Search This Blog

Sunday, March 20, 2016

1st Day of Spring, at Long Ridge Deer Camp 2016

The first day of spring here in the Connecticut River Valley brought us a 10 degree morning and hard freeze. Nothing unusual here, but we had already gotten used to the 40 degree weather. Still a ton of frost in the ground as there should be at this time of year. We took a nice trail ride on the ATV's the other day, and put out three more game cameras. The trails are a mess from the 50-60 mph winds we have had, but mostly small stuff. Until below, on the Mid Trail. Only took ten minutes to clear, and fun! I so love this stuff!

 First time placing a camera at Flip's stand and check out the pictures taken within 24 hours! Guess this one was placed right!

 Seems this little fox has a creature in his mouth but I cannot see it to say what it is...
 These three are from the Cass, and regular visitors..
 A healthy happy face!
 This flock of twenty is a regular now, and the big old boy in the rear, though early, is eager to go to work...
 That is, until little deer come in and re-take the territory. Sometimes they co-exist, other times, nope.

 These two below, wander in from the South but are not part of the hemlock group. They lost their mom to a hunter, coyotes, or car in the fall, and had no one to lead them through their first winter. In spite of the availability of food, and lack of snow, these little guys knew nothing of the ways of winter, and while most of our herds are shining with health, these guys are flanked out, beaten half to death by other deer, and in generally poor health. THIS is why I do not allow does with spring babes to be taken during fall season. Barren does, single does, does that have lost their babes, yes. Moms with babes - NO! It took me years of study to learn this, but it is a fact.
 The Pierce Lane group.

 What do we call this combination, a Creer?
 or a Durkey? A tureer?
Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 14, 2016

S&W 1911 Sc Commander Update - Uh Oh!

Well I just got back from the range, and am disappointed to tell you that my beloved S&W 1911Sc kind of blew all over the county side. I am about around 15-16 hundred rounds through this piece, my late carry piece, and it has been superb. In my blog review I wrote that it had some several failures to lockback on an empty magazine. After speaking with several 1911 'experts', I accepted that my grip was at fault, and I was locking down the slide lock with my off hand thumb. Some 200 rounds later, I accept that it was my grip and not the gun. Zero failures. Yayyyyy! Now we are running 100%!
Until a few days later, at about 15-1800 rounds, this little piece locked up tighter than a Python's squeeze and would not fire. A round was tightly hung up, about halfway into the chamber. I could not place the safety in the on or the off position, it was frozen half way. A completely dangerous situation. The slide would NOT retract, not matter what forces I exerted. To make a long story short (and avoid any liabilities) I did eventually get the live round out of the pistol, and as I gave it a shake, the slide lock fell out onto the ground, and the slide with barrel, recoil guide, spring and bushing slid off the frame and onto the ground. Cool! A puzzle! Well on examination it appears that the stakes in the plunger tube sheered off from the frame, and allowed the plunger and spring to extend out far enough to freeze the mechanics of the 1911. The broken parts you see below.
 Down here you can see the loose slide, and the sheared off posts on the frame of the plunger housing. If I had been in a violent confrontation when such a failure occurred, I probably would not be writing this. So what to do. Many would completely condemn the piece and relegate it to the trash bin, or repair and sell it, and bad mouth it for the rest of their silly days.
The correct thing to do in my eyes is to recognize that first of all this is a machine and any machine, even a Rolls, can fail. Next, find the cause, and find the remedy. I do not know if this is a recurring (pattern) failure in the 1911Sc. But I suspect not, because I have read and studied virtually everything there is to read about this pistol. Including some un-public treatises. Is this plunger attached with MIM parts? Is this a first failure? The first question asked of me by a tech at S&W was 'what were you shooting in it for ammunition?'. I was honest. On that run I had fired a magazine of +P Remington Golden Saber, and then was on about my 200th round of Wolf Poly 230 grain ammo.
The tech then said 'yeah, I think we better take a look at that'. They are sending me by email a Fed-Ex free freight to S&W and back. Their service is unbelievably quick. They have been responsive. So, really, I cannot bitch. If I found a weak spot in this wonderful gun that can help them make future ones better, great! If not, and they fix it up to be like new that is also great. But, the real downside, is that once I get it back, I have to start evaluating this pistol from the very start. See, I decided I wanted to carry this baby for a LEOSA piece. To save lives. So, when fixed, I will begin to evaluate it for a thousand (make that two thousand) rounds again. Just for it's endurance and strength. We already know it is a most comfortable carry. We know it is superbly accurate and shootable. We know it is beautiful, and that with loc-tite blue on the grip screws, about perfect. We accept that it is powerful. It IS a gem to look at. But will it hold up for thousands of rounds? I'll keep you posted!
Oh, just so you know. In the meantime, my M&P 9 and Shield will accompany me afield. They are both proven, for thousands of malfunction free rounds, accuracy and comfort. Unfortunately, they are not nearly as pretty. And I AM attracted to pretty. Hurry up S&W. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mid-Winter LRDC Pictures Never Shown

Mid February Bill and I decided to do a trail ride and track census to see what is out there and moving. Of course, because of the ridiculously easy winter, everything is moving...but what a great excuse for a good day's ride on the area trails! We did them all and had a great time!
 This is a shot of a maple I dropped to help the deer through the winter. I do about 40-50 of these a year and the deer ravage them during a typical winter. This year? Ho-hum, not interested. Snatch a bud walking by, but, 'nah'...any other year this tree would be stripped...
Below you see a fox track crossing a coyote track. Interesting. You will NEVER see coyotes and fox sharing the same territories. Coyotes hunt them and kill them every time...
Here we see a well used deer trail on the West side, coming onto the property. Not sure where they are headed, but into the interior for sure.
Grouse tracks below. Not many this year.
The tracks below I could not identify. Two creatures, probably mates, low to the ground, and small. Weasels?  
The most common tracks we saw were of deer. Everywhere. Plentiful. In your face. Good!
 Next two pictures demonstrate the availability of acorns, this late in the winter. Rare!
Turkey track crossing the trail! My wife filmed a flock of 150+ in Westmoreland just the other day. Apparently they did just fine this winter. What is more interesting.. not a single track of a Fisher, or a Bobcat. Not sure what has happened... Up until last year, bobcats on camera all the time. Now, none. No tracks. Nothing. And we have the SE facing talus slopes they seek to den in. We were in the center of the collaring/GPS study done by NHF&G. Go figure. Fisher, GONE! Personally, I feel they were trapped out. In fact, I know they were.
As for coyote...mighty scarce around here. This is one area in the U.S. where half life for a coyote is SHORT. Thank you neighbor!

This photo is taken with my pocket camera the other day, while on the ATV and surrounded by barking loud pups.  I am about 75 yards away.

For a bit of silliness...when ever an arrow messed up in some way, years ago a buddy and I would play Robin Hood and see how far into the forest we could wing these wounded arrows. Yesterday while walking trails, I spotted this one sticking strait up in the woods. It was 325 yards from LRDC, and was launched in 2006. Bruce, we'll have to increase our poundage! 
Tell me these late season food plots have not been decimated! Not even our food driven Sheltie can find a sprig to eat!
And while Bill and I were out on the snow covered trails? Here is Webster, grooving to heat, and a good piece of jazz.
  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

State of the Long Ridge Deer Camp, 2016

First week into March at long Ridge, and it is a different March than most I have seen. No snow (never was any) snowmobiles never started, no snow piles, low oil bills, hey, it been March since December 1st! It did get cold, 20 below zero a day or so, and frost deep, deep...but winter? Nah. Now, we are prepared to get 18-30 inch snow storms in March and April as we usually do, but they'll melt fast, and spring is dominating. As my previous posts stated, I have had a tough time inventorying deer because they are indifferent to corn. They mosey by, snarf a mouthful or two, and move one. Some groups come only every third day. Yesterday while walking the dogs I was marveling at the acorns on the ground. Most have been ruined by insects by now and are rotten and brown inside, and unpalatable to deer. I stomped on ten and six had bright white meat in them. No wonder the deer are gone! Even the apple trees have tons of left over apples under them. Every species I have seen appears shining in good health. Below is a shot of two crows over the corn. I always love bird shots!
 This crew of mom and babes comes from the Cass Hill side of the road. Not starving obviously.
Pouring out of the woods...
 However easy a winter may be, to be 'en garde' is paramount to survival.
 Below is the 'Hemlock Group' off the south slope to gorge a bit.
 Crows and a Gray. Co-Exist! Ha!
 A flight shot. I think these are my favorites.
 Hemlock group in daylight..
 And another flight shot. In my next life.

 Pierce Lane Group, with the little guy on the left having had his right flank attacked by a coyote (my guess) but seems to be surviving just fine. He does favor that leg a lot, but runs on it just fine.

 Another uplifting photo!
 This little girl is one of my favorites. She often comes alone, which is extremely unusual in winter. Don't have a name for her, but she has great character!
 A bit more co-existence.
 'Deer in a Rainbow' (there might be a lesson here)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...