Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Madness

As long as I can remember, my family has always gone camping on Memorial Day weekend.  Some of my favorite memories from childhood have to do with camping and fishing with my family on Memorial Day weekend.  Unfortunately, here in South Eastern Idaho, the weather isn't always cooperative with our plan to spend the four day weekend up in the woods.  This year, the weather report said it was going to rain pretty much the whole weekend.  In spite of the weather, our family decided we were still going to give it a shot. Friday afternoon rolled around and my wife and I decided to head up and set up our camp.  The weather was spotty with gusts of wind and occasional rain showers, but we had camped in worse so we felt good about heading up.  We got within a couple of miles from our camp site and the road was blocked by some fallen trees due to the gusts of wind.  The rain had picked up a little on our drive up so I decided to be a good Samaritan and clear the road while waiting for the storm to pass so that I wouldn't be setting up my tent in the rain.

cutting fallen tree
Me sawing away at the fallen trees
After clearing the road, the rain stopped so we finished the drive and set up camp.  Pretty much every year we camp in the same spot right next to a small creek where we spend hours and hours running up and down the mountains, shooting guns, shooting our bows, and fishing in the creek catching our limit of small brook trout.  These fish are definitely not monsters, but they are some of the best tasting fish I've ever had!  After my whole family had showed up, we now had a camp with over 20 people hanging out having a good time! we sat around the camp fire cooking hot dogs and catching up with what was going on in everyone's lives. When the weather was good we would hang out by the creek catching as many fish as we could in hopes of having a big fish fry at the end of our trip. Unfortunately the good weather did not last long and the relaxing times next to the campfire soon turned into a few brainless men standing by the campfire getting rained on.  Like I have mentioned this isn't the first time we've been rained on while camping on Memorial Day, in fact, to quote the women of our camp I'll say, "It just wouldn't be Memorial Day weekend if it didn't rain on us!".  So we roughed it out the best we could the rest of the day Saturday, and hoped that we would wake up the next morning and have decent weather to finish our camping trip.

Standing in the rainsitting around the camp fireCreek Fishing
 Now would be a good time to remind those of you that know me that my wife is currently pregnant with our first child.  She is due the first part of July.  So for those of you who can do math and know anything about pregnancy, you will know that my wife is far enough along in her pregnancy to make this camping trip even more of an adventure than it already is.  Her biggest concern about camping this weekend was her comfort while sleeping in a tent while being over 7 months pregnant. It was my job this weekend to make sure she was comfortable and having a good time.  Me being the husband I am, (despite how much I love camping and fishing) I'll admit, this camping trip wouldn't have been any fun for me if my wife wasn't having a good time.  My enjoyment comes from sharing what means the most to me with the ones I love.  My favorite part of camping is by far spending time with my wife relaxing and fishing in the same places I remember fishing as a kid.  Sure enough, she was a trooper even with the weather being far from perfect.  So when we went to sleep Saturday night I was hoping for a day with better weather that would allow my wife and I to spend the day together fishing in the creek.  It was raining when we got to our tent and the temperature was dropping a bit so I turned on both of our Buddy Heaters we had and called it a night!
The next morning wasn't quite the way I had hoped the night before... When we woke up, the ground was covered with snow and our tent was close to collapsing due to the weight of the snow on top of our tent!  Once again, this is not the first time it has snowed on us while camping on Memorial Day, but what was different is that it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing all the way until noon on Sunday Afternoon! 

tent covered with snow
Our Tent in the snow!
My Jeep and Tent in the snow!

sitting by the fire
Trying to warm up
My wife watching the snow melt
Sadly enough, we decided to head back to the house and finish our camping weekend with a big Dutch oven dinner at my grandparent's house.  As good as the food was, it wasn't quite the same as it would have been when camping, but given the weather I guess it was okay.  When Monday rolled around my wife and I woke up and felt that we got shorted on our outdoors weekend, so we decided to head back up to our camping spot and finish what we had started!  My wife and I got up to the creek and fished for a few hours.  We caught a few fish and had a blast doing all we could to enjoy the outdoors and get our minds off of work!  We had a blast spending Memorial Day together doing what we had planned on doing even though the rest of the weekend didn't necessarily go as planned.  We will be heading up again in a couple of weeks to give it another try and I'll be sure to write about it then!
creek fishing
Sarah creek fishing
creek fishing
Sarah with a little brook trout
Me cleaning the fish

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Great Idahoan Day!

What a day what a day!
My day started off by going to an amazing archery shoot put on by my local archery club Upper Snake River Bowmen. The shoot was a blast.  My brother Travis, my dad, and my friend Earl ended up going with me to the shoot.  The club recently got a few new targets which was nice to change things up.  I'll admit, even with a few new targets, I never expected to see this one!
Stegosaurus 3D Target
That's right a Stegosaurus... Pretty fun for a change up!

3D Archery Shoot
My Dad shooting a monster buck!

After the shoot I met my older brother to take his son fishing.  We had a blast helping his son cast out his pole and watching him real in his bobber.  The pond we went to was recently stocked by the local fish and game department and was a great place to take my 2 1/2 year old nephew for a fun fishing trip.

After catching a few little hatchery fish I had the itch to take off to the mountains and catch something that I could bring home for dinner! I took off up to the mountains and found myself on a long dirt road winding through the trees.  I stopped and went on a short walk to stretch my lets and luckily found some brain mushrooms.  These mushrooms are similar to a morel mushroom.  I found enough to make a meal out of them so I was happy. 

I jumped back in my Jeep and headed to the lake.  When I got there I knew I only had a couple of hours before the sun went down, and I didn't know how long I wanted to be there without mosquito repellent.  I cast out my pole and sat back and enjoyed the beautiful Idaho scenery.

This is one of my favorite places in the world! I grew up camping in this exact camp site and have fished here ever since I could remember.  At this point I had already had such a great day, I was completely content just sitting up against my Jeep relaxing watching the sun go down.  After I had sat there for about 45 minutes I contemplated calling it a day, but it was then that I saw my line move.  Sure enough I was getting a bite and the next thing I knew I was fighting a 22 inch Rainbow trout which weighed 3.4 pounds.  It was a great fish at the perfect time to end my short fishing trip.

Rainbow Trout

 I packed up and headed home so that I could clean up for the night and get some food in me before I went to sleep.  If you ask me, there is almost nothing better than a home cooked meal that you provided yourself! I had fresh trout and brain mushrooms as fresh as you could ask for!

Fish and Mushrooms


All in all, It was a wonderful day to live in South Eastern Idaho! Between the family, the friends, the activities/hobbies, and the wonderful area I live in, I don't know how it could get any better...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Idaho Boar Hunt

 Idaho European Boar Hunt

European Boar Skull
Pig Skull
Wild Boar Tusks
Pig Tusks

My first post on my blog is going to be about a hunt I went on last spring in Southeast Idaho near Twin Falls in a town called Shoshone. The hunt was for a European Boar on a hunting ranch of 440 acres. I had gone on this hunt one time before nearly 6 years ago, but this time I was lucky to have my wife, my dad, my youngest brother, and 3 more of my relatives tag along with me and participate on the hunt.

Idaho european Boar Hunt
My First Pig 6 years ago
We arrived a day before our hunt so that we could get familiar with the area and maybe size up a few pigs. We entered the gate and drove over the first little hill just in time to see our first pig of our adventure. It was a large European boar that weighed about 200 pounds and he was fighting with another big boar down by the creek bed. The two boars were grunting and squealing trying to get each other with their tusks. When they noticed us, the bigger of the two looked at us for a few moments, his mouth dripping with foamy slobber, then let out a loud snort and turned and ran away. That set the tone for the trip and we knew we were going to have a blast no matter what the outcome of our adventure. This was all foreign to us Idahoans because we do not have wild boars roaming free like they do down south, and it was even better to be chasing them with our bow. After getting familiar with the ranch we called it a night and decided to hit it early the next morning.

The next morning we hopped on the 4 wheelers and took off the creek bed where we saw the two boars fighting the night before. Sure enough the two boars were back and fighting again. The only problem we had was the 80 yards of open country surrounding the two pigs, not to mention the 20 other pigs surrounding the two big boars. We attempted a stalk but didn't even get close before the pigs spotted us and took off. We tried to spot and stalk a few pigs but failed to get a clear shot or decided to wait to find a bigger pig. My wife and I split off from the group and spotted two great big sows that were about 250-300 pounds and had a litter of piglets following them around. I was very tempted to take one of these pigs because all I saw was a freezer full of bacon, ham, and sausage walking past me. By the time I decided I wanted to shoot one of these sows, I was trailing them in the sage brush from about 50 yards away and the sage brush kept getting taller and taller until we lost sight of them and had to go find another pig.

We walked back down to the creek bed where we started and decided to take a quick break. While we were sitting there we noticed the sage brush on the top of the hill was moving and we could hear grunts coming our way. We took cover the best we could and I got an arrow on my string. A few pigs came down to the creek to get water in the middle of the day. The pigs were okay in size but not what I was really after. We were about ready to take off to another spot when a bigger pig stepped out into the clearing. These pigs don't like sitting still so I sat patiently waiting for a clear shot. When the pig I was after would present me with a shot another pig would step in front of it or behind it. When I finally got a shot, my pig was 40 yards away quartering away from me on a slow walk. I took the shot and hit it a little further back than I wanted. I didn't compensate for the pig walking away from me. Even with the shot a little far back, my pig ran about 30 yards and then lied down. Knowing from the first two pigs we saw fighting I knew I didn't want to get to close to this pig but I also knew I should get another arrow in it. We snuck up to it and finished it off with one last shot through the vitals.

Idaho Wild Boar kill
Me and my pig

Shoshone Idaho European Boar Kill
My little Brother with his 2 pigs
My little brother ended up taking a huge boar only a few yards away from where I took my pig. My dad who had pretty much taken to role of guide finally decided he would take the next shot he had on a pig no matter what size it was. Luckily enough we had the camera out when he took his pig so you can see his sweet shot on a moving target! Our party ended up taking 5 pigs home that day and filled our freezers full. We had a blast chasing these pigs around and will definitely be back to do it again sometime... all we have to do now is save up for it and enjoy all the great tasting pork. I would recommend this hunt to anyone who is in this area and can do it.  The video below the picture may not be the best quality, but it was with a cell phone so please excuse the quality and I hope you enjoy it.  The voice in the video is my little brother who was pretty excited on a sweet shot my dad put on this pig running full speed. It may be easier to view the video in youtube instead of on my blog.

Shoshone Idaho European Boar Hunt
Our Party With all of Our Pigs!