Opening Day A-Zone

Spent the A-Zone opening day preparing for the A-4 hunt. Deer numbers on our ranch are so low that it’s really hard to get fired up.

First time I’ve ever hunted with my bow during rifle season. After target shooting for a while, I headed out to look for a buck.

While I was setting up, I got a text that Rob had just shot a 100 pound boar that was cooling off in a pond and he had to wade in chest deep to retrieve it.

Spent the rest of the afternoon waiting patiently at two locations. Never saw a deer until the ride back to camp when I came upon five deer, two of them spikes.

There will be time to hunt the A-Zone later on. Right now I’m focused on preparing for Modoc. Not enough time to do it all.

The mule is loaded in the Cargo Trailer and my check list is nearly complete.

Devil’s Garden Hunts are On?

Sunday 8/13/17

Late Thursday and after I made my last post, I got a second call from Modoc. Not certain what is up.

Contradicting the morning phone call, the latest word is that the forest closure for the Devil’s Garden portion of the Modoc National Forest is still in effect, but is limited to the area around the Steele Fire.

Hoping for better information tomorrow. (Monday)

Retrieved my A4 tag from License and Revenue Branch.

CA Ground Squirrels

California ground squirrels create a network of holes and tunnels that is used by many other critters. These include threatened and endangered species such as the California Tiger Salamander and the California red-legged frog. Fence lizards, rattle snakes, gopher snakes and king snakes also make these tunnels their home.

These ground squirrels, which are sometimes called ring-neck ground squirrels, are also a food source for bobcats, coyotes and gray foxes as well as raptors.

Golden eaglesĀ  and red-tailed hawks are a primary hunter of these rodents. They are also good targets for varmint shooters.

I’ve often wondered if the early settlers survived off grounds squirrels. They are quite numerous and I’m sure they could be tasty.

From my trail camera.

Fate of A4 Deer Hunt Yet to be Determined

Sent my A4 to back to the license and revenue branch thinking there was no hope that the closure of Devil’s Garden would be reversed.

However rains during the last few days may have opened the door a bit. If the closure is lifted or modified in a way that creates real deer hunting, I’ll be heading to Sacramento to retrieve the tag.

The next few days will tell the tale.

The A4 deer hunt is not the only hunting in jeopardy. The Clearlake Reservoir antelope hunt is also up in the air. And, the September elk hunt is not out of the woods either.

Obviously, the deeper into fall a hunt takes place, the better the chance the closure will be over.

According to Ken Sandusky the public affairs office for Modoc National Forest, another factor is that Modoc is hunter country and many of the people involved in decision making are hunters themselves.

We’ll see what happens. Here are a few Devil’s Garden scenes.

Looks Good for Ground Nesters

Been seeking some successful nesting signs for turkey, pheasant and quail. Here is some evidence.

Last week I ran into three hen turkeys at the ranch. looks like they had a couple of poults each. That’s pretty good success on our ranch where there are lots of predators.

DSC_0152[1] turkey flock

It’s not always easy to pick out the poults this time of year. Size varies, depending upon when the young hatched.

Driving to work on my trailer at Mayberry Saturday and Sunday, I bumped into a half-dozen pheasant broods. The seemed to have between four and six poults in each. Once again that looks pretty good to me.

DSC_0164[1] pheasant poults

Seems that the number of quail chicks is also very healthy. Maybe there will be some successful upland game bird hunting this fall.

The Airstream

Everybody should have a Boston Whaler of some kind and also an Airstream trailer.

They are a part of Americana.

I didn’t do it on purpose, but it happened. In 1973 I purchased a used 14 ft Boston Whaler. In 1987, I purchased a 1958 Airstream trailer.

If my internet search is accurate, the model name is the Pacer and it’s 18 feet long.

Both of these vehicles seemed to be indestructible.

These items are two of the coolest things I’ve ever owned, but I never fully appreciated my love for the Airstream until today when my friend Tom Billingsley put new tires on the trailer, greased the hubs and pulled it out of the muck of our Mayberry duck club.

It had been sitting in one spot since 1992.

I purchased the Airstream from a neighbor in about 1986 and I’ve been paying the annual rent to the state of California ever since. I can’t tell you how many times I cussed when the DMV registration letter arrived.

The earliest registration I can find is for 1987 and the fee is $174 so that must have been based upon my purchase price. If I remember correctly, I purchased the Airstream and an International Harvester Travel-all for $4,000.

In 1988 the registration fee was $27. In 2016 it was $79. I paid the 2017 fee on July 31. It was $89. Most property deprecates with time, this trailer only goes up.

However, it’s only a shell of its former self.

Here are a few pictures I took a couple of weeks ago.


That’s the bad news. The good news is that today the Airstream has been freed from bondage. It has new tires, greased axles and a new location on flat ground. Tom had to do some fancy maneuvering to get it out of it fix. But now it’s ready for a facelift and transfer to its new home – once I figure out where that is.

I’ll make a progress report before duck season.