Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trail Cam photos

No venison from the deer hunt yesterday, but a group of us on the lease met yesterday morning at the camp after the hunt, and we cooked a big breakfast.  Everybody brought something and we sat around the fire, jawed with each other, told lies, and cooked bacon, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy.  Steaming pots of coffee.  Some of those guys I see only during the season, and the camp is a great place for yarning.  I got to the lease before daylight and left after dark.  I spent the whole day in the woods.

Last year I set up a trail camera overlooking my feeder.  The use of feeders is absolutely legal in Louisiana.  The trail cameras are a way to see what type of animal is using your feeder.  I've got three mammal species using my feeder and numerous birds.  Free corn on the ground is a wonderful wildlife draw and if you like watching wildlife, a small pile of food and a trail cam will let you see species you might otherwise not normally to see.

It appears that the deer are already nocturnal in my part of north Louisiana.  I got 40 pictures of deer, and none of them were daylight shots.  There were several that might have been during legal shooting hours, but the vast majority of them were taken well after dark.  Here's one that might have been legal if I'd been there with a rifle when the picture was taken.

This picture was taken at 6:50 p.m., local time, which is pushing the end of legal shooting hours.  The camera has already gone to infrared mode, so the camera doesn't think there's enough light for shooting.  But, we do have daylight shots of other species using the feeder.  Like this pair of bandits, seen at 4:00 in the afternoon.

I spent the morning watching a fat fox squirrel eat corn off the ground.  Watched her though the binoculars for about an hour, she'd stuff her cheeks with corn, then run off into the woods.  Ten minutes later, she'd be back for more.

Yesterday was a very good day.

Sunday Morning Dawg

I was playing with the dog and captured this photo of him coming from the laundry room.

It's about time for a haircut.  He's the way-too-shaggy, Sunday Morning Dawg

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I've kicked into high gear at the high school, and not much time for blogging.  I've got a concert tonight and a football game tomorrow night.  Saturday is the opener of the deer season and I'll be in the woods all day long. 

We're lucky that the weather has moderated somewhat, with temps in the 70s.  Tomorrow they're calling for a low of 39, and on Saturday morning a daybreak temp of about 36 degrees.  That'll be just right for the deer stand.

Y'all get outside and enjoy this great weather.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gun Nut Voter's Guide

Over at Field and Stream, they've got a blog written by Dave Petzal and Phil Bourjaily.  The Gun NutPetzal tries to give some advice about voting in the upcoming election.

*Third, supposedly qualified people have failed utterly to cure what ails us, so let us elect the wildly unqualified, the weird, the grotesque, and the outlandish. They will hasten our end, and they’ll be amusing while they’re doing it. No one who has an ounce of self-respect is going to run for high political office in the United States of America in the year 2010.
And there's your problem, right there.  It's getting to the point where no one with an ounce of self-respect is running for high political office.  I know a couple of good small-town mayors, but above the parish/county level, most of what passes for political leadership is a bunch of bozos pretending to be important.

Everyone is talking about the Republican tsunami that's about to engulf the Congress.  I wouldn't get too cocky.  Most of the folks running or holding office are bozos, better suited to low level manual labor.  I don't want to name any particular jobs, because there are good people in all those low-level jobs, and I don't want to offend them by comparing them to Congressmen. 

We're going to be watching the Republicans too, and if my Congressman has any sense, he'll retire soon.  We're doing our darndest to get him fired.  He was a Democrat, and switched to Republican, but he's just another bozo who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel.  I'm reminded of what Mark Twain had to say about Congress:

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Tea Party

With the midterm elections coming up next week, it might be good to remember that the Tea Party started under the 2nd administration of George W. Bush.  Lots of us were upset with President Bush, particularly for his expansion of government and the deficits he was running at the time.  As Timothy Dalrymple writes: 

The tea started brewing under Bush. It’s important that Democrats and Republicans alike understand this. Democrats know that they are about to suffer a rebuke of historic proportions, but it’s important they understand the reason and not imagine themselves the victims of racism or irrationality. And it’s important for Republicans to understand that their legacy of government growth and deficit spending is also suffering rebuke. The Republicans will recapture the House (if they do) not because Americans love the GOP but because the Democrats doubled down on the Republicans’ big-government tendencies.

This election is about small government, reduced spending and reminding our elected officials that they serve at our pleasure.  The problem is not the Tea Party, the problem is that for too long, elected officials have forgotten that they serve us.  Some of them aren't listening, many of them aren't paying attention, and most of them have forgotten that they're beholden to us.   If the folks we elect don't pay attention, we'll do our best to hammer them the next go-round.

Savage Accuracy

Regular readers know my fondness for Savage rifles, and I really haven't been paying attention to Savage recently.  My rifles work, they simply work, but it seems that Team Savage has tightened up the accuracy template.  They've kicked it up a notch and are doing great things in the shooting world.  I found a video recently at the Savage Accuracy website and was amazed at what these guys are doing with factory rifles.  I'm not talking custom jobs, I'm talking about rifles that any guy can buy.

If you want a rifle like this, you can have one.  It's called the Model 12 FT/R and it retails for $1302.00.  Interestingly, the Night Force scope they're using on the rifle costs more than the rifle itself, retailing at between $1300 and $1800, but it's made in the USA and it's one heck of a scope.

For myself, I'll stick with my Savage hunting rifles.  They're more accurate than I am, and I've been extremely pleased with them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Super LaNina

Weather being what it is, it's subject to lots of variables and the weather-weenies are doing the best they can to figure out what's going to happen in three days.  Still, some of those folks look to long-term trends and try to figure out what they mean.  Some of them have come to depend on a patch of water off the coast of California.  They're saying that we might be in for a cold winter. 

La Nina is the lesser-known colder sister of El Nino. La Nina chills the waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean, and in turn cools the entire planet for one to two years or more. This chilling has the potential to bring bone-numbing cold to many parts of the world for this and the following winter. As a result, world energy demand may spike in the next one to two years as much colder weather hits many of the major industrial nations.

This La Nina appears to be special, at least so far. It is well on its way to being the strongest of these events since the super La Nina of 1955-1956. During that powerful La Nina that lasted two years, the global average temperature fell nearly one degree Fahrenheit from 1953 to 1956.

I don't know what the wooly caterpillars are saying about the winter, but Milady is thinking we're going to have a mild winter.  It's been hot for so long and dry that she expects this winter to be milder than normal.

The Farmer's Almanac says we're going to have a hard winter here in the Deep South. 

Winter will be colder than normal, with precipitation below normal in the north and above normal in the south. Most days in January will be cold, with other cold periods in early to mid-February. Snowfall will generally be above normal, with the snowiest periods in mid- and late January and mid-February.
What kind of winter do you think we'll have?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hunting Load

This weekend, the weekend before hunting season, lots of folks are sighting in their hunting rifles.  I did that earlier this month, and I settled on my cold-barrel shot.

If you're hunting, the rifle is cold for the first shot.  It's important that the hunter knows where that first shot is going and there is no way to know that than to fire that shot from a cold barrel.  I started in June, getting ready for a cold-barrel shot and over the months when I'd go to the range I'd take my rifle and see where the cold barrel shot was going.  I can't control all the variables, and I know that the weather in July is hotter than the weather in December, but I could control some of the variables and I was careful to keep the barrel of the rifle at room temperature.  I cleaned the rifle in June and the barrel won't be cleaned again till after the hunting season.  Since the cleaning in June, it's had 16 shots fired through it, all cold barrel shots.  The last shot fired is shown in the target below.

That'll do for my purposes, and the load did that three or four times in the weeks before I took that shot.  The load consists of RP brass, Winchester primers, 61.0 grains of Reloder 19, and a Nosler 150 grain ballistic tip bullet.  I don't know how fast that bullet is traveling because I haven't put it over a chronograph.  The Nosler manual tells me that it should be traveling somewhere around 2900 fps, which is sufficient for my purposes.

If I miss my target, it's no one's fault but my own.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Occasionally, Milady's son and wife will bring their little dog to play.  She's a little fur-ball too and the dogs hang out together.

Here, little brown dog is tuckered out.  It's been a hard day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On the Lease

I went to the deer lease this morning, to make an early hunt and to do some work that needs to be done before the opening of the regular gun season next week.  My stand needed a little last minute work, and so did my brother-in-law's stands.  So, after a quick hunt/scouting/wandering the woods, we met to get the work done.

That's my brother-in-law, preparing to scatter a little corn on his shooting lane.  If you'll look behind him you'll see a standard north Louisiana oilfield.  It's mostly trees and briars, brush  and switch cane, interspersed with the occasional oil well.  Deer love it in there and they aren't really bothered by things like pickup trucks.  We hunt in an active oil field, and there's always something going on in the oil patch. As the next picture will show.  Of course, you can click on these pictures for a better view.

This little lane is actually a salt line.  Brine is a big part of any oil field and the company runs lines to move salt water.  This line is on my brother-in-law's portion of the lease and we found it two weeks ago.  The oil company was doing some work to the line, which had been overgrown and they came in an trimmed this part of the line, a straight cut through the woods extending several hundred yards.

BIL was quick to take advantage of it, because in these woods it's rare that you can see 200 yards.  If you look way down the cut, you'll see a black rectangle.  That's his deer stand that we put in recently.  Over his head is a corn feeder and at his feet is a pile of rice bran.  Rice bran is the latest and greatest deer attractant and he's trying it out near his new stand.  Feeding deer is perfectly legal in Louisiana, and is an accepted part of the deer management program.

I got home about noon and have all the toys put away.  Milady is gone to the auction and I'll take a quick shower and follow her.  Or, I might take a nap, then follow her.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Watermelon Update

That volunteer watermelon plant I talked about recently, it's still growing.

That's Milady holding a watermelon in one hand and steadying the dog with the other.  If this thing keeps growing for several more weeks, we're likely to have volunteer melons before the first frost.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More on Shot Loads

When Termite brought the shot yesterday, I couldn't stand it, so I loaded some shot loads for the .44 magnum, using that #11 shot, then this afternoon took them out near the pond and let the grandkids help me test the difference between the #7 1/2 loads and the #11 loads.

The coke can on the left has been peppered with a load of 7 1/2 shot, the one on the right was hit with #11 shot.  Both loads featured 6.4 grains of Unique and a 1.3 dipper full of shot.  Range was about five feet.  Either would be devastating to a little scurrying creature.

There's a cylinder full of shot loads in the foreground, along with a cylinder full in the revolver.  That should be plenty for this year's hunting, unless the grandkids feel a need to destroy coke cans.  I think it will win them extra "cool points" at show and tell next week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Election Choices

I was reading the Daily Wipe yesterday and I leaned that we've got a choice in the LA 5th Congressional Race.  Some guy named Tom Gibbs has come out against Rodney Alexander.  Tom doesn't align himself with a party and in Louisiana you can be listed as No Party.  I've looked at Gibbs platform and while I'm not thrilled with everything on it, the only thing that I need to know is that Tom Gibbs isn't Rodney Alexander. I had never heard of Gibbs until yesterday in the paper, and a simple web search gave me enough to know that he's not a socialist or a Marxist.    I just hope he's not an idiot too.

Does Tom have a chance to beat Rodney?  Stranger things have happened, but I don't see much of a threat here.  It's going to be Rodney in a landslide, but at least I don't have to vote for him. Maybe somebody decent will run against Rodney inn 2012.  We can only hope.

That sleaze Vitter has a lot of folks running against him.  Lots of folks.  According to my sample ballot, we've got 12 people on the ballot, including Vitter and Melancon.  I've got to decide who I want to vote on, and it isn't Melancon or Vitter.    I'll throw that vote away, too.

Louisiana has a whole list of Constitutional Amendments to consider, and I've considered them thoroughly.  I intend to vote NO on all of them.  Our state constitution gets amended nilly-willy and it's time to put a stop to that nonsense.  Of particular interest is proposed amendment #8, which makes it easier for a government entity to expropriate property.  Hell, no. 

On a more local note, we voted to fire our school board member, and there is a run-off between the two pretenders.  I'm voting for Julie McConathy, mainly because my mother detests Scott Lindsay.  Such is local politics.

More shot loads

Termite, a friend of mine from the Gun Counter forum, lives just down the road from me.  He offered to split a bag of #11 shot and I gladly accepted.  Ten pounds of small shot is a lot of shot, especially when you're only using 1.6 cc per load, and we both agreed that we'd probably never use our portion.

He called today and brought me the shot and we talked for a while.  After he left I loaded 10 rounds of .44 magnum shot shells, which will probably take me through the season.  I've got the better part of five pounds of shot left, and I'd forgotten just how small #11 shot is.  There are a lot of those in each of those shotshells.  I've got the better part of a 25 pound bag of #7 1/2 shot that I've got left over from when I loaded shotgun shells for hunting, and I offered him a few pounds.  He declined.

I"d probably never known that Termite exists if it weren't for the internet.  I've met a lot of good people since I started using computers for communicating and writing and entertainment.  There are a lot of people I consider friends that I've never met personally, and that's a damn shame.  I hope to meet more of them as time goes on, and share a beer or a meal with them.  Life's too short not to know your friends.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recoil Pads

If you shoot rifles or shotguns, you're going to be intimately involved with recoil.  A good portion of the felt recoil in any firearm is based on the stock design, but most of us are stuck with a particular stock on any given gun.  Which brings us to recoil pads.  A good pad can do more to tame a firearm than just about anything else you can do.  A big plus is the simple fact that the companies have been experimenting with new pad materials and we've got some great choices in recoil pads, choices that we didn't have twenty years ago.

Pachmayr Decelerator is my pad of choice these days.  I've got one on my .30-06 bolt, my son's .30-06 pump and another son's 7mm magnum.  We shoot these rifles and before we installed the Decelerator, the shooting session was over when it got painful.  After installing the pads, shooting 20 or 30 rounds of hard-kicking magnum ammo isn't a problem.

Another great recoil pad is made by Limbsaver.  I've got a Limbsaver pad on a shotgun and I really like the way that pad soaks up the recoil.   It's mounted on my police shotgun, and while I don't fire that shotgun much, when we're using full-house loads at qualifications, it used to get painful.  Now, I can fire a couple of boxes of shells before recoil becomes a problem.

Remington makes something they call the SuperCell recoil pad.  I happened to pick one up a year or so ago for another project, and for one reason or another didn't use it.  It seems to be a great pad, and as luck has it, the rifle I've got on layaway is a Remington that will fit that pad in the drawer.  When I put the rifle on layaway, I noticed that it has a hard-rubber butt plate, and while the .308 caliber isn't known for heavy recoil, a good pad is always an asset on any rifle.  I'll install it pronto when the rifle comes home.

Even though the various companies make pre-fit recoil pads for most fireams, a good gunsmith can fit a pad to just about any stock.  My gunsmith charges me $60.00 to fit a pad and that includes the pad.  He can also adjust length of pull when he's doing the fitting.  I had one rifle with a stock that was too long, and it had a butt plate.  I took it to the 'smith and asked him if he could install a good pad and decrease the length of pull to suit me.   Two days later I picked up my rifle and stock fit me perfectly.

One benefit to having a recoil pad on a firearm has little to do with shooting.  At one time or another all of us lean a long gun against something we're not supposed to lean it against.  A rock, a tree, a pickup or a wall in our home.  A recoil pad on a firearm acts as a skid preventer.  If you've ever leaned your rifle against a wall and watched it slide to the floor, I'd bet that it has a hard butt plate on it.  A recoil pad will prevent that from happening.

If your rifle's recoil is hurting you, consider investing in a good recoil pad.  It's a great investment in your firearm

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting Ready

Saturday morning will open our deer season here in Louisiana. The first week is something they call "primitive weapon" season. It used to be a pure muzzle loading season, but it's been diluted so thoroughly that they finally bowed to practicality and allowed a limited number of breech loading firearms. So, I'm using my Handi-Rifle in .45-70, which is on the list.

My ammo is a handload featuring the Lee 405 grain flat point bullet, cast from pure lead.  I load it with a piddling charge of IMR 4895 and push that bullet to about 1300 fps.  Before you scoff at that load,  it duplicates the carbine load that the US Army used during the late 1800s and it has taken lots of game over the years.  A 405 grain bullet isn't something to scoff at, at any velocity.  I'll be hunting a dry creek bed that runs through a thicket and I can't imagine any shot being over 100 yards.  Likely closer to 50 yards.

Now I've got to dig around in the closet and find my Hunter's Orange.  I think I remember where I left it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Morning Dawg

I found some sausage I really like (Conecuh brand), and so occasionally I bring some home to make sausage sandwiches. The dog is interested, and he's acquired a taste for sausage also. Today I brought some home and while it was sizzling in the skillet, I came over to the computer to check email.

The dog, of course, is concerned that I might be neglecting the sausage and worries around me until I stand up and go back to the stove.

No, pup, I'm not going to forget about the sausage.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


One of the benefits of working in a school is something called Homecoming. It's a solid week of activities designed to test the endurance, humor, and resilience of the faculty. The kids go stone-crazy for an entire week and there are lots of activities that allow their creativity to grow. Yesterday I worked 16 hours, culminating in a nail-biting football game.

I've never understood the current iteration of student activities during homecoming week. As I understand the concept of Homecoming, it is a celebration for the alumni to return to the school and reminisce about their high school years. Last night at the game, we had three reunions occurring all at the same time. The alumni had a great time and we crowned a homecoming court of lovely young ladies.

Tonite is the Homecoming Dance, and there will be no alumni in attendance. This is for the kids, and frankly I am not amused. While I've worked a lot of dances during my career, I have a simple manner of insuring the safety and security of the venue. I stay outside the dance hall, near the front door, watching the comings and goings of the participants. I detest the music that the kids listen to today and particularly the volume at which it is listened. The faculty sponsors control the interior of the venue. If there is any problem, I can be summoned readily and I'll deal with the problem. If there are two problems, I walk over to the DJ and pull the plug. At that point the dance is over.

I've only had to shut down one dance, much earlier in my career. That night I wound up arresting a guy I'd never seen, but who was later identified by the jailer as the District Attorney for a neighboring parish. I figured that might become a career move, but the guy was drunk, drunk, drunk and combative. My report was sparklingly clear and my sheriff hated the sunuvabitch, so I didn't get in any trouble about arresting a prominent elected official.

Hopefuly, by tonight at midnight the dance will be over, everyone will have gone home to their respective abodes and this year's homecoming will be a sparkling memory to be savored. In PawPaw's mind, it will be the fitting end to a long and exhausting week that serves no purpose except to break up the school year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Sometime this summer, I hosted a birthday party for a young'un.    We had watermelon on the deck and of course, spit seeds everywhere.  On my deck, I have a small 6" transition between the concrete and the wood, and I filled that space with lava rocks, like you'd put in your outdoor grill.

Come the middle of August, and I notice one small plant working its way up between the rocks.  I mention that I need to get out the Round-Up and Milady says it's a watermelon vine.  Leave it alone, so I left it alone.

The darn thing has taken over the whole area.

What's even more amazing is that it did all this in the midst of the worst drought we've had in a couple of years.  Then, to cap off the strangeness, it's putting on melons.  We've got three or four laying on the deck.  The largest one, below, is about 6 inches long.

I'm going to let it go until the first frost, or until Milady tires of it.  Ain't that the damndest thing you've ever seen?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good Job!

It seems that an off-duty cop was eating a meal with his girlfriend when two goblins came in the restaurant to rob it. 

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — An off-duty Arkansas State University police officer foiled a robbery of a Jonesboro IHOP when he shot one of the suspects.

Police say Officer Bobby Duff was eating with his girlfriend at the restaurant early Monday when two masked men entered. One pointed a gun at an employee and one with a baseball bat approached Duff's table. Duff pulled his pistol and shot the man with the bat, prompting the robbers to flee.

The suspects were caught when the wounded man sought treatment at a West Memphis hospital. That suspect's name hasn't been released. The other suspect, 26-year-old Alvin Walker, was arraigned Tuesday on robbery charges. His bond is $500,000.
Good for Officer Duff.  For the goblins, that just proves the old warning to never bring a bat to a gun fight.

Hat tip to Junior, for the head-up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baked apples

Milady works at a surgeon's office and sometimes their patients bring them gifts.  Today she came hone with a bag of apples.  She asked me to use my recipe and bake them.  No problem.

Baked apples is an old campfire recipe that requires very little.  An apple, some cinnamon and sugar, and a touch of butter or margarine.  In practice, I'd slice the apple, sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar, add a pat of margarine, wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and drop it in the coals beside the fire.  In about an hour, drag it from the coals, unwrap it, and enjoy.

In the house, it's just as easy.  I use a foil pan, cut my apples into chunks, add the cinnamon and sugar, dab on some margarine and cover it in aluminum foil.  Bake it in a 350 oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the apple is tender.

After supper, it will be a wholesome dessert for the boys.

The Dangers of Drinking

I was surfing Instapundit and came upon this article.  It seems that freshmen at Central Washington University went to a party and were given alcohol, with something else in it. 

In the headlines over the weekend was a what looks like a mass drugging of mostly female students at a party held by students of Central Washington University. Police were tipped off and arrived to find more than a dozen overdosed students, many passed out on the ground. Authorities suspect foul play:
Ya think?

Somewhere along the line, we got the idea that college students are children.  That's a bad idea.  As horrific as the thought of drugging someone might be, I'd propose that it's even more horrific to legislate that a person who is 18 years old can't legally drink alcohol.  It's just another iteration of our nanny-state, who believes that we should be wet-nursed until we're in our grave.

The simple fact of the matter is that college kids are going to consume alcohol.  If they can't do it legally, they'll find a way around the law.  I'd bet that if these kids were partying in a bar, they'd have been less likely to get a drugged drink.  How's that nanny-state working out for you?

Them Evil Guns

I saw this article yesterday, and Mostly Cajun linked it again.  It seems that the folks in Baton Rouge want to do a gun buy-back and they've got some money from the Circle-K company to help get those evil guns off the street. 

People can get up to $200 in gas certificates for turning in a gun. Mayor Kip Holden wants to make it clear legal gun owners are not being targeted.
The Circle K Corporation is putting up about $15,000 to assist in the buyback program. A total of $40,000 is available thanks to additional funds from local law enforcement agencies.
Yeah, it's easier when you use someone else's money.  Still, it's good to get crime guns off the street.  However, doing so as part of a government program makes it easy for criminals to dispose of evidence.

So, if a gun is found to be stolen, will it be returned to its lawful owner?  Will the churches be taking names of people turning in guns for gas cards, or will this be an anonymous program.  If the gun is stolen, I'd like to think that the police are making sure that the churches get enough information to make sure that the thief is arrested and prosecuted.

Will the guns be tested to see if they match any known crimes.  If a gun was used in a murder and the buy-back is anonymous, it should be really easy to turn in vital evidence without the police knowing they even have it.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Finally, it's raining!  A good old fashioned late summer thunderstorm.  I don't care if we get a tenth of an inch or four inches.  Just don't care.


It was an aggravating day at work.  No one went to jail, but I swear, the kids had collectively lost their minds.  The teachers were little better. More teachers out than usual and the substitutes..  Well, let's just leave that alone.

I'm glad Monday is over.

I came home and made some more .44 snake cartridges.  The learning curve on those things is fairly flat and I'm a whole lot better at seating wads than I was yesterday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playing with Shotshells

While the ladies were enjoying a baby shower, the boys and I went out to the bench and started playing with shotshells for the .44 magnum.  I used Junior's technique, but loaded the shells with 7 1/2 shot, cause that's what I have.

Looking in the manuals, I decided on a load of 6.4 grains (0.7 cc) of Unique.  A mild load, for sure, but one that I hoped had enough authority for a snake load at spitting distance.  So, we loaded five of them and took them out by the pond, along with the Super Blackhawk and a sweet potato.  Near the pond, I rolled the sweet potato about five feet away in the grass near some cat-tails, thumb cocked that revolver and let fly.  The sweet potato was seen to jump and lay still.  A mortal wound.

I let the boys shoot it until the sweet potato was shredded and the ladies came out to investigate, hearing gunfire.  Milady had heard the pop and was concerned that the grandkids might be shooting without adult supervision.  Even seeing me and two adult sons, she is still concerned about the lack of adult supervision.

At any rate, the snake loads are a resounding success and I'll have to make another dozen or so for our woods rambling.  I have some fine-tuning to do so that I"m not so hit-or-miss with the proper load, but the concept is sound and repeatable.  Snake loads in a big pistol are fun.

Tactical Carbine

Okay, so there's an explosion of tactical carbine classes lately and lots of folks are asking questions about which classes are the best, and which one to take.

The US Army and the US Marine Corps offers some great courses.  The tuition is free and you'll get to train with the best instructors in the world, but they require a time commitment of four years.  That's the short answer.  Even the best operators in the world need tune-up skills, which is why we re-train our troops before a deployment.  If you really want to learn these skills, see your local recruiter and sign up.  The training is the best in the world and you'll train with the greatest people in the world.

However, not all of us are ready for this level of commitment, So, the first question you'll have to ask yourself is: Will I have a carbine readily at hand during a self-defense scenario?  If you're not willing to strap it on and have it with you at all times, (and by that I mean in the shower and in the bed with you) the answer is Probably Not.  Better you should practice the skills with whatever you'll readily have at hand during a practical scenario.  Lots of us forget that running away is a legitimate self-defense skill.  More than anything else, you should think about disengagement techniques, staying safe while you run away to a safe place where you can call the police. 

I've trained with lots of good folks over my career.  The very best.  I've never heard the phrase "Big Boy Rules".  If you ever hear an instructor use that phrase, run to the nearest exit.  Yes, I've been in courses where I ran the course with other people behind me with live firearms.  It was part of team training, but the instructors were absolutely anal about muzzle discipline and team fire control.   Yes, it is possible to do this safely, but at that stage of training, you are operating as a team who has trained together for many, many days and the members know each other intimately.  Still, sweeping a team member with a muzzle is a huge no-no.  Don't point your gun at friendlies.  Period.  This is advanced training, with the emphasis on advanced.  A good instructor doesn't want to get to that level of instruction over the course of a simple weekend carbine class.  Or a week-long carbine class.

If training is your goal, then train with the scenario that's most likely to present itself.  With the tools you are absolutely going to have at hand.  Then, keep those tools with you always.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to have an enjoyable weekend with like-minded people, by all means, sign up for a gun course and go have a ball.  Make sure that your instructor is safety oriented and remember the Four Rules. 

Sunday Morning Dawg

We've had beautiful weather lately, with cool mornings and warm afternoons.  Absolutely gorgeous weather.  The dog's been enjoying it too, playing in the yard without much worry of heat or cold.

He needs a haircut, but that will wait another week or so.  Until then, we're content with this weather.  It's a nice time to lay on the pool deck and let the sun warm a dog.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

At the Auction

I went to the auction this afternoon, and picked up a US Army Ka-bar fighting knife.  This one has a serrated edge and it looks as if it's never been out of the sheath.

I used these knives when I was in the service, although I've never seen one with the serrated blade.  I've seen them on ebay for about $50.00 and Smoky Mountain Knife Works lists them at $66.99.  I paid considerably less than both those amounts.

You never know what you might find at the auction.

Working at the Lease

We spent the morning working on the deer lease, the grandkids, one son and I.  We met my brother-in-law and helped him assemble a deer stand.  He built it at his house, disassembled it, and we re-assembled it on the deer property.

The very first thing I do each year when we head out to the lease for the first time, is to bug-bomb my stand.  I don't even climb up into the stand, but open a door, drop a bug fogger inside, then close the door and leave.  There is probably a big ole red wasp nest in there, and that insecticide will give them something to think about over the next week.  I'll go back out next weekend and sweep out the corpses.

The feeder is filled with corn and a new battery should take me through the season.  In another couple of weeks, we'll be hunting deer.  I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Feral Pigs

Texas has introduced an initiative by the government to get the feral hog population under control.  Get the Hog out of Texas.

They're offering grant money to counties that do the best job of reducing the feral hog population.

Personally, I'd just as soon shoot a hog as I would shoot a deer.  The meat is tasty and it's easier to feed to people who might be squeamish about venison.  I think that this is a great initiative and one government program I can support.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


 I stopped by the pawn shop on the way home today, mainly because I didn't have much to do and I haven't been there in a few weeks.  I caught up on some old friends and was browsing the used gun rack, when my favorite counter-guy came out with a bolt rifle.  Remington 700, the plain-jane model we used to call the ADL.  It's got a blind magazine, a walnut stock, and it is in fairly good shape.  It looks like it's been used, not abused.  Short action, in .308 Winchester.  With a Leupold VX-1 3X9 scope mounted.  I figure the scope, mounts and rings are worth a little bit over $250.00 and he wanted $550.00 for the whole package.  Now, I need another rifle like I need another hole in my head, but with the scope, the rifle itself has got to be worth $300.00, and short action Remington's don't show up on the racks every day.  The trigger felt really good, like someone who knew what he was doing had worked it.  Clean break, no creep, very little overtravel.  I put it on layaway.

When I got home I realized that, for a change, I didn't have to be anywhere, or do much of anything, so I decided to do a little reloading.  While at my bench, my daughter-in-law drove up.  It seems that there had been a bad wreck up the road and Milady was worried that I wasn't answering the phone.  DIL and step-son live just a mile up the road and she came to check on me. We called Milady and told her that I was okay.  Not in a wreck, just puttering on my bench.  While she was here, DIL filched some sweet potatoes from a bushel we got recently.  The bushel is sitting near my bench and of course she could have a few.

I'm caught up on my .44 Special reloading now.  Daughter-in-law has some sweet potatoes for supper, and Milady knows that I'm okay. I've got a rifle on layaway. It's turning in to a good Wednesday afternoon

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Getting Organized

My reloading bench was a mess.  Lots of clutter and unsorted items.  If you're like me, you've got a bunch of ammo in those plastic flip top 50 round boxes.  The problem, is you often don't have a full fifty rounds, maybe just a dozen, or maybe three or four individual rounds.  I intend to shoot them as fouling rounds, or when I'm letting a nephew try a rifle.    They simply never seem to get into the range box.

The last time I was surfing at Midway USA, I noticed the little CB boxes.  They come in several sizes and the price is such that they're almost giving them away.  So, I put them in my wish list and when I made an order I included them in the order.  They're white 20 round boxes and come with the styrofoam insert.  The cardboard is fairly sturdy, certainly more substantial than the boxes that factory ammo comes in.

This afternoon I sorted my ammo and all those odd lots of ammo were put in those CB boxes.  Labels applied.  They're all put away.  Now, I've got extra plastic boxes and I've got a handle on all the odd-lot ammo on my bench.  The minimum order on those CB boxes is 25, so I've got plenty for the next go-around.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Cool Weather

It's cool outside.  48 degrees on my back porch as the sun begins to show a line of light to the east.  The sky is severe clear, with no clouds or wind.  If I were in the squirrel woods, I'd want a light jacket, or at least long sleeves to help ward off the chill.  Based on the sounds I hear in the woods near the house, someone is in the squirrel woods this morning and to him I offered a raised cup and thoughts of good luck.

I don't have to go to work until later.  Due to the strangeness of the local school calendar, today is set aside for parent/teacher conferences and the students have a holiday.  I'll be at the school house later, but for now the morning is mine.  I have a few chores to do after I finish this cup of coffee, but for now I'm simply reveling in this weather.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Bonus Dawg

It's Sunday afternoon and it's a beautiful day in Central Louisiana.  The skies are severely clear and we've got a nice breeze blowing.  Temps are in the high 60s, so it's a good day to spend outside.  We've got the dog on a leash to he won't go play in traffic, and of course, he wants to lay under the car.

He's the Laying-Under-The-Car,  Sunday afternoon Dawg.

Sunday Morning Dawg

When we're home, loafing around, likely as not the dog will be found lounging on the tile in front of the fireplace.  He likes it there, as he can survey the activities of the main part of the house.  He can keep track of his ball, too, as I'm bad about swiping it and rolling it down the hall.

He's the hanging-out-in-his-favorite-spot Sunday Morning Dawg.

It's about time for a haircut, too.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Range Day.

There's an old Southern saying that the sun shines on every dog's butt occasionally, and today it shined on mine.

I went out to the range to sight in three rifles and my Ruger Super Blackhawk.  I took two loads for the pistol, Skeeter's Load, and my .44 magnum load of 19.0 grains of 2400 and the Lee 240 grain wheelweight bullet.

I got two of the rifles sighted in and between posting targets, bantered with the rangemaster, a guy named Ron, who I've bantered with for several years.  I took out my Savage .30-06 and after posting a target, Ron came by to look over my shoulder.  He hunkered down behind my spotting scope as I put the first round in the chamber.  "Where do you think this one is going?"

"If the scope is still on from last year, it'll hit real close to the bull."  I squeezed the trigger, felt the recoil, and everything felt just right.

I looked through the scope and put the rifle away.  Ron asked "You through?"

"Yeah," I replied.  "All I wanted to do was check the scope."

Then, I got out the big .44 revolver and started sighting it in for Skeeter's Load.  I had to drop the rear sight down as far as it would go, but after three cylinders I got it shooting to the bull at 25 yards.

Then, with nothing particular to shoot at, I looked downrange and saw a big ole clod of dirt on the berm, 100 yards away.  I loaded a cylinder of magnums, took a good aim and let one fly.  Darned if that dirt clod didn't explode.  I was simply amazed.  About that time, Ron wandered by.  "What are you shooting at?"

"Dirt clods on the berm."

"Really!" says he.

I looked downrange and saw something white up on the berm.  "Ron, look through the scope at that white thing, about 10 feet up. What is that?"

He squinted behind the scope.  "Looks like a styrofoam cup.  Why?"

"Keep looking," I replied.  I thumb cocked that big revolver, took a good sight picture and caressed the trigger.  BOOM, and the cup jumped once and slid down the berm.

I turned to Ron as he stood up from the scope.  He looked at me and blinked.  "You are having a really good day today, aren't you.?"

The sun shines on every dog's butt occasionally.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Lieutenant Governor

We've got a Lieutenant Governor's race going on in Louisiana and the primary election is tomorrow morning.  We've got the usual suspects, with Jay Dardenne heading the presumptive list of pretenders. 

In Louisiana, the Lt Gov doesn't do much, but he is the head of what we call the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, so the Lt Gov becomes the chief cheerleader and promoter for the state.  That's his (or her) primary responsibility.

As it turns out, one of the pretenders to the spot is a country music singer named Sammy Kershaw.  He's probably best known for the song I'm embedding below.

He's not a politician, which is a decided plus, and he's not an incumbent, which is also a plus.  He probably understands business, especially the entertainment business, and he understands promotion, so he can help promote the state.

I'm going to vote for Sammy tomorrow morning.  If a couple of hundred thousand of my fellow Louisianans will do the same, then maybe he's got a chance to get into the general election.