Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Gunnies New Years top 10 Resolutions

1. I promise to buy a new firearm this year.

2. I promise to shoot more. (JD)

3. I will get laid at Camp Perry. (anon)

4. Going to make a beach/bikini/full auto video for youtube. (Katie Foster.)

5. I will get Bigfoot on deercam.

6. I will finish building out my AR. (Windy Wilson)

7. More range time with friends. (NRO)

Any further ideas?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cheetah dead at 80.

I'll be the first to say it: He died too soon. Gone to the great escarpment in the sky.

He lived longer than most humans and influenced generations of Americans to aspire to rugged outdoorsy, manly, armed self-sufficiency. Cheetah was at heart American, redneck and Texan. Imagine the Tarzan character created during the times of ball caps and duct tape. (Cheetah! Get cooler!) If he had been created earlier we would have won at the Alamo. ("Cheetah! Get Fannin! Umgawa!")

He saved Tarzan's life many times over for just bananas and a few yucks. If you were stuck in some god-forsaken jungle inhabited by cannibals and animists, who would you rather have along: Mr Ed, Rin Tin-tin, Lassie, Flipper, Trigger, Big Bird, Old Yeller, Alf or Cheetah?

When I was a kid we kept an eye out for any handy vine to swing across the creek on. We said we wanted to be Tarzan but in truth were a little scandalized by his outfit. Secretly we all wanted to be Cheetah.

Update: Already, his story dissolves into a mystery.....

Yeti gives us the finger.

Legendary finger finally tested. It's some old Buddist Monk, most likely. Too bad.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

They have nearly made it.

Just a few more days and the main season will be over. These guys are probably home free.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Long walk from where one cat is to where the other cat is, so I'm assuming they aren't the same cat. They must know each other though...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Deer crossing fence.

Does going through the wire. I'm surprised, but never really had a cam on a fence before.

I figured they would just hop it. Guess they go through holes in the brush smaller than this.

Little buck following. He was gone by the next frame. I don't know if he went over or through.
Going to point the camera down slightly with a twig behind the top. He's a 1 1/2 year old. Just a kid. Probably legal, but just barely. I've passed on him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Butler Creek.

Not much new or fun off the cams though I did a big circumnavigation of the swamp yesterday. Never done that. Moved one cam from the little knoll to up on a hillside where I never go- it replaced acam which got blinky when I moved it. I guess I need a couple new cams. Got three dead Moultires and three live ones.

Little buck going over a fence.

Coyote on the close cam. Ex coyote now, with regrets. I'm sure she was here looking for rabbit sign. They will be happier.

Never, ever have walked all the way around the old flooded beaver pond, now a cattail swamp. I did yesterday. It was the only season I could have made it through. Took a hour. Some parts so thick I had to push and arm through and then follow it. Beautiful sloughs down near the creek. No crossings except a temporary one over a fallen river birch. That won't last long.

Sat in the stand in the fading light. A little yellow coyote that I had glimpsed several times made the mistake of cutting across the pasture through the weeds. Should have just watched but I picked up the rifle.

Monday, December 12, 2011

WWII Knife.

Used this a bit in field dressing and skinning four does. Fun to use these old knives. Dr. Sneed had to sharpen both knives a couple of times per deer. Nice to have a fresh blade. He used a spring-loaded, V-shaped, jigged-up, plastic sharpener that we bought at a gun show. Crazy looking but it really works great.

Getting started.

Placking away with .45 in an EIC Pistol match at Camp Perry in 2007.

Justin Utley should have gotten his Pistol medal today as well, though he probably won't mention it to anyone.

Just for the record, both of us think the Distinguished Rifleman's Badge, with the all-day matches and wind reading at 300 and 600 yards is MUCH harder than the little .45 minute pistol LEG matches. The pistol matches are even usually shot from under a roof! Rifle is really tough. Pistol: just stand around in the shade for a few minutes with your hand in your pocket.

Distinguished Pistol Badge # 1511

Distinguished Pistol Badge laying on my canvas coat where I pin all my medals.

Close up of the back. They engrave your name, number and year. One of a kind.

Glad to get it in hand. Somewhere down below is my post on men wanting to be known as being cool under pressure. Watched the Cowboys and the Giants play last night and it was more of the same. Eli and the Giants are cool under pressure. Romo and the Cowboys aren't. So the Giants won and Eli gets the big rep. Romo doesn't.

The Excellence in Competition Matches run by the CMP, both the Pistol and Rifle LEG matches, are exquisitely designed to crack the human psyche. Humans AREN'T cool under pressure. They crack. Freak out. Flake out, Make excuses, Blame equipment and conditions, et, et, et. The reason that these kind of awards are so coveted in the little universe of service rifle and pistol shooting is that they distinguish the folks who, at least momentarily, overcome that. I watch it several times a year during EIC matches. Folks completely blow a match in the first stage- offhand at 200 yards. or they shoot unbelievably well until the last stage when they have a spectacular melt down. In shooting competition, its on the target in in the score for everyone to see.
Think of the actor, Bob Hope. Famous, beloved and played many movies as the guy who flaked out under pressure. It's funny to watch. His sidekick, Bing Crosby played the OTHER guy, the guy who was cool under pressure. Both are archtypes that audiences aspire to or fear to be. Steve McQueen vs Richard Pryor. Bill Murray vs Chevy Chase. Tony Romo vs Tom Brady.

Once again, to the few women that read this blog: Men want this more than ANY OTHER THING: To have a rep as being cool under pressure.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Up to Clarksville for a little doetag shooting.

The lunar eclipse finishing up on Saturday morning.

Rough business. Pulled the deer back into the field after finding her below the hill on the edge of swamp. Shot from the front. Bullet exit can be seen.

Doetag shooting with Remington 700 in .308. No blood trail. Bullet in from the front between chest and shoulder, mostly chest breaking multiple ribs and blowing out interior, exiting abdomen on right side.

Dr. Sneed, deer murderer and scientist. Big blood trail and several bloody lay-downs but not until she got into the woods. 30 yards or more with nothing. Tuft of hair at the spot where she was shot.

More doetag shooting. 120 lbs live weight. Through and through with a .308. No blood trail, just a tuft of hair at the site of the hit.

Kid reading book in the kitchen at the ranch house.

Shooting any kind of live animal, I try to remember to notice EXACTLY where the animal is standing when I break the shot so that if I have to track it, I have a place to start without thrashing around or guessing. It's VERY hard to remember that when an animal is moving and you are trying to get a good break on the trigger. I try to notice a tree or branch where they are and the then notice the LAST place I see them when they run. I rarely get both. My mind just gets busy.

We had to track Dr. Sneeds deer out of a big green pasture where it hardly left a trace. He had marked a tuft of hair. There was one little spot of blood about ten yards away, then nothing. I had the Good Doctor stay at the tuft, dropped my hat at the spot of blood and walked a line into the trees where I picked up a good blood trail. We found her about 60 yards further on.

I marked my first deer exactly where she was when the trigger broke. No blood. I started by angling down into the woods where I had seen her last and she was there. No blood trail at all though the M852 went between her left shoulder and chest from the front, blowing up a patch of ribs as big as a hand, exiting from the abdomen on the other side and pulling out a couple coils of little intestine. No blood trail.

Second doe was shot side to side with M852 match ammo in .308. Tuft of hair at the site where she was. Six deer ran so I lost her but they all went the same direction. No blood trail. I was zigging and zagging in the grass when I saw her laying dead in the open. Big exit wound on the shoulder. I backtracked from where I found her. No trace of blood.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Doe skin-tag close-up.

Never seen anything quite like this.

Daily Deercam.

Big doe and three yearling fawns. Two of them may be nubbin bucks. In the rain.

Little doe with black dot skin tag behind her eye.

Another shot of the same doe. The skin tag seems to be growing.

Rabbits in the rain. Welcome to some corn.

First mature buck of the season. Rut must be over and he is wandering looking for does in heat in the middle of the day.

This was about as good as it got, though I didn't see many of his generation. None in person. Year and a half. MAYBE 2 12 year old. Wasn't a good antler year, though locally they did have water and an operational creek bottom.

Over 500 images on my cam. Doesn't take long to download them or edit. I just saved eight or so. I went out at about 4 and sat until the moon was throwing shadows. Had a big doe and a fawn come browsing through at about 4:20. Two raccoons in the dusk. The coyotes close across the creek tuned up and another pack just up the creek joined in just as it got dark. 39 degrees. Nearly a full moon tonight. I scattered corn after I got down, swapped cam cards back in the brush by the light of my iphone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Coon tracks.

I GUESS this is a line of raccoons walking in a line and all stepping in the same spots through the leaves in the bottom of the creek here on Lindsey Lane.

Could be Bigfoot!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Blackfork Guide available as ebook.

1.99. Worth it.

Distinguished Tatts.

Certificate signed by the Governor...or his autopen.

I've seen two, both at the National Matches. One on a shoulder and one on a calf. (human leg muscle, not a baby cow.) The tatt on the calf seemed very odd to me, but there you are. The freshly Distinguished Clay Hefner got a new Distinguished Badge shoulder tatt he was showing off at Panola while I was in Dallas. Photo as soon as I see him.

Last week I got a second place medal for being second in the Terrell Pistol Leg match and a letter telling me I had a Distinguished Pistol Medal coming. Also got a Governor's 20 pin and certificate signed by Governor Rick Perry for being in the top 20 finishers at the TSRA Service Rifle Match, (2nd, overall). Piling up the junk medals here.

Distinguished certificate arrived, making it a little more official. Still no medal.

Saturday: Texas History

The redhead and I loaded up the dog and drove to Fair Park in Dallas to see the Dallas Historical Society Texas History exhibit. You can't see it. Today is the last day. The weather is changing and we drove through the spitting rain to Dallas. At Fair Park we threaded our way around to a parking lot at the Hall of State. The Dallas White Rock Marathon is today so a steady flow of skinny middle aged folks were coming into the plaza to pick up their race packets. Hardly anyone in the exhibit.

The Hall of State was built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. It is very impressive with murals, carvings and mosaics. The exhibit was configured badly and poorly lit but the items were impressive. Stephen F. Austin's hatchet and surveying tools. Houston's hat, broken pistol, walking canes and some laurel leaves from the tree where he accepted Santa Anna's surrender at San Jacinto. (Houston wrote love letters to a woman during the revolution and sent her some pressed leaves). Santa Anna's captured snuff box from San Jacinto and his vest captured in the US/Mexican war. (all in all he didn't do very well against the Nortes) Bowie's knife from the Alamo. Crockett's fiddle and derringer. Fannin's watch he gave the Mexicans before they executed him, shooting him in the face while he sat in a chair. Arrowheads. A Kiowa deerskin shirt. A cannonball from the Alamo. Many items from La Salle's La Belle supply shipwreck in Matagorda Bay. Spanish sword and spurs. Great stuff. You just needed to bring your own flashlight.

White Rock Marathon start. Only 50,000 folks in Texas during the 1836 revolution. 25,000 folks in the marathon and half marathon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Evening hunt.

Drove out to the lake to drop off sacks of corn and scatter a couple pounds of Rye seed in front of the corner where I hunt most. Big rain expected. That ought to sprout the rye. It was 5:15 when I wrapped up and I started to leave but then decided to sit for a bit in the tree. Ten minutes later two does walked right under me. There was another deer back in the woods- I could hear it but it wouldn't come out of the treeline.
The two does headed straight for the scrape but approached it with caution- the camera was missing. They acted like they expected to be flashed! They both nosed around, licked branches, sniffed things that didn't look sniffable and broused at stuff that didn't look especially edible. I sat until after full dark- half moon on top of clouds. They spooked at something out in the field and came pounding back past my tree.
Never got to see whatever was in the woods.

Daily Deercam.

Still getting in a little hunting action now and again. Interesting stuff on cam...but no big bucks. Been a strange year. I jumped a nice buck and doe this morning from under the tree I sit in but didn't get a good look. Not much on the cam.

Moved cam to the other side of the creek in an area where I never hunt. Deer highway. I set it up at a place they jump a wire fence. We'll see.

A doe in heat. There must have been a big enough buck right there. Wonder if the IR cams and the invisible flash will make the big bucks less camera shy?

Little buck with an antler torn off at the base. He'll be easy to spot next year, with just a lump or a palmated antler growing in.

Very alert does early in the morning.

Another doe walking like there might be a big buck close.

All the ruckus CAN'T be about bucks this size. Little year and a half bucks shouldn't even be breeding if there are some real monsters around.