Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What a Steal!! Hanwag Boots Dirt Cheap

As I am on the mailing list for Sierra Trading Post (STP), I receive a catalog every month, the last contained an extra 25% off coupon.  STP, for those of you who don't know, is a discounter who buys overstock, closeout, last season, or liquidated goods at a bargain and resells it to the public at a significant discount.  Most of what they sell is stuff that has no interest to me but on occasion they have some real gems.  I bought my first "premium" fly reel (Abel) from them more than 10 years ago among other things like Barbour sweaters and such. 

But this time I think I struck the mother load.  While checking their site I noticed that they have some select Hanwag boots in stock.  Hanwag is a bootmaker from Germany known among the international mountaineering scene.  These boots, with the exception of one dealer who only stocks a few models, are extremely difficult to acquire in the States.  My father and I had considered buying some in the past from Europe but since sizing is always different from one brand to the next we never ended up purchasing any. 

So I was pretty ecstatic to see these Hanwags dirt cheap on the site and with the additional 25% coupon, what a deal:
Hanwag High Performance Trail Shoes $146.21
Hanwag Yukon $178.46
Hanwag Fjall Expedition Winter Boots $159.71
All these boots are made in Europe, finished in Germany.  These are not cheap imports. I was somewhat reluctant to buy the winter boots as I would rarely have a chance to wear them.  But I figured that my old man and I do have the intention of hunting in cold weather climates in the future so its better to get them for the cheap than to have to buy them when we go and pay full boat.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hagn Action Single Shot Is Complete

After about three years of waiting, my father's Martini Gunmakers Hagn action single shot in .30R Blaser is finished.  These are some pictures Ralf has sent him.  This rifle will be on display at the Dallas Safari Club convention in January 3rd-6th if you care to see Ralf's workmanship.  Afterwards my father will take delivery.  When he does expect more pictures from yours truly.

Martini Gunmaker Hagn Action With Claw Mounts In The White

My old man has sent me some pictures of his Hagn action single shot from Martini Gunmakers in the white. After about three years his rifle is now complete, these pictures are from Ralf during the building period. Finished rifle pics to follow.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hunting with "The Pack"

Another day, another try.  As always once the tailgate opens, Kaiser raises his nose and air scents.
Lou is a hunting buddy of mine.  We first met at a NAVHDA meet and became fast friends as he had a drahthaar and a Land Rover and I the same.  Discovering we have similar taste in dogs, guns, trucks, and just about all thing Teutonic, it was easy to develop a friendship.  Over the years I got him into Merkels, Meindl boots and Darnes.  I've learned a lot about upland hunting from Lou as he hunts probably at least 80 days of the upland season (that will change now that he has a kid on the way).  We have shared a lot of our "secret" locations to on another, vowing never to reveal them to anyone else.  I have kept my part of the bargain, I believe Lou has as well.

It was 9am when Lou called us at the motel, letting us know that he'd be at the spot at 10.  So we waited and done some sight seeing.  The fall colors have finally come and even though sparse with trees the area was quite a sight.
We arrive just as Lou was making his way to the location.   Lou's pack was minus one dog.  Summer is in heat and was left home but the four others made the trip.  I rarely get to hunt with Lou anymore, the reason is his drahthaar Arnold is not dog-friendly.  We have had some issues with Arnie attacking Kaiser.  This never happens in the field but when we are making camp.  Its easier to just not hunt together.  Lou's other dogs, on the other hand, are some of the sweetest dogs ever and a true pleasure to be around.  Arnie was purchased semi-finished years ago from a trainer.  That trainer did a poor job of socializing him which is a shame and really does the purchaser a disservice by selling such a dog.  Thankfully Lou's other dogs were properly socialized since their birth and are friendly and playful.
The Pack minus one dog.
I started ahead of Lou so that we wouldn't have any issues with Arnie.  Eventually Lou was to my right a few hundred yards away.  Not long in our hunt a cottontail flushed and I fired with the IC then the mod barrel, missed. It eventually flushed again but I missed with the only shot I had.  As we moved on,  my dad was having a hard time keeping up so I told him to hunt this field as we were headed toward the mountain and planned to climb it to get to the other side.  We finally reached the mountain, as I looked at it from the base I told Lou I don't think I have it in me to climb.  So he climbed and I skirted around the base to reach the other side.  I was hugging alongside private property fence when a covey of 30 birds flush.  I took two shots missing because I flock shot it like an idiot.  They landed in the private property so I did not give chase.
The Pack backing one another.
The back side is named by me as Shangri-La.  Its been about two years since I've been back here.  Its not hunted much by anyone as its difficult to get to and private property surrounds much of it.  There are mountain quail, valley quail and chuckar here.  Lou and I flushed huge coveys back here.  Today though we couldn't find a single one.  What a shame.  This just proves how difficult this year is going to be.  Lou managed to flush a cottontail but could not connect with his Darne R10.  After sometime in Shangri-La we headed back.  One of the pack pointed and the rest of the dogs backed.  It was quite a scene unfortunately it was just a tweety bird.  A few rabbits and jacks flushed but of course I missed all the cottontails and managed another jack.
It was almost three and Lou was don for the day ready to head back to civilization.  I didn't want to deal with Friday LA traffic and decided to wait it out and stay to hunt another area.  We said our goodbyes and I headed to another area.   The new area was colder and there was slight snow.  It was not cold enough for the frost to last.  Once the flakes hit something it basically melted.  Tried I hunted for about an hour or so before giving up and calling it a trip.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jacks and Maggot Infested Quail

With the weather finally starting to cool off, Lou called me to see if I wanted to hunt with him on a day hunt.  I said sure but I was not going to drive all the way out to the Sierras just for a day.  I told him I'd hunt a day and a half.  So with the old man, we set off the day before to hunt by ourselves.

Kaiser still not in optimum hunting shape, I decided that we'd just hunt the evening.  We arrived at our location around 2pm.  There was plenty of sign with tracks everywhere.  We sweeped the area for a couple hours and discovered no birds .  While hiking back to the car, Kaiser began working the other side of the field and he began to get birdy.  Hiking in more, a covey of ten flushed wild about 40 yards from me.  Generally I will not take a shot at this distance but in my boredom I fired.  Of course I missed.  The covey flew over another hill.  Debating whether to give chase or stay and work this part of the field to see it f there were any stragglers.  Since I beat I was in no hurry climbing another hill so we continued to work this area.  No other birds remained but Kaiser began to get birdy again.  This time a jackrabbit flushed and I took him at about 35 yards.
 Jacks are normally considered trash by most people I know and I normally don't shoot them.  But I've been reading lately about a chef that actually prepares and eats them.  Jacks are North America's hare.  So they are big and their meat is dark and tough.  I have several European cookbooks that have hare recipes so I decided that if one flushes on me I'd take him and give it a try.  If it tastes like garbage like many American hunters claim it will just become dog food for Kaiser.

After searching this area I decided to see if I could refind that covey of ten.  I climbed the hill and sweeped back.  This proved only a waste of time.  These birds split.  This season no birds are holding for a point and they are flushing wild and at distance.
We moved up the road to try anther section that I've always bypassed.  I climbed this hill and found more track.  We sweeped the area and found nothing so we headed back to the car.  I continued to search the area and a lone male valley quail flushed wild at about 35 yards.  I took a shot with the mod barrel of my Merkel and missed.  Last week I could miss, this week I sucked.  We worked this area some more when Kaiser began to get birdy.  He flash pointed a bush and charged in before  I scream WHOA!  but it was too late he emerged out of that bush with a dead male valley quail.  Mostly likely a bird shot that a hunter could not find.  It must have been a few days old, although the feathers still bright, he was missing his eyes and as I plucked some feathers, I found a maggot so I dropped it and left it for the coyotes.
 After that,the sun beginning to set, it was time to head into town for a meal, shower and a bed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bond with a 500 NE?

I just ran across this on youtube.  The new Bond features a Anderson Wheeler 500 NE double rifle.  When I was younger I used to love Bond films, now that I am an adult I find them a bit silly even a bit lame.  What I wouldn't find lame would be seeing some of these lame celebrity types actually shooting the 500NE with real bullets opposes to blanks.  Now that would be funny.  Something like this:

Now I'd pay to see that!