Friday, August 13, 2010

0.5% Civilized - 99.5% Instinctual or: I Would Rather Hunt, than be Hunted

© 2009-2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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(I was going through the archives and I found this one from last year. We had lots of comments, and I thought it would be nice if some of our newest members and readers had an opportunity to read and comment on the subject. Your friend, AAR)

"In a very real sense our intellect, interests, emotions and basic social life - all are evolutionary products of the success of the hunting adaptation."
SL Washburn and CS Lancaster

All the PeTA drama of the last couple of weeks, plus the great intellectual stimulation that I have been fortunate to have when discussing animal issues with Brendan of Screaming Chicken Activism, got me to think more deeply as to why I hunt. I think it was Brendan that mentioned to me that I really didn't need to hunt, and that he thought there was a dichotomy in the desire I have to hunt and kill, and my love of animals.
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I believe that when I made the comment that it just sort of came to me. I know it was late and I was tired, so it was more subconscious than deduced and thought out. The answer that I gave him was that I have always been a hunter, even as a child. Not in the sense that I was formally inducted into the hunting fraternity by cousins, uncles, or my dad, no one in my family hunts. But ever since I was very young I stalked animals, bugs, people, birds, even fish. My mother got plenty of phone calls, and not more than a few visits from concerned parents and the occasional police officer with young Albert in tow! (I think it was suggested in hushed tones that perhaps a professional should have a look at me, but luckily my parents figured I would outgrow it... What did they know...) I don't remember how many bows I made from anything remotely flexible, and the scar on my thumb is from a Gillete single edge razor blade that sliced me down to the tendon while I was sharpening arrows made from bamboo.

As I have been contemplating this, it occurred to me to question how much of that was some deep instinctual behavior, versus an observed or learned one. Well, it seemed to me to be more an instinct than anything else. First, I had no role models to instill the desire to hunt in me. Television in the sixties did not have Sportsman Channel or Outdoor Channel. As a matter of fact it was black and white for those of you that aren't familiar with non cable TV! Another factor would be that I was raised in New York City. I only recall two times that I saw a hunter with a deer strapped to the hood of the car. It wasn't like my neighbors encouraged hunting as a leisure activity.

So where did my instinct to hunt come from then?

Why it has to be from the Paleolithic Era of course!

We have been "civilized" for a little over 10,000 years. But for 2.6 million years before that, we were little more than roving bands of hungry humans looking for our next meal, and avoiding becoming one.

2.6 million years as Homo Sapiens, but about 5 million years if you include Homo Habilis, followed by 10,000 years of so called civilization, that has also been punctuated by famines, diseases, and pestilence. 5 million years of evolution and not much has really changed as far as I can tell in the 0.5% of time we have been "civilized."

I'm thinking that my instinct theory is getting some traction here. If all humans are animals, then it stands to reason that we have some instincts left. Just because we are the only reasoning animal on the planet, doesn't mean that we have no instincts left. I and many others must still feel the pull of the outdoors and the need to pit our abilities, as considerable as they are, against nature.

That we don't need to hunt may not be an accurate statement. I am now, more than ever convinced that we not only need to hunt, but it is unnatural to subvert or suppress that need or instinct. As I told Brendan, I could no more be a non-hunter, than he could be a carnivore. Though I think that it might be easier for Brendan to eat a hunk of steak if he was hungry enough and not suffer much emotional discomfort, than it would be to keep me from the outdoors. I think that is very indicative of the importance of the instinct, the natural desire to be the top predator in nature's tapestry.

The more I think about this, the more I conclude that to deny the nature of being human, that is to deny the parts of us tat are still driven by instinct, is just asking to be sick both emotionally and physically. If any of us was forced to forego our basic human nature, physical and emotional harm would soon follow.

For me it all boils down to this: I am a hunter. I am driven by a passion greater than that of those around me because I acknowledge and accept that which nature bestowed upon me. As long as I treat nature and her gift to me with respect, I will continue to be whole... and human.

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Old School is the New School: Yo-Yo's for Troops!

Howdy everyone, and greetings from somewhere out East in Afghanistan!

Crazy Ali must have heard about the Yo-Yo's for Troops Campaign, and thought it another nefarious plot by this impious, impudent, irreverent, and insolent Infidel, to thwart and subvert the Talibananna's evil plot of world domination! They done tried their burkha clad best to fire us up, only to come up snake eyes and very dead! Poor buggers don't know when they should just up and quit, and take up farming...

 My British buddies sending off another care package
 to our Taliban neighbors!

Well as you might imagine, the spinning discs of counter terrorism continue to arrive, exacerbating Ali's irritable bowels! M Graham, another Home on the Range reader, has forwarded a handful of Yo-Yo's for distribution!  Mr G is an old school Yo-Yo'er from back in the day! I can't thank him, and everyone that has helped, enough for being so generous and thoughtful.

By the way, Lweson has put together a Facebook page on the Yo-Yo's for Troops project. I can't access Facebook, but do go and "friend it" and ask all your friends do the same! (umm, did I say that right?)

Best Regards!
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And the Yo-Yo's Continue to Arrive

Yo-Yo's are a Huge Hit!

Bob N., one of Bridgid's Home on the Range readers, saw the post and banner that Brigid is so graciously flying, and decided to help us out with a generous donation of Duncan Yo-Yo's!

I tried to e-mail you, but unfortunately it wouldn't deliver.

Your Yo-Yo's have arrived in KAF! (Kandahar Air Field) I can't thank you enough for your generosity and consideration. As I have told all of my friends and participants, I am especially gratified that you took the time to do something for the young men and women that are here. They don't always have it comfortable, and there isn't all that much to do. The newness of being far away and in a foreign land rubs off right quick after a couple of miserable meals and a rocket punctuated, sleepless night. Believe you me, watching them eagerly tear the packageing open shows how much they appreciate the tokens of your esteem.

Thanks again for your support!

With fondest regards,
Albert A Rasch

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

Mule Deer: Tips and Techniques with Nebraska Hunting Company

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"Nebraska mule deer hunting has been overlooked by mule deer hunters for altogether too long." Says Nebraska resident and well known guide Scott Croner of Nebraska Hunting Company.

Believe it or not, Nebraska is one of a few states where a hunter can buy a hunting license and mule deer tag over-the-counter. Whereas almost every other mule deer hunting state has a draw system or lottery, where it may take years to finally draw the chance at a trophy Mule deer, Nebraska hunters get to purchase theirs without issue.

By the way, the specific unit tag and statewide buck tags can be used for either a Whitetail or Mule deer buck. The required Nebraska State Habitat Stamp is only $16.
  • Nonresident specific game management unit deer permits are $178.
  • Nonresident firearm statewide buck permits are $443.50.
  • Nonresident antler less-only permit are $55.
Compared to other Mid West and Western States where Mule deer are pursued, these tags prices are very, very reasonable. Scott mentions that, "You can't beat the fact that you can go to the local gun shop or outfitter's store and purchase them on the spot." Remember that these permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. And due to the wonders of modern communications, your permits and tags can be purchased online and printed out through

Though Scott specializes in trophy Merriam's Turkey and Snow Goose, Nebraska Hunting Company has some great opportunities for the individual looking to get a crack at quality mule deer. "I only have a limited number of available hunts, and most of those are after the Nebraska Whitetails, and many of my customers are repeat customers of previous years." Adds Scott, "But there are always a couple of Mule Deer opening each season." So it is a good idea to book as early as is convenient for you to do so.

All of Nebraska Hunting Company's leases are wide open. You'll be hunting cultivated field edges, river bottoms, or prairie sand hills. Nebraska is known for its varied terrain. There will be no feeders or fencelines to contend with. When you get your Mulie you will have worked for it! Scott recommends that you be in good shape, as some of the areas a mule deer may require a several miles of careful stalking to get within your shooting zone. Mule deer hunting is predominantly a game of spotting the deer, and then stalking to within shooting distance. They are cagey, and they move. Nebraska Hunting Company can tailor a hunt though, to accommodate you.

I spoke with Scott and asked what he recomended with respect to rifles. "Albert," he said, "Bring what you know you can shoot. Shots can be anywhere from 30 yards away to 200 or more yards." Croner feels that if you can honestly shoot minute of deer at 100 yards with a 45-70, then he will do his best to get you withinn 100 yards. If you are comfortable shooting at 300 yards with your 300 WSM, then he will put you in the position to do so if need be. "I want my clients to be as close as possible." Scott emphasizes. "Close in means better shot placement and an ethical take. Both are very important to me." He adds, "I personally prefer 6.5mm or larger, with the flat shooting 7mms being a great choice. The .300 magnums, if you can shoot them well, are probably the most versatile of them all."

That immediately brought us to a discussion on the choice of ammo. "I would rather see everyone show up with one of the premium ammos. I lean towards the Failsafes from Winchester, though I know that you prefer the Remington Premier with the Swift A-Frame. Both will do the job regardless of conditions." Scott favors a bullet that will hold it together for an unexpected close in shot, as well as one that performs at extended ranges.

A good scope on your rifle is a definate plus, especially when shots present themselves at dawn or dusk. Practice with your rifle at the maximum range that you are comfortable shooting at. Then study the trajectory charts so you know what range to sight in at. You want your point of aim to vary no more than 3 inches below the arc of the trajectory. That way, as long as your quarry is within your maximum range you will only have to place the crosshairs where you want to hit. My Weatherby 30/06 with 180gr Swift A-Frames, spot on at my maximum range of 200 yards, is 2 inches high at 100 meters. So anything inside of 200 will get a heart shot if I do my part.

If you are a muzzleloading fan, Nebraska Hunting Company and Scott can help you fill that tag too. Muzzleloading season is during the month of December, so the odds of getting that trophy are even better! You'll have to work extra hard to get that Mulie, but it is the time of year to do it in. The new magnum inline muzzleloaders have the capabilities to make those longer shots, and with the availability of good bullets, you are much more likely to hammer that big one when he comes into view. The December muzzleloader season is almost unknown outside of Nebraska, so take advantage of it! Call Scott for further details on hunting Nebraska's Muzzleloader season.

With some luck and a good dose of fortune, I may finally get to go up to Nebraska with Scott and hunt Merriam'sTurkey. But if I ever have the opportunity to make time for Mule deer and Monster Whitetail, Scott Croner and Nebraska Hunting Company will be my outfitter of choice. When it comes to shelling out hard earned dollars for an adventure of a lifetime, you need to choose wisely. The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles and I personally endorse Nebraska Hunting Company.

Nebraska Hunting Company
Phone: 402 304 1192

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

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 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.

Nebraska Hunting Company, Scott Croner

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Yo-Yo's Arrive!

Howdy everyone!

Wow! Even I am all excited when mail call rolls around!

Today, a package arrived from Emily of Scent Free Lip Goss.

Wait until you guys see the picture! Not only did she send some Yo-Yo's, (BTW, definately not tactical! LOL!), but she sent some goodies for the boys along with a card for each lucky recipient! I'm telling you folks that I am having as much fun as the fellows!

I wanted to bring some cheer and good times to some hard pressed, hard fighting troops, but the truth of the matter is I am getting as much out of being with them and sharing your kindness and consideration, as they are getting from you.

Thank you, each and every one of you for participating and making this one of the grandest moments of my life!

All my love, to you and our country!

God bless all of you, and God bless America, the shining beacon of the world!

Albert A Rasch

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

PS: I'm still emailing these posts..

Monday, August 9, 2010

Update: Operatives Recover Yo-Yo's Stolen by Taliban!

Hello my friends!

OK, maybe those looney Taliban didn't steal them, but if they had, my people would have taken care of business and recovered them! Actually I'll bet money that those wacky bastards have a fatwah against Yo-Yo's. All the more reason to send lots of them in this direction.

Crazy Joe Ali and his anti Yo-Yo gear.

I have located the yo-yo's that Troutrageous! and KC The Diaper Bag Wrangler have sent to the Yo-Yo's for Troops.  Luckily, my team, knowing I was looking for them, found them in Bagram. Now one of the fellows is going to fly them down south this evening.

As soon as I get back, I am going to borrow a laptop and upload all the pictures I've taken so far. Lots of smiling American troops enjoying a respite with their new Yo-Yo's, thanks to all of you that are participating.

Best regards!
Albert A Rasch

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

First Yo-Yo's Arrive!

Friends of the Troops!

The first box of Yo-Yo's has made it into my hands!

Kari Murray of I don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods, sent two dozen Duncan Yo-Yo's for distribution to the Troops! Thank you Kari for such generousity.

I also know that a package of Yo-Yo's from KC, The Diaperbag Wrangler, is hot on the heels of Kari's. It would have come in first, had it not been for an overzealous postal employee forwarding it to another base; one that I am not at! It will get here I am sure... On it's own sweet time... Eventually!

Thank you ladies for being the first to participate, and bring some joy and pleasure to the Troops. As soon as I get back, I'll be posting the pictures and comments for everyone to share in!

Best regards!
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

PS: I have posted this using Mail2Blogger. I have no clue if it works! If you are reading this, then it must have.
Please email me and let me know! AAR

Best of the Outdoor Bloggers: Whitetail Woods: Do it yourself Gravity Fed Deer Feeder

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Best of the Outdoor Bloggers
Do It Yourself Gravity Fed Deer Feeder

From Rick at Whitetail Woods, comes this little gem of a DIY project Whitetail Woods: Do it yourself Gravity Fed Deer Feeder. First appearing on his old blog, he revamped it a bit and put it on Whitetail Woods, and now I have chosen it for another installment of "Best of the Outdoor Bloggers!"

For those of you who don’t have a lot of finances like myself, here is a do it yourself deer feeder that you can make at home.

You do need to check the laws in your area to see if it is permitted. I know in Connecticut you can not hunt deer over bait but, there is nothing that says you can’t take pictures over bait and that is what I am talking about as well as giving them supplemental food over the winter.

I have a feeling that they will need the extra nutrition this winter. I plan to set up a gravity fed feeder for deer and have a deer cam not to far away for the purpose of getting pictures and seeing how the local herd in my area is doing.

This has 3 basic purposes for me:

1. This will give the deer more to eat during the winter months
2. It also acts as a scouting tool by showing me the type and size of deer I have in my area.
3. I can sit back on a cold winters night and browse my photo albums.

Items needed:

1 - 6′ piece of 4″ pvc pipe ( will hold approximately 25 lbs. of corn )

1 - 4″ pvc cap so the feed does not get wet while in the pipe

1 - base tray that the pipe will sit in just like the picture

What you can use for a base tray is a 5 gallon plastic can and cut it down to 6″ then all that you need to do cut a slot in the plastic pipe about 1 to 2 inches wide and about 3 inches in height at the end of the pipe that is going to be in the container.

Fasten the pipe to one side of the container with the slotted portion towards the center. Cut some small holes in the bottom of the container so that it will not hold water when it rains.

This is the best example that I found for a do it yourself deer feeder project. So I would like to thank Whitetail Deer Management and Hunting for giving me another idea of how I can enjoy the whitetail deer.
Rick Kratzke

Albert's Notes:
This is one of those DIY projects that you can but together from scrounged up materials! I would say that at any construction sites dumpster, you are bound to find a piece of four or six inch PVC tossed away. Always ask before you scrounge though! Most guys will gladly allow you to get it, or will fetch it for you, especially if you tell them what your building. The cap on the end though, you will probably have to purchase. Secure it to a tree with a couple of old bicycle inner tubes, and you won't damage the tree either. As Rick mentions, make sure you drill a whole mess of 1/8th to 1/4 inch holes all around the perimeter of the bottom so any water can run out. Use large fender washers on the inside of the pipe to protect the PVC from the bolt heads. If I get home for a couple of weeks this fall, I'll be putting one of these together myself.

Remember to Reuse and Recycle!

My friends, that is the second installment of "Best of the Outdoor Bloggers," which I hope to make a weekly series. I want to thank Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods for allowing me to share his great Do it Yourself Gravity Fed Deer Feeder project with everyone. If you have a post that you are particularly proud of, or if you want to look at your Analytics and check out what your # 1 post is, please feel free to forward it to me and I will gladly post it and link the bejeebers out of it to your blog!

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