About Me

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With no chance for success, you would not hunt. Without the prospect of failure hunting would have no merit. I don't hunt to kill, I kill because I hunt. Remember a moderate hit is lots more effective than a high powered miss. Best of luck.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Great Day in Antelope Country

Son and father hunting
What a fun hunt.  I got to visit both my sons and their families on this hunting adventure.  I saw multiple mature pronghorn bucks. I managed to harvest a reasonable buck.  I am really happy about all the antelope hunting adventures I have been on over the last 15 years or so.  This was just one more year of fun while on the hunt for a pronghorn buck.

My hunting adventures all started many years ago.  I took my son hunting for mule deer in Logan Canyon (Utah) in October 1978.  He was less than one year old.  We have been at it ever since.  My other son was born a few years later and he likes to go on hunts also.  The three of us boys would always go out for the opener of whatever I had a tag for.  They were both good little sports.  I loved having them along and learning my passion while camping and enjoying the outdoors. When the older son went to serve in Spain for two years after high school the younger son took over as guide and hunting buddy.  I really, really enjoy hunting with my boys.  They are great men and kind to their old dad.

This year I practiced shooting with my .300 RUM rifle for a couple months before the recent hunt.  I was shooting a 150 grain Nosler ballistic tip bullet loaded over 106 grains of Retumbo powder at 3,619 f.p.s. muzzle velocity.  The rifle was grouping three shots just under 1/2 inch at 100 yards consistently.  I practiced shooting targets out to 500 yards knowing the hunt involved some wide open spaces in northeastern Utah.  I felt the equipment was solid and I would have no problem making the shot if I could find a mature target.  Lots of practice and it only took one shot to complete the hunt.
1 shot required
Antelope hunting is just right for an old guy like me.  You drive around in the hunting area on oil field and ranch roads, looking for game.  Then you stop and glass -- a lot.  Trying to judge if the buck you see through your binos or spotting scope merits a stalk.  If not, you drive more and have snacks and sodas and glass some more.  This continues for the entire hunt.  Great conversation time and great treats.  Stalks are usually less than a mile.  Precision shooting is required due to the distances involved.  All of the above I really enjoy.  Best of all is being out in nature without a cellular phone and conversing about the game pursued, the politics of the world, and life in general with my boys.  Extra special times.

A very nice fellow, Mike, was the ranch manager for the CWMU area.  He and I talked via phone on Sunday evening.  He told me to meet him at a parking area near the ranch and he would show me the boundaries for the hunt.  He told me to bring my rifle when we went to see the boundary areas as we might see a shooter buck on Monday morning.  My son and I got together with Mike at 6:30 a.m.  I did indeed bring along my rifle.  We went around the ranch and saw various antelope eating prairie grass etc.  They were nice and healthy animals, mostly does, fawns, and young bucks.  They were used to seeing the ranch pickup.  No worries in the antelope world.  There were also some feral llamas on the property.  Crap, I have never seen even one single llama let alone a dozen or so multicolored llamas wondering around Utah.  kind of  - - -  weird.

Mike showed us the various areas we could hunt and was careful to show us areas that were not included in the CWMU.  He was a pleasant fellow and like to examine the antelope as much as we did.  He told us he liked to be on the hunts.  He didn't care if he pulled the trigger he also enjoyed the hunt when someone else was the hunter.  He pointed out two "dandy" bucks, to use his vernacular.  I was impressed with the animals but no so much as to try for a stalk.  As we were leaving for the parking area to get my pickup we saw a "dandy" buck.  He was eating with a smaller buck in a sagebrush flat.  Mike said he was a mature one.  I looked at him through my binos and though he merited a better look.  Mike stopped the truck and I got out and crossed the road and sat on a little berm of soil. I didn't think the antelope would wait for me to set up my tripod and the 30X spotting scope so I used my rifle scope to check them out.  Extending my bipod legs to their full length I turned my scope up to 20X.  I could clearly see the older antelope was mature -- the mass of his horns was very reasonable and his diggers were going gray.  I took a quick laser range reading on him at 196 yards.

The years of practice started the shoot mode like an avalanche when it was harvest time. Automatic and almost unstoppable -- I cranked a round into my rifle from the magazine, took aim at the vitals on the big old buck quartering toward me, held my breath, and gently pressed the trigger until the shot broke.  The recoil of the rifle pushed my head up some but I caught a glimpse of the antelope collapsing on the spot in the bottom of the scope.  Mike and Dax were still in the truck over on the road.  They were amazed how the antelope just fell.  Kind of like a popped balloon.  Not even one step by the old buck. {I have dropped hartebeest and springbok like that in Namibia.  Also a bear in Utah similarly.  Just lucky I guess.}  We walked over to the harvested animal and he was a "dandy".  Good mass and long horns.  I think it is the best scoring antelope I have taken so far.  All the antelope I have taken have been a lot of fun.  I really like hunting these speed goats.

The younger buck antelope snorted at the expired oldster.  The young boy wanted the old dude to get up and get out of there.  As we walked toward the downed game the younger buck just hung around until we were only 75 yards away or so.  Then he hit the afterburners and was gone in a flash.

We took photos and I thanked Mike for leading me to this crusty old goat.  We went back to the parking area and retrieved my pickup for hauling the downed animal out of the area.  Upon returning in my truck we took more photos. Dax and I started to harvest the meat.  Dax has a great method of "gutless" extraction of meat.  He has some fine knives and we skinned the animal then took off the four quarters of meat and the back-straps.  It worked well.  We had some ice in a large cooler and we put the meat on ice within 30 minutes of downing it.  We were on our way back town and it was only 10:30 a.m.  WHAT A HUNT!
One quarter removed three more to go plus back-straps
It was a wonderful hunt and I am truly blessed to have such experiences.  My son knew a needy family to donate the meat too.  It was just too far to take it home unfrozen.  400+ miles is too far to transport antelope meat just on ice.
North 40º08.141' West 110º20.028'
 It was a wonderful hunt and I am truly blessed to have such experiences.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

A GREAT FRIEND PASSES ON

One of my best friends has passed on.  He was fun person to hunt with and discuss the philosophies of life while waiting for wild game to move around in the veld. Hans Peter Luehl was an upright guy.  He worked hard at his ranch for over 40 years.  He raised four fine children with the help of his wife a life long partner and companion, Frauke.  He is "grandpa" to four and "friend" to hundreds.  Hans Peter Luehl passed in the night at the hospital in Windhoek, Namibia from cancer.  He is already deeply missed.


I met him just 10 years ago.  I went to his ranch in Namibia as a client/hunter.  I spend eight days with him in 2007 and left his farm and home as a life long friend.  He was friendly to me from the start.  I enjoy his dry humor.  He is always in tune with nature and wants to preserve the land and animals. He managed a large ranch and had between 1,600 and 2,000 head of cattle on pasture all the time for years and years.  Hunting was just a side line for him. I think he really enjoyed seeing others harvest their game as much as hunting himself.

ONE STORY of so many:  I was hunting for warthog.  It was a nice day to be out.  We were in some small foothills.  Hans Peter had a flair up of gout so bad he could not walk. The tracker and I saw a nice pig and we put on the stalk.  I ended up taking him at about 225 yards with a .338 Win. Mag.  Mr. Warthog  ran about 20 yards with his heart exploded and rolled down the slight hill we were traversing.  I went over to check it out and take photos.  Next thing you know Hans Peter was motoring up in 4x4 Toyota pickup driving 4 wheel low range to our spot on the hill side.  He wanted to be part of the action.  He was kind and congratulatory.  We loaded the warthog and went back to the ranch house.  Later than evening over dinner I asked Hans Peter, "Did you see me shoot the warthog or did the brush block your view?"

He answered, "I was not able to see the shot."
I then told him "I think it was about 1,000 meters, then."
He didn't miss a beat and and replied "1,000 yards maybe, but I can't believe 1,000 meters."
Everyone at the table had a big laugh.  Hans Peter scored another one.

God bless you Hans Peter.  My life is better for having you as a dear friend.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pre-Hibernation Hunting


Fellow sportsmen, and sportswomen, I have to tell you a tale about the infamous chizzleramos maximus humori species.  These little rascals hibernate.  When the weather gets too hot for them they just go underground and sleep off the heat.  I know and understand they hibernate in the winter months and they don't like snow much.  I am OK with that.  What kind of "ticks me off" is they won't give me a chance to hunt them as the summer months linger on.  Sure it is hot outside, 101º F or so.  I am sweating as much as any other old aged, over weight, maniacal killer in the alfalfa fields of Iron County.  I drove some distance to come end your lives in the alfalfa fields and you are sleeping with your significant other 3 feet or more below the surface of the earth.

I checked with the two resident experts, farmers, I could find on Thurs. 6-29-2017 and they both told me, independent of each other, -- chizzlers hibernate most of the hot months.  Varmints occasionally get up early and also very late to eat a minimal amount food (profits) and then go back to sleep deep in their burrows.

I did however manage to shoot a few of the little varmints.  I am the first to admit I am spoiled rotten with the earlier hunts this year.  It is kind of hard to accept shooting only 50-60 chizzlers in a 2.5 hour hunt when a few months ago I was shooting that many an hour. I did take my .223 Rem. rifle for some longer distance shooting.  I was having a great time.  I would sight up with my .22 l.r. on on the intended vermin victim at 25 to 65 yards. If the chizzlers were out beyond 65 yards I would switch rifles and let the lead/copper storm find its mark at from 75 to 200 yards.  I had a 60% + success rate finding my mark.  The old buggers 200 yards out taunting me were not used to such long distance death and destruction coming in from the old white Chevy 4X4.  I put a new fear into the chizzler survivors -- if the truck of death is visible you could easily be the next target.  Check out the comparison photos.  The .223 Rem. is a nuclear device on chizzlers with a handloaded  50 gr. Hornady SX bullet at 3,000+ f.p.s. speed.
I did enjoy the slower pace of destruction to a degree and used my extra time to keep my magazines filled to capacity.  I also made some fine shots on the profit stealers and took a couple of photos.  One shows the "prefect chest shot" on a big old herd bull, and the other shows a herd bull trying to make it back to his hole in the ground.  He didn't make it.
Chest shot just like a mini-oryx













Sunday, June 18, 2017

GREAT DESIRE -- NO ABILITY

We all need to know what a single .22 l.r. high speed hollow point will do to a chizzler at about 45 yards.  I was hunting chizzlers in the last week of May in Iron County, Utah.  My dear, dear, dear daughter-in-law was helping me take care of my recently surgeried Supreme Commander.  She allowed my son, grandsons, and me to go help out the farmers and end a few vermin one morning.  Just thought you all would like to see the photo to help you remember . . .
I long for the good ol' days
That was my last hunt for some time.  I will admit it is kind of slim hunting these days.  The chizzlers are real gentlemen when it comes to hunting.  They don't like it too cold, or too hot, or too windy.  They come out to feed and recreate and procreate when the weather is just right.  The chizzler is really kind to not come out too early or stay out too late.  They are real gentlemen huntable.  I have been stuck here in Washington County, Utah and giving medicine on 4 hour intervals (24 hours a day), making high protein food, cleaning up food items, and listening to various complaints about pain etc.  I am the major therapy "inflicter" and wound dresser.  The Supreme Commander is getting better but I will admit, healing is taking some time.  The Dr. said it would be about a year.  I don't know if I can last that long?  Of course it gets better every day.  Mobility is better and self sufficiency is coming.  I know sometime it is coming.  I truly hope it is coming.

While on my last hunt for profit stealers, as mentioned above, my son was with me and ended a significant number of the little devils.  He is a good shot with his CZ .17HMR.  My grandson borrowed my extra .22 and did a terminal number on some chizzlers as well.  Then he got the idea to trade his dad for the .17HMR and the carnage started at a wholesale level.  Grandson was flipping them up in the air with guts trailing in the sky.  He had uttered that demoniacal laugh that many chizzler hunters develop.  Basically he was really having a good time.  I attach a photo of a chizzler he "Shot the butt off" to use his words.  I admit the .17 HMR caliber is exactly what is needed for chizzler hunting from 10 to 200 yards.

I have been stuck here in the basement trying to avoid the heat.  I am always at the beckon and call of the Supreme Commander convalescing in the next room.  It is really too dang hot to be outdoors in the afternoons.  It is 110º F here and is going to be maybe 116º F on Tuesday in the p.m.  I sit here a "house arrest prisoner" as it were.  I have little to occupy my energies so I took on some ammo. reloading.  Check out the pictures of Friday afternoon's work.  211 rounds resized, de-primed, polished, trimmed to 1.759" exactly, de-burred, re-primed, filled with 25.5 grains of Winchester 748 powder, and then topped with a Hornady 55 gr. soft point to overall length of 2.250".  This is a great load for chizzlers at distance (200 -300 yards), rock chucks, and jackrabbits.

Contrary to comments over heard here at the home base prison, I am not worthless.  I can make a mean melted cheese sandwich, bring ice water in a glass 24/7 and I am king of ammo crafters around here.  You guys all be careful out there.  When you are having fun and vaporizing varmints think of me here in the basement bring ice water to a healing back surgery person who is on drugs.








Friday, May 19, 2017

COLD + WINDY = FEWER CHIZZLERS ! ! !

One of many burrows
The conditions were a bit brisk, due to temperature and the wind chill factor.  It was rather cold 5-15-2017 in Iron County, Utah.  I think it was around 40º F to 45º F most of the time I was up there reaping chizzlers.  The wind started at 8:45 a.m. around 10 mph and by 11:30 a.m. was up to over 20 mph.  When I guy shoots a .22 l.r. firearm at chizzlers in the wind thoughts of the state of Kentucky become a constant consideration with every shot.  Some times I held more than one body length to the right or the left for windage correction. I didn't shoot as accurately as I would have liked, maybe 60% success, but I did manage to reap a significant amount of vermin from an alfalfa field.

I tried to set up on the north end of a pivot irrigation field and was shooting more or less directly south.  The wind was blowing from south to north so lateral deflection of rounds fired was minimized.  The wind was not constant, nor was the origination direction exactly set.  I still gave the old Chizzler try.  I managed to get 120 - 150 of the little rascals transferred to the alfalfa field in the sky.

I had a good time although -- alone:  Both of my sons are in their home towns working and being a husband and father to their respective families.  Bounty Hunter 6 is working out of the area.  Mr. Bob, the Master Reaper, is home again.  LJ is in Mexico vacationing.  JS is in Idaho doing his Idaho legal thing. The San Diego contingent of the chizzler reapers is back in Shamu Town.  My young, padawan, apprentice JL is still in school for a few more days.  I journeyed alone to the fields of alfalfa and chizzlers.  The travel to and from the fields was extra quiet.  I still had a great time hunting.








Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I RAN OUT OF AMMO ? ! ! !

Reaper Trailer
  Monday 5-8-2017 was an exceptional day.  I went to Iron County early in the a.m. to help the farmers with their crop vermin problem.  Farmer Brown had told Mr. Bob about a field we had never hunted before.  I didn't know Farmer Brown had land under cultivation out in the middle of nowhere.  Mr. Bob called me the night before and I went out to see what, if anything, we could do to hunt some chizzlers who were eating up farmer Brown's profits.  When I arrived at the scene there were hundreds of chizzlers waiting for me while eating a nice alfalfa breakfast buffet.

Mr. Bob had arrived an hour before me and went straight to work.  The Reaper Trailer was positioned and the carnage began post haste.  Mr. Bob shot for about one hour before I arrived from the St. George area.  There was a significant amount of empty .22 l.r. brass visible on the deck top of the Reaper Trailer under Mr. Bob's squirrel-o-matic when I arrived in the field.  Mr Bob had already gone through about 350 rounds of ammo.  I joined the effort and shot for about 3 hours from the Reaper Trailer.  I shot all the ammo in my backpack.   I fished out the ammo in my secret stash in my back pack.  Crap-O-Rama, can it be, I was out of ammo.  Stressed out I remembered some 100 rounds of ammo I had in my truck door panel pocket that were very old and used for helping the Boy Scouts learn to shoot.  I got down off the Reaper Trailer under the guise of getting a drink and retrieved my Boy Scout ancient ammo.  I proceeded to shoot about another 80 chizzlers or so.  Then it happened, again, I was out of ammo this time completely.  It was about 11:45 a.m. so it was time to go back to the real world and go to work.  Mr. Bob would have loaned me some rounds but I knew it was over.  Reality had caught up with me and was proceeding to body-slam me.

I shot about 450 rounds and Mr. Bob went through over 700 rounds.  We were not shooting at great distance, 10 to 110 yards with most shots averaging 50 yards.  Our hit rate was +/-  80%.  All in all, we shot in one corner of an irrigation pivot in a large field and ended over 900 chizzlers without, I am afraid, significantly reducing the chizzler infestation problem of Farmer Brown.  Most targets, 85%, were juveniles.  I did manage to get 20-30 old Herd Bulls and some thumb sized babies. 

I am amazed how many chizzlers there are in the farmers fields.  As I was driving home I saw some agriculturalists pumping poison gas via a 2" hose from a big tanker type truck down chizzler holes. It is war on chizzlers and small arms don't make for weapons of mass destruction. I can hardly wait to go back and hunt vermin in Iron County.  I just need to get off work and find a good supply of affordable .22 l.r. ammo.
38 yards

116 yards






Friday, April 21, 2017

WE FOUND THEM ! ! !

CHIZLERAMOS MAXIMUS HUMORI  = target
Fellow chizzler hunters, you guys all know --  Some times you go to reap chizzlers in Iron County, Utah and the weather or the chizzlers or both don't participate.  You go with good intentions to do a favor for the agriculturalists in the area and rid them of some hundreds of vermin via a rim fire rifle. You really try but to no avail.  You hunt and glass and move around to various possible reaping locations and the chizzlers just are NOT there.

I went on such a hunt on Monday 4-17-2017.  I took my son, an accomplished chizzler hunter, and a good friend from elk camp, Big C.  Big C had never hunted chizzlers before.  He was going to have some fun.  We went up to the fields and moved around some and ended up shooting maybe 100-150 chizzlers in eventually 15 - 25 mile an hour wind gusts.  We did get a few profit robbers moved on to the alfalfa field in the sky but not as many as I had hoped.  Big C said he had a great time and was all grinny about getting some little rascals with his .17HMR.  My son did well and took out his share of chizzlers also with a .17HMR.  I used my good ol' .22LR and did my best.  All in all it was a great trip to travel to and from hunting with the guys and then take out some pesty varmints.  It is male bonding time to the max = guys, trucks, guns, and dead animals.
Big C bearing down on an unlucky chizzler
I was back to work for a few days and licking my wounds when a great pal, L J called and told me we had to go hunt again on Thursday.  I said sure, what could I loose?  L J picked me up and we had a good trip with no mule deer encounters along the way.  There were 3 or 4 groups of deer out on the edge of the highway.  These renegade mule deer were looking for a truck to run into while we made our way up Utah highway 18. L J, a great driver, managed to "dodge" them in his Nissan double cab P/U.  Prior to departure I had checked the weather on my "smart" phone and it was predicted to be windy and 60% + chance of rain.  We went hunting anyway, we were trying to get lucky.

We arrived at the pre-determined location and the chizzlers were not abundant.  We moved to an alternate location and amazingly proceeded to mow the critters down.  L J was shooting a bolt action Ruger American .22LR and had some 25 round magazines pre-loaded.  He shot up all his pre-loaded magazines and commented, "The 25 rounders are nice except for when you have to reload them".  I was doing my best to keep up.  We both went through significant amounts of ammunition.  We also retired  maybe 300+ chizzlers in just 2 hours.  It was 65º F outside and there was no wind.  The sky was clear and absolutely no rain fell.  So much for "smart" phone weather forecasts.
L J plows one under
We shot well.  I personally shot around with a +/- 75% hit ratio.  L J smacked them lots and the pop up in the air of the baby vermin and the break-dance of death were causes of demonical snickers.  You fellow chizzler hunters know the sound of a .22LR hollow point hitting the big fat side walls of a over fed old herd bull chizzler.  It is a pop that the farmers appreciate and you enjoy.  We came home with no wind in our hair, and no rain on our equipment.  It was a real good day.
ready to start reaping . . .
See how the little profit eaters had taken down the alfalfa in the field just behind my set up?  It is financially hurtful for the farmers.  I want to help.