Bear Hunting Woes

| September 30, 2018
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

The deer and bear hunting season started, and we’ve failed so far. Sure we kicked up a few good sized does, and if it was an antlerless hunt I’d have tagged out with my un-scoped CZ 557 Carbine 270 Rifle pretty quickly.

But its not antlerless, and it will take a few more hours and a few more miles to tag out on deer. Unfortunately, the bear hunting isn’t going a whole lot better than the deer hunting. Tons of fresh sign, and lots of foot traffic havent turned out a bear yet.

A good sized black bear did wake us up before shooting light one morning, by shaking the car. It was investigating our ‘tent’, my 2003 Dodge Durango, by standing against it and sniffing through the mesh window screen/covers we leave over the windows. It was only inches from my face, before realizing we were in the car and spooking.

We were unable to track the bear a little later during the morning shooting light. The mesh window covers by Qualizzi work well for keeping out insects while letting fresh air into the car, but obviously aren’t much protection from a bear. Photos of bear prints on car aren’t super easy to see but I posted a picture anyway.

The following morning I was prepared for a bear visit, but we weren’t revisited. Frustrated I moved to a small meadow a couple hundred yards away, posted up in a concealed place where I could maintain some visibility, and started predator calling. I didn’t get my bear to come in, but the call worked really well to bring in waves of coyotes. Almost too well. One large yote approached to just a few yards away. I stopped calling and wrapped up the morning.

I’ll definitely try to spot and stalk, or just kick up a bear by putting in the mileage, but I’ll definintely be trying the calling approach again.

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Leather Ammo Pouch

| September 28, 2018
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I put together a nice leather ammo pouch to carry around my extra 270 ammo. I wanted one for a lot of reasons, tossing them in a pocket was dirty and disorganized, as was the case for tossing them in pack pocket, they made noise when loose, etc.

The design process is fairly simple, and making a pattern for a box the size of a cigarette pack isn’t inherently difficult. I made a pattern out of heavy paper, about the weight of a really light card stock, cut, folded and tested the size out. My design has no stitching visible from the front or sides for a neater cleaner look. I cut a block of wood the size of the internal cavity, and slapped together a small jig/press out of scraps. I cut my ammo pouch from one piece of leather per my template/design.

Right or wrong, when I work with leather I almost always mist the leather with a mineral free or purified water, put the leather in a jig/mold and let dry under some light pressure in the jig/mold, in a warm dry place. Even with a light weight leather, and hardly any water saturation, this helps hold the shape. Over doing it on the saturation of the leather will cause the leather to shrink, and ‘harden’. The goal isn’t to remove all the oils and turn it into a board, but that is what will happen if you aren’t careful.

I then spent an evening watching some episodes of various bullshit wilderness and survival ‘reality’ shows on Discovery, Nat Geo, and the like, whilst drilling out stitching holes with my vintage eggbeater hand drill, then cross stitching everything together with some waxed thread and Tandy leather working needles.

The angles were tight and a less pliable leather wouldn’t have allowed me to stitch such tight angles on a small leather ammo pouch so easily.

The ammo pouch was nice, but a little soft. The soft leather on hand that I used, wasn’t my first choice, but its what I had, and so I used it. To get a little more rigidity, I created a poly-type plastic insert. Its the same thing as the template, but trimmed to be slightly smaller. I couldn’t tell you exactly the material, or plastic type, because it was made from a dollar store place mat, as it was more economical, less work, and faster to get than a sheet of kydex. It also has a hip pineapple print in a color that works well with the brown leather.

I added a couple grommets, in the event it got submerged help it quickly drain, but mostly for aesthetics. I added a snap, trimmed the lid shape, and wax treated the whole thing with SC Johnson Fine Paste Wax

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