Sunday, April 26, 2009

My New Hummer

While enjoying the cool breeze out on the porch earlier this afternoon I was able to snap a few pictures . . .
I'm pretty sure this is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Achilochus colubris). If it isn't, then I think it is a Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri). You can't really see it in these pictures because of the lighting, but he has a rather reddish (ruby) colored patch of feathers under his chin, which leads me to believe that he is the Ruby-throated rather than the Black-chinned. Hopefully one of you reading this knows more about hummingbirds than I do and can verify that for me.
After he feeds he will go and perch on this twig in my tree. If another hummingbird even gets close to the feeder he will dart down and scare them away and go back to the perch. He is very territorial and it is pretty fun to watch.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turkey Hunting 2009 - Round 2

This morning my Dad and I tried for the second time this season to call up a spring gobbler. End result: same as our first try this year - didn't see any turkeys or hear any turkeys. Fortunately, Texas Parks & Wildlife allows us a month and a half for spring turkey season in our zone, so we still have until May 17 to harvest up to 4 gobblers. I'd be happy with just one! This season has been tough. I've got a pretty busy schedule between now and the 17th of May, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in one more hunt before the season comes to a close.

I checked my trail cameras and one did happen to capture a picture of a turkey, but it was just a hen. At least I know there are still turkeys in the area.

I didn't have as many pictures as I should have because one of the memory cards I was using was too small and only held 20 pictures, which was about two days worth, and I haven't checked the cameras in about three weeks.

Remember the piglets I have referred to a couple times? It appears that my trail cameras are documenting their entire growth and development. They are getting bigger now and appear to be entering adolescence. These little guys are so frequent on the cameras that I'm gonna have to come up with some names for them.

I got a few deer pics too:

I'm not real sure what is going on with this fella, but he looks kinda goofy in this picture:

I guess these deer are just losing their winter coat, but they sure don't look good:

My dad took some pretty good pictures with his camera this morning and I'll try to update this post with some of those once I get my hands on them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are you on target?

Hunting with archery equipment is an activity that requires lots of practice and preparation leading up to the hunt. I would venture to guess that most hunters who use archery equipment routinely practice and tune their bows throughout the year. Whether it be adjusting a sight pin, waxing a bow string, or refletching some arrows, continual maintenance over the long run plays an important role in the success of a single hunt, and without practice the hunter can expect inconsistent shooting and inaccuracy when the moment of truth arrives.

Sometimes life gets so hectic that you just can't seem to find time to practice. As much as I like to shoot my bow, sometimes I get so caught up in day-to-day activities that I forget I need to practice. I will let a few days go by without practicing, then it turns into a couple weeks, and the next thing I know it has been a month or two since I picked up my bow and shot some practice arrows. I can't expect to just be able to pick up my bow on opening morning of deer season and expect to be able to hit my target!

It is no different with our spiritual lives. Daily activities with work, school, family, or other commitments sometimes get in the way of our daily walk with the Lord. Just like I need to practice regularly with my bow if I want to be able to have success on the hunt, I also need to have a quiet time with God every day if I want to grow as a Christian. Having that intimate time with God to read His word and pray will prepare me for trials that might come my way and help me to stay on target in the game of life.

I challenge you to have a quiet time with God each day. Don't let a few days, weeks, or months go by without reading His word.

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Psalm 5:1-3

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Texas . . .it's like a whole 'nother country . . .(maybe it should be)

Up until now, I haven't been a huge fan of our current governor, Rick Perry. But after reading this article I like him a whole lot more!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day of Spring Turkey Season

Saturday was the opening day of our spring turkey season for Rio Grande Turkeys here in North Central Texas. We didn't have much luck, as nobody on our place bagged a bird, but we did happen to see and hear a few. Since we weren't successful and I don't have any pictures to share, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few facts about the wild turkey.

According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, by the early 1900s, most wild turkey populations had been wiped out in North America, victims of centuries of habitat destruction and commercial harvest. As late as the Great Depression, fewer than 30,000 wild turkeys remained in the entire United States. Since that time, turkey populations have rebounded dramatically, primarily due to the conservation efforts of hunters, wildlife agencies, and conservation organizations - such as the National Wild Turkey Federation. Today it is estimated that more than 7 million wild turkeys can be found across North America.

Here is a map from the NWTF's website that shows the distribution of the wild turkey.

As you can see, most of the birds found in Texas are Rio Grande Turkeys, although there are some Eastern Wild Turkeys in the pineywoods of East Texas. The Rio Grande subspecies is typically smaller in body size than the Eastern. In Texas, a mature Rio Grande gobbler will weigh 16 to 18 pounds on average, while the Eastern will weigh an average of 20 pounds.

The Rio Grande Turkey usually has tail feathers that are yellowish-buff or tan in color on the tips.

The Eastern Turkey has darker brown tail feather tips.

And they make really scrumptious table fare as well.

Here are a few recent trail camera pics:
A few posts back I mentioned that my Dad, Katy and I saw 4 little piglets while we were walking through the woods at our hunting lease. At that time, the piglets were very small, probably about 5 pounds each (small enough that I think I probably could have caught one of them). My trail camera happened to catch a picture of the exact same 4 piglets a few weeks later. They are a little too big to catch now, but they still look tasty.

A few deer pics.