Thursday, May 31, 2012

There are no breaks for the busy...

Holy crap, isn't life just busy, busy, busy, busy...

As I close out my after school program and prepare for the finish of the high school academic year, my spare minutes are few and far between.  To add insult to injury, I opted to launch my lobster boat today to officially start my summertime self-employment three weeks early.  I'll plan on getting gear ready and setting out all my traps.  Hopefully, I'll be all in before the 4th of July and catching a few soft shells in the process.

From this...

To this shortly...
As for my other responsibilities, Tee Ball and Farm League has been wonderful.  I just remember that it was easier last year having my two girls on one team rather than fitting in six games a week now.  I can't complain because the investment given will certainly yield results down the road with all the kids in the community.  I have certainly worked hard to make their experience fun, meaningful, and an opportunity to learn more about a game I'm very passionate about.

Other than that, I'll try to work on my Baltimore Day 2 write up and fulfill my agreement with Smart Wool.  Take care and have a great day.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, May 28, 2012

Shooting the Super Redhawk and Springfield XDM 45

Recently my buddy, the Rabid Outdoorsman, and I got talking about the Ruger Super Redhawk as a good choice for a sidearm while bear hunting.  He seriously wants to shoot my hand cannon before he leaps into the stainless magnum revolver club.  Anyways, I told him I intended to do a post on shooting this handgun in terms of recoil and shooting enjoyment.  Well here's my poor attempt at best...

I had planned on a more expansive shooting session with a variety of angles, however an uncharged battery left us with limited footage.  This minor issue didn't ruin our shooting opportunity as we put 30 rounds through the Super Redhawk, 78 through the XDM 45, and an unlimited amount of .22 rounds through my Ruger 10/22. 

So without further ado, here's a short video of Ian and I shooting our newest handguns.  I'll promise next time to be better prepared.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pack Basket Crazy

The two little packs for my girls
After taking the pack basket seminar a few weeks ago, I'd be lying if I haven't been a little bit overly excited about this learned skill.  With two little baskets to my credit from the course, I've manage to restore my deceased father-in-law's ice fishing basket and embark on two other efforts of great magnitude.  The first is an all plastic ice fishing basket made entirely of recycled materials and the second is now complete.  Let's digress...

It's a rather large woven basket working off a 9"X16" plywood base and over two feet tall.  I browsed the internet for different styles and tried my best to make a bellied bottom for storage and have it chimney up top.  For my third official basket and first large one, I'm quite pleased.  My instructor told me once I did three baskets, I would be quite handy at this trade.  He's certainly right, you only get better with each one you make.

I'll be procuring more plastic strapping this weekend and should have the better part of the plastic basket done fairly soon, that in itself will make for another great addition to my hardwater arsenal.  You make ask, what does one do with all these packs.  Simple answer, rather than continually change my gear for the different types of ice fishing I will simply grab whatever pack holds the proper traps.  I will only exchange another bag that will hold my basic gear.  With more ice fishing traps than I know what to do with, I'll try this out plus it never hurts having a few extra ready packs when a buddy may want to try out ice fishing.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend,
 The Downeast Duck Hunter

Rugged wooden runners
Just waiting for the straps

5/8 plywood base, 9"X16"
It's fairly big

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baltimore: Day One

Just a few minutes after midnight the alarm began to remind me of the trip, it made no sense to get a hotel room in Portland because a couple hours of sleep would result either way.  Jab and I chose to save the money, get to bed early, and drive the four hours to the airport for our fight to Baltimore at 6 a.m.

I remember this as a kid, 7/12 is also my wedding anniversary
Big bones at the Maryland Science Center
By 8 o'clock we were already on the light rail and on our way for Camden Yards, the home of the American League East leading Orioles.  Jab's wife and I had tried to schedule a trip around our Red Sox but a mid-week series offered no possibilities especially considering the constraints due to work, little league T-Ball & Farm League, and other things.  For that, we were going to see a weekend battle between two teams that were tied for the best record in the American League.  The Tampa Bay Rays were in town for a three game series and we had already locked in the mayor's seats behind home plate as a result of an auction Jab's father in law had won.  For the next game, we'd figure things out.

Once in the heart of Baltimore, we immediately started crossing off our things to see list that included the American Visionary Art Museum, Maryland Science Center, lunch at Camden Yards, and a strong two hour nap before the game.  With batting practice to watch, we crossed the street from the hotel and made way for left field to see if we could track a baseball down.

My favorite part of the Science Museum
 The seats nor the game did not disappoint.  Situated just a few rows back and just holding home plate to our right, we had a clear unimpeded view of the field.  I was however amazed by the crowd who would not fill the stadium to capacity until around the fifth inning.  Usually at Fenway, everybody is there early.  Maybe it's because of the price of tickets, who am I to investigate the reasoning behind the Orioles fans.  Nevertheless, the game proved excellent as Nick Johnson slammed a two-run home run in the seventh inning to complete a comeback over the Rays and assert the Orioles a first place spot in the American League East.  Nick Markakis and Adam Jones each cranked out home runs in the winning effort.  Aside of the variety of home runs, my favorite part of the game was the one two punch of Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson who shut the door on the Rays.  Strop even brought one in at 97 mph, throwing that hard is something that certainly is a god given gift.  We retired for the evening and looked forward to the decoy museum and another ball game when we awoke.

Great view, great ball game...

Here's a quick video highlighting one of the Rays sluggers during batting practice and the last at bat of the game when Jim Johnson earning his 10th save of the season.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Galco Dual Action Outdoorsman Holster for Ruger Super Redhawk

The Galco Dual Action Outdoorsman holster for my Ruger Super Redhawk

Last summer, I decided to pull the trigger on the purchase of a handgun that continually mocked my better conscience (Click HERE).  So often with this Super Redhawk made by Sturm, Ruger & Company, a conflict existed between the necessity of ownership and the forfeiture of money that could easily have been allocated elsewhere.  Nevertheless, in the midst of a profitable lobster fishing season I closed my eyes, said yes, and waited for the call from my dealer.  In due time, my stainless friend found me and we went home.

Not once have I regretted the purchase and often have I enjoyed handling this revolver.  However, the quality plastic case provided with the Redhawk does not easily accommodate the joys of carrying such a nice weapon.  Finally, I opted to embark on the almighty Google search and see what possibilities were out there.

I found exactly what I needed...

The Dual Action Outdoorsman holster by Galco specially crafted for the 7.5 inch .44 Magnum Super Redhawk became my choice.  Built out of saddle leather, this holster uses a nifty retention strap that utilizes a large plastic tab to help snap the handgun in place.  If needed, there are tension screws to tweak the holster to meet your desired fit.

When I first received the holster, I found the fit somewhat similar to O.J. Simpson trying to slide a glove on during a murder trial.  After doing what I do best and trying something out before reading the manual, I discovered that one must slowly break in the holster and allow the gun to settle in over time.  After an hour or so of repeated draws and deliberate adjusting, a measured fit resulted.

Now if I want to carry whenever or wherever, I'll just strap the Super Redhawk to my hip and be on my merry way.  The DAO holster by Galco certainly earns the Downeast Duck Hunter seal of approved.  Now I just need to buy a belt that matches the holster. 

I purchased the DAO holster specially produced for the Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum from for $55.13 (marked down from $99) and in no way, shape, or form have any commercial ties to Galco other than being a satisfied customer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pack Basket Making

For the longest time, I've wanted to make a pack basket.  With some good fortune, organization, and hard work that dream became a reality this week as I now proudly own two smaller pack baskets ready for my little ice fishing beauties.  The taller one was my own effort whereas the shorter made by a student.  Let's get to the story...

Ray Reitze
I learned of a traditional pack basket course offered by the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott, Maine (next stop Lubec the easternmost town in the U.S.A.) and inquired about the opportunity to attend.  After a few emails, I rounded up six people to attend the seminar but scheduling became difficult on the center's end.  Rather than throw in the towel, we began to discuss the possibility of bringing the seminar a bit west to my regional high school.  This is where things exploded into a full blown course!

With some scholarships available for my students and partial funding by the local boosters club, 13 high school students signed up for the day long course with Ray Reitze, a Master Maine Guide and expert in many traditional activities.  For us, the opportunity to make a trapper's basket woven with reeds freehand and no mold became a reality.

The school library became a pack basket making factory
You might remember this guy for his guest post... click HERE
We began at 8:00 a.m. and after six plus hours of measuring, aligning, weaving, and setting, most baskets were completed.  Those students who were dismissed early for the softball/baseball games had the opportunity to finish the very next day as I took the time to fully understand the process.  In reflection, I'm impressed and pleased with the total effort involved from all parties.  I'd like to thank Ray and Nancy Reitze for sharing their talents, Carrie Callahan of the CCLC for bringing the workshop to our region, and the students for their endurance and appreciation of our completed traditional pack basket.

For information about the Cobscook Community Learning Center please click HERE.

To learn more about Ray Reitze, the Old Turtle, please click HERE.

For a link to the variety of courses offered by the CCLC please click HERE.

I look forward to attending more workshops as they become available and can't wait to make a larger ice fishing basket.  Learning never stops and I'm thankful to try my hand as this wonderful craft.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Duckman takes on Baltimore!!! 

Adam Jones is the man
I'm back after a truly awesome and exhausting 2 day stint down to the great city of Baltimore, Maryland which I witnessed two more victories for the American League leading Orioles and visited Harve de Grace on the duck hunting historical juggernaut, Susquehanna Flats.

Here's a few photos of the trip, and I'll somehow try to find the time to put up a couple of posts including the most impressive duck hunting educational experience I've ever encountered in my life.  After witnessing the Decoy Museum, I want to start my own... downeast style...

But for now, I've got 6 T-Ball and Farm League games to coach this week and a school year to start winding down.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

My kind of duck boat
I could shoulder this no problem!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Where in the world is the Duckman?

Tis the Duckman was invited...

I couldn't refuse, now I am excited...

Tis this is my seat for the evening game...

The view is terrible... just a shame...

Right now I'm in???  Answer please...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Several announcements...

Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings

Eider Fest
Trey Luckie has bought plane tickets.  After several years of being pen pals, he took me up on my offer and will be charging north for the downeast Maine experience.  Plans include two days of sea duck hunting, a pursuit of a black duck, some ATV riding, and general mayhem that might include an all you can eat lobster buffet.  All preparations are set with small flood tides first thing in the morning and an early enough time frame so that I may not freeze the soft Georgia peach.

Black Duck Blast
I look forward to spending time with the man who I know so well, but have yet to shake his hand.  In addition to his visit, I am excited to be able to host him in our new home slated to be finished in two months.  He'll certainly enjoy the view of the Atlantic and a variety of ducks that frequent the tidal cove, not to mention raising a little cain with yours truly.  So in a true Duckman fashion, I raise my glass and offer this short toast, "Let us Roll".

Lobster Buffet
On another note, I've opted to purchase the Downeast Duck Hunter.  I'm not exactly sure where this site is heading in terms of writing and/or guiding but things aren't the same as they were in 2008.  The success of this website can't be measured in dollars, but rather the total profit in overall utility.  For that, I have simply opted to continue my way and see what the future may bring.  That's how I roll.

There will be a quick post tomorrow that will be a little fun, I just ask, "Where's Duckman?" and we'll see who can give me their best pitch.

Have a great day.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Frayed Friendship... The location of lake X...

A great team hunting in a nice spot not necessarily shared with the general public, unless...

Make no mistake that the Rabid Outdoorsman and I are an unstoppable team, but this week he chose to test our friendship in a way that has broken many untold and rock solid bonds.  Over time, I have openly shared with him my findings, tactics, and most of all successful baits.  Now granted it takes one who understands structure, water temperature, time of year, and the spawn stage to successfully catch fish, but my good friend offers to cast any good friendship away in order to attract and catch a potential follower or fan or friend.  With that said, I figure the only way to fight fire is with fire.  So I ask of you, what type of retribution could I impress on the one they call Rabid?

Largemouth from Lake X in 2010...
Yes, for Rabid's ill regarded moves against my good faith and trust, I will choose to disclose one of Rabid's most precious secrets:  the esteemed location of lake X to where we have enjoyed a multitude of fishing opportunities over the years.  It pains me to do this, but Rabid must learn the ways of brethren and not kiss & tell any opportunity that might prove beneficiary to his public fame.

Rabid with a nice pre-spawn bass on Lake X...
If you fetch your nearest Delorme Atlas and open this treasure map up, please go to...  Nah, I can't do it... I'm too good of a friend, your secret is safe with me buddy... Sometimes things are best left in Vegas... Consider this a minor flog on da blog...

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, May 7, 2012

Model 870 Asssembly...

My Remington model 870 Express, part of my arsenal since 1988

My first Remington model 870 was a present from my dad on my 12th birthday.  Over the years, countless ducks have fallen prey with this smooth shooting firearm in my hands.  Although I've graduated to autoloading shotguns, every so often I bring out the black beauty for a black duck or bufflehead shoot.  The only modification I've made was to replace the wooden stock and forend with black synthetics when a buddy offered a deal that was too good to pass up.

Needless to say, this gun will forever hold an important place in my life. While guns come and go, the model 870 I cherish will be handed down to a most deserving sport when the opportunity is just right.

Below is a video at Respect Remington that offers an interesting insight to the modern classic pump shotgun and the assembly procedures in order to produce a quality product.

Please feel free to share your best memory about your 870. For one of mine, check out Still on a Roll.

Friday, May 4, 2012

ATV action

Recently, I had a few hours to spare and with my wife's full encouragement a short ATV trip fell on the docket.  Tim, Teeya, and I opted to depart their house and ride for 1.5 hours then return in time for our other responsibilities.  Our plan went in accordance, until we chose to explore north and west as opposed to continuing east.  In doing so, we completed a near loop and returned well ahead of schedule.  

With a variety of straight runs, windy trails, rocky terrain, and a few negotiable spots augmented with the recent rain this past week, this may have been one of the more entertaining 30 mile rides I've enjoyed.  Below, I've added a quick video trailer of some of the more challenging spots.  It's important to mention that we did not repeat these runs, but rather took advantage of video taping those few spots that were part of the trail. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dual Survival: Road to Nowhere in Downeast Maine... Photos of the truck...

The Downeast Duck Hunter
There was a lot of hype in my neck of the woods once word got out that Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury of Discovery Channel's Dual Survival were rumored to have been in the stomping grounds of the Duckman.

And sure enough, an episode titled ROAD TO NOWHERE premiered on July 1st with the following excerpt from the Dual Survival website.

In the isolated woods of Northern Maine, Cody and Dave take on the role of two travelers, lost and out of gas on an abandoned logging road. Their only resource is a broken down truck which they pillage for all it's worth including a can of dog food.

I hope you enjoy the photos of the truck that played a reoccurring role in the show.

It was funny when they talked about northern Maine and then found the ocean

Birch bark- one of nature's best tinder

I could not find the battery for Cody's remote horn

Uncle Bill and Kennedy

Daddy and his little Maine guide

Anybody know why the X?

I can get this running again.
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