Friday, December 30, 2016

Panther Branch Hoppers

It seems that around this time of year I start thinking of warmer weather, bluegills, and top water hoppers. My home pond has some Largemouth Bass that can't resist a tan hopper, and the California Bluegills are all over them no matter the color. This year I decided to tie up some Panther Branch Hoppers. Ive followed panther_branch_bugs on instagram for a couple years now, and I have to say that his hoppers have always intrigued me. (Don't get me started about his hair bugs) After doing some searching on the web I found a Fiberglass Manifesto post that had a step by step, and decided to give 'em a try. They're awesome little bugs, and the River Road Creations cutters that I got for Christmas made consistency easy. If you have any questions make sure to hit Brandon up at I'm sure he'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

White Rabbit Chili

This recipe is a combination of several white chili recipes found online and on you tube. I've made a few changes, and added a couple of new ingredients. I like beer in my chili, I also used Anaheim peppers in addition to the canned green chiles. The next time I make this I'll leave the canned chiles out, I don't think they add anything to the dish. You can make this recipe with chicken stock as well, I really think that the rabbit stock makes it though. Besides, what else are you going to do with a Jackrabbit rib cage? If you make this recipe let me know what you think.

1 lb. Deboned Rabitt Meat. (I used a Jackrabbit front shoulder, and 2 Cottontails.)
3 Anaheim Peppers
2 Jalapeno Peppers
1 Can Diced Green Chiles
3-5 Cups Rabbit Stock
1 Medium Yellow Onion
13 oz. of Beer (I used Newcastle, but anything will work.)
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Cayenne
2 tsp Dried Oregano
3 Cans Great Northern Beans drained (1 can mashed, 2 cans whole)

Two Rabbits and a Hare

Deboned meat

Making the stock. Brown the bones, kidneys and liver.

Add the mirepoix

Cover with water, boil and simmer for two to three hours, salt to taste

Mise en place

Sweat the onion

Add the chiles and jalapenos, sweat

Brown the meat

Deglaze with the beer, scrape the bottom

Add the seasonings

Add the mashed beans

Add everything else

Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or two, depending on how thick you like it, check the season, add salt to taste

Serve with pickled jaapenos, cheese and corn bread

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chukar camp 2016

24950. Thats how many steps my phone says I took yesterday. 24950 steps doesn't begin to do what we did justice. 24950 steps for three birds. Ridiculous. 8316.666666 steps per bird. Even more ridiculous.

That's what a succesfull chukar hunt requires. a lot of walking up hills. A lot of sneaking up on birds and a lot of dissapointment. In the end we had a great trip, with a total of five chukar, and two quail. I can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016/2017 Duck opener.

It was a good opener this year. We had a total of ten Gadwalls come into the decoys. We shot seven, and recovered six. The Boy didn't get a shot off, but without waders he had to stay too far back in the tules. Hopefully he'll get a a few this year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 Dove Season

 This year's Dove season came like most others. A few early morning scouting trips, and like the past few years, not a lot of hope. I saw no birds at my places close to home. Places were in years past we've done really well. The last three years have been terrible though. By terrible I mean that I haven't even shot a bird on opening day.  In fact the last three seasons I haven't killed more than two birds all season long.

Thursday morning found the Old Man and I at our usual back up spot, down by the river, along the railroad tracks. Right after shoot time a pair came right by me!! I got one, and watched it fall. My shots spooked a group of around seven more, and I got one of those as well. Two birds down and the season's only been open for five minutes, I'll take it! We didn't see anymore birds for over an hour so we moved downstream a little ways. We saw a few birds but we were limited as to how soon we could see them, and didn't get any shots off.  After about three pairs flying by unexpectedly I finally saw one coming before it was too late. I took the shot, and down it went. My first Eurasian Dove. I was stoked!

We decided to move to another spot with a few trees, and more open sky. I'm glad we did. When we arrived I saw a dove on a wire, I walked toward it, and it flew towards me. One more in the bag. When I shot about twenty birds took off and landed in two trees. The Old Man walked towards one, and I walked towards the other.  We would shoot at a dove taking off, miss, and it would fly back to the tree. Unbelievably! After a few misses I took my time and got two.  We hung out under the trees for awhile and got a couple more. A great opener in comparison to the last few.

Thursday evening we went back to the same spot, but this time the Boy got to come along. This was his first year shooting a shotgun, and he was able to give doves a try.  When we got to the spot there was a dove sitting in the tree, and I let him shoot it sitting still. No problem...first dove ever in the bag. I told him no more sitting shots, so he had to get 'em in the air. I didn't shoot much that evening giving him the first shot opportunity. He ended up getting two more for a total of three.  Not bad for his first real hunt!

Saturday morning we went to the same spot with another first time hunter, my friend Ken. Things started out pretty slowly, and then all hell broke loose. Group after group of doves came down from the rocks, and into the field. It was absolutely unbelievable. I've been hunting doves for at least twenty five years, and have never seen anything like it. I dropped one dove, and killed five more on  my way to pick it up!!! Once things slowed down a little we went back to the truck to count our birds. I was shocked to see that I had fourteen! Just one shy of my limit. I ran back down towards the river, and got one more! My first fifteen bird limit, and it was only 8am!!!!

We had another hunt on Sunday with a few birds each, Ken and his son went out another day, and got skunked. Looks like it's about over this year. I'll take a few random hunts close to home, but it's time to start thinking about ducks, chukar, and rabbits.

First morning.

The Boy's first.


First three.


Ken's first.
My first fifteen bird limit!

Hank Shaw's "Grilled Dove La Mancha"


Jackrabbit Bolognese

I made Hank Shaw's Bolognese recipe using Two Jack rabbits and two Cottontails. It really turned out delicious.

Trimming the loins

 Deboning the rabbits.

Grinding the rabbit meat.

Ground meat.

Making stock.


Not much left on those bones. Twelve hours in the crock pot.

Draining the stock.

 Mise en place



Making fresh pasta.