Wooden Duck Boat

The most time-consuming part of a boat, at least in terms of having a block of time to work on it, is putting the cloth and epoxy on the bottom of the boat. The combination of the cloth and epoxy reinforces and stiffens the bottom. It’s good to have 12 hours or so to dedicate to this as you have to keep building up the layers of epoxy and it works best if those layers don’t dry in between applications. If they do dry you have to sand it down before you add the next layer. Sanding would double the time needed for this project not to mention it’s almost impossible to sand it down and not destroy the cloth fibers. To apply the cloth, you first prepare the bottom and make sure the flat surfaces and the edges are sanded down. You then apply epoxy and get the area you will lay the cloth on wet. This helps the cloth to stay in place and makes it easier to saturate the cloth with epoxy later. Once the cloth is laid you then apply more epoxy. This first go takes a lot of epoxy to completely saturate the cloth. You have to get the epoxy into every fiber of the cloth. Its best to pour the epoxy out on top of the cloth and uses a squeegee of some kind to spread the epoxy evenly. Its work getting the glue into every fiber of the cloth. Once that is done […]

Wooden Duck Boat

Over the last couple of weeks, I installed the false floor to cover the foam board. This required a lot of epoxy to fill, cover, and seal the floor. After that was accomplished I moved the boat outside to take advantage of the warm weather and do some sanding. I removed the wires by cutting them and heating them until they melted the epoxy and pulled through. The holes will be epoxied later. I then sanded the edges to round them out and smooth the surface. I will still need to use some thickened epoxy to fill in holes and gaps before I put the fiber glass and epoxy on the bottom to strengthen the hull. My father made a removable yoke to use to hold the layout blind doors. I set it up to get an idea of where the door brackets will attach and how the layout blind cover will fit. It was a little nerve racking cutting up a perfectly good blind but it will work nicely. I’ll need to add some more cloth on the front end so that the blind cloth completely covers the boat. I think I might make flap doors for the front so that it makes it easier to store items during transportation and also makes a blind for my dog to hide in while on the hunt.

Wooden Duck Boat

Over the last couple of years, I have gotten into duck hunting. There is something about the water, birds, and the variety that both bring to the hunting experience that I have really come to appreciate. You get to pull the trigger more than once and it is certainly a challenge and humbling experience. I’ve heard a lot of waterfowl hunters say they are more bird watchers than hunters and that has certainly become true in my life. While you don’t have to hunt waterfowl over water to have success I find that water brings more beauty to the experiences. I had a lot of fun building my last boat and I knew that I wanted to build another boat if I had a chance. This is my chance. On my last boat I used the a design a friend made. This time I have created my own design. Obviously, the design is not that original or unique. You can do a simple search on the web and find plenty of boats that will look similar to mine. The main concerns I had for the boat were stability, size, and concealment. I wanted the boat to be stable and safe in the water. I wanted the boat to easily hold me and my gear and yet allow for one man to move it around. Finally, when I’m out hunting you need to conceal yourself and so I wanted to basically be able to turn the boat into a layout blind. […]

Spring

Spring seems to be here finally. I’ve been out and about enjoying the season. Mushrooms are popping up and I have found two batches, enough for dinner each night. Turkeys are gobbling but that season opens up mid next week and I thankfully have a week of vacation to enjoy it. I’ve also been transplanting a bunch of trees at the woods to create a screen and increase some habitat. its a lot of work but very satisfying. I was able to get some fishing in these last two days. First showing a friend how to fly cast and in the process caught a couple of small Blue Gills. Today I tromped through a river with a friend and caught nothing but still enjoyed the time out. While in the river we heard a tremendous crash of a rotten tree. When finished and drove back to the spot where I had left my truck we came across the tree. It was completely blocking the road. Lucky for us it was rotten so pretty light. Our only trouble was a couple of dazed squirrels who refused to leave their now destroyed house. My Bees are out and moving. I had two hives going into the winter and one survived and it is going pretty strong so hopefully I’ll be able to get a little bit of honey off of them. But it depends on the weather and spring honey flow.

Blood Moon

As the Lunar eclipse was taking place this morning I was climbing a tree and trying to get in some hunting between life and the rainy weather. Before the eclipse was over I had a doe down on the ground. It was the quickest hunt I have ever had. Between waking up and taking the shot it was 40 minutes tops. I had only been sitting in the tree for a couple of minutes before two doe and two fawn worked their way to me. My guess is they were heading to their beds and the tree I was in was on the way. The first doe was little more alert and actually spotted me in my stand 30ft up. She made her way behind some trees. Doe two was not looking around and she stood broadside to me at 20 yards. Clean shot, easy track, quick recovery and fresh meat for the winter. I’ll be sharing her with some friends this Sunday who will be playing a game and watching the new season of a great show. I’ll be fixing the tender lions of doe two and I’ve been inspired by MeatEater to fix the heart so I’ll be trying that for the first time. Beautiful morning watching a beautiful lunar eclipse and getting some beautiful fresh venison. St. Hubert, pray for our safety and success.

Hue

This spring I’ve done a lot of habitat improvement at the woods. With the help of a friend I cleared some scrub area to plant some small food plots in clover and did some hinge cutting to create thicker areas for deer bedding. By doing so I’ve already seen an increase in the number of deer and turkey on my trail camera. While checking my camera pictures last week one caught my eye and when I went back to it I laughed because in the shot it looks like a cross in the middle of a deer’s newly growing antlers. Of course I immediately thought of St. Hubert who as the story goes was chasing a deer when suddenly he saw the deer appear with a cross in its antlers. It was a life changing moment for Hubert. While this is not a life changing moment for me it is a nice reminder as to why I go to the woods and why I hunt and ultimately a reminder as to what I’m really chasing in life. Psalm 42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

Spring Hunting

Before I put the boat in the water and really start fishing I go turkey hunting. It’s been a bust since I left seminary and the happy and plentiful hunting grounds of southern Indiana. To be fair I really didn’t have a place to hunt my first three years but the last three I have had a place and while I don’t have the free time I had I still am able to get out a few days a season. I’ve always tried to take the week of the opener off because it always falls after Easter and I’m usually  ready for a few days off to recuperate from the slam that comes during Holy week and the last weeks of Lent. This year opening day happened to fall the Wednesday after Easter so I went to my woods and friends woods to look for turkey and some quite time away. It turns out that normally there is another season that coincides with turkey season and that is mushroom season and this year it turned out to be my best season. Our woods holds what are locally called the “Black” mushrooms. This subspecies (I guess they are subspecies but I really don’t know) are the earliest to come up and I have heard that if you have these you don’t normally have the other types which are “Yellow” and “Grey”.  Well I found a lot this year. My first day out found about 50 and then the rest of the […]

Another Winter Project

I have had a number of projects this winter. One of course is the 3-D board game that is complete and I should be posting some new pictures of it in about a month or so. Another project this winter was a shrine to St. Hubert at the woods. I’ve been wanting to make this for a number of years but just never go around to it. A couple of years ago we cut a poplar tree down but left the stump nice and high so that we could do something with it. I had thought of carving it but I really didn’t think I had the time or the skill to do the job that would like to do on a statue. Instead I settled on a shrine to St. Hubert. For those who do not know St. Hubert is the patron of hunters, which is ironic since his conversion had him give up the hunt. Over the years I have begun to incorporate him in and his intercessions into my prayers particularly when I hunt or am at the woods. This past year was a great year of hunting. I saw lots of deer nothing big but it was always a nice time in the woods whenever I would sit. For me seeing nature and spending some safe and quiet time in the woods is more important than getting “monster” buck. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see a big buck but realistically with my schedule it’s more likely […]

Sailing

I’ve always been fascinated by sailing and after going up to Lake Michigan for a couple of years I interested in learning how to sail. Lucky for me a couple at the parish had an old Sunfish sailboat sitting in their garage. The one problem was that the fiberglass body had a big hole in it so they have lent it to me to use as long as I patch the hole. Well the hole has been patched and I have gone sailing the last two Mondays. There has not been much wind these days but today was little better than last Monday. It’s fun to go out for a couple of hours and learn the ropes and learn how little wind can push me and a small boat around the lake.