Monday, December 30, 2013

Hooray Holidays!

Just an update, regularly scheduled programming should be back up and running a week from today.  The Christmas season ate through a lot of my free time and this week the free time is in short supply as well.

If you have any special requests on topics you would like to see covered in the new year, then please feel free to comment below and let me know.  I want keep this blog relevant to those who do come by and spend their time reading.

Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DGU of the Day: Police Fail to Clear Man's House, Leaves Him to Deal with Burglar

This is another great illustration of why YOU are responsible for your own safety:

76-year-old shoots burglary suspect after finding him hiding in closet

Police "cleared" his home and then left to search the area.  Apparently, they didn't do a good enough job and this 76 year old vet had to do the job himself.

If anti-2A folks had their way, then this man could have been easily dead by the time the police came back to tell him they hadn't found the suspect.  Do not ever turn your self defense weapons in, ever.  When you give that up, then you are at the mercy of your "public servants" and their inability (in this case) to keep you safe.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

6 Year Old Boy Suspended for Sexual Harassment


Colorado boy, 6, suspended, accused of sexual harassment for kissing girl on cheek

I will grant that the kid should be keeping his lips to himself, but sexual harassment?  The kid is 6!!!

This just raises more issues for the child than the innocent kiss on the hand would.

Just nuts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Police Shoot Innocent Bystanders, Blame Their Unarmed Suspect

You can't make this shit up:

Unarmed Man Is Charged With Wounding Bystanders Shot by Police Near Times Square

In what bizarro world do we live in where government officials get to pin the inadequacies of police training on the suspect?  Clearly, the police showed poor judgement engaging a suspect who never presented a weapon while virtually surrounded in a 360 degree arc by bystanders.  Just another example of no accountability of law enforcement.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kansas Deer Season Opening Weekend 2013

Hoping to go "Elmer Fudd" on a tasty deer.

Over Thanksgiving we went bird hunting and I noticed that there were a lot of deer tracks on the 160 acres of crop land that my Dad owns.  This year, the farmer had harvested corn which made me think there was a good chance that I might have a chance at some deer.  I decided to give it a shot (pun intended) on opening weekend of the Kansas firearms deer season.  It was the start of my second season that I had made a real attempt to deer hunt.  My previous season had been spent in a ground stand in a wooded area.  I was not sure what to expect since Dad's land is wide open.  I packed my Remington 700 in 30-06 and made the drive down the night before to my parent's place.

On Dad's land, there is some cover by the south edge of the property (tall "prairie" grass, a few trees and the shed).  I thought maybe I could use that for concealment.  I woke up at 5:30 A.M. and my Dad and I arrived at the land about 6:45 A.M.  It was still dark, but the sun would be starting to come up soon.  As the weatherman predicted, it was in the single digits and the wind chill put it at negative single digits.  The plan was to sit on some stools in the tall grass and hope that the deer would come from the general north direction since there was a northerly wind blowing at a good 10-15 mph clip.  I worried that maybe the temps plus the wind might discourage the deer from coming out into the open.  My Dad hopped back into the truck after an hour of sitting outside.  I could not blame him.  It was freezing and with no real wind block.  After another half hour or so I jumped into the truck as well.  We stayed in the truck and kept our eyes peeled to at least see if any deer were out.  We decided to call it quits for the morning around 9 A.M.

I was anxious to get back out for the afternoon.  I knew the chances were slim during the day, but I thought it would not hurt to go back out early and just observe if any deer were crossing the land.  I got back around 1 P.M. and sat in the truck with a good book.  The temperature had climbed to a whopping 12 degrees F and the wind held steady.  At around 4 P.M. I had had enough sitting around.  The land has a slight rise that runs diagonally from the northeast to the southwest.  I decided to try and see if there were any deer in the northern half of the field at this point since I knew the sun would be going down in another hour or so.  I hopped out of the truck and walked to the southeast corner of the property.  I slowly traveled north using the rise in the land to conceal my movement.  I stopped every few steps and knelt down and looked around me slowly to make sure I was not missing any deer on the horizon.

I finally came to a point where I needed to start heading northwest to crest the rise in the land.  I felt that if I was going to get the drop on any deer, then this would probably be my best chance.  Luckily, the north wind was still blowing and this helped carry my scent and sound away.  I was about a hundred paces in when I picked up movement.  I immediately, but slowly, got on my knees and used my binoculars to see what it was.

Bingo!  Two white tail doe.  It was at this point that I went to shit.  I put my binoculars away and brought my rifle up.  I was aiming from the kneeling position and I estimated that I was about 300 yards out.  Now, understand that I knew where on the land I was approximately and I knew the distances of said land to certain land marks.  At the time, I did NOT know how to range the deer with the actual scope (Leupold VX-2 with Duplex reticle).  So, that was a strike against my confidence on if I could make the shot.  Not only that, but I was fairly shaky.  I decided that I would stalk a little closer since the deer did not seem to notice me.

I crouched and walked a few paces and stopped.  I repeated this over and over.  At various times, one would look in my direction.  I would immediately stop and slowly take a knee.  I would then wait until they went back to eating.

I worked to within probably a little over 200 yards.  At this point, my breath was ragged from being excited and I knew I had to figure out a way to calm down or at least steady my aim.  I slowly proned out, but immediately realized that was a no go due to the corn stalk stubs that were in the way.  I then slowly got back into a kneeling position and glassed the first deer again to see how shaky I was.  I was not as shaky, but I felt I could probably get closer.  And then, my luck died.  A truck came down the road bordering the eastern side of the property.  The deer immediately alerted on the truck and trotted north onto the neighboring property and out of sight in the tall grass that dominated it.  The sun was going down and I decided it was the end of the day for me.

I was so mad.  Mad at the truck and mad at myself for being so damn excited that I could not steady my shot.  I still keep replaying it in my mind.  I decided to try and learn from this experience.  Here are some of the positives I took away from it:

  • Played the Wind Correctly - I had looked at the forecast to plan where in the field I wanted to start out and in which direction I should head if I did end up walking the land.
  • Used Land as Concealment - I had not been out on my Dad's land enough to remember the rise in the land.  I think I did a good job of using what little concealment there was.
  • Stalked Slowly - I was able to sneak within 200 yards or so in an open field.  If I had made it even 50 more yards, then I would have taken the shot (provided I was steady enough).
  • Knew My Ballistics - I had zeroed out at 100 yards and knew my bullet drops and wind drift for my hunting round, Federal's Fusion 30-06 150 grain.  However, I had only taken shots at 100 yards.  This did not help my confidence which fed into my nervousness (and the shakes as well I would guess).

And, of course, there were some things I should have been better prepared for:

  • Known How to Range Using My Scope - I actually did have one piece of information that would have helped, but at the time it flew right out of my head.  I already knew that at maximum magnification (9X for my scope) at 100 yards the thinner lines from post end to post end covered up exactly 8 inches of my target.  I found out afterwards that this is referred to as subtension.  What I did not know was that a deer is on average 18 inches from back line to brisket.  This would have allowed me to have a better idea of the distance I was working with.  I would then have had more confidence in taking the longer shot.
  • Calming Myself Down - I am not sure how to address this outside of learning to be certain of my approximate range and point of aim.  I have read that visualizing before you even see a deer helps.  I have also learned that forcing oneself to breathe deeply also helps.  I definitely was breathing raggedly!  I would also speculate that knowing your range and bullet drop is no substitute for practicing at longer range.
  • Practiced From the Kneeling Position - I do not do this enough.  I was used to my previous experience of having something to rest my rifle on.  I had nothing out in the open field and had to use a standard kneeling position (similar to what I practice with when shooting my AR).  Probably time to do more kneeling shots with the Remy.
  • Realized That Prone Was Out of the Equation - This is a minor point.  I should have known that trying to fire from the prone through and past hundreds of corn stalk stubs was out of the question.  It may have saved me some precious time by not trying to go into the prone in the first place.

I plan on going out to the range this upcoming weekend and practicing some shots from the kneeling.  I also am going to go with the goal of establishing exactly at what magnification 18 inches (the average size of a deer from back line to brisket) subtends in my reticle for a given distance.  The hope is that I can then take an 18 inch target, set it up at 100, and figure out at what magnification the 18 inches subtends from thin post end to thin post end (remember, I just have a Duplex style reticle).  I can keep doing this for given known ranges, magnification settings and the constant 18 inches to have a quick way to approximately range deer.  If I decide I want to hunt something else in the future, then I will need to do the same using a known target size equivalent to the game I want to hunt.

Extended Deer Season in Kansas starts January 1st.  I've been invited out to some wooded land to hunt.  Hopefully, I'll be more successful in the woods and with my lessons learned under my belt.  I appreciate any tips you could give me especially regarding how you calm yourself down enough to take a steady shot!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hunter is Harrassed By Police For Walking Home with Hunting Long Guns Exposed

This is just a bit absurd:

Hunter harrassed by police for walking home with his equipment after hunting

I mean, come on, the guy is wearing blaze orange and his rifles are slinged on his back.  Where I'm from, 95% of people would  just think, "Hmmm, must be hunting season".  I get there's always going to be those folks who flip out, but the police should know better.

If you're interested in hearing his account and chatting with the hunter, then go over and check out his blog:

The Hunter Himself In His Own Words

Monday, December 9, 2013

DGU of the Day: Store Clerk Uses Gun To Ward Off Bandit Without Firing a Shot

Just goes to show you why legit Defensive Gun Uses don't always get recorded:

Madison store clerk points gun at robber, suspect runs away

This won't even make it into the already meager stat keeping of DGU's.  Why?  Because no shots were fired.  And, really, that is the best outcome.  Loss of life in any form is tragic and should be avoided unless there is no other option.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DGU of the Day: Family Home Invasion Drills Pay Off for One Family

This family had a plan in place:

Jeff Jardine: Rural Oakdale family knew the drill when it came to defending against intruder

I think it makes perfect sense to have a home invasion/burglary drill.  We are encouraged to have tornado and fire drills even in our own homes.  Home invasion is always a possibility as are fires and tornadoes.  Get your head out of the sand when it comes to personal protection and start talking with your family on what to do and practice what to do in the event of a home invasion.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cheap Food Insurance: My First Time Making Super Pails

I had been wanting to stock up on some basic food staples for a long time.  There are two main reasons that I had given this some thought.  First, it is cheap food insurance.  If we ever fell on hard times, then we would have some way to at least sustain ourselves for a while.  Second, it is cheaper in the long run to buy in bulk.  So, I finally rounded up the materials needed to package and store dry pinto beans and white rice.

Sam's Club (and I'm sure other retailers) sells these by the 50 lb. bag.  The price per pound comes out to be ridiculously cheap when you compare that with 1 lb. or even 10 lb. bag of the same food item.  The combination of rice and beans can sustain a person for a very long time.  The two together form what nutritionists call a "complete protein".  In other words, "meat substitute".  Although, I would argue that there is no substitute for meat!

Bags of dry food ready to be sealed.

I ordered a starter kit of metalized bags, oxygen (O2) absorbers and food grade 6 gallon plastic buckets from Emergency Essentials.

About 33 lbs. of Pinto Beans.

About 40 lbs. of Rice.
The process was pretty straight forward.  I placed the metalized bags in the buckets and then poured the contents into each bucket.  I took care to note how much by weight was in each bucket.

2000 cc oxygen absorbers.

For anything over 35 lbs. one of the 2000 cc absorbers was called for.  If it was border line, then I just threw in two for additional insurance.  Also note that when placing more than one absorber that it is recommended to ensure they are not on top of one another.  The absorbers are basically filled with metal (iron, I believe) that binds oxygen by essentially rusting at a high rate.  Note that these came in a pack of 10.  A person has to use them all at once or figure out a way to seal them up.  I've seen some folks suggest mason jars and others to re-seal them if you have a vacuum sealer.

Demonstration of technique to seal metalized bags using a flat surface and clothes iron.
I tried to work as fast as possible once I opened up the O2 absorbers so that they did not peter out prematurely.  As you can see in the above picture, I folded the edge of the metal bags over a yard stick.  This gave me a fairly flat surface with which to use the clothes iron to seal the bags.  I have a couple of tips.  First, do not use the hottest setting on a clothes iron.  It works, but is not necessary and you risk melting the bag too much.  The second tip is to push as much air out of the bag as possible before finishing off the seal.  This was my one mistake.  I was in a hurry and thought that the O2 absorbers would bind enough oxygen that the bags would shrink down.  I was only able to get one out of five lids on my buckets!  I will be remedying this in the near future by cutting off a corner large enough to toss in another couple absorbers, push the excess air out and then reseal the cut corner.  Hopefully, it will work.

Other than my one mistake, I feel this was a pretty easy endeavor.  If you are looking for a way to store bulk dry foods, then look no further than making "Super Pails".