June 29, 2011
The Old Days: Fogged Scopes and Wet Feet
By David E. Petzal
Through the kindness of a friend, I came into a copy of a handbook called “Deer Hunting,” published in 1966 and written by Warren Page. There’s a lot of good advice in it--Lefty knew his business--and there are also some jarring reminders of how much things have changed.
Page spends a couple of paragraphs on rifle scopes, fragility of, how to avoid fogging, and I was shocked to realize I couldn’t remember the last time I saw a scope built in the last 20 years that had fogged. I’ve seen a number of them that were broken by recoil or poor treatment, but no fogging. That problem seems to be licked.
The same with wet feet. The last time I got wet feet from a pair of “waterproof” boots was in the late 1980s or early 1990s in Virginia, when I hiked through the hills and hollers in a pair of Gore-Tex-lined boots that leaked like sieves. The problem was not with the Gore-Tex itself, but with the fact that boot makers didn’t know how to use it. Since then, I can’t remember a Gore-Tex boot leaking.
When I was starting out with a gun in my (left) hand, you wore rubber boots or you had better have a couple of changes of socks along. Also, I seem to recall that you froze a lot no matter how much you wore.
There are a great many things about the old days that I miss, but not that.