Friday, March 20, 2009

Why I Joined the Outdoor Bloggers Summit

I support the Outdoor Bloggers Summit

"I was about to slap my partner on the shoulder, when I 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 was about to stick the hog, was startled and tripped over the hog on the ground in front of him, stumbling headlong into me, pocket knife coming dangerously close to neutering me. My friend, whiter than ever, was clutching the now useless rifle by the barrel, evidently intending to use it as a club in a futile last stand against the enemy.

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

Charged!!! Hog Hunting Adventures

That pretty much started my writing career, however you might define it. I always enjoyed spinning a good yarn, and writing is something that I've done on and off ever since 2nd grade at PS 89 when my article on cuttlefish got me published. My proud mother was certain that I was headed for a life as a literary giant. Though, I think she had Tolstoy in mind not Ranger Rasch the Rock Kommando and his Merry Band of Miscreants. (Mom, life's just not fair...)

I actually got into blogging through Todd Hill, my friend and knifesmith at Primitive Point. His blog really showed me that you could share ideas across the vast space of the net, and across continents.

That's how SBW, The Suburban Bushwacker, bumped into me. He was a Primitive Point fan also, and through his tutelage, advice, and friendship, I was able to grasp the complexities of the blogsphere. It was also through SBW that I found the Outdoor Bloggers Summit.


I was trying to figure out when and where I first commented on the Outdoor Bloggers Summit. All I know is that there was a world of information available to me. The folks that were already members were more than willing to share important information, camaraderie, and a laugh.

When I think of all the wonderful people I've met through the OBS, I just consider myself very fortunate.

Folks like Holly at NorcalCazadora, Phillip over at The Hog Blog, guys like Mike owner of Native Hunt, Rick at Whitetail Woods and so many others that I communicate with frequently. These are people that I now consider my friends, each and every one of them. Without the Outdoor Bloggers Summit, I would never have met all those wonderful folks.

Kristine, Empress Over all that She Surveys, has also been at the forefront of my education and the vast improvement in The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. Her diligent efforts in bringing us together, and finding guest bloggers that know their stuff, has been instrumental in many of our efforts to improve and grow. Holly has been my mentor as much as my friend. Othmar Vohringer has always had a kind word and good advice. And Phillip, who let a perfect stranger (Me) bunk with him at the SHOT Show, and then taught me how to break into the "World of Media."

When you join the Outdoor Bloggers Summit, you don't just join another little group of like minded people. No, you join and tap into a critical mass of people passionate about their explorations of the great outdoors. You get Doug's comments on hawking at Doug's Harris' Hawk Blog. Hodgeman shares his thoughts about Alaska and other expansive subjects, where else but at Hodgeman’s Thoughts. You get smart, capable women that can hold their own at Deer Passion, Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective, and of course, NorcalCazadora.

The Blogroll is a virtual who's who of real people that write real stuff.

Everyone is welcome to join the Outdoor Bloggers Summit. All you need is an abiding respect and passion for the outdoors.

Writing ability, on the other hand, is definitely optional...

So, what are you waiting for?

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Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Whitetail Woods: Custom made Turkey Box Call


My good friend and fellow reviewer, Rick Kratzke, has posted a great custom turkey call by Ed Blankinship of Gobbler's End Turkey Calls.

Whitetail Woods: Custom made Turkey Box Call

Check it out it looks like a real winner!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Range Reviews: AGI Armorer's Course AR-15 Rifles

© 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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AGI Technical Manual & Armorer's Course AR15 DVD

You know, they say that the best investment you can make, is one that you make in yourself. And in these uncertain times, it is absolutely more true than ever. With the investment that many of us have made in our firearms, don't you think that knowledge is cheap insurance? With American Gunsmith Institute you invest in your skills and education at very reasonable prices.

When I received AGI's AR15 Technical Manual & Armorer's course, I eagerly tore the plastic off the DVD case and popped the disc in my computer. I have been looking forward to the opportunity to view American Gunsmith Institute material for a very long time, and when the opportunity to do so came, I jumped at it.

After spending ten minutes trying to get Windows Media Player to work right, I finally got to watch the DVD. Windows... Sheeeesh...

First things first, the DVD is digitally remastered from VCR tapes. So those of you that have only the very newest, you will find that the weapons themselves are a little dated. But other than stylistic changes to the AR15/ M16, there are no functional or mechanical differences between an M16A1 and M4. Bob Dunlap gives a very detailed and educational lecture along with a demonstration of working with and gunsmithing the AR platform. Bob is a down to earth type of narrator and instructor, so you won't get bogged down with jargon and technical discussions; but you will know the details when you're done.

The course is divided into:
  • History of the AR15: Bob delves into the history of the AR15, Armalite and Eugene Stoner.
  • Design and functions: Bob displays and explains how all the inner workings operate both individually and in concert with others.
  • Complete disassembly and reassembly: Bob tales us through a complete disassembly, from the bolt and gas tube, to the very last pin.
  • Proper cleaning and lubrication: AGI's own cleaning method is used and explained. Don't worry, it's not proprietary and I will be writing a post specific to their method, with a comparison to traditional methods.
  • Trouble shooting and repair: Bob covers all the usual suspects, and a few you might not be aware of.
  • Tuning Tips: Magazines, ramps, and barrels, extractors and ejectors; tips that you can use and perform easily.

Even if you are intimately familiar with the AR15 or the M4, an astute observer will pick up enough information to make his next AR that much more reliable and accurate.

The beauty of the DVD type courses is that you can refer back to a section with nothing more than a click of the mouse or remote control. Need to see how the bolt is assembled? Just go to that section and play it again. Forgot which spring went where? Check the included schematics.

The only thing that I think could stand some improvement is the schematics. They are taken directly from an Armalite AR-15 parts list. I think something a little more detailed and with better resolution would be better.

AGI has their Bulletproof Guarantee:

All of AGI's courses are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with any AGI video or product purchased directly from AGI, you may return it up to 90 days from the purchase date for a full refund (less shipping). The only question we will ask is "How did we fail you?"

How can you beat that?

I was pretty impressed with AGI's Technical Manual & Armorer's course, I learned quite a bit, to the point were I feel confident that I could take a box of parts, and put together a fully functional AR. I would rate this course a solid, definite buy for any AR owner.

And remember, it's made right here in the
United States of America!


AGI Technical Manual and Armorer's Course AR-15
MSRP: $39.95

This review can also be found at The Range Reviews: Tactical AGI Armorer's Course for the AR15

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cheapest Ammo: Ammo Engine

Here is a great site I found through my friends at the Firearms Blog:

Click on it, sort out whether you want handgun or rifle, and then choose your cartridge. It will list the retailers in which ever way you prefer.

The list is updated frequently. I was amazed at just how much prices have risen, I could conceivably trade some of my 458WM cartridges one to one, for really good cigars!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DoD Reverses Brass Destruction Policy

I just received the notification at 10:45 PM.

Thanks to all the folks that wrote, called or e-mailed their Senators and Congressmen, DoD has rescinded the order to mutilate all spent cases as of 16:30 hours on 3/17/09.

I was going to write a commentary on the DoD destruction order, and let everyone know about this backdoor attempt to limit firearms use, but for once the letters and calls did their job!

This proves once again, that as a united force, they can't stop us!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Florida Felons Report: Poaching Alligators

Just when I think Florida criminals can't get any stupider, I get this in the in box:

March 17, 2009

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrested three people in an alligator poaching case last week in Glades County.

While on routine patrol, Officer Scott Van Buren and Lt. Pam Steelman observed a pickup truck pulled halfway off County Road 731, which is south of Rainey Slough. There, they observed a man in a canal along the road; he was retrieving an alligator. A woman was in the bed of the truck, and a 17-year-old male stood next to the truck. Upon inspecting the truck, officers found three loaded rifles, four pieces of fresh alligator meat and two live hatchling alligators. The officers found three butchered alligator carcasses near the canal.

Three people -- Joshua J. Todd, DOB 10/12/90, of Alva; Natalee M. Grant, DOB 1/13/91, of Lehigh Acres; and a juvenile -- were charged with seven misdemeanor counts of taking and possessing American alligators. All three were booked into the Glades County jail.

"We hope this case sends a strong message to would-be wildlife poachers," said Steelman. "We will find you and hold you accountable for criminal acts."

Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Two eighteen year olds, and a juvenile. Great way to start your adulthood, seven misdemeanors each, and a stay at the Glades County Jail.

Where have we gone wrong?

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

Guest Blogger: Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods

I recently invited Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods to write a piece for The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. Rick is a deer hunting enthusiast from Connecticut. When he's not hunting deer, he is either hunting turkeys, scouting for antler sheds, or like the majority of us, working so he can go hunting. I appreciate his taking the time to write a wonderful piece for the Chronicles.

A Proud American Deer Hunter
© Rick Kratzke

I would like to start by saying I felt honored to be asked if I was interested in a guest post for Albert's blog and I did not even think twice about saying yes. I would right now return the offer if he so wishes to.

Now when I asked if he had any subjects in mind, Albert said I'm the deer hunter so maybe something about springtime whitetails. Well, this is a time of year for some of us when we go out in search of those treasures called shed antlers. I know I have been collecting them as long as I have been hunting. To me antlers are like finger prints, there are no two pairs alike.

This time of year is also a good time to do your early season scouting, maybe that is why I don't find as many sheds as I could be finding because I spend half the time studying the terrain and deer trails that I come across. You can never learn to much about these magnificent animals you have earned the right to be considered America's number one big game animal to hunt.

I have been so consumed by them that a lot of people who know me honestly think I am obsessed and I have to say I totally agree with them. My wife Heidi can attest to that because when we go anywhere she is always telling me there is no deer out there so keep my eye's on the road. How can you not love something as magical as a whitetail deer? I can recount numerous times sitting in my treestand and looking back and forth not seeing anything only to have them standing right under your stand and you didn't even hear them coming. I always say they are ghosts of the woods.

The way I see it and tell everyone I speak to is that just being out in the whitetail woods and seeing them in their own natural habitat and have then not even know I am there is worth it and if I'm hunting and I fill a tag well than I just consider that a bonus. I don't take anything for granted and I feel none of us should. We have to remember that if we as human beings don't take care of our environment which includes everything that lives in it and around it than it will not last forever.

This brings me to one more subject that I feel very strongly about, and that is OUR 2nd AMENDMENT RIGHTS as AMERICANS. Through all these years, men and women have fought and died to protect these rights that we sometimes take for granted. We must never forget what our ancestors have done for us. In my most humble opinion, I feel that no matter what anyone else says, or does, or tries to change, my 2nd Amendment rights will not change, they will not be revised, and I will do what I see fit for myself and my family.

With all that being said, I am proud to be an American and live in the United States of America, and I am also proud to consider myself a Whitetail Deer Hunter who does what he can to preserve the deer habitat for my son's and others to enjoy.

I sincerely hope you like my post and please visit "Whitetail Woods" and "The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles" often.

Thank you,

Rick Kratzke
Whitetail Woods

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Range Reviews: Tool Logic Survival II

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

Tool Logic's wallet sized Survival II

Here's a little gem for my friends that are city bound dwellers and are always looking for that little edge.

The Survival II is a small multi-purpose tool set that conveniently fits into your wallet.


It contains a small knife, tweezers, toothpick, an LED light, and the case is also a whistle. The whistle is pretty sharp and piercing by the way! Which brings to mind the adage, "Never hand a child a whistle and expect anything less than an exuberant attempt at having your eardrums blown!" My little helper Jeffery reminded me of that.

The case has a lanyard hole, and on the side opposite the whistle and light, there is a magnesium alloy firestarter. The whole package weighs less than two ounces!

The Integral Knife

The knife is a 2 inch, chisel ground,and serrated blade. The AUS 8A stainless steel is sharp enough to cut through rope or someone's forearm. Keep in mind that if you are going to sharpen it, which I suggest you do, you sharpen on one side only. This requires extra care if you are going to use a sharpener like the Sterling Sharpener. Lay the flat side on one of the carbide bits and draw it carefully through, maintaining the proper angle.

LED Light

The LED light is adequate for lighting keyholes, circuit breaker boxes, and other things of that nature, and it is powerful enough to ensure sure footing in front of you. It is not designed for, nor will it cast a beam of light to any great distance.


The tweezers and toothpick do an adequate job at their respective tasks, though I will refrain from any graphic demonstrations of the tooth pick at work.

The Survival II is also available with a compass and an eight power lens in lieu of the led light.

This is not the do-all to end-all, but it is exactly what it is designed for. A wallet portable assortment of useful tools that might be all you can access in a moment of crisis or an emergency.

Tool Logic
Survival II
MSRP: $24.95


Save the Florida Panther Day!

I just Received a News Release from The FWC:

Governor Crist proclaims March 21
Save the Florida Panther Day

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has issued a proclamation, extending greetings and best wishes to all who observe Save the Florida Panther Day March 21.

In the proclamation, Crist noted "It is proper and fitting for all Floridians to pause and reflect on the plight of the Florida panther and the task of preserving this rare component of Florida's diverse natural resources as a legacy to generations of Floridians yet to come."

The proclamation also said preservation of the Florida panther, which also is the state's official animal, "…is the will of the people and therefore a mission of their government..."

The Florida Legislature has designated the third Saturday in March as the annual Save the Florida Panther Day.

The Florida panther once ranged across the southeastern United States, but now is confined to South Florida. About 100 Florida panthers remain in the wild, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say the cats' numbers have risen slightly in the past two decades, largely as a result of better habitat and genetic management and additional public land purchases. .

Florida funds part of the panther research and protection effort through the sale of Florida panther specialty license plates. Eighty-five percent of the money collected from those sales is deposited in the FWC's Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund to help fund the species' recovery from the threat of extinction.

To view the governor's proclamation or to learn more about Florida panthers visit PantherNet at

Media Contact:
(FWC) Judy Gillan 850-921-4484
(FWS) Layne Hamilton 239-353-8442, Ext. 227

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogs of Note: Half Loaded

© 2009 Albert A Rasch,

Here's another blog I found in my evening traipse through the netherworld of the internet. Half-Loaded writes good solid posts on a variety of firearm related issues, including some pretty good reviews.

This is her latest: Tactical Flashlight

Stop by, and say hello!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

The First Amendment Prevails! For a Change...

From the "I Can't Believe I'm Actually Reading This!" file:

Local anglers' shop, "The Complete Angler" won an important battle against onerous city officials.

In what can only be called a ridiculous waste of tax payer money, the city of Clearwater, Florida "...cited (the owner) for the painting, (then the) shop owner Herb Quintero covered it with a banner of the First Amendment. The city then warned him the banner violated city code."

Fortunately, "U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Jenkins recommended that a federal judge grant the temporary injunction against the city, finding that the shop is likely to prevail in its lawsuit against the city."

At least this time the ACLU helped the good guys!

See the whole article here.