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  1. In one of Rinella’s “Close Calls” audiobooks, a guy tells a story about how he fell out of his tree stand on public land. Broke his back I think and EMS wasn’t working for some reason. He was hesitant to call some of his hunting acquaintances to come get him, because he didn’t want to disclose the location of his best spot, but that was the only option. As they are dragging him out, one of the guys actually comments to the other, “that was a great spot, I’m hunting it next weekend.” Savage.
  2. Was she sitting on top of you and pulling your ears back too far or showing some poor trigger discipline or what?
  3. We have always made efforts to stay in Ag exemption even though Wildlife would be easier, because we’ve always had some lingering fear that they will take away / raise the bar on Wildlife and then also make it hard to get back into Ag. I’m actually kind of surprised that the Wildlife Exemption has made it this long without being curtailed by the state, similar to the Texas Tomorrow Fund.
  4. Had a good morning; activity was just enough, birds weren’t coming in real close but we did ok. Close to Sabine NWR
  5. Big owls are serious business. We had big owls at our last ranch and they would startle the shit out of you, but weren’t territorial. I firmly believe in the “owl theory” of the “staircase murder” of modern true crime fame. The Natives knew they were harbingers of death. Super sharp claws under a big bird at approach velocity are super destructive. On a semi-related note: I found a frozen, perfectly preserved, dead barn owl while pheasant hunting in the panhandle many years ago. It was beautiful, I put it in my cooler and called a taxidermist to mount it when I got home, and the response was “you need to get rid of that and we didn’t have this conversation”. I was ignorant of the law, which had never come up before. Interesting that millinery damn near drove some birds to extinction and initiated some of the early wildlife protection laws (that maybe a little out of date now, maybe in another few decades we’ll be able to relax some things). Crazy that hat fashion drove so much exploration and exploitation of this continent. Hats!
  6. We’ve got more coyotes we’re hearing/seeing out at the ranch lately. I picked up a Sightmark Wraith to put on a rifle and try to thin the numbers. I’ve never used night vision so this will be interesting. Probably will use a Fox Pro I have and see if we can call some in.
  7. On second thought, don’t QUIETLY go full HIMARS and ATACMS, just say it out loud: “in response to Russia lobbing missiles at Ukrainian civilians, we’re increasing the range and payload of the systems we’ve supplied in an attempt to convince Russia to stop this behavior. “
  8. It’s well established that the logistics tail of the Abrams is problematic for use in Ukraine. That said, as soon as Olaf said he’s not sending Leopards until we send Abrams, I think we should call his bluff and get some Abrams over there soon and let the UA use them as rearward security around Kiev, etc. which frees up armor they may have in those positions to go to the front, or where they can make it work at the front with Jet A, 4gal/mile consumption, etc. Then full court press on him to get the Leopards in there with the Challys, Bradleys, the Soviet stuff, etc. and make a push at the front with the diesel rigs. I have no military training but when Olaf put such stupid shit out there that he’s waiting on Abrams, it’s very easy for us to satisfy his only stipulation and put the ball right back in his court. I don’t know if we’re concerned about losing some Abrams or not, which is a different issue, which may have some merit, but GD has a new prototype operating and we could send some units lacking the latest doo-dads if we were concerns the Russians would grab one. Olaf didn’t say which Abrams, he just said Abrams. Also the UA has seemingly been extremely responsible with HIMARS, no (reported) losses yet, no regrettable targeting of civilians in Russia. Sidebar - can you imagine the sales data this is generating for HIMARS? (~50,000 rockets fired, with 48,000 verified hits on target without a single vehicle lost!) Numbers made up, but I would like to be the Lockheed sales rep for this product. Also, since Russia is back to lobbing ballistic missiles or whatever at civilian areas, I think it would be great for us to quietly take the choke off the HIMARS range, quietly send a few ATACMS, and help the UA stick the banana back in the Russians tailpipe.
  9. We also do highly unadvisable shit, like my dad raises me up into trees while I’m standing in the grapple so I can trim with a chainsaw. He can’t hear me with the bobcat door closed, it’s lucky we haven’t had an accident. I have almost been pinched a few times. Would be much better with the door open doing that stuff so he can hear me.
  10. Yeah High flow is a mandatory for me, thx. I definitely want to do some hydroaxe work. Dad likes to burn brush, but in some areas we could really use the little bit of additional top soil the mulch would create over a decade or so. Also shuttling brush from a tight fence line to an open area for burning can be really time consuming, and I wouldn’t mind having the mulch along the fence lines. We have a shear and a grapple, so having the two machines will speed up operations when we’re shearing/shuttling/stacking/burning if we work together. (One machine cut the other shuttle and stack)
  11. Yeah my dad has blown out two bobcat glass doors, and a ranch hand blew out our dozer door years ago. Dad sold the dozer last year, wish we still had it. I’m pretty good not blowing out windows, but I’ll probably replace the Kubota door with the aftermarket lexan door they recommend for mulching. How much are we talking for insurance? I hadn’t considered that.
  12. Also, my oldest (12) said she really likes working at the ranch and wants to learn more about ranch management, so I’m putting together a curriculum to work on with her over the next several years. So we can basically have this conversation: Hopefully she’ll inherit the place from me many years from now and keep it going.
  13. I’m looking to get another skid steer (compact track loader) for the ranch this year. Probably going with a lightly used (less than 1000 hrs and not abused) Kubota SVL95. The Kubota is simple and I really want the roll up door to talk with my kids when they’re operating it or vice versa. My dad is a bobcat lever and foot controls operator, and honestly I really don’t like driving those machines anymore. He’s got a pretty new 75hp bobcat. They’ve made the levers so much stiffer than they used to be so you’re shoulders start to ache at the end of the day and kids have a hard time with the foot pedals. The non-roll up door is a big nuisance and the tires put too much pressure on the ground and rut it up. Probably selling my boat to help fund the new machine, which is a little bit of a bummer, but we’re at the ranch much more than we’re at the lake the last few years.
  14. Filled seven feeders, seeded new ground, fixed a bunch of storm damage, cleaned and organized the barn, watered the new trees, built some tree cages for more new trees, etc. Did fireworks and s’mores for about 10 kids. Worked my butt off the last few days, but it’s great that I can still work my ass off occasionally. I used to do it 6 days a week, when I was also coincidentally about 50lbs lighter.
  15. No buck for me this year unfortunately, but I did get a good size pig this morning, will make good sausage.
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