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VOLUMES 209 & 210 -------- NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

November/December 2019

First a quick follow-up on Ann's moose hunting.

Here should be a picture of the trophy Bull Moose she bagged, but alas, that won't be the case.  In spite of multiple trips to Inland Empire Paper Co. property in the Mount Spokane South moose hunting area, not a moose was seen!  Moose tracks were observed regularly, but nothing was standing in them at the time.

It should be noted that we didn't do our 'due diligence' before applying for our special permits.  We should have acknowledged that the conditions, trees, and brush might have changed.  We spent a lot of time hunting, wood cutting, and recreating on this nearby Paper Co land in the early years of residing here, but we hadn't been in the area for many years.  My, but trees and brush do grow up over the span of 15 or 20 years!  Let's face it, we just ain't up to busting brush and navigating steep, rugged terrain on foot like we used to.

To make a long story longer, in spite of driving slick, treacherous logging roads, dodging logging trucks, walking miles of un-drivable and/or gated roads and trails, not a moose was seen.  The entrance gate attendant did tell us a "big bull" was taken out of the area early in the season.

So, while Little Heifer is no longer eligible for a bull moose tag, she can still enter other drawings for antlerless moose.  Rick and I have now accumulated enough preference points that we have a decent chance of being drawn for a bull in the next year or so.  We shall see!

As members of the 'mature generation' we don't usually get into all the technological stuff and social media platforms that many in our society can't seem to live without.  While Ann does Facebook, things like Instagram, Spotify, and stuff like Twitter, Twattle, Twiddle, Twipple, or whatever, remain mercifully absent from our phones and other electronic devices.

But, occasionaly, something comes along that might actually be useful and practical!  OnX Hunt struck me as perhaps being one of the useful technologies.  This web based product provides detailed information, State by State, for property boundaries, public/private ownership, and owners names, along with a GPS icon showing exactly where you are located.  There are three views available: Satellite, Topographical, or Hybrid, showing both.

Also the software provides boundaries and names of Game Management Units, as they're called in Washington, and other special areas available for public hunting.  Features such as marking waypoints and providing 'breadcrumb' trails are available as well, same as my old handheld GPS unit of years past.

I read about OnX Hunt (onxmaps.com) in one of my gun magazines some time ago, but it didn't resonate as being needed by us, as practically all our hunting is done right here on our little 20 acre ranch.  With the drawing of Ann's moose tag, this required a different look.

Here are more details of how this works:  First one must subscribe to the service, choosing one or more states to which to have access.  An annual subscription for one state is $29.99 per year, or one can get access for all 50 states for $99.99.  With internet service and a browser, or cell service on compatible devices, one can access all features for your subscription area.

Whoa now!  A lot of wonderful hunting areas have neither internet access nor cell service.  What now?  First, download the free app to your cell phone.  Then, while on the OnX web site, select an area on the map that you want to access offline.  These areas can be either 5 or 10 miles square, and the smaller map will give you greater detail.

Next, download the offline map to your cellphone.  Select the 'go offline' option and you will have access to all the features of the program within the area of your offline map.  One note here: Put your phone in 'airplane mode' to avoid continuous searching for a cell signal and extend battery life.  No, I didn't know this, but a cell phone's GPS still works fine without a cell signal.  Thus, your offline map will show an icon for your location along with roads, trails, and other features.  Mark waypoints, leave 'breadcrumb' trails, or utilize any other features just like you were still online.

One more thing that frustrated me at first because I didn't understand it.  The GPS feature does NOT work on my wi-fi only iPad!  An internet inquiry revealed that the GPS feature on my iPad is disabled when no wi-fi signal is available.

Now to our late season deer hunting here at the ranch.

While Ann and I passed up legal deer multiple times, we both finally elected to pass on killing a deer this year.  Meantime, Rick filled his tag with a nice buck on November 11th.

Rick's 2019 Buck.  This is a nice mature specimen for this area.

Proud hunter!  The rifle is a Sako M85 in .270 Winchester caliber.

This is still the preferred way to take 'em to the shop for field dressing.

I made inquiry to Nephew, Jason Parman a few weeks ago, to get a report and pictures of the traditional November deer hunt at my Brother Ed's cabin back in Missouri.  I've no response to date, so guess I'll need to rattle that cage again.  (I'm already so late with this edition, that having those pictures next time won't do much further damage to my reputation.)

Christmas Eve began as it has for several years, with Ann's version of Chicken Bisque soup on the table.  I've reported this on numerous occasions, but will do so again.  We were first introduced to Chicken Bisque at a restaurant called 'Curley's Broiler' in Missoula, MT.  The Bisque, along with their signature prime rib was touted as "the place to go" at the time in Missoula.

Curley's was written up in National Magazines, and touted locally as the place with the 'super secret' recipe for Chicken Bisque.  The recipe was requested by many people, many times, including us, all to no avail.  (Curley's Broiler is no more!  The businesses along that strip of Brooks Street were razed a few years ago to make room for a multiplex theater.)

Ann is not a stubborn woman, (ha-ha) but she vowed to figure out how to make Bisque to rival Curley's.  Every bowl was scrutinized and analyzed each time we ate there, dozens of other recipes were perused, and finally we had a Bisque that not only rivaled, but in my mind exceeded that at Curley's Broiler!  We now have that dish every Christmas Eve, along with our traditional gift opening.

The dinner table and Christmas tree prior to the festivities.

You know the drill.  The stockings were hung with care.

The stocking goes on your foot, not your hand Darlin'.

The beginning of the detritus pile.

Jennifer surrounded by her loot.

And here's the leftover trash.

I'm gonna revisit Ann's moose hunting again for a minute to describe one of my pet peeves about how we as consumers are regaled with stuff that sometimes just don't pass the smell test.  In our moose hunting travels, we did a lot of drive, park, walk, drive, park, walk, as we traversed a gated road or trail to explore new territory.  Each time we exited or entered the old GMC truck, required either loading or unloading her Savage .308 Lady Hunter.  (Why?  Having a loaded rifle in or on a motor vehicle is not only unsafe but is also illegal in Washington!)

This rifle has a detachable magazine that happens to have a feature often touted by manufacturers, gun writers, and other pundits.  "The cartridge feeds directly from the center of the magazine into the chamber when the action is cycled!"  I guess the theory is that this is supposed to make the cartridge chamber more smoothly with less chance of a jam up?

Sorry, I just don't buy that!  I'll illustrate my point with some photos in a minute, but blindfold a pundit and have him/her cycle several actions of rifles of similar quality and I'd bet most can't tell the difference between a center feed and staggered feed magazine.

Three rifle magazines.  Left is Ann's .308 Savage magazine.  Center is a magazine from my Cooper Western Classic in .280 Remington.  Right is a magazine for the Remington M760, also in .280 Remington.

The magazines for the Savage and Cooper are both 'center feed' while the Remington mag is staggered, feeding alternatively from one side then the other.  Advantage/Disadvantage:  The Savage and Cooper mags are tedious and difficult to load and the Cooper has limited capacity because the cartridges are confined to sitting directly atop one another.  The Remington only requires a downward push to insert the next cartridge.  I'll illustrate with more photos.

The Savage Magazine.

To add to this magazine, the next cartridge must depress the loaded cartridge within the tiny space between the case shoulder and magazine lip at the arrow, so the cartridge can be slipped under the magazine lips and slid all the way to the back.

This is the Cooper Magazine.

The same procedure is followed here as with the Savage, except the space between the arrows illustrates that there is more room to get the next cartridge positioned to enable depression of the loaded one in order to slide back under the magazine lips.

Remington Magazine

To load the next cartridge, all one need do is place it where the illustrative red line is, and press down.  That's it!  No juggling, positioning, or sliding, just push down.  Another advantage is this type magazine can be topped off by pressing a cartridge into the magazine via the  ejection port in most rifles of this type.

Is it any wonder that nearly all magazine fed military firearms carried by soldiers in combat since the late 1800's have fed cartridges from non removable, staggered cartridge magazines?  Think Mausers and Enfields from WWI forward.  These also loaded with 'stripper clips' which enabled inserting multiple cartridges with one push of the thumb.

Does ease of loading, additional capacity, and reliability mean something to a soldier in battle? Do you think we would send soldiers into combat with guns using magazines inferior to 'center fed' ones?  And it's not only military arms.  All our Remingtons, Sakos, Rugers, Mausers, and Weatherbys have either fixed or removable magazines that load just like the old Remington mag shown above.  Nuff said, case closed!

Now, how about a little bit of Soapbox?  Honest to God folks, you just can't make this stuff up!

Just before Christmas, a New Jersey radio station (www.nj1015.com) reported on the NJ Assembly’s proposed legislation to ban the sale of toy guns. The report quoted Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28th District) on wanting to keep criminals from using fake weapons during robberies.  Caputo said, “Someone that is that foolish that would try to hold up a place with a fake gun, where they really had no intent on hurting anyone, can end up getting killed because the police view that as a real firearm."

Well, B-O-O H-O-O!  Perhaps only in New Jersey, should an armed robber be spared being harmed if they have a fake gun and had no real intent on hurting anyone.  Anyone else want to encourage robbers to make sure they have real guns when committing their crimes?

It's also interesting to note Caputo's background.  He has a Master's in Education Administration from Seton Hall and his career in education included employment ranging from elementary school teacher to superintendent of schools.  He also served as an 'urban education specialist' for the State Department of Education.

Doesn't this make you wonder what our kids are being taught in schools and colleges today?

If you thought you were at the end of this trip to the soapbox, you were wrong.

Washington State along with others, Virginia comes to mind as being recently in the news, are being faced with unprecedented efforts to eliminate or curtail our Second Amendment rights.  Gun bans, magazine limits, background checks, storage requirements; the list goes on and on, are on the agenda of many of our liberal legislators.

What they and their cheerleaders don't tell you is, these laws and rules will have absolutely zero effect on the criminal use of firearms.  The real story is: "We gotta do something, even if it's wrong!"  Again, the classic ignorant response to misuse of a firearm is to propose new laws that will affect only those who didn't do it!

Here's a classic statement used to promote many of the so called 'gun safety' laws:  “Oh, but if it saves ONE life it’s worth it!”  (Of course, this is really only true if the person making the statement doesn't want to do the banned activity or own the banned item anyway!)

Let’s set the record straight.  This statement is pure, unadulterated, male bovine excrement!  Here’s only one of many examples why:

Are you up for saving maybe 35,000 or more of the 40,000 killed in motor vehicle accidents each year?

If so, imagine every vehicle on public roads traveling no more than 35 miles per hour.

No, wait.  I’m not talking about a 35 mph speed limit.  My concept requires each and every vehicle be manufactured or modified to run no faster than 35 mph!  (Motorcycles are banned; too dangerous!)

Anyone who modifies or otherwise enables their vehicle to run faster than the regulated speed is subject to immediate forfeiture of the vehicle and a lifetime ban on driving privileges!

Not ready for this?  Infringes on your privileges?  Takes away freedom of choice?  Costs you time and money?  Can’t legislate away all of life’s risks and hazards?

Tough cookies, baby: “Oh, but if it saves ONE life it’s worth it!”

Until you’re ready to make these kinds of choices, leave my constitutionally protected RIGHT to “keep and bear arms” alone!

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote from Will Rogers:

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.  He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. . . The moral:  When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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