What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I finished two more rounds of praying for my 100 closest neighbors.

I continued with my Bible study of the book of Revelation.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church. We are still virtual for both but considering going to “in person” attendance soon.

Self Defense/Hunting

I sighted in and tested new home defense rifle (legally a pistol) as well as my remodeled AK.

Score! I happened to wander into a local sporting goods store right after they received a shipment so I was able to get some ammo; 300 rounds of 7.62×39, 100 rounds of 9mm and 60 rounds of 5.56. There were limits on the amount of 9mm and 5.56 that any one customer was allowed to buy and so I bought all that was allowed. The 9mm is practice ammo is a brand I have never even heard of before and I shop ammo a lot. The 7.62×39 is actually my preferred brand.

We are getting ready for the first weekend of deer season. I checked and prepped my hunting bag and bow. I may have also ordered a better crossbow. The one I have is serviceable but very wide and heavy. The new one is narrower, lighter and slightly more powerful. I actually did this because my son was going to join me on opening day and didn’t have a bow to use…then he cancelled on me.

With opening day we went ahead and sighted in all the bows. I am really happy with the new bow, BearX Intense. It is still not a lightweight bow but it is much more compact than the  Barnett Jackal which makes it seem lighter. The option for illuminating the reticle of the included 4x scope will be nice in low light conditions and when hunting hogs (black etched reticles disappear on black hogs). It is a good bit more powerful than the old bow (400 fps vs. 300 fps) but it is still quieter than the old bow. The trigger will take some getting used to. It is lighter than the old bow which is not a bad thing but I am used to two stage triggers and this is perfectly consistent in the travel and weight at a point (that I have not been able to learn) the arrow is released. I think with will actually be better from an accuracy perspective but it will take some getting used to.

Supplies/Gear

We purchased two more short-range, handheld radios. I realized that with more people in the house we were one short. Buying two gives us a spare. For compatibility, my middle daughter and her husband who live close by also have the same brand and model radios.

I realized that I did not have a set of metric crescent wrenches. How I went this long working on Japanese cars and motorcycles without a set I don’t know but I fixed that and purchased a nice set. I also added a new set of pliers designed for electrical work to the tool box as well. When things come crashing down I will likely need the tools and skills to work on things myself.

When we topped off our fuel storage in preparation for Hurricane Laura last month I realized I was out of fuel stabilizer. That gap is now filled.

We rotated the emergency pantry and restocked items used over the last month. With less than two months until the election and the “troubles” that will accompany the election cycle I want to be well stock on supplies.

Security

We replaced and upgraded some of our exterior lighting. This will provide more light around the perimeter of the house automatically; deterring those looking to work in the dark.

Finances

Still focused on building up our savings.

Fitness/Health

As I have been posting about on Saturdays, I am working hard to get into better shape. An upper respiratory infection set me back a little in my efforts this month but I am back on it. I am also losing weight in the process but the primary goal is to get into “fighting” shape.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this month. How about you? What did you Prep this month?

Take care and God Bless

Hunting Season!

A few weeks ago we made a trip up to Oklahoma for a little deer hunting.The primary reason for the trip was for my oldest grandson to bag his first deer. Which he did:

Have I posted this before? I know I have…

I was able to get one morning hunt in that weekend as well and passed on a little year old (about) buck that hung out in front of my blind for fifteen minutes or so. I pretty much figured that was going to be it for my hunting season until we do our guys weekend/hog hunt in January.

Boy was I surprised when I got a text from my most favored son in law telling us that a coworker of his had some property that he wasn’t hunting and that Moose could hunt it all he wanted this season! We quickly set up some feeders, game cams and a blind. We cleared a few shooting lanes and made a path to get to the blind. We were out before dark on opening day. While gunshots were heard all around us we saw exactly nothing, except one really annoying squirrel.

To be honest I was a bit relieved as I had not had any time to verify that my rifle was still sighted in or to see where it would hit at the shorter distances that the thick brush on this place would allow for. We won’t have any shots over 50 yards at this place with 20 to 40 yards being the most likely distances we will be shooting.

Given the shorter distances I am tempted to switch to a lever action carbine in either .44 magnum or .30-30 however this whole work and family time thing has kept me from getting either of those rifles sighted in. I did take just enough time off at lunch one day last week to take the two Ruger Americans that I normally hunt with and verify they are still zeroed and test them out at shorter distances. At 50 yards I am dead on but inside 20 yards I will have to aim a bit high as I am hitting just about an inch low at 15 yards. The .308 took a few clicks of elevation added to the scope as it was hitting a bit low at 50 yards.

Ruger American Predator in .308 (50 yards). Hits in the lower left of the 9 ring was before a slight elevation adjustment

At this point I don’t know if I will stick with the .308 or go with the 7.62×39. Both are fine rifles and perfectly adequate calibers but I don’t really need the extra distance the .308 gives my and the 7.52×39 is a bit shorter, a bit lighter and has a good bit less recoil. I think I am slightly more accurate with it as well.

Ruger American Ranch in 7.62×39. Grouping down and to the left was at 2x magnification and the center ring hits were at 4x

I tested two different bullet weights on the .308 (150 and 180) and both impacted in the same spots at this range. For the 7.62 Commie I tested three different ammunition brands (Brown Bear Soft Points, Hornady SSTs and Federal Fusion) all in 123 or 125 grain weights and there was no noticeable difference in impact location. I have seen the effectiveness of the Fusion on a critter before and I was very impressed with how well it did so I am leaning towards that round in the Ruger American Predator.

We plan to be back in the woods tomorrow morning (I am typing this up on Friday) and hope to see a deer. We are already seeing hogs on the cameras so even after deer season ends we can still continue to harvest game from this property. It has been a while since we had a place we could hunt like this and I am super excited.

Take care and God bless.

Whew, What A Week!

It’s been a real roller coaster ride the last week or so. Saturday before last we had the whole family over to celebrate three birthdays, an anniversary and to announce my newest grand baby (due in February) to the rest of the family. Sunday was Sunday School, church and a Sunday School class pot luck. It was a short but crazy busy work week. We had a family friend pass away and we still made our planned hunting trip to Oklahoma.

Whew!

Wonderful Wife and my middle daughter made the trip down to visit our friend’s wife on Wednesday. They spent the day with her and the family doing what they could and helping out. When the family made the decision for a traditional Muslim funeral the girls made the call that the Oklahoma trip was back on. They will have a memorial for his non-Muslim friends to attend at a later date.

The trip to Oklahoma was long but worth every numb-butted mile. We were able to reconnect with some folks we haven’t seen in a few years, made it to a fall festival at Robber’s Cave, play around on a an ATV and made it out to hunt a couple times in between.

The most amazing part of the weekend was Friday morning. My son in law, my oldest grandson and I all headed out to a deer blind in the drizzling rain well before sunrise. It was my grandson’s first time deer hunting. We all sat together hoping that he would get an opportunity. It was close to ten o’clock when we decided to pack it in (the little guy showed amazing patience).

We were headed to the ATV when my son in law spotted a small buck moving our way. We hurried back to the blind and quickly got set up all over again. After thirty or forty minutes the little buck still hadn’t made an appearance so we figured he took a different trail and started to pack up again. Which is, of course, when he decided to walk right into the clearing we were set up on and with the deer only about twenty-five yards away we started setting up again.

We managed to get set up again (third time that morning) without spooking Mr. Deer or hurting one another (much). I managed to find the business end of a broad head in the scramble and was bleeding all over myself and the camera. It wasn’t a serious cut or deep but it bled like crazy. I was so excited for my little guy I didn’t even notice the cut until I saw blood on the camera (and everything else I touched). The fact that the drizzle had turned into a downpour probably helped mask any noise.

Moose, my son in law, did a great job coaching the boy and Mr. Deer did his part by coming in another few yards. My little guy did his part too placing the arrow nearly perfectly.

While the downpour help hide our activity from the deer it made tracking it almost impossible. After an hour and a half we were soaked and cold to the bone and grudgingly headed back to the cabin. Once there Moose asked for help from the friends we were visiting and they headed back out into the cold rain. After another three hours they called it quits again. Heading back to the vehicles they walked through the same clearing where our blind was set up and there it was. After all that searching Mr. Deer was down just 50 yards from the blind and about thirty yards from where he was hit. He had doubled back on us and we never saw him do so.

Little Man and his first buck

Whew!

What an effort from a loving dad and a friend of the family. It was all worth it and an amazing experience for all involved.

Oh yeah, I got a hunt in Sunday morning and passed on a small six point buck. The few does I saw were a little to skittish to come within bow range. But that’s ok. Being out in a blind as “the forest wakes up” was a wonderful experience that I never seem to tire of. One that recharges my batteries and renews my faith like few other experiences I’ve had.

So much has happened in the last week it is amazing.

All I can say in whew…

…and thank you Lord!

Take care and God bless.

Note: Please excuse any errors in this post. It was written on my cell phone while riding back from Oklahoma. As this is posted I’ll be flying to Dallas for a customer meeting. Back to the grind…

Change Of Plans: No Hammer This Weekend

I purchased the Smith & Wesson Model 69 (The Hammer) the other day to be by sidearm when hunting and engaging in other outdoor activities where I might encounter a serious threat from the wildlife. Unfortunately, life, the universe and poor planning on my part have put me in a position where The Hammer will stay home for my fist hunt of the season.

With my current workload (personal, business and spiritual) I did not have enough time to order the ammo I want to use. Few local gun stores carry .44 Magnum and almost none carry .44 Special. I could get a decent .44 Magnum load but no shot shells locally. So it would have to be an Internet purchase and there is no time left for that. Even worse I haven’t found a good carry holster for this monster locally so that will have to be an internet purchase as well and, again, no time.

Instead of The Hammer, my Smith & Wesson 340 will get the call. I already have shot shells in .38 caliber on hand and .357 Magnum is a bit more common down here so I was able to grab a box of 158 grain soft-points that ought to suffice against all but the biggest and most determined critters. I also carry this revolver regularly and have several holsters that work quite well already.

This weekend’s hunting carry

We are heading out after deer and the area we will be hunting does not have anywhere near the feral hog population that we have down here in Texas. We will not be near any alligator infested waterways either. On the other hand, there is a slightly higher likelihood of encountering black bears in the area and we will be bow hunting so I won’t have a long gun with me. All in all, I have no doubt that the .357 Magnum should be just fine. It is significantly lighter and easier to conceal for travel through populated areas. I was just hoping to be able to bring The Hammer along.

Take care and God bless.

Hunting And Gathering – Meat Eater Style

I finally made it grocery shopping today (yesterday by the time you read this) and I discovered something very odd. Cheap hamburger meat was $5 a pound. On the other hand nice, untrimmed brisket was only $1.99 a pound. A little work in the kitchen with a good knife and a cheap grinder and we have some great ground beef at a great price.

Breakfast sausage was $4 a pound but nice pork roasts were only $1.29 a pound. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow (today by the time you read this). So, a little seasoning and the same set of tools and a little more work and we’ll be putting some sausage in the freezer.

I also made it over to my son in law’s place and knocked the rust off my bow skills. We also made sure it is properly dialed in. Now I just need to get my gear together and pick up a case for the bow to prevent damage during the trip. T-minus 10 days and counting to (hopefully) adding some nice, free range venison to the freezer. My oldest grandson will also be going for his first deer that weekend. I am even more hopeful that he will be successful and that I am there for the event.

Take care and God bless.