This was a high I’ll never forget. Thank you to all who made this trip possible. God is so good y’all!
No one really talks about the “the grind” of fishing season. We just do it and get it done. For me getting through the craziness means a lot of coffee and lots of daydreams of what is to come; Hunting Season.
The trailer is loaded down with all the works. Blinds, decoys, dog food, goose flags, anything and everything we might need for any situation while were traveling the vacant prairies. Just loading up the truck you can tell Miss Belle already knows. She goes right to her kennel and lays down on the fluffy bed. She waits and watches as we finish loading everything up. Camo, shot guns, and enough shot-gun-shells to start another war. Chris and I barely talk as we pack up the bus. We just shoot little smirks to each other as we pass by. We know the drill. FINALLY, we ready to head North. The bus packed, Maddie and Belle loaded up, we pull out of the driveway. Goodbye Florida!
*26 Hours Later* (yes. twenty six!!)
North Dakota’s waterfowl season allows non-resident hunters to hunt for two weeks. You pick your dates for which you choose to hunt. Chris and I, do our weeks back to back. While you are guaranteed a license, you are not guaranteed birds or land permission. You better get your riding pants and get comfy because that truck your in, will be your home. Free lancing means work, determination, and drive. The one I can always count on to align those stars is Duck Boy. There is a chemistry to the relationship Chris has with waterfowl that will give peanut butter and jelly a run for its money. He just gets them! Watching him do what he does, is exhilarating.
We drop the trailer off at the lodge and prepare to scout the rest of the day. Snow covers the ground everywhere and the temperature is 18 degrees with a 2 degree windchill. The wind was honking out of the North at 25mph. Shelby, you are not in Florida anymore! Off we go to find the perfect feed to hunt the next morning. Some people would maybe take the afternoon off after watching the sunset and rise from the cab of your truck but procrastination and laziness are not rewarded up here. A couple hours later we find a good feed. As we pull off the road to glass the field closer, a jeep pulls up. The gentleman in the driver seat rolls the window down and ask if we were the ones who called for permission to hunt that particular field. We told him no that we just stumbled upon it. Chris and Richard begin to make small talk and we learn he is actually the land owner and he likes to duck hunt! I continue to watch these mallards tornado down through the binos; Hypnotizing. Rarely do land owners actually like to waterfowl hunt. In this special case, Richard asked if we wanted to hunt that field with him the following afternoon. Access granted. We made plans to meet right there the next day at 2:00pm; A perfect start to an incredible few weeks.
Here is a little something wrapping up the time we spent in the corn and snow. Thank you for reading. God is sooo good y’all! Enjoy
Here is a little flashback to this past season. Thank you to everyone who made these hunts possible and a huge thank you to Duck Boy himself for always making my dreams come true! AND of course a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to my girls, Miss Belle and Maddie May for picking up all the birds and doing the hard work!
God is Good y’all! Enjoy!
* Yes, I know these are not the best quality pics and videos but they are real. Real and uncut. This whole video illustrates what it is like to be right there in the blind with us! There are no camera crews riding with us; No professional photographers falling our every step; but I cherish every minute we spend out there.
**and I apologize in advance for my language at the end. Shooting your first official ALL DRAKE triple was beyond me being able to control my excitement or my mouth 🙂
The last stringer of herrings comes flying over the rail, Capt. Chris begins to rev up the Backlash and steadily point her straight south. The guys are getting things ready to settle in for the two and a half hour ride out; destination the middle of no where. With bait rods put up and everything freshly sprayed off and wiped down, I plop down in my bean bag on the back deck and watch the fisherman do what they do. Lures being tied on and laced up with the upmost precision of the perfect knot to insure she won’t be lost. 5 trolling rods (yes, 5!) being placed out ever so carefully. A delicious buffet set up in search of any fast swimmer to come and feast. I day dream about a Wahoo luring in our path and my mouth waters at the thought of the way they taste. As the buildings and condos of Destin are disappearing in the distance, I take a moment and admire the great fisherman and their skills sitting around me. I thank God for each one. With the Backlash set on auto pilot, Chris comes down to do some surgery of his own and sew up a little something special for Mr. Swordfish. The cut, sewn in hook and skirt topper are placed just so, to insure it swims natural. A perfect Swordfish snack to say the least. With a little over an hour left in our ride, we all begin to exchange, what else, fishing stories and relax waiting for Chris to pull back the throttle and signal, it’s time!
Missing hunting season but time seems to fly by with days like these. Here’s a little taste of Florida in the Spring.
Southern (Shelby) Fried Wild Turkey or Pheasant
I didn’t start cooking hardcore until about 5 years ago and if you ask my husband Chris he will tell you that I was an amazing chef from the start. NOT. When we first got married the only things I really knew how to cook was spaghetti and pizza rolls. Growing up I really didn’t show much interest in learning how to cook new things or venture out and cook things for myself; I usually just left that up to my parents to decide. Into year two of our marriage is when I really started trying different foods, Southern food that is. Being raised in the south by two Yankees from Pittsburgh, I didn’t see collard greens and turnips at my house. My husband Chris was constantly cooking greens, cornbread, pot roast, fresh fried fish…treats that I was definitely not accustom to and after some time he warmed me up to trying everything. I was over whelmed with the simple, easy recipes and just how good they tasted! Collard greens are my absolute favorite vegetable now. Once I decided to branch out and try new recipes I found that the simpler the recipe, the better the taste. Now, coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary, Chris might tell you I am a little better cook then at the beginning. (At least I hope he does ha!) One of my most requested recipes from family and friends is my fried turkey. This recipe stems from my Papa, Carson Sweeney. I have added a couple ingredients of my own as well. I also use this very same recipe to fry up pheasants as well. Both equally delicious! During this write up I will be using pheasants due to the fact that I used up all my turkey already. These pheasants were shot by Chris and I this past season in Kansas. So here we go… Continue reading “Shelby Fried Pheasant”