Thursday, October 20, 2016

Piney Creek

Hunted the Piney Creek bottom with Thicket this morning.  The weather is still too warm but I needed to get Thicket into some birds and the bottom didn't let me down.

Having had little bird work this summer, Thicket pointed the first woodcock and then left the bird before I reached her.  I flushed the 'cock and let it fly away.  She had started this bad habit last fall and it seemed to still be with her.  The next bird flushed just as she ran past me checking in and I also left it fly.  Later I jumped a 'cock myself and threw a shot at it with no harm to the bird. We crossed Piney Creek and started back toward the truck when suddenly Thicket pointed again just in front of me. I quickly moved in, flushed the bird, and dropped it with my left barrel. Thicket found the bird and mouthed it and then dropped it.

Piney Creek was running low. The forecast is calling for rain tomorrow, I hope their right.

There was enough moisture in the bottom to encourage a number of different mushrooms or toadstools to flourish.

I flushed one more woodcock and heard a grouse flush in the distance before we reached the truck. Hopefully I'll be able to shot some more woodcock over Thicket's "quick" points and make her realize that they are the reason we're out there beating the brush.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

First Hunt of 2016

Went out yesterday to start the season.  The weather's too hot but had to get out.  I took Emma and tried a new spot, the Harrier covert , named after the Northern Harrier hawk I saw there. It's reclaimed strip mine land growing back with patches of aspen, locust, and birch. Waist high goldenrod gave the woodcock plenty of cover.

The 'cock seemed to be running on Emma as she gave me several empty points. They had to be native birds as it's too early for the flights to come through.  I flushed one myself so I knew that there were some birds there.  She finally gave me a nice solid point but as I approached from the left the 'cock flew out the right side of the cover and I didn't have a shot.  After a couple of hours with the temps pushing into the upper 60's I called it a day. With no birds in the bag I was still satisfied to find a new covert that held woodcock this early in the season. I'll be going back later when the flight birds are moving through to see if they use this cover.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week calls for hot and dry weather until Friday when there is a 90% chance of rain.  Next week looks to be much cooler so hopefully the dogs and I will be doing some serious hunting.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Finally Some Cool Weather

Took Thicket for a run Sunday morning for the 1st time this fall. We went to a reclaimed strip mine with scattered patches of locust and pine and lots of goldenrod.

No points but we did move a grouse and a cock pheasant. Their the first birds Thicket's smelled since last March.
Thicket was happy to get out and run so I couldn't get any good pics of her.  It's still extremely dry in my covets. Hopefully the rains will start soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer's Winding Down

As summer winds down I find myself in a fishing frenzy. Going out 3 or 4 times a week to enjoy the water before the "fall spell" hits me and I start to haunt the grouse and woodcock coverts with Emma and Thicket looking for birds to pursue this fall.

I love to be along the riverbank before sunrise.

A nice rock formation  at Warrior's Path State Park.
I saw the 3 Otters again one morning but didn't get a picture of them hunting in the riffles. I was able to get a poor picture of an Osprey.
I caught my personal best fish this summer a few days ago. An honest 18 inch smallie that I slipped back into the river to grow bigger for next years fishing.
Some more rock formations. These are along Licking Creek.

The wild flowers that grow along the waters edge always catch my attention.

Sadly my turtle sightings have been scarce this summer. I was lucky enough to walk across this lovely box turtle on my was back to the truck yesterday. Possibly the biggest box turtle I've ever seen.

I still have a half a dozen or so spots that I've not fishing this year. Hopefully I'll be able to get out and enjoy the fishing and scenery for a few more weeks before summer ends.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Morning on the River

Fished the Raystown Branch this morning and the first thing I saw as I entered the water were 3 otters on  the opposite bank. This was the best pic that my little point and shoot camera could get.
I walked down stream for about 10 minutes before I began to fish to get away from the pressured area near the parking lot, but still the fishing started out slow.

I finally started to catch some fish both Smallmouth and Rock bass.

Rock bass are also known as Redeye's or Google eyes for a good reason.
This was the "catch of the day".  I snapped a couple of quick pics and slipped her back into the water. As I watched her swim away I realized that I had forgotten to measure her. I'm guessing she approached 15 inches , a fairly nice fish for this water.
As the morning progressed I saw a very large mink and an immature Bald Eagle neither of which gave me a chance for  pics.  I did get some pics of this curious little bird which was feeding on an exposed gravel bar in the river.  After looking through my Peterson Birds of Eastern North America I found the Spotted Sandpiper to be the only bird to come close to matching this bird.

As the sun appeared over the eastern ridge the temperature started to climb and I turned upstream and made my way back to the truck, satisfied with the morning's fishing and nature sightings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Heat of Summer

The summer heat has come on with a vengeance.  This was yesterday at about 4 o'clock.

On the hottest of days some of the bees hang on the outside of the hive, their way of regulating the temperature inside the hive.

The start of the new chicken coop.  It's being built where formerly I had a 10 by 12 foot dog kennel.

I confess to neglecting my nursery of apple grafts this spring and that let the aphid population explode. The aphids feed on the new leaves, sucking the fluid out of them and making them curl up and eventually die. Several sprayings of Sevin and I have them under control and the grafts are putting on some good height.

My Cochin flock has grown in the past month.  I've added three Black Mottled pullets.

I've started fishing my "big water" The Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.


I've been able to catch a few smallmouth and enjoy some wonderful scenery.

As the end of July draws near, I tell Thicket that Fall is coming and we will make some wonderful memories in my coverts.