Friday, October 07, 2005

The Call Of The Wild

Last night about this time I was tinkering around downstairs in The Gun Room.

It's a small space where I keep my hobbies corralled. I think the last time I thought of "doing something" with the space, it measured out at about ten by eleven feet. Big enough for a reloading bench, some book shelves, a rack for the antique guns that don't fit in the safe, and some fishing poles. Then there's the tech library, the leather stuff, and some camping gear...

Like I said, just tinkering. I purchased new scope rings for my Remington 700 back in September, and after having to resort to a drill press to get the old ones off I had walked away from the project. I finished tidying up, giving a glance at the rifle and scattered scope hardware. The elk hunt is in October - and back in the spring I had even put up a sheet of paper with "October 20" smack over the middle of my main bench, right between the Dillon Press and John Wayne's picture.

This morning my boss asked me if I needed any time off for the elk hunt. I told him that I was going to decide by the middle of next week if I wanted more than the weekend in which to hunt. That's when he clued me in - opening day is TOMORROW.

I work with and for some really great people. I was home by eleven a.m., got the scope mounted by noon, and had rounded up the essential hunt stuff by three p.m. when oldest Goddess arrived home from school. We blazed up to Salt Lake and zeroed up the Remington and my beloved old Swede at the Lee Kay Center - zeroed up quite well, thank you. An update will follow with a pic of the targets.

Oldest Goddess doesn't like recoil. She's got enough discipline to concentrate on the front sight or the crosshair until the rifle's report surprises her, though, and she shot quite well enough for me to be confident in her to hit her mark in the field.

(Tech Note: I have thousands of dollars invested in reloading equipment, tools, and components. And I buy .30'06 Winchester Silvertips in 180gr for elk. Inexpensive, superb accuracy, and they don't have as much recoil as my own 165gr load for deer.)

I do not like opening day in Utah. Something about that first glimmer of dawn coupled with the smell of musk on the wind turns normally sedate Utahns into walk-ons for the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan. We will get into the Strawberry Ridge area before lunch tomorrow and probably just concentrate on getting away from the road and up on a high spot we found last year.

Oldest Goddess drove us part of the way back from Lee Kay. ON THE HIGHWAY. In TRAFFIC. And past a nasty ACCIDENT. I was largely unmoved, except that I caught myself thinking in CAPS when I felt she needed ADVICE.

She's a great kid... who is rapidly leaving any hint of "kid" far, far behind.

Time to round up the rest of the gear and throw it in the back of the Mighty Burb.

Liver and onions for Sunday brunch, if we are lucky.

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