Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More pics from Saskatchewan

Because I was sleep deprived and traveling at 70 mph on a slow GSM wireless connection in South Dakota when I posted my first SK trip blog, I thought I'd post some more pics.

Jake----one smart lab

David and Satch -----Satch is an award winning Grand Hunting Retriever

Day 1---chick pea field

Day 2---another chic pea field

Day 3----very foggy and cold---heavy frost

Day 4------1.5 hrs----48 ducks in a wheat field

Day 5-----day 2 in wheat field

Day 6------rainy day----lots of geese

Day 7 ----best duck hunt ever

Jerome Rath's farm

We did a lot of this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


October 15-25-2009

Burr, Saskatchewan, Canada

Robert Blackford (AKA The Colonel)
Scott Cummings (AKA Smoothie)
Greg Whitteker (AKA Half Empty)
David Daniel (AKA Horn Dog)
David Carroum (AKA Houdini) + Satchel Page (8 yr old black lab)
Ron Geels (AKA Shiner Dog) + Jake (4 yr old black lab)

(Jerome Rath's Farm)
Hosts: Jerome Rath & Kelly & Rachel Abrey

Jerome is a 67 yr old widower that runs an active 100% organic farm in Burr, SK---about 1.5 hrs east of Saskatoon. Without a doubt, the most gracious and generous host and friend we've ever encountered. Jerome, father of 2 grown daughers, embodies the determination and work ethic of the Canadian prarie province farmers. A typical day involves feeding & gathering 130-150 eggs from his laying hens, baking 12-15 homemade pies with fruit grown in his 2 acre fully organic garden, working his cattle or feeding his 1,200 broiler chickens, and havesting potatoes, strawberries, saskatoon berries, onions, cabbage, garlic and carrots from his garden. Jerome bakes daily and sells his vegetables, homemade dishes, and baked goods in the Humboldt, SK farmer's market. Born on the same 160 acres (1/4 section) of land as the 3rd generation of German Catholic immagrants, Jerome's family only received electric power in 1954. If it can be baked or cooked or growth from scratch ---Jerome can do it.

Kelly & Rachel Abrey - Father and mother of 3 children outside Plunkett, SK, the Abrey's are 3rd generation farmers that farm 2,500 acres of canola and wheat, raise alpacas for wool and are nuts for duck and deer hunting (not to mention stark raving mad Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL fans). The Abrey's have some of the largest white tail bucks I will ever see taken right from their farm. Kelly provided unbelievable help to us when we needed permission to hunt his neighbor's farms when we founds the ducks and geese.

The six of us started the 1,780 mile drive to SK at 5am Oct 15 arriving 32 hrs later in Burr, SK......no sleep! The last 8 hrs were in sleet and ice fog. After unpacking and eating a HUGE home style cooked meal by Jerome and family, we scouted for birds. Days 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7 were unbelievable. We shots mostly mallards and saw groups of ducks and geese that numbered as high as 15,000!!!!!! We saw a huge bull moose, the northern lights, bald eagles, fox, and enormous deer. Currently we are driving back thru North Dakota almost to the South Dakota state line. I am hoping to be home in Frisco by 3pm Sunday after driving all night with Scott and David Carroum in time to wish Preston a big 4th Happy Birthday. I have many many pics to share but here are the summary stats.

(Our decoy spread)

10,580 total miles driven between 2 trucks

2 diesel trucks + 2, 16' trailers completely packed
600 duck & goose decoys
7 hunts
8 final approach blinds

Waterfowl Taken:

Day 1----43 birds
3 widgeon
3 pintail
1 green wing teal
1 canada goose
35 mallards

Day 2----50 birds
35 mallards
2 canada geese
2 pintail
2 gadwall
9 widgeon

Day 3----14 birds
3 pintail
10 mallards
1 canada goose

Day 4------48 birds
36 mallards
2 pintail
1 gadwall
9 widgeon

Day 5----48 birds
33 mallards
11 widgeon
4 pintail

Day 6-----51 birds
18 canada geese
29 mallards
2 pintail
1 gadwall
1 widgeon

Day 7-----56 birds
8 widgeon
18 pintail
30 mallards

313 total birds

22 canada geese
291 ducks (198 mallards)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Arkansas 47, Texas A&M 19

In an albeit dismal start to the 2009 Arkansas Razorback season........we 4 Blackfords have one small bright spot: HAVING 365 DAYS OF INTRA-FAMILY BRAGGING RIGHTS!!!!

Yes, after a slow 1st quarter start, the Razorbacks delivered a punishing air attack on Saturday to send the Aggies packing in a 47-19 rout.

In advance of the game, both my sister (Mary Prosser) and I traded traditional Aggie & Razorback barbs, both of us acknowledging neither team would be likely to be bowl bound.......kinda a "battle of the biggest losers". The Razorbacks are 2-2 and Aggies are 3-1 (wins over UAB, NM & Utah St).

As a fan, it was great to see two former Southwest Conference teams play and remember the history of long-gone Razorback greats in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 2000's that also included Stacey's Uncle, Dad and Grandfather: Hartford, Preston & Ray Hamilton.

This one's for you Mary: