Back in NC

Georgia was  again a wonderful trip. We spent time with our oldest daughter and her family. Ray, my father-in-law and I hunted. I trained on my mountain bike and ran on trails in the woods. I got to shoot everyday, either on the upper deck when it was raining or outside when the rain stopped. And we got in some nice fishing. Still, we needed to get back to our home in North Carolina and the day of our departure arrived.

The drive from Tignall, GA to Hertford, NC takes about eight hours. Much of drive is interstate; too much of it is boring. Brenda and I like to listen to audiobooks while driving and on this trip we enjoyed “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz.

Another thing we do is look for good barbecue or Indian food along the way. Often we stop in Florence, SC at the Thunderbird Inn for their buffet – a tradition. The barbecue along the route has been sub-par. We did, however, find a good Indian restaurant in Columbia, SC.

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Delhi Palace

We were  surprised at how spicy they’d made their food. Most of the time we need to request additional spice to kick it up. The food at Delhi Palace was just about right for our palates.

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Buffet

The trip finally ended to the delectation of two truck-tired dogs and two driven down humans. More renovations, an eternal project, are proceeding at our house here. Despite the disarray and chaos, it is nice to be back.

Fishing for Stripers

Every trip to Georgia is exciting. Each time I return to my home State I get to race, shoot, hunt or fish. Sometimes I get to do all four. This past trip I got three of the four. The only adventure I missed was a race. I tried to find one but came up short.

We did hunt. However, it rained so hard so often that time in the woods was limited. The result was one small buck shot by my father-in-law, Ray. I didn’t see a thing. There was a 3D tournament and in that I competed. The course was one of the best I’ve shot. However, the fishing was excellent.

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On the water at daybreak

The lake where we fish is stocked with Striper, one of my favorite fish. The day started cold, 34° F. The temperature wasn’t too bad until we cruised across the water in a Carolina Skiff going 30 mph. Adding the wind, it was a bit chilly. The day warmed to 56° F. It was quite pleasant.

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We didn’t catch many fish, but those we caught were in the 8 to 10 pound range. That’s enough for Brenda and I to enjoy for several meals. After the fish were cleaned I separated them into 5 freezer bags. Each has enough to feed four people.

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Being on the water is always good. We get out year round here in the South. In Georgia or North Carolina we can stay outdoors without much complaint even in the coldest months. Being able to live a life revolving around outdoor activities and adventures is as good as it gets.

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Buckeyes 3D Tournament in Social Circle, GA

The Buckeyes 3D tournament didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. Nevertheless, I met some nice folks – as are most archers I’ve crossed paths with since I began this adventure. To help matters, the rain (it had been storming for days) stopped just before noon. Aside from the red clay muck on the practice range, the course was excellent.

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High booted archers retrieving arrows on the warm-up range

IMG_2759Entering the Buckeyes Plantation archers pass a pond, which I learned is filled with bass. The pond extends beyond the trees in the photo to a dam and beyond. Archers are often outdoorsmen and fishing is another sport enjoyed many among our alliance. It is a pretty awesome entrance to the course.

The Buckeyes tournament is an ASA event. I shoot ASA and IBO. Basically, I’ll shoot anybody’s tournament. This one, I entered in the “Open Money” group even though I’d be using a hunting set-up. An event official, David (an easy name to remember), teamed me up with Corey Bryant, a Factory Pro for Mathews.

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David helping people register. Notice the red clay on his boots.

The targets weren’t impossibly difficult and there were no giveaways on the course. One was my favorites was a boar in a ditch at the far side of a ridge. The open-money stake was down an opposite side of the embankment. This meant the archer was shooting just above ground level, over a mesa-like plateau, into a partially visual boar. It was a cool shot.

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Deer target with an arrow placed in the 12

Corey and I were first onto the course and second off. A pair of traditional shooters played through. We were lucky to have gotten on the range when we did. As we exited the course it was plain to see a lot of folks had arrived as the rainy weather had departed. There was a moderate backup being created as shooters entered the course. Still more were warming up on the practice range.

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Corey on his way to a victory

Corey ended up winning the ‘Open-Money’ class. Even though I shot below my average I got a great sense for the longer distances during actual competition. Hopefully, I’ll get to return to the Buckeyes Plantation for another tournament this year.

Number 1,000,000

I am pleased to announce that Puttingitontheline.com has exceeded over 1,000,000 hits. What I am especially proud of is that over 70,000 people have read over 130,000 pages published on this site.

This sight was recently ranked in the top 3.1% of all active websites (Globally, Alexa ranking). When I launched the site in March 2014 I had no idea it would take off as it has. This is more surprising considering how poorly I proofread my writing.th-3

I am a bit behind describing to you the Buckeyes 3D Tournament in Georgia on Sunday January 4th. That was followed by an all day fishing trip on the 5th and a long drive to North Carolina on the 6th.

I look forward to sharing these past adventures with you. Thanks again for reading.

David

 

More Rain in Georgia

Another day of rain here in Georgia. The forecast for Sunday, the day of the Buckeyes 3D Tournament, is 100% rain. I decided to make the trip to Social Circle, GA to make certain I could find the plantation on Sunday morning.

We – Brenda, Ray, and I – decide to drive over to Social Circle so that we’d arrive around lunchtime. We’d eat at the Blue Willow Restaurant in Social Circle. We also invited Heather, our daughter, to gather her son Sean and drive over from Winder.

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Everyone met exactly on time. Still raining we rushed from the parking lot to the front door of the Blue Willow. The food there is served buffet style and all of it was excellent.

After eating our fill we said our goodbyes then Ray, Brenda and I continued onto the Buckeyes Planation. The drive from Tignall to the planation is just under two hours. Once there, I loaded the coordinates into my GPS. Driving over in the rain, should the forecast hold, during the early morning might be more of the challenge than finding the place in the rain during the day.

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If it does rain on Sunday I have a waterproof jacket and an umbrella (thanks to Heather). It would be better if the rain holds until after or falls before the competition. But, if it rains – it rains.

In trouble, again

The time Ray, 86, tripped and fell while hauling a deer to toss onto a Bad Boy Buggy was funny. He and I laughed then finished loading the deer. When we got back to the house in Tignall, wanting to share a good laugh, he told Brenda. She, imagining her Octavian plus father crashing to the ground and breaking something important, gave us both a lecture (lecturing is a skill retired middle school teachers never lose). Coming in from hunting on New Year’s Eve, we once again faced the wrath of Brenda.

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Brenda, when I am not in trouble

First, let me point that Ray is 86 and I am 60 (soon). We are grown men and can handle ourselves. We don’t need a wife or daughter managing our manly adventures. Nevertheless, before Ray and I took to the woods we got the “lecture”.

“Daddy, don’t climb the tree stands,” Brenda

“I won’t,” Ray

“Carry your cell phones,” Brenda

“We will” Ray and I.

“Take those radios,” Brenda

“We will” Ray and I.

“When will you be back,” Brenda

“Around dark,” Me

“Be specific,” Brenda

“Around 6,” Ray

“Don’t get hurt, “ Brenda

“We won’t,” Ray and me.

Brenda headed over to Athens to meet Heather, our oldest, and shop. Ray watched Star Trek, the 2009 version; I practiced shooting long shots on the range. After Star Trek, we headed out to the woods.

On the drive out, Ray said, “I forgot my phone.” I added, “We also forgot the radios.”

Again, we’d have no way to communicate in the woods. Barring an accident, we don’t need to talk to each other while we’re hunting. Like I said, we’re grown men, we don’t need to talk to each other while hunting.

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The hunt was not successful; neither of us saw anything. But, I could sense animals in the woods all around me. You know that feeling you get when you just know. I waited as long as possible and nothing came into view. To make matters worse, it was cold.

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Getting cold, now

Now, I’m not talking Michigan cold. What I mean is the wet cold of Georgia. I’ve lived in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I’ve worked and traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Canada in the winter. The coldest I’ve ever been has been in Georgia. On this hunt, despite 2 pairs of pants, t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, sweater vest, hoodie, jacket, hunting vest, hat and a knit cap over it, and gloves, I was freezing. Yet, I hoped and remained in my stand to no avail.

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Packed up and heading home

The result was we’d get back home about 30 minutes later than usual. When we got home Ray and I got that look from Brenda. My first thought was “We’re in trouble for something.”

“Why didn’t you answer your phone!” Brenda.

“It was in my backpack, I didn’t hear it.” Me.

She just stared at her Dad.

“I forgot mine.” Ray.

Trying to make light, I added, “Yea, we forgot the radios, too.” (That didn’t help)

“I was fixin’ to call Steve to get him to go look for you. “Brenda still apparently not relieved that Ray and I were fine.

“I was worried, what took you so long? Why didn’t you have your phone? Why didn’t you answer yours? If something happened, I couldn’t have found you! That was not responsible!”

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You are in so much trouble

I was happy that Ray was with me, he buffered the trouble. Having another guy to share the trouble reduces the direct assault facing a single individual.

Yes, I should have called after we loaded the truck and began heading home. Honestly, I do most of the time. On this day, however, I was so frozen all I could think about was getting warm. Being married to an ex-middle schoolteacher, I should be used to conducting proper and polite behavior. But, like any middle-schooler, sometimes I forget.

We’re not going hunting today. Best bet; enjoy the games on TV, grill, and keep a low profile.