Sunday, December 30, 2012



48 0N 24

     Way before Zero Dark Thirty there was 24. And our post-deer season, post 9/11 Holiday spirit gift from the Audience Channel is a 24 marathon. Jack, Kim, Terry, Nina, Tony, George, etc. are all back in back to back, no commercial interruption, episodes. We got a foot of snow, single digit temperatures, and I've been banished from WSSP for the Holiday week, due to a college application frenzy for Tee-Hoo. I seem to be a distraction, what with my loud voice, pot-smoking, TV watching, booze drinking intrusive nature. So no kid snuggling, bad Tv watching, egg nog swilling, dinner made for me- lazy evenings in my future. No, I have Kim menaced by a mountain lion AND survivalist Kevin Dillion (who just wants company) locking her in the bomb shelter. Erect nippled Kim, fresh from the shower, seems to fit his doomsday prepper fantasy to a tee. But he's really just misunderstood. He gives her his gun, and sets her free. Then Jack and George fly the atomic bomb into the..... you get the picture.
   I got hooked on 24 during some period when i wasn't working and it was the 2pm fare. But this episode after episode orgy is too much to resist. Between shoveling out, I'll watch it all again. All Kim's bad choices in really good looking men. Hot Nina turned into ashen makeup terrorist Nina, who we were all glad when she killed whiny, clingy Terry- the late Mrs. Bauer. Man, this shit is good,
     Mupp calls and I tell him of my 24 obsession and he reminds me how he was on board with Jack from day one. He suggests I keep the 9mm. close "just in case Jack needs you." He's right. I find my pistol in the closet, slide in a magazine and lay it on the coffee table. As much as being banished from WSSP has made me really....really want to crash the girls' party, I don't know how I could now. The wind is blowing, the mercury is dropping and Jack just parachuted from the plane carrying the atomic bomb. George (dying from radiation poisoning) selflessly flys the plane and bomb safely into some suburb way out in the desert. LA is saved. The phone may ring at any minute. It's gonna be a long winter. I'm ready Jack.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012




Hunting season, A Pussy Riot Christmas Party and Christmas are over. This only leaves New Year's Eve to bother with, before the long cold, dark winter sets in. Between all the booze and rich food I'm waking up drenched in sweat, visions of wounded deer dancing in my head. I missed or wounded more animals this past season than ever before. The reasons for this are as numerous as they are varied. Here's the short list: Bad eyesight, shooting too fast, deflected bullets, old equipment, pulling shots, force fields, tree branches, and the worst of all, a nagging suspicion that I may not want to kill anything any more. This one scares me the most. I once stopped hunting for roughly 20 years, between 20 and 40. I don't have another 20 to spare. I don't think I'll stop....just yet.
   The fact is, hunting now sustains my physical, mental and artistic health for a good part of the year. For almost 4 months out of the year (without traveling to different states) I can hunt deer and turkey. Add coyote and you pick up January and February. But I don't think I have that in me anymore. Those months are just too hardcore. As I write this I start to look for the .243 and itch to get back out. That's how complicated this is. I'm torn.
     The one thing I know I must do is go to the range. I sight in all my guns at 50 yards on a rickety table, with a pillow amongst garden hose and paint cans in my back yard. I need the Lynch treatment with both the bow and the gun. And I need to practice shooting the bow from the stand. I've just been too fucking lazy when it comes to these things, and the deer population is paying for it. If I had been able to capitalize on the opportunities i had at killing deer this year I wouldn't be so haunted by the "what ifs?" or "I should've or shouldn't have".
   I know my readership is torn also. I know you want to see me succeed. You root for me to put one on the ground. But I also realize there's a perverse pleasure you take in seeing me fail. What fun is it reading about constant success? If I went out and shot a deer every week and hit all the Victoria Secret runway shows and made friends with all the supermodel angels and had them over to the shack and took them hunting....I bet you'd get bored and stop reading immediately. I know for me it's all about the struggle. Luckily I succeed once and a while just to keep life interesting. The wounded deer nightmares will end and soon the holidays will be over. In the meantime I do have to take down some blinds and tree umbrellas before heavy snow hits. Maybe I'll take along the .243.......just in case.          

Wednesday, December 19, 2012




Season's over. I'm beat up. From Oct. 1- Dec. 18 I've been in the woods almost every day. On certain levels it's been one of the most enjoyable seasons of my life, but on others one of the most frustrating. I killed deer, but I also missed and wounded animals with the gun and bow. Unlike on TV hunting shows, there is no camera man over my shoulder. There is no video to review at the end of the day to see where the shot went. All you are left with is scuffed leaves, hair, blood or just the empty woods and a pit in your stomach.

Yesterday, after realizing that there was little chance of getting on deer by sitting in the wet woods all day, Savage, Old Bob and i decided to spend the last day of muzzleloader putting on drives for each other. We started behind the shack. This time I put Savage on the field edge and walked OB behind the house. My plan was to set him up, then back track and push from "the Russians". As I was pointing to where I wanted Bob to stand he whispered "There's deer." and "My gun's not loaded." All I saw was flags.
I left OB to load his gun and swung around to get in front of the herd. A half hour into the drive and I spotted a doe standing against a deadfall, watching me. I shouldered the gun, cocked the hammer and fired. Through the smoke I saw her duck the deadfall and disappear. My heart was racing, but I calmed down, reloaded, and went to look for blood. I found white hair. FUCK! I'd either skimmed her belly or gut shot her. How? Instead of pushing her, I continued the drive and got Savage and OB to help with the track. A hour later we'd found more hair, but no blood. The plan was to continue the day and come back in the morning. I felt lousy.
   The rest of the rainy afternoon of drives produced more deer. OB shot a nice doe and as darkness was falling one last drive at Paradise Pond put 3 does in my foggy crosshairs. They were headed for the road. So I ran to get in front of them and was able to get on the lead doe. I had no idea where Savage was, but knew he was coming my way. The split second indecision over pulling the trigger was enough to put the deer in motion. I fired and as i did I felt sick. Why the fuck did I take that shot? Shooting when not knowing where your drivers are is the #1 sin in this kind of hunting. I immediately got on the radio. Savage answered. As it turned out he was safely far back and well out of range, but I couldn't shake the nausea. In the words of Buddy Budde "I'm such an asshole."
   At daylight I went back to search for the doe. I looked all morning and found nothing- no hair, no blood, no deer. I have no idea how badly she was hit. But I know she was hit. I came home completely demoralized. In my other little facebook universe things were going just as badly. In an attempt to provoke some meaningful debate on guns I'd posted a photo of an old piece called SWF-LAX Gun Carry. Timing is everything and less than a week after Newtown my so called "friends" were up in arms over this. I'm not one to preach to the choir, so I was predictably taking hits from all sides. I wish I could let this roll off my back, but I'm too sensitive. My motives have been misread and misconstrued to the degree that I feel under siege. My real "friends" sit on the sidelines and watch in silent amusement. OK, I got wide shoulders. Pile it on. Just know that I'm as heartbroken as the rest of you over the senseless killing of those kids and my wounding of any animal. I wish I could just crawl into a hole. But A PUSSY RIOT XMAS PARTY OF THE LITTLE GREEN MAN is this Saturday @ 6pm. No time to mope. There's trees to trim and mistletoe to hang. The herd's moved on. May first is turkey season. I have all winter to see if I can ever hit anything that tiny. HAPPY HOLIDAYS. Hope you all come out the woods safely.    

Monday, December 17, 2012




  Well, as you can surmise from my absence on HWS, things have not been going too well. It's the day before the last day of the season and here's the tally- one doe with the bow, one doe with the gun, one buck wounded with the bow, one buck missed with the gun and a mercy killing with the pistol. I've got meat in the freezer, but the buck misses still haunt me. Long hours in the stand don't help when it comes to replaying missed opportunities in your head. But as the old man taught me- the world hates a quitter. Nothing left to do but keep at it.
    The weather has sucked. Cold dry days turn to wet warm ones. One pitiful snow storm all season and deer movement seems to be at an all time low. There were no apples, nor acorns this year, so hunting food sources has been limited to trying to catch them coming and going to the hay fields. This late in the season you'd be very lucky to see anything in the field. So what strategies are left? Well, there's always the drive.
   Old Bob, Savage and I have put on a few drives over at Paradise Pond and around here, but haven't kicked out much. Bob got a shot and missed. It happens. For the uninitiated a deer drive is when you set up some hunters as standers and other hunters "drive" the woods, hoping to either sneak up on a deer or more likely put one in front of the standers. It sounds dangerous, but with people you know and trust it's completely safe. We haven't lost anyone all season. Plus it's a chance to socialize and bust balls with life long friends.
  Yesterday was our traditional last weekend of muzzleloader day of drives with Mupp added to the mix. We started out behind the shack. I'd just gotten permission to hunt this and thought it would produce. I was wrong. No one saw a deer. Then we went down to push GNJohn's mountain. Mupp and OB stood, while Savage and I drove. We decided to switch it up a bit, and push from the high side of the mountain first. As I climbed the ridge towards a small stand of hemlocks I thought to myself that I hadn't been in there all year, maybe something was......the words were barely forming in my pea brain when deer exploded from those pines like wildebeests escaping a crocodile infested river. There must've been 20 or 30 of them. No wonder I wasn't seeing deer. Every deer in the county was in those hemlocks. I tried to get on one, but the chaos and a foggy scope was too much. They were climbing all over each other to get away. I never had a prayer.
   By the end of the day I'd seem more deer than I had all season. Savage even put a buck in front of me at 20 yards at the Pond. I had the hammer back, but he was only a four pointer- illegal in this county, plus I was shooting towards a house. No shot. Next year he may not be so lucky. At sunset we came back to the shack for cocktails and bullshit. No one had fired their gun. Four experienced hunters, 58 or older had hunted all day, seeing dozens of deer and no one had blood on their hands. But what a helluva lot of fun.
   In the wake of the Newtown massacre, and all the renewed interest in gun control, it should be noted that a gun is a tool. Yes, it's purpose can be to kill....hopefully with one shot. I'm all for outlawing large capacity magazines, assault weapons and any other nasty "people killing" tool. As an artist who uses hunting as source material for my work, my guns are as necessary as a paint brush to a painter. We should not shy from the debate. But lets engage in a logical, practical discussion on how to avoid such tragedies without all the ill informed, reactionary hyperbole. I'll be the first to admit that I have no answers. Short of a S.W.A.T. team in every school, how do you protect your kids from this kind of mania? There's a day and a half left in the season. I also have no idea if, where or when, I may get my shot. I pray if I do get a chance at another deer I will drop him (or her) in her tracks- the LGM willing. That's hunting. I can't wait for turkey season.      

Sunday, December 2, 2012




After missing that buck on Friday, I went shopping on Saturday. Like the bow upgrade, I'd been meaning to change calibers in my choice of deer rifle for some time. I hunted in the morning at Majestic and never heard a crow. If by any chance I HAD gut shot that buck, I would eventually hear crows making a racket. At noon I went to The Market. I knew what I wanted- a Remington or Savage, no nonsense, accurate, light, bolt action 30.06. I settled on the Rem. model 700 with a nikon scope and synthetic stock. This info. is for my "gun geek" readers. It's a sweet durable firearm. I have no idea if it will help me kill a deer, but at least I'm being pro-active. I could've jerked the shot and just plain missed. I'll concede that. But for now the entire staff here at HWS agrees- deflected bullet. New gun.
   Speaking of "gun geeks", there are no larger that Savage Lynch and his father Beaver . Mupp was the one who suggested that I just "bite the bullet", so to speak, and buy a nice new gun for myself. "Do it in memory of the old man." he said "You never sell them. He'd appreciate it." Mupp was right. This being a small community, word immediately got out that I was buying a new gun. Beaver was the first to call. "Hey, young fella, I hear you made a purchase..."  Beaver was full of questions. "22 inch barrel?" I had no idea. He was disappointed in my lack of knowledge, but moved on. "What power scope?" I told him when I looked through the scope things looked bigger. Now he was getting disgusted with me. He made me find the scope box and read the power to him, which I did. When I told him I was shooting 150 gr. solid nosed bullets he was very pleased. Finally I did something right. I didn't tell him it was an old box I'd had laying around in the closet for 15 years. We ended the conversation with love yous, and good luck for the morning. Beaver's the old man now. I sure like his calls.
    The next call was from Savage, 2 (or 3) sakes into the evening. He was very proud of me- his words.  There was some confusion as to which model the 700 or the 7 I had purchased. He was incredibly excited that I had bought the 7. Hell, I thought they were the same. When the confusion was finally cleared up, I could sense Savage's disappointment. He put on a good face, talking up the 700. But I knew he was putting on for my benefit. I probably should've conferred with him and Beaver before buying a new gun, but if I had I'd be lucky to get a consensus before next season. We talked trigger pulls- 3 1/2 lbs. out of the box and no "travel". Check. "You want to be surprised when it goes off." Savage was ever the guru. "Take a deep breath and squeeeeeeeze. Don't worry about the second shot. Kill him on the first. The bolt won't be a problem. And next time you buy shells- 165 gr., hollow point boat tail. " All good advice from Savage and Beaver. So dad, this gun's for you. I hope next time I warm up the barrel there will be a dead deer in front of me.