Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Last Stand

Two weekends ago I was hunting with Ken, my usual predator calling partner. We had very good luck calling in animals at night but our day stands were rather disappointing.

The day stands should have been successful because all the factors for success were there. For instance, on Saturday we were rolling down this country highway with pastures on both sides of us. The pastures had trees, rolling hills, and better yet, what looked like streams running through bottom land. We wheeled over to the side of the road, parked and quietly got our gear together. We held the barbed wire fencing apart for each other and began to trek out (through cover) to what looked like a good area around some Aspen trees.

As we worked our way quietly through the bush, we stumbled on what appeared to be a den and some coyote scat. Mama Mia! Not just a few random turds but a crap load of them. I mean we were in the coyote turd capitol of the nation. And even more exciting, the turds were big and somewhat fresh. We looked at each other and smiled. This was definitely a hot zone and we stepped right into it.

We found a perfect place to call, set out a remote caller and a remote controlled furry bunny decoy, spread some coyote urine and bile scent around, hunkered down, waited about 10-minutes for birds to resume chirping and began to call softly.

In my mind I can already see the big coyotes charging in and falling to the blasts from our shotguns. Oh, and they are big ones too. My imagination is really running wild with anticipation. The setup was perfect, the terrain was perfect, the lighting and wind was in our favor, there were BIG piles of scat around and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was going to be a stand to remember. After 5-minutes passed, I upped the caller volume slightly and then backed it down. I turned the caller on and off as well as the decoy. I played this stand carefully because I knew our chances for success were excellent. All systems were go and this was a no-brainer kill fest for sure.

So much for the things dreams are made of. After 40-minutes, we packed it in and left……empty handed. So what happened? With everything so absolutely perfect, why didn’t my fantasy come true? Why weren’t we fending off the charges of 15 hungry coyotes, hot shotgun hulls flying through the air, #4 buck rolling coyote after coyote? It’s sad to say…….I don’t freaking know. They simply did not come. The dream slipped through our camo gloved fingers like water through a sieve. We trekked back to the truck, heads down in sadness. I felt like a kid that found no Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Seeing pile after pile of scat on our way back to the vehicle did nothing but depress us more.

If someone asked me the thing I hate most about predator calling it would have to be the “not knowing why” factor. When a stand does not bear critters, most times you’ll never know why. Then, without fail, the questions begin to swirl around my head. Did they bust us on the way in? Were they watching us all the time? Were they out hunting in another area? Did we break the stand too soon? Was my partner picking his nose, farting, moving, sleeping, etc.? The absolute worst part is we will never, ever know why any particular stand was not a success. The coyotes never tell. It sure would lessen the pain if we knew for sure what happened. Like most efforts, we can always learn from our mistakes. In the case of predator calling however, we are not afforded that benefit when things don’t pan out.

If your beginning to get interested in this sport and have tried calling without much success, don’t fret my friend because it happens to all of us. You just never know what will happen. Sometimes you’ll be calling an area that is not the perfect set-up by any means and ol’ Wiley will come a runnin’ right into the decoy. It is truly a roll of the dice each and every time. After all, a lot of factors are in play here.

For success to happen:
Animals have to be where you are calling
Animals have to be hungry, interested or curious
Animals have to get up and boldly answer the call
Animals have to be seen by you or your partner
Animals have to react within the timeframe you have set for your stand
You and your partner must have a good hide for the ambush
You can’t make any mistakes (busted)
Your partner can’t make any mistakes (busted)
Luck must be on your side too

I will say that perhaps it is the uncertainty of this sport that makes it so much fun. You have to stay positive at all times and always believe that the next stand will be “the one”. If you don’t, you can be sure that when things do happen, you won’t be ready. Oh, and that really hurts because I have been guilty of that mistake. The bottom line is stay ready. Follow the basic rules of the game and ALWAYS expect the unexpected. Most important of all, enjoy your time in the wilderness. Relax and enjoy being away from work, family pressures, computers, cell phones and everything else that crowds our lives these days. Oh….and always stipulate your field of fire with your partner.  Don’t shoot each other. That’s a bad thing.

Monday, December 28, 2009


OK, I admit it.  I am kind of a gun nut.  Just like most other guys, I read the nice glossy magazine ads, drool on the photos depicting beautifully machined steel and polished hardwood and the next thing I know, I am at the local gun shop spending more money.  It’s like I’m in some sort of Zombie trance.  I just love hardware that goes BANG.  It’s beautiful, feels nice to the touch and I want it.  Yeah, that’s right, “I want it.”

I tell myself (and my wife) that it’s not a sickness and my proclivity for new rifle purchases can easily be compared to a golfer and his bag of clubs.  I explain that just as it takes different clubs to hit the golf ball accurately to suit the range of the hole the golfer is playing, the same holds true for hunters that hunt different game under varying conditions.  Well…..sort of.
The truth of the matter (not that truth has anything to do with my desires) is that if need be I could easily whittle my long arms down to two rifles and a shotgun.  OMG!  What am I saying?  Yeah….it’s true, I could probably do that.  I never would, but I probably could.
Paring down the rifle locker makes perfectly good sense.  Taking into account the many bullet choices available to reloaders today, one can reduce the number of rifles owned by tailoring the rounds of a particular caliber to a variety of game.  Taking that fact into consideration, I could indeed keep and shoot just two rifles.  Hmmmmmm, maybe I’d hold on to my Howa .243 (with a faster twist) and my AR in 6.5 Grendel.

Uhhhh…no, maybe my 223 AR and my Grendel.  But the Kimber .308 and my Husky/Mauser 30-06 would be good to have too.  They both offer varied bullet weights and versatile loadings.  Oops, I almost forgot my Tikka 25-06 that dropped those Antelopes like a brick.  Now that’s one rifle I would not want to do without.   Hmmmmmm…..but wait…what about my light calibers.  Yeah, my CZ in .17 Remington really kicks butt with those 30-grain Berger hollow points jamming at 4200-fps.  It liquefies coyotes.  And it is such a fun rifle to shoot.  Yikes, I can’t forget my Howa in .204 Ruger.  That’s another one that really is fun to shoot.  Dang, but how could I ever give up my Tikka T3 in 22-250.  It is such a sweet shooter and what could be more versatile than the trusty, classic 22-250 caliber.

OK, let’s see….plinking, we all love plinking.  Well that’s .22LR territory for sure.  I gotta keep one of those handy.  Ok then, the 10-22 is a keeper.  Plus, I have so much money in that stupid 10-22, I can’t afford to sell it.  Sure, but that Marlin in 17 HMR has got to be one of the most accurate and fun rifles I own.  How could I part with it?

Come to think of it, my C&R rifles are really worth holding on to also.  The Enfields in .303 British really have some smack-down power.  My Enfields in .308 kick butt too.  Even the Nagants in 7.62X54 Russian can slam a deer well.  In a pinch, what military rifle is more versatile than my old M1-Carbine.  I could never part with that.  Nor could I give up that old, collector’s classic 8MM Mauser with Nazi markings.

You’ve heard the saying, “Beware of the man with only one rifle”.  Because of the fact that he owns only one means that he knows its limitations and shoots it very well.   Amen to that.  Maybe I’ll only keep one rifle and wring all the accuracy I can out of it.  One man, one rifle.  Yeah….that’s it.  Just like the saying goes. NOT!!!
I can assure you that any suggestions that I sell off some of my arms would be met with laughter.  Why….because they’re fun and I enjoy each and every one of them.  They all have individual character, shooting characteristics and memories attached to them.  Nope, I ain’t selling even one of them.  Come to think of it, they may be a gittin’ lonely fer some new company.  I don’t own one of them there short, fat calibers yet.  I may just have to amble down to my buddy’s store and have a look see.  Not that I need one….dang…here come the Zombies again.               

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Leading American bullet manufacturer Nosler ( has done it again. Nosler has developed a revolutionary, environmentally friendly, non-lead bullet that promises extreme accuracy and the elimination of all lead bullet environmental concerns.

Their latest eco-friendly offering, called the SBCS is manufactured using a top secret proprietary process that has been many years in development. The real news is that the SBCS contains no metal at all. The Nosler acronym SBCS stands for “Soy Based Condor Savior”. In essence, as a result of advanced technology, we can now grow our own ammunition.

Naturally, Nosler is pretty tight-lipped about the manufacturing process but rumor has it that Nosler and French nuclear company Singe Puant are partners in the “heavy-soy” research project. Nosler and Singe Puant are not officially commenting but there is word that the manufacturing process enlists the use of pre-processed, French power plant radioactive waste to transform food grade soy into “heavy soy”, therefore suitable for nano-compression and bullet manufacture.

It is believed that the combination of simultaneous exposure to radiation and nano-compression (super-compressing the radiated molecules of the soy product in a space-like vacuum) has produced a bullet product that is heavier than lead and twice as dense. The SBCS is also relatively frangible and will not ricochet as a result of striking hard objects such as rocks, etc.

Preliminary tests have shown the new projectile to be devastating when striking ballistic gelatin. Upon impact, the nano-compressed molecules are released from their radiation-bonded, molecular-cohesive state and instantly expand to one hundred and fifty times their compressed physical size. The instantaneous expansion of form coupled with the traditional ballistic spin causes unimaginable terminal damage and promises a small entrance wound with no exit wound.

Other claimed advantages to using the new Nosler SBCS are:

• Environmentally friendly, 100% biodegradable
• Glow in the dark much like tracer ammo but will not start fires
• Stray bullets actually grow soy plants (germinate in 6-months)
• Rifle ranges actually become eco-friendly feed lots for deer and other game
• Lost hunters can eat their ammo to survive after boiling for 35-minutes
• Contain no trans-fats
• Easy to find your ammo in the dark
• Smaller calibers effectively kill larger game

“The legislators of California have spoken and Nosler has listened”, said Tad A. Charlatan, Nosler’s California legislative liaison. Look for the SBCS Nosler bullets to be on the shelves of California sporting goods stores by May of 2008. They are packaged in a sporty, black, lead lined box and should not be stored near children’s living areas.

OK, so it's a joke article. I hope you had a laugh. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Food for thought....or...your legislators in action.

Control Criminals, Not Guns
By Walter E. Williama

Every time there's a highly publicized shooting, out go the cries for stricter gun control laws, and it was no different with the recent murder of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, in a letter to the state congressional delegation demanding re-enactment of the federal assault weapon ban, said, "Passing this legislation will go a long way to protecting those who put their lives on the line every day for us. … There is no excuse to do otherwise
Gun control laws will not protect us from murderers. We need protection from the criminal justice system politicians have created. Let's look at it.
According to former Philly cop Michael P. Tremoglie's article "Who freed the cop-killers?" for the Philadelphia Daily News (May 8, 2008), all three murder suspects had extensive criminal records. Levon Warner was sentenced in 1997 to seven and a half to 15 years for robbery, one to five years for possessing an instrument of crime and five to 10 for criminal conspiracy. Howard Cain was convicted in 1996 on four counts of robbery and sentenced to five to 10 years on each count. Eric Floyd was sentenced to five to 10 years in 1995 for robbery, rearrested in 1999 for parole violation and later convicted in 2001 for two robberies. If these criminals had not been released from prison, long before they served out their sentences, officer Liczbinski would be alive today. So what's responsible for his death: guns or a prison and parole system that released these three criminals? Tremoglie cites other examples of criminals, with convictions for violent crimes ranging from robbery and assault to murder, who were paroled and later murdered police officers.
A New York Times study (April 28, 2006) of the city's 1,662 murders in 2003-2005 found that 90 percent of the murderers had criminal records. A Massachusetts study reported that on average, homicide offenders had been arraigned for nine prior offenses. John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime," reports that in 1988 in the 75 largest counties in the country-region, over 89 percent of adult murderers had a criminal record as an adult.
A few days after the murder of Liczbinski, Gov. Rendell told a news conference, attended by state elected officials and top law enforcement officials, "The time has come for politicians to decide. You have to decide whether you're on their side – the men and women who wear blue – or whether you're on the side of the gun lobby." Instead of saying "whether you're on the side of the gun lobby," Rendell should have said "whether you're on the side of the criminal and the courts, prosecutors, prisons and parole boards that cut soft deals with criminals and release them to prey upon police officers and law-abiding citizens."
If there is one clear basic function of government, it's to protect citizens from criminals. When government failure becomes so apparent, as it is in the murder of a police officer, officials seek scapegoats, and very often it's the National Rifle Association and others who seek to protect our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We hear calls for stricter gun control laws when what is really needed is more control over criminals.
There are many third-party liability laws. I think they ought to be applied to members of parole boards who release criminals who turn around and commit violent crimes. As it stands now, people on parole boards who release criminals bear no cost of their decisions. I bet that if members of parole boards were held liable or forced to serve the balance of the sentence of a parolee who goes out and commits more crime, they would pay more attention to the welfare of the community rather than the welfare of a criminal. You say, "Williams, under those conditions, who'd serve on a parole board?" There's something to be said about that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This is a Great Idea!!
When doing your Christmas cards, take one and send it to this address:

A Recovering American Soldier c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW; Washington, D.C. 20307

If we pass this on, think of how many cards these wonderful special people would get.