Do you enjoy reading books? I do! Books and especially hunting books have always been special to me. That’s one of the numerous reasons I started collecting books many years ago. In my office, at last count, I have about 500 hunting books. I started collecting hunting books, especially those written by my heros long before there were such things as e-books! In recent years when it comes to books, collecting them or even reading books, things have really changed with the advent of Amazon, e-Bay and other similar sources as well as the afore-mentioned now, e-books. Back when I first started collecting books I frequented used book stores, gun shops, antique stores, religious book stores, as well as visiting with various book finders to help me find specific titles. Too I bought a fair number of new books from such places as the then Outdoor Life Book Club, Winchester Press and similar sources.
“Getting ready to go to Australia?” asked Tim Fallon. Then before I could answer he continued. “You coming up to the ranch to shoot?” queried Tim knowing I normally made certain my firearms were properly sighted-in before heading out of on a hunt at his FTW Ranch/SAAM (Sportsman All Weather All Terrain Marksmanship) ranges.
“Not this time. Ruger has kindly sent a .375 Ruger, Ruger Guide Gun, and Hornady has already sent appropriate ammo as well. Got a message from the outfitter we’re hunting with that all has arrived and will be waiting for me when I get there. I’ll take a Zeiss scope with me, mount it when we get to camp. I’ll pull the one off my personal Guide Gun. It’ll be interesting to see how close it will be to zero when I mount it on the new rifle. I’m going to be shooting 300 grain Hornady DGX as usual. I’ll take a 2-8x Duralyt. Really like that scope, as you well know!”
“Actually I’m going to Australia to speak to a group of manufacturers and sporting goods dealers as well and attend the Australian version of our SHOT Show. Part of my agreement for doing so is that I go on a buffalo hunt while there. I’ve long wanted to hunt Australian buffalo. So after we finish what I need to do in Sydney we’re flying up to the Northern Territory. Always wanted to go to “the land down under”. As you know I’ve hunted in New Zealand, but never have been to Australia! I’ve been trying to get ready a little at a time.”
I was between trips and had all but caught up with writing and other assignments. Finally, I could go spend a few hours at our Los Cazadores Hunting Headquarters (www.loscazadores.net) in Pearsall, Texas. About eight or so years ago a couple of friends and I bought the Los Cazadores Deer Contest, then based out of Cotulla. A short time later we built and opened a very nice store on the frontage road of IH 35 in Pearsall. Some time later we expanded and opened a gun store. I enjoy working the gun counter and I was looking at some of our latest acquisitions, new and what had come in as trades and consignments. I’m always especially looking for Ruger Number 1s and Ruger Blackhawk revolvers.
“Pssst!” Hesitation, “Psssst” came a hissing sound from behind. Ever so slowly I turned to look back at my cameraman. He raised his hand and poignantly pointed at the narrow cut through a stand of evergreens and underbrush in front of us. I nodded an affirmative and mouthed, “I know!” For the past minute I had been watching a blonde black bear cautiously making its way toward the bait barrel, stopping occasionally to stare in different directions and test the wind, obviously concerned about being “confronted” by and older more dominant bear. The manner in which it was approached I felt assured it was a younger bear.
The day before I had walked to where the bait barrel was placed on its side. I picked out a limb next to the barrel which would give me an indication as to how tall a bear was when it ate from the barrel. The limb was about 38 to 40 inches above the ground. The region I hunted had a history of producing some really huge black bears and I was looking for an old mature boar that would stand tall. The blonde did not measure up.