Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hunting FAQ

Hunting FAQ

Ok, I apologize for the lackluster live hunting blog. After the first couple of posts I started having hardware problems and issues uploading pictures. That combined with the fact that I Shot a deer pretty early and then had to start backfilling, with no pictures, which all in all made for a bland dry blog (like so many turkeys this week). So to make it up to you I have “John’s hunting FAQ” Filled with questions mostly from my coworkers

Can I see your gun?
Certainly, I would love to let you know how it works and discuss gun safety and operation, sometime guys from work go out and shoot sporting clays, but not while people are drinking which is when I am always asked.

How long do you have to wait to get a deer?
It depends on a lot of things, mostly luck. The prime times to get a deer are around sunrise and sunset. Usually you hit the tree stand just before sunrise and stay until 10:30 or 11 in the morning, then head back out after 2 in the afternoon and stay till dark. So 1-6, 4 hour chunks depending mostly on luck. The past 2 years I have gotten a deer in the morning both times then went back out. The previous year I sat out for 3 days and did not see anything.

What do you do while you are waiting for a deer?
Aside from live blogging and enjoying the majesty of nature, pretty much the same thing I would do sitting in a doctors office for 4 hours. Bubble breaker on my phone, read some magazines, keep a watch out for deer.

How hard is it to see the deer?
It depends, if things are still they tend to blend into the background. However, the human brain has the amazing ability to spot and focus on moving things. It is all part of our innate carnivorous breeding, along with our sharp teeth, eyes on the front of our head and relatively simple digestive system. It is not that hard to see a single leaf falling at 100Yds, but it is very difficult to find a doofus in a red and white hat in a crowded picture.

Is it cold?
Yes. Some days more than others, but as long as you are sitting still 20ft up in a tree in Nov you will want a jacket. A couple of year ago I figured out that if you really layer up on your core then your body will not get as much vaso-constriction in your extremities, and your fingers and toes will not be nearly as cold. But you will also want to bundle those up, and your head.

Depending on how cold it is ranging between 0F and the mid 50s there are also hand and foot warmers available that contain powered iron and an oxidizer that reacts slowly and releases a small amount of heat. These are awesome if they are inside something insulated and they can get some oxygen. The ones in my water proof boots usually heat up quick then slow down as the O2 is depleted.

What safety stuff do you have?
Surprisingly shooting accidents are not the biggest cause of injury during hunting season. The #1 cause of deaths is heart attack, presumably from out of shape middle aged men getting a small amount of exercise. Number 2 is falling out of a tree. To combat this some hunters wear a harness that can then be tied to the tree. If the tree falls down you probably have other problems. Often hunters use a rope to hoist their gun into the tree to avoid dropping it or falling while climbing the ladder. I usually have a small first aid kit as well. And the most important thing is not to be stupid, which is sometimes difficult for all of us.

How old do you have to be?
Apparently, 10. This year one of the neighbors sons came along and shot a deer. He seemed kind of young to be out in the woods with a shotgun, but apparently he took the “hunters safety course”, so more power to him. I think he is required to be supervised by a parent, at least he should be.

Do the Lead bullets cause lead poisoning?
Hunting deer with a shotgun is not like hunting birds with a shotgun. Birds you want a dispersion of BB sized pellets since it is unlikely that you could shoot a moving bird with a single bullet. For deer the bird shot would not really harm them all that much, much like shooting them with a bb gun several times. Buck shot is available which is a larger BB but still does not have much range. Most hunters use a single “slug” that is the size of the gun and a rifled barrel that will give the slug some range. Still the range is limited compared to a rifle, which is why only shotguns are allowed in most flat states.

The conventional wisdom is that since the bullets pass through the animal or are pulled out in processing that the metallic lead does not have enough time to permeate into the meat. However, an article one of my friends recently sent me had evidence that small fragments of lead slugs may break off particularly if they hit any bone, and that those fragments could end up in ground meat, react with the meat. This year I have started using solid Copper slugs, just in case. More foul hunters are using steel shot instead of lead.

Doesn’t all of that orange make you stand out to the deer?
Like me deer do not see colors, also they are not very observant. They do have a good sense of smell and hearing. So it is more important that you are quiet and don’t smell good or bad.

So is that like free meat?
Depending on how you calculate it and how far you have to travel and how much time you take off of work, it can cost anywhere from ground round to top sirloin. But golfers spend about as much for a weekend of hitting balls, and all they do not end up with a shiny deer at the end. If one lived where they were hunting and did not need a hotel, and processed their own deer, and inherited a gun, and did not use many $2-$5 dollar bullets, it could be almost free.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hunting Live Blog

Here is the link to the rest of the photos... enjoy

Hunting Live Blog

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After a long day of sitting in the cold. We all adhourned to the property owners house to drink some cold beer and eat a variety of game dishes he and his wife prepared. One really could not ask more of a host.

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I got to the deer about the same time as one of my hunting buddies Steve. After about 20 minutes of deer photoshoot (coming soon) Roger went to get the truck while we dressed the deer. I tied the legs to a fence post and was getting redy to start cutting when, Steve schh'ed me. He saw a deer 80 yds off in the woods. I did not see it, but after about 15 min he grunted in into about 30 yds in heavy brush. Just as he was figuring out a shot Roger and Mike came back with the truck and the deer trotted off.

We got my deer field dressed and used Rogers truck to to pull it out. It turned out to be an 8pt buck. Done for the evening I helped get things ready for dinner.

Sorry for the lack of updates, and pictures, I will try 1 more time to upload some, and cut me some slack it is hard to type when you are cleaning a deer :)

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After looking around where the deer was I did not see any blood. However after following the path the deer took for about 30 yds, I did find a blood trail. I followed it just over the ridge and there was the deer.

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I took a shot at a deer, but I am not sure I hit it. It was about a 6 point buck that was coming toward me through some brush. When I took the shot it rand through some brush and over a ridge. I will go down and check for blood in a little bit, and keep you updated.

On a sad note it appeas that my wireless signal is now low enough that Up loading pictures is kindof painful. I will upload what I have when I get back into town.

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I am informed my live Blog "sucks". I'll try harder wait for updates

112108 0730 BREAKING NEWS

There are som cows grazing on the ridge now, also the sun is shining in my eye, also "My gmail looks awesome".

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Well, it is just after 7 and nothing much intresting has happened. While it is definatly sub zero,@ least it is not windy, so i am not that cold. It probably helps that this morning I put on:

Long Johns, sweatpants, wind pants, jeans, cotton socks, wool socks, foot warmers, boots, 2x long sleeve Ts, sweat shirt, under shirt, coat, hood, hat, hunting hat, glover, and hand warmers.

And that isall i'll say about the cold, because as the youth know, "John charges you a dollar to complian about the weather. Here is a pict of me in the stand (only a matter of time until I drop my micro SD card in the woods), and a couple of the view from the stand.

Looks like it is going to be a cold one tomorrow morning. We usually hit the woods about 6am, so for those who do not like graphs that is about 22deg w/ a wind chill of 15. I have packed numerous layers of everything, but I can only assume I am going to be freezing my ass of. In looking for winter clothes I realized that we were missing numerous gloves. In a (vain) attempt to find and match them, I got out all of our winter stuff and spread it out on the floor. Sure enough there were 7 orphan gloves, some purchased as recently as last year. I put them in a box in case there mates ever show up, but I am not holding out much hope.

Now you can experience all of the fun of hunting w/ out the waking up at 4am, sitting in a 25 deg tree, and having cold water drip on you. With the magic of technology I will be live blogging from the tree this Friday and Saturday, starting early. So keep an eye for updates, and pictures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Four Day Work Week

Four Day Work Week

I love 3 day weekends, hey who doesn’t, but when you think about it what I really love is the 4 day work week. The knowledge that coming into the office and that tomorrow it is already Wed. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a 4 day work week every week. Well it is actually quite possible. No no, I’m not talking about working 4 - 10Hr days. That is even worse. I am talking about juggling a few things and making the work week, work for you.

OK, First a little math
How much does your employer expect you to work:
40 hrs/week * 50 weeks/year (-xmas and holidays) = 2000 hrs / year

Now what if hypothetically there were only 6 days in a week. We will get rid of Mondays, you are welcome Garfield.
Well first of all instead of 52 weeks there would be 365.25 / 6 = 60.88 lets call it 61
Now we will give you your holidays back making it 59.
2000 hrs/year / 59 weeks/year = 33.89 hours/week

Wait for it…

So if we take our 33.89 hour work week and distribute it over our 4 day work week we get
8.47 hours per day for 4 days per week
Now that I can defiantly live with (I am often here that long anyway)

So now instead of working 5 out of 7 days of the week you worked 4 out of 6. As an added bonus no one will ever say “Sounds like someone’s got a case of the Mondays” again.

Ok so we are agreed, but wait now that we have settled all of that we can use this opportunity to clean up the calendar a little. Give February back the days that were stolen from it by the Roman Emperors (I’m looking at you July and August), and all of the months can have 30 or 31 days.

Now that we have fixed the calendar, it is time to fix this Daylight Savings Time mess.

I have yet to meet anyone who was overly excited about DST, and almost everyone’s opinions range from mild annoyance to utter disdain And what does it really accomplish anyway. We shift everyone’s schedules twice a year and now suddenly it is pitch black at 4:30 pm in the sinter and stays light till 9 in the summer. There has to be a better way

First to dispense with a myth, farmers hate DST, because any livestock they have is unaware of the change and does not really want to change their eating schedule, so if anything they just ignore DST and keep on the same schedule.

Second, I don’t really have any problems with getting more daylight in the evening as much as I don’t like changing all of the clocks in our house twice a year, as well as adjusting everyone’s sleep schedules.

Maybe we should all just pick a time and stick with it. For that matter does it really even matter what time you get up in the morning. Maybe a more suitable solution would be to shift our schedules to the daylight and not our clocks. It doesn’t really matter is the sun comes up at 4:40 or 6:30 if you are going into work at 11. So we should set the local schedules to what best fits the area.

This raises an interesting point, since we could change our schedules to our daylight hours, why do we really need time zones at all. Aren’t they really just another confusing layer of complication on top of everything else we are dealing with?

“Oh your meeting was at 2pm EST you are an hour later”
“Your flight from NY to LA will last 45 min but the one coming back will be 8 hours”
“Damn I set 30 rock to tape at 8EST not 7CST”

What if we were all on the same time, some standard time that is already programmed into all of our computers, maybe GMT. Now all of those useless flight calculations would be unnecessary. 5pm in Chicago would be 5pm in NY and 5pm in Tokyo. We would not have to have multiple clocks with different time zones there would be 1 time zone to rule them all. Our schedules would shift , but after the initial weirdness of the sun coming up at 11pm there would be no more changes…

Until, we finally switch to the metric system in 2047.