Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back From a Funeral With A Few Lessons Learned

I got back late last night from the funeral of my wife's grandfather. I am exhausted and overwhelmed with work that needs to be done at work and home, but am working to get back into the swing of things with my blogging. I wanted to share with everyone  a few things I learned while away.

1. I love the south and never want to go farther north than Virginia (unless it is for a bear hunt). The funeral was in New Jersey. The press of people, the sense of urgency, and what I perceived to be rudeness was defeating. I know many wonderful people from the north, but I'm not sure how they deal with it!

2. The North has quite a different view of the Civil War than the South. Not trying to be political, but just a funny observation. The Civil war monuments I took note of in New Jersey were dedicated to those who fought in the "rebellion". The monuments down here are dedicated to those who fought "defending their land". To the north it is the "War of the Southern Rebellion" to the south it it the "War of the Northern Aggression." Makes sense that the two sides would see things differently, but I had never actually noticed it on memorials.

Crappy cellphone picture, but you can see they call it the "War of the Rebellion"
3. There are a lot of misconceptions and plain myths believed by hunters. Several of the family are hunters, so I was able to enjoy some good conversation while I was there.  I was amazed at how many untruths are believed by hunters. Take magnum shotgun shells for example:

My brother-in-law was complaining about how bad his shotgun kicked with 12ga 3 1/2" magnums when loaded with buckshot for deer. I tried to explain to him that 3" magnums didn't kick as bad and were almost as effective. 3 1/2" magnum loads, when loaded with 00 buck, only have 3 more pellets and have the same muzzle velocity. "No", he said, "You need them to get the extra range".

Magnum shotgun shells do not give you more range!  They give you more pellets, making them more effective within their limited range. Some magnum shells actually have less muzzle velocity than their 2 3/4" counterparts.  

Another common misconception is that animals cannot see a red light beam. Don't even try arguing this one! Hunters will think you are crazy! Red lights are more effective when night hunting because animals eyes are less sensitive to it and the red filter casts a subdued light instead of a harsh one.  It is a myth that animals only see in black and white, they see a limited range of color much like a color blind person. There is debate among the scientific community about what colors they actually see, but it is generally accepted that most animals cannot see the color red well. Does this mean that everything that is red disappears?  No, of course not. It just appears as a different color, most likely green or blue. So while an animal may not see a red light well, they can see it.

4. Networking is the best way to find property to hunt on. I was invited to hunt on some private land in western Virginia. I didn't ask to hunt on it, it was offered to me after a couple hours of chatting about hunting. This made the difficult weekend well worth it for me.

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