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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


My father-in-law.  new shooter
It is very important to practice with your firearm especially for self-defense (home or CC).  I wanted to share one incident I observed when I visited a shooting range.  It is a learning experience.
I was shooting at a range when a father and daughter arrived and set up at a station 25 feet to my right.  No partitions at this range so I could see them.  The daughter, my guess 15-16 years old, was a good shot with their .22 pistol.  All seemed to be ok.
Out came a .45 semi-automatic pistol the father wanted his daughter to shoot.  She was not a new shooter but must have been new to that gun and caliber based on her comments.  She said several times she was scared of the kick.  The father explained the gun to her and said she will be fine.  She said again she was scared of the kick and seemed nervous.  He put in a magazine, advanced one round in the chamber, put the safety on and set the gun down.  He wanted her to shoot the gun …
He said “Shoot the Gun” as he walked behind her and stood 4 feet back to watch.  She picked up the gun and said she was so nervous, pointed the gun down range … and after aiming and re-aiming several times finally pulled the trigger.  BANG … the gun kicked but she was ok. 
From 25 feet to her left what I observe next blows my mind.
After her shot she smiled, looked relieved, then pointed the gun at herself and looked at the barrel.  It would have been a sweep of me except she was pointing the gun up and at her face.  I have no idea what she was thinking!!  Was she looking for smoke?  Looking at the diameter of the barrel?  She was a right handed shooter so I have no idea if her finger was still on the trigger.
From standing where he was and his lack of reaction to what I observed I don’t think the father saw her point the gun at herself and look at the barrel.  I heard him say “good job” to encourage her.
She put the gun down and turned around toward her father with a big smile on her face.  Then he said “Keep shooting, there are 4 more rounds in the magazine”.  Not to get technical but being a semi-automatic there would have been one round in the chamber and 3 more in the magazine.  It only took her a few seconds to realize she pointed a gun with a live round at her head … she turned white and froze.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your own gun.
Instruct, Instruct, Instruct … Safety, Safety, Safety.
If someone isn’t comfortable with a gun or the recoil they will experience its ok if they pass.

This guy’s daughter could have blown her head off.
The guy should have been right there instructing her not 4 feet behind her watching.
ONLY ONE CARTRIDGE.  There is no reason he should have put 5 rounds in the magazine.

I shoot quite a bit and have taken many people who have never held a gun to my club to shoot for the first time.  What is the most important thing??  SAFETY FOR YOU … SAFETY FOR THEM … AND SAFETY FOR EVERYONE ELSE AT THE CLUB ...  Range Safety is paramount.  Follow the NRA SAFETY RULES and your CLUB RANGE RULES people!!

For any new shooter you should be instructing them:
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded
  • Always point the gun down range (No sweeps. Explain what a sweep is.)
  • Be sure of your target and beyond
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the well until ready to shoot and off the trigger when finished shooting
  • How to hold the gun (unloaded of course), how to stand, how to aim with the sights, etc. 
  • Safety is always the most important thing.

You can make a person’s shooting experience safe, fun, and enjoyable.  I also know it can be intimidating to shoot a larger caliber gun because of the kick and the noise.  If someone is scared to shoot something let them off the hook … it’s not a big deal.

My daughter Kate ...
I have had several new shooters try my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum.  Big Kick, Loud, Spits Fire, ROAR.  I take the gun out, make sure it’s unloaded, show them its unloaded, and set it down always pointing down range.  I explain how to hold the gun, how to aim with the sites, they can dry fire it so I have them pull the trigger (single and double action) so they know how it feels.  If they are not comfortable it ends there.  Several with me have ended there.
If they are comfortable I put in ONE CARTRIDGE and set the gun down.  I explain again always point the gun down range.  They pick up the gun.  I stand just behind their shoulder.  I tell them this is not about a bullseye or a center mass shot.  It’s for them to experience the feel of the gun recoil.  I tell them to aim at a target down range a when ready pull the trigger.  BANG … once can be enough.  If it is, that’s ok.  They can say they shot a .44 Magnum.   If they want to shoot more, we do so.  Safety is always the most important thing.

My mother-in-law.  new shooter
Don’t be an idiot like that guy was with his daughter.  Don’t make assumptions about another person’s ability to operate or shoot your gun.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE.  If you don’t know what you’re doing take a class.  Get some instruction yourself.  There are plenty of classes offered or people at your club that would be glad to help if you ask.

If you’re not responsible you put EVERYONE at risk.  Be safe … Have fun …

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hunting Adventures - 2014

 Opening rifle in NH started Wednesday.  Opening for me was Thursday.  I was up at 3:19AM.  I couldn’t go back to sleep so I turned my alarm off and got up.  I got ready and headed to Moultonborough. 

I walked in to my spot with a flashlight a half hour before legal shooting light.  I stayed there until 10:20AM.  Nothing!!  I decided to move a bit and found some nice scrapes so there was a buck in there.  I wanted to warm up so headed back to the truck.  Should I go to the diner for lunch or eat my PB sandwich.  After a mental debate I decided to eat my PB sandwich and go to a different area “the L” to hunt. 

I was going to go down the swamp trail to a scrap line I marked with my GPS.  It was just after 12 noon when I headed for the swamp trail and the scrap line.  Once I started down the swamp trail I went about 100 yards and 2 deer jumped up. 

They were on an old skidder trail with low brush bedded in the sun.  Both jumped up.  The first was a big doe.  I could shoot a doe so could have taken either.  Gun up I thought to pass as I wanted a buck.  Both deer went into the pines parallel to the swamp trail and stopped.  I moved another 50 yards and spotted both again.  Same thing … First deer up into more pines and away … second deer up following.  Just as the second deer got to the pines it raised its head and I saw 8 points … GONE … a nice buck staying close to a hot doe.  GPS ON … I gave chase for 3 miles … I never saw either again but heard them go off when I got close.  NUTS …

Anthony and I hunted close to where we live.  Saw deer tracks but no deer.  We did see 5 people and 8 dogs where we were hunting.  That is probably why we didn’t see any deer. 

I did take Anthony back to Moultonborough.  We went down the same trails, tracks but no deer.  We headed to the top of the hill and cut some huge deer tracks.  There is a heavy deer up top.  We picked a spot and sat for a couple hours before moving again.  We saw huge tracks on top coming from an old clear cut field with huge brush.  It was nice to get out but no deer sightings.

Kevin brought his friend Seth to Vermont for opening weekend.  We decided to hunt off the Copper Mine Road.  We arrived Friday afternoon to do some scouting.  Seth and Kevin went 4 wheeling and got his truck muddy.  I was going to hunt by a field Saturday morning.  Kevin and Seth had spots picked out a 3/4 mile further down.  Each of us had radios.  I gave Kevin my GPS and Seth had his own.  I would use a ball compass. 

Saturday morning I was up at 4:00AM with Mike.  Seth and Kevin were up at 4:40AM.  We had breakfast got ready to go.  We were going to head out before light to get to our spots.  When I went to start my truck Kevin and Seth were already gone.  Hmm …

I took off also, parked my truck, and headed to my spot with my flashlight.  It was cold but little wind.  I sat until 8:40AM.  I let the boys know I would head their direction.  I walked S by SW through the woods.  Some good tracks but I didn’t see anything.  I ended up pushing 2 does to Kevin and Seth.  No doe tags for out of state hunters so no shots taken.  

Kevin and Seth headed 1 ½ miles down the hill to stream.  They spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning hunting up and down that hill.  They saw 5 does.  Seth saw a buck and gave chase but never caught up.  I spent more time in the fields and saw several does but no bucks.

Saturday night we had 19 people for our annual dinner gathering.  We had an excellent steak dinner.  It’s nice to see people, tell stories, and catch up. 

Sunday morning we hunted the same area then headed back to Mike’s house for lunch.  After lunch I suggested Kevin and Seth hunt below Mike’s house.  One could head down the hill and I would drive the other to one of the fields then they could hunt that area.  I told them there was a deer making scrapes so they should check it out.  They passed and went 4 wheeling again.  They got stuck at one point but freed themselves.  Lots-o-mud … Needless to say Mike hunted below his house 2 days later and shot this 7 point buck. 

Stephen K. took 2 deer in MA.  Said he spotted a buck that had bedded down.  A doe came by.  The buck stood up.  He shot the buck then another doe came by so he shot that too.  He filled both of his tags in 5 minutes.

Derek took this doe.  He also took a buck the last day of the season. 

Ray hunted in NH and said he wasn’t seeing many deer on his trail cameras.  He did see several moose and bears.  He sent me the bear pics.  HUGE … Has to be 500lbs.  If I saw a bear that size in the woods with no gun I would be a bit nervous.

James took 2 does during the season.   He and his buddy stalked this deer and made a nice shot. 

We had a great time hunting this year and look forward to the 2015 season.  Our tradition is to hunt at Mike an Lauren's opening weekend.  I decided to do a collage of some of the people pics I have taken over the years. 

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in "Hunting" to see past posts.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

VERMONSTER 4X4 - Bradford Mud Races - September 2014

Kevin, Seth, Steve, and I headed to Vermonster to watch some racing.  We arrived around 10:30AM.

It was mostly sunny, dry, and in the low 80’s.  No real breeze so standing or sitting in the sun was hot.  We brought coolers with drinks, food, and snacks.  There was a lot of dust as well.

Some safety changes that I saw.  Crushed clay stone was put between the trench  and the drag race lanes.  A lot less mud to deal with which made it a bit safer.   Spectator safety is top priority so the cable guardrail was replaced by concrete barriers.  The big tires on some of the trucks would potentially make the cable ineffective.  The concrete barriers make it harder to see trucks moving through the trench but provide better protection in case the trucks come out of the trench.

The monster trucks started with a couple laps and jumps.  One thing that was different.  CrushStation (Lobster) did a couple wheelies down the track.  It was impressive but no idea how he could see.  All the monster trucks had big engines with a couple in the 2000 hp range.

Drag races with different classes of trucks went on all day.  Mid-afternoon we moved to the pit area and over to the starting line of the drag racing lanes to watch the monster trucks.  I can tell you when two 2000hp trucks line up and the light tree goes off … it’s VERY LOUD …

We stayed near the starting line for the Hill & Hole also.  The Hill & Hole is a timed race that has 3 hills (or small jumps) and holes filled with mud and water.  They looked pretty deep and were large enough that they couldn’t be jumped over.  Airborne … Splash … mud flying … continue to the next one, etc.  … continuing on to the finish line.  We saw a couple great runs, some not so great, and a couple break downs with parts flying or breaking.

The trench wasn’t as deep as in years past.  Each truck makes 2 runs.  Early on quite a few trucks completed the course.  As the day progressed the trench got deeper in several spots so fewer trucks made it to the end.

Rock crawling was at the far end.  We watched a couple jeeps really get banged up trying to complete the course.  Several got lifted off with the help of the backhoe.

We had a good time and enjoyed the day.

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in Vermonster to see past posts.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kennebunkport, ME Vacation - 2014

We headed to Kennebunkport for our family vacation renting the same house as last year.  We were ½ mile from the beach, a 5 minute walk to town, and had water access in the backyard to launch the kayaks and the canoe. 
My plan throughout the week was to get up early (as I usually do) to take pictures.  I like a good sunrise.
The first morning, up at 5:10AM and out the door soon after.  I would need to get up earlier depending on how far I wanted to go for pictures and to see the sun come up.  I looped around Ocean Ave. ending up at Cape Porpoise.  I visited Cape Porpoise several times throughout the week being such a nice place to take pictures.
The next morning I wanted to get to Ogunquit before sunrise so I was up and out the door at 4:10AM.  Doesn’t everyone get up that early on vacation?  I drove 5 miles before I saw another car or truck on the road.  Not a lot of vehicle activity at that time with the exception of a few delivery trucks.
I took some pictures at Perkins Cove and watched the sun come up.  I headed for Ogunquit beach.  There were a couple people fly fishing taking advantage of the tide coming in.  There were a few people walking the beach as well.  I didn’t walk on The Marginal Way.  I thought I would come back with Pam and do that.  Unfortunately we didn’t do that this year. 
I woke up between 5:00AM and 5:30 AM the rest of the week depending on where I was going to take pictures.
I frequented Cape Porpoise, Drakes Island, Wells Harbor, Ogunquit, and Perking Cove for the most part.  The Bush clan was in town.  I didn’t spot anyone I recognized although I did see and hear their boat.  I recognize the drone of 3 300 hp motors getting a workout.  That would be a fun experience …

The house we rented has a nice rock wall so Kevin brought his rock crawler.  He also took it to the rocks by the ocean.  That was challenging.  I took his rock crawler to the ocean rocks and had fun with it until I broke something ending that adventure.  The crawler was unfixable so done for the week.  Kevin is much better at rock crawling than me. 
We took several kayaks up and down the river throughout the week.  The river current comes in and out with the tide.  Grandma took a kayak and found it pretty easy to paddle with the current.  It was more challenging on the return trip against the current so Kate ended up towing her back to the house.  She had a great time and wished she went out more during the week.
I made several calls trying to charter a deep sea fishing boat.   I should have called weeks earlier as the places I tried were booked for the week.  I talked to a crew member on one of the charter boats when I was taking pictures.  He suggested a booking a 6 hour trip (1 hour out, 4 hours of fishing, 1 hour back) to get a bit further out giving more diversity in what we might catch.  Some of his charters are booked in February.  As I was talking he was getting ready for a 12 hour charter … I think I’d have to make sure I had my sea legs before attempting a 12 hour trip. 
As with tradition each morning we would have special time with a different child.  Kevin and Kate wanted me to take them to the Maine Diner in Wells for breakfast.  The Maine Diner is great so that’s easy for me.  Went to Cabela’s with Megan and then to Portland.  We walked around the Old Port area by the water and ended up eating lunch at “Buck’s Naked BBQ and Steakhouse”.  We had very good BBQ. 
Anthony joined me several times for my picture adventures.  We ate at the All Day Breakfast and went to Drakes Island to explore and take pictures.  I took a few more pictures at Wells Harbor too.
Scott and I took the kids to Funtown Splashtown in Saco.  We had a great time going on all the rides.  As it got close to closing time the crowds disappeared.  The 9 of us ended up on the bumper cars … it pretty much turned in to grown up bumper cars … fun … fun …
The weather was very nice throughout the week.  While at Cape Porpoise we had severe thunderstorms rolled through.  The late afternoon sky turned very dark and the wind really picked up. 
We also had fog roll in a couple times.  We were at the beach in one instance when the fog came rolling in off the ocean.  It was hard to see more than about 50 yards.  It rolled in so quickly I’m glad I wasn’t in a boat with no GPS when that happened.
We went to the beach several times during the week.  Megan loves bulldogs and spotted this guy wanting to play ball.  I also saw snail art in several places when the tide was out. 

While exploring I spotted a beautiful garden by the ocean with lots of flowers, bushes, trees, and bird houses.  It was oceanfront property with no house.  On the fence was this sign saying "It all began in a garden".  The gate had a private keep out sign so I didn't enter.  I wanted to ask for permission to enter and take pictures but no one walking by knew who owned the property.  I ended up taking these bird house pictures from the street.

We had our tradition of Friday night pizza on the beach to end our week.  It was a fun week with great weather and look forward to next year.

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in Kennebunkport or Cape Porpoise to see past posts.