Friday, January 13, 2017
This included setting up some of the new ham gear I have assembled for field work, and some of the setting up required the dexterity of nimble fingers not numb from the cold temperatures while exposed to the elements.
The forecast indicated there were warmer temperatures on the move our way, but while I waited for that to happen, I decided to entertain myself by spending the day going for a walk-about down at McKinnon Flats located about 35 kilometers southeast of Calgary, a Fish and Wildlife conservation area that I have visited many time in the past. At this time of the year, the winter-gate situated at the top of the switch-back that allows access to the river valley is locked down for the winter, although the area is open to visitors on foot.
Now I wasn't planning on going for just any old walk-about, as I would be carrying my longbow as well as arrows and the other required accessories, and a pack with the other necessities required while out for the bigger part of the day.I had recently been shooting my bow on targets in my backyard, after being away from archery for many years. Its interesting that I originally got in to archery back 40 years ago, and first began by using a recurve bow, followed by another recurve bow, and enjoyed many years shooting traditional bows until the early 90's when I acquired my first compound bow. I acquired a second compound bow, and shot with them for a number of years.
Then somewhere along the line, I gave archery up for another 10 years before rediscovering my passion for the sport once more. Funny thing happened at that point, I realized I was no longer interested in compound bows, and came full circle back to traditional archery, and although I enjoyed using a recurve bow once again, I decided at some point to acquire a longbow, always having been interested in them, but having never owned one for some reason or another.
These days I'm finding my passion for archery has returned with a vengeance, and its a rare day that I don't leave home without my longbow along in my truck.
Basically stump shooting consists of exactly that, walking along with your bow at ready, along with a nocked arrow in place, and when an interesting looking dead stump or other likely target appears as you walk along, its as simple as drawing back, and in one fluid motion, releasing the arrow, sending it on its way.
Years ago I actually did bowhunt for a couple of years but being I no longer am interested in hunting wildlife other that with my camera's, stump shooting is as good as it gets.
Of course it was a given that I would have one of my APRS HT's along, and on this day that was my Kenwood D72 that was riding on the belt around my waist. The deep valley that McKinnon Flats is located in, required that I leave the radio-stack in my truck activated, and in particular, I had my Kenwood TH-D710A set as a fill-in low-level digipeater, allowing the beacons from my D72 to be heard and digipeated by the D710A located in my truck at the trail-head located above the switch-back leading down to the valley, and about a kilometer away from my location. That way, the beacons from my D72 would be forwarded to a high-level digipeater with an I-gate connection (CALGRY) insuring that my waypoints were being placed on the map at aprs.fi on the APRS network.
Of course with 12" of snow on the ground, I didn't even attempt to look, as it would be a waste of time. So a trip to RadioWorld to order new knobs is in order, although the HT functions fine without them for the moment. If you look close at the photo of the D72, you can see the bare shafts sticking out of the radio with no knobs present, Nice. LOL!
What else can you do but laugh, and maybe get out the fixings for tea that I had in my pack, along with a few snacks to take the bite out of the cold. When I had left the truck earlier in the morning, the temperature was sitting at -19C, and by the time I got back to the truck 5 hours later, the temperature was sitting at -8C.
The only real concern I had at the start of the day with the temperature around -19C, was in keeping my hands warm for shooting my bow, and this I accomplished by wearing my mountaineering mittens over my hands that included my shooting glove on my right hand. When wanting to shoot my bow, it was as simple as dropping the mittens, and I was able to quickly draw and release arrows before putting my mittens back on.
All in all it was an enjoyable day out and about in the snow, although there were times I wished I had brought my snowshoes, making it easier to get around in places. I'll maybe do that next time.
NOTE....all photos expand
My Website.... www.jerryclement.ca