Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More about "Big Bad"

This confirms what my Adirondack neighbors have been relating to me for the past few years, that the ADK coyotes are bigger and badder than they once were... Not to mention the fact that they are becoming bolder and more brazen by the day, taking unsuspecting hapless housecats, and succulent small dogs at will from their yards.
There's a pretty interesting write-up here at the Adirondack Almanac, that explains the evolution of the coy-wolf.

It's certainly food for thought, and I suppose should put to rest the controversy on whether wolves should be reintroduced to the Adirondacks where they once reigned. Of course, for those that love conspiracy theories, wolves could have been reintroduced surrepticiously, and what we're now seeing is the fruits of that labor..

I do know that I saw a canine out on the Blue Ridge Road beyond the road to Tahawus that looked stunningly wolf-like... Little on this earth that can send a chill up one's spine like that..

Am I happy or upset about this new development??

I guess I just can't answer that yet... But I'm will to give it a chance... very cautiously!

Read more about the coy-wolf hybrid here..

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carryin' the torch..

Harry Connick Jr. has a new album out entitled "Your Songs." It's a compilation of old standards, many of which are old "torch" songs that I have a great affinity for. While I'm not a great fan of "Junior" personally, he's undeniably a pretty talented and entertaining guy, and I'll probably pick up the CD just because I like the music so much..
While we're on the subject, I like Diana Krall for the same reasons musically. Her music is sultry, sexy and alluring, and when the artist is likewise, the combination is just magic!
On another note, I've been a Beatles fan my entire life. The group broke onto the music scene when I was in my "coming of age" years, and they spoke to me. The magic has never died for me, and I still find myself often listening to the old albums, although now on CD.
Much of the old catalog has been remixed and remastered using modern technology, but not cleaned up to the point where any of the true recording was lost. All the warts are still there.. I'll probably treat myself to the package as a Christmas presewnt to myself..
I still often listen to Orff's Carmina Burana and the Symphony From the New World by Dvorak, so I'm guessing my tastes are a bit eclectic, but that suits my inconsistent personality!

Don't forget your speakers for the links...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Early Fall

Days that are still sometimes too warm and humid... Too many leaves still on the trees to make looking for birds very effective, but still quite beautiful...
Warm enough to hunt in a tee shirt, but not enough clothing to protect my neck from a game vest laden with too much unnecessary junk.
Humid enough to fog up shooting glasses with the slightest amount of exertion... Shooting glasses being a necessary evil to prevent cross-firing due to a God-given gift of a dominant right hand and a dominant left eye.
Warm and humid enough to promote the dreaded mouth breathing of the dog I depend on to find game..

But then, every once in a while the Red Gods smile on me and provide me a morning as pictured here, clear and cool with a hint of chill in the air... Colors beginning their mystical appearance on the sidehills.. Dogwork that once again restores my faith that things actually are right with the universe, and that the hours spent really are worth it.

We had, all in all, a beautiful opening week, made all the better by the visit of another thoughtful and inspired kindred spirit. The kind of folk that restores faith in humanity to a somewhat jaded psyche.

A more than successful start to another season...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A 16 gauge score...

The guys around the gun club are getting to know me as the guy who shoots the Sixteen gauge.. Probably the only guy around amongst all the Perazzi and K-80 12 ga. clay target shooters.
It's good in a way, because it makes me different from the crowd, which I always enjoy.. It's not so good in another, because there are no 16 ga. hulls around any of the club ramges to pick up for free.
Now that all the guys are aware of my affair with the Sixteen, whomever wants to clear out their basement of oddball shells they'll never shoot again, seeks me out. My wife calls it junk! I call it treasure!
The top picture, of some old 16 ga. ACTIV's just might make the cut as hunting loads this season. They're quality loads, and shoot reasonably softly at 1165 feet per second. In my favored #8 shot, they'll work out well for me on grouse and woodcock.
I never thought much of ACTIV when they were in production, and never bought a single box of them. I might have shot a few from a squadmates pocket if I was in a stand and needed a shell or two to finish my targets, but that would be about it! Now, realizing the dearth of quality 16 ga. loads, these shells are much coveted, and much appreciated from their donor.
The lower image shows another load of castoffs. Kind of a mixed bag of shells from yesteryear. Some papers, some early heat sealed plastics, some roll crimps... All valued by myself, in spite of the fact that some of the #4's may never be shot at a winged target. The 6's will probably get used eventually, but some will be saved just for the sake of nostalgia... and much to my wife's dismay..

So, once again I lucked out by swinning against the tide, by marching to the beat of a different drummer.. by just being an oddball!

Diversity seems to be my only saving grace, but not in it's politically correct meaning!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thumbs up for Garmin

Well, I received not a repaired unit, but a brand new dc-30 collar from Garmin for my Astro unit.
It seems that Garmin has made quite a few improvements along the way also!
The aluminum plate that fastens the gps unit to the collar is now flattened on both ends, presumably to protect the dog's neck from abrasions and sharp edges.
The nylon collar material itself is thinner, making it much easier to thread through the buckle... Something that can give a handler fits when trying to apply it to an excited, squirming dog.
The ON/OFF button is slightly raised, and a bit more pronounced.

So, other than being a bit more user friendly, and acquiring satellites a bit faster, it's still the tool we've come to know and love..
The tool of choice for location fast moving, and big running gundogs..

The Astro system receives the "Black and Tan Bombshell Seal of Approval," for producing a great product and standing behind it. For those that don't have the system, you owe it to yourself to try it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gary Larson knew the truth

This cartoon, from The Far Side, by Gary Larson should need no explanation for anyone that reads "The Bombshell"..
It's true now, and it seems it will also be true in the future! One can only hope..

Click on the pic to enlarge...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall leaves

I've yet to meet the person that does not wax nostalgic on the beautiful scenery of Fall. And what more beautiful place to immerse oneself the color than New York's beautiful Adirondacks?
According to this website, the Adirondacks of New York are rated #1, as well they should be!

If you can get some time to get away, plan on a trip to New York's North Country.. As a bonus, bird season opens on September 20th...

Just stay out of my coverts! LOL

Pictured... Looking Northwest to "Big Blue," Blue Mountain from my garage... Past peak.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Astro's on it's way..

A couple of posts back, I wrote about my troubles with the dc-30 collar unit.. I heard from Garmin, the complete innards have been replaced, received a UPS tracking number, and it will be here on Monday the 14th.. 13 days aftyer I shipped it out!
I call that pretty good service!

For those that have not tried the Garmin Astro system, I can recommend it highly.. It's about the greatest thing since sliced breasd for those that own dogs that can tear it up!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I saw a great quote over on Maggie's Farm today...

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you."

Ain't it the truth!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Maiden Voyage

of the good ship RBL.. And I have to say that it was a complete success!
I don't know if I've ever shot a gun straight out of the box as well. I only dropped a pair of targets out of a couple rounds of low gun skeet.. That's pretty good for me!
The ammo was an ounce of 7 1/2's in Remington Game Loads... This junk promo load provides one of the premier junk hulls for sixteen gauge reloading. A couple of rounds shooting these loads left me longing for my light reloads, but that will come soon enough.
I must say that the RBL-16 is very impressive. It comes to my shoulder beautifully, and swings and points naturally. I looks good, and functioned flawlessly! It also can draw a crowd for the Kreighoff and Perazzi shooters who have never heard of Antony Galazan or CSMC..
Now, this is not my first rodeo, and I'm not naive enough to believe that this blissful Niagara Falls honeymoon will automatically turn into a lifelong happy marriage with no effort on my part, but it does bode well for the future...
I did cheat a little, in calling for a Low 1 for my first target out to assure a dead bird on the grand opening, especially since High 1 has been giving me fits lately from a low gun hold... Other than that, we went by the book..

So, all in all, at this point in time, I'm still enjoying the afterglow. But, success can be fleeting..

Check back next week!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Astro troubles

I bought into the Garmin astro system when it first came out. The unit with the old dc-20 collar had some functional problems, but it worked well. When the new dc-30 collar unit came out, it was the answer to a prayer.. It was finally designed properly, for the most part, for a Pointing Dog.
I upgraded to the dc-30 collar unit when they first came out, and it has been working flawlessly since. It takes that knot in the pit of your stomach away when running a big running dog.
Lately, the dc-30 has been giving me a bit of trouble. One of the charging LED's went out, and the other works intermittently. It's hard to know if the collar unit is accepting a charge or not. I have also been losing communication with the dc-30 from time to time. I believe the rechargeable batteries are the problem, so back to Garmin it went for an overhaul.
Now, the boys that run Setters out west and on the Midwest prairies may call a birddog only out 900 to 1,000 yards a boot licker, and they may be right. But, I'm here to tell you that a dog out a thousand yards, that's a half mile to you and me, in the thick cover of the Northeast is running big! Bigger than I'd like, and I don't care how often the dog checks in. Further, there are enough pitfalls in the Big Woods to befall a dog that I get a bit of angst when a dog gets out well beyond even beeper range. Without some type of tracking device, I get out of my comfort zone, so to speak.

So, hopefully the dc-30 will be back before September 20, when our grouse season opens.. If not, we might be picking up a spare dc-30 collar..

Oh, the joys of running Pointing Dogs..

I'll post the final resolution..