Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mermaids, Colds, On-Call, and Gun Season...

Oh yeah, and squirrel hunting too. Man, what a busy couple of weeks we have working here in Central OH. Next week is Thanksgiving and I am on-call guy for the week. The week after is whitetail gun season. Four weeks after that is Christmas. Gonna be fun for a while. So how have things been lately? Let go over it.

A few weeks back was Halloween. We were beset by Mermaids here in Casa del Hunter. We walked for a couple of blocks and she decided she had shared enough of herself away from Mommy and back home we went. Have a look. She's my cutie....

This past week my good friend Ryland and I got out to slay the evil tree rats. It turns out neither one of us enjoy the hunting nearly as much as shooting the bull while we should have been quiet. I had a few shots but they were way too far off. I tried once but only managed to scare the little guy into running for his nest. We decided to bag it and head for the range to sight in the deer implements. Somehow I also managed to catch the 'Death Cold'. Gah, I hate these viral things....

I forgot how hard that damned 454 can kick. I finally got it put back together and two shots at a plastic bottle later it was sighted in... two perfect .452 inch holes in the label of the bottle.... Good day not to be a target I guess. Let me just say how impressed I am, one more time, with the cannon and can launch that 300 gr hollow point at the 1200+FPS that Encore can. It packs a wallop.

There's much more to talk about however my Father has advised that I should stop using the rifle and just pack my camera when I go out from now on. To that end, I've decided to publish some more of the previous trips pics. Take care everyone and we'll catch up soon after the deer thing ends.

And what is one of my posts without a gun pic or two to take us home.... :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

November Photo Orgy / Squirrel Strikeout

I sneaked the camera out today... the new one. Mrs. Hunter didn't know. I love using the silly thing. It is truly a step or 70 up my cell camera. (What I have used all along here because cameras are a big pain to haul in and out in one piece...) I am pretty darned pumped to have had a day of photog. 120 pictures all together... that's what I snapped. 120... and so begins the tale for today.

It turns out when you spend the day snapping photos, you will not be able to hunt worth a sh!t. I saw almost nothing and none of the evil tree-dwelling critters I was after in the first place.

On the flip side of that, I got some good pictures of the place I love. I am feeling like I am finally able to gather some representative images. Nothing I have done to this point does it justice. I think today's trip may just have a start on it.

The last bits of foliage were left up where the wind has not yet taken its toll. Mostly it was a cold gray day but every once in a while the sun would poke out and the sky would turn this amazing blue and I would just gorge on the lens. I need to get some better discipline around it or I may never hunt successfully again.... Oh well...

Anyhow, have a look at the rest of these. I have, literally, about a hundred more but these were the better ones I thought. I am hopeful to get to the west side of the place in a week or two and get some more shots. Enjoy.

Oh yeah... One last thing here. The guys at are hosting the 2nd annual Green Mountain Barrels photo contest and, go figure, my favorite squirrely rifle has a Green Mountain barrel and is, therefore, eligible.

I've decided to spare us all here and only post one of the pics I took of this one today. I have about a hundred of these too... Surely is a dangerous mix for me. Guns, hunting, and pictures of guns and hunting... The wife is lucky I even came home. I could still be out there, looking for another shot. (either kind)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deer Bomb

Yes, I know... I said minimal deer hunting for the rest of the year and gun season was the time... yeah. So, last week when I saw the buck at deer creek I made some mental notes about where I was, where he came from, the wind and the other things I could think made a difference. I decided it was worth one more try.

One issue that seems to confound deer hunters the world over is how to attract a big buck and get a shot when you want them there when what they want is to do their own thing and not yours. With some real resistance I decided it was time to try a lure. I settled, after some reading and consideration of my hunting spot, on the Buck Bomb. My plug for them here is that it works as advertised. The short concept summary is spray doe piss everywhere and a buck is going to smell it and check it out. Bottom line is that while it stinks like the elephant house at the zoo in July, it works. All you have to do is your part.... and so begins our real story for the week.

Check out this picture here. You may say to yourself, "Good shot. Dead center. Woo hoo." Wrong answer. If you look the left side of the photo there you can see the down limb with the wear markings where hooves graze it as the pass. I was set up, stage right, ready to do my bow and arrow thing. Off in the distance there is the tree with the can that spewed doe stink for 2 to 3 minutes.

I was on station in my ground spot for about 3 hours when I heard the snort and caught the movement through the trees. It is a feeling unlike any other I must say. Bucks are in the house. I tried to freeze and not breath so loud as to scare him away like I did the doe I had close-aboard earlier in the morning. I nearly hyper-ventilated. I was a fantastic feeling. I watched some more. Finally he dropped his head and I drew. As I reached full draw he began to walk again and I lost my shot but I could see him moving. I had to hold it. If you have never practiced holding full draw for two or three minutes I recommend it. It's pain and more pain.

Finally he turned and came back. As he passed behind these trees, he paused with his vital zone nestled right in the fork. I could see it, I could hit it, I shot at it. 20 Yards. He is so dead. I can spear an orange 19 out of 20 times at this range. His engine room is the size of a small pumpkin. He is done. Get the truck out. We have a deer to get processed.

Now, it's fare to say that the branch I hit to deflect the arrow is about as big around as my little finger and was less than 18 inches long and pointed nearly straight at me with a slight point to the left. I never saw it but I saw the arrow turn left and spear the tree. Well sh!#.

To be fair it was a great day. The chance to shoot at a big 8 point with such a close shot makes me feel good about my tactics. My shooting skill needs some more work but all in all, I am pleased. A gorgeous day, a thrill better than nearly anything, and a day out of the office. Count me in... anytime.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Horn of the Hunter: The Story of an African Safari by Robert C. Ruark

I've had this book on my holiday, get-me-something-of-worth-instead-of-crap list for a while and nobody would get it for me. What a shame. I finally just broke down and bought it myself. I am glad I did.

Robert Ruark is an excellent writer. While the book is colored with phrases and language structure reminiscent of the beat poet culture after it was mainstreamed, the book is a still a fantastic account of a safari in an Africa that, I am told anyway, no longer exists. What's better, the account of the hunt and the living during the safari appear to be totally honest and allow the reader inside the experience. I hardily recommend this book to anyone interested the subjects covered. Ruark's account of his professional hunter, Harry Selby, is a well thought out portrayal of a man with many facets and personality traits that run well beyond his ability to bust brush and track game. Like I said, well written and developed.

  • Readability - 4 of 5 - So, this is a tricky one. Ruark's accounts of tracking, shooting, etc. are fantastically well done. Where I struggled a bit was in the dialog and the innuendo of the things unsaid. As I said above, I think this a period specific thing and does not detract from the book if you can lend it a couple of minutes of thought..

  • Subject Matter - 5 of 5 - I'd expound on this but if you just look at my profile / other blogs this will get really clear. I am all about this.

  • Editing - 5 of 5 - Fantastic. I knocked this book down in 4 days and found not a single error, split thought, or awkward transition. Really well done.

  • Did I like the Story - 5 of 5 - A non-fiction tale with well developed characters in an open-topped land rover, trekking around Africa for Buff and Elephant and Eland and Kudu and.... Well, you just get the idea. Yes. Fantastic story. Must read if you like this sort of thing.

Worth the money, worth the time. Really good read.

(Note: Next month I will cover those books that I have not been able to finish this year and did not like. I know I said this month but I figure why wait on something as good as this. Those others will still be unread in 30'ish days... )