up on the deer above me.

As luck would have it the second three deer moved up and walked the same trail as the first three deer. They stepped across an opening and I waited for the “PERFECT” shot and ended up not firing at all. The hard question for me to answer is why I held off. Any of those six deer were close enough and offered me broadside shots. This mind-set of mine to look for prefect shots causes a lot of deer to move forwards. Oh well!

Now, I seemed to enter into the hunter mode and still-hunted on the trail they were on. I never caught up to them. I suspect with the way the winds were changing that a whiff of Larry reached them and they moved away faster. I quit around one o’clock. I was anxious to get home to find out the results for this jury duty issues and as noted above all is well!!!

As you can see I did “shoot” some deer with the camera. Maybe with a change I this weather I will feel more like pursuing deer.  The weather has in recent days had rather warm temperatures and rain. The upcoming weekend is forecasted at 61 degrees with rain.

 

 

 

Turkeys Galore!

This morning was the start of the third day of Pennsylvania’s primitive Deer season. The dark hours began with a not-so- good event for me. While traveling to my hunting area for the day I started one of my coughing and choking spells. This is asthma related and I have them from time to time. I had to quickly pull aside to complete this bout. These events are scary and I feel, almost, to the point of black out at times. Luckily the don’t last long. However, I feel weakened for a time afterwards.

I climbed a hill enjoying the cool air in my lungs. I set up on a rock and waited for an hour until the day was bright. I then started a still-hunt method of sneaking around nd watching for bedded or feeding deer. I saw a number of deer this day, but none offered any chance of a shot. The first day, December 26, allowed for three doable shots, but I didn’t take any shots. I am still working on confidence building after some time of having seeing my flintlock sights. The three shots were around fifty to fifty-five yard shots and I hoped for closer action.

The second day found enjoyment with turkeys. Early I began to hear turkey chatter and eventually heard fly-down wing beats.  Minutes later gobbling was heard as the birds climbed the hill towards a fifty-foot right-a-way. (I got a big gobbler near this site last spring.) Other turkeys began yelping and gobbling behind me.

I set here for almost two hours and just had to stand and stretch my buttock muscles. While standing I noticed turkeys at the top of the right-a-way. I was in a bind. My camera was in my shoulder bag on a log. Periodic rain caused me to keep the camera within safe cover. Now I couldn’t move to retrieve the camera. I remained frozen in place.

A mature gobbler gobbled behind me and the thirteen turkeys above me started to run down the slope before taking flight. They landed approximately twenty-twenty-five feet from me.  I remined still. The gobbler gobbled again and all these young gobblers gobbled in sink. What an adventure being part of this and so close.

Today, at another site, I saw some turkey heads at a round top. I assumed the birds had seen me, but as I moved over this round top all I could see were turkeys running, flying…some going left, some going straight, and some going right. I had a turkey break! I had to set down and call in birds.

The turkeys didn’t start to call until one and a half hours went by. However, one bird came in silent early on. Once the birds began calling I crawled into a depression and readied the camera. I had turkeys almost run me over. I couldn’t keep a clear focus. Later on I heard one and then another  and called this gobbler in. What a grand time I had.

During my time afield I saw lots of squirrels, barred Owls and a Red Fox.

I had been feeling very anxious recently with so much going on. Friday evening I had to call Pittsburgh office concerning federal jury duty. I hate going to the city for I know little about that place, traffic is always an issue. Parking is a pain. every morning the news talks of recent shootings. No I prefer to say away. Luckily for me, I was not selected for this coming week. I still have to deal with anxieties for I have to call again next Friday.

Mockingbird

 

Owl pellet

 

 

Bedded doe from last week.

 

 

The General Jackson

Laurie and I spent some time on the General Jackson. The General Jackson is a paddleboat that has entertainment and meals on board as the travel moves along the Cumberland River. I have been on other such events and have always enjoyed them. The last such boating experience was on the Ohio River in the Cincinnati region.

As stated entertainment is part of these deals. The entertainment on this boat was top-notch. Lots of Christmas music and later country-style music was enjoyed by those aboard.

One look at me and this young lady was mesmerized beyond words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumberland River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One evening while in Nashville, Laurie and I enjoyed a great meal and Christmas concert by Trace Adkins. Trace Adkins is a well-known country singer, but this evening he performed Christmas songs. he had a great band behind him leaning strongly with a Celtic-style flavor of music. Great show!

 

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MUSIC ROW IN NASHVILLE

Music Row at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, Music Row featured old country music performers and many others performing within the local honky tonks to attempt to be discovered by passing record-producers. Well, that hasn’t changed at all. Anyone walking along the streets can easily hear and see bands set up on postage size stages seeking fame and fortune. Music was everywhere!

One of the most well-known, and famous honky tonks of Music Row is called Tootsies. Many of the old, and often deceased, country singers started by performing in this place and others. It has appeared in movies. Across the street is country music legend, Ernest Tubb’s place. A young Loretta Lynn walked into this honky tonk many years ago and sang and played. Ernest Tubb happened to be present that night and she became the star of country music she is today. Sissy Spacek was filmed in this place for the movie entitled, “Coal Miner’s Daugters”  In the movie, Loretta’s husband, played by Tommy Lee Jones went across the alley to the bar to hear his wife singing on the Grand Ole Opry radio station. (WSM)

I laughed when  a young fellow came down from the third floor of Tootsie’s  as I was about to go up. He asked me if I was an agent. I, jokingly, said yes but quickly told him I was “funnin'” him. I guess my age made me look distinguished. Most people in these places are much younger than I am.

A few years back, Country singers, George Strait and Alan Jackson had a hit called, “Murder On Music Row.” The song was a protest towards the country music producers leaving behind traditional country music and moving towards today’s style. Thankfully, there are many traditional country music singers out there. However, you don’t hear them on most country radio stations. Such are: Teea Goans and Amber Digby.

Tootsie’s

 

 

A few Christmas light photos from the grounds of the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

 

 

 

 

 

Elvis Presley’s car.

Dwight Yoakum had a hit years ago called, Guitars, Cadillacs and Hillbilly Music. Anybody visiting Nashville will quickly realize the truth of the words to that song title. Laurie and I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum to see what all we could find.

The museum featured many items from country music history. Clothes of the past singers like Hank Williams and many others were on display. Guitars were everywhere from the music archives. I took many photos of these relics. After all I am a guitarist.

Waylon Jennings’ telecaster guitar. I saw him play this one in person.

Walls of gold and platinum albums were present to see. When I say walls, I mean walls!

There were two old cars in the museum. One was a Cadillac owned by Elvis Presley. This car had gold hardware o  it. the back seat area had a television, recording equipment and a radio. WOW! The other car was once owned by Web Pierce. This car featured handgun door handles, both in the exterior and interior of the car. Rifles were anchored along the sides of both rear fenders. A handgun hood ornament was in place, too. He must have loved his guns. His dash and console were covered with silver dollars. The console was, also, done in a miniature leather saddle. It was, also covered with silver dollars. Must be nice to have money!

 

Hank William’s boots and suit and Eddy Arnold’s guitar.

 

Charlie Daniel’s axe

 

Buck Owen’s telecaster

Don Ric’s guitar. He was Buck Owen’s lead player and died in motorcycly crash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webb Pierce’s car

 

Hank Williams’ guitar

 

Michael Martin Murphy’s guitar.

 

Old Bob Wills’ poster. He was huge in the day with western swing music.

 

Earl Scruggs’ banjo. Remember the Beverly Hillbillies’ theme song?