P320 Entry: Reflections of a New Deer Hunter

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By Eric Liu

“I see antlers moving between the trees” whispered my friend Bret as he gripped my arm seeming to make absolutely sure I was listening. Those very words bookend both the culmination and the beginning of my hunting journey. It was after all, my first deer hunt, ever, and most importantly, my very first buck harvest. Let’s start the story somewhere appropriate . . .

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Why Did the Ghillie-Suited Hunter Cross the Road?

Accident scene (courtesy courierpostonline.com)

To not make it to the other side. “State police say a hunter wearing ‘very elaborate’ camouflage was killed when two vehicles struck him as he tried to cross a southern New Jersey highway,” the AP reports. “The accident occurred around 5:20 a.m. Monday on Route 70 in Southampton. The man had a shotgun, a camouflage blanket and was dressed in leafy camouflage gear which made him less visible to drivers.”

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Question of the Day: Why Do You Hunt? [Video NSFW]

More than a few members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia are dead set against “trophy hunting.” Personally, I’m OK with it. For one thing, we homo sapiens spent a million years fighting our way to the top of the food chain. We didn’t do it by growing turnips. Do you think other animals would worry about morality if they’d become the alpha of alpha predators? For another thing, the money spent on “sport” or “trophy” hunting goes to natural and wildlife conservation. Lastly, hunting inspired this guy’s video, which is just begging for some serious songification. (Condolences on the cat, ‘bro.) Why do you hunt? Be honest. And is there anyone in the Austin area who wants to help this blogger break his hunting cherry?

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OMG! They Shot Deer In the Park! And ATE Them! OMG!

Bami redux (courtesy nytimes.com)

“The government sharpshooters worked so efficiently in the dead of the night in Rock Creek Park that by the end of this year’s short killing season, they had shot 106 white-tailed deer,” nytimes.com reports, without a hint of their usual anti-gun perspective. (Well, they were government sharpshooters.) “Make that 3,300 pounds of local venison turned into meatloaf, burgers and more for the surprised directors of homeless shelters and other charities across the capital.” The problem being? I mean, there has to be a problem, right? Of course! Rock Creek Park is smack dab in the middle of the nation’s capitol! Where people run and bicycle and grow marijuana. Leading one charity director to bleat . . .

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“Suppressors Enable Poaching” Claim Debunked

“Last week, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Board voted unanimously to allow hunting with silencers in the state,” al.com reports. There’s a lot of joy in Mudtown – and a lot of people who still don’t know what suppressors can and cannot do . . .

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Question of the Day: Have You Ever Shot a Flintlock Rifle?

Jonathan Taylor (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

The enemies of gun rights claim the Second Amendment is outdated. It should be subject to “reasonable restrictions” reflecting today’s technology and society. That’s just silly. There’s one way to fully grasp the fallacy: get to grips with a flintlock. Texas Governor Perry’s right hand man for economic development did so at a recent spot-and-stalk hunt at the Benson Farm and Ranch in Johnson City, Texas. With the help of guide Brant O’Day, Jonathan snuck up on the beast from behind an agarita bush and shot it at 50 yards with a Traditions Firearms muzzleloader. Have you shot a flintlock? Did it reveal any insights into the thinking of America’s Founding Fathers? Did it change your opinion of the Second Amendment?

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Grizzly Bear Shoot Misses World Record by 7/16″

 Dead grizzly (courtesy Boone & Crockett Club)

Press Release:

The largest grizzly bear ever taken by a hunter has been entered into Boone and Crockett records. The big bruin, taken in 2013 near Fairbanks, Alaska, scores 27-6/16. It missed the World’s Record mark by 7/16 of an inch but landed a spot as the second-largest grizzly ever recorded. The reigning World’s Record is a skull found in Alaska in 1976. Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements . . .

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New from DPMS: Compact Hunter in .308, .243 and .338

P1060590

DPMS’s AR-10 rifles are pretty popular largely because they’re an inexpensive alternative for those looking for a more powerful semi-automatic rifle. They’re accurate, too — there’s a pair of twin girls that use their DPMS .308 rifles to hit the 1,000 yard target at my local range with ease. Heck, they had to ask the range master to put up a smaller target to keep from getting bored. Now, DPMS has shortened their Hunter rifle and started offering it in a couple new calibers, namely .243 and .338. Oh, and MSRP is $1,699 — much less by the time it gets to the gun shop, naturally. It looks pretty sweet, and we’ll ask for one to test out.

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Question of the Day: What’s the Worst Gun Store You’ve Ever Visited?

(courtesy nssf.org)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) publication SHOT Business runs a regular feature called Undercover Shopper. In the latest edition, Undercover guy went looking for “a good hog gun at stores near Birmingham, Alabama. I asked about models that chambered substantial rounds, were durable, and had compact barrels and iron sights—or were at least drilled for a scope. Not too much to ask, right?” The rhetorical question foreshadows phenomenal fail (e.g. “After a lengthy wait, I walked toward an idle clerk who reluctantly asked if I needed assistance.”) What’s the worst gun store you’ve ever visited? Name names, no holds barred.

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Time to Hunt Mountain Lions [Not Shown]?

 "'Bubba,' an 11-year-old Labrador retriever, was killed Dec. 27, 2013, by what authorities believe was a mountain lion in the hills above Brand Boulevard in Glendale." (Text courtesy latimes.com. Photo courtesy of Lynnette Hamada / December 31, 2013)

Mark Kayser at grandviewoutdoors.com reports that America’s mountain lion populations are doing well. Maybe too well. “Last November, the Arizona Game and Fish Department implemented the first phase of a three-year plan to transplant sheep from the Yuma area into the Catalinas, an area they once thrived. Approximately $150,000 was spent on the project . . . and 431 collard sheep had a new home. Four months later 15 of the bighorns had been killed by mountain lions that obviously dominate the area.” The mountain lion population of Custer State Park in South Dakota is also thriving, doing what mountain lions do . . .

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grandviewoutdoors.com: Where to Hunt the Biggest Bucks

White tail (courtesy statesymbolsusa.org)

I’ve already confessed my weakness for gun-oriented clickbait. So I was well-up for grandviewoutdoors.com‘s article Where to Hunt the Biggest Deer. You know how these things go: a protocol-heavy preamble followed by a top ten list extolling the virtues of each state’s advantages. One click per state. Nope. Dr. Dave Samuel’s article is all about the variables: states with the highest buck harvests, the number of hunters per state, the state’s size, the bag limit, season length, the quality of the bucks bagged and licensing requirements. And the winner is . . . “Some numbers and data to consider as you decide where to take that Midwestern deer hunt.” Where’s the guy who says “there’s an app for that” when you need him?

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NC Hunter Takes Out 500 Pound Porker with AR-10

Jett Webb and dead hog (courtesy northcarolinasportsman.com)

“Under starry skies on Feb. 28, Jett Webb of Conetoe ensured there will be one less mouth to feed in the Indian Woods section of Bertie County – and a real big mouth, too,” northcarolinasportsman.com reports. “Webb took down a massive wild boar that bottomed out a set of scales certified to 500 pounds that’s used for weighing tobacco bales. Michael Mansell, president of the White Oak Ranch Hunting Club, said he weighed well over 500 pounds.” Wow, that’s a heavy president. JK. “‘He pegged the maximum weight capacity of the certified scales with his head and shoulders still on the skinning shed floor,’ Mansell said. ‘It was a true beast!’” And what’s that gun Mr. Webb’s cradling? Why it looks like one of them there assault rifles, with a forward assist! An AR-10, in fact. So wait. Does that make it a modern sporting rifle or what?

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Women Hunters Targeted by Animal Activists

Charisa Argys pic sparks animal activist hate (courtesy ammoland.com)

The Sportsman’s Alliance [via Ammoland.com] writes:

On average, 13.7 million hunters hit the field every year in pursuit of game with 11 percent of that figure being women. Celebrity sportswomen are commonplace on television, Internet and more and have recently come under fire by the anti-hunting community for promoting an outdoor lifestyle. However, in recent months, average women hunters are finding themselves in the crosshairs, being threatened and harassed by people from around the globe . . .

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