Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blogs of Note: Montana Elk Hunting

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Dennis Carrol's Montana Elk Hunting's

Mr Dennis Carrol is taking a hiatus from his Blogging endeavors and has posted his Best of the Best. I wish him a speedy return to the blogosphere and look forward to his eventual return!

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

Outfitter Chronicles: J Scott Croner Part II

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Outfitters Chronicles an Interview with Scott Croner
And Nebraska Hunting Company: Part II

Folks, hello and good hunting to you, this is Albert A Rasch of the Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. We are back again with J. Scott Croner, Outfitter and owner of Nebraska Hunting Company.

TROC: So how did you get started hunting?

JSC: I started hunting with my dad and grandpa from the time I could walk. I learned all of the little things that keep you safe outdoors and have fun at the same time. Some of my fondest memories are of the discoveries I made when I was just a little kid.

TROC: Like what?

JSC: Albert, you must remember the first set of tracks you ever found, or the hawk’s feather, maybe you found a bone or antler! Those are priceless experiences and set the stage for both of our love for the outdoors.

TROC: You are absolutely right Scott. I remember a cat's paw print that I cast, and a rabbit skull that I happened to dig up. So what made you start an outfitting and guiding service?

JSC: Having been in the outdoor merchandise field, and as I became more adept at using the internet, I felt that there was a need for an organization to help guides and outfitters market themselves. I went and founded the Nebraska Outfitters and Guides Association (NEOGA) and built it up to almost fifty members. For reasons that aren’t important to discuss, they decided that they did NOT need an executive director. Feel free to look them up; you can decide how well they are doing on their own without any help from me. By the way, I bear no animosity to any of the members, none.

TROC: Really…

JSC: I had already decided that I wanted to be in the outdoor industry. Since I had been in Nebraska all of my life and was a fairly successful hunter I thought that taking people out and getting paid for it would be fun and easy. Ahhh…OOPS! It has been a lot of fun, but never guaranteed or easy.

TROC: I bet it was rough going at first. How did you manage?

JSC: Albert I want you and your readers to know that I have succeeded in this business by offering excellent service at a fair price and by having an above average success rate. Sometimes I feel like one of those financial services ads that say “Past performance is no guarantee of future profits…” But the truth is that I work harder during the off season so my clients have a good season. They pay hard earned money to have what may be a once in a lifetime hunt, I don’t want to be the one to disappoint them.

TROC: Now looking at you website NebraskaHunting.Net, you seem to be having quite a bit of success. Tell us about some of highlights. Actually, what I really want to know, is it true that you got 87 turkeys in 28 days? I mean it seems unbelievable and quite frankly, it sounds biblical!

JSC: We had more clients than usual due to some larger parties, but we put them in great spots that I personally scouted throughout the year. We harvested 87 toms in 28 days with 40 clients and we all thought that was one for the record books. And I’m not kidding Albert, the weather has been particularly good this spring and summer, and I think next year, (the 2010 spring season), will be even better.

TROC: How about the melanistic Merriam’s turkey; that must have been a once in a lifetime trophy for the lucky hunter!

JSC: Well you would think shooting a rare bird one year would just be luck, and I would agree, especially since it was only the that hunter’s second bird. This year it happened again with Todd Ried, and we already know where a couple of more melanistic Merriam’s are hiding out. The year round scouting really pays off for the client.

TROC: I see you guide for deer, pheasant, and snow geese also.

JSC: We have really concentrated on turkey, deer, pheasant, and snow geese. The deer have been a real highlight for us. We have been outfitting for whitetail deer for five years now, and each year we have shot a few big deer in the 140 to 175 inch range. And you can’t appreciate Snow Goose hunting without actually experiencing it. It is indescribable!

TROC: Merriam’s Turkey, pheasant, duck, snow geese, and whitetail what a variety! What is your favorite?

JSC: It is really hard to pick one favorite, but you know, a gobbling, strutting tom is hard to beat. They all make you heart pound deep in your chest.

TROC: That’s fantastic. You are very fortunate to live in such a game rich part of the nation, and to be able to put together hunts for folks from all over.

JSC: Well I have to tell you that I could not do it without the great clients I have had the opportunity to guide. They are the ones that allow me to watch them do something they love to do, and that is typically reserved for family, friends and hunting buddies. I also get to take all of the photos and relive the memories that we all shared. I have had more than my fair share of outdoor celebrity hunters too, but it's the guys like you and I, guys that work for a living, that I appreciate the most.

TROC: That must be awesome. Let's shift gears a little. Tell me about your tri-athlete hobby.

JSC: Yes, I have been a Triathlete for over 30 years. The swimming and the biking are not much help for the hunting season, but the running really pays off big. I think it is always an advantage to be in a little better shape than your clients. I don’t think you need to run to be in the right place all of the time but getting there in a hurry can sure keep the animals guessing.

TROC: Did I mention I swim like a stone? Throw a lead weight in the water and it’s a better than 50% chance that I’ll beat it to the bottom.

JSC: Uhh, do you want me to comment on that?

TROC: No. Not really…

TROC: Now Scott, how can someone get in touch with you? Are you booked solid already for the year, or do you have some slots available for this coming season.

JSC: Albert, folks that are interested in seeing what packages I have available can go to our website Nebraska Hunting Company, and check out our Hunting Packages . I also have downloadable PDF brochures for the spring snow goose, turkey, and deer hunts. When they want to get in touch with me they can email me at or call me at 402-304-1192.

TROC: Scott I want to thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule and talking with us.

JSC: Albert, it was my pleasure!

I want to thank Scott Croner of Nebraska Hunting Company for joining me here at TROC and telling us a little about himself and his company.

Folks, thanks again for stopping by at TROC. I hope you have enjoyed this new segment, we are definitely going to start to do some new things; who knows maybe some podcasts are in order, or videos too.

Best regards,
Albert A Rasch

Related Posts:
Press Release: Scott Croner Interview

Friday, July 24, 2009

Posts of Note: Fair Chase by Eric Nuse


This is a must read post by Mr Eric C Nuse, president of Orion-The Hunter’s Institute. This is an organization that is on the top of my list to join as soon as I am able to.

Anyway, Eric and researchers at Orion-The Hunter’s Institute, have gathered and correlated all the disparate information relating to hunter education and participation expansion from private and governmental programs and activities and synthesized it into a single publication.

Lead researcher Mark Damian Duda states, “The purpose of this project is to better understand the factors related to hunting and sport shooting participation, identify strategies to better meet the needs of current and potential participants, and more effectively communicate to the public about these activities.

This is of utmost importance to all of us in the shooting and the hunting sports.

Read the post, and if you have the wherewithal, consider purchasing the book. I'm going to do without lunches for a while until I can order it. Then look for an in-depth review!

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cowtown Cop: The destruction of a good man

CTC puts out a well thought out and instructive post on the arrest of black Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Cowtown Cop: The destruction of a good man

At least the Cambridge Commissioner of Police is standing behind Sgt James Croeley: Top Cop Stands.

It's a hell of a world when the President's drinking buddy gets special treatment.

It's an F'ed up world now.

Senator Bill Nelson Writes Back.

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Albert Rasch Announces a Run for the US Senate
(Just kidding... Really.)

As I mentioned in my post Right to Carry in your Hands, I wrote my Senators about the issue and how I expected them to vote.
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Senator Mel Martinez came through and voted affirmatively on Senate Bill 1618. Bill Nelson on the other hand refused to help protect law abiding citizens from the ravages of criminals, murderers, rapists, and sociopaths.

He wrote me a note explaining his position, without actually telling me why he was against the Right of Americans to defend themselves from predators that prey on the elderly, children, and those unable to physically defend themselves!

He starts with, "Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about gun control. I support the constitutional right to bear arms. I grew up on a ranch in the Florida countryside and have been a hunter since I was a boy."

Well that's good news! I am glad to hear that.

But then he starts to dissemble, "I also support efforts to reduce gun violence and promote firearms safety. We should close the gun show loophole and take other steps to ensure that felons are not allowed to buy firearms. Running background checks on prospective gun purchasers is a practical way to ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands without unreasonably burdening citizens' 2nd amendment rights."

Bullshit meter pegs full right on high!!!

Gun Show loophole? What the devil are you talking about? Hasn't that been beaten into the ground and proven a red herring?

So what is it Bill? Are you voting for the Right of American Citizens to protect the lives and property of their loved ones and fellow Americans?

I got my answer yesterday.


Bill Nelson has no interest in allowing responsible, law abiding, productive members of society to defend themselves and their loved ones regardless of where they are. He would much rather pander to the extremists of the Democratic party than allow Americans to defend Americans.

I now hereby announce that I will do everything in my power to bring about the removal of Senator Bill Nelson from the halls of the Senate.

  • I will promote any opponent that meets my criteria of being a defender of the American People.
  • I will donate to the political campaign of those that oppose him during his next political campaign.
  • I will dedicate my meager resources to remove his name from the rolls of the Senate.
And everyone knows I put my heart and soul into everything I do.

He can go back to his childhood ranch and contemplate why he would choose to support criminals against his fellow American.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Bluebirds are Making a Comeback!

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles Bluebirds in Florida, Making Nest boxes for bluebirds, bluebird nest boxes
Bluebirds Making a Comeback in West Central Florida
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Image Credit: wvgasguy
Thanks again to the keen observations of the Portly Pirate at The Drawn Cutlass, I have been made aware of the Eastern Bluebird is making a comeback here in my neck of the woods! One of the members of the Thrush family, the Eastern Bluebird is welcome visitor in anyone's backyard. Insectivorous, they nest in tree hollows on the edges of open fields and pastures where they can capture their meals.

According to the UPI article there are over 100 nesting pairs in the suburban and rural areas east of Tampa.

Image Credit:Momba
Nest boxes are easily made, though the entrance hole needs to be a snug 1-1/2 inch round hole to prevent starlings from using the nest box. There is a set of specs for bluebird boxes at the North American Blue Bird Society website: Nestbox Specifications. They can be easily handcrafted from untreated 1/2" material that is 5 1/2" wide. The Missouri Dept of Conversation has nice plans that are easy to follow, along with good information: How to build a Bluebird House. Unbeknownst to me, they can also be fashioned out of 4" PVC. (Though they are better for tree swallows than the bluebirds.) Now I have an excuse for bringing some home with me! In fact it can be one of the Chronicles projects in the future. Great project for the kids too.

Image Credit: Ronaldok
It pleases me to no end to hear of the success of the many volunteers that have put in the time, energy, and effort to make and put up boxes for the Bluebird.

A tip of the hat is certainly in order!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The July Outdoor Bloggers Rally

Great Outdoor Links from Outdoor Bloggers

Thank you all for participating! Here is how this is going to work. I will post it and then forward it via email to a person that linked here, and to someone that didn't. The e-mail will consist of the html version of the post, so it will be easy to cut and paste and get all the links in right . I'll explain on the email what to do and how to do it for those that may be unfamiliar with posting in that fashion. When you get it, add a link to the bottom, post it, and within a couple of days forward it to someone one on the post already, and to someone not on the post.

It doesn't matter who you send it to, so long as you are fairly confident that they will continue to forward it. It will get some links pointing back to you, and maybe a few new readers.

So here we go! This is The Outdoor Bloggers July Link Rally where participants add a couple of links to their own blogs and someone else's. Email it to a couple of people that you like and ask them to posts it and add to it. The only criteria is that it be related to the outdoors or blogging! And as usual, if you're not a member of the Outdoor Bloggers Summit, please consider joining our merry band of outdoor enthusiasts!

Great Outdoor Links from Outdoor Bloggers

Rick K. at Whitetail Woods sends us this popular How-To: An Inexpensive Gravity Deer or Hog Feeder.

Julia, the Mother Hen at Henhouse Pottery, feeds her family, raises chickens, and throws clay on her homestead. She sends a great Q&A about chicken poop, compost, Raku firing, and common sense in her post "Raku, Chickens, and Compost."

Snakes and their identification are on Wild Ed's mind on his Texas Snake Roundup, where Ed helps us identify snakes that reside in his home state of Texas. Wild Ed has lots of great posts on Texas fauna on a regular basis as in Proof is in the Pictures.

Our fearless correspondent from Tennessee, Gabe over at EnviroCapitalist, likes his frog legs fresh, and goes about it with relish. Get into it with Gigging!

The Black Rabbit is a knife maker and by golly a good one at that! He has a two parter on making knives that is really a treat! Utility Knife Step-by-step: Part 1 and Utility Knife Step-by-step: Part 2.

The truth is that Hunts Like a Girl at Scent Free Lip Gloss is so cute that I'm embarrassed to go to her website. I worry her husband will see me looking at her posts, figure I'm ogling her, and then beat the bejeebers outta me. A Diffent Kind of Bull and Lanterns and Poop Chairs are her choice for a good read!

And RKL sends us a travelogue from his trip to Ostia Antica the port city of Ancient Rome. The mosaics are truly breath taking when you consider just how long they've been there!

Scott over at Nebraska Hunting Outfitters has put together a couple of great FAQs on what to expect when turkey hunting Part I and Part II

I found this one on Phillip Loughlin's blog The Hog Blog. Phillip comments on our High Fence discussion with great accuracy, perception, and logic. A must read! Hunting Ethics VS Logical Debate

Over at My Favorite Marlin, Whit Spurzon beats the mountain trails on his custom (Home made) mountain bike! A great idea for both rural and suburban hunting! Check it out at Mountain Bikes: A Very Useful Tool.

Albert at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles and The Range Reviews: Tactical, covers Blogging and experience on Better Blogging! Or What if my Brains Melt?, and a couple of his buddies in Fallow Deer: Hints and Tips and Chronicles Interview: JS Croner Part I

Thanks for participating, and don't be afraid to start another one on your own! And don't forget to add a link or two when you get this yourself!

Feral Hogs Invading the Great Lakes

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Snowbirds Get Their Comeuppance!

Ummm! This is yummy!

It seems that the South is returning the favor. Instead of sending all the snowbirds back, it appears that wild hogs are taking their place on their way back to the Great Lakes regions.

"In Michigan alone there were 200 sightings of these animals in more than 60 counties as of late 2008. "
Great Lakes Echo

I found the article during my nocturnal wanderings last night:
Big pigs, big problem: Feral swine spread to Great Lakes region

I would suggest that they institute a shoot on sight policy to avoid the problem of having them overrunning their lands. In a few short years, they could be as common as they are here!

Uhmm, I mean the hogs not the Snowbirds...

Best regards,

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Nebraska Hunting Outfitters: Frequently Asked Questions: Part II

This Scott Croner's follow up to Part I. Great Information!
Nebraska Hunting Outfitters: Frequently Asked Questions: Part II

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Attention Bloggers: Send Me Your Links!

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
So I'm mulling around a couple of ideas and this one came to the surface.$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
I need as many of you to send me a link to one of your posts that you would like to see passed around. It could be your best, most popular, least popular that really deserves a second viewing, which ever post you want sent around.

I'll put it all together and post it with all the links. Then I'll e-mail it to the next person on the list who will then add a new link to the bottom and post it on their blog. Then they will pass it on to the next blogger who will do likewise and so on. When we get to thirty links or so, we will take one off the top and add a new one to the bottom.

I think that will work! I would like to start linking more to each other and get people noticed!

Best to all!

Protect Yourself from Plagiarism: Part II

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
How to Protect Yourself from Plagiarizers and Plagiarism

So now you have placed in the basic protections against copyright infringement. What do you do if you find your materials on a website like Osterholt's with or without credit?
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
I found several great web sites that have all the information you will need to exact swift and terrible vengeance upon the plagiarizer! Ok maybe not swift and terrible, but at least you will get your stuff free and clear of their nefarious grip. is an excellent site and has step by step procedures to follow. I will cover them briefly . You can also find similar information like How to File a DMCA Complaint as well as What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content.

After you have found out that your material has been taken, contact the Plagiarist. Leave a comment, or look for their e-mail on the site. Tell them you would like your material taken off of their website if that is what you want, or add the credit and links. Most of the time, especially if it's an aggregator, they'll never answer. If after a day or two you haven’t gotten results…

It is time to step it up a notch and send a Cease and Desist order.

This is to advise you that you are using copyrighted and protected material on your website/blog. Your illegal use of my article at
this url is originally from my website/blog called Title of Work at my works url. This is original content and I am the author and copyright holder. Use of copyright protected material without permission is illegal under copyright laws.
Please take one or more of the following actions immediately:
• Re-write the post to include excerpts with a link to the original content.
• Credit the material specifically to me, as author, and my website [be specific].
• Provide compensation for use of my copyright protected material of $????.00 USD paid via [payment method].

• Or remove the plagiarized material immediately.
I expect a response within 3 days of this issue. Thank you for your immediate action on this matter.

Let’s say you have tried to contact the plagiarist or you just can’t find the plagiarist, then pull out the big guns! Contact the Host and make them take care of it. Use a service like to find out who the host of the domain name is. Then it is just a matter of going to this site, DMCA Contacts and filing the appropriate DMCA paperwork via e-mail.

Here is an example, I emailed Wordpress:

My electronic signature

Email address

I state in good faith that the use of the content I claim to infringe upon my copyright is not authorized by law, or by the copyright owner Albert A Rasch; and (b) under penalty of perjury, that all of the information contained in this Infringement Notice is accurate, and that I am the copyright owner.

That's pretty much it. I recommend that should you run into this problem, you start your offense immediately and without remorse. The website Plagiarism Today is great source of step by step instructions.

All in all, this experience has taught me a great deal about Al Gore's Internet. I've also met a lot of new people and made some new friends. So something good has come of it regardless!

Best regards,

Nebraska Hunting Outfitters: Frequently Asked Questions: Part I

A great post by Scott Croner on things you should know before you set out on your hunt.
Nebraska Hunting Outfitters: Frequently Asked Questions: Part I

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Blog for my Friends who are on Dial-Up

Howdy Folks,

I received an e-mail from one of my blogging friends today. It seems that all the pictures I put into my posts are making the load up times well nigh unbearable. Well, I think he could bear it, I mean who wouldn't stand just about anything when it's the TROC we are talking about!

Being the attentive sort of editor I am, I put together another blog just for dial up. The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles II. I'll put a banner link over to the right there too.

What I'll do is post all my posts as I create them on TROCII but without the pictures. That way you don't end up waiting for five posts trying to load all there pictures. If you want to see what I have then just hit the link back to here for the individual post with everything in it.

I hope this is of some help for those of you that have to use slower connections.

Best regards,

Internet Security: The Chinese have Us by the ...

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
internet security, Firefox, Chinese cyber attacks,.
"When you got them by the nuts, their hearts and minds will follow."
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Ever since I got my first virus from having unprotected surfing with an Internet Explorer connected computer, I've been on the security bandwagon. I run an anti-virus program, trojan hunter, and several malware and spyware catchers. All in an effort to keep the bad guys thwarted in their evil attempts to take control of my computer.

Now it seems that not only do I have to fight the Russian mobsters and porn merchants, but the Chinese as well. Whereas the Russians only want to spam e-mails and make or steal money, the Chinese are out practicing Cyberfare (Computer Warfare) for when they decide to try to smoke us. And believe me, it is going to happen sooner or later.

I for one, do not wish to be even the tiniest cog in their machinations.

I keep a close tab on anything Mr BorePatch has to say. BorePatch has regular security updates that are essential, hints and layman's tech talk on a regular basis, and the occasional post that has nothing to do with security, but is fun to read anyway.

First of all, if you are not running Firefox, you are just helping evil doers that are trying to either milk us dry, or ultimately dominate us. It is a ten minute process to download and install Firefox, and quite frankly inexcusable not to be running it. You might as well do it now, and install it while you read the rest of this.

For those of us that are trying to step it up another notch, Borepatch has written a series of articles on the Linux operating system that is the most secure method for running your computer. It is neat, tidy, efficient, and above all secure. Not only that, but there are applications that are identical to all the offerings from Microsoft (Word, Excell, Publisher, etc,etc,etc.), and they are all free! Not only are they free, but they are in used by many professionals in their fields. Open Office is the best known, and the look and feel is so close to MS Office, that you will barely notice the difference.

The first step of course, is to install a version of Linux. BorePatch wrote a series of posts to help you through the process:

Why Internet Security is a Mess, and Why it Matters to You
Why it is Hard to Secure Windows

And finally, the solution and how to:
Using Linux to Increase your Windows Security

I am in the process of partitioning my hard drives for the installation and will report on it as the process evolves.

If I was you, and I cared about what happens in this Nation, I would follow BorePatch and keep up with his suggestions.
Firefox Install Team
But first, install Firefox. Seriously.
Don't force me to come over and do it myself.


Related Posts:
Which Laptop? Which Linux for It?

Florida Felons Report: Christopher A. Eddy-Captured

I wasn't on top of this as I was out of town.

"Officer Vann Streety, a 10-year FWC veteran, was shot near the intersection of Satellite Boulevard and State Road 520 in Brevard County.

After Streety stopped Christopher A. Eddy (DOB 05/13/86), of 1214 Applecreek Lane in Rockledge, the officer attempted to arrest Eddy on warrants issued from Brevard County for multiple traffic violations. A struggle ensued during which Streety was shot many times.

Though Streety was wearing a bulletproof vest, he sustained gunshot wounds to his limbs and torso. Streety's injuries are not life threatening."
FWC Release

"Shooting suspect Eddy pleads not guilty.

Christopher A. Eddy offered no details that might explain why he allegedly shot a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer following a traffic stop."

Offers no details? Could it be that he is a worthless piece of human refuse that needs to be disposed of? I mean really, how much contemplation does it really need to answer the question to any reasonable person's satisfaction?

Randolph Hearst would be proud of me...


Sunday, July 19, 2009

America's Future!

My Son the Soldier

First moments of liberty!

You will have to forgive an old soldier a moment of pride. That's my boy -better make that a man now- Jordan. We are very proud of how well he has made his way through adversity and performed all of his duties in an exemplary manner. He is in the best shape of his life, and full of confidence without arrogance. He now knows what he is capable of and, I am happy to say, appreciates his family all the more!

All together: Bubby, Babygirl, The Bear, and Mom

The Bear and his all too proud Dad!

DAD!!! Not in front of all the guys!

Goodbyes are the hardest part...

He is heading out to Arizona (and arrived safely), where he will continue training at his AIT, (Advanced Individual Training). It is four and a half months of intensive coursework in addition to the Army's new doctrinal approach to combat readiness. In other words, the college campus atmosphere of AIT is no more! It's Afghanistan-centric with constant simulations and readiness training.

We were all pleased as punch to be able to spend time with him and I've decided to surprise Mom and Bubby with tickets to Arizona in a couple of months so they can go see the Bear, and the Sonoran desert of Arizona.

All in all it has been a great experience for the Bear, and a he is now more of a role model to his brother and other young men than he has ever been. I can't express the pride we feel as parents.

Now, maybe we can get him to clean his room a little better...

All the best my friends!


And All He Did Was Give Him the Finger?

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
.I'm just a baby...

"Mano a Mano" with a Gator

This is what I call a real Man!

When Mr Grounds' terrier was grabbed by a seven foot gator, he did the only thing he could think of:

He went hand to hand with the cold blooded saurian. Or hand to jaw as this case is. Grabbing the slimy SOB by the jaws, he drove his thumbs into the gators eyes, forcing the reptile to release his dog.

Not to be outdone, the gator quick reversed the jaw hold and put Mr.Grounds into a fingerlock! Unfortunately the alligator used his teeth, mindful of his weak up body strength and lack of opposable thumbs. Mr Grounds lost a piece of his index finger and ring finger to the sharp teeth of the gator.

There's more to the story at the

Best to you all!


Hunting Merriam's Turkeys: Hints and How-to's

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Grand Slam Tips: The Merriam's Turkey
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For those pursuing any of the National Wild Turkey Federation Slams, finding a great spot to hunt the Merriam's turkey can be a challenge. As we have discussed before, the reintroduction of wild turkeys in Nebraska began in 1959. 28 Merriam's turkeys trapped in South Dakota and Wyoming were released in the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska. Although Merriam's were not native to Nebraska, Pine Ridge was to their liking and in just four nesting seasons, the Merriam's population grew to 3,000 birds!

Further introductions of Rio Grande and Eastern turkeys increased the wild turkey population substantially. This has also had the effect of creating some interesting hybrids. The hybrids tend to be larger and brawnier than their purebred cousins, making them trophies in their own right.

For hunters in the pursuit of a trophy Merriam's turkey, the answer may be hunting the Pine Ridge area of Northwest Nebraska. Located between the Niobrara and White Rivers, the Pine Ridge is a high table top escarpment range where the turkeys are numerous, and the terrain is a challenge.

An escarpment is a natural geological uplift along a fault line or series of fault lines. It is characterized by steep elevations, cliffs, and canyons. It is also accented by the different erosion rates of the assorted geological strata which help in creating ridges and buttes. The Pine Ridge is well forested and in conjunction with the rugged terrain, creates a natural haven for the Merriam's turkey.

The Sandhills of Nebraska
Another premier area for Merriam's turkeys is the Sandhills region in north central Nebraska. The Sandhills region is a fascinating ecosystem that few people are aware of, and supports a thriving family of diverse plants and animals. Created by vast deposits of sand eroded from the Rockies and left there by glaciers, the Sandhills create an undulating topography, with innumerable micro wetlands and ponds between the vegetation covered dunes. It is actually the nation's largest wetland ecosystem and helps to replenish the vast Ogallala Aquifer. It is also the home to mule deer, bison, pronghorn deer, whitetail deer, and elk!

Merriam's tend to congregate through the few drainages that cut through the Sandhills. Most of that land is privately owned so it really is necessary to have an outfitter that can get you access. Turkeys look for tall trees to roost in and the river bottoms provide them. During the days they spend their time foraging throughout the rich dunes and grasslands of the Sandhills.

Clothing revolves around the Nebraska elements, and camouflage. Weather in Nebraska, especially in the spring can be, to put it politely, variable! You can get early spring storms that dump snow on one day, to near summer time temperatures the next. It is important that you dress accordingly. Check the long range weather reports before you leave, and bring appropriate gear in anticipation. Good boots for hiking are a prerequisite in the Pine Ridge area, while waterproof boots are imperative in the potholes of the Sandhills region.

Good camouflage and movement control are prerequisites for success. Turkeys have eyes practically at the top of their skulls, so they don't have to show much of their noggins to get a good look around. Touch base with your outfitter to get a handle on the proper camo pattern to wear. Good camo is an asset, but being still and quiet are more important. Turkeys have keen eyesight and will pick up unusual movements in the proverbial blink of an eye.

Calling is another challenge. The trick is to pick up the local dialect! As it turns out, turkeys have regional differences in their vocalization patterns. Your best bet is to start softly when emulating a hen, and work your way up. Remember, a tom will usually stick with the hen he has, rather than chase the one he can't see. Again, a good outfitter and guide can help you with the particulars. Scott Croner of Nebraska Hunting Company explained the differences in the different types of calls and the different ways to apply them in different hunting conditions and terrains.

Scott also explained to me the different decoy strategies that he employs in the various concessions that he manages and guides on. Hens, junior jakes, and tom decoys are all used in different fashions to entice gobblers into shooting range.

The more I learn about the different turkeys and the paraphernalia that you can get, (Of course I need another box call honey.), the more fascinated I have become by the siren call of the gobbler.

On another note, one of our blogging friends, Rick at Whitetail Woods loves his whitetails, but he is also an avid turkey hunter. He recently posted a quick article on a NWTF Grand Slam that was awarded to Jessica Haack. You can read about it at Whitetail Woods, Grand Slam of Turkey Hunting.

Best regards,