Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for November, 2012

Dai Yai’s Rat Shooter

Posted by todblog on November 25, 2012

November 24, 2012

Last spring I got certified in a Concealed Carry Weapon’s Class and several weeks later went down to the Douglas County Courthouse and got my license to carry a concealed firearm. But, I’ve never taken the next step to go out and get a gun to my liking (not that I don’t like guns, just gotta find the right one for me). I’ve talked to a lot of different folks including enforcement officers and there’s a lot of information on the internet with tons of videos too. Add the fact there’s all this buzz going on with Black Friday sales, it got me motivated to look a little deeper. Today I went to my favorite store, Bi-Mart (“the Longs Drugs with fishing and hunting stuff”) and took advantage of their big ammo sale and headed to The Baron’s Den in Eugene, a nice indoor shooting range. I figured it would be prudent to try out different handguns to see what felt comfortable and if I could hit what I aimed at…with any kind of consistency.

It was a fun visit and the staff was super friendly. They had a good inventory of handgun rentals of various calibers and actions. Pretty good deal at $25 range fee (non-member rate) + $5/caliber. I brought my own factory ammo and targets and settled in for a few hours of paper punching. I chose to dust off an old handgun given to me from my grandfather (Dai Yai Lum) and take it to the range. It’s a 1903 Colt automatic hammerless pistol in .32 caliber. One of my uncle’s told me that he used it to shoot rats under the house (that had to be loud). I wonder if that was one of those things you did when your dad wasn’t home. Did neighbors back in those days get concerned at loud noises coming from under another house? Probably not. Those were the days kids could go for days without anyone noticing they were gone, slides at the playgrounds were high, steep, and you landed on hard dirt, and there was no media blitzing us 24/7 about the constant stranger danger in your area. Okay, enough about that.

When I got to my shooting lane and uncased the “rat shooter” I got several looks from other shooters in the area. “Wow, that ‘s an old gun…. cool!” I loaded a magazine and placed a target out at 7 yards and shot 8 smooth shots. Very little recoil and a very pleasant pistol to shoot. Although, it would take a few more sessions to get good enough where I could shoot a rat.

I enjoyed shooting the 9mm and .40 cal pistols from various manufacturers. It was fun punching paper at various distances. Some guns were definitely not friendly to fire and difficult to shoot accurately and/or I just stunk. I couldn’t imagine using those guns when it really mattered when your breathing hard and your heart is racing from the adrenaline coursing through your veins. If I can’t shoot well when I’m relaxed, I would really be in trouble under stress.¬† At least my time on the range wasn’t wasted, I found out more about what I liked and didn’t like. I’m probably closer to a decision but, haven’t picked out “the one” yet. It’s kind of like shopping for a new car and having a fun time taking test drives.

Our Concealed Carry class being taught by an LTS Tactical firearms instructor

Julie showing off her target after the range portion of the class.

My grandfather’s 1903 Colt Hammerless Automatic Pistol in .32 caliber aka~ “The Rat Shooter”


Test driving the handguns at various distances


Smith & Wesson MP9c, Ruger LC9, Glock 26


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Anti-oxidant Venison

Posted by todblog on November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

Each fall Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a number of limited Columbian black-tailed deer doe hunts. These doe hunts are generally scheduled towards the end of the Western Oregon rifle buck season. The doe seasons help address deer damage on private lands. In the Douglas District, there are two doe hunts in the Melrose Wildlife Management Unit. The Melrose is a low elevation unit located on the Umpqua Valley floor, is highly agricultural made up of 90% private land, and there is an abundance of deer. This becomes apparent each fall as deer-vehicle collisions increase. Some of it has to do with dry summer conditions where deer are heading to/from water and food sources and another reason is bucks chasing does as they enter the mating season. Whatever the reason, deer darting across roads during low light hours and limited visibility by drivers results in very busy auto body shops and a shameful waste of protein lying in the ditch.

I live in the Melrose Unit and enjoy living in the country surrounded by great neighbors that farm tasty things to eat. One of those neighbors is Ed Richardson who owns a small U-pick blueberry farm. Blueberries have gotten a lot of interest from scientists for their high anti-oxidant levels which have been said to fight cancer, heart disease and aging. Besides all that science stuff, they’re darn yummy. However, we’re not the only ones who like ’em. The springy blueberry branches make great practice for buck deer preparing to fight other bucks as they thrash and rub their antlers against the shredding bark. Tender new growth is also received well by browsing deer as they go down the rows. When their bellies are full what better place for a deer to take a snooze than in between the rows of blueberries. With all the anti-oxidant benefits from blueberries, these deer must be super healthy and fighting-off old age well.

Ed told me he saw several unwelcome visitors browsing on his blueberries and he inquired about his options. I told him he should take advantage of the soon-to-be-over deer season. I further explained that I had a doe tag that was about to expire in a few days and would be happy to help him remove an anti-oxidant eater… He replied, “Please c’mon over!” I stopped by to see what was going on and to see if there were any visitors on the property. I walked along the outside edge of the rows and peered down each row. To my amazement, I saw a nice 3 point buck bedded down and looking at me from 25 yards away. I did a 180 and went back to my truck. I was pretty excited but, realized that I did not have a buck tag. Hmmmm…. who could I call that had a buck tag and would quickly get over here? A couple of phone calls later, I got in touch with Ben Cate who was more than happy to help remove the blueberry buck.

Ben showed up 30 minutes later and filled his buck tag. Two days later I filled my doe tag in that same blueberry patch. Those deer were certainly eating well and very healthy specimens. Thank you Ed for the opportunity to help. The deer will provide many fine meals with or without blueberry sauce.

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