Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Brief History of Thunderhoof

Christmas Place, MS> With Thanksgiving here and me disappearing for a couple of days to hunt, I thought that in the spirit of the holiday I would give a brief history of the life of the gigantic buck named Thunderhoof.
That stupid deer thinks this is real funny because he believes that the more I write about him, the less people will believe that he is real. (except for my loyal readers who know that every word I write is true.)
Even so, he is very interested that I write it down correctly. This is his story, at least as I understand it. He is the last of the Irish Elk or Megaloceros.
The story starts 10,000 years ago as the Ice Age is covering the Earth,
The winter gale was blowing furiously as he made his way across the barren hills looking for the herd. Thunderhoof had just reached his prime and even though the wind and lack of food slowed him, he had plenty of power to trudge through the deep snow drifts of the long and unusual winter. He had made circles looking for anything green to eat and finally had cut back and found the tracks of his herd. He bent into the wind and followed them as they headed for the edge of the River Basin.
Thunderhoof stood on the edge of the hills looking down through the blowing snow in hopes of spotting the large herd of deer, but even he could not see over a few yards ahead. He worried because they had chosen to head down toward the mile wide sheet of ice over the River to look for food and to get out of the wind.
He stood still and watched, hoping to see some faint movement, when he became aware that not 8 feet away a human was sitting on a rock looking at him. He turned his mighty head to stare and the man spoke to him. He could understand the words that were softly spoken. The words both calmed him and sent fear to his heart.
The old man said “They are gone Thunderhoof. They have gone the wrong way and will not return. You are now the last of your kind.”
The man got up from the rock, grabbed his wooden staff, pulled his worn gray robe tight around him and stepped closer and looked deep into Thunderhoofs' eyes. “You need to go with me. I have great use for you”
He stepped even closer and rubbed Thunderhoofs’ nose, head and flanks. Thunderhoof felt no fear then. Great warmth and a feeling of peace began to run through him.
The old man smiled warmly and headed back through the snow covered hills. After a last glance for any movement below; Thunderhoof slowly turned and followed behind him.
As they traveled the land seemed to swirl and change. A great feeling of time passing and unknown great events filled him. Moments later they were on a leaf covered path in a bright warm forest as the strange human led him forward to the edge of a great bluff. Inside, Thunderhoof knew that this was the exact spot they had left only a few minutes before. He looked down at the wild and mysterious forest in front of him. He smelled the trees, the wild swamps and forest, the wildlife and heard the forest sounds around him. He knew he was home.
The old man said “I need you to guard and protect the things I have placed here.”
He then ran his fingers in between Thunderhoofs’ gigantic antlers. Knowledge and Understanding of mighty secrets buried in the Earth filled the gigantic deer and the man turned to go. With a wry smile he said “I will visit as often as I can, but you are now the Guardian of the Forest.” He smiled, turned and headed away from him through the woods. Thunderhoof watched as the old man seemed to fade away as he quietly stepped along a path through the woods.

Deer Thanksgiving

What in the world has a turkey got to do with Thanksgiving? Everyone knows that the original settlers ate venison. Something wrong here.
Dad is cooking the wild turkey he shot this year and I am sure it will be great.
He is a heck of a cook.
The whole Howell clan will be at camp for Thanksgiving. I am also sure there will be blood.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and hope that you all get a big buck.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Write About The Good Challenge

Kristine at the OBS blog has issued a challenge for us to write about our hunting mentor or the person who was most important in teaching us to love the woods and hunting. I think that most people that write this post will talk about a family member that got them started hunting. I am going to do that also.
Hunting has been a tradition in our family since the beginning and I can still remember my first time at deer camp. The mystery and excitement of camp coupled with thoughts about shooting a giant deer thrilled me.
My father, Hershel Howell, encouraged and helped us more than I can ever repay as we grew from young cubs to men. He even gave each person an Indian name that we keep to this day.
You should have been there for the ceremony the Christmas he was Chief Tallahatchie.
As I grew older it finally came to me the sacrifices he made.
I remember him building deer stands for all of us and making sure we had the best places to hunt. This sometimes involved trekking miles carrying plywood, saws, hammers, etc.
Joining us and being a leader and mentor by example as he taught us how to call in ducks over an icy slough. To read where the deer have moved and what trails they were using. How to hunt squirrels, doves, quail, turkeys, and rabbits.
He also made sure we understood taking care of our game and respect for every animal.
In the forest, he made sure we knew the names of every tree in the woods.
He gave us our first rifles and shotguns and taught us to be safe with them.
I can remember him taking away a little boys gun because he did not obey his rules and later helping him get his limit of doves.
My father has always been there to teach me and his simple rule to remember if we were doing something wrong was “We don’t do that” A simple and powerful phrase to obey the law, respect our game and to practice safety at all times.
He taught us to grabble big catfish, shot bows with us during the summer heat, always has had a dove field ready on opening day, scouted out places for us to deer hunt and let us have the first shot as the mallards cupped their wings.
Growing up, people were excited to talk about the fun times we have had but to me they were a daily part of my life. Now I can see how great a life has been given to me.
He is part of a dwindling breed of outdoorsman that we will not see again. He is one of the finest shots I have ever witnessed and lots of times he used a bow while we rabbit hunted. (Used to drive me crazy)
Over the years he has bought a warehouse of hunting gear for us. Each Christmas was filled with everything a kid could ever use for hunting.
He bloodied all our faces on our first deer, always encouraged my brothers and our friends with help, tidbits and a place to hunt.
His life has been the outdoors and his rich fun stories are what led me to start this blog. I want the stories to last long after he is gone. It has made me a pretty good story teller too.
My father is my mentor, leader and friend.
At camp everyone calls him “Chief” and when you visit please feel at home and call him that too.

Opening Weekend

As stated in the post below, Mark was the only one to get a deer. Dad and Bobby did not hunt, and the rest of us saw a lot of deer but no shooters.
I think Mark may have raised the bar a little too high.
In fact, Mark had a perfect weekend. Shoot a big buck, come in and get a drink, settle in front of the TV and get to watch the Rebels just beat the living hell out of LSU. Can't get much better than that. If the Rebs win this week, they are off to the Cotton Bowl.
The rest of us hunted hard but no more big bucks were seen.
We are going back tomorrow for Thanksgiving and hopefully I will get a chance then.
In other news, watch your local Outdoor Channel for a new hunting show called "Camo, The Hunting Dog."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Marks' "I-Buck"

This summer I asked Mark to hunt up the lake with me because he is so damn pitiful. I took him up the lake, I fixed his stand for him, I cleared the shooting lanes and I told him exactly where the deer would come from.
Friday, I drove up to the lake, I cleaned out the boat, I put everything we needed in it, I checked the motor and then I drove the Gator back to camp.
Opening morning I carried his dumb a@@ up the lake, I put him on his stand and headed up the ridge to hunt. I had not really settled in my stand before that idiot shot. BOOOMMM!!!!!
Later I went down and saw the massive buck, I helped him drag it out, I loaded it in the boat, I drove back up the lake and then I loaded it in the Gator.
It was a huge 235 lb. 7-point that he blasted at 15 yards.
Why didn't I get that buck?
Here is a pic of Mark and the big buck along with our friends Richard and Rennie Hodge.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deer Eve

Today is one of the most exciting days of the year for hunters across Mississippi and the deep South. Today is Deer Eve and every hunter is like a child sitting by the fireplace with milk and cookies in hopes of seeing Santa Claus.
Around town there is a last minute rush to buy ammunition and groceries. Every truck that passes has their rifles and 4-wheeler loaded and ready to go to deer camp. In the distance you can hear a faint repetitive Boom as hunters line their guns up at the last minute.
Like Christmas, the big present comes tomorrow as hunters wait and wish of getting that giant buck that chases through their dreams.
I wish everyone luck tomorrow.
If you get a deer please send a pic and I will post it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Viewer News

Kyle Jones is the hunter over in the Old Scratch family.
This big mule deer was recenly taken by him on their hunting trip near the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Well over 300 lbs. and with a 26 inch spread, he shot the big mule deer at around
250 yards in a blinding snow storm with one shot from his trusty rifle. They had a great hunt with Greg (Old Scratch), Wilbur Herring, and Buddy Walley all getting deer too. Of course their deer were complete accidents and Greg's may have been shot while it was peacefully sleeping. I can't quite get the story from them.
They also managed to blast the Upland Feathers out of some snow covered pheasants. More pics from their hunt later.

Another of my readers named Rusty Arendale sent this pic of a vicious beast that he barely escaped from. The gigantic wild cat almost got him and only a well placed shot as it charged saved his life. That is his story and he is sticking to it. The big Bobcat would look great, stuffed on the fireplace mantle at Kristines house.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scenes From Youth Camp

Paul helping Thomas with his first deer.

A nice fire to enjoy Saturday night

A whole gator full of kids. Hey! Camo too!

The most amazing pic of the weekend. Bobby actually using a broom and cleaning up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Clock Ticks

Deer season starts Saturday morning and until then we are all watching the clock. Packing, repacking, cleaning rifles and checking our gear is what we do 'till it is time to leave. The countdown has begun and everyone basically knows where they are going to hunt. Hopefully we will get one or two big bucks this weekend. Dad is doing great and is planning on going down on Thursday.
Our farmer, Mr. Cunningham, has planted our cotton fields in winter wheat and it is just starting to come up. Oh Lord, it should attract deer for miles and since this is the first time it has been done this way, we are all very excited about it.
When I bring my giant mule up the lake, I am sure I will spot a few deer there.HA-HA.
Later I will post a few more pics from the Youth Hunt and Marian has a bunch up already.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Youth Hunt 2008

Cordwood, MS> The annual whitetail deer hunt at the Famous Christmas Place Plantation started slow this year with only one deer taken Saturday morning. That afternoon things cranked up and we had six more before dark. You talk about a great time and a whole pile of deer!
Friday the guest started drifting in and I have never seen a more excited bunch of kids. Eddie and his son Chad, Burney and Austin, me with Spencer and Erin, Paul with Michael and another boy named Thomas, my cousin Davin Lammey and his son Matt, Troy Cone and Hunter and another cousin (the hanging judge of Memphis) Jim Lammey and his son Anthony.
Trent, Marian, Bobby, Camo, Sarah and Denise were there too. Marian went on a camera hunt and saw 15 off the stand we fixed up for her.
Friday the rain fell and we ended up with hamburgers and sitting around the table while I read ghost stories, then the kids were off to bed as we sat and caught up on life and old stories from our youth. I am sure glad all the cousins came this year.
The next morning was crazy as we got kids out in the cold weather and only Thomas got a deer. (his first).
That afternood Erin got her first as did Chad. Thomas got another one, Hunter got one at the Dove Field, Matt Lammey blasted a good one, and Spencer brought in a deer too. Lots of excitement, a roaring fire, Wild hog and venison tar babies, Great ballgames (Rebs win!) and adults who spent half the night drinking and dressing deer. Everyone was exhausted and the next morning we saw some deer but no one connected. Here is a pic of almost everyone.
All in all, it was the best Youth hunt ever and we hope everyone had as much fun as I did, and hope to see this just get better every year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So It Begins.....

Dad is home and has been laying around doing nothing for a couple of days. Says his thigh hurts where they cut him. Good Grief, I've had worse cuts on my eyeball.
He needs to quit loafing and get moving!
Getting packed and ready to head to camp. Shot the rifles yesterday and Spencer and Erin both did well. Hope she will blog about that and this weekend.
Everyone is excited and ready to get after those deer.
I think it will be the best Youth Hunt ever.
Before I leave, I want to mention a couple of things to some of you. Matt, hate that you are not here, make sure to come later this year.
Marian, we have your stand ready but be careful of that Mysterious Ghost Light while hunting there.
I have a new link to share also.
This is the Western Sportsman Blog, which is associated with a pretty interesting magazine.
His name is David Webb and his blog is a really nice addition for any of us in the hunting category of blogging. They cover all aspects of hunting and you need to go over and give him a shout.
We ought to blast a whole truckload of deer this weekend, so leave your orders for steak, tenderloin, etc. See you when I get back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gunfire and Ghost Stories

Letters are out for the Youth Hunt and it should be great!!

You are cordially invited to the 4th annual Whitetail Youth Hunt
November 15-16, 2008 at the famous Christmas Place Hunting Club in the Mississippi delta. This will be a youth hunt for does only.

Parents, this is what you will need to bring.
1. your hunting gear and rifles.
2. bedding, pillows, a cot if possible
3. enough drinks, snacks for the weekend.
4. you can bring your 4-wheeler
5. a cooler for your game

Thunderhoof has agreed to visit someones’ stand, so bring a video camera, tell the kids to not come in early and don’t fall asleep!
Paul will pay $500 for a real video of the Giant Deer!

Friday night dinner will be……
Venison Tar babies
French fries
Idaho Salad

After dinner there will be a bonfire, and we will roast marshmallows and make ‘smores. Rex and the other team leaders will tell ghost stories

Saturday dinner will be Smoked Wild Hog with all the trimmings.

Please call 662-473-2499 to let us know how many are in your party,
and to receive directions to camp. You can also make arrangements to follow me down on Friday.
Rex Howell

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Blog Bailout of 2008

Economic Stimulus Package 34972-A
SB BR-549
As the economy has worsened, so has the revenue from many sources thought to be financially stable. So it is not a complete surprise that revenue received from blog ads or click ads has fallen sharply in the last three quarters.
Technorati statistics show that there are at least 90 million blogs around the globe that may be in trouble as a direct result of the economic instability in the United States.
Millions of bloggers are faced with real financial difficulties such as getting a real job, shaving, getting up before noon, or getting out of their pajamas and actually working. Some may even be kicked out of their parents house. Many bloggers have found their revenue and reason to live cut off since the Presidential Election.
Millions of these bloggers may have to lay themselves off. They face the prospect of no unemployment benefits, no pension, no health care and especially no internet service for the unforeseeable future.
A well known, brilliant blogger named Rex Howell, from the OBS group has started a national campaign for relief to this affected group and is calling for a stimulus package of $64 billion dollars to insure that most of these people do not have to go back to jobs requiring the wearing of ties and the constant annoyance of alarm clocks in the mornings.
Plus, jobs can interfere with hunting season.
Mr. Howell (sadly) is also prepared to step in as the point man to oversee the distribution of the funds from his new office at Othmar Towers.
Please call your Congressman and support Stimulus Package 34972-A to help bloggers everywhere. (there might be something in it for you)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Suicide Buck

Mark and I had left our property in Yalobusha County just as the sun went down. We had checked it out for recent deer sign and to see if the fields were coming up. It really looked good, and we headed back to Water Valley down the dark country roads.
Mark was driving, he is a Professional driver. We made it to the main highway and were zipping along pulling the trailer that carried the Gator when it happened.
The big buck bailed off the embankment and charged the truck in a suicide attack. His big antlers were lowered as he attempted to ram us off the road with his vicious attack. Mark responded like a true Memphis driver. He put his hands over his eyes and screamed for his Momma.
Riding shotgun, I had seen the jihadist deer racing across the road at us like a missle. Clear-headed and cool, I expertly moved the wheel to avoid the attacking buck. We skittered along the edge of the highway and certain death as I held until the last second, then whipped us back into the road. I think Mark had passed out from fear but luckily I had faced these kind of assaults before. The trailer snapped back into the road as the deer barely missed the truck, but he did not miss the trailer. Wham! The fender crumpled and sparks flew as I fought the truck to a standstill. The big 10-point was dead. His suicide attack had failed to stop us for now.
Luckily someone came along that wanted the big buck and we made it back home. I hate that the big deer died this way, but better him than me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Alive !!

Dad's surgery is over. He is alive and in good spirits, plus he is already griping about having to stay there.

The Waiting Game

Saturday morning Mark, Spencer and I headed to camp to meet Dad and do a little scouting and getting the last stands ready for the big Youth Hunt. Here is a pic of the back yard. If you can't have a drink, relax and enjoy this view late in the afternoon, there is something wrong with you. That night deer were all in it and almost drove Camo and Trigger crazy.
We saw a lot of fresh deer sign and the fields are starting to really green up.
Camo managed to run a few of the nasty varmints away that were eating her nice fresh grass. Dad was in high spirits and we did not talk about his surgery scheduled for this morning. We checked on the boat at the lake and made sure it was sea-worthy for Mark and I to use it in two weeks.
Trent showed up and managed to do some looking around and putting up posted signs, so I think everything is about ready.
We made it down to the Arrowhead stand and finished that up for Marian, then headed in to watch the big game and have supper. Here is a pic of Trent and Mark getting the steaks ready that night.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Weekend Worry

Dad is going into the hospital on Monday. We are all pretty worried but feel that he will be in good shape soon and ready for deer season. He has an aneurysm somewhere around his stomach and thankfully, they are going to put in a stint instead of open surgery. He (we) expect him to spend a couple of days in the Oxford hospital.
Dad, of course, has already gone to camp for the weekend.
This is a pic of the trophy he received when we purchased the fmous Christmas Place. It is a Lifetime Sportsmans Award and if anyone on the planet deserves it; it is Hershel Howell.
His life has been dedicated to the outdoors and nature. Keep him in your prayers as he faces this operation on Monday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Christmas Card Reminder

Time to remind everyone to send me a pic for the Christmas Card. I would prefer you in hunting gear or casual wear and a pic that showed you from at least the waist up. Kristine?
I will try to Scout out a good location against one of the Indian Mounds for our group shot and get a couple of trial pics to see how they look.
You bashful guys can give a sideview or wear face camo or like my friend the Suburban Bushwacker, you can wear a hat over your eyes. Brother....
Nude pics of the ladies will not be tolerated on this blog, please email them directly to me.
All my links and readers need to send me a pic, I have some great ideas for our card this year but I need to start on it. Yes, my friend at Mississippi Random Thoughts, you need to send yours too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Grove Shots

The Grove at Ole Miss is the most wonderful and exciting place you could find yourself in before a football game. This last weekend we finally beat the Auburn Tigers decisively at home. 17-7. Congrats to the Ole Miss Rebels. Here are some pics of the rich boys enjoying the Circus Atmosphere.

Paul and Mark Larson enjoy a victory cigar

A crew you would not want to meet in a dark alley, especially if you were a really good looking woman.

A Deer In Every Pot !!!!

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama. I wish you good-luck in assuming the duties of President of the United States.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thunderhoof Says

He also says to go over and visit Jody at the Hunters Wife and see the pic of the big buck that Mark took with his bow!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Deer Camp Confidential

It is time for you to pay attention so that when you come visit you will know exactly where to hunt. The interesting thing about writing this blog is that none of my family members will read it. So, if I give you information on here, they will not know about it. Still, read between the lines just in case.
Trent has been haunting the Secret Field and claims there is no real sign over there. I asked him where he was hunting opening day and he said "Oh, the Secret Field". Hmmm.
Paul has been creeping up and down the sand ditch that winds back around the mountain where he and Michael took some really nice bucks last year. The property next to us has been cutover and Paul is trying as hard as he can to poach over there when he has almost 2500 acres to hunt of our land. Good Luck!
The Privy Field is looking very, very good. Mark and I have that field in good shape.
We also went up the lake and there is a little sign up there. "Oh, we are hunting there opening day."
There seems to be a big buck roaming around the Pond Stand and the farmer has planted all of our cotton fields in winter wheat. When this comes up, deer ought to go crazy. I believe we have more deer than ever this year, a novice like Kristine could even get one if she would visit. Hell, even Bill or Mark could get one.