JENNY

Jenny was a pretty little girl. Her long blond hair hung down over shoulders and her eyes sparkled with life. They were as blue as the sky. She was a skinny little ball of energy, doing everything with enthusiasm.

At school the girls picked on her because she was poor and they called her a Tom boy as she chose to hang out with Chipmunk, Punky and I to talk about huntin’ and fishin’ rather than playing with the girls. The days she was in school, she was one of the brightest students in our class. But many days, especially during the rainy days of winter, she missed school because the old rundown house she lived in was down a long rough lane that would flood if there was much rain. She couldn’t get out to catch the school bus.

Jenny’s dad was a sharecropper who would become a full time trapper and woods roamer as soon as the crops were harvested in the fall. The old sharecropper house they called home was papered in old newspaper and it was heated with a large wood-burning cook stove. They were poor but Jenny never let that hold her back. She was a woods girl and proud of it.

One cold, windy, December day, Chipmunk, Punky and I were sitting on the sunny side of the school, out of the wind, during recess planning a squirrel hunt for the following Saturday. It was to be a contest to see who could get the most squirrels.

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SCOPED RIFLE SIGHT-IN MADE EASY

Sighting in a new scope on a rifle or slug shotgun can be an intimidating chore. You probably imagine yourself spending an afternoon at the range, shooting up a box of ammunition, and returning home with a sore shoulder.

Believe it or not, you could probably zero in your scope with just six shots or less.

The most frustrating part of sighting in a scope can be just getting your shots on paper. If you don’t know where your rifle is shooting, you don’t know what adjustments to make.

You can eliminate that aggravation by using a collimator or boresighter, an optical device that enables you to put your bore and scope in approximate alignment. Collimating your rifle in this way probably will not put your bullets in the bull’s-eye, but it will put your bullets on the paper.

Boresighters are available from several optics manufacturers, including Leupold, Bushnell, Cabela’s, Laserlyte, and Simmons generally in the $69 to $200 range.

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SKINNING OF WILD HOG MAY LEAD TO DISEASE

There is no doubt about the fact feral hog populations are growing rapidly across the U.S. Based on the number of questions I get while speaking at a deer hunting seminars feral hogs are now found on many hunting clubs and farmlands throughout the country. While wild hogs can be a fun critter to hunt, there are some cautions that need to be understood.

First, feral hogs are opportunists and will eat just about anything. They are extremely competitive with game animals. If deer, wild turkey, quail, rabbits, etc. are the animals you want to have on your property then hogs are not what you want.

Second, feral hogs can carry diseases that can be transmitted to man. This report comes to us from the University of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and emphasizes the need to wear latex gloves when dressing wild hogs.

A 27 year old hunter field-dressed and quartered several whitetail deer and feral hogs after a successful hunt at his deer camp. He was unaware that a wild hog he was cleaning was infected with a bacteria that causes Brucellosis, and that he could contract this and other diseases simply by touching the contaminated meat. Since he was not wearing latex gloves, a nick or briar scratch on his hands or arms would provide enough of a cut for infection to result.

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THIS TWO-POUND KIT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Those who go into the outdoors prepared rarely need rescuing, but when they do it is usually not a disaster story. Most that are lost or stranded in the backcountry of the lower 48 states in the U.S. are found within the first 72 hours, provided they do a few things correctly.

Several years ago I was on a search for a lost hunter who had been missing two days. We found him the third day. It was pouring rain when the smoke from his fire was spotted. Arriving at his survival camp we found him to be very comfortable and, while totally lost, we found him in good spirits and in good condition. He used his survival kit to build a comfortable camp and wait for rescue.

Go on outdoor adventures prepared to spend three extra, unexpected, days in the backcountry. To do this, you need to take with you items that will give you quick protection from inclement weather, retain body heat, enable you to start a fire, provide you with safe drinking water, keep you safe from biting insects and give you at least two methods of signaling for help beyond a cell phone or two-way radio. These items make up your personal survival kit. When combined with your belt knife they give you the edge you need to survive.

The survival kit is important not only for its life-saving merits, but for comfort on those outings when a night must be spent in the woods or streamside, unexpectedly. I have been forced on many occasions to spend an unexpected night or two in the woods, I didn’t plan on, because an outfitter was late picking me up, climbing down a mountain in the dark was too dangerous, a motor conked on my boat, a rain swollen creek blocked my return, etc. Each time, my two-pound survival kit provided me with a comfortable camp. Without it the wait would have been cold and dangerous.

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