Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kill 'em All.

  I noticed a little scattered and gnawed deercorn so the last time I got a couple of sacks at the feedstore I added two cheap mousetraps.  1.45 or so.  Nothing.
  So far I have killed five mice.  One a day.   Two with catfood and three with the same dry and wrinkled corner of Velveeta.  I'm giving them Christian funerals on the leaf pile pyres at the lakehouse.
  Hardly any deer except a couple of button bucks on the cams.  I know they are around- big tracks coming and going but not to the cams.  Plenty coons.  Five in one frame.  Time to deploy the Havahart and go back to the Coon War.  
  For New Years we are keeping it low and slow.  I don't know if we will make midnight.  Going out to a bonfire/telescope/champagne thing.  As long as we aren't killed by a drunk driver it ought to be a laid-back evening.
  A happy and safe evening to all!

  Update:  Tomorrow the Redhead and I put pen to paper of what we want to accomplish in the next year.  She starts off with a big Pilates workshop at her place.  I'm going back to teaching a couple of sections at Tyler Junior College.  Besides the big picture we have some specifics.  2008 was wonderful.  We have much hope for 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Suppression Progression

 Now up to 3.5 grains Titegroup under a Sierra 77 Matchking.  No barrel sticking.  No sonic crack.  Need a chronograph to see how fast they are.
  The Yankee Hill suppressor and mount had to be slathered in oil to make sure they didn't rust.  Had the gun out in the rain and the contact points on the mount, kind of detents at the end of the screw-mount rusted with a little moisture on them.  Did the whole thing and a clean job, plus put grease down the buffer tube to cut spring noise.  I guess if I am noticing spring noise it must be pretty quiet.
  Sure wish I had a better dot sight.  A 4X power would be just about perfecto.  Haven't found it yet.
  Comments asked about a .22LR conversion kit.  Good idea, but the suppressor is going to also mount on a 10/22.  It's all about the learning.

  Oh, the bullets that came out of the barrel- the stuck ones?  I reloaded them and shot them today. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bottom in Black and White

  The Good Doctor and I hunted the lake this morning.  34 and still with overhead stars.  Near-perfect conditions.  I dropped off into a B & W creekbottom and ghosted my way across the gurgling creek and up a deserted log road without a light.  Picked out a huge pine to sit against and watched the hillside come to life.  I didn't crack a dry leaf or touch a twig coming in.  With these soft old rubber boots give you every familiar root and hollow underfoot.  Nothing moved through the morning except flashing birds and darting squirrels but it's a good spot.  Absolutely gorgeous, (though cool) as I sat through the morning hours.  I went up the hill and found it ringed with fresh rubs, big ones.  Prime habitat and probably the core area of some huge buck.  The moving neighbors piled plastic chairs on the curb.  One of them is going on the logging road.
  Corn gone while nothing on the cam.  Coons probably.  I could hear people talking, dogs moaning, doors slamming, a sizzling shot from across the road with a "whomp" on the end.  I was shivering with cold toes when I came out, glad to be moving.  Sneed blanked as well except for dogs and squirrels.  The rut is over and the deer have shifted behavior again. 

Update:  Checked cams today.  No deer for the third check on the close cam on one on the cam across the creek.  There are fresh tracks since the rain but they aren't hitting the cams.  If I was rich I would have ten cams.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Slowing things down

  Here's the stuck 77 grain Sierra Matchkings.  Probably could load and shoot them again.

 My suppressor is loud, or louder than you might hope, with my normal .223 match loads.  You could go without earmuff while shooting, but it's marginal.

  I looked on the Hogden site and found a subsonic load: 3.1 grains of Titegroup and a 55 grain bullet.  I tried 3.1 grains of Titegroup under a Nosler 69.  It works, doesn't cycle the rifle but it's quiet.  The gun kind of rattles a bit when it goes off.  Kind of a beefed up .22lr.  About six inches under the zero for my normal ammo.

  Learning.  Going to try 3.4 and a 77 Sierra Matchking.  Might go sonic.  
  Could have killed a roaming dog, one of three, graveyard dead today, with the suppressed AR. Had the red dot centered up and first stage of the trigger gone.  It's lake policy to shoot strays, since we get so many dumped dogs.  Three in this group, but I couldn't bring myself to break the trigger.  Let him go.  Perhaps they will move on.  They were looking for deer to run but I don't think the deer are in much danger.

Update: 3.4 Titegroup stuck two 77s in the barrel after shooting one out.  77s have more bearing surface than the 69 Hornadys.  (More power!)  Got on the web for stuck bullet advice and found plenty.  Used Kroil and a fiberglass rod to drive the bullets out the muzzle without much problem.  Learning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Worst Christmas Gift

  I'll open the nominations.  It's a pinata of a soldier.  So...we are hanging soldiers and beating them to bits?  Or what?

  And it's not mine.  It was a gift to a grown woman who has no soldiers in the family, no friends who are in the armed forces, nothing.   

  Out of the blue, apropos of nothing: a pinata soldier.  Kind of an ugly bad rendition as well.

Update:  maybe it's an Atlatl target!

UpdateII: Gave two prints from the Owens Archive as gifts.  Worked.  The Redhead got one instant regift, though it might just go in the Goodwill stack.  This soldier confusing.

Update III: So far, no copy of "Hell, I Was THERE!"  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Deadly Gunz in the Parkz

  Ignorance on display out of the Boston press.  This is particularly galling when you realize the founders were in Boston when they enumerated a list of human rights, including the right to arms.  Unbelievable.

  Wonder what Derrick Jackson thinks when he watches Saving Private Ryan, (illegal invasion of another country with regime change in mind), Open Range, (murder of all members of civil authority), Brave Heart or god forbid, The Patriot (riot and rebellion against established government.

  Jack Straw is rolling over in his grave at about 10,000 rpm.  Same with Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, to say nothing of Travis, Bowie, Crockett, Sequin.  Bill Tell can't be pleased either.

  I'll just leave him with the quote off the Democratic Underground, and one Christmas thought: human beings are born to be free.

East Texas Twang

  Tyler bow hunters ship gear to Iraq.

  Next:  Atlatl ambush.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

  Ho, Ho, Ho.  Deer from two years ago.  I used this for my Christmas card image.  Mixed results.  Some folks just have a hard time getting into the holiday spirit I guess.


  Same dog from a month ago.  One of the area landowners, an FBI agent, killed 11 coyotes by hanging chicken parts about six feet off the ground using strong line and treble stainless ocean fishing hook sets.  This is a coyote who won't eat chicken or recognizes stainless steel.

Update:  Might have been shot by a local.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Panic.  God knows why.

  The Bent-horned buck has made it to late December.  Front feet in the scrape.  He's 1 1/2.

  Youngster checking the licking branch.

  Working the scrape.  1 1/2 year old.  Dumb.

  Healthy mouse-eating coyote.  Seen him on cam a couple times before.

  Across the creek cam hadn't been visited since December 4.  High water, darkness, schedule.  Things have been going on over there!  Too dark to read sign when I crossed.

  Cold and dark time of the year.  Long US Army undermawears, lit a cheery pile of leaves before leaving and carried a flashlight.  No wind so it was comfortable out.  Does on the close cam but boring ones.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If you don't like the law....CHANGE it!

  I hear that a lot.  It presupposes that the laws are affected by citizen input, or that laws COME from citizens demanding this or that.

  Interestingly, here's a laundry list that a state bureaucracy wants passed...not citizens- but a powerful subsection of the state itself.  Very little if any citizen involvement.  The bureaucracy wants this list so as to empower....the bureaucracy.

 You don't think they will put on uniforms and go testify as to what good ideas these are, thereby using their prestige and influence as to get their list passed do you?

Last Train to Clarksville.

  The good Dr. and I hunted last weekend and this weekend my brother and I went up.  Brother is a Dragonov kind of guy and shot two does with his.  I mostly watched tree lines and little bucks.  They are logging behind the farmhouse and we walked out to look.  It's a natural site for Precolombians and the logging scars were full of pottery, flint chips and village trash.  When it rains we are going to have a good look at it.  I found this freshly-broken point in a log-drag mark.  We actually took four big jugs of water back to the site and washed it looking for the hasp but no luck.

  This point looks like it was originally much wider but was sharpened several times, working the edge back but losing the angle.  The site is the end of a ridge 100 feet above the creek below.  Wonderful overwatch for wide flat riverbottom in three directions.  Folks lived here on and off for centuries.  

  Might be a knife blade, might be an atlatl point.  No native flint so the material got walked in.

  What a life.  Deer hunters and gatherers, farmers, living right here.  No Internet, no power, no written language.  You had to memorize everything.  You would know everyone within walking range, have an encyclopedic knowledge of your technology and a firm grasp of your religion and cosmos.  All those folks dead and forgotten. Language, culture, technology, all gone.

  Folks these days can't do a fraction, don't believe in God, can't gnaw a plastic chair or a ballpoint pen out of a root much less butcher a deer.  

  Who's the ignorant savage now?  

  Gas, whatever the heck gas actually IS, was 1.39 a gallon for the 4-runner, whatever a 4-runner is.  Maybe they are hatched from dragon's eggs.

Update:  Had a shot at a shootable doe last evening but mostly didn't want to be bothered and the light was nearly gone.  I painted her with the red dot and took the slack of out the trigger.  (AR carbine with a YHM forearm)  She was just over the hill crest but mostly exposed.  Sure wish those cheap red dots had a little magnification.  I heard the Dragonov and held off.  His evening doe went 100 live weight to 80 field dressed.  Teeth looked about 5 1/2, some of the oldest I have seen at Clarksville.

Update:  Have you hugged your atlatl lately?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Walmart had rechargeable lantern batteries on sale for 4.50.  Just in time.  Two dead rechargeables and one weak one.  Screw-in tree steps for a buck apiece as well.

  This guy is around.  Sign everywhere.  I didn't go across the creek because I had burned up the afternoon photographing nuns.  No kidding.

  Looks like he may have broken a brow tine.  They keep fighting.  A couple years back I had a buck go from an eight to a four.  He broke the crab-claws off both sides, fighting through December.  The rut is over.  I don't know what they are fighting about.   The next year I shot him when he was a ten.  He ought to be a good buck next year.  He's 2 1/2 in this photo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be careful what you wish for.

 Gun folks are always making the points that swimming pools kill more children than guns do, so why aren't they regulating swimming pools?  Well....they have, and the regulations will close nearly every pool and hot tub in the US.
  The Government:  Keeping us safe and broke whether we like it or not.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

M14 Petition

  The government is destroying M14 rifles that could be sold by the CMP.  Here's a petition to reverse that process.

  The CMP sells surplus military surplus arms to support its purpose of promoting civilian marksmanship.  I think, and hope they have made millions in the past decade selling carbines, M1s, 1903s, P17s and Krags.  So far they can't touch M14s because there is a full-auto capability.  It's easy to permanently disable.

  I like M14s and have shot a lot of them, both military and civilian rifles.  It's an improved Garand that shoots .308 ammo.  Never killed a deer with one but shot them in matches and while teaching Squad Designated Marksman Schools for the Army.  The only one I ever owned was stolen while it was at the house of the guy who co-owned it with me.  It was a Springfield Armory National Match in an Eagle case.  Leather sling.  Serial Number 056616.  I miss it.

Update:  January match at Panola is going to feature .30 caliber.  Nice time to shoot the old iron.  Probably going to break out the Garand, though I could shoot the 1903A3 or the Swiss.  Or the Swede.  Choices, choices...

Monday, December 15, 2008

How to Tell if you are being mocked.

  Once I had worked my way through shooting deer with my stack of old military rifles, friends popped up offering to help.  Rol has an old brassy Enfield.  Roger has a Krag.  John has a Springfield 45-70 Govt he bought when he was 13.  When John came up to Clarksville this past weekend he toted his 45-70 along with free ammo.  Here it is.  Since it was missing the rear sight and the front sight was a dab of copper wire he mounted the cheapest aimpoint American money could buy and zeroed it.
  Last year at the National Matches I shot Garand, Springfield 1903, M1A and Vintage without a hint of a recoil problem and 2/3rds of those matches are prone, where you really soak up the impact.  I shot John's 45-70 twice off a bench to check the aimpoint, or destroy it, and came away with a shoulder that felt like it had been sledgehammered.
  John still had some of his original ammo that came with the gun.  He's 60 now, so it's not a fun gun to shoot.
  Needs a window weight duct taped to the forearm to soak up some energy.
  Stock cut down, rear sight stolen, front sight bubbaed, no sling, tang and trigger guard screws replaced with wood screws, aim point added.  All I needed was some match hollowpoints.
    Actually carried it into the stand with me and watched a couple of little bucks and a tiny doe.  Put the gun on them to look at the sights.  Heavy trigger- must be 15 lbs or so.
  I can't believe people used to shoot each other with these things.

Update:  Looked at Numrich for replacement screws and they had some, but not all.  Amazing.

Happy Bill of Rights Day

  I always thought it should be the same date as National Ammo Day just to make things simpler.

  Bill of Rights Day.  Humans have them whether they get listed or not but it was visionary for the American founders to actually make a partial list.  They couldn't get the Constitution ratified and it languished until they added this enumerated list of what everyone thought humans came with naturally.

  Tam has the update.  You actually don't have any rights these days that anyone in Government is obliged to recognize, but that's just the complexity and sophistication of modern life.  Have a diet coke!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Not much across the creek.  Tracks everywhere.  A big spike that needs shooting on the close cam.  A REAL spike.  Looks like bad genetics.  Not going to grow into anything.  He's already 2 1/2 with no forks.
  Maybe the neighbor visiting hunters will shoot him.  

Update:  The redhead says "Off with his head."  She wants those horns.  I don't understand women.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In the Camp of the Barbarians.

  500 hits on my deer skull boiling video.  In Valhalla, cannibals, Aztecs, and man-eating headhunters are going nuts.

Update:  540.  But there are 15,000 plus on my benchrest technique "Improving your Shooting" vid.  Holy Cecil B. Demille.

Ammo Whammo.

  The level of brass in my five gallon bucket has barely budged and I have 1000 rounds loaded.  Much fun.  Brass tumbling as we speak.  Going to switch to .45acp next and stock up with match grade ammo.  Need about 500 rounds of that.

  Folks still talking about ammo shortage.  Scary stuff.  Every time Academy has a sale on 9mm and .45 people go buy another five boxes.

  I get through deer season shooting about 30 rounds, including zero checking.  Um, that's using five or six different rifles killing five or six deer.  Most folks get through a whole season with 1-3 rounds.

  Shooting competition I run through a couple thousand 5.56.  Add another 100 rounds of 30-06,  60 rounds of M1 Carbine, 100 Swiss 7.5,  65 rounds of 7.62 at the Cap Perry Springfield match.  Not really that much.  Toss in pistol shooting and a junior shooter and you are looking at 4-5000 rounds a year.  Harmless rounds.  Paper punching.

  Soldiers waded ashore on Dog Green at Omaha Beach with a couple of basic loads in bandoliers of 30-06.  56 rounds per bandolier.

  Two criminal scumbags, Mohammed and Malvo, shut down the whole East Coast with one 20 round box.  For two weeks.  They had ammo left over when they were found asleep in their car.

  The moral?  If you are shooting paper in competition, you need a lot of ammo.  If you're shooting live targets, not so much. 

  If the government decides to destroy the gun culture, they easily can.   They have made it troublesome and expensive in plenty of places and wiped it out.  New Jersey.  New York City.  No problem.  No more paper punching.

  But it doesn't seem to take much ammo to have a big impact.  I'm not sure they can fix that on the way to utopia.

Update:  Got any .45acp WCC 04?

Update II:  Brass out.  LC91, 02, 04, Win.  All of it shot at least once by me and the Marine Reserve units at Mineral Wells.   Might be some US Army Squad Designated Marksman school brass from Ft Hood.  Recycling at it's best.  These cases get a lot of love.  They are like old coins.  You turn them over in your fingers and wonder where they have been.  Was this a 10, 9 or an X?  Or did some Pfc get whacked with a cleaning rod over this shot?
  When I started shooting Highpower Rifle it was a scramble to find ammo.  We shot Win white box, begged ammo and Black Hills reloads.  Hard to find enough and it was breaking the bank.  I started reloading for me and the Kid's dad with a box full of junk stuff I bought for 20 bucks at a gun show.  At one point I had 70 rounds of some off-brand brass that I found in one pile at the rifle range that I shot in practice, reloaded, then practiced again.  Usually shot twice a week.  Couldn't practice until I had all the reloading done.  I shot that brass about 15 times.  It was still good when I put it in the brass barrel.  Never split and always held the primers.  Some weird stuff with three letters on the headstamp.  No date.  Never seen it again.  Finally found enough LC and Winchester to start sorting by year and headstamp.  I did have a few pieces of old nearly black brass that I found on the range at Ft Polk, Louisiana.  That was where my brother took basic training before getting killed with the 173rd Abn in Vietnam.  Those black cases used to work themselves through the process and come by about once a month.  I think they were about LC 66.  Would have liked to hear their story but they stayed silent though I shot them more times than the army ever dreamed about.  Nice to have good brass.  Don't really need it talking while you are trying to shoot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Land of Lincoln

  There just aren't any honest politicians from Illinois.  Not for the last 100 years.  It's all who you know and whether you are connected up there now.  Nothing left.

  Got more than one friend, all good men, really enamored of Obama.  They fell for those early speeches about new ways of doing things.  I've cautioned them, but it's like talking to folks who are high.  They are going to have to detox first.  Rough to watch, no point in arguing much about it, anymore than you could argue a drunk out of inebriation.  Just takes time and the experience of the world.

  Pretty cold showers on the way.  Too bad though, he's the President of all of us for at least the next four years, probably the next eight.

  This isn't a political blog.  It's about what interests me, usually stuff like boiling deerheads and trying to figure out a load for 600 yards.  Deercams.  Old guns.  Art.  The Redhead.  The Cat.  The neighbors.  Tracks in the dirt along Butler Creek.  The myriad joys of life.  I get the uneasy feeling that the government has ruptured in a way that's going to swamp the kind of life I aspire to live and leave for my daughter and get between me and happiness.  Hope not.  We'll certainly get to see.  I'm not going to let it make me unhappy but keeping a wary eye on it. 

It Ain't Just Plaxico

  Now Brandon Jacobs, NY Giants running back has issued a statement about his 2nd Amendment stance.  Wonder what state he lives in?  

  Nice to have folks standing up for their human rights!

My Flabbergastion Continues.

  Lawdog is from another planet.  That's the only explanation.  Most LEOs don't have a comment about illegal orders- happy, (as in Katrina) to go along with them.  Now he's actually advocating open carry in Texas.  This is unheard of in his circle.

  I hope he has 1000 children.  He's a rare human being and a formidable, nuanced advocate of human rights.  My respect grows.  Everyone ought to read him every day.

  Full disclosure:  I've got a LEO friend who WAS a sniper at Ruby Ridge.  He didn't get to shoot.  He complains that Horuchi is a hell of a guy, got a raw deal and that they ought to have been allowed to kill everyone on the top of that hill.  I've got another close LEO friend who watched FBI folks load both metal doors on a truck and drive away at Waco, then testified to the same in front of the judge, (not jury).  I've heard personal accounts of lots of this stuff. 

Update:  Make that two folks with commissions: Cowtown Cop is on the side of the Angels.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reloading Obsession

  The redhead asked me when I was going to be finished loading ammo.  Ha!  The answer is: Never.  Hard to stop when this scratches my obsessive itch so well.  You sort, clean, size, trim, load.  Many steps in a certain order.  I just pile my shoes in one area, don't lay out my socks, iron my jeans or count my staples but when you need twelve more LC 04s to make a box of 100 it's like playing Go Fish.

  Lotta ammo on the table.  Need more.  Got any WCC 05s?

  The Kid came home last night from his first overnight visit to his dad in four years or so.  He borrowed a rifle from me and shot a coyote and a 450 lb hog.  As revenge his dad sent the coyote hide and most of the pig meat home with him.  Divorce is an ugly thing.  God only knows what lice, ticks, fleas and vermin a December hide has on it and pig meat?  He called me looking for a freezer for a hind leg.  I passed.

  At the coffee shop we saw Trish the Dish.  She gave me the bit of shocking news that a mutual friend- Joanna Jones, had been shot to death by her boyfriend at her job.  Jones was a pixie-like Englishwoman, mother to a 10 year old girl and a delightful person.  And it's not just the accent and laughing at my jokes- she really WAS a wonderful person with disastrous taste in men.  She'd been in my studio as a stylist for several photoshoots.  Her boyfriend, Michael Scott Hudnall, killed her and then botched killing himself, shooting off his jaw instead.  I wonder who he thought he was killing when he shot my friend?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daily Deercam

  New face.  Wandering buck probably pushed out of territory by bigger animals.  Probably a nice, big 2 1/2 year old.  Nice genetics, wide rack.  Easy to recognize with those browtines.   Next year.  Or the next.

Update:  Some of the new faces may be due to me shooting the previous buck that held this territory.  Makes the whole system flex when you take out one of the major players.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Twist Rate.

  Most people.....OK, SOME people know that there is rifling in the barrel of their rifles and pistols which causes the bullet to spin, stabilizing it.  The twist rate varies from model to model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.  ( rifling is twisting grooves cut into the inside of the barrel)  I recently had my AR rebarreled with a Douglas stainless 1/8 twist barrel.  It won't stabilize 80 grain Sierras.  Not enough twist.  (The twist rate 1/8 is one complete revolution of the rifling every 8 inches, hence: 1/8.)  My previous Douglas barrels have been OK, but this one isn't.
  All I have ever shot at 600 is 80 grain Sierra Matchkings.
  I've been struggling with this for almost a year, shooting good scores up close at 200 and 300 yards with 69 grain Sierra Matchkings then watching my score crash with some lousy groups at 600 yards with the 80s.
  I'm not happy when I shoot lousy scores.  The sensation was that I was shooting very well, but the 80s were never where you thought they should be.  I would break a shot I thought would be in the middle and it would be a 4:00 8 ring.  Then I would break the next shot down the middle and it would be a 9 at 2:00.  A couple of times I shot donut shaped groups AROUND the 10 ring.  Very frustrating.
  Today, I shot some Lapua 77 grain bullets that we got as samples on Commercial Row on Camp Perry at the National Matches.  I only had 20, and the match calls for 2 sighters and then 20 rounds for record, so I shot two Sierra Matchking 77 grain bullets for sighters.  The sighters were a 10 and an X.  First Lapua 77 just missed the nine ring for an 8 at 12:00.  I came down three clicks on the rear sight and started shooting up the center.  Result: 194X8 (out of a possible 200)  Everything on call.  Much fun when things work.
  Overall 485X16.  95X1 standing at 200, 97X3 sitting rapid at 200 yards, 99X4 at 300.  Beautiful day at Panola.

Update:  Yeah, if I had a 1/7 twist barrel there wouldn't be a problem.  Same thing with my 1/8 twist match rifle barrel- it's 24 inches long instead of 20 on the AR service rifle, so it seems to shoot 80s OK.  Those extra four inches or more twist rate make a big difference.

Free Plaxico!

  I'm with Dave on this one.  New York and New Jersey have immoral, unjust, unconstitutional laws.
  I like the idea of Plaxico defending himself (plenty of money, time on his hands, personal freedom at stake) as well as I liked using President Bush as the plaintiff for the Heller case.  Bush has an illegally imported pistol in his office.  (Saddam's Browning Highpower)  It's illegal for anyone to have one there.  Plus there is the further question of the numerous Federal importation laws, none of which have a wave-off for POTUS.  He had enough money to mount a stiff defense against immoral, unjust and unconstitutional laws.  He should have been arrested as the scofflaw he is and been tried.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Brass gods.

  One of my favorite companies, RVO, has gone kaflunkt so I'm having to do my own brass work.  It's hand work like knapping your own arrowpoints fom river cobbles.  Many steps.
  Plenty of brass on hand.  I have 5 gallon buckets of mixed brass, mostly .223.  Got the little factory set up.

1.  Size and deprime case.
2.  Tumble clean overnight.
3.  Punch out the walnut chunk in the primer hole and clean inside for any burrs.
4.  Trim to overall length.
5.  Champfer and bevel case mouth.
6. Prime.
7.  Measure and load powder.
8. Seat bullet.

  I sort by headstamp so there are cut off milk cartons all around filling up with enough brass to make a box of bullets.
  It's fun like anything: doing it yourself.  I make some custom loads for other rifles and .45acp match ammo.  I'm making my match .223 loads plus enough for the kid.  I'm bad about passing out ammo to new shooters as well.  Get 'em hooked.  You have to handload to shoot serious rifle match scores.  You just can't get good enough ammo cheap enough without doing it yourself.
  Using a Harrell powder thrower, a Lyman scale, a Harrell press with rotating top and Sinclair hand priming tool.  Once you get rolling you can crank it out, though I am weighing every load and using single stage equipment.
  Thinking about adding some dies for the Swede Mauser and shoot it in Vintage matches.  Just need sixty Norma cases and some 107gr Sierra 6.5 Matchkings.  I already load 7.65 Argentine and 7X57 for my deer rifle.  Killed a lot of deer with handloads.
  I miss River Valley Ordnance.  Maybe they will come back to life.  I haven't had completely clean hands in a week.  Either the gunpowder and brass grease mixed with Universal Wax lube or the jewelers rouge in the tumbling media get you.
  Then you put them in the rifle, there's a CRACK! and your uncleaned, unprimed, unsized, untrimmed, unloaded brass is there in the grass waiting to go around again.
  Wonder if my little factory is going to be a felony offense in six months?

Update:  Comments asked about where to learn reloading.  I'd start looking at some Youtube videos and buy Glenn Zedikers book.

Update II: I'm a simpleton who is made happy by the sight of a cut off milk carton full of shiny clean brass!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Daily Deercam

  A trophy buck I don't recognize yet.  Only stayed for one file.  Flabbergasting genetics in this bottom.  Notice how short his legs look and how rounded his belly is.  Mature buck.  5 1/2- 6 1/2.  Cruises in.  Gets one photo made.  Gone.  What else is out there?  Bigfoot?

  This 1 1/2 will be nice next year, and better in 2010 if he makes it.  Probably an eight point next fall about eartip wide.  He's peeing in the scrape.  Deer this age are dumb.  The big bucks run them off, the does run them off and they wander around until some new shooter sees them. 

  Doe still smelling the licking branch.  Mature doe.  Big body.  No doe tags in Smith County so ladies like this one get old and experienced.

  Deercamming today when my Alpenflage chest pocket rang.  It was my daughter, and we chatted along as I strolled out to cam one with a gallon of corn, a card and an AR carbine.  I rounded the corner and could see deer backs floating along in the grass.  Hung up.  Spilled some corn.  Dropped my cell phone down inside one leg to my rubber boot.  Very exciting.  It was the big doe and her two button buck fawns.  All together.  Rut over for a bit.  I had the wind and they never figured me while I watched them off one knee.
  I knew it wasn't one of the big bucks because if you can't see the horns with your eyes, right off...then there aren't any horns worth seeing.
  Scrapes still being worked.
  Across the creek I cleared the cam and then took a little off-trail line to see some of the habitatup the creek.  Perfect for deer.  Not a sign of a person- I don't think anyone ever goes up in the brush.  I pushed some deer ahead of me up a sandy bottomed deep-cut creek keeping one eye on the gravel banks for arrownheads and pottery.  Rubs, tracks, sign.  Perfect cover, abundant food.  I would never come back here during summer months.  With the leaves down you can just find your way.  God help us when a fire comes through.
  I ought to cut a trail into one of the flats along the deep creek, put a feeder and a cam back here with a nice discreet tree seat.  Or just improve some sight lines on the seat I have near the cam.  Cut out a tree so I can see the scrape.

Update:  Alan sent jaw teeth photos of my deer to the local state biologist.  4 1/2 years old.  He was a fawn in Spring of 2004.

Don't go Plaxico.

  In the fine tradition of DEA agent Lee Paige, here's another guy with an aching leg. 

  This isn't funny.  Our local County Judge shot himself the same way.  Must happen all the time. 

  BE CAREFUL!  Observe the Four Rules of Gun safety.  Don't shoot yourself or others!   

  Maybe it's just something about those Glock .40s.

  Here's Lee Paige again.  Don't know why he isn't pitching HS Precision.

Update:  Instapunk sums up the rational and emotional argument to save these victims.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Carry in Texas

  This isn't a TSRA action item.  Alice Tripp, the TSRA lobbiest, thinks its a little extreme and she is right on one count: the states that have it have it as a hold-over from an earlier era or something government overlooked.  NO state has established open carry in the modern era, say, 1920 to present.
  It would be an uphill climb.
  LEO's open carry in civilian clothes all the time.  They hang a badge next to the gun and that is supposed to ID them enough.  These days though, when the FDA meat inspectors and the Fire Chiefs building inspectors and city lawyers all pack openly, it's hard to make a case for the peasants not having the same opportunity.  Heck, just issue some badges to unwashed scum.
  I'd like to open carry.  Sounds fun.  Smells like freedom.
  Story in the Dallas paper today.  Petition here.  No chance in hell of getting someone to carry a bill this session.  One thing Alice mentioned- when this is rolling around the legislature it gives the anti-gun folks something to concentrate on and keeps them from doing real damage.  That might be worth the fight right there.

Update: Jeff at Alphecca is talking about it as well.

Update II:  Jacquelline Floyd wrote her column about this in the Dallas Morning News but I can't find a link yet.  Hard to tell if she was for or against.

Acorn Crop

  Not any good on the East Coast but for the record, damn good here.  You could skate on acorns through the woods in Smith County.
  I've noticed how cyclical the pecans and acorns are in town and the deer hunters always talk about it.  I've never seen a NO-acorn year though.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Buck skinning video up at Youtube.

  Just put the video up.  Starts with buck down in the field and goes through skinning.  Skull boiling process coming up.

Update:  Skull boiling up.  Learn to boil your own skull for a nice museum quality wall mount.  Cheap.
  I know it's kind of graphic but just be thankful I'm not making sex instruction videos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Nothing left but a mass of acorns and mast.  Not a drop of blood or a twist of flesh.  A black vulture was overhead as I dragged him out and the rain erased the rest.  I took an acorn as a token.  Scrapes hadn't been worked but had fresh footprints in them.
  When a big deer, especially a large buck with a territory he is defining and defending, disappears then the whole herd has to adjust.  The little bucks will still slink around nervously, the does watch the four corners of the compass and his rivals will wonder where he is.  Things will shift and some other buck will pick up any slack.  I imagine most of the area does are bred by now.  He wasn't the only big buck in the area but he had to be reckoned with.  Big 10 and the buck I was hunting are here somewhere close.
  He was on cam.  24 files running up to 8:52am.  I shot him a minute or two before nine.  I'm not quite ready to hang up my aplenflage and go play vintage rifle with Alan's does in Clarksville but the buck hunting is over.
  Typical human psyche:  Hunt 'em.  Kill 'em.  Then mourn them.
  Across the creek: a coyote, the bent-horn buck, (who will be better next year) and a 1 1/2 year old three-pointer.  Rolled up my camo and went across barefoot to keep from having wet feet.  Barefoot boy with cheek of tan.  November in Texas.  Gorgeous woods.  Carried the AR in case I chanced across a coyote.  The rushing creek was saying something but I couldn't quite make out the words.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Left Handed

  Just occurred to me that I shot this deer left handed.  The branch I was sitting on only allows for left hand shots to his position.  I practice a bit both ways but hadn't thought about it before.  I do notice: THIS would be a left-handed shot.  THAT would be a right handed shot.   The rifle is in my lap while hunting bucks.  Does: more relaxed.   You don't get a lot of reaching time when a buck shows.  

Update: In comments in the debate about the best tactical training I always say:  Hunt deer.  Kill something.  Then talk to me about SOB vs inside-the-pants.  Jim Cirillo, the NYPD stakeout and shootout specialist said he picked his guys on three criteria:  Shoot competition.  Reload ammo.  Hunt big game. 

Update:  Here's the link to Amazon and Cirillo's first book.  I'd never shoot another human being but if you are of the defensive mindset it's good to know how from someone who did it a LOT.  Cirillo probably shot more people in face-to-face gunfights than anyone else in American history.

Update III: Still shaking my head over how anyone ever survives being shot.  I've killed 10 deer the last two years and been in on the shooting of another 10.  All single shot kills.  Shoot above the diaphram no matter what the caliber or jacket and it's over.

Project done.

  Nice deer, boiled to the essence.

  Gluing the jaw together.  Added glue along the front teeth to hold them.

  On the wall drying.  Jaw and teeth glued in.  Took about 24 hours of simmering in the pasta pot.  Worked with knife, toothpicks and toothbrush to get all the little pieces out.  It makes a more scientific mount than a head with skin.  

Update:  17 1/4 inside spread.

Owens Archive Shopping

  These guys are probably getting rich off of public sector photos, but more power to them.  I'm having fun just perusing their files.  If you don't like trains or WWII, the th Civil War or Aviation, or how about a Bardot photo when she was 18?  Hard to beat.  I'm Christmas shopping.

  Of course, people are going to get what I like...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

  Here's hoping for the best for the Nation in the coming year and giving thanks for the many blessings of the year gone past.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Media Face

  Submitting a photo for the local newspaper, but I'm switching rifles to my AR.

  Update:  Or maybe not.  Photograph doesn't have it.

Man Cooking

  Hate to leave this out.  Going to make a video of boiling down a deer head.  Cheaper and nicer than a mount or a skullcap cut.


  Big body deer.  Probably over 200 on the hoof.

  He was full in the Rut.  Big mature eight point with bark in his horns and pee stains down the back of both legs.  Stanky.  Looking for love.  King of the hill. 

  Now he's dead and in Deerhalla.  Vultures are digesting his guts and Mexicans at the processor are cutting his parts into parts.  I'm boiling his head and the Kid went over and washed the last bloodstains off the neighbors driveway where we skinned him out.  Surviving lice and ticks are trying to figure out what the heck happened in a plastic sack in the bottom of a dumpster.

  On the kitchen counter: a twisted jacket from a Sierra Gameking.

Big Buck Blues

  Sons of Bitches.  In fact, DOUBLE sons or double bitches, whichever is worse.

  Doe and a yearling fawn came through...together, so I figured the rut is winding down, as it should be.  I was watching from the tree and things were very quiet after the pair came through at 7:30.  (I'd have missed them if I hadn't been looking at the spot where they came out.  Funny how that works sometimes.)  Was just about to unbranch my butt at 9:00 when I looked across and saw an enormous buck at the far scrape standing on his back feet sniffing the licking branch.
  There isn't much time with big bucks.  You have to get on the gun RFN.  I got on the gun and watched him dig out an old scrape.  He wasn't Big Ten.  He wasn't the buck I passed on.  I could tell he was big but he didn't look like the huge buck on last nights post.  He got antsy on his feet like he was leaving.  Decision time.

  So I shot him.  Down in his tracks, kicked a couple of times and that was it.  130 Sierra Gameking out of the Ruger #1 7X57.  130 yards or so offhand and offbranch.  Had the scope dialed back to about 6X.  Some buck I had never seen, never cam-ed.  I probably have him from last year.  

  Up close he looked bigger.  I did a quick field dress and started dragging.  Tough stuff but kept doing the next little thing and the next little thing and slowly things got done.  Hard to get photos by yourself.  Hard to field dress on the ground.  Hard to get back to the road.  Hard to get in the 4-runner.   Nobody around to help.

  Drove him around a bit to show off but the right folks weren't available to really get some jealousy going.  (Called Joe to brag and he was in Nachitoches.)  Hung him up across the street at Mary Burtons and weighed him.  160, field dressed.  Dayum.  That's big.  Must have gone a bit over 200 on the hoof.  Probably a 4 1/2 year old.  Have to have Alan take a look at the jaw teeth.  The Kid came over and helped and we found the jacket from the Gameking under the skin on the far side.  Just enough juice.

  Meat at the processor for Major Terrell.  (OK, he appreciated him)   4 1/2 hours from trigger break to butcher.   Hide rolled up and tossed in the dumpster.  Head boiling down to bone on the stove.

  The big one is still out there, but it's a one buck county.  I don't take a buck every year so he's safe from me for a couple of years.  Glad I have the deercams so I can still play even if I don't score.

Update:  Dad would be happy.

Update II:  Nothing like having your own Kid around.  He got the cooler out of the back yard.  He hauled the rifles in.  He climbed the trellis to hand the scales.  He videoed.  He took the scales down and cleaned the cooler.  Swapped knives as they went dull.  Did everything.  Everyone ought to have a neighborhood Kid.

Update II:  17 1/4 inside spread. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buck and Bigger Buck

  I've been hunting and willing to shoot the deer facing right.  The buck who showed up on cam is probably the one Sneed and I saw...and is a bigger animal.

  Glad I passed on the 8-point earlier.  I like big deer.

Daily Deercam

  I think he would go about 140 B & C.

  Notice the blood on the antler.

  Not camera shy.  Most of the big ones are.  I haven't seen Big Ten except with my own eyes this year, not on camera at all.  He's in the area along with another big buck I have been hunting.

  This is the 8-point I passed on.

  Instead of being a lazy bum I should have been checking my deercam.  Still fighting and the major scrapes are being worked while all the smaller ones are abandoned.  Notice the blood on his left photo side antler.

  I know this deer from a few years back.  He's slightly bigger than the biggest I have ever shot.

  There is so much blood on the back two tines on the 17th that I wonder if there is another dead buck somewhere close.  Looks like a deep puncture with both tines.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Master

  I'm a funny guy, but I don't even rate a seat at the table compared to Iowahawk.  Click the link down the bar at the side.

The Evil Satisfaction....

  ..that comes from hosing blood and ice out of someone elses brand-new unused cooler that you butchered your deer into while they were busy hundreds of miles away at their job.

  Reminds me of the walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes quote:  You disagree, take their shoes and walk a mile.  When you finish, they are a mile behind and you have their shoes.  You still disagree.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Innocent Victim of Gun Violence.

  I'm hunting with a 1943 Remington 1903A3 and some Lake City 1969 FMJ 30-06.  I just put this rifle in an old military C stock that I stripped and refinished.  Notice that wide and tall front sight blade.  Anyone or thing shot with such a fine vintage weapon should have no complaints.

  Mesmerizing drive up north to Clarksville in Red River County.  RRC is the least populated county in Texas east of a Dallas-San Antonio line.  Feels it, too.  Long deserted highways.  Gorgeous country.  Decaying small towns.  A closed Walmart.  Folks off the unabomber/bigfoot family tree riding 4-trackers down the side of the road.  The radio band has nothing but rock oldies: I shot the Sheriff.

  But I didn't bother shooting the deputy.

  Sat in one of Alan's new blinds Saturday afternoon and chatted with him and his son over the radio.  I could see deer's ears over the crown of the hill and they eventually made their way over and down to the feeder where I applied a Lake City FMJ.  Second deer with this rifle.  I bought and keep it just for Springfield matches.  Got yellow National Match tape on the trigger guard.

  First deer of the season, a nice big doe.  Sure is fun to carry a big horse of an old rifle.  This morning I watched two nubbin bucks graze and eat feeder corn for an hour and a half.  When they left I went to the house and cut up the doe to transport her home in a cooler.  There is something a little celebratory about skinning out and cutting up the first deer of the year.  Some of the best things you have to do for yourself.  You remember that all things pass.  You notice that a lot of dirty work is just work.  Having dad's sharp knife is a delight.  Old rifles are deadly.  Shoot well and be grateful.

  Glad to be part of the process.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gun Show ammo panic: The Obamapalooza!

  National Ammo Day continues into it's third week.  Folks lined up in a double line- about 40 strong, getting into the gun show at Tyler around 10:00 this morning.  Folks coming out confirm- it's just a few vendors, not worth the 7 buck entry fee.  Gun Show organizers threw this one together to capitalize on the Obamapalooza.  I came home. 

  Going to Clarksville to shoot does.  Packing my Ruger #1 7X57  but also my newly C-stocked 1903A3.  That's the ticket.  A box of Lake City 30-06 ammo from 1969 and an obsolete 65 year old bolt gun! (Hell, I was THERE!)

  Killed a doe with this dinosaur last year, but nothing like re-runs.  New front blade, new stock, new attitude.  That's hope and change, right there!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quiet Evening in the Hood

  Sitting at the computer in my underwear with a cat and a glass of some industrial grade cabernet when I heard gunfire a block or two over.  Lots of gunfire.  A mag.  Return fire.  Has a funny reverberating echo to it, like a shoot-out inside a Ryder Truck.  I wouldn't bother the police- mostly Mexican Nationals over that way and I celebrate diversity but the downstairs renter called 911.  Three cars on the way.  Update later.
  Folks are getting in touch about how to get ammo- a cheap lifetime supply of ammo, because of the Obamacles and his lightworkers.  I haven't a clue.  Buy it, I guess.  There is a gunshow tomorrow in town, organized by some folks who have been trying to get a circuit started.  I guess they figured Obama was their big chance.
  Regretting not buying Rock River lowers at the National Matches.  By the time we got there the cheap blems were gone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Ammo Day, half over.

  Have yourself an Obamapaloza!  Gas is down to 179.9 here so spend your gas money on ammo.  Many afternoon shopping hours left!  In the future, your grandchildren will marvel when you tell them that you actually OWNED a firearm and could go BUY ammo right off the shelf!  Enjoy while you can.  Very connected, smart, committed and efficient people are figuring out ways to end all this right now!
  In Texas you take the boxes of ammo and run it past the cashier like you are buying bread.  No ID, no list to sign, no permit, no Firearm Owners card, no nothing, just like a free country.  Really!

You Read It Here.

  Hitler only had one testicle.  It will be clearer why this matters when a unifying theory of Quantum Mechanics is developed.

  Actually, this is yet another example of why you need an accurate zero on your rifle.  The other testicle was shot off at the Somme by a lackadasical marksman.

  Of course, it's possible that Hitler was the lesser of two evils and the much worse future German leader was killed dead as Cooter Brown in WWI.  Instead of leading the Reich into genocidal, Jew-hating, world conquering mania they would have been Mozart-loving cannibals.  EAT the French.  EAT the Jews.  EAT the Russians.  EAT the English.  Who knows?

  In either case, know your zeros and be able to read a little wind.  Have a good rifle or two on hand.  Buy plenty of ammo.

Lost Car Keys.

  The Redhead has two sets of keys and can't find both of them at any given time.  I understand.
  I just can't figure out why they can't invent a space jet ski and go get things like this.
  They ought to keep at least one redneck on the International Space Station at all times to keep stuff like this working.  Any industrial-grade redneck could grease and loosen a joint without losing his shop tools into low Earth orbit.

Last week the Moon, this week they sink the pirates: Is there ANYTHING the Indians can't do?

  Proving once again that it's not just cheap smokes and Chickashaw Bingo, Indians sank a Pirate mothership off Somolia.  They make me dang proud to be an American!  Seagoing Sioux!
  Beating the drums over the Moon landing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

National Ammo Day

 Today.  November 19th.  Buy at LEAST 100 rounds and be part of the national buy-cott.  You can't have too much ammo.

  Kim Du toit thought this up and put the National Ammo Day on HIS birthday.  Good for him and good for us.  I've met and shot with Kim.  He's the real deal.  This is the 7th anniversary.

  You're going to need ammo in the future, and I doubt it's going to get cheaper.  AIMSurplus is good.  They've got some Swiss 7.5, they say.  I've ordered and been happy from Ammoman though some folks have had problems.  Samco is good, and like AIM, they have firearms as well.  Midway has everything.  Plus.

  500 rounds of .22 is the basic load.  You'll always need .45 or 9mm.  Maybe I'll order some Swiss GP11 from Cheaper than Dirt or someone.  Maybe Academy for some .38 special or 9mm for me.  I've GOT ammo and I MAKE ammo, but you really can't have too much dang ammo!

  Big gunshow here this weekend but I am going to hit a retail outlet early.

  Update:  It's here.  Start buying!  And MENTION it's National Ammo Day.  Ask them if they have a sale or a special.

  Tam mentioned ordering from Georgia Arms.

Update II: I loaded up the local geezer and went to Academy Sporting Goods.  Four boxes of 9mm, two boxes of .38 Special and two boxes of .40 cal for a friend.  I asked the counter guy if he had heard of National Ammo Day and he said no, but they had been enjoying the Obamapalooza.  They had 9mm for nine bucks a box, limit ten...with people lined up to buy all they could.  Ammo and guns flying out the door.
  I'm going to load 50 rounds of 270 for Dr. Sneed and then look for ammo at the gun show this weekend.  Still sniffing around for Swiss 7.5.  Cheaper than Dirt had some for 29.00 a 60-round pack...turned out to be a misprint.  40 bucks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Day in Parts

  A buck fawn and the bent horn buck across the creek.

  Sick of hunting.  Hard to believe but there it is.  Miserable with branch-butt, skulking around in the half-light.  Sore feet from foot-walking around the watershed in soft rubber boots.  Sitting like a snag in the biting wind.  Rattling.  Taking a day off.


  Dead rabbit in the front wall of the brush blind.  WTF?

  Sneed watches a prancing doe, a micro-buck and a distressed fawn parading around the pasture.  I'm across the way in the big pine watching the woods and miss it.  They cross behind me around an oak still holding its leaves.

  Opossum, probably female eating...something.  Taste-y along the woodline.  Just munching and munching while appearing deshabille from life.  Ears tattered, hair tufted.  She switches sides and shows bloody scratches and bites around her eye on the left.  Unlike Rachel I'm a possum fan.  Why hasn't she found the rabbit?  What nearly got her?

  Hawks screaming overhead.  They are hunting, but why all the screaming?

  I get back to the bluff cam and it blinks a message:  Hibernating.  Hibernating?  What the hell?  Are we bears now?  There's no hibernating!  No photos.

  Scrapes unworked since the rain.  Why?

  Three raccoons in the top of a 100+ foot pine.  I'm just looking up for hawk nests when I spot them.  No way up.  No way down.  They are curled up sleeping as the treetop rocks in the wind.  They must be better climbers than I think.  Three of them.  Woods full of hollow logs, slanty trees.  If you slip at 70 feet...

  Speaking of climbers we see a tail-less squirrel crossing the street in town.  Looks like a rabbit.  Throws the whole gestalt.  Very strange looking.

  Across the creek to pull the card for the first time since the big Monday rain.  The trail is twiggy and submerged in leaves.  Deertracks chewed up the creek crossing.  I count.  Four going one way and one coming back.

  Deer track in town on the art museum site property.  In town.  WAY in town.  Fresh.

  No deer as the wind and the light fade Saturday night but close off the bluff behind me in the trees a deer catches my scent and snorts.  And snorts and snorts.  And snorts.  Won't give it up.  Directly downwind.  Sounds close enough to shoot at the sound.  I put a pump of doe pee in the wind and slip off into the gloaming.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Indians land a probe on the Moon.

  I wondered what they were spending all the casino money on.  Go Sioux!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New tree sitting.

  This is what the environmentalist nuts get to enjoy.  Get the apes back IN the trees.  It's nice up there.

  Of course, I'm armed.

  Crossed the deep grass pasture as the moon set this morning.  I jumped a deer when I got to the tree but they couldn't quite figure me in the dark.  And disappearing up the tree is playing one level higher than they go.

  But.  At the bottom of the tree I left a gallon milk jug full of corn for the cam.  (ethanol cam?)  If they noticed it, it wouldn't be that big a deal...right?

  At dawn a very strikingly marked doe, trailed by her fawn came out of the woods and FREAKED out over the jug.  She stamped and bobbed her head at the jug from one side of the tree, then went around and tried to bluff it into moving from the other.  An hour later the doe with two fawns came skirting around the pasture and did the same thing.

  No bucks, and the does had their fawns with them.  Very handsome animals just a few feet away below me.  I pulled the camera card and saw that I had run a few deer off the cam as I came through the brush.  I'm quiet, but I don't have anything on deer who make about as much noise as fog.  Did get a couple grunts out of one of the does as she checked the scrape.

  Little three and four point 1 1/2 olds on the cam.  Nothing big.  Does to close to photograph from the tree.  I didn't want to blink.  Try again in the morning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Budda goes Deerhunting

  What the heck else would you do for a year in the jungle?  This is some heavy Tarzan channelling going on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Good Bill

  Hope Breda is reading this.  And THIS.  

  Are we going to be Men or idiots?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm with the Jews.

 This should have provoked a strong, armed reaction.  It didn't, and Hitler went ahead.

Branch Butt

  This morning at the end of the hunt I took the bag of screw-in steps and cut the tags off.  The tags are WARNING tags in several languages, and require shears, flame, oxidants or oily rags to remove.
  Warning.  Death.  Dismemberment.  Severe injury.  Do not use for climbing.  Do not eat.  Do not use as support.  Remove from healthy trees after use.  Beware.  Falling hazard.  Adult supervision.  Puncture hazard.  Poison.  For use by one person only.

  People, people, people.

   I used them this afternoon to get up a big 60 year pine.  This is a Wild pine.  Unclimbed.  Scaly loose bark.  Lightning struck 40 years ago and grew around the dead part.  Poison Ivy to carefully clip, peel and drop.  Tremendous view of the other end of the pasture I've been hunting.  I could see down into the tall grass.  Noticed that there were some probably left-hand shots.  Found a nice branch and parked myself watching one way and listening another.  After an hour I was getting branch butt and stood up to stretch.

  Years ago, I shot a big buck near here and lost him.  I'd never lost a deer at that time.  He didn't go to waste.  Coyotes and vultures have to eat too, but I was upset.  Big buck.  Long shot.  Match ammo and an X-ring zero.  345 yards with a light mirage from the left.  I read the wind and distance and broke a perfect shot on the trigger and cross hairs dropping the bullet over the crown of the field.  I KNEW I hit that deer.

  But I never found him until the NEXT year when I walked up a leg bone under this unclimbed pine.  More scuffling around found the vertebrae, the other legs and shoulders.  No head.  No horns.  Turned out someone else had picked it up.  I made a pile of bones and offered up the appropriate prayer.

  So I'm standing on this branch doing a little pine yoga to get the blood flowing and notice the branch I am sitting on has crushed pine needles and a little white piece of trash.  That's odd.  I pick up the white trash and its a squirrel-chiseled deer vertebrae.  Gotta be from that deer.

  Thirty feet up a big pine in the evening light.  It's a process, this hunting thing.

  Later, two does walked under me.  I'm quite taken with the view.

Eight point I passed on.

  What would dad think of this wealth of deer at the back door to his lakehouse?  This is the same afternoon at the cam less than 100 yards from where I had him in my crosshairs.  Nice healthy buck.  I just already have a few bigger.  If both of us live through the year and he drops a tine next season we'll see.
  This morning I jumped a buck and a doe at 6:00am when I came around the corner into the pasture.  The buck jumped into the woods.  The doe just stood and snorted.  She didn't leave.  I hunched over and walked around her in the gloaming, pausing only to fish out my Tinks #69 and mist a cloud of doe pee her way. 
  The bent-horn buck came through later.  Alone.