Saturday, November 12, 2016

What does the fox say?

Yesterday I decided to try coyote hunting again in Black Canyon. A few weeks ago I was coyote hunting there and shot a fox, previous blog post. I got a good shot on the fox, there was lots of blood, but the trail dried up after 20 yards. I think the fox made it under a huge pile of debris and I would have needed a tractor to move it. No doubt it was a kill, disappointed I didn't find it.

So yesterday I decided to try my luck again. This time I took a different trail on the same creek. My first setup I called in nothing. So I took a rough hike along the creek where the canyon walls have trees and cactus growing through the rocks. It was a nice scenic hike and I'm sure there were foxes all over the place but the brush was too thick to see 10 feet in front of me. So eventually after passing a homeless camp I found a clearing and went for round two. Nothing came in and the wind was getting strong so I was about to go home. 

Then I decided to hike a little further just to see where the trail goes. I decided to setup one more time. I put my call and decoy out in open ground in a dry wash in full sun and I just took a knee next to a bush in the shade. I turned left shoulder to towards the call, something I learned the hard way to do in the past. After not even a minute of calling a fox came running in my from my right side. I had obviously walked right passed her just a couple minutes prior and had no clue. They hide well so no surprise. I probably had walked past 50 of them that morning. If I had a fox hound I'd probably find them every couple minutes. Anyways, the fox was charging right at my call and decoy. I lifted up my rifle and when the fox got past the last tree it was obvious it still didn't know I was there.

I followed it for a couple seconds then about 20 yards before my decoy I pulled the trigger. Fox down. I no longer get the anxiety kicking in when I see foxes and coyotes so I'm landing some good shots now.  I got up and as soon as I did the fox did too so I took a couple more shots. By the time I got to the fox I had a chest shot and blew apart both front feet but fox was still alive. I'll spare the details but I had to finish the fox off without a bullet. Not the way I like it to go down but once they're shot there's no choice but to finish the job. Before skinning the fox I took a look at my shots and it's amazing how tough these things are. I landed a chest shot just a couple inches from the heart and lung. A good shot considering it was running when I pulled the trigger. The kill zone is probably slightly bigger than a golf ball. I had been using 30 06 but switched to .223 because I didn't want to ruin the pelt. I'm thinking I could get away with 30 06. I definitely see now why people use shotguns for predator hunting. It's nothing like stalking and hunting large game.

I got the fox mostly skinned out in the field and left it for the crows. They were circling and calling loud before I left. I made some noob mistakes. First mistake is don't skin it on the ground. Hang it so you can get a good pull on the pelt. I got both ears but only got half the snout and didn't get the nose. I also messed up the tail and it's going to have to be sewed back on after I'm done. So this one will probably be made into a scarf. Maybe next time a hat. 

Hiking through the canyon. Look at the root on that tree.
 Cactus growing through the rocks.

It's Not 100 Degrees Anymore

This is the best time of the year in Arizona. Everyone else around the country gets to freeze their butts off and its actually good weather here. I usually get in 3-4 hikes a week  and all the summer fat starts coming off. Plus we're really busy with the kids and the holidays.

This year my sister decided to come out here a couple days before Halloween. It was a good decision on their part. We have a lot of cool activities for the kids out here. We took the kids to Cave Creek, Zoo lights, and the best pumpkin patch I've been to

At Cave Creek

That's a 400 pound pumpkin
Natalie bought a selfie stick. Nerd.

That's a giant sundial

This was at Autumn Fest at Anthem Park
On one of the days my sister was here Jeff and I went shooting at Table Mesa. Cody didn't have earplugs so he got my earmuffs and I got toilet paper in my ears. My AK-74 isn't that bad but Jeff's S&W AR 15 made my left ear ring for days. I've had to take it easy on the heavy metal since then. I'm getting pretty good with my HK VP9. 14 out of 15 shots hit their target.
The pumpkin on the porch was in a cactus the week prior. I think it's supposed to be Trump. On the left side of the patio a pumpkin puked his seeds and guts out.

At Zoo lights. It was pretty cool but no animals.

Captain America fell asleep before getting his first piece of candy but he had a death grip on his bucket through the entire line. He woke up to a nice surprise.

The morning before going to the pumpkin patch I hiked up the hill behind my house like I do a couple times a week. I took this panoramic from my Galaxy 7 phone.
At Mortimar Farms

No I didn't have to stage this picture. Zach went running right up to the tractor.

Adri showing off her gymnastics skills.
Zach kept wanting to go again. I let him go 5 times in a row. Cass and her family had already moved on, it was hot, I didn't have sunblock, and eventually I had to pull the kid out. Epic tantrum when his turn was up. I'm pretty sure he could have sat in there all day; or at least until he falls asleep in there.
Zach is quite the climber
I'm pretty sure Zach has a favorite cousin. We might have to have a talk with him because he might even have a crush. He loves his cousin Aubrey.
This wagon is the best thing since sliced bread. It's hard to get a good wagon these days. Everything is made of plastic, including the wheels. Had to get this one online.
Yeah we got lost. I didn't even try to get through it. We made it somewhere in there then turned back. 

At this point the kids were getting tired and didn't want to smile. I told them to say "Hillary for jail". They all started yelling it and laughing and the guy next to us got the most disgusted face. I wanted to give him directions to California.

As far as handing out candy this was the best Halloween ever. I dressed up like Mr. Robot, got a fog machine and strobe light, and listened to the best Metal album of all time, Insomnium's Winter's Gate. One song 40 minutes long. I had kids refusing to come up and ask for candy. A couple of the bigger kids came charging across the street until I hit the remote in my hand for fog and stopped them in their tracks. Several people commented they thought I wasn't even real. I didn't move or respond; not even when they said thank you.

The last couple days his cousins were here Zach started his talking strike. He's been doing this a lot lately going from talking to humming entire sentencing. It drives us crazy. This round lasted three days then started up again. So we got him another evaluation with a speech therapist. Personally I think it's selective mutism. Last week Natalie left for the weekend with Cassandra and he talked most of the weekend. You can see here he's being quite the talker. Today he's humming again.