Friday, July 17, 2009

Right to Carry is in Your Hands!

Call your Senators! Write Your Senators!
Senate Bill 1618

Many of us are attempting to protect our communities by permitting licensed American citizens from all states to carry concealed handguns in public.

That legislation has now been introduced as Amendment No. 1618 to the defense authorization bill (S. 1390) by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and the Senate will vote on it on Monday evening, July 20.

Amendment No. 1618 would require states to accept concealed carry permits that are issued by other states. The practical effect of this change would be to streamline concealed carry permit regulations. This is particularly advantageous as many states have strong laws and safeguards, and only issue individuals permits after a computerized background check

Please call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators. Tell them to vote YES on Senator Thune's Amendment No. 1618 to the defense authorization bill (S. 1390). If you do not know who your Senators are, check my links under the Sportsman Political Survival Links on the left hand side.

Amendment No. 1618 could dramatically increase the number of individuals carrying concealed handguns in public in your state thereby making us all safer. Law abiding citizens, Gun Owners of America, the National Rifle Association, and many others are determined to further strengthen our rights and laws after passing legislation to allow concealed handguns in National Parks.

The U.S. Senate will vote on Amendment No. 1618 on Monday evening. Please make your calls NOW to convince our U.S. Senators to stand up and say "YES" to law abiding citizens and "YES" to concealed handgun laws and safety in our communities.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fort Jackson Basic Training Graduation

The Bear graduates Basic Training tomorrow, so the family and I are on post and having a great time!

It looks like he has grown a couple of inches and he looks great! We are so very proud of him and his accomplishments. I'll have pictures as soon as I can download them, assuming that I did bring the SD card reader.

More to follow my friends!

Best regards,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Florida Felons: Poaching Peabody the Tame Buck

Dustin Cole Jernigan: Poacher, Criminal

Once again, some sorry excuse for a criminal has committed yet another crime that will reflect badly on everyone involved in shooting and hunting activities.

Thanks to the sharp eyes of The Portly Pirate at The Drawn Cutlass, my attention was directed to the conviction and sentencing of a Haines City felon, Dustin Cole Jernigan. Jernigan pleaded no contest on Friday to poaching the breeder deer named "Peabody," from Shadd's Game Farm near Lake Butler on September 6 last year.

Dustin Cole Jernigan will also have a restitution hearing in September where the owner of Peabody will be asking for $80,000. I hope he gets every bit of it in one way or another!

You can read all the details on The Gainsville Sun's web site: Man sentenced to probation for beheading buck.

Jernigan will likely be placed on the Wildlife Violators Compact list, and will not be able to get any hunting license in many states for several years.

Best regards,

Scheduling Blog Posts: How To

Scheduling Posts

Call me dumb-ass but I never knew you could schedule posts to pop up when you want them to. Do you all know how many nights I stayed up a couple of extra hours just to post at 12:01 AM? Dozens of times! I could have been sleeping, getting rest. But no! I stayed up.

I remember Rick at Whitetail Woods mentioning it the scheduling function, but I never did figure out what he was talking about.

Well today I was just looking at the post editing page when I noticed there is a horizontal list near the top. It looks like this:

Your Posts: All, Drafts, Scheduled, Imported, Published

Hmmmm, I said to myself. I wonder where that came from...

So I clicked on each one to see what they could do and imagine that, I even found an old draft from months ago.

To schedule a post in Blogger is simple. (If you know how...) Obviously write your post. You would be surprised how many people forget that first crucial step. Now, click on the Post Options button on the bottom left hand corner of your editing window. Change the post date and time to the time and date you would like the post to publish on. Finally click the orange Publish Post button.

I've just tried it with a new Florida Felons post. At 2:14 PM a post should pop up!

This technology stuff is just great!

Best regards,

TROC's Link Rodeo!

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Howdy folks!

I learned of this concept, "The Link Rodeo," somewhere on Al Gore's Internet over the last few days. Not only does it expose folks to other writers and their blogs, but on those days when you just can't come up with anything to write about, or in my case, too tired to take the photos for a half dozen posts, you can at least put something out there that is useful.

While fighting Mark Osterholt's plagiarism I found a couple of really good blogs.

First on my list is Fly Fish Chick. I found her post, Through Melrose Colored Glasses had been plagiarized and let her know we were on the job getting it removed. I took a look at much of her work and really enjoyed it. She has great pictures and storytelling. Great candidate for the OBS!

Steam of Time by Len Harris is a beauty! His stuff was plagiarized also. Great photos, video, and storylines make this one a real winner. It is incredibly smart and clever! Go check it out! NOW!

My friend Wild Ed over at Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors has had a series of posts with practical hints and techniques, and a really cool video on Spotted Cats right on our southern border. Another really good and very important one is his post on Ticks and Disease Prevention.

Whitetail Woods always has something interesting. Recently Rick posted Babbling in the Whitetail Woods, and I think it really is a fascinating and thought provoking post. So much so that I have been giving it a lot of thought. See what you think about it.

I've made some new friends too. Scott Croner is an outfitter in Nebraska. He just started blogging a week ago, joined the OBS, and got me thinking about turkey hunting. His blog, Nebraska Hunting Outfitters, is in its infancy but it should have very interesting perspectives from a professional's point of view.One of my Friends

Harris' Hawk Blog has a great post on doing the right thing with respect to global warming and the issues arising from it. Though the science is still out on the subject, there are things that are of great concern: glaciers retreating, ice shelf disappearing, shorelines encroaching. Maybe they are temporary, maybe not. I will say that many years ago I saw an art exhibition on American painters of the Naturalists persuasion where there were several paintings of ice skaters from Virginia to New York and further north. So something is going on.

By necessity, this one is a little shorter than I would like it to be. But from now on I am going to have a draft ready where I can cut and paste interesting links, blogs, and sites for everyone to explore.

Best regards,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation News

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A little administrative work is in order today also.

Florida Shoreline Fishing Licenses

Here in Florida you have never had to have a resident fishing license if you were fishing from shore, bridge, pier, jetty, or dock. Well, that is about to change. On August 1st, you will be required to purchase and have in your possession a valid Florida shoreline fishing license, unless they already have a regular resident saltwater fishing license. If you are a resident angler, you may want to pony up and purchase the regular recreational saltwater license that covers you, wherever you want to fish in Florida salt waters.

Nonresidents will have to have a license when fishing from shore as they always have, so get a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license and avoid the big fat ticket.

The new shoreline saltwater fishing license for residents goes on sale July 15.

The new shoreline license includes these two new exemptions:

Anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid; and anglers fishing in their home counties who use cane poles or other gear that does not depend on mechanical retrieval.

Turtles to China No More!

Commercial turtle harvesting will no longer be legal in Florida as of July 20th. After reports of huge commercial turtle harvests from lakes in Central Florida in 2007, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided to pass the most stringent turtle harvest rule in the nation.

The FWC moved quickly to address the problem and created interim rules to address the issue before a final ruling was made.

"We determined there was the possibility the species could not withstand the pressure from unchecked harvest," said Tim Breault, director of the FWC's Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. "This new rule will conserve Florida's diverse turtle population in perpetuity." FWC

Individuals will be allowed to take one freshwater turtle per day per person from the wild for noncommercial use and people cannot transport more than one turtle per day.

Hopefully the hard work and quick action by the FWC will allow freshwater turtles to recover.

Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hunting Trophy Turkey: Merriam's in Nebraska

© 2009 -© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
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Hunting Trophy Merriam's Turkey

While pecking away at the keyboard a couple of weeks ago I came upon fellow Outdoor Bloggers Summit member Scott Croner’s Blog, Nebraska Hunting Company. I meandered off to his company website,, to see what it was all about. I am always curious what fellow bloggers do when they are not beating the keys off the keyboard. Makes me feel like I know everyone a little better.

As it turns out, Scott is an outfitter based in Nebraska and covers several of the Midwest states in his pursuit of American big game, waterfowl, and turkey. Not only that, but we had some interesting acquaintances things in common, but more on that later.

Scott has some great pictures of his clients on his website, and on the left hand side is a beautiful turkey that one of his clients harvested. Big turkey too, as far as I can tell.

But before I get into what caught my eye, I think a little bit of turkey talk information is in order! You would be surprised at how much there is to know! I certainly was.

There are two species and four subspecies of turkeys.

Eastern Photo Credit: WL McCoy
There’s the Eastern Wild Turkey. He’s your garden-variety turkey that you see all over the place except on opening day of turkey season, or for that matter the rest of it too. Since the eastern wild turkey ranges the farthest north, individuals can also grow to be among the largest of any of the subspecies. The adult male, can be as tall 4 feet (!) at maturity and weigh 20 pounds plus. As an aside, the turkey came in second as the bird of the National Seal. (They say Ben Franklin was besides himself when they told him the news! Legend has it he said, “$&!% that Jefferson!”)

Osceola Image Credit: CL Evans
These are my own hometown turkeys. The Osceola is named for the famous Seminole Chief, Osceola. They are a bit smaller than the eastern variety and live in the oak and palmetto hammocks where they thrive on palmetto bugs, acorns and palmetto berries, the slash pine woods, and the swampy habitats of Florida. (Basically everywhere else on the southern two thirds of the peninsula.)

Rio Grande Image Credit: TwoTom
The Rio Grande subspecies lives adjacent to what’s left of the Rio Grande. But they are found as far north as Kansas, usually by water. The Rio Grande turkeys are comparatively pale and copper colored, and they are awful long legged compared to their cousins; sort of like that redheaded girl in middle school that you were scared of.

Merriam's Image Credit: Alice Outwater
Further north still, and probably the handsomest (if you don’t include the fellows from south of the border), is the Merriam. This species is most at home in mountainous wooded regions, and it has been successfully stocked in areas far away from its original range in the southern mountains of Western America.

Gould's Image Credit: Ornitholoco
The Goulds, named after J. Gould who, I guess, discovered them in 1856 during his Mexican road trip in search of artisanal agave tequila. The Goulds are pretty rare at about 800 or so in the US, though a substantial population lives in Mexico. Arizona and New Mexico offer limited hunting opportunities for the Gould’s wild turkey, while stocking from Mexico continues to increase their numbers in the South Western US.

Ocellated Image Credit Real Turkeys
The prettiest of them all is the Ocellated turkeys. They are their own species and do not have any sub-species. Both male and female ocellated turkeys have beautiful greenish-bronze iridescent feathers, but neither the male nor female have a beard. Their tails feathers have a blue spot that terminates in orange at the ends, and the head and neck is also pale blue with bright orange warts. They live in the tropical forests of the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. They are truly a remarkable and beautiful bird.

Now I have always known turkey hunters to be a little obsessed. Box calls, slate calls, glass calls, owl hooters (Hooters? Who knew?), camouflage, gilliesuits, blinds, special chokes, shotguns, knee-pads, and shells in different lengths, sizes colors and loads. And that doesn’t include the turkey bowhunters!

I had no idea how far the turkey madness went.

Curiosity peaked more than was probably good for me, I found the National Wild Turkey Federation website. Much to my delight it was a virtual warehouse of information, chuck full of all sorts of turkey stuff. Single-handedly, they have managed to complicate the relatively simple idea of killing a turkey, and elevated into well nigh an art form.

I was entranced and enthralled by it immediately.

By now it was getting late while I was reading all of this, and I came to the “Slam” page. Logically I assumed that this was the recipe page where turkey, egg, and pancake met. But, much to my surprise and glee, what I found was the Holy Grail of turkey hunting aficionados. The Slams my friends, are the different levels of madness that one can attain by hunting the different subspecies of turkeys! And you get a certificate (Suitable for framing!) commemorating the event and a pin for your lapel! All that is required is membership in the National Wild Turkey Federation , and the turkeys.

These are the Slams that NWTF awards:
  • Grand Slams consists of the Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam's and Osceola (Florida) birds
  • Royal Slams is the four subspecies listed above in addition to the Gould's bird
  • World Slams include all five subspecies listed above in addition to the Ocellated wild turkey
  • The Mexican Slam consists of the following birds harvested in Mexico only: Rio Grande, Gould's and Ocellated. Of course you are required to survive the experience. No posthumous awards issued.
  • The Canadian Slam consists of harvesting the Eastern and Merriam's bird in the following provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta or British Columbia, and then serving them with thick sliced bacon.

Unlike many other feats of huntsmanship, like hunting Marco Polo sheep with a spear and loincloth, this one is a relatively attainable goal. The NWTF maintains records of the registered turkeys, and when you complete a NWTF Slam you receive a slam certificate for each slam you complete, you receive the distinctive wild turkey record slam pin for each of your slams, and they put you up on their Slam Website! And more importantly you do not have to kill all the turkeys in the same year. So this allows you to plan a great adventure far into the future with your family members or friends. That’s just Slamming!

So of course now I am all crazy about getting turkeys. I have always been interested, but now… I’m obsessed… must get calls…must get more camo…

Sorry, lost my train of thought. Phew! It’s worse than I thought.

Well this brings me back to Scott and Nebraska Hunting Company. While kicking around his site I saw a fascinating turkey. During the 2009 spring turkey hunt, one of Scott’s clients, Mr. Todd Ried, harvested a melanistic or black color phase Merriam’s turkey! As you can tell the turkey is almost completely black, a stunning and exceptional trophy indeed! Not only is the Merriam one of the lesser-harvested turkeys, but to get one in a color phase is just unbelievable.

Todd Ried with his all-black melanistic Merriam's trophy!

Melanistic mutations occur in almost all creatures from fish to humans. It is much like albinism but not as hazardous to the animal’s health as being all white in the dark green woods! Birds in particular have several other color mutations that can occur, including blue, yellow, and red. Red, or more appropriately copper or rust, is occasionally seen in turkeys.

I want one. In a full mount, flying, so I can take up even more room in our miniscule apartment!

Tom H., Scott C., & Warren P.
I called Scott up to inquire about his turkey hunting concessions (leases) and the general availability and the possibility of collecting a Merriam’s. Scott “Turkey Man” Croner told me of this past season, and I am not kidding you, I was taken aback by his success ratio. I have read and talked with enough hunters to know how difficult turkey hunting can be. The number of clients and te number of birds taken was simply phenomenal. I have to admit I was a little skeptical, but after checking his references and talking to several people, I have concluded that he is a very talented outfitter and his concessions are fantastic! Having good concessions is very important. Good concessions have good habitat and that is what makes or breaks a turkey population.

I called Scott back and we did a phone interview, a TROC first by the way, which will appear in the near future. I have been so impressed by his good character, integrity, and know how, that I will definitely be booking with him when the time comes for me to collect my Merriam’s.

…and the Snow goose.

The turkey is going to need some company.

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company
Nebraska Hunting Company Merriam's Turkey Hunting
Mobile: 402.304.1192

Related Posts: Quaker Boy Typhoon Turkey Call

Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS
The Hunt Continues...

Unbelievable! This Makes 299 Posts!

So I'm building a coal dumping rail station for the local power plant.

No, not by myself! We have workers to do the heavy lifting. I'm here in a cerebral capacity.

But I'm working a 24 hour shift, right? And I am well into the 21st hour.

I've written two good hunting posts over the weekend, and I'm waiting on the fact check/editing on another.

I still have to add the images to the hunting posts, and I will do that at home because it's one thing to write a ten minute post at work, it's another to fool around downloading and uploading photos. Plus I have dual monitors at home that make it easier. So when I get home, I'll knock that out.

After that I'm knocking off!

What I am getting at is that post #300 will appear later today... my guess... after 1700 hrs, or 5:00 PM.

I should be up by then!

Best regards,