VOLUME 40-----------OCTOBER 2005
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
I know, I know, late again. Just call me the great procrastinator. Should have had a newsletter up already, but I keep gettin' sidetracked!
I could have finished yesterday, but Little Heifer proposed that I take her to Sportsman's Warehouse to get Davis Pence, our nephew, a gift for his eighth birthday. Now, I don't know about you, but I'd rather go to a sporting goods store any day than sit here and pound this keyboard!
I thought a nice duck call would make a wonderful gift, but Ann insisted that I wait until Christmas for that. She says Davis and sister Sydney, will be spending Christmas time at Grandma and Grandpa's house and they should share the acoustic cacophony of the duck call! (Sorry, Sue, but Ann insisted)
I suspect I should get off this subject before all the in-laws get mad at me.
Our first week of fall turkey season began September 24th and ended on the 30th. As usual, it seemed that the turkeys that had been strolling through the yard all the previous week, had read the paper and were staying away.
Then, on Wednesday morning, I looked out the kitchen window to find 4 or 5 walking across the patio. Ann sneaked out the back door in her pajamas and stocking feet, totin' the 20 gauge, and we quickly had a turkey to pluck.
Little Heifer With Her Fall Turkey
I'm still running on empty as far as filling my turkey tag. But, we have another week of open season beginning October 8th, so I may get lucky yet! Fortunately, these 'young of the year' turkeys are a lot dumber than those old Toms in the springtime! Either sex is legal in this area for the fall seasons, so that helps the success rate considerably.
My 'drunken chicken' recipe works fine for young turkeys too, so we'll have some good eatin' comin' off the Holland Grill one day soon.
I reported last month, that Rick and I were working on a new method of gopher hunting at his house. Since we can't shoot a gun there, we decided to try a frog gig and stick the little sucker when he comes up to plug the hole we opened. I couldn't find a frog gig.
Heck, I should have tried the White Elephant Store to begin with. Often the White Elephant in Spokane, has outdoor items that no one else in town carries, and such was the case with the frog gig.
The one they had is the 'Binford 6000' of frog gigs. This thing is attached to a telescoping aluminum pole that extends to about 8 feet long! When I was a kid, we just bought the barbed thingy that goes on the end, and whittled a hickory stick for a handle!
I left the gig with Rick a couple of weeks ago and there is still no gopher on the meat pole! He says he doesn't have time to sit and watch the dang gopher hole, but I tell him it's lack of patience. Guess I'll have to go down one day while they're at work, and try my luck.
In the September newsletter, I reported that one of my gopher hunting stories was printed in a local publication called OUTLOOK MAGAZINE. At their request, I sent them some more material, and the September 30th edition includes another article. This one is about the process I followed in developing a load for Ann's .243. We were using a new type bullet for which no loading data was yet available, so it complicated things a bit.
I took Rick a copy of the magazine Sunday, and Jennifer asked if she was in my story. (She was mentioned in the gopher hunting story) I told her, "No, but if they print the other one I sent them, I think you're in it."
Jennifer said, "PaPa, it's so embarrassing when I'm in your stories, . . . . . . . But, it's very cool!"
Had another short shooting session with Ann's 7MM-08 this afternoon. With the Leupold 4X scope mounted in place of the Nikon, the rifle is shooting better than it was, but still not as well as I think it should. (Perhaps there's more operator error involved in this than I care to acknowledge)
I'm temporarily out of the 160 grain Sierra loads, so was back to shooting the Hornady 139 grain SST bullets. The Hornady bullets printed 2 three shot groups of about 2½ inches, with a third group in about an inch and a half. This is certainly good enough for a deer load here at the ranch, since most of our opportunities are at fairly close range anyway.
I should mention here that the Nikon 2-7 X scope that was on this rifle went to the factory repair center to correct parallax. It was returned in about 10 days with a note indicating the collimation was adjusted and everything cleaned. There was no charge, so it would appear they stand by their 'lifetime guarantee'. I haven't remounted the scope yet, so it remains to be checked out.
I also shot Ann's .243 Ruger today, to make sure the zero was still on. The loads with Nosler 100 grain partitions printed the best group, with the Barnes 95 grain XLC's coming in a close second. Both loads print very close to the same point of aim.
.243 Group With Nosler 100 gr Partitions
I think either of these rifles will kill Ann's deer, so all she needs is a few practice shots and she'll be ready for the opener.
My battery is not quite so ready. I still need to check zero on the 7MM Remington Mag and hopefully, load and test a few rounds for the .300 Win Mag. If all else fails, I can still fall back on the old Browning .338 Win Mag. With its composite stock, I'm pretty sure it'll be 'spot on', but I'll fire a couple of rounds to be sure.
If I get an opportunity, I'd still like to take a deer with my Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt. I developed a deer load for this single action over 2 years ago, using Speer's Gold Dot bullets. I had a couple of opportunities at legal deer last year, but elected to pass. I have a self imposed range limit of 40 to 50 yards before I'm willing to pull the trigger on game with the Ruger.
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote I read the other day on my ISP's website:
"Anyone who is not a liberal in his youth has no heart. Anyone who remains so as he matures has no brain!"
Sir Winston Churchill
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!