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 27, 2010

Saturday Blog Rodeo 03/27/10

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
Saturday Blog Rodeo 03/27/10

Golly! Another week come and gone. How does Al Gore find the time to keep all this stuff floating around his Internet?

Anyway, once again I bring to you the posts and commentaries that I found most entertaining and informative! And none of it has anything to do with Lady GaGa or wardrobe malfunctions!

The Rabid Outdoorsman starts us off this week with a post on outdoor cooking. Some baked beans, ribs, chicken legs, and bannock bread on the outdoor grill while RO and his family enjoyed the relatively warm 65 deg weather up North! "With many raised eyebrows, I rolled out long (18 inch) hotdog sized allotments of dough and wrapped them around hearty green sticks. These were then slathered lightly with butter as they cooked. The end product was a golden browned yeasty roll of bread that proved heavenly when eaten plain or drenched in bean juice."

I've mentioned João Voss several times on the Rodeo, and with good reason. He is an exceptional smith, and always has some great pictures on his blog Voss Cutelaria Artesanal I'm just going to list a couple of posts of his. First is a camp knife that just rocks! And a post with some awesome pics of a smith at work making Damascus.

Lately I have bumped into several urban foragers like Locavore Hunter.  Today let me introduce you to LC of Fat of the Land. Gobo Mojo starts off like this: "Got a tip on a burdock patch in Seattle the other day..." Now I don't know about you, but it all sounded somewhat mysterious, if not nefarious! But seriously LC's all about weed. Ummm, the kind you yank out of gardens not the other, ummm, California medicinal one. Anyway, you will find all sorts of recipes and tips for foraging on Fat of the Land!

Since I have now experienced being an overseas contractor, I have lots to write about it from my albeit, limited perspective. There's the good stuff: Pay is usually pretty good, and you tend to get three squares a day; and the not so good: You might get shot, blown up, or mangled. I'll be posting my thoughts on it here at TROC, but for the most part, stuff that is related to contracting and war fighting will appear over at The Range Reviews: Tactical which is where it rightfully belongs. What You Need to Bring Overseas as a Contractor covers some of the odds and ends that you might want to consider bringing if you decide to get a job in Afghanistan. There are helpful hints and tips, plus my usual insight an such matters.

Mr Hank, over at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, is busy with his usual delicious and fascinating gastronomique creations. Farro Pasta alla Chitarra... Man, someone tell me why I don't live near Hank and Holly. Need help with that new stone retaining wall? I'm your man. Double digging the potato patch? Just call me. Windows on the second floor need to be caulked? Got the gun and the caulk! Hank makes the pasta, and then makes all the fixins that go with it. You got to take a look. Oh and by the way, the site has a whole new look, and the photos are awesome! And he has been nominated again for the Beard Award! Way to go! (PS: Rumors that he puts duck in his ice cream are exagerated. He uses the eggs...)

Ben G Outdoors has a great interview with Scott LaCoe of Ghillie Suit Source. Scott says,"After some more research and an "aha" moment it was obvious to me that I could really enjoy the Ghillie Suit business." I think Ben has done a bang up job and scored a great and very informative interview, so stop by and let him know you apreciate the hard work he has put into his website and blogging! And Ben, which logo won?

Just a quick reminder to some of my new readers. Check out some of these older posts:
I Review the Nikon Monarch 8X42 Great binoculars at a very reasonable price!
Muzzy Phantom MX Righteous, bad, and totally tough broadheads that will definitely take care of business!

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Friday, March 26, 2010

Python Hunting in the Everglades

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

The Portly Pirate, swashbuckling pundit, hotelier, and Dean of The Drawn Cutlass, knowing my affinity for the odd and peculiar, forwarded me an article on the cold snaps that we have had in Florida, and the effect it has had on the python and exotic snakes that infest the Everglades. The long and the short of it is that quite a few Burmese pythons and Boas died of exposure when the temperatures dropped and stayed low during some unseasonably cold days this past winter.

Southern Florida Portable Speed Bump...

But then, Swashbuckler Bob asked me what would I use if I was to hunt them; what weapon, and what loads would I suggest for hunting a Burmese or large constrictor.  Now that Florida has opened the season on the destructive and invasive exotics, this is a very good question!
Chuck D.
Before we go any further down this perilous and undoubtedly exciting path, let me also stress the importance of protecting our native reptiles!  There are any number of reptiles in the United States that have been pushed very close to being threatened. Habitat destruction, over building, pollution, all of these things and many more, have taken their toll on our native wildlife. Don't be foolish and kill a snake just because you think it might do someone harm. Leave the creature alone!  It wants nothing to do with you, and most of the time people get snake bit because they messed around with the snake. Respect Darwin, don't interfere, and let natural selection take its course. (See the Darwin Awards!) The gene pool needs a little chlorinating anyway!

Having said that, I love it when someone suggests a good line of inquiry!

My man Roach's M79

When you consider that some of these snakes are 15 feet long, and out weigh me by fifty to seventy pounds, you might excuse me if my first inclination is to suggest the M79 "Blooper" grenade launcher, or the newest incarnation the DEFCOM XL 79 Composite launcher. 40 mike mikes of flechettes or even HE would deter even the most voracious snake from making me an hors d'oeuvres!

But for a more practical and legal option let's consider a shotgun. Something of the twelve gauge persuasion, preferably pump, and with a full choke bore.  Close to birds on the evolutionary tree, snakes are thin skinned, and thin boned. An accurately placed and well patterned load of birdshot would permanently ventilate a python's skull with ease. So my usual train of thought and impeccable scientific logic leads me to consider something like a turkey gun. Turkey guns pattern tight, reach out a bit further than upland types of shotguns, and are frequently weather resistant, something to keep in mind in Florida!

870 Express Turkey

The other option I prefer is the full fledged trench gun.  Short-barreled, rifle sights, and a cylinder bore, it might be handier on the overgrown islands that pythons tend to hang out on. Loaded to the hilt with hi-brass #4 shot, it should do well if things devolve into mano-a-mano. Range is a little limited, but hell, it's not like they run at the sight of you. My choice would be an 80's vintage Mossberg 500. Parkerized, with a solid wood stock and fore-end, it was the summa plus ultra of tactical shotguns. Eight +1 shots, rifle sights, and get this: Bayonet lug for the hand to hand aficionado!!! What a practical beauty. Alas, I had one at one time; an ex seems to have made it disappear before she did. But never fear! There is the Mossberg 590 Special Purpose...

Not as elegant but she's still a beauty!

But constrictors are heavily muscled. What if a less than optimal shot presented itself?

I had to think for a while. The second you move from relatively small pellets to larger projectiles, the distance they travel becomes an issue. That precludes buckshot in my Mossberg 590. I decided that the 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, and maybe the 22 Hornet might be the upper limit when safety is a consideration.

A high velocity frangible bullet would put a world of lethal hurt on any constrictor snake you happened upon.  A 22 Hornet loaded with Hornady's 35 gr V-Max is the ticket as far as I am concerned.  (That, and I own a Ruger 77/22.) The polymer tipped varmint round is designed to penetrate and explosively fragment. Any body hit on even the largest snake will result in a fatal wound.

"But what really intrigued me was how the combination of 3000+ fps velocity and the ultra-lightweight little 35-grain V-Max bullet would perform in-target. So I placed a standard 8x8x11-inch block of 10-percent ordnance gelatin (weighs about 25 pounds) at 50 yards and center-punched its eight-inch face with a round of the new Hornady ammo from the Ruger Model 77/22. I was not prepared for the result. The block was lifted from the table by the impact and turned 90 degrees. The front third of its length was literally blown off, dangling in shreds and chunks. I could find nothing left of the V-Max bullet itself, save the bright red polymer tip that was hanging in the shredded gel." New Sting for the Hornet

With the 22 WMR you can also get a V-Max load from Remington or Hornady.  This one is a 30gr offering flying along at 2200 fps plus!

"In 10 percent ballistic gelatin, this load also looks like a winner. Penetrating to 8 3/4 inches, the 33-grain V-Max bullet created a large, uniform permanent cavity at the same time. Offering explosive results in gelatin and accuracy that is out of this world, this load would be my choice anytime I'm looking at anchoring small animals (prairie dogs, for instance) out to 75 yards or even slightly more." Three.22 WMR Loads

That would be my selection for python and boa hunting in the Everglades. When considering any gun for hunting, take into consideration the physiology of the game animal. What is it's structure, bone density, musculature, etc. That will allow you to make an informed decision on the firearm, ammunition, and projectile that you will use.

If you happen to be carrying nothing more than a Jetfire in 25 auto, you might want to reconsider going up and against a big constrictor, unless you have an inkling about what you're up against and how you are going to go about it. And that begs the question, if you do have any kind of inkling, then why would you carry a Jetfire in 25 auto in the first place? If you are the kind of person that would, then I must refer you back to Old School Man for further tutoring. 

Remember, we are not talking about sporting chances with the pythons. We are talking about annihilating them and removing them from the environment. I don't care if you plug a python or boa full of holes, as long as it dies; preferably quickly, but dead is dead. So if you happen to have a Ruger 10/22 on you at the moment, pick your shot and try to make the best of it. Head shot is the first and best target, with anything in the first third of the body likely to be fatal. If you're carrying a big bore weapon, be sure of what is behind the snake before you squeeze that trigger. Safety first and always!

Now it's your turn!  What do you suggest? What and how would you arm yourself for combat against the constrictors of the Everglades?


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





Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grabbing Gators: Back to My Usual Shenanigans!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

When you have a gator by the tail...

Two guys enjoying a private laugh!

Caught this lost and wandering little fellow just moments before a big ol' red shouldered hawk was going to make him dinner!

I was bicycling through the local industrial park, doing a little scouting, when I spotted this young alligator heading towards the main drag.  University Blvd is heavily trafficked, is eight lanes wide, with high, wide, landscaped dividing medians between the two sides. He would have been a definite alligator pancake roadkill if I hadn't happened upon him or if that hawk had gotten to him first!  A quick hop, skip, and jump, and I had him pinned down. The closest lake from where he was wandering, is about 700 - 800 yards away. That was a long walk on his short little legs. So we hopped on my bike and pedaled over to the lake.

Lettin' go is hard to do...

Once we got there though, the leathery little ingrate started doing that baby gator chirp that they do. I was all eyes and ears as I approached the lake.  I certainly didn't want to end up being some mama gator's evening repast!

The release was fortunately, uneventful, and with a splash, the little fellow swam away, muttering deprecations under his decidedly fishy breath!


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


On Friends...

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

Friends in Far Away Places...

It's just everyday stuff...for A'stan.

I was going through some pictures from Afghanistan, when I remembered one late evening.

We had been sorting and moving, I don't know, one-hundred thirty thousand pounds of mail or so, and we were dog tired. You know that feeling. The one where you can barely put one foot in front of the other. You don't bother to focus because it's too much of an effort.

For some reason the lot of us found one skid particularly funny. It was no different than any other skid of triwalls, just as overloaded, just as back-breaking as the previous thirty. Someone started laughing, and it spread like fire. Before you knew it we were chortling and wheezing, the cold air hurting our lungs as guffaws of laughter echoed throughout the warehouse.  After a short while, we were wiping tears from our eyes, looking at each others and could think of no place we would rather be.

There were other nights, easy nights. Nights that you made quick plans to get together with your friends and watch the latest movie on someone's laptop. Or maybe you met up with them and got your electronics, internet, or commo squared away. Or maybe you just sat around the hootch or bunker and shot the breeze, talked about home, or maybe the future. Sometimes you missed being home, sometimes you wished you were home. Sometimes, that was home.

Now I'm sitting around here, waiting for my next contract to start.  I wonder what everyone else is up to, how they're doing. You get the occasional email, but it just doesn't convey the camaraderie you had while there. And sometimes you just get that feeling

You sweat the stuff because you're so far away. Is Johnny ok, wherever the devil he is this week? Is Paul running convoys again? Is Herbie close to a bunker when the rockets start raining down on them?

I have friends running convoys.
I have friends down in Helmand Province.
I have friends on mountain tops and ridgelines.
I have friends ... in Afghanistan.

When you guys get around to reading this, remember you are never far from my thoughts and prayers.


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


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Never Too Early! National Hunting and Fishing Day

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
It's only Six Months Away!

This year marks the fifth anniversary of a special partnership to energize National Hunting and Fishing Day as much more than a day of prominence on the calendars of sportsmen and women nationwide. The idea is building year-round public recognition and pride in the conservation benefits provided by hunters and anglers.

By all accounts, the new NHF Day alliance worked-and the energy is still growing.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which founded the annual celebration 39 years ago, in 2005 forged the partnership with Wonders of Wildlife museum, a state-of-the-art educational facility that now serves as the official home of NHF Day.

Today, NSSF continues its leading role in NHF Day atop an impressive list of sponsors.

"We welcome NSSF back aboard as our first sponsor for 2010," said Denise Wagner, who coordinates NHF Day outreach programs for Wonders of Wildlife. "We'll be using their sponsorship to fund a variety of new efforts and campaigns to help the American public appreciate the conservation funding, economic impact and other benefits of hunting and fishing."

Steve Sanetti, NSSF president, said, "Our five-year-old partnership with Wonders of Wildlife has breathed new life into National Hunting and Fishing Day, which in many ways is more important now than when it was started in 1972 as we encourage those who are diverted by indoor, sedentary activities to get out into nature and enjoy the many pleasures of hunting, fishing and shooting."

This year's NHF Day celebration is set for Saturday, Sept. 25.



The entire USA Shooting Team is serving as honorary chair for 2010, joining a long list of sports personalities who have served over the years. Baseball stars have included Ron Guidry, Tom Seaver, George Brett and Wade Boggs. Football pros Bert Jones, Terry Bradshaw, John Riggins and Jay Novacek, along with golfers Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer and Tom Lehman have also served. Basketball legend John Havlicek, NASCAR's Ward Burton and tennis champion Roscoe Tanner round out the sports heroes who have helped spread the word about hunting, angling and conservation.

Since being formalized by Congress in 1972, NHF Day has been officially proclaimed by every U.S. President.

The growing list of sponsors for NHF Day 2010 includes Wonders of Wildlife, NSSF, Bass Pro Shops, Smith & Wesson, Sportsman Channel, Realtree, Cabela's, GunBroker.com, Yamaha, and Pope and Young Club.

For more information about NHF Day, visit www.nhfday.org.

MEDIA NOTE: For more info and photos, contact Denise Wagner at Wonders of Wildlife museum, official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day, at nhfday@wondersofwildlife.org or 203-241-4468.


Related posts on The National Hunting and Fishing Day:

Hunter and Angler Fact Sheet
National Hunting and Fishing Day
Three Big Reasons
Hunting Facts and Figures
Hunter's Contributions Exceed 5 Billion Dollars

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club

Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

QDMA has Redesigned Their Website

Brought to you by Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
Hello everyone!

I received several press releases this morning, some of which I thought pertinent and interesting.

First from QDMA Headquarters in Bogart, GA:
QDMA Unveils Newly Redesigned Website

Today visitors to the QDMA website-www.QDMA.com--will notice a change: The site has a brand new, enhanced look.

"Our goal was to create a more user-friendly site that would enable visitors to easily view featured articles from Quality Whitetails journal, register for upcoming courses, shop the QDMA store, and peruse the best deer and habitat management information available on the web, " said Randy Bowden, QDMA's Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations.

In addition to an entirely new look, the website boasts updated features and a user-friendly layout that will make navigating the site easier than ever. QDMA's restructured e-commerce portal-the all-new QDMA Shed-offers the latest QDMA apparel and merchandise. The addition of the QDMA Calendar makes finding a REACH Banquet, field day, or other QDMA event in your area simple. Post your photos and management experiences on the QDMA Community Forum, which also features a new look, and check out hundreds of articles pertaining to deer management and hunting from Quality Whitetails journal.

Visit the new www.QDMA.com and experience the "Future of Deer Hunting" on a new and visually enhanced website.

About QDMA

Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with a mission to ensure the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. Membership in QDMA is open to anyone interested in better deer and better deer hunting, and is committed to ethical hunting, sound deer and habitat management and the preservation of the deer-hunting heritage. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call (800) 209-3337 or visit www.QDMA.com

QDMA ... The Future of Deer Hunting
Contact:
Randy Bowden (800) 209-3337 or rbowden@qdma.com

The Range Reviews: Sterling's Knife Sharpeners

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
What's more dangerous than a sharp knife?

Every outdoorsman knows the answer to that question: A Dull One! In an emergency, a dull knife is next to useless. Even in a situation that's not an emergency, a dull knife is an exasperation that one can do without.

With the Sterling Knife Sharpener, sharpening a knife is easy, and a dull knife is a thing of the past.

The Sterling Classic and American Flag


It has two precision made tungsten carbide cutting bits mounted precisely to give a twenty degree edge. Weighing a touch over 1/2 an ounce, you won't even know it's in your pocket. It has a lightweight two piece aluminum body, riveted in four spots, two of which secure the carbide cutting blades. There is a lanyard hole which works equally well as a key ring hole, and one can easily carry it in a wallet if need be.

On a set of keys...


Carbide cutters...

There are no special skills required in order to bring a knife up to razor sharpness with the Sterling. And there is no need for oils or lubricants; so no mess to clean up. That's a big confidence boost to new sportsmen who may not have acquired knife sharpening skills.

Ready to sharpen...

It is also available in several colors: Sterling Classic (anodized red), Digital Camo, American Flag (My favorite!). In addition, they can custom print, anodize and laser engrave anything on the sharpener. Anything.

A small sample of what can be done!


Draw the knife through several times...

Using it is easy. Remember not to cut your fingers! Best results are obtained by resting the sharpener on a secure surface. A stump, block of wood, or truck tire will do nicely. Place the edge of the knife into the carbide "V". Smoothly and firmly draw the knife through the "V". You will feel the proper pressure to apply as you draw the knife through. A few passes and your knife will be hair shaving sharp. Dull knives will require a bit of effort to draw through. Pull it through as many times as needed. Patience will reward you with a razor's edge. Fish filleting knives are the easiest, they sharpen up in a few passes.

Razor sharp!

It works equally well on any type of knife, machete, hatchet, axe, spears, and broadheads too.

This is one of those must have tools that you have in your go bag. It will put a sharpened edge on any knife whether kitchen, table, field, or combat. With a street price of $11.00 to $15.00 it is another definite buy. I'll have one with me from now on while hog hunting, fishing, or camping.

A couple of recommendations. Get two; when your Father in Law sees it, he will want it and you'll be out your sharpener if you didn't get a spare. Put a lanyard on it right away so you don't misplace it out in the field, shop, or garage. Lastly, hide it because the kids will want it, the Mrs will need it, and like I said, in-laws will demand it!

For those of you in business and looking for a small practical gift, Sterling has very reasonable prices for engraved sharpeners in orders as small as ten units! Call and ask for Ms. Bonnie Sterngold 800-297-4277.

The Sterling Sharpener has been in production since 1977! The folks at Sterling are so confident of their Sterling Sharpener that they stand behind it with a Lifetime Warranty.

And remember, it's made in the USA!

Sterling Sharpeners

(800-2x-sharp)
MSRP: $15.00

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blogs of Note: Habits of the Old School Man

Brought to you by Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
I found a great weekly blog called Old School Man. To quote the author, it is "UPDATED EVERY DAMN MONDAY," and has some of the best eye-opening wake ups and smack-downs I have read in a long time.

"The idea of a Man has changed from a straight-up bourbon drinking guy in a fedora to a guy wearing a tight-ass t-shirt drinking a vanilla-peach vodka cocktail mixed with Pepsi. The eight cylinder V8 Mustang has been replaced by Prius, and the 45. automatic replaced by an iPod."

I'm glad I drink Bourbon, all my shirts are baggy now, and pack a Gov't 45! All I need is a V8 and I am all set!

Well worth a quick direct click: Habits of the Old School Men Part I:

"These old school men would never wear low-rise jeans, drink decaf coffee, drive a compact car or talk about their “feelings”."

And Part II:

“'Going to the Grocery Store' is grabbing a gun, hopping in his truck and shooting something on four legs..."

I throughly enjoyed his posts and if you look at it as commentary on today's society, it's not only entertaining, but illuminating!

Best regards,
Albert