The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois. I'm a hope'n this column finds you'ns in good spirits.
As this is be'in written it now rains outside. A rather gentle rain but the weatherman sez it could total up to maybe two inches in some places.
Several fellers was out putt'n on fall nitrogen today and in travel'n I even saw some soybeans be'n harvested. A few fields of corn remain but not many. Today be'n the 7th of November, it's time to get that type work caught up.
Those fellers putt'n on nitrogen say below a certain point the ground is dry. The top eight to ten inches is wet and will be muddy for a spell after tonights rain.
Old fellers usually hold to the say'n that field work can usually counted on until Thanksgiv'in. We'll see if'n that holds true this year.
Some weather forecasters sez their, "Crystal Ball" tells them we's gonna have us a wet and mighty tough winter. Might be so but us old timers has seen our share of, "Hum Dingers" so it don't frighten us much.
Without much livestock around the outside water heaters is not near the problem they once was. Confinement folk has pretty much solved that problem and those nice fancy Mira-fount waterers work fairly well fer the outside cattle.
I kinda miss fire'n up the old cowboy tank heater with cobs, wood, and coal. When the gas and kerosene heaters came along it made it a might easier but not perfect.
I can yet picture in my mind's eye those things a blow'n up for various reasons with only the whites of the eyes shine'n from behind the soot.
For stubborn ice in hog waterers and fickle tank heaters, frozen fingers were the norm for the day. Add a bunch of snow and a strong wind to below zero temperatures and it is not hard to figure why some folk sold the livestock and went to town search'n for part time jobs.
The neighbor sold some 600 lb. feeder calves the other day and they fetched over $1.40 per pound or over $840 per head. That's a might more than I ever received even in the best of times.
I'm all for the livestock man make'n a good profit. He works hard year around in all kinds of extreme weather for his wages. Lots of risks involved from herd health to market fluctuations only to name a few.
Upland game season opened the 5th of November for Illinois. Not much rabbit, quail, or pheasant to hunt around these parts anymore. It's a shame fer in years past it was a great pastime for young'ns and older fellers alike. Plus it put food on the table with a taste which couldn't be equaled if'n the cook was good at what they was a do'n.
I recken the weather is too mild for good duck hunt'n but soon it will change and those fellers will get a crack a their sport as well. You've missed out if'n you've never tasted fried duck breast properly seasoned brought to a high temperature with the center yet a little red which keeps the taste mild and the meat tender.
Ya know in the old days us folk mostly hunted with single barrel shotguns. The young'ns started out with 410 gauge guns and many of em could hit about as well as their paws with 16 and 12 gauge shotguns.
I don't remember many or anyone for that matter, hunt'n upland game with 10 gauge or larger guns. A few of the old muzzle loaders were of bigger caliber but them was mostly gone by the time I came on the scene.
Several folks of old had double barrel shotguns. I remember how impressive it was in those days to come on to a feller in the field with a double barrel damascus twist shoot'n iron. He had two shots to us single barrel hunter's one shot.
I have hunted nowadays with fellers who use mostly semi-automatic shotguns. In Illinois they carry three shells in the gun for upland game and waterfowl. In the Dakota's they take the plug out and carry five or more shells per gun chamber. Special add on tubes allow more than five shells in a gun but that seems to me a lot of extra weight to lug around.
I've watched those folk with their high priced machine guns (semi-automatics) and it often appears when a pheasant once takes to wing they begin throw'n a wall of lead in the air as fast as they can pull the trigger. Eventually, they gets themself a bird if'n it is unlucky enough to fly into the wall and if'n the shooter don't run outa shells first.
Well, each to his own but as fer meself I just loves to let them fellers burn their barrels "red hot" until they empties their gun. Then, often as not, I brings my ole single barrel to shoulder and drops the bird. Not always, but often enough to feel that ole 410 gauge single barrel shotgun, yet in my gun cabinet, taught me a few things about shoot'n and aim'n carefully.
Well, if'n ya gets a chance take a young'n out fer some hunt'n or shoot'n fun. If noth'n else, throw out some clay birds or old tin cans. The young lad or lassie will enjoy it and it will be good clean fun. Hope to see ya out in the hunt'n field together!
Have a good week come'n up!
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya Later