|Texas or Carolina, Pumpkin Plan and Pea Protection|
August in Alabama may find you swatting flies and wiping sweat in the hay field, but you can take some time out for homemade ice cream and watermelon, or head to the nearest lake for an afternoon of fishing.
Texas or Carolina Rigging
This time of year, anyone can be a bass angler. Topwater lures like jitterbugs and spinnerbaits may entice a late afternoon strike on the lake or in the farm pond. Plastics are also a popular choice for getting a strike. Two common ways to rig a plastic worm or lizard are the Texas Rig and the Carolina Rig.
With a Texas Rig, you have a bullet weight resting just on top of the hook. Run the hook through the nose of the plastic worm and out a quarter inch from the nose. Slide the worm up and over the "L" angle just below the eye of the hook, and insert the hook halfway into the belly of the worm making it weedless. Simply work the worm on the bottom of the lake in short, jerking motions to entice a strike.
A Carolina Rig requires more pieces and time, but it is effective on big bass. A Carolina Rig involves hooking the worm in the same fashion as the Texas Rig; however, you have a two to three-foot distance between the hooked worm and the sinker. This is known as a leader. Where the leader attaches to the end of the fishing line, you will have a couple of beads clacking together below the bullet weight as the worm is dragged along the bottom. Beads can be purchased from Hobby Lobby. The unweighted worm will bounce and dance along the end of the leader attracting bass.
August is a great time to pick and set up a site for a shooting range. Select a site far enough away from base camp so the noise of shooting won’t disturb anyone. Avoid an east-west orientation to keep the sun out of the shooter’s eyes during morning or evening. Fairly level ground with a steep hill for an impact area will prevent stray bullets. If no back drop is available, a bulldozer can push up dirt for a back stop. Most ranges are 100 yards.
A simple shooting bench can be easily constructed in one afternoon using treated lumber. Make the bench so the seat attaches to the table top. The tabletop should be large enough to hold a gun rest like the Caldwell Lead Sled retailing for $140 at www.bassproshops.com, and should hold all needed ammunition and shooting accessories.
Lever Action .30-30 on Steroids
For my uses around the farm, a Winchester Model 94 chambered in the .30-30 is the gun I grab most often. Winchester chambered this gun in 1895 for the .30-30, America’s first smokeless, centerfire cartridge. Since that time, millions of .30-30 chambered Model 94 guns have taken millions of deer.
When I feed cattle during the winter, walk fence lines or visit food plots, the .30-30 has been an effective, functional caliber when squeezing off a quick shot at a coyote or a briar patch buck. Even though the down range potential of this caliber drops dramatically past 100 yards, most of my shots at the farm have been under the 100-yard mark. Being able to shoulder this short gun quickly has helped me keep the varmint population under control with a reliable, proven caliber. It’s not fancy, but it will get the job done.
For further effectiveness, Hornady produces the LEVERevolution® bullets designed with soft, Elastomer Flex Tips. These rubber-tipped bullets can be stacked against one another in a tube magazine without worrying about accidental discharge.
I’ve been shooting the LEVERevolution® .30-30 caliber bullets at our farm and I’m truly impressed with their performance. It’s like a lever action .30-30 on steroids.
Plan now for pumpkins you intend to purchase or have grown for the fall holidays. Dried pumpkin seeds make good trail food. Indians and explorers would parch the pumpkin seeds near a fire to give a roasted flavor. They keep well and provide plenty of nourishment. Each year when I scoop out the pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, I separate and save the seeds. Roasted, the seeds are truly delicious.
People love peas, but so do deer. A good friend of mine, Steve Prater, swears by this deer deterrent in his garden. Steve has property beside acres of swampy area that is home to a multitude of whitetail deer. Each year, the animals were devouring all his produce, even stripping the leaves off his okra.
To stop the deer, Steve put a metal fence post in each corner of his garden and put up five strands of 20 pound test fishing line. He spaces the fishing line just like barbed wire and wraps the fishing line tight around each post. He put in an extra post to serve as a gate post so he could enter and exit the garden with a tiller. He uses a piece of tin as the entrance door to the garden.
He says the deer can’t see the fishing wire, but they can feel it when they walk up to the garden. When they touch it, they are alarmed. Finally, he says they won’t jump it because they don’t know how high to jump. The method has worked well for Prater for the past few years, but he has to replace the fishing line each season.
This August, follow Johnny Cash’s advice and don’t sit on the fence. It can be painful both spiritually and physically.
John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.