Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Blog Rodeo 8/28/10

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Saturday Blog Rodeo 08/28/10

ZOUNDS! Another week has come and gone and I am still here in Afghanistan, the Talibanannas still haven't zeroed in on me, and I haven't been run over by a third country national or member of NATO. And that's not from lack of trying on their part! If Al Gore only new how much hot air and carbon is being emitted here, he would have us shut down this little ol' war and make us all go home!

Anyway, once again I bring to you the Blogs, posts, and commentaries that I found most entertaining and informative! And believe it or not, none of it has anything to do with Britany Spears turning thirty, politically correct Admirals, or that daily filler dish at the mess hall, polenta.

NOTE: Those of you that have comments embedded within your post, I cannot comment on your blog because of the MilNet's filters. I'm really sorry that I can't comment because there are so many posts that I wish to leave a note on! Very frustrating...

Let's see what we have for you this week!

Photo Credit: Rick Fletcher's Blog
I found this most excellent Blog in Deer Camp Blog's Blog Roll. Rick Fletcher is a rancher out in Almadea County, California. His blog, Rick Fletcher's Blog, is an ongoing discussion on hunting, conservation, and the nexus of ranching and the environment, with emphasis on thinking through the issues of balancing wildlife and economics.

Rick has a section in his blog, Thoughts on Managing a Ranch for Native Wildlife, Hunting and Value. That's an excellent place to start:

"If you’re a hunter, you might not be too worried about endangered foxes, but keep in mind that property values increase when you maintain a healthy population of wildlife, especially endangered species. You may someday find that taking care of these species will pay off in the form of opportunities to officially protect them in the form of mitigation."

To see some of the actual work and the results take a look at the following post, A Walk Around a Revived Pond. Fletcher takes an old cattle pond that was stocked with non-native fish, and restores to its proper ecological niche. 

Rick Fletcher's Blog is another must see blog, and should be part of your regular reading!

I don't think I have mentioned Rob's Hunting Journal before now. Rob likes to design and build trail cams, and obviously take pictures with them. His first post on the subject, My First Homebrew Trail Camera gives a lot of hints and suggestions, in addition to other resources on the web that will help you design and build your own high resolution trail cam. I'm thinking this might be a great project to get started on once I get back. I also think Rick over at Whitetail Woods ought to put one together too!

Well, by the time you all read this, I should be somewhere over the Atlantic and on my way home!  I look forward to catching up on all the comments, and seeing how everyone is. I'll be getting some (LOTS!) fishing in too with Bubby!

Remember, if you happen to bump into a post or blog you really like, let me know and I'll include it in my next Blog Rodeo!

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

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sporting Classics: Tigers of the Amazon

2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, in association with Bernard + Associates, proudly presents Sporting Classics. Widely recognized as the premier outdoor magazine, with award-winning graphics and the country's top writers, Sporting Classics focuses on the best hunting and fishing throughout the world. Whether it is wingshooting grouse on the Scottish Highlands, stopping Cape Buffalo on the plains of Tanzania, or landing delicate Rainbow Trout on a 2 weight bamboo fly rod, Sporting Classics and its stable of renowned authors covers it with class and finesse.

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, has been chosen as one of the few Outdoor Bloggers to share content from the most respected and well known magazine in the outdoor community!

Please enjoy the following advance publication. I would like to thank the Bernard and Associates team and Sporting Classics for choosing The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles  as a partner in their endeavours!

Tigers of the Amazon
by Joey Lin

Fly fishing for the spectacular freshwater dorado.

"El Dorado"

An incredible fishing adventure, one that seems lost in time, awaits anglers who journey to these remote jungle headwaters of the Amazon. Situated in central Bolivia, hundreds of miles from any form of civilization, the crystalline waters of Isiboro-S├ęcure National Park and Indigenous Territory teem with giant dorado weighing upwards of 40 pounds.

Very few have experienced the thrill of catching freshwater dorado, often referred to as “Tigers of the River” for their razor-sharp teeth and jaws of steel. Once hooked, these golden-hued gamefish put on a spectacular display of strength and leaping ability.

Natives of the Yuracare and Tsimane tribes have plied these secluded Amazonian waters for thousands of years. Using hand-hewn bows and arrows and crude spears, they stalk the jungle rivers for dorado, freshwater stingrays and sabalo, a big carp-like fish.

Freshwater Stingray, it's what's for dinner!

For fly anglers, the dorado season runs from June through September. Joey Lin has been guiding and outfitting fishermen throughout South America for many years. He currently offers fly fishing for dorado out of Tsimana Lodge in Bolivia.

Visit or contact Joey Lin via:
email at
or by phone: (888) 795-3474.

The Mighty Freshwater Dorado!

Next week! Purdey Shotguns!

Nebraska Hunting Company Scott Croner

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I Carry a Gun: From The Home on the Range Archives.

© 2009-2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Why I Carry a Gun

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

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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dust, Dust, and More Dust! Notes from Afghanistan!

Howdy everyone!

I'll be leaving the Eastern provinces in a couple of days, and I wanted to let you all know what is coming up!

First, the Yo-Yo's for Troops campaign is really cranking up! Ms Pierceall found out about the YYfT morale program through Home on the Range and generously donated Yo-Yo's. The Silicon Greybeard made a very generous donation of Yo-Yo's too! But wait until you hear what is coming up soon. I am so excited that I can barely contain myself. A former Marine, veteran of the Korean Conflict, and accomplished woodcrafter, has hand turned and assembled 200 custom Yo-Yo's for the cause!!! I can't wait for them to arrive, and I hope that I can get Stars and Stripes to write a piece on our benefactor! Of course I have already written one, and as soon as I get them, I am heading right out to pass them out, get pictures, and post them!  So stay tuned!

As many of you know, I have the privilege of sharing with you articles and pictures from Sporting Classics!  I was really surprised and very pleased to be chosen; Sporting Classics is the one magazine all the other outdoor magazines are judged by.  Right now I am publishing them on Friday, but I would like some input on which day you would like to see them on. It will be a weekly column, one that I hope will be a big hit with you.

Hunting season is just about upon us, and I'll be having quite a few articles that will concentrate on it. I'm also wracking my brains for ideas, how-tos, projects, preparation, and the like, and I would like some ideas from you if possible! Anything for the cause! Oh, and remember that National Hunting and Fishing Day will soon be upon us! So plan now to do what you can to perpetuate our National Heritage.

News from the Front: I'll be heading out for R&R soon, so I'll be able to catch up on quite a few posts and pictures that I have been wanting to share with you. I'll be buying a new laptop, and it will have one of those wireless things in it so that I can actually get on the internet sans the MilNet filters. If I have the wherewithal, a new SLR will be coming back with me too. There is actually quite a bit of wildlife here that I would like to capture on pixels and show you.

All in all, it's quite an adventure I'm having. I look forward to going home for a couple of weeks, seeing my loved ones, and stopping by my local Starbucks, where everyone knows my name. Bubby has a secret Largemouth Bass spot that he's been staying away from, so that, in his own words, "They don't get lockjaw." He really wants me to get into a nice Largemouth! 

Best regards, your friend,
Albert "Why is there so much dust in this place?" Rasch

Sent via e-mail
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best of the Outdoor Bloggers: Fall Roads Archer

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Best of the Outdoor Bloggers

Remember I mentioned a week or so ago I would be going through everyones archives and finding those posts that I thought were interesting and worth revisiting? I found the following post, Saturday Small Game on Fall Roads Archer, really liked the pictures and flow, so I am presenting it here for everyone to view again!

"Working my way back uphill, it began to dawn on me just how many buck rubs I was seeing."

I headed out with my older brother yesterday to do some small game hunting along with some scouting for the upcoming rifle season. I packed my fly rod along to try my luck at the creek that flows through the area we'd be hunting. The old single shot 12 gauge was my gun of choice today, and on a side note may be a winter restoration project, as it's showing some wear. It didn't take long to put the first bushytail in the game bag.

Making my way down a hemlock filled hollow that had a small creek flowing through it, something out of place caught my eye. Upon further investigation it turned out to be the remains of a decent seven point. It looked to be from last year as it was just the skull and a pile of bones.

Slowly making my way down to the creek I flushed one grouse along the way, but it happened so fast there was no shot opportunity. Arriving stream side, I stashed the gun and gave it a go with some streamers for awhile but didn't have any luck.

Getting back to hunting, I worked my way upstream through the woods along the creek. I came across something I'd never seen before in all my years of hunting this area, beaver damage.

Working my way back uphill, it began to dawn on me just how many buck rubs I was seeing. They were literally everywhere. It was the same thing everywhere I roamed today.

Just before noon I put the second squirrel of the day in the game bag. With lots of acorns this year it seems to be a banner year for them.

Not too long after, number three fell to the single shot.

Number four came almost immediately after.

Around two o'clock I bagged my fifth squirrel of the day. The limit is six and is something I've never accomplished. Try as I might, I couldn't put one more in the game bag.

All in all, a very enjoyable day. I ended up seeing five deer and also flushed another grouse along the way. My brother, who was scouting for the upcoming bear season, saw two bears but didn't score on any small game. A great day to be out!

My friends, I hope you enjoyed this installment of "Best of the Outdoor Bloggers," our new weekly series, as much as I did. I want to thank Bill of Fall Roads Archer for allowing me to share his Saturday Small Game 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 snot 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

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Chronicles' Project: Sleeping Bag Care

How to Wash a Sleeping Bag Properly!
© 2009-2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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How do You Clean a Sleeping Bag,

It’s time to start thinking about Fall and camping! For me, there is nothing like getting up before everyone else, stoking the fire, setting out the coffee pot full of milk and chocolate to heat. As the nighttime creatures settle in for their daytime sleep, you’re sitting back and warming your hands by the flames as you wait for nature and your family to awaken from the night’s slumber. I am so looking forward to returning to the good ol' US of A and do the things with my family - things, like camping, that we should have been doing far more often than we have!

Your sleeping bag is probably the most important piece of equipment when it comes time to get some quality shuteye. A good sleeping bag is expensive, and taking good care of it will more than pay you back in terms of longevity and comfort.

A sleeping bag should be taken care of just like any other piece of equipment. That means regular inspections, proper storage, and cleaning when necessary.

Before you take it out into the field for the first time of the season, give it a thorough going over and check for weak or splitting seams, knotted ties, poorly functioning zippers, or any other deficiencies or potentially problematic ones. Better to get them taken care of before you need your bag, than to find out miles away from the car.

Though I use synthetic insulation in my sleeping bags in Florida due to the constant humidity and relative warmth, down is by far the better choice for any other area. Not only is it lighter, but also offers greater insulation per cubic inch. Down also gains loft over time, whereas synthetics will lose up to 40% of their loft. In other words, synthetics lose their ability to insulate as time goes on.

Storing you sleeping bag is pretty straightforward. All sleeping bags should be loosely rolled and placed inside a breathable fabric bag. You do not want to compact it into the smallest possible package, as this breaks down the individual fibers.

When you return from an expedition, (or an overnighter in the back yard), you should check the bag again for damage. Turn it inside out and dispose of any foreign objects or critters that may be in it. Air it out and make sure any dampness is gone before storing it.

There are really only two ways that you can clean your sleeping bag properly when the time comes that it needs it. You can either machine wash it or do it by hand. Drycleaning is not an option for either synthetics or down filled sleeping bags. The chemicals used, carbon tetrachloride and perchlorethelene, will remain in the lofting for quite some time. You do not want to be in that sleeping bag while that’s happening.

Whether you use a commercial front loader or decide to do it by hand, you will need the appropriate soaps for washing down. Woolite is acceptable, better yet are soaps made specifically for down. Cuddledown Fine Fabrics Wash and Fluffers is a well respected brand as is McNett ReviveX Down Cleaner

For synthetics use a recommended detergent, or Woolite.

First hand clean those areas that may have been soiled or dirtied. Use a sponge and the recommended detergent to carefully scrub the dirty spots. Dampen the spots, let the detergent pretreat the spot. Then scrub with the sponge to lift and remove the majority of the stain or dirt.
If you are machine washing your bag, you must use a large commercial front loading washer. You cannot use a top load, agitator style washer. An agitator will damage and tear the baffles that keep the down in place and help compartmentalize and maintain the loft. Tear the baffles loose and you will get cold and thin spots as the down shifts and compresses. Set the wash cycle to warm, and the rinse cycles to cold.

It is best to run the bag through the front loader twice, once with soap, and the second sans the soap. Rinsing your bag well is critical for the down’s well being, and the bag’s longevity. Residual soaps and detergents attract and hold dirt, dander, and dust thereby exacerbating and speeding up subsequent soiling.

Hand washing is tough, but it is the safest way to clean an expensive sleeping bag. It is virtually impossible to damage a sleeping bag when hand washing. And though it is real work, you are all but guaranteed a clean, undamaged, and well maintained bag.

If you decide to hand wash your sleeping bag, use warm water. I would recommend a watering trough, or barring access to one, a bath tub will do well enough. Practical yes, totally cool, no.

Again use the appropriate soap for your bag’s insulation. Leave your bag in its carry sack and start to soak it in the warm, soapy water. Use a Plastic cup and pour the water into the sack and in the bag. Massage and knead the sack until the sleeping bag within is totally soaked. Now start to take it out of the sack and continue to work the soapy water trough the bag. If there are areas or spots that are particularly soiled, like where your head rests, make sure you dedicate some time to it and get it clean. After you’ve worn yourself out, let the bag soak for another our or so, occasionally agitating by hand to loosen any other grime that is stuck to the bag. Give it a good going over and start to rinse it.

Note: At no time should you lift the bag from any single point! Wet down or insulation can be exceedingly heavy, and you could tear the baffles loose!

Continue rinsing until you are positive all the soap has been removed. Now you must be careful with the bag. Use a laundry basket and carefully place the bag in it. Press as much water out of the bag as possible. Do Not Wring The Bag! You will ruin it if you twist it and wring it. Press the water out. You can also carefully put it in its carry bag, push it to the bottom, twist the carry bag tight, and then press the stuff sack itself.

Some laundromats have extractors which are excellent for getting the maximum amount of water out of a bag. The more water you get out, the quicker it will dry.

Regardless of whether you used a washing machine or you did it by hand, you are going to need a dryer. If you hand washed it you may want to drip dry it for a while first. If you used a machine, when your bag is done on the spin cycle, carefully remove it and transfer it to the dryer. Remember that laundromat dryers are notorious for burning clothes! Either find one that actually runs on low to medium, or resign yourself to a constant vigil. There is no other choice. A hot drier will ruin your bag.

You will also need a half dozen tennis balls with three socks, or a pair of clean canvas tennis shoes. Take a couple of balls, drop them in a sock, and tie the end off. Throw them in the drier with the bag so that as the bag tumbles it gets pummeled constantly by the balls and the down regains its loft. Tennis shoes work the same. Take it out occasionally as it gets drier and fluff it up before tossing it back in. If you have a down comforter, this is a great way to fluff it up too.

It takes a long time to dry a bag, be patient.

Store you sleeping bag and its stuff sack in a larger loose fitting, breathable bag. Make sure they are kept in a dry location, which has some ventilation. A closet is fine, but keep your sleeping bags out of the Rubbermaid boxes! Mildew will ruin a bag if it gets a hold of it.

A Few Basic Care Rules for Sleeping Bags:
  • Store your bags loose, not compressed in their carry bags.
  • If your bag happens to get wet, dry it thoroughly before storage.
  • Try to keep the bag clean if possible. They have liners for bags, and even wearing night clothes helps by absorbing oils. If you put your boots in the bag with you, put them in their own sack.
  • When it gets dirty wash it!

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

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