Safe Shooting at it’s Best: Crotchety Colonel Aims Straight for It!
By OutdoorAly

Posted: November 10, 2013

It seems that as the weather cools and we approach winter, I get little more crotchety than normal (even if Gramma Smoothbore doesn’t think it’s possible). Maybe it’s the shortening daylight, maybe the colder weather, maybe my arthritis-NAH, it’s just the stupid! Here are some of my pet peeves; I believe that many of you will agree with me.

First and foremost, POACHING. Year round, and especially during hunting season, we get almost daily reports of our wildlife being stolen from us by slobs who have no respect for the wild resource, their fellow citizens, or the rule of law. I thank the webmasters here at for highlighting these crimes. See such examples here.s4

Make no mistake, these idiots are criminals and any reasoning that they are just folks who need the meat is crap. Spotlighting, killing for the thrill, or for horns, and killing game animals illegally because “we need the meat” is simply stealing a public resource that belongs to all of us. We all need to work to stop these 2 legged criminal predators. Ignoring these crimes because we might know the perpetrators, is cowardice-lawful sportsmen and sportswomen deserve better.


Another pet peeve of mine are the so-called “experts” I see on some of the outdoor television programs. Just because someone can hold a gun, stand before a camera, or has a degree (many I think are in undersea basket repair) doesn’t mean they know a damn thing about shooting or firearms safety. I have watched a fellow whose program about upland bird hunting is somewhat enjoyable. Then comes the commercial with the same guy hawking truck gun safes. He slams his O/U shut, then swings the gun 180 degrees from left to right sweeping everyone in sight with the muzzle. Even if a remote camera is used, such careless gun handling is unacceptable, especially by someone who is paid to promote the shooting sports. And on another name brand show, the host constantly opens a very expensive O/U by pushing the release lever and then heavily snapping the barrel downward to open the gun. A good and effective way to ruin a fine smoothbore.

Gun pointed isolated on white bakcground

Then there are the experts that use the term “muscle memory.” Muscles are DUMB, they don’t have memories. If muscles had memories, we would only have to perform a physical skill correctly one time; after that our golf swing, bowling stroke, gun mount or draw would be perfect every time. We all know that is not the case. Hard work is what it takes to develop “motor skills” and these skills are perishable; only with practice can they be maintained. Rarely is one’s first golf swing of the year comparable to the last drive of the previous season.


Finally, some of the hunting shows on the outdoor cable channels go way over the top. For instance, shooting game animals at incredibly and ridiculously long yardages simply for entertainment value is wrong. I often wonder how many animals are wounded and lost by these egotists. Then there is the loud background rock music; I’m an old time rock-n-roller, but the serenity of nature and heavy metal do not mix. I try to give each show a chance, but mindless and often times reckless killing- well, it reminds me of the poachers that I loathe so very much.

Want to watch a well-produced, quality hunting show? “Under Wild Skies” is, in my opinion, the very best you can find. Watch it and you will feel that you are part of the ritual and splendor of a wondrous fair chase hunt.


photo: Angela Montana

And lastly, congratulations to Angela Montana for taking her first muley. We are all happy for you!

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore