Benjamin David

Doubling Down

| May 1, 2020
free stock
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.

Maybe you aren’t invested in the stock market, and watching what its doing lately, you wonder why you would want to be. Or maybe you bought 1 stock 5 years ago for $30 and it is now trading at $8. You could lose your mind, sell, and accept nearly a 75% loss. Or you could consider it an opportunity to buy that same stock again today, at a MASSIVE discount.

Oh by the way, if you want a free stock, or maybe two free stocks, and don’t care to read to the end. Here’s the link. Open a Webull brokerage account and receive ONE (1) free stock! Deposit and get an additional free stock!. Webull is running a really smart promotion where they are giving people free stock for new signs ups, and to share the word about Webull, instead of wasting money on other traditional marketing methods.

I look at investments in the stock market, as long term investments that will pay me dividends. Long investments don’t try to time the market. And neither do I. Except, I do take some guesses as to how I can average my cost of a position in a stock to be as low as possible.

What that means?
That $30 stock is now a dismal $8 stock. On the bright side its on sale for 73% off! If you have confidence in that company’s stock to recover to two thirds of its pre-crisis price you should consider doubling down. Not exactly, and not quite literally though. Check out the example below.

What happens if you buy 3 more of that stock at $8?
Buy 3 shares at $8 for a $24 dollar investment, plus the original $30 stock, for a total investment of $54.
– Effectively you nearly double your total investment in the stock.
– If your stock pays dividends, you’ve quadrupled your dividend payment.
– Your average cost of that stock is now $13.5 per share… Not $30.

Yes its still a loss right now. Your cost was $54 for a market value of $32. However, at an average cost of $13.5 that stock only needs to recover to $19, not a $30 market price to break even. Everything beyond that point is an increase in wealth in the form of appreciation. Also, consider you will now quadruple any dividend payment by having 4 positions, instead of 1. In a normal market, that would be a huge fluctuation, but in an economic dip with massive volatility, and prices at all time lows, its more than likely companies will recover, and so will their share prices.

Everything I’ve mentioned I’ve tried to keep simple. It takes into account a few simplified principles like ‘dollar cost averaging’ and a more fun one ‘Buy the Dip and Sell the Rip‘.

I have a long term investment plan, I don’t sell the highs, unless I lose confidence in a business or investment and move my position to another stock, index fund, or ETF. I also typically focus on buying higher dividend stocks, and try to increase my position by buying frequently, and even more-so when stocks are on sale, like they are right now.

Disclaimer! I am NOT a professional. Nor am I a financial advisor. I am not offering advice, I am offering up my experience, and what I do to never worry about my investments. In fact, with my approach, I see markets dip and I see it as a huge opportunity to increase the amount of dividend payments I will receive for a smaller investment than I would have had to make a few months ago.

If you aren’t investing, get started. Open a Webull brokerage account and receive ONE (1) free stock! Deposit and get an additional free stock!

I wasn’t above signing up to take advantage of a free stock. I also funded it the minimum $100 to get a second free stock. I would consistently be funding and buying through another trading platform anyway. I actually, received stocks that are worth $16, for signing up, and then for doing what I would have done anyway.

So get started. There is no reason not to. Also, take the time to learn. Learn about the businesses you want to buy shares of. Read about dollar cost averaging. View the dip as an opportunity, and take advantage of it.

Stay healthy, and get wealthy!

Tags: , , , | Comments

Fresh Air

| April 28, 2020
Eastern Sierra
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 Eastern Sierra Mountains are a great place to clear your mind and get fresh air amid the corona virus crisis. Aside from truly necessary visits to the grocery store, hardware store, and post office, I’ve been inside my home working.

My workload has actually increased quite a bit during the crisis, and while I am grateful for work, I am jealous of the many folks outside, getting fresh air whilst collecting some combinations of unemployment, SBA, and stimulus checks.

I’d probably be less bitter if I was also dipping my hand in the cookie jar, but I am not. While we will all pay for the stimulus and bailouts, in some form or another, at least some of us will have had an extended spring break on the taxpayer’s dime, whilst others, myself included don’t get that government sponsored vacation time.

I had to get some outside time, so I scouted a large meadow with aspen stands above a peak that I had been interested in visiting, and had previously investigated via satellite photos.

The break made me feel much better mentally, and even physically. My work desk posture is not the best and the consequence is discomfort and dull pain.

Being outside gave me an opportunity to appreciate a time in the future when we will be able to get out more freely. It gave me a mental break from work. It also gave me an opportunity to physically loosen up, as well as get some vitamin D.

Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments

Reloading Ammo

| April 11, 2020
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.

Why should you be reloading ammo? There are a few reasons to be reloading ammo, and if you can afford the upfront costs, you should look into it.

Reason #1: Cost Savings
If you are looking to save money, it will take some volume before you really benefit, but you’ll be able to develop and load high end rounds for cheaper than you could buy them. Range finds, and buying things in bulk or on sale can make reloading ammo more cost effective than store bought ammo. However, cost shouldn’t be the only focus of reloading.

Reason #2: Precision Ammunition
You can produce more accurate, and consistent ammunition, versus off the shelf ammunition.

Reason #3: Availability
You can produce a specialty round that isn’t commonly available, or create a round that is in low supply at retailers

Reason #4: Freedom
If you live in California, you can avoid the ammo background checks and fees. (This is a big perk for me in California, where legislators and idiots are constantly trying to take away or infringe 2A rights). Background checks add to the cost of ammunition, and upfront fees to buy ammo from a store you aren’t on record already is an egregious 20 dollars.

My Big Game Hunting Round. Used for examples below.
I experimented with powders, seating depth, and settled on a load for my 270. It’s a 140g Barnes TSX, doing 3100+ fps and around 3000FPE at the muzzle. It doesn’t recoil badly, isn’t even the hottest load I could run, and is producing accurate results. When I put a highend name brand round with similar ballistics through a chronograph, it performed over 300fps slower than advertised. So even when you pay for a premium round, you may not be getting ammo that is nearly as good as you could create.

Equipment Cost Breakdown(All Available in one stop at Brownells)

Equipment Cost Link
Lyman Press $89.99 Buy It Here
#3 Shell Holder $5.98 Buy It Here
Priming Unit $11.99 Buy It Here
Powder Funnel Free I designed and 3d Printed my own.
Powder Scale $29.99 Buy It Here
Digital Caliper $38.99 Buy It Here
Dies Set 2 Piece $40.00 Buy It Here
Total $216.94

I bought stuff on sale, price shopped a couple other places, even 3D printed stuff, and got all of the above for $172.65.

Consumable Cost Breakdown

Consumables Cost Link
RE 22 Powder 1 lbs (120 rds) $28.00 Buy It Here
Bullets(50) $28.00
Primers(1000) $33.99 Buy It Here
Primers(100) $3.99 Can be bought in smaller 100ct amounts

 

My Specific Example Ammo Reloading Costs
$0.24 powder, $0.56 Copper 140g Bullet, $0.04 Primer, 270 Cartridge(I have a bunch that I’ve saved)
Box of 20 = $16.80 or 84 cents per round

Compare the above to Lead Free commercial round: Hornady Superformance GMX 130g
Box of 20 = $29.99 or $1.50 per round

So for a ‘specialty’ lead free hunting round, my reloaded ammo cost a little more than half that of a commercially available round, but I can be assured of performance, and quality.

My example focused mostly on a centerfire hunting round, that uses premium bullets and a magnum rifle powder, and not bulk shooting rounds. For bulk reloading it’d be wise to read what you can about a turret press, which is faster at creating bulk ammunition, than a single stage press would be. Reloading ammo in smaller calibers like 5.56/223 could be much cheaper, based on powders, and the use of copper jacketed lead bullets.

Tags: , , , , , | Comments

Featureless AR15 Build

| April 2, 2020
Ca Legal AR15
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.

Legally own an evil AR, even if you live in California, just build it featureless! The general rule is no features, no problems. Hence the name featureless. Or you can register your AR for 20 bucks, and be on a DOJ list forever. Or you can refuse to comply, and risk becoming a felon.

None of this is news, but for all the FTGBs(first time gun buyers/builders) out there, this is meant to be a simple breakdown on how to build a featureless, CA legal, rifle on the AR platform in California.

First question that you may have, “But what if I have a bullet button?” The rules keep changing to match the engineering of firearms. Even the idiot politicians and anti-gun lobby manage to trail behind the tech as it changes. Basically, unless you detach the upper from the lower, (IE: disassembly) you are non-compliant. There are workarounds, but why roll the dice with a law enforcement officer within a narrow margin of the law, and/or constantly wearing down your takedown pins.

Keep in mind, these are guidelines, that at the time of writing April 1 2020, are accurate to the best of my knowledge. They are guidelines, and not legal advice. You do what you are going to do at your own risk.

So what the featureless rules mean, is get rid of the following:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher
  • Flash Suppressor
  • Forward Pistol Grip

What to replace:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock This, I must admit is the worst, most stupid part of the rules. If you can’t wrap your thumb around you grip, at an angle under the receiver at the trigger line, California lawmakers are somehow happy. The fin-grip or featureless grip, is the awful alternative. It prevents the safety from being easily accessed via the shooting hand thumb, and creates an awkward feel. What does help is an ambidextrous safety selector, like this one here. Also, when Freedom Week 2 rolls around in California, SHTF and there is complete unrest, or boogaloo, 20 seconds with a standard screwdriver and you can swap that featureless grip with a more ergonomic one.
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock Fixed Stock, because you aren’t getting any taller, nor your arms any longer. Get a fixed stock, or fix/pin an adjustable stock to your length of pull.
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher These are fun for D-bags to use in Call of Duty, but you should stick to Call of Duty if you think you have a practical situation for these. Don’t take that the wrong way, I love COD, but I think we all know who we are talking about.
  • Flash Suppressor You probably aren’t waging an all night battle. So reducing the chance of temporary blindness isn’t the end all for you. Get a muzzle brake, or a compensator. Trade out that marginal flash suppressor for something that will help you maintain control and increase your accuracy, whilst also decreasing your felt recoil. If you ‘need’ some form of stealth, go through the ATF process, get a suppressor, and run subsonic 300 Blackout.
  • Forward Pistol Grip I like a more modern m-lok handguard that’s easy to grip anywhere. If I need more positive contact, I’ll add a completely legal angled foregrip/handstop(AKA ‘commando foregrip’ for you COD couch ninjas).

So skip the CA DOJ BS of registering. Unless you trust they’ll take you off a list later, should you ever get to completely exercise your Second Amendment rights, in the Golden State ever again.

When you are looking for parts check out those who support our rights, even in California, where its tough. (Some links are affiliate others are just because they are great, and may not have an affiliate program). Support them because they are great companies, support our 2A rights, and some are largely veteran owned or operated.

Brownell’s
Palmetto State Armory
Aero Precision USA
Midway USA
AR15 Discounts
AR15 Handguard

Tags: , , , , | Comments

Waterfowl Concealment

| March 13, 2020
duck hunting concealment
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.

Blend In
Camouflage everything. This isn’t just about you and your personal gear, it means your blind too. The best concealment is a natural one. Vegetation or artificial netting, grass mats, raffia, and corn stalks, used to brush a blind, should match the local vegetation. It seems like a no-brainer but think about where you will hunt, and what would make blend in best. Also, work with the terrain. A tall blind set up in short vegetation, doesn’t look natural, regardless of how well the camouflage matches the vegetation of the environment.

Don’t Shine
I am a fan of the natural walnut and black gloss barrel and receiver of my 12 gauge Benelli Montefeltro. But it isn’t the best shotgun for waterfowl hunting. Fortunately, self-cling wraps, like Gear Aid Camo Form cling wrap provide a fast, affordable, and effective option for camouflaging guns, and any other equipment that isn’t well camouflaged. Cling Wraps have an added benefit of variety. Buying a couple of wraps for snowy conditions, grassy conditions etc. give a versatility to your weapon to blend in to many surroundings

Don’t Move
Like a flash of light, movement, even in a blind is a fast way for migratory birds to identify something unnatural is happening. So don’t move more than you have to.

Be Quiet
Human voices aren’t natural sounds to birds. Like a bad sheen, and movement, noise is a good way to scare of birds.

Concealment Equipment Tips
Birds have the ability to see into a range of the UV spectrum that humans cannot. This makes the sheen of the sun on your skin more visible to them, and an obvious tell that there is danger on the a spread of decoys in front of them. Wearing hood, or a hat and mask combination is an effective way to avoid being seen.
King’s Camo® Hood Mask
Hard Core® Men’s ArcTech Fleece Ulti-Mask
Cabela’s Camo Face Mask Cap

Layout blinds are a versatile option for hunting waterfowl. They bascally come in two varieties, a lot of different colors and materials, and a rage of costs.
Framed Camo Pattern Option – $249
Bulk Decoy Club Lightweight Field Hunting Layout Blind – $89 This is the blind used in the featured photo, brushed with raffia grass. It is really light at 4 lbs, and can be used to transport up to 18 decoys, and a tiny bit of equipment.

Tags: , , , | Comments

Duck Euro Mount

| January 19, 2020
mallard duck euro mount
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 really happen to like euro style mounts across just about every animal species, so I did a euro mount out of a Mallard Drake to add to my collection.

Because of the fragile and small nature of a bird skull, they are actually more work to clean than a larger skull.

The 4 step boiling method however, is the same.

Step 1: Cleaning
Remove as much muscle and tissue as possible, then gently boil with dish soap.

Step 2: Boiling and Cleaning
After boiling for a while, use your judgement, remove any additional loosened tissue, like brain, or connective tissue, replace water with clean water and more dish soap, and continue to boil. Repeat step 2 as many times as it take to remove all tissue.

Step 3: Bleaching
Do a last boil with soap, but also add hydrogen peroxide. If the skull properly cleaned at this point, you don’t need very much hydrogen peroxide to get a nice white skull. I personally like to see a tiny bit of color in various parts of a skull. Bleaching also helps kill any bacteria that would cause any hidden or unseen tissue from rotting later. Although this step can be done with bleach, as the name implies, bleach will make bones chalky, and weak.

Step 4: Let Dry
The simplest step, let dry. I let dry in direct sunlight, as this seems to help whiten the skull to a more bright white. Make sure no critters steal your mount at this stage.

Step 5: Sealing(Optional)
I don’t ever seal my euro mounts, I’ve never found a need. However some people will clear coat, lacquer, or even paint white, their skulls.

Tags: , , , | Comments

Bagged a Mallard Drake

| January 11, 2020
mallard drake
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.

Bagged a Mallard Drake. While its not a big deal to a lot of waterfowl hunters who do it all the time, I’ve never made much of an effort to hunt migratory birds before. I’ve spent a few good days scouting, 6 mornings and one evening setting up, hours observing and learning about weather influence, proper decoy placement, and passed on a lot of diver ducks, waiting for a Mallard, Teal, other dabbling duck, or a goose.

After an unsuccessful morning hunt, and a solid day of working, I returned to the field for an evening hunt. I set up my mallard decoys just right for the wind conditions. A lone Mallard spotted the landing zone of my decoys, dropped in like a cruise missile, then flared to land. I took my shot and folded him right at the edge of some frozen ice.

I was rewarded for my patience(something I have very little of) and my persistence. I had bagged my target bird, a Mallard Drake, and no longer felt bad about passing on a bunch of diver ducks.

Tags: , , , , | Comments

Green Teal Duck Hunt

| December 9, 2019
Green Teal Hen and Drake
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.

Its been a while since I had a chance to get out and do any successful wing shooting. So when I harvested a couple Green Teal ducks the other day, I was pretty happy.

After a late start on an overcast morning. I set up a short camouflage blind against a background of tall sage brush, and lazily tossed 6 Hard Core Brands Mallard Decoys into some shallow water in front of it. I used a blind similar to the Ameristep 4-Spur Blind and it was just way too short. I ended up doing a bunch of crouching.

Reflection on Lake

Two ducks down, on a lake with cool reflections.

A small group of ducks eventually made a mistake, and flew in over the dekes. I doubt they were enticed by my shitty calling.

I usually shoot upland birds, Dove, quail, grouse and chukar, and don’t have a ton of migratory bird hunting experience. It’s probably the reason I didn’t gauge my shooting distance too well, and thought the rather small Teal were twice as far and twice as big. I waited longer than I had too and folded 2 birds.

The birds fell into about 6 inches of water, and a friends young lab, after a significant amount of coercing, retrieved the ducks. The commotion on the side of the lake, pushed the ducks off, so we called it good for the day.

Tags: , , , , , | Comments

Eat Jackrabbits

| August 13, 2019
jackrabbit
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.

Can you eat jackrabbits? The short answer is Yes.

However, if you ask most American hunters if you can eat a jackrabbit, the answers are lots of variants of No.

The most common responses are:
“You can eat almost anything, doesn’t mean it will taste good.”
“I’d rather eat boot leather.”
“They are stringy and leathery, and I leave them for coyotes.”
“They are nasty predators, full of worms and disease, and shouldn’t be consumed.”
“My friend tried it once and said…”

A lot of what I’ve heard and read, are the opinions of people trying them, by deciding to clean them after their guts have sat in them warm for a while, and then sticking them haphazardly on the side of a campfire hours later, then being un-shockingly disappointed. While some people enjoy this Neanderthal method of cooking, and it works well for some quarry, I prefer the methods developed over 45,000 years of evolution, and food science to boot.

I’m not going to dive into the species and subspecies science of jackrabbits beyond stating that jackrabbits are hares, not rabbits. They are just like a snowshoe hare, which I personally think taste delicious.

Like cottontail rabbits, and other hare species, they can carry Tularemia, bot fly larvae, ticks, and fleas. The fleas can also carry disease, like Bubonic Plague. Hunting any rabbit or hare in colder months can help reduce some of the insect and larvae issues.

With all that said, the cleanest rabbit or hare I have ever taken was jackrabbit at the end of July in California at about 9,000 feet. It didn’t have a single flea, or tick, and was I completely mind blown.

Tularemia is transmittable via open wounds, eyes, maybe even possibly just normal skin contact, but don’t quote me on that.

So don’t be a jackass(original pre-concatenation of the jackass-rabbit’s name), and wear gloves when butchering any rabbit or hair species. I carry nitrile or latex gloves as part of my kill kit, and use them to butcher everything. I also only shoot any rabbits with a head shot from a 22lr or .22 air pistol to control the carnage, and keep processing very clean.

As far as jackrabbit recipes go, I’ll let you explore for yourself. Hank Shaw’s website, or Steven Rinella’s The Meateater website are a good start. See links below. I will say that Americans should shake the jackrabbit stigma, and embrace consuming them, because they taste pretty good. Granted, if you suck at cooking almost anything can taste like shit, and that’s on you.

I’ve made stews, tacos, braised recipes, and even schnitzel, from rabbits and hares. I’ve even had snow hare in my ramen.

Hasenpfeffer Dumplings
Hare Stew
Jackrabbit Bourguignon

Tags: , , , | Comments