Archive for the ‘Guns, Hunting, and Fishing’ Category

More Squirrels

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Plus Thoughts on Hunting

Hunting was challenging today.

I went out at 4:15, carrying the shotgun. I have received the scope for my air rifle, but I found that the gun is so heavy, the crosshairs jump around a lot at 25 yards. I can’t be sure of getting a clean shot. I am researching ways to fix this. Slings, better ways of holding the gun, and so on. In the meantime, I am using the shotgun. It’s the best combination of humanity and lethality.

Unfortunately, the humanity angle did not play out very well.

I walked around the property. I saw two squirrels on a tree a hundred yards from the house, but by the time I got to them, they were up the tree and out of sight. I could not shoot at them before they went up, because the tree was between me and a neighboring property. Too bad.

I walked down past the way-too-close neighbor’s house I’ve written about before, and of course, two squirrels were jumping around within easy reach. In the direction of the house. Nothing to do but keep walking.

I saw a couple more squirrels and chased them. I chased the first one from tree to tree. He would not stop moving, so I tried shooting when he slowed down. No luck. He eventually went into hiding, so I kept going. The next squirrel I saw was far away when I spotted him, and he had plenty of time to hide while I walked to his area.

On the way back to the house, I saw what may have been the first two squirrels, in the area where I saw squirrels on the way out. I walked to their tree, and of course, they went up and hid. I decided to try some of the tricks I had read about.

I threw a branch to the other side of the tree to scare them around to my side. It worked, but they went back to the other side before I could shoot. I scratched the side of the tree with a branch to make them think a predator was climbing after them, but they didn’t buy it.

Some guy on the web said it was smarter to sit under a tree and wait for squirrels to come out than to give up on them and hope to see new ones. I decided to do it his way. I sat under a tree 20 feet from the one with the squirrels, and I waited.

Eventually, they started climbing down, and I shot one. Hooray. It came down by the base, and I tried to shoot the other one, but it would not present itself. I saw the first one flop around a little, and I thought it was kicking its last. Then I realized it was just wounded. It was trying to climb to safety, but it couldn’t do it. I had to walk after it and shoot it in the head.

I should have finished the squirrel off sooner. I don’t feel good about what happened to it. Lesson learned. Unfortunately, the squirrel, not I, had to suffer in order for the knowledge to pass.

I am taking pains to be humane, but I suppose events like this are inevitable. I don’t like it, but you can’t hunt and expect everything to work perfectly. This is something hunters have to deal with. If you’re going to hunt, you have to accept the possibility that you will occasionally cause suffering.

When I cleaned the squirrel, I noticed it only had three feet. I thought I had shot its foot off, which was even more disturbing than leaving it wounded. I was wrong, though. The stump had healed. This squirrel had been shot before, or something had bitten its foot off. This was one hard luck squirrel. It climbed perfectly well, though.

I think a lot about the ethics of hunting, and I am developing some beliefs. I have realized hunting is important, and that a man should know how to hunt. It’s easy to rely on the grocery store and preach when life is good, but there are such things as hard times and catastrophes. You should be able to provide protein when the stores have been looted and burned. Also, hunting teaches you valuable skills which are useful in self-defense situations. A man should have some ability to defend himself and others. He should be able to defend his land. There may come times when it will be necessary to stop criminals yards away from our houses instead of waiting for them to enter.

During the LA riots, people had to stand on the roofs of their businesses holding guns. Here’s something disturbing a black friend told me: on Martin Luther King’s birthday, his dad guarded his house with a gun. People roam around on MLK Day in gangs, doing whatever they want, and the cops sit by and watch because they’re outnumbered. The newspapers ignore it, so white people don’t hear about it. Sometimes defending your property with firearms is necessary.

They say Southerners had one big advantage in the Civil War: they were hunters. Shooting Union soldiers was not that different from shooting deer and rabbits, so they moved smoothly and quickly into their roles as killers of men. They knew how to hide, stalk, shoot, and care for weapons. Yankees had to be told which end of the gun the bullets came out of. If things get weird in the future, people like me will be a step ahead of vegans and fruitarians from California and Boston.

People who live around me have great weapons. They even have camo, blinds, infrared cameras, and a lot of other stuff that can be used against human beings as easily as turkeys. They have gotten over their squeamishness about shooting living things. This is not an area where gangs of disgruntled Hillary voters can get out of cars, walk into houses, and rape, kill, and steal.

Some of the tasks associated with hunting are unpleasant and gruesome. Pulling the warm, smelly organs out of an innocent squirrel is a very nasty experience. But aren’t such things part of life as a human being? If I’m willing to pay Perdue and KFC to slice chickens open, tear out the guts, and give me the meat, shouldn’t I be honest enough to do these things for myself?

I don’t like killing other creatures, per se, and I don’t want to make them suffer, but this is what I am. I have to man up and accept my role in the world. I am a predator, from a race of predators. I live in a cursed world, and predation is part of it. I am not exempt, any more than God is. God kills and punishes all the time, and I believe he put us in a position where we sometimes have to kill or punish, so we would understand what he goes through. A person who is nice all the time can’t be a good Christian. If you never ruffle any feathers or cause any suffering, you’re shirking. Even Jesus beat people with a whip.

I have no patience with mushy, touchy-feely Christians who reject their obligation to be hard, and who criticize gun owners, the military, hunters, parents who spank, meat eaters, and so on. Their posture is not love. It’s self-righteousness. When you refuse to offend or harm, even when doing so is required, you make yourself out to be better than God, who burned people he loved with hot pitch and drowned the entire human race.

Repeatedly, the Bible says God is a god of love AND JUSTICE. It mentions mercy and justice together, to make a point. God has killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, combined, and he will kill more in the future. He’s not going to let us sit back sucking our thumbs, saying we’re glad we’re not like him. Sometimes we have to do hard things to other creatures. We are not better than God.

God is love, according to the Bible. At the same time, the flames of hell are his anger at work. He created hell, and he puts people in it all day, every day.

Absalom was cursed, and he died in disgrace. He undermined his father, David, who had a hard job ruling Israel. He stood in the gate where business was transacted, and he sucked up to the people. He was nicer than David. He took up their causes to spare them dealing with David. Then he declared himself king, and then he had to be hunted like a pig and killed with darts.

He wasn’t better than David. He was morally inferior. He was conceited and manipulative.

When I think of the self-aggrandizing, praise-sucking, warm, fuzzy Christians out there criticizing the rest of us, I think of Absalom. They’re like divorced dads who curry favor with their kids by spoiling them with presents. You know the type. They steal their children’s hearts and make Mom out to be a witch, and then they dump the kids on Sunday and leave Mom to deal with rules and spankings.

Hunting has its ugly side, but on the whole, it’s very pleasant. You get to go outdoors. You turn off your phone. You forget the insane, doomed mess the world has become. When I hunt, I think about two things: hunting, and God. No business. No worries. Every time a squirrel falls, I feel great satisfaction. I’m doing something my grandfather tried to teach me to do, forty years ago, with his shotgun. I love succeeding at it.

There are certain things every American man wishes he could do. Welding, machining, and hunting and/or shooting well are probably the top three or four items. A big percentage of us never learn how to do these things. I already weld and machine, I am shooting rifles well for the first time in my life, and it looks like I’m a reasonably good squirrel hunter. Coyotes, turkeys, and deer are on the way. Nice.

It’s funny, but since I’ve been hunting, I’ve had strange experiences. You know the funny little patterns you see on the insides of your eyelids when you close your eyes at night? For most of my life, I’ve generally seen golden geometrical shapes, like mazes. Now I see trees against the sky. It’s like I’m looking for squirrels.

I really see trees. I don’t mean I see shapes that remind me of trees. I see actual trees, through a glowing golden fog. And if I fall asleep while I’m looking at the trees, they turn into full-blown dream trees against a blue sky.

That has to be supernatural.

God wants me to hunt. I don’t know why, but he does.

I don’t know if I can get the air rifle to work for squirrels, but I’m going to improve my standing rifle shooting. I will continue working on killing squirrels humanely, with precision. I’m going to look into turkey hunting and see what I can do here on the farm. After that, I’ll try to get pigs and coyotes until the fall game seasons start up.

I’ll have to get camo. Unlike squirrels, turkeys see in full color. Squirrels couldn’t give a crap.

No squirrel photo this time. This one was too gross to post. when I fry it, I may post a shot. Thanks, everyone who has given me hunting or shooting tips.

Sheath Gotta Have It

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Completing my Ensemble

I finally decided on a new hunting (sheath) knife.

When I was a kid, my mom would not let me cross the street without a police escort (perhaps I exaggerate), but I was allowed to have all the knives I wanted, and when I stayed with my grandparents, I was allowed to shoot anything in my grandfather’s gun cabinet. I’ve had a few hunting knives.

My first hunting knife wasn’t really mine. My dad had a Case sheath knife with a stacked leather handle. I started carrying it around, and it disappeared. My best friend Clayton stole things from me all the time, and I’m pretty sure he has it. He was a terrible friend. He was the kind of friend you end up with when God isn’t part of your life.

My second cousin Byrd was a circuit judge in Kentucky, so he got dibs on a lot of confiscated weapons. A man got drunk and shot his best friend to death while playing with guns, and Byrd got his Browning hunting knife. He gave it to me. He was always very good to me. Unfortunately, it eventually disappeared. It was also a bad knife.

My mom got me some kind of weird bone-handled knife for my birthday when I was in high school. It’s gone, too.

I never had a use for a sheath knife, so losing these items wasn’t exactly crippling. Now I need one. I have to clean and skin game, and I don’t want to gum up a folding knife and then stick the filthy thing in my pocket. I want something I can wear on my belt and clean thoroughly with dishwashing liquid.

Today I Googled around, looking for something good, and the results were depressing. Seems like everyone uses 420HC steel. This stuff is garbage. It’s the steel in my Gerber Gator II folder, for which I paid something like $15. It sharpens fast, and it’s tough and corrosion-resistant. It also gets dull in a hurry. Forget that. There is no such thing as a quality knife that doesn’t hold an edge.

I saw other knives that used other steels which are comparable to AUS-6. Not for me. I have an AUS-8 knife, and I like it a lot, but it’s my understanding that the little number after AUS means a lot. There is AUS-10, and then there are AUS-8 and AUS-6. I am told AUS-8 is comparable to 440C, which I love, but AUS-6 is not as good. I’m not risking it.

I found a company called Entrek, and they specialize in fairly ugly knives made with 440C. They use micarta for their scales. I love micarta. It’s ugly and boring, but it’s indestructible. It’s plastic reinforced with cloth. Perfect for a hunting knife. I love stag handles and other fancy types of scales, but I don’t need something that has to be petted and coddled. Micarta is IT.

I liked what Entrek’s copy said about steel: “With 36 years experience we just aren’t that impressed with the glamour steels.” If that’s how they feel about steel, they probably have a low tolerance for BS.

I decided to try an Entrek Javalina. This is a very plain sheath knife with a thick blade and a Kydex sheath. It’s on the way. Tremble, squirrels, tremble.

I also need something to carry game in. Yesterday I was jogging through briars with my customary squirrel-filled tall kitchen garbage bag, and the plastic kept snagging on thorns. I’ve had it. I’m also not thrilled about all the shotgun shells bouncing around in my left pocket. The other day I ran about 6 .17 HMR shells through the washing machine. I posted a forum comment asking what I should do. Looking forward to the answers.

Skinning the last pair of squirrels was difficult. I think small squirrels are harder to skin. I found a video by a kid who uses catfish pliers. I plan to get some. They grip the skin very well while you’re yanking it off. It was great to see a kid whose voice hadn’t changed, giving adults great tips on skinning game. Take that, feminizing forces of leftist idiocy.

My new scope arrived today. I know that because I heard the UPS truck roll up. I plan to mount and try it ASAP. If things go well, I should be perforating squirrels relatively quietly with .22 pellets later in the day. I can’t wait.

I’ve decided to get a trail camera. This is a sort of action camera for filming wild animals automatically. They’re very cheap. They have sensors that turn them on when critters walk by. They shoot video and/or photos, and they use IR LED’s to generate light for night shooting. I want to find out what (or who) has been pooping in my yard, and maybe I can find out whether there are any turkeys wandering on my property. I heard some a couple of days ago. I hope it wasn’t some neighbor, practicing his turkey calls.

I looked into turkey blinds. The season is approaching. Worst blind of all time: a giant turkey costume. What were they thinking? As the website says, with this blind, safety continues to be a primary issue. I think if you dress up like a turkey and walk outdoors in hunting season, people should be allowed to shoot you without repercussions.

Imagine how exciting it is when people see that thing. It looks like a turkey the size of a Saint Bernard. They think they’re going to be in the record books. Then they fill the guys wearing them with shotgun pellets. What a disappointment that must be.

I don’t know what I’d do with a wild turkey. People say they taste good.

The other day I read that crows taste good. Like ducks. No lie. People disagree, but evidently, the only people who put crow meat down are those who have not eaten it. I have no plans to shoot crows. Yet. The more game resembles parrots, the less I want to shoot it. But it’s interesting to know that they’re tasty.

If I ever get over the psychological barrier and shoot crows, I’ll have meat on the table all the time. They are not scarce here.

People say crows can’t taste good because they eat carrion. Hello, what do chickens eat? Insects and worms. Is that better? It’s not like the food an animal eats goes straight from its mouth into its body. It’s broken down by acid and enzymes, and it passes through the intestine wall in liquid form. Then the cells of the body turn it into new things. If a crow eats a dead cat, by the time the cat gets processed, it’s something totally different.

Anyway, crows don’t just eat carrion. They hunt. They eat little critters, just as bears do. People say bears taste great. What’s the difference?

I don’t think I can talk myself into this, but I’m trying.

I will review the knife when I get it. I’m really looking forward to it. I hate bad knives, and I love good ones. I’ll make my next one myself.

I hope Clayton doesn’t find out I have it.

Fried Food Grows on Trees

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Squirrel Hunting Success

I had a wonderful squirrel outing today. I chased a number of squirrels, fired on two, and dropped two. Excellent. I think I can now say I’m an okay squirrel hunter, and since hunting squirrels is as hard as hunting deer, I must be an okay hunter, period.

That’s my position.

I’ve decided that hunting squirrels is not hard. It may be hard to do WELL, but doing an okay job is not tough. Here’s what you do: walk around in the woods. When you see a squirrel, shoot it.

The first squirrel was hanging onto the side of a downed tree. I have no idea why. He was just hanging there, doing nothing. He was in an area where I didn’t want to shoot. One neighbor has a house maybe 25 feet from the property line, which is ridiculous, and I want to be a big person and avoid shooting within 150 feet, but this squirrel was taunting me, so I walked up, got in a position where I was shooting onto my own property, and blew him to squirrel kingdom come.

I have spared other squirrels in that area, but if they insist on congregating there, I am not going to let them sit there and smirk at me.

I circled around the woods and came back, and wouldn’t you know it, I heard a squirrel barking near the house. It was farther away, but not too far. It was sitting on a downed tree, all curled up, so I went to my left until I had a safe angle, and I blew him off the trunk. Blammo!

There were a couple of other squirrels I could have annihilated, but I want to take safe shots that are highly unlikely to wound without killing, and I prefer not to be too close to other people, so I let them go. I also chased a few squirrels that vanished.

The second squirrel I blasted may have been responding to my squirrel caller. I took it with me today and used it a few times. For the most part, the results suggested that instead of “Squirrel Buster,” the device should have been named “Squirrel Offender” or “Squirrel Repeller,” but I heard the barks of the second squirrel while I was using the call. I tromped in the direction of the sound and saw him waiting for his ticket across the River Styx, and I obliged.

My best guess is that the caller is a sad hoax, but I will continue testing it.

I don’t wear camo or use a blind, and I am too impatient to sit for 45 minutes in one place, so I am probably not doing the best job possible. I don’t know what the general rules are, but I can tell you this: MANY squirrels don’t give a crap about your clothes or the fact that they can see your face. MANY will sit and stare at you while you walk up very noisily and point a shotgun at them. MANY are too stupid to hide properly when you get close. MANY will let you shoot them not long after you shot a friend of theirs a hundred feet away. Squirrels are not particle physicists. They are not that hard to outsmart.

I suppose the difference between an okay squirrel hunter and a good squirrel hunter is the ability to kill the 30% of squirrels who aren’t utterly stupid.

I feel good about my results. I can say I’m a hunter now, without too much concern about being exposed.

Tomorrow my BugBuster scope arrives, and hopefully, I will be able to use the air rifle on squirrels and increase my take.

I’ve been reading about the gun I’m using (Browning Sweet Sixteen semi-auto shotgun). Apparently, it’s a very nice gun. The Remington 16 gauge is built on a heavy 12 gauge frame (the 1100), so you get all the weight of a 12 gauge without the power. Sounds like a stupid gun to me. The Sweet Sixteen is light and pleasant to carry. I appreciate that after lugging it around for an hour. The air rifle is much heavier.

The 16 gauge shotgun has lost popularity in the US because of some dumb rules in competitive skeet shooting, but that won’t prevent me from hunting with it.

It works great with #6 shot. Squirrels plop right on the ground. I had to shoot one twice, but he came down instantly after the first shot and couldn’t run off.

I can’t wait to try the air rifle scope. I love scopes. With an accurate gun at the proper distance, you can literally see the exact point of impact, +/- 3/8″, while you’re in the act of shooting. With iron sights, you have to be right up against the target to do that. When I use iron sights from 100 feet, all I know is that I’ll be somewhere in a 2″ circle. That’s not good enough for shooting squirrels with an air gun.

I’ll post a shot of the squirrels. Cleaning them was horrible. I read that you’re supposed to cut them under the tail, stand on the tail, and pull on the hind feet, but these little squirrels are very attached to their coats. I had to fight like a tiger to get them skinned. The boot method didn’t work.

My squirrels are not big. I saw a Youtube squirrel-skinning video, and the squirrels the guy was skinning were like 1.5 of mine. Maybe smaller squirrels are harder to skin. Anyway, they’re in the fridge.

It’s funny, but anti-hunting journalists (there is no other kind) are saying mass murderer Nikolas Cruz demonstrated is propensity for killing by putting photos of dead squirrels online. What a ridiculous, narrow-minded thing to say. A murderer is probably more likely to hunt than other people, but hunting doesn’t make you more likely to murder. Why not go back over Jeffrey Dahmer’s history and post a photo of every trout he ever caught?

It occurred to me that I’m posting squirrel photos at a time when squirrel photos are in bad odor, but I don’t care. My people have been killing squirrels since firearms were invented. I can’t be responsible for the provincial notions of hypocritical, ignorant people who think barbecued ribs come from a rib factory.

I will report on the scope after I use it.

The Silence of the Squirrels

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Kill Pests Without Alerting Hillary Voters

I have decided to get me an air rifle.

My current squirrel weapons are a shotgun and two rimfires. The .22 is not suitable for a scope, and the long travel of the bullets limits the shots I can take. The .17 HMR is a joy in every way, but even those tiny rounds are of no use for any angle between zero and maybe 60 degrees from horizontal, unless a big tree trunk is behind the squirrel. I don’t think a 17-grain bullet fired in a woody area is very likely to damage anything or hurt anyone, but you never know. The shotgun is much safer than the rimfires, but I could still send pellets raining down on people. Not dangerous, but not a good way to greet the neighbors.

Air rifles are really complicated. They come in various types. At the lowest level, you can get a Crosman 760 pump BB gun, which is neither accurate nor powerful, although you should be able to hit squirrels within 50 feet. After that, you move up to expensive guns with rifled barrels. I wrote about this already.

I decided to get a Diana 54, also known as an Air King or an RWS 54. I don’t know why it has so many names. It’s a powerful gun that should kill anything I want to kill, within 50 yards.

The Air King has a weird barrel that slides to kill recoil, and unfortunately, this transmits recoil to the scope, if you have one. It will kill a scope if you aren’t careful to buy a model that can handle the shock. It looks like I’ll have to get a rifle scope, and that means $200-$300. Sounds insane, but that’s how it is.

Before I do that, I want to get a peep sight. I don’t like regular iron sights. I had a BB gun (don’t laugh) with a peep sight when I was a kid, and it was much more accurate than open sights, at the tiny distances over which BB guns work. A peep sight, also known as an aperture sight, requires you to look through a little hole, and…well, go look it up on Youtube. It’s hard to explain. Anyway, I like them, and I suspect a peep sight will be nearly as good as a scope, on a weapon that won’t shoot well past 75 yards.

If you’re wondering, there is a scope which is highly recommended for this gun. It’s the Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 AO Dead-Hold BDC Reticle, 1 Inch Tube (DBK-412B). A professional air rifle guy (seriously) named Hector Medina uses it with the Air King.

Surely I can get by with a 12-power scope. When it comes to squirrels, 4 is plenty.

The Air King is really expensive. I figured it was worth it. It should last a long time, and I will never have to upgrade. Living on a small farm, I have a legitimate need for a good air rifle. There are a lot of things here that will need killing, and I don’t want to have to buy a new gun every two years.

The pellets it fires weigh 18 grains, and they probably move at something like 800 fps. That will kill a squirrel as dead as Compuserve, and if it leaves my property, it will be much less dangerous than a rimfire round. I will still have to use common sense, but I won’t have to worry about shooting a car window out half a mile away.

The .17 HMR moves at well over 2000 fps, and a .22’s speed is something like 1300 fps. A .22 slug weighs around 40 grains, depending on which one you use.

The Air King should be much, much quieter than a rifle, so if it turns out I have self-righteous yankee neighbors who have stupid ideas about hunting, I will be able to shoot close to the property lines without them knowing about it.

I got a very good deal on the gun. I don’t know why. The price was too low to resist. I considered getting an RWS 34 in order to save money, but the price difference was not that great.

My squirrel call arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to see if it works. It makes the sound of a squirrel in trouble. Apparently, squirrels are like women, in that they love to see each other suffer. When you make a noise like a squirrel being torn up by a hawk, the other squirrels pop out to watch.

Can’t recall whether I mentioned this before, so I will say it: it looks like I have bears. I keep finding something that looks like cow manure, but it’s way too fresh to be from a cow. The last steer moved out of here in August. I looked at poop-ID sites, and it appears that the poo comes from bears.

Florida has lots of bears now, and they need to be hunted, but hippies and yankees keep protesting. They killed the 2016-2018 hunts. I don’t know why anyone listens to them. Bear attacks are surprisingly common here, and besides, bears are good to eat.

I had this idea that a bear wouldn’t cross a fence, but I am clearly wrong.

The bear and the air rifle are not related in any way. I am not likely to get a chance to shoot a bear here, and an air rifle would not be very useful for that task.

There is something disconcerting about having to use an air rifle in a rural area. In backward countries with limited firearm rights, air rifles are very popular. People think nothing of spending huge sums on them, and they’re very proud of them. I have rifles suitable for killing people 750 yards away, plus very nice semiautos with big magazines, and here I am, lowering myself to purchase a second-world weapon. I might as well start watching soccer and eating toad in the hole!

Due to my dad’s condition, I can’t go farther north than Marion County. At least I don’t think so. He needs a relatively warm place geared toward old people, and boy, is this it. But I keep thinking it would be neat to look for a place in Tennessee after he’s gone. A couple of hundred acres would be nice. The more woods, the better.

Georgia is way too liberal, and it keeps getting worse. Black people there will vote for anyone who tells them what they like to hear. South Carolina seems similar. North Carolina is too much like Eastern Kentucky, and it’s filling up with Miami Cubans. An undesirable culture is being augmented with a worse one. Maybe Tennessee is better.

The South is funny. There are many areas full of unsuccessful people who are trashy and can’t get it together, but there are also areas where people are more responsible and mature. If you look around, you can find places where the good parts of southern culture aren’t tainted by the bad.

I love the South, but we don’t have the most capable, smoothest-running culture in America. We are too emotional. I seriously believe people are more together in the center of the country. They seem to be less in touch with God, however.

This morning during prayer, I took a look at my cell phone. I took a notion to look up a Miami friend on Facebook. I looked at this person’s friends list, and I saw familiar faces from law school. I felt a little nauseated. I never want to see these people again. I’m so glad I have nothing to do with them. They didn’t treat me badly. They just live in a different world, and that world disgusts me. It’s a world with no future, full of cocky, grasping people who have no idea the iceberg underneath them is melting.

Supposedly, many people who have been in prison become obsessive about not going back, to the point where death seems preferable. That’s how I feel about Miami. Never, never, never, NEVER.

I don’t understand people who want to live in or near big cities. I usually have to drive 15-20 minutes to get to a decent restaurant, and I feel like I’m not far enough out. I don’t want to go to cocktail parties or meet “important” people; I want to stay out of the circle of butt-kissers and compromisers. I don’t want to drive a foreign car built by a company that made vehicles for the Nazis. I would rather hide in a tent than go to benefits and society events.

I will write about the Air King after I shoot it. Hope it works out. I plan to go out today and see how the squirrels like the squirrel call. Heh heh.

Biscuits are a Squirrel’s Best Friend

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Victory is Sweet

My hunting adventures are proceeding well. Today I bagged a third squirrel, and later on, I fried her along with her friends.

The last time I had an opportunity to eat squirrel was probably in the late Seventies. My grandfather either shot some or received some as a gift, and my grandmother fried them. I thought they smelled funny, so I passed. Today I remedied that mistake.

I made a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, paprika, chipotle powder, and garlic powder. The squirrels were all treated in a solution of baking soda and salt, and then I soaked them in buttermilk for a short time. I dredged them in the flour mix and fried them in olive oil (which is what I happened to have) and bacon grease.

I screwed up the first batch and had to re-bread them. The second ones came out much better. I made gravy with the grease, and I also made buttermilk biscuits with half butter and half bacon grease. Then I made gravy.

The squirrels were very nice but not much of a meal. I would say a grey squirrel contains about as much meat as a chicken breast. The meat tastes like the meat you find on a chicken breast alongside the backbone. It’s dark, but the flavor isn’t very strong. It was surprisingly tender.

I think you would need to have two squirrels to make a decent meal for a man.

I’m happy about the results. Squirrel meat is tasty, and it’s rewarding to eat something you killed.

I’m looking at air rifles now. One corner of my property is loaded with squirrels, but it’s close to neighboring houses, and for all I know, some of the neighbors are liberal yankee retirees. I don’t want to get into it with ignorant people who moved here from Long Island. It’s perfectly legal for me to shoot near their property, but northern retirees are idiots about firearms. They wouldn’t know the law, and they might think they were in their rights to waste my time and the time of the local LEO’s. An air rifle will avoid the whole question. No noise. They wouldn’t know what I was doing

It’s hard to choose a rifle. I want something with some power, but I don’t want to spend $700. And if it’s too powerful, it will be an awful lot like the .22 I’m trying to supplement.

The neatest rifles are PCP guns. I forget what PCP stands for, but it means the air is pre-compressed. You don’t have to pump them up every time you fire. You fill them before you go shooting, and you get a large number of shots before you have to pump again.

I don’t want a PCP rifle because it takes forever to pump them manually, and they fill up with moisture that eventually rusts them out. You can drive to a dive shop and get them to fill a scuba tank for you, and then you can use that to fill your gun with dry air, but the pressure in the scuba tank will drop each time you fill the gun, so every refill gives you a different velocity and trajectory. What a pain.

PCP guns are powerful and convenient to use, but who wants a product which is designed to rust out? And I don’t want to spend all day pumping a rifle with air.

You can get around the water problem with desiccants, but it sounds like a hassle.

It looks like the best choice is a spring-powered air rifle that shoots .22-caliber pellets. It will be powerful enough to kill squirrels and even coons, and I won’t have to fool with the Rube Goldberg pump business.

A company named Diana makes a nice .22 that gives a lot of velocity, but it is said that this particular gun ruins scopes. The recoil is too much. Apparently you have to be careful which scope you use with it.


I stopped writing last night, and now I’m back.

Yesterday’s squirrel came with an unpleasant lesson. I had learned that I should leave squirrels on the ground after shooting them, to draw out others. This is what I did yesterday. I walked around a bit and came back to get the squirrel. When I looked at it, I was surprised to see movement. It was still breathing.

New lesson: check your game as soon as you shoot it, to make sure it’s not suffering. This won’t prevent me from leaving a squirrel where it lies. I can check it and move on.

I wish I had understood this before I let a live squirrel lie on the ground for 5 minutes. I don’t think it was conscious, because it didn’t react to me, but there is no reason to take a chance. I had to blow its head off.

I have been trying to find out whether I can carry a .22 pistol for the purpose of finishing game off. Game laws can be stupid. In some states, it’s illegal to use a pistol to euthanize a wounded deer. Shooting a wounded deer with a rifle round doesn’t sound smart. It would mess up the carcass, and I don’t know how safe it is to fire a high-powered rifle at the ground at your feet. I also have to wonder if flying bone fragments would be an issue.

Again, air may be the answer. Or at least CO2. A CO2 pistol would finish a squirrel off just fine, and it would be quiet.

I am trying to obey the law, but I can think of 3 illegal things which would have been illegal had I done them. Not saying I did these things. Always the lawyer, and there are at least two people from my past who can’t get over rejection, and who probably read my blog every day and would be happy to try to have me cited. Some people never move on and get lives. I’m not saying I did the illegal things. But I did consider them.

I thought about putting some peanuts down to see if they would attract squirrels. I had done my best to research the law on baiting squirrels, and I had found nothing. I eventually turned up an applicable law. You can’t shoot animals near food (other than crops) unless the food was there 6 months before the season opened. What? I don’t understand it, either. Anyway, I will not be putting peanuts out in the future. At least until March 5, after the season closes. Then I’m putting up a permanent feeder!

I plan to put it at a nice distance from the back of the house so I can sit in my yard and make 75-yard shots with a scope. In Florida, it’s perfectly legal to shoot from your house. You can put a sandbag on your dining room table and shoot deer through the window.

There was an incident in which I could have fired some shotgun pellets over some woods belonging to a neighbor. In Florida, you can shoot in your front yard in the suburbs if you want, but you can’t send a projectile onto someone else’s property. I’m sure no one would care about a few spent pellets up here, but I don’t want to get in the habit of ignoring the hunting laws.

The third thing, well, why talk about it?

Game laws are often counterintuitive, so you almost have to be a lawyer to know what you’re doing. I am a lawyer, and I made mistakes, even after reading up.

The other day I shot at a squirrel and stunned it, and it came down and stared at me from maybe 10 feet up. I was out of rifle rounds, so I just stared back. I had a pistol in my pocket, and it would have been easy to draw and kill the squirrel, but I didn’t do it. For one thing, it didn’t occur to me. For another, the pistol holds 11 rounds. My understanding is that you are limited to 5 in Florida. But what if it held 5? Would it have been okay to shoot? I don’t know.

I am wondering if I should get camo or a blind. Sometimes the squirrels hide, and sometimes they pay no attention to me at all. Do they really know what I am, or is their behavior random? Hard to say. I thought about getting a ghillie suit just for fun. Easier to move than a blind.

No hunting yet today. If anything happens, I will update you.

Life in Not-Miami

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Every Plant Does Better in the Right Soil

I just got back from having BBQ with my dad. I have been to Sonny’s BBQ about 9,000 times since moving to Marion County in August. My dad loves to have lunch in restaurants, and Sonny’s is convenient, so we visit a lot. Personally, I would rather eat out less.

People knock Sonny’s, but it’s actually very good. There’s something about chain restaurants that makes people want to criticize. Go figure. There are some shortcomings, such as the tomato-free salad bar and the dry chicken and turkey, but the ribs are about as good as ribs get.

We were driving home, and as I usually do in such situations, I marveled at the fact that I don’t live in Miami any more. I hate Miami! I hate Miami! I hate Miami! I can’t believe I’m free! I hate that place!

I hate Miami.

My only regret is that I didn’t move even farther north and deeper into the sticks. I have always hated city and suburban life. Now I’m on 34 acres, and it’s wonderful, but I wish it were 300, and I wish I could be at least 400 miles farther north. I don’t like sand, I don’t want to see palm trees, and I want the winter to last a little longer.

It’s weird how my style has changed since I moved. Down south, I wore the Miami uniform: a T-shirt, shorts with pockets on the legs, and sneakers. Sometimes I wore flip flops. Up here, I had to make changes in order to cope with the environment. I’m the Carhartt king now. Carhartt work jeans every day. I have 3 Carhartt jackets and 4 Carhartt work shirts. I wear a baseball cap almost everywhere. I have 3 pairs of waterproof work boots with safety toes, and I wear them with wool socks. I complete my ensembles with work suspenders. You can’t clear downed trees while wearing a belt. Not if you want to be comfortable.

I wonder what people who knew me in Miami would say if they could see me. Tonight I walked into Sonny’s wearing my Carhartt jeans, suspenders, a Cummins T-shirt, and boots. I had a Kershaw knife in one pocket and a 10mm in another. I think they would assume I was trying to prove something, but I’m not. I’m just basking in the joy of being a born-again Southerner.

Today I told a friend it’s beautiful not to be surrounded by idiots all the time.

I hate Miami.

I am doing much better here. I feel better. I’m even getting stronger. I have time and energy to lift weights. My chest is ballooning out again, and not just from biscuits.

If anything happens to my dad, and it isn’t too late in my life, I’m going to check out southern Tennessee. That would be perfect. Conservative state. Hills. Trees and plants I am familiar with from living in Kentucky. Might be even better than Ocala.

Killing squirrels has magnified my joy. It gives me one more reason to love the country. Shooting on my own property, any time I wanted, was thrill enough, but now I get to do it with a purpose.

You know what I’d like? Enough land to allow me to kill squirrels with a .17 HMR without thinking about the neighbors.

My grandfather had lots of land in eastern Kentucky. I loved his farms. Some were hundreds of acres. You could stand on our land and be unable to see anyone else’s. It was a magnificent sensation. Shooting rifles was not a problem. I could have hunted with artillery shells, and no one would have known.

My grandfather left no plan for his estate, so the family’s strategy has been to sell everything. Sad. We had 300 beautiful acres beside the Red River. We had 120 acres above the Red River gorge, full of blackberries, with cliffs and creeks and springs. We had a lot of nice stuff. I’ll never see it again.

I would not tell the other grandchildren, but I was his favorite. I guess they know it already.

Some of the others got on his nerves. My mother was his favorite daughter, and I was her only son. I think my cousin Robert, who was younger than I was, would be number two. When I stayed with my grandparents, my grandfather never went to his farms without me. He would come home from court or whatever and say, “You want to go to the farm?” I always did. He was the closest thing I had to an involved dad. When my dad talks about him, he often slips and calls him “your father.”

He used to mow hay with me sitting on the fender of his Massey-Ferguson, and he taught me to drive it. Now that I think of it, he taught me how to drive cars. He always bought Chevy pickups. He showed me how to drive his 1968 truck with three on the tree. He was a circuit judge, so no one told him what to do. He let me drive all I wanted on the public roads near the farm.

That reminds me of something I did later, after I had my own car. I ran from a cop. I pulled out of a burger joint parking lot and squealed my tires. I was about half a mile from the house. A cop came out and chased me. I saw the lights, but he was too far back to be able to say I knew he was trying to pull me over. I drove up the hill into my grandfather’s driveway, turned the ignition off, and sat on the hood, waiting. The cop drove by the bottom of the hill with his lights on, and then he skulked back to the burger joint.

My mother and some relatives were eating there at the time. My mother got mad and came and got me. She made me go back and sit with the family. The cop was across the room. He sat and glared at me. Never said a word.

Gramps–I was too cool to keep calling him “Papaw” after a certain age–used to take me shooting. When he died, someone snatched the Colt Woodsman pistol we used to use. A number of things sort of vanished. He also had a Remington .22 someone ran off with. I shot rabbits with it. He would pull his car over when he saw one, and then he’d coach me while I shot it.

My grandmother gave my dad his Sweet Sixteen when he died. It’s downstairs right now. I used it on the squirrel I killed this morning.

My grandfather didn’t say “hunt.” He said “kill.” “Let’s go over there and kill some squirrels.” That’s more honest than “hunt” or “harvest.”

I remember one day he threw me in his brother’s pickup truck, and the three of us drove to the stockyard in Paintsville to buy ponies. We bought a black one and a palomino. I had no idea why. When my grandfather got an idea, he didn’t bother explaining it to anyone. I had no interest at all in horses. He brought the palomino to his house, and the kids took turns riding. I found out later that he told my mom, “It will be worth it if Steve rides it just once.” I didn’t know what to make of that. My sister was the one who screamed and cried whenever she saw a horse. I hadn’t been very grateful, because it hadn’t occurred to me that he was thinking of me when he bought the ponies.

He took me everywhere, the way you would take your favorite dog around. I didn’t always understand what was going on, and my presence usually served no purpose, but I know he enjoyed my company because I went so many places with him. Court. The farms. Cotton’s Restaurant in Stanton. Relatives’ houses. The drugstore. His car dealership.

Everywhere we went, people would gather around him. He was the Frank Sinatra of three counties. They would pull up chairs. If you went to a restaurant with him, and the table had four chairs, there was a good chance eight people would be sitting with him before you left. I thought he was the tentpole that held up the sky.

When it was time to buy the ponies, I was the one who got tossed into the pickup. I guess he could have taken one of the others, but it would have been weird.

Once he took me to his Tar Ridge farm, and we just walked, with no plan. He was about 70, and he walked me to death, up and down cliffs. He took me to the site of an old moonshine still, by a creek. He dug in the ground and pulled out old bottles the moonshiners had left. A moonshine operation is also a campsite, so they left medicine bottles and so on. I saved the bottles he gave me, but I don’t know where they are. My relatives may have them. They still have a few things I haven’t collected.

He and my grandmother taught me the names of all the trees and plants. It seemed like they knew every one. It was a strange thing to behold. They showed me things like sourwood, teaberries, various types of oaks, hemlocks (as contrasted with spruces), and huckleberries.

He used to slip me money all the time. I appreciated that. I didn’t understand how jealous people could be. One day I let a cousin know Gramps had given me fifty bucks for absolutely no reason. I thought he would think it was neat. He got so angry I thought fire was going to come out of his ears. He was furious at my grandfather.

My grandfather didn’t have the same feeling for my cousin, and I have to say that was understandable. He was my favorite cousin, but he drove adults up the wall. Serious brat issues. When it was time for his bath, he used to run through the house naked, cursing my aunt. He would hide under the bed while she jabbed him with a broom. He was the only grandchild my grandfather ever spanked. A bunch of us went to Canada in a station wagon, to fish at Jim’s Caviar Camp at Lake of the Woods, and my cousin made my grandfather so mad he pulled over and gave him a beating.

He was not always pleased with me, but he never said a really harsh word to me, and it’s impossible to imagine him putting his hands on me.

I have so many memories of him; they’re coming out now that I cast my mind back.

He took me squirrel hunting twice. He was an exceptional shot, and he expected the same of me. We only saw one squirrel between the two trips. It was a fat red squirrel by the river on his largest Powell County farm. We couldn’t get a shot at it. We gave up, and he pulled a buckeye from a nearby tree, cut the fruit off, and gave me the nut. He said I was supposed to carry it for luck. I still have it, plus one I found in his dresser drawer after he died.

I’ll tell you how good a shot he was. He was hunting deer with my dad, and he spotted a grouse in a tree. This is a fairly small bird. My grandfather was carrying a shotgun loaded with “punkin balls,” or rifled slugs. My grandfather shot from the hip and killed the grouse.

When people hunted with my grandfather, and they didn’t hit birds with every shot, he told them they were wasting shells.

I was a hell of a shot when I was a kid. One day he cut a postage-stamp-sized bit out of the bark of a tree and told me to shoot it with a .22 pistol. I shot and hit the edge of it. He walked up to it, looked at it distastefully, and said, “You missed.” On another occasion, he told me to shoot at a wire wrapped around a fence. I shot, and the hole I made was next to the wire, with no gap. Same response. I didn’t understand how well I had done. Here he was, telling me I had missed.

Maybe shooting well scored me some points with him. He never really said what he thought about my shooting. He was not a person who paid compliments. If I had snapped the wire in two, he probably would said I had shot it off center.

While he was alive, I didn’t realize I was his favorite or how much he loved me. I don’t think of myself as a person other people love. If I had understood, I would have reciprocated more. I knew he liked to take me places, but I didn’t see the significance of it.

He could not stand my sister, which means he reacted to her the way everyone else did, including other judges. She belittled him and called him by his first name. He threw her out of his house. He loved his grandchildren, but I think he had a little less interest in the girls. Maybe that was because he had four daughters and no sons. And what can you do with a girl? Not much good for hunting and fishing.

He turned my mother into a tomboy. She was the closest thing he had to a son until I showed up.

He used to “sell” his grandchildren cattle. He gave every one of us fifty dollars every Christmas, and sometimes he let us give it back to him for calves. One year I got calf number 32. On a visit to his farm at Tar Ridge, I realized 32 had died. “Oh, no,” he said, “Your calf is 42.” Number 42 was a fat, healthy Charolais/Angus cross. He was a funny grey color. My Gramps called it “blue.” I remember being disappointed when I found out blue calves were actually grey. I got paid when he sold.

My mother was crazy about him. The other three daughters didn’t seem to feel it. My mother was the oldest. He never did warm up to the second one. The third seemed to want to compete with him. The fourth was never able to hold his attention. I liked all of my aunts. At different times, each one was my favorite aunt.

He had spoiled my mother. She used to write checks on his account when she was in college. She bought clothes, sold them to her friends, and took the money. At the end of every month, he raised hell, but he never cut her off. When she got married, my grandparents bought my dad a suit, and my grandfather bought a new car for my parents. It was a grey DeSoto with an orange roof. Hideous. My grandfather realized it was ugly, so he had it painted. He had the roof painted red. Maybe not a great choice.

At the wedding, he got very emotional, which was not like him at all. He always carried a lot of money, and by the time the wedding was over, he had forced my dad to take all of it.

My parents met in law school. My dad was serious. He eventually graduated third. My mother was just there to get a car. While she was an undergraduate, my grandfather offered to get her a car if she would become a lawyer. She went and talked to the dean at the University of Kentucky, to get special permission to go to law school without a bachelor’s degree. The dean, who was not a complete fool, signed the paperwork and said, “Now go on over there and get married.” That’s exactly what she did. She got the car, married my dad, and dropped out. Unfortunately, she turned the car over in an accident involving a bus, and my grandfather sued the Greyhound bus company.

He got rich suing people. My dad was with him one day, riding in the car with an out of state guest, and the guest marveled at the poverty in Eastern Kentucky. He asked how people there made their living. My grandfather said, “Insurance companies.”

My mother was proud of him, and she probably loved him more than all of his other daughers, combined. I know she was happy he took to me so well.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about these things.

Rural life is great. People told me I would miss the city. They can’t understand why I would want to live here. It reminds me of the best times of my childhood. That’s one reason.

I wish I had been better to my grandfather. I didn’t understand him.

I guess it’s okay. I don’t think I ever offended him.

Fit to be Fried

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Rodent Genocide Continues

I nailed another squirrel today, right in my yard.

I went out at around 7:15 this morning. Yesterday, it was gloomy at that time. Today the sun was fairly bright. I think I should have been there before sunup. Anyway, I only saw one squirrel on my tour of the property, and it lost me.

I decided to try something a website suggested. I sat as still as possible for half an hour, hoping the squirrels would emerge from hiding. Absolutely nothing happened. There goes that idea.

On the way back to the house, I had a funny notion. I got out my phone and played squirrel noises on Youtube. No dice, but it was amusing.

When I got near the house, I heard a squirrel screaming at me. It was really giving me the business. There is something creepy about shooting animals 50 yards from home, but this thing was provoking me, and I had no bodies in my trash bag. I saw it about 10 feet up on a live oak. I walked around it to get an angle that would keep stray pellets away from the neighbors, and I blasted it from maybe 60 feet.

Taking a clue from a reader (and the same website that told me to sit still) I didn’t pick up the squirrel. I walked around, and sure enough, I heard another squirrel screaming from a nearby tree. That one refused to come out, so I picked up the dead one and headed for the house. I am getting blase about touching dead animals. As I was walking, I heard other squirrels yelling in the front yard. I wondered if the sight of their buddy hanging by her tail got them agitated.

I tried to locate the new noisemakers, but the only one I saw was across the fence on another property, so I went back in the house and cleaned the new squirrel.

I noticed a few things. I used #6 shot in the 16 gauge, and it didn’t mess the meat up much at all. I found a few pellets, but no major damage. Also, this squirrel really did not want to give up her fur coat. It was like it was glued on. I have to go watch some squirrel butchering videos.

I was less grossed out this time, although this squirrel smelled worse than the other one. I felt like shampooing it with dishwashing liquid, but I restrained myself. I skinned and halved it, and I put it in brine. Today I plan to fry 2 squirrels and make biscuits. We’ll see if they’re any good.

I think I should add baking soda to the brine from now on. It kills gaminess.

Sitting still does not impress the local squirrels. I think bait and getting up early will change things. I may get a bag of corn and start dumping it in the woods.

The shotgun is wonderful. I love the .17 HMR, but the results are not as good. It tears squirrels up, and it’s hard to get a good safe angle for shooting.

Should I feel bad about killing yard squirrels? In a word, no way Jose. It seems opportunistic and sort of mean, but the truth is, these are the squirrels I want to get rid of. They are not pets. I want to grow berries and things in my yard, and I don’t want squirrel vandalism in the buildings. If I leave the yard squirrels alone, I am responsible for whatever misery they cause in the future.

The squirrels out in the woods are not the ones I have to worry about. In truth, I should be killing the ones near the house first. The people who sold us the house put a bird feeder in out front, and it has a skirt on it for the purpose of keeping squirrels out. That tells you how intelligent people feel about squirrels in their yards.

Squirrels are cute and all that, but so are mice. Some rats are cute. They still have to go. Killing them takes some getting used to, but I have an obligation to do it. It’s the correct thing to do.

I plan to go out again tomorrow (every day I can, until the season ends on March 4), and I hope to dispatch more than one squirrel. I think I can do it, if I get up early.

What will I do when squirrel season ends? All is not lost. First of all, it’s legal to shoot nuisance animals all year on your own property, so if I have some berries and tomatoes growing in the yard, I will have every right to sit on the back porch and kill squirrels. I won’t be able to go out in the woods and shoot, but that just means I get to rest and keep a cooler beside me.

Second thing: squirrels aren’t the only targets.

As I mentioned, an animal dug up one of my blackberry plants and left a giant turd in its place. If my research is right, that animal was a coyote. Either that or someone collecting for Greenpeace. Guess what the restrictions on killing coyotes are? Basically, you’re not allowed to use nuclear weapons. That’s about it. You can kill them all day, every day, with no bag limit. You can use any weapon you like. Kill the puppies, too. Make interesting hats from the hides. Do as you please.

I am reading up on coyote hunting, and it should be doable. We will see.

A coyote serves no purpose here. They are not native. They cause all sorts of suffering. They tear up calves and kids, and they kill dogs.

There are also wild pigs in Florida. Again, no restrictions. Big ones. Little ones. Mommy pigs. Daddy pigs. They are all legal targets. I have not seen any pigs here, but I am told I will eventually run into them.

Coons are nuisance animals under the law, so you can kill them all year. Nothing is worse than a stinking coon. They throw garbage all over. They poop. They kill chickens. They spread rabies. I made the mistake of saving a little coon in the past, and I have even driven them to the Everglades and released them alive. No more. Like the comedian Robin Harris said in his routine about the death penalty, “Gotta go, gotta GO.”

Nuisance animals are bad news. They are extremely annoying. Anyone who kills them is doing the world a big favor. Relocating a nuisance animal just makes it someone else’s problem.

Coons are edible. Not sure I want to try that, but it could happen. My grandmother ate them. Coyotes, being related to dogs, probably taste good, but I am not hungry enough to try one.

Here’s a nice thing about killing nuisance animals: you don’t have to clean them. It’s perfectly okay to leave them for the buzzards. Coyote pelts and coon tails might be fun to take, but the carcasses can rot or go on the burn pile.

I pickled my squirrel tails in salt water. Why not? You never know when a squirrel tail will come in handy.

I have a very, very strong sense that God wants me to get good at hunting. Fine with me. Shooting targets is fun, but if you never take game or varmints, you never use guns for their proper purpose. Guns were not invented for shooting targets. Their purpose is to kill. A man should know how to kill pests and bring meat home, and it doesn’t hurt to have lethal skills that can be used against entitlement-minded looters who might want to visit rural Christians and conservatives if the economy tanks.

Times are good right now. We can’t predict the future. Your typical urban victimhood junkie knows nothing about firearms, except how to use them on weaker people at point-blank range. They would fare poorly against hunters. You should see the things people on Youtube are doing with night vision and scopes. I’ll post a video that will give you new respect for your rural friends.

Cleaning game may never become fun. I have a super-strong sense of smell, and dead animals are pretty fragrant. I washed thoroughly after cleaning today’s squirrel, and I cleaned the kitchen well. I still smell the squirrel on me. Luckily I haven’t showered yet. Soap and shampoo will kill the aroma.

I like hunting. A lot. Wish I had started sooner. I hope the squirrels fry up nice.

I have to go get this smell off me.

It’s Raining Squirrels

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

I’ll Teach You to Eat my Acorns

Success at last. I bagged a squirrel this morning.

I got the idea that late afternoon was not the best time to shoot squirrels, so I went out a few minutes after 7 a.m. Squirrel activity was considerably higher. In an hour and a half of walking, I saw maybe half a dozen squirrels, stalked about 4, shot at 2, and nailed 1.

The squirrel I shot was maybe 50 feet up in an oak tree. That’s where he was when I shot him, I mean. Prior to that, he was moving around from tree to tree, in the canopy. I tried to shoot him in the head, but from the looks of things, the bullet went in the upper rib cage on one side and out the other shoulder. The exit would was ragged. It was pretty exciting to watch him drop. It was my first shot of the day. First shot of the season, for that matter.

He gasped once or twice on the ground, but I didn’t have to shoot him again.

After that, I stalked other squirrels. I learned a few things.

I don’t think squirrels get spooked by human beings or guns. Not to the point where you can’t kill them. In fact, they don’t seem very bright. I nearly got a couple of other squirrels very close to the one I shot, within a few minutes of shooting him. They didn’t seem concerned at all.

I also learned that squirrels drink coffee. I can tell because they don’t seem to be on top of things right after sunup. They wander around up there, looking for the Keurig, and while they’re still waking up, they’re easier to kill.

My ideas about weaponry are changing. The .17 HMR is great, but it cost me some shots. I was only willing to shoot pretty much straight up, to prevent misses from sailing horizontally into other people’s houses and cars. That meant I had to get very close to the squirrels. Had I been able to shoot from farther away, I would have more than 1 squirrel brining in the fridge right now.

I like electronic hearing protectors. I bought my dad some Peltors a long time ago, and he can’t use them now, so I took them with me. You can turn them up so your hearing is better than normal. It helps you hear squirrels. Nice.

I had to say it, but the shotgun is a better tool then the .17 HMR right now. I can shoot horizontally with it, and I’m more likely to hit squirrels because of the wide pattern. An air rifle would also be nice, because I could shoot horizontally, from farther away, but I’m not sure it’s humane, because I would be more likely to wound squirrels without killing them right away.

I nearly nailed a second squirrel today. I took a shot at him, and it stunned him. I guess I “barked” him, which means shooting near a squirrel and dazing him. You can shoot a tree beside a squirrel and knock him down, unconscious. This squirrel reacted by running around the trunk in circles and then climbing down to stare at me. He perched about 10 feet from me, staring at me. I don’t think he knew what was going on. I had only brought 5 rounds with me, and I barked him with number 5, so all I could do was stare back. I was afraid he had been wounded, but he looked fine. Maybe he’ll drop dead from a concussion later.

I sighted the .17 in from too far away. I think I’m shooting a little high. I had assumed there was no real drop at 60 yards (my zeroing distance), but I’ll bet I’m wrong, because I missed 4 times today.

Cleaning the squirrel was not pleasant. I’ve torn a million fish apart, and it never bothered me, but cutting up cute, warm-blooded animals is a little gross.

I didn’t want to hack his head off with a pocket knife. I thought about it for a few minutes, and then I saw the pruning shears. Perfect.

I tried poultry shears on his legs and tail. Worked okay, but the pruning shears put them to shame.

I really did not want to gook up a pocket knife. They’re hard to clean. I found a Forschner filet knife in the kitchen. Of course, other people had abused it since I had last sharpened it, so I had to spend a long time fixing it with diamond hones. When I finally got it working, it worked just fine.

It seems like squirrels are very tough around the collar line. I had to cut some crap away in order to free the skin. I slit him down the belly, which was a bit nasty, and then I peeled his skin off him like a jumpsuit. His man bits went with the skin, so I didn’t have to yank them off with my bare fingers. I was not looking forward to that. His guts and other organs went down the disposal, and after that, I cut his anus out with the filet knife. I washed him down and stuck him in a lidded container full of brine, and now he resides in the fridge.

I would say I got something equivalent to one large chicken breast. I think it will be worth eating. I may go out in a few minutes and see what the shotgun produces. It’s foggy today, so I don’t think squirrels will be hiding from the heat. In fact, I know they aren’t. I went to McDonald’s for breakfast, and coming up the driveway to the house, I saw EIGHT EIGHT EIGHT squirrels. Makes me so mad.

My hands smell like dead squirrel, even after washing them and having two McMuffins. Guess I’m stuck with that.

This has been a great experience. Standing around failing to shoot animals is not that rewarding, but when you kill one and butcher it, it makes you feel close to nature. Many times, I’ve seen people write, or heard them say, that hunting made them feel like they were one with nature. I never experienced that until today. I figured it was hogwash, but it’s true.

I like animals, and it’s impossible to feel completely comfortable, blasting cute creatures with hot lead, but killing is part of life. It’s something a man needs to confront and deal with. A man should hunt and fish, if he has the opportunity. You have to confront the ugly parts of life in order to understand it. You can’t cower in the house and whimper like a woman in a Bambi T-shirt all the time. That’s not love or humanity. It’s shirking. You don’t want to admit you’re part of the cycle of life and death, so you sit back and criticize people who man up and accept their responsibility. Meanwhile you wear leather and eat fried chicken, as if they grew on trees.

Farm animals have it harder than hunted animals. A hunted animal does what it pleases for most of its life, and then it feels something briefly and expires quickly. Farm animals have tags shoved through their ears. Chickens have their beaks cut off with shears. Cattle get dehorned and castrated. Pigs get castrated while screaming their lungs out. Farmhands routinely beat animals with sticks while herding them. Slaughterhouses are only as humane as the law can make them. I don’t have much patience for self-righteous people who complain about hunting, and people who criticize fishing are just plain insane. Fish are so insensitive they will continue to try to feed after you cut them in half.

People should also think about the consequences of not hunting. Prey and nuisance animals overpopulate and starve. They destroy crops. They invade attics and do all sorts of damage. They kill pets. Right now, southern states are being torn up by wild hogs that reproduce at a phenomenal rate. They need to die, plain and simple, and hunting is one of the best ways to get it done.

I feel surprisingly good about hunting tiny ratlike animals. Think about it. Any idiot can shoot a deer, which is as big as a house. A squirrel is very small, and it moves around constantly. If I can learn to shoot squirrels, deer and hogs will be cake. How can you miss something that has a kill zone a foot across? Maybe I’m wrong, but to me, killing squirrels is much more impressive.

On the walk back, I found something disturbing. I planted some blackberries recently, and I found one of the plants sitting beside a neat little hole containing a huge…turd. There is no other word for it. Some filthy animal carefully moved my plant and moved its own project into the hole. I can’t figure that out.

Because of the size, I can’t believe this is a coon turd. I’ve seen those, and they’re about like poodle poo. Coyote, maybe? I think I need to get me a blind and put some meat out for bait.

Why on earth would it dig up my blackberry? Can’t figure that out.

I’m going to see if I can produce a meal instead of an hors d’ouevre. I’m going to get out my grandpa’s Sweet Sixteen. Wish me luck.

It is a Good Day for a Squirrel to Die

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Rodent-Killing Efforts Proceeding Nicely

Today I spent a few hours failing to kill squirrels again.

Things are getting better, however. I have learned a few things. For example, do not put your 4.5-14x scope on 14 when you’re shooting squirrels. When you try to use the scope to look at a squirrel 50 feet away, you will be lucky if you’re on the same tree, and if you see the squirrel, it will look like a grizzly.

I also learned I like using Peltor electronic hearing protectors. These are earmuffs with amplifiers. You can turn them up so your hearing is better than normal. They make it a lot easier to hear squirrel noises. Ear plugs are not helpful when you’re trying to locate game.

The other day I spotted 3 squirrels in the woods. If I had been driving up the driveway to the house, I would have spotted 10, but that’s another story. Today I saw absolutely nothing. I can’t figure out how squirrels know I’m hunting, but they do. If I leave the gun at home, I’ll be surrounded by a conga line of squirrels.

I took some time out during the hunt to sight my scope in. I had it sighted in pretty well at 100 yards, but I expect to shoot squirrels at 30 yards or less. I put a table in the pasture maybe 60 yards from the target and went to work.

My rifle, a Savage .17 HMR with a bull barrel, came with a pretty bad synthetic stock. It’s free-floating, which is good for accuracy, but it was made with no comb. You need a comb when you use a scope. A comb is a big bump on the buttstock. You rest your cheek on it, and it raises your face up so you look into the scope at the right angle.

I was going to get a new stock from Boyd’s, but I thought they were rude when I asked them a couple of questions. They pretty much blew me off. Good thing, because I didn’t need a $230 stock. I just needed a comb. I went to Amazon and bought a $40 adjustable Kydex comb from Matthews Fabrication. It’s a piece of plastic that folds over the top of the buttstock. Two screws go through the buttstock and the comb, and you tighten them down when you get the comb at the right height. Look it up to see what I mean.

Today I used it for the first time. It’s fantastic. It puts my eye right where it should be. Now I have a warp-proof, weather-proof, free-floating stock with an adjustable comb, and I didn’t have to pay Boyd’s a dime.

The comb took about an hour to install. Most of that time was spent looking for tools. If my workshop weren’t a mess, it would have taken 20 minutes. You need a transfer punch, 2 drill bits, and some tape. Very easy. You have to drill 2 holes in your stock, but my stock is cheap plastic, and it was completely useless without modification, so I didn’t care,

I don’t know why Savage sells this gun with an unusable stock. The gun has no iron sights. You have to use a scope. That means the stock should have a comb. I guess they expect you to throw the stock out. The version with the stock I got is the cheapest model available, if I recall correctly. I believe the idea is to provide you with the least expensive stock available, on the assumption that you won’t keep it long.

I fired maybe 30 rounds and got the rifle shooting into about 1/2″. God help the squirrels.

This caliber (.17 HMR) is known for ruining squirrel meat. It’s powerful. If you can make head shots, that problem disappears. Now that I have the scope zeroed nicely, I should have no problem blowing squirrel heads off.

I should have zeroed it at 30 yards, but who cares? How much is it going to change at 50 feet?

Here is the second target I used. The first one had scattered shots on it because I was moving the scope crosshairs. The flyers to the right are from an experiment with the windage knob.

I started out shooting at the center of the target, and when I thought I had it together, I shot at the intersection of two lines above the center. As you can see, all 5 shots were very close together. Maybe not 1 MOA, but not far from it, and good enough for squirrels.There was a lot of wind. Most of it was from my back, so I don’t know if it mattered.

I went back to the woods and continued not seeing squirrels. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to shoot a target and then hunt squirrels a few hundred feet away, but the birds weren’t disturbed, so what the heck.

I’m thinking I need to try hunting in the morning, but I hate to do that because it will interfere with prayer time.

I used to think the .17 HMR was the wrong gun for squirrels, but now that I have the magnification adjusted, the comb fixed, and the zero corrected, it ought to be very good. I can hit squirrels a good distance off, and I can shoot them in the head to avoid tearing them up. An air rifle would be better because it would be quiet and safer, but what I have now is a lot better than a .22, and it’s more fun than a 16 gauge.

It’s still heavy. That bull barrel was not made to be carried around.

I can tell I’m going to like hunting. I like it now, and I haven’t shot anything.

I hope to post some photos of headless squirrels this week. Wish me luck.

Bucktoothed Tree Terrorists Must Pay

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Squirrel Party Time is Over

I am a hunter now.

The great thing about calling yourself a hunter is that you don’t have to accomplish anything in order to justify it. All you have to do is take a gun and sit in the woods for a while. This is pretty much what I did.

The word “hunter” doesn’t imply success of any type.

I don’t like squirrels because they plant live oak trees and because I fully expect them to eat the berries from the bushes I’ve planted. I remember how they used to cut mangoes off my trees in Miami, just to hear them hit the ground. And they annoy me when I drive; I have trained myself not to take my foot off the gas. A while back I decided to get a revenge hunting license and see if I could make a dent in the local population.

Yesterday, I went out in the woods in the afternoon and sat in a clearing with no gun. I just wanted to see what the squirrel situation was. I heard barking all over the place. It was a squirrel-bark symphony. I saw a couple of squirrels climbing in the trees. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to nail some in the future.

Today I went back, and I learned that squirrels can tell when you’re hunting. I didn’t hear a bark for an hour and a half. Little creeps.

I sat on a downed tree for a while and waited. I heard a noise to my left. I looked, and a squirrel was on a tree trunk about 20 feet away in the x direction and 20 feet up in the y direction.

Years of math have affected the way I express myself. Be glad I didn’t use spherical polar coordinates.

Okay. R(squirrel) = 23.5. Theta = pi/4. Phi = pi/4. Satisfied?

I probably could have nailed the squirrel, but I would have been shooting upward, and I was holding a .22. A rifle slug will go a long way after missing a squirrel. I didn’t feel like spending the evening telling the Florida Highway Patrol why I shot out a window a mile away, so I let the rodent flee.

I know I should use a shotgun, but man, I love rifles. I like accurate shooting. Where is the pleasure in using birdshot? Anyone can shoot, when the projectiles cover half a steradian (sorry).

It doesn’t matter. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know how to dispose of the body. I had a plastic trash bag with me in case I hit anything, but even if I had used it, I would have had to get on the web to get instructions. I know about cutting the leg joints and cutting the head off and all that, but how much time do you get? And what are you supposed to use to do the cutting? Not my nice pocket knife! No way! How would I get it clean enough to put it back in my pocket?

When I was a kid, I shot rabbits in Kentucky. Here’s how I dealt with the meat: I handed the dead rabbits to my grandmother. That option is no longer available.

Once your squirrel is butchered, how do you clean your hands? You can’t just grab your gun with fingers covered with blood, poop, bile, and squirrel pee.

Maybe I need to take a backpack with disposable gloves. Seems a little precious, though.

I may try again tomorrow. The squirrels are taunting me, and I find their behavior inexcusable.

The Tough Sledding is Over

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Real Snipers Use Card Tables

I’m still excited about the results I got with the .17 HMR rifle the other day. I am now shooting 1 MOA or maybe 1.05 MOA, but anyway, close to 1 MOA. This is something I didn’t expect to happen so easily. Now that I know I am capable of shooting rifles pretty well, it’s time to think about plans for longer ranges and bigger calibers.

First thing…I believe I need to measure off 150 and 200 yards for the .17 HMR, and I need to get out my larger targets. The rifle I’m using is capable of shooting well at those ranges, provide I only shoot on calm days. I need to make the most of it. If what people are telling me is right, I should be able to go considerably farther. This gun shoots very cheap ammo, and it’s easy on the shoulder, so I need to get as much mileage as I can from it.

After that, I need to think about different calibers. I also need to learn about compensating for wind.

I have a .308, which I originally bought with the intention of turning it into a .260 Remington. In order to do that, I need a .260 barrel. DPMS, the lazy company that made the gun, quit making .260 barrels. That means spending more on a an aftermarket barrel. I never got around to buying one.

I still have a huge amount of cheap .308 ammo. I feel like I should try to shoot some of it before giving up on .308. Or maybe I shouldn’t. I should be able to sell it.

People say my ammunition (Radway Green) is not that accurate. It’s hard to get the truth on the Internet, because a guy who gets lucky and puts 2 shots through 1 hole will say it shoots 0 MOA, and then idiots will believe it and drive themselves crazy trying to equal his performance. Other guys will shoot 3 MOA and say that’s all the ammunition will do, but it will be because they don’t want to admit they can’t shoot. So you have to do the shooting for yourself in order to learn anything.

I have improved my technique, and I have learned about the evil effects of wind, so I should be able to evaluate the ammo for myself. I have to get that done.

Someone recommended shooting .223. He said it was cheaper than new .17, and it would be very accurate. I don’t have a .223 rifle or reloading dies, though. I don’t want an AR15. I don’t like them for self-defense, and they’re not as good as bolt guns for distance. That means I would need a .223 bolt gun and a scope. That would cost $600. The ammunition would run nearly 30 cents per round, if my math is right. That’s 1.5 times as expensive as .17 HMR, so I think the person who said .223 is cheap was wrong.

Anyway, it’s a low-recoil round which shoots well and is useful for killing fairly large things.

Another possibility: give up on .260 (which Remington has abandoned) and go for nearly identical 6.5mm Creedmoor. This might be the best move. It’s super-accurate, and you can hunt with it. Not just pigs and coyotes, but deer. I can’t recall why I wanted .260 instead of Creedmoor, but my understanding is that Creedmoor (someone will complain that I don’t always type 6.5mm) is very popular, and that means I will be able to find brass, dies, whatever, very easily.

I suppose I should be able to go up to 400 yards on this property without endangering anyone, if I do it right.

Right now, I shoot in the general direction of a road. Should I worry? Not unless I should also worry when I drive a 3-ton vehicle on that road, with nothing but lane stripes between me and cars full of innocent kids. It’s better to be hit by a rifle round than crushed by a pickup truck traveling at a relative speed of 130 mph. That’s how I see it, anyway. There is no way to be completely safe. There are people in every direction, just as there are people all around when you hunt on public land. The key is not to be a moron. I think I can manage that.

It’s legal, so nobody can do anything to prevent me from shooting.

I read an interesting article about modern rifles. Some guys took several random rifles right out of the box and started shooting, and every rifle shot under 1 MOA. The conclusion? Modern rifles are pretty good. You don’t have to spend your life savings to get accuracy. They all shot under 1 MOA for 5 initial shots, and they were all close to 1 MOA after 10 shots with no rest. Hot barrels. Cheap ammo. Makes you think twice about buying a great old gun built back in the good old days. New is better.

The sad thing about modern firearm accuracy is that it makes these rifles really good at killing…excuses. If the ammo isn’t total garbage, and the gun is new…it’s you, baby. Own it.

They fired from a sled, which is a vise that holds guns. A sled allows virtually no error, apart from the error of the gun and ammunition. I’ve seen people use these at the range. I don’t like them. I see how a sled would be useful for zeroing a gun before shooting it for yourself, but I have a feeling a lot of the guys I saw were sled addicts. I don’t think they shot on their own.

I was shooting near Miami, surrounded by people who were generally Cuban, and Latin men tend to be insecure about anything related to masculinity. Miami is a town where there are a lot of guys who drive blacked-out cars and trucks. There are a lot of guys (especially cops) on steroids. Lots of chest-puffing. Lots of domestic violence. You know what I mean. It would not surprise me to see shooters there rely on sleds all the time.

My own experience proves that a relatively unskilled shooter resting his gun on a folding table from Lowe’s can zero a gun pretty darned well. I can get down close to the gun’s limit of accuracy, at least at 100 yards. I don’t know if a sled would be worth the aggravation for me, barring an unexpected invitation to compete in the Olympics.

I feel like I should shoot the .308 a little, see what happens, and then look into 6.5mm Creedmoor. I have prayed about the decisions, and this seems right.

Over the next year, I should be able to develop the skill to shoot well at 400 yards, and that should be enough to make me happy. I have no use for this skill, but I want it anyway.

The Second Amendment is really something. When I Google for gun info, I get astounding information. There are zillions of guys out there, doing great things with guns. It’s not like living in England, where you only get to see rifles at the movies. Here in the US, you don’t have to be a cop or a soldier to be extremely, extremely dangerous. When things really get bad here, the devil’s people are going to have their work cut out for them. There are states where every county is full of folks who will be able to hide behind trees and drop the Beast’s jackbooted thugs like prairie dogs. They won’t be able to subdue us by going door to door with Glocks. They’ll need gunships, infrared cameras, and daisy cutters. And a lot of the people who know how to use those things will defect to our side, because snowflakes generally avoid military and police service.

God bless America. Out of all the world’s countries, this is the one where the thought of fighting guerrillas should make you wet your jammies the most. Getting your way in the end will be so painful, you will wish you had stayed home and surrendered.

If it weren’t for highly skilled private individuals, the cops and the military would have firearms technology and training straight out of 1920 (or maybe 1520). Liberals want private citizens to be separated from weapons technology, but we’re the people who create it and understand it best. Even the hydrogen bomb was created by civilians. A good sophist would say weapons don’t cause many problems until the cops and the military get ahold of them. The damage the rest of us do is very minor, in comparison.

I don’t see myself every getting involved in fighting the Beast’s minions. I think armed insurrection is carnal, and I am not brave, at least when it comes to having parts blown off or roasted. I think I would rather let them kill me so I could be free of this earth. But I can’t speak for the 20 or 30 million other guys out there who disagree with me.

Related: here is a link to an article challenging people who claim to shoot sub-MOA. The author says you need to produce 25 consecutive shots to qualify, which is more or less consistent with what I’ve been saying, although more rigorous.

I felt good about 5 adjoining shots (which were clearly not flukes), but I think you really need a 25-shot 1-MOA hole, perhaps with a few flyers, to prove you shoot sub-MOA. I wouldn’t expect anyone to stay inside a 1-inch circle 100% of the time, because things happen, but if you’re a sub-MOA guy, 90% is not too much to ask.

Adventures in Internet Pest Control

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Plus Guns

Today, for the second time since 2002, I had the annoying experience of having a website hacked. Someone left a stupid tag at the top of my home page. I had to drop everything and change every conceivable password, and I exported the entire content of my WordPress blog so I could republish it if the blog vanished.

I suspect there is a hole in WordPress, because my password was a huge jumble of nonsense characters which would have taken a very, very long time to guess. I’m not a computer expert, but I doubt a nerd in Turkey with a 5-year-old laptop has the ability to crack a password as long as a finger, composed of random ASCII. Maybe I’m wrong.

I contacted my hosting company, and their online chat took forever. I tried calling. The phone number took me to an outsourced security company. The guy who picked up the phone told me (this is my interpretation) that my host company’s security is worthless. He said his company would scan my site for $15 per month, which doesn’t sound bad, but then I asked the obvious question. Yes, it’s a yearly deal. So $180.

I tried the support number again, and I got a phone maze that went nowhere at all. That was surprising. Then I got the chat guy (Kumar, no lie), and after much poor communication, he finally assured me that as long as my passwords were fresh, no one but me should be able to get into my email accounts or Cpanel (if you don’t know what that is, forget it).

This killed maybe an hour.

I don’t use lame passwords for my hosted stuff. If you want to get into my business, you will have to find some other way. I assume WordPress provided it, and if that is true, the site may be hacked again, because WordPress has not updated in a while. If this happens, I will probably reinstall the site. It depends on the then-current state of security the host can provide. If I’m going to be reinstalling once per week, I will let it go. There is always Blogger.

I was concerned about my emails, but then I realized there isn’t much for hackers to steal. When you have your own server, the emails are removed as soon as you check them, so there is no giant backlog of sensitive material waiting to be stolen. Unless the host company is stupidly putting deleted emails somewhere where hackers can find them.

This scare made me think about something I expect to happen before long. Eventually, Christians and conservatives will be banned from the web. When we are not banned entirely, we will be hobbled by Nuremberg-style laws that will limit us to very basic participation, free of political and religious content. The big Internet players are not bound by the Constitution, so they will have a good legal opening when they decide to muffle us once and for all.

I assume whoever hacked me is just bored, but it could be someone who has an agenda. It’s not a Christian or a conservative. Actually, some conservatives hate me, but I’m not in the political blogging game now, so I doubt these stunted souls feel motivated to bother me.

While I was fixing my security to the best of my ability, I learned something surprising. I am getting nearly 2 thousand unique visits per day. I figured I was getting more like 80. I had a stat counter that gave me depressing results, but I knew it wasn’t working very well. I guess it was working worse than I thought. My host company’s internal stat stuff told me the truth.

What can I say about this? I thought I was yelling into a bucket, but it appears that I have some readers. They don’t comment much. Maybe most are bots. Years ago, “unique visit” meant a human being had probably come to your blog. Now? Search me.

I don’t think ~2000 people are showing up every day, but maybe it’s ~1000.

Maybe I am reaching some people with my testimony. I will have to think more about what I write, now that I know someone may actually read it.

In other news, I solved my long-range (longish) shooting problem. I was shooting a 17 HMR rifle at 100 yards, and I was getting a lot of dispersion. I was frustrated. Then I learned that a slight wind will blow a 17 HMR all over the place. Also, a gun forum guy told me to get my left hand off the gun. Today I went out with my friend Mike, and we shot a while. There was no wind. I switched to shooting with my left hand down, and here is what I got:

That’s 5 rounds on the left, plus an extraneous round Mike fired just to make my target look bad. What a punk move. Can you believe that? Anyway, that’s a wee bit over 1 MOA, probably. It may be 1 MOA. It’s very close, measuring from the outsides of the farthest-separated holes.

I figure if I practice a little, I will be 3/4 MOA with that gun, and I will be consistent. I won’t have to shoot 50 rounds to get a single 3/4 MOA group I can put on the Internet. This makes me extremely happy.

That gun is a laser. It’s crappy rimfire ammunition, which you can get for 10 bucks per box, and look how accurate it is. IF the wind isn’t blowing. I am reading some surprising distance figures. I thought the gun was useless past 150 yards, but apparently that’s not true unless you want to kill things. People are claiming they shoot targets at nearly 300 yards. If that’s true, this is the practice gun for me. I just need to choose days when there isn’t much wind.

That’s exciting. I can find 300 yards of safe shooting space here, no problem. I could conceivably learn to shoot real distances.

We also shot some grapefruit and ponderosa lemons. I hit one and blew half of it about 15 feet away from the rest. Fun.

It’s really nice to be shooting a rifle well. It was a long time coming. And since I’m not using the best stuff or practicing a lot, I should expect considerable improvement in the future. Too bad they don’t sell a license for shooting hackers.

If the blog disappears, don’t blame me. I’ll make a reasonable effort to keep it alive.

Deplorable Sunday

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Thank God Hillary Lost

If there is one thing I love about NOT LIVING IN MIAMI, it’s being able to shoot in my yard. Today I took advantage. I took the .17 HMR Savage out and shot 35 rounds at about 100 yards. I don’t know how accurate the distance measurement was. I do not have a measuring tape that long. I paced it off, taking big steps.

I like Savage guns because they are cheap and very accurate (supposedly), and because they have a patented trigger which is alleged to be very good for sharpshooting. I don’t recall what I paid for this rifle, but I believe it was under $250. It’s a stainless job with a bull barrel and no sights, made for shooting with a scope.

The scope cost more than the gun, probably. It’s a Burriss Fullfield II which goes to 14x. I guess it’s a little weird, on a gun that isn’t very useful over 150 yards, but I like magnification.

It would be fun to use this gun on squirrels. I should be able to pop them at 100 yards with no problems, provided I can get the rifle steady and take my time. I would have to watch the angle, because these little bullets would go right off the farm if I missed.

I would love to get some instruction in shooting rifles. I shoot okay, but not great, and I assume this is a matter of teaching.

I threw a folding table in the EZ-GO and drove to my berm. I put two 5.5 Orange Peel Targets on the steel frame I use for shooting. I put a few rounds into the first target, and then I went to look it over. The target has an inner ring maybe 2″ wide, and I did not go completely out of it, but I did not feel like I was shooting up to the potential of the gun and ammunition.

It seemed like I was shooting a little to the right, so I got out my phone and looked up information to make sure I didn’t adjust the scope the wrong way. Then I adjusted the scope and shot another target. The rounds spread out over an area 5″ wide as I tried to figure it out. I think I went the wrong way in spite of my efforts. I went back to the original setting and shot another target.

The last target should have been my best, but it was the worst. I had some fliers.

I don’t really know what I’m doing wrong, but I think one problem is the table. It’s slick, so my elbows feel unstable on it. I think I need to put a rubber mat on it. This will be a problem if I shoot a bigger gun that has recoil, because the recoil will shove my elbows across the mat and rub the skin raw, so I guess I will also need elbow pads. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use elbow pads at the range, but it seems like an obvious thing to do.

I’m not sure how accurate the equipment is. If I put the gun on a sled and held it rigid, how small would a 20-round group be? It’s impossible to know how well you’re doing until you know what the best looks like.

It’s hard to get information on the web. If you look for forum posts about a rifle’s accuracy, people will say they got x-MOA “groups.” They’re referring to isolated groups of 3 shots. I think this information is worthless. If you can shoot a rifle well, you won’t shoot a good 3-shot group and then quit and say you shoot x-MOA groups. If you can’t put 25 or 50 rounds into x MOA, then you can’t shoot x MOA. Your 3-shot group is just cherry-picking.

Today I put 4 rounds into one big hole at 100 yards, but I wouldn’t think of telling people I shoot 1/4 MOA. It would be a moronic, obvious lie. If you look at my target, you’ll see the big hole, plus a number of holes around it. If you want to judge my shooting, you should measure the longest distance from one hole to another. Maybe you should omit real fliers, because they’re not representative of my shooting, but dumping all the bad shots is just stupid.

If I were a golfer and I made a hole in one, I wouldn’t go around telling everyone it only takes me one swing to finish a hole.

I have no idea how well this rifle will shoot, so I guess I’ll have to keep plugging away and do my best to shrink my groups. And by “groups,” I mean 10 or 20 or 30 rounds, not 3 incredibly lucky rounds.

Tales of the Tundra

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Laying the Smackdown on Mother Nature

I am still not used to living here in the frigid north.

Since moving to the Ocala area, I have encountered a number of strange phenomena I didn’t have to deal with in Miami. Here’s an example: up here, leaves fall off the trees.

Yes, some trees in South Florida lose their leaves. But most don’t, and generally, the ones that do, drop their leaves in the spring. Up here, almost every tree is a live oak, and they drop their leaves continuously throughout the cool months. I think. We also have real trees such as maples, and they shed, too.

Once the leaves fall, they’re on the lawn, and then what do you do with them?

My strategy of ignoring them and figuring they would evaporate has worked out poorly. Live oak leaves are like heavy postage stamps that never rot. They glue themselves to everything around them, forming a crappy mat of death that kills grass.

The lawn is in considerably worse shape than it was when I arrived.

I looked around for answers. One dude on a forum told me to run my mower over the leaves and mulch them. I tried it. Most of the leaves ignored the mower and held onto the ground like baby poo holds onto a new couch. The rest blew out the side and landed a few feet away, where they continued killing the grass.

I found out my mower isn’t set up for mulching. As I understand it, a mulching mower doesn’t shoot leaves out. It has a plugged leaf port or whatever it’s called. The leaves and clippings are confined under the deck for as long as possible, permitting the mower to chew it up.

I didn’t know much about mulching, but I knew one thing: I was not going to rake. That was unthinkable.

I found out John Deere makes a mulching kit. For $270, they will sell you $100 worth of parts to screw onto your mower. It’s a plug for the leaf exit, plus some sheet metal to help confine things. They also throw in 3 mulching blades, which, I guess, are blades that mulch better.

I ordered the kit, and I also ordered 3 Gator mulching blades from another company. These blades have little flap sort of things cut into their trailing edges. I think they’re supposed to create more leaf-sucking turbulence.

Now I have to take the deck off the mower, turn it over, and install all this stuff. I get to roll 345 pounds of metal over, by myself. Fun.

I already know the leaves won’t come off the ground just because I have a mulching kit. That would be out of character for them. I decided I needed something else, to loosen the leaves up before mowing. I checked a bunch of options, and I bought an acreage rake. If you’ve ever seen a hay rake, you’ve seen a large version of an acreage rake. It has a bunch of pinwheel-looking things on it, and they move debris into a neat row behind your garden tractor. Presumably this will make the mulching kit happy.

I don’t know if this will work, but it’s cheaper than the next-best option, which is covering the whole yard with pine bark.

The mulching kit is here, and I’m preparing to install it. No word on the arrival of the rake yet.

I also discovered that some of my plants were not freezeproof. We had a light freeze, and my much-hated ixora bush partially withered. I also lost most of a weird flowering thing at the base of a tree. The weeds all did fine, naturally.

I asked my friend Amanda what was going on, and she said people up here–this is not something I’m making up–run out in their yards before freezes and put sheets over their delicate little snowflake plants. Seriously. Grown people, wrapping plants in sheets.

Here’s how I see it: the freeze helped me identify weak plants I need to kill. I’m not going to run around the yard wrapping things in sheets. If a plant dies, it was never intended to be here.

I think I understand what happened. The previous owners came from Virginia. They saw Ocala as a place where they might be able to grow cool tropical plants. I came from Miami. I see it as a place where I can grow cool temperate-zone plants. They probably wanted mangoes and coconuts. I never want to see those things again. I hate Miami worse than hemorrhoids. I want chestnuts, blackberries, apples, peaches, penguins, and polar bears.

Yesterday I took my neat lithium-ion hedge trimmer and ripped out about half of the frostbitten ixora. Eventually I’ll take the tractor’s front end loader and tear it out of the ground while cackling helplessly. Ixoras remind me of Miami, and besides, they’re ugly.

I plan to plant manly plants that laugh, audibly, at cold fronts.

Another new scourge: moles. They’re real. I thought they only existed in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Seriously, there is an animal that swims in dirt.

I noticed that my yard was getting mushy, but I didn’t know why. I had a dim impression that it might be huge colonies of earthworms. Then I saw that patches of grass were dying. Moles were tunneling under the grass, cutting the roots.

I researched moles and learned that most methods of getting rid of them are totally worthless.

You can buy little spikes with solar-powered noisemakers in them. They’re supposed to annoy the moles. In reality, the moles either don’t care, or they only care for a short time. Then they come back.

You can also buy live traps. When your moles are caught, you can pick them up and pitch them into the next yard, which, hopefully, they will like better than yours. The problem here is that moles have very little fat and don’t store energy well. A mole can starve in a few hours. That means live traps are really less-humane death traps. Instead of killing your mole cleanly, you leave it to die slowly, in agony. So if you use “humane” traps, you have to run outside around the clock to check them.

Yeah. That’s totally going to happen. I wouldn’t get up every 3 hours for chemotherapy.

Why do all these worthless mole products exist? I think the answer is women. Moles are very cute, and women don’t like killing cute things. I think they get out their rolling pins when their husbands get in the car to go to Tractor Supply, and they beat them until they promise not to buy real traps.

I don’t distinguish between cute pests and ugly ones. If they were wrecking my grass, I’d set traps for baby ducks. It’s sad and all that, but life is what it is. I’m planning to kill all of my squirrels, even though they’re cute. My dad is against it. He has been throwing orange peels in the yard to feed them.

Yes, orange peels. It didn’t make any sense to me either. Don’t make me digress.

When my dad was a kid, his neighbors used to pay him to drown kittens. He has really changed, and of course, he changed when it would inconvenience me.

I got a scissor trap. It pinches moles nearly in half. Great invention, but it’s hard to use here, because you have to be able to see your mole tunnels clearly in able to set it. It’s hard to tell where my tunnels begin and end. I went for another option: carbon monoxide. You can buy an adaptor that connects and exhaust pipe to a garden hose. They probably shouldn’t sell these to depressed female college students. Anyway, you pipe gas into your mole tunnels, and the moles quietly expire and rot, out of sight. And you can tell your wife, truthfully, that Mr. and Mrs. Mole went beddy-bye and woke up in happy land.

If you really want your moles gone fast, there is a propane-based tool that blows them out of the ground. Some Youtube genius built one. This guy is amazing. He composed a tune for background music. He played all the instruments. Then he killed a tremendous number of moles on video, and he timed the explosions to match the beat. You have to see it. I’ll embed it here.

Is that great, or what? The obvious downside is that the weapon does far more damage to your yard than moles. I think the real purpose has little to do with yard maintenance and everything to do with revenge.

You can also shoot flammable gas into mole tunnels with an ordinary torch and light them. It’s a molocaust. A molepocalypse. Armolegeddon.

I bought a car exhaust adaptor, and I plan to get a special short hose and get to work. No suffering for the moles, and my yard should recover in less than ten years.

I’m wondering if water would drive them out. I could fill the tunnels while standing by with a .22. But I already have the gas thing.

When I moved here, I did not realize I would have to kill almost everything I saw. I would love to get along with all the bugs and bunnies and duckies, but it looks like I’ll be spending a good deal of my time killing, killing, killing. Live oak trees. Mosquitoes. Squirrels. Moles. Wimpy shrubs. Poison ivy. If you come to visit me, you should probably wear an orange vest and carry some form of ID. I am more dangerous than Happy Fun Ball with PMS.


Monday, November 6th, 2017

Liberal Murderer’s Facebook Page Evaporates Instantly

Question: why did Facebook immediately delete the page of Devin Patrick Kelley, the Texas church killer? They have allowed the pages of other murderers to stay online. I know that because I’ve dug up those pages out of curiosity.

Possible answer: they did it because the murderer was a leftist lowlife whom they did not want to help expose. Here are some things he endorsed or named as causes on social media sites: atheism, CNN, a psychic medium, environmentalism, animal rights, “Arts and Culture,” and “Civil Rights and Social Action.”

How many conservatives are proud atheists? Not a big percentage. How many would “like” CNN on Facebook? Pretty much none. Are conservatives known for their interest in the occult? No. They are known for their opposition to it. Animal rights are a huge concern to leftists. Conservatives don’t play them up much; we keep it in proper perspective. We’re not the ones trying to ban goldfish ownership. Environmentalism…in its current extreme form, this is one of the things we hate the most.

To many leftists, “Civil Rights and Social Action” means rioting, harming people and businesses while using “social justice” as an excuse, and stealing things from stores whose employees can’t cope with violent mobs. It would be very odd for a conservative to list “Civil Rights and Social Action” as one of his big concerns in life.

We have not read anything indicating that Kelley “liked” any conservative pages or causes.

So why did Facebook move so quickly to get rid of Kelley’s page? Did Kelley say bad things about Trump? We already know he disparaged Christians.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Kelley’s wife deleted the page. I’m relying on reports from the MSM, and we all know their record for veracity and fact-checking.

One thing is certain. The MSM hive has been digging furiously for information linking Kelley to conservatism, Trump, Christianity, and white supremacy. When they don’t find it, what will they do? My best guess: they will let this story die fairly quickly instead of capitalizing on the bloodshed to attack our civil rights as strongly as possible.

Remember the black BLM mass murderer who shot a bunch of cops in 2016? I do; barely. We never hear about him these days, but we still hear a lot about the Sandy Hook massacre, which was performed four years EARLIER by the son of a white gun rights enthusiast.

This story is not good material for the MSM anti-civil-rights machine. The killer was very clearly not conservative. He was clearly not a Christian. He liked the occult, which is more or less owned by leftists. He was apparently a liberal nut. And he was killed not by the police, but by a private citizen who did not turn the situation into a “shooting gallery” or make things worse. Kelley was killed by hero Stephen Willeford, a plumber. Willeford did not shoot haphazardly and kill the innocent. The coward Kelley was wearing body armor as he shot women and children, so Willeford used a rifle to shoot between the armor panels and send a round tearing through Kelley’s guts. That’s not cop-grade shooting. That’s the real thing. And another hero, Johnnie Langedorff, helped him pursue the mortally wounded murderer.

When did the cops show up? We don’t even know. They were so late they weren’t a factor. And that’s TYPICAL. Cops only show up to help at a tiny percentage of active crime scenes. God bless the cops, but 90% of their work is sweeping up and collecting evidence.

Good guys with guns DO make a difference, over and over, every day. Some gun owners shoot after the violence starts, but most discourage crimes passively. Their presence scares criminals and keeps them away. It’s too bad we can’t measure the number of crimes gun owners prevent simply by existing, but criminals think about us a lot when they make their plans, and they work to avoid us.

Leftists will push for more gun laws. Problem: it appears that liberal Kelley was already precluded from possessing firearms. Like many cowards, he was a domestic violence offender. He beat his wife and baby. He was discharged from the Air Force over it. Background checks are performed by the feds, and the Air Force is part of the federal government. Uncle Sam blew it.

It’s starting to look like this was an Antifa-inspired massacre, and since Antifa is an ad hoc movement which does not have official membership rolls, that would very nearly make it an Antifa massacre. The killer wore black. He was clearly strongly opposed to conservative values. He shot up a church, and Antifa has a history of hostility toward Christianity; they used force to shut down a speaker at a church in Canada. If he wasn’t Antifa, he was basically on their side.

I saw a great meme today. It said that 90% of gun violence would go away if liberals gave up their guns. That’s true or nearly true. The vast, vast majority of violent criminals are leftists. Yet somehow conservative white Christian males are the big threat. In reality, if people like me were disarmed, the people who habitually murder, steal, and rape would keep their guns, and crime would skyrocket.

The idiot in our latest story probably thought what he was doing was “civil disobedience.” Antifa and BLM are in love with civil disobedience, and they’re too stupid to realize that rioting and other forms of violence don’t fit under that heading. It’s civil disobedience if you hold a sit-in. Putting on masks and throwing bottles at the cops is just battery and attempted murder. Burning things is just arson. The modern left is too stupid and violent to work or coexist with. The only answer is to move away from their gangrenous strongholds. You can’t get along in places like Baltimore and Berkeley. You can only live with abuse or get out.

I think this story will not stink as long as the Las Vegas shooting. It’s just not as appetizing to the gun control vultures. I will watch with interest over the next few days.