Saturday was a decent day for a good ice fishing trip. I have been waiting for a day that wasn't too cold, windy, or wet to get Timbo out for his first time. Being a saturday, Tommy and Grandpa got to go too. Dad and I had been to this same spot a week and a half earlier, and had not only brought a nice trout or two home, but we also broke off one other really nice fish. This saturday, as dad was setting up the first rod, he hooked into something big, that broke the line right at the top line guide. Dad swings down, and grabs into the ice hole. Somehow, he grabbed the broken line, and started pulling up a fish. I went to help him, and, as I grabbed the fish, I ended up with a hook in my thumb. I noticed that this hook was not the one dad had been fishing with, but the jig that I lost in the big fish a week before. In other words, dad had caught the same fish. Here he is with the boys, and the fish, that ended up being 21", around 4 lbs. The boys took a LOT of time to throw snowballs! They had an absolute blast.
The last time we were here, the ice had been covered in slushy water. I set things up so that the kids could hang out in my sled, and play, to stay out of the water.
Timbo had a blast for his first trip!! Here he is checking a couple of the poles, or just running around!
And, the big one in the background is throwing snowballs and throwing himself in the snow!
Tommy really likes to tag along on duck hunting trips, and is really looking forward to his tenth birthday, when he can actually participate. This year, though, on his birthday, I was supposed to be taking my little brother, his father-in-law, and brother-in-law. Tommy still wanted to go with us, though, and was more than excited when I got him up at 4:45 in the morning to get dressed. At 5:00am, the designated meeting time, my brother called to say that he was almost to my house, but that his FIL was sick, and his BIL had been MIA that morning, so he was alone. Oh well, we'd be shooting for two limits of ducks instead of four. We made our way down to the mighty Snake River, and I started throwing out the decoys. As we were a little later than I'd hoped for, someone else got the best spot, but we got down to a pretty good hole - one where I limited out with three other guys on opening day last year. We got all set up, hid the truck, and got ready for the "opening bell," which was set for 7:33. At about 7:25, the group set up at the good spot up river, started blasting away - an insane round of fire that sounded like the opening of a war! I wasn't happy, I hate cheaters, and it was too dark to even see the birds flying! Anyway, my worries that it was too nice of a day, and there were too many people on the river were all soon quelled and we started putting some birds down. We ended the day at 10:00, so that Jake could get home to get his kiddos ready for Trick-or-Treats, with 5 widgeons, 2 mallards, and 1 gadwall. A great day! Tommy had a blast, and got to carry the birds to the truck, and pose for a picture or two! He's a good luck charm, for sure!
October has been GREAT for us, and our hunting successes. Good thing, too, since September was such a bust. I saw a total of one elk during my archery season - granted, it was a big bull - and didn't come close to getting a shot, yet again. I did draw my bow and try to get a shot at a little 2 point buck, but he busted out of there before I could even look through my peep sight.
Anyway, I digress. We started off duck season on Oct 3, in Soda Springs, on the Bear River. It was a really slow morning, with only one shot fired, and it was a miss by my "little" brother. That evening, Heidi let me convince her to get us a babysitter, and we went back out. This time we hit a little pond off to the side of American Falls Reservoir. We, of course, forgot the camera, so this picture from my phone of Heidi getting ready is all I got. Good thing she looks so good!!!
We ended up coming home with three drake mallards - one of which was Heidi's - and a little pintail hen.
I went back out for ducks on Monday and killed four more. Then I took Tommy on Thursday (his parent teacher conference gave him a four day weekend). I didn't even have my phone for that hunt, so I got a picture of him and our lone pintail hen - I couldn't resist that one with Tommy saying "get it dad!" - when we got home. Man, that kid is getting too big!!! Two more years, and he'll be shooting with me!
After archery season was a bust, my new brother-in-law, Randy, told me he'd take me out during rifle season for a buck. I have never had luck deer hunting, and I wasn't holding out much hope for this year to be any different. But, as long as he was inviting, I was all for a hunt! Randy and his dad let me tag along with them to their family property somewhere north of Soda Springs. We hunted all day, walked like crazy, and rode the four wheelers all over that property. Finally, at the end of a cold, wet day, we headed back to the trucks. We had just come through one of the two gates when Randy's dad punched the throttle on his "wheeler" and I noticed he was speeding toward a guy standing in the road. I asked Randy who that was, and he told me it was his cousin, Chad. Chad had his rifle, and was looking through the scope at the hillside. I got the signal to stop, so I shut off the four wheeler, and Randy and I baled off to see what was so interesting. While we were looking in vain, Chad walked up and pointed out two young bucks on the hillside, just a few hundred yards from the trucks. I was able to kneel down, find the larger of the two bucks in the scope, and touch off my first shot before I even totally realized that I was shooting at my first deer! I missed a second shot as my buck was limping down the hill, and had to finish him off with a third when we jumped him up from where he had fallen. My first deer is a two-by-three, two to three year old, and I couldn't be any happier. Unfortunately, I didn't think about pictures until after Chad and Randy had dragged the deer down to the pasture, and after Chad's friend Colby had helped me gut him. This phone picture was taken in the light from my truck's cargo and reverse lights, and my phone's crappy flash. Sorry, it's the best I could do, it was dark by that time.
Here's hoping the rest of the year is anywhere near as good as October has already been!!!
Once upon a time in a land called "every man's fantasy," a fair maiden brought home a long awaited surprise for her prince! This prince had been wishing for a duck hunting partner for as long as he has been hunting but fate had been unkind to him. When the lady heard of his wishes she decided to take fate into her own hands. It took many, many, many moons but the time had finally come to find the prince his hunting partner. The search was far and wide, but ended in Twin Falls, Idaho on Saturday night. The lady found this handsome pup and brought him home to meet her prince. It was love at first sight!
The handsome pup, ROCKY, has adjusted well and is a dream come true. He is just the right size, he has an amazing nose, and loves to play... The dear children in this land enjoy having him as well.
And they all lived happily ever after...
(written by Heidi...if anyone couldn't tell)
He is a natural hunter, great retriever, and has more energy than he knows what to do with. He will still need a good bit of training, but his natural ability so far amazes me. Plus, he really is a handsome boy. Oh, he may lose just a bit of his craziness next week. He is almost two, but his original owner did not have him neutered. I, though, don't want the goof ball peeing on anything else - though it was one of the ten funniest things I've ever seen when he lifted his leg on Heidi!!!
I have been absent from my little updates here for a while. Shell has new internet policies, so I don't do a lot of computer playing at work anymore. Then, I tried to write up an essay about patriotism for the fourth, and the internet went out on me all together, so I bagged the idea. That brings me to "the here and now."
There is a ton of stuff going on this summer, not the least of which is my littlest sister's wedding. They are having two receptions, but one of them will be at my parents' house, so my dad is going crazy with projects he wants to finish before all of those folks come over. He bought a bunch of flagstone to build a kind of porch in his backyard - it's really freaking cool, I ought to take a picture! Anyway, my point is coming up, he bought the stone from the famous quarry town of Oakley, ID. Aside from the stone sales shops, there isn't really much to Oakley, it's just a great little town, a little way off of the beaten path. However, they do have a beautiful reservoir there that is well stocked with walleye, a fish that neither dad or I had ever caught. So, when dad decided to go get his last load of flagstone, he hitched up his little boat, threw Tommy and I in the big green truck, and set off at a steady lope for our first try at walleye. It was really windy when we got to the reservoir, but we stuck it out and managed to catch not only our first walleye, but our first several! Each of us hooked and landed several little fish, and each hooked into a nice little native trout - although I released mine a tad earlier than the others, it counts for a hooked fish anyway. We didn't keep any walleye, but I did let Tommy keep his nice little rainbow, and taught him to clean a trout for the first time. It was a great day, even though dad and I got way too much sun, and I can't wait to repeat it. Here are a few pics, for laughs.
This is my monster walleye. As per usual, I caught the small fish of the day. Also "par for the course," dad caught the biggest - it was the first walleye and I didn't think fast enough to get a picture.
Here is Tommy's second walleye. Again, I was too excited when he brought up the first one, and didn't get a picture of it. These things didn't fight at all. We guessed that they were probably recent planters, and hoped that we could get a little fight out of some bigger ones. Unfortunately, the bigger ones never came. This one was a fair representation of what we caught all morning long, and they were almost as limp on the line as a chub.
Here the little guy is showing off his freshly cleaned rainbow. He was really tired when we finally got home that night, and I couldn't convince him to try barbequed trout with me. Maybe another time!
He didn't make it far into the drive home. Totally tuckered out!
Thanks for looking. I hope everyone is having a great summer. I will be after coyotes in Wyoming during my next two week "hitch." Hopefully I'll have something new to add here!
I decided to separate our family hunts from our main family blog. This is going to be a lot of fun. For now, I think this will mostly just have duck and coyote hunting stories, but ice fishing is coming up soon, and I am not sure if I will get to go for deer or elk this fall. I hope everyone enjoys it.