The Hunter Education class covered the issue of self-preservation and lost-hunter survival, so that brought to mind the Bug Out Bags and a need to re-visit their status, review the contents, and update their condition.
Also the bags seem to have grown overly heavy somehow. I want to figure out where and how the weight-gain has occurred. Since the whole purpose is to travel light and leave no footprint, how have I over-packed? I’m guessing it’s just me and my kitchen-sink approach.
Maybe I need to separate-out the 72-hour rescue-camping stuff from the rest. That means Shelter, Fire, and Water are one unit, and First-Aid is a separate entity. One area of Shelter is bedding, and maybe the cheap fluffy sleeping bag is heavy – for sure it takes up a lot of space. It’s not a four-season bag or anything like that either, and it doesn’t pack-down, so maybe some compression sacks are in order – and a smaller, more versatile unit.
“Two is one and one is none” is a great utilitarian philosophy, but it also begs the question of weight and sustainability. Three of everything adds up very quickly on the scale. This ain’t no Army with a deuce and a half to haul stuff. How much can you really carry, how much can SHE really carry, and how do we shrink the overall load? If we get separated, which is likely given two different houses – each needs what they need independent of the other – and we’re not even talking guns and ammo yet. So what is the minimum?
As far as First-Aid goes, snakebite up here is a real possibility and the main culprit is the Pacific Coast Rattler. Don’t even THINK to do the cut-and-suck thing, unless you’re over six-hours out from Medical – but especially not if you have anything “going on” in your mouth. But if you’re dealing with a chest-area gunshot wound you need TWO halo seals, one for entry and one exit. And tourniquet.
Finally for the hunt I need some binoculars, because the mounted scope makes a poor resolver of vision and identification issues and a spotting scope is a big-ass lug-item. I don’t know whether I’m gonna be snoozing in a blind or still-hunting, but definitely not reaching out across some canyon. Things here are vertical and close and bushy, so “canyon hopping” could mean a 1,000 foot descent followed by a 1,000 foot ascent – all in a 500-foot, as-the-crow flies distance. Down and Up. That’s not how I want this to proceed, not what I’m in shape-for, and also not how I figure it will work-out. I’m thinking a 70-yard shot from a blind at most. Probably a smelly-nasty blind with tattered windows too…
Reno Guns and Range has grown considerably since last year when we went to try-out the simulation exercises, and has moved to a huge and spacious building near the Harley dealership. The range walls are .50BMG capable and there is superior ventilation, so much so that being indoors at their location was preferable to being outdoors, especially when the fire-smoke hung in the air and occluded visibility. Rangemaster Kevin Crawford also had some very pertinent advice re: carry – “If you carry one of these (pointing to belt), you should carry one off these (pointing to tourniquet).” While I arrived in Reno there was a big, state-funeral being held for Officer Carl Howell who had been killed a week ago in Carson City, responding to a domestic – the first time a Carson City sheriff’s deputy has been shot and killed on duty since 1963. The suspect emerged shooting and they exchanged gunfire, and while the Officer reportedly killed the suspect, before medical attention could arrive he bled-out from an aortal leg wound and died. So now I am looking for a SOF® Wide Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT-W) and some Z-Pak, and I’m all for a class offering instruction on the use of these too. So maybe next year we’ll get some hands-on training? If not, I will before then.
I suppose I had the benefit of a fat wallet since this is my main charitable event each year, so I was disposed to paying full-retail on the Raffle, and with the extra tickets was able to score a number of fine items including the one AR receiver that was available, and so in that sense I Won the Gun. Also a couple very nice Sig ball-caps, some Blackhawk! Aviator Flight Ops Gloves that fit well and will be a splendid accoutrement to the Gentleman’s Express this summer as we coast over the high-mountain passes, an AP Custom 3×3 shot-shell belt holder for Three-gun, and a pair of MOA Beast collapsible target stands from Mitch Gerlinger, the owner and designer of MOA Targets.
The sun rises later over the Prairie and I get up out of bed later – like 6:30. The smoke from the fires all around has dissipated today. There’s a coolness in the morning air that has been missing since May, and I could run the mower if I felt like it,, and the shelves at Walmart are denuded of archery equipment as the hunting season is about to begin – it’s not Cabela’s but it’s a good barometer of the seasons and that Fall is around the corner.
And the Gunblogger Rendezvous was a smash-hit for me. I got to meet several people who’s blogs I have only read, and others who actually read mine! I got to re-unite with old friends and meet new ones. The trip to Scheel’s was interesting and overwhelming as usual. I never know what to buy there and just don’t. Almost bought a box of .243 Hornady but managed to overcome the excitement.
After Thursday night dinner with Mike, Kiwi, Kevin, Billl, and Paula I hit the sack early. The drive-up was an interesting drive-variation with a route over Kingsbury Grade on the Nevada side of South Tahoe that I had not driven in thirty-three years. The view out over the high desert farmland is spectacular and the little town of Genoa down on the valley’s edge was Nevada’s first settlement – or something.
Friday morning was an early wake-up at 5:00 to get ready and meet Kevin and his Giant Truck, and go get the Gardner Gun in Gardnerville. Once again suppressor-maker and De Lisle carbine-guy Richard at Special Interest Arms had something interesting for Show-and-Tell, and it was good to see him again and get to know him better. His knowledge of the gun is encyclopedic and he probably wrote the Wiki on it, that is if he did such things.
The smoke was very evident in the high desert valley morning, and a huge orb of the sun rose red over the hills, then grew smaller and more faint as it got higher. I remarked that visibility sucked and the 900-yard targets might be hard to reach today.
We got back to Breakfast late but there were some crumbs and fruit remaining – and coffee!
Met-up with Kevin’s spotter-buddy Rusty who I remember from last year, old pal Dutch-Oven Jeff, and new Nevada resident and commenter-friend Pat who has made quite an impression here. And then I got to meet Clayton Cramer and his irrepressible wife Rhonda — then it was back upstairs, grab the guns, and off to the most EXCELLENT and friendly staff at the Washoe County range…
I brought the little .22WRF Model 90 Winchester, the Ruger Vaquero, the S&W Model 19-3, and my carry Ed Brown Kobra. OBSERVATION: It was interesting to carry in Nevada and its something (carry) that I am adjusting-to. I learned that my Galco OWB “Fletch” holster, while very slimming and non-printing, prevented me from reaching into my hip pocket where my wallet normally resides, and it was finally easier to extricate my wallet and move it to the left than re-adjust the holster – after that I used the Milt Sparks Summer Special instead.
At the range The Gardner Gun occupied the full-auto space at the end and Richard was there with an assortment of full-auto suppressed rifles as well, including the “Trecenti,” Latin for 300 which is his new flagship-gun, the integrally suppressed 300 BLK AR-15. Also and again his friend and business partner (?) Brian was there as he was at last year’s event.
I shot Pat’s .450 Lott and I’m glad it was just a deer-load. The Model 19-3 should have been cleaned (my bad, but I didn’t) and a diet of .38Spl illustrated how residue build-up can affect the chambers of a .357Mag as primers showed evidence of flow and cratering, and locked-up the gun until Pat managed to open it. I put the magnum loads aside and shot .38Spl instead and it proved very accurate. The .44-40 was also accurate and with hunting loads not any worse for handling or feel – it soaked ’em up and kept poking holes in paper. The little .22WRF trombone also zipped to POA, and if I had brought my spotting scope I could have seen the group better (or at-all), but during a cease-fire I got a close look and was impressed. Maybe I’ll get a .22Mag pistol and have a shared-round companion gun for the rifle…
Apparently the refrigerator occasionally needs to be re-stocked, and at my house that’s my job – so a day of rest, Raley’s, and laundry is on the calendar.
And fresh produce from the local farmer’s market at Boa Vista Orchards.
More about the Super Fabulous Star-Studded Celebrity Rendezvous-X upcoming!
Maybe I’ll get up before the heat rises, while it’s only in the 80’s and before we hit 100’s again, and motor up to Sly Park on the Gentleman’s Express. I want to ~feel~ the shoulder holster with the 4-inch Model 10 and get the vibe and clothing fit. Maybe I’ll pack the Sig too, as a counter-balance. I need to get this sorted out before the Edelweiss soirée in September, when the heat of the Summer is off – sorta.
GBR-X is happening in a short time frame from now, and I still have to consider what to bring along gun-wise, pack my crap, and deal with Everyday Life and it’s shortcomings. Life itself swirls and flows all around, like a river poisoned by the EPA plunging relentlessly downward through Colorado canyons, to expire in the Mexican desert… My wife and our friend in Newcastle’s older brother dying – just a few years older than us. Also my Aunt in England dying (my second cousin actually, my dad’s cousin – just a few years younger than him). Seems like people are dropping all around especially among my Parents’ generation. And knowing my Mom’s actuarial bent, has a lot to face – or not much.
Meanwhile I still have class on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and presumably a test to take that I have to pass at %80 or better. So for the first time in thirty-odd years I have “Homework,” and I want to ace that damn class. Also the siren song of the Big Bavarian Boxer calls, and the Hills are alive with the sounds of moto and the hum of rubber on asphalt.
So with the Rendezvous – I’m guessing the .44-40 is what’s up – and…what rifle? Know what I think would be cool? An M1-Carbine chambered in .44-40 – that would be freaking awesome. But not a Ruger ranch-rifle – or did they? I have the Vaquero, but I still have not drunk the Ruger cool-aid.
Got the AGM gel-mat battery buttoned-down and into the Gentleman’s Express. The bike lit-up and so We decided to go for a quick loop before lunch. Let me check the Odo: 40-oddd miles?
Wearing cowboy boots and kevlar jeans, I strapped-on the Sig P245 into the Comp-Tac Minotaur with a left-side re-load, and lit up the old ’98. It was comfortable so the whole shoulder-holster issue may be moot.
Wearing my old sticker-festooned (RMD! We remember Peter Patton – RIP) Arai MXC-Pro dirtbike lid, equipped with a “Quick-Strap” (enables easy on-off goggle transitions), for maximum peripheral vision, I started out goggle-less — but vroom-vroom (or blatt-blatt) quickly transitioned to eye-care prone vision.
Rode up through Diamond Springs on Pleasant Valley Road, through a bit of work-zone by Mike’s Grill where you could smell the dirt and pines, and up past the cutoff to Somerset. A guy wearing just a t-shirt and shorts on a red ‘Wing passed me and I felt so over-dressed. Casual Friday I guess and I missed the memo.
The winding road was ridiculous, and so much more fun than in the truck. The air was cool between the trees while asphalt ground-pounders walkin’ around were in the 90’degrees already.
Still my cowboy boots worked better flicking gears than my MX boots or the “Dual Sport” clodhoppers I just bought in the Winter – and now needed to (consider) unloading onto some more needy rider…or keep for inclement Winter weather.
Just past the Pleasant Valley Grange where I’ve been taking my Hunter Education Classes, I turned left on Newtown Road (really, “New-Town”), and took a fond and wistful look to the right while passing by narrow Starkes Grade Road. It’s a windy-twisty-lumpy, one-lane sometimes-two, crowned road that goes up to Pollock – and I’ll get you soon – but with time in the balance, took a quick downhill right onto Snows Road and began the short drop down to Dogtown and climb-out up over Weber Creek to Camino.
“Weber Creek” used-to be Weaver Creek – from Old Man Weaver, and so was Weaverville – but somehow along the way accents and language (and most probably broken toothless miners) corrupted it to become “Weber.” On the way up past the creek there’s three gnarly, climbing, bumpy, off-camber-by-a-mile Alpine switchbacks – that rolled right under, sweet! Cruised down to Hangtown and went through the Hwy. 49 backside by-passes and got home in fine shape and happy. More please.
UPDATE: Edited for brevity
Another night of class, more with respect to Archery, and then the situations and conditions faced by hunters accompanied by anecdotes by Mac who has hunted all-over: like is it a cow or a buck or a yearling, is that duck flying by a male or female? But mainly, PPPPPP – Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Like having the paperwork for your California horses’ significant markings and gum-tattoos – or whatever they use to identify them – can enable you to continue to your hunting destination when stopped by Colorado Game Officers concerned with horse-thieves. And having somebody in camp with a Bear Tag when you’re forced to shoot one in self-defense or defense of the camp. Old Mac had a whole slew of stories and experiences to share with us, both as a hunter taking game from California to Alaska to Idaho to Colorado – and sa a 30-year Highway Patrol veteran.
Because it is Regulations that set the Standards and Procedures, and those drive the outcomes and determine the results and effects of interactions with Fish & Game Officers – and as usual, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law… So you have to know the critter. Know is it male or female, what its age is, what makes it eligible to take as game, what the area you are in allows, and what time of year you can take game.
If you thought the Gunsteroonie Ninja-SWAT Shoot-House with shoot-no-shoot targets was tough, wait till you sneak up on an underage deer with pointy little antlers that smells you coming and is moving around to avoid you, one that blends in perfectly with its surroundings. In other words, it’s no walk in the park cow-shooting, you have to know a lot about the game you’re hunting, and how to identify it correctly AS game. Or risk a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
And then you have to gut, clean, and dismember the carcass before the meat spoils.
Most of my classmates were under fifteen. There were a couple dads and a mom – and a girl in the mix. One kid seemed to arrive under his own power. Mostly it’s NRA Juniors stuff and a good springboard for their future, with an emphasis on basics and cleaning and rules. The kids are eager and already know a lot so it must be hard to sit-still. I remember that age, a bit. We didn’t get into the outdoorsy stuff yet, and I suppose there’s other ways to take the test and get the license, but this is all-right and it’s engaging with new folks.
Maybe it’s weird but I’m not used to driving home at night, because I don’t “go out” anymore really, not more than necessary or for what was once considered fun.
UPDATE: I have a new appreciation for Realtree camo, and need an orange cap from Cabela’s.
The Gentleman’s Express wouldn’t start, so I un-gear’d and made my rounds of the gun-shops by F-150, to talk about hunting with guys who had hunted. Many positive responses and good feed-backs later I was at my local shop looking at an (60’s-era?) Zastava-action Mauser Interarms Mark-X in .243 with a fixed power
Weaver K8 UPDATE: Weaver K4 – that had been around the block and out in the field more than a few times but still looked pretty. It’s not as nice as this one at Cabela’s Gun Library, but has the same shape stock and is not nearly as expensive either. The old scope was clear and sharp and had a pretty wide field of view for our short-and-brushy shooting.
Interarms has an interesting history as former Cold-War CIA spook Sam Cummings was sort of the OG Merchant of Death, selling arms around the world and on occasion to both sides. One of his arms shipments to Batista (AR-10’s) was intercepted and captured by Castro. He became a British subject and moved to Monaco while running the HQ out of Alexandria, VA.
Anyhow I don’t have tine with CA’s stupid 10-day wait period to bring it up to Gunblogger Rendezvous-X and sight-it in to my eye-point, so I has a sad. Unless I get it first thing tomorrow morning and pick it up on the morning of the 20th before driving up to Reno – which could still happen…
UPDATE: Not gonna happen.
UPDATE: That’s not gonna happen, but never say never…
Sunday we had a fun time (and great food) at the Gun Club Picnic, and met some very nice people. The fabulous Donna and husband Bob, and Jean and husband ex-cop Bill were a couple of friends who invited us to sit with them, and we had a nice time chatting about all manner of things. I won ONE raffle item, a re-up to my Gun Club membership, but all my tickets on the S&W 9mm Shield didn’t pan-out. Oh well it’s to a good cause, the oldest and longest running gun-club in California.
Meanwhile after three days on the Battery Tender, the juice-pot still showed no signs of buzzy electron life, so I got under the hood and lifted the lid and removed the Yuasa 51913. It took a while because BMW (and all motorcycles, really) packages things tight, but I didn’t have to remove the entire tank, just un-do enough peripherality to lift up the ass-end — which took a while and a few screws and a 2×6 to figure-out. The juice levels are all below par and I want a gel-battery anyhow, let’s see if one can be found locally. NAPA or O’Riley’s are my main choices, or Mike’s Kawasaki might have something. There’s a LOT of small engines around here doing yeoman’s work in the field, from Husqvarna mowers to saws, to Kawasaki Mules and other quad farm-equipment, to watercraft toys, so I expect (hope) it shouldn’t be too hard.
UPDATE: Battery coming Wednesday.