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#3072198 - 05/22/17 07:44 PM Varmint vagabonds for a couple days...
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5174
Loc: Salt Lake City
Me and my old buddy Tim got out for some wandering over the weekend. I hadn’t been out doing anything for two weeks, so I was itching to go. But Tim hadn’t been out for a lot longer than that. In fact, we installed a lift and new tires on his Tacoma a month ago, and he hadn’t had a chance to try it out offroad yet. So, Tim was really, really itching to go!

Nominally, we were out for ‘chucks. So we’d stop and glass likely looking ‘chuck spots and if there were enough of them out showing themselves to make it interesting, we’d unlimber a rifle and pop a few. We try to never kill more than half of what we see at any given spot. So if we glass for a few minutes and see a dozen, we’ll only shoot about six before moving on to the next likely looking spot.

Typical spot where we'd stop and pop a few.







Ground squirrels were running around in a lot of places too. And so when we felt like it, we’d stop and lean across the hood to pop some of them just for grins. After about 50 rounds down the HMR off the hood and about 53 dead ground squirrels (not a typo, we got more doubles than we had misses…), we started trying them offhand. These are itty bitty little picket pins. One of them at 40 yards offhand is no gimme for either one of us. But, we got some of the rust shook. And when either one of us rattled off four or five hits in a row offhand, the grins were pretty big!

This was a good spot for a batch of ground squirrels.




We saw a couple of badgers, but we gave them passes.




But really, we were just in relax and wander around and see what we can see mode, more than anything. We spent most of the weekend just trying to find dirt roads or Jeep trails to explore that we hadn’t been on before. Easier said than done. Partly because we’ve already been on just about every open, legal goat trail and two track for a days travel in any direction from where we were. But partly also because it was a heavy winter and has been a very wet spring.

We encountered new erosion and flood damaged roads and trails all weekend long. And were never actually able to get up to the real snow because of deep water and mud. For the most part, it was just a fun opportunity to test the new suspension on Tim’s truck. But, several times, we ran into deep enough water running across the road that we decided to just turn around. All in all, the conditions kept things interesting and entertaining. No complaints from us!










We pitched camp early the first night. After ribeye steaks and fried cabbage for dinner, we just sat around enjoying the views and doing some howling back and forth with the coyotes.













Might mention, we did call a coyote shortly before pitching camp, too. We’d got as far up a trail as we could get and were both out of the truck just looking around. I was smoking a cigar and getting a beer out of the fridge when I heard Tim start calling on his old LONEHOWL open reed. So I walked down the hill a few yards to stand above him, smoking a cigar and drinking a beer, while he played the rabbit blues. All just for grins, no expectations of anything, of course. So, I see one coming from quite a ways out and tell Tim we got a customer on the way. Then I walked a few more yards and sat down by him. Still puffing on my cigar… Anyhoo, coyote goes out of sight below us because the hillside is so steep. I tell Tim I reckon it’s going to pop up right in our faces here in a minute. And sure enough it did! Come up over the curve of the hill right in front of us 25 yards away. Great big OH-CHIT!!! Look on it’s face. Good humor! No gun, not even a camera on us, of course.

Next day, just more of the same. Loving the scenery. Loving the freedom. Loving everything about it. Nowhere we had to be. No time we had to be there. Just wandering around will o the wisp, no plan at all. End up wherever we end up. The weather was better than the first day, so there were more ‘chucks and squirrels available, but we did about the same amount of shooting as the day before – which is to say, all the shooting we felt like, but not anymore than that.

We lit up a good pocket of 'chucks with the .17 HMR in this spot.







Getting on towards evening, sky got dark and it started to rain. So we just took the first kinda flat spot we came to and setup the tent while it was still raining. But, by the time camp was set, the rain was already getting weaker, so I went ahead and cooked dinner. Pork chops and asparagus for tonight.




And after dinner had settled, we ate a watermelon laugh.







Got up the next morning and started heading back for pavement, which was a couple hours drive away. Hit a pocket of jacks, same spot we usually hit them. Just had to take a walk with the .HMR.




Popped about a dozen jacks in about an hour.

But then, it really was time to go home and back to the grind of daily life. There for a couple days though, we almost forgot about the grind, out there just sniffing around looking for critters or interesting terrain, didn’t see another soul the whole time out there, just gulping in freedom with every breath. That’s living, I’m telling ya…

- DAA



Edited by DesertRam (05/26/17 12:57 AM)

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#3072208 - 05/22/17 08:28 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
callcrazyaz Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 467
Loc: Wickenburg Az..
THIS LOOKS LIKE A HUNTER_OF_THE_MONTH STORY TO ME
Good job & lots of fun DAA
Joe

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#3072209 - 05/22/17 08:31 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
yotekiller47 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 778
Loc: Tennessee
Sure is some pretty country. Wish I had to wear a coat right now and could see snow. 80's and 90's and high humidity. Glad you got out to enjoy it.
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"Mind Over Matter, If You Don't Mind Then It Don't Matter"
" Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder. "

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#3072212 - 05/22/17 08:39 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
reddog964 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 04/06/08
Posts: 3904
Loc: In the sage brush behind you
Great Pictures and Good Times... You enjoy the Cans on the HMRs wink
_________________________
Hang Em High and leave Um for the Birds...

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#3072277 - 05/23/17 09:09 AM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
Bob_Atl Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/09/15
Posts: 2083
Loc: in the field, or not..
Originally Posted By: DAA
.. That’s living, I’m telling ya…
- DAA

Yes sir !

Thanks for taking us along..

How often do you need to clean the HMR can ?
_________________________
.... rule #9 ....

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#3072312 - 05/23/17 12:09 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
steve garrett Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 2187
Loc: tx
how do you like the can on the HMR?
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LONG LIVE THE GREAT GHOST OF THE HIGH DESERT.........THE COYOTE

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#3072322 - 05/23/17 12:46 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5174
Loc: Salt Lake City
I like it a lot. Quieter and less recoil than my Beeman R9 pellet rifle. Absolute joy to shoot.

Not sure how often it will need to be cleaned yet. Might need it now. Has had probably over 500 rounds of mixed .22LR, .22 Mag and .17 HMR through it. Probably ought to take it apart and see.

BTW... Since you asked how I like it on the HMR... While I love it on the HMR, it's basically a fail on the 10/22 and a total fail on the .22 Mag.

Doesn't quiet the 10/22 by any really noticeable amount with hunting ammo. It does with standard velocity. So, it's okay for plinking. But, I sure wouldn't buy one to use on a 10/22 with high velocity ammo, it just doesn't make enough difference to hardly even be noticeable.

Even more worthless on the .22 Mag. I guess it's a little bit quieter. But not by much. Worse, my semi-auto .22 Mag doesn't function properly with it installed. So, it's a total waste of money, complete fail, in that application. Live and learn...

Quiets the .22/45 pistol with standard velocity a lot, makes it a ton more fun to shoot.

Kind of a mixed bag, for me, with the Specter. Would buy it again just for the .17 HMR and .22/45. But I wish I hadn't wasted money on threading the 10/22 and really wish I hadn't messed with having my .22 Mag. shortened and threaded.

- DAA

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#3072365 - 05/23/17 04:21 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
steve garrett Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 2187
Loc: tx
What you report is exactly my experience. Not that useful in a 10/22. It's actually quite on my m&p compact 22 pistol. Anyone know why a 16 " rifle 10/22 would be a lot louder than a small pistol with the exact same can
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LONG LIVE THE GREAT GHOST OF THE HIGH DESERT.........THE COYOTE

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#3072375 - 05/23/17 04:53 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
Bob_Atl Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/09/15
Posts: 2083
Loc: in the field, or not..
Originally Posted By: DAA
...Kind of a mixed bag, for me, with the Specter. ...and really wish I hadn't messed with having my .22 Mag. shortened and threaded.
- DAA

Interesting, my Ruger 22 can on a Ruger American 22 WMR seemed to quiet it down nicely, except for the sonic crack.
Hunting buddy shot that combo and wanted to take it off my hands right then, he liked it.
Same can on my Buckmark 22LR was sheer fun..
Clean it about every 100 rounds, could probably wait for a couple hundred more, but it does crud up with rimfire.
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.... rule #9 ....

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#3072614 - 05/24/17 07:47 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
gord mccoo Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/15/15
Posts: 204
Loc: ontario canada
DAA I really like your pictures,and that part of the country looks amazing.

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#3072690 - 05/25/17 06:59 AM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: Bob_Atl]
DAA Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5174
Loc: Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Bob_Atl

Interesting, my Ruger 22 can on a Ruger American 22 WMR seemed to quiet it down nicely, except for the sonic crack.
Hunting buddy shot that combo and wanted to take it off my hands right then, he liked it.


Difference between a bolt and a semi? It does quiet mine down a little, but only just a little. Can't use it though. The semi doesn't function with it.

- DAA

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#3072697 - 05/25/17 08:41 AM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
ackleyman Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 8419
Loc: Hickville
Great story Dave! Better than anything I can remember reading in Outdoor Life since Jack O Connor wrote for them.

thanks for sharing!

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#3072707 - 05/25/17 09:48 AM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
who me Online
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 389
Loc: south west Idaho
What a great write up and pictures.
Beautiful country, (its porn in a way to me,
I love open country)

Good food, good shooting, great area, no people
getting in your way.

Two old friends having a great weekend, priceless huh.

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#3072856 - 05/25/17 11:04 PM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
CountryWildcat Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/14/15
Posts: 348
Loc: KS
Is this all public ground in Utah? I can't wait for the days I can take at trip like this with a friend or two. Living in KS, it's a long way to public ground like that but sure looks like a lot of fun.

glad you had a great time with a good friend, you're always getting it done. Thanks for sharing.

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#3072881 - 05/26/17 12:59 AM Re: Varmint vagabonds for a couple days... [Re: DAA]
DesertRam Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8637
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
Great photos Dave, thanks for sharing. I'm a little envious and hope to get out for some similar time in the outdoors with the kids this summer.
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"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

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