Guns

Moose, Β 2017.

So, the moose story. 

finally. (Some of you have been asking for this post for a week) πŸ™‚

The morning of the day of the wolf adventure above, we’d gone up one ridge before day light (Fun.)  I couldn’t so the last climb to the very top, about 60 yards of what at that time I deemed “death slope”. 

This area is a little U shaped valley along a ridge, sitting between prongs, or points off the ridge. Ridge and river sit paralell, prongs point at the river, so open top of the U faces the river.  It’s about 0.4 miles from river to the bottom center of the U, 0.35 miles from one point to the other across the U.   Not a big area. 

From river to about .25 miles in, it used to be boreal tundra spruce… 90% no bigger than 8″ in diameter. Several years ago it burned. So it’s now a mess of 3″ Dia 8′ tall new birch, alder, and willow, with its floor covered in down, dead spruce… High stepping nightmare to hike in. But it’s dry and flat. 

At that .25 mile mark is a line, and small grove of larger older spruce forest.  It goes maybe 50 yards in depth. Behind it, the rest of the flat into the bottom of the ridge, of the U is moss covered tundra. Moss a good 1.5′ to 4′ deep in places, wet, spongy. And permafrost grown spruce, all about head height and 2″ in dia..   Thankfully that area isn’t muskeg tussoks, but the moss isn’t any picnic to hike in. 

From the right hand watch spot, on the first ridge point we climbed, from about half way up, looking across the U at an angle, to the next point, and the base of the 2nd point. 

So, anyway. 

That first day, they’d gone up the first ridge mid afternoon, to scout. Didn’t see any moose. That evening at dusk they went up again, and I hunted watching a sand bar along the river, couple hundred yards from camp. I didn’t see anything but a Huge beaver. 

All they saw was two other hunters on the next point, that hiked in from the river!

That next morning, (wolf day), we all went up before daylight,  and watched. That pic there ^^ is from my vantage point later in the morning. They were a bit higher than me furthet up on my right. 

We would have gone over and up the second point at that time, but figured the other two guys would be back that morning. They never showed.

Around 9 am, they saw a moose,  good sized one, a loooonnnnggg ways out on the burn flat past the second point, about 700 yards,  headed our way. 

I never saw him that day. You have to know what your looking for at that range, it’s amazing the one guy saw it to begin with,  but he has eagle eyes for that stuff… saw it at first with bare eyes, No Glass!! 

Anyway, about 10, they decended into the U and crossed the valley behind the trees, in the mossy mess, to the other point, and climbed it.   By 11, the moose had bedded down, off that point a few hundred yards out.   

I headed back to camp (mid way between points, on the river). They went off the other side of that second point and into the valley there, and scouted around, back to camp, around 1 pm. 

If we’d known that morning that the other two guys weren’t coming back, we’d have gone up that second ridge then, and could have shot that bull that morning, he came well within range before bedding. As it was, he bedded before we got anyone on that ridge.

Fast lunch, then we napped to 3pm, early dinner, then hiked in and climbed the second left hand point around 4pm.  I could only get up about 50 yards, and it was from this point I took this pic shown in the wolf post;

center U trees on left, big trees on right are on the far bank of the river, looking toward camp, other point on the left/center… 

3 hour watch, around 730pm was when he shot the wolf, and I went down to help. 

The big bull never showed again that evening.  Around 8 after we got back to camp with the wolf, our 3rd guy that had stayed up top(Ole eagle eyes) saw another pair of bulls headed in along the same line the other had taken into the area, these two a good 900 yards out. Younger smaller bulls, spike forks both of them, a medium sized one and a smaller one trailing him by a ways. 

Too far out, too late to worry about, but maybe the next day they’d range in better. 

Late dinner that night after he came down around 9, then we were up till 12am,while he skinned out that wolf. In the dark, in the cold, in the rain (sleet, almost snow actually ).  

Next morning about 530, up and breakfast, and they headed back up the steep 2nd point. Wanted to be there when that first big bull started moving around. 

I’d had too much mountain goating around, and general hiking the first couple days, was starting to blow out a muscle in my right thigh… Figured if I was going to be of any use helping to butcher,  and pack out meat if we got one, I needed to stick to the flat land and stop trying to climb ridges. 

I stayed in camp till around 8, then went and tried to hike to the sand bar I’d been watching,  long the river. That was Fun. Had to head into a stand of old growth spruce along the river, some 4′ in diameter at the base. And more dead falls. But unlike in the burn area, these were 10″ in Dia and bigger. And the area had a drainage ditch/street bed. 

At 9:10 I’d managed 100 yards from camp, and decided the heck with it, started to head back. (The very fresh bright purple bear scat in places added to the ease of that decision πŸ˜‰ , although we’d been seeing that scat,  most of it fresh within the week, purple (blueberry) or red (cranberry) all over the valley.  )

915am, 3 shots off the ridge above me. 

Headed for camp a little faster. 

About 10, my buddy got into camp. Eagle eyes had gone to start gutting it. πŸ˜€ 

They were up there watching, nothing moving in the flat, when suddenly he saw movement out of the brush at the base of the ridge below them… That big bull had skirted the base of the slope, too close to the ridge to be seen till he got out 100 yards or so!  Walked right by under them. 

He also went right by the spot I’d sat the evening before, within about 50 to 70 yards!!  If I’d have been up there he would have crossed below me, in perfect range, at a slow walk, broadside! 

As it was, he heard my friends, gave a lot at them up the ridge, and broke into a trot toward the center U trees.. 

They fired two shots that missed him as he turned, and then God blessed my buddy on the 3rd shot, as the bull got to about 350 yards out, into the mossy area, he shot for the spine downhill, bull facing almost square away from him.  Missed the spine, but the shot went into the rib cage. 

Little later dressing him out, the shot broke 3 ribs going in on the left side, made hamburger of its liver, through that lung, destroyed the aorta,  and passed into the off side shoulder or brisked.  Hydrostatic show made jelly of the other lung, and blood shot some brisket,  neck. 

The bull took a few steps, about 20′ if that, and dropped in his tracks.  

When oppenened up,  the body cavity was Full of blood, and there was no blood in the meat as we butchered it.. The shot destroyed the aorta, but missed the heart, and under a run, and adrenaline,  the bull heart kept going and pumped himself dry, bled out Fast, and dropped. 

The only problem was, the side of that tree line that he ran to. Lol. 

So packing him out was 50 or 60 yards of mossy muck, 50 yards of (active use!)bear trail through the timber,  and 200, 250 yards of the burn area. FUN. 

But at just a little over 1/4 mile, it really wasn’t that bad.  But I now fully understand an old saying here; NEVER shot a moose further than 100 yards from a motorized vehicle. πŸ˜‰ 

The most entertaining was getting the head and hide out. Skinning went so fast with three guys, them two cutting and my pulling the hide, that he decided he wanted it in one piece, to keep. The fact that it’s a chocolate brown and deep black, I can’t blame him, it’s gorgeous!  

And the 4×5 52″ rack, he wanted for a full European mount (antlers on skull). 

So, hide folded around two 10′ poles laid shoulder width apart, poles on shoulders, and carry it out. Oi.  I did about a 40 yard stretch of that in the burn area. As the guy in back. Learned how easy it really is to hike in that otherwise;  you can see your footing. As the rail gut carrying the hide, you see hide, not the ground. Oi! 

The head we hung from one pole, and carried the same way.   Uhuh. Better visibility, but man… Not fun. I did 60 yards or so of that in the burn area too.  They’d carried the head out of the mossy swamp without the pole, antlers laid on their shoulders… I didn’t see it, but wish I had!! πŸ˜‰ 

Took us all that first day to butcher it all, bone out the quarters, and skin it, and pack out about 1/4 of it. Took all day the next day to pack out the rest of the meat, the head, and hide. 

Going into this I was worried that my back and hips wouldn’t take the packing. They said that’s fine, it’s a group effort for all of it, I wouldn’t have to pack meat if I couldn’t/didn’t want to. 

I figured I was gonna feel real guilty doing that and planned to do as much as I could, as safe as I could. After the amount of work I put in skinning and butchering, and only actually cutting for 5 minutes,  I understood. It really is a group effort, and takes a lot of work for an animal this size. 

I wouldn’t have felt guilty not packing meat. 

But I did.  Some of that was entertaining,  we only had one pack frame. So you grab a meat bag, 30 to 40 lbs of meat,  sling it over one shoulder, and hike. Ugh. 

I did one trip with the pack frame, 55 or 65 pounds of meat..  That was easier since it balanced in one place on your back, and you had your hands free in the brush… But damn that was heavy. 

Moose down;

Me, Brian, the shooter, and Bullwinkle;

(I’m the fat one in plaid, Not the fat one with antlers!) 

Funny thing about that shot… he’s holding the other guys bolt action rifle, not his gun he used… lol. (He used his AR, in .308! Weird to be hunting with a black rifle, for me, but it works!)

Butchering(warning, slightly graphic);

Brian and Robert getting ready to haul the hide in the mossy area;

Them hauling the head in the burn area;

This next pic is pretty graphic, but I’m proud of it, so I’m posting it.   Shows what the carcass you leave Should look like… ALL meat harvested. Law requires all usable meat be taken, but a lot of guys leave a great deal… We did the legal, and ethical thing and stripped everything. 

All we left was a gut pile, a pile of feet, and that carcass. 

Anyway, great experience,  wonderful time with a good friend,  and a new friend (one of these guys I’d never met till the morning we headed out!) Wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! 

And, he called Friday night, went in to pick up my share of the meat from the processing place yesterday. (more expensive,  but I didn’t have time or the space to butcher and grind that much meat. Costing me abut $1/lb, not bad really), I got 200(!) pounds of meat, plus some tenderloin and heart that didn’t go to the processor. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

We pulled a little over 600 lbs of meat total off the animal. 

After what I’m giving away to friends, and folks I know that had a bad year, that need it more than we do, I’ll end with more than enough for us, will easily last us till next season, at more than two moose meals a week.  

 At this point, I know of 7 families that will be eating from this harvest, and I’m sure the other two guys are giving more away.. GOD IS GOOD!!!

Advertisements
Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, Journal, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors, Wildlife | Leave a comment

I *Think*Β it’s time to re-blue my 30-06 barrel.

At the least, some serious touch ups are needed.  Dragging it through the brush the last several years has taken its toll… Not to mention it turned 49 years old this summer, I’m sure some of these scratches were there before it was mine.

 But I do see a lot more after every season, some distinctively new this last week.. 

Especially on the underside. –Which makes sense; when the gun is shoulder slung, that part of the barrel meets the brush I push through as it goes over/around me.

And Yes, those are rust spots in the first pic, and on the muzzle… Found out the hard way that my Kolpin gun boot IV is NOT waterproof if left upside down..  

The butt end cover fits Over the main part of the case, but without a seal. So left upside down in the rain on the boat for 5 days, water runs into the cap… And then into the rest of the case when you pick it up.

 Dumped probably a quart of water out of it… Foam liner was basically soaked. Found this when loading the boat to come home  –no time to dry it.

–In defense of the case, it is designed to be solid mounted in a vehicle,  butt up, barrel down, cap up, “right side up”, so water couldn’t enter in this manner.  Ive been using it as a hard carry case off of a mount, Not what it was designed for.

About the only way you’d get water in it when mounted upright is full submersion… which its not designed for either..    Definitely operator error leaving it upside down in the rain a few days, Not a fault of the case or its design.

No other easy way to carry the rifle home though, to keep it out of the way anyway, and out of the rain. Had to put it in the wet case.  15 hours later when I got home, the rifle was pretty wet.. Wiped it down then, but it still managed to rust a few spots before I got it cleaned(couple days later).

Gave it a thorough WD-40 bath… Really slathered it on, whole action out of the stock, and the bore. Wiped down again. 

Then did a simple bore cleaning, solvent, brush, patches.. There is some somewhat heavy copper fouling in the bore, that  wouldn’t budge… Didnt want to scrub it THAT hard now, but if any of it was rust, I did brush it hard enough, I’m sure it would have come out.   Then oiled the snot out of it inside and out…

Did the 357 while I was at it… been meaning to clean and oil that gun for months, its spent a lot of time out in the weather this year, and it’s missing a lot more of its blueing. Actually amazes me that that gun never shows any rust inside or out..

Hate to admit it, but this is the cleanest they’ve both been for a couple years…

Honestly, I don’t clean guns often, if they shoot and function good, and ain’t rusting, all I do is oil from time to time.

  Do Need to get in a better habit though of post trip cleaning! At least for surface moisture/external dirt and grime if not full on scrubbing..

Categories: Adventures, ATV Accessories, Damages, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, old tools, Outdoors, Woods tools | Leave a comment

Duck, duck, goose?

On the way up the river last Sunday(17th) heading out to moose camp, we kept flushing pairs of ducks on the river, that would fly ahead of us for a ways.

We finally stopped and got out the shotgun that was brought for just that.

A buddy dropped the duck, two shots at 40 or 50 feet from the boat, moving, behind it flying up river, broke both wings, but didn’t kill it.

Duck ended up under some overhanging weeds/grass along the bank… after 3 misses and 4 feed jams I put a round dead center through its neck @ 25 or 30 feet… Was aiming for its head, got its neck. Not fabulous, but pretty damn good I think for a hiding, moving, camouflaged duck, from a bobbing, drifting boat!! :D

Need to give that Ruger MKII a good cleaning again, and play with the mags… It’s been stove piping on fed rounds or just not closing on a round, or not stripping rounds from the mag, off and on for a while.

I *think* the problem is the mag springs are weakened from being loaded 24/7/365 for the last decade… Because, half the time when I clear it, the next round is down a space in the mag, not pushed up to top..

Dad had that .22 for probably close to 20 years, only ever for plinking. I’ve had it for 6 years, carried it for grouse while big game hunting two seasons, and have intended it for hiking carry for small game all year…

First time it’s ever been fired at game, and first kill for it.

Technically, that’s My fist kill of anything besides fish…

No pics of the duck, but here is the goose he winged a couple miles later. It dropped/died clean, no .22 required.

[IMG]

Not the exact spot, but a similar stretch of the river to where they were taken.

[IMG]

And both cooking, made a great first days camp dinner!! My first ever wild goose, and wild duck. Evenbetter when I got to help harvest the dinner!

[IMG]

Really was super tasty! Especially after the mishaps and adventure we had getting there… but that’s a story for another post. ;)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting | 1 Comment

Range day, August 12, 2017

Range day with a couple friends yesterday.

Very few pics, I didn’t take many, was having too much fun… πŸ˜‰πŸ˜† Maybe more later, a friend took several,  if I can lay hands on them… (yes, you Weston!) 

Got to make sure of the sight in on my 30-06 for upcomming hunting seasons; still doing a 2.5″ ish group at 75 yards, peep sights, 3″ high with my hunting loads: good enough! .Also, played around with my 45colt Beretta Stampede; nice bullseye group at 75 yards! Like a 6″ group, but still, not bad for open fixed notch sights on a 3.5″ barrel, that I don’t shoot often!

 Played with a buddies Ruger Mini 14 223, (I REALLY need to finally get the 223 I’ve wanted for 5 years… such a nice light plinking round!)

And I was finally able to try some handloads I made for my 30-30 in late 2014. .30cal round ball loaded light, for small game. bunny busters I call them. Pretty accurate to 75 yards, with no sight change on the rifle, quieter than a .22lr too.  Only problem is you have to single feed them, they won’t feed into the mag tube. 

Got a couple rounds into the black(paper plate sized roughly) at 100 yards with the 30-30, also peep sighted… Been 3 or 4 years since I’ve shot that gun at all, nice to see how easy it was to get back close to where I was then(Used to make nice sub 2″ even 1″ groups at 110 yards with it… with the peep sight. 😎 )

The Remington model 25 has that new sight that you guys might recall I put on over a year ago. Finally got to try sighting it in.

Couldn’t get on paper at 50 yards, always low, even after coming up a LOT on adjustments… Was running low on ammo and patience, then got side tracked. Will have to try another day and start closer…

This is what we call 36 mile range… It’s at the 36 mile marker on my road, about 12 miles into the Chen River recreation area.. (22 miles east of me on a windy 2 lane blacktop)

It’s just 3 benches and about 125 yards max aaaallll the way up the back slope… 100 yards max applicable use unless your really ambitious πŸ˜‰

My stuff, the 25-20 out. Some of you will (should) recognized that scope laying there, it’s the one that was on my 30-06 since my Dad got it new in the 60s.

 The one that had the elevation adjustment break during sight in several years ago… About drove me nuts!  Took it off and used the irons that season, then after that my buddy Swany gave me a scope to use. 

(It’s a little funny, Swany had the other scope on a .22 he used for squirrel. I used it one season and then gave up on scopes all together for serious use, and I now have it on a .22 for small game. Came full circle! )

Anyway, I now use the busted scope as a monocle/spy glass I call it, for a spotting scope at the range. I’ve even worn it slung around my neck hunting instead of binos!  The 3-9 magnification and focus rings still work great.

My buddy’s stuff, S&W 44 mag, S&W 45 auto, Ruger Mini14.. Sorry, I can never remember the model #s on the S&Ws.. 

Categories: 25-20-rifle, Adventures, Alaska-Life, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, Outdoors, Summertime

Recovered slugs.

Recovered bullets from shooting Saturday. 

On the right a 210 grain JHP, or what’s left of it, from my 41mag. On the left, a, as I recall, 240 grain JHP from a 44mag. Might be a 220 though  (a friend’s gun/ammo). .

Both went into a heavy dell computer case, and through a DVD drive sideways, and stopped against the inside of the steel case(denting it deep), @ about 25 yards. 

 The 41 mushroomed out to 0.725″ average, 0.800″ on one axis… The 44 went to 0.600″ average. 

The 41 lost a lot of mass though. I need to weigh them both when I get a chance. 

The other smaller one is the lead core from a crappy russian TulAnmo surplus .308win that had 165 grain JSPs in them… It went clear through the computer tower, possibly through a hard drive or DVD drive, and a couple inches into a wet punky cottonwood log. Not much left of it, jacket totally gone, Really stripped the lead off too.  But it did manage to mushroom to about 0.40″

The 41 was my Ruger Blackhawk, the 44 a friend’s Ruger Redhawk, and the 308 another friends Rock River Arms M16 A4. 

What we were shooting at, after all was said and done;

One of these trips I need to take along a truck bed full of old phone books and newspapers, some cans of water and do the boxes of wet newspaper concept. Along with my cronograph, do some more serious velocity and expansion comparisons. 

Categories: Damages, Electronics/Media, Guns, Hunting, Outdoors, Reloading

Blackhawk grips part 4.0

4th installment for this, first was leather grips, which I need to finish, second was a great block of birch burl, third the 1860 conversion. 
So.. I figured in the mean time, till I can find another 1860 grip frame set, I thought I should at least put some stock grips(came with oversize pachmyre presentation grips) on the stock grip frame and shoot it that way at least Once before changing it πŸ˜‰ 
 

I started to make a set of grips 6 months ago, and have the piece for wood grips, but haven’t had either a warm shop or the drive/desire to work on them when I have the time to work on anything… So I bought some “cheap”(in price, not quality) cherry wood grips from a guy called LS Grips , that I found on ebay. 

$38(shipped cost) is horrendous for something I can make myself in a couple hours… But then, I haven’t had a couple hours where I could do it.. lol,

 AND it really, really is a steal for after market wood Blackhawk grips.  

Will need some fine fitting in a couple spots. And they are unfinished, I’ll have to clear coat them but thery’re a 99% perfect fit. 

Guy does good work! If your in need of some simple, but well made grips , give the guy a look. (He had maple, and walnut too, and other composites, and for most of the Ruger grip sizes.)

They feel good! MUCH better than the bigger rubber it had on it, nice and slim. 

 

Not quite as comfy as the 1860, but it’s really close. Will see how it shoots.  I can always thin them out some if I need to. (Gonna shoot it as is before applying a finish for that reason– and I don’t want to wait for a finish to dry.. lol) 

Categories: Guns, Gunsmithing, New Gear, Woods tools, Woodwork

Grip tinkering.

Pietta 1860 navy grip frame test fit on a Ruger Blackhawk. 😎  Saw someone else do a 1860 grip on a Blackhawk, but wasn’t sure if my cap and ball revolver was true 1860 spec. Looks like it is. 

Backstrap is a great fit. 

 Trigger guard would need the front hole filled and mover about 3/8″, and the slot for the trigger widened.  
Then of course the back strap would need supports for the Ruger style mainspring and trigger spring fabricated and installed.    

Honestly probably take me less than an afternoon to do the full conversion.  πŸ™‚

Why would I want to? 

Because I have small hands and this grip is a a different profile, it’s a Lot more comfortable.

 Also, I want to eventually strip and brown this gun, and the brass would look Sweet!   And I like to tinker…. Can’t seem to leave Anything stock. Lol. 

Now all I gotta do is snag another 1860 grip frame set online (not using these since I’m not giving up the use of my Pietta!)

Categories: Brass, Custom, Fabrication, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, old tools, Theory/Thoughts

ATV Rifle mount.

A buddy thought the way another bud and I wore our rifles slung across out chests on the quads for hunting last fall was a little sketchy… (it was at times, but worked good) so he bought both of us gun boots and bracket kits for Christmas! 

I’m not fond of this concept, it seems like it’d be a super slow access(while the moose gets away) and it would IMO inhibit leg/ridding area… heaven forbid you need off that side of the wheeler Fast, like in a roll over..  BUT, I’ll give it a fair shake, and try it! 

 Anyway, I finally got mine mounted.

  

It looks high, but the butt ends sits lower than my head height ridding. Put it in the best compromise I could get for low, inboard of the fenders, out of my leg area, and leaving rack space, all while actually having rack to bolt to. 

Need to drill a couple extra holes in the bottom plate towards the front(by the big round hole) to u-bolt it to that front rack bar. But it’s already pretty dang solid. 

Dropped a rifle in and went ridding for an hour after I got it on there, trails, mud, and bushwacking, it stayed 99% as solid. 
It was also amazingly out of the way! 

Still not sure what it’d do to a fast get off on that side, but let’s pray I never have to find out! πŸ˜‰

Need to look in my hardware bins, want to replace the nut on the angle adjust bolt with a big knob, and a wing nut over it (tighten knob, then jam nut lock it with the wing nut) for easier angle adjusting, if I need the butt end lower to go under downed trees etc. (Will weld the bolt to the bracket to make it a one hand/no hold wrench operation.).

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, Guns, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Vehicles

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: