Met Jerry Wong at Timber Cove. He’s up from LA with his wife Lillian. We’re in the water around 8am. Gorgeous day but not great visibility and a little big of surge and swell. I found my three abs with some difficulty. And as usual saw many many more bigger abs while hunting for fish. Jerry got his first three abs pulling some nice sized ones. Was great to get back in the water again and encouraging to see a lot of good sized abs at such a popular easy dive location. Looks like things are looking up for the abalone population finally.
Did not see a lot of fish out but managed to first get a calico with my pole spear. Kept at it ignoring the perch and greenling, flushed a big ling that got away, and finally found a good sized blue in a hole. Was a great day to get my limit and a couple rock fish under some challenging conditions.
Back to try turkey hunting again with Dylan Carr at the Diamond C Ranch. I stopped at Rio Dell on my way to pick up my Remington ADL custom rifle Fred at Grundmans had been putting together for me. My original first hunting rifle, a bargain basement ADL, now transformed with pacnor stainless fluted barrel, jewel trigger, robar coated with NP3 on the bolt, and topped off with a 4.4-14×40 Leupold VX3 with CDS turret. Looking forward to sighting it in. My inspiration was an article from Hardcore Outdoor where he gave his 30.06 a similar treatment.
Friday we tried calling in some Toms with Harley and Dylan doing the calling but the wind made it difficult and the birds weren’t moving. Saturday morning Dylan and I drove back down to where we’d been hearing them and immediately got a gobble back to our crow call. We found a good position behind a rock above them and proceeded to call them in.
We had expected some birds to come up on our right but before we knew it two toms arrived off to our left. I had to re postion the gun over Dylan to be ready. Dylan saw the first and told me to take the second one. Waited for them to get into range. Finally the second arrives and I shoot him. The other bird immediately comes over and starts tearing him up, standing over him. Eventually slipped off my gloves and got my iPhone out for a little video. We then slipped out there not wanting to spook them so that Dylan’s daughter Ashley could try for them later.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning we hunted with Ashley, Dylan’s 10 year old daughter to try and get her first turkey. We had several stands and toms come in but it was never quite right or too far to shoot. She was shooting off of sticks. She did great though exhibiting great patience and not taking a bad shot. I’m sure she’ll have her bird later this month. Was so fun seeing different hunts unfold and the toms coming in to the calls. Really enjoying turkey hunting and looking forward to doing it again each Spring.
Met Paul Roitz, Hunter Cutting and his son Dane up at Los Altos Rod & Gun Club today. We were there to teach Hunter and Dane to shoot clays. Dane is twelve and taking his hunter safety class so he can go duck hunting with his dad and sporting minded family. Dane was a natural. After breaking his first bird I don’t think he missed for another five or six shots. I managed to take some video with my iPhone. Was amazed at the quality and put this clip together. Viewed in HD and at full screen you can see him breaking the second bird on the doubles. Was a great time. Looking forward to more shooting and hunting with the Roitz and Cutting families.
Back to the Diamond C Ranch for my late season November blacktail deer hunt. I had hoped to take a better buck with my bow this time but issues with my bow had me revert to the rifle yet again. I had my Sako 85M in 30.06 which has been my go to deer rifle while the ADL is being customized. It was still a great time, especially to sit and watch so many bucks this time of year. We saw some from last year like Moose, Splay, and assorted management bucks. I ended up taking a very old 3×3 management buck that Dylan wanted taken. The highlight of this hunt was seeing a buck called Slider up close at 100 yards chasing some does around. He’s a huge straight 4×4, maybe bigger than my B&C buck right now. We hope he breeds does all across the ranch. I’ll be dreaming of him for the rest of the year. Hopefully to take him with my bow early August.
Slider’s sheds are below, the set from last year and on the right one from two years ago already a 4×4.
I finally had a chance to shoot my Kimber Ultra CDP II. The Kimber Custom Defense Pistol in Ultra size is the smallest of their 1911 offerings. I had assumed these little .45′s would be extremely hard to shoot accurately. Then one day at Reed’s I noticed they had an Ultra Raptor for rent and I gave it a try. Much to my surprise it was not only easy to control but the excellent trigger made it fun to shoot accurately. They use a short captured two recoil spring system similar to my Glock 30 that seems to absorb recoil very effectively. I picked up my own Kimber Ultra in the CDP two tone model and gave it a try last weekend. This target is 25 shots at 10 yards. I was also able to rent the Commander size CDP II Pro model which was a pleasure to shoot but I really didn’t shoot it any better than the Ultra. Fifty rounds of 230 gr Hardball with no failures. Still need to try it with some defense ammo but so far I’m still impressed.
October 28, 2012 -Diving at Tiber Cove with Jerry Hong. We were suited up and in the water around 8:30 am. The sea was flat but unfortunately the visibility was not great. We kicked straight out of the cove to the kelp beds at about 30 feet. I was having trouble getting my left ear to equalize at depth. Finally I decided to head for shallower water to the right of the mouth of the cove. Not seeing many legal Abs, it took me a while to find my first which was only legal. After a while Jerry said he had spotted a huge one back at the kelp beds. Jerry was up from LA and had not bought a card. I explained to him I could not take one for him or receive one from him. I did think it was worth a try to find the big one. I was able to hit bottom out there and on about my fifth dive saw a huge one in the open on the face of a rock. I should have just marked it and come up but tried to pop it with no luck. Really pushing my breath hold as well. So I surfaced without marking it and had a hard time finding it again. Finally surrendered feeling I was pushing it and headed back closer to shore. Now I had great bottom time and quickly found a nice deep dish maybe 8″. My last ab I knew was at least 8 and when I went to lever it off a rock the whole rock came up too. It was about a 10 pound square slab. I just grabbed it, surfaced, and pried it off on my boogie board. Had not seen too many fish but decided to try for one before I called it a day. Using my polespear I combed the waters and finally saw what I was looking for, a nice sized blue rockfish. He was just out of range with my tips raking him slightly back leaving a few white lines and he zipped off. All in all it was a good day. My first Ab limit since the die off last year. One of the abs had a super thin shell that broke right through while cleaning. The other two were really pretty, the photos of course can’t do them justice.
Over my past few bow hunts my guide Dylan Carr has encouraged me to shoot heavier arrows. After having some pretty mediocre penetration on even medium sized pigs I decided to take his advice. I ordered a dozen Easton Axis Full Metal Jacket arrows from Bowhunter Superstore. They will cut and ship you arrows to your specified length, fletching type, colors, knocks.
I recently had my bow restrung and it was shooting a little high with my old arrows. I left it as is knowing it might be fine for the heavier ones on order. After receiving my new arrows I took them to Kings Mountain Archers to sight them in. My first shot at 20 yards was dead on. It also went right through the hay bale and the quarter inch rubber backstop. After a few minutes dislodging it I decided to skip 20. I shot some nice groups at various distances until I was too fatigued to shoot well enough to still make adjustments.
I shot some respectable groups and was feeling pretty good about my new arrows. Especially their energy and penetration. My deer target was pretty shot out and even my old arrows were going right through it. My new Cabelas target arrived so was anxious to try out the new arrows on it. The evening I went out to shoot a doe was checking him out from the other side of the fence. Well was able to get almost all my arrows into the smallest circle on the target.
So following weekend decided to head back to Kings Mountain to make sure my initial sight in was accurate. I always want to see how I shoot fresh and that first shot I always consider the most important one. The one I would be taking in the field. Had the range to myself so I did my usual 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 from the right side of the range. My 40 I could tell I flinched a little but the rest felt like good form. This turned out to be one of the best strings I can recall shooting. I think it bodes well for my hunt next month.
Enjoyed a great day shooting back at TASC Saturday. Instead of the usual structure they had two morning stages, one complex high round count with a lot of steel and a Classifier called “Life’s Little Problems”. Then we had a nice bbq and celebrated Len Fylock’s retiring from the Club’s Presidency. Len has been involved with the club since 1991 and I’ve always enjoyed his stages. Afternoon was a fun change with a round robin style steel challenge going heads up. I barley won my match with a tie breaker for best two out of three. I was then beaten handily in my next but at least by the guy then went on to win overall. The last stage Len had brought some pneumatic operated targets for a police training style scenario. A great time put together by the folks at this awesome shooting club.
I had originally planned to head up to the Diamond C Ranch in October for my first hunt this year however Dylan contacted me to see if I’d like to try for a buck we call ‘Club’ Dylan had been seeing regularly on a trail camera. He thought I could get a good chance at him with my bow hunting hunting from a ground blind. I was definitely up for it. I first saw club with twin towers and the 4×5 I took in 2009. That year his left antler was a single knob gaining him his nickname. Last year he was a 3×4 but this year he is a 4×5 and looking huge. Probably at his best given his age so we want to take him this season.
I drove up Sunday morning on August 12th. Dylan and I both sat in the blind that first night. Unfortunately it had really heated up and we didn’t see a single deer the first night. The next day wasn’t much better. I sat in the blind alone before dawn and then back in it again at 6:30, again not a single deer. Luckily the blind was in the shade and a light breeze would blow in the opening now and then. After we would pull the trail cam card and review the pics we’d see club right there again with a bunch of other bucks and a big black pig but a half hour after shooting hours.
Tuesday Morning I’m in the blind well before dark and just before dawn I see the flash fire from the trail cam illuminating a tall buck in the distance across the fence line. I can see him in my binoculars, he’s a tall tined 2×3. It’s way too dark to make him out otherwise or even try for a shot. At dawn he is long gone and I don’t see any more deer that morning. The evening it’s now a lot cooler and at 8pm I see a tall velvet spike crest the hill and approach from the left. He jumps the fence and stops in front of the blind. I draw my bow on him to practice from within the blind. Shooting from a chair is not easy. I took Dylan’s advice and gave it some practice before coming up. It’s a 27 yard shot and feels good. I let down and hope more deer are on the way. At 8:30 I hear rustling in the trees on the hill to my right and a large pig emerges and starts to make his way down. It’s too dark to even read the lcd numbers on my range finder. When he passes in front of the blind I estimate 15 yards and can barely make out his outline through the tall grass. I try to hold my 20 pin on him and at the shot he speeds off and I hear my arrow clang against a metal fence rod in the distance. Miss! Now it’s too dark to shoot and a velvet forky appears on my left along with the tall tined buck off to my right. Dylan picks me up and we head back encouraged by getting a shot off and at least seeing some deer.
The next morning back in the blind. It’s much cooler actually rains a little. No deer sighted in the early hours. Dylan texts me to see what I want to do. With the cooler weather and light rain I want to look around and see if it’s got the deer moving. He picks me up and we head down to the willows and walk the ridge but don’t see any bucks below. We move off to another area that he’s seen a couple management bucks. As soon as we turn the corner there are two deer on a hill top in the distance under a big oak. It’s a doe and one of the management bucks. We slip out to try for him. We’re able to get very close before the doe busts us. He moves back to 23 yards and remains broadside while I draw and shoot. The shot is perfect and after 20 minutes we find him piled up over the crest of the hill. He’s a great management buck, nice bases, eye guards, and still in velvet with his summer coat and nice and fat. I am thrilled to have taken another buck with my bow four years after my first. I’ll be back in November chasing Club again, looking forward to seeing him hard horned and hopefully take him with my bow but am not above pulling out the rifle.