Posts Tagged ‘survival’

How to Shoot a Rifle Offhand

Posted: December 31, 2014 by gamegetterII in shooting
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Article by David E. Petzal

Beliefs that my generation held as sacred are now null and void. If Capt. John Paul Jones were asked to surrender today, he would not answer “I have not yet begun to fight” but “Let’s work this out. Violence is never the answer, and all these dead bodies in the ocean are an environmental hazard.”

Also, we can’t seem to shoot offhand anymore. We no longer walk; we sit. And thanks to the current long-range craze, the idea of sneaking to get a closer shot at something is as alien as going afield without four electronic devices that you consult every two and a half minutes.

Stand and Deliver
Shooting from your hind legs like a man (or a woman, or whatever makes your heart happy) is by far the most difficult of all the positions. It requires exponentially more practice than any other simply to be competent, never mind good. And it is still absolutely necessary to master, unless you enjoy papering the walls of your home with unpunched licenses.

Offhand, Easily, Sort Of
The secret to shooting offhand is to accept that no one can hold a rifle steady while perched on his hind legs. No one. So don’t try to eliminate muzzle movement; instead, control it. Develop the finesse to make the end of the barrel move in a circle and to make that circle smaller and smaller as you aim. Then, the instant the crosshairs are on any part of the bull’s-eye, pull the trigger. Crude as this approach may seem, a great many of your shots will land in the center of the bull anyway.

The other thing you must do is shoot fast—because bucks won’t stand around waiting for you. An aimed offhand shot should take you no more than five seconds, and three is better. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll screw up.

The Range Regimen
Here’s how to practice shooting offhand: Get a .22 rifle, as close a match to your centerfire as possible. Get as much ammo as you can buy, beg, or extort. Get a package of 100 NRA A-17 paper targets, each of which has 11 black bull’s-eyes about the size of a silver dollar.
Set your scope at 4X and start from 20 feet. Shoot strings of five rounds per bull; a hit anywhere in the black counts. Zero hits through two is pathetic; three is so-so; four is not bad at all; and five is outstanding. Your initial efforts are likely to be so bad that you will go into shock and require hospitalization.

As you improve, move back to 25 yards. Once you are shooting mostly fours and fives, switch to your centerfire rifle, and shoot from 100 yards at an NRA 50-yard pistol target with an 8-inch bull. Shoot no more than 20 rounds per session, and try to get all of them in the black. Very few shooters can do this; if you can get 18 or 19 into the 10-ring, you’ve done very well.

Finally, remember two things: First, practicing offhand is logistically easier, cheaper, and more valuable to real hunters than practicing at long range will ever be. So there’s no excuse not to do it. Second, shooting is a sport of muscle memory, repp­titian, and concentration, so shoot lots. And good luck getting the .22 ammo.


Processing Your Own Deer

Posted: December 26, 2014 by gamegetterII in hunting
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The first thing you absolutely must do to insure great tasting venison is to quickly field dress your deer,being careful not to puncture the stomach or intestines,and prop the chest cavity open to help speed cooling. Do this even in cold weather,as the faster you cool the meat,the better the end product will be. Also be sure to remove the deers anal canal-they make a tool called Butt-Out that greatly simplifies the task-or just cut it out with your knife.

Carry a few gallon sized ziploc bags with you if you like the liver or heart,and place those in the bags,along with the two tenderloins that run along the deers backbone on the inside of the body cavity you made when you gutted the critter.

The second thing is you must either allow the deer to hang in a cold place-below 38 degrees,or skin and quarter the deer,and age it in a couple of coolers by placing the deer quarter in a plastic trash bag,filling the cooler part way with ice,then placing the bag of meat on the ice. You can also use game bags to age your venison, but most of us hunt deer close enough to home and/or a hunting camp that there is no need for game bags unless you live in the south,where flies and other insects are an issue. The only time I use game bags is when hunting the mountain west,where it can be several days before I get back to “civilization” and the meat must be hung in a tree to keep it away from bears,coyotes etc.

Having hunted and processed my own game for over 40 years,I have found that as long as the weather cooperates,I let my deer hang for 7 days,then skin and process it.

When I have to use the coolers and ice method-I give it 10 days before processing.

The third thing,and I’m only putting it as third,because it’s the third step-is at least as important as allowing the meat to cool quickly.

The third thing is you must remove every bit of fat from the venison,venison fat is one of,if not the nastiest tasting things I have ever tasted-and I have tasted some things that are pretty gross to most people-Haggis comes to mind,tripe,”mountain oysters”,raw clam cocktail that I demanded to order in a restaurant as a kid-and was told in no uncertain terms by my dad that if he was paying for it I was damn sure gonna eat it-almost puked on the table it was so nasty!

I’m not going to get into the hang your deer head up or head down argument-I hang mine head up,because I find it easier to butcher the deer that way, as I start with the neck and shoulders,which take more time to bone out than the hind quarters.

Skin the deer carefully,being careful not to cut through it except to split it at the neck and legs,and remove the meat from the tail. If you plan on tanning the hide-be extra careful to not leave any meat attached to it,as you will just have to remove it later.

If you shot a trophy that you plan on having mounted-leave about 6″ more hide on the head/neck, or neck shoulders if getting a shoulder mount than you think the taxidermist will need.

I start at the neck,removing the larger muscles ,saving them to grind. Next,I remove the “backstraps” which are really the loins that run along  and on either side of the spine-this is prime meat,use it for steaks. Start at the top of the backstrap just above the shoulder,run your knife along the backbone,going around each vertebrae,when you reach the end of the backstrap,take your knife,and run it along the bone from the other side of the loin-or you can cut so far on one side,then cut the same length on the other,and the loin will just peel away from the bone as you go, with minimal knife work. Either way works,just a matter of preference.

Next,I bone the shoulders out,separating the muscle groups,after that,the hind quarters,same thing,just remove the meat by muscle groups,there’s really nothing to it,it’s very easy to do.

Once I am at this point,I rinse all the meat to remove any stray hairs from it,then sit at a table to start cutting it into roasts,and chunks for stew and grinding.

You will notice as you begin to separate the muscles into roasts that there is a clear membrane-get all that off and toss it in the trash bucket you have next to the cutting table.

You will also notice a silvery colored “skin” covering parts of the muscles-this is called siverskin and is what makes the clumps of “gristle” you sometimes get in ground beef.Remove this with a boning knife or filet knife-carefully cut under it,then take your knife blade pointing away from the meat,and run it along the silverskin-repeat this until you have removed all of it.

As you trim your roasts,toss the larger chunks into a pile for stew meat,the smaller into another pile for ground meat. I sometimes grind one shoulder into ground meat,and will also grind the smaller roasts from the hindquarters as well-depends on how much ground meat you want to end up with.

One piece of advice-buy a good grinder-I have both a hand-crank that’s so old my great grandmother used it,and a 1 1/2 hp electric grinder I bought from Cabelas years ago.

The grinders will come with at least 2 plates that have holes in them-these determrine the size of the grind you get when you grind the meat.

Whichever type of grinder you use,always grind the meat,grind the fat,then mix the two together,then grind a second time. Ground venison is best when ground to a medium or coarse grind-we prefer coarse grind,so I use the same plate for all 3 steps. If you prefer a smaller grind,grind meaqt and fat with the larger plate,mix the two,then grind using a plate with smaller holes.

The roasts from the hindquarters are more tender,and look just like the same roasts cut from a beef cow. I’ll use the shoulder roasts for crockpot roasts,and the roasts from the hindquarters get treated the same as a high quality beef roast.

My wife likes to use the bags with the seasonings already in them,she puts potatoes,carrots a little celery and onion in the bag with the roast-cooks according to directions on package-and venison roasts made like that rock! Just had one for Christmas dinner.

I make jerky from a couple of the roasts,and all the trimmings from the hindquarters are used for stew meat if big enough pieces,or get tossed into the grind pile if small pieces.

To make the best tasting ground venison,you have to add some fat,what kind is up to you,some use pork fat,some use beef fat,some grind bacon into their ground venison.

I use beef fat,it’s readily available,even from today’s grocery stores that don’t really butcher meat,they just cut up boxed large cuts,and it’s inexpensive-I just paid $4.99 for 5# a couple weeks ago.

Beef fat makes ground venison taste more like ground beef-and it makes ass-kickin good burgers-just be careful not to overcook it!

Venison is best cooked to medium rare-if making your burgers inside-I use a cast iron skillet,get it nice and hot,then cook the ground venison burgers,lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper for about 3 minutes per side,flipping only once. Let the cooked burgers rest for a few minutes as you get your fixin’s ready,put it on the bun and enjoy-best burgers you’ll ever eat.

Those of you who like liver-yuck-venison liver cooks way faster than beef or calf liver-so you have to cook your onions halfway first. I’ll start the onions in one skillet,then dredge the liver pieces in flour that’s been seasoned with salt and pepper,and cook in a cast iron skillet that’s good and hot and has a 50/50 mix of butter and cooking oil in it-lightly brown the liver,when you turn the pieces over,add the onions from the other pan,the onions will finish cooking as the liver cooks-remove the liver pieces when browned,place on paper towels to drain any oil,then put on plates,and top with the now fully cooked onions-enjoy-the wife and kids won’t eat beef liver any more-they can’t wait for fall and that first venison liver now.

Hope that helps…

One other thing-expect to get about half of what your deer weighs after field dressed in meat when you process it-make sure you have freezer space already cleared when you start processing.

Any questions-just ask in the comments-or e-mail me




Do More PT !

It’s the holidays and you’re eating and drinking way more than you should-do some extra PT !

AK-47 maker Kalashnikov gives rifles makeover

Posted: December 3, 2014 by gamegetterII in firearms
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Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle

The Russian manufacturer of the AK-47 assault rifle has unveiled a new look for its guns, as well as a new logo, at a glitzy event in Moscow.

The company is also branching out into fashion, launching a line of branded survival gear.

The firm, which relies heavily on the export market, is among the targets of Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict.

The Kalashnikov, or AK-47, is one of the world’s most recognisable weapons.

The gun is relatively cheap as well as easy to manufacture and maintain, contributing to its popularity with guerrilla forces and national armies in Asia and Africa.

It is thought that more than 100 million Kalashnikov rifles have been sold worldwide. The inventor of the rifle, Soviet Lt-Gen Mikhail Kalashnikov, died last year.

At Tuesday’s event in Moscow, the manufacturer – now known as Kalashnikov Concern – revealed a new logo featuring the letters K and C.

Women in tight black dresses wandered around holding AK-47 ammunition cartridges, while an orchestra played patriotic Russian classics, the Moscow Times reported.

According to the website of Russia Today, the manufacturer also has two new slogans – “Protecting Peace” in English, and “Weapons of Peace” in Russian.

The company says it sold 140,000 guns in 2014 – double the figure for the previous year.

Kalashnikov CEO Alexei Krivoruchko said the firm intended to modernise production with a view to making 300,000 weapons annually by 2020.

Western sanctions have reportedly stalled an order for some 200,000 rifles intended for sale in the US and Canada.

“The US market was very important for us,” the Moscow Times quoted Mr Krivoruchko as saying.

The sanctions have also led to the cancellation of a marketing campaign featuring Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal, Agence France-Presse reports.

Images of new-look Kalashnikov

  • grizzlyGPS.jpg

    Wildlife officials put GPS tracking devices on eight bears in the Grand Teton National Forest. (USGS)

This GPS system is a real bear.

Eight Montana grizzly bears have been outfitted with GPS trackers in an ongoing study that could bring some unnerving news to hunters.

Rut activity appears to be slowing down a lot. In most years,in NE Ohio,the peak of the rut falls the second week of November. More deer are bred on or within a day or two of November 15th than at any other time during the rut.

That doesn’t mean the rut is over-far from it-what it means is that the peak has passed. Deer are still being bred,does are still coming into estrous,and bucks are still trying to breed them.

The does that are in estrous are either being “tended” by a buck right now- have a buck following them everywhere,never leaving the doe’s side-or have a buck-or bucks following them. The majority of does who still have not come into estrous are going to do so this week.

Then,starting the first week of December,and peaking the second week of December,all the does who were not bred during the November rut are going to cycle into estrous again. The December rut is nowhere near as intense as the November rut,but it is still well worth your time to hunt if you’re looking to tag a big buck.

Rattling is less effective,but doe bleats and grunt tubes can be very productive-as can the fake scrapes you made back in late Oct.

The snow we have will be gone by Mon,except for a few isolated patches here and there. Mon. is a good day to visit your fake scrapes,clear the debris from them,make some “antler marks” in the dirt with a small rake,or gardening claw type tool. Adding some dominant buck scent,and some estrous doe urine to the scrape is also effective.

I plan on freshening up all my fake scrapes either Sun. afternoon,or Mon late morning/early afternoon.

I’ll decide which stand to hunt just before I go-as wind direction matters-a lot. Just because the bucks are looking for does to breed doesn’t mean they get stupid-they still move carefully,scent checking as they go-that’s how they got to be big bucks-by paying attention to their surroundings.

Since gun season is coming up quick-12/1-12/7-I plan on hunting hard from now until 12/6,and with a little luck-tagging a nice buck before gun season has them all stressed out for a week or ten days.

I’ll still hunt the gun season whether I got a buck or not-you can’t eat antlers-so I use gun season as freezer filling time if I’ve taken a buck already. If I haven’t taken a buck,I’ll still take a doe during gun season if the opportunity presents itself. I plan on taking a doe this week as well,since we can’t use doe tags after 11/30.

Three deer will feed us for a year,add a few rabbits,a few pheasants,the steelhead we’ll start catching soon,and we don’t buy much in the way of meat or fish from the grocery store.

Combined with all the veggies we grow in the gardens,we feed ourselves without going to the grocery store for anything other than coffee,tea,salt,sugar,yeast,flour,condiments,spices,and a few canned goods.

Now,if I could just get the beer and wine production going again-add a few solar panels,a small windmill,build a still,we would be 100% self-sufficient…




Do More PT !

Do some extra PT !

Barely two weeks after Washington State voters approved Initiative 594 — a measure the NRA warned was “deeply flawed” — our predicted consequences are beginning to emerge.

Under I-594’s restrictive language, a person simply handing his or her firearm to another is presumptively required to broker this “transfer” through a gun dealer.  This also necessitates the accompanying background check, fee, paperwork, taxes and, in the case of a handgun, state registration.

Proponents of the initiative had assured voters that fears of this overreach were exaggerated.  Prior to the vote on I-594, Geoff Potter, spokesman for 1-594 proponents Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, said I-594 “simply applies the current system of background checks to all sales.”

As recounted in a Washington State news report, however, the Lynden Pioneer Museum has opted to pull eleven loaned WWII rifles currently on display and return these firearms to their collector owners before the “transfer” requirement in I-594 takes effect next month.  The reason?  The law contains no exemptions for firearms loaned for museum displays, or loaned for similar educational or cultural institution study or uses.  Once the law takes effect, the firearms could not be returned to their owners without the mandatory background checks and all the logistics and expenses that entails.

The museum director in Washington came to this decision reluctantly but unavoidably.  “I read through the law about 10 different times looking for a loophole,” he said.  He found none.  Unfortunately, there is no guidance at the state level because Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has reportedly not formed an opinion about I-594, and no authoritative interpretation of the initiative is available to the public, apart from the text of I-594 itself.  In the meantime, the museum’s attorney has stated he would welcome assurances from the state that it would not enforce the law to the detriment of the museum or the owners of the firearms on display.  To date, however, no such assurances have been forthcoming.

Mosby-Building Tribe: Kith, Kin, and Sacrifice

Posted: November 11, 2014 by gamegetterII in Uncategorized
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“Tribes, and the bands that make up those tribes are—historically and prehistorically—composed of a physical and spiritual extension of the family. In European cultures this is referred to with some derivation of the Germanic term “folk.” To use another traditional European term (I am after all, of very European descent), your folk are your “kith and kin.” While it will undoubtedly incite the angst of the white power organizations, despite my use of Euro-centric terminology, this is not about race, contrary to their blatherings otherwise.

“Kin,” as anyone raised in the Southern Highlands as I was, can tell you, means “family.” These are—obviously—those people related to you by blood. “Kith” on the other hand, is somewhat more complicated, because it is so often misused by those with a political agenda. According to the Merrian-Webster dictionary, kith refers to “familiar friends and neighbors.” It is Middle English, cognate of the Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, word cythth, meaning “known.”

Thus, your tribe composed of your “kith and kin,” has nothing to do with everyone who shares your national heritage, or even your race. It is your known friends, neighbors, and family. This is critically important, as we discuss neo-tribalism, in the sense of building and forging self-reliant communities. Most native English speakers will be familiar with the proverb, “blood is thicker than water.” The problem is, the common, contemporary understanding of that term is completely inverted. The original verbiage of the proverb was “the blood of the oath is thicker than the water of the womb.” It actually meant the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we commonly use it to reference.”

Read the rest @

Photo by Donald M. Jones

When fresh snow falls overnight, most big-woods hunters are out at first light looking for the track of a trophy buck to follow. That’s a good early-morning strategy. But if you can find and follow the right doe trail, big bucks will actually come to you.

Lady = Luck
An estrous doe, including any late-cycling female coming into heat a month after the primary rut, makes every effort to attract amorous bucks. She may stay on her feet all day, lingering near scrape lines, milling along edges, and feeding in openings where she’ll be seen easily. In short, she’s a buck magnet. Get close and you can tap her drawing power.

But first, you have to get on the right track. When you find doe prints, follow them and watch for rose-colored urine stains in the snow. This is a dead giveaway that she’s in heat. Also, look to either side for the tracks of a flanking buck or two. If she’s close but not quite ready to stand, bucks will zigzag her trail like skiers running a slalom course, each using his eyes, ears, and nose to keep tabs on her exact whereabouts. You can’t miss it.

The Solo Doe
When you find only the rose-colored stains, and it’s clear the doe hasn’t caught the attention of a buck yet, follow her trail, being careful not to spook her. And keep an eye on the flanks. Eventually, a passing buck is apt to spot her, move in to check out her breeding status, and give you a shot.

Should you spook the curious buck, let him go, allow things to calm down, and get back on the doe’s trail. Sooner or later, the buck will circle around and try to intercept her, or she may attract another suitor in the meantime.

read more at…

REYNOLDSBURG, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) today confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state in a captive deer herd in Holmes County. The state continues to take quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease. There is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state.

The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Millersburg and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, 2014, and was subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols because of a known connection to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania that tested positive for CWD earlier this year. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur.

I’m seeing scrape lines and tons of new rubs,found a bunch of new scrape lines that weren’t there yesterday.

Lots of new rubs near my fake scrape lines too-the technique works-it’s not too late to make one.

All you have to do is take a small rake,or one of the rakes that are used in gardens-they’re about 12″ long and have 3 or 4 tines. I carry one in my hunting pack,just in case I see another place to make a few new scrapes.

Clear an area about 18″-2′ x3-4′ make it sort of an oval shape-the important things are to clear away all debris so you have bare ground,and be sure there’s a branch at about deer height directly over your fake scrape,bucks will reach up and lick the branch,plus rub their foreheads on it-the overhanging branch has to be there-if it’s not,find a new place for your fake scrape. If you are making a scrape line,having one or two in the line w/o the branch won’t hurt-I’ve seen scrape lines made by deer that have one here and there with no licking branch.

Once your scrapes are made,either use some active scrape scent,dominant buck scent-or just piss in the scrapes yourself-piss is piss-it’s from a “buck” and has testosterone in it .

Now’s the time to rattle and use a grunt tube. Use estrous doe bleats once in a while,it’s just about the time around here for the first does to come into estrous-it’s close-a week or so will be the peak rut week around here.

Starting next week,on Mon.,use grunt tubes and doe bleats more than rattling. Don’t stop rattling-bucks still fight during the rut-but all the local bucks have the fighting done,and the dominant buck decided by now-but since some bucks travel out of their home range during the rut-it’s still worth rattling,and rattling hard,not the sounds of sparring-the sound of full out combat,crashing antlers and loud rattling.

Use the doe bleat often next week,and the grunt tube.

I’ll start with at least a full minute of loud antler crashing rattling,wait 15 minutes,hit the grunt tube a few times,wait another 15 minutes,then hit the bleat can a half-dozen times.

Be careful about moving,sit as still as you can-you have to move to rattle, and use the bleat can and grunt tube-just try to keep your movements hidden as much as possible.

I hunt from a ground blind-nothing fancy-just some camo burlap with a 12″x12″ window cut in it to shoot through.

That hides my movements when rattling and using the bleat can and grunt tube.

Pay attention to the woods-sometimes a buck will hear the rattling and come to check it out,but he will hang back,and approach real slow and quiet-watch for movement-if you spot a buck moving towards you,hit the doe bleat and see what his reaction is-if it gets his attention,wait a couple minutes,then hit the grunt tube-a lot of times that will bring him in fast,because he thinks there’s a hot doe,and another buck trying to breed her.

The 2 best weeks for fall deer hunting are next week,and the week after.

Don’t forget-28 days after you see the peak of the rut in your area-there’s a second rut-then 28 days later-there’s a third.

Hit the woods as much as you can the next two weeks-it’s your best chance at a big buck.




Do More PT !