Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Grave News

From ROMAN CITIZEN (New York) 7 Jul 1846

We take from the Newport Rhode Islander
, of the 27th ult., the following
account of the wreck of this vessel, and
melancholy loss of life by the disaster:
The melancholy news of the loss of the
Brig Sutledge, Capt. Graham, of and from
Pictou, N.S., for Fall River, was received
here this morning about half past 9 o'clock,
by the arrival of the schr. Dusky Sally,
Capt. Wilder, of and from Bingham.

On the arrival of the Schooner at Stevens'
wharf, the information rapidly spread to
all parts of the town, and the appalling
scene presented, was one, the like of which,
our inhabitants have seldom had occasion to
witness. On the deck lay the dead bodies of
those who had been picked up from the wreck,
surrounded by their kindred friends who had
been rescued from a watery grave, giving vent
to their feeling in the most agonizing manner.

The following particulars of the loss of the
Brig we have received from the Captain, who
was among the survivors: The Brig Sutledge,
of and from Pictour, for Fall River, sailed
on the 12th of June with 56 passengers --men,
women and children. On the evening of the 26th,
at 8 o'clock, it being thick and foggy, came
to anchor; and at 2 o'clock, on the following
morning, got under way, and at about half past
three, struck on a ledge of rocks (in the
Vineyard) called the Sow and Pigs, soon after
which, the tide having caused her to slew round,
she backed off the ledge, filled and went down,
bow first, in ten fathoms water. Previous to
her going down, the mate was sent below, forward
to ascertain if the Brig leaked, but he discovered
nothing that looked like it. The pump was then
ordered to be sounded, but before that could be
done, water was reported in the forecastle. The
boat was then got out, and the passengers rushed
into it, when the Captain gave orders to shove
her from the Brig. He then jumped overboard and
swam to the boat, and kept her as close to the
Brig as possible, picking up such as jumped into
the water. The whole number picked up in the
Captain's boat was 31 alive. The schr. Dusky Sally
being near, sent her boat to assist, and succeeded
in saving 6 more alive who were in the water, and
3 more also from the rigging of the sunken Brig.
Sixteen dead bodies, (4 women and 13 children,)
were also picked up by the two boats, which,
together with the survivors, were put on board
the D.S. and brought to this place, as above
stated. The Captain also states that another
vessel was at the same time picking up what
was adrift from the wreck, &c.

The Captain and crew, and 28 passengers were
saved. The passengers were all foreigners --
mostly Scotch, and we understand were on
their way to Pennsylvania, where they expected
to find employment in the mining establishments.


Sunday, January 27, 2008


My story this year is over. It wasn't
the conclusion I had hoped for but I've
had worse.

VanKirby hunted with me and kept the
day from being a complete duck skunk.

He took the pictures and wrote the



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fog Hunt

Decided to hunt the WMA today as a
walkon since I got shut out on the
permits. I found out that UFTarpon
had a permit and I asked him if I
could join his party. Fortunately,
he had an open spot. Things were
crowded enough this morning that
they actually had to turn folks

We ended up with the exact spot
that UFTarpon wanted. It turned
out to be a great spot. But, it
was going to be a hard hunt. Heavy
fog started rolling in right before
we headed out to our draw. To
make matters worse, the bulb on my
headlight went out. I've had fog
hunts so bad that I couldn't find
my decoys after I put them out. To
be without any light was going to
be tough.

UFTarpon was hunting with Ironeyes
(both members of the A-Team). He
also invited Matt the WMA intern
to join us. UFT and IE had a canoe
and would hunt a pond on the east.
Matt and I would hunt the northwest
corner. We would be just south of
Bandit1 and his party.

The odd thing was that the lack of
a light (Matt didn't have one either)
actually worked out well. We were
able to see the water and the
reed/para grass islands we would use
for cover. I tossed out only 6
decoys since we figured we would
have to move once the light was better
to wherever the ducks were working.

Shooting time came and went without
much action on our part. When ducks
came through, they burst out of the
fog and were out of range by the time
I picked them up. Finally, a pair came
in on my left. A dropped two hen gwts
for a nice, true double. Then things
went cold for us. The guys behind us
just to our north were shooting a bunch
and I thought we might be too close to
them and the area just to the south
looked pretty good. We pulled up stakes
and moved.

As we waded over, the water got shallower
and we found a nice reed island big enough
that Matt could hunt the west and I the east.
I tossed out decoys for him and headed over
to where I would set up. As I got there, two
big ducks took off and flew toward the guys
to our north. They fired at them but missed
and they turned back right over me. Three
shots and I got the nicest drake bull sprig
pintail I ever shot. He was a definite mount
candidate. Unfortunately, he proved next
to impossible to kill. One pellet had gone
through his head, but he just wouldn't die.
I tried all day long to finish him off in a
way that wouldn't mess up the feathers, but
had to give up and whack him good. Oh well,
they eat well.

I finally got decoys out and got set up just
in time to shoot another hen gwt. She was
crippled and landed in a small para grass
clump. I sloshed over there, saw a piece
of grass move, and fired there. I ended
up with a nice retrieve.

The day finished up with another double.
This time it was a drake hen bwt pair.

Here's Mr. Bull Sprig



Friday, January 18, 2008

Family Graves

Came across a website called Find A Grave.
I guess this is part of the Mormon drive
to get baptized on behalf of the dead
(I Cor. 15:29). Nevertheless, it's a good
resource for us Christians who find
the explanation for this odd verse in
Num. 19:11-22) but still like to find
some family history.

Anyway, a nice lady took pictures of
lots of my family gravestones at
Middlecreek Presbyterian Church's
cemetery in Rockford, Il.

Here are two of my great-great

My great grandfather

My grandfather



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saturday Hunt

Hunted the River with Rob and MT. We
met at the Racetrack at 3:00AM and
hurried to the ramp. Once again,
we were the only people trying to
launch. And, once again, there
was a sacrificed rooster. Only
this time, there was no bad
juju. Whew!

It was a two hour plus trip on
the river. We made pretty good
time until we hit some pretty
heavy fog. I kept glued to the
gps while Rob manned the Qbeam.
He hasn't quite mastered the fine
art of not hitting his father in
the eyes with 3 million candlepower
beams. I about wrecked the boat
once. We ran aground a couple times
where the river had dropped off and
where I got off channel. Still we
got down to where I had seen birds
when Craig and I had scouted the
week before. I turned in a cut
early and beached the boat pretty
hard, but was within 2-300 yards
of where I wanted to be. We
decided to abandon the boat (it
definitely wasn't going anywhere)
and head out on the mudflats to
the pond I had mapped in.

We made three palmetto fan booths
and set up with the sun to our backs
about 20 feet from the water. There
was absolutely no other cover
around. We tossed the decoys out
but kept them close to shore. It
was ankle deep water.

Here's the boat camoed up in the

Here are the decoys. I put the coots
to the left as blockers and pinners
in the middle. The teal (out of
frame) were on the right.

I barely got set up and into my
blind for a little quiet time
before shooting time. MT whispered
that there were ducks landing in
the decoys. When shooting time
came, I told Rob and then stood
up to tell MT. Right as I spoke,
I heard a splash. I looked up
and a nice teal was in the middle
of the dekes and looking very
worried. I yelled, "Up duck" and
flushed him. Boom! and I had a
nice drake GWT. A bit later and
MT got a hen. Then it went

We were covered up in snipe, so
I went on walk about to see if
I could get a few of those. At
one point, I fired at a snipe
and then heard MT and Rob
blasting away. When I got back
with a snipe, I found that a
group of teal had landed just
out of range. When I fired,
they took off and flew right
by MT and Rob. MT got another
teal and Rob got his first
true double - a nice drake
hen pair.

I settled into my blind again.
A bit later a group of 20-30
teal landed way to our left
those were followed by a
second group. When a third
group started heading in, Rob
and I got on our whistles
and started peeping. The
teal turned and flew right
across the spread. MT and
I each knocked one down. I
had hopes for more teal, but
that was it for the day. I
managed to end the day with
another hen merganser. They
just look and fly too much
like ringers when you haven't
seen a lot of ringers in the

Here we are picking up our blinds
and gear.

This is Rob in his blind. I
do love a palmetto fan for
brushing up.

This is Rob's gwt. Beautiful bird.
We almost mounted it, but it was still
a couple weeks shy of fully plumed.



Sunday, January 06, 2008

Nice People Still Exist

A lady in Deland Florida sent me an
email. She had been to an antiques
show shopping for old photos that
showed groups of people. She was
making some kind of art project
that needed pictures like that.
At the booth of a dealer from
Michigan, this lady picked up
two photos: one that showed
four generations of one family
and one that showed a 1897 college
graduation of young women.

After she got home, she noticed
my family name on the back of
both photos. She did some googling
and found that I had posted a
request for information for my
great-grandfather on a geneology
website. From there, she found
my email and sent me a request
to see if my GGFather was the
same guy in the picture. He
was and she kindly sent me
both pictures.

I didn't immediately recognize
the name of the lady in the graduation
picture, but I did some research
and found she had married my
grandfather's brother.

This shows my great-great-grandfather,
great-grandfather, grandfather, and
uncle. The pictures was taken in
1902. Their ages respectively were
88, 66, 33, and 11 weeks.

The lady in the family is third from
the right:

Sharing the Wealth

I was 12th pick at the WMA. There are
supposed to be only 10 good spots. I
wasn't confident that there would be
at least two no-shows to move me up
in the draw. So, I was thrilled when
DuckTales PMed me that he was second
pick and had two open slots.
I asked him if he wouldn't mind
taking my two college boys and
giving them a better chance at the
birds. He said, "Sure." I would
then take Dave with me on our
draw. WooHoo! Things got
brighter all of a sudden.

Here are some shots Rob took of
the boys getting dressed in the
living room.

Dave Dressing

Craig Dressing

Rob Dressing

We always put our waders on at home
rather than risk putting a hole
in them on the marl parking lot
at the check station.

We met up with DuckTales and
his friend Harold at the check
station. DuckTales invited us
for breakfast too. Seems he
was going to get out to the marsh
fire up his grill and cook bacon
and eggs. I declined cause
Dave and I weren't sure how long of
a walk and wade we were looking
at in the AM (with the rain one
levee might have been closed to
vehicles). Rob and Craig took
him up.

Craig on the Levee

Rob on the Levee

Here is the impoundment that Rob
and Craig were hunting.

Loading up a lot of soggy gear at
the end.

Dave and I ended up with a short walk and
easy wade. We set up about 60 yards
apart on a couple of para grass islands.
There were teal hens all around and flying
over us. I didn't put a lot of decoys
out cause I thought we should wait for
the light and see if we were on the flight
path of the ducks. The morning was
intermittent, but light rain and light
winds. An okay hunt day.

I had no-fogged my glasses but by shooting
time, they were misted over again. I was
afraid to put down the gun and retreat my
lens. Bad move. I grannied my bifocals
down to the tip of my nose. The few early
shots I had were awry. I took a break
and sprayed the glasses. What a difference!

A big drake mottled duck flew high right
between us. He was quacking that ringing
drake call that says, "Hey baby, I'm lonely."
After he was passed, I hit him with the
Duck Commander's paralyzer and chop chop
calls. Mr. Drake turned on a dime, dropped
down, and came screaming back to us. I
had a bead on the bird, but didn't want
to Cheney Dave. He had the better angle
and BOOM - he had his first mottle duck.

One note on mottles, they are easy to knock
down, but hard to kill. He had a tough time
finishing off the bird.

A little later, Dave was on his whistle making
a pintail call. A big duck flew a little
off my left. I was very surprised to find
I had shot a big, drake pinner. No sprigs,
or it might have gone on the wall. As it
was, it gave me a mottle's load of trouble
to finish off too.

We spent the rest of the morning shooting
teal. I got four and Dave three. I finally
went on walk about to see what I could scare
up. I was hoping to flush a mottle for me.
I managed to flush a bunch, but too far
away for a decent shot. When I got back
to Dave, I found that he had picked up
all the decoys, taken down the palmettos,
and dragged the sled back to the levee.
When he came back to help me with my
stuff, he told me he had shot his first
pintail ever too. A two new species day
for him. He has really come alive this

Rob and Craig were off by themselves.
DuckTales and Harold had gone to the
other end of the impoundment. The boys
did a little running and gunning and ended up
with 6 teal and a hen pinner.

It was an excellent day for the Clan.


Rob's Ducks


Craig's Ducks


Dave's Ducks

17 Ducks

Big Ducks



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Quickness of Youth

News Year's Day was a hunt day for
us. We went out to a spot we had
scouted last Friday. The area looked
promising. The weather was perfect,
the pond was so so, we were well
camoed up, but there were no
ducks. We saw a group of three
and a group of four that wouldn't
come anywhere near us.

Finally, I saw one coming in.
I could hear Craig ask if it
was a coot. I saw a white
breast on the bird and knew
it wasn't a coot. Then it dropped
some big ole' diver feet down
for a guided landing. Craig
and I both fired. Thankfully,
he was a split second faster
than I was. It wasn't a ringer.
Craig ended up with his first
hooded merganser and the mockery
that goes with it.

We finally gave up, did some scouting,
found a big group of teal for our
next hunt, and hit Snipe
City. It was loaded with really
antsy birds, but two of them
couldn't outfly #4 shot.

At least the day wasn't a total