VOLUME 47-----------MAY 2006
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
May 7, 2006
Yes, I know. Late again!
We just returned home from a weekend campout with our Elks Lodge RV Club. This traditional first outing is called the "Spring Roundup." We camp at the Lodge campground, tell lies, play games, eat, tell lies, sing, tell lies, eat, and fix anything in our RVs that became discombobulated while in winter storage.
We have not been active in the club for several years, but since Rick and Christi bought a new rig last year we all decided to get involved again. So we had an opportunity to become acquainted with some newer members and reacquainted with others. We pulled out of the campground early this morning to beat the rush of the mass exodus that will occur later today.
After I got the trailer parked at home, we were eating lunch and noticed a turkey hanging around the decoys that I keep out during turkey season. This is likely one that has been hanging around the area for several weeks. It appears to be a hen with a beard! Neighbors have reported sighting one several times, that has a little scraggly beard but is marked like a hen. It is always alone.
About a year ago, I discussed the phenomenon of bearded hens with Paul Mosman, the Fish and Wildlife Agent that speaks to our Hunter Education classes. I reported that we had been seeing a bearded hen, followed by a brood of chicks, around our place at that time. Paul said it was very unusual, in that most of the time the bearded hens are infertile and are often ostracized by the rest of the flock. That appears to be the case with this one, as she/he/it has been hanging around my hen and passive jake decoys for several hours now.
Incidentally, any turkey with a beard is legal game here, even if it is a hen. In fact Paul says, "The Department encourages the taking of bearded hens, because they would like them removed from the gene pool."
Well, this one is safe today, 'cause I don't want to dress the dang thing right now! She'd better go into hiding tomorrow though, because I may feel differently!
Other than the one today, turkeys have been both silent and invisible since the season opened on April 15th. This is typical turkey behavior here at the ranch! We are forced to chase the darn things off the driveway and patio most of the year, but not during turkey season!
Monday, May 8th begins our third Hunter Education class of the year at the Sportsman's Warehouse. You can find more information and a picture of the class when I update the Hunter Education page next week.
The latest issue of Outlook Magazine includes my article on installing an aftermarket trigger on a Ruger M77 Mark II rifle. Pictures of our first two Hunter Education classes are in the magazine as well. The entire issue should soon be available on the Magazine's website, as a downloadable pdf file, but was not yet posted when I checked earlier today. The URL for the Outlook site is: www.spokaneoutlook.com.
Don't anyone tell Little Heifer about this, but a few days ago I just had to buy another gun. I found that barrels for Thompson/Center Encores were going up by $30, so I had to buy one at the old price. Of course, the barrel don't do you much good without the handgun frame to put it on, so I bought that too!
Now before you get too critical of another gun purchase, you need to know that there was and is a good and valid reason for this one.
The "good and valid reason" has to do with recent arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder. I was instructed not to lift anything "heavier than a coffee cup" for several weeks, post surgery. The forend of Rick's old .410 shotgun certainly weighs more than a coffee cup. The .410 is my pocket gopher gun. (See newsletters for September 05, July 05, August 04, et al.)
The Encore has a barrel that shoots either .410 shotgun shells or .45 Colt cartridges. My chosen load for gophers is a 3 inch .410 with #6 shot. I can easily fire the Encore with my left hand, leaving the right arm to recuperate per Doctor's orders!!! The gophers are becoming active after their winter doldrums. So, what was I to do?
You know, that woman never said a cross word about the Encore! (How's that for plumbing the depths of "True Love"?)
Thompson Center Encore
You also can't tell Ann that I missed my first and only shot at a gopher with the dang thing. I didn't calculate the angle of the gopher hole properly.
I received an email on Friday, May 5th, asking. "Where is the May Newsletter?" The email was signed: An Avid Fan. Now I could leave this subject here, and hope you would think that my newsletters are actually being read, and are missed when I'm late. In all honesty though, I should tell you the email was from my brother Ed.
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from another of those tidbits that circulate on the internet, but oh how scary it is!
Teaching Math In 1950
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!