Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blogs of Note: Borderlands Adventure: Her Perspective

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

As you all know I now spend an inordinate amount of time perusing the blogsphere. Really, what else is there for me to do? Jobs are scarce and I'm still plugging away at that pirogue.

My latest find, out in the electronic netherworld that is the Net, is Borderlands Adventure: Her Perspective written by Miss Jamie.

Miss Jamie hails from the American Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico & Southwest Texas) and lives right up against the border. She writes remarkably well, from both the heart and mind, seamlessly blending personal experience and practical knowledge, in a wonderful melange, whether it's about the land, animals, or the kitchen!

Here are some of my favorites:

Fall Draw: When a Girlie Girl (Her words not mine I swear!) becomes a hunter.

Cowboy Cookies: Cookies that even I can make! Dang they look good, even in pictures.

Stinky Little Pigs: A natural history lesson on Javalinas.

To be honest, Miss Jamie has only been blogging since January, and I don't think there is a single post that isn't worth its weight in gold. I look forward to seeing her posts, and the development that naturally comes from posting and writing. I think she is going to be a real hit. Seriously, look at the breakfast burrito post. Even the photography is fantastic.

It's worth the visit. Stop by, say howdy, ask her to join the OBS, enjoy her posts, become a follower, ask her to join the OBS, and pretty much welcome here to the blogsphere! Oh, and ask her to join the OBS!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

What Kind of Raptor is This?

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

I was hoping that some of my new falconer friends could help me identfy this raptor. I think it is a red shouldered hawk, but I'm not sure. I used my Audubon Field guide to help me narrow it down.

Notice the broken barring across the chest. That's what has me somewhat confused as it doesn't match any of the pictures I have in my book.

Unfortunately I had the smaller of my two point and shoot cameras, so the resolution isn't as good as it could be.

He was hanging around with a sandhill crane that was taking a breather during the middle of the day. I was out scouting for a suburban hunting spot. I may have found some, so there will be more to follow!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

FWC: Sponsors Archery in Schools

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

Here is another activity that is being sponsored by the FWC.

By the way, I've created a list that has the different activities and organizations on it that I would like to research and perhaps involve myself in. This is definitely one of them. It might be something that many of you could check into also. Look up your Fish and Wildlife Division and see what programs they are sponsoring or promoting. Remember, it could be your support that tips the balance in the favor of the department!

State Archery Tournament Set for Florida's Schools

Florida's second annual National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament will take place during the last two weeks of February.

Thirty-five of the 157 participating schools from around the state will compete in the virtual tournament, which will allow students to shoot in their own schools' gymnasiums and mail in their scores.

Last year, 592 youths from 28 schools competed in the tournament. This year, registration numbers have topped 750 participants.

"Winning teams will be selected in three grade levels, with trophies and medals awarded to the schools and team members. The highest-scoring girl and boy in the tournament each will win a Mathews-Genesis bow and a Morrell target," said Steve Robbins, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) coordinator for the program.

Last year's winning teams were Flagler Palm Coast High School, Daniel Jenkins Academy Middle School (Polk County) and Altha Elementary School (Calhoun County).

Florida's program, a cooperative effort between the FWC and the Florida Department of Education, teaches international-style target archery in 4th- to 12th-grade physical education classes.

"Physical education teachers receive eight hours of basic archery instructor training, and the students enjoy a two-week archery component in their class," Robbins said.

In 2004, Florida became the 24th state to offer the training that was developed by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

"The National Safety Council rates archery more accident-free than every popular ball sport, including tennis and golf. Archery enables students to learn a safe, lifetime skill they can practice almost anywhere. More than 3.5 million students have participated in the program internationally since its inception in 2002, and there have been no accidents," Robbins said.

For more information about getting local schools involved in the National Archery in the Schools Program, contact Steve Robbins at 386-758-0525 or

"This is all about the kids, and who knows? Your child may possess the talent to become a future Olympic archery champion," Robbins said with a grin.

February 13, 2009
Contact: Steve Robbins, 386-758-0525

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

The OBS Challenge: When Different Is Good

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

I’m a curmudgeon. I don’t like anything. 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 the pirogue, and Miss Mae has two little fair haired ones that are so cute it makes me wince. They beeline right to me when they see me, peppering me with dozens of questions, none related to the previous one. And 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. Then there’s Jeffery, Joey, Matt, Darrel, and lord knows what all the others’ names are. And to put icing on the cake, there’s an 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.

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 all 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 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.

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Where Every Straight Shooter has a Bent Barrel

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

If you really want the truth...

Quick one my friends!

Gun Guys is a news feed from the opposite side of the aisle. What better place to get additional information about what the antis are up to? They concentrate on "gun violence," but their real aim, as if we didn't already know, is complete disarmament.

I have them e-mailing me so that I can keep on top of their agenda.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

For the Love of Money

Gopher tortoise burrows damaged, man charged

"After a nearly two-month investigation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers have charged Roy Oscar Sauer, 74 (DOB 4-26-34), of San Mateo with 34 counts of damaging gopher tortoise burrows on private property in St. Johns County.

Sauer told investigators he ran over burrows while using a tractor and disk to clean up brush and weeds on property owned by his employer, Coy Alvarez, owner of A&W Homes in Palatka. The property is close to the St. Johns and Flagler county line, near Pellicer Creek.

During the investigation, officers walked the property and found at least 46 gopher tortoise burrows, including 34 damaged burrows and evidence of others that were destroyed. This is the largest incident of destroying gopher tortoise burrows in St. Johns County so far this year, according to the FWC.

Blue tape marked each of the burrows before the groundwork operation, according to investigators. The tractor-drawn disk damaged most of the burrows and completely covered others, possibly entombing the tortoises. FWC officers used GPS coordinates to locate and mark the damaged and destroyed burrows.

Alvarez told officers the property was zoned for silviculture and that he was going to plant grass on it. When officers checked with the St. Johns County Planning Division, however, they discovered the property has been zoned for planned unit development since 1984, which allows single- and multi-family housing and commercial uses.

Gopher tortoises are a threatened species in Florida, and it is a second-degree misdemeanor to harm tortoises or damage their burrows.

Joy M. Hill, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission"

Second Degree Misdemeanor - A second-degree misdemeanor is a crime punishable by no more than sixty days in jail, six months of probation, and a $500 fine.

Roy Oscar Sauer is just the fall guy. Should he have known better? Certainly. But let's delve into this further.

If the Gopher Tortoises are gone, then they can go ahead with the construction...

I'm aghast that the "developer/owner," Coy Lee Tate Alvarez, would dissemble and claim that the property was zoned for silviculture when he knows good and damned well that it is zoned for planned use development. I have been in the construction industry for years, and you know, to the tenth of an inch, what a piece of land is or isn't zoned for.

Proceedings of a meeting of the City Commission of the City of Palatka, Florida, held on the 14th day of October, 2004 clearly show that Coy Lee Tate Alvarez is more than aware of zoning, zoning regulations, zoning issues, and the laws.

Coy Lee Tate Alvarez is the owner of A&W Mobile Home Sales (311 S US Highway 17 East Palatka, FL 32131 Phone number: 386-328-4681) Alvarez also owns along with, Charlie Kinnard, Russell D. Castleberry, Peanut on the Suwannee, LLC., and The Road to Nowhere, LLC., again with Charlie Kinnard.

I am working on a small writing project involving property rights and affiliated themes. This might very well be an example that we can discuss, and maybe make heads or tails out of.

Investigative Reporter
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt is On...

On Line Hunter Safety Course - Bay County Florida

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

For the FYI file:

Hunter safety Internet completion course offered in Bay County

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet completion course in Bay County.

The course will be at the Bay County Fairgrounds, at the corner of U.S. 98 and Sherman Avenue in Panama City, Florida. Instruction will take place 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Feb. 21, with the firing range section of the course being held the same day at a different location.

Individuals must complete the Internet course before to coming to class and are required to bring a copy of the final report from the computer portion of the course to be admitted.

Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Students are encouraged to bring a pencil and paper with them to take notes.

The hunter safety course is required for anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, to purchase a Florida hunting license. The FWC course satisfies hunter safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.

People interested in attending this course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at or by calling the FWC's regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676."

This is obviously for Florida Residents, but isn't great that there are more and different options becoming available?

I didn't know that there was a program to become an Instructor in the Hunter Safety Program. I'm signing up!

Albert A Rasch
The Education Continues...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'll Have My Coffee Now If You Please.

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

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...

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

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!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why I Carry a Gun

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

I bumped into this on Brigid's blog "Home on the Range."

First of all, the post itself "Five Rounds of Self Defense", is magnificent. Miss Brigid should have it made into a poster or something to that effect. If not, everyone should print it out and give it to loved ones.

I found this in the comments section and I thought it pretty clever too.

I Don't Carry a Gun to Kill People

I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry. I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because my sex organs are too small. I carry a gun because I want to continue to use those sex organs for the purpose for which they were intended for a good long time to come.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy. I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life, and the people who make it meaningful to me.

I Don't Carry a Gun... By Syd of Front Sight, Press

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Range Reviews: Otis Advanced Bore Reflector

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

While at the 2009 Shot Show I was amazed by some of the displays. As I’ve mentioned before, there were several log cabins, lighting displays that would rival the “Pink Floyd Laser Light Extravaganza,” and booths with craftsman grade cabinetry.

There was one setup though, that really knocked my socks off. I was at the Shot Show a day early to attend the Media Day at the Range event, which was being sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. I went into the Orange County Convention Center to get my Media Pass, and while crossing the bridge over show floor, I spotted the OTIS booth.

Ooooo... Shiny!

To call it a booth is an understatement. Three levels of polished metal, brightly lit by hundreds of lights. The Otis team was still putting the finishing touches on it on Wednesday in preparation for the Show opening on Thursday.

On Opening Day, Philip Laughlin of The Hog Blog and I hit the doors and never stopped. Phillip has been to the Shot Show many times before, but I had no idea what was in store for me. Just trying to find the Otis booth was a journey in and of itself! I was distracted by the sheer enormity of the show; as I’ve said before, it is overwhelming.

I finally managed to get to the Otis display area where I was met by Cara Peebles, Marketing Coordinator for Otis. Cara kindly gave me the grand tour of their booth and then we sat down for a few moments while she showed me the newest offerings from Otis. Among them was the new Advanced Bore Reflector.

The Otis Advanced Bore Reflector

It is shaped like a capital letter J with a flat section at the bottom that acts as a bolt or slide stop. This is an improvement over the original which had no stop and could tip. Whereas the original was a smooth piece of plastic, the new version is has angles and ribs meant to maximize light gathering and transmission. It is also tapered to fit better in the chamber.

The reflector has a fluorescent orange color, and is made of a special fiber optic material, and can be used with a borelight, small flashlight, or ambient light. The orange/yellow color also helps the eye distinguish between areas of varying contrast. White light tends to diminish this contrast and allows imperfections or issues in the bore to escape notice. When looking down the bore of an SKS in 7.62, and a Bushmaster in 5.56 we noted a substantial difference between a white light bore light, an original Otis Bore Reflector, and the new one. The white light does tend to wash the details out, and in some cases completely hide them. The older version worked well with an added light source, and the newest was surprisingly good at transmitting light regardless of light conditions. With a bore light, or a MiniMagLite, the bore illumination was superlative.

Down the Barrel - Ambient Light

The reflector also can act as a range safety device. Placed in the chamber, it is a very clear and obvious indication that the weapon does not have a round in the chamber, nor can a round be chambered while it is in place. On a shooting line, this is the safest condition a firearm can be in.

Reflector in the Chamber. Bushmaster courtesy of S. Goshea

Reflector used as range flag. SKS courtesy S. Goshea

You can carry it in your pocket to check the bore of your rifle while hunting. You never know if you might need it, and it is pretty cheap insurance.

For the price of a couple of quarters (street price), it is a great accessory. Lightweight, and capable it is a must have in every pocket, range bag, and ammo box.

Otis Technologies Inc
Advanced Bore Reflector
MSRP: $2.00

Florida Felons File: Shooting Decoys

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

I don't know... It seems that all the numbskulls have come to Florida lately.

This guy must be a real charmer.

Felon Coaches 13-year-old Girl to Shoot Decoy

February 9, 2009 - 7:13 AM
Wendy Victora
NWF Daily News

BAY COUNTY -- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers watched as a truck stopped near a deer decoy and a 13-year-old girl took two shots at it, according to FWC's weekly report.

The girl was being coached on how to properly kill the deer by her mother's boyfriend, who is a convicted felon.

The mother was driving the car and illuminating the deer for her daughter and boyfriend.

They were cited for night hunting and road hunting.

I don't know who is more guilty here. The felon, for doing what he did, or the mother, for associating with a felon and allowing her daughter to commit a misdemeanor!

I hope they throw the book at the lot of them. Remember it is your wildlife as much as anyone else's! Report all poaching! It is thoughtless people like these criminals that give all sportsmen a black eye! In Florida you can call 1-888-404-3922 You may be eligible for a reward up to $1000.00!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues