October 2013 after the first day of our general small game season as we were standing around a beautiful campfire, I slipped and suffered a dislocated ankle and a fairly serious break to my lower leg. As you can imagine, I was out of commission for pretty much the whole season. Although, I did get out a bit at the end, thanks to some good friends and my incredible wife. It was not enough….I swore that I was going to hunt as much as I could this year and I’ve been blessed to get a good amount of time so far. This blog entry contains some of my favorite pictures from a few of our hunts this season. I’ve got some very nice young hounds coming up and some veterans that continue to do exactly what they have bred to do.
It had been a long time since I had been able to put any meat in the freezer. I decided to put some direct attention on venison; I had a great year with a lot of encounters and ended my PA deer season with a couple of nice fat doe. I like to think that I am helping the small game when I shoot deer since it doesn’t take long for them to strip all the browse from an area and I really like venison stew!
The hounds have been doing very well and I’ve been very happy to get them some time as well. This particular evening we had a very good long run with young Swagger, my English Coonhound. It is a good thing I have a Garmin Alpha 100 as Swagger gets fairly deep into the woods and sometimes the walk back can be pretty rough…He has probably the loudest mouth I have ever heard on a hound and when he is hot on ‘ol Ricky’s tail you don’t have to wonder what he is thinking. Thanks to LCS and Tri-Tronics for the Night Razor Light without it I may have never seen this coon 70 feet high in a gnarly old Cherry Tree.
Rabbit hunting has been very good also, but I have kind of backed off from shooting a bunch unless I have a plan for them. I come from a pretty large family and it has become a tradition for the Brothers to get together a couple of times a year, usually at the holidays and we will shoot a bunch to make some sort of meal for one of the family “get togethers”. The following pictures are from Christmas Eve Day, We had great crew with four out of five Purnell brothers’ along with a couple of Nephews. I am proud to see the next generation seems to be coming right along. My Grand Dad would be proud. It was a great time with a lot of reminiscing, laugher, and lead in the air. My trusty set of Gerber Game Shears got quite a work out as I took the rabbits from our hunt, boned them out and made some of the absolute best meatballs you can imagine. I didn’t have to beg any one to make the trek up the mountain to my house for dinner the night they were served!
A couple of the guys were also able to get together for a hunt on New Year’s Day at one of the spots we don’t hunt until there is snow. We wait because the cover is extremely thick and you can spend all day running and never get to see a rabbit. This is a great place to run because there are a pile of rabbits, and this trip didn’t disappoint. According to the Garmin Alpha 100 we had almost 20 miles on the hounds, in fact if you look closely at their faces you can see they are actually brush burnt on their muzzles. When the hounds are getting this kind of action I like to keep a few things on hand to make them more comfortable. for the muzzle you cannot beat the Happy Jack Onex Wound Dressing and for their tired muscles GlycoCharge will have them ready to go for the next day. The hounds are getting rock hard and 2014 started out very nicely.