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December 10, 2007

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Firearms Superlatives, Part II

1. GREATEST SINGLE ADVANCE IN RIFLE TECHNOLOGY IN THE PAST CENTURY: The synthetic stock. At last, a truly stable platform for a barreled action.

2. THE SINGLE EVENT MOST LIKELY TO DETERMINE IF WE HAVE GUNS AT THE END OF THIS CENTURY:  The Supreme Court deciding this June whether the right to keep and bear arms applies to militias or to individuals.

3. THE BEST U.S. MILITARY RIFLE: The M-1 Garand. George Patton called it "…the greatest battle implement ever devised," and it was our main infantry weapon in the last war we won. The M-16 has had a much longer active life, but the present version bears only a passing resemblance to the original, whereas the M-1 did its entire tour of duty nearly unchanged.

4. MOST WONDERFUL GUN IRONY: Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated U.S. serviceman of World War II, was required to take instruction in firearms handling before he was allowed to act in his first motion picture.

5. MOST DEPRESSING TREND IN HUNTING: The breakneck transition from acquiring skill to mastering technology.

6. BEST EXAMPLE OF WHY GUN CONTROL APPLIES ONLY TO LITTLE PEOPLE: In June 1988, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., long-time Washington Post columnist and rabid anti-gunner Carl Rowan shot a youthful intruder in his back yard, wounding him slightly in the wrist. The .22 handgun Rowan used was unregistered. Rowan's trial resulted in a hung jury and he was never re-tried.

7.  MOST LOATHSOME TREND AMONG WEALTHY BIG-GAME HUNTERS: Having a third-rate artist do a portrait of them with their favorite dead animal, usually killed with the help of a large supporting cast.

8. LEAST CONVINCING POLITICAL MASQUERADE IN A YEAR NOTED FOR SHUCK AND JIVE  Mitt Romney, who has spent his entire political career supporting gun control, joined the NRA in August, 2006. Romney, who described himself as a lifelong hunter, admitted to going on two hunts when pressed for details.

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Comments

Chad Love

Amen to numbers five, six and seven, although I have to admit I'm much too economically disadvantaged (sounds a little less harsh than dirt-poor) to have ever even met a hunter wealthy enough to have his portrait done, much less have the opportunity to loathe him.

jstreet

Dave,
I agree with all 8 our your points, although I have to admit to being like Chad. I'm not running in the socio-economic circles that would allow me to afford to have portraits done over dead animals.

But I'll loathe them just the same.

Jim

Chris H.

Hey, I have renderings of my last two hunts. One with me standing over the two pheasants I shot in SD. It took about 75 shells to finally bring down those two pheasants. And one with me standing over the 11 pigeons I shot in Argentina. Went through cases of shells for those.

Chris H.

Just kidding! I've never been to either locale. All my hunting takes plase in SC. Can't afford to go anywhere!

Flip

#5 - The Rush to Technology - is the one that makes me saddest. From lasar range finders, GPS units, cartridges that shoot faster (read "farther") scopes that give you the range and take a picture of the animal, etc., etc. There is no longer any effort to acquire skills, it's all about killing something - quickly. If you have the $$$'s, take the shortcut. Friends with kids just starting hunting want them to shoot a big deer first trip out. If they don't shoot something big, they're pissed. What do they have to look forward to? Maybe we should just stop calling it "hunting".

KJ

When my son was 5 he drew a picture of me killing a nice buck. That picture hangs in my office to this day. Loathe me!
:)

Clay Cooper

THE BEST U.S. MILITARY RIFLE: The M-1 Garand is a excellent NRA High Power Rifle to 1000 yards!

Dave in St Pete

Add Rooty Julie-Annie to number 8.

the other Chris

Chris H.

There are worse places to be stuck than SC!!!

Chad Love

Flip, you're right of course, but what drives all that? Television, of course. I call it the rise of the mass media sportsman. How many guys watch those damn shows and then go out and ape that behavior?
If the guys I keep running into on public land are any indication, I may sell my guns and take up shuffleboard.

In fact, how about adding one more superlative to the list...

Worst Representation of Hunting to Fellow Hunters and the General Public: TV hunting shows.
Semi-literate hosts.
Non-existent production values. Graphic kill shots set to hard-rockin' soundtracks.
Commentary so stupid, hackneyed and bereft of intelligence or introspection you think it must be clever satire, until you realize it's not.
Yep, nothing says "this is why and how we hunt and why you should too" quite like an endless loop of fat bearded guys in big trucks, fat bearded guys on four-wheelers, fat bearded guys in blinds nicer than my first apartment, fat bearded guys pumping their fists after a shot, fat bearded guys pumping their fists again as they high-five other fat bearded guys while breathlessly walking up on their now-deceased quarry (which now has the unfortunate distinction of having its videotaped death set to the beat of Wango Tango), fat bearded guys shamelessly hawking a bevy of useless products while standing over the carcass of said quarry, and finally, the wrap-up shot with a group of fat bearded guys in a rustic, down-home setting soliloquizing about what a great hunt it was and "that's what it's all about" (Really? What exactly would that be?) and how important it is to keep this great American tradition alive for future generations (with the help of these fine sponsors...) etc, etc.

Yep, I for one am damn glad they're out there representing. Now I can both learn how to be a better hunter AND effectively articulate my reasons for hunting by simply picking up the remote.

And before you guys accuse me of having something against facial hair and obesity, yes I've got a few pounds on me and I'm attempting to stroke my whiskers in a contemplative manner as I type this...

jstreet

Flip,

I have to agree. When I first started hunting it was squirrel and rabbits. Then I worked my way up to dove, then deer and turkey.

I dabbled a bit in raccoon hunting in the early 80's as well, (until I quickly figured out that drinking and picking up strange women was more fun @ night that hunting for raccoons).

Seems like today it's a mix of technology and starting @ the top without doing the work and enjoying the journey.

But then again, that's just one man's opinion.

Jim

jstreet

Flip,

I have to agree. When I first started hunting it was squirrel and rabbits. Then I worked my way up to dove, then deer and turkey.

I dabbled a bit in raccoon hunting in the early 80's as well, (until I quickly figured out that drinking and picking up strange women was more fun @ night that hunting for raccoons).

Seems like today it's a mix of technology and starting @ the top without doing the work and enjoying the journey.

But then again, that's just one man's opinion.

Jim

jstreet

Chad,

I have to shake my head in agreement with you buddy.

TV hunters guided by professional outfitters on "trophy managed" property trying to tell joe average who is hunting on 25 acres how to grow and kill "GIANT" bucks.

Grow these food plots, carry this bow (or gun), wear these special clothes, use these treestands, blow on this call and shoot these broadheads and YOU TOO can kill GIANT,GIANT,GIANT bucks on your paltry acreage or public ground that's overrun with 87 other hunters per square mile!

And yet, every year we all run out and plant our plots, buy new crap and still come home with a doe or a toady little buck.

Someone needs to tell the damn deer to read the script!

Jim

YooperJack

I have to agree with Flip also, with some reservations. I believe that the available technology(GPS) makes us a bit safer in the woods. Also, the better scopes and rangefinders should make for better kills.
You and the others are right on, however, with the emphasis on killing! Hunting is much more than killing animals. Its being in the Outdoors, being with friends, observing the environment, I could go on forever. Dave Petzal did one of these blogs a few weeks ago where he wrote about the actual enjoyment of the kill, and how that was greatly diminished. I guess his potential for TV stardom has also greatly diminished. I don't watch those programs anyway. I just never got into that part being enjoyable.
Its really nice to find that there are like-minded people out there. For a while, I thought I was left out. Never had a Rem 66 and I didn't even know what a Korth was. I also never heard of anyone who got their portrait painted with a kill. I guess I gotta start going to different bars.

Chad Love

You're right, Yooper. I'm not a raving Luddite. There are good products of a technological bent out there, and I'm of the opinion that for the most part products stand or fall on their own merit, but there are so many gadgets out there now that make things so much easier that I think we're approaching (or have passed) a point of diminishing returns on the fundamental reasons we're out there in the first place.

GREG

Mr. Petzal Iknow you are sitting in your sadistic little office at your sadistic little desk watching your sadistic little screen laughing your sadistic a$% off over these last 2 subjects. I cnt even get in on this one or I will have an aneurysm!!LOL

GREG

Oh yeah excellent work keep it up!

jstreet

Chad,

It's technology for the sake of technology.

Just because you can do it, doesn't make it worth doing.

(and that last statement holds true for more than hunting) ;)

Jim

Michael

add ridiculous "trespass" fees and loss of public land to the saddest trends in hunting.....

austin

your are right I was hunting on public land saw six hunters within 20 mimutes,one even ploped right down in front of me if a deer showed up, he might of shot me, and the bad part was he was with a kid, he is not teeching his kid to know of your target and beyond, he sat with me in his shooting lane, go to http://t-o-s-c.weebly.com please

Trae B.

from what ive heard back in the old days my grampa would get up put on blue jeans and a flanel shirt put a orange trucker hat on take just a muzzle loader and go into the woods and come out in the evenin with everything he needed to feed his family with.that was hunting he dident need special gear or even a scope.he needed a deer so by god he went and got a deer.

Dick Mcplenty

Actually,number seven only scratches the surface. The other trend is to have a bronze made of the majestic kill and yourself. Then on top of that a couple of 4 foot by 4 foot photos framed in a grand worth of custom framing and glass.The more over weight and out of shape you are the better.

jay

Well, I'm older now but compared to my younger days I have too much gear, too much time, too much money (sort of), although I do enjoy the hunting and most everything that goes with it. I gotta admit though that in my younger days of trying out and learning new things and going places was an absolute blast. And I really had to scramble to be able to buy and do stuff, but it was well worth it. I admire hunters who are able to simplify and just get down to it regarding their gear and attitudes. Something I have to work on. Anyway -- Thanks

Dick Mcplenty

The advent of more technology in hunting has helped to an extent. GPS has allowed me to mark a downed bull elk in heavy timber for the subsequent return required to back pack it out. Granted I've managed to relocate kills without much trouble prior to gps,but gps does make it easier,especially in the dark or white outs.I've also used it for marking my trap sets,instead of using flagging which broadcasts it to the world.I've also had search and rescue workers tell me that they are seeing an increase in the amount of people needing rescued,due to the belief that a cell phone and gps unit will get them out of anything.

As for range finders.The only group of hunters that I've seen really utilize rangefinders,are archery hunters.The majority of Rifle hunters still take the shot regardless of distance,depending on how desperate they are and much of trophy they believe the target to be.In other words the technology to know the distance is there,however the same lack of skill to shoot at that distance,is there also.

Dr. Ralph

Korth, oil paintings of myself, and trailcam/GPS/rangefinder technology... three things I can do without. Oh yeah, and add another .270 vs. 30-06 debate to the list.
I like the hanging Chad addition though... what about those TV hunts that resemble nothing I've ever seen in forty years in the field? Which buck should I shoot, the $10,000 one or the $20,000 one? Is that really hunting...




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