Tuesday, July 24, 2012


   Man am I wore out! These weekend excursions are killing me. I finally came home Sunday night around 9pm just to get a rest!

   We worked the whole weekend in camp and deep in the deer woods trying to do what's necessary to ensure an enjoyable hunting season coming up in a few months. It was late Friday night before I arrived in camp. Except for unloading the truck and trailer, not much else got done that night except some friendly conversations around camp.

   Early Saturday morning, after a good breakfast of oiled sausages, grits, and coffee, we first got to work leveling my new deck in front of my camper. My cousin "Hawkeye" and I dug the footings under each 4 x 4 post under the deck and placed a concrete paver under it. Even though we got an early start, the temps quickly climbed up into the mid 90's. We were soaked in sweat in no time, and thanks to having to crawl under the 8 x 16 foot deck I soon was covered in wet dirt.

   After the posts of the deck were securely on the pavers and the entire deck was leveled we ducked into the camper to cool down and take a quick Coke break to try and cool off for a little while. Next we loaded up the ATV's with tools and building materials and headed back in the woods to start to build a shooting house for "Hawkeye".
   "Hawkeye" was going to build a 18 foot tall shooting house. He fabricated a 6 x 6 foot house to go on top of the platform we would build in the woods. The platform would be made of 4 x 4 posts, tied together by 2 x 8's and 2 x 6's. The floor of the house would be 3/4 inch plywood that would later be covered by carpet. We came prepared. We brought a vendor tent so we could stop and rest in the shade, a shop fan, and a Honda generator to power all the tools. We had our camp chairs and a full ice chest to help and keep us hydrated. BOY did we drink some water and gatoraide!!!

   We worked a little while, and then we would take a rest. It was too hot to try and bulldoze our way through the job. Slowly but surely it started taking shape. We got around half of the stand built by evening time so we called it a day. We knocked off around 8pm, we were whipped!

   That night we cooled down, showered off, and cooked a good supper on the grill. We had B-B-Qued pork tender loins and baked beans for supper. It was good, but it was around 11:30pm by the time it was done. We ate and literally went to bed.  

   The next morning we had a little more pork for breakfast. We were aching from all the work we did the day before but still had another full days work before us. Other members of the club were also down for the weekend to work on their areas. A new member came over and asked how the construction was going and offered to help us finish it up. He had his 2 teenage sons down with him and a teenage friend of his son. Together we headed back out and made short work of the rest of the job. This new member saved us probably 4 or 5 more hours of work in the hot Alabama sun. By staying and helping us he delayed himself and his family from going home. This man lives 3 hours from hunting camp. He really just wanted to help and be a part of our club. Our hats are off to him and his boys. We look forward to when we can return the favor and help them out. This is what true sportsanship is all about. It takes good people to make a good hunting club.

   All that's left for "Hawkeye" to do is a little painting , build a proper set of steps to get in the stand with, and lay down carpet on the floor. This job is basically done. It took two trips to break down the worksite and get all the tools and equipment back to camp.

   After another cool down break in the camper, we loaded up on the ATV's and headed back into the big woods in search of a new area for me to hunt this winter. I located a beautiful hardwood bottom covered with plenty of white oak trees and plenty of deer and hog sign. The rolling hills were lit up by the hot sun shining through the dark green leaves of the oak trees. I can only imagine for now how beautiful this will look come fall of the year when the dark green leaves will have changed to amber, ocre, and crimson.

   A quick scouting mission tells me where the animals are crossing, and a quick scan of the tree line lets me see which oak tree I need to hang my portable on come September! Very little pruning will be necessary to open up a few good shooting lanes. This spot seems tailor made.

   Now that all of our chores are caught up for this weekend, we headed back to get ready to head home ourselves. It was after 9pm by the time I got home. It was a full , tiresome weekend, but we got alot accomplished. During the weekend we saw a few turkeys and a bunch of deer, and that's a big part of why we do what we do. As hunters we just don't kill animals in the winter, we live with them all year long. We love these animals, alive in the field and on the wall and in the freezer. And whether or not we kill something we really live just to be in the woods with them. Nothing beats the view from a deerstand.

   I hope you get to enjoy it too!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Friday, July 20, 2012


   It is amazing how fast a week can fly by! Last weekend was full of work down at my hunting club property. I planned on an enjoyable week. It was hectic!

   The days flew by. Filled with work, running errands, trying to help out with my Mom and Dad, gardening, and general duties around the farm. It's been tiring.

   Dad is doing well, he is still weak, but strong enough to keep everyone else on there toes trying to keep an eye on him! Most days this week I dropped by after work and spent 4 to 5 hours a day visiting with him. The more we talk, the better he seems to be, and the better he seems to do at night. The better he rests at night, the more rest Mom can get. When I;m over Mom can get a break and sneak off and rest.

   The garden is doing well, I picked a good mess of produce the other day. We have a good supply of Roma tomatoes, okra, banana peppers, and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. Hopefully we can make some tomatoe paste and have some fried okra and green tomatoes.

   We had a death in the family this week as well. Our Momma goat " Daisy Mae" died the other day. Apparently the victim of a snake bite. We noticed a swelling on the underside of her jaw, but could see no signs of injury other than the swelling. It went down a few days later and she was eating well the whole time. Then one day I didn't see here. The next day I went looking foe her and found her behind the barn. She will be missed. We raised her since she was a few months old. She was around 5 years old.

   Jim Cobb Coleman.


Sunday, July 15, 2012


   Trying to prepare for next hunting season is a lot of work. It is a never ending battle fighting the jungle of briars and brush that's overtaking the trails and crossings through the woods near my hunting stands. Not having a fortune of money to go and rent some heavy equipment to do my dirty work for me, I must resort to a chainsaw, weed eater, and limb lopers and a lot of sweat and muscles.

   It looks like a wall of brush, but after a few hours of whacking away at it you can start to see a little headway. The side effects are a tired achy body covered in sweat and brush clippings, and a good old blister. The upside is the area is looking better and maybe it will be manageable between now and the start of the season.

   There are other stand locations that need attention as well. A couple of new stands need to be put up. Since I am on DAY 9 of my year long experiment, why not apply it to deer hunting ? A home made deer stand will still cost some money, but not as much as a commercially made one, and it will definitely be made out of better material.

   A lot of people are talking about bartering these days as I way of getting things you need. I have been able to acuire some things I need by salvage. It is amazing what people throw away these days. Even things that could easily be sold to someone is trashed. We have become a disposable society. It is too much trouble to bother with, so people just throw good things away.

   Recently I found building materials, paint, tools, and appliances that only need a little cleaning up. A recent find was a complete wooden deck that had been abandoned. All it took was a little muscle to relocate. Salvaging beats paying for it all day long. Just another way to save money and fend for yourself.

Jim Cobb Coleman.


   Did I feel lucky? NO I DIDN'T!!!

   Well the drawing for the lucky folks who will get to gator hunt in the state of Alabama this year is done. Needless to say, I didn't get my name drawn! AGAIN! This is twice I have applied to get the chance to go gator hunting with no luck. My cousin didn't get drawn either.

   Oh well! We tried. It is probably a good thing we didn't get drawn anyway. My wife would probably kill me if I brought home one of the 15 foot gators I fish around. I don't know where I would put a full body mount either.

   Better luck next year!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


   Well do I? I sure hope so. Anyway I'll find out for sure tomorrow when the lottery drawing for this season's Alabama gator hunt is over. By lunch time the drawing will be over and everyone will be notified by E-mail whether or not they will get to hunt this year.

   I know it would be a grand adventure! Imagine slipping onto the waters after dark on a hot summer night in search of a large pair of glowing red eyes, and 800 to 900 lbs of angry, hungry attitude. Yea that's right if we go, we're going after a big one. As big a one we can find.

   Since my cousin entered too, we stand a better chance with two of us in the running. No matter if only one of us gets drawn, the other one can go and help. It will be fun either way. Maybe we can get drawn and come away with some good meat and some great memories.

   We'll see tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


   Yesterday I didn't get a chance to write a post for this blog. Please excuse me. I had to take the day to spend some time with my family. My Dad had a couple of  Dr. appointments to go to. He's not able to drive anymore and he is very weak on his feet. So I got to go and play chauffer and help where I could.

   It was nice to get to drive Dad's Crown Vic. Although , for it to be a big car it sure is hard for a big old boy like me to fold up and try and get under the wheel. NO LEG ROOM! In between Dr. appointments we stopped at a local store so Mom could do some grocery shopping. While she shopped, me and Dad grabbed a seat and a frosty root beer and talked awhile. He couldn't relax for fear that Mom was spending too much money! Some things never change.

   Everything went well at the Dr.'s offices. By the time we got home, they were wore out. I heard this morning that they got a good night 's sleep. If Mom can get Dad to stay up a little later at night I believe he will be able to sleep all night long, and she will be able to get a full night's rest as well.

   On a different vein, it's day 5 of my year long experiment. It takes alot of money too survive these days. It's a never ending struggle just to make it from day to day. I am doing as much as I can, and researching new ways to make more daily, but days like yesterday make you stop and realize what's most important. Right now making money is not important.

   Family is.

Jim Cobb.  

Monday, July 9, 2012


   As I have said in the past, I am a hunter. I hunt because I love being in the woods. To live like the Indians did. To outwit my prey, and to feed my family. I love every aspect of the hunting lifestyle. I try to use everything of the animals I take.

   Last hunting season I was lucky enough to take a nice 8 point buck. The cost to mount the head by a taxidermist is around 400 dollars. That's a lot of money in today's tough economic times. So I decided to do a European mount. A European mount consists of the naked skull and horns attached to a board, cost around 20 dollars . BIG DIFFERENCE!!!

   I know not everyone is a hunter, so this method of saving money wouldn't work for everyone. But to us guys who do, it will allow us to have the difference in money to be able to go towards other things, and that's the name of the game.

   Earlier I began the process of mounting my deer skull by boiling the skull. Yesterday I bleached the skull to help in whitening it. After that I drilled a small hole into the back of the skull so it could be attached to the board it will be mounted on. This is my first time doing this , so it has been a learning process. Sure I made mistakes along the way, and I will improve on what I'll do the next time. But, I did the job at a fraction of the cost a traditional mount would have cost and I got done with it a lot quicker than it would have been by going to a taxidermist even if I paid them to do a European mount.

   I don't think it turned out too bad for my first try!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


   One- If you go out to your worm bed and rake back all those leaves that have accumulated on your back two acre hardwood bottom since last year, you'll find a good supply of big , fat , juicy wigglers!


   One- If you collect all those big , fat , juicy wigglers and throw them into an old tin can, you can take them and try to make a big ole fish bite tomorrow ( he said Saturday evening ).


   This is my Dad . Two weeks after getting out of the hospital from having pneumonia. He's 77 years young! He was so excited about going fishing today he got up at 12:00am this morning ready to go. He caught 3 bass averaging around 2 &1/2 lbs a piece.  What a way to spend the morning!

   "Big Momma" got in on the action too! She tore up some big ole bluegills on those big old wiggle worms we raked up last night. Sure, we could have bought them at the bait store, but we saved 2 to 4 dollars by getting them ourselves. Those worms, used properly, brought us home 5 big bluegills and 3 largemouth bass. I came home this morning and cleaned and put up around 8 lbs of fish in our freezer for us to eat later.

   Since this is DAY 2 of my experiment let me say that even though it was just a fishing trip, it still worked out as a way to save money and fend for yourself. By going fisshing with home raised bait, I didn't have to spend any money. By catching and cleaning my fish, I put food up to feed my family later on down the road. Not to mention the fun we all had spending time together as a family!

   Take a kid fishing, maybe they'll get hooked for life!

   Jim Cobb Coleman.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


   Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of a year long experiment to see if I can practice what I preach about trying to be as self sufficient as possible. To not only feed my family and take care of their needs, but also make a living raising the money we need to live on.

   Of course everything went wrong right off the bat. I woke up to the news that our pantry had been over run with ants. This meant my new morning routine was cancelled until the problem at hand was fixed. This took hours. The pantry had to be cleaned out, and sprayed for ants, then re-sprayed, and then wiped clean. Then all the food staples had to be restocked in their proper places.

   Now that the morning was gone, I had to go over to my Mom & Dad's to stay with Dad while my Mom had a beauty shop appointment. My Dad is doing better since he got home from his stay at the hospital, but he is still weak. The main thing is he wants to ramble around like he used to do and he is very unstable on his feet. We're afraid he will fall and hurt himself.

   Since all of my plan didn't get implimented, I did try to do as much as possible even on a small scale . A way I know that anyone can bring some money home is to pick up aluminum cans. They are everywhere if you look for them . The problem is, most people drive right by them. To stand a chance to really get enough to be worth your while you have to get out and walk.  A good way to lose weight!This is also great excercise!

   I drove into town yesterday and watched the ditches as I rode along. When I started seeing a few along the shoulder of the road I pulled over, cut the truck off, and walked a little while and picked up what was lying there. A couple of stops like that and soon I had almost a whole garbage can full. If you check around the town you live in I am sure there are public parks, ballfields, and car washes. All of these places have public garbage cans. If you add them on your "can route", you'll be surprised how fast the amount of cans you can gather each day will add up. The last time I sold cans I got 80 cents a pound, it does add up if you wait until you have a good amount of cans before you go sell them.

   On Fridays I save some money on bread by going to our local "dollar store". A lot of things are a bargain at the dollar stores, but some are not. You have to compare the size amounts on the packages. But our local "dollar store" has a bread man who shows up on Fridays and brings brand name buns, and breads that normally sell for2 or 3 dollars for 1 dollar. Yes they are fast approaching the expiration sell by date, but I have never gotten old bread. If you plan on eating it that week it has always been just as soft and fresh as any I've paid full price for at the grocery store. It's a good way to save a few bucks you can use for some thing else.

   For anyone coming late to my party , (and shame on ya'll) , I grow a garden every year. The more you grow, the less you have to buy. It doesn't take a couple of acres to supply a lot of food for your table. You can literally grow all you need in your own backyard. I grow tomatoes and yesterday I picked some red and green Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, the red one are for BLT"s & sandwiches, and the green ones are for fried green tomatoes. We also grow Roma's for tomatoe paste.

   It sounds like alot , but all of my garden is only on less than a 1/4 acre. My tomatoe patch is only a couple of rows. But, we haven't bought a tomatoe all summer, and we won't probably the rest of the year. Throw in a few rows of peas, butterbeans, okra, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and egg plants and you got yourself a garden. It only takes 30 minutes to an hour a day and you can save a fortune at the grocery store.

   Oh well that was the good part of yesterday. On to today! More later as the day progresses.

Jim Cobb Coleman.


Friday, July 6, 2012


   Sometime in the night Bullfrog Bottom Farm was viciously attacked by a maurading army of "piss ants". Luckily there was only one casualty my box of cheerios. But, as we speak I am plotting a retalitory strike.

   Due to this unforseen emergency, my plans for my year long experiment on modern day survival in our fallen world had to take a slight delay. But only long enough for me to clean out the pantry and kill a lot of ants.

   We have had extreme temps. lately and a lot of severe thunderstorms that have sent the ants indoors looking for food and shelter. A minor set back in my plans. In a hour or so I plan to hit the streets to start my day.

   More later, now to battle!!!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


   Starting tomorrow I will embark on a year long experiment to start practicing what I preach. I have dreamed most of my life of being able to farm, hunt, and fish for a living. To basicly be able to survive and make a living by myself without having to go anywhere else for my money.

   I've also had enough of going into a store to give them my hard earned money and being treated like I owe them something because I chose to shop there. They don't keep their shelves stocked half the time, they over charge what the products worth, and most times the products are not good for us or they are poorly made with low quality parts and workmanship. The other day I bought a T-shirt with an American flag on it that wasn't even made in the U.S.A. Enough is enough! Our economy is failing, we need to find a better way to live, supply our needs, and save money that we will need for other things later on.

   Another issue troubling America is our health. We have become a nation of sickly folks. There is no P.E. in schools anymore. Our children spend most of their time in front of a video game, our a computer the majority of each day. Anyway we can get out of physical work we do. There is nothing wrong with resting, but somewhere along the way you have to do something to rest from. Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer kill millions every year. A little excercise could go along way toward preventing some of this. Eating home grown and raised food would be an improvement to many folks considering ths horror stories in the news today of what they are putting into our food.

   So starting tomorrow join in as I start practicing what I preach and document the daily grind and changes I'll be going through to see if I can be as self sufficient as possible and still survive. I'll try to show ways I've figured out to earn a dollar and stretch a dollar. I too have gotten out of shape since my boyhood days of playing ball.I need to shape up hopefully to prevent the health pitfalls of old age. In the morning my new workout regime begins. Since I'm not a millionaire, everything I do will things anyone else can do. No money required, & no gym memberships. What we have to shop for we will try to avoid the big stores as much as possible, there are other ways to get what we need. The more options we have the better it is for us.

Come check out how the poor folks live, it might be better for you than you think.

Jim Cobb Coleman.


   Ain't nothing free in this world but true love and home grown tomatoes!

   Black eyed peas, banana peppers, cayenne pepper, and a few Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are fairly cheap too! Just a little sample from today's trip to the garden.

   Jim Cobb.


   It's official. I have entered into the Alabama Department of Natural Resources lottery for a tag to go gator hunting this summer in the Eufaula area. If my name is drawn I will be allowed to try my luck. I had to register online and pay a small fee to be eligible. I'll find out on the 13th if my name is drawn.

   My cousin "Hawkeye" has registered too. If either one of us is drawn the other one can go hunting with him. So maybe we will stand a better chance with both of us entered.

   I have been fishing the Eufaula area since before the gators migrated up the river. Back in the 70's you never saw a gator, just alot of snakes. But sometime in the early 80's the gators began creeping in. The snakes began clearing out. The gators were eating them. We used to have giant snapping turtles, no more. There used to be alligator gar that averaged 6 to 7 feet long, not any more. The gators ate them. Many times we've found beaver, deer, and otters dying at the edge of the water, with a limb missing that had been biten off.

   Today you don't hardly ever see a snake of any kind on the water. There are no big turtles, or alligator gar. I haven't heard a beaver slap the water with his tail in 20 years. People who visit the lake and don't come down too often don't realize how many gators there really are down there. These same people have been seen feeding the gators to get pictures of them. They don't realize what they're teaching the gators. That people equals food. They are loosing their fear of man.

   These same idiots are swimming in the water with the gators on inflatable rafts like the kids ride on at the beach. I am afraid it's just a matter of time until someone gets ate. The last time I was down there in the summer time I had 13 gators around my boat at one time. They ranged in size from 4-12 feet long. They have no natural enemies once they reach a couple of feet long. They are continually multipling.

   If we are drawn for a tag in the lottery, we will try to be selective on the size of gator we take. There are plenty in the 10- 13 foot range. I look forward to the chance to hunt one. As with everything we hunt, I also look forward to a good supply of gator meat. Gator tail is delicious!!!

   We may not get drawn at all. I read that only about 40'something tags would be given out for the Eufaula area, and there will probably be a few thousand applicants. You never know until you try. If we could, it would be an adventure.

Jim Cobb Coleman.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


   Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can remember how to make some homemade ice cream. We normally make it on the 4th, but after eating all that bar-b-que we were so stuffed we didn't have the nerve to try and squeeze in anything more . We even skipped supper tonight!


   Where there"s smoke there"s BAR-B-QUE! At 8:00am I fired up the coals.I thought I was going to be smart and get a head start on my grilling before the heat got so bad. WRONG!!! For the next 5 hours I proceeded to cook about 100 lbs of pork. I put 4 hind quarters, each in the 20 to 25 lb category, plus the backstraps of two hogs on to grill.

   The good news is it tasted terrific! It was juicy and tender. My Mom made some potatoe salad , baked beans, and cole slaw. We all got our bellies full, and had enough left over to fed all of us for the next few weeks. Maybe by that time I'll be lucky enough to get another hog or two.

   Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th!

Jim Cobb.

Monday, July 2, 2012


   Everyone needs a place to get away. A spot where they can go to clear their heads and relax. Mine has always been deep in the big woods or way back up a lonely creek where no one else would go. A place with no people just God and mother nature. The true Heaven on earth.

   I hope everyone has that kind of place like that for themselves.

Jim Cobb.


   Saturday, after trying to help my Mom with my Dad, I traveled down to my hunting club property to try and do a little weed eating and brush clearing around the deer stands. By the time I got down there it was too late and too hot to do anything that evening. The temps were around 103 & 105 degrees, with a heat index of 110-112 degrees, our hottest days ever.

   I spent the evening catching up with my cousin, relaxing and talking about what's been going on with my Dad. It was nice to just talk and try to relax. The next morning after coffee, I headed toward my deer stand to try and get my work done before the heat got so unbearable. Just as I approached my area, my cell phone went off. Another member of the club had caught a couple of wild hogs in his trap and wanted to know if I wanted the pigs.

   No way a fat boy like me was going to turn down some free bar-b-que. So needless to say I didn't get any clearing done. I turned the truck around and went back to camp, I had two hogs to clean. Between the the two pigs there was around 160 pounds of meat on the hoof. Just in time for a traditional 4th of JUly BAR-B-QUE!!! Both pigs were young. I'd guess they were 1 year old or younger. Just right for a tender and juicy meal or two.

   Come the third, I'll build a good oak fire down by the garden. When the wood burns down to a good size pile of orange glowing embers, I'll shovel them to my bar-b-que pit so I can slow cook the meat. It takes a little more time, but it makes the meat a whole lot more juicier. By cooking it on the 3rd I'll get to enjoy the AC and food with the family on the 4th.

   I hope your 4th of July plans are taking shape as well!

Jim Cobb Coleman.