Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pre-season Checks for Success

The time for coyote calling and predator hunting is getting near. As our summer transitions into fall, the predators will become a lot more active. Instead of bedding down and avoiding the heat of the day, they will be out doing a little hunting and foraging for food. The coyote pups will have grown quite a bit and the little bobcat kittens are learning the ropes from their momma. I have even heard some coyote pups sounding off in our neighborhood, much to the chagrin of my dog.

After Labor Day, when all of the summer activities slow down, I begin to devote my time to coyote hunting and predator hunting preparation. I usually start with my hunt rig, a 1981 Full sized 2-door Jeep Cherokee Chief. I do all of the usual preventative maintenance checking: Tires, hoses, belts, batteries, fluid levels, chassis lube, oil change, radiator flush, brakes, new plugs, clean the K&N air filter, check under the hood for any abnormalities like oil leaks, etc. I then run the rig down to my Jeep mechanic and have him look it over.

All of this preparation may sound obsessive to you but I hunt coyote way out in the barren Mojave Desert of California and Nevada. There is no cell phone coverage and if you get stuck, help is not forthcoming. It may be a long, hot walk out to a paved road and even after getting there, you may not see a soul for hours. I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that I have done everything possible to make sure my rig is reliable.

Next I check out all of my coyote calling gear. I begin with my mouth calls and coyote howlers. I check the reeds on all of my calls and make sure they all sound like they should. If they need attention, I change the reeds or address whatever other issues need attention. The same goes for my coyote howlers. I check each one out for sound quality, check lanyards and when I am sure they are good to go, I pack them at the ready.

My electronic MP3 coyote caller is next. I happen to like the Minaska “Ultimate One” predator caller because of the volume potential when calling in open country. It features 2-speakers and they can be used independently or together. The sound quality is second to none and it even has a built-in, remote controlled decoy. I know there are a load of devoted Foxpro fans out there but sorry guys, in California lingo, I say Minaska “rules”. Just my opinion, use what you like. They will all call in animals.

At the beginning of each new season, I install a brand new 12-volt battery in the Minaska ($10.00) and I also purchase a spare battery and pack it in the caller’s backpack. I replace the battery in the remote, pack some 9-volt spares and then take the coyote caller out for a field check in a nearby park.

The screams of dying rabbits and other horrific sounds emanating from my Minaska coyote caller drive all of the park yuppies nuts (love it). One lady even threatened to call the police and report me because she claimed I was “harassing the squirrels”. I offered her my phone if she would let me listen in as she made the report. I would love to have heard her describe what she witnessed to the police. That would have been funny…

The Minaska Coyote caller is re-charged using a 110-volt plug-in charger. I have two ways to charge my electronic predator caller when in the field. I can plug the 110-volt charging unit into a small 100-watt inverter that I run off the Jeep’s auxiliary battery or, the Minaska caller can be charged from a solar panel that I adapted just for that purpose. Solar charging is quick, free and I sometimes leave the solar panel connected to the Minaska coyote caller when I am on long desert stands. I can chill, knowing that when I decide to start calling, my electronic coyote caller has a full charge and is ready for action. I will illustrate how you can make a solar charger for your Minaska or other 12-volt powered coyote caller in an upcoming blog.

Since night hunting for coyote and bobcats is legal here in California and Nevada, our predator hunting light is a key tool. Let’s face it, if you can’t see coyotes & bobcats, you can’t shoot coyotes and bobcats. After using a bunch of commercially available lights, homemade can lights and a bunch of other cobbled together Rube Goldberg contraptions, I decided that I would make my own light that incorporated all of the features a night coyote hunter would need. I knew what I didn’t like and I have heard all of the complaints from other night hunters. I knew exactly where I was going with this design. Rather than go into the details here, go to this link for all of the details on my innovative “lateral beam” coyote hunting light.

OK, so I check the operation of my coyote hunting lights (primary & spare). I clean my light’s lenses, check all controls for operation, check the plugs, check the power cords and I make sure I have spare fuses. Back in their storage bag they go and they are ready.

Next are two other important lights. One is my coyote or bobcat “pick-up” light and the other is my powerful green “kill-finder” laser.

My coyote pick-up light is the flashlight I use to retrieve the animal once it has been dispatched. In the old days, I used to rely on a massive 4-cell police style flashlight. Those days are long gone however and now I pack a small (but super powerful) CREE LED flashlight that is about 10X more powerful than the old D-cell flashlight. RedHunterLLC sells these powerful pick-up lights at a very reasonable price. Go here for info These little lights will amaze you with their power and long-lasting beam. I will never go back to any type of conventional flashlight again. The LED technology is amazing and if you are looking for your kill, this type of light really does the job. I have even taken one and tinted the lens red for away from the rig lighting. I can pick up a coyotes eyes at 300-yards using the little tactical flashlight.

Of course, finding a dead coyote or bobcat that you’ve dispatched in the dead of night can be a bit difficult. Once you leave your hunting rig or stand area and start walking out 200 or so yards, it’s easy to lose your bearings. That is when the laser is worth its weight in gold. I have my hunt rig laser mounted to a magnetic base. Once the shooter takes his shot, he keeps his scope on the general area where he fired at the coyote. The lighter (hunting partner) fires up the laser and the shooter directs the beam to the kill zone. Once it is zeroed, it is locked into position and the hunters can follow the green beam right to the kill. No searching, walking in circles or guesswork. The dead coyote should be right at the end of the beam. Inexpensive lasers can be found on-line and at some retailers. Most are way too under-powered. I just happened to order mine from an overseas supplier just before the feds put limits on the output power available to the general population. Check around though because it is a valuable tool. I am going to search for a good source too and when I find a good, reasonably priced unit, it will be tested by John and me and then sold in our store.

Next, I address my decoys. I sometimes use a Foxpro “Jack-in-the-box” coyote decoy. I also like my home-made, simple 1.5 volt coyote, fox and bobcat decoy made from an aluminum arrow shaft and half of a Decoy Heart (that throws a little stuffed critter around in circles). And lastly, for days with a slight breeze, a very simple low tech arrow shaft coyote decoy using a feather or two, tied to a light swivel with fine monofilament fishing line. I simply stick it in the ground and the breeze blows the feather around. It’s just enough action for a coyote or bobcat to fixate on. I check the batteries (and pack spares) and operation of the electric coyote decoys and look over the simple stuff to make sure everything functions as planned. I even go so far as to put all of the coyote decoy toppers into a plastic zip-lock bag and generously apply the scent or attractant that I want the Coyotes to smell. I don’t want my coyote decoys to smell like me or any other human.

Next I get out to the range and make sure all of my predator hunting rifles are shooting as tight as possible. I also check and inventory my reloaded ammo for each rifle. In addition, I pattern my shotguns and make sure my handguns are zeroed for the ammo I will be using. Finally, I touch up any of the nicked or worn camo paint areas on my coyote hunting firearms and make certain there is no chance of reflected light spooking an inbound coyote.

Next, I clean all of my coyote hunting rifle scope lenses with an approved cleaner so as not to damage the delicate lens coatings (See the “Op Drops” sold by RedHunterLLC. I also service my binoculars and make sure they are clean and ready.

Once I’ve checked all of my main coyote hunting equipment, I start checks on all of my general field gear like hunting license, bobcat tags, flashlights, knives, tools, gloves, head gear, camo, boots, sleeping bag, scents, etc. Lastly, I reassess my pre-hunting checklist and make sure it is updated and complete. Once I have completed my preparation, I should be good to go for the season opener.

By making periodic checks part of your hunting routine, you’ll always be ready for that last minute call from a buddy saying, “Let’s do a one-nighter and slam some coyotes”. Oh man, how can you resist that?

Play Their Instinct, Not Their Hunger

This is the time when of you should have your rifles sighted in, your rigs ready to roll and all of your other necessary gear fine-tuned and ready. The last remaining factor that spells success or failure is totally dependent upon you, the hunter. Ultimate success will be dictated by your skill and strategy.

All of us spend a great deal of time analyzing our prey. We scout for the most likely habitat and attempt to zero in on just exactly where and when the animals are most active. However, what worked just fine last month and produced several kills may not work at all this month. Coyotes seem to move around a lot and in the process; they can become more “educated” due to hunting pressure. These shifts in animal behavior necessitate a shift in our attitude and procedures too. Perhaps it is time for you to try something completely different.

Although the general animal habitat guidelines don’t change, perhaps our attitude and techniques for attracting them should. Chances are, the typical coyote and bobcat have heard the pleading jackrabbit call more than once or twice and it may not have the startling effect we would expect. Hey, even my dog is a perfect example of that. He hears me testing different pitched calls all the time. Now he is used to those sounds and he only reacts when I introduce something new into the mix. Therefore, new ideas and a fresh approach might make the difference between hunting success and failure.

On the last hunt, I tried sounds, sequences and techniques that were different than my usual bag of tricks. I changed more than the sounds however; I tried an entirely new coyote calling psychology.

In the past, my calling was not a part of a larger plan. There was no scripting of sounds or end game in mind. I simply played a CD or worked a mouth-call hoping that a hungry critter would respond. I was only appealing to one sense…..hunger. That would mean for me to be successful, the following factors would have to be in place:

• A hungry coyote would have to be within hearing distance of my call.
• That coyote would need to be hungry enough to respond.
• That coyote would be comfortable responding in the calls’ territory.
• The coyote would not be educated to the specific sound.
• The coyote’s hunger would overcome caution.

For my money, those are too many variables. By appealing to only one sense, you severely limit yourself. For the best success, appeal to as many of the animals senses and “instincts” as you can. The ultimate key word there is instinct.

Webster’s dictionary defines instinct as “a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason. b: behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.

That is our ultimate edge gentlemen, playing on their instinctive responses. If you plan your ambush to appeal to instinct rather than their thought process, your chances of success will be greatly enhanced. Their instinctive reactions will override their education and hopefully result in a bang-flop for you. My last hunt seemed to prove this theory out and if you give careful consideration to formulate more of an overall plan to your calling techniques, I’m sure you will agree.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rifle Scope Info You Need to Know

By Paul Coburn

"I've answered questions about scope parallax about 300 times, and it's always a long drawn out thing, going several e-mails, and a few phone calls. It doesn't seem to make any difference how long the guy has been shooting, this one always keep screwing guys up.
OK... here goes (Whew, this is gonna be a long one).
There are several things that go on inside a scope, and in the eyes at the same time. Some of them workie against each other.
But some terminology first... and we'll leave out lenses that are there to correct some optical or color errors, but don't have anything to do with image forming.
We'll start at the front of it all, and work back.
1 - The "Object"... the thing that you are looking (shooting) at.
2 - The "Objective". The front lens is called the "Objective"... it forms the first image of the "object" we are looking at (that why they call it the Objective
It is the lens that "captures" all the light, that is solely responsible for the image quality of the scope... if it is poor, you can't fix the poor image later.
This lens is usually made of two different types of glasses (called "elements") sandwiched together, and is called an "Achromat".
The Achromat is fully color corrected for blue and green. The red wavelengths are partially corrected, but have what is called "residual color errors".
This is the normal type of objective used in shooting and spotting scopes. In quality, they can vary from badd, through sorta OK, to pretty damn good.
If one of the elements is made of an "ED" glass, or a "Fluorite" (CaF) glass, the two element lens can be very good to friggin' outstanding.
In some instances, objective lenses are made of three elements, and all three colors (blue, green, and red) are completely corrected. This type of lens is called an "Apochromat", and this is the finest lens that can be bought. The best of these can also have "ED" glass, or Fluorite as one of the elements.
3 - The "First image plane". The Objective focuses the light to make an image of the subject, just like a camera lens. This image is upside down, and right/left reversed. This is the first image plane, but NOT the "First image plane" that is talked about when shooters talk about reticles.
4 - The "Erector lens"... (if it is a group of lenses, it is called the "Erector cell"). Because the first image is upside down/wrong way around, we (as shooters) can't use it... so we flip it around with a simple optical group called the "erector cell". This cell gives us a new image that is right way around, called the second image plane. Moving this cell causes this second image plane to move... so micrometer spindles are put against the cell, to get elevation and windage adjustments.
5 - The "Second image plane". This is the second real image plane in the scope, and this is the image plane that shooters call the "First image plane" when talking about reticles. In a fixed power scope, or in a variable with a "First image plane reticle", the reticle would be placed in this image plane.
This is where Premier Reticle puts those magical "Gen II" reticles.
6 - The "Zoom group". In a variable scope with standard (non-magnifying) reticle, the zoom group of optics would follow #5. This group of lenses can change the size of the image plane in #5 and then form a new (third) image plane behind it.
7 - The "Third image plane" In variable power scopes, this is the plane that the reticle is placed in. By being here, it allows the image to change sizes, but the reticle to stay the same size. In the context of reticles, this is the image plane that is referred to as the "second image plane"
8 - The "Eyepiece". This optical group is like a jewelers loupe. Is is (or should be) a super fine magnifier. It's only job in the whole world, is to focus on the reticle.
Let me repeat that for those that live in Rio Linda...
It CANNOT adjust, or compensate for, or do anything else when things look bad in the scope, or when you can't hit the target... and you CANNOT use the eyepiece to try to correct for parallax. That is sheer folly at best, and raw stupidity at worst.
If you expect it to do anything else, then stop wasting your time with long-range shooting, cuz you are never gonna make it past mediocre... and take up golf!!
OK... now that you know what the insides are like... lets move on. We'll use the zoom scope for our examples. cuz if you can understand the zoom scope, then the fixed scope is a walk in the park.
In the scope that is set for infinity range, the object forms an image behind the objective (the first image plane)... the erector cell "sees" that image, and flips it over and makes it right way around in a NEW image plane (the Second image plane). The zoom group adjusts the size of this image plane, and makes a NEW image plane (the Third image plane) that is the desired size. There is a reticle placed in this last image plane, and the eyepiece focuses on the reticle AND the image at the same time.
When things are good, that's how the scope workie!
But... now the booger falls into the soup... IF the third image plane and the reticle are not exactly, (and I mean EX-ACT-LY) in the same place, then your eye cannot see them LOCKED together as one picture.
It sees them as two separate pictures, and the eye will look at each separately, and the eye can also look AROUND one to see the other.
Lenses are measured in metrics (aka Millimeters). Not because the Europeans wanted the metric system 20 years ago, but because optical strings and chains of lenses (like scopes) are really a string of numbers.
There are constant ratios of "this divided by that's" that give image sizes, "F-ratios", and image locations. It's so damn easy to do the engineering using a 10 based system that the optical guys were using the metric system way back in the 1800's.
The objective has a "Focal length"... this is the distance behind the lens that the first image plane falls when making an image if a subject that is at infinity (or very damn far away).
If the objective has a focal length of 100mm, then the image of that 1000 yd target is 100mm behind the lense.
But the problem with geometric optics (which is what we are dealing with here), is that they follow the laws of geometry... and optics make triangles like rabbits make babies.
AND... in an optical chain, when you change one thing, one angle, one ANYTHING, everything else follows along and changes BASED on the ratios involved at THAT stage.
If we take that same target, and move it to 100 yds, the image in the scope moves BACKWARDS, going further into the scope. Not by much, but it doesn't take much, cuz we're dealing with very small distances inside the scope, and very high magnifications.
How far the image moves back, and what it's new position is, is predictable by the mathematical ratios of the angles formed by the subject and the first image... OR (for us dummies that lost our slip sticks) by the ratio of the distances to the Target and the focal length, multiplied by the focal length. then ADDED to the focal length.
The target is at 100 yds (91440mm), the focal length of the objective is 100, so the displacement is 1/914 x 100, which means that the first image is now at ~100.1mm. Hmmm only .1mm, that doesn't seem like much.
Read the following paragraph twice...
In a 1x scope, 0.1mm would mean nothing... but this displacement is repeated throughout the chain, AND if any of the optical groups change the image ratio (aka image size), then the displacement (aka ERROR) is changed in direct proportion to the increase in magnification. So in a 3x scope, it would be .3mm, and in a 10x scope, it would be 1mm, and in a 30 power scope, the image would be 3mm behind the reticle.
Now, you should have seen a pattern in this last paragraph.
With the same error in the objective (scope focused at 1000, and target at 100), the parallax INCREASES WITH MAGNIFICATION... got it?
OK... now, if we do the same math for closer distances, like 50 yds, and 25 yds we will see that the error gets really big, so that with a target at 50 yards, and the scope set at 35 or 65 yds, the parallax makes the combination un-usable.
Parallax is... when the image of the target, and the reticle, are NOT in exactly the same plane, and by moving the eye up and down... or side to side, either the target OR the reticle appears to move in relation to the other.
You might see the target move and the reticle stay still, or you might see the target stay still and the reticle move over it... both are exactly the same, and which you see, is only a matter of your OWN perception.
It is NOT possible to have parallax while moving up and down, but not have it when you are moving side to side.
If you think that is what you have, you have other problems... either you are moving the rifle, or you have eye problems.
This is the only way to do it...
First, screw the eyepiece out (CCW) all the way, until it stops.
If you wear glasses, put them on.
Hold the scope up and look OVER the scope at the sky, and relax your eyes. Then move the scope in front of your eye.
The reticle should look fuzzy
Turn the eyepiece in 1/2 turn, and do the same thing again. You will have to do for a while before the reticle starts to look better. When you start getting close, then turn the eyepiece 1/4 turn each time.
Do this until the reticle is fully sharp and fully BLACK immediately when you look through the scope.
Than back off one turn and do it again to make sure you are in the same place.
Then LOCK the ring on the eyepiece, and leave it alone forever!
Set the scope down on something sold, where it can see something at a long distance... half a mile of longer is good.
It can be on the rifle, and rested in sand bags at the range... but pick something at least 1000 yds away... even further if possible.
If the scope has an "AO" Adjustable objective, then set it for infinity, and look at the distant object, and move your head from one side to the other, or up and down if you prefer.
If the reticle seems to move, there is parallax.
Change the distance setting and try again... if you are very careful, you can move your eye, and adjust the distance at the same time, seeing which direction gets better.
With front objective adjustments, you can turn them either way without worry... BUT with side adjustment scopes, like the MK4-M3, the M3-LR, or the other LR family of scopes, the adjustment must ALWAYS be made from the infinity end of the dial. Turn the adjustment all the way until it stops (past infinity), and then start turning it in a little at a time, until there is no parallax. If you "overshoot" the proper setting, you can't just turn back a little, you must go back to stop at the end of the dial, and start over again.
While "AO"s dials are locked in place, and if the indicated distance doesn't match the real distance, there's nothing you can do about it... the side focus dials are not locked in place.
Once you have found the setting for infinity on the side focus models, then (CAREFULLY) loosen the screws, and set the dial so that little sideways infinity symbol is lined up with the hash mark, so it is calibrated. You can also make little marks or put on a paper tape for other ranges instead of using the round dots that don't match any range.
Now you can set it to infinity, but remember that you MUST turn the dial all the way past infinity to the stop, EVERY TIME before going from a close range to a longer range.
If you are set for 500 yds, you can go directly to 100 yds, but if you are set for 100 and want to set it to 500, you MUST go all the way back to the stop, and then go to 500
This is because there is a fair amount of backlash (aka SLOP) in this wheel linkage to the focusing cell, so you can set it only from one direction to make sure the slop is always on one side. The other problem with it is, even if you decided that you wanted to calibrate from the other end... the recoil will push the cell back. SO you must ALWAYS set these dials from the infinity end of their scales.
To make it easy to not have to remember... I always start from the end stop, when I change range, no matter which direction I'm going in... it adds about 0.023 seconds!
Now... you gots a friend that says to set up a scope a different way???... he don't know doodly-squat about scopes.
The guy at the range said to do it a different way... he don't know either.
You know some guy who's in the Marines says to use your eyepiece to correct parallax... he doesn't know about optics either.
You got a friend that shoots benchrest and says something different... he don't know crapola!
This is the way, the only way, there is no other way.
... as Rushbo would say... this is from GOD-da .
You gots questions, just e-mail me.
You wanna "debate it", then go play golf, cuz you're wasting my time!
'lito (gettin' grumpy in my old age!)"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why learning History is Important

When I was a kid, I sure could not appreciate the importance of learning History.  After all, it was old stuff that had already happened.  I was more interested in the "new" stuff.  The value of history is wasted on youth.  We never realized that life is a circle and although times, clothes, appliances, transportation and a vast array of other "things" change, the minds and hearts of men do not.  There is always the urge to suppress, rule, dictate and totally control the masses.

I believe we are at a crossroad right now.  Over the years our federal government has grown into something the framers of the Constitution were very concerned about avoiding.  Slowly, one small Constitutional perversion at a time, the federal government has violated the limitations placed upon it by the enumerated powers listed in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  And, as we all know, the more a thief steals unabated, the more brazen he becomes.  

Today we are faced with a Marxist/Socialist as president and two chambers of Congress dominated by leftist "progressive" democrats.  The mandates and imposed sanctions for a failure to comply are now law, as evidenced in the latest "Health Care Reform" bill.  Sadly, this is only the beginning of the Obamanation and if we, as a nation, do not realize that our liberty and freedoms are at stake, we will soon lose them.  

I have listed many of my favorite quotes below.  They are from very different eras and very different people.  However, they all warn of the same thing.  Read these...I mean REALLY read these words and take the time to think about them.  As you are thinking, watch your children play and think of your responsibility to assure their freedom, security and liberty in the future.  

In the military, there is an old slogan, "You fight like you train."  If you are unwilling to take action to protect your liberties now by legal, politically active means; when your liberty is finally taken away you will surely not have the will to fight to get it back.

History is unfolding right in front of your face right now.  Will you simply stand there and watch as Lady Liberty is raped at your feet?  Will you look the other way as Uncle Sam is pummeled by leftist members of Congress that are pushing a statist agenda?  Are you a "moderate" live and let live kind of person?  If you are any of the aforementioned, you do not deserve the God given liberties bestowed upon you.  Our liberty is not the fruit of "moderate" forefathers.  The Founding Fathers of this country were not "moderate" by any means.  They risked their lives and property to create a country free of the bonds of an oppressive government. 

Well, the free ride is over and now we must face the enemy of freedom that is no longer at the gate.  The enemy is in the White House, in the chambers of Congress and in the Attorney General's office.    


"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."  -Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857.

"There are always a few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off: these are the men who never become tamed under subjection and who always, like Ulysses on land and sea constantly seeking the smoke of his chimney, cannot prevent themselves from peering about for their natural privileges and from remembering their ancestors and their former ways.

"These are in fact the men who, possessed of clear minds and far-sighted spirit, are not satisfied, like the brutish mass, to see only what is at their feet, but rather look about them, behind and before, and even recall the things of the past in order to judge those of the future, and compare both with their present condition.  These are the ones who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning.  Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised."  -  Etienne de La Boetie, in "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude", 1548.

"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the right of resistance? Let them take arms ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."  - Thomas Jefferson.

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States." -       Noah Webster.

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." -Ayn Rand

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery."  -Thomas Jefferson.

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear." -Marcus Tullius Cicero, 42 BC.

"Human nature is full of riddles; one of those riddles is: how is it that people who have been crushed by the sheer weight of slavery and cast to the bottom of the pit can nevertheless find strength in themselves to rise up and free themselves first in spirit and then in body while those who soar unhampered over the peaks of freedom suddenly lose the taste of freedom, lose the will to defend it, and, hopelessly confused and lost, almost begin to crave slavery?” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. -Samuel Adams.

"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated." -Thomas Jefferson.

“Tyranny is the exercise of Power beyond Right, which no Body can have a Right to. And this is making use of the Power any one has in his hands; not for the good of those, who are under it, but for his own private separate Advantage. ... For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.” - John Locke Two Treatise of Government (1698) Book II,  Chapter XVIII, § 199.

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice.

"If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; And the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers; And this is the tendency of all human governments.

A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering... And the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt.  Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." -Thomas Jefferson.

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." - James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 47.

Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

I see right through your thin disguise,
your alligator tears, and your crooked smiles.
You bite with stolen teeth; speak in false tongues,
indoctrinate people when they are young,
with the lie that crawls out of your mouth:

I, The State, am The People.

You say "there's nothing greater than I,
the ordering finger of God, am I."
You roar and the sheep kneel.
But you can't affect anyone who feels
the lie that crawls out of your mouth:

I, The State, am The People.

Somewhere there are still peoples, and herds.
But where we live, we live among turds.
You mean the death of those who believe,
who fail to realise, who fail to perceive,
the lie that crawls out of your mouth:

I, The State, am The People.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The NRA is to the 2nd Amendment as H & R Block is to the 16th. — A March 12, 2002 news item got me thinking. It was titled "Gun Violence Prevention Groups Claim Victory as H&R Block Severs Ties with National Rifle Association." It wasn't the article itself, or what the article was about that was significant. It was the title that used the names "NRA" and "H & R Block" in the same sentence. Seeing those two names together reminded me of something too many people in the pro 2nd Amendment movement either don't see or refuse to recognize, the effect of self-interest.
We live in a time characterized by far broader concerns over issues of liberty and unconstitutional encroachment upon liberty by government than just those centered on the Second Amendment. Over the last quarter century or so (a period concurrent with the gun control vs. 2nd Amendment battle) we have also seen the rise of an ever-growing anti-income tax movement. And, just as the gun control battle orbits a Constitutional amendment so too does the battle over the income tax. We've all seen serious and well-researched assertions that the 16th Amendment that created the income tax was never legally ratified. We're also seeing the government refusing to address the issue.
So, what's all this got to do with the NRA and H & R Block? Plenty! Why? Because of a fact of life far too many of us in the pro 2nd Amendment movement either fail to see or refuse to acknowledge. That fact of life centers on the economic self-interest of an organization and its leadership.
Expecting the NRA to support the position that "shall not be infringed" means just that -- no permits can be required if it's a "right" and not a "privilege" -- is a lot like expecting H & R Block to support the position that the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified.
If the 16th Amendment and the income tax are thrown out, H & R Block is out of business. That much is pretty obvious, but Block does not hold itself out to be opposed to the income tax. The situation is very different where the NRA is concerned, and this is what gives rise to the dichotomy of opinion about the NRA within the pro 2nd Amendment movement.
We all need to become more aware of what the NRA is and has been historically. We then need to take a really hard look at what the strongest supporters and members of the NRA do for a living. Looking at it this way reveals one likely reason why the NRA refuses to support the position that no permits or registrations should be required if firearms ownership is a "right" that "shall not be infringed."
The NRA is, and has historically been, the single strongest advocate (and provider) of firearms use and safety training. Think about this for a minute. How many firearm use and safety course instructors do you know of who are NOT NRA certified? According the the NRA's own website, there are currently some 38,000 NRA Certified Instructors throughout the United States. The NRA may not be the only organization that certifies gun use and safety instructors, but it is certainly the single biggest one. 38,000 NRA Certified Instructors averages 760 per state. The numbers alone prove the NRA virtually owns the firearms instruction certification market in this country. Now there's nothing wrong with this. The NRA does a wonderful job teaching gun safety and certifying instructors. It's what they're really good at and I fully approve of what they do in this regard. Personally, I think every gun owner should take at least one gun use and safety course from an NRA certified instructor. I don't think any governmental body should require it though.
Now take a look around the country. Most states have now become "shall issue" states and in every one of them (that I know of) the "issue" of the "permit" requires two things:
1.  A clean criminal record 2.  Attending and passing some form of firearms use and safety course
Where do you think the instructors for these courses come from? Wouldn't you have to assume that with 38,000 NRA certified firearm safety instructors in the U.S. that most (if not nearly all) of the people who teach the courses required for CCW permits are among those 38,000? I would. Now ask yourself this: How many of these NRA certified instructors, whose economic life depends upon a steady stream of course attendees, are likely to support the position that it is illegal and unconstitutional for any level of government to REQUIRE gun permits and gun safety courses? While you're at it, take a look at the NRA as a national organization. What do they sell and profit from? It is the sponsorship of gun training and gun safety courses and teaching materials. Furthermore, this is what the NRA has been doing for over a hundred years. It is their core business. Do you REALLY expect them to support the position that gun permits (and the training required by them) are unconstitutional? If you do, I've got a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn I'll sell you cheap.
Gun control isn't like being pregnant. Being pregnant is a binary state. Someone either IS or ISN'T pregnant. But gun control exists on a continuum. You can have total gun control, such as outright bans, or only a little gun control, such as permits.
The mistake too many in the pro 2nd Amendment movement make is the assumption that the NRA is opposed to gun control. This assumption is false. The NRA is, always has been, and will continue to be a PRO GUN CONTROL ORGANIZATION! They will always support requirements for permits and attendance at gun safety and training classes because teaching these classes is what the economic life of so many of the NRA's strongest supporters, depends upon. Any assertion that the NRA does not virtually "own" the firearms and gun safety instructor training and certification market in this country is like making the assertion that Microsoft does not virtually "own" the computer operating system market. Both are obvious on their face.
It is because of this that I do not belong to, nor support the NRA in any way. Supporting the NRA is supporting (a form of) gun control and I am opposed to ALL forms of gun control... unless you define "gun control" as being capable of putting a .30 round through an enemy of the Constitution's left eye at 300 yards.
Gary Clark is a writer, small business owner and staunch defender of the right of every individual to own, bear and use ANY type of weapon that can be carried on the person. He lives in Las Vegas and can be reached by e-mail at

by Gary Clark

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We Get letters.....

I recently got an order for one of our RedHunterLLC Custom Predator Hunting Lights. Since I fabricate these lights myself, one at a time, the lead time is usually 6 to 8 weeks. This customer was in a real hurry though because he wanted to use the light in a predator calling contest in Texas. Unfortunately, the contest date was about two weeks from his order date. Since my "lateral beam" concept is unique, I really wanted his team to have the benefit of using it in the contest. So, I worked hard to complete the light in time to get it in his hands in time for the contest. The contest started on a Friday and UPS delivered the light to his house on Thursday afternoon. It was close, but it got there just in the nick of time. Here is a quote from the note I received from him on Monday:

“The new light worked very well. Our hunting rig drew mega attention and we got a real good opportunity to show off the new light. It impressed lots of folks. No one had seen one like it. You should get some inquiries for lights. I gave out your email. Your light worked like a dream--better than I had hoped. I will send pictures soon. Thank you so much for getting our light out to us on time for the contest. I am attempting to set up a hunt with Gerald Stewart (Johnny Stewart Game Calls) to tap on his calling experience. I will keep you posted on how that goes.”   From:  Dennis Long, Woodway, TX


I recently purchased both a Leupold and a Hawk scope for my hunting rifles. I placed the Leupold on my 30-06 and the Hawk on my 22-250, and then headed to the range. Both where zeroed at 100 yards with good results. One of the things I wanted to do was test my 100 yard zero, at a 200 yard range.

One big advantage I saw with the Hawk scope was it comes with a ballistics program that allowed me to calculate my rifle trajectory, and printed out a trajectory graph that I was able to place on the scopes flip up protective cover. This was a big plus for me since it took out all the guess work once I was one the 200 yard range. With the program I knew just where my aiming point should be to hit the 200 yard target.

The difference between the hawk and Leupold was the Hawk SR-12 reticles. I found the reticles extremely helpful once on the range. I’m not trying to say that the Leupold is not a top of the line scope but the Hawk had several features that made my old eyes work like they did 25 years ago. Also the day I went to the range there was a cross-wind of about 7 miles an hour blowing the SR-12 reticles also comes with Wind bars that proved helpful.
Again the Leupold is a top of the line scope but I had to use Kentucky windage to walk my 30-06 into the target. Since I had a good zero at 100 yards this wasn’t a hard task but it took three shoots to hit the center mass on the target as compared to the Hawk with the 22-250 first round was dead on but right, once I adjust for windage the second round was on target.  From: Robert Ison, Madison Alabama


Jeff says, ""Hey Red...thanks for the new Hawke Sidewnder 30, 4x16x50 scope. I mounted it on a Remington AR15 VTR SS varmint. I took my first shot at this dog and sent it down his kisser/see his broken lower jaw."  - Jeff Young, NY State


"I decided to try one of the RedHunter medium range cottontail mouth calls.  I bought the Mini Blaster III.  I am jazzed because no longer than 15-seconds into the stand, I called in and shot a nice gray fox.  On my next stand, I called in a nice bobcat and nailed him too.  I like this call because it’s small, easy to carry, durable and projects a nice sound.  The reed does not stick either."    From:  B. Keller, Irvine, CA

Your howler is awesome! It is the easiest to use cow horn howler I own (compared to a silver dog and a rude dog). It howls great makes a great bark. Ki-yis and yelps and whines are also very easy and very authentic sounding. I was using it last week and in conjunction with a rabbit distress call. I was using yelps and small barks and growls.
I was in a small clearing in a heavily wooded patch of land. I could hear some footsteps in the woods and a stick snapped under the foot of whatever it was out there. I could never get the critter to show itself. Where I hunt is much like hunting eastern coyotes, dense woods, thick underbrush. My weapon of choice is a Beretta 12-gauge with 3.5 magnum T-shot. They are out there because I have stirred up a pack at dusk several times but I cannot seem to get them to show themselves, I think the terrain lets them see me long before I can get a visual on them.
Back to the calls!! I could not be happier.  Yours is my go-to howler. Good call on the tactical camo finish, it's perfect for me and looks great. Thanks for touching base."  From:  Patrick Williams,Texarkana, TX

"For various reasons, I have had more trouble with electronics than I care for.  I told Fred he had caught my "hex" of bad luck with electronic players.  Since I had wanted to use Red Barbarossa's RedHunterLLC calls (the Mini version) for quite some time, I figured this would be a good opportunity to employ his product.
A couple miles up the dirt road we turned off onto a side road and set up for a new try.  Fred caught eyes in the spotlight and I got the Savage pointed in the lights direction.  The way the animal moved made me think it was a bobcat.  I followed it in my scope until I could get a good view of him.   When the Savage fired, I heard the slap of the bullet and knew the earlier target practice had paid off.  We called a little longer, and then I walked out to collect my trophy.  It was a nice bobcat.  On the scale it weighted over twenty two pounds.  We took some photos and inserted the cat into a burlap bag.  (I skinned him later at home, and put him on a stretcher).
Fred and I reversed roles; I took the spotlight and Fred toted the rifle.   The moon was down most of our calling time, which worked well for us, although the last two animals (coyotes), I called while the moon was up.  The last three stands of the night produced two coyotes.  Fred missed the first one.  The coyote may have moved just as he fired.  Although, it was my turn to shoot, I told Fred to continue as shooter as I had an animal and wanted him to bag something.  The very next stand I called in another coyote to close range. The coyote stopped, but Fred wasn't quite able to get on him.  Next the coyote moved in a semicircle around us, and Fred took a shot at the close moving target.  The shot was a miss, which was disappointing to Fred, but at least he was having a share of the action. 

The entire time (from 6PM to 1AM) I used only the Mini Blaster III, RedHunterLLC mouth call.  I liked the high pitch and was anxious to tell Red what good luck we had using his product.  In all, I called five Kit fox, a Grey fox, a bobcat, and two coyotes.  The action was spread out evenly the entire time and kept us keyed up for more fun.  I had collected my first trophy with the Savage, and called a bunch of critters with the new call."  From: Rick Macey, Lake Forest, CA

Dedicated customer service and products that do the job is what we are all about. Just the facts Jack.