Squirrel Aftershock

I’ve always known people who hunted. Always. And yet, I’d never been myself. I remember my grandpa always had a freezer full of venison, elk, and wild birds. He was hard-core. He carved a lot of walnut stocks, and I saw him turn a barrel or two on his lathe. I’m not sure what he was doing to those things, but he was cutting metal off of them one way or another. I loved that place. It always smelled like wood and metal and machine oil. He had a welder and every tool known to man in that little shed. He never looked too thrilled about us kids coming to his magical wonderland workshop though. Regardless, he sporterized more military rifles than I’ve laid my hands on, and wild-catted more calibers than most avid handloaders have dies for. This includes a rifle that started life as a K98, chambered in something he and his brother called “.375 J.B. Express”. I have no idea what that is, but it sure sounds cool! He had a Japanese Arisaka with the bolt handle bent over. He left behind a swath of project guns, some complete, some not started, and a few that were somewhere in between. He died when I was twelve. After that, I had friends, relatives, and even coworkers who hunted (maybe not to such extremes, but constantly and in plenty).

With the slap-dash hunt that Jennifer and I went on that produced a single, tasty rodent for us, a fire was lit in my soul. Something inside me came alive that I can’t totally describe. I’ve thought more about five-round rifle magazines and safety orange this week than I had in the combined previous thirty-three years. What I do know is that today I took delivery of a box. It didn’t come off the Brown Truck of Happiness, it was the other guys this time. This box contained three boxes of ammunition, each with three-color printed graphics and a foil label on the end. This stuff is so guaranteed to kill Bambi that it has depictions of antlers all over the packaging. It has a clever little diagram on the back of the box illustrating the skived tip, pressure-formed core, molecular-fused jacket, and optimized boat-tail profile of the projectile itself which “unleashes performance unthinkable by any other means”. I figure that if it’s really all that badass, it will kill pigs just fine. This stuff cost as much as my self-defense ammo, and it looks way fancier. What in the world is happening to me?!?!?

Then again, I laughed until I snorted, watching my fifteen-pound cat try to crawl into the 4x4x6-inch corrugated cardboard box the ammo was delivered in. Yeah. Good luck with that, genius! 😀

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