Rod & Gun


Of all the interests I hold dear, the one (or several, depending upon how one defines it) that has had the longest thread throughout my life has been the classic genre of outdoor sports - hunting, fishing, shooting, and their sundry related activities. They remained a guiding light throughout my youth. I avidly read Sports Afield, Field & Stream, and Outdoor Life every month; joined the NRA during junior high; read every book on guns or hunting I could get my hands on; and aspired at one point to be a trapper. Yeah, I know - shows how different times were back then. Or how romantacized the notions of a kid can be.

Alas, with age and responsibilities (and, admittedly, other interests as well) comes a dearth of time. I don't get out to shoot or hunt or fish nearly as much as I'd like to. But they remain very important to me.


2013 Bolar Draft Hunt Camp

A few images from this year's hunt camp. Hunters this year were Ben Stephenson, Bob and Bill Lacy, Stu Rhodes, and myself. Holmes Stephenson stopped by for supper and the meeting on Tuesday night. The landscape shot was of Lake Moomaw right at sunset. The image of the burned buildings is of the fire in Marlinton a couple weeks ago. And the several mural shots were taken in Richwood and Marlinton.



Of 3-Weights and Brook Trout and Time Lost

A return to fly fishing. This was originally published on my blog (July 28, 2010). I wanted to also post it here on my main website in order to retain its accessibility.



2005 Bolar Draft Hunt Camp - HTML (regular web viewing)

Here are a handful of black and white images from our 2005 hunt camp. We had no way of knowing that things would soon never again be the same. A couple weeks after the season ended two brothers burned our camp down. They went to prison. And we were left with figuring out how to get a new camp built.

And in a few weeks Brad would take his own life.

I'm not sure what the message is, except maybe that everything passes. Appreciate them while they're here.



The Splendid AR-15

Rifles have always been special to me. I know it's a quaint viewpoint in this day and age, but I still hold in high esteem a man who is able to pick up a rifle and hit what he aims at. Most of my rifles are hunting style guns. But I also very much like military style weapons. And of late I've been rather smitten by the ageless AR-15 platform.

Here are a few shots from an afternoon sighting in my Colt LE6940. I put a Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) in a LaRue quick-disconnect mount and installed that. I loaded a 30-round magazine with M855 rounds (that's the current standard U.S. military load), walked off 25 yards, and made sure I was on paper. I then measured off a 36-yard distance and quickly dialed in the load. Why the odd 36-yard distance? Well, 36 yards equates to 33 meters and uses the same point of aim as the 300-meter cross hair in the ACOG when using M855 (or a round with comparable ballistics). It's a field expedient way of quickly getting the scope in the ballpark.

Once done with that I then picked up my gear and moved to my measured 100-meter distance. After tweaking the M855 rounds at that distance, I finally put in a magazine of Black Hills 75 grain OTM (open tip match - a type of hollow point) rounds. The Black Hills stuff is very good ammo.



2008 Bolar Draft Hunt Camp - HTML (regular web viewing)

I missed the last two hunt camps - the first time I hadn't been there in the 25 years I've been going - and so getting back this year was especially nice. The new camp, rebuilt after the two local ne'er-do-wells burned our old camp, is even nicer than before. And it was great seeing my old hunting buddies.

We had eight hunters in camp - Ben Stephenson, Holmes Stephenson, Bob Lacy, Bill Lacy, Jon Lester, Stu Rhodes, Jim Gleason, and myself. Craig Gleason came down early but had to leave because he wasn't feeling well. He came back late in the week, but didn't get an opportunity to hunt.

A special treat was a midweek visit by Roscoe, Stevie, and Tom Stephenson. I had never met Roscoe, but had heard much about him. And Charlie Mitchell and Jim Stephenson didn't hunt, but came up for the meeting on Tuesday night. It was good to see everyone.

We had a dusting of snow early in the week, which changes the hunting a bit. Still-hunting is harder because of the crunching sound each footstep makes; but also interesting because tracking is so easy.

Holmes went home midweek to check on his livestock and killed an 8-pointer that picked that inopportune time to wander out in his field. And the hunting gods smiled on me when they sent a 5-pointer in front of my rifle, while I was hunting the ridge between Railroad and House hollows.


2008 Bolar Draft Hunt Camp - Flash (slideshow)

The same images as above, but rendered in Flash. Use this link to view them as a slideshow.