unnatural selection

I spent last weekend and part of this week reading and watching air rifle video reviews. I'm glad I did this because I learned a few things that wound up changing my mind (again). Although this time the change was to get  a .25 caliber version instead of a .22. The larger pellet will put down a target in a more authoritative way. It's not that the death twitch bothers me, but with less twitch there's less lactic acid in the muscles at time of death. This helps reduce some of that gamey taste. The other thing is with a smaller caliber comes the need for a more precisely placed shot. I'm a little rusty and not that good, not yet at least. Picking out the right scope and pellets wasn't hard since most of the reviewers all gravitated towards the same ones for the model rifle I am getting. That was it, I was done researching and ready to buy.

Benjamin Marauder .25 Caliber Air Rifle

Wednesday night after work was the day/time I had set to make the purchase. So I get home then (couldn't get there fast enough), go to the website, and there in big black letters (beside the add to cart button) were the words "out of stock". This was the manufacturers website no less. First thought was that I could have killed something right then and there. The joke wasn't lost on me since I was technically unarmed. Anyways I learned everyone is out of stock after a few phone calls. We're all gonna be waiting a few weeks now.

Since I had time on my hands again I threw myself into doing more research. This time it was on state hunting laws, licenses, game, and field dressing. I concentrated on learning the mid to northwestern states since I already know that it's open season year round on rabbits in the 4 southern border states. The laws and seasons are fairly similar between the states with a few minor differences. Now that that's covered the next thing was learning how to field dress game. When I was a kid (7 years old) I helped slaughter a meal here and there while visiting my grandfathers farm in Peru. This was under the direction of my uncle, and not me recreating a scene from "night of the living dead" with chickens. Since I'd done this before I didn't expect to be grossed out while watching some of the how to videos. I don't know why this surprised me when it didn't bother me, but I then escalated animals. Next I watched a field dressing of boar, then a deer, then a moose, nope still nothing. All I kept thinking was what recipes best to use with each kind of meat and I should probably stop watching those videos. There's no way in hell the beagle and I could devour more than two rabbits in one sitting. These subjects were covered now and no need to go on. 

Target practice was last up. Shooting ranges are a plenty here, but I never was a fan. Shooting stationary targets is not hard to begin with and paying to do that is a huge waste of money to me. Moving targets is what I need to work on. Unfortunately there isn't something alive that I can practice killing guilt free. I was wrong I learned shortly after. Turns out the Starling and (common house) Sparrow are not only unprotected throughout the entire US, but neither is a native species of this continent. They're both from Europe and were disastrously introduced here by a bunch of morons in the mid to late 1800's. They've both proven to be deathly invasive to many native bird species, destructive to farm operations, spread diseases, and have prolific populations. You can google or bing the info on just how destructive they've been if you don't take my word for it. I can get and stay in practice while helping out the native birds.

Farmers happily welcome hunters because they help control the pest populations for them. Once the rifle arrives the beagle and I will be spending our weekends in the country harvesting bunnies for food and/or eliminating farm pests. I don't think this could have worked out any better for me.

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