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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Reading to My Grandson Eli (Blog 270)

A Thanksgiving tradition for Elaine and me is to have Wednesday dinner at our daughter Sarah and her husband David's house.  As usual, Elaine and Sarah prepared a delicious meal.

But the highlight for me came after dinner when my 1 1/2-year-old grandson Eli came over to me, crawled up onto the sofa and said, "Read."

Sarah and David have done an outstanding job in inculcating a love of reading in their two boys, Sam and Eli.  As a school teacher, I know how important this is as reading to a child is one of the nost developmentally important things a parent can do.

Afterwards, Elaine and I marvelled at how Eli's vocabulary is growing, as he seems to know many more words every time we visit with him.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mentoring New Hunters (Blog 269)

Saturday morning, I am taking two adult hunters afield on land that Elaine and I own in Craig County, Virginia.  One has only been hunting a few years, and the other just started this fall. I won't be carrying a gun, as I want to concentrate on them killing a deer.

I actually enjoy not toting a rifle and concentrating on putting others in a good spot to succeed.  One will be overlooking a feeding flat and the other a bedding area.  It has been fun to go over with them all the possible scenarios for the morning, and the possibilities that the game plans I have devised will be successful.

Who knows how tomorrow will turn out, hopefully we will be bringing two deer to my butcher's.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Opening Day of Virginia's General Firearms Season Blog (268)

My son-in-law David Reynolds and I went hunting on one of our family's three Craig County properties today, which was the first day of Virginia's General Firearms seasons for deer.  David and I were hoping to see a nice buck, but, realistically, both of our objectives were to kill a doe.

Although both of use saw some 16 deer between us, neither of us ever fired a shot.  The only deer that we could have shot were spikes and 2 and 4 pointers, which we both passed on.  In fact, I had one 2 pointer broadside and 20 yards away, and David probably could have shot several 1 1/2-year-old bucks.

The most interesting aspect of the hunt was the sea change that has occurred the last 10 to 15 years or so about hunters not shooting  1 1/2-year-old bucks, and many individuals not shooting 2 1/2-year-old ones, either.

When I started deer hunting in 1985, that attitude was not common, either.  Again, the metamorphosis of hunters in this area is fascinating.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Doe Day in Craig County (Blog 267)

Today was the only doe day for Craig County during Virginia's early muzzleloader season, so I went to our 140-acre tract there.  The forecast was for morning long rain, so I brought along a pop-up blind, so I could hunt without becoming wet.

I had been to our Craig land twice earlier this autumn, both times pursuing turkeys.  On those two occasions, the turkeys had never come close enough to shoot despite my scattering gangs both time.  I did see good numbers of deer both times, once, in fact, spotting 13.

This time, however, I saw a gang of eight turkeys ambling by at a distance of just 35 yards, and the only two deer I saw were 125 yards away, well out of my range, especially given the terrain and underbrush.  Random chance has not operated in my favor on my three visits to the property this year.