As we all know, deer have noses that are better than those of bloodhounds, and if they detect even the faintest taint of olfactory uncertainty in the air, they will run like bats out of hell. Except that, this past October, I was hunting from a tower blind in South Carolina, and shot a very attractive buck in a grass patch about 250 yards away.
The last question on my most recent quiz asked if is true that Col. Townsend Whelen was the inventor of the .35 cartridge that bears his name. The answer was listed as false, that it was actually gunsmith James Howe, who named it in honor of the Colonel.
One of the duties of older generations is to deplore younger generations, so in line with that, permit me to point out that any kid brought up with his or her nose stuck in a video game for hours on end is going to make a terrible hunter. Here's why.
I was recently taken to task by chuckb, a regular reader of this blog and an astute observer of politics, for the way I--and many of you--get on Hillary's case. Hillary, he says, makes all the politically correct noises about gun control, but she doesn't have any real plans. The person who does is Rep. Caroline McCarthy, (D-NY).
The fellow hunter I would most like to meet is one that vanished from the earth about 28,000 years ago, for reasons we do not yet understand, after surviving more than 100,000 years of cold that few people on this planet can imagine. A typical man of his species stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall, and in good health would weigh between 185 and 210 pounds. He would be, according to a paleontologist with whom I once spoke, three times as strong as a modern man in excellent shape. "He could take any player in the NFL and throw him over the goalpost."
It has come to my attention that some of you read books, which makes you part of a dying breed, and that many of you are interested in military history. That being so, you should be aware that this is the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest books to come out of World War II, and the greatest book ever written by a Marine.
It’s doubtful that any special-interest group in the United States of America has been portrayed more unfairly than hunters and gun owners. The reasons are too numerous and sordid to go into in this limited space, but suffice it to say, when I opened a package the other day and saw a book inside called America Armed: Portraits of Gun Owners in their Homes, what came to mind was the acronym BOHICA—Bend over; here it comes again.
In my formative years, I read a lot in P.O. Ackley’s books on wildcat cartridges, and as a result, I worried a lot about overbore capacity and barrel life instead of the war in Vietnam, nuclear conflict, and the price of gas, which had hit 75 cents a gallon. Overbore capacity, for those of you who are not familiar with the term, refers to a cartridge case that burns far more powder than it can efficiently use in exchange for a proportionately small increase in velocity.
Here is what you might call a mini-quiz, except we're looking for opinions, not facts.
1. The Geico gecko is no longer cute. In fact, the little green bastard is getting pretty annoying. Which cartridge would you use to remove him?
2. Due to (global warming, Hillary, end of the oil supply, you name it) society collapses and in order to survive, people are forced to take to the hills, or the swamps, or whatever is available. When you pack up your few essentials, which handgun do you bring?
One of the reasons I've been a knife nut as well as a gun nut for all these years is the ingenuity and artistry that craftsmen put into such a simple thing as a knife. The late Buster Warenski, who was an incomparable artist, was once commissioned to re-create a dagger that had been found in King Tut's tomb. In order to do so, he had to reinvent a gold-casting technique that had been lost for 5,000 years. The dagger, should its owner ever put it up for sale, will sell for over $1 million.