Andy & Josh’s Steezy Boarding Adventure

Andy & Josh’s Steezy Boarding Adventure at Cascade Mountain.

ChairLiftRide

The conditions were great with light wind and the temperature ranging between the high 20s to low 30s.

 

Two videos straight from Cascade Mountain taken February 7, 2015. Andy and I filmed each other snowboarding. We both used our iPhones. First time filming each others steezy rides down the slopes. Glad Andy and I met our goal of not wiping out while on tape!

 

Recommend folks film themselves or others while snowboarding. It’s neat to look back at your run. You get to see yourself and friends snowboarding in a different perspective. You can also see your technique on film and how you turn and carve. Plus, it’s a memory you can watch again.

One tip for filming, or taking pics, with your phone is to hold your phone horizontal, I’ll have to remember this the next time if I continue filming while boarding. This makes me wanna get a GoPro!

cascade mountain black diamond run

One of my favorite things about snowboarding is looking out at the horizon when getting off the chairlift.

 

Relaxing view and awesome sunset while driving back on I 90/94.

 

Appreciating Nature While Outdoors

Appreciating Nature – God’s Creation 

snow on trees

Each time you’re afield, take time to appreciate nature; things that you can only observe from being outdoors. Sounds simple, though, do we always do this?

While out hunting during this past year, this thought came to mind, “enjoy the simple and come back for more.”

Slow… down… and enjoy the world around you; observe what’s around you. What’s the weather doing? How do the trees look? What’s above you? What are you walking on, dirt, sand, gravel, is there a marsh coming up?

Feel the sense of freedom of the great outdoors. Exploration makes up hunting as well as the shot itself. It’s just another reason why “smacking some birds” or “smoking a deer” are not the only things that make up hunting.

appreciating nature

Reached out to catch the snowflakes as they fell during Wisconsin’s late bowhunting season.

 

Take snowflakes for example. We have learned that snowflakes are geometric patterns either from articles, science class or pictures of them.  However, to actually hold a snowflake in your hand and make out their geometric design is awesome and in real time. It’s one of the mysteries of God’s creation. God created this world for us, you and I to enjoy.

A random thought here, It’s always amazing to me how the trees can grow upright, against gravity.

 

 

appreciate nature

Saw a fallen tree from a distance and pictured myself making a fort of it if I were stranded.

This post been in my head for a while so decided to take a break from the venison recipes to share. Next post will continue the venison recipe series.

Venison Meatballs

Venison Meatballs

 

venison meatballs and pasta

This was the first spaghetti meal with venison meatballs.

In the previous post, “the hunt continues,” I mentioned doing a series of posts on venison meals from my first deer. So, let’s start making venison meatballs!

Venison meatballs turned out to be a favorite way to use ground venison.

There’s two ways I prepared venison meatballs and I’ll share with ya the recipes below. First, we’ll go over the part that’ll make or break your venison meatballs: cooking time.

 

Cooking Time
For venison meatballs, 10-12 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees will get ‘er done. Anything over 12 and you start losing flavor, drastically. Less is more when it comes to cooking time, especially if you plan to reheat wild game meals for leftovers. This leads me to the next point: cook venison meatballs closer to 10 minutes so microwaving won’t over cook leftover venison meatballs.

venison meatballs

Prepare a 9×13 pan with butter or extra-virgin olive oil. Then place rolled venison meatballs, with ingredients added, in the pan. Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

You always need to be attentive and near the grill, oven or stove that you’re using to make a wild game or fish meal. Stand by the cooking source, do not leave it.

Two Venison Meatball Recipes To Try

Recipe 1) Using seasoning:.

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 lb ground venison

What you do:

Roll up ground venison with your hands. While rolling, shake on Italian seasoning and garlic powder. (*No measuring of spices required. This way, you’ll find some meatballs  will have more garlic, some more Italian season. Each one will have it’s own flavor, a surprise in every bite!) Place meatballs in a 9×13 pan pre-treated with either butter or extra-virgin olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil is meant for baking at high temps). Put pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Recipe 2) Using fresh onion and garlic:

  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 minced small onion
  • 1 lb ground venison

What you do:

Mince garlic cloves and small onion. Mix together the minced garlic and onion on cutting board. Roll venison meatballs into a ball with your hands. While rolling, sprinkle in minced garlic and onion mixture. Add as desired. Place meatballs in a 9×13 pan pre-treated with either butter or extra-virgin olive oil. Put in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Venison Meatballs-garlic and onion

Note: a butcher knife is the recommended knife for mincing. A sharp knife is a must.
I do not have a butcher knife, the knife pictured did the job becuase it was sharp!

(Before cooking my first deer, I had no desire to mince anything. Yet, when seeing minced garlic was an ingredient to making venison chili, I learned by watching “how to mince garlic” YouTube video. To me, hunting and fishing create a willingness to learn more about cooking.)

 

Next Venison Meal: Grilled Deer Heart 

 
 

Blessings: A First Deer

God blessed me with my first deer on September 21, 2013.

This day, and the preparation for this day, was filled with teamwork. Each venison meal brings back memories of the hunt I shot my first deer. It’s a great taste. There’s only one “first deer” for a hunter.

first deer

A trail camera about 30 yards from the tree I was sitting in captured me and my first deer. We found the deer the morning of September, 22. I dragged it from the brush to the clearing.

It was a calm September evening. I was sitting 20 feet up a tree listening to a Tom turkey calling, while anticipating any kind a movement from a deer. All of a sudden tall grass was moving in the distance. Then, lower branches of a tree on the edge of a cornfield began to shake. (If I was sleeping, I would have missed the subtle movement, and possibly, my first deer.)

Deer were walking through the woods towards the cornfield.

My heart began pumping quicker as the deer kept walking. I couldn’t make out if the two deer were bucks or does at this point because they were in the brush.

At first it seemed they were heading into the cornfield. Next minute, it seemed as if they were heading towards me. A few seconds passed and, sure enough, the deer were heading my way!

Instantly, my heart started to pound and my breathing increased. They were closer and out of the heavy brush, one was a buck, the other a doe.

Both deer stopped at a clearing about 40 yards away. Suddenly, the buck started walking towards me. He then stopped abruptly, shook his head violently and jogged back towards the clearing’s edge where the doe was standing still. I asked myself, “Did he get wind of me or hear me breathing hard?” (I jokingly wondered if they could hear my heart because it was still pounding.)

To my surprise, the doe he was with began walking in, hugging the treeline beside the clearing. Closer and closer she game. She then stopped and began feeding. She was 20 yards from me.

whitetail doe

The buck followed this doe. The trail camera captured the doe that was with the buck I took.

The buck, still at the clearing’s opening, started towards the doe following her path. As the buck walked closer, I could tell it was a young buck. As he continued to walk into a comfortable shooting range, about 20 yards, his walking slowed. Aiming for the rib cage I released my arrow. Thunk! I heard and saw the arrow hit.

Upon impact, the buck dashed towards the West through the treeline and into tall grass. Turning away from the cornfield ahead of him, he stayed in the tall grass and made a half circle back towards the woods. I took mental pictures of that path and continued to look where I heard him last.

Man, was I shaken-up and full of adrenaline. I took several deep breaths while thinking, “I just arrowed my first deer! I get to eat venison! Now I must wait 30 minutes before I start after him.” It was 6:30 when I shot him. (Rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes before looking for a deer, especially in bowhunting.)

 Patience In A Tree
That was a long 30 minutes. I spent it thanking God for this hunt, praying my hit was as solid as it looked and observing nature. My heart rate gradually fell as I looked towards the sky. Also figured this was a good time to pull out my phone to remember how high I was. It was clear and the sun was shining on the cornfield enhancing its golden color. Most leaves were still green with a few turning color this second weekend of bow season.

When my pocket watch f i n a l l y reached 7 o’clock, I slowly climbed down the the ladder-stand. Walking towards where I shot the buck, I heard movement behind my treestand. I paused and questioned myself, “Am I starting too soon?” Silence shortly followed, so I continued to where I remembered the deer take-off after the shot. I found tracks, blood and a few feet further, my arrow. The arrow provided proof it was a good hit. There was red blood and it didn’t have a foul smell.

I found blood and started tracking until I came across a small creek and lost the blood trail. It was now 7:20 and getting dark. I took out my flashlight but could not pick up a blood trail again. Because of the movement I heard early on, I turned back and headed to camp to get advice of more experienced hunters.

Sunset while deer hunting

Walking back to camp that evening, I turned to admire the sunset.

 Around 8PM
Back at camp, I told my hunting party I had hit a deer, felt confident of my shot, lost the blood trail and asked for advice. After seeing my arrow, they also said it was a good hit. We headed back out after the deer.

Arriving at my stand, I picked up the initial blood trail and we all continued to follow it. Finding more of the trail than I did, we found an area of heavy blood and it seemed as if this was the end of the blood trail. We decided to head back and return in the morning.

 Is It Morning Yet?
The night was long. Prayer and anxiety made it tough to fall asleep. I was still replaying the shot in my mind.  Although I was confident of my shot, I was questioning the hit since we were going back out in the morning to look for the deer.

Morning came. We headed out to begin the search. Not long after searching, we found my first deer! The deer was about 50 yards behind the tree I was sitting in. It was found beside a tree in thick brush.

Holding my first deer.

Fulfillment is the best word to describe how I felt walking up to the deer and laying hands on it. Though hunting is a solo sport, it took teamwork for my first deer and I appreciate everyone that helped.

I have been gun deer hunting since 13 and started bowhunting in 2012. Although I didn’t get a deer in 2012, I learned hunting skills and bowhunting preparation that was crucial in getting my first deer on September 21, 2013. The friends and family who helped out are as much a part of this as myself.

Blacksmith For A Night

A while back there was an older movie involving the career of a blacksmith on a local TV channel that caught my attention as I was making dinner.

Although I do not remember the name of the movie, I do remember the setting…

The setting of the movie takes place in early century England. The main characters are a blacksmith and his family. Watching the program reminded me how fascinated I am with the job of a blacksmith, so, I jotted down the following:

If I lived back when blacksmiths were popular, I would hope to be a blacksmith. Why? Well, I would enjoy the hard work, lifting heavy tools, making tools, becoming better at my craft and sharing knowledge with other blacksmiths.

Getting scars, burns and other wounds from the job would not deter me, but rather, encourage me.

Sitting back to admire my hard work would bring satisfaction. It’s the sweat, the heat of working by fire and forming the metal that interests me.

I desire the feeling of accomplishment along with thinking about ways to work smarter and harder. Working smart is finding ways to become efficient with your time so you can accomplish more. Working hard allows you to accomplish more with the additional free time. It’s a continual cycle that will streamline your workflow.

Knowing my hard work will be used in a practical way would keep me going. Through my actions I’m recognized; respected for the work of my hands. I love the idea of excelling at hard work; having something physical to show for my sweat is rewarding.

Enjoying Summer 2013

Well summer 2013 has come to an end. My blogging also came to an end this summer so am showing you folks what I’ve been up to.

Summer was filled with shore fishing new areas, learning to longboard goofy foot and finding a new campsite.

Summer 2013 by hookjsboard

Enjoyed the weather by fishing and longboarding .

H o o k e d
To most, it’s no surprise I incorporate fishing into my lifestyle, after all, I’m a sportsman! So of course, I had to fish on the way to visiting my girlfriend in Appleton.

There’s a bridge that crosses over Lake Butte Des Morts; while driving up to Appleton on highway 41. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to fish. “There’s gotta be fish in there,” thinking to myself while looking at the lake each time I drove over the bridge.


View Larger Map

This summer I made a decision to finally fish Lake Butte Des Morts. Going in with the mindset I might not catch anything didn’t stop me.

I decided to turn this into a camping trip after finding Hickory Oaks Campground near Oshkosh.

camping

My campsite at Hickory Oaks Campground, close to highway 41 and Lake Butte Des Morts.

 

 

Fishing Lake Butte Des Morts, I was expecting bass since there are overhanging trees, weed patches and lily pads to cast towards. Ended up with a northern pike:

 

 

Mepps Spinner

Pike fought hard and nailed the mepps so viciously it bit off one of the hooks! Fish story! That kinda happened.

– Although the pike attacked the spinner, one hook was previously cut off to free it from a backpack. –

 

 

B o a r d i n g
Besides fishing, long boarding has become another way to enjoy free time this summer. At the beginning of summer I set a goal to learn goofy foot. In longboarding,(and other board sports), you have two stances: regular and goofy. Goofy is with your right foot forward on the board. Regular is with your left foot forward on the board.


Your shoes are the brake pads when longboarding. You drag your heel on the ground to stop. Seeing as I hate shoe shopping, I decided to learn goofy foot so I can wear my shoes evenly, making them last longer. (Plus, the less I have to buy shoes the more $ I can put towards fishing. fishing > long boarding).

Normal foot

Regular is my natural stance for long boarding and snowboarding. Regular is with your left foot forward.

Learning goofy has been a success though more practice wouldn’t hurt! More fishing wouldn’t hurt either…

After writing this post am realizing that summer has, once again, went too fast.

Any of you got fishing stories from summer 2013? Any longboarders out there with goofy foot tips? You try anything new for summer 2013?

After The Catch

After the catch, from the lake to the plate.

Do you fish? Do feel the fishing and cooking connection? Patience and persistence are mentioned the most when it comes to fishing. Something that happens after the catch should be caught as well, cooking.

after the catch

Bluegills grilling with green peppers and onions.

There are few more rewarding things than eating the fish you catch. While eating my catch, I remember a few things: being on the lake baiting my hook -or- casting a lure, and feeling anxious for when your bobber will go under -or- strike will occur.

Now, you’re eating the fish that took your bobber under. It’s why preparing your catch brings the fishing trip full circle.

Cleaning fish has always been part of my fishing experiences, thanks to my Dad who taught me ways to clean and prepare our catch. After cleaning the next step is cooking, therefore, the work begins when we decide to keep the fish for dinner, and was finished when we did the dishes after enjoying our catch.

Life Lessons
Cleaning fish teaches responsibility because if you wait too long to clean fish, they’ll spoil. This responsibility leads to being a steward of the land and to make sure you wisely use what you take from the water.

Thus, this connects fishing to cooking. I need to learn how to cook so I can eat my catch. Fishing prepared me for when I’d be living on my own.

When I fish I see an opportunity to catch a meal, and because I am on my own I need to be able to cook on my own. This is why I come to the conclusion that fishing is my bridge to cooking.


By Josh Schwartz 2013. This is the second part of how fishing’s a bridge to cooking. Fishing is Josh’s favorite activity in the outdoors. Catch and release and a responsible harvest are practiced.

Fishing’s A Bridge To Cooking

Fishing’s A Bridge To Cooking

The reason why fishing’s a bridge to cooking is because I’ve picked up on certain aspects of cooking from eating the fish I catch. The lessons below are what I have learned from making fish and can be applied to other game dishes. Read on!

Fishing's A Bridge To Cooking

Crappie are some of the best eating fish. Sometimes I just just use olive oil and a little lemon pepper.

How Not to Overcook
You can tell when fish is done when the flesh is flakey and white. Use this as a measuring stick whether you’re grilling, baking or pan-frying. It’s good to know when fish/meat is done so you know the warning signs of when it’s starting to overcook.

Simply, keep an eye on your food and check it often. You’ll have better success grilling if you don’t “grill it and forget it.”

For deep-frying, when the breading is a light brown it’s done. If it’s a dark brown it’s going to be over cooked. Watch the fish as it’s in the fryer so you can see the different color phases.

Cleaning Fish
Learning to fillet fish comes in handy when cleaning other game since the concept of following along the bone to remove as much meat as possible still applies.

You can scale and gut your catch. Simply scale the fish. Cut off head. Gut it. When cooking, you can stuff the fish with vegetables and seasoning of your choice.

Variety Of Techniques
I’ve used a stove, deep fryer, grill, and oven to make fish. It taught me what to use to make fish, and how to use appliances. I’ve use the these skills to make other food.

Grilling fish introduced me to using tinfoil and oil for cooking.

Learn As You Cook

  • Cutting up vegetables is something I learned when preparing fish.
    Cook your fish with green peppers and onions for great flavor. The flavor is not too strong since you can still taste the fish itself.
  • Side dishes complete meals, and rice goes great with fish.
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning is great with fish. Less seasoning is better while cooking. This allows people to season as they desire while eating fish. You can’t remove excess seasoning from cooked food.
Fishing's a bridge to cooking

Fish seasoned lightly with lemon pepper, in a tin foil boat ready for the grill.

Ask questions and experiment with different spices, methods, and species of fish; it’s the only way to expand your cooking ability, and understand the flavor of each fish. Some stomach meat on fish is good, others not so much.

A great resource for fish cooking ideas is Sporting Chef Scott Layeth; check out his list of fish recipes.

Try the spices and ingredients you have in your pantry and garden to use them in new ways. This is why fishing is a bridge to cooking. Once you cross the bridge to cooking you’ll start knowing what methods you prefer and can share with other fisherman.

Tight lines and good eatin’!

By Josh Schwartz 2013. This is the first of a two part series on how fishing’s a bridge for cooking. Read the second post on Connecting Fishing To Cooking. Fishing is Josh’s favorite activity in the outdoors. Catch and release and a responsible harvest are practiced.

Favorite Bass Lures

bass lures

Favorite bass lures.

Do you have any favorite lures? Recently, I put a list together of favorite bass lures for Sportsman Channel’s blog.

These lures are the ones I tie on frequently and have had the most strikes on.

From these lures the buzzbait and jig & twister tail have also proven effective for northern pike. I have landed many northern pike on the jig & twister combo. The cool thing about the twister tail is that it appeals to rock bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and walleye.

With the Wisconsin fishing opener around the corner, I plan to tie on the lures as well.

What are your favorite bass lures? Good luck to all this fishing season!

Feeling The Passion

feeling the passion

A journey out during late bow season in WI, December 2012.

One Saturday morning, before the bank opened, I threw in the Dropped: Project Alaska season 1 DVD to kill some time.

Thoughts flooded my mind on my passion for hunting. I began to clearly think how much I enjoy hunting and I began to feel the yearning to get outside.

Watching, I related to Chris and Casey Keefer’s frustration of not seeing game.

I mainly hunt public land. It’s got heavy hunting pressure. Therefore, when hunting, my goal changes from shooting a deer to just finding sign, to just seeing deer. You see, finding fresh sign feels like success. It provides a lift to keep hunting.

Hunting is sometimes about working backwards, coming back to the drawing board and always adapting to conditions and finding ways to remain positive.

About The Pursuit
To me hunting is seeking, seeking to be successful at finding, shooting and eating game.

And that means hunting is a journey to find game. I’ve determined this is what makes hunting addicting. It’s still a journey whether you fill your tag or go home to prepare tag soup.

In the journey you’ll witness aspects of yourself and make memories with those you hunt with. You’ll experience the elements of nature. Rain and wetness. Sun and heat. Wind and cold. Fear and respect. You’re taking in knowledge and teaching by giving knowledge.

The challenge of hunting is part of the journey that’s addicting. Now, this is something I wonder: Is this how you feel? Is this how hunter’s who have taken slams still feel?

This is a second post on thoughts about hunting.