Thursday, June 20, 2013

on bows and raffles

It's a crisp cold night out, and will be still in the morning. However it has been determined that the lemmings will only fling themselves into the sea on Saturday. So tomorrow, among the writing of words and the doing of various other chores, there will be a re-arranging of space so the snout of the blue ute (where it leaks) can get into the second carport, and Barb's car can get into the first one. This involves moving my gun-sighting table, so that had to be done today. I found the front mount was not as tight as it could be. It is now. If it has to come off it may be interesting. So: much hefting of stuff done today, and still more tomorrow. And then more later, because all of this is temporary measures. I like to put things and leave them be. If I enjoyed house moving I'd be a professional mover.

Oh, we on a raffle - Barbs takes tickets religiously (no not just on Sundays) and on the island winning is not merely very very improbable. We got some lovely lemons and honey out of it and some muttonbird oil ointment, and some nice cards, and a bottle of wine and other bits and bobs. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket, only there are more than 700 people in those...

Barbs asked our local copper about hunting with bows - Only pigs and rabbits!(no rabbits here, TG) may be shot with a bow. Not even the other invasive animals and birds, or declared vermin. This comes under the 'nutty Tasmanian greenie rules' because maybe some other gung ho person wants to shoot something he may well not kill outright with a bow and prove themselves braver than thou, not me - wild pigs are dangerous and not easy to kill outright with an arrow (and I believe in that). Hell, Fairy would eat me if she had a chance. She took a nip at me this morning, and I feed her and scratch her. I am all for shooting the pigs, but at considerable range, with a decent calibre rifle. This is not a game (for me, anyway), its food, and they play havoc with the fairly fragile flora on Strzlecki.I'd say they'd be better for shooting the smaller animals which could not merely be wounded. Apparently you can get a licence to own a crossbow (which our friendly copper thought a great idea for her) - but seriously I think the arrows and quarrells would cost far more than bullets, aside from the legal issue and expense ofgetting it. So: While I thought it might be practical, if you could recover most of your arrows, it's not.


  1. I agree with your thoughts on this.

    I won a bow hunting trip, along with several other fellows, to a hog "hunting ranch" in Arkansas. It was interesting in the Chinese sense of the word. There are two forms of hunting I will never do again:bow and black powder.

    Since it's currently not the end of the world there is no reason to risk self or waste game with primitive weapons. Nor is it reasonable to spend $300.00 on a pellet rifle that can kill rabbits when for that same amount of money you can buy a good .22 and several thousand rounds of ammo.

    1. well, right now it is rather hard getting .22 ammo. and the prices are sky high ($80 for a "brick" of 500 ... if it is in stock ... the ammo situation right now is nuts)so the air rifle is not as over priced as it sounds, and a simple Webley & Scott .22 or .177 with a scope will do the job on rabbits and certain birds for about $140.00.
      Pigs on the other hand ... I myself would hunt them with a bow (if my damned shoulder was working well again) but some of the things here in the USA have been Euroed (russian wild boars seem to have been introduced into the genes, or they are "devolving" into that style of animal, possibly both of these is happening here) and the things are just mean as all get out, fight so much there is a plate of armor over their engine room (bow shots, and some caliber of guns need certain angles to be assured of penetration), and are in dire need of being reduced in numbers (like say totally exterminated), so a rifle in a decent caliber would be preferable, though a shotgun with a sabot slug would suffice (especially in more populated areas), autoloading or pump action preferably.

      I keep forgetting Dave is also dealing more with the Taz greens than the Aussie worry warts. Tazzie greens are some of the silliest fools one will find. But actually a poorly placed shot from either in a pig is bad news, and actually except for ones in the plate armor, a bow shot is likely to kill the animal faster than a bullet wound as poorly placed as good sharp head does greater damage than a bullet pass through. Back in the days when my Dad hunted both rifle and bow (we needed the meat almost as bad as Dave) his deer rarely went more than 25-30 yards, no matter if bow shot or gun shot. It's all in the placement, and the bow takes more work for that. He and my uncle have gotten to favor head shots with a small rifle. They're not worried about a trophy and a miss usually leaves the animal uninjured so the Wolves or Mountain Lions don't get an easy meal.

    2. And I thought I was being ripped off paying $25.00 for a brick at Dicks.

    3. $88 on the island (about $80 US). I can still get a brick for $55 on the mainland. The thing is, we're pretty much in the very very historical US situation (like when the first hunters came over the land-bridge) with wallaby. I am not a good shot, but at short range, dead-rest, with the rifle sighted and the target standing still(as they do), even the most useless marksman doesn't miss that often. Like those early Americans, if it is not an easy shot, I give it away most of the time. There will be another. And there really isn't any major purpose served in killing more than I need. I've just finished 4 boxes of the first brick I bought, and that includes sighting before I worked out the bench rest. I'm quite light on ammo and that probably works out at about 5 pounds of meat (not bone) per shot. We're poor, but not quite where 3.2 cents a pound is too pricy :-) Right now a hunting bow -not arrows - here would cost around $1000. I just don't have that spare, and at 3.2 cents it's going to take a mountain of meat before it pays better dividends -and that is what I do it for. Bows... It's an experiment I wouldn't mind trying once, on someone elses's money. For birds and, if need be the pig (as the back-up man, with waxie in the second barrel, I think, let someone else shoot it, with something bigger)I have enough 12 bore reload for a... while, and it works out at about 18 cents a shot. My friend the bargain spotter got me a load of extra shot too - from the metal scrap merchant, still in its original bags. I have about 60 kilos of shot of various sizes. Actually the only thing that is just too expensive to use is the 410. That's over a dollar a shot.