Thursday, May 27, 2010




After a tough few weeks in the woods, the big one finally showed himself. I still only have one bird in the freezer. I missed a tom and passed on some jakes. Now, it's anything with a beard is going down. But what's really getting me up at 4 AM is the encounter i had with a slammer out in White Sulfur Springs. In this particular area I'd shot two big toms and Al Blanchard and I both bagged additional $100 tagged gobblers within the past couple of years. The other day I saw one that could have been part of that original tagged group. He stands 4 feet tall and his beard is dragging in the grass. When he gobbles my sphincter twitches and my palms sweat. I had him coming in twice, only to have him shut up at the last second and turn, never presenting a shot. He's one smart old bird. On Monday it's over. I GOT to get this bird.
Church is shaping up nicely. Both supermodels Marianna Louise and Hollie Witchey are on for the car wash, as well as GNJohn. The yard sale has all kinds of rusted treasure, broken chairs and old picture frames. The band of all faiths- Slick, Dreky, Richard, and Sarah is rocking and Al Blanchard has been working like a madman in order to make the place presentable. El Prof. and entourage are flying in from Cali, Chuck, Tristan and the Contessa's house is habitable and Shewho has cleaned the guest room and kitchen. Snidely rewired the porch and we installed one of those groovy 70's fireplaces. All in all the place is shining. Just before he died I heard the old man tell Vic Voegelin on the phone that he would've liked to make this one. He was real proud that i had paid off my mortgage. Hell, hearing that was enough. Dad, this one's for you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010



Season update: It's been tough. A cold, rainy, windy May has made this turkey season one of the toughest in recent memory. Add to that the old man dying and trying to get this church together, and it's no wonder I'm ready to snap. Case in point: After the flying boots incident i had another opportunity to fling a shoddy consumer product. The object of my fling this time was a roller pole that never even made it until lunch break....combined with 4 greeters (again at a little table) talking R Kelly and the one person doing something running out of cash register paper. I held the defective pole and a new pole in my hands. Instead of waiting I just bought the new pole. On my way back to the truck I looked down and realized i had tossed the good pole. I bought the shitty pole TWICE.

On Monday I was walking across the first paddock, on my way to the woods at 5:30 AM. A coyote was slinking along the the opposite fence line. I dropped to my knees but he caught me and turned. As soon as he crested the hill I ran to the fence line. He was about 50 yards out. I barked and he stopped. I fired. He jumped. I had stung him but he was too far. He came right at me along the fence at full tilt. I pumped another shell in and tried to level the sights. My second shot went right over his head. He ducked the fence rail and was gone. Damn. Later i went down to Bird's and had 4 jakes in my lap, but held out for the tom gobbling in the distance. The noon whistle blew as my dinner ran off. This bar-b-q could be heavy on the salads.
This morning I forgot my face mask and spooked two toms in the field with my white beard. I called on and off from 6 AM until 7:30 before giving up and heading back to the car. Calling on the way, I raised a gobble and got in 4 hot toms. It was so thick I could barely see their heads. My beard was zipped up in my coat and my hat was pulled down low. They cleared the brush to my left, I swung, fired and missed. Surprise. I any how, I hunting as much as i can, working, rehearsing hymns and trying to get prepared for this church. But like Snidely Evits (my electrician) says- "Don't make your problem my problem."

Sunday, May 16, 2010



Saturday May 29, 2010, 12 noon- 6pm: Bikini Car Wash and Yard Sale
Sunday May 30, 2010, 2pm- whenever: Mortgage burning service, pot luck barbeque, CYO-BYOB Church Dance. Bring booze, salads, and yer dancing shoes. I'll supply the meat- wild turkey and venison.
Monday May 31, 2010, 12 noon- sunset: Wolf lake rest, recovery and rehabilitation retreat.



Saturday, May 15, 2010


What are the stages of grief? Denial, anger, acceptance, rage. I hit rage today. Al Blanchard and I have been working all week on my place in preparation for the Memorial Weekend festivities at the church, with a couple of rainy hours off to hunt. It's been a sucky season. After a hot start and one bird in the freezer, my turkey season has ground to an ignoble stop. Rain, wind, cold, more wind,'s all fucked with my May. After work, I've been rehearsing with Slick and the church band. It looks like High School musical church- alot of hymns and songs- light on the goofy performance art. How times have changed. But still, it's going to be a great church- Bhutto dancers hanging from the ceiling and Michael Jackson impersonators. Who needs performance art?
As i was saying the season has been rough. But today Al and I got up early and went out to WSS to hunt. Our first spot already had a pick up parked in the road. We backpedaled and ended up behind Shewho's. We had one bird going, but he soon shut up. And the FUCKING WIND was driving me crazy. AND my boots leaked. I had bought them at Gander Mt. during last deer season- like in November. And they weren't cheap. Al kept telling me to take them back. Who had time to take boots back? We trudged up Chuck and Tessa's mt. and never heard a gobble. The morning wore on. The wind never let up. At 10am we called it. FUCK!
So I came home laid on the couch, pulled the covers up over my head and tried to escape. But a fly just wouldn't have it. He landed so persistently and obnoxiously, buzzing on my ear, that even through the blanket, sleep was impossible. I got up. I worked on the porch. My feet itched from the leaky boots. I heard Al's words like that relentless fly- "Take 'em back." I knew it was a mistake, but couldn't stop myself. I thought of taking my pistol....but decided that could be a bigger mistake. I grabbed my boots, got in the Neon and headed for Gander Mt.
There were four employee's standing at a little round table as I entered the door. They sent me to a woman at the counter- register 1. She looked at the boots, frowned, talked to the guys at the little table on her headset, then sent me back to them. The head doofus at the little table started the inquisition. Receipt? No, but i paid with credit card. More than 90 days? I'd already told him""Deer Season." "Nothing we can do." he said in a matter of fact, corporate line, no responsibilispeak tone that sent me through the roof. Where was my gun? Fuck! I decided not to pack. So in lieu of blowing his smug face off, I grabbed the leaky, split, good for nothing, Columbia rubber boots and flung them into the evil maw of GANDER MOUNTAIN. I will never set foot in that fucking place again. My voice carries. Half of Middletown now knows what I think of Gander Mountain.

I have to fish another pair of even leakier boots out of the trash in order to hunt the morning. When will my grief end?

Saturday, May 1, 2010



Phone message from Bird: Osti- Just wanted to remind you, dad wanted to be woken up today. Do what you can. Good luck tomorrow.
Phone message from Vic: Mike just heard you had a rough time after drinking my Baileys. I said just have ONE with me. I looked at the bottle. Greed can have a negative effect on a person. Try being a little more conservative next time.

Last night Shewho and I shacked up out at WSSP. I decided I would hunt the western part of the county opening day. She set her iphone for 5am. What I didn't know is she had set her clock radio for 4pm. At 4 am the beeping started. We had killed the better part of a bottle of vodka the night before, but I felt fine as I drug my ass out of her bed. Opening day is like Xmas morning to me. I made coffee, camoed up and drove up the hill. A bright 3/4 moon lit my way.
Before the sun had peeked over the ridge a bird sounded off. I don't know what the rich people were doing this morning but that gobbler made me feel like a million. I headed in the general direction of the bird and set up to call. 5 mins. in and I heard a shot. So much for that one. Within 20 minutes another tom gobbled in a different direction. I had him going and then.....another shot.....then two more shots. Damn! I hadn't seen a hunter, but they were obviously there. I hate Saturday openers. Everybody and their brother seemed to be in the woods. As the moon slid away and the sun crested the ridge all went quiet.
I moved to a different area and called and called. Nothing. Then I fell asleep against a big dead fall. I woke up getting eaten alive by mosquitos. It was hot and still. A little fox scurried through the woods. Then it stopped, curled up and took a nap about 100 yards away. I called some more but nothing answered. I decided to make my way back to the car and try another spot. As I was crossing the field I called again, this time just using my vocal cords. A bird answered. Not being confident enough to keep using my voice, I pulled out my slate call and scratched out some yelps. The bird immediately answered. He was hot.
Within the next heart pounding 20 minutes I called in a group of 5 mature toms, all gobbling and all searching for the hen (me). They strutted and hollered, but stayed just over the hill and out of range. I could see their tail fans but little else. I called softly, making them think the hen was moving off. It worked. One broke over the hill, neck outstretched, rattling the timber. I settled my sights on his head and squeezed the trigger. He went down in a heap as the other four came in to spur the flopping bird. Turkeys are brutal. If one goes down the others with often trounce him to claim the hen for themselves. I could've shot another but decided to save them for another day. I had until Memorial Day.
On my way back to Glen Wild a deer ran across the road, followed by a coyote right on her heels. I stopped the car and cut off another coyote who was in close pursuit. I reached for the 12 ga. in the back seat, but by the time I got a shell in the chamber he had turned and run. What a morning! If only I could've woken up dad for this one. I'll wager he'll hear about it.

At some point on Memorial Weekend I will be available for a Church of the Little Green Man guided hunt. Make your reservations early and check my facebook page for further details.