Sunday Morning Snow Tour of the White Haven Area
This morning the temps seemed relatively mild compared to the deep freeze we endured - and will be enduring once again in a few days, so I decided to hit the ice for awhile, then later take a ride to the local gun range.
I arrived at my fishing spot about 7am - a couple of hearty souls were already on the ice:
View from the top of FEW Resovoir - the clouds were looming with a threat of snow.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSPuyINaI/AAAAAAAAAgw/T-qhhz4o578/FEW%20SNOWY%20VIEW%20-%2001-16-11.jpg (broken link)
Looking downstream at my beloved home water trout stream - the Lehigh River.
If given the choice - I would prefer to fish the river, but right now it is running low, gin-clear, very cold, and the fish have lockjaw. I'm waiting on a good warmup with rain and meltoff to raise the water and add some color to it which will put the fish into bite mode (fingers crossed for Tues & Weds).
That Big Boy Hill in the background is Mount Yeager.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSQg3x70I/AAAAAAAAAg0/wVmMrZo1u0I/LEHIGH%20RIVER%20BELOW%20FEW%20TUBES%20-%20SNOWY%2001-16-11.jpg (broken link)
So, I tuned left and headed to the bottom of the dam:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSO2ZZXoI/AAAAAAAAAgs/MY1KEC7jSH0/FEW%20WALTER%20TOWER%20VIEW%20-%20FROM%20BOTTOM%20-%2001-16-11.jpg (broken link)
I put on my spikes, grabbed the auger,bucket & jiggin rod and headed out, wound up about 40
yds to the guy's right. I only intended on fishing an hour or so and decided to *** bigger spoons in hopes of hooking into a deep water piggy. No such luck - I pulled the Skunk.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSNzm0hvI/AAAAAAAAAgo/cTnnbOpVZFw/FEW%20RES%20-%20ICE%20FISHERMEN%2001-16-11.jpg (broken link)
I got my fishing fix in, so I decided to hit the gun range on my way home.
This range is on Private Property and is used and policed by the local sportsmen living in the immediate area.
Gun Range Sign:
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSSRP6sAI/AAAAAAAAAg4/tPaeCYzQwok/WH%20RANGE%20SIGN.jpg (broken link)
A hike past the rock gets you here:
Notice the trash bag hanging on the tree limbs for users to deposit their trash.
Notice the empty cartridge box on the ground that the last slob left behind - no worries - it came home to my trash can.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSTc2AZzI/AAAAAAAAAg8/aXLUYSGo7xU/WH%20RANGE%20VIEW%20FROM%20BEHIND%20BENCH.jpg (broken link)
The range is set up for 25,50,100 yard shots. The 100yd backstop is snow covered and hard to make out.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSUjGau0I/AAAAAAAAAhA/-JuUTuVpL3s/WH%20RANGE%20VIEW%20FROM%20BENCH.jpg (broken link)
Looks like I will have to break trail to tape my target on the 100yd backstop.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSXvzrNyI/AAAAAAAAAhI/n-QVz6GptDQ/100YD%20BACKSTOP%20-%20WH%20RANGE.jpg (broken link)
The 150yd backstop. I'm sure that a few rounds make their way this far, but they certainly go no further.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSaTQ_kDI/AAAAAAAAAhQ/EoSTuyuWDAM/FINAL%20BACKSTOP%20-%20WH%20RANGE.jpg (broken link)
My choice of firearm today was my Savage 223 Varmint Rifle Heavy Barrel w Accu-trigger and a 3x9 Leupold Scope mounted on top.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSV6aS4vI/AAAAAAAAAhE/Ttd7_ikc9wA/SAVAGE%20223.jpg (broken link)
I lovingly refer to this wonderful gun proudly made in the USA by Savage Arms, Inc. as the "Critter Lobotomy Delivery Device".
My monopod was frozen so I could not extend it enough to use as a barrel rest, so I free-handed a few rounds.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMSbBnRfBI/AAAAAAAAAhU/VVvcpP8f_vs/223%20100yd%20sheet%2001-16-11.jpg (broken link)
Close enough for Brain Surgery on a Coyote.
Magritte asked a question about "Unauthorized Gun Ranges" in another thread.
I will provide a few facts, and my opinion on such places.
1) There are no local ordinances preventing the firing of guns in the area.
2) The gun range sits on Privately Property.
3) The gun range far exceeds the minimum requirements established by the PGC as a safety zone - which is 150yds from any dwelling - whether it be occupied or not. This range is at least 10x that distance from the nearest shack used for storage of supplies for a nearby business.
4) There are 7 more privately owned gun ranges (operated by hunting clubs) in the area within a 10 mile radius of the range I used today.
5) Country Folks do not need to ask permission from "authorities" to fire their guns - this right is guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
6) Country Folks are not uptight about guns. Most own and shoot them. Most encourage the shooting of them and realize that crooks and other low-life types know this - which contributes to the extremely low crime rate in the area.
I don't visit gun ranges very often. I have no need to hit a dime at 300yds, although the competition shooters have amazing talent and a fun hobby. I just prefer to spend my time hunting instead of plinking at gun ranges.
Like I told Riverside the other day at the Tobyhanna gun range, as long as my distance shots fall within the circumference of a cyote head, I'm a happy camper.
For close up work in heavy brush where the 223 is not suitable, the trusty 12 gauge shotgun point & shoot system works wonders.
Nice local range, no crowds, no piles of trash, no riff raff.
Magritte - this is one of those perks that country folks get to enjoy - and it is not even reflected in our property tax bills.
I almost feel sorry for the gun owners in the city that are forced to pay exhorbinant indoor range fees on top of their high property and earned-income taxes - if they even have one in their city.
p.s. - one more point.. If I was shooting at a PGC gun range this morning, I would have been illegal.
Game Commission ranges hours of operation on Sunday are limited from Noon to Dusk.
Why they impose shortened hours on public ranges on Sundays only - when many working stiffs could probably squeeze out a few rounds on a Sunday morning before family committments is beyond me.
Just more Nannyism nonsense by Bureacratic Bobbleheads.
I'm sure glad we keep that stuff to a bare minimum up here in the sticks.
All in all a good morning in beautiful snowy NEPA..
Now I'm ready for some NFL Playoff Football
p.s.s. a funny thing just happend as I was about to click the SUBMIT button.
I heard a loud thump against the sliding glass door, looked over and saw a bunch of pinkish feathers floating around..
Heres a couple stuck to the glass:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMo2VsoAnI/AAAAAAAAAh4/5G9PkcHRELA/CARDINAL-FEATHERS.jpg (broken link)
This poor guy took quite a blow to his head and is badly dazed and confused. At least he did not break his neck:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mqwMWqeJqGg/TTMo1mm7nCI/AAAAAAAAAh0/omwNRG9g-uk/CARDINAL-1.jpg (broken link)
Based on the wingmarks in the little bit of snow, he was able to go from laying to standing, so that's a good sign.
I hope this fellow shakes it off before Mr Hawk makes his afternoon pass over my yard. The dove population has been greatly reduced by his dive-bombing antics this winter and that Cardinal will stick out like a sore thumb.