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Smoke School Stories
Christmas 2009 is over, Duck and Deer Hunting
Christmas is finally over, I still have a few bucks left over, the Christmas tree is back in the barn, the Saints may win the Super Bowl and Hell may Freeze over. Angie, Aaron, and I have returned form our annual Indiana Christmas adventure. Father-in-law Joe Funk said it was good to see us come and it was good to see us go. Fish and company all stink after 3 days. Bless his heart, he cooked sausage biscuits, eggs, and gravy everyday and he is 87 years old. I intended to do some Indiana duck hunting and pulled my mule and took Annie my million dollar duck dog. I looked all over Indiana and could not find any ducks, they all flew to Louisiana south for the winter. I did find a nest of Bald Eagles by the river close to Petersburg Indiana. the home of baseball legend Gill Hodges. They need to change Christmas to July- Robert Counselman from Campbell's Soup, please take care of that prayer. I hate driving north for Christmas, the temperature falls 10 degrees every 100 miles. We should learn a lesson from the ducks.
Joe Funk liked our duck dog Annie. This really surprised us all because Angie remembers her childhood when Joe's attitude on the farm was animals are for eating, riding, milking, catching rats, and that was all. He never let any pets in the house. I brought a dog crate and was prepared to let Annie sleep on the back porch. But Joe had no problems with Annie in the house. When I woke up early in the morning to make a pot of coffee, I looked into the open door of Joes bedroom and there was Annie on the floor beside the bed and Joe was sleeping with his hand on her head. So I got this wild hair and decided that Joe needed a dog for Christmas. I searched the internet and found a black lab duck hunting dog in Evansville. The guy wanted $500 for the dog and we felt like that as a bit high with no guarantee that Joe would like the dog and let it stay in the house. So Angie and I snuck over to the nearest dog pound in Petersburg where we got a mutt for $40. The pound lady swore the mutt was fully house broke but the second day the mutt chewed the steering wheel cover off of Joes car while I was in Walmart for 4 hours making last minute Christmas Shopping. He also chewed up his dog blanket that I had purchased and some of the furniture.
So the next day we took the mutt back to the pound and drove down to Evansville to buy the $500 duck dog. Joe quickly got attached to this duck dog until the first morning and the duck dog had pooped in the house in 403 places. I stopped payment on the check and took the dog back. Joe said he would pay me $500 if I would not get him a dog. Well the best made plans do not always work out.
Angie's brother Joey Funk made it home to Indiana to be with the family Christmas Eve. He arrived from his rental trailer in Dalton Georgia where he works for Shaw Carpet Company. We expected him to be there a week, but bright and early Christmas morning his landlord called to inform Joe that during the night a tree fell on his trailer. Joey had to drive back to Georgia Christmas afternoon to find a new place to live. He has been paying $300 a month rent for the same trailer for 30 years now. Joe likes to work, drink beer, ride his Classic Harley Davidson, and fish and that is about all. Joey gave me an extendable spoon and fork for Christmas. They expand out about 4 feet. It is really nice. I can sit at Applebee's and eat a bite of steak from the neighbors table without getting caught. I am not worried about pig flue. I asked Joey if he wanted to go duck hunting with me and he refused. He said he gave up hunting shortly after he moved to Georgia because he was tired of getting lost in the woods in the mountains. He said he got lost one time for 3 days and a bear found him. He should have left that Doe IN Heat at the house. The most amazing story Joey ever told me was about the time he hitched hiked across the Mojave Desert on a horse with no name. After he graduated from the Marine Corp he hitched from San Francisco to Vincennes Indiana with a blood hound. He was stranded in the desert for 3 days and sun burnt all the hair off his head and it never grew back.
Other than that, this is how we spent Christmas 2009. While in Indiana we did see my daughter Heather and grandbaby Keyda and that was great. They had a good Christmas. I really miss them and wish they would move down here so I could see them every so often.
On the way back home to north Louisiana we stopped in Stuttgart Arkansas the duck hunting capitol of the world. We stopped by the Waterfowl Rigging Store where I learned that the ducks were not flying in at the time. They suggested that we drive above Little Rock to the Bald Knob National Wildlife Reserve. We arrived at Bald Knob at 3PM and saw thousands and thousands of ducks- I am from Sportsman's Paradise Louisiana and I have never even dreamed of seeing that many ducks at one time- the sky was literally black. Someone must have prayed for a million bucks and said the word wrong. You could only hunt from 5AM until 12 noon so we found a hotel and arrived before the rooster crowed the next morning. The bottom fell of the temperature gauge and we nearly froze to death. We saw a few flocks of ducks but they were up there in the stratosphere with the Federal Express Planes and they could not hear my electric duck call. The ducks gradually started flying closer to the pond about 10AM but by then my fingers were so frozen that I cold not pull the trigger. As we were driving the mule back close to the truck, we noticed about 50 ducks swimming on the pond by the truck, but my fingers were cold and my toes hurt so we left.
We have been home now about a week or so and I have been deer hunting nearly every day. Before we left for Indiana I walked across the road about 100 feet from the mailbox. I took Annie the million dollar duck dog with me. She ran around the woods under that giant white oak trees for a few minutes sniffing for quail. Then she came over and laid on the ground where I was napping against the trunk of a white oak tree. Annie woke me up barking at something. I opened my eyes and there he was friends and neighbors in all of his radiant beauty- the 3O point buck. He was created by God for Outdoor Magazine. I said look out deer, I'm a gonna put you in your coffin- I am John Wayne, G I Joe, Clint Eastwood, and Dirty Harry. The massive dear looked at me and grunted, showed me a white flag, and there he was --- gone. I have been all over the world searching for the World's Greatest Deer, the 3O point buck and all along he lived across the street in a thicket. Click here to go bear hunting with a switch
I had Jason and Wendell built me a nice box deer stand next to thicket where the giant trees shaded out the underbrush and they put out 3 corn feeders. then we dumped deer cocaine , salt licks, and molasses. Then they put up a wildlife camera. I haven't seen any deer since the first day- I think the 30 point buck went back to Wisconsin. I think 30 point bucks get to be 30 point bucks because they are smart. I think that deer knows my address. He is out there now and he can see me sitting here at this kitchen table and he can hear the pecks on the keyboard. Whenever he hears me open the front door, he lays down further in the thicket and sticks his head up to see where I am a going. If I don't get in the truck and drive away, then he just lays there until I go back in the house. And that is the way it is.
Earlier this week we took the camera down and plugged it into this computer to learn if we were in fact feeding real dear. I had several real nice photos of a momma deer and two yearlings. I had a few pictures of the deer having a conversation with a raccoon near the corn feeder. In a few pictures there was a 4th dear lingering at the background and you can't quiet make it out. I guess that is the 30 point buck daddy. In Louisiana the deer season is open until January 17 and you can shoot either sex deer on private land. The average age of a Louisiana deer is 1 1/2 years because the gun season is open from November to February. I may give up hunting because I don't think I have the heart to shoot Bambi nor her babies and I think the 30 point buck is to illusive. The motion sensor camera only got one picture during the daylight and that was around noon. I have been worried about my deer family across the street not having enough food for the winter so I poured out buckets of corn all over the clearing and put out a great pile of turnip greens. During the spring I am going to plant a food plot for them to supplement the giant acorns.
Besides the nocturnal habits of the deer, it has been too cold to hunt for very long. I have a propane heater for the deer stand but the propane don't last very long. We are having an unusual cold snap and last night it got colder here than in Alaska. it is colder than a well diggers ass in China. Right now at 5 AM the thermometer outside the porch says it is 10 degrees. Normally it would be 30 to 60 degrees about now and that is why I moved back south. My bones, fingers, and toes hurt and I hated shoveling snow when we lived in Indiana for 5 years. What ever happened to Global Warming?
For some reason, perhaps my love for the great outdoors, the good Lord called me to work in environmental since 1976. I have been following all of this Global Warming stuff since the beginning. At first I swallowed every word they had to day. Then the meteorologist pointed out that we were also breaking records for the coldest temperatures, so the government shifted the terminology to Climate Change. Show me one meteorologist that will back up the claim for Global Warming or Climate Change. I think it is all just normal cycles in earth temperatures. I wrote a story about his earlier. I think it is all a plot for One World Government or One World Order. I think they want to shut down all of our factories so we can buy more cars from Japan and more underwear from China. I remember an old joke that I heard about World War 2.
The United States Marine Corp bomb squad reported on the Motorola that they had found an old rusted unexploded bomb on the streets of London. They scrapped some of the rust off and read, "Made in Japan". The commander reported back- not to worry, it is one of ours. And fiends and neighbors, that is the way it is.
Pictures we captured of the deer and the coons at night
This is Jason caught in the headlights. These woods are beautiful. This was taken accross the street about a hundred feet from my mailbox. I had forgotten about the camera the other night while I was riding the mule to put out more corn and some turnip greens for the deer. The camera flash nearly gave me a coronary.
Bambi and her 2 babies digging in the dirt for Deer Cocaine
Deer and raccoon eating in harmony
Baby Deer speaking to Rocky Raccoon
The only picture we had during the first 2 weeks of the deer feeding in the daylight. All of your hunters take notice that this is the middle of the day. This deer appears to be waiting for the corn feeder wheel to turn so he or she can eat.
Boudreaux and the 12 Days of Christmas
It ain't over until the fat cat sings
smoke school stories and family stories
What to bring
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