I don’t know if it’s the NRA who has slammed legislation through 48-states, but a buddy of mine up the street has been charged with a misdemeanor.

The heinous crime of this chum?

Well, he lives on County Road 404 and a neighbor of his likes to hunt.

But the catch is, my neighbor has about had it with people ignoring his “Posted: No Hunting, No Trespassing” signs being ignored. So he called the game warden with the latest complaint about bullets crossing property lines. Unless you have specific permission, they are not supposed to.

Game Warden, to hear his side of it, didn’t want to come out because my neighbor has complained many times.

So she mailed a ticket for “harassing a hunter” to him and now, he’s on the Docket for the County Commissioner’s Court on the 29th. The penalty – if found guilty – is up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

But here’s where it gets tricky – as such items do here in the Outback.

His “crime” was committed nine months ago and she sat on the charge until she got tired of enforcing the laws. Word is that there are a bunch of laws that the local Sheriffs don’t mess with, simply because it would mean a lot of extra hard work and other problems (like our expanding meth trade) would not get needed attention. Time and resource issues – but then ain’t it always?

What’s more, now my friend has hired an attorney and he’s hot on the case.

You know, the same exact wording in a Connecticut statute was thrown out last year as unconstitutionally vague.”

Seems even yelling at a hunter is a crime. But then again, game wardens do have a workload so there is all that in the mix, too.

What do you do, George?

Well, we’re blessed. People who own the property across the street don’t allow hunting. And the folks up the hill from us are bow hunters and only one or two animals per year and the rest of the time they manage the resource. Put in rye grass and such – and they have upwards of 150 acres.

“Mostly, I stay inside. When I go out on the property, I carry the AK-47 and several magazines, shot-gun over the back, Glock 17 on my hip and a boot gun along with a cell phone, FRS radio and a ham radio, too…then there’s my TacMedSolutions wound pack and spare QuikClot…why?”

I’m not paranoid, but as I’ve told him before, no one is allowed to hunt on my property, and when I hear people shooting on the lower 16 acres, no problem calling the Sheriffs and complaining about “Armed Trespassers.”

I figure if I ever complained about someone hunting that would open up too much local bias.  But trespass is clear and distinct and we have purple trees and signs galore.

My friends “crime” was 9-months back to hear him tell it. He’d stopped his truck on the one-lane road (one torn up by gravel trucks a while back if you remember that adventure). Yelled at the hunter to keep his #$%^&* bullets on his side of the line.

Now, his read of the Constitution (and he’s been a sworn peace officer) is that you can say anything you want from a public road.

Except in Texas.

Whether it was the NRA or whoever else can pass identical “hunter protection” laws in 48-states, isn’t the point.

He’s worried that Hunters are becoming something of a super-group of citizens.

So come the 30th, or so, we will find out if the D.A. is going to drop a case where the Game Warden sat on the citation months before sending and then seems to have sent it because my friend called to complain again about violations. OR whether this will go to court where it promises plenty of real drama.

You know about two weeks back, one hunter shot another – through the chest, mind you – up by the Volunteer Fire Station?”

No, I hadn’t heard. But that’s instructive, too.

So I came up with a novel idea – and not sure how it would fly with hunters, but Ure’s solution is simple:

Require that people’s eyesight be tested before allowing them to get a hunting license. Have classes of hunting license set to how good your vision is. 20-20 would be an unlimited. 20-30 would be restricted to scopes only. 20-40 or worse and like driving, you hang it up.

Another equivalency I’d like to see would be applying the same blood alcohol level to hunters as drivers. Buzz hunting is to murder what buzz driving is to vehicular homicide.

Since this would be challenged by “gun rights groups” let’s simply require Game Wardens to respond (politely) even if they don’t want to and it’s inconvenient. Generally they do a good job but there are exceptions who abuse position.

We are either a nation of laws, or someone’s getting away with murder – whether accidental or whatever – and strong, even-handed law enforcement when comes to game regs is something we can’t live without.

At least until January with the annual replay of the Tet Offensive ends.

Or, at least it is supposed to.

It doesn’t though. Especially when one of the local “Unsportsman-like Conduct” clowns sees a 12-point buck out of season.

Then? All bets are off.

And you want your orange gear on, the AK, the trauma pack and an extract team on speed-dial.

It’s sad that Texans are not superior shots to sportsmen of any other state.

They do, however, I’m sure, lead the World in ounces of lead dispensed annually per person with this year’s other contenders being Syria and Afghanistan.

Factoid: 30-06 and .308 rounds are nominally good for 1,000 yards. That’s a lot of “reach out and touch.” Even my buddy who teaches Barrett 50-sniper skills goes out of state to find a large enough field of fire – and he’s a Texan! Yes. People’s rounds go much, much farther than they can see. That ain’t right.

Setting out feeders full of corn and drinking whiskey in a “deer stand” waiting for a victim to get hungry is just a wee bit shy on the “sporting” side to my way of thinking. Track elk up in the wilds of the Rockies?   Up from Weston Colorado, for instance…that’s a different story. Bow hunting? Stealth and brains. Taking out wild hogs from a chopper because they are tearing up land seems reasonable, too. Coyotes have to eat, too.

But a .308 at 300-feet with a buzz on and a combative attitude? Uh…that’s a bit shy of the well-regulated militia in the Constitution. And sportsmanship to me infers about equal odds for the hunter and the game.

Once upon a time, meat hunting was reasonable.  But the way costs have gone, by the time you pay the cut and wrap, and tags and ammo and, and… well, you can buy a lot of hamburger and it’s way more reliable.  No telling when you’ll find a wasting disease animal but they’re out there.  Not sure how many buzz hunters even know about CWD, let alone how do you spot it before it presents?  And you’d eat that?

Me?  I’ll take my chances on USDA inspected prime beef.

No quarrel with guns or meat, but we’ll hunt when the stores run out – and so far they never have.

Filet Mignon of beef, thanks. A little asparagus and Béarnaise on top? Sure. But please don’t stand too close to the propane tank in case of shrapnel.

This is Texas, after all.

Home Handy-Bastard Report

Among the many projects this weekend was this pair of night stands, prior to being finished in a chocolate brown. I was going to varnish, but it wouldn’t have gone with “the look” we’re after in the guest quarters.


Paint and grout to follow.

Yes, that’s more of the 89-center ceramic floor tile cut down on the tile saw…

I used some ¾ inch birch on this, but I could have made the whole thing from about 8 2-by-4;s if I’d had more time.

Which gets to an interesting contest: Who can build the coolest piece of furniture for $10-bucks?

That’s about what these would come in with 2-by-4s and a lot of patience at the table saw and jointer….

Go ahead, send in an entry…

Write when you get rich,