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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Clintism #17: If you're not thankful, you're doing it wrong...

Thankful for my friends.
Thankful for yesterday.
Thankful for my family.
Thankful for you in my life.
Thankful for not giving up.
Thankful for your support.
Thankful for the future.
Thankful for being your friend.
Thankful for every breath.
Thankful for the memories.
Thankful for your friendship.
Thankful for a chance.
Thankful for that hug.
Thankful for your compassion.
Thankful for what I can do.
Thankful for your help.
Thankful for the past.
Thankful for what I am going to do.
Thankful for you.
Thankful for tomorrow.
Thankful for us.
Thankful for being able to be thankful.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Bow Buck

Well today was the first day that I was able to get out hunting with my crossbow this year because of medical reasons. I haven't even shot any practice rounds with my bow at all. I have had my trail cameras set up since June just in case I would be able to get out. But with my limited time in the chair, things just didn't line up right until this weekend. Usually by this time in the season I have been out 20 times or so. This year has sucked.

 About a week ago a local landowner got a hold of me and told me that he has had around eight different bucks and dozens of does continuously on a specific piece of his land. He told me if I wanted to hunt, he wouldn't think it would take very long for me to get a shot. Three days ago the landowner Steve and my buddy Don rearranged some round bales to make a little blind for me.

Today, Sunday November 12 was going to be at first day of the season for me. I was pumped. As time got closer to 2:30 PM, when Don was going to pick me up, I was shaking with anticipation. You don't know how much you miss something until it is taken away. Of course in my excitement I forgot to bring a couple things. I forgot my camouflage burlap which I wrap around myself for cover. I also forgot to bring along my decocking arrow. I really thought not having the camouflage burlap was going to screw me over. I asked Don if there was anything in the pickup and he brought out a red and black plaid blanket. Better than nothing I guess. Then I told Don that I forgot my decocking arrow. He said, "Well hopefully we won't need it." My thoughts exactly.

I got set up right at 3 PM knowing that the deer started moving around 4 PM. That gave me an hour for the woods to settle down. My buddy Don was sitting in a deer tower about 50 yards away. At 4 PM the first doe made an appearance. She came from the West and was headed my way but she soon realized something was up and must've winded me because she broke North and never appeared again. With me sitting in between the round bales, I really couldn't see what was going on three sides of me. Around 5 PM a small doe came from the East and stood right in front of me. All of a sudden she bolted and I soon realized why. A little 3 x 3 buck was dogging her. I grunted at him but he would not stop in the right spot. He had more important things on his mind.
There is no reason why this should have happened. I could feel the wind in the back of my head all evening, the wound vac was making noise every 5 minutes, couldn't reach grunt call so I had to mouth it and I forgot my camouflage burlap. To say I was ill-prepared would be an understatement. Can't explain it. Sometimes you just have to be thankful.

At 5:20 PM, it was starting to get dark and low light. I decided to make a couple grunts to see if there was anything around. After I made two soft grunts, a doe stuck her head around the bales and looked right at me. She was at least 15 feet away. But she knew something was up. Maybe it was my plaid blanket. Could've been the wind also. It was swirling the whole night. But as soon as that doe left, a 4 x 4 buck followed her. I grunted at him and this time this buck stopped in the right spot. He looked like he was going to run again so I grunted again. He was at 25 yards and I squeezed the trigger on my crossbow. The next thing I knew, he was tipped over and didn't go anywhere.

I texted Don and he made his way over to me. When he got over he said, "Did you see that big guy?" I told him I only saw the two little bucks. He said Mr. Big was just to the east of me and went south before he came in my shooting area. Don also said he was watching the buck in front of me and all of a sudden it just tipped over. He said that was something to see. Not realizing I was going to shoot that one.

Got a hold of Steve the landowner and he was there within fifteen minutes. We took some pictures, reminisced about what happened, gutted the buck and brought him to the locker.
This year has been a struggle for many reasons. Not being able to hunt is one of the biggest struggles for me. I am very glad and fortunate to have great friends who will do anything for me. This hunt today couldn't have gone any better. I usually like to drag out my hunting season three or four months. But being able to get it done quickly this year means a lot. I just didn't have the time this year. Already looking forward to next year. Thanks Steve and Don.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Choices I've made and consequences I'll gladly pay.

I can't believe some the stuff I've been able to do. Physically that is. I have done some neat stuff without any repercussions or negative effects on my body. I have spent way too many hours in my chair. Way too many. I have only had three setbacks in 23 years. This is extraordinary for all the stuff and things I have been able to accomplish and experience.

Here's one little example. I can't believe I'm going to tell the story but here it goes.

This was one heck of a bachelor party. The future groom to be, Otto and the rest of the boys were shooting trap at Horace throughout the afternoon and I was going to meet them at O'Kelly's. From there we would get on a party bus and head to the infamous stripper club in Shelly, Minnesota. I believe I got to O'Kelly's around 6 PM. The bus was departing around 7 PM. The pre-party was entertaining because there was karaoke. I sang two songs, dropped the mic and got on the bus. Clint style.

There were probably around 20 guys on the bus. Along with a lot of booze, BS and good times. I believe we stopped twice on the way up to our destination. I think the first stop was in Georgetown. I don't think that bartender will ever be the same. Just picture a horde of 20 thirsty individuals pouncing on some poor unexpecting bartender who didn't even see it coming. Frazzled she was. We stopped at another bar along the way, don't remember which one. I didn't get out. Sometimes even I know when to say when. I wanted to pace myself for the destination.

As we pulled into the gentlemen's club parking lot, the place is dead. Not many vehicles at all. That is a good thing. No crowd. So as we are pushed through the cattle chute, getting checked for IDs and paraphernalia, the mob is giddy with anticipation.

Of course when the doors open everyone goes straight towards the bar. Need to calm your nerves evidently. After getting my Morgan I made a direct path to the stage, right up front on sniffers row. It was entertaining my friends. The third dancer that came out was eyeballing me. Just when it was getting good, her song was over and she went back through the curtain. All of a sudden during the break she comes walking out and gives me the come hither look. I didn't want to disappoint so I let her grab my hand and bring me back to den of sin.

After twenty minutes or so of stuff and things, she said time was up. I told her I had a favor to ask of her. I gave her a $20 bill and asked if she would ride on my chair while I paraded through the club. She was willing and I was happy in the facial region. So she hops on my chair, naked as a bluebird and I throw it into fifth gear and bust through the curtains and do a couple hot laps. The look on people's faces was priceless. I thought a couple of the older gentlemen were going to stroke out. It was great fun until the bouncers told me I had to quit. Jerks. I sadly obliged and brought her back to her room.

Sidebar: She had a tattoo of two Derringers that was in a very private place. It was neat. Let's just say if she was in a police lineup, I would be able to pick her out in 1.8 seconds. Good grief.

The ride back was kind of a blur. I think we left the club around midnight. We didn't stop anywhere on the way home. Thank goodness. I remember driving through the residential streets in Moorhead wondering what we were doing. I asked my friend Trey who was sitting in back with me, "Where are we going? I just want to go to bed." He said, "Me too buddy, me too." Eventually we made our way back to O'Kelly's right at closing time. I was able to get in the doors because I know people. I wanted to hide out because I didn't want anyone else camping out in my room. It's good to know people.

Wedding #10 of 12. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. To clarify I wasn't really a bridesmaid, I was an usher for this special occasion. 
Anyway this is just one of the average examples of what been able to do. Looking back I don't know how I have been able to do so many things while being in a chair. The experts say I'm only supposed to be in the chair around a maximum of six hours a day. And throughout those six hours a day I am supposed to tilt back for ten minutes every hour. So that infamous day I was in my chair for about nine hours and I only tilted back once, giggity.

I haven't followed doctors’ orders at all really over these 23 years. And I'm glad I haven't followed their orders. Otherwise this story would not have happened, endless hours of hunting would not have happened, road trip to Vegas would not have happened and countless other stories would not have happened.

Sometimes you need to live your own life my friends and to hell with the consequences. This year I am paying the consequences but it has been well worth it…

Thanks for reading, Clint. Congratulations Ashley and Otto.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gamy flavor?

I sometimes hear people complaining about how wild game tastes "gamy." It always makes me wonder how this can be. How can some things taste so great to many, taste gamy to so many others?

There are a couple reasons why this may be. The first reason is how people take care of their game after the shot. I don't know how many times I have seen people drive around all day after shooting something in the morning and finally take care of their meat in the evening. If you had a half a beef in the back of your pickup with hide on or a chicken with full carcass do you think that would taste good after 12 hours? I myself don't like my meat pre-tenderized from bouncing around in the back of a pickup seasoned with dust from the countryside. But that's just me.

I have heard people say that they have never had a good meal when it comes to pronghorn. This blows my mind. I have never had a bad meal. This is probably because every piece of pronghorn meat I have eaten has been taking care of. If you think it always tastes like sage, you are doing it wrong.

If you have one of these racks that attaches to your bumper, please do not carry your game carcass on it. These things are designed for luggage. Not a piece of meat that you intend to put in your mouth. Every piece of dust from the vehicle is going to collect on this rack and make your meat taste like the dirt and grit that is penetrating it. And wrapping it in a blue tarp doesn't help. But it looks cool…

If you want your game to taste good you need to take care of it. If you can't get it home right away and in the freezer, take it to a meat locker if you can. The best way to preserve your game is to cool down the meat as soon as possible. This isn't always easy or possible but there are ways to make it work. Bring along coolers with ice and some water to wash off the meat after it is deboned. It doesn't even need to be deboned or quartered. Just cool it. Bring along plastic bags and not colored plastic garbage bags. Sometimes the colored plastic can wear off onto the meat and give it an off taste. Cheesecloth bags don't suck.

The gutless method of taking care of big game is great at preserving meat and getting the best possible flavor you can get. Do yourself a favor and Google this method. You won't regret it. First couple times may take longer than your usual gutting method but you will catch on quick.

I have to admit, sometimes wild game does have a "gamy" taste to it even if you take all of the necessary steps. But that is what makes it good, natural. I myself prefer a filet of northern over a filet of walleye any day. Northern to me has more flavor and to some northern tastes "fishy." That fishy flavor is just that, flavor to me. I prefer pheasant, duck and goose way over any piece of chicken.

I am a slut for wild game.
I know I am preaching to the choir for most of you but a wise man once told me, "Take care of your meat!"

Thanks for reading, Clint