Monday, December 28, 2015

Ugly Sweater 5K

Daughter #1 and I tend to find a 5k to walk when she is back around Christmas time. Two years ago was a Color Run which was a lot of fun but none were going on in this area.
Color Run

She found an Ugly Sweater 5k in Tempe for us this year. The charity this year is Save the Children. Samuel Adams was a corporate sponsor for the run, so my hats off to them for backing the charity.

Yes that is a banana suit along with muscle tights. Our thought was - why not!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hawkins 54 Kit Gun

I mentioned earlier that I had picked up a kit gun for cheap from a fellow whose relative never assemble it. All the parts are there. I am took a few pictures along the way.
Unfinished, ready for 1st coat.

I an using Minwax Antique Oil Finish on this one also. I like this finish as it dries hard but is not glossy.

1st coat

1st coat drying
2nd coat

2nd coat

2nd coat

Quite a bit of sanding was done after the 2nd coat.
3rd coat

3rd coat

3rd coat

4th coat

4th coat

4th coat

4th coat

This is just about where I want to be. I think one more coat after a quick steel wool. and it is assembly time.

None of the brass got buffed and polished as it is planned to just let it tarnish naturally.
Assembled! The barrel is Mud Brown Flat Cerekote.

Finish is not high gloss nor was it desired to be so. This one is going out in the field.

I love the double trigger on this. You can set it so that the final drop is almost a hair trigger. Almost, as I won't set it that far!

Were the rear sights traditionally adjustable for elevation and windage? Hahaha!

I hate the way I did the ramrod. Needs a coat of walnut oil stain and will get one soon. This is attention grabbing and detracts from the overall looks.

I still hate it!

That is a white Cerekote dot on the front sight.

My trusty helper, AJ, has been assisting every step of the way. He actually belongs to daughter #2 who is in Okinawa with her Marine hubby. AJ has become my shadow and thinks that he is also my protector!
Finally got the ramrod a color that looks decent.

Now to get some loads together for the Blogger Shoot on the 10th!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills

I was drawn for a muzzle loading hunt in the Santa Rita Mountains which I have frequented for the last 34 years and have taken a few deer over the years.

Very little sign was seen where I usually hunted that coincided with not seeing much in the way of deer. I slow walked and glassed (not in that order) some of my super duper secret areas to no avail. Where did the deer go? It is no concerning that deer were not seen right away but it is of concern that little or no deer sign ( you know, poop and tracks) was there. Food/water was good in these area. One area I snuck up to the following day was a bedding area that usually looks like the deer had quite a party. No sign - none. I did find sign of illegal traffic in these particular areas. Looks like the illegals are busting the bedding areas on a regular basis.

Nice view out towards the Baboquivari range.


Might rain today.

My usual areas are between 6,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation where you have some nice pin oaks and other goodies for forage. Most of this was on the west slopes. The following day found me kicking around down in the washes and amid the ocotilla. There I found sign and did see a few does. The last days of the hunt were spent driving the Bull Spring Road (not maintained for public use) and hunting Josephine Canyon area. Very little sign. One area where we have camped previously was near the stream and every day deer would walk through camp on their way to water and forage the benches. We called them the 11 o'clock does as you could just about set your watch by them.

I sat a hillside above this area glassing, saw nothing and decided to try something different after a few hours. Coming down the hillside I had to take a leak, took of my gloves and noticed my wedding band was missing. I have lost enough weight that my ring was loose. Crap, I forgot to take it off and put in on my key ring! The next few hours were spent searching without accomplishing anything. Usually, when you are distracted doing something else with the rifle slung, you briefly see a nice deer without the opportunity to shoot. We call that luck - bad luck that is. Did not find the ring or get surprised by that turty point buck.

The next weekend after my season was over, I returned to the place with a friend. We both took discriminating metal detectors and searched the places I had been that particular day. We also searched down hill of where I was on that one steep hillside as a bounce could be possible that could put that ring 20 yards downhill. No ring. I may go back for another pass with the metal detector.

Thar's gold them thar hills but no deer!