Vermont is catching!

Val and I went to Vermont a couple of months ago and took a tour of Ben and Jerry’s. It was all it was played up to be, plus free samples of ice cream.

So this month Ken Jr. and Kelley went to Vermont for the second or third time and topped us by doing some fishing. Last time, they caught some big yellow perch. This time, as Kelley paddled their canoe, Ken cast and caught a three-pound smallmouth bass. Nice fish!

Clearly Vermont is a good place to visit, as well as fish!

It's 'get ready time' again

It seems like it’s always get ready time. Fishing, hunting, visiting, you name it. Right now, it’s time to get ready for muzzleloading season.

Muzzleloader season has changed so much over the last few years. It used to be black powder, either percussion or the old-time, prime your rifle with more black powder, only finer powder this time.

Now, however, we use in-line rifles, pyrodex (much cleaner burning) or pellets of the same material, and scopes. All these add up to more reliability plus a greater chance of hitting your target.

What else do we need? Binoculars, probably a tree stand or ground blind, knife, rope, knee-high rubber boots (to control your scent, as well as to ford creeks) and water.

You know what? We carry too much to the field, and as to what we own, it’s astronomical. We don’t need all that stuff. We just want it. Do we need a new bow every year? What happened to last year’s model? Was it really not what we wanted?

Toys really won’t help you hunt. We don’t need to mortgage the house just because the guy down the street does. We don’t need to keep up with anyone. If we are not happy with ourselves, more stuff isn’t going to do it.

Practice. Get good with what you have and use it well. Get out your muzzleloader, make sure it’s empty (and not rusty), and practice in front of the TV. Fire 20 practice rounds each night. Get comfortable with your gun, then get permission from a friend to shoot on his place, and sight in once again.

When you know how you and your gun shoot, that’s step one toward success.

Step two: get your shooting area ready, too, then stay out of the woods so your scent does not infiltrate the area.

Step three: get your partner as ready as you are. Without help, you won’t enjoy the hunt as much. Plus, it’s a long way to drag your deer back to the truck.

Meanwhile, go bow hunting if you are so inclined.

May the bubble in your eye stay true.

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