Sunday, July 26, 2015
EASTON VIEW BERKSHIRE PIG HUNT
As of September 15, 2015 it was illegal to possess, sell, distribute trade or transport Eurasian boar in New York State. However there is one ranch/preserve (Easton View Outfitters) located in Rensselaer County who has solved the pig hunting problem by bringing in Berkshire pigs. These pigs originated in England long ago and are legal here in NYS. Having hunted Eurasian boar at Easton View I was a bit anxious when the ranch owner Dave Vanderzee told me he had some coming. And when he called and said “they are here” my response was “when can I hunt;” his response – “anytime.” And 3 days later I was there.
If was the perfect opportunity to try out my new Henry Big Boy .44 magnum carbine rifle which I just happened to scope with a Leupold VX HOG 1-4 20 mm scope. At the range using Hornady 225 grain FTX LEVERevolution ammo I was able to shoot a 3 shot group under an inch at 50 yards.
At 8 a.m. they opened the gate and wished me good luck. Temperatures at that time were 80 degrees with humidity at 90 percent and I knew my long sleeve camo shirt and long pants were going to make it even hotter. Bugs too greeted me shortly after entering but fortunately the evening before I had thoroughly doused my camo with a good bug/tick spray and had my backup ThermCell. The ranch covered a little over 200 acres and a terrain of fields, hedgerows, wooded hillsides and a large swamp. My plan was to start at the edge of the swamp about 70 yards in and follow the 2.5 mile fence line up around the perimeter. I was probably about a third of the way up when I realized my age and was going to be making a number of stops throughout the day.
I saw quite a few fallow deer and rams but no pigs. It quickly became obvious that it was going to be a sneak and peek, step on the pig hunt. For the next few hours I walked the high grass fields, kicked brush piles and zigzagged my way through the swamp and up and down the woods. It was about 4 p.m. after making another trip around the perimeter, this time about 100 yards from the fence, I flopped down under a pine tree on the edge of the woods overlooking a lower field. It was here that I realized I was 71 years old.
I think I might have taken a quick nap because when I woke up there was a big buffalo grazing in the grass just below me. I was crawling closer to him to take a photo when all the way on the bottom of the field I saw 3 pigs headed for the swamp. It was getting late and this was the first pigs I saw in my 8 hours of hunting; I had to make my move. When I stood up Mr. Buffalo stared at me and I ran and yelled at him. He never moved, just stood there shaking his head which is not good. I however did move back up into the woods and headed down.
When I neared the swamp I knew I had to hurry and it was then that I learned I could not run like I use to. Two times I fell before I got to the spot in the swamp that I hoped they would come by. On both falls however Henry never hit the ground; just me. I was breathing heavily when I sat down facing where I thought they would come.
Shortly after 6 p.m. I saw movement – 3 pigs on the run at 60-70 yards from me were running through the mix of pines and small saplings. I put the Leupold’s Pig Plex reticle on the last one, pulled back the hammer on the Henry and squeezed off the shot. Immediately I saw bark on a tree fly but also saw the pigs hind hit the ground and get right up – it was a deflected hit. But my next shot was through the shoulders ending my 9 HOURS 20 MINUTE hunt. Mr. Berkshire tipped the scales at 268 pounds. I however on this hunt lost 3 1/2 pounds. I wonder if this was the first Berkshire pig shot in NYS?
If you are looking for a challenging hunt these Berkshires will give you one; but I would suggest getting a buddy to hunt with you so you can put on little drives.( http://eastonviewoutfitters.com/)
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
KIDS LOVE FISHING
I always enjoy getting stories about kids in the outdoors, especially when it comes to fishing. This week’s young angler story took place in a creek in Schuylerville behind Mikey (8) and Brooke (10) Schwerd’s grandparents’ home. Mikey was fishing under a small bridge when he thought he had a bite and lost both his bait and hook. He ran back to the house and grandpa tied on a hook with a bubblegum colored wacky worm and Mikey returned to the bridge. It was too long before grandpa heard “I got a big one” and saw Mikey grab the line, tossed the pole on the ground and started hand-lining the fish in. His sister ran down to help and she grabbed the rod and started taking up the slack. The fish was a largemouth bass that weighed in at 3 pounds plus. Mikey made me promise not to disclose where is honey hole was – a true fisherman.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Sunday, October 19, 2014
SIKA DEER HUNT 2014
I was surprised when I arrived at the Davenport Game Preserve for my Sika deer hunt last Thursday and there was no one at the lodge. I was a bit early but I was anxious and about an hour early; so I thought. When that hour turned into an hour and a half I called my friend and preserve manager Jerry Wilson to see where he was. “I am home (Pennsylvania) Ed,” he said; the hunt is tomorrow. We both laughed and I headed home.
The next morning I was again a bit early but Jerry with his friend Josh Long arrived shortly after me. We wasted little time in unloading our gear and headed up into the preserve. I could not help but enjoy the colorful foliage of the dense woods within the preserve as we headed for the top. The plan was to have Josh slowly walk through individual plots hoping to drive the deer to me with Jerry sitting a bit behind me with the video camera. I was soon to find out that seeking a Sika was not as easy as I expected it to be.
The first two drives did not produce any deer but on the next one Josh pushed 2 whitetails with 20 yards of us; but drive number four through a dense mix of hardwoods and pine alongside a creek provided plenty of action. Half way through the drive two deer and a small flock of turkeys was spooked up; all heading in our direction. The deer broke up the flock and I thought one of the gobblers, whose beard was dragging on the ground, was going to run over us. I should have had my shotgun.
That afternoon two other friends of Jerry’s, Paul Unangst and his son Dominick came up from Pennsylvania and they volunteered to help with the Sika driving that afternoon. A quick lunch and I was eager to get back up in the preserve.
From top to bottom we drove every inch of the preserve again and the Sika deer eluded us all afternoon. It was getting late and at about 5:30 p.m. Jerry suggested we would make one last patch up on top by the creek where we had kicked up the whitetails and the turkeys. It was a good call because 15 or 20 minutes into the drive I saw the high antlers of two Sika headed our way and shouldered the Henry. I was ready and I knew Jerry had the camera rolling.
Our set up in the pines cut off some of the light but the Leupold scope gave me all I needed to get the Henry 30-30 on the target. But at about 70 yards both of the Sika stopped facing us; then quartering away to our left; and I knew they were going to bolt. It was now or never and I squeezed the trigger. I was sure I hit him by the way he acted but the two of them didn’t waste any time running off. Now I had my doubts; did I or did I not hit him? Fortunately when Jerry showed me the video it was definitely a hit.
When the drivers got to us we all picked up the blood trail; but it was getting dark and we had to use flashlights to follow the blood. However with the wind picking up and blowing the leaves tracking made it a bit difficult and we decided to pick up the search early the next morning.
Back in the cabin that evening I must have looked at the video of the hit a dozen times; but it still was a very restless night for me.
In the woods at daybreak we decided to again drive the woods looking for my downed Sika buck. We only completed two drives before the wind picked up and the heavy rains came. As I sat there with the rain dripping down my neck (left my rain suit was in the lodge) after each drive my confidence level of finding the Sika was dwindling. I did get excited on the third drive I when I saw the high antlers of a Sika deer heading our way; but as he got closer I knew he was smaller than the one I had shot. Gathering after this drive Paul Suggested that we start all over, stay closer together and move a lot slower looking for movement and/or the downed deer.” It was an excellent idea.
On the very next drive Dominick had two Sika bucks jump up within 20 yards of him; and he thought one was limping; but they did not come by Jerry and me. Now I was worried about a leg shot but that was about to change shortly. Seeing the direction that the two Sika had headed we set up our next drive; and Jerry and I headed to set up.
Shortly after we got to our watch Dominick saved the day. He was walking through the center of the field along a very low hedge/rock wall towards the woodlot where he was going to drive; but he never got there. Laying down in in the grass and rock was my Sika; and this is where the hunt ended. I was one happy hunter and very grateful of those that helped me. After a few handshakes Paul, who was once a butcher, took charge of the field dressing and skinning. But first there were a lot of photos taken. What was really interesting was the stout solid build of this deer. All of us were surprised at how far this animal had run considering my bullet had damaged its heart, and its lungs.
In my research prior to the hunt I found an article by Chuck Hawks, a well- known hunting and firearms expert, that said the Sika deer is recognized as exceptionally difficult to hunt and, hard to kill which I witnessed. Also included in his recommendation for calibers and bullets is the .30-30 rifle and Fusion 170 grain bullet which were both what I used.
My Sika weighed in at 230 pounds and his rack measurements were: 18 inch main beams, 16 inch spread, pair of 5 inch and 3 inch mid beam located on the spikes and 7 inch circumference beam bases. It was a definite Bucket List trophy for me. A special thanks to Davenport Game Preserve owner, Steve Novotny who made this all happen.
Friday, October 10, 2014
THE HISTORY OF BROWNELLS
In the 1920s and 1930s, Bob Brownell was a middle-America businessman who owned and managed a gas station and sandwich shop in his small hometown, Montezuma, Iowa. In his free time, Bob was a devoted shooter and outdoorsman who enjoyed repairing and customizing firearms. He started by working on his own guns, but news of his talent spread quickly and he soon began accepting jobs from friends. By 1938, his gunsmithing hobby was making profits, so Bob added part-time gunsmith to his list of businesses.
As the gunsmithing business continued to grow, so too did Bob‘s need for good quality tools. He searched the few gun supplycatalogs available at the time, but came to the conclusion that some of the most necessary tools just couldn‘t be purchased anywhere. When he did find tools and products that worked, he bought extras to sell to fellow gunsmiths who were also having difficulties finding supplies.
The first Brownells catalog, Number One, was sent to customers in 1947 displaying the company‘s first motto, “The First and Only Complete Gunsmiths‘ Supply House in the World.” Bob‘s dedication wasn‘t limited to product selection. He realized that being absolutely sure the customer was happy and well taken care of were equally important. Those values, which remain the focal point of the company today, served him well, and by 1951 he closed down the gunsmithing shop to concentrate full-time on providing supplies to gunsmiths across the United States.
Bob‘s son Frank worked in the business as a teenager, and then rejoined the company in 1964 after returning from serving in the United States Navy. Frank‘s education in journalism and advertising, coupled with the leadership skills he acquired in the military, served the company well as he worked alongside his father. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Brownells added more products, hired more employees and sent out more catalogs. All of this growth meant the company needed to find a new home, because the converted movie theatre it was operating in was too small.
In 1973, Brownells moved into its first purpose-built facility, where it remains today. As the company continued on its path of success, the new building had been expanded twice by 1980.
in 1983, Bob moved to the Chairman of the Board position, and named Frank the President of Brownells. By then the company was gaining a lot of attention and was considered the undisputed leader in the gunsmithing supply industry. The Research and Development portion of the business was testing models and building the latest, most innovative tools on the market. The now legendary Brownells Gun Techs™, made up of the best and most experienced gunsmiths recruited from across the U.S., made a real name for themselves as more and more customers called seeking their trusted advice. The 1980s also marked Brownells‘ entry into the gun parts market.
As was the case with many companies, the 1990s ushered in an all-new wave of technology for Brownells. With Bob‘s passing in 1991, it was all up to Frank, now President/CEO, to oversee this important transition from hand-assembling catalogs and handwriting orders to conducting business using computerized systems and the Internet. Though technology was very much a part of the Brownells culture, Frank continued to insist on open, honest, one-on-one customer service.
Under Frank‘s direction, the growth continued tremendously throughout the 1990s, and the gun parts and accessories business, along with the gunsmithing supplies continued to thrive. As a result, the company earned its title as The World‘s Largest Supplier of Firearms Accessories and Gunsmithing Tools™.
The “new era” of Brownells arrived when Frank‘s son Pete joined the company in 1997. An educated and tech-savvy businessman, Pete saw opportunities to thrust the company even further into the technological age. Named Vice President in 2000, Pete oversaw the successful implementation of the Brownells website, www. brownells.com. This provided customers around the world unprecedented access to Brownells vast selection of products.
Brownells‘ success, through both mail-order and Internet transactions, continued past the turn of the century. Frank and Pete began discussions about how to reach even more customers. The natural expansion area seemed to be reloading and longrange, precision shooting. While deciding how best to enter that market, they found the Fort Wayne, Indianabased supplier, Sinclair International - a company that embodied Brownells spirit of offering high-quality, lifetime-guaranteed products and second-to-none customer service. Frank and Pete purchased Sinclair International in 2007, which continues to be a valuable addition to the Brownells family of companies.
Pete was named Brownells President in 2008, as Frank moved to the Chief Executive Officer‘s position. That same year, the business saw unprecedented growth and again, as Brownells added more employees and products, it faced a familiar problem – not enough space. Though a number of additions and renovations had been made to the building since 1980, plans began for a major warehouse expansion that was completed in 2010.
A direct result of huge amounts of customer input, the company added another major product category in 2011 – ammunition. Until then, Brownells carried virtually every part that one would need to fix, carry or customize a firearm, but nothing to shoot from it. Since its introduction, ammunition has been one of most popular product categories with Brownells ever-expanding customer base. By 2012, Brownells was again running out of room for both employees and products. With no property remaining to expand at its 39-year-old facility in Montezuma, Brownells announced a large warehouse and office facility expansion in nearby Grinnell, Iowa, scheduled to open in late 2013. While the company will remain headquartered in Montezuma, the new facility will give it even more capability to expand its product line and will provide closer, faster access to a major Interstate highway, which will enable a more streamlined shipping process.
With the business continuing to grow at an incredible rate, Frank and Pete decided that a more efficient corporate structure was necessary to continue serving customers to the best of the company‘s ability. Therefore, Frank moved into the Chairman of the Board post. Pete ascended to the Chief Executive Officer‘s position, and the company‘s long-time Chief Operating Officer, Matt Buckingham, was named company President/COO.
As Brownells celebrates its 75th year in business, the company owes its success to Bob‘s three basic founding principles: provide customers with the widest Selection of products on the market; deliver them with the highest level of customer Service; and guarantee customers‘ Satisfaction – FOREVER – with a 100%, no-questionsasked, money-back guarantee.
Three generations ago Bob Brownell founded our company on three words: Selection, Service, and Satisfaction.
More than seventy years later our strong foundation still rests upon those words (read about our history)
For over 70 years, Brownells has been providing quality Gunsmithing tools, gun parts and service to the firearms industry. For all but two of those years, there has been a consistent brand image, the oblong horizontal shape of our catalog and the graphical design of our Brownells logo. For all of those years, these two uniquely, identifiable products have stood for our promise of service, selection and satisfaction.
Selection – Over 80,000 gun parts, tools, and supplies; everything you need all in one place.
Selection – Over 80,000 gun parts, tools, and supplies; everything you need all in one place.
· Factory parts from fifteen of the industry’s leading firearms manufacturers
· Rifle, shotgun, and handgun parts, tools & accessories
· Bluing & refinishing materials
· Books, videos, & references
· Sights, scopes, & mounts
· And much more
Service – Friendly, expertise in a prompt, helpful, and accurate manner. Our welcoming operator will guide you to the specialized, customer-service area you need. Just call 800-741-0015.
Satisfaction – Our Unconditional Guarantee: Satisfaction, 100% Guaranteed! Period.
· No Hassle Return Policy and No Authorization Numbers – Just Send it Back
· No Restocking Fees – Just Send it Back
When you have seen the horizontal catalog, you should know without a reasonable doubt that you are ordering from a company that places customer values first, cares deeply about the selection of quality products and has a deep commitment to customer satisfaction.