Lead Ban Chronicles – AB711 Coming Down To The Wire

October 4, 2013

Lead Ban ChroncilesBeen a while since I did one of these, but I’d be remiss to let the weekend come without an update… not that most of you in CA need it.

AB711 is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk right now, awaiting his signature to make it law.  The deadline for signing is October 13, which is about 9 days away.  Like many people, I think it’s probably as good as done, but Brown has surprised gun owners and sportsmen before.  The point is, including today, you have six business days to send your comments to Brown, either to ask him not to sign (I hope), or to cheer the bill along (you’re free to your opinions).

I’m not going to rehash all of my arguments against the bill now.  I neither have time, nor inclination.  I’ve repeated myself so many times here and on other sites (blogs, newspaper editorial sections, Huffington Post, etc.) that I just don’t even want to see it again.  You can scroll back through the Lead Ban Chronicles posts here, and on the old Hog Blog to see any number of points, counterpoints, and outright rages during the history of this and the previous lead ammo bans.

But I will say this to hunters and hunting advocates in other states.  Please, pay attention.  Get informed by going out and reading up on the research for yourselves.  What you’ll find isn’t always pretty, and can sometimes be a little tough to analyze without a background in science and biology, but the truth is out there.  Distance yourself from anything published by the NRA, Center for Biological Diversity, HSUS, or other extreme organizations and look to the science.

Be willing to put this discussion on the table before the talk of bans and restrictions turns it into a political donnybrook.  Think as an outdoorsman, as a conservationist, but be practical.  And then consider how to take back the reins of this wagon and get out ahead of the lead ammo conversation.

If You Don’t Hear From Me…

October 2, 2013

I'm up here.

I’m up here.

Deer Hunting Tips That Really Work…

October 1, 2013

I see from the trails of Coors Light and Bud Light cans (why are these two brands so predominant amongst the Adam Henry crowd?) that the deer hunters are visiting their leases.  About an hour before sunset, the telltale rattle of feeders echoes through the canyon.  Little camps and cabins, dark for the past nine months, are now lit up like football stadiums.

It’s deer season.

Another sign of the season is the preponderance of “how to” articles for deer hunting.  Most of these articles are rehashed versions of the same article from last year, which was a repetition of the year before that was almost identical to the article from three years ago… and so on.  In the interest of simplicity and my altruistic desire to help my fellow hunter, I determined it wise that I should put the whole thing to bed with the definitive catalogue of deer hunting tips and tricks.  These are tested and guaranteed to work, by the way… none of that theoretical hypothesizing that these city-boy, hunting writers crank out between their lattes and tofu burgers.

Tip #1 – Finding Deer

In order to shoot a deer, you have to find a deer.  This is the most important tip of all.

Tip #2- Food Sources

It’s no secret that one great way to find deer is to find their food sources. That can be easier said than done, though. Deer eat lots of stuff. They like acorns, grain, fruit, green foliage, and the occasional little bird. I’ve determined that the list is simply too extensive, so it’s easier to focus on things they don’t eat. Deer don’t eat televisions, computers, or living room furniture. That is generally not the best habitat for deer hunting success.

Tip #3 – Deer and Water

Deer can swim, but they are seldom found snorkeling or SCUBA diving (Some people would say they’re never found snorkeling or SCUBA diving, but in my experience, I have discovered that deer do many surprising things.  I have learned to never say, “never.”).  However, deer do drink water.  Sometimes they can be found near water sources.  Sometimes they can’t.  Deer might also drink beer.  However, it is well and widely known that wild deer only drink beer when it occurs naturally in streams or ponds.  They don’t drink from cans or bottles.  The tactic of trying to bait deer to the roadside by tossing beer containers out of the truck window is futile, so please stop doing it immediately.

Tip #4 – Shooting Deer

In order to kill a deer, you have to shoot it. You can use a gun or a bow. I have learned that either method works just fine, but they work best when you can hit what you shoot at.

Tip #5 – The Best Deer Cartridge

I have a friend in North Carolina who swears that the best deer cartridge is a small block Chevy V-8 in a half-ton pickup truck.  It’s big enough to kill cleanly, but not so big that it destroys the meat and antlers.  Personally, I have found that the best cartridge for deer absolutely has to include two key components… gunpowder and a bullet.  Doesn’t matter what caliber you’re using, if you don’t have these two elements in your cartridge, you’re probably not going to have much success.

Tip #6 – The Best Deer Broadhead

Bowhunters seem to like gadgets.  Whether it’s training wheels on the bow, or lasers that leverage the Pythagorean Theorem to give accurate range at any angle, they gather and collect and argue about the merits and shortfalls of every little thing.  One recurrent argument is about broadheads.  I’m here to put that debate to rest.  The best broadhead is the sharp, pointy one that’s attached to an arrow, which is fletched to a point of stability, and is launched from a bow with sufficient speed and energy by a hunter who has practiced to the point of mastery with his tools.  Period.

Tip #7 – The Best Deer Camo

Just to be clear, I’m talking about the best camo for the hunter, not the deer.  The deer is already clothed in some of the most effective camo you can get.  Personally, I believe it’s some kind of Romulan cloaking device.  If you’ve ever seen a buck simply appear in the middle of an open meadow that you’ve been watching for hours, you’ll know what I mean.  Hunters would probably benefit from a similar camo, but Romulans don’t care much for us and won’t share the technology.  They saw what happened to Klaatu, the day the Earth stood still, and never got over it.  So we have to make do with regular clothing.  There are lots of patterns out there that can pull off a nearly perfect disappearing act… for your money.  Deer don’t care about colors or patterns.  They care about predators.  Predators move and make noise.  Don’t move or make noise.  Now you’re camouflaged.

Tip #8 – Scent Control

We stink.  Companies like Proctor and Gamble have been telling us that for decades.  Deer and other wildlife have been dropping the hint for even longer.  Wild deer don’t like to associate with stinky people.  There are many products out there that claim they will make us not stink.  They all lie.  Onions smell like onions.  Deer smell like deer.  We smell like people.  It is our nature.  In nature, smell is carried on air.  Moving air is called wind.  If the wind blows to a deer, it will smell us.  If the wind blows away from deer, it will not smell us.  See?  The essence of scent control.

Tip #9 – Moon Phases

The moon has several phases.  Sometimes it is big and bright and we call it the “full moon”.  Sometimes, it’s barely visible.  We call that the “new moon.”  Usually, it is somewhere in between.  When the moon is going from new to full, it is called “waxing”.  When it is going from full to new, it is called “waning”.  That’s what you need to know about moon phases.

Tip #10 – Weather

It is possible to hunt deer in any weather.  From the stormiest, hurricane conditions to the driest drought, to the most frigid arctic blizzard, you can go deer hunting.  You may not see any deer, but you can certainly go hunting.  You are more likely to have success, however, if you don’t go in the worst conditions.  How do you judge the worst conditions?  Some people rely on barometers or rain gauges.  I recommend using the girlfriend gauge.  If she just nods as I gear up and head out, it could be a good day.  If she shakes her head and rolls her eyes, it could still be a good day.  If she calls me an idiot and puts 911 on speed dial, it probably won’t be a good day.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t go, of course, but the odds of success are generally slim on those days.

Tip #11 – Best Time To Go Hunting

Editor’s Note: I decided to break with convention and go with 11 tips instead of 10.  I’m a rebel like that.
My friend in North Carolina (the small block Chevy guy) believes the best time for deer hunting is between midnight and 3 A.M.  By his account, there are generally less hunters in the field and the deer seem to be less skittish.  However, it should be noted that most game wardens tend to react with displeasure at having to patrol during these hours.  In order to get a reasonable night’s sleep, they have passed laws that require us to hunt during the daytime instead.  Should they be called from their warm beds at the ungodly hours to respond to someone violating these laws, their response is generally severe and unpleasant.  This is why the best time for deer hunting is during the daytime, generally from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

So there it is.  I recommend printing this out and making copies to keep around the house.  Share this advice with the neophyte and the veteran alike.  I believe that if everyone follows these eleven simple tips, your deer hunting success will go way up.  It may even skyrocket, but that’s marketing talk and I prefer to avoid such hyperbole.

Good hunting.  Have fun.  And most important of all… be safe.



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