When the summer starts to wain and deer season is just around the corner, I always think about going hunting. Many of my family members were hunters. I remember grandpa bringing home squirrel, rabbit and of course deer. Some where in the family archive is a 1971 home video of my father, grandfather and uncles dressing out a nice buck one of them had shot. They were butchering it and it would feed the family for quite some time.
Now, though, bow hunting will be a great challenge. Bow hunting is more difficult on several levels. Its a greater personal challenge to use the bow and be accurate even in an archery lane. Bow hunting outside brings the challenges of wind, noise and your own movements. For this reason, I have decided to accept the challenge.
After considerable research, I ordered a Mission Craze bow. It was the first bow that felt like it belonged in my hand. I liked everything about it from the weight to the size. It comes in four color choices and several premium color choices. Choosing the color was the most difficult decision. Eventually I settled on the black and white zebra stripe pattern. I can’t wait until it gets here.
When purchasing gear for hunting, fishing and camping, consider if it is something you can use to bug out or hunker down. If you can pack it in on a camping trip or float it on your yak, you can probably use it as part of your emergency plan.
Our camping gear is part of our evacuation plan. It’s not like there will be hotels and apartments just waiting for us when we get home. We will be able to use our tent as an alternate shelter should a hurricane blow away our home. The camp kitchen will serve us well. Taking it with us when we have to evacuate ensures its availability when we come home. As soon as we can get on the property, we will immediately set up camp on the spot that used to be the garage and set about the property clean up.
Being accustomed to using the outdoor gear, we won’t be fumbling around and having unexpected results when cooking on the camp stove. We will not be looking at our property and wondering where we will sleep that night. We won’t be crammed into some shelter with 300,000 other people. We will have temporary shelter until something more suitable can be arranged.
In the past, whenever I thought about hurricanes I only concerned myself with the process of evacuation and being prepared. No one ever talked about the homecoming after a hurricane. We all just “hoped” our house would be still standing even if every other house in the neighborhood was gone. Since we began taking our lifestyle to our emergency plan, I am no longer worried about the “after hurricane” days. It’s amazing what having a plan, and maybe even a “plan B” will do to ease your mind.
On weekends, David usually sleeps in. That’s fair. I sleep later than he does every other day of the week. I try not to make noise that would wake him. But, when I took the dogs out to the back yard, the perfect weather screamed “Kayaking!”. Suddenly, I was in a hurry. Three hours of this perfect day had already passed. We threw snacks and fishing poles in the back of the car and we were on the way, to where we had not decided.
After some discussion we decided to try Copano Bay. We put in at the Bayside public boat ramp. We paddled under the bridge and found a place where trout seemed to be feeding. We anchored about 50 feet off the beach and settled in to fish.
There wasn’t much fish action for a while and we were impatient. We paddled further away from the bridge and found the right spot. Every time I cast I got hits, but no solid bites. It seemed perhaps I had too large a hook for the fish that were biting. Good. I deliberately use large hooks and big bait so I don’t have to mess with fish I don’t plan to keep. Unfortunately, this time it seemed there were no fish big enough.
Just when I was thinking of changing bait, the tip of the pole took a nose dive. I set the line and slowly moved the fish closer to the boat. Just as it was close enough to see what it might be, it spit the hook. I really wanted that 22 inch red drum. That seems to be my fishing life. The one that got away. That fish is there in Copano Bay, and I’ll be going back after it. Soon. Real soon.
David and I have enjoyed the paddling trails near Aransas Pass Lighthouse Trails. Most recently, we spent six hours paddling the southern most trail. Using the map from Travel South Texas, we put in at marker #1 of Lighthouse Trails Park. Our goal was to paddle to the Old Aransas Lighthouse, have a nice picnic lunch and paddle back. While we always enjoy paddling and being on the water, this was not our most enjoyable outing.
The trail markers are faded and difficult to read, they do not show directional instructions when more than one choice of direction is present, markers do not indicate which trail is being marked, and markers are too far apart. One would argue that if you follow a map it would be clear which way to go. This is fine for a local who has the time and opportunity to find where maps may be purchased. For tourists who wish to use the trails, the posted maps are of little use because they are difficult to read and you no longer have access on the water.
The fishing was great on the day we went. Since it was unseasonably warm, we were getting plenty of hits on the Gulp Alive baits. We caught some spotted trout (released). We couldn’t have been happier with the fishing results.
While following some of the trails we found that oyster beds or silt and sand had filled in the trail making it difficult to paddle. Often we had to get out of the yaks and drag them through, even at high tide. It is next to impossible to walk in areas where your feet get stuck in the silt and sand. This is an issue of poor maintenance of the trails. They likely have not been maintained since the trail markers were put up.
All that being said, if you are careful of which trails you follow, plan ahead, buy a map, pay attention to the tides, and pay attention to waters around you, your paddling experience should be awesome! We had a great day paddling even through those frustrating times and will certainly paddle those trails again.