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Snow dusted the meadow white and songbirds found our feeders, gathering on the ground and perched on limbs in the forsythia by the back windows. I wonder how much we’ll get before the rain starts overnight.

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I borrowed a box of .243 rifle cartridges from Bobby because manufacturers are reluctant to build new capacity into their factories and other calibers such as .223 and 5.56 suitable for use in military-style rifles are selling like hotcakes. These same manufacturers would rather build their …

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I guess we were chasing ghosts, but Todd and I hunted some higher elevations over in Fulton County before the season ended for 2021. The dogs, Ollie, Todd’s little English field cocker spaniel, and Ruffles, my Springer spaniel, worked thick covers looking for even a sign of a ruffed grouse.

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We moved to our little farm in 1985 after spending a lot of time rebuilding and adding a bathroom and kitchen. We lived in a home with a woodstove and a fireplace, and decided we would live without either and rely on electric baseboard heat and several kerosine heaters.

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John stopped Sunday morning while I was getting a few things out of the barn. He told me Gail saw four deer run across my hay field a few minutes ago. His son, Evan, walked out the door Wednesday evening just before 5 and spooked two, maybe three deer out of the raspberry patch.

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I drove over the mountain to camp around 10 Saturday morning. I tucked the old 30-06 customized A3-03 rifle that was standard issue for World War I, but someone spent some time and money on it before I bought it 50 years ago.

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The week after Thanksgiving is probably the hardest for me to write; besides, it’s deer season and I’ll be at camp with no electricity and no running, which makes it kind of difficult to write a column much less send it. Without killing a deer, what would I write about?

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I guess most of us were raised with a Thanksgiving story about Indians sharing their corn, wild turkey and deer with the Plymouth colonists. The Indians wore buckskins while the colonists wore funny tall hats and brass buckle shoes. They all sat at picnic tables to eat and drink apple cider.

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We filled our bird feeders last week, and already I’ve had to refill some of them probably because the blue jays have found two of the feeders. We don’t feed during the summer months because we live near the south mountains, and bears wander through from time-to-time.

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I suppose, if you want to be really particular when it comes to wild birds, a hunter must travel to remote parts of China or Mongolia. All the pheasants were imported from those parts of the world, and some adapted to parts of the United States where the habitat favored them.

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We have friends who won’t spend the money to hunt them, and, fortunately, I am grandfathered in for a pheasant stamp on my lifetime license, but I would probably spend the $25 to hunt the Game Commission’s stocked pheasants anyway.

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He looked like a grouse hunter standing next to his pickup truck. He wore an orange vest and an orange ball cap, but when I asked him if he’d seen any birds, he said he wasn’t hunting grouse, but instead was hunting bear during the early black powder season.

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I’ve been meaning to build a fire in the fireplace, but it’s been too warm. Today, although the cold front made it feel like it’s finally autumn, I built a fire using last year’s cherry cord wood that’s been waiting on the front porch since last spring.

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Todd loaded a box of Bismuth number 6 for me to shoot some ducks with the Parker 16-gauge side-by-side I’ve been shooting lately. It’s hard to find shotgun shells loaded with non-toxic shot, especially in 16 gauge.

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Most of our meteor showers occur just before dawn, but this month, October’s Draconid meteor shower arrives Oct. 6 to 10, and can be seen in the night sky just after dark. Sun sets around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 8. Soon after, the Draconid meteor showers begin at full dark.

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It finally happened. The Game Commission overrode the biologists, and opened squirrel season last Saturday instead of the second Saturday in October. Six or seven years ago, I asked the director why Pennsylvania didn’t open squirrel season by mid-September like all the other states that border us.

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Somehow, James Purdey and Sons started sending me emails, I guess in hopes I might be interested in buying one of their shotguns. I’ve held one or two of their guns over the years, and almost bought a Purdey black powder side-by-side built in the 1840s. The dealer only wanted $450, but I dec…

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For some reason people think Democrats are the party of environmental protection. I don’t know where that idea started, but it’s not always the case. Neither party has a very good record when it comes to environmental issues.

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We sold our Winnebago motorhome back in June since we were not using it very much and it was parked next to the garage for months on end without moving, much less going camping.

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Rags lived under the front porch at grandma and pop Foreman’s little Sears and Roebuck kit home. When we moved in across the deadend street, I spent a lot of summer days with the dog forted-up in the shade of that old front porch.

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I don’t remember how many years ago I bought the Do All clay target thrower, but it’s been a while. No matter; it’s thrown a lot of clay targets, and in the beginning, it would smash them into the trunk of a big oak tree 60 yards across the meadow. As the years crept by and more friends want…

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August! If we were in the British Isles, August marks the beginning of their hunting or shooting seasons, or rather Aug. 12 or ‘the glorious twelfth,’ as they call it. That marks the first date for shooting pheasants and red grouse on the moors of Scotland and the race to London with the fir…

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Because my pontoon boat is running rough and it’s on a dock at Raystown Lake, I stopped to chat with Brook at Brooks Marine in Greenvillage. We checked three of the four coils, but couldn’t reach the fourth, which is the one Brook thinks it might be.

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Did you send your antlerless license application last week? I almost forgot, but remembered at the last minute. I send for two antlerless licenses each year, not to kill more deer, but to have an opportunity to hunt does at camp in Wildlife Management Unit 4B. If I can’t kill a doe at camp, …

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Did you notice the news story about the western drought and fires? I noticed the part of the story about the Colorado River that flows through the Grand Canyon. The article said guides on Lake Mead were having a difficult time launching their boats because of the severe drop in water levels.

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We sold our motorhome a few weeks ago for a variety of reasons. Primarily because we weren’t using it with the lack of campsites, when we wanted to camp but because it was sitting much more than getting used. We watched it every morning as we sat on the front porch sipping hot coffee and now…

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Ninety degrees with the threat of rain reminds me of our first trip to the summer house in New Hampshire.

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When “Perk” Perkins bought Orvis, it was a small company outside of Manchester, Vermont. Along with building the fly shop into a worldwide fly fishing company, he also started wingshooting schools with his own line of shotguns fitted to each shooter, much like the traditional English shootin…

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It’s a funny thing about things. Everything, or almost everything, we buy is worth less the day after we bring it home.

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I took a deer hair popper down to a pond I know, the same spun deer hair popper I teach at fly tying sessions. It’s a lot simpler and easier to tie than the commercial versions they sell at fly shots for $3 or $4.

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WALK WITH ME! We can walk down the fencerow and around the pond. It shouldn’t be too wet, even with all the rain. We want to be a bit quieter today because we might see one of the secretive critters that live on our small farm.

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I don’t get on my bully pulpit often, but sometimes when I see what Teddy Roosevelt said about “lies, damned lies and statistics,” I get fed up with lying politicians and their misinterpretation of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

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Among a pile of old magazines I sorted through the other day as I sat under a pine tree behind the garage, I found an old Field and Stream from December of 1939. I must have found the old outdoor magazine somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where or when.

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Ruffles, our springer spaniel, sits patiently outside the reloading shed, even in the rain. I guess she doesn’t mind getting a little wet from what my Grandma Ferris called a soft Irish rain. But, there’s a big soft chair inside where I sometimes like to sit and read on balmy afternoons. She…

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We pulled into Point Camp on Raystown Lake last Sunday evening and shivered under our down comforter, refusing to close windows or turn on the furnace in our camper. I suppose it wasn’t that cold, maybe 36 degrees, but it felt cold.

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I’ve been wanting to attend the Southern Side by Side Championship and Spring Classic in North Carolina ever since I read an advertisement for it years ago.

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One of the most confusing things about fly fishing is when to use which flies. If you are fortunate enough to have a mentor, that’s great. If not, my friend Ted put together what he learned from a lot of years fishing for trout in moving water.

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The sun poked through the clouds yesterday, and I took all my Wranglers out to the picnic table and spread them end to end. Starting at the cuffs I soaked each pair with Permethrin from an aerosol can manufactured by Sawyer Products.

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We sat around a campfire watching Brian cook a spiral Easter ham in his Dutch oven. He said we should have been here last night when the fire fairies held dueling campfires at two of their campsites. They said it was cold, well below freezing the night before, and even the water hydrants fro…

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The Fish and Boat Commission has completed its pre-season trout stocking of catchable size hatchery trout for anglers with a fishing license to catch their limit beginning this Saturday. I think it’s more fun to watch fishermen try to catch some of the trout the commission stocks instead of …

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Ed and I thought we should probably use our membership at the Carlisle Fish and Game Association on the road (641) between Carlisle and Mechanicsburg, and shoot one of their shotgun shooting games.

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We’ve been seeing resident Canada geese fly over every day, squawking and honking. We also heard them as they pair-up on neighboring ponds.

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Chores! There are some chores that simply need doing, such as washing windows, power washing decks and patios and patio furniture. Those are just chores, but with the first break in winter, we need to pull the boat out from underneath the overshot behind the barn.

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March is the first month when trout begin looking up to feed on insects on the surface, instead of hanging underneath, feeding on minnows and nymphs that cling to the bottom. One for the favorite streamers for this time of year imitates the sculpin, a fish that swims near streambeds. In fact…

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Phil phoned early this morning and asked me to go over to his house and give his dogs a run since he was in the hospital with possible gallstones.

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Ed, Todd and I rode over to Dillsburg to pick up our guns from Chad McCauslin. He’s a gunsmith, who used to have his shop on Beagle Club Road in Carlisle, but moved home to contain costs and help with schooling and such.

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It’s been a different kind of year. Last year at this time, I was helping teach fly tying to a group of people from age 8 to retired in the community room at Green Ridge Village. I guess the 8-year-old isn’t 8 anymore, but he started tying at age 8 without using a vise.