After I received a Super Black Eagle II from Benelli, I knew I needed to proceed immediately to the field to attempt knocking birds out of the sky. At the moment, dove season is in full swing in the Texas Hill country and they’ve been flying like crazy. So I placed a call to my buddy Kyle who just moved back to the good part of Texas and he met me out at the ranch.
As much as I write and talk about hunting, here and elsewhere, you might think I’ve been doing it all my life, but the truth of the matter is that I didn’t pick up a gun and shoot a deer until I was 17 years old. My buddy Will thought it was a travesty that I lived on 40 acres of land, and I hadn’t yet hunted it. I didn’t own a rifle, or camo, or doe urine to spray on my boots, or anything else that I’d seen on hunting shows on television. Will told me not to worry, that he’d take care of everything, spent the night at my house, and woke me up early on opening morning to take me out.
I had read about Moms Demanding Action’s shrill demands for a boycott of Kroger over their dislike of the exercise of the Second Amendment. I also noted the new media’s urging to show support for Kroger’s polite reply that the MDA’s should mind their own business. Of course, political manipulation is MDA’s stock in trade…and that runs exactly contrary to the limits on government that allow for toleration of others . . .
Hunting in the United States is an extremely safe sport, much safer than swimming, football, baseball, or soccer. Accidents are rare. Accidents involving five-year-olds are rarer still. When they happen, though, they make national news. In Humble, Texas, a five-year-old accidentally shot himself while he accompanied his 11-year-old brother who was hunting dove . . .
“I’d already hiked about three miles so I sat down to take a break before I tried to push some (game) back to (my son). I took my backpack off and sat my bow down and as I was sitting there I started looking around and … I saw a black head which I thought was a bear.” As a matter of fact, Washington state bowhunter Jerry Hause was right. That was a bear cub. Ruh roh. “Knowing…it’s unwise to come between a cub and its mother, he looked for a way to leave the area.” And that’s when a very protective Mrs. Bear charged him . . .
My wife and I took a vacation over the long Labor Day weekend and headed up to Incline Village, Nevada for some R&R with her side of the family. A grand time was had by all, and by all rights I should have been ready to go back to work Wednesday morning. But I wasn’t. And I knew I wouldn’t be, because I’ve learned that the best course of action is to take a day off after you take a week off. So I packed up some guns that needed shooting and headed out to my ranch. But I kept my eyes peeled . . .
Last year, I wrote about mentoring a new hunter. It’s harder to bring new hunters into the gun culture now than when I was a child. When I started hunting at age 11, with an air rifle on the farm in northern Wisconsin I grabbed a gun, stepped out the door, and was hunting. My father had carefully told me what pests I could hunt. In a year, I was using a real rifle, a .22. My father taught me to shoot, but most of my early hunting was alone or in the company of one or both of my younger brothers, who at three and five years younger than I, were not yet allowed to carry a gun themselves. Every boy that I knew hunted, or wanted to. The idea that a 12 year old was not responsible enough to carry a gun around the woods . . .
TTAG commentator Puyallup Devil_Doc writes:
As a duck hunting addict, let me just warn you away from it now. Don’t do it. Seriously. You’ll start off saying, “I’ll just go shoot some ducks, have a little fun… No big deal”. But it will become an obsession. Every time you see a lake, you’ll be looking for ducks. Every time you see a bird, you’ll be double checking to see if it’s a duck. Every time you see a duck, you’ll be checking to see where it lands, and bugging landowners for permission to hunt . . .
It seems that the Axis deer herd my parents texted me about is here to stay as I’ve been getting nearly daily updates from the home front that the herd is seen every morning when they head out to work. Obviously, this is not helping alleviate the hunting itch. That’s why hunting buddies exist. So I texted my pal Will who lives down in Corpus Christi. Will and I grew up together, he’s the guy that introduced me to hunting, and has been present for basically every big hunting moment of my life. So I shot him a message to let him know that the Axis were back in force . . .
“Science shows that hunting older male lions has no long-term effect on the sustainability of lion populations.” That’s the lead from the Dallas Safari Club’s press release Tanzania, Dallas Safari Club to Host Lion-Aging Seminar. [Full text after the jump.] I’m a little leery of any line of reasoning that relies on “science” that doesn’t link to the scientific study or studies upon which it depends. Especially when the reasoner has skin in the game. Or game to skin. But here’s hoping that shooting “older, non-pride lions” is a win – win: lion populations remain stable and more hunters get to hunt lions (bringing more money into Tanzania). Oh, and the six-year-old thing is not a legal cut-off; there’s a graduated penalty system for shooting younger lions. In other words, if you have the money, it’s chocks away. Good idea? . . .
September 27 is National Hunting and Fishing Day (press release after the jump). Established in 1972, NH&F day’s not as old as National Doughnut Day or as energizing as National Petroleum Day. But it’s a good excuse to commune with nature, harvest some meat and enjoy a pursuit as old as humanity itself. Sure, A&M may be playing South Carolina on the 27th, but you can always DVR the game and keep the radio off in the car. So what will you do? Dip a line? Down a duck? Bag a buck? When was the last time you took your shooting irons hunting? When you going again? . . .
With a blue elephant gun. How do you shoot a white elephant? You hold its nose until it turns blue and shoot it with a blue elephant gun. And how do you shoot an elephant with one of the most expensive guns ever made? You buy this piece from its owner (good luck with that) or commission a master rifle maker to make you something similar. Worth it? That depends on how you feel about elephant hunting and how much money you have to your name. Oh, and if you live in New York you may not be able to sell the gun, ever (regardless of the fact that the ivory is from a long-extinct Wooly Mammoth). Does that matter? [h/t TP]