Coming tomorrow, if this nice weather holds up. Sorry I’ve been drowning everyone in text posts.
I think it’s the scope that makes the gun so freakishly heavy. I think I’ll weigh it tomorrow too and see just how much weight it takes to make my wrist ache for two days afterwards. So accurate though.
Anonymous asked: I'm sorry, I read your post. While I'm against the killing of animal of all species, killing a lion specifically does not help with conservation no matter how you try to word it or twist it. Hunting is not a sport. Keep your guns for things that really matter instead of killing the innocent.
I thought that last post would stir up some hard feelings.
As I mentioned before, the price for a male lion is well over twenty grand, the price for a female lion more around ten. That’s not all just for the outfitter and scouts for the animal - but also for licenses, permits, and other fees incurred by the local government. While these governments may or may not be corrupted (because who really knows?) that is still a lot of money going back into the community. That money can be used for conservation purposes, such as stopping poachers and ensuring the environment is healthy, a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy wildlife population. Unhealthy environment, unhealthy animals. Conservation is not cheap either.
Without hunters spending the money - where would it come from? Have you twenty-odd-thousand to put towards the conservation of African wildlife? Probably not, but there are some hunters with the funds to do so. In fact, a safari is on my ‘bucket list’, along with a Kodiak Grizzly, neither are what is generally considered ‘a cheap weekend trip’.
If someone tells me that they spend twelve grand to go on a big exotic animal hunt in Texas ‘just because’, they’re full of shit. Exotic animal hunting, any sort of hunting, - especially predator hunting - is extremely gratifying and will send your adrenaline spiking through the roof. If it wasn’t a sort of odd sport, most taxidermists would be out of business and people wouldn’t have ‘trophies’ on their wall. And once again, conservation makes those trophies possible both by the private landowners and the conservation department.
Buying a deer tag is no different than paying for a lion. As both a hunter and a taxidermist, I am more than happy to pay that tag fee for the privilege of hunting a deer - that I may or may not get - and grateful for excellent conservation practices that allow hunters to take animals that they are proud of, which then supports the local economy by supporting small businesses all over the country.
The reason hunting is so frowned upon is because it’s so brutal. When you shoot a squirrel it does not turn into neatly wrapped packages like what you find at a grocery store. When I shoot a wild boar, it doesn’t magically turn into pork steaks, it’s still a boar, and I will have to gut it and skin it before I can even consider eating it.
These creatures are ‘innocent’, as you put it Anon, but the practices of the commercial meat industries are far worse than any kill shot could ever be. Are the cattle that make your hamburger not innocent, crammed by the thousands into feedlots, knee deep in their own manure and urine while being crammed with feed so unnatural it would kill them if they weren’t slaughtered? Lets not turn a blind eye to such things, Anon.
Some people claim to be vegetarians but buy commercially grown products that kill god-knows how many animals each year during harvest. Grow your own food if you’re so intent on ‘saving the animals’. You can even do it in the city, it’s no excuse.
I get a deep, personal enjoyment out of a successful hunt. Everything I take is a trophy that I am proud of. A kill shot is a honed skill - and isn’t that the definition of sport, enjoyment and skill?
A+ to Conservation! Without it there would be plenty more disease and unhappy critters running about with declining populations!
I wasn’t able to get a deer tag this year (lack of hunting land) but I will be soon renewing both my fishing and trapping licenses, as my small game permit runs well into next year.
But some of us (myself included) are, and I’d like to discuss why the recent so called ‘outrage’ over a woman posing over a dead lion has rather irritated me.
First of all, this animal was not poached, it was not ‘murdered’, nor was it illegal. It was paid for, much like you can pay for hunting big or exotic game here in the continental US, Canada, or even Alaska (Kodiak Grizzly anyone?) But because this woman is apparently a TV host and tweeted it, suddenly uproar. Even the ‘petition’ to have her ‘banned’ is full of misinformation and failed facts.
To quote from the ‘petition’:
“Melissa Bachman has made a career out of hunting wildlife, for pure sport. Her antics are captured extensively on her personal website:http://www.melissabachman.com/. She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation, this country prides itself on. Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.
For pure sport: Is hunting a sport? Yes, especially paid for. It’s also a necessity for the overall health and genetic diversity of the species. I am extremely proud when I successfully hunt an animal, because hunting is anything but ‘easy’. Yes, I am the one with the bigger brain and the gun, but while I’m setting up the shot, whatever I’m hoping to bag an fly, wander, or run off. I never shoot uncertainly. Some people enjoy football, I enjoy stalking and bringing home my dinner.
Contradiction to the culture of conservation: I myself am a ‘conservationist’, the goal of which is to protect and preserve wildlife and their habitats, ensuring their health, safety, and overall survival as a species. You don’t need to be a hunter to be a conservationist, but you very much can be.
But, hunting is a part of conservation. If hunters didn’t hunt, it would be ‘culling’ instead which apparently is ‘better’ than a hunter making fair game of the animal he or she is after, taking it down, and then eating it later. You could claim that using a rifle is not ‘fair game’ because the deer can’t fight back - but think about that again when one leaps majestically in front of your car and tries to kill you by coming through the windshield.
If there was no one hunting (or culling, if you prefer) deer, the population would explode and overrun an environment often dominated by humans. A single doe has one to two fawns per year - which goes on to have or produce fawns, etc. etc. Deer are a lot like rabbits, just bigger. This same rule can be applied to a wide spread of other species - including lions who will also kill people and ravage the livestock they need to survive. Conservation minded hunting practices ensure healthier populations of wildlife.
Conservation also restricts the over hunting of some species, like what happened to the buffalo that used to roam the plains of America. You can always yell ‘Illegal ivory hunters!’ or ‘Poachers!’ but I’m talking about legal, normal people here. Poaching is a topic for another day. We’re talking about legal hunters.
If you’re STILL against hunting of all or any animals, read this:
Maroi Conservancy is getting a lot of hate mail from all around the world regarding the Melissa Bachman lion hunt. If I can clarify a couple of facts:
Maroi Conservancy is based in the Limpopo Province, 30 km from Musina, right next to the Limpopo Border. We are operating on 8500 hectares. All the game on the conservancy is free roaming and occur here naturally.
Our motto is “conservation through sustainable hunting”.
We do ethical hunting and all meat from animals hunted is distrubuted to the local community. Funds generated from hunting goes towards fixing the border fence that was washed away in the 2013 floods; combating poaching which is excessive in this area due to close proximaty to ZImbabwe and running a sustainable conservancy. We have lost 2 eland, 4 giraffes and numerous other animals in the past 2 months that were killed by spears and dogs. We control our game numbers to prevent starvation of animals.
We have hunters from all over the world and all game hunting is done ethically on Maroi as per guidelines from Nature Conservation.
We had Melissa Bachman hunting plains game at Maroi in the past month. She was assisted by our PH Julious Heyneke. On her wish list was a lion. There are no lions on Maroi as they do not occur here naturallly. We contacted a outfitter in the North West Province and we faciltated the hunt for Melissa. We paid over the monies for the hunt to them and Melissa was tranported to Zeerust. We did not benefit financially by this hunt.
All documentation were in place for this hunt eg permits etc as required by Nature Conservation. The lion was not drugged or enclosed in a camp. It was free roaming on more than 2000 hectares. Melissa is a professional hunter and in no way is she involved in dubious practices.
We are not apologising for facilitating the hunt. As for all the negative commentary towards us, please consider how much you have contributed to conservation in the past 5 years. If you are not a game farmer and struggling with dying starving animals, poaching and no fences in place to protect your animals and crop, please refrain from making negative degoratory comments. It is so easy to judge if you are staying in cities and towns, buying your meat at ‘woolies’ and going to game reserves maybe once a year.
It is a fact, that due to the hunting industry and money generated out of this industry, there are more animals in South Africa than 100 years ago.
Any journalists are welcome to contact us to clarify facts.
A male lion hunt from one outfitter I found in a two second Google search charges $22,000 USD.This is just for the right to hunt a lion that you may or may not successfully bag. This doesn’t include airfare, hotel charges, or even getting your gun over there. Leopards are a bit cheaper at $15,000 USD.
So how does this tie into a gun-based blog? Well hunting is done by many, many, methods - but this lion was taken with a rifle and a good portion of hunting is done with some sort of firearm. Misinformed people who think that ‘killing is bad’ and don’t understand how real hunting works are the ones who are going to yell for more gun restrictions. Think about what has happened in California with the absolutely ridiculous restrictions imposed on people there.
Not all gunowners are hunters, but all gunowners should be informed. Understanding the difference between “legal and helpful hunting practices” and “vicious murder of innocent animals” can and will help you argue for your guns and for their owning and use. Even if you just have a small pistol for self defense, you’re going to want to keep it and not see it confiscated but the Misinformed Masses called it evil because of something like this.
In case you missed my last post, I have my Mossberg .22 rifle up for trade. I’m specifically looking for a .22 revolver for trapping season - and for some mysterious reason, people keep offering me Rohms. This would be wonderful if I was looking for a wallhanger.
I have a rule that I will never buy, or shoot, a gun that I cannot trust. Rohm falls under this category, possibly below this category, with reviews ranging from “Works fine” (I got lucky); to “Wouldn’t trust it to collect dust” Maybe you fire this revolver and entire cylinder simply decides to fly off, which is what happened to one soul who had the horrible misfortune of owning a Rohm revolver. Or maybe it doesn’t, but who knows when it really will. Considering these guns are made out of steel and pot metal better meant for cheap statues of dolphins - I’m honestly surprised they just haven’t spontaneously combusted because someone looked too hard at it.
Amazingly, in my desire to trade my rifle for a reliable revolver has lead me into a lesson of Gun Trading Etiquette
Rohm Revolver #1 - Perfect etiquette
He sent me a photo. I explained that it is a Rohm, and declined the offer for specific reasons. Not being a Giant Gun Nerd, he asked what that was, how I knew, etc. I explained what the Rohm is and where he can find reviews for it.
He was extremely polite and I thanked him for the offer and his time. He did not become angry, abusive, or insulting because I turned down his offer of trade because I simply don’t trust that particular manufacturer after reading other people’s experiences. This is the sort of person I look forward to dealing with when I (rarely) list something. They may not know everything, but they are wonderful to deal with.
Rohm Revolver #2 - Horrible etiquette
Again, I declined the offer on the topic of it being a Rohm and that they don’t review very well. I was polite and brief.
The offerer responds with that he received it when he was younger (later we discover it was free) and that he never researched it, just used it. This is fine! You don’t have to be a scholar on it.
He posts again that it is accurate and that he has never had an issue with it - remember the cylinder guy now - and has shot over 1,000 rounds through it. This does not necessarily say “Selling point!” to me.
Once again, I mention the ‘uneasy reputation’. I’m not shitting on his gun, I’m just not interested in it for personal reasons. I also mention that my trade value is $150. These rifles go for about $150-$300 - condition is everything, of course.
Sorry, but…”I think for what you have your price is a little on the high side, compared to what cheaper brand new semi’s cost”
Because you say “Newer is cheaper!” will not encourage me to trade with you, not now or ever. If you desire a ‘cheaper’ gun, then please go out and buy one. If you do not want my rifle or disagree with my evaluation of it, go away.
My response (I’m getting a bit peeved at this point):
“I got a Remington .22 semi-auto for Christmas and as much as I adore it’s accuracy, it was a massive pain in my rear. I had to take this gun apart and polish it so it would it wouldn’t fail to eject every other round. This gun hasn’t given me one problem and shot in to my desired 50 yard in high gusting winds within five minutes. I spent the rest of the day shooting hedgeapples without a hitch.
I am in no rush to trade or sell this rifle, I don’t need to, I just thought that perhaps someone wants to do some swapping. Walmart gun department closes at 9pm, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to purchase a .22 rifle.
Thank you for your time! :)”
Naturally, I was called a smartass. I was also informed that he bought a Marlin .22 (how many years ago?) for $125 plus taxes. Fantastic! My rifle is $150 with no taxes. Also, in ‘09, $100 was an average price for a 91/30. $130 is low now, $150 is more average in the retail - and even private - market.
I was also told that: “ clean and take care o your fire arm it will function correctly “
Never mind that my Remington is prone to the exact problem described. He asked for the model, which I gave and pointed out that the problem is an out of the box one and not caused by my apparent inability to care for a gun.
This is godawful gun etiquette. Don’t do this please, no one will like you.
Brief update: Someone offered me a RG Revolver - another freakishly crap gun made in the 60’s and 70’s that quite frankly most people are afraid to shoot. I wouldn’t take one of these guns if it was free.
There’s no doubt that I own a lot of guns, especially for someone my age (and a girl, no less). But when is enough enough? I’ve undoubtedly purchased more rifles from my local shop that any of their other customers. In a four week period alone, I put away about five rifles. That’s in one, singular month.
I’m certainly no rich kid petting my trust fund. If it wasn’t for layaway, my gun count would still be in the single digits - maybe one or two. But the sixty days I can easily get the jobs I need to get the cash. So it’s a pretty swell deal for all parties involved. Never have I failed to pick up a gun. The longest one sat was about three weeks, but only because it was a lot more expensive than what I usually buy ($200 or less).
But lets be honest now - when is it to many?
It never is.
I’m one of those people (you can probably tell by what I post) who really really likes those fartingly old guns. I like things from the war era and earlier. I like guns, to put it simply, with a personality. I have yet to handle a modern day gun that has really wowed me like many of my surplus ones have. I have handled many, many, beautiful guns that are very well built with quality materials - but on that same note, they feel more like a tool, a ‘thing’. They don’t have the exciting or mysterious history of, say, a Mosin Nagant. Those war era guns make you wonder. Modern guns? It was manufactured and shipped off. End of story. A lot of newer second hand guns are like that too. They haven’t really been anywhere exciting, haven’t really been used - they just are.
How many 2013 .17hmr Savage rifles do I need? One. That’s it. If I find another for an achingly low price, I’ll buy it sure, but then probably resell it for profit. But things like that tend to not happen ever.
How many Mosin Nagants or K98 Mausers do I need? Crates full of them. I don’t have any Remington built Mosins, or red-letter Mosins, or Finish captures, or this or that. I don’t have a full kriegsmodell, only a semi, and I don’t have one that’s not a kriegmodell at all. As these guns become more scarce, the more expensive they become. It’s not only something I enjoy shooting, collecting, and generally having, it’s also an investment.
In 2009 $130 was considered top price for a 91/30 Mosin, closer to $100. In 2013, $150-$170 is average. The only “$130 Mosin” are the ones you buy by the crate. I don’t ever think they’ll be a thousand dollar gun - not regular Mosins, not really - but they are going up, slowly but surely.
And on that note, I actually do have a couple .22 caliber rifles. I got a semi-automatic for Christmas, one was so ugly I wouldn’t (and didn’t) pay more that $20 for it, and one I just got because it matches my shotgun. The only new, characterless, one is the semi-auto. Everything else is ‘vintage’, they have character and I love it.
So don’t take girls to gunshops, because chances are there will always be something on layaway, there will be puppy eyes and pouting - even if you’re trying to get some more ammo together, you know, to shoot them.
(the guns, not the girl)