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, June 19, 2010

Duty Done, Back to Bagram

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com
(I've pre-posted this considering that I may not be able to post again for some time.)

Boy that flight is miserable! Besides the half day wait to board the beast back to Bagram, there's another six hours of sitting in that cramped aircraft. Kyrgyzstan Air is looking better all the time! LOL!!!

Well I've completed all my tasks, dropped off my charge, (safe and all in one piece.) attended to an inordinate stack of required paperwork (much of it redundant, and in triplicate...), figured out how to do a couple of other things that needed doing, and pretty much was kept busy by the powers that preside over me.

So now it's back to Bagram and my regular (?!) duties. Now you may ask what those duties may be. Nothing extraordinary, you can be assured of that! It's just like being back home, except the environmental conditions can be brutal, if not lethal, and they are devoid of much beauty. You show up to work, do your thing, and keep your wits about you. As I mentioned before, it's nothing too strenuous, and you are safe, so long as you use your head, stay vigilant, and don't become complacent.

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

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, 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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pictures From the Front

Well not the front actually.

This is from Kuwait at Ali Al Salem the gateway for US Forces:

A mild dust storm...

As opportunity presents itself, I am going to try to post some pictures.

All the best!
Albert

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Note to All my Friends

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

My sojourn to Ali al Salem, Kuwait will soon come to an end, so that means access to the Internet will be a thing of the past! Bummer...

I want to thank everyone who got in touch with me while I was here, in particular my stalwart friends: The Suburban Bushwacker,  Rick at Whitetail Woods, my favorite bowyer, Dave at Siegework Creations, and Snow Goose/ Merriams/Whitetail Deer guide Scott Cronner at Nebraska Hunting Outfitters.

Dave tells me that he spent thirteen weeks traveling the fair circuit with his wife. The number of orders they took in exceeded their expectations, and he has a backlog that has thrown him back several weeks! Since all of his bows are hand-made, there is no way to rush them; hide glue only dries so fast and hand cutting a bow can't be rushed. He is working extra hours to fulfil all of his orders, and I guarantee that you will be pleased by what you get for your money, even if you had to wait a little longer than expected to get your impatient hands on one of his fine custom bows!

Scott says that he absolutely has had one of the best seasons yet hunting Merriams Turkey! I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but he had 100% success on every clients first bird, and if I remember correctly, 100% again on their second. That is phenomenal! He would have done better he said, if folks didn't have to leave; several of his clients came in for single day hunts between business appointments. With over 1800 pounds of turkey harvested it has been his beat season yet, and the conditions have been favorable for the same to happen again next year. So book early!

I'm having a pretty good time here. As you might imagine, there are long stretches of boredom punctuated by a little bit of excitement which we are not permit to participate in. The brass kind of reminds me of those puritanical ministers that were always worried that someone, somewhere was having a good time. That damned Monk...

But I am taking advantage of the off time by reading, writing, and studying. I manage to extend my knowledge base by being in places I don't belong and offering to help. I throw in the occasional 550 cord project and make bracelets for the kids, and I did fill in a pothole with stones one day...

There are lots of people to meet from every corner of the United States, and plenty more from seemingly everywhere else. Most of those are lined up at the US funded feeding trough... Anyway, I make it a point to talk to as many people as I can. You learn quite a bit by just listening to them. These fine young people are doing a remarkable job, even though they are hampered by foolish feel good rules that actually put them in danger. This is the first war we have ever fought, where political considerations trump the lives of our soldiers...




Heavy lifting!

Personally, I'll be glad to be back in Florida casting a line in the Gulf, or tracking hog spoor in the scrub and woods!

Until then, I will leave you all with my usual admonitions:
Stay safe,
Stay vigilant,
Stay American!

Best regards,
Albert

PS: Just food for thought. In China they would likely behead the CEO of BP.

Just saying...

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

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert is actually a student of biologist. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do, 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

Avoid Gettin' Snake Bit! A Chronicles' Classic

© 2008, 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

Charlie and I where just finishing up our morning jog. Charlie doesn't seem phased at all, with his four legs and all, but you know the point, where your lungs are burning a bit, and your legs are getting that leaden feeling? I was there. But I hadn't reached my marker from two days ago. I had thrown down a palm frond where I had stopped the last time. I try to get a few yards further every day.

There it is, just a few more paces.

As I am ready to drop my victory stomp on the frond, what do I see, but a coiled up, venomous serpent that has taken up residence on my frond! Through a magnificent and supreme display of physical prowess, that would hav emade Hercules green with envy, I heroically lengthened my stride, and my Vibram soled and booted foot, fortuitously for our poison toothed friend Mr. Cottonmouth, landed a couple of feet beyond his pointy little head.


Pygmy Rattler... Beats me what I did with the cotton mouth photos!


Ornery little boogers!
Should be in the woods away from civilized folk!

"This just won't do!" I thought to myself. Lots of folks walk their dogs around the ponds and children fish and play around them. More than likely it would find itself being beaten to death with a stick. Pulling the ever curious Charlie back a bit, I searched for a small branch I could pin him down with. Finding a suitable one, I wrestled his uncooperative and fiesty body down and put a head lock on him.

Mr Cottonmouth moments before I felt the sharp end of a fang.


As I mentioned in my previous article Cracks in the Sidewalk, Theses smaller cottonmouths are squirmy little bastards. This one was no different and just grazed my finger with the tip of his fang. Fortunately there was no penetration whatsoever. But that sure put my heart into overdrive!

I don't know how many of my readers are youngsters. For you kids reading this, remember a couple of things:

  • Mr Albert has been doing this a long time.
  • I have a great respect for the danger involved.
  • Parents, and especially Moms, will make your life miserable if you do stupid stuff.
  • Just because Mr Albert cusses occasionally and while under duress, doesn't mean you can.

For you older readers:

  • Take your kids out more often. I know as well as you that you're busy, but make the time.
  • Don't do stupid things unless you know the consequences and are willing to accept them.
  • Don't blame me if you get snake bit!

I did a little research when I got back in the house. The anti-venom for a Cottonmouth bite is called Crofab Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (Ovine). It is critical to get anti-venom in the patient as soon as possible to minimize necrotic damage to the tissue and coagulopathy. Coagulopathy is a fancy word for bleeding like Hell from every orifice in your body. The anti-venom works by binding to the venom toxin and neutralizing it, so the sooner its in you, the sooner it gets to neutralizing. Now it has mercury in it, so I'm not convinced that the venom is any worse than the cure. But if I were bit, I probably wouldn't worry about the potential for mercury poisoning! If you are allergic to pineapples or papaya you could be in it deep too! You can read all about it here on the Drug Sheet.

I also bumped into this: Snake Bite News. I don't know why, but it is very dated; the last entry is May 2004. I'll see if I can track the owners down and get an update on it.

While we are at it, lets go over the basic steps to take if you or anyone you know has been bit.

  • Call 911.
  • Get everyone away from the snake. No sense getting someone else bit!
  • Try to identify the snake. No, don't ask for it's name, just try to figure out what kind it was.
  • Keep the victim calm. Nothing speeds up envenomation like a wildly beating heart.
  • Keep the struck section lower than the heart.
  • Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink. Period.
  • If the victim has been consuming alcohol, and this was caused by stupidity, assist the victim to a standing position, and ask the victim to bend over. While bent over have him kiss his own ass goodbye.
  • Get them to a hospital immediately. Try to call ahead so they are ready!
  • DO NOTs: Do not ice the injury down, do not use a tourniquet, do not cut the victim up like in the westerns, and above all, DO NOT PANIC!!!
You can make a judgment call. If the hospital is close enough that you know you can get there before an ambulance can get to you and then back to the hospital, and you know you can do it safely, then do it! Every minute counts in treatment. Remember coagulopathy!

Well, we got back without any more incidents. The rest is anti-climatic, I took him to my shop, put him in a bucket, and later today I'll take him to a preserve somewhere where he can hopefully pass the rest of his days in peace and tranquility.

It is late in the evening now, and I have had the opportunity to educate some more of my neighbors. Two little ones were playing on the playground, so I thought I would give one of my impromptu nature talks. I cleared it with their mom and using all my skill and smarts, was able to allow these kids an opportunity to see and touch a real live snake. I really need to catch a good sized red or yellow rat snake. Far safer and less nerve wracking than a cottonmouth. Now both of them can identify a cottonmouth and they know it's very dangerous! We also talked about alligators, and about not playing near the ponds.

And cattle egrets,
     American goldfinches,
          St. Augustine grass,
                pine bark nuggets,
                    concrete...

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


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Albert Rasch,HunterThough 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.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Brady Campaign: You May Have to Put on That Red Dress Afterall...

Brady Campaign Sells its Membership List
Crap, and I'm on its email list too!

Brady Campaign Membership Numbers

Turns out they are so broke, that they are selling their membership lists. Interesting thing is that the oft quoted figure of one hundred thousand members, is really about 28 thou...

Check it out at Joe Huffman's Blog

Quick post from Ali Al Saleem

Albert

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Hotter Than You Can Imagine!

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

Hello my faithful friends!

Well I'm in Kuwait transporting an individual who will ultimately go to the United States. (If he's lucky!) I'll be here for a couple of days, and luckily they have internet that actually works regularly, unlike Bagram where it is so oversubscribed that it crawls like sea cucumber in the Arctic Sea.

But that's not why I'm touching base with you, the big news is how freaking hot it is here!

Can you believe 115 deg in the shade? How about 130 out in the open! The breeze makes it feel like a convection oven, and I kid you not, while I walk, the sun hurts on the palms of your hand. And it's not like I walk with my palms up or out or whatever. No, I'm talking normal, fingers slightly curled, swinging the arms, normal!

Click on the picture for a bigger view!
Poor little sparrows looking for some shade and water!

Under all the A/C units, the condensate makes little pools that last for a few hours in the morning, and disappear as the heat builds up. Seriously, the water evaporates before it hits the ground. The birds also spend quite a bit of time under the buildings, in the shade.

So far I haven't bumped into any of the cool desert denizens, like the scorpions and vipers, but there is still a chance if I look hard enough. My luck I'll find a land mine via the Braille method. Not conducive to good health!

Speaking of land mines, I've made friends with some Mine Clearing Specialists from Mozambique. These guys are the cat's meow in mine clearing. They can enter a mine field, spot a twenty-five year old mine by the way vegetation is or isn't growing, or by the way the soil lies, or by some voodoo witch doctor magik, and then tell you if it is double stacked, (Real nasty Soviet trick,) and whether it will rain later. Anyhow, I'm going to tag along and see if I can learn something, it should be a blast!

On another note, the boys in uniform have been whipping the daylights out of the Talibannanas regardless of whatever the damn papers and news say. Yes it is going to take some time, they are crafty, wicked, and cruel, but we have the better people, the greater minds, the high moral ground, and by Thor's Hammer-

I'm here!

I really miss the lot of you, and wish you were here so I wouldn't feel like I'm hogging all the dust and grime. If anyone wants any, I'll be happy to send you all some.

Remember your friends and loved ones that are here.  Send them a letter, a small parcel of their favorite goodies, and your prayers and love!



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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles