Archive for October, 2019

Autumn Time Alone

Cowanshannock Creek

The family spent the last two days at the hospital talking with various doctors. Both days talked of my step-father’s cancer (Bob Miller) issues and what will, most likely, be the imminent future for him. We were told the cancer is very aggressive and moving fast. No cure is possible. Bob’s life expectancy is in months. This was not the news we had hoped for, but I expected that to be the case. I have tried to remain busy to not dwell on things as often.

  Lots of rain is expected later this evening. My original plans were to fish the Allegheny River. I set the minnow trap at six in the morning and at seven thirty I was dismayed to see the majority of those minnows to be  within the five and six inch range. I was planning on light tackle and catching some bass and catfish. I dumped the minnows back into the creek and pondered on purchasing some locally. I walked past a deck I have been building and decided to forfeit the fishing and go and get wood to complete the final landing of the deck which I did.

Prior to eleven o’clock I checked the radar and elected to hike along Cowanshannock Creek to see the beauty of the autumn foliage. I walked, where ever I could , along the creek’s edge snapping photos everywhere. This waterways has many boulders and hemlocks and rhododendrons. Add beech and maple and the contrast was breathtaking. I was forced to gather a stck as a third leg for the many rocks where slippery for this old man with painful knees.

The several hours walking along helped clear my mind for a time.












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My Redemption Shot!


I watched the four deer feed along for about a half an hour. They continued moving in my general direction. Would my redemption shot happen?

Just prior to the shot, two young deer appeared to my left. They were about thirty yards away, but limbs and vegetation blocked my view some so I held off. I did not want to miss or wound any deer. I needed a clean humane kill to boost my confidence. Remember all the blunders from the last two years due to sighting issues and difficulties aligning the sights.

Cherry Run

The lead deer cleared itself from the brush and I cocked the hammer. However, the second deer moved behind the lead deer. A shot at this range of approximately twenty yards would see two deer down. I moved my head to look at the right side of two trees in front of me. The other deer was closer now and open. I estimated that deer was around forty yards.

I maneuvered Old Jacob around and aligned the new peep sights onto the front shoulder. Even now I was apprehensive to shoot! I remember thinking to myself it is now or never and BOOM!

The recoil and smoke hid the deer for a second, but I saw the doe running downslope. The deer was obviously hit.  I reloaded while wondering what  happened. I was hoping for an instant drop at the shot.

I found the doe about sixty yards from the shot site. I felt relieved at redemption with this shot. I uttered a small prayer of thanks. The shot ended up being between forty-two and forty-five yards.

I skinned and quartered the deer and placed the meat in a basement fridge. Later I took the meat to a butcher for my time is very limited for now.

The next two days will be in support of my step-father and mother during these early stages of chemo.


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It was great being out hunting on this first day of Pennsylvania’s early muzzleloading season. I saw fourteen deer in the five hours I was out hunting. Obviously, some were the same deer being viewed at different times. In fact I saw two bucks and I saw them three different times. The spike was chasing a doe.

The pre-dawn grays were interrupted by the hooting of a pair of Barred Owls. I need to hear those soothing calls with all that has been going on these last several months.

The first buck I saw was scarping the ground under “his” limb. He was a decent looking buck. Later this morning, while still-hunting, I saw a back of a deer and quickly identified him as this same buck. The big-boy bedded down while I was watching.

The spike buck was working along a field and I believed the deer was a doe, but at about forty-five yards the rack was observed.  This feller came to about five yards of me. I snapped away with  photos. Later, as he gazed into my eyes, I verbally said, “Hi Pretty Boy” as I motioned him to come to me. The amazing thing about this event was the buck actually took several steps towards me. He was curious. I would see this fellow later following a doe.

Old Jacob and a small Sheepshead Mushroom.

The doe he was following stopped about forty-five yards from me. Unfortunately, for me, I had made a pact this morning to limit all shots to under forty yards. Those who follow these entries should remember the fiasco I was having last year with my eyes and seeing sights properly resulting in ten failed shots. This year I had added a peep sight in place of the primitive ones. Also, I had a pair of glasses made without the bifocal lens. I am feeling somewhat confident, but wished for a clean kill to regain all confidence.  One could call this a “Shot for redemption.”

I saw a number of squirrels as the frost and cool temperatures began warming up. I quit after one to check in on my step-father and mother, before heading home to mow.

I am planning on going out Monday morning for a time. The forecast is calling for the low seventies. That is too warm.

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I completed a second shoulder bone painting this afternoon. I, actually, began to do the art yesterday. There seems to be a lot of interest from people  while visiting and observing them on other sites. Yesterday’s art was sold.


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Shoulder Bone Painting

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.

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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.











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