Lots of excitement lately on several fronts. Our first
Handgun Hunters Challenge is now history and was an excellent hunt. Jim Zumbo,
noted gun writer for 30 years opened his big mouth on the Outdoor Life forum
and inserted his foot. And what is surely the largest anti gun bills is
looming in the House.
Our first Handgun Hunters Challenge is now history and a
good time was had by all, except maybe for a few wild hogs, a buffalo and a
Corsican ram. We had 13 hunters for this first hunt. Included on this first
hunt was Greg Geiger, Bill Firman, Doug Faith, Scott Boggs, Jason Parr, Brian
Tonnacliff, Tom Chura, Bill Huether, Andy Rowe, Sean Harper, Curtis Raybuck,
Kase and me.
It was held about 85 miles southeast of San Antonio in
the wilds of Texas. The ranch we hunted on is loaded with wild hogs and we
could pretty much shoot as many as we pleased. The only problem was the hogs
didn't go along with this. To say they were wild would be an understatement.
The brush was dry and sometimes head high and the woods were extremely dense
with dead winter growth. Often we would jump a group of hogs literally at our
feet and in less than 3 or 4 seconds they would be engulfed in the heavy brush
and often a shot was not even offered.
On one occasion 4 of us met another group of hunters at
the intersection of two dirt roads. We stopped and talked for at least 10
minutes. Then as we turned to leave, two large hogs burst from the brush less
than 6 feet from where we were standing. They had lain there quietly until we
started to move off, then burst out of the brush. Several shots were fired at
the wildly running hogs and only one was hit in the foot by Curt Raybuck. Curt
eventually tracked and ran down this big hog but the other one got away
without a shot being fired at him.
Greg Geiger got to try out his Beast rifle in 450 Rigby
on a buffalo and made a nice shot on him, taking a really nice trophy. Andy
Rowe took a very nice Corsican ram with the 257 GNR encore, being the first
person to draw blood with this new cartridge.
This was to be a strictly handgun hunt but I was as
interested as anyone else in seeing how some of our custom Beast rifles would
do on a big burly hog. So Jason Parr brought his Beast in 416 Rigby as did a
couple of the other guys. Scott Boggs brought a rifle and took a nice hog
also. All in all for 13 hunters there were 10 hogs taken along with a buffalo
and the Corsican ram.
A couple of us didn't get a hog but it wasn't for lack
of trying. I shot 9 shots altogether with my 455 GNR in the new 455 Alaskan
Express but every one was a running shot and I simply didn't put one down.
Our next hunt is our Hot & Nasty Hunt the last
couple of days in June and the first day of July. This hunt is also to be held
on the same ranch in south Texas and will be for hogs or any other exotic game
encountered on this big ranch. As the name implies, this hunt will be truly
hot and nasty. This one will separate the men from the boys. We have a full
camp lined up for this one also and if it is as popular as the Handgun Hunters
Challenge seems to be, we may make this a yearly Hot & Nasty Hunt.
Another bit of excitement during the last couple of
weeks was the Jim Zumbo fiasco. Jim apparently let his mouth overcome his
common sense and made a really bad remark on the Outdoor Life forum, stating
that we don't need those "black guns" and that he was shocked to see
them in varmint hunters hands and they shouldn't be allowed and on and on. His
main sponsor, Remington, pulled their sponsorship immediately and over the
next couple of days well over 12,000 people posted hot comments about Zumbo's
ancestry and often his mother's sexual preferences, along with those of Zumbo.
Taking all these remarks seriously, Outdoor Life fired
Zumbo and apologized to all that he had slammed. Then to make matters worse,
in comes Mouth Almighty, Ted Nugent, who took up for Zumbo. So now the names
and slams are flying back and forth. Nugent has long been one of our better
voices in the entertainment industry, even if it has been a bit of an arrogant
voice. Now he may have stepped over the line. Zumbo has been fired, nothing
will change that. Zumbo made the comments, of that there is no doubt. He did
make an apology but that didn't help at all, especially when the anti gun
people are using his comments against us, saying even the esteemed gun writers
are saying we don't need those evil black rifles and so on. So now, before he
gets painted with the same brush, Nugent needs to shut the hell up and let the
gun industry get over this quietly and quickly.
And to top off this last week or so, a very harsh and
radical anti gun bill had been introduced on the floor of the house, house
bill HR-1022. This one is so radical that it might possibly hurt it's chances
of passing. Even so it still scares hell out of me. This new Mother of all gun
ban bills, brings back all the bad points of the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban plus
adds a lot of features that are even worse. Clinton's ban only banned 19
models of guns, this one bans 66 models plus any model that looks like them or
has the same features. In the Clinton ban, manufacturers were allowed to
modify their guns that were not allowed in the ban, so that they could still
sell them. The new bill would ban them too. Any shotgun that has "any
characteristic that can function as a grip" would be banned as would it's
receiver, so the manufacturer couldn't take that receiver, from a Benelli for
instance, and make another gun out of it that would meet the legal
requirements. In fact parts for this Benelli would also be illegal, parts like
receivers or any part that could be used to repair or refurbish this gun. In
other words, if they ban the sale of Ruger 10-22s and you need an extractor or
need a new magazine, you would be out of luck as any part that would be used
for this banned gun would also be banned.
This new bill will, if passed, ban the importation,
manufacture, or sale of many many guns and not just "assault
rifles". It would ban the Ruger 10-22, the Mini 14, and Mini 30, many
semi auto shotguns by Remington, Winchester, Benelli, and so on. Any rifle
that takes a magazine or has a pistol grip or flash hider or folding stock
would be banned. Any shotgun that has any of these features, and any semi auto
handgun that holds over 6 rounds in the magazine would be of interest to the
makers of this bill. Any semi auto shotgun, rifle or handgun that the attorney
general deems "not for sporting use" would be banned.
All magazines that they deem high capacity would be
illegal and the ones that are grandfathered in would not be allowed to be
sold. If a person sells off his guns, the high cap magazines would have to be
turned in and be destroyed. In one place the bill says anything over 10 rounds
and in another it mentions 6 rounds. There is so much lawyer talk in this bill
as to be almost undecipherable. Also though the Clinton gun ban had a sunset
of 10 years, this new gun ban would be permanent.
This ban may not be as formidable as it seems at first
glance. To my feeble brain, it seems that it may well be just too harsh and
too radical to pass. Many of the new democrats just elected ran on a pro gun
platform and are shooters and hunters themselves, so there is still a chance
this abomination may not pass. But be that as it may, and as this is just my
personal opinion, make sure and contact your congressman and let them know you
oppose this bill. This may well be the most important phone call or e-mail you
will ever make.