Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Kydex Sheath for My F1

  It turns out that all my planning and scheming about a bag to take into the woods was rendered moot by the simplest of designs.  I went back to the bottle kit and adjusted a bit and landed exactly where I wanted to be... totally by accident.  It is that combination of weight and stuff I was looking for.  I'll do a write-up on it when things cool off some outside...  For now though, I can say the search is over.  More on that later.

One of the things I have wanted to do for a while now is get a good blade to include with whatever kit I had landed on, that could be out in the wet and wind for a day or two and not have issues.  After a pile of reading, I landed on the F1 from Fallkniven.  Just a superb blade so far though it has not been beaten or thrown.  Soon though.  In the mean time, just a damned good looker.

My first though was to make a kydex sheath.  Of course the thought that usually follows first thoughts like that is I don't know how...  So, after some youtube and some parts orders I got myself set up and went to it.  To be fair, it too three tries to get it to mold right.  I wasn't letting it get hot enough.  Once I did though, I got it this far.

Turns out that spine-side rivet is too close to the blade.  Otherwise from here, things were completely workable.  Bit of buffing, bit off sanding, bunch more rivets and...

Presto Chango F1 in a Kydex Sheath.  I suspect the belt sheath variety are harder to make.  This one though?  This one has a different purpose.  I wanted this on my strap for my hunting kit.  Little bit of paracord and a few holes in webbing later and she mounted up just right.

It just makes the kit complete I think.  I carried it out last Monday for 5 hours and it didn't slip once.  I imagine the retention is probably set too tight but that's really what I wanted.  I expect it to be there in case I need it and to be quiet 100% of the time.  A solid grip is required it seems.

The sheath was the high point of the hunt.  The rest was all cobwebs and sweat and no damned squirrels.  I was in the wrong place and the wrong time of day I think.  No worries though.  Still beats being on time for a meeting somewhere....  Later and thanks for reading.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Best Hunt in a While

I've found over time that if I have to choose between shooting my limit for a given species each day or having one, really good and challenging hunting experience that may or may not yield a result, I'll take the good hunt.  Today was that day.

A Tranquility Sunrise

It felt very much like last week didn't really count because a variety of factors conspired to shorten the day and my rifle was my second stringer.  It was a hunt for sure but just not the foolproof recipe I have concocted over the years that makes the hunt a true experience.  I had things in order this week and Olivia (my wondrous wood stocked Marlin 980s) and I were paired up.  Also different than last week, today started as most squirrel hunts do... a hundred or so miles from where I need to be.  So at 4 AM I rolled out and at 4:15 on the money the car started and we headed south.  I decided on the ride down that we would go for my probably new favorite spot to hunt.  It proved to be a solid choice.  the 5:50 arrival meant 30 minutes in the dark waiting to be able to see.  I do love the sounds of the country in the morning...

The parking lot is situated at the north end of about a 700 yard access road that leads straight south to the end of a ridge.  The access road is flanked along the way by nut bearing hardwoods.  It's always a prime place to pick up and extra on the way in or out.  Since it was an easy walk, I hiked down and propped up and waited... and waited... and waited some more.  Nothing.  No barks.  No leaves bouncing around.  No stealthy shapes moving along branches.... nothing.  After about an hour I headed down the road.  At the very south end the road veers east and downhill.  To the south west is a long slow running system of fingers and saddles just infested with hardwood... and among those fine large trees we find squirrels, always and without exception.

I hiked in and down and found a good tree to blend in to and I waited.  Off down the hill I could hear one squirrel barking and managed to pick it up moving when line of sight allowed.  Hearing and seeing nothing else, I decided to move that way and see what came of it.

The Big Woods
The sun was still pretty low and the light was working for me.  I was able to move maybe 75 yards without much trouble.  The ground was damp and the cover was, if you paid attention, pretty workable. 

I thought I had lost the critter by the time I was approximately in position to watch the tree it was in.  Just the same though, I kept an eye on the tops and limbs.  Sure enough, after about 15 minutes it came back into view moving limb to limb and cutting some.  I watched a good long while and every minute or so checked the rifle to make sure it was still on safe and a round was still loaded.  The first good hunt of the season always makes me a little giddy.  I didn't want to lose anything to a mistake.

After some time of not exactly known length the critter decided to come down out of the tops and make for the ground.  As it cleared the lower branches and hit the trunk proper, I lined up and flicked of the safety.  When it paused I fired.  In an ideal world I would now say it fell out and just cleaned itself on the way down.  Sadly, for an aging guy like me, eyes are not always in touch with hands and I missed.  Fortunately the critter had a death wish, took two strides down the trunk, stopped and stuck out its head looking around.  This time, no miss.

2013's first redhead
 One round through the eye finished this up nicely.  I was pretty surprised that I could still hit that well with open sights at the 30'ish yard involved.  Turns out if I just slow down a bit and remember the practice, it all works like it used to only slower...

Anyhow, I scooped it up and waited to see if any others were around.  An hour later I still had no other sounds or signs so I decided to bag it.  Things were getting hot and the flies were starting to really get into the blood on the carcass.  While I was wrapping up, I happened to look up in the tree where I got my good shot and saw this...

Maybe if I take that shot a couple of minutes sooner and miss my day goes all different and we're talking about how much Benadryl I carry for things like hornets.  The good news is though, not today.  :)

Thanks for reading along,


Monday, September 2, 2013

Fest der Herbst beginnt Eichhörnchen

The idea that Labor Day was on Sept 2 this year made it, in my estimation, the nearly perfect holiday.  I was off work on the second day of squirrel season in Ohio...  I have to say, it was hot.  It was sticky.  It was hazy.  Still in all though, I don't remember a lot of first days of seasons that have been as satisfying.

The hike in was brier and dew and lots of work.  The moon joined me for the last bit of the hike.  I almost stopped and just waited for the full day to land on the field.  It was slow going.

I had the 980s out with me this morning.  I'm not sure I understand the fuss about these rifles as sub-standard.  Mine shoots well and hits where I aim it.  It also turns out they are pretty robust.  I managed, as I seem to do a lot, to fall and bury the front site in the mud.  A touch of cleaning and clearing later and all was functional.

I had the concept bag out with me today for her maiden voyage.  I was able to pull it together just about exactly like I planned.  I packed it over the last week in four different bags and a few different ways in each.  In the end, the Versipak Jumbo won out for wear ability and packing functionality.  I need to get some more time with it.  I have some concerns about how things worked today and I want to see if I can make it right before I do an in-depth post type thing about this.  The thing is still bullet proof and looks nice too.

This is where I hunt for a traditional first day of season.  It's a small little side stream that used to have a bridge over it before that big elevated oak on the right started growing.  It's all maple and pine but gets lots of traffic and I enjoy being down there and propping up on the old ricks along the stream.

I had a couple of shots today but they were crazy long for open sites.  I took them both and scared the critters away but no joy on anything to clean...  No worries.   There will be more trips this year...

Random shots of the day...

An old road sign with some stuff growing on it down by the bridge leftovers.

The Creek Bed

Glamour shot of the bag and rifle on the rock wall.

Tranquility is infested with butterflies this time of year.  Here's one that stopped right in front of me...

Thanks for reading along...