Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY training aids

While the intent of visiting the lease was mainly reconnaissance, my ulterior motive was a chance to run the dogs.  It was the last day of duck season and on more than one occasion I have seen a small flock of wood ducks on one of the creeks that flows through.

Also, it's still rabbit and quail season. If I could put a bunny in the pot it would help flesh-out one of my training needs: rabbit skin ball!


Take one rabbit skin, fresh.

Apply liberal coating of Borax to flesh side and allow skin to dry for 3-5 days.
Take one baseball:

Using a stapler-wrap rabbit skin around baseball.

and you should get something like this:

This particular one is available from the UK at Sporting Saint gundog supply.


For spaniels (and other gundogs) it is used to lay down a scent trail.


Hup spaniel.

Throw ball such that it rolls when it lands, not in a high arc that keeps it rather stationary after landing (key point here, remember it's about creating a scent TRAIL).

Send dog.

...More later.

one day in January

One price of being a tenant is that you don't have control over your land....even then the thought that you have 'control' over any land is somewhat a lark. Nevertheless, the authority to decide when and where logging takes place does not rest with the tenant(unless written into the lease).   Leasing is the only way to get to hunt in this area anymore, unless you have family with land or the desire to brave the public hunting areas.

I went out to the land I lease with a select few to examine the effect/affect of a poorly announced timber thinning.

As a hunter I really do appreciate that the thinning is going to provide new habitat-particularly for small game...provided we can get the coyote population under control.

This is the kind of scene one would expect in a well managed quail plantation.  I can really see potential here. It makes me excited about the next few years on this land....if we can keep the lease.

The problem is that this is primarily a deer hunting lease. The land has been managed by the other leasee's for the expressed purpose of attracting and harvesting QDMA deer.  To that end food plots exist throughout the acreage.  Well planned food plots with soil tests, tons of lime, precise food distributions and visits by nationally acclaimed wildlife biologists.  All this effort requires the use of farm equipment that I neither have, nor have access to.  Some members actually have farm equipment for the sole reason that they can manage the food plots on the lease. 

The problem? When logging occurs it WRECKS those carefully prepared food plots.  I don't mean the killing of the green stuff-that is an ancillary and easily regenerated loss.  No, the problem is the heavy machinery running over the site compacting the soil, as well as the bark from the pines acidifying the soil.

I don't blame the loggers.

I don't blame the landowner.

I don't blame anyone really.  It's just one of those things that you live with when you don't 'own' the property.