May 9, 2008
Dave Kopel offers his opinions on the viability of Ron Paul's candidacy after hearing him speak at the Second Amendment Foundation’s annual Gun Rights Policy Conference.
Kopel, who has been following Paul’s career for many years, says this candidate has developed into a formidable politician:
The difference between Paul as a speaker in 1988 and in 2007 was startling. In 1988, he was perfectly competent. This time he was electrifying. In 1988, his campaign could do little more than leave some literature on a table. This time, he had volunteers to hand out literature, including (for the recipient audience) devastating material on Romney and Thompson. (Included among the materials distributed were Romney’s gubernatorial signing statement of the Massachusetts ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and a copy of Sen. Russ Feingold’s letter to Senator Thompson after the passage of McCain-Feingold, with Feingold’s handwritten thanks, claiming that the bill never could have passed without Thompson’s help.)
This could spell big trouble for Thompson, who has been adopted by many in the 2A community as the leading pro-gun candidate.
John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
It’s not uncommon for football players at all levels to receive season-ending injuries. But a Montana college wide receiver is recovering from a severed hamstring that wasn’t the result of a hit from a defensive end, it came when he was attacked by a grizzly bear while he was bowhunting last weekend.
Roman Morris, a Carroll College sophomore and pre-med student, was bowled over by a female grizzly while he was elk hunting with his brother and another friend near Gardiner on Saturday (see Monday’s post).
As the large grizzly sow and her three cubs passed close to the motionless threesome, the adult bear suddenly turned and raced straight toward Morris.
“It charged down the hill and just drilled me,” Morris, 21, told the Billings Gazette reporter Mike Stark.
The entire incident lasted less than a minute, as the bear bit and clawed him, severing his left hamstring, leaving a nine-inch gash in his leg, puncturing his shoulder and chomping at his head several times.
“I thought the whole time, ‘This is so messed up. I’m going to die, I’m going to die,’ ” Morris recalled.
When one... [ Read Full Post ]
In an earlier post (The Case For the Revolver), I discussed the advisability of selecting a revolver, rather than a semi-auto handgun, for self-defense. A number of you agreed with this choice. This time around I’d like to quote from Rob Pincus, author of Combat Focus Shooting. He is also director of operations at Valhalla Training Center. Valhalla, which is located in Colorado, teaches law enforcement professionals and military special operations personnel how to survive what Pincus calls “lethal dynamic critical incidents.” He also teaches private citizens “intuitive shooting fundamentals” for personal self-defense. This technique is a far cry from the kind of target shooting with which I am familiar, as I learned last year when I took a course at Valhalla. I’ll comment on that experience later; what I’d like to do now is note Rob’s preference in self-defense handguns.
Given his years in law enforcement, he is partial to semi-autos. “I strongly believe the simplicity in the use and instruction of modern designs such as the Glock family of pistols, the Springfield XD and the Smith & Wesson M&P offer huge advantages in a combative pistol. Pull the trigger and they go ‘bang!’…the same way... [ Read Full Post ]
My father-in-law killed this deer yesterday afternoon in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. He quite possibly could be the new Louisiana (Pope and Young, Bow) record. He was unofficially scored at 215 7/8 net non-typical by a state official. He will have to be scored again in 60 days after drying out and then scored in front of a Pope and Young panel. Take a good look! Most of us don't get to see a deer like this in our lives, much less kill one.
If anbody knows more about this incredible buck or the fellow who killed it, please let me know. I'd like to post more on this Dixie giant.
So far this is the year of the velvet monster with (look close) a drop tine baby!
[ Read Full Post ]
Last year, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game initiated a bounty program aimed at reducing the rainbow and lake trout populations in certain state waters where kokanee salmon numbers were dwindling. It was determined by biologists that the predatory trout were decimating Lake Pend Oreille kokanee and hampering the species’ recovery there.
Today, the incentive program pays anglers $15 for every lake or rainbow trout over 13 inches caught from the state’s largest lake and its tributary rivers and creeks.
With tongue firmly implanted in cheek we ask Newshound readers: What could possibly go wrong?
The Idaho agency is currently investigating reports that some anglers participating in the trout bounty program have been, let’s say, less than honorable when submitting fish for cash payments.
Unscrupulous anglers? How could it be??
Ned Horner, the department’s fisheries manager, said anecdotal evidence of cheating appears to be corroborated by empirical data being gathered by Fish and Game, according to an article appearing in the Bonner County Daily Bee.
(Translation: Trout caught in other lakes are being submitted for the $15 bounty payments.)
The program began in 2006 with a $10 bounty, before being... [ Read Full Post ]
“I make it a rule never to weigh or measure a fish I’ve caught, but simply to estimate its dimensions as accurately as possible, and then, when telling about it, to improve those figures by roughly a fifth, or 20 percent. I do this mainly because most people believe all fishermen exaggerate by at least 20 percent, and so I allow for the discounting my audience is almost certain to apply.”
“Are Fishermen Really Liars?” (1977) [ Read Full Post ]
If you’re planning on bowhunting around the greater Yellowstone area of Montana this year, don’t forget to pack your pepper spray. A pair of incidents this past weekend resulted in one hospitalized bowhunter and one dead grizzly—adding to a string of bear encounters that have already occurred during the relatively young 2007 hunting season.
According to reports, three men bowhunting north of Gardiner were sitting about 15 yards apart Saturday while the one in the rear used a cow elk call. One bowhunter later told state game and fish authorities that he knew there might be trouble when he spotted three grizzly cubs coming toward him.
That, may we suggest, is definitely a bad omen of what might be about to transpire.
The adult female grizzly bringing up the rear “got a whiff of him, apparently, and rolled him over,” said Mel Frost, a spokesperson for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The hunter reportedly did not struggle and remained still, while the bear thankfully moved on.
“He remembered to play dead, so she bit on him and left,” Frost told the Bozeman Chronicle newspaper.
The hunter was taken... [ Read Full Post ]
Another email in the string that came with this picture read:
Unbelievable. This deer just came into my store about an hour ago. It was shot this morning by one of our customers. Gross score was 273-plus in velvet. If it holds over 273 it will be the largest deer killed in Texas since 1929. Anyway, not a bad way to start the season.
Are there more drop-tine giants popping up on trail cams and being shot so far this fall, or is it just me and my wild obsession? I want one :) [ Read Full Post ]
Words can't begin to describe how proud I am of my son Gabe! His first bow kill at age 12, October 3rd, 2007. He used a PSE Spider, 36 pounds, ICI Hunters and 100-grain Slick Trick heads. The arrow stuck in the dirt on the other side of the deer. I watched it all play out from my own stand 60 yards away.
Way to go Gabe and Dad, that's what’s it’s all about! [ Read Full Post ]
A North Carolina bowfisherman targeting carp in a lake shrunken by this year’s drought considers himself lucky to be alive after spending more than 15 hours trapped nearly up to his neck in quicksand-like mud.
Donald Meeks, 68, of Durham figured that big rough fish would be easy to shoot with his bow in the shallow waters of Falls Lake on Monday morning. Months of dry weather in the region had exposed shoreline that usually lay submerged, attracting the adventurous bow-angler.
But, he didn’t expect the mud.
Meeks left a friend, David Minshew, waiting in his car Monday morning as he set out with his bowfishing setup to investigate the lake. Hours later, as the sun was setting, Meeks hadn’t returned.
The Raleigh-Durham News Observer reported yesterday that when a passing motorist stopped to see if Minshew was stranded around 7 p.m., he used the driver’s cell phone to report his friend missing.
Durham County sheriff’s deputies searched unsuccessfully for several hours, before a North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter with thermal-imaging equipment was dispatched to the scene.
With assistance... [ Read Full Post ]
"The unvarnished truth is that a trained dog is a perishable commodity. Few things are so subject to deterioration. It is almost as hard—and it takes almost as good a hunter—to keep a dog good as to make one as good. Eternal vigilance is the price of a good bird dog, regardless of who you are, or where and how virtuously you live."
“I Went to See a Man About a Dog”
Tales of Quails and Such, 1951 [ Read Full Post ]
There’s a joke about a son who asks his dad to explain the difference between theory and reality. The father thinks for a minute and tells the son to go ask his mother and sister if they would, in exchange for a million dollars each, sleep with George Clooney and Leonardo DeCaprio, respectively. The son does as he’s told and soon reports back that both the mom and the sister agreed to the deal.
“So you see, son,” says the father, “in theory, we’re millionaires, but in reality we’re living with a couple of tramps.”
The same disconnect between theory and reality is at work with laws that seek to create “gun-free” zones. In theory, no one has a firearm and we’re all safe to go about our business. In reality, we confer an enormous advantage to criminals, giving them the leverage to terrorize the rest of us without fear of reprisal. In reality we get Britain and its rising violent crime rate, and a massacre at Virginia Tech. [ Read Full Post ]
In considering a handgun for self-defense, many neophytes, reflecting what they see in TV and movies, tend to go for cool-looking semi-autos. But the folks at Charter Arms, a manufacturer that specializes in short-barreled revolvers, beg to differ. Charles Brown, who handles marketing for the company, sent me a “list of observations taken from various sources” that advance the claim that revolvers make sense for self-defense. The first observation that struck my eye was about range.
Here’s what Charter said: “Many folks talk of conducting handgun accuracy tests at 25 and even 50 yards. Actually, testing short-barreled revolvers at ranges over 10 yards is sort of like testing an over-the-counter hunting rifle at the 1,000-yard line at Camp Perry. Ninety percent of big-game kills are made at ranges well less than 200 yards, which is why most writers test rifles at 100 to 200 yards—these are realistic test distances. And yet, some of the very same writers will test short-barrel self-defense handguns at 25 yards (a recognized NRA competition distance) when the intended and real use is at ranges typically under 5 yards (according to... [ Read Full Post ]
"Biologically, it makes no sense whatsoever... They were saying you can't transport a hunter-killed bird across the border, when millions of birds are migrating across the border already?"— Michael Chamberlain, a professor at Louisiana State University, told reporter Chris Niskanen with the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chamberlain was among hundreds of waterfowlers returning from Saskatchewan to the U.S. who had their ducks confiscated by federal agents at the border because of an avian flu outbreak at a province chicken farm. Customs agents destroyed as many as 4,100 birds legally and safely harvested by hunters in what is an outrageous waste of the resource.
And while customs officials finally conceded that they had misunderstood their own directives and since discontinued the confiscations, there are a lot of U.S. duck hunters who spent a lot of money to travel north to hunt and now have nothing to show for it. I wonder if the government will offer to pay for the hunter's lost game, time, license fees and other costs?
It's something turkey hunters considering a trip to Canada need to keep in... [ Read Full Post ]
We all hate taxes of course. But because of excise taxes American fisherman and hunters pay on sporting gear, and because of our fishing and hunting license fees, I believe we’ve done more for fish and wildlife than any other nation on earth.
In other countries there’s collective whining by both equipment manufacturers and sportsmen and women when they’re asked to put their shoulders to the wheel to support their resources. Consider this.
In Europe, many of whose nations consider their ways smugly superior to ours, the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) is warning countries there not to introduce sea fishing licenses. Period. The feds in Australia say they’ve ruled out taxing recreational fishing tackle (though they gave nearly $200,000 to a fishing lobby group—RecFish—to come up with ways to make recreational fishing self-sustaining).
In the U.S. we contribute some eye-opening hard cash via license fees and sport equipment taxes but the majority of anglers and hunters seem not to know where that money goes, according to a recent pole by Southwick & Associates.
Consider the figures some serious research by my... [ Read Full Post ]