August 2018
Howle's Hints

Catch Some Bass – Plant Some Oats

“For he said to Judah, ‘Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars.
The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him,
and He has given us rest on every side.’ So they built and prospered.”
~ 2 Chronicles 14:7 (New American Standard Bible)


Why would America need walls around its borders? That’s like asking someone who raises sheep or goats why they need fences. The fence is not only to contain the animals from roaming freely onto neighboring property but also to keep predators from attacking the livestock. In this farm boy’s humble opinion, only a fool would opt for open borders.

In a March 2018 article in the New York Post, Paul Sperry said the $18 billion wall President Trump plans to build on the southern border "will pay for itself by curbing the importation of not only crime and drugs, but poverty." According to Sperry, neither Mexico nor U.S. taxpayers will have to pay for the wall. "The barrier will cover its own cost just by closing the border to illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole."

According to Steven Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, "If a wall stopped just 200,000 of those future crossings, it would pay for itself in fiscal savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America."

Border protection for a nation’s sovereignty goes way back to the Old Testament days of the Bible. There are parts of modern-day Jerusalem that have been walled off since the days of Abraham. King Solomon not only built the temple but also a wall around the city, which fulfilled his father David’s prayer. Eventually, there were attacks and breaches in the wall. When King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon, came through, he tore down the wall. The wall remained in a demolished state until Nehemiah made it his personal mission to rebuild the wall. While he was working, Nehemiah and his workers had to defend against attack during the rebuilding phase. They had a hammer in one hand and a weapon in the other.

According to a 2007 article by Stephen Flurry, archaeologists found the remains of Nehemiah’s wall that was showcased in the Bible in Nehemiah 3.

Dr. Eilat Mazar explained her archaeological findings at a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2007. Some of the attendees doubted her and questioned her findings. She didn’t argue.

"The stones will speak for themselves," she simply said.


River fishing for bass can be productive when casting into the swirls below the rapids and around logs and limbs near the river bank.


River Fishing for Bass

Fishing for bass in a river requires a different method than still-water lake fishing. For one thing, the river is constantly moving, and finding the bass requires some strategy. Two of the most productive places I’ve caught bass are in the swirls below rapids where the water rotates slowly. Dropping a Texas-rigged worm near the bank and slowly jerking the bait through this swirling water can produce a strike.

In slower-moving areas of the river, look for logs and limbs to drag your worm through. If the fish aren’t biting the worms below the surface, try casting toward the river bank and slowly retrieving a jointed minnow towards the boat.


New Coat for an Old Trailer

If you ever have to replace the treated planks in a trailer, it will make you want to preserve the wood as long as possible. It’s often quite an undertaking to replace lumber in the trailer that rots and deteriorates as a result of being outdoors. You can take steps to preserve the wood and get twice the life out of the planks.

Used motor oil, if handled carefully and kept off the ground, is a great wood preservative. You can take a handheld paint roller and simply roll the oil onto the wood for a long-lasting protection. The wood absorbs the oil like a sponge. The paint roller helps keep the oil from the ground, and you can be environmentally friendly by recycling.


Young bucks feel comfortable browsing in this food plot during the day because of the tall cover. This is a warm-season plot, but the oats will give cool-season cover, as well.


Side Notes for Planting Oats

Cool-season forages such as oats, rye, rye grass and winter wheat can dramatically increase winter forage production for cattle and make ideal forage for winter deer.

Oats are my favorite cool-season grass because of the tall forage. If you are planting oats in your food plots, under ideal conditions where fertilizer and lime amounts are correct, oats grow tall enough to provide cover for deer traveling in and out of food plots.

For cattle, oats can be top sown and trampled into the ground through hoof traffic. Oats have a high germination rate and are quite responsive to nitrogen. Oats are reasonably priced, and it might be worth a cool-season experiment to try planting some on your property.

A great companion crop for oats is Durana white clover. This is a great combo for either pasture or food plot forage.

Planting dates in Alabama for oats range from late August in northern Alabama to September in the central zone and October for the southern zone.

This August, take some time to go fishing, protect your trailer and plant your food plots and cool-season forage. In addition, take time to study the Bible. Who knows, you might see modern day connections to events that occurred 3,000 years ago.


John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.