With November a day or two away more and more folks are getting ready for hunting season. Here in Arizona and in several other states the hunting seasons are well underway. We have an early bull elk season that usually runs the last week of September. About that time the black powder season and archery season are either beginning or are already underway. We have 6 or 8 seasons here, for Mule Deer and Whitetail, cow and bull Elk, bear, Lion, Bighorn sheep, Javelina and a lot of small game. The only hitch to that is except for Bear, Lion and small game you have to get drawn, which is iffy at best. In the 19 years we have lived here, I have been drawn for bull elk twice and Colleen 3 times. With the big record book bull elk coming out of Arizona each year everyone puts in so the success ratio is low. Unfortunately many of the anti hunters put in also and an equal amount of them get drawn too. Then they make a big deal about it while they burn the tags.
Back east the deer seasons always started the weekend of Thanksgiving and was a time to be anxiously awaited. At the time I was living in Tennessee we were allowed 4 deer a day during the season and they were so abundant that getting 2 or 3 or even 4 in a day was possible. I got 3 in one day a couple of times.  Then the problem of getting them back home and the processing, which took all night, still faced me. The abundant deer population had itís good points and bad points. Some states like South Carolina, and Florida have an enormous amount of deer and the bag limit is almost non existent. A lot of folks I know here have friends in the Southern states and travel there each year and hunt there due to not getting drawn out here.
Our small game seasons here are a fun time. We have the Kaibab Squirrels and Aberts Squirrels, each of which are the size of a house cat. They tend to go to the top of a Ponderosa pine and shout obscenities at you.  A good 22 Magnum is the cartridge of choice for them. We have jack rabbits and cottontails both out here and they are considered varmints, huntable all year. Although for eating purposes, the best time is after the first few good hard freezes.  Up here at high elevations we donít have quail, but do have Blue Grouse. The bad side of that is they usually hang out at elevations of 10,000 feet or just a bit above.
While on the subject of hunting, our most recent HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) is now history and it was a really great hunt. The weather cooperated and we had 41 or 42 hunters there, according to who did the counting. Kase took a real nice Red Stag with a long shot thru some heavy, dense, woods. I was looking over his shoulder and couldnít even see the animal. The stag was lying down under a rock overhang and blended in with the shadows of the rocks perfectly. One shot with his 378 GNR did the trick.  Alan had a Yak that was causing trouble and they asked me to have a talk with him. He had run a lady off the hill, who was filming her husband sneaking up on a hog. Afraid that he would hurt someone, they decided he needed a good talking to. One shot with the 41 GNR calmed him down considerably. There were a lot of really nice trophies taken that weekend and a good time was had by all. The next one will be in March, good Lord willing, and I will get with Alan at the lodge in the next month to 6 weeks and set the date for that one.
I have noticed a trend in the gun industry recently. During the mad rush to buy AR-15s and semi auto pistols, several gun companies dropped a few guns from their line up. Now that the rush is over and there is a glut of AR-15s on the market, some of the gun companies are announcing that ďdue to popular demand, they are bringing backĒ certain guns. That is good in a way as some of these guns were great guns and didnít need to be dropped, no matter how much they needed to sell more AR-15s. By the way, you did know that we are not supposed to call them AR-15s anymore, right? That might offend. The cowards in the industry who are afraid to stand up for what is right have come up with another name for them. Henceforth they are to be known as Modern Sporting Rifles. Several years back, we could no longer call them ďassault riflesĒ as that might piss off someone (a liberal no doubt). So now to be even more politically correct the term shall be Modern Sporting Rifles. People that have no balls really get under my skin. That is like all the ammo companies coming out with no lead ammo. There has never been any proof of any Condors or any other endangered animal dying from ingesting lead that was in a carcass. The government, in their anti gun and anti hunting maneuvers have threatened and the ammo companies, instead of telling the feds to kiss off, caved in and ran screaming to Mama with their tails between their legs. Unfortunately it isnít just one or two companies doing this that we could boycott. It is the whole industry.
If you cast your own bullets, now is the time to gather up as much lead as you can. With the feds behind the shutting down of the one main lead smelting plant in the country, lead is going to be harder and harder to get and more and more expensive. Become friends with your local tire companies and grab up all the wheelweights you can find. Offer to buy them from them. Donít be cheap and ask for them free. Pay your way. In most cases if you ask to buy the used wheelweights, they will respond positively. Stock up now while you can. If you have a small local range in your area, see if they will let you reclaim some of the lead in the berm. We shoot a lot of ammo testing our custom guns and I reclaim all of it to melt down and cast the bullets for future shooting. We have sort of taken it for granted that the lead would always be here, but tainít so. The do-gooders are winning this battle. Get it now while you can.
Off my soap box and back to the topic of guns returning, the Ruger Red Label is back. This fine over/under is one of the best on the market and priced right. From what I have been told the 12 gauge is the only one returning, at least for now. I have a 20 gauge and my new 28 gauge Red Labels and they are two of my favorite double guns.  Ruger is also bringing out a new ďModern Sporting RifleĒ. This one is in 308 and is called the SR762. I have not had a chance to handle or shoot one yet but if they are like the Ruger SR556, it will be a jewel. The price may slow down some sales at well over $2000, but for those that want a quality 308 semi auto, that wonít slow them down. Again on the subject of Ruger, the 50th anniversary of the 10-22 is right around the corner and I am told there will be some very special models coming out to celebrate this event.
I mentioned last time that some of the Springfield Armory XD-s pistols had been recalled. Now it looks like all of them have in both 9mm and 45.For more info go to www.springfieldrecall.com and follow the instructions.
Winchester has a new pump shotguns out for slug gun users. Normally slug guns are like carrying around an RPG, heavy and cumbersome. The new Winchester Black Shadow pump gun is sleek and weighs about half of what several of itís competitors do. A  really nice looking and feeling slug gun. The price is more than reasonable too at well under $550. On the subject of shotguns, if you are looking for a well made home defense or hunting shotgun without all the expensive frills, check out the Stevens 320 shotguns. Available in both home defense and hunting models these are really nice shotguns. They both have the rotary bolt, dual slide bars and 6 round capacity. Plus they have the Savage/Stevens warranty that is second to none.
A few years back when semi autos were pretty much banned all thru Europe, Walther made a deal with S&W. S&W got the semi autos and Walther got the S&W Model 19 revolvers. Since then S&W has been making the great little 380 PPK pistols along with handling the sales, service and distribution of all Walther pistols. . Walther has now formed Walther Arms Inc and is headquartered in Ft. Smith Arkansas. S&W will continue to make the PPK for Walther and Walther will continue to make the S&W P-22 for them.
Speaking of Arkansas, Remingtonís big ammunition plant is slated to begin work on a large expansion in their ammo plant in Lonoke Arkansas by next spring. Several companies in this industry have chosen southern states to relocate their plants due to the right to work and anti union status of these states. Smart move on their part.
Years ago, during the Bill Clinton years S&W got a bad rap when they agreed to some anti gun conditions Clintonís stooges came up with. They did this to stay in business but overnight became the pariah of the gun industry. A lot of folks that had been S&W fans before this overnight became haters of the brand. This hurt the company big time. At the time they were owned by a company named Thomas Industries which was based in England and made toilets. Obviously this didnít help S&W either, but the ownership was so used to caving in to the government concerning gun rights that it seemed the thing to do to them. Eventually S&W pulled out of this stigma and new owners a few years later helped a lot. A research firm recently conducted a big survey and S&W was named one of the most patriotic brands in the U.S. They were the only firearms company included in the list of patriotic brands.
Recently in one of the gun magazines the writer was going over guns for Alaska and recommended the 10mm Glock for Grizzly or Brown Bear and suggested that the person hunting or hiking also have along a good (Brand X) knife or (are you ready for this?) a tomahawk. He said the killing power of a tomahawk was highly underrated and the Brand X knife was great for close range grizzly. I can think of several things I would recommend other than a tomahawk, one being a good pair of running shoes. But if I am in grizzly country you can bet I will have something other than a knife or tomahawk. That writer must have been paid very well to write that.
Thatís it for this time. next time we will get into guns and gear for Christmas giving, (yep, it is just about 7 weeks away). Oh yes,  remember...Modern Sporting Rifle...No more of that AR stuff. That might offend someoneís sensitive side. Til next time, take a lady or youngster shooting. They are our future.
God bless,