Thursday, November 27, 2008

Goin' To Hell For Sure?

I first started varmint shooting as a kid. We would skip school, grab our varmint rifles (usually a .22) and head down to the local dump along the Missouri River bottom to shoot the plentiful rats that lived amongst the trash. The dump was a perfect shooting gallery, just like at the carnival. There were different levels and ranges that the furry critters would run back and forth on.

The first time I was slapped on the back for splattering a varmint I felt a tinge of guilt. The giggles and snickers when a rat's head went sailing off or the red mist flying out from a groundhog made me feel kind of bad too. Afterward I wondered if this was what got you into hell? The trigger time made us better riflemen but what was the price we would pay? When you get to the Pearly Gates is this one adventure that is recorded on the "Bad Side" in the ledger of your life?

Fast forward to today and I'm still zinging the varmints that need shooting. Depredation many call it, which means plundering; to pillage [Latin depraedare to pillage]. The ground squirrels here in California do tremendous damage to cattle and horses when they fall into the ground squirrel burrows. Heck, I've almost snapped a leg bone or two due to them dern "squeaks" and their tunnels they have everywhere.

I catch a lot of flack over the varmint shooting videos I post. Many are antihunters or antigunners who rant on with all kinds of name calling and foul language. I'm not so sure about some of the other comments, some may be just folks who drop in on the link not sure what the link is about and they are neither a hunter/shooter or an anti. Shooting animals and giggling about it must appear to be pretty callous to the uninformed. Would a caution or advisory about the varmints being pests before the video rolls help?

Am I going to hell?

One old friend offered another opinion on this catch 22 situation. While at the range during a media event where the outdoor writers were shooting ground squirrels he overheard one old scribe from the south offer that varmint shooting may not get you straight into hell, but you were darn sure to be getting a warm room for doing it.

Lord forgive me, I wonder if they make asbestos in 3XL?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, Hello Kitty.

I was deer hunting down San Diego way recently and spied this bobcat sneaking along the far open hillside. I squeaked out a couple "kisses of death" and the bobcat came up so close I finally had to put the camcorder down and shoo it away before it pounced on me.

I lost the creeping cat in the small camera viewfinder and had to pull my head off the camera to make sure where it went, I didn't want any surprises that included fangs and claws. The bobcat was actually stalking some California Valley quail in front of me in the chaparral. At one point he snuck right up to the bush the quail were in and flushed 2 of them. His leap and paw swipe are not on the video dad gummit, that shot must have come when I was wobbling the camera around trying to find the cat. That's probably why the cat isn't real interested in my squeaking, he wants a quail cheeseburger and I'm almost annoying him.

I didn't take a shot because the .300 winmag in my lap would have made a mess of the pelt. Time to get a combo gun maybe. A good western cat hide is bringing near $400 last time I checked.

Camcorder was a Canon GL-2.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

15th annual San Jacinto Junior Pheasant Hunt

This was the 15th annual San Jacinto Junior Pheasant Hunt. This junior hunter event is put on by the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) along with the Riverside Quail Unlimited (QU) Chapter.

Lots of smiles and high fives for the junior hunters again this year. There were 39 juniors, we were hoping for 50 but the rain may have kept some home. It turned out to be a nice day after an early morning rain, just a bit windy at times which made for some challenging shooting for the young hunters.

Huge thanks to the staff at San Jacinto WA, the volunteers who brought their dogs to point and retrieve the birds and everyone else who helped out to make it a great day for the next generation of hunters..

Sponsors included Bass Pro, Valley-Wide Recreation & Park District, Inkredible Prints ((951) 654-1111) and Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors. Mike Brown also donated a $100 NRA Shooting Class certificate.

Part 1.

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I voted today. Line wasn't bad, maybe 5 minutes. The hard part was smelling the beans they had cooking for the poll workers in the back room at the church where I vote here in Redlands CA. Man they smelled good.

We have electronic voting here now which replaced the old punch out hanging chad type ballots. The new ballots are huge, big 2 foot by 1 foot cardboard like sheets. To vote you connect two bars with a line from you pen. The ballot choices looked like this:

Joe Blow ==== ====

with the dashed lines above being solid bars on the ballot.

When you turn in your ballot you get an "I Voted" sticker for your shirt. This was my 8th presidential election to vote in. Sometimes I'm so disgusted with the politics and the sorry arse folks that hold office that I don't want to vote. I do vote since many have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country so that we have the ability to choose our goobermint offcials.

I wanted to film some folks at the church where I voted, not ask them who they voted for but what they thought of the election. The signs said no one within 100 feet could ask voters about their choices. After awhile I thought it might be best not to pull out a camera, even if I was 100 feet from the door. I don't know if I would want someone filming me while voting.

Here's to 4 more years, of what I haven't the faintest.

Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs. - P.J. O’Rourke