Friday, December 30, 2011

Spyderco Native Knife

I received this beautiful Spyderco Native Knife from a friend. He read my post on Havalon Knives and insisted that Spyderco makes a better knife. So I decided to put it to the test.

I got up early one morning and went down to the local duck hunting spot. After an hour or so I came back home with a mallard drake and a green wing teal drake. (This day was not my best day shooting) I cleaned both birds with ease. The short and very sharp blade makes it easy to maneuver while getting into the hard to reach areas .

After I was done with the two ducks since this knife made it so easy I decided to go clean three chickens, which needed to be done anyway but I had been procrastinating. Again no problems, even on the last 5th bird of the day. 

I am very happy so far with this knife. I look forward to using it in other situations that presents themselves around the house and in the outdoors.

Other features I like are the easy opening with my thumb with the thumb hole on the blad, as well as the durable construction. I also always support things made 100% in the USA.

Since I am in Law Enforcement this will also become my everyday carry knife. This knife is a great knife to have in any situation.  It is impossible to compare to the Spyderco Knife with the Havalon Knife because the Havalon is used for a specific job. If I had to choose to have a knife to have in an unknown situation it would be the Spyderco Native.

Remington Sportsman model 341 restoration

So my grandfather gave me his Remington Sportsman Model 341 in .22 caliber a few years ago. He told me that he bought it when he was in his teens back in the 30's.

There is a big crack going down the stock. I asked my grandfather how it got cracked and he told me that the man who owned it before him hit a coyote over the head with it and cracked it.  There  has been some wood and metal plugs put in it to hold together.

The barrel has some rust on it, due to not being used in the last 50 years and it being in Seattle with all the moisture in the air.

The gun came with a W.R. Weaver model 344 rifle scope, which also has some rust spots. Although the lenses are clear.

My goal is to restore the gun, while still keeping the character and stories. I hope to share this process while it is being completed.   

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Talented Mrs. Williams

On 12-08-11 I received the worst phone call of my life. It was my wife and she told me Grandma Arlene had died. There was no warning, rhyme or reason, but she was gone. The hardest part for me was that earlier that morning I had just told my daughter we were going to see Grandma Arlene (GGMA) in a few days.

Grandma Arlene went by many names, GGma, Grandma, Bubbles and of course Mrs. Williams. She was the Matriarch of the Williams family. She set forth traditions that will be passed down to future generations.  Grandma also touched so many peoples' lives and made so many memories.

Traditions like singing Christmas songs before we open stockings and gifts, even though apparently no one thought it was a good idea to have anyone with a good singing voice in the family.   But every year at Williams' Christmas you better believe we will be singing songs, as long as the dogs don't start howling.

She also set forth traditions at Duck Hunting Camp. Traditions like bean soup around the campfire on opening weekend. A Duck Camp staple that my step mother Ellen has so generously taken over the past couple years. Grandma has shown the new generations of hunters like myself how to properly walk the correct routes on different lakes, such as Bubbles lake. (A lake named after her) One day in the future my daughter might ask me "Dad why do the cows walk the same paths around the lake we we do?" I will tell her because the cows are smart and they know these are the same paths Grandma made 60 years ago. Just so you know if you're ever duck hunting in our area of the Okanogan  know that your not likely following a cow trail but more likely a grandma trail - the cows only use the trail because Grandma allowed it.

I have too many memories to tell of Grandma. The last memory I have of Grandma was at Duck Camp in October of 2011. At age 88 she still showed up and went out with the hunting party. I had the honor of being Grandma's chauffeur for the day. At the end of the day she told me what a great day she spent with my wife and daughter and that she enjoyed getting to know them better. I had no idea the significance of that statement at that time.

Another vivid memory I had with Grandma was when I was around 7 years old.  I knew I could always count on Grandma to come get me from school and not question if I was really sick or not. Anyways we went into the local grocery store QFC to get some things. While Grandma was checking out I went outside where I found a piece of charcoal. I wrote a small bit of graffiti on the outside wall next to the exit and went back inside to where Grandma was.  We walked outside and Grandma caught me me real quick. I guess not too many kids named Rory frequented that particular QFC. After I washed it off all was good again and we went home for a heated and intense game of Candyland.  

But of course Grandma passed more down than just traditions and memories.  She taught us her values: when I look at my four sibling I see the kindness of Grandma's heart, the wisdom of her mind and the wild side from her soul.

Grandma passed peacefully in her chair, and although I was in no way ready for her to leave us, I am sure she had a smile on her face while on her way to the Duck Camp in the sky where Grandpa already has the fire started and the tent set.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My 2012 Wish List

This is My 2012 Wish List

  1. Southwest Tactical Buck Bench: just for my back yard shooting and sighting. I have a home made substitute right now and it sucks.
  2. Flambeua's Storm Front Mallard Decoys: just in case I want to go to our local decoy spot by myself someday.
  3. Cabela's Electronic Cable Hoist: It will just make it easier to lift the deer at home with out having to use the truck.
  4. A Range Finder: Don't know which brand or model there are so many to choose from.
  5. The I-Kam video recording glasses.
  6. Spotting Scope: Again don't know which brand or model to choose. Too many options. Do you have any ideas?
  7. Electronic Coyote call.
  8. A Butt Out. If you dont know what this is look it up.
  9. Skull hooker for my european mounts I have laying around.
  10. CamelBak Ambush XT Pack for day hunts.

Wildest Places

This is a writing prompt by OBN.

I believe the wildest place I go to be in the outdoors in Cut Throat lake in the north cascades of Washington State. This lake provides great lake fishing for cut throat trout. Last time I was up there, my wife and I rode our bikes up there from the trail head at HWY 20. O, did I mention my wife was 4 months pregnat. Anyway we rode up there with our dogs in late July and really enjoyed our selves. It was great seeing all the fish swimming in the crystal clear water.   After walking around most of the lake and going for a swim in the creek draining off of the lake we decided to head back down the trail.

Remi going for a swim

In the early fall of 2012 I am planning on doing a early rifle deer hunt in Washington State called the High Hunt. Where you have to be hunting in a high altitude wilderness area. I am planning on going into the pasayte wilderness which I hear is very wild. Anyway I will keep this blog updated on that trip till it gets here. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why I Hunt

Today I was driving home from a friends house and I asked my self the question "Why do I hunt?". A question I might not be able to answer in just one night.

This is a serious question,one that is debated by millions of people. I myself have been in this debate over hunting many times.

My normal responses are of course: Do you eat meat?  Who does your killing - Safeway?

But sitting here thinking about it, that isn't an answer really. It is the answer I am willing to get into with people who ask me why I hunt. The people who ask that question always ask with that smug tone of voice. Like I am a bad person for wanting to provide my own meat.

The answer of 'do you eat meat?', is all the breath I want to waste on that conversation with people. 

I'm not going to change their mind; they don't care about the deep truth or why I really hunt. It's not about the killing to me. But it's all about the killing to them - that's all they see. They see the killing of what they see as poor innocent creatures, like Bambi. I can't tell you how many times I have been buying a hunting license and heard "Oh you're going to kill Bambi, huh?" I will chuckle, smile and nod, and go on my way.

You want to know why I hunt?

I hunt because it is a drive to be in the outdoors. It is a bonding with your fellow hunter that you can't get anywhere else. The joy I get when in the field with my wife and daughter is like no other. It is the satisfaction that my family and I can and will provide for ourselves.

I hunt because of the memories of years past, knowing 60 years ago my grandfather hunted underneath this exact tree, or at this exact lake, or in this exact field, with this exact goal. It's like he is still there with me, and even that he will always be there with me while I am hunting. It's knowing my daughter will be in the same spot in years to come.  It's knowing that I am passing on to my kids what my grandfather taught my dad and what my dad taught and is still teaching me.

I hunt because failure is an option.  Failure is the opportunity to learn and become a better hunter. For every successful hunt there was likely a few unsuccessful hunts before. True hunters know that there will be another day and another hunt. The trophies on the wall are not only a sign of success, but a sign of learning from your past failures.

I hunt because it is a lifestyle - and it's my lifestyle. It's dreaming of being out on a hunt when stuck in the office. It's knowing that right now it's midnight, I just got my kid to sleep but it's ok because in 5 hours my alarm is going off and I am going hunting. It's knowing that when you're out there in the woods, in your blind, or in your tree stand all your worries are gone and that is a feeling that no substance can duplicate.

I hunt because the dog hunting next to me is one of my best friends and hunting means us working together as a true team. She will break ice and swim as far as it takes to get the job done. She will warn me of danger one second and let my daughter crawl over her and cover her with blankets in the other. She will keep my hands warm on cold mornings and keep my feet warm on cold nights in camp. And all she asks for in return is a scratch behind the ear every now and then.

Reading this has only scratched the surface of why I hunt. Most of it words can not explain. If you want to better understand why I hunt, why hunters hunt, you will just have to go and experience hunting for yourself. Even then I can't promise you will get it.

If you hunt and want to express why you hunt, I welcome you to write a post and put your link to in the comments! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Duck Hunting the runway with the Chief

So the plan is to meet at the spot at 6:30am and walk in for a 6:55 shooting time. I met Chief Paul and some other friends at the runway. (We call it the runway because it is a narrow side channel off the river that the ducks fly up and down.)

We get out to the blind and there are about 100 ducks waiting for us, but of course it is too dark to shoot and they mostly all fly away. We get the small group of decoys (3) out into the water and hunker down till it is light enough to shoot. My German Wire Haired Pointing Griffon Remi was anxiously waiting to do some work.

Now for those of you who don't know me, my dog Remi and I are not blind or decoy hunters, we specialize in jump shooting.  We don't like sitting still and freezing to death which normally happens when we attempt to decoy.

So it is finally light enough to to shoot and I look over to our left and see some ducks still sitting in the channel. So of course I sneak over and dump two mallard hens. Both ducks had broken wings and were still alive as well as swimming to the opposite side of the channel. Well Remi springs into action and goes after them, she did have a bit of trouble on the opposite shore. She would pick one up and the other one would run away  then she would drop the one she had and go after the running one, then of course the one she dropped would run away and so on. It was a big cycle of bird dog owner frustration. Finally she picked one brought it to me and then went back for the other.

For the rest of the day Remi was flawless, Chief Paul was turning the ducks to the blind like a pro and I was having a decent day shooting.

The best duck of the day was a Green head  flying over taking a look at the decoys, and I decided it was time to shoot it. I raised my gun took one shot and the bird folded and hit the water,  Remi went straight out a got it and brought it back to the blind. It was the best, I didn't even feel the gun go off, I didn't have to give any commands to the dog and I only used one shot. That was duck hunting bliss at its best. 

Like Chief Paul said there is nothing better than calling ducks and watching a good bird dog work. I can't say it any better. Just watching Remi chase ducks all day, even though it was 13 degrees with her hair all iced up really shows her dedication to please and her drive to hunt.

Thanks Chief Paul and friends I could not of asked for a better day out hunting.