Georgia Bound

If you want a hunting  adventure, you have to make it happen. This means making opportunities and recognizing them when they knock. Archery has given me a lot. Social media has given me even more. In fact, I find the two mutually exclusive as there is such a large community of traditional archers online — probably because we’re so weird in comparison to everyone else — and I mean that in the most positive of ways.

I cannot even begin to list the quantity of quality individuals I’ve met online in the past three years. Exceptional, like-minded, human beings that have made an impact on me in a variety of different ways, the most recent being my hunting.

My passion for bowhunting and social media stems from my love of connection. I love to network with other hunters and share my experiences with them should they be interested. This started as a hobby at first, grew to this blog, and has now filled my life with opportunity to the point in which I’m finding creative ways to raise enough money to plan a hunting trip every year.

The invitations come in frequently. I’ve been invited to Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin, California, and Georgia. All of which in the last year. A multitude of friends have reached out to me, some of them going so far as to open their homes to me, invite me to their table, and even share their hunting spots with me.

Why? I have no idea. I really don’t think I’m all that interesting or even friendly enough to warrant such generosity. In fact, I’m fairly sure I would have a hard time paying them back. In fact, the point of this is not to boast about how awesome I am, but to show you how awesome they are.

I can’t help but laugh when I hear the anti-hunting community stereotypically bash a hunter for being immoral, unethical, barbaric, or terrible human beings. Hunters are some of the most genuine folk you will ever encounter. The traditional community in particular are some of the friendliest, most accommodating folks I’ve ever met. I’ve never heard anyone dispute that statement and was once on the other side of the fence.

That being said, I felt it necessary to start taking people up on their offers and am starting with my very good friend and blogging colleague Steve Angell (www.simplytraditional.net) in Georgia. We met in a roundabout way and share a mutual friend in Thom Jorgesen (a colleague of mine on the MLA council). Thom was heading down to visit Steve and invited me to jump in. With the possibility of an early deer hunt lingering in my brain, I couldn’t refuse.

Two gangly men in a Prius full of bowhunting gear is going to make for an interesting 12 hours of driving, but I cannot wait. We have three days worth of beautiful North Georgia public land to explore and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

We’ll hopefully load that Prius full of deer meat before its all said and done.

So get out there, make friends, and grab those opportunities when you get them. Don’t hesitate! Life is far too short to spend every weekend on the couch.

Get jiggy with it

I’ve been hanging out on the Osage Roost turkey hunting community lately and have already spent several hours on the Call Makers forum drooling over homemade pot calls. There is nothing I appreciate more than quality woodworking and the craftsmanship on said forum is truly something to be admired.

Having recently fallen in love with turkey hunting (story to come), I have become a sucker for a hand made call. There is something about working a hunk of wood until it serves a purpose, especially when that purpose is talking to a bird or animal.

Unfortunately, I am ill-equipped to make such things and have decided to leave it to the experts. Namely my friends Tommy Ellis (Following Ghost or ghost5 on the “Roost”) and John Buchin (Crooked Talon Game Calls or jbuchin on the “Roost”). There are many others, but I credit these two for starting my addiction as they made the calls above for my hunting enjoyment and I am very thankful for their guidance in the turkey woods.

I’m sure I could give call making a shot if I had a lathe, but I don’t, nor do I have the time to start a new hobby when hunting, writing, and bow building already occupies enough. But its hard to hang out amongst a community of woodworkers and not get inspired. I usually get the bug and have to make something and that is exactly what happened to me this morning. I woke up, had a cup of coffee, and realized I had the itch about half way through it. Only, when I ventured into my workshop I realized I wasn’t ready to start whittling a hunk of Osage into a finely tillered stick flinger. You have to be in the mood to  tackle that and I wasn’t.

I was, however, in the mood to create a new flemish string-making jig for myself. The first one I made was pretty rough and I knew I could improve on it. A couple hours later, the following took shape and I am pretty pleased with it. It is basically just a hunk of cherry board with a few nails, a couple of holes, and a small piece of Ipe glued down where you cut the strands with a razor blade.

I’ve included the plans I followed for your convenience and highly encourage you to build one for yourself, as others encouraged me to do the same.

stringjig

Plans courtesy of http://www.tradgang.com and Terry Green.

Why pay $25-$30 for one when it’ll only cost you 1/4 the amount in lumber?

Enjoy!