Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Night Music

From back when he had long hair, this week I'm going with one of my favorite Willie songs, "Me and Paul"

Bigger government

I'm ok with the government owning a few military bases. The White House, maybe a few office buildings and warehouses so they can do the census and deliver the mail. A couple feet of land around the border so they have a place to put a wall. They need a place to put the interstate, too. I'm even ok with Yellowstone National Park.

I am not ok with even the possibility that this may be true.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The end times are near

Willie cut off his pig tails.

Hog hunt

I'm still coming up with nothing to post, so I'm going to recycle some pictures from a pretty good hunting trip I went on last year. My brother, two of our cousins, and a family friend all had a pretty good time in Coleman county. We got fifteen overall, including one stretch where we got seven in about forty minutes, and probably would have got more except the dogs were worn out at that point.

It's really saying something when the guy holding the mule is the least redneck person in a picture.

Paul has a pack of curs and a few hound crosses. We were using three bay dogs on the ground with one catch dog on a lead. The idea is to work them in teams to find and bay the hogs. In theory, curs try and pick up a scent off the wind and then follow it to the source, and hounds will follow a colder trail. They're all a little bit different though, and there may be more difference between two curs than there is between a given catahoula and a specific Plott hound. Some will range out and hunt a little farther than others. Some stay close. Once they find a hog, some are willing to get a little rougher in order to detain it. It's important to get a good combination of traits in the team you're using. You don't want a dog with a lot of range on a small parcel of land. It's also nice to have dogs fast and gritty enough to get a hog stopped fast before it ends up two counties over.

This is Paul and his hunting mule, Lyle. He doesn't bother with a knife, he has a bayonet. The man comes prepared.

Once the bay dogs have a hog found, they start making noise. That allows you to locate them. The hog will either look for a place to make a stand, or try and leave the country. The curs give chase, trying to corner it and get it stopped. If they get it stopped, the noise increases and the hog may squeal. That means it is time for the catch dog.

This is Ada. She is from Norway and enjoys Kevlar and long walks in the brush. Seriously.

The catch dog is basically a platform for transporting huge jaws muscles and large quantities of determination. On this trip we had an Argentine Dogo named Ada. Pit Bulls are popular, as are bull dogs and various crosses. But the Dogo is the Cadillac of catch dogs. There are running catch dogs, but most people keep them on a lead so they don't run themselves out. Once you walk it in close to the bay, you turn it loose. A good catch dog will then plow through brush, small trees, and anything else to get to the pig and grab a hold of it. Most grab an ear. Once they have a bite, they set up and pull. The bay dogs take this opportunity to grab the pig too. Once a hog has dogs pulling on its ears, neck, and shoulders, their fighting and running options are limited. While this is going on, everybody is hurrying to get to the bay. Dogs get tired the longer a bay goes on, and a tired dog is more likely to get hurt. The front of a hog is the dangerous end after all. The first man in grabs the back legs of the pig and flips it on its back, crossing the legs. The next guy in inserts his knife into the pig.

It's a little hard to see from this angle, but me and Ada are having a spirited tug of war with a big sow, and my cousin Kelly is taking his sweet time deciding where to put his knife.

I was the first guy on the scene on all but the very last hog. Depending on who you talk to, either my male relatives are less than zealous, or I have questionable judgement.

Yeah, I'm the one with questionable judgement.

Good catch dogs are persistent. They won't quit too soon. Or even too late.

Depending on the size of the hog and the character of the bay dogs, a catch dog may not always be required.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mid-week Menaces

I haven't posted much lately, so I'm changing things up. Instead of weekend menaces, I'm going with mid-week menaces. Alliteration is good.

Some things spend their time doing two things: sleeping and looking for something to eat. We call them carnivores. Some of them have a process for determining what they can eat. If it moves and they can get it in their mouth, they eat it. This is one of those things.

I've commented on the pirate menace before, but now it's a little closer to home. Are you kidding me? I'm waiting for one of these border incedents to explode when somebody returns fire. Do you have any idea how many pick ups in this part of the world have a rifle behind the seat?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Night Music

I was busy last week and missed out, so how about three songs this week? Let's go with some Pat Green songs that really aren't that old but seem like they are, "Songs About Texas," "Take Me Out to a Dancehall," and "Carry On." Eight or nine years ago I saw Pat every chance I had. Year before last he came to town with Willie Nelson and only did one of his old songs in among the Nashville stuff. I think the term sell out is stupid, I'm all for ambition and think his goals were admirable, but screw the rest of the world. Come on back to Texas and do things right. Everything you need to know about the rest of the country can be summed up by the fact that "Dancehall Dreamer" is one of the best songs I know of, but it's nowhere to be found on You Tube.

I started to go with a different video of this song where he told a funny story, but this version is more like the one that first lead me towards listening to good music.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

While we're at it

Take a look at this page. 180 grain loadings in .30-06 and .308. The '06 is rated for large, thin skinned game. But the same projectile, launched 80 fps slower out of the .308, is only good for light thin skinned game. Then take a look at the 180 grain .303 British chart. Lose 200 fps off of a 180 grain thirty caliber bullet, and you're back into big, thin skinned game. What gives?

Ok, now look at the 180 grain .30-40 load. It starts off slightly slower than the .303, but according to the Winchester people keeps more velocity past three hundred yards. As far as I am concerned, no real difference. So why are they willing to label the British round for large game and not the Krag? Do they put tougher bullets into the '06 and .303? The .303 measures .311, so it's a different bullet. But I seriously doubt Winchester is using up manufacturing space to make two different 180 grain power point bullets for the American 30 calibers.

I'm one of the dozen or so people out there to own and shoot a .307 Winchester. So I took a look at its chart next. Tube magazines require flat nose bullets, so the .307 is less aerodynamic than the others and loses velocity downrange. It starts off faster than the .303 or the .30-40 though. I don't buy that the .303 is magically a more efficient missile of destruction than the .307, but I could possibly swallow some argument about flat nose as compared to spitzer bullets. Maybe. Still don't buy that 80 fps makes that much difference in the .30-06 and .308. There could be that much difference caused a little variance in chamber tolerances. For that matter, I bet the .308 load is faster out of a model 70 rifle than the '06 is out of, say, my 7600 carbine and its 18 inch barrel. Can anybody explain their reasoning here? Is it just the work of stupid marketing people, or is there something going on I should know about?


My .45 Colt model 625 really loves Winchester Silvertips, as does my two inch Lew Horton 625. They're getting harder to come by though, so I was excited to come across this while doing some Midway window shopping earlier.

Mostly I think it's cool that it's even being offered. Look at the other choices in Winchester's Supreme Elite line-up. Except for good 'ol .45 Colt those are all either service pistol rounds or pocket pistol rounds. In all of the latest news about such and such agency switching to such and such caliber or manufacturer, I don't recall anybody adopting Ruger Vaqueros as their standard sidearm. Check out the bullet weights, they aren't just loading their .45 acp bullet into a .45 Colt case. Maybe there is more demand than I realized from SASS shooters for a home defense round.

There was one thing that really surprised me though. No mention of a loading in .357 mag. There may be a few Rangers or Sheriffs wearing Peacemakers to barbeques or in court, but I'd be willing to bet there are even more model 66's still being worn on duty every day. I'd also put money on there being more .357's sitting in dresser drawers than there are .45 Colts.

For whatever it's worth, I own both calibers, and I keep the 625 on the night stand. Even if I shot a .357 equally well, big and slow bothers my ears less than small and screaming.

Weekend Menaces

Baboons are like the speed freak biker out of a little old ladies worst nightmare. Super humanly fast, aggressive, and strong. And running amok in South Africa. There was a time when big game hunters were pretty common in that neck of the woods.

Geographically closer to home, folks in Chicago are besieged by super raccoons. On the one hand, I feel left out that I never get besieged by super animals and would like to go with the time honored "what caliber for super raccoon?" On the other hand, Chicagoans are obviously stupid.

Edited to acknowledge that not all Yankees are stupid