Keep me out of them. If I finish in the top three this year, I will go kilted for the remainder of the year. There’s a thousand dollars burning a hole in my bank account that you can claim for Kilted To Kick Cancer. Jennifer and I have been thinking of getting our lifetime hunting licenses. Your donations may mean that my white knees will keep us from harvesting deer this year. This is not a far-fetched proposal. I’m not at the head of the pack, but I’m close, considering my donation match. Let’s do this thing. On Thursday I’ll be back in my jeans unless you put me over the top. Donate here and note your donation for Team Hast.
Haphazardly throwing meat on fire will get the job done, but properly rubbing it and painstakingly monitoring temperatures produces better results. I think we proved this with pork ribs, beef brisket, and even squirrel.
It’s always a good time for recreational archery, and a worn out archery target is not at all useless. Please see below.
You know the party has warmed up when the swords come out.
It’s awful fun to hack up a used up archery target with a Scottish claymore.
Sitting by the smoker all day is simultaneously relaxing and exhausting.
No matter how well organized you think you are, you will forget something. Targets, tripods, the other camera, revolvers…
Shooting is a depreciable skill, and I personally am not putting in nearly enough trigger time lately.
Rifles should always outnumber people 2:1 in any civilized gathering. A higher concentration of them is even better.
With many thousands of dollars worth of hardware laying about, sometimes it’s the $4 vinyl decal that steals the show.
Trophies make good targets.
Pulling out a life sized mannequin and placing her downrange will excite a line of shooters the same way the ice cream truck does kids in the park.
And then, a half pound of Tannerite will blow her into more pieces than you can count.
If you want someone to try your gun, seize the opportunity to shove it into their hand along with ammo at the first opportunity.
There’s no better way to wear yourself into exhaustion than a day at the range.
A windy night will do remarkable things to a 40-foot tarp left out.
There’s a lot of fun to be had even on the clean up day.
Often, a $200 rifle is just as much fun as a $2,000 rifle, even when each of them was fully worth the respective purchase price. You’ll probably want at least one of each.
Make sure you have enough charged batteries for all the cameras you might want to run.
You can in fact have too many tripods. This is a relieving, good problem to have.
A home made long bow with a ~40-lb draw weight will launch an arrow at over 100fps and least 100-yards, although the arrow is nearly impossible to track with a camera.
A pound of Tannerite will reduce 120 eggs to a fine layer of goo and tiny shell fragments faster than you can say, “Woah!” Pics and stuff forthcoming.
Overall lessons from the weekend:
When the event is over, you can simultaneously be relieved to get back to normal life and saddened that it couldn’t last longer.
The third weekend in March is a less than ideal calendar date for an event like this.
Sporting clays apparently reproduce. As long as we keep hosting this event, I’m confident I’ll never have to buy another box of the things. Then again, it’s hard to have too many.
There’s no way to accurately guess how much food will be needed in advance, but we got pretty close this time.
I should already know by now, but a gray tarp would be better to photograph and take video on than a blue one.
As wonderful as it is to see the friends who came, and as grateful as you can be for their attendance, there’s always room to miss the ones who couldn’t make it.
Some time back, Brownell’s sent me a chronograph to review. Since we have rimfires and centerfires in the house, in long and hand format, as well as a few shotguns, bows, and Nerf and airsoft guns, we felt like we could put it though its paces. The unit that I received is the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital. Priced at $119.95, I was a little skeptical at first. When the unit arrived, I appreciatively noted the mark on the box reading, “Made in America with Pride.” The packaging is a box sturdy enough for persistent storage and transportation. The unit has a plastic housing with an LCD readout and five control buttons. On the side, it has the power switch and a jack for the optional PC interface (not included, and not reviewed here as of yet). There is a 1/4×20 threaded brass escutcheon in the base for mounting it on a camera tripod and the battery compartment is big enough for two 9v batteries (also not included), although it only plugs into one to function, giving you convenient storage for a spare. The unit also came with guide wires, diffuser hoods, and operating instructions.
Operation is very simple. Plug in the battery. Flip the power switch on. Shoot over the top of the unit. The diffuser hoods are required for sunny days. When I received the chronograph, it was raining heavily, so guns or archery were out of the question. So, we set it up on a camera tripod in the kitchen and shot Teen Bot’s Nerf gun over it. It is sensitive to speeds from 22 fps to 7000 fps, and the Nerf darts came in erratically between 30 and 60, with most of the readings coming in right around 40 fps. It had a little trouble with my airsoft pistol, but I have been told that these things typically don’t do so well with .22-cal pellets.
I have used this in my back yard to measure arrow velocities, and the readings seem in line with the claims of the bow manufacturer. It has no trouble with .22lr ammunition through handgun or rifle, and has done well with all centerfire ammo we’ve put across it. I have used this to fine-tune my bow, analyze hand loads, and compare velocities between ammo brands and between barrel lengths for a common ammunition. I don’t have much reference to compare it against, but the readings come out consistently enough per launcher and projectile that I’m inclined to believe that it is accurate enough for most purposes. The only times we have gotten erratic readings have been when we were standing too close to the unit. It will store up to 99 readings in each of nine separate strings, even with the battery unplugged.
Being such a relatively low-priced unit, I had assumed that there was something about it that lacked quality as compared to some of the more expensive ones. Because of this, I feared that it lacked durability, owing much to the plastic housing. I worried in vain. While set up at the farm, a sudden gust of wind violently toppled the tripod and the chronograph hit the ground hard. When we righted it, we found that it was still powered up, and still functioned normally. I wouldn’t recommend that you throw this unit around carelessly, but it is tougher than you might imagine. Here it is going down:
This chronograph is very competitively priced, U.S. made, accurate, durable, conveniently portable, and easy to use. It will measure velocity of just about anything that can travel over the sensors and will store data for recording later. It’s a really neat piece of kit, and I honestly can’t imagine not having it at this point. If something should happen to it, I would gladly pay the $120 that Brownell’s charges for it. If you have ever considered purchasing a chronograph for personal use, I would highly recommend that you take a look at the ProChrono Digital.
FTC – this product was provided free of charge from Brownell’s for the purpose of review. They didn’t pay me to say it was good, but sent it to me to wring out and talk about.
Click here to donate to my KTKC fund.
Deer Archery season starts on October 1, along with Fall Turkey and Rabbit season. Squirrels are in season currently. Jennifer and I decided to do some pre-season scouting on Saturday. We stopped at Tractor Supply to buy some salt licks for the deer. It’s a little late in the season for this, and the bucks have long since eaten the last mineral lick as their antlers have grown in this spring and summer. A four-pound mineral lick, about the size of a brick, costs around $5 at the local sporting goods store. By comparison, a fifty-pound block is about the same price at Tractor Supply. They had a few variations, so I got a plain white block, a sulfur block, and a trace mineral block. We shall see what the deer like the most.
I put small game heads on my arrows, in case we crossed paths with any squirrels, and finally got to try my bow sling that Tanner Hann from Slogan Outdoors hooked me up with.* I may have to write a fuller review of this excellent product, but I thought I would mention it here.
From the pictures we collected on the game camera, it looks like the deer herd is at least twice as big as it was last year, with several bucks, quite a few does, and a couple of fawns and yearlings.
If I understand correctly, we’re going to want to cull out a buck or two to keep the male to female proportion properly balanced. Here’s the young one that looks like good stock to leave for next year:
It’s so funny how they sometimes seem to pose for the camera.
Of course, there are babies.
Daaawwwww! Almost too cute to eat!
And, one gregarious turkey.
Last year and the year before, I may have fudged the kilt thing once or twice. This year, I’ve made a hard and fast commitment to not wear pants for the month.
In the spring, the ticks and poison ivy were so bad that there was no way I was going out with uncovered skin. So, I donned my black leggings under my 5.11 TDK and combat boots. This had mixed results. My cousins had mowed and baled in the west field, but it’s been so rainy that the grass has grown up tall and thick again.
Much of the grass is actually taller than the round bales at this point. And, the stickers are terrible this year.
Jennifer and I picked no fewer than a jillion stickers out of our clothing. Incidentally, they stick really well to leggings under a kilt.
The golden orb weavers have been prolific this year, guarding their distinctive webs with the Jacob’s Ladder zig-zag up the center.
We’re also seeing a whole lot more thistles than in previous years. They were in full bloom this weekend.
We spotted this on the ground. Does that look like a pheasant feather to you?
I hadn’t ever seen pheasants on the property, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. Overall, I’d say it was a good trip, and I’m feeling quite optimistic for deer season here in a couple of weeks.
The Slogan Outdoor sling performed exactly as I have wished for a bow sling. It was comfortable and secure for all of our hiking. The stabilizer fell off my bow at some point in time. I knew that the chances of finding it in the grass were slim to none, so I ordered a replacement on Amazon.
Again, please do support me on the Kilted To Kick Cancer drive to fight male-specific cancers. Click here to donate. And, huge thanks to those of you who have already so generously donated!
*Tanner at Slogan provided the sling at no cost, for the purpose of review.
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — A 2-acre grass fire in Edmond has been extinguished and fire crews said a squirrel may have been behind the blaze.
Seriously, guys? I’ve got an eye on you. Squirrel season starts in six days and I’ve got a new bow sling to review.
The weather has been weird this year. We have had our cold spells, and we even got a little snow on the ground. But, it’s been warm enough for the last few days that a coat hasn’t been necessary. That’s weird for January in Oklahoma. Although for a few years we had an odd neighbor who wore shorts all year, even in the snow. I didn’t think he even owned any long pants until he got all dressed up in his khakis and button down one day. Anyway, I don’t know that there’s any truth to global warming, but why should that keep us from doing our part to help save the planet? In the last year, we’ve made some ecologically smart changes in our life. Jennifer started using this special climate control shampoo.
And then, she stepped it up a notch and recycled her hair.
I’ve been trying renewable shaving with limited success.
I switched to zero-emission hunting and we’ve been eating as much free range meat as we can.
Please note my naturally cooling unbifurcated garment. We once posed in an electric car.
And we’ve been using organic heaters.
And, we even set Jay G on fire!
Alright, so that last one didn’t really help the environment so much – it was mostly just for fun. Besides that, he made this face at me:
Tell me you wouldn’t have set him on fire yourself! Yeah, that might have not really happened. Nerd beer was involved and the details get a little fuzzy.
At any rate, we were under a tornado watch this morning. That just doesn’t happen in January. We didn’t get blown away, but we did get a lot of much-needed rain. And, now you can see how hard we’ve been working to combat climate change. So, what are you doing to make the world a better place?
*No bloggers were actually harmed or set on fire in the composition of this post. We here at evylrobot.com do not condone violence against gun bloggers. Any likenesses to any characters, real or imaginary, might or might not be a weird coincidence. Also, squirrels are tasty.
Digital photography is one of those things that was weird to see the consumer inception of, especially given the ubiquitousness of it now. Indeed, for the first years of our marriage, we didn’t have so much as an internet connection or computer in the household, so a digital camera would have been utterly useless. We had a couple of 35mms and a little Polaroid, and somewhere we have boxes and boxes of prints and negatives, like many other established households. Once when we upgraded our mobile phones, the neew hawtness was this nifty little flip with color screens and a built in camera of all things! For months, onlookers were shocked to see me taking pictures (however rudimentary, grainy, and low-res) with my phone, especially quaint and hilarious considering how often you can catch people mistakenly using the words ‘camera’ and ‘phone’ interchangeably at this point. I remember when my dad dropped his 35mm SLR while on vacation, and I thought he was going to be sick. When he was told that the camera couldn’t be fixed, he saved up his money and bought a new Cannon Rebel DSLR. I was fascinated. By that point in time, I believe we had an HP desktop we purchased from a Wal Mart
Slaughterhouse Black Friday sale, and a couple/few Linux boxes. I’m nearly certain I was running my Hydra, a home-brewed, triple-display, ‘nix-powered affront of technology that was pieced together with the cannibalized remains of dead computers, and ran visual effects in the GUI that still wouldn’t be seen in the world of Windows for several years yet. But I digress…
Jennifer decided that she’d like to have a digital camera. On her blog, she has briefly mentioned her old Olympus Stylus 600. We had a lot of good times with that little all-weather camera and its massive, 1-GB XD card. In fact, a few weeks ago, we discovered that the card was still loaded up with a bunch of old pictures. When it came time for a replacement, we found a LNIB Nikon P80 for a fantastic price at the local pawn shop. After running that one until she outgrew it, we purchased a new Nikon D3100 for her last year after Christmas. That was around the time that I purchased my bow. Of course, phones were upgraded over the years. Now, the camera built into my Galaxy Epic 4G takes pics to compete with the old Olympus for image quality, and at a higher resolution to boot. Even so, I started to feel the need for a dedicated point and shoot, something that would take better images than my phone, and preferably something that would take good video, and that would go everywhere with me, no matter the weather or circumstances. Having spent quite a bit of time myself with Jennifer’s P80 and then D3100, I turned a biased eye towards Nikon and their AW100.
Of course, I considered several other options while shopping, not to miss out on a better fit because of said bias. I checked out Cannon’s Powershot D20 and Olympus’ TG series cameras, and I even took a look at the GoPro Hero 2 and the Contour Roam, just to broaden my scope. The latter two really weren’t in the product family that I was looking for, although I’ll probably wind up with such toys before I die. I honestly didn’t know what GoPro was before I ran into a Hero display at Target one day – that probably catalyzed me wanting a waterproof/shockproof camera. Anyway, after considering all the options, I decided that I did like the Nikon the best. The combination of controls, capabilities, size & shape, local support, and product familiarity influenced me to go home with an AW100. Nikon was running a special at the time, so I got a package that included a little carry case and a three-year extended warranty. Since that day, my AW100 goes just about everywhere with me. What came in the box (short of the camera and batter, which were employed for the picture):
The carry case (upper right) turned out to be entirely too bulky to be useful, so it now lives in the box with the other unused items. Under it, you can see a stack of paperwork and CDs. It also came with a lens filter adapter (upper left), a USB cable, a useless A/V cable, and a useless neck strap that I tried using until I replaced it with a wrist strap that I stole off another camera that was laying around, nearly forgotten in its obsolescence. Oh yeah, and the battery charger – it only takes a couple of hours for the battery to reach full charge, and that will support quite a bit of time for my purposes. I usually wind up charging it once a week or so, but it depletes at the worst possible times. On Saturday, I was trying to get some good pics of a red tail hawk that was circling low overhead when the battery tanked on me.
A word of advice – if you get a camera like this, get a couple extra batteries. You can find the Nikon-branded batteries on Amazon for around $20, and third-party replacements for a quarter of that. As you can imagine, the battery only dies when you are using the camera, which is by definition, the least convenient time for it to happen. As to the storage card, I’m running an HP-branded 32GB Class 10 SDHD. I may replace this with one of the wi-fi cards from Transcend or Eye-Fi so I can access pics and videos wirelessly from my Android or laptop. It would be nice to not break the water seal as often as I do for file transfers. Here’s a self-portrait:
I boldly chose the orange variation over blue or black. This little camera boasts a 16MP CMOS sensor, full 1080p video with stereo sound, GPS, compass, 5x optical zoom Nikor lens, and it is waterproof to 33-feet and shockproof from a 5-foot drop. I have dragged this thing through the woods, swimming pools, and like I said – about everywhere I go.
Despite my inadvertent and sometimes deliberate rough treatment of the camera, the bright orange case is not even showing any wear. At lower resolution, it will capture video at 240fps, for smooth, slow-motion playback, as seen in this video of Firehand:
Of course, the video is not going to surpass a dedicated camcorder, but I would say that the video quality more-or-less hangs with JayG’s Sony. That is to say that the disparity from the two sources is hardly noticeable in this, now world-famous video:
I flushed the camera in the toilet while recording video, but it turned out pretty boring. Washing the camera after the fact came out pretty interesting, by comarison!
At first, I found the menus to be slightly confusing, and I still haven’t figured out how to work everything it will do. Facial recognition and geotagging are nifty features that I probably wouldn’t have thought about building into a camera. I do wish that there were more manual options like on Jennifer’s D3100 or even her old P80, but this is a minor complaint in the long run. It’s not a DSLR, and can’t be expected to do the job of one – it will happily go places you wouldn’t dare drag your DSLR! Although you’ll get better video quality from a camcorder, this one stands in quite nicely for the same purpose. The GoPro and Roam cameras are far tougher and more waterproof, but they are purpose built and don’t stand in very well for a point-and-shoot. the high-speed video settings are cool, but it won’t catch bullets in the air at high resolution like a Phantom, but it doesn’t command a fraction of the price tag either. It’s more compact than a lot of its competitors and has a mind-blowing feature set crammed into the little package. What I was after was a rugged point-and-shoot that had extended features for other uses. I feel like I got that in spades. Basically, what it comes down to is if you need a camera for a specialized purpose, you can probably spend your money better. If however, you want a compact camera that can do almost anything pretty well, indoors or outdoors, in rough conditions, or even under water, I would highly recommend Nikon’s AW100.
At the end of the year, my hunting license expired, as did my unfilled deer tags. I went ahead and purchased my 2013 hunting license as well as one more deer tag, since I had another two weeks to hunt. I figured if I shot a deer, it counts towards 2012, and if not, I’d have it in the fall. Things were slow going for the last two weeks, with many excuses to not get out to the farm including weather and other engagements. Well, we went out on Tuesday afternoon, as it was the last day of the season.
The drive out was pleasant and uneventful. When we made our way into the hollow, we spotted three does. They were very familiar to us as we have seen this trio countless times in pictures and in real life. This was the same doe and her two yearlings that we spotted when we took Teen Bot out for Youth Deer Gun in October. Indeed, this was the very same doe that he passed up the shot on for multiple moral dilemmas. Good kid.
Those two yearlings have grown a lot in the last few months. Now they are nearly as big as their mother. Before I could get within one hundred yards of them, they spotted me and walked into the woods to watch me from there. I stopped and waited quietly to see what would happen. The slightly larger offspring walked back out from the treeline and watched me. With her ears erect and her nose pointed at me, she laid down in the grass and waited as I waited. I pulled out my camera and snapped a picture of her, at the full 5x optical zoom that my Nikon affords me. I didn’t bother posting the picture. You can see the doe if you know where to look, but I felt like it would be useless here.
So, there we sat in a man versus nature game of chicken; me not daring to move for fear of spooking them, the deer not daring to move for fear of me. The slightly smaller yearling tentatively walked from the treeline and stood beside her sister. With fifteen minutes left of the season, we waited, staring at each other. Neither one of them was in a position for an ethical kill and they were out of bow range anyway. Then suddenly, the three of them made an about face and bounded off to their left, up the trail that they’d carved through the woods toward the car path.
I swapped out the SD card in the camera in the hollow. With ten minutes to spare, we headed back up the trail, swapping out the card in the other camera along the way. I hoped to cross paths with them again at the top of the property with minutes to spare before the end of shooting hours. When we made it back to the gate, the deer were nowhere to be seen and it was time to call it quits. Oh well. Although there was no harvest, the hunt was good. I learned a lot and feel like I have skills that I can put to work in the fall.
As we drove back towards the city, we mused together about the combined deer seasons, and what we had learned. We even laughed about the fact that this particular doe had so narrowly escaped on so many occasions. I was about to take the turn from the property road onto the main road when something came out of nowhere and struck the front of the car in a flash of gray and a startling thud.
“What the!?!?!” I exclaimed as I put full pressure to the Brembo brake calipers. The Italian brakes stopped the car as abruptly as they should and I threw on the hand brake and the hazard lights.
“What was that?” Jennifer asked.
“I don’t know,” I said as I climbed out of the car, “some kind of animal.”
As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw a crumpled mass on the edge of the road. I shined my flashlight to see a relatively large feathered form. I squinted and looked for movement or blood. Suddenly, the creature popped to its feet, wings hanging to its sides.
“Stay back!” Jennifer said, to either Teen Bot, or me, or the bird, I can’t be sure
It stumbled side to side. Standing about two feet tall, its flat beak and horn-like crests gave it away. I reached for my camera about the time the owl shook its head as if to shake off the disorientation. Before I had the camera powered on, the creature shook its head again, spread its broad wings and confidently flapped them several times to propel itself into the air, circling to the nearby treeline.
“Well,” Jennifer mused, “I guess it’s okay.”
“Clearly,” I said, “Those were not the movements of an injured animal.”
Returning to the car, we inspected the front driver’s corner where it had hit. There were brush-like marks in the dust on the front fender near the headlight. We had not hit it, it had hit us. That explained why it was only dazed and not broken. We got back in the car and headed home. It was a good trip overall, and the three and a half months of deer archery were enriching even if they didn’t put meat in the freezer.
Today, I did a little maintenance to my bow and resorted my arrows. I am on the look out for a feeder which I will attempt to maintain year round. We will continue to scout and watch the deer, and we will more than likely sit in the blind with cameras instead of guns and archery equipment at one time or another. The rabbits, squirrels, and quail have been prevalent, and we’ll continue to pursue them. By the time Deer Archery opens in October, we will be far more prepared than we were this year, and I’m sure we’ll have more stories to share!
As I have stated previously, one of the biggest reasons that I bought my compound bow is because we gunnies only get a few weeks that we can shoot deer in Oklahoma, versus the three and a half months that those nasty archers get. Obviously the only way to play the system is to disguise myself as an archer. And yet, here we are, half-way through the monolithic deer archery season, which does envelope all other deer seasons, by the way, and my bow still has yet to taste blood. I’ve been out with it plenty, but for one reason or another, it just hasn’t happened.
Thursday was insane, as Thanksgiving tends to be. That morning, one of my close friends from high school come by for breakfast. She’s one of the few people that Jennifer and I each knew before we knew each other, and she’s the only one of those that we still maintain contact with. We drank several varieties of coffee brewed in the French press, sampled a little tequila, and some nice English tobacco, as well as some Nat Sherman Classics. I know, I know. I never said that I wouldn’t have an occasional smoke. It really is just an occasional thing now. Breakfast consisted of blueberry bagels with cream cheese and lox. From there, we buzzed off to my grandparents’ house where my parents had prepared the full Thanksgiving spread, including pumpkin pie. I’m usually good for about one slice of pumpkin pie per year. My grandpa was lucid enough. He knew who everyone was, and both of my grandparents were quite pleased to see everyone. That evening we went to Jennifer’s parents’ house. By the end of the evening, we were tired, stuffed, and weary of the stress of family. Time to go home. It was a good holiday.
That evening, I called my brother on the phone. “Do you know what I want to get tomorrow for Black Friday?” I asked my brother, “A deer!” We made plans to head out to the family property and see what we could do. In cameras and in-person observation, I haven’t seen much in the way of morning activity. It seems that we have night-owl, party deer instead of sensible, morning deer. Therefore, we didn’t bother getting up super early. We settled into the blind in the early afternoon. My brother absently gulped water out of his Camelbak, and I hoped that wouldn’t lead to him blowing our cover. Sure enough, after we’d been in the blind for an hour, he had to slip out to answer the call of nature. And, then again, an hour later. As we sat, the wind got harder and harder, to the point that we’d hear a gust coming and each of us would grab the side supports of the blind without even looking up from our smart phones. We called it off and decided to get out of the wind.
On Saturday, Jennifer and I went back out. The bait that I had spread out the previous day was still on the ground. Looks like it was a good call to quit when we did! Although it was a lot less windy than Friday, it was probably still a little too breezy for wildlife. We saw no deer. We saw no bobcat. We didn’t even see any Oklahoma monkeys. Each of us nuked at least two phone batteries on Bejeweled and IRC. We were diligent and sat silently until 30-minutes after sunset. We decided to leave the blind and chairs and come back in the morning.
When the alarm went off at o’dark-thirty on Sunday morning, it was painful. I told Jennifer I didn’t think I had it in me, and she agreed. So, we fell back asleep. When we finally awoke, we met up with my parents for our Sunday lunch and hung around all afternoon. It looked like we weren’t going to get in another day of hunting after all. Even so, we still needed to go and collect our blind, as weren’t simply going to leave it out all week. So, at around 17:00, we hopped in the car and ran out to the farm to retrieve our blind and chairs. The property is twenty to thirty minutes out, depending on traffic and where we decide to park. We have been parking pretty far up the trail and hiking in, so as to maintain invisibility. Since we weren’t worried about stealth, I pulled on down to the hollow. As I turned into the hollow, there were four white tails. This was the first time I’d ever seen four of them at once in the hollow. Jennifer said she could make the shot. The sun set at 17:19, it was 17:40, and that left nine minutes of legal shooting. Jennifer did everything she could to grab her rifle and a pair of ear muffs and I sat in the car, trying my best to look non-nonchalant and non-threatening to the ungulates. They stirred nervously, but not freaked out, and hesitantly started filing off into the woods. Just about the time Jennifer got to the point of setting up for the shot, the last tail disappeared between the trees.
Once I heard FarmDad comment something to the effect of, the best way to hunt antelope is to act like you aren’t hunting antelope. I have to wonder if this philosophy holds true to other types of game. This is not by any means the first time we’ve driven into the hollow to be greeted by deer. Every time, they loiter around for a few minutes before retreating. It flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s tempting to try something new and brash this last week of deer gun season. When Jennifer gets home from work, we could throw guns and supplies in the car and drive out. We’d pull up to the hollow with the intention of Jennifer getting out with her ears on, grab her gun from the back, and take care of business. I’d probably want to park just out of sight and trek the last few paces into the hollow. This shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Jennifer knows her way around her rifle and should be able to make a good shot before the deer have much of a chance to decide what they want to do next. After months of picture collection, hours of silent sitting in the blind, ammunition research and testing, supplies purchased, regulation reading, and everything else, this could come down to a five-minute strike. From everything I’ve read, there shouldn’t be anything amiss on any laws or regulations about this. We would very specifically not be hunting from the car, we’d safely and legally transport guns, and use all appropriate safety gear. I don’t want to do anything illegal or unsporting. Does this sound okay? Not that I’m honestly asking for legal advice on the internet, but I would be interested in hearing disinterested thoughts and opinions.
Having two unfilled archery tags still, I did not purchase a deer gun tag and have not been participating in deer gun season. Well, not behind a trigger, anyway. This has been a combined effort. If Jennifer puts 150-lbs of doe meat in our freezer in the next week, I’m going to feel personally accomplished. Similarly, if I manage to take a deer or two with my bow in the next sevenish weeks, I will expect for Jennifer to share in the credit. One way or another, there hasn’t been nearly enough venison on my grill recently, and I hope to remedy that!
So, we did a little deer hunting over the weekend but didn’t see any deer come out into the clearing this time. On Saturday, sitting silently in our ground blind, Jennifer whispered, “LOOKLOOKLOOK!!!!” I followed her pointing finger and saw nothing. I looked all around and looked back at her and shrugged. “It’s coming down the hill, towards us, right over there,” she hissed.
I looked again. I squinted. “I don’t see it,” I whispered as quietly as I could manage, “Is it a doe or a buck?”
“It’s not a deer,” she said, “Keep watching. It keeps stopping, but it will start walking again.
So, I stared. And then, I saw the movement. What the? That’s either a furry octopus or the world’s largest wild rabbit. “Is is a rabbit?” I said.
“I don’t think so,” Jennifer said, “too big for that.”
“Well yeah,” I said.
And when it turned so we could see its profile, we ghasped in unison, “BOBCAT!”
“Gimme your camera,” Jennifer said, and I quickly handed it to her.
She snapped off a couple of pics and I said, “Video! Get some video!”
She looked over the controls and frustratedly shoved the camera at me. I motioned to the video button and she fired it up. When she could no longer track it from her side of the blind, she asked me to take the camera and I had a very hard time tracking it. Even so, here’s what we came up with:
Pretty cool huh? We could see deer in the trees in the background of the video until the cat came through. At that point, they had better places to be. I showed the video to the proprietor of the local liquor store who asked me if I was scared of it. I assured him that we were in no danger from the cat, but I left out the fact that I was far more concerned about the local two-legged varmints.