VOLUME 74-----------AUGUST 2008
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
August 7, 2008
Got another nasty email from my brother, so guess I'd better get this moving!
On the recent happenings list; Jennifer turned 12 years of age on July 31st. (Sometimes you'd think the two digits in her age were reversed) Cards and cash were received from Grandmas and Great Grandmas, and the first celebration took place on Saturday July 26th.
The first celebration began at our house with a contingent of Jennifer and 3 friends. We had a treasure hunt, a water balloon fight, and a popsicle break before gathering in the tractor bucket for the ride to neighbor Larry's backyard swimming pool. Here are some pictures of the festivities:
Angela, Jennifer, Tess, and Val
Next on the celebration calendar was a Bar B Qued rib dinner at Jennifer's house with Mom, Dad, Grandma Julie, Ann, and I making up the celebrant list. Rick's baby back ribs were fantastic and everyone but me (ol' sugar free) dug into the ice cream cake from B.R. 31!
Ribs, Ice Cream Cake, Presents, and Mess
No, we aren't finished yet. On Sunday, August 3rd, we made our annual pilgrimage to the ShoGun Japanese restaurant where we celebrated with a meal cooked hibachi style on the table in front of us. Everyone filled up on fried rice and other goodies, and now, I think we're done until next year!
On August 2nd, I ferried 3 fellow hunter education instructors from Spokane to Ephrata, WA where we participated in discussions on proposed new legislation and policies governing the handling of donations to the Hunter Education program and a briefing on a new 'online registration' process that is being considered for the program.
My two cents worth on the legislation and policy issues is that we are reacting like a typical bureaucracy. Instead of attacking the rare individual problems that have occurred, we are adopting the bureaucratic philosophy: "If it ain't broke, keep fixin' it 'till it is!"
With regard to the online registration issue, I'm one of a half dozen or so instructors who are scheduled to participate in a combination web based and telephone conference with a proposed vendor on August 12th. We are supposed to see how the system will work and be able to ask questions and propose changes as necessary.
Greg Koehn, one of my passengers on the trip to Ephrata just happens to live near Newport, WA, at the southern tip of the Game Management Unit where my cow moose tag is valid. Greg graciously offered to show me around and point out some areas that resident moose have frequented in the past.
Our first scouting trip was yesterday, August 6th. Ann and I first visited the U. S. Forest Service Office in Newport, to pick up their latest map of the entire Colville National Forest area. (Much of the Northeast quarter of the state) A stop at Greg and Carolyn's house resulted in a good cup of coffee and route markings on the map that guided us to some big, steep, and interesting country.
Ann and I spent the better part of the rest of the day nursing the big red Ford through some BIG country on steep, crooked, dusty Forest Service roads. The day was bright, sunny, and hot, and as would be expected during mid-day under those conditions, we did not see much wildlife. Other than one mule deer doe and multiple pine squirrels, the only other creatures we saw were birds flying about over our heads. We did observe moose tracks in several spots on the dusty roads along with plenty of moose and bear poop!
Here's some pictures of what we were seeing from the high ground:
We packed a picnic lunch and found a shady spot to enjoy sandwiches, cookies, and drinks on the tailgate. The fine road dust filtered into the truck bed through every crack and cranny to the degree that it took me a good two hours this morning to vacuum up and swab out the mess! Next trip I'll try some duct tape around the edges of the tailgate and see if that helps. Greg plans to accompany us on our next trip to the hills, when we'll take a look at some different territory.
This scouting trip was also an opportunity to test some National Geographic mapping software I purchased several years ago. National Geographic has several options for topographical mapping. The most detailed are the state series, but the software for each state costs nearly $100. The package I have is called "Backroads Explorer" and covers all 50 states on 17 CD's. As I recall, these ran about $50 for the entire set. My concern was whether my software would be detailed enough to navigate the Forest Service roads with precision.
Either of the mapping software packages is supposed to integrate with most GPS units to allow the downloading and uploading of waypoints, routes, and other information. If you can power up a laptop in your vehicle, it will also show your GPS position on the map in real time as you travel. We did not use that feature on this trip, but did mark 6 waypoints with the GPS as we traveled the chosen route. The waypoints were chosen by the intersections of roads that were clearly marked. (There are many roads that do not have signs, or they have been vandalized)
Upon returning home I downloaded the waypoints onto the map in Backroads Explorer. Every one was 'spot on' the appropriate road or junction where the waypoints were marked. This stuff really works once you take the time to learn how to use it. It only took me 5 years or so to get around to it.
Here is a picture of the map I printed with the waypoints shown in blue. (Once you open the thumbnail, you may be able to click on the map and enlarge it further, depending upon the browser you're using and your screen resolution)
In thinking about which firearm to use on my moose hunt, I was reminded that I had not completely finished a project I began on my Model 1895 Winchester lever action. (For some background, you can refer to the March 2007 Newsletter) I was going to install a barrel band sling swivel along with a standard screw-in swivel for the butt stock, but I ordered the wrong barrel band.
I've had the correct part around here for well over a year and had still not installed it. I remedied that Monday. The new swivel is an Uncle Mike's split band that installs via two screws that clamp the band to the barrel. I have my concerns that the arrangement will actually clamp tight enough to avoid slipping and turning, but we shall see.
Included in the package was a tiny tube of what the manufacturer calls "Gun-Tite". With mating surfaces coated with this stuff it is supposed to eliminate slippage yet allow removal of the band if necessary. If the dang thing comes loose, after using the Gun-Tite, I'll apply some Brownell's Accra Glass bedding compound. That stuff will make it a permanent bond!
Uncle Mike's Barrel Band Swivel on Winchester M1895
Heck, it's only taken a bit more than 2 years to get this project near completion. The stock has been shortened and a LimbSaver recoil pad installed. A Williams receiver sight has been installed and the original Buckhorn rear sight removed. The dovetail slot where the rear sight sat, now has a blued slot blank filling the void. The barrel band sling swivel has been installed. All that's left is drilling and seating the butt stock sling swivel and I'm done! How could anyone accuse me of being a procrastinator when I exhibit that kind of efficiency?
So, would the Model 1895 in .405 Winchester be appropriate for hunting moose? Well, Teddy Roosevelt used this firearm to dispatch numerous African animals, including Lion and Rhino. Based on that performance, I think it'll do for moose, don't you? (I can tell you from experience that the kick on the back end of this thing could badly injure a moose!) Of course, with a receiver (peep) sight and a 300 grain bullet at 2225 fps, this is not a long range rig by any means. Should this be my firearm of choice, I'd limit my shots to about 150 yards or less.
Fortunately, there are a number of scope sighted rifles with much more impressive longer range ballistics residing in my gun safe that would also be adequate for moose, so I do have options. There's the .338 Remington Ultra Mag, the .338 Winchester Mag, the .338 Federal, the .300 Winchester Mag, or either one of two 7MM Remington Mags; any of which could and would cleanly kill a moose.
Here's my master plan. Rick will be hunting along with me with a bear tag in his pocket. (The bear season will be open) I'll just insist that he carry one of the aforementioned firearms, and should a decent moose opportunity occur beyond my self imposed 150 yard limit, and I'm unable to stalk closer, we'll just trade guns for a few minutes!
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from another of those internet jokes making the email circuit: (This one will surely get me in trouble with my female readers)
A store that sells new husbands has just
opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the
instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!