Most of our hunting dies down in late January, but I still had a few upland hunts left and the anticipation of the fishing season to come. We seemed to be on the road a lot in Jan, Feb and March traveling Texas. Along the way we met some fun outdoor celebs: Noted wildlife cook and author of GirlHunter, Georgia Pellegrinihttp://georgiapellegrini.com , then we attended the Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival in Houston and met the wildly interesting and talented fly tyer and artist, Tim Borski of Florida. Then to Troutfest in New Braunfels, TX where we had our trade booth and were entertained by keynote guest, Pat Dorsey owner of the Blue Quill Angler of Evergreen, CO http://bluequillangler.com and then to Sportsman’s Finest in Austin http://www.SportsmansFinest.com to have some fun while learning bass fishing tips with Bob Clouser from Pennsylvania and inventor of the Clouser Minnow http://www.clouserflyfishing.com
Also, at Troutfest I had my booth for Heritage Game Mounts and introduced my new “Trout Skins” pillows. I handpaint fish and outdoor scenes on lambskin and then sew into pillows of rich trims, velvet & suedes.
Middle of February found us once again on a fabulous shoot at Gerry & Eldena Stearns’ Santa Anna Hunting Preserve. Even with the cover down from the Texas ‘exceptional’ drought, the hunt was a success thanks to Gerry’s great dogs: American Field Brittanys, German Shorthairs and a sassy little French Brittany named Lucy.
Eldena does such a wonderful job with the birds: the care and breeding. And as a special favor to me she skinned a couple of the beautiful pheasants and told me how to tan them. We will see how I do!
Blow drying the pheasant after washing in Dawn detergent!
Heritage Game Mounts and AlamoSCI are a proud members of Safari Club International. Their Wounded Warrior and Sensory Safari programs are to be commended. We attended the AlamoSCI 2011 Annual Hunter’s Heritage Banquet & Fundraiser on August 13 with our handsome exhibitors booth and donated to the raffle. HGM made several new friends, including Double Nickle Taxidermy of New Braunfels, TX and Mainz Furs, Ltd. of Comfort, TX.
During the evening we enjoyed the company of two of our wounded warriors. Our chapter provides hunting opportunities for disabled, wheelchair and wounded warriors. Mark Ness says, “There is something about hunting and being outdoors that rejuvenates the body and spirit.”
In July we volunteered at the 18th SCI Sensory Safari at the Texas Lions Camp – a rewarding experience offering children and adults, especially individuals with visual impairment a unique opportunity to “see” wildlife through the sense of touch. Using skins, mounts, skulls, antlers and horns we were able to bring the beauty of wild animals to many.
The first of May found Heritage Game Mounts fishing a day on the San Marcos river with guide and new friend, Kevin Hutchison of Hill Country Flyfishers, Fishhead@texas.net. It was a truly beautiful day as I fished a Llano Bug on top while Skip chose a Swamp Monster sub surface, all tied by Kevin.
We caught the pugnacious Redbreasted sunfish, many Guadalupe bass and a large mouth. Kevin’s brand new inflatable raft was super comfy and roomy. The 10 1/2 hour trip was over before we knew it. A wonderful lunch was set up streamside, with everything one could need for an elegant riparian feast, including the tablecloth! Kevin takes pride in preparing himself our lunch of grilled chicken bacon pasta salad, Hummas with grilled jalapenos, fresh fruit and brownies.
In March HGM joined friends for a two day hunt at the Santa Anna Hunting Area owned by Gerry & Eldena Stearns (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition to hunting Bob White and Tennessee Reds, we also found the occasional Chukar and Pheasant. It was a wonderful 2 days and Eldena did a great job preparing our birds to be enjoyed for many future meals.