Friday, July 29, 2022

Obits, Crockery, Pectoral Fins and 25 fps


An obituary that caught my attention 

Douglas Earl Roiter, the last convicted cattle rustler in Eaton County, headed North to Loud Basin Lodge, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Doug was born March 26, 1965, in Charlotte, the son of Earl and Sharon (Powers) Roiter. Doug had many love affairs throughout his life but the most passionate affair took place between him, Little Debbie and Mountain Dew (Sorry, Tammy!). Doug was a lifelong resident of Brookfield Township. He enjoyed everything outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. Doug would tell you that he hated being the center of attention but he was always the life of the party. You could always find him every Sunday grilling in his yard in his underwear and waving at all those who were headed down Sherman Road. Doug worked the majority of his life as a truck driver and was currently employed at E.T. MacKenzie in Grand Ledge.  Source

Breaking crockery

Mark Twain was quoted as saying that if he had known what joys could be had within the bounds of Holy Matrimony he would have married as a toddler rather than wasting time breaking crockery and such.

It appears that the father of Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts) followed Mark Twain's advice.

From the Wikipedia page on Robert Baden-Powell

"Baden-Powell's father died when he was three." Precocious rascals, those Brits.

Ears and pectoral fins

Ralph Ely is the finest hunter and bow-fisherman that I know.

I once asked him to summarize the key to his success. After a few seconds of thought, he offered the following advice.

"A lot of hunters go into the field or walking the river-bank looking for a deer or for a carp. I go in looking for the pink of a back-lit ear or the swirl of a pectoral fin. I rarely see an entire deer, or carp or squirrel for  that matter. The successful hunter is looking for that tiny-bit that is out-of-place."
That advice resonated with me. 

I think we lost something in society when the average Joe needs to have every detail sketched out before they can see what should have been obvious much earlier. Even with every detail known, they want to argue that the carp might be a bar of dial soap, the felon a misguided choir-boy and the fraud a statistical anomaly.

25 fps

People who reload ammunition can be a little bit strange in the sense of believing that some combination of components/technique represents the Holy Grail. Yes, sometimes that applies to me.

For example, we might look at a particular chambering and see that one exotic powder offers a whopping 25 fps advantage over another, more common smokeless powder. Will we sleep until we find a source of that "better" powder?

That depends on how you "frame" your choices. In the original example, the faster load loses 25 fps of velocity in twenty feet. Yep, the "difference" between the magical smokeless powder and the common-as-dirt powder can be erased if the shooter of the CADP can stalk 7 paces closer to his target...or if he can patiently wait until the game gets that much closer to him.

You cannot tell if the animal is 7 paces closer at typical field ranges? Then that 25 fps of muzzle velocity is meaningless, isn't it?

Bonus story

There was a grizzled, old hunter out-west who had learned to reload as a young-un at the foot of an old-timer who had been reloading since the 1930s.

The load was a scoop of IMR 3031 and a Sierra 150 grain Pro-Hunter in a 30-06. It shot as flat as a laser beam and hit like the Hammer of Thor. He filled his freezer as well as the freezers of countless family and neighbors with deer leveled by this magic load.

Decades passed. He never had reason to doubt that HIS load was anything other than a death-ray for killing deer.

Then, one day his grandkid asked if he could shoot The Load over a chronograph. The old man was sure it would clock over 3100 fps. 

Nope. It exited the muzzle at a tiny bit over 2500 fps. Weighing the charge thrown by the scoop (an old -06 case that had been cut down and a length of brazing rod silver-soldered to the base) showed that it threw less than 40 grains of IMR 3031.

The magic was not in the "numbers" that The Load generated. The magic was the confidence the old man had in The Load. That, and the fact that the mild load never caused him to flinch and the bullet always landed where he aimed it.

A modest proposal

Let's de-letter the progressives. Let's start calling them Ogre-essives.

In my opinion, they have not earned the P-R that they get.


  1. I would add to Joe Ely's good advice to look for horizontal lines. There are very few of those in the woods and it is usually the back of an animal. --ken

  2. Most of my ‘hunting’ over the decades has been, let’s call it “professional” and of the bipedal type, but I’ve had some experience all across the boreal. But reloading is almost unknown outside The US (there are universally more restrictions on powder than on rounds. Count your blessings).

    I’ve had some ‘esoteric’ (Oh OK, weird) interests and hobbies over the years. All those ‘specialist’ interests have always had certain commonalities. The vast majority of those interested are dilettantes and dabblers. Of the committed ‘Hobbyists’ (a much misused/maligned term, where most of the real expertise on any subject actually resides) there are always the ‘traditionalists’ (convinced they found the grail) and the ‘innovators’ (convinced they have nearly found the grail). The ‘superstar’ elite performers fall in either camp, but are always talented, skilled, have practised incessantly and … as you say, trust and are unbelievably familiar with the tool(s) they use and are thus supremely confident.

    Skill and experience breed confidence, but confidence breeds consistency.

    I’ve always thought that a true genius is … someone who notices something that everybody could see, but never noticed. I suspect much/most of what we call civilisation is reliant on those rare people pointing out the blazingly obvious (to them) followed by everybody else copying (after kicking themselves for not seeing it).

    “Oh all the world is a little queer, except thee and me, and sometimes, I wonder about thee”

  3. Agree with your last comment in principle. Language is being manipulated and used against us. Guess that means its fair game to use against the groomers as well.

  4. When I was going mountain goat hunting, a friend who is an avid reloader decided he was going to make up some loads for optimum performance for my rifle. I think it was four or five range trips before he was satisfied he had found the best load.
    I was good for minute of angle but I decided I would limit the shots to 300 yards or less, even though I had shot 8 inch steel at the 600 yard range. He was more concerned with precision than speed. The rounds and firearm were more consistent than I was so that was the limiting factor. It ended up I shot the goat at 70 yard after a great stalk after a hard climb. The rifle loads did give me confidence in my rifle, but I could have made that shot with a box of anything off the shelf of Wally World.

  5. Ogre-essives. That is classic. Fits perfectly with the authoritarian *health* mandates, and with the authoritarian *environmental* shytte coming.

  6. Ah yes, chasing loads... the 'bane' of the 'perfect' hunter... sigh


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