It IS that time of the year! Morning are finally a bit cooler. Here in my part of south-central Texas the daily average high temperature is finally below 100-degrees. But this, after numerous weeks of highs reaching 110 and occasionally higher for short periods of time. Temperatures that were reminiscent of time I spent hunting in Benin in northwestern Africa a few years ago. Tim Fallon and I had ventured there primarily in search of western savannah buffalo and western roan antelope with Chelet Safaris. We had been warned it would be hot, and that as soon as we departed camps would be closed because of the extreme heat. Both Tim and I lived in southern Texas, we erroneously thought we could “handle hot temperatures.”
First day into the hunt when we realized that daytime heat would approach and exceed 120-degrees and night-time meant the temperature merely dropping to a balmy 100-degrees, we were questioning “Why?” and particularly “Why now?” Each morning before leaving camp, we filled a 5-gallon buck with water and put it the darkest part of our small room. Doing so was to keep it cool enough so upon returning from the day’s hunt we could use it to take a “somewhat” cleansing and refreshing “wash off.” But only using a portion of it. Because when bedtime came, thankfully we each had our own room, it meant stripping down to nothing, dunking a large terry towel into the remaining water, squeezing out the access. They lay down on the bed and cover your body with the wet towel, hoping evaporation would keep you cool enough to sleep for a couple of hours. Then a little over an hour later get up and again wet the towel for another brief sleep, repeating the process throughout the night. In that instance the “Why?” was self-explanatory. If you did not do so, it was far to hot to sleep!
Meanwhile back home, this morning upon stepping onto our newly added back-porch I noticed upon opening the back door “things” felt differently than the days before. Instead of being met with a temperature much warmer outside rather than inside…Have I ever told you cool “air-conditioned air” inside a house in southern Texas IS the world’s greatest and best invention ever. This morning it was actually cooler outside than inside our home!
I hurried back inside, poured a cup of cowboy coffee and immediately headed back outside. An early riser all my life, I sat down in the cooled pre-dawn darkness to enjoy the start of another great day, this one made even greater due to the cooler air stirred by a slight northerly breeze.
I breathed deeply. Even the air smelled “better,” an alluring aroma of the first signs of fall. Finishing my coffee, I walked back into the house and to my office, where I turned on my computer and sent a message to my dear old friend Jim Zumbo, secreted in his home west of Cody, Wyoming. I typed a message explaining to Jim we finally had a morning low temperature of 70-degrees. Minutes later I got his response. “Would have gotten back with you sooner but had to stoke the fire. On the cool side here this morning. Just checked it’s 38-degrees on our back porch. Expected high today is 70!” Then there it was, a question. “Why aren’t you in Wyoming?”
I responded, “Living in Texas is cheaper than a divorce! My wife doesn’t like the cold!”
Jim’s response, “Madonna does!” I knew he was smiling….
I responded, “I was bragging about our morning temperatures finally being below either your or my age!” I also contacted Jim to say “Thank You!” for writing the Foreword to a book Luke Clayton and I had recently finished. The manuscript was sent to our printer/publisher a couple of days earlier. Initially I had sent Jim some sample chapters with a request. He graciously agreed to write the Foreword for us.
The new soon available book is titled CAMPFIRE TALK. It is fashioned upon the campfire theme that can be found in numerous things Luke and I do; “Campfire Talk with Luke and Larry” a weekly podcast we do for Sporting Classics and their Sporting Classics Daily internet site; “Campfire Talk” the weekly radio segment I have been doing with Luke Clayton on his radio show since 2007; and “DSC’s Campfires with Larry Weishuhn” the weekly podcast I do on podcast sites including Apple Podcast, Stitcher, IHeart podcasts waypointtv.com, carbontv.com and numerous others.
Our tome is a collaboration between Luke and me. It has 41 chapters which are comprised of articles and columns he and I have written during the past few years. The chapters cover such varied subjects as hunting and cooking wild hogs, which Luke excels in; hunting whitetail and mule deer; wild turkey hunting tips; hunting black bear; things “we have et”; and simply some fun writing/reading as well. Once our new book is printed and becomes available, we will make various announcements. CAMPFIRE TALK will likely be available on Luke’s website www.catfishradio.org, thru Sporting Classics Books, Amazon, and numerous other sources and places.
As to the question “Why another book?” I personally like books with covers and pages. To me there is something “comfortable”, “comforting” and “real” about taking book in hand and sitting down to read from real paper pages.
As to the question “Why a book with Luke?” Luke Clayton has long been a very dear and trusted friend, truly a friend amongst friends. With my lifestyle I have many “acquaintances” and “friends” but very few “true friends”. The kind of “friend” I can call in the middle of the night and say, “Help! I’m stuck in the mud twenty miles from the nearest paved road, can you please come get me, then hang up the phone and know they will be there as soon as earthly possible!”
Over the years I have spent time with some the finest and best outdoorsman in the world. Those who truly know how to hunt and fish, clean and cook game, find their way around the woods without a GPS, know how to accurately shoot bows, muzzleloaders, shotguns, rifles and handguns proficiently, and when the day is done sit around the campfire and regale those in attendance with a great tale of hunting’s daring and do. Luke is all those things and many more. He IS the real deal and someone as those of another era would have said of, “Someone to ride the river with!”
Luke and I, as you can imagine, are already planning another book. We will release that one in late 2024.
I too will personally have another book arriving on the scene later this fall. This one will be about hunting deer in North America, including mule deer, Columbian and Sitka blacktail, Coues whitetail and of course “regular” whitetail. The working title is “Deer Addictions”. As we get closer to the release date, which should be later this fall, I will let you know about it. As well as where it will be available.
Why another deer hunting book, you asked? In the past I have written four of the eight books I have written books specifically about hunting whitetail deer. All but one, are now out of print. But even those which are can usually be found on Amazon and other sites. The book that is still readily available is one I co-authored with my long-time friend, J. Wayne Fears. It’s titled “Deer Hunting, East and West” and is available through SkyHorse Publishing, Amazon and elsewhere.
Deer hunting in North America is dynamic and ever-changing, even if I wish some things were still the way they were thirty to forty years ago. With each hunt I have learned and continue learning something about deer their habits and their habitat; this as a professional wildlife biologist who long specialized in North American deer management, but, also a dedicated life-long hunter. With my new DEER ADDICTIONS book I hope to entertain the reader, and, while doing so “impart a wee bit of knowledge” about what I have learned, but while also telling a good and sometime fun story.
As mentioned earlier in this missive, finally at least in my part of Texas, there is a “feeling of Autumn in the air.”
Now, I am asking a question of myself. “Which Mossberg Patriot rifle am I taking on my next deer hunt, or,will it be a Taurus Raging Hunter, or, both?” There are two constants that will remain the same with this question. All my Mossberg Patriots rifles are scoped with either Trijicon’s AccuPoint or Huron scope, all my Taurus Raging Hunters, regardless of caliber/round are equipped with Trijicon SRO red-dot sights, and all love appropriate Hornady ammo when it comes to accuracy and down range performance. Will it be my Mossberg Patriot chambered for .270 Win, .30-06, .450 Bushmaster or 7mm PRC, and/or my Taurus .44 Mag, .454 Casull, or .460 S&W Mag?
Questions and decisions!
Frankly I am leaning toward taking them all. Once in camp there will be plenty of time for a last moment selection.
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