Over Christmas break, I usually try to take advantage of the fact that my folks live on an eastern NC farm, and that means it’s politically correct to shoot clay birds in the back yard, and to walk to the woods with a gun in your hand. We had a box of 90 clay birds, and a quick trip to Walmart procured a box of 100 shotshells. My dad, my sister, my son Jason and I went to the field behind the house and set up the trap. I started by missing about 5 birds in a row, but dialed it in after that, and hit about 80% of the remaining birds. Good fun!
The next day, Jan, Jason and Jeff headed back to Chapel Hill. That afternoon, I picked up my over/under and a variety of shotshells and walked to the back of the “Coot Field,” across the road from the house. I had a few bird shells, a few squirrel shells, and a few buckshot…just to cover all the bases. I walked by old marl holes, past the rifle range, and down the path through the pine plantation. Jumped over the water running from the swamp and headed for the small patch of swamp hardwoods. Walked around a bit, admired a cyprus tree, and sat on a log for about 30 minutes. Watched a couple of Pileated woodpeckers fly in for some “grub” 😉 . The last one flew close and spotted me, so I thought I’d move a bit where any squirrels or deer might not see me as well. I sat beneath a large oak, and watched the sun slowly set. A racoon ambled by, about 25 yards away, oblivious to my presence. A squirrel danced across the leaves and up a tree. I looked at him and said “bang,” deciding that I really didn’t want to shoot any squirrels that day. Other squirrels hopped around in the growing darkness. I decided it was time to head back. At the edge of the field, I saw my dad, who’d decided to drive to the back of the field and wait for me. However, he’d gotten the truck stuck, and we both had to walk back 😉 Came back the next morning with the FourRunner and a chain, and pulled the truck out.
…but my neighbor shot two yesterday. At least I didn’t have to dress them ;-). I might be able to get to the farm a couple more times this month, but it’s tough for me to get out on any day but Saturday.
Saw a bunch of squirrels…maybe I should go squirrel hunting instead!
Spent the late afternoon sitting up a tree stand waiting for a deer to come by. I borrowed my dad’s break-block .30-40 Krag (has a scope, unlike my .30-.30). A really nice time, but didn’t see a deer. My neighbor has arranged hunting privileges at a local farm, and has some tree stands there. I was in one of those. Heard and saw lots of squirrels. Heard one deer at 5:20, just before dark, but it was moving along a ridge about 75 yards away in some dense timber, and I never saw it. Likely a buck, with one deer alone…left the stand at 5:35. Saw 3 does cross the road on the short drive home. Will try to go back next weekend.
I’m in Winterville, NC, visiting my folks for the Thanksgiving holiday…got in Wednesday evening, and had steamed oysters at Wimpies. Got in early enough to go to the rifle range and shoot a bit. My neighbor has arranged a place to go deer hunting, and I hope to get out there later this weekend. I fired a few shots with my .30-.30 to make sure I could hit what I was shooting at. I can still roll a tin can at 50 yards, shooting offhand ;-). My dad is also going to let me borrow a .30-40 Krag he has (with a scope, better for low light conditions). Who knows, I may get a deer.
We’ll probably go to the range again this afternoon to shoot. It’s supposed to rain today and turn much colder, so we’ll try to get out before then. It’s very warm right now, upper 70’s and sunny, but quite windy. I doubt we try to shoot any clay pigeons, as the wind would really put some “junk” on them…
Hope all y’all that celebrate Thanksgiving have a chance to visit family this weekend.
Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and slow down from the hectic pace of today’s life. I had a chance to visit my family in Pitt County, and sit down for a nice meal on Thursday evening. My 15-year old son clearly didn’t want his picture taken :-). Got out on Friday and to do some quail hunting, with my dad and oldest son. Didn’t find any quail, but it was a nice walk through the woods and fields. Shot some clay birds later on, and my dad and son both outshot me (but that’s typical). Went through about 5 boxes of shells, until the mainspring in the trap broke. Hmmm…think that’s what I’ll get my dad for Christmas!