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Date:10/31/2014 12:50:04 AM
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Hunting and Gathering
Some of the hunting seasons are open now in N.E. Wisconsin. Brother David bought himself a .50 cal. Hawken muzzle loader. (That's him on the tractor in my newest photo, our General Patton of the pumkin patch. As usual, he's giving commands.) Since his new acquisition, the last two days I heard, at half- hour intervals, the barks of two muzzle loaders. David already had Pa's .45 cal. Kentucky rifle. He informed me that because we now have two such rifles, we'd both be able to hunt during the December muzzle loading season. (I suspect that he needs a native load-bearer and as I was the closest thing to one living in the immediate area he figures that I needed the enticement of my own muzzle loader in order ensure my participation.) He was busy experimenting with the amount of powder to put in the charges for each rifle for optimim accuracy. (Optimum accuracy being a relative term when talking about David's and my marksmanship.) He was also preoccupied with the type of ball or bullet, and the kind of wadding to use. I can see in my mind's eye his slight, stooped figure hunching over his workbench, with gunpowder flasks, and plastic cartridge holders, lead balls, Minie balls, wadding and other accoutrements cluttered about, muttering to himself like some wizened medieval alchemist. He reminds me of Ratty in "The Wind in the Willows", sorting out weapons for the assault on Toad Hall. Of course, I don't remember Ratty ever shooting a .45 ball through his garage wall and bouncing it off a tractor, but that's another story.

Today we took the pumpkins off the lower garden. The deer were already smashing and eating them. Last year we were too slow in realizing what the deer were up to and weren't able to save any pumpkins. I only had the ones up here in my home garden behind the fence. This year we were a little more astute and David, Susie and I hauled the best ones up two our houses and then dumped the rest of them by two of David's deer stands. At least the deer will get used to stopping by his stands to eat. After Halloween, I will take the pumpkins from my home garden and dump those out in the same two spots. That, and a little corn before the season, and perhaps we'll get a shot or two in November and December. I can assure that there will be a number of blogs on hunting as the year turns, few will be success stories, most will probably make you smile. --Gary
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