Luck Continues with TurkeysMay 10th, 2014 at 9:53:36 am
Spring Turkey season continues to be good to me the last few seasons. I've just been plain lucky. This time I was hunting by myself, which is more challenging. I tried to take a better picture than this, but there was no one to fan the tail out while the other guy takes the pic. Cell phone on top of that.
Hopefully you can get an idea just how pretty the bird is, although with turkeys that is hard to appreciate unless you know them a bit. It's the iridescence and brown/black combinations. The head is hard to love for the uninitiated too I guess. Gorgeous to me! That thing coming out of it's chest is its beard, a hairlike structure that's like a ponytail in the front. Beard measured 10 inches and I figure Tom weighed over 20 pounds.
Just Psyched Out Fly Fishing?April 24th, 2014 at 1:38:05 pm
Well, I took the plunge and bought a fly fishing rig that was ready to go.
Practiced a little bit with it and got puzzled. Why did I think this was so hard? The last time I tried it I used an older brother's fly rod and something about it discouraged me. I will even say *he* possibly discouraged me, which would be ironic, as he has been super as far as encouraging me generally to keep up with hunting and fishing, above the call of duty really. But you know how it is with older brothers. Some look of disapproval? Some sign of disappointment that I didn't measure up to his skill level immediately? Just me being too hard on myself?
I can't remember what was so lacking in my casting [it was eons ago when I tried it]. With this out of the box thing, I think I'll do OK. No doubt I'll get better, cast further and more accurately as I go along. Maybe the el cheapo rig is perfect for me somehow.
On the other hand, as far as any other aspect of fly fishing goes, I have no idea of what the F I'm doing. We'll have to see how it goes. Stay tuned.
Hunting is Like ThatApril 14th, 2014 at 12:17:09 pm
Just watched an episode of "Riggo on the Range" where apparently they wanted to show Riggins and some other hunters shooting a bunch of Partridges, but over what looked like three days, they only got a couple of shots and one bird. I'm here to tell you hunting can definitely be like that, and there are few veteran hunters who won't tell you they just enjoy the outdoors and take it in stride. For most, if they had to consistently bag game, they'd give it up instead.
There are other disappointments. This week was supposed to include hunting for me, but it fell through. Yep, I could still go, but the conditions would be less than ideal, and this time of year I definitely prefer going with at least one companion. So, having set the time aside, I'm going to try to hit a casino instead for my jollies. I'm glad I have the alternative.
BTW if you like hunting, "Riggo on the Range" is a great show. All of those other hunting shows I dislike; the sponsors tend to screw them up with their baloney, and usually I start to suspect what they are showing is either not "free chase" or for some other reason too much like shooting fish in a barrel. Riggins is a real hunter and you can just tell it isn't about that kind of stuff. In fact when I picture what would be the ideal hunting life for me, Riggins seems to live it.
For a disclaimer, I have always been a Redskins fan too, so there's that.
Civil War Torpedo IncidentNovember 12th, 2013 at 2:29:44 am
CSS Saint Patrick attacks the USS Octorara
Harper's magazine at the time of the war describes this incident,
"About 2 AM ... a moving object came out of the darkness and appeared
alongside the ... Octorara. The captain of the afterguard grabbed it
by the smokestack and tried to hold it fast, meanwhile calling for
ropes. But the pipe was hot and he had to let it go. The nearly
submerged vessel rapidly steamed away."
Significant to the WoV thread http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/questions-and-answers/math/15727-surface-to-air-missile-problem/ , the Octorara was underway, thus the CS attack involved the complicated circumstance of a moving attacker attempting to intersect with a moving target. As far as I have been able to determine, this was the only attempt the Confederates ever made to sink a moving ship with a spar torpedo.
I am interested in the American Civil War [ACW] and got interested in the development of the torpedo during that war. As many of you know, "torpedo" was what mines were called in those days, and certainly static placement was how torpedoes/mines were initially used in that war. As the war went on, however, what was called "spar torpedoes" came into use. This involved the technique of placing a torpedo on the tip of a wooden boom that could be raised and lowered. It was discovered that the attacking vessel could expect to survive the explosion if a relatively small distance was obtained and the blast took place underwater. The resulting column of water generated - not the shock wave itself - was what was nearly too much to deal with.
Confederate torpedoes sank 29 Union ships and damaged another 14 for a total of 43, and such success naturally motivated more and more aggressive ideas, and by the latter stages of the war actively taking the torpedo to the target was on the menu.
I read whatever I could find on it, and this incident was the only one I could find where a ship underway was ever attacked by torpedoes in the ACW. Confederate records were all destroyed and participants were generally not talking; due to the nature of the warfare there was concern that those involved would be hanged. So we don't actually know what happened in this incident from their perspective, being "shrouded in mystery" according to one author. Union intelligence reports indicated that the US was aware of the Saint Patrick, but they wildly speculated as to her nature. Some reports had her as a machine powered submarine. Judging by what is known about the incident, however, the boat was almost surely a "David", a type of torpedo boat designed for sneak attacks on larger vessels.
So perhaps the boat's attack could be considered more mundane than all the mystery would suggest, except for one thing: it was truly ambitious for the time to attempt an attack on a moving vessel. I don't believe the attack took place by having the David just follow the target. The Saint Patrick was unlikely to be able to start right behind the Octorara; if starting from a distance the efficiency of attaining the target would have been dubious. Under the circumstance of 'behind and near', the attack would have been instantly effected and upon the stern of the target. Union intelligence would have had the Federal sailors wanting to move along at a good clip, surely, dealing with the possibility of a powered submarine. Being underway at a good clip may have lowered their guard, though, as surprise was achieved. Note that the Saint Patrick appeared alongside her target. This seems to indicate that the interception was successful but it was too difficult to engage the target with the spar torpedo. It is also possible that the torpedo failed to explode. "Alongside" may also have indicated a muffed intercept. It is also likely that the torpedo type required something more complicated than contact to set it off, as was seen in other incidents where actively moving the torpedo to the target was involved. There is evidence that both sides realized explode-upon-contact torpedoes were very dangerous when used as spar torpedoes.
only a hunter thinks this is funny?October 17th, 2013 at 7:17:29 am
I was thinking about how to explain how I feel the better sort of hunter, the kind I like to associate with, still tends to be something of a rule-stretcher, or at least a sympathizer to rule-stretching. Apologies to those who are straight-laced about rules instead, I'm not saying that isnt admirable.
Perhaps this story illustrates.
One of the funniest stories I have heard involves fudging on posted property lines. It is true that it is even funnier if you actually know the people involved, but I find it always gets a big smile and laugh out of any hunter.
Bill and Bob ... not their real names.
Bill was used to slipping over into another property where the property owners never hunt and never seemed to monitor it or ever even show up during season. It was impossible to get permission, but liberties were taken under these circumstances at very low risk.
Bob was more of the strait-laced type but as a matter of investigating game movement lets Bill talk him into going into the property one day. So they are standing there and sure enough here comes a pick-up truck. Bob starts fuming at Bill, but Bill says to him they havent been seen and yells "lay down and put your hunter orange underneath"! Bob has no time to think and does just that; both are now laying down in some thick stuff with orange off. The truck pulls up to within a few yards, somebody gets out, but they get back in and drive off. Bill and Bob hightail off with Bob vowing to never speak to Bill again.
Now, when I heard this story, granting I knew the people, I laughed so hard "ROFL" doesn't even describe it. But would a non-hunter even think it was funny?