Liberte Austin’s Hunting Digest: Hot Air, Electronic Decoys and Multi-Use Tents

I don’t think anti-gun, anti-fun politicians have enough hot air to power the Lone Star State’s soon-to-be-authorized hunting balloons. But they might . . .

Lawmaker urged Abbott to veto bill legalizing hot air balloon hog hunting –  A Republican lawmaker trying to convince Gov. Greg Abbott to veto a bill allowing the hunting of wild pigs and coyotes from hot air balloons wrote that it could lead to “future catastrophes” because of lax regulation of commercial ballooning.

“The serious problems that currently exist with hot air balloon flights were not adequately addressed during this bill’s consideration,” state Rep. John Cyrier wrote in the May 27 letter to Abbott, obtained recently by The Texas Tribune through an open records request.

Cyrier, whose hometown of Lockhart was the site of a deadly balloon crash last summer, added that he is “especially concerned that the bill creates a false sense of safety” when it comes to hot air balloons.

WTF- I don’t see a problem with technology?  If you want to hunt traditionally without the assistance of gadgets then to each his own.  You might as well start making your own weapons too. Drive?  Don’t drive to your hunt that’s too much technology, instead ride your horse or walk but please stop being a cry baby.

Hunting Changes Could Include Electronics – STROUDSBURG — Electronic waterfowl decoys, electronic heated scents or lure dispensers and electronic devices that mask human scent could soon all be legal for hunters to use in Pennsylvania. The State Game Commission recently gave preliminary approval to a measure that would legalize the devices.

“There is going to be change all the time. Most of the change is for the better. Some things are always going to be controversial and dealt with on an issue to issue basis. However, with these new decoys, I don’t see a big issue with them,” said Jerry Dunkleberger, Dunkleberger’s owner.

For anyone that thinks you can escape the long arm of the game warden, think again.  You get in more trouble for breaking a hunting law than getting caught with drugs in this country.

Man who disappeared into phragmites after illegal duck hunt owes $225

BAY CITY, MI — A Highland Township man who two years ago faded into a sea of phragmites to avoid repercussions for illegally hunting ducks has taken a plea deal. Damon A. Freeborn, 36, on Friday, June 30, appeared before Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer and pleaded guilty to single counts of attempted assaulting, resisting or obstructing police and general violations of wildlife conservation. Both charges are misdemeanors. In exchange, the prosecution agreed to dismiss a two-year felony count of assaulting, resisting or obstructing police.

It’s summer and the season for camping. While your wife is sending you to pick up a tent go ahead and pick up one you can use for hunting too.

Kodiak Canvas 6010 Do you remember the good old days of camping in dad’s or grandpa’s canvas army tent? Those tents lasted for decades. Then suddenly, you couldn’t find them anywhere.

People were content with the cheaper nylon tent giving up the quality and rigidity to save a few dollars. The canvas tent has made quite the comeback. The quality is amazing and the reviews speak for themselves. They include a lifetime warranty giving your family a quality tent that can be used for decades.

In a sense they are more than just a camping tent, but a shelter for emergencies. Hundreds of Kodiak tents were shipped to Haiti after the infamous earthquake giving families refuge from the storm and comfort in a natural disaster. Many customers purchase these for camping, but have the peace of mind that comes with the emergency preparedness aspects.

It’s hot out and you need a cooler on that hike . . . oh wait use a cooler backpack!  What a perfect way to carry your sandwich and juicebox.  I’m obsessed with ORCA cooler products lately . . . YETI who?

14.25 Quart Backpack Cooler. Hello Podster! The ORCA Pod backpack cooler now comes in a handy day pack size. You’ll find it has most of the same features as our full size Pod, such as padded shoulder straps and cross-chest adjustable T-strap, just in a sportier size.. Molle webbing is also featured, allowing for carrying all those extra outdoor necessities. The ORCA Podster is made for day hikes, short trips, and everywhere in between.

Here’s another great Fall hunt to look forward to.  On my recent trip to Wyoming, I saw pronghorn antelope everywhere.  This is definitely a hunt I will be going on soon.  These beautiful creatures can run at speeds up to 55 miles per hour!

Pronghorn Antelope Hunting Tips and Tactics – Besides a rifle capable of long-range precision, you need good optics and bullets with high ballistic coefficients that are relatively unaffected by the nudges of the relentless prairie wind.

The great challenge of pronghorn hunters, however, is not making long-range shots but seeing how close you can get to the wary animals. Use terrain features—dry streambeds, heavy sage stands, and even the rolling hills of the prairie itself—to hide your approach, and then belly-crawl the last few yards until you can set up for a shot. I wear volleyballers’ kneepads and heavy leather gloves for this ambush, since cactus and sharp rocks are abundant.

It’s not too late to book your Fall bear hunt, you can still find spots available in Maine fully inclusive for around $2500 for black bear.

Fall Black Bear Hunting Tips for Gear, Stands, and Strategies – Anyone who thinks hunting bears over bait is easy, should try to a get a big mature male to come to a bait in daylight, and they’ll see just how hard it is. The less scent you leave at the bait, the better; if you can put enough bait out to there to last for a week, it’s better than baiting more regularly. The bigger bears, they’ll circle the bait on the way in, and they’ll smell your ground scent, and they’ll pattern you. Let’s say you’re normally baiting at noon, and the day you hunt you come in at 5 p.m. When a big boar circles and catches your scent he knows the difference, and that might be enough for him to back off and wait till dark. Before I hunt a stand I’ll make sure to check the wind using my ScoutLook Hunting app, to ensure it’s the right wind for that particular stand. To fool the biggest bears, you’ve got to be scent-conscious in everything you do.


  1. avatar Michael B. says:

    I don’t understand why anybody would want to hunt from a hot air balloon. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.”

      Sounds like an eye-watering *expensive* way to hunt for me.

      You will have near-zero way to change course while airborne, unlike ‘chopper hunting from a Robinson…

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Exactly. You have very little control over the balloon and if that balloon should somehow get perforated it’s a long way down.

        1. avatar Michael B. says:

          That too.

      2. avatar BradP says:

        One word, tethered.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “One word, tethered.”


          There won’t be a game animal for *miles* by the time you set up and inflate the balloon’s envelope….

        2. avatar Matt S says:

          If you’re going to be tethered you might as well just be sitting in a tree stand.

    2. avatar Drew says:

      No one needs 10+ rounds in a magazine either!
      (that was sarcasm but I hope you get the idea)

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Shooting down at hogs from a hot air balloon: Good.

    Shooting up at birds from a hot air balloon: Bad.

    Get it? Got it! Good.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Also shooting up at birds near a hot air balloon

      I want Dirigible hunting legalized; now that sounds classy!

  3. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

    Finally, it’s one of your Texas people (John Cyrier) and not one of our Florida RINO’s! I know this shouldn’t make me feel better but somehow it does.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      At least our RINO (John Cryier) is willing to “coauthor” and pass open carry. (Coauthor means the same thing as co-sponsor does in Congress).

      1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

        Oh we have no problems with getting the bill written and sponsored. Getting it out of committee for vote is where we get boned.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Yeah, we had that problem this term with most of our 2A laws. We got some good stuff that was introduced as something better and left the really good stuff either in committee, or it otherwise didn’t make it to the floor.

          My overall point is that this guy isn’t all bad. He probably only objected to this unregulated hot air balloon stuff because a bunch of his constituents recently died in a hot air balloon “accident.” When you don’t elect intelligent, principled people to represent you, you get the “do something” legislative initiatives.

  4. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Anyone who thinks hunting bears over bait is easy…”

    Eh, easy or hard, it ain’t hunting. It’s baiting… and closer to trapping than anything else.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Not the old “that’s not real hunting” response again…
      Well Liberte, here we go with this again – you want popcorn or chips?

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      Easy/hard, hunting/baiting/trapping. Who cares? The real question is do I get to shoot something, devour its flesh, and perhaps make a very fine hat* out of it?

      *Any article of clothing will do.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        I’ve never eaten bear before. Taste like chicken ? lol

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Neither have I, but I’ve heard both that it tastes good and that it doesn’t. Like most things, it probably has a lot to do with how you cook it.

        2. avatar PK says:

          Bear meat is stringy/full of gristle unless you spend quite a bit of time preparing it, and at that point you’ll have smaller pieces. If you keep that in mind, along with the stronger flavor, there are a wide variety of beef recipes that work very well. My personal favorite is bear Stroganoff.

  5. avatar MDH says:

    Cant wait to see the sky themed camo patterns. Death from above for hogs and varmints! God bless Texas!!!

  6. avatar jwm says:

    Does hunting from a balloon make sense? No. Is it expensive? Can’t see how it would be otherwise. Is it dangerous? More than it needs to be.

    Seems like it will do well in America.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    I remember those canvas tents. While it was raining if you touched the canvas it leaked. That’s the way I remember it. And they were heavy and smelled bad.

    1. avatar IdahoBoy says:

      I’ll second that. They were freaking heavy and difficult to set up as well. I do not mourn their passing.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I remember those canvas tents. While it was raining if you touched the canvas it leaked.”

      Watch the video, they claim it is ‘wick-proof’.

      It looks like it’s a neat tent, can be erected by one and is tall enough to stand up in.

      I’ve owned nylon fabric tents, they are fragile. This one packs up inside itself and looks rugged…

    3. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Yeah that whole ad copy made ZERO sense… I’m pretty sure people stopped buying those canvas tents in favor of nylon because it was LIGHTER. Its hilarious they claim it was to save a few bucks… in an ad for a $600 canvas tent. I mean, If I dropped 600 bucks on a nylon tent, I could get one MUCH larger, MUCH nicer and probably even as/more durable, that weighs easily 1/5 of that one does.

  8. avatar Tom in OregonM says:

    Finally got my bearskin rug from the taxidermist. Gorgeous blonde!
    I’ll be having some summer sausage from it at a party tomorrow.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Your taxidermist is a gorgeous blonde? Nice!

    2. avatar IdahoBoy says:

      If you’re getting a gorgeous blonde bearskin rug from the taxidermist, you must have a very bad taxidermist.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        It was a Californian bleach blonde bear, retired from the Coke ads

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Finally got my bearskin rug from the taxidermist.”

      If you don’t mind, in what approximate price range do services like that run?

      1. avatar Tom in OregonM says:

        Mine was $1,200. 200 per foot. A bit more than average. But the guy I prefer does really good work. I’ve used him before and appreciate his attention to detail. There are a few others fairly local, but a bad job will kill a reputation. They have bad reps. My guy has none.

    4. avatar Tom in OregonM says:

      Hmmm. Perhaps written wrong. Picture of the bear here…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Cinnamon – brown beautiful animal.

        Your daughter is lucky to have a dad like you…

  9. avatar Felix says:

    Fun factoid: You may have wondered why critters stick their white tails up when fleeing — rabbits, deer, you name it. Doesn’t that just make them easier to see?

    Some scientist, possibly a game-addicted grad student, was curious about that and developed a simple game which involved just keeping the mouse cursor on a a fleeing animal (the camera followed like a predator). Gamers did better if there were no white tail sticking up.

    His guess or conclusion was that the tail was enough of a contrast to be a distraction which slowed reflexes just a little. It seems plausible to me — focus on the tail and you don’t see the front-end turns quite as quickly.

    Similar problem with fighter combat. Pilots watch for changes in ailerons, rudder, and elevators to predict how the plane will turn. Simulator studies showed that intentionally uncoordinated movements slowed down reactions just a little. Thrust vectoring was a more dramatic distraction since it’s not nearly as easy to spot, and fly-by-wire planes can apparently use thrust vectoring to override what the control surfaces are signalling, meaning chasing pilots actually predict the wrong movement entirely.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Or maybe that white tail sticking up is just the animal’s way of telling the pursuer to kiss its ass.

  10. avatar Quasimofo says:

    Easy there, Pennsyltucky Game Commission, don’t want to rush yourselves into the 2nd half of the 20th century. Baby steps…

    Unfortunately, the fudds still won’t let us hunt on Sundays or use semiautos for big game…

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      I still don’t get how all those Sunday blue laws are still on the books. I mean a cross on public land as a memorial fallen military members is a violation of the 1A, but a bunch of laws that basically say that the only thing you can do on a Sunday is go to church isn’t?

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