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, January 28, 2012

Why is there Air?

 Albert A Rasch explains the meaning and purpose of  hunting!
© 2009-2012 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

I’m a curmudgeon. I really don’t like anyone. Everybody’s in my dang way, and those pesky kids are always under foot. How I manage to get anything done is beyond me.

There’s a fellow, Mr. Ron, who comes over while I’m in my garage; I can’t get anything done while he’s visiting. Miss Nancy likes to check up on my progress with whatever project I am working on. Then there’s Samuel Joshia; I think he’s four months old, and loves Charlie. He bounces up and down in his mother’s arms when he sees him, and they come to visit every time I’m out. There’s Jeffery, Joey, Matt, Darrel, and lord knows what all the other urchins' names are.  Can't forget the old deaf guy here that drives one of those snazzy black Audis. He listens to talk radio on his car stereo system so loud, that I can’t hear the table saw above it. And to put icing on the cake, Miss Mae has two little fair haired ones that are so painfully cute, it makes me wince. Of course, they beeline right to me when they see me, peppering me with dozens of questions, none related to the previous one like, "Why is there air?"

Funny thing is that for a curmudgeon, I sure am tolerant of their visits.

I guess it's not that bad really.

Jeffery actually helps me out. Well as best a seven year old can. In return I’ve taught him how to use a Daisy Red Rider, and the fundamentals of safety. Those two itty bitty cutie pies, Sean and Tessa, can identify red rat, black racer, and cottonmouth snakes now. So can most of the other children; they have all had an opportunity to look at them and actually study them up close. The parents, meddlesome as they are, have learned the importance of biodiversity during these impromptu natural history classes. I can’t tell you how many Moms have been dragged over by a child to see a one of those pesky cottonmouths. I don’t get the “Why don’t you kill them?” question too often anymore. I think the kids tell them why it’s important to protect and safeguard them.

Mr. Deaf Audi Guy drove by a couple of days ago with a half flat tire. I whistled at him, and lo and behold he heard me. I had him back up the Audi close to my shop so I could fill his tire. While waiting for me to assemble my compressor, he noticed the latest cottonmouth in a bucket. I’m not going to bore you with the whole of the conversation, but it eventually got to firearms and hunting. He told me he didn’t like guns, and didn’t understand why anyone would want to shoot an animal.

“You see all this nature here,” I started waving a wrench around me, narrowly missing his alltogether to close head, “I'm responsible for all of it. From that huge live oak over there, to this little ornery fellow here, every last bit. Just like I stopped you, and I’m taking the time to help you out, I take the time to do something I love, hunting. I’m the forester, guardian, and warden of every patch of woods, fields, or beach I walk on. I’m an enforcer when need be, a steward, and an educator. Whether it's an orphaned bird, a lost snake, or in the case of that danged invasive Brazilian pepper tree which I mercilessly hack and kill, I do what needs to be done.”

He understood that part, but then he asked, ”If you're its protector, why kill anything?”

Stealing Ortega Y Gasset I answered, “I kill in order to hunt. It’s not the act of killing I love, that is actually somewhat sad; it is everything that precedes it, and for that matter what follows, that is most important. The death of the animal is a very small, but important part of the hunt. But it’s not the totality of it.” I was on a roll and kept on. "Think of me as part of the equation. Lions do their part, raccoons theirs, even the cottonmouth here does his. I'm just part of it. You don't take offense at the fox taking a turkey do you? Well I am just another member of that circle."

I continued, “Not only am I part of a cycle that has existed since the first form of life came to be, but I add to it by the fact that I have memories. The sore muscles, the cold or heat, the view, the scent of the game, the sweat, the frozen breath, the warm blood, every one of those things are indelibly engraved in my memories. A worn buck deer torn apart by a desperately hungry wolf pack is never remembered, the one I bring home, or not, will live forever in my memory. You can’t buy that for the price of a movie ticket.”

I paused to let that sink in. Then I added, “I live more during the hunt, any hunt, than most people do in their entire lives.”

I saw him look around; really look around. He noticed, maybe for the first time, the buzzards flying by overhead. There was a squirrel in the median between two parking areas. He reached for the pack of smokes in his breast pocket, they looked like Lucky Strikes, thought about it, and pushed them back down. There was an odd look in his face.

I finished filling his tire. There was a nail in it. I got up and grabbed a yellow wax lumber crayon from the tool box.

As I was marking his tire so the repair guy could find it easy, he offered me a few bucks. I declined; not that I couldn't use them mind you. He was trying to put it in my pocket, but I said, “Look, I did it because it’s the right thing to do. No other reason.” As an after thought I added, “That’s why I hunt; because it’s the right thing to do.”

He got the message. Then he went to his car, started it, and thanked me for helping him out. He rolled forward a few feet, stopped and reversed. I stopped coiling the air hose, and turned to him.

He leaned out the window. “What’s your name anyway?”

“It’s Albert, sir.”

“It’s been a real pleasure. Thanks again.” With that he drove off.

I thought to myself, “Another convert.” I don’t care if they’re young or old, man or woman, Black, White, Asian, or Rainbow coalition, I talk to them all…

Because it is the right thing to do.

My hands were all dirty and greasy from fiddling with the tire.


I see red headed Jeffry coming down the street, fishing pole in hand. I reach for the hand cleaner.

I suppose fixing the table saw can wait until later.


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


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, Albert A Rasch, Hunting in Florida


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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Latte Porcine: Expresso and Hogs

Cooking Rank Hog with Instant Coffee? It Works!
© 2012 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

I had shot that three hundred pounder right through the cheekbone.

We had been hunting hog at a friend's ranch an hour or so from where I lived. We had been carefully stalking this bad boy for the better part of two hours. There were sows and piglets to contend with, mosquitoes, and the occasional pygmy rattle thrown in for fun. Actually, I was pretty sure those damned chiggers were, at that very moment, digging into my tender flesh and making themselves at home.

Skirting palmetto clumps, and patches of scrub oak, we finally got into position with out spooking him. I took off my leather hat, laid it in front of me, and used it as a rest for my hog hunting rifle, a 30/06 Weatherby Eurosport. I wanted an instant kill; I had had enough of chiggers, ticks and skeeters for the day, so I carefully lined up for a spinal shot. I was certain of my shooting ability, and I have complete confidence in my weapon and the ammo I use.

180 grains of copper clad and partitioned lead went right under his left eye, through his sinus cavity, and smashed right into his spinal column where it demolished nine inches of bone and nerves, disrupting much of his motor functions. But it wasn't enough. By the time I had crossed the forty or so yards between us, he had regained some use of his body. His jaws worked to and fro, slashing at the under growth, hooking roots, branches and the occasional shrub. Apparently he could use his back legs, and had some use of his front right one. He stumbled as he tried to charge me.

I had stoked the Weatherby with another Remington Safari Grade Swift A-Frame before I was even up. As I raised the Weatherby for a follow up shot, Matt put his hand on my shoulder. "Wait, don't waste the bullet, let me finish him with my .22." Moments later the big hog was down.

And what a hog! Scarred and cut up from slugging it out with the other males, he was a brute; three inches of whetted tusks stuck out either side. I had him mounted, but unfortunately over the years he has deteriorated to the point that it was, in my mind, disrespectful to his memory to have him displayed in that condition. So he now resides sealed in a large bin with a desiccant package and a pest control devise. Maybe, when times are a little better, I can have him refurbished, and he can take place of pride over my desk again.

I really need to get out hog hunting...

But that's not why I tell the tale. Cooking, that's what I want to talk about.

It all started, innocently enough, when I happened upon Miss Jamie's blog Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective and her post Stinky Little Pigs.

Now I like pigs. I like them as livestock, pets, and wildlife. I like them alive and I like them roasted. Now Miss Jamie is actually writing about the New World equivalent of the pig, that being the peccary also known as the javelina. Miss Jamie does an excellent job of explaining their natural history and taxonomy; and she does it with great humor. In addition you will find great narratives of the border area, posts on cooking both in the home and out in the field, and a product review. Not only that, but she has some great photography too! I heartily recommend visiting her Blog Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective.

Now back to the cooking. As it turns out both peccaries and that big ol' hog I took, have similarities. They both stink real bad. As in rank.

I don't like to waste game. But a rank old hog is unpalatable. Simple as that; just plain inedible. I had Matt carve out the tenderloins, if that's not a misnomer I don't know what is. I also got the two roasts. Matt got the rest to grind up for sausage.

When I got home I threw a box of coarse salt over the meat and ice in the cooler. I figured that would buy me enough time to figure out what I was going to do.

I've got one of those big enameled roasting pan, and I always have a lot of garlic. Work with what you got I always say. As I was trying not to pass out from the testosterone induced odor, I remembered reading somewhere that instant coffee neutralized the odor and helped to tenderize the meat. I couldn't remember how much was recommended, so I dumped a big handful in there. I mean I poured it into my hand and dumped it over the roast. With that done, I took a knife skewered that roast and stuffed garlic into every hole I made. I doused it thoroughly with some white wine, the cheap stuff I keep for those meddlesome neighbors, and put the cover on it.

I set the oven on low (325 F) and came back to it about four hours later.

Holy smokes! It worked! The smell was gone, and in its place a delectable and genuinely delicious aroma of cooked pork with subtle tones of garlic. After due deliberations though it was decided that a couple of more hours wouldn't hurt. I cut up some more garlic, potatoes, carrots, and celery, and poured in some more wine and water.

A couple of hours later we were sitting around the table enjoying a tender and tasty roast.

I've tried it out with other cuts of tough meat both wild and domestic with similar results. Oh and there is no taste of coffee either. What is in the instant coffee that does that is unknown to me. All I know is that it works.

Amazing what you can do with some coffee...

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Update:
While cruising the Blogsphere this morning, I came upon this "The Bacon Weave." For those of you that don't have enough cholesteral in your diet, this is a sure fire way to get it up there! Brought to you by the fellows at BBQ Addicts!


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 A Rasch, Hunting in Florida


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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Range Reviews: SOG Twitch I

The Range reviews the SOG Twitch I; Best Undercover Self Defense Folder!
© 2012 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

SOG Twitch I: Swift, Sexy and Subtle!

The SOG Twitch I
Photo Courtesy of SOG Specialty Knives

Though I don’t usually bring it up, I have a more than passing interest in self defense and offense. Being prepared for any eventuality is ingrained in me, and I rarely get dressed without a basic set of tools on me. I've been fortunate to never have to resort to them, but I sure have been glad to have something with me several times!

When stepping out of the house, my primary defensive arm is the SOG Twitch I. (Model number TWI-7.) When SOG decided to upgrade the classic lockback pocket knife, they did it with engineering, technology, and style. From the lightweight construction to the high tech cryogenic treatment on the blade, the Twitch I oozes sexy, covert, special ops –

for the average, every day, 9 to 5 guy.



Sharp accessories.

The handles are hard-anodized aluminum in a very discreet graphite color. The hard anodization is exactly that: hard. After a year of constant use the aluminum shows no sign of scratches, scuffs, or scrapes.

Lightweight and subtle, two things I'm not.

The Twitch weighs 2 ounces exactly; it’s very light. That means that it won’t wrinkle your slack’s pocket nor drag it down. The pocket clip which can also be used as a money clip, is unobtrusive and finished in a matte silver finish.

It sports a two inch long, stainless steel, cryogenically treated, drop point blade. The SOG Cryogenic Treatment process brings the blade down in temperature to less than 300°F and then reverses the process and lets it return to room temperature in a controlled fashion. This freezing and warming, stress relieves the stainless steel on an atomic level. The process increases overall strength, toughness and in addition, increases edge retention. In other words, your knife stays sharper longer with significantly less micro-fracturing and edge-chipping. The Twitch is razor sharp out of the box, and if touched up regularly, stays that way.

The drop point is an excellent choice for defensive knives. It is an effective stabbing profile, but is also very good on the slashing attack.

The split lockback: Pass Through Lockbar

When SOG updated the lockback, they did it with panache. The Twitch features a pass-through lockbar (patent pending). This allows the kicker tab to stick out. One push with the forefinger, and the blade deploys to fully open in a flash. The SOG Assisted Technology is responsible for the lightning fast blade action. Two springs coiled inside the assist assembly propel the blade to fully open once the user has initiated the opening.


SAT Springs in the Assist
Photo Courtesy of SOG Specialty Knives


There is a safety that allows the blade to be locked in both the open and closed position. Mine has a little piece from a bamboo toothpick jammed in it. I don't want there to be a failure to deploy if I ever need it. I'm not concerned with the blade closing on my fingers either. The lock is very secure and sturdy, and for my intended purposes, it should only be in use for moments.

All in all, I find the SOG Twitch I a solid buy. Perfect for discreet wear, it has sufficient style that it would not raise an eyebrow if someone saw it on your office desk. The blade is short enough to pass in most concealed weapons districts. (Check your laws very carefully!)


The price is very affordable; most street prices range from $32.00 to $39.00.

SOG
SOG Twitch I
MSRP: $60.00


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


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, Albert A Rasch, Hunting in Florida


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.