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dhaverstick last won the day on February 8

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About dhaverstick

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  1. Even though it was a bit warm yesterday evening, I couldn't help but get out and try to thin the local squirrel herd. Fortunately, I didn't have to get more than 20 yards from the house. I first went out just to listen. I heard one barking behind my old chicken coop so I ran in the house, got Ole Betsy, and came back out hoping it was still there. It was and I killed it in short order while standing in the yard. When I stepped into the woods to collect my prize, I spied another one doing squirrel stuff in a nearby tree. I didn't have any load material with me so I ran back into the house, ran a few cleaning patches down the barrel, loaded her up, and went back out in hot pursuit. It took me about 10 minutes to locate my target and Ole Betsy helped it draw its last breath. I'm confident that the camo hat I had on was what made my hunt so short. I'm going to my mom's place tomorrow to pick blackberries with her and, along with some deer and moose, I'll be bringing her some squirrels to eat. It's just like when I was a kid! Darren
  2. It was raining at daylight both Saturday and Sunday at my house but after the showers quit I got out to see if I could add some meat to the stew pot. It was hard for me to keep my powder dry with all the water dripping off the trees and a few squirrels got a pass when my flinter didn't ignite the way it should have. I did manage to kill three, though. Hunting them is tough this time of year. The little S.O.B.s never stay still and the cover is so thick that I just get lucky when one stops in an open area long enough for me to get a bead on him. Another thing is that it seems all I ever kill in the early season is old boars. It's still fun, though, and I surely do love to watch that cloud of blue smoke wafting through the air! Darren
  3. I use a 12 gauge smoothbore for squirrel hunting. It's a very versatile weapon. I can shoot shot out of it for small game or switch to a patched round ball to kill any big game in North America. Darren
  4. I've been working on the squirrels as time permits since the season opened. There ain't a prettier sight than a cloud of blue smoke hanging in the air on a still morning! I killed these two young-n-tenders on Sunday of the opening weekend. I got a late start yesterday and came to the woods under prepared. I got into a whole covey of them about 9:30 but I only had two loads with me so I was only able to bring home two. I know where they're hanging out now so I will be better prepared next time. One of them was an old boar and I guess I should have "barked" him before I shot. That's where you put your ear against the tree the squirrel is in and if you can hear his package dragging across the bark then you know not to shoot him. Oh well, that's what they make pressure cookers for! Darren
  5. Good job! That's a fine bird. Darren
  6. The weather has been wet, to say the least, here in southern Missouri but we got a break last Friday morning so I was chasing birds on our family farm. I spotted a tom strutting at the lower end of our middle field so I decided to put a stalk on him. Unfortunately, the rice paddy-like conditions had me change course several times so by the time I belly crawled the last 50 yards to my setup spot, the gobbler was nowhere to be found. I knew I hadn't spooked him so I thought I'd put some decoys out to see if I could lure him back. I crossed to the east side of the field, put two hen decoys out around 20 yards on a high spot, and then crawled underneath a cedar tree. My flintlock was a soggy from being dragged through the muck and I dried it off the best I could. Finally, when I was satisfied with it, I picked the vent hole, wiped the pan one more time and poured in some 4F powder. I went through a series of calls and waited for something to happen. After 20 minutes of nothing, I called again and was answered by a different gobbler directly in front of me. The only problem was that he was all the way on the other side of the field, across a creek, and up in the woods. The distance was about 300 yards by my reckoning; a fer piece for a turkey, especially with a creek in the way. I called again and he answered again. After doing this two more times, I thought to myself, "We'll see how badly you want it, big boy, if you cross that creek!" Another 10 minutes passed and, to my surprise, I see the tom now in the field next to the fence on that side. He had flown across the creek - game on! I call in earnest to get his attention and he's looking around to see where the girls are. He finds his own high spot and goes into full strut to show off his stuff. This goes on for five minutes or so until I convince him that he needs to come find me. Over the next ten minutes he meanders across the field looking for love. It isn't until he's about 60 yards away that he actually sees my decoys. Now he goes into strut again and begins shuffling towards the decoys. I've had a lot of close calls this season but no dead birds so my heart is hammering as this tom is coming in. Maybe this time I will finally get to put a tag on something! He is now about 25 yards out in full strut facing me. I don't like that shot because I'm afraid he'll see me move so I am just hoping he'll turn sideways. When he finally does, I put the bead on his head and pull the trigger - POOF! A flash in the pan but no boom. So now the bird is on full alert and I'm frantically reaching behind me trying to locate my priming flask so I can prime the pan again. I am rattled and the tom is leaving so I am having a hard time drawing a good bead. When I do pull the trigger the second time, I can barely see his head. The gun goes off this time and so does the turkey. He will live to gobble again. I caught the entire saga on video and it can be seen here: Flintlock heartbreak The depth perception is misleading. The tom is only about 25 yards away. After the event, I kicked myself a few times and thought about what I should have done differently. Then I realized that I had one heckuva hunt anyway. I made an animal do what was against his nature to do and basically got to count coup on him. Besides that, no one forced me to choose a flintlock to hunt with. I've got a perfectly good Benelli Nova in my gun cabinet that I could have been toting around but what's the fun in that? So that's my latest turkey tale. It didn't end the way I had hoped but it wasn't a total loss. I've got one more week of season left. Maybe the turkey gods will smile on me yet! Darren
  7. I was bowhunting yesterday and called in three toms who proceeded to ignore my decoys and stay out of my shooting range. They left and I even called them back. At one time, all three were standing 25 yards away gobbling their heads off but would not step one foot closer to my setup. I think it's time to put away the selfbow, blind, and decoys and break out the flintlock! Darren
  8. I was bowhunting this morning and called in three longbeards; two from long distance. None of them would come into my decoys. They got as close as 25 yards but wouldn't come any closer. They weren't spooked; they just ignored them. It was very frustrating! The selfbow, blind, and decoys go away now. It's time to break out the flintlock! Darren
  9. Yeah, I figured we'd be seeing some dead bird photos this morning. I just got back from Kansas and I am wore slick! The toms are henned up something fierce where I was hunting and I couldn't do anything with them. I got a lot of exercise but nothing to show for my efforts. Darren
  10. I was at my farm this past weekend with the intention of burning a whole bunch of powder patterning my new flintlock turkey gun. However, the rain set in and that made the job rather unpleasant and fraught with difficulties. I only managed to shoot two times before I quit but I was quite pleased with the results. Both shots were at 25 yards. The load consisted of 60 grains of FFF powder, 1 overpowder card, 1/4" lubed wad, 1 1/2 oz. #6 shot, and an overshot card. I pulled the first shot a little but both patterns would have rolled a gobbler. I like what I see but I might bump up the powder to 70 grains. I will test that load shooting at the bottoms of soup cans. If I can penetrate one of them then I can penetrate a turkey's skull. "Sweet Rachael" and I are heading to Kansas for their opener on the 12th. Hopefully, I can kill something with her besides squirrels. With a choked barrel, she's pretty hard on them! Darren
  11. I certainly like seeing this on my trail camera behind the house! I've got seven gobblers hanging out together and some of them are roosting about 100 yards from the back porch. You can bet that on April 17th I will be laying for these guys with a sweet call on my lips and a sharp broadhead! Darren
  12. The Conservation Federation of Missouri's annual convention is in a couple of weeks and they have a silent auction that the United Bowhunters of Missouri always donates an item to. This year, I wanted to get a turkey call from a local call maker, craft a leather holster for it and donate the pair to the auction. This is the end result. I contacted Scott Ashburn (Scott's Custom Turkey Calls) to get a call from him and when he heard what I had planned he donated the call to the cause. The holster I made for it has a vegetable-tanned cowhide frame covered in hippopotamus hide. The trim is deer and it's all sewed up by hand using artificial sinew. Thanks again, Scott! Darren
  13. Next weekend is the United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival and we have a big live auction on Saturday night with all kinds of goodies up for grabs. For my donation this year, I had this box call made by Charlie Miller and this pot call (ceramic over slate) and strkers made by Vince Crawford. I made the leather holsters to carry them around in. The holsters have a vegetable-tanned cowhide frame covered in ostrich skin. The trim is deer and I sewed everything up by hand with artificial sinew. Hopefully, they will make the club a little money. Darren
  14. I made these two arm guards for a couple in Florida. They don't bowhunt but they compete in SCA archery tournaments. The Society for Creative Anachronisms is a group of folks who role play living during the Renaissance Era. I met the husband, Eric, several years ago when he was on a traditional archery forum looking for a bow string. I told him I'd make him one and we struck up a friendship. For Christmas this year, he and his wife, Kelly, decided to give each other one of my arm guards. I told them that all they needed to do was pay for the leather. Both arm guards are made from elephant hide and are trimmed in deer. I carved the lace hooks out of deer antler and sewed everything up by hand using artificial sinew. Darren
  15. Come join us at the 30th annual United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival. This family-friendly event has something for everyone; seminars, auctions, vendors, raffles, food and a whole lot more! Come learn about falconry, 3D target repair, flight archery and hunting mountain goats in British Columbia. Try to win a custom Black Widow bow (a $1000 value) and stay for the banquet to hear guest speaker, Dean Derby, talk about hunting Colorado's Big Ten with a stick and string. This is a a great event for the hardcore hunter and someone who is just thinking about getting into the sport. A good time is guaranteed and you'll be surrounded by some of the finest folks on the planet! Festival Registration Info Schedule Of Events Facebook Event Page Black Widow Bow Raffle Tickets Darren