Claim the privilege of hunting according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all hunters the same privilege;
let them practice how, where, or what they may.








Saturday, March 28, 2009

Game Reserves, Preserve Hunting, High Fence Hunting, What are the Facts?

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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I've been looking into the High-Fence Hunting, Preserve Hunting, Game Reserves, and Game Ranches issue for some time. What I have seen and heard are a substantial number of opinions, but very little in terms of critical analysis. Wild game management, fair chase, disease, and access are controversial issues that need reasoned and careful deliberation. This is going to be an ongoing project, subject to revision and correction as we explore the concept and separate fact from fiction, opinion from substance, and try to resolve one of the most contentious issues among us.
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Rick at Whitetail Woods set off a series of comments in his post This Should Not be Allowed to Happen. I took exception to both Rick's assertions and the source of his information. In my opinion, the source material was first and foremost biased, and without merit due to its authorship. Secondly the source material lacked any substantiation, any facts.

(Rick and I are very good friends, and both of us can discuss these kind of matters without taking offense at the other.)

An even greater issue in my opinion, is that Whitetail Woods is a valuable resource. When I was researching the origins of the issue, Whitetail Woods came up as the fourth reference on Google. If you know anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), first page is great, first five is awesome! What this means, is that as a source Whitetail Woods is an authority on the subject. I don't think that Rick was working SEO magic, he just writes great content.

Unwittingly, he was drawn into the web of one of the most notorious anti-hunting organizations that exists today, the Humane Society of United States. And his hard work on Whitetail Woods, would ultimately be used against him and the sport he enjoys. Imagine if you will, Rick sitting behind his desk, and finding his name and a quote from his blog being used in some anti-hunting website.

Holly A. Heyser of NorCal Cazadora puts it succinctly, "Hunters who pile on in this debate will be gleefully quoted by the antis. I monitor anti activity pretty closely, and they are at their most effective when they say "ethical hunters agree with us." Non-hunters who are pretty reasonable will say, "Oh, well if even the good hunters agree, it must be a bad thing."

This is something that all of us have to be aware of. I saw many comments to the post. I would be furious if I was quoted and misrepresented by any organization that I was against.

I think it is very important that we look at the issue of High-Fence Game Ranch, and Preserve hunting objectively.

The majority of us if asked, would respond that killing, for the sake of killing, is inappropriate, except in the case of cockroaches in the cupboard. Yet, it happens more often than we would care to admit. We read about it all the time. I get the reports from many State Fish and Wildlife Divisions, and plenty of folks get arrested for doing things they shouldn't. Kids getting wild and shooting anything that moves, grown men who break laws just to shoot something, even fishermen filling their coolers and letting it go to waste. These folks are lawbreakers.

People that hunt in game preserves or behind fences are not lawbreakers. The law is very explicit on what may or may not be done. That much is indisputable. That laws may be broken is also indisputable. But that one can legally hunt in a preserve or behind high fence is a fact.

Before we go off on a tangent of what defines hunting, let me preempt that by saying: Hunting is what you make of it. If we, the hunting population, start to define what hunting is, where will it stop? Will rifle use be more hunt worthy than bows, self bows more worthy than laminates, minie ball appropriate and sabots not? Harris hawks ok, but Merrils out of the question? Why shouldn't I, a well trained soldier, be allowed to risk my neck and receive the charge from a boar at the end of a spear, or better yet a sword and buckler? Is the European model any less hunting than sitting in a blind at the edge of a food plot? Is flyfishing the only way to fish?

Bitter of Bitchin in the Kitchen says, "In PA, the latest debate was over expanding crossbow use. I kid you not, I met several guys who were more outraged over that decision, than they would have been if the had cut all hunting seasons in half. Sebastian was talking to one outdoor writer here who was just laughing about the entire thing. He pointed out that these very same people and groups screamed as loudly about compound bows years ago - and now they would scream bloody murder if you tried to restrict compound bows. Meanwhile, as non-hunters who care about the issue, Sebastian & I are wondering why, if it has the possibility of opening up hunting to a slightly broader audience, bow hunters are seeking to shut it down."

How ridiculous is that.

Othmar Vohringer in his post "A Muzzleloader by any Name is Still a Muzzleloader" puts it very succinctly. "This is the 21st century and we’re faced with huge problems that could end the hunting and shooting tradition for the next generation if we do not wake up to the challenges we face." He goes on to relate, "I am also pleased to see that the guy realized that we’re faced with more important issues then who shoots what. It is my hope that in the future we can concentrate more on what unites us all, and less on what divides us."

If someone has an argument that defeats the statement, "Hunting is what you make of it", I'll be willing to listen to it.

*****

I want everyone to think deeply on this for a moment. Does property ownership and access have anything to do with or influence how you define hunting?

*****

Let's explore why Game Ranches, Hunting Preserves and High Fence Ranches operations exist.

One of the laws of capitalism is that things exist because there is a market for it. Obviously there must be a market for it. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Someone works hard, works smart, or just gets plain lucky and buys some premium elk habitat. He takes his hard earned money and invests it in impenetrable fences that elk, deer, and bears can't get through. He puts in watering stations, feeders filled with hi-protein feed, and plants shelterbelts and food plots. So far you probably don't have an issue with it. It is his property after all, and who are you to say anything, right? Well, he decides to charge a trespass fee to hunters that are willing to pay for it. He's got some good sized elk in there, and a couple are even royals! A great bull is pulled from there and all of a sudden he is in the enviable position that he can pretty much charge whatever the market will bear for access to his property.

What are the moral or ethical considerations? Are any laws of the nation being subverted? I can't find any that will stand the light of investigation. There are some arguments based on preferences that border on ethics, but none that are incontrovertibly on immoral or unethical. (Based on the land owner's actions.)

OK, do we criticize the hunter who uses the Game Ranch or Preserve? What are his or her motivations? And... by the way, why would we care what the motivations are? (Unless they are illegal of course.) I don't believe that we can criticize another's motives. Is there some moral imperative that makes a trophy hunter an immoral hunter? I would disagree. The person who hunts trophies for the sake of a trophy, is no different than the person that hunts meat for the sake of meat. Or truffles for the sake of truffles. A trophy hunter is not motivated by hunger or need, but by a desire for pleasure. It pleases him to pursue and collect. I don't know about you, but I pursue and collect stamps. I am having a hard time differentiating any moral or ethical issues between them. We could argue whether the animal is used properly, but that would be a question about a person's behavior or character, not about whether it is moral or not to hunt for trophies.

I have heard the comment "Fair Chase" bandied about quite a bit. What exactly does fair chase entail? The Boone and Crockett Club have a definition, but lo and behold, it relates directly to trophies. I would present to you, that again, fair chase is what you make of it. I've killed hogs mere yards from my back door, and miles away. Each one was different.

I've had hard hunts, exciting hunts, dangerous, easy, filthy and sweaty, hungry and tired, wet, cold, hot, you name it I've had one. Some are memorable, some are nightmarish, all of them were fair chase as far as I am concerned. I have not had one hunt where I am ashamed to retell it. Embarrassed, maybe, but never ashamed. So what is the concept applied to and how so?

Gary of Base Camp Legends has this to add, "Pulling up to a ranch house and saying, "I'm ready," isn't my idea of a hunt, but maybe there is a reason it fits another's bill. I think when it comes down to it, I'm sure many of the same hunt tactics are used that are acceptable in 'fair chase'. Sitting over water, over food plots, over bait, or even on trails."

Real quick, Let's just see how big things really are. We will make it flat and square for the sake of perspective, but you will get an idea of what we are talking about.

100 acres would be 10 acres by 10 acres or 2,100 feet per side or a little less than four tenth of a mile

500 acres would be 22 acres by 22 acres or 4,695 feet per side or a little less than nine tenth of a mile

1000 acres would be 31 acres by 31 acres or 6640 feet per side or a little more than one and a quarter miles square.

5000 acres would be 70 acres by 70 acres or 14,850 feet per side or two and eight tenths of a mile... that's a hell of a long way.

*****

In 90% of my reading on the subject, if you dig deep enough, the issue revolves around access.

People are just plain annoyed with the perception that Joe Silk Shirt can afford to pay $30,000.00 to shoot a 350 elk at a High Fence operation. Notice I say shoot, not hunt. And it annoys them even more that Joe got out of an Eddie Baur Edition Crew Cab pick-up truck that costs more than they earn in a year, wearing the latest from Cabelas, toting a new Winchester Model 70 in .338WM, with a Leupold on it that costs more than I earn in two weeks. And as if that isn't enough, Joe only fired a half dozen rounds through it because he was too busy getting bonuses from the bail out money! Now to top it all off he walked 250 yards, fired his shot, got a back-up shot from rancher's guide, and the 350 hangs in his living room. And every time you go to the local gun shop Joe's picture is there, making a mockery of all those hard earned spikes and forkhorns most everybody else got.

Just chafes your jaw, doesn't it.

Not mine. Quite frankly I don't care. What he does is his business. Joe Silk Shirt never leaped over an enraged wild boar and shot it at point blank range. He's never been charged by a feral bull. He's never held a rattler or cottonmouth. He's never sat in a treestand seven or eight hours straight with nothing but his thoughts and nature to keep him company.

I have.

*****

The issue about access though is a serious one. I will not argue that private property owners are at fault. No sir. I am a proponent of property rights with the caveat that property should not be substantially changed in such a way that it is detrimental to the health and well being of an ecosystem. (I would rather not delve into housing and population growth...) In other words, you want to put a fence around your property I'm OK with that so long as you don't block the water.

There is the issue of free movement of game animals, but I would argue that given a large enough property, most of the animals we consider game, will never venture near the "edges" anyway. Their territory just isn't large enough. So if the land was not fenced and we could trust that the majority of people would respect posted property, then the whole fencing issue would go away. But we all know that we can't. I personally know people who have had deer shot in their own front yard, exotic animals shot from off their property, hunters trespassing on their property, people setting up stands well within a posted area.

We need to clean up our own house.

******

I have yet to hear an argument against High Fencing that was based on sound science. Diseases and CWD in particular is a red herring thrown out by opponents of Preserve and High Fence operations. To quote Mike Riddle of Native Hunt,

"The real fact of the matter is that "all" legitimate and licensed preserves must have a veterinarian validation of the herd before transport, and also another veterinarian validation before introduction of the herd into the preserve.
State and Federal laws require this to be done.
Also, most preserves utilize "double fencing" to prevent contact with an outside animal.
This helps to further insulate the preserve animals from any disease or contagion."

And it strikes me as duplicitous to throw that type of accusation at "game ranching." We have seen massive cases of hoof and mouth disease, and other highly contagious diseases, and no one has called for the end of cattle and sheep ranching because they can potentially spread hoof and mouth.

So if Mike was fortuitous enough, skilled enough, smart enough to create the means and opportunity for himself to buy property, what exactly is the issue that so infuriates other hunters, if not petty jealousy?

Well, we have all seen the rouge operator that blackens every hunter's eye. The circumstances surrounding the Spider Bull comes to mind. Not the hunter, but the outfitters and guides that were involved, even on the periphery. Guilty or not, those guides and outfitters were irresponsible and uncaring, forgetting everything important, except for the thought of money in the bank. Again whether true or not, the impression given was that some operators will stop at nothing, including breaking the law, to get theirs.

The brush paints broad, and the legitimate businessman gets soaked.

But that doesn't have anything to do with access does it? That's business ethics.

Over at Hodgemans's Thoughts, Mike brings this to the table, "As access to hunting lands diminish many fear that hunting will devolve into a "pay for play" exercise where only the wealthy can afford to hunt (ie. the European model). Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen but hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness are being purchased and locked off from public use and made available for a "fee" that exceeds what the average hunter will pay."

And Tom of Boomers and BS also adds, "Having lived all over the US and currently back in Texas, where I've spent most of my life, it makes a tremendous difference if there is minimal public land to hunt!" "Many places I have lived have had extensive huntable public lands. Texas has almost none. The deer lease prices are often ridiculous."

Now we are getting to the meat and potatoes of the issue. As the urban population continues to expand, and rural areas are slowly being covered in asphalt, the remaining land becomes more valuable, regardless of use. The problem as I see it, is ours (The sporting population). We are complacent, we do not demand that the State and Federal governments purchase lands for the use of outdoor enthusiasts. And then there is the issue of geography. The blue states and the red states.

As it is, we have a difficult time getting folks to write to their congressmen with a prepared form. How many of you actually followed up on the DoD Brass Destruction ruling? Did you write your congressmen and Senators? Luckily enough of us did, to stop it. How about next time? Will you take the seven minutes to fill out the few blanks, and send your voice to Washington?

Here are a couple more examples. The federal government is going through the motions of purchasing several million acres of land. Do you happen to know what the stipulations are? I don't and I should know better! Here is one closer to home. The Florida State Legislature has approved the purchase of Big Sugar's land for eventual restoration of the Everglades, again I am clueless as to the stipulations involved with respect to access. Shame on me! We all have to try harder.

Let us recall that Theodore Roosevelt himself, wanted all Americans to have access to the natural resources of the Nation. We have allowed the system to fail us. Not because property owners are exercising their rights, but because all the citizens of the Nation aren't exercising theirs. There is more than enough room in this Great Land of Ours for all to do as their conscience dictates. We do not need the constant internecine combat that is currently plaguing our sport. Shun those that break the law. Shun those that are vile and despicable. But leave unto others the right to practice our sport as they see fit.

As Issac of Another Falconry Blog put it:

"Claim the privilege of hunting according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all hunters the same privilege; let them practice how, where, or what they may."


We will continue this exploration at greater length. Keep on checking back for updates and more commentaries.

This is an important topic. I want everyone to treat this as an intellectual exercise. Think hard before you write, or write then think before you click the button!!! We may begin to get to the bottom of this before it is all done.

Best Regards To All!
Albert

Related Posts

The Ethical Question, Hunting or Shooting
The High Fence Discussion Continues
The Hog Blog: Hunting Ethics Vs. Logical Debate

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles




Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free NRA Memberships!

Folks,

This is the time to double or even triple the membership of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA is having a free one year membership offer for those folks that either can't afford their membership right now, or who have never been a member before!

The National Rifle Association has really "put their money where their mouth is" by offering full memberships free. It is a complete and full membership with magazine included!

NRA Free Membership


Don't delay go do it now!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Blogs Out There

Nocturnal wanderings do have their positive side. I found a few more blogs that are interesting.

First up is Xavier Thoughts.

From his profile:"Xavier has been an avid shooter for over 30 years. He strongly supports the 2nd Amendment, opposes gun control of any sort, and carries a weapon 24 hours a day." My kind of health care practitioner!

Next is Smokeless Powder

His profile says: "My blog is dedicated to firearms, firearm history, and the Second Amendment. I've been an avid collector of mostly curio and relic rifles for many years and I will use this blog to pass on news, information, and ideas." He has lots to share and does it well.

And then there is Budd's Shop Talk

Budd's header intro really made me look at all his stuff carefully. You might be surprised how much you can learn from a good reading! His intro:
"Budd, of Budd's Gunsmith Shop, talks about gunsmithing, blacksmithing, ironwork, and more. Everything from guns he's working on in his shop, to restoration projects."

And last is Outdoor Equipment Review, Reviews. He (or she) has posted quite a few links to TROC and some of the other blogs in OBS. The intro says: "We Review the Reviewers! Equipment reviews, Tactical Reviews, Outdoor equipment reviews, Hunting gear reviews, Fishing equipment reviews, Review reviews." Well, there it is.

Alright folks y'all have a nice evening, I'm gonna wander a bit more.

Regards,
TROC

More Hog Hunting Adventures Coming Soon!

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I've had several requests for more hunting stories and adventures. Well as luck would have it, I found a couple of pictures that I think I can scan and reproduce.

Without the pictures, y'all wouldn't believe the story.

I'm hoping that a few things break my way so that I can get out there and do a little hog hunting. Those wild pigs are busy breeding and carrying on, without any adult supervision. Who knows what the devil they're getting into, and those naughty wild boars have to be shown who's in charge!

That's my job.

Now if I could only find one that pays...

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Monday, March 23, 2009

When a Falconer Loses a Partner

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As usual, my nocturnal wanderings lead me down unexpected, enlightening, and thoughtful trails.

I recently found Ms. Stacey Huston's Blog, Falconry and Rehab, and I was waiting for an opportune moment to introduce her to everyone with a Blogs of Note post.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men, oft go awry.

In an unfortunate turn of events Ms Stacey lost her falcon, Sinte. March 2009

Let's stop by, say hello, and... well, you all know what to do.

Ms Stacey has some incredible photos, and has a couple of other blogs dedicated to her photography: A Focus in the Wild, and Prints Available.

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Charged! Hog Hunting at its Finest

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I posted this almost two years ago, and my guess is that very few of you have seen it, so for those of you that missed the first publication, here it is.


T
his was the very first hunting adventure I wrote down. This happened almost ten years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday!

About every six months or so someone brings this topic up, and it allows us veterans to wax eloquent on the narrow escapes and brushes with death that we have somehow survived...

It is as if it was only yesterday; still vivid in my mind, as it was my first wild hog hunt. I had convinced a friend of mine to join me in what I was hoping it would become a regular pastime for the two of us. Two men communing with nature, bringing its bounty home and slaying the mighty wild boar.

Yeah… Right.

We drove up to the guides ramshackle house, the driveway entrance was marked by a couple of mismatched fire hydrants (ill gotten to be sure). A couple of hounds of questionable pedigree lifted their mange ridden heads to see what the wind was dragging in, and wearily dropped them back into the dust wallow they were in. A little cur with half an ear came up happily to meet us, his tail just a waggin, and a look on his face, that in hindsight could have easily been taken as "Please, take me away from here!" But I was more taken by the carnal smell in the air; a mix between a slaughterhouse and a municipal waste dump. It wouldn't be long before I was to find out what caused that peculiar and most disagreeable odor.

The guide that greeted us was a stubble faced, jaundiced eyed Cracker, with a chin stained by spittle from the plug of chew that was perpetually masticated by the off yellow teeth in his mouth. Occasionally, when he spoke, bits of tobacco, some quite large, would fly out, striking at random with a wet and disgusting splat. The back of his hand would rise to his face now and then, and wipe the mess from his chin, leaving streaks on both his cheek and hand. His chapped and bloody lips looked as if they had been gnawed upon by rats, or maybe the turkey vultures that seemed to inhabit many trees and fence posts around his home. When I mentioned to him that I hadn't ever seen so many vultures in one place, he told me that being that he always had a good supply of hog guts and such he fed it to his hogs. Seemed a waste, he said, to just throw it in the trash. The vultures just tried to steal it from the hogs when they could. I nodded my head in mute astonishment; my partner, whom I was to determine was not made of sterner constitution, turned somewhat green and made noises that I thought were the beginning of projectile vomiting. I wisely moved out of the way and made motions to start the show on the road.

I was wearing my old army fatigue trousers; the kind with the big cargo pocket on the side. Mentally debating what I was about to do next, I opened the door to my truck, reached in and opened my gun case. Checking the safety, I slipped my Ruger MKII pistol into the pocket.

Dribble Chin (as he would come to be known) supplied everything, including a rifle of indeterminate heritage chambered in 308. (This same guide would later try to sell me an old, poorly sporterized Mauser as an "8mm Mag" and as the ultimate hog hunting rifle.) I commented that we should sight in the .308 as my shooting technique would undoubtedly be different from his. To this he replied, that in his vast experience he had never seen that make a difference as far as he could tell, punctuating it with a stream of tobacco juice between his gapped teeth that would make an Egyptian spitting cobra blush in shame. I would later learn that it was probably because he only had two rounds left.

Well, I thought, as I schooled my face into blankness, this was going to be one of the highlights of my hunting experiences. I turned to my partner and rolled my eyes.

I know it now, that Gods of the hunt must of heard my thoughts from up on high; because what was to follow, went down in the annals of hog hunting lore.

We climbed into an old dilapidated International Harvester pick up, complete with rebel flags and Wallace for President stickers, and tastefully decorated in early Medieval torture chamber. The seat covers were nonexistent and the coils were worn, so in order to sit somewhat upright you had to get a grip on the steel dash and hold your self up. Suffice it to say that the ride was picturesque; and I for one was relieved to reach the hunting area.

It wasn't but a few moments later that we spotted a small herd of wild pigs. Flipping the coin and being judged and declared winner, the guide (who I kept in front of me) and I hastily stalked to them. There was a decent wild hog in the group, so I took a steady rest and hoping against all hope, put the cross hairs snug up behind the shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The bullet sped its way across all of 50 yards and planted itself about 10 inches to the right of my point of aim. Fortunately it was a killing shot as it tore the liver into little bits and pieces.

Regardless of the shot, I was still mighty pleased with myself; albeit I learned an important lesson that day. Don't use someone else’s weapon without a sight in. Never, not ever!

Now it was my partners turn. We hopped back into the death mobile and proceed to whack the snot out of our kidneys. Again. It wasn't long before the fun really started.

I advised my partner that luck would have more to do with his shot than skill. Unfortunately I said it a bit to loud, and the guide, spewing a stream of fetid tobacco juice out the window, informed me, that in his learned opinion, my technique needed some polishing up. Hell, just a day before he had knocked off a thieving coon at 300 long paces. I got real nervous at that point because I had no idea whether he meant a raccoon or something else.

Thankfully we spotted some more hogs not too far away. This was my partners first hunt I might add, and his weapons handling experience was a day at the range with me and a Ruger 10/22. But he could hold a rifle steady and put the bullets were they belonged.

They picked out a good sized hog, and when the rifle went off I saw the hog fall right over. I was pleased that my friend had apparently made a good shot, and I was happy for him. I took off at a jog that would bring me up to them at about the same time they would get to the fallen animal.

They were just getting to the hog and I was about 10 yards behind them, when the hog came to, the bullet having broken the spine of the creature. It was the howling and shrieks from the demonic hoards of Hades. I stopped short, looking about me certain that the earth was being rent before me, that the Cataclysm was upon me. Lord have mercy on my soul! The most God-awful squealing and bellows emanated from that stricken hog. Realizing what was happening I took the final steps up to the "Grand Finale."

Imagine, if you will, this scene: My partner was ashen white, rifle held at present arms. The guide facing us, and on the other side of hog, was pulling open his folding penknife; unfortunately he had neglected to bring any extra ammo for the rifle. I was standing facing them both, my MKII forgotten in the excitement.

I was about to slap my partner on the shoulder, when we all heard a "WOOF, WOOF, GRUNT."

The unmistakable sound of something crashing through the palmetto, scattering undergrowth and all in its path, was heading straight for us. The guide, who had started to stick the hog, was startled and tripped over the hog on the ground in front of him, stumbling headlong into me, very nearly neutering me in the process. My friend, whiter than ever, was clutching the now useless rifle by the barrel, evidently intending to use it as a club in a desperate last stand against a determined enemy.

I remembered my Ruger MKII and tried to grab it out of the cargo pocket.

Now, anyone who has a MKII knows that the front sight is undercut, creating a hooklike thing. The sight looks great in profile, very racy. But at that moment, my hand wrapped around the grip, pulling for all I was worth, my pant leg pulling up into my crotch, at that moment I cursed Bill Ruger and his designers. (I later took it back...)

That boar hog was mad, he came out grunting and chopping, and all he knew was that there was a lot of squealing and some two legged dancing machine was the cause of it. His hackles were sitting up on end, giving him the classic razorback look. Wicked tusks gleamed in the late afternoon sun. The dust spun around him as he came to a halt, which to my amateur eye made him look like an all to real and lethal version of the Tasmanian Devil.

To everyone's consequent relief, he must have decided that discretion, being the better part of valor, was best observed. The scene was way too weird for him and after a few more pops of his jaws and a couple of grunts he backed off, turned and crashed back into the palmetto.

I finally managed to extricate the MKII from my pocket, and walking over to the fallen cause of this fandango, I put my foot on its neck, and calmly administered 38gr, in multiple doses, of permanent anesthesia. While in this frame of mind I looked at the guide, who immediate put up both hands. Putting the pistol back on safe, I stuffed it behind my back.

Glancing around, I noticed that my partner was nowhere to be seen. Where the devil had he gone off too? As I'm looking around and fearing the worse, I hear the unmistakable rusty creak of the door of the International. It seems that my fearless, 6 foot plus, 225lbs friend had left me for the sanctuary of the truck. After everything that he had witnessed that afternoon, the sight of that hog coming out of the palmetto was more than he could handle. Completely unnerved, he took off at a record breaking pace, never looked back and locked himself in the truck.

Later on after the proctologist removed the rifle and much therapy, he apologized for abandoning me...

All True!

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...