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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Confessions from a Stupid Hunter

The "Great Outdoors" will frequently make the best intentioned hunter look like a fool. When you venture out there, you always have the potential to damage equipment, cease logical thinking, lose valuable gear and sometimes hurt yourself. That is just the way it is.

Sometimes "foolishness" can be hazardous to one's health
 as shown by this revolver fired with unsafe ammo.
It will be worse if you were raised in a family with a genetic predisposition to do stupid stuff.  It was a deer hunt in Virginia and rain began to fall. I was very young. Dad and Cousin Jim were showing me the ropes and decided we should head back to the truck until the storm passed. Jim suggested that we could place our shotguns underneath the truck on the ground until the rain passed to keep them out of the weather. Sounded 100% logical to me. 30 minutes in the truck with hot chocolate and coffee turned into an hour and we then decided to head down the road to a new spot. You know what happened next. Yep - we backed over all three shotguns which were now cleanly broken at the stock to receiver joint.

Any company that makes outdoor gear is acquainted with this rule.
 "If you make something idiot proof, someone will just make a better idiot."
Yes, in our worst moments, we can become card carrying members of the Outdoor Idiot Club. (OIC) It was a beautiful day in Wyoming as we were scouting a property for a mule deer hunt the next morning. GPS units were newly emerging as a mandatory hunting accessory and I was pleased with my brand new Whizbang 400 GPS unit. Waypoints were entered and the next morning, I envisioned heading to a backcountry ridge using my new GPS unit much to the envy of my hunting buddies. As we headed back to town for the night, I said, "Stop the truck." I had lost my GPS unit. It was somewhere in those Wyoming foothills where I absentmindedly set the unit down while glassing the open country. I entered the Idiot Zone at full speed .... we now had to drive around the prairie and numerous cow trails in our 4x4 trying to find the last place we stopped. It was hard. (We didn't have a GPS!) Thankfully, I found the unit as the sun was setting and all was well. The narrative in the truck was basically, "Chuck, you are a real idiot."

It is well known that technology can accelerate idiotic outdoor behavior. In the old days, I would head out on a hunt, find a Pronghorn Antelope, aim, shoot and be heading to the butcher. Today, I wouldn't think of taking any shot without first using my Mark 12 Mod 9 Laser Rangefinder. (M12M9LR) The new sequence is find a Pronghorn Antelope at 40 yards. Pull out the Laser Rangefinder to accurately determine actual distance to the animal. Watch the Antelope run off in the Laser Rangefinder. Yep- the idiot guy surfaces once more.

The most popular idiot behavior is placing an important piece of outdoor gear on a vehicle for just a minute. Anywhere on the vehicle works well. Great locations are the roof of the vehicle and the bumper of the vehicle. (We have already covered hazards associated with items underneath the vehicle.) It is generally better if the item is not secured in anyway. That way, when you drive away and your favorite pair of gloves or coffee cup falls to the ground, another hunter will find the item in good useable condition and mutter to himself, "what kind of idiot would leave a pair of binoculars in the middle of the road?"
Yes -- it was me passing through. Hopefully, you will enjoy the item as much as I did.
Be safe out there.  Chuck @ Kodabow