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If you missed Jerry’s contest at M1A Rifles…good news he will be having more! There were a lot of great posts to the M1A Forum. If you haven’t checked out his site yet, you really should. There are tons of great articles and videos on the M1A and M14.
As for his first contest: The Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14X40 scope was won by some old cowboy named Hollister DeLong…HEY…that’s me! Free is my favorite price. Thanks Jerry!
I will post some pics as soon as I get the scope.
One of our newer Skinny Moose bloggers is running a contest at his site:
The contest runs May 9th – 23rd.
You need to check it out. Jerry is giving away a NEW4.5-14×40 SF BDC Rifle scope! And we know that’s a great piece. That would go well on one of the guns I’m building up….so forget it…don’t enter and let me win the scope…yeah that works!
Seriously, he has a great site and the forum page is really good, too. Go check out m1arifles.com and welcome Jerry to the Skinny Moose blogs!
I new it was inevitable. Bruce had been in failing health for several months. Sadly, earlier this month, we had to have Bruce put down.
Bruce came to us in June of 2006, already old and the best miles behind him. Yet, there he was, his heart strong and eager to serve. Dog? Cat? No…Bruce was our 1993 Geo Tracker that I paid $150 for. I had spotted the ad the first day it came out: 1993 Tracker…bad body…$150. I called the owner and went up later in the day and bought him. I was told it needed a battery and a V-Belt.
Bruce started, with a jump, and ran hot on the seven mile trip back to Troy, NY. When I got home I popped the hood and found the reason for Bruce overheating…the belt was shredded. Now the jump start made sense. Bruce’s alternator pulley froze up causing the belt to shred and the water pump not to work.
$150 later Bruce had a new V-belt, alternator and battery, which turned out to be the only repairs he would need. He passed NY’s tough inspection with no problem. He served faithfully as an around town – run-the-son to- school car and as my hunting and fishing vehicle. Bruce would get into unbelievable places, in 4 wheel drive. He embodied my teachings as America’s Frugal Sportsman…no monthly payments, 4 wheel drive and 30 miles to a gallon!
His main problem was body cancer, a known Tracker nemisis. It had progressed to the point that I could look down and see the road in two different places. His brakes were getting bad and I weighed getting them fixed or facing the sad reality that Bruce’s life was at the end. Bruce made the decision for me. On the way home from my Doctor’s office, one of Bruce’s calipers simply exploded. I limped home very dejected, kno0wing that Bruce had passed his time. My wife and son were equally saddened as Bruce enjoyed Rock Star status with us, for his dependability and lack of cost to maintain. We knew that it would be a miracle to replace him, or as my 11 year-old son, Kobe, said: Look for a new Bruce.
We did, for a month or so. But any Trackers were out of our specs for a suitable vehicle for America’s Frugal Sportsman to drive around in. Finally, I settled on a weathered 1993 S-15 Jimmy. It needs some work, but I will done and good for about $900 and no payments. Not the bargain Bruce was, but those don’t come by every day. And, I look! Why not buy a more expensive vehicle? You’re kidding!!! Why have a $350 monthly payment plus higher insurance premium just to have something shiny? No payments means I can spend more on other things…like hunting and fishing stuff. Think about it…would your wife complain if you bought a knew $1000 bow if you didn’t have that $425 dolllar payment due on your Silverado?
Being frugal is fun but it can get addicting, I warn you.
So far the Jimmy is just the Jimmy…no name. Every vehicle just does not get a name. We new Bruce was special but it was his color that gave us his name. GM called it Majenta…most people call it pink. So what else do I name a pink 4X4 driven by a guy…right! Bruce!
I know Bruce is waiting in the parking lot in Heaven for me and the family to get there. He has earned his rest.
As I sat reading some great outdoor stories, it occurred to me that some of you folks still have some venison in the freezer. A good way to encourage yourself to put more venison in the freezer is to have a good meal of venison…makes sense, right?
Here is a recipe that I have used, especially for people who think they do not like venison:
Northeast Kingdom Venison Stew
(also works with elk)
Three pounds of venison, preferably cut into 1 inch cubes
One one pound package of baby carrots
Two large onions – wedged into eight pieces each
One garlic bulb
Five – Six large baking potatoes cut into 2 inch pieces
One Half pound sliced baby Bella mushrooms
Merlot or Burgundy (actually Gallo Hearty Burgundy works best and
Red wine vinegar
2 Cups Seasoned flour (flour, black pepper, Montreal steak seasoning, paprika and onion powder mixed well) Flour should no longer look white, but use your best estimate.
Two one gallon zip lock bags
In one zip lock bag put 1/8 cup wine vinegar, 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon veg oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, two cloves (crushed) garlic, 1 teaspoon salt (if you use salt).
Put the venison into the zip lock bag and close. Make sure everything is well mixed and let sit for 2-3 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
After marinating venison, using tongs or slotted spoon, remove about 1/3 and place it into the second zip lock bag, add all the seasoned flour, close bag and shake it well. Remove venison and set aside. Continue with the rest of venison until all is well coated.
In 5-6 quart dutch oven place two tablespoons cooking oil or bacon fat (I prefer the bacon fat) and have heat on medium high. Using about 1/3 of the venison at a time, brown well and remove from pan. When all the meat is finished browning return it to the dutch oven. Cover with cold water (about 4 inches over the meat), add half of the onion wedges, 1 cup red wine, cover stew, heat on med high until it starts to bubble then reduce heat and simmer covered at least 1 1/2 hours (more if it is an older deer). After simmering venison, add rest of onions, 3 cloves garlic (crushed) and the other vegetables. Continue simmering covered for about 45 minutes (until potatoes are tender).
I like thicker stew so I always tighten it up with some roo. Melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour. Keep stirring until flour absorbs all the butter and darkens slightly. It should still be a wet-looking. Add to stew and keep stirring until stew is the consistency you like and remove from heat. Serve right away or let cool completely and refrigerate until the next day and reheat. Don’t laugh it will taste even better when it is reheated, but either way…enjoy!
Our turkey season opens in about three weeks in NY. I have seen a number of flocks around in my travels. Some states are already open. A number of my friends are reporting gobblers in the freezer already. Hopefully, everyone has their weapon of choice ready and their camo clothes all set.
My son, Tyler, will be hunting in Louisiana. He will trying for his first gobbler somewhere around Ft. Polk. He is stationed there with the 10th Mountain Division. I know he has his Winchester 1300 all sighted in. Tyler grouped it at 20,30 and 40 yards and is comfortable with the results.
Most turkey hunters will be using shotguns but there are some diehard archers that will be flinging arrows at their birds. I have decided to join the latter group this year. While at a Gun Show in Barre, VT in February with Tyler, I found a prize worthy of America’s Frugal Sportsman note: I found a vintage 45# fiberglass recurve bow…for $15! You know me and bargains…I snapped it up. The manufacture cannot be deciphered as the label as faded, but the bow is in top shape. There I have my trusty PSE Predator sitting, anxiously to go, and I am taking a relic out instead.
Yep! It reminds me of when I started bow hunting in the mid 1960’s. I do have to get a hip quiver for the arrows, however. I never liked the Kwickie Kwivers for recurve bows. ALso, the Carbon Express I use in my Predator will do just fine on the old recurve. Besides, it will make a more enjoyable article to write should I be successful with the recurve.
Turkey should pose no real problem, as long as they are inside 30 yards. Many deer have died as a result of a an arrow loosed from a 45# recurve. I will be using the same heads I did for deer, 125 grain Eastons. Why…that way I don’t have to buy any different heads. If you already have perfectly good and perfectly deadly broadheads, use them. With the ecomonmy the way it is, a sportsman needs to conserve funds wherever he (or she) can.
Turkey season is a long season in most states. Here, in NY, it covers the month of May, which is also the striper run in the Hudson River. Guess I will have hunt in the morning then go chase stripers. I have some neat reals from Australia that I will be field testing, but that is for future writings. All I need now is to find a deal on a good box call and I will be set.
The goal of the Sportsman should be to spend as much quality time afield with friends and family as possible. For quite some time I have been preaching about doing it on a budget. Now, thanks to the country’s financial mess, many of you will be on a budget. By all means that does not mean to hunt or fish less. It simply means that maybe you don’t buy the newest rifle, shotgun, bow, boat, camper, optics or Huntress pin-up calendar. Ok, buy the calendar, but watch the sales in classified ads and online auctions. With the bad ecomomy come some fantastic deals on toys and such.
I really hope I get a shot at a turkey with my bargain-basement bow. But, I will be out there hunting and that, after all, is my goal…isn’t it.
Whatever you do in the Outdoors this spring, take a youngster with you.
I tested several products during the 2008 NY Deer Season. Nite Vision binoculars were tested as was Buckaroostoo attractant and Chip Housley’s Scent Drifter sent dispersement system. Head on over to the Field Test page and see who the winners were.
Having been frustrated in every possible way with rifle slings, I was excited when Jeff Hajari of Tree Apron sent me the Sling-On (and some other goodies). I had watched the video and read about it, but I need to see something work in perrson, before I put my name on it.
The Sling-On is one of those things where I said to myself “Doggone, I should have thought of this!” It is a very simple flexible strap with loops at both ends and a compression buckle in the middle. I love simple. The directions are also very simple and very clear…run the loop on the long side of the strap through your front slig swivel (with your sling attached) and pass the strap back through the loop. Shoulder your weapon then take the loop on the short part of the strap and pass it arounds your sling (about mid-way) and pass the trap back through the loop. Now just click the non-metallic buckle (on the long side) into the recepticle on the shorts side. Folks it took four times as long to tell you how to put the Sling-On onto your rifle than it actually takes to do it!
Okay…so far so good. Now, let’s take a test drive.
I was carrying a 9 lb Mosin Nagant 91/30 with a 3-10X50 scope on it. Right now it is not real pretty but these WWll Russian rifles shoot so well. And…they are inexpensive…what a combination. I chose to use this weapon for testing the Sling_on due to its 29″ Military barrel, perfect for long range sniping but rather cumbersome and a bit top-heavy when on my shoulder. This seemed to be the perfect choice to test the Sling-On.
The sling I had on the rifle, originally, touted “Grips not Slips”. Perhaps they meant to put a disclaimer ont it: “Except old Military rifles carried by old hunters” It was better than most…but. The sling I have on now has built-in shooting sticks but it is part of another field test that I will report about in a different post.
My son ,Tyler, was home on leave from Baghad and had one day to hunt with me. He is learning to be a gunsmith and wants to make custom rifles (he already knows who his first victim, eh, customer will be).
I never hunt without my back pack, which I often blame for my woes with slings. There is only so much room on my shoulder. When we got to the spot we wanted to hunt, I donned my back pack, unclicked the Sling-On buckle, passed the long side around my back (under the back pack), around my right rib cage (I shoot lefty) and clicked the buckle back top the short side (on my sling). That’s all it took, maybe four or five seconds. As they say, the proof is in the plodding (I know it is supposed to be pudding by I was plodding…see) so Tyler and I headed out through the hardwoods.
It is hard to be excited over something that sells for less than 10 bucks, but I say this now…Order one for every rifle you carry that has a sling on it! My heavy old war rifle never moved, even when I tried some of the motions Jeff does on his video. I could have been over and used both hands to pick up firewood, tie my boots, pick up something I might have dropped or any possible occurrence which would require use of your hands. You will never hang on to your sling again. This is a keeper!
Official America’s Frugal Sportsman Rating (1-5 little birdies…cheap…cheap..OK)
We give Sling-On 5 Little Birdies.
Inexpensive, Functional, Works as Avdertised
For more information on Sling-On and all of the other products they offer, go to www.treeapron.com
For many years the debate has raged about which caliber is best in the brush. Equally debated is if any caliber is good in the brush. When most writers refer to the brush, generally they refer to Northern Tier states and whitetail deer. Brush, however covers a good deal of the Country. Brush is defined as bushes and young trees densely packed in a particular geographic area. For this topic, I am going to stick with Northern states, as their topography is covered with more brushy areas, on average.
In the past couple of decades, gun and ammo folk have tried to develop the quintessential brush rifle test. While some had a basis of merit, most have been dismal inconclusive events. The problem is staging a test where all calibers pass through the exact same amount of brush enroute to a target. Then what is the correct distance from the brush to the target? Distances as much as 20 yards from the brush have been used. Arguably, to more equate to our brush situations, the target should be , if not in the brush, directly beside the brush. What we face is a whitetail standing up in a patch of juniper or prickly ash at a distance of less than fifty yards. Here is the real test.
As for the staged tests, probably one of the better was conducted by the late Jack O’Connor in 1962. Having hunted the brushy draws of the Southwest and evergreen mazes in Maine, he was uniquely qualified to do the test, although he mentioned the inequality in the amount of brush encountered by various rounds. After all the rounds were fired, a characteristic of a brush-penetrating rifle became prominent. Heavy blunt bullets deflect less. Odd to me that all of the various experts did not arrive at that realization without the shallow tests that were run, except then they would noit have gotten to shoot up all that ammo…hmmm. Yes, the 12 gauge was the overall winner in the majority of tests done with the 45/70 (405 Govt) and 35 Remington (200 Grain) finishing at the top of rifles.
Basic physics tells us that a cone-shaped object traveling at a rapid rate will deflect in the opposite direction from whatever part of the cone contacts an obstruction. While a round or blunt object will exert more energy into moving the obstruction out of the way. See, all us rural, agricultural, earthy folks already realized that. Had we been able to afford fancy weapons, we would have still reached for the Savage 99, Winchester 94 or Marlin 336 (yeah I know there some Winchester 88’s there, too) in 30/30, 35 Remington, 32 Special, 38-55, and 32-40. We did that because these calibers have filled larders for 150 years.
Now for the Ron Spomers out there that claim no bullet is any better than any other in the brush…I understand somebody has declared him an expert. Opinionated yes…expert is up for debate. The same guy that says a fixed 6 power scope is the ideal heavy cover optic says pointed bullets enjoy as much success going through brush as any other bullet. According to Spomer it is a matter of luck in getting past brush. O’Connor would have a field day with him. O’Connor, the proponent of very light magnification scopes with wide fields-of-views, came up with a new round to be chambered in a quick handling lever or pump action rifle. He proposed taking the 8X57 and necking it up to 338 cal. Loaded with 225 or 250 grain round nose bullets. Writer Jim Carmichael, O’Connor’s long time friend and colleague, dubbed the round the 338X57 O’Connor. If only someone had built it. The round would have tooted along at 2500FPS and destroyed anything in its way.
We have a version of what O’Connor envisioned in the 338 Federal, although not widely chambered yet. The round is too fast for O’Connor’s taste, causing more recoil than necessary, but does it produce! If a good pump or Marlin lever gets chambered in 338 Federal I will be at the front of the line.
When you head outside – take a youngster with you and pass it forward. God Bless.