Came across many checkerspot butterflies in the chaparral last week. Here are a couple of the best photos.
Yesterday’s win is today’s remorse. I awoke at 3:30 AM with a serious case of buyer’s remorse as I began re-thinking everything bad about purchasing a lot in Modoc County.
The biggest issue is the $195 per year payment to the county on behalf of the Last Frontier Healthcare District (LFHD). I’ve read all about it and there is nothing one can do to escape this annual “Special Tax.”
On the other hand, I’m bound and determined to figure out Modoc County Real Estate and there’s only one way to do it – join in. The LFHD may single-handedly be the demise of the current recreational property fiasco in Modoc County. And, that would be a good thing. I think it’s a clear case of unintended consequences.
While laying in bed, I couldn’t stop wondering if there were a reasonable way out of this financial conundrum. The more I thought about it the more I realized my sleep was over.
Out of bed by 5:00 AM, I felt a knot in my stomach. I hate being stupid, but that’s how I felt – and still feel as I write this. However, this is an educational experience and that includes a full understanding of buyer’s remorse.
At least I didn’t pay more. The value of Modoc real estate is taking it in the shorts, not that it was ever a good deal.
The Modoc tax collector closed the Modoc tax sale yesterday. Over 200 parcels were offered to the public at auction via a web-based auction on bid4assets.com.
I watched the last couple of hours of the bidding as blocks of offerings closed at a rate of 20 or so parcels every fifteen minutes. I noted that, on the last day of the sale, the tax collector lowered the minimum bid on some of the parcels..
When the minimum bid on two of the lots dropped to $500, I decided to make a bid. Immediately an auto bid offered $600. That was enough for me on that one. The two lots offered for $500 ended up selling for $700 each. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.
The minimum bid on a few lots was lowered to $800 each. The highest bid price I noted was $1,500 and another sold for $1,300. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.
The minimum bid on about five lots in Pit River Recreational Estates, out of about fifteen, was dropped to $800 and two of them sold. I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.
Eventually it was down to one lot and I planned to buy one, so I pulled the trigger on item 188 – after the minimum bid was lowered to $800. But, somebody had already bid $800. I figured there might be an auto bid. Sure enough the price jumped to $1,000 after I bid $900. Now I would be forced to bid $1,100 – which I did.
That ended the auction for me. I put my blinders on and went to the bank. When my $535 credit was applied (deposit and admin fee), I owned $601.65 for a total acquisition cost of $1,136.65.
The bank teller asked me if I was certain I wanted to send the money by wire transfer as it would be final and irrevocable. I said yes, and gulped.
For better or worse, Lot 29, block 80 of California Pines Unit 3 will soon be in my name. I laughed when the email from bid4assets.com congratulated me for my “win.”
From where I sat, it appeared that about ten percent of the 200+ lots offered were either sold or withdrawn.
Roasts are great, especially a prime rib roast, but I can never satisfy everybody. Mostly the guys, like their meat rare or medium rare. The ladies, especially my wife, like their meat cooked to at least medium if not well done.
Until yesterday, I could never solve the problem. In an effort to keep half of the roast from over cooking, I cut the roast in half and put the rare portion in foil. The remainder portion, I left on the Traeger grill to cook longer (thinking it would be more well done).
After a about 20 minutes I removed the portion intended to be medium from the grill and opened the foil on the half that was intended to remain rare.
To my surprise, the half that was in foil was medium and the portion on the Traeger was medium rare. Exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do.
So in failing, I succeeded. And, I learned how to solve my problem.
Pretty simple solution, but not intuitive.
5 PM, time to feed Lola. Linda is all over it.
“OK, I’ll do it,” I say as she stares from across the kitchen.
Lola is ready and waiting, staring hard at the bowl I have in my hand.
Half a cup of dry dog food and half a cup of wet, along with a couple of so-called lubricants.
Sitting across from my bow-killed Impala ram, I’m sipping on a glass of red wine as I watch Tucker Carlson argue with a gun control fanatic. Doesn’t get much better than this at my house.
Then Linda begins her Monday night theatrics. “Trash night!
“Ugh,” I respond as I turn up the volume on the TV set.
“I’m tired of Tucker, is there anything else we can watch?” she adds.
How about “American Pickers,” say I.
“OK,” she responds, “But don’t forget it’s, it’s TRASH NIGHT!”
“Ugh,” says I.
The pickers are kicking butt on some great unusual stuff and Linda announces she’s ready for a shower.
“Don’t forget. Trash night!” says Linda as she heads down the hall.
“I won’t forget,” I respond wondering why she makes such a big deal about trash. It’s not like they won’t be here to pick it up again next week.
The National Championship game is on and soon Michigan takes a significant lead. I’m thinking this could be a big-time up-set.
Both teams are playing great, but Michigan is maintaining. Then some white guy comes out of nowhere and scores about nine points in a row for Villanova. Then he throws one in from about 30 feet.
“Trash night!’ I say to myself at the half. Time to go break down some cardboard boxes and rip them to shreds.
American Idol is recording.
The first 25 years of my deer-hunting life were spent trying to kill any legal buck. In the beginning, any success was good enough.
Between 1971 (the year I killed my first buck) and about 1995, I hunted with bow and arrow almost exclusively. During that time, I killed four bucks. Needless to say, I was not a prolific deer killer. But, I hunted every year and each year I hunted at least two deer seasons and often three – counting an out-of-state hunt.
My enthusiasm was not diminished by modest success. I had so much fun hunting deer that I was only slightly disappointed when I failed. And, I was an optimist, a big factor if you are an archer. The largest mule deer buck I killed before 1995 was a 23 inch wide three by three.
There was no need for an open zone tag in those days. Bucks were always around. I just couldn’t kill them. My missed shots per buck killed was somewhere around ten.
Then I won a Browning Semi-Automatic Rifle at a Mule Deer Foundation event. It was my first true deer rifle. Things changed in a hurry. I learned that deer were not really all that hard to kill if you could hit them and with a rifle they were much easier to hit.
One thing led to another and I was no longer satisfied to just hunt and occasionally bag a buck. I also began to hanging around with serious trophy hunters.
And, I learned that the biggest limiting factor in trophy hunting was access to a trophy buck. I began to pay attention to the hunting zones and as it became harder and harder to gain access to trophy mule deer, I became more envious of those who drew good deer zones to hunt.
Then, in about year 2000, California created a preference point system. Special deer hunts were carved out and trophy bucks were there to be had if you could draw a tag, but only a few dozen hunters were drawn for these hunts each year and in order to draw a special hunt tag you had to be very lucky.
As the years went by, I heard stories about the different special hunts and wished that I could draw, but that never happened.
About the time that the preference tag program came about, another way to obtain tags was created. Each year a very limited number of deer tags for specific areas were sold at auction.
As I attended fundraisers I watched as hunters bid what seemed to be exorbitant amounts of money for the right to hunt a deer. The cost of such tags was way beyond my means. Anyway, I was still hunting and having a good time doing so.
As time went by, my income grew and I would occasionally hire an outfitter for some of my hunts. Soon I realized that the cost of some of my outfitted hunts was nearly as much as the cost of the fundraising tags. I might be able to afford to purchase an open zone tag at auction. And, if I did, I wouldn’t need an outfitter, as the hunt locations were close to home.
The deer hunting season would be practically endless.
I’d purchased landowner tags for as much as $4,500 and guided deer hunts for more than $7,000. Why not stretch a bit more and pay $10,000 for a tag that would allow me to hunt all the places I’d dreamed about for years.
At the age of 66, 45 years after killing my first buck, I finally had the funds to bid on a tag that might give me a shot at a buck of a lifetime. The only thing stopping me was myself.
Two years ago I successfully bid on and purchased a California Open Zone deer tag.
Over the course of the 2016 deer season I had some of the most memorable deer hunting of my lifetime. The season culminated in the killing of the largest mule deer buck of my lifetime.
That buck is now on the wall of my office and I admire it daily. The price I paid for the tag was $10,500. I filled my tag on the first day of the hunt commonly referred to as the Doyle Muzzleloader Buck Hunt.
A few days ago I made the decision to bid on the 2018 Open Zone Deer Tag. Once again I was successful. This time the tag sold, in the Santa Rosa Chapter of MDF live auction, for $15,500. Definitely a big increase in two years, but still well worth it. In my eyes this hunt is one of the best values in the universe of mule deer hunting.
During the lead up to the 2018 season and as the hunting season unfolds, I’ll explain why. Sure it’s about the chance for a trophy, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s the hunt of a lifetime, even if you’ve done it before.