Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

Deer Season 2010 – The Family Lease

I’m back on the family deer lease this year and plan on staying there. I left the lease nearly 10 years ago when my grandfather stopped hunting then when he died I could not see myself ever going back. This year my uncle died and my thoughts changed. I missed my family, my hunting family – the male members I spent so much time with. Mostly my cousin, there are several but one in particular, Kenny, made the biggest impact on me. At his dad’s memorial he told me I needed to come back. We hugged and shared some tears. I later found out my mother was watching and she was crying also.  Any way I’m back!

Opening weekend was a lot of fun. We all shared laughs and even a tear or two. I was able to talk with my uncle, my grandfather’s last sibling, and Kenny. I explained why I had left and what brought me back; I think it made since to them.

Only 4 deer were killed on opening weekend but much fun was had. We ate great, laughed too much, spent a lot of time in the woods. I saw almost 30 deer in 4 days of hunting; I chose not to shoot a doe and the smaller deer I saw.

We all left for home and other places on Tuesday… I got home on Wednesday and began to prepare to take my stepson hunting when he got out of school on Friday.

My stepson was able to see 9 deer in the two days he hunted; even got a shot of at one but missed.  He was able to spend time with my uncle and cousin, seeing them at a time other than a funeral helped him to know them better. Unfortunately he did not grow up as I did with the opportunity to shoot guns much which makes me think he does not fully understand the process of lining up the sights, etc… I am taking him to the gun range this weekend to work on his shooting. He did have fun; he told me so without me asking.

He is now the designated shooter until he is able to get his first deer. He’s 13 and has not hunted much therefore we still sit in the stand together. I want to get him in the Hunter Safety course which he must have before he is able to legally hunt alone. He still hunts with me until I see he truly knows how to be safe with a gun and understands how to determine the right deer to shoot. I can hear the things my grandfather told me many years ago coming out of my mouth.

Of the time I have taken my stepson hunting this past weekend is the absolute best ever. I realized I need to have fun with him; it will make life better at the house. It will bring us closer together.  He’s asked to have his first deer mounted in a shoulder mount, I have agreed if; it’s a nice buck and I have the money to do it.

I am looking forward to more time in the woods, sharing our family traditions, talking of old times and making new memories.

November 17, 2010 Posted by | General, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are your plans for SHTF?

What are your plans for SHTF?

I am working on my plan right now. It is not easy to fully get your head wrapped around what you need. Do you need to plan to “shelter in place” or “get the hell out of dodge”? Each has its pros and cons; being prepared is the key.

What does SHTF really mean? To me there are several things that constitute SHTF.

  • A hurricane that directly hits us similar to Ike, but MUCH worse. One that would knock out power for the entire area not these little pockets we saw. Yes they were bad but still livable with the exception of the Galveston area.
  • Chemical plant explosion either by carelessness or manmade (terrorist).
  • Flu or other illness like we were told H1N1 would do but didn’t.
  • Economic collapse; a point where money is absolutely worthless. There are indications in my opinion we are headed to another depression similar the 1920’s and ‘30’s. If it does happen the USA will not be able turn it around quite the way it was done in the past. People are too soft now; they have no understanding of how to survive.

How long do you need to be able to take care of yourself? A week, Two weeks, A month, six months, a year?

In any case I am working on figuring out the best course of action to take. Learning new skills to add to what I already know. It sounds strange to talk about learning things that our fore-fathers knew how to do. Such as curing meat, canning meat and vegetables; I know how the preserve food in the freezer but will be hard pressed to can it, store it in salt, smoke it, etc… I can hunt to provide food, know some of the wild edibles but none of that does much good living in a subdivision as most in America do now.

I was talking with a co-worker on this topic, he told me he ran into a woman with her kids, she told him her kids thought fish came from the grocery store. They were all at a park and he was teaching his boys how to fish and explained they were going to eat the fish they had caught; this shocked the woman’s kids.

We’ve all seen the shows that put one man in the wilderness alone to survive on his own for a week. This is a small glimpse of the skills I think are needed to really survive a SHTF scenario.

There is another concern that needs to be on the table, security. When times get REAL tough many will revert to violence to get what they think they need and want. You need to be ready to protect yourself, your family, your property, etc…

Prepping: Gathering of the THINGS needed to live. Food, Shelter, Clothing, Skills, Security

Food: Gather the type of foods that can sustain you with limited prep requirements.

Shelter: Where will you live? In your house you are in now, somewhere in the country?

Clothing: Have the proper clothing you will need based on the environment. Something not often thought of is shoes, have multiple pairs and have extra shoe laces.

Skills: Having the knowledge to do what is needed to live. Start a fire, find water, build shelter if needed, etc…

Security: Yes I mean guns and ammo, and the ability to use them properly. Along with this is the need to have people around you that you can trust and rely on to help you.

This is all a work in progress; I will be ready to cope with SHTF when it happens, I hope.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review

I just completed reading Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles. This is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is not for everyone. If you are of the thought that the current system we live in is flawed then you will absolutely love the book.  As stated in the description on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and others the book is a manual on how to survive. Survive not only in a SHTF world but in a time when normal services are not available. Yes it is very much on the extreme side by the standards of many, by others it is a glimpse of times to come.

Patriots is a very fast paced book that can keep you going until the end. I found it hard to put down but as for most of us life did get in the way.  I don’t want to say much about the story so as not to ruin it for others. A co-worker is reading it, once he finishes it I am sure we will get into a LONG conversation over the happenings in the book. Fortunately we are of like mind and I am sure will get off into the weeds when the discussion starts.

Also, there is a STRONG moral thread throughout the book. Religion is very strong, it shows the need for faith. Family and friends are shown to be invaluable. It’s just a good book.

Bottom line is the book is thought provoking. It is able to weave in current events that really make you wonder.

Enjoy

Check out this Blog:

February 2, 2010 Posted by | General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deer Season Opening Weekend

Last week was Youth Weekend, kids 17 and under were the only ones allowed to shoot a deer. I took my son, unfortunately here missed the doe he was shooting at. Nov. 7 the regular deer season started. Saturday was tough, I saw nothing but a rabbit. Sunday came around and I was feeling real tired but climbed into the stand any way. I w-tbuckwas standing in my deer stand, it’s a box stand, stretching and thinking about getting down and go back to camp. I leaned down and look out the front window and saw a big buck about 100 yds away.  I grabbed my binoculars so I could make sure his antlers were the required 13 inches, they were… I grabbed my rifle getting ready to take him… he kept walking away from me not giving me a clear shot, as I watched him he would turn his head slightly looking back in my direction. Finally I decided to whistle in hopes he would turn broadside so I could get a shot. Just as my luck would have it he only turned his head and neck… I decided to go for it … yep I got him. Later I ranged the shot and found it to be over 150 yds.  He turned out to be the biggest deer I have ever taken. estimated weight was 150+, he had a 17 inch spread and about 5 yrs old. That’s pretty old is the area I hunt, too many of the locals shoot anything that moves. I was taught to only take the older deer by my Grandfather.

I wish my son had been here. this would have been one heck of a first deer. I can’t wait to get him out again to try for his first one.

We’ll keep trying.

November 9, 2009 Posted by | General | , , , | Leave a comment

Deer Hunting

This past weekend was Youth Weekend, in Texas kids 17 and under are allowed to hunt without the added pressure of all the regular hunters in the woods. I took my step son for the second time in hopes of getting his first deer.

We arrived at our deer lease campsite just after dark on Friday. We went about putting up the tent and unloading our cots and other things needed to give us some create comforts. Starting a camp fire was a task since we had so much rain earlier in the week, everything was soaking wet. I spent quite some time splitting logs down to small pieces in order to find dry parts, finally the fire started. We sat around the fire for a while then nearing 9pm we hit the sack to be ready for an early wake up call.

At 4:30 am I heard him moving about in his sleeping bag so I asked if he was awake expecting no response but to my surprise he said yes. I decided to go ahead an get us moving knowing it would take some work. It was cold for him, near 40 degrees. We got dressed and crawled out of the tent, I started a fire while he found breakfast; cereal or something. We got to the deer stand a little after 6am, sunrise was not until after 7am. We sat there waiting, he began to complain about being cold, his toes specifically, and being hungry. I couldn’t believe it at 8:40am he was ready to get out of the stand. I was close to packing up and going home, I thought if he take this he will never be able to hunt. Back at camp I fixed our “camp breakfast” (scrambled eggs with onions and potatos)… after eating he was ready to get back in the stand. So off we went at nearly 10:00 am.

After sitting in the stand for a while, not sure how long, we had a nice little 4 point buck walk out in front of us. He was ready to shoot but I had to tell him no. We are not allowed to shoot deer with less than a 13 inch inner spread of their antlers. Instead we enjoyed watching him walk around for a while.

Later in the day we went into town for steaks we planned to eat for dinner. In the late afternoon went were back in the stand… we saw no deer so we got down and went to camp to start on dinner. We also made it an early night to make up for the early rise of the morning.

Sunday morning came pretty quick. I tried halfheartedly to get him up to no avail. By 8:45 am we were finally up and in the stand. By about 10:00 am two deer, a yearling and a doe, showed up. The doe was a legal deer to be taken by my step son. As he was getting his rifle into position I was trying to get my video camera ready and watch him, I am insane about gun safety. I was going back and forth between him and the camera when all of a sudden he asked “can I shoot?”… I said yes. Then “BANG!”… I jump, the camera goes off the deer and the deer run. I asked him if he had it in the sites, he said yes. Out of the stand we go to find the deer, all the time thinking the deer did not move as if it had been hit. We made it to the spot the deer had been, found tracks but no sign the deer had been hit. We walked the area looking for signs but found none. He had missed. He told me while we were looking around that he had jerked the rifle when he pulled the trigger. He was excited, etc… as most of us get when hunting.

We spent the rest of the morning talking about what had gone wrong, so to speak, and what he should do next time. He continually said he could believe he missed, I told him every one misses… I know I have missed plenty. I explained that it takes time to learn to calm yourself to be ready.

Finally packed we headed home. Still talking about the weekend. We had a good weekend; we saw two deer on the drive up Friday evening and three deer while in the stand. Just getting out away from the city and seeing God’s wonderful creation is a good thing. Being able to share with my step son is indescribable.

As we were driving my thoughts drifted to my Grandfather. I couldn’t help but remember all the times he and I were in the woods and I was the one complaining about being cold. I had to laugh how life has made a full circle. I see many things differently now than when I was a kid. I understand more of what my Grandfather went through with me, the joy there is in sharing and teaching  something you truly love with someone you love. I can’t wait for the next trip we have, my step son and I, to hunt for the first deer.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was right

My wife and step daughter went to a “Women Only Weekend” training class that covered ‘accident avoidance’ and handgun use. My wife sent me a text message early on the first day saying she would get even with me for this. I later found out the message was sent because the driving portion was getting her car sick, she is quite inclined to motion sickness. At the end of the first day, driving, my wife was real pleased. She told me her son would be going to something like this when he was old enough to drive. I want to go also. She said her daughter did real good and that she feels she will be a better driver after taking the class, she is 17.

The second day was handgun use, in/out of the car and in the house if needed. First the ladies were shown how to handle the handgun. It was during this session that our 17 year old stated this is exactly what I had been trying to teach her. HA! I was right and she saw it… They were shown what would happen to a bullet when shooting through the windshield around the car and under. They also went through a house clearing drill and learned how to cut the pie when rounding a corner to best protect themselves.

I was the instigator for them taking this class and they both had a good time and learned a few things along the way. That is exactly what I was hoping would happen.

I want my wife and kids to be able to protect them selves in this ever changing world we live in. To be ever aware of their surrounds to be prepared to overcome all circumstances and obstacles that arise.  The 17 year old goes off to college next year, I hope she is ready. The 12 year old has more to learn, he will be more ready than his sister simply because he is more open to learning what I have to teach.  I hope all the words and examples I have given my step daughter will be useful to help keep her safe as she enters adulthood.

HA! I was right once… I love them all more then words can express.

The class was held near San Antonio, Texas in Diley. Here’s the link to International Training Inc. (http://www.itiwsi.com/), click on the ‘Responsible Civilian Training’ for all the information. I not associated to the place at all just passing on what I think is good information.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Concerns, General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children and guns

Growing up I was always around guns and knives. I was either hunting or fishing and needed each for the tasks at hand. I never had a fear of either, I was taught early that a knife or a gun could hurt you and it was not a toy. I was given times when I could hold and/or use both. By the time I was 10 or so I had my own gun cabinet in my run which housed a .22 cal. rifle and a 410 shotgun, oh and a BB gun. My parents had no concerns I would use them improperly.

My step children did not grow up with guns in the house so when I met their mother I began teaching them the respect needed to be around them. I spent time showing them the weapons I had and tried to explain the dangers. My step son did a project showing proper gun safety when he was in the third grade. He used pictures of my .22 rifle and the manual. I was a bit worried the teachers may frown on the topic, they did not and he got a pretty good grade.

As time progressed I began taking both kids to the gun range to let them shoot and become more familiar with guns in general. My step daughter was scared of the loud noises more so than the gun itself. All the other shooters made it hard for her to go more than the one time. My step son would stay there all day if he could. He has become very proficient with the .22 rifle and the .243 rifle I bought him for hunting.

I have been able to take the mystery away from the gun for my step kids. They understand what they are for and the dangers associated to guns. We don’t have the worries that some people have with guns and kids in the house. That being said all my guns are kept in the safe to prevent any accidental access for all of us.

My step son now enjoys hunting; this will be his second year, with me. I look forward to spending more time in the woods with him.

My step daughter and my wife just completed a driving and gun defense course that I believe has taught both of them many things. I can’t wait to talk with them over dinner to get all the details. From what I have been told of the course I am jealous. My wife has stated that when her son gets to driving age he will be talking a similar course.

My step daughter and wife went though basic gun safety then were put through a house clearing scenario and shooting from the car and through the car. I am guessing the fear of the gun shot repercussion is no longer a problem for my step daughter.

Children and guns and the safety required is simple; teach them the right thing to do, the dangers associated and they will be ok.

The NRA has three rules that are very good to know:

  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never point it at yourself or others. Common sense will tell you which direction is the safest. Outdoors, it is generally safe to point the gun toward the ground, or, if you are at a shooting range, toward the target. Indoors, be mindful of the fact that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and doors.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your trigger finger outside the trigger guard alongside the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. If you do not know how to check to see if a gun is unloaded, leave it alone. Carefully secure it, being certain to point it safely and to keep your finger off the trigger, and seek competent assistance.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , | 1 Comment