We are living in very interesting times in our country’s history. There is a sustained movement to preserve our country the way it was and there is a movement to change everything. Both sides have dug their heels and threw common sense right out. I was thrilled to be able to attend the NRA’s Convention in Nashville on behalf of CZ-USA. Most of my friends were curious about all the new products being introduced to the market. That part of the convention is, quite honestly overwhelming. My intentions were not to “window shop” but to meet and talk to as many people as I possibly could. I’m always very curious to find out what like-minded folk are thinking. Most of our conversations centered around products but also on the state of our republic, the talk about the potential presidential candidates, the money spent on campaigns, gun rights, environment etc. I would like to touch on some of these subjects and also briefly review my new favorite products.
One of my favorite things to do is to drive throughout our country and celebrate the cultural and geographic diversity. Most recent trip brought me to Southwestern Louisiana to hunt ducks and Texas panhandle to chase some quail. It turned out to be great hunting trip and even better time making friends. People are what make places fun, interesting or sometimes bad. I met, for the first time, real Cajuns and true lifelong Texans. What an honor to spend few days with them all.
The duck hunt
The atmosphere in the United States have improved a lot as far as society’s attitude towards gun owners and the great tradition of gun culture we have here. It’s here to stay and even political discourse will not change that. I have mentioned this fact before but it seems I meet gun friendly people more often these days whether shooting clays, hunting or just plinking. The trip to Louisiana was not an exception.
I am very passionate about reading. It is one of my favorite hobbies, if not the most favorite. The good habit of reading was created at very young age seeing my grandfather to mark off the articles he’s read in daily newspaper so he did not read them again on his cover to cover consumption of information. The fact he read Communist Party daily called Rude Pravo (Red Right) was not important. He did not have access to anything else. Propaganda newspaper, propaganda books, propaganda radio, propaganda TV programming. The good habit of reading was instilled early in my life.
We are very fortunate to have choices. Good, bad and the ugly. It’s our responsibility to sort through them and decide for ourselves. The other morning I went to my favorite news web site (not published in U.S., less bias) and the headline said “Obama to ask Congress for more money to battle Ebola”. The following morning, it was Monday and the weekend was full of real events that could fill newspaper from front to back but there was a half page article in the front section of USA Today about one of the staff writers finally meeting Brad Pitt on Red carpet. Are you kidding me? I know there are lots of Brad Pitt fans out there but half page article in the main section on Monday? Where is the in depth coverage of the job market, the financial situation, the military-industrial complex (air war against ISIS), naming more Tsars in last decade than Russia has had in three hundred years or another incompetence of large Federal agency called CDC? In depth coverage means asking questions we might not like the answers or the administrations will try to avoid answering. I never see enough of it. Yet we know what our “celebrities” had for breakfast.
My first experience was with CZ-USA crew in Riggins, Idaho. I enjoyed it so much I’m going back there to visit Andy Savage and his outfit Heaven’s Gate Outfitters in the next couple of days. The well-proven CZ Upland Ultralight is coming and I’m also bringing the extremely accurate 28 ga O/U Canvasback Gold. There will be another write up about the world’s best Chukar and Grouse hunting. What makes it special is the terrain and the people. I understand this is very subjective opinion but the action, birds, dogs, guides and scenery is hard to beat.
In the meantime the season is on and I’ve gone out to look for birds few times. Some time successfully, some time not, but always returning tired with big smile on my face. I just could not wait for the Upland bird season to open in the West. There are plenty of species to hunt. It just takes lot of work to get to them on most occasions. The challenge only enhances the experience.
I have many friends who believe the ISIS is a big problem/threat to our country and western civilization based on Judeo-christian. Are you kidding? Yes they are violent, ruthless but also just band of ragtag thugs killing in the name of religion. Their numbers do not surpass 20-30 thousand. If we the United States of America should fear them, we completely mismanage what our ancestors left us with. The United States of America, the great superpower that leads by example not by what the polls say. Quite a few people are still alive from the Greatest Generation who lived through the Great Depression, fought in WWII and as soon as they defeated the Axis had to turn around to face The Big Red Menace (Soviet Empire). They did not complain, they did not break, they did not give up. They worked hard; they sacrificed in the name of family, country and faith. I do not care if I offend anyone but to fall a victim to nightly news is embarrassing. The only thing that stops us from doing more is ourselves.
It’s early September and the feeling of fall has been in the air for few days. Perfect time of the year to get out and hike. No bugs, creeks, streams and rivers are running lower and they are much easier to cross if necessary. Upland bird season has started in parts of the west. Deer season is just around the corner. So much to look forward to. This is the time when summer practice is put to good use but I would like to reflect on few new guns I had a chance to enjoy first.
My intentions were to write a blog about events happening in the past couple of months. What I was missing was so called “trigger” to unleash my thoughts.
The moment came in the least expected way. I was driving across wide open western Wyoming where thousands of Antelope roam the high prairie and local sheep herders graze probably just as many heads of woolly, very docile animals.
It is early morning, sun rises over the horizon in the east and to my right I see a lonely horseman on the nearest ridge. I wonder what he’s doing there so I stopped and took out binoculars to check. He is a horse mounted sheep herder looking for lost sheep or two. What I also see is a whole herd of sheep on the other side of the road, behind a barbed wire fence with only about twenty foot gate open to access this pasture. Mind you the pasture is probably few hundred thousand acres in this part of Wyoming. The gate is guarded by couple very intense sheep dogs. At that moment it all came together.
I’ve lived in the United States now for twenty four years and the changes I’ve seen in the last 4-5 are not for the better. The lone sheep herder and his dogs represent our centralized federal government that is constantly trying to increase its power through regulations (EPA), enforcement of taxation (IRS) and their own interpretation of the Constitution (Justice department). These agencies represent the dogs. The President has very good command of these “enforcers” because he is the sheep herder and makes changes as he wishes through the executive orders. read more »
This was going to be practical (not tactical) review of few handguns we tested over past month. Yet I have to comment on what is happening in different parts of the world. We all are trying to be objective observers but it rarely happens. We are human beings, not machines and we’ll always be taking sides. I’m sure most of my readers know where I stand when it comes to our freedoms, our rights and our opportunities. The opportunities are earned. We as Nation have earned them over last two hundred years but not doing such a good job of late.
That brings us to few issues I would like to touch on before the final review of the handguns.
Ukraine has been in the news a lot lately. There is many parts of their uprising we can debate but I’m focusing on just one. This website is oriented towards Second Amendment issues and it’s supporters.
Can you imagine if people of Ukraine had the right to bear arms over the last one hundred years? Stalin’s colectivization policies during the 1920’s and 1930’s led to millions of dead from famine. Hitler invasion in 1941 and subsequent occupation led to almost complete annihilation of all 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews. read more »
January in Wyoming usually does not allow for much shooting. Cold temperatures, wind and snow are not exactly ideal conditions to try out new guns. We had couple good snowstorms providing much needed snow pack for the mountains and many mild beautiful sunny days just above 20 degrees. We spent many of those nice afternoon at the range but I also took full advantage of the weather and got out to the mountains. The first thing I did when I arrived home after the holidays I went to our local Wyoming Game and Fish office and purchased mountain lion tag. My plans were to spend few days snow shoeing in the mountains and look for coyotes and possibly a mountain lion. I do not have the dogs to hunt cougars and chances of seeing one are almost non existent as they are very stealth, but you just never know.
This has been surprisingly busy winter for someone who enjoys shooting sports as much as I do. We experienced many nice, not warm, but sunny days in the month of January in Wyoming. It allowed me to snow shoe through the mountains and spend quite a few afternoons with friends at the range. We tested new CZ handguns and practice our bird hunting skills by cracking many clays. The ultimate experience of my winter happened tobe quail hunt on behalf of CZ-USA in New Mexico.
The quail hunt idea was presented to me by Dave Miller. I could not be happier or more honored to help CZ shotguns get the exposure and recognition they deserve. I would be hunting with Randy Lack and Brett
Browning. Couple gentlemen well known in the bird hunting circles from their appearances on TV show American Birdhunter.