Blood Rite of Passage – A Hunting Tradition is Born

Frisbie Family photo

A tradition is born

Hunting is a time-honored tradition here in Texas, as well as  in most parts of our country and the world. It’s a way for a boy to become a man and to earn the respect of his elders. With any long-standing past-time, traditions are made. Like in baseball, the tradition of throwing out the first pitch or “God Bless America” in the 7th inning stretch. Hunting traditions are no different…

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   Like most men I know, I grew up learning about the outdoors from my grandfather. He is now pushing 80 years old, with failing eyesight,  and bad shoulders, yet he can still spot a buck 3 fence lines away. With 4 daughters of his own, he took it upon himself to pass down his hunting traditions / rituals to me. The same ones that his father had passed to him, and I will pass on to my wife and step-son.
   The main one is the “blood rite” tradition. It is the act of smearing blood on the hunters face as a celebration of the first kill. I remember opening weekend of the 1988 rifle season when I was 5 years old. I was standing in our back yard watching my grandfather skin the buck hanging from an old oak tree. I watched in awe as he turned our trophy into food for the table. He stood so tall above me, working his knife separating flesh from skin. He stopped just long enough to turn around and swipe his index finger across my forehead.  It was warm, wet and a smell that I had never smelled before. Not bad, just different. He stood there staring at me with a proud look on his face, then gave out his signature chuckle. I thought I was a man…
Mrs. Frisbie with White Tail Buck   I had the opportunity to witness this again this past year. My wife didn’t grow up hunting, but since marrying me has fallen in love with it the same as I did. This year on opening day, she went out and harvested her first deer completely solo. A beautiful Texas whitetail that any hunter would be proud to have on his / her wall. She was standing at the tailgate of the truck, taking pictures, and prouder than a Rio gobbler in full strut. All of a sudden, my grandfather quietly walks over inspecting the rack and shot placement on the buck. Then he asks “Which one of you shot this deer?” Shannon exclaimed “I did!!” Reaching up with an index finger full of blood he covered her nose with it. I stood there expecting her to scream and scream she did…with excitement!! She wrapped her arms around him in a huge hug. I can’t remember being more proud to call her my wife than that moment. My wife had earned the respect of every man there, the same way I did 24 years earlier almost to the day.
   This tradition will forever be sacred to me. Like a prayer before dinner, it’s something I want to continue to pass down along with my love for the outdoors. What will your children remember from their first deer or monster bass? What traditions will you leave them with?
“Keep your powder dry, and your blades sharp”
David Frisbie – Tightlines and Big Tines

From Tackle to Table: Grilled Redfish

Although fishing (especially redfishing) is a huge love of mine and I live in South Louisiana where there is water at every turn, I don’t get to go as often as I’d like to since my dad sold his boat a couple of years back.  So when I got an invite for a quick early morning saltwater trip, I was more than thrilled.  

Sunrise in Point Aux Chene, Louisiana

 With no sleep, we headed down the bayou and made it out to the launch just in time for daybreak. It was a lovely, although windy, morning in Pointe Aux Chene. We fished in a few known areas, areas that we saw sea gulls diving for bait, and even site fished some reds in secluded ponds mostly using live minnow under a cork.  

After spending a few hours on the water, we finished up the morning with a nice haul of both redfish and speckled trout and a slight sunburn. 

EvoOutdoors ProStaff Sarah Fromenthal with her Redfish catch

First Redfish of the day

 

Speckled Trout in the Icebox

Speckled Trout in the Icebox

 

A few of our redfish

A few of our redfish

Of course, because I love to experiment with cooking what I catch / hunt just as much as the actual act of catching / hunting it, I couldn’t wait to cook up some of the reds. So after some brainstorming and a quick trip to the grocery store, the experimentation began. I decided to cook redfish “on the half shell” with a shrimp cream sauce with a  side of grilled veggeis. I have to say, it is one of my new favorites.

What is redfish on the half shell you ask? It is what I call a filet of redfish with the skin and scales left on. Perfect for grilling!

Ingredients:

  • Redfish filets with the skin (and preferably scales) left on
  • 1lb of peeled, de-headed shrimp
  • 1 cup of fat free half and half
  • 1 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Minced garlic
  • Cornstarch
  • Veggies of your choice for grilling (I used squash, zuchinni, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and red onions)
  • 1/3 cup White wine
  • Seasonings: lemon juice, garlic powder, “blackening seasonings” ( I recommend Chef Prudhommes),  Tony Chachere’s, cracked black pepper, cayenne, and salt

You will also need foil and a veggie grill basket (or do what I did and use a disposable aluminum pan and punch holes in the bottom).

Prepping the Food for the Grill: 

  1. Place the each redfish on foil (should be about 5 inches longer than the fish) and sprinkle garlic powder, blackening seasoning, a little tonys, and a few squirts of lemon juice.  Place on top, 2 to 3 thin slices of butter and fold foil over the top of the fish making a steamer bag. 
  2. Chop the veggies of choice into large chunks and toss in about a tablespoon of melted butter, black pepper, garlic powder, and about a tsp of lemon juice.
All prepped and ready

All prepped and ready

Grill Time:

  1. Grill veggies until tender (larger veggies can go directly on the grill, but i recommend the grill basket for everything else).
  2. Place the fish on either low or indirect heat and cook until almost done. (should be almost to the point where it is flaky) Cooking time depends on size of filet.
  3. For the last few minutes of cooking,  open up the foil and allow it to finish cooking on a high heat to get all the flavors from the pit integrated into the meat. When done, the meat of the fish should be flaky yet moist.
Redfish filet fresh off of the pit

Redfish filet fresh off of the pit

Shrimp and Cream Sauce: 

  1. Season the shrimp with minced garlic, garlic powder, blackening seasoning, Tony’s, cayenne, black pepper, and seer in a hot pan. Once a good sear is achieved, add wine and continue to simmer until shrimp are fully cooked. Once shrimp are cooked, remove pan from heat and allow to cool. 
  2. After the pan and shrimp have cooled, return to a low heat and add the half & half and cheese then simmer on an low heat for about 15 minutes. Be sure this does not bubble because that will cause the cream to curdle. Over this 15 minute span, slowly add the shredded mozzarella.  Season to taste.
  3. Cornstarch may be needed to thicken the sauce to the desired texture (Remember to mix it well with cold water prior to adding it to the sauce to prevent clumping)
  4. Pour sauce and shrimp over the finished redfish and VOILA dinner is served!
finished dish

Finished dish

Duck Decoy Rigging – Texas Style!

    mallard-drake
   The new popular show “Duck Dynasty” has made the sport of duck hunting explode the past few years. With so many new people in the sport I have been asked mulitple times about decoys and decoy spreads. If you have ever met a Texan you know we are overly proud of our state and heritage. To the point we claim to have everything bigger, the most beautiful women,  invented the Texas-two step, and even named a slice of toast after ourselves. We didn’t stop there… Meet the Lone star way of doing decoys… The “Texas Rig”. I have been in a few debates with my more seasoned hunting buddies on the best way to rig out your decoys. To me there is no better way to rig your dekes (or decoys) for puddle duck hunting than a “Texas rig”. You can fit more than a dozen Texas rigs on a carabiner. In my opinion this is the best way to go and is handier than a pocket on a shirt. I love these rigs for a few reasons…
1) Ease of setting/picking up spread
2) Tangle free line
3) Easy to mix & match (especially at 3am in the dark)
4) Easily stored away
5) Simple and cheap to rig up

   The only drawback in my opinion is that it seems to chip off the paint a little quicker than a traditional decoy bag. To me convenience and speed outweighs a little decoy paint when you’re cold, wet, and in the dark. Ha!

So here’s a run down on how to do the Texas Rig for a half dozen dekes.Hillman Ducks

Supplies:
• 400# monofilament line (24 feet)
• 6- 4oz Mushroom weights (egg weights work too)
• 12 Aluminum crimp sleeves
• Crimping pliers
• Sharp knife

1) First, cut your line into sections. Mine are any where from 32 inches to 48 inches. Most the water I hunt is not more then 2 feet deep if that so I don’t typically need anymore than that. Use your judgement.

2) Second, run the line through the weight, make a loop and with a crimp sleeve. Trim the extra end of the line off COMPLETELY. If you don’t these tags can catch on the other decoy lines and be a pain in the butt.

crimp sleeve

Crimp Sleeves

3) Next on the other end of the line run it through the hole in the keel of your decoy. If there isn’t one use a 1/4 inch drill bit and make one. After the line is run put a crimp sleeve on the end of the line and form an overhand knot making about a 2-3″ wide loop. Then you continue to pass the open end of the line thru the loop 2-3 more times until you make it back around to the crimp sleeve. The open end then goes into the crimp sleeve and is crimped shut. Again, take off any extra line to prevent getting hung up.

4) Then you clip all the loops together, I use carabiners. Usually buy a neon green or blaze orange one so they are easily found if dropped. They also clip on to the D rings on your waders. I typically put 1 dozen decoys per carabiner.

When hauling them in the field I usually tie an over hand knot in the middle of the line to keep them tight together. When storing them let them hang freely to prevent any kinks in the line.

   I don’t know about anyone else but I need to keep my hands and mind busy during the off season. You know what they say about idle hands… Rigging up and repainting decoys is a great way to stay in tune with this sport I love so much. So this summer when I am laying on the beach, sand between my toes, cold drink in my hand, and that salty sea air hits my nose, I won’t be worried about the sunburn I’m certainly getting… I will be picturing a group of redheads dumping into my decoy spread!

“Keep your powder dry, and your blades sharp.”

David Frisbie – Tightlines and Big Tines

Prois Extreme Jacket and Pants: Gear Review

 Andrea Fisher - Prois

Prois Field Staffer and Prois Award Winner Andrea Fisher

Andrea Fisher is on Prois’ elite Field Staff Team.  She was the recipient of the 2011 Prois Award where she won the hunting trip described in this gear review.
By Andrea Fisher
My recent hunting trip to Alberta, Canada proved to be an extreme test of the Prois Xtreme jacket and pants combination! Zero degree Fahrenheit temperatures are certainly a test of ANY outerwear and Prois has really hit it out of the park with the design and features of these two pieces! I can only say I was SO happy to have this quality outerwear, because it kept me outside, hunting, in the treestand and in the blind, warm and comfortable for the duration of my hunt despite severe cold conditions!
Both the jacket and pants are very well constructed of a polyester waterproof and breathable fabric that was quiet, and offered protection from the wind, and insulated with 150 gram 3M Ultra Thinsulate that was perfect for the very cold conditions encountered on the hunt. Both jacket and pants are fully lined with the Prois smooth tricot lining. The jacket sleeves have deep inner knit cuffs that seal out the wind and the cold, and the pants have zippers on the lower legs to help when putting on or pulling off boots. Elastic drawstring closures at the bottom of the jacket could be cinched snug, sealing out the wind and cold, and the elastic drawstring closure at the waist of the pants keep the fit snug, keeping body warmth in. A slick added feature is the safety harness access at the neck of the jacket, allowing a safety harness to be worn under the jacket. The Prois ducktail on the back of the jacket came in very handy, allowing me to drop the tail to sit on, as the treestand seats had fresh snow almost every morning, and the extra layer kept me warm and dry! The jacket has several zippered front pockets, that perfectly held my camera and other small items, and the zippered side pockets are large and roomy. The hood has a drawstring for pulling it closer to the head, and the hood was warm and ample. On most days, my jacket and pants were worn over my baselayer set of medium weight fleece, and a medium weight wool sweater. This worked well sitting in the treestand in temperatures of 20’s and low 30’s. However, the mercury really plunged and some mornings the temperature was zero degrees Fahrenheit, and I did make some changes to my layering strategy: I first put on a baselayer set of a silk top and bottoms, followed by the fleece baselayer, and wore my Prois fleece vest over my sweater. Then, followed by my jacket and pants. This worked well for me, and I was warm and comfortable sitting in a treestand or in a blind!
The Xtreme series is must-have gear for those hunting in extreme cold conditions! I absolutely LOVE mine and believe me, I will not be without it on a winter hunt! Thanks, Prois!!!!!
You can find this and all of Prois’s Apparel at EvoOutdoors

Prois Award Finalist Spotlight~ Meet Tia Shoemaker!! Badassery Defined…

 TIA-SHOEMAKER

 

It was a pitch black night on theAlaska Peninsula when the tired hunters stumbled into the cabin. Packs heavy with meat and antlers hung from their weary bodies. After another long day in the field, there were trophies and stories to attest to the elation each hunter felt in their success. By age five I knew I wanted to be that hunter who comes through the door, tired to the bone but happy because at the end of the day I have hunted.

 

In my early years, my brother and I contented our hunting drive by chasing ptarmigan barefooted, over the tundra, flinging arrows.  They cunningly dodged our arrows until at the age of six I learned to shoot for the heads and we began bringing home dinner.  It wasn’t long before our mother put a two-a-day limit on our hunts and we were only allowed to hunt birds once off our 40 acre homestead.

 

My father’s rule for hunting caribou was that we reach the height of our five foot mother’s shoulder and prove competent with whatever gun we chose. Despite many attempts to stretch myself, I had to wait until age nine before I could take my first caribou. It was a beautiful bull from one of the winter herds that moved through our secluded valley. This was the first time I was filled with such a vast amount of pride in providing for my family, a real sense of self and such intense despair at having taken an animal’s life.  All hunts to this day have paled in comparison.

 

In my early teens, I started questioning my desire to hunt. Was it something I did only because it was ingrained in me from early on? I had hunted since childhood and at age eleven I was going into the field to learn the skills of a hunting guide.  By sixteen though I had hunted enough to know I was hunting for my own reasons.  I hunt because of the delight I feel in the wilderness, surrounded by the animals’ environment. It is the feeling of testing my limits; the emergence of some primitive self.  I never feel as alive or trust in my instincts as much as I do when hunting. Nothing else gives me the sweep of emotions, from pure elation to the entwined sadness that follows. My father always said, “The day you quit feeling sad over a life you have taken is the day you quit hunting”. I came full circle and knew I would be a huntress for life when I found the quote by Jose Ortega Y Gasset, “One does not hunt in order to kill but kills in order to have hunted”.

 

By eighteen, I had earned my Alaskan guide license and pilot’s license because I had decided guiding was the life for me. I attended theUniversityofIdahofor the bird hunting and spent many hours chasing chukars, huns, pheasants and quails. Back inAlaskaI guided hunters on successful moose and brown bear hunts and made time to hunt caribou and bears in the interior as well as black tail deer on Kodiak for myself.  I made a few trips toNew Zealandand hunted chamois and red deer.

 

My love of hunting and the outdoors inspired me to take a role in education.  I become an instructor for Alaskan Hunters Education as well as an instructor and eventually director of Classroom with a View, a nonprofit outdoor education program based inAlaska. We take teenagers on backpacking courses where we teach ecology, conservation, appreciation for wilderness and leadership.  As a guide I am able to educate and inspire young women in the field of hunting and find it most rewarding to guide female hunters.  I had the honor of guiding the 2010 Dianna Award winner Charlotte Pyrek for brown bear but have equally enjoyed guiding novice female hunters as nothing beats the enthusiasm of a first time hunter.

 

Many of my dreams formed back at our remote homestead have been fulfilled by helping run the family guiding business, guiding hunters, working with youth, and hunting for myself and my family. When I have children I hope to teach them, as my father and mother taught me, to hunt, appreciate the land and animals for their own intrinsic value and to pass the tradition of hunting on. I hope my children have many dreams but above all I hope their dream will be to hunt.

Original Post Courtesy of The Prois Community – an inspiration