Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for January, 2007

Sharp Shooter

Posted by todblog on January 29, 2007

January 29, 2007

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Can you guess which one is Jacob? Hint: it’s the kid who wears shorts in the winter!

Jacob’s been going to the local range every Monday night from 6 to 8pm and practicing with other teenagers from around the Roseburg area. The shooting season runs from October through April and matches are held on the third Saturday of each month. The novice kids shoot prone while more experienced kids shoot sitting and standing. It’s a great exercise for Jacob as he is learning the finer points of FOCUS. There is so much that needs to happen before squeezing a trigger and the ability to tune everything else out and concentrate on the task at hand is so important. It is a valuable skill to hone and hopefully master. It provides us a wonderful analogy to life itself. Focus on breathing, relax, aim, sight picture, and squeeze the trigger. The rifle is an accurate machine, it’s the human behind it that introduces all the error. A good shooter will be entirely consistent about each and every shot and focuses on the shot at hand not dwell on the one before or the one after. Jacob has come to a whole new appreciation for sending a tiny piece of lead 50 feet down range to a sheet of paper with 10 bullseyes on it. FOCUS!

Practicing at home

Jacob practicing on the backyard porch. The neighbor’s cat has somehow learned to fly through the yard…

Here he is with his 3rd place Beginners bracket trophy…

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Posted in 2007, Shooting, Sports, Stories | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Da Elk Huntah- Year #2

Posted by todblog on January 22, 2007

January 22, 2007

The winter months in the Roseburg area offer youth hunters (<18 years old) an opportunity to harvest a cow elk during weekends (the kids would love to hunt on weekdays but, we kinda discourage them from cutting classes). A limited amount of kids are drawn to hunt a three weekend season in the Weyerhaeuser Millicoma Tree Farm. It is a big area with lots of steep slopes, waterfalls, creeks and rivers. The timber company opens its gates to elk hunters to keep elk numbers in check and reduce elk damage to young trees.

As Jacob enters the teenage years, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to sleep plus do all the activities that he loves to do. Currently it’s basketball, X-Box, Junior Rifle, homework, skateboarding, fort building, and a few chores. So, making time to go elk hunting with dad is a pretty special deal. Afterall, he could be staying in bed a few hours longer. I try to make it interesting for him by making a favorite breakfast of rice, eggs sunny side up, sliced lup cheong , all drizzled with oyster sauce and sprinkled with furikake. It’s gone in no time and we’re out the door. Everything is packed in the truck the night before the hunt and we’re down the road because morning brains don’t function worth beans.

Elk like to feed in open areas where forage is available to them. Heavy timber isn’t conducive to feeding elk but it does provide some cover for them. So, elk go from heavy cover to open areas and back again. They can also make use of steep cover to seek security from hunting pressure. When hunting in steep country, folks around here have certain rules to follow: 1) carry lots of rope or cable and a chainsaw winch or capstan winch; 2) have a bunch of friends with strong backs along; or 3) shoot the elk above a road.

Jacob and I went to a place where it was steep and elk used it to escape pressure. There were several waterfalls in the area and open rock faces with lots of moss. There was a road into the area and we hoped to find elk above it. We climbed up on a thin knife ridge that had a road on one side and none on the other. We had a few snack bars and did some cow calling in an attempt to lure some elk over to us. Way up near the skyline, I saw five elk running across the hillside and heading for the timber. Were they coming to my calls? Seems like they sure were in a hurry. The last one disappeared in the timber and I figured I must have scared them with my calling. Seconds later, I saw a hunter on the skyline. That’s why the elk were in a hurry. We continued to watch the area and scan the hillside for elk when we heard a loud snap.

I whispered to Jacob, “That was an elk, get ready.” We were on the brushy ridgeline in the middle of an elk trail. If an elk showed up, it would be very suddenly and in our faces at 10 yards. We waited. Nothing happened. Jacob asked, “Can I go over to the side and check the area over there?”

It was the side of the ridge with no road below it. An abyss full of deep dark timber surrounded by smooth steep rock walls where your voice would echo for weeks. I said, “Okay.”

Jacob took up a position on a large 3 foot diameter Douglas fir stump. Within minutes, a cow elk popped out onto the open hillside and took inventory of her situation scanning the area for anything unusual. We froze until she turned her attention to the other elk coming down behind her. Jacob threw up his rifle and I got my rangefinder out. It was 149 yards, well within range for his .260 Remington. By then, four more elk joined the first cow, the last was a spike bull. They were the same bunch I saw running into the timber above us. They were all toast as their fate rested in my hands. Jacob asked if he could shoot and I said we’d be here all night trying to get an elk out of here. The elk milled around in the open hillside for a few minutes as if they knew they had nothing to worry about. Then they proceded to head down into the dark timber. That was his only opportunity at an elk the entire youth hunt. I felt terrible that I didn’t let him shoot. I also know I probably would have felt terrible if I let him shoot too.

We’ll see what next year holds for us.

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Jacob looking at the opening that had five elk in it at 149 yds.

 

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A view of the terrain below and Jacob thinking, “Why does my dad hate me?”

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Elk or not, it’s always a good day when I can spend quality time with my favorite son.

Posted in 2007, Hunting, Stories | 5 Comments »

Cuz Athena

Posted by todblog on January 21, 2007

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Cousins

Posted by todblog on January 21, 2007

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Jessica’s Highlights 2006

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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Posted in Kid's Highlights 2006 | Leave a Comment »

Jacob’s Highlights 2006

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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Fall Bounty

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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St Augustine

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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Summer fun

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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Yum, holiday favorite.

Posted by todblog on January 14, 2007

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