Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nothing to Shoot at, too lazy to Fish

Well there are times that I choose to engage myself outside the shooting sports. In the interest of furthering my goal of driving in the American Le Mans Series or being Paul Newman's appropriately good looking driver in Indy, I have spent a good deal of time on the track this year.

Previous to buying a Lotus Exige S in 2007 I had not driven a sports car regularly since 1991. That was when the local Police from my home town of Bum-Fu** Egypt encouraged me to park my Porsche or the were going to send my ass to County Jail for the rest of my senior year.

I still have that car, a 1968 911L Porsche, and it is being restored as we speak.

I bought the Lotus as a present for me surviving neck fusion surgery. I quickly remembered why I had gotten cross with John Law. I love to drive really, really fast, on curvy roads. Fortunately there is a legal way to do this now, but there were no road racing circuits in my lovely, rural, backwater, home-of-David Koresh (really) town of 12,000. These days I am far removed from that rustic setting and have taken well to being a dazzling urbanite. Just don't tell my folks.

Everyone asked if I was having a mid life crisis. Some folks even tried to console the wife. I told them despite everyone's odds making I am not (clinically) insane, nor near mid life. I suspect most of them hoped I was past mid life and well on towards twighlight. No luck.
If you start early and practice a rigorous regimen of aberrant behavior it will never become a crisis. I think of it as therapy. Most people work their whole life for some magic fairyland day that will come and make all the troubles disappear. I got news, life is the long stretch of troubles between the fleeting moments of joy to reward us for keeping faith. If you are me, life is more long stretches of joy sprinkled with occassional strife, but I have always been lucky as hell. I guess it is up to how you see things.

I had one of those joyful moments in Mid May at track, MSR Houston. I was down there with my Wife and Daughter. There is a carting track separate from the race track, and they happened to have a 5 year old girl sized cart, decorated in 'Barbie' motif. My daughter got in it and took off for about 10 laps. She got off track a few times once she got tired, but I was amazed at how well she did. She had a ball, and is talking about when she can go back.

Friday, May 2, 2008

April Dove hunt in Argentina

I just returned from a week in Argentina, 3 and a half days hunting in the La Pampa region of Argentina. Here are a couple of pictures and a video of the trip.

The first picture is the birds from a morning's hunt 9 April 2008 with my guide in Argentina, Ranch Salvaje. We shot about 2500 birds this morning, and totaled 14,000 over three days. The link is to the guy's website here in the USA, Roger. He makes all the arrangements with the guide. Roger is a retired dentist and does this because he likes Daniel, the guide. If you are interested call Roger, if he seems full of crap he is, he is hilarious. I have been on several trips with him, and have come to really like him. If something he tells you seems like he is playing it up, it is the truth. It took me a while to get past him being a Yankee, but I have forgiven him. He got to the South as quickly as he could.

The video is an afternoon hunt on Monday April 7, 2008. The biggest problem is having the self control to look down and load your gun. There are so many birds you just go on overload. I would load one shell and shoot, instead of loading the gun. OH, there he is, boom. OH, there he is, boom, etc., etc., 2000 times a day. You see a bird fall in frame to my left, but most are pretty far out. The ground is littered with the dead, and they just keep coming. There are about 15 million birds in this roost. They make 41,000 new doves each day. The only thing that keeps them in control is the occasional outbreak of disease. But that is another post as well.

I am shooting a Benelli Super Black Eagle 2. I had Johnny at Active Camo Products add the magazine extension tube and a large slide release paddle. You can just slap it to close the breach. He also redid the factory camo as bug spray and gun scrubber ate all the camo off. You can probably get a good gunsmith to sort this out for you. If not, call Johnny, or Briley. Both do great work.

I do not like hunting doves with the extended tube, the gun is too heavy, but it is the shit for ducks and geese. Argentina only, it is not allowed in the US, except for sky carp (snow geese). I prefer to hunt with 2 guns and have the bird boy load while I shoot. It saves your thumb, as it gets torn up stuffing shells in the gun. I never had a problem with my shoulder. I will cover guns in detail later. The slide release modification is a must. 2 identical guns are also a must, so if something breaks parts are interchangeable.

The most remarkable thing is that I have never seen another group of hunters when I am there. This is very different than hunting in Cordoba, which is about 450 km northwest of the area our outfitter has his lodge. Cordoba is a regular circle jerk of hunters, most of which you do not know, fewer of which you would want to be near with a gun.

This last picture is of a dove being relieved of his worldly troubles. You will notice the ejected shell falling, and the dove doing a back flip about 25 yards out. I eventually put in a full choke and only shot the birds at 50 yards or more. You can really work out a 75 yard shot this way.
Well, that is all for now. I will dive into guns, outfitters, places, and good eating as I go on.

Until then remember:
Butt, belly, beak, BOOM!