Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I like guns

for your musical appreciation. enjoy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ducks and geese by the numbers... 1st installment

All risk-averse chatter aside, we have now put 20 ducks and 3 geese into the collective larder, as of the end of day 2. Yesterday's field hunt on Kuneytown land was a duck hunter's dream, where Rich blooded his new SXS shotgun and I happily pounded out long and lethal shots with my SXS 10 gauge. Today's hunt on the Moorehouse ponds was slower but Eric, making up for lackluster shooting yesterday, made every opportunity count and came away with a limit of mallards and geese. I had to console myself in the knowledge that I contributed with some effective, memorable and satisfying calling, and Brant made some really nice retrieves.

Having taken into consideration the Tantillo theorem, the Canoga Christmas included a brand new Bradley smoker... so soon, as was so convincingly argued and advocated for by the good Doctor,we will be sharing mercury poisoning with gleeful abandon across the land. Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, December 25, 2009

how to tell your family loves you on Christmas morning

for the new huntin' truck

so I got THIS goin' for me . . . which is nice

later in the day . . .

perfect for road huntin'

sluicing partridges out of pear trees since 1993

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let's do the risk-averse math, shall we?

In the comments section of a noted internet blog a famous grouser has written:
"So much for the 'skewing by merganser/trash duck' argument. Makes it hard to justify 100 + bird seasons and the dedication required- also makes it hard on a Chesapeake Bay Retriever."
Let's do the math, shall we? The famous grouser's wife has helpfully provided information from the NYS Dept. of Health, to wit:

Thou shalt not eat more than two waterfowl per month. (I paraphrase. The exact quote is: "• You eat no more than two waterfowl per month.")

Let us assume a family of four.

Furthermore, the Health Dept. gives no indication of whether we're talking big ducks or little ducks. Let us therefore also assume a smallish mallard as the norm, with teal and wood ducks on the low end of the weight curve and largish mallards on the high end of the weight curve.

Moreover, the NYS Dept of Health does not indicate whether the "eat no more than two per month" dictum is for individuals or spread out at dinner parties for 100 guests. I therefore will assume it is for individuals. (I have in my mind as the ideal individual an image of a cranky old bachelor who lives only to duck hunt and who lives alone. He probably drinks a lot. Perhaps he has a dog. For mathematical purposes, it matters not.)

Finally, let us assume that the famous grouser is in possession of a freezer, and that once reduced to possession, the possessed ducks of said grouser do not put him in violation of waterfowl possession limits once said possessed waterfowl have been reduced to Saran Wrap.

Two waterfowl per month is 24 waterfowl per year. For ease of addition, let us round up to 25 per year and hope that the twenty fifth waterfowl is an extra-small wood duck.

Famous grouser is thus entitled to eat 25 ducks a year. Famous grouser is married; his wife is thus allowed 25 ducks a year. (following me so far?)

Famous grouser has two kids. Let us say that they shall split an adult portion of 25 annual ducks two ways; or, 12.5 ducks per duck-loving child.

We are up to 75 ducks per year.

But wait!! we're not done.

Let us assume the grouser and his wife like to entertain, and that they occasionally serve (gasp), duck! at their familial and friendly functions. Let us say that the entire list of duck-lucky guests who are treated to duck dinners or appetizers in the famous grouser's home gets to split another individual allotment of 25 ducks. (I believe that this is a conservative number, given the famous grouser's penchant for entertaining.)

We are now up to 100 ducks per year.

I think it is safe to say that the famous grouser will occasionally hunt with his less duck-lucky friends, sharing the wet and cold pine seats in his duck blind. I think it is also safe to say that the famous grouser will sometimes, with a nonchalant wave of his hand, allow his departing duck-luckless friends to leave with one or more ducks-of-the-day so that they may spread the good cheer and mercury poisoning to their friends and family, wherever they may live.

I will allot this last group of duck-luckless friends an additional individual annual allotment of 25 mercury-laden ducks to be spread amongst themselves. Lucky devils.

At 125 ducks per year, we are now facing the limits of what a sporting waterfowler can responsibly harvest and consume. If the famous grousing waterfowler would like to add 25 more retrieves to the total, you know, "for the dog's sake" on those quiet days when edible ducks ain't flying, we will allow 25 more "bonus trash ducks" to be added to the annual total but not consumed by humans or pigs.

Perhaps we can grind up the mergs , diving ducks, grebes (if you're name is Illegal Reigel), coots, and other retrieved specimens to serve as tasty dog treats.

kids, don't eat this duck at home

So I think we can legally and ethically get our famous grouser up to 150 ducks annually retrieved for his Chesapeake Bay Retriever and stay within the guidelines posted by the all-knowing and all-benevolent NYS Dept of Health.

Beyond 150 ducks per year, if it is dedication and dog retrieves we care about, then I will allow that some of the famous grouser's friends be allowed to claim waterfowl that they believe to have shot and take them home as appropriate. Now, I know famous grousers like to claim every kill as their own, so I will limit the collective take of non-famous grousers to be split amongst themselves to another conservative individual allotment of 25 annual ducks.

I believe we are up to 175 ducks harvested per year, and harvested safely, ethically, and risk-aversely. If someone wishes to kill more than 175 ducks per year, perhaps we simply might condemn that individual as a good old-fashioned game hog. (I'm just sayin' . . . . )

As numbers are not my metier, you may wish to check my math and run the data your own way to form your own conclusions.

My conclusion? I think the following statement, "Makes it hard to justify 100 + bird seasons and the dedication required," is only so much whining and sour grapes.


Time for some famous grouse.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Now that deer hunting is over . . .

time to move on to ice fishing.

Ice fishing. Not for sissies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Can we please focus on nature?

As much as I enjoyed learning about the Chrysler Turbo Encabulator from the last post, this blog should really focus on expanding our knowledge of natural history and the biological sciences. Be warned, the frank discussion of drugs in this video renders it somewhat NSFW:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Auto mechanics 101

Some of you know that I recently went over to the dark side from Ford to Dodge . . . or as Keith says, "to a truck that has a damn sheep as its logo."

Anyway, there's lots of new stuff to learn about the Dodge diesel engine. Here's a Chrysler training video about the turbo encabulator that I've found really helpful in understanding the dynamics of the new truck's engine.

Hope you find this helpful as well.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Hunter's Prayer

Dear God, we thank you...

We thank You for this day and for the reasons we are brought together:
For the wild and noble game that we love - and hunt,
and for the energy, courage and boundless love of our dogs,
and for the cold winds and bending sage, and for the rains that pelt man and beast alike.
And for the beautiful guns left by good men long forgotten - who also shared our passion.
And for the paradox of a hunter's life in which he is destined to be misunderstood because
he is compelled to kill a few of what he loves most.
And for the dark and ancient land with all its secrets, for the friends who last a lifetime and
for the awful knowledge that we pass through this life but once - and by this we are
humbled and feel your presence.


Charles M. Rucker

Friday, December 04, 2009

Putting Meat on the Thanksgiving Table

Thanks to the Tidball family, and the bounty of Canogacopia.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Opening Day 2009 - PA Furnace Report

As the old timers say, the success of a hunt comes down to preparation (and breathing through one's mouth). My preparations for opening day 2009 were extraordinary. By any measure.

I finally honed the Ruger .243 to a one inch grouping at 100 yds. Check. I and my kin folk gussied up the ground stand in the Valley of Death and opened a new shooting lane. Check.

View from my well prepared stand

To prevent myself from getting lost, I left a single ribbon of flagging at the hemlock stand where I always make the wrong turn. Check. Ground the coffee before going to sleep. Check. Piled clothes in kid's play room so I wouldn't disturb anyone at 4:30 am. Check.

I woke as planned at 4:30. Check. By 5:11 I was established at my stand in the Valley of Death, enjoying the night sounds and solitude. Check. At 5:30 I congratulated myself for the extraordinary preparations. Check. Congratulated myself again at 6:15. Check. Twighlight arrived sometime after 6:30 and I treated myself to another round of self-congratulations. Check. At 7:00 I looked up to see an eight point buck just 10 yards in front of me, crossing the trout stream. Check. More kudos for a fine job in preparing for this inevitable moment. Check.

Inevitable arrival of Moby Buck.

Gun still in lap. Hmm. Deer winds me and turns, trotting across Valley of Death. Check. Confident in my preparations, I do not raise gun, instead allowing Moby to cross the meadow and disappear into the woods on the far side. What? Give him time and he will return I reason. Ok...

View from well prepared stand from 7:01 am to 5:00 pm