Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ain't that how it always goes?

Farmer Frank's latest hunting trip illustrates the timeless adage that "Two is one and one is none":
I had more equipment failures this trip than I ever have had in my entire life. I lost a brand new thermal imagining scope. (It went 'white' screen and wouldn't come back.) Then, my military grade Aimpoint puked, which was followed shortly by my ITT PVS-14 night vision monocular when it went dead. That's D-E-A-D as in "Nothing". I got by after 'borrowing' a PVS-14 from the rancher (I originally sold it to him anyway) as well as another Aimpoint from a friend of his.
I know that Frank James doesn't use crap gear, and some of his stuff picked a dark night halfway 'cross the country to go toes up on him.

This maxim goes double for guns: Ol' Betsy may have never broken or malfunctioned on you at the range but...
  • Travel far from home, or
  • Spend a bunch of money for a hunt or class, or
  • Enter the big match or go on the hunt of a lifetime
...and don't bring a spare, and sure as God made little green apples, it'll choke like the Atlanta Braves in the postseason.
.

36 comments:

Joanna said...

Same as how the network runs fine until the IT guy goes on vacation ...

Anonymous said...

Mathmatically the reliability of a single channel system changes with time, from 100% at the start of a mission (presuming you just checked it out) and decreases from that, initially along a diagonal line from 100% to 0% at the Mean Time Between Failure for the channel. It goes higher than that after a bit, so at the MTBF time it is actually at 36.8% probability of operation.

When you have two channels, it starts off assymptotic to the horizontal line, a significant advantage. At the single channel MTBF, the probability of having at least one of the two channels work is 86.4% about 6/7. That means even if you are dual, you retain a 1/7th failure rate at the item MTBF.

Anonymous said...

I dropped my rifle on the only rock on our part of the tundra packing in my father in laws caribou. Dented the scope and pushed it out of alignment.

I spent 14 rounds getting it back on zero but could not adjust the magnification from 3X. No one else was shooting a 30-06 (pagans!) I had spent two rounds verifying the POI when we got into camp, so it left me with 4 rounds. We were 90 air miles from the nearest town so no running to Wally world eh.

Lesson learned was getting a good boresighter and bringing it along with a spare optic when possible.

Gerry

Ed Rasimus said...

What is wrong with that? Well, hunting used to be about a person going out to the woods to match wits with his wily prey on the animal's own territory. You took the rifle and some elemental survival gear and possibly some binoculars.

Now this guy is wailing about his thermal imaging gear, his Aimpoint, his WVZX-1455 premium antler pheromone detector, his seismic hoof-beat bi-directional analyzer and his portable, solar-powered micro-wave field pizza oven with Cabels's log failing.

Bubba has spent too much time reading semi-fictional adventure magazines written by Boddington and Zumbo.

Gun, man, prey...nada mas.

Tam said...

Ed,

I'm going to chalk that up to your not knowing who Frank is or what he was doing.

Suffice it to say that feral hog control on an agribusiness scale could no more be accomplished with paw-paw's .30-30 and a lone hunter matching wits with his wily prey than Hanoi could have been bombed by dropping 20-lb Cooper bombs from an F.1 Camel.

They were out to slaughter hogs in large numbers in order to keep crop destruction to a minimum, not bond with nature.

Nowayoutbutup said...

Most of my living family resides in the Little Five Points area.

Love the comment,
"it'll choke like the Atlanta Braves in the postseason."

DirtCrashr said...

Three is zero, one is minus two?

Nathan said...

That reminds me. I need at least two more guns.

Frank W. James said...

TAM: Thankfully, we did have redundacy in most everything and that allowed us to kill 12 in 2 nights. Due to the 100+ degree we got nada during the daylight hours.

Due to my lack of confidence in the replacement Aimpoint and borrowed PVS-14, we operated the suppressed .300 Whisper like it was a piece of 'archery' equipment and got in 'close', somewhere between 25 and 30 yards before engaging, all in "inside-of-a-cow" darkness. It worked, but we had to do our part in the approach to to do it.

As for Ed's comments; he has no clue what I'm doing. 'CONTROL' is NOT 'Hunting'...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Keads said...

I am definitely taking a spare pistol next month for AFSF. Learned this lesson at US Training Center in June. It was NOT fun.

The class is not pricey, but it is some distance away.

staghounds said...

On those really cold days I wish I had a thermal imagining scope!

Sigh, only wool and etoh.

Anonymous said...

"..Lesson learned was getting a good boresighter and bringing it along with a spare optic when possible."

And perhaps takng more than 20 rounds of ammo when hunting way out in the middle of nowhere?

45er said...

We've been chattering in our group about doing some control on our place here in TX. Those that don't understand haven't A. seen pigs in the wild or B. seen what they can do to a farmer's field in one night.

Anonymous said...

Um, pardon my ignorance, but as a mostly city boy who has had no experience with hog control, what do you do with the carcasses? Leave them as a warning to other swine? Drag them off to be processed to dog food (I can't imagine you would want to eat one--summer pork is probably crawling with things I'd rather not think about)? Or just leave them as natural fertilizer to enrich next year's harvest.

Not criticizing, I understand the need for control and applaud your efforts, just curious.

cap'n chumbucket

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yep, Murphy's Law Rules the Universe. Got the scars to prove it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:52

It would have been nice but the flight in limited everyone to a Max of 40 pounds of gear including your rifle in a hard case, pack and sleeping bag.

The little voice in my head said,"You'll never use twenty rounds, bring the spotting scope instead."

Gerry

Tam said...

cap'n chumbucket,

According to Frank, they usually just leave them for the vultures.

Stuart the Viking said...

cap'n,

I know some people who claim to basicly feed their family from wild hog hunts. I don't think disease is too much of a problem; however, it would pay to cook them through to be sure.

From reading his blog I don't think Frank eats any of them. I have also wondered what they do with them.

s

DJ said...

"... what do you do with the carcasses?"

In my experience, the ones I was able to check the next day disappeared overnight. So, several times, I tied down a carcass and set up a trail camera. It showed they were eaten, quickly, by: 1) coyotes; 2) raccoons; 3) hawks; 4) crows; and, 5) possums. Hogs worried at the carcasses, but I have no hard evidence they ate them. When the pieces partses were small enough and separated enough that the ropes couldn't hold them, they were carried off.

DJ said...

"I know some people who claim to basicly feed their family from wild hog hunts."

I've eaten five of them and they tasted great. But I won't eat any more. Whole pork tenderloin from Sam's Club is cheaper and better, and field dressing a boar is quite unpleasant compared to (for example) an elk or a deer.

Goober said...

This is why I don't really advocate the use of aimpoint or red dot or whatever scopes that use batteries and can stop working because of slight mistreatment.

I've accidentally been swimming with my rifle before. I've also fallen down steep ravines with it. I wonder how well an aimpoint would hold up to that.

Tam said...

Goober,

"This is why I don't really advocate the use of aimpoint or red dot or whatever scopes that use batteries and can stop working because of slight mistreatment."

That's because you're hog hunting for fun, not trying to wipe out a dozen or more in a night as a matter of survival.

Tam said...

Goober,

Further, a modern Aimpoint is generally more rugged than the rifle it's mounted on. That "fragile optic" thing is a relic left over from 30 years ago.

Old NFO said...

Due to Brucellosis, they just leave em... And when you're shooting for control MORE is better, e.g. backups for the backup. With hogs, it's definitely bring enough gun, and a 30-30 or AR in 5.56 is not enough gun!!!

Gnarly Sheen said...

Sorry to hear about the PVS crapping out, those are usually more reliable :(

Brian in Florida said...

Heard this phrase over the years, many many times, "Redundancy is Key to succsess" Too many times we had a Primary die and secondary no waken. NASA learned that quick, tripple redundancy was the norm.
Seems to me that in all aspects of,, place name here,, that back up to the back up plan is the best plan.

Sorry found two cents and thought I would spend it.
God Bless

Gewehr98 said...

If you can't nuke 'em from orbit, I'd suggest artillery or close air support for "control" of wild hawgs. Having been chased by a sow wild boar protecting her piglets, I'm not kidding.

Oh, and PETA? "It's for the children." (See how stupid that sounds?)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Two is one and one is none, which is why the good lord gave us two eyes, two ears, two knees, two shoulders, and two feet... and ten fingers. Don't poke that!

Goober said...

Further, a modern Aimpoint is generally more rugged than the rifle it's mounted on. That "fragile optic" thing is a relic left over from 30 years ago.

This hasn't been my experience with them. Even something as simple as forgetting to shut them off when you're done can leave you high and dry. In my experience, these things have always been the first point of failure on the guns that I've had them on, so I stopped using them. Agree to disagree, I guess.

Oh, and I don't hog hunt. No hogs in Idaho.

Tam said...

Goober,

"Even something as simple as forgetting to shut them off when you're done can leave you high and dry."

You don't turn Aimpoints off anymore.

The current ones will run for ~4 years at brightness level 7. Someone joked that they could just give infantry dudes a set of batteries for their CCO when they graduated AIT, and another set when and if they re-upped. ;)

(On my older Comp M2, I leave it on and just change the batteries every spring and fall when I change them in my smoke detectors.)

"I've accidentally been swimming with my rifle before. I've also fallen down steep ravines with it. I wonder how well an aimpoint would hold up to that."

Aimpoints work underwater. The military wouldn't have much use for them if they didn't; they've pretty much reached the "soldier-proof" level by now. They're not specialty issue anymore; practically every snuffy has one on his rifle.

I am aware of one M4 with a Leupold CQ/T on it that got dragged by its sling behind a Humvee when its occupants had to get out of dodge in a hurry. The carbine was trashed but they put the Loopie on another M4 later.

DJ said...

"Having been chased by a sow wild boar protecting her piglets, I'm not kidding.<\"

A "sow wild boar", was it? With "her piglets", too?

You should have trapped it live or shot it dead. Either way, I'll bet lots of people would have paid good money to see it!

Tam said...

DJ,

Surprisingly, the usage appears to be correct. I did not know that.

DJ said...

It's not correct in my neck of the woods. Here, a "boar" is an uncastrated male pig, wild or not. We call them "feral hogs", not "wild boars".

Thus, we don't encounter such silliness as:

"Did you git it?"

"Yup."

"What was it, a boar boar or a sow boar?"

Goober said...

You don't turn Aimpoints off anymore

Huh. I must be getting old. You just threw me some learnin and exposed a little bit of my own ignorance. Maybe I'll have to go pick me up one of them and play with it on my little 10/22 for a while. i remember the one I had being fun when it worked... if they've fixed the reliability issues with them, then i stand corrected.

Gewehr98 said...

I wasn't interested in messing with her, DJ. I was armed with only my wits, so my task at the time was to give her plenty of room while I made my way to my truck. Billy The Exterminator I ain't. Sorry for insulting your sensibilities with the vernacular, but being stationed in SpaceCoast Florida at the time, it was common usage there to describe the over-abundance of ill-mannered critters that had overrun KSC and CCAFS. The only natural predators there are the gators, and they can't keep up. Now, had I been packing the Ruger #1S in .45-70, I would gladly have sent choice cuts of wild boar sow (or whatever the regionally-correct description is) to whomever wanted them.

BTW, I also drink water from a "bubbler", if I don't have a can of "pop" at my desk already...

WV - "Manap": That there wild boar sow's rootin' near the Florida room pretty much ruined manap.

DJ said...

"Sorry for insulting your sensibilities with the vernacular, ..."

You didn't. It was such a humorous term (to me, at least) that I couldn't resist making some noise with it, all in good fun.

Here, you'll also hear such things as:

"You wanna Coke?"

"Yeah."

"What kind?"

"Dr. Pepper."