Remembering the Man who Taught My Teacher How to Hunt

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The image of a deer, still alive in the moment before I broke the shot, is only seared into my memory from two occasions.  One of those events being the first deer I ever killed. Until the day that I pass, I will never forget that old eight point, the way he stood perfectly broadside, right out in a clearing on a little sloped hill. In the moment before he died, he looked as calm and sure of himself as any buck I’ve ever seen before or since. I don’t remember the sight picture disappearing as the recoil of the shot took over, and I don’t remember the punch in the shoulder I must have taken. That was 2003, the boy sitting right behind me was Will, and the gun was a Ruger M77 MK1 chambered in 7mm Remington Magnum . . .

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Gérard Depardieu in Hot Water Over Gun-Friendly Watch Ad

Gérard Depardieu is now a citizen of Russia? The actor who starred in Green Card, a not-entirely-terrible comedy about emigrating to the U.S.? Funny old world, innit? Comrade Depardieu is taking heat for starring in an ad for a Swiss-made Oligarch-friendly Cvestos watch.  GQ dissed its “nauseous wordplay and pathetic production quality.” Le Figaro trumpeted “Gérard Depardieu ‘smokes deers’ in an absurd advert.” I reckon it’s a suitable hammy addition to the Depardieu canon. So to speak.

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Imagine if Hunters Didn’t Shoot Deer

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“Preliminary counts of deer registered with the new electronic game checking process indicate West Virginia hunters harvested 138,493 white-tailed deer during the recently completed bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow and youth/Class Q/Class XS deer seasons, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala.” [Full press release via ammoland.com after the jump]  Now imagine what would happen in America’s hunters didn’t harvest the U.S, deer population — and share that opinion with anyone who’s against hunting . . .

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On the Range with Blaser R8

Courtesy Joe Grine

I love me some Blaser straight pull goodness. So when I saw that they had their R8 Long Range .338 Lapua Magnum GRS on the firing line, I had to get some trigger time. After all, sending five dollar bills downrange is more fun when its done with OPM. The R8 long range retails for around $5,900, which is a surprisingly competitive price for a top shelf precision rifle. Make the jump for more info . . .

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Stop African Elephant Poaching! Increase Legal Hunting!

African elephant (courtesy wildnet.org)

“The poaching crisis is taking more from us than just elephants,” the Wildlife Conservation Society reports. “We must put a stop to it.” Roger that! As someone who’s seen African elephants in their native habitat, I hate to see these magnificent creatures pushed to the edge of extinction by poachers bent on harvesting their tusks for the illegal ivory trade. But the Wildlife Conservation Society’s plan to stop the slaughter singularly fails to mention the fact that anti-poaching initiatives have failed. They will continue to fail until they add legal hunting to the mix. I say this as someone who would never shoot an elephant (unless it was intent on killing someone). Am I wrong? Email blast after the jump . . .

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US Fish & Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act Listing Protects Lions in Africa and India

African Male Lion
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- In response to the dramatic decline of lion populations in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced it will list two lion subspecies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Panthera leo leo, located in India and western and central Africa, will be listed as endangered, and Panthera leo melanochaita, located in eastern and southern Africa, will be listed as threatened. Concurrent with this listing rule, to protect lions and other foreign and domestic wildlife from criminal activity, Service Director Dan Ashe also issued a Director’s Order to strengthen enforcement of wildlife permitting requirements . . .

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Hunting the Sunny Pearl Harbor Day Rut

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His third year in the blind with me, his AR sporting a new AAC 762-SDN6 on the muzzle, my (now former) coworker and friend, Dave (not his real name) slowly spun himself around on the bright orange bucket. On the side, upside down, was a cartoonish handyman named Homer extolling the virtues of a Home Depot pail. I had a different Homer in mind, the Greek one. I was in the third season of an odyssey with Dave . . .

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Hunting the Elusive Wanderer

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While recovering from shoulder surgery, I was getting pretty grumpy sitting at home with a hunting license, deer and elk tags yearning to be filled. I had drawn a deer tag for a very coveted area here. It’s 98% private land. Fortunately though, I have permission from many of the farmers around Grass Valley, Oregon to hunt. This is the area I didn’t draw last year, but accompanied my friends on their harvest of several deer . . .

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Is a Blue Thong Effective Concealment for Deer Hunting?

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As most of you no doubt know deer hunting requires some degree of stealth. First, given the time of year, it’s frequently cold, especially early in the morning, so layers are in order. Since you want to be as unobtrusive as possible, most hunters go with one flavor of camo or another. Finally, to make sure that prize buck doesn’t bolt after catching a whiff of your Old Spice on the breeze, plenty of would-be Bambi killers douse themselves in scents like doe urine to mask their natural manly musk. Ricky Dale Rector, however, takes a more minimalist approach when on the lookout for venison . . .

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Any Day Spent Hunting Beats a Day at the Office

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A few months ago Cody Hirt, the founder of Veteran Outdoors, told me he had a problem. A large male Catalina ram has been destroying fences and property. Worse, the big goat had no fear of humans; it regularly attacked people on the property. An aggressive ram, even a small one at 100 lbs., will absolutely ruin your day. So I understood why Cody wanted it gone. What I didn’t really get is why Cody didn’t just kill it himself. Still . . .

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Hunting: Sometimes, You Can’t Fight Bad Luck

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As some of you might remember, Nick gifted me the unluckiest hunting trip of my life last year. The photo above is of a much larger Leghorn attempting to wedge himself through the too-small back window of a Toyota Tacoma while Kevin Brittingham gazes on in a mixture of frustration, boredom, and glee. In the year since, Nick’s gotten much smaller and my truck has gotten much larger. I assumed that the story of that weekend would be the ultimate “sitting ’round the fire” trump card. Recently, I was what we Texans call “Out Whatatburgered” by a coworker. The whole story is pretty grand. It ends with the friend of a brother of a millionaire calling a rancher at 2:00 AM at the behest of a game warden to explain how he managed to double tap a calf on the other side of a fence. And that was just the first night. The story extends for another week, and should serve as a lesson of sorts to the hunters among us. The images after the jump are not for the squeamish and perhaps NSFW depending on your workplace . . .

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Rich Food for Poor People: Making Venison-Rabbit Boudin

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Nearly a month into hunting season and I’ve been out twice. The results have been a mixed bag. One wounded Axis, never to be recovered, a downed whitetail buck, and one rabbit. None of which were shot by me. As it seems to happen each year, the killing has been outsourced to others. I like taking people hunting for the first time, and as I’ve discussed here before, I haven’t come to enjoy the killing part. Truth be told, I’ve had about a dozen fantastic shooting opportunities in the last few years that I haven’t taken because I was much more content to sit and watch the show. My friends would hear me say, “Oh I didn’t feel like doing all that work for a tiny doe.” The reality is that I quite enjoy the work that most hunters loathe . . .

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