Yesterday we were experiencing Pacific Northwest weather in that it was cold and rainy. Temperatures were in the forties with wet snow predicted. I had a couple of hours free which is a very rare thing for me these days. What to do?
Woods Walkin’. I put on some old cammo clothing and a boonie hat to keep the rain off my glasses and then I remembered my Rain Boonie! This is a great bit of kit a friend of mine invented that I had not yet really had an opportunity to try out. It’s basically a light weight camouflage (Multi-cam), waterproof cover for a boonie hat. You can read all about it and get one very inexpensively from Survival Solutions
Next I grabbed a shotgun I have shot a lot but with which I have not hunted very much. It’s an old Harrington and Richardson 12 gauge single shot that my girlfriend (THEN, now she’s my wife) bought me for a present when I graduated from college. It has a full choke. I remember thinking that thing kicked an awful lot when I first shot it. Of course, back then I didn’t weigh as much and didn’t know nearly as much about firearms as I do now and really, had very little experience with them at that time. I also primarily shot 00 Buck through it because "that was cool".
Over the years it became the Kitchen Gun and we killed a few snakes and a possum with it. Eventually, I got a wild hair and decided to paint it cammo. It fell from its perch once and the plastic trigger guard was broken. Then one day it broke pretty good. The fore grip is attached to the barrel with a screw that goes into a threaded tube permanently attached to the barrel. That tube busted off. Without it, the fore grip will not stay attached. Without the fore grip, the shotgun will come apart (in fact, to disassemble it, one removes the screw, removes the fore grip and then removes the barrel from the action.
I did a hasty repair job with 100 mph tape and it seemed okay. I really wasn’t sure if it would work but decided to take it and a pocket full of high velocity 5 shot shells along on my Woods Walkin’ in case I saw any critters for the stew pot. I really like this gun for its lightness and just overall handiness but when I am seriously hunting I try to stack the odds as much in my favor as possible and usually use a pump gun which allows for faster follow up shots. Well, that's the theory anyway - the reality is I rarely take/need a second shot.
It was a wonderful afternoon. As I entered the woods the rain was intercepted by the upper story tree branches and so wasn’t pelting me nearly as hard as it did on the walk across the pastures. Since everything was wet it was possible to move very quietly. I figured I would spend the time working on my ninja stalking skills, scout a little for deer (season opens for modern rifle in a couple weeks), and think the big thoughts. About 5 minutes into my journey I saw a big ol’ squirrel. BAM! The gun held up fine.
I waited a bit to see if he had any friends and then slowly made my way up to where he fell. Yep, he was big. I hung him up on a tree branch to keep him out of the reach of coyotes and continued on my walk. I figured I’d pick him up on the way back. I didn’t get 50 feet before I busted a rabbit from cover. BAM!
Now, when I shoot, I immediately reload. This time however, my action would not break open. Seems my 100 mph tape fix was only temporary. Well, my hunt was ended so I retraced my steps and went home to clean the brace of critters.
I ended up cooking them both down until I could remove the bones. Into the broth I added onion, garlic, parsley, hot peppers, Worchestshire sauce, salt and black pepper and the special ingredient…….mustard greens. That’s them in the background of the photo above. By the time the meat had simmered enough to get soft and easily give up the bones (longer for the squirrel than the rabbit) the broth had much reduced – as I intended. I put it all in the fridge and tonight I plan on rolling out a dough and making a pot pie for supper.
So, that was my afternoon - I got out and about despite the weather, tried some new gear (it worked very well – as advertised); tested a field expedient repair (it worked – twice); worked on some stalking skills; scouted for deer (found a rub and a scrape about 30 yards into the woods); brought home meat for the family; and had some quality “alone time”. Not bad.
I’ll see ya out there.
And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. – Acts 11:7
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If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe
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