Saturday, 30 May 2015

Archery Is Like...

just sayin'

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Reasons For Buying An Air Rifle

I know you want one, you know you want one. There are a lot of great reasons to buy an air rifle, lets have a look at them.

All the best shooters got their start with pellet pushers. 
The slow recoil and low exit speeds of ‘springers’ amplify user error, when you can get it right with a spring powered gun you’ll be ahead of the game with a PCP, rim fire, or centre fire rifle. 

It’s the cheapest way to practice.
From $20 a thousand, pellets are cheap and get cheaper the more you buy, they have no use-by date and take up very little space - most sizes of shoebox will hold 100,000 which will last anywhere between a long time and a lifetime. 

They are the best introduction to shooting
Without the BANG and with negligible recoil, the air rifle is the perfect starting point. Just as many of us started shooting with pellet pushers, so we shall start a new generation of shooters. Personally I’ve introduced new shooters ages 8 to 56 they’ve all wanted to do it again.

You can shoot them where you can't shoot anything else
In many inner-city jurisdictions you cant hunt control pests with anything else. 
Making a ‘Phutt’ rather than a ‘Bang’ they are the subtle alternative to firearms, and less provocative than using your compound bow. For example in the gun-unfriendly UK you can still practice in a suburban garden, taking squirrel, parrot and pigeons for the table right outside your kitchen window.

Pellets for Pests? Gets you hunting land
When you are asking about; trying to gain permission to hunt on farmland, an air rifle for pests tends to to get a yes on first asking, more often than a centre-fire for deer and pigs. Farmers will up-grade you later when you’ve shown your safe and you’ve offered them rabbits and / or scotch!

Easy and paperwork free
In many places they are online purchases; you’re over eighteen, you makes your choice of best air rifle for your needs, and wait [impatiently] for that exiting knock on the door.

Home customisable 
There is no better (or safer) first project for the home gun-tinkerer; start with lightening the trigger, then reducing the recoil by smoothing the spring’s path, before refinishing the stock. Lot’s of fun doing the work, lots of satisfaction in the end result, and you’re creating an heirloom for pennies.

Sometimes they are the best choice
The squirrel hunters weapon of choice, a silenced PCP gives you the pellet speed you need, and is quiet enough that the bushy-tailed tree-rabbits may well stick around so you can take a second shot at one of his pals.

Low-power leads to high-skill
When you can stalk rabbits to take a lethal shot on an inch wide kill-zone at 25 yards, you are arguably more of a hunter than the fella who was escorted by a guide to shoot into the four inch circle of a game animal’s vitals at 100 yards. 

You cant buy skill with money. But you can train for it with a pellet pusher!

Go on, go on, go on, you know you want to
More soon

Monday, 4 May 2015

Hunting, And Shooting Videos

A few weeks back Phillip of The Hog Blog did a round up of some of the better efforts by American TV makers, at that most difficult of genres; The Hunting Video. It's not easy. The 'pro' efforts are sometimes less engaging than the home-grown youtube videos.

The Music

Many film makers seem to share the sentiment of the Anti-Hunter that hunting is a highly adrenalised activity best given musical accompaniment by what I believe may be called 'death metal'. This makes no sense to me whatsoever; I go hunting to walk around in silence, listening to birdsong. I expect you do too.

The Celebration

The whooping and back slapping is pretty tiresome. I will admit I did once snap my fingers to show my satisfaction with an uncharacteristically tight group, but I've never felt the need to whoop or high-five. Hunter X smeared deer blood all over my face, I can't help but feel it was just because he wanted to. I was once the recipient of high praise of the Scottish variety "a welcome rest-bite from sheer suburban uselessness', but usually, on this side of the pond, a firm handshake is all that's deemed necessary.

The Dialogue

Most video blogs are awful because the person speaking hasn't actually decided how to say what they want to say, and then when they slip up mid ramble instead of 'mulligan-ing' and taking the shot again, they either just repeat themselves or worse yet launch into a long-winded apology before repeating themselves. It doesn't really work for me. If I were to offer a pointer; It may help not to mention 'commitment' or 'tradition' again. I can't be the only viewer who switches off when subjected to rapid-fire cliches. I know you did this with your 'daddy' and you want to take your daughter hunting, yawn, there is more to hunting than sentimentality.

So, how to capture the moment on camera? How to show the people at home what goes on? Here are a couple of examples of how the pros do it and an example of a really inventive low tech way of telling stories on video.

First Hunt from Civilware Service Co. on Vimeo.

Meanwhile down under, where their contempt for inclement weather and glaciers is shown in the shortness of their 'Shorty-shorts' the guys from Calibre Shots show just what I'm missing not going to see my Bro.

Father & Son Tahr and Chamois hunt from caliber shots on Vimeo.

But what if you haven't got a drone, and can't hitch a ride on a helicopter? What if its just you and a camera, up close and personal? How would you tell the story, to an audience who may not speak any language you speak? You let what the camera sees tell the story.

At last a film of deer stalking in Scotland, that looks and sounds like, well, deer stalking in Scotland.

Thomas Haugland is a Hunter, Shooter and Filmmaker from Norway where; deep competency, stunning scenery, and dry wit come free with your passport. His videos never have him talking or a voice over, which in our current climate of moron-ification and pointless babbling is strangely attention grabbing.  His videos often have super deadpan descriptions

"This longrange shooting test was primarily made for Norwegians, but you are invited to try! It'll test the basic skills needed to make the bullet hit where you want (accuracy) at long range. This test is done in meters, at least 500 m range which is 547 yds."

Or the Jedi-like

"Not all days are equally successful. But there are sights to be seen and if you stay in bed, failure is guaranteed."

Enjoy, and comment if you've got any reconditions for videos that do something different with the the Hook and Bullet genre.

Picture credit goes to LikeCool and here's a list of top 10 best AR 15 scopes in case the picture put you in the mood

More soon
Your pal

Unboxing: Biolite Camp Stove Review

I've wanted one of these ever since I saw them as vapourware a few years ago. One thing lead to another and I've not ended up pressing Buy Now. But in a unprecedented turn up of events The Northern Monkey found himself inspired and ordered one. I think it was the offer of free electricity.

TNM had, in a stroke of genius, actually read the instructions before leaving the house so the Biolite had had its preliminary charge and was all ready to go. I was really exited to get this unboxing underway as my phone had already run out of juice, TNM clipped the parts together, filled it with very small sticks and sparked it up.
Once the smoke has finally cleared and its up to operating temperature the Biolite produces no smoke at all and roars with a beautiful spiral of flame which is a bugger to photograph. Phone charging was a little stop-start but did work. Next time I'd plug the stove into a battery pack which might work a bit better.

Following on from the good reception the camp stove has received  Biolite have brought out a 'Basecamp' which you feed from the bottom and takes much bigger bits of wood, this baby size suffers terribly from its small combustion chamber needing constant attention and feeding.  We were in deciduous woodland with an unlimited supply of dry-isn little-finger sized fuel, on a beach where the small bits of driftwood are often the dampest, or in a sparse-fuel environment where you'd have to cut fuel to size, the small chamber would be a major pain. We tried to burn thumb diameter pieces but the stoves efficiency was massively compromised. I hope to do some tests with dried dung [horse poop since you ask] which I have high hopes for as the stove's ideal fuel.

They say:
"Burning only wood, the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and flames are hyperefficient with performance on par with white gas stoves."

SBW says:
Burning very small pieces of wood, the camp stove creates unbelievable amounts of smoke until it gets going when it burns very well, defiantly an outdoor gizmo [you would seriously regret lighting this puppy up in a tent], set up is indeed easy, fuel is free if you're in a woodland, anywhere else it'll be a lot of work to cut the pieces up small enough. "On par with white gas stoves" is pushing it.

The two must have accessories would be - bushcraft napalm [which I'll show you how to make in another post] and a pair of secateurs which would be the perfect way to keep it topped up with its preferred stick size of 6mm x 50mm aka quarter of. by two inches.

On the way home we have a 'petrol in a diesel' mishap and ended up by the side of the road with no phone charge, TNM fired up the stove while I walked to the nearest garage and got his phone working again, which was nice.

More soon
Your pal