The American Stalking Rifle & The Texas MLD Program


 The single-shot rifle was the weapon of choice in the early days of our frontier. In addition, even after the advent of cartridge-firing repeating rifles, the single shot was popular among European and African hunters. It was often referred to as a “stalking rifle.” That, then, is the tradition that continued in the great #1 single shot from Ruger.

I got my first Ruger (a #1A in .270) back in the 1970’s. I regret that I never kept any records of the game taken with it but, suffice it to say, it was a lot. My son, Ryan, shot his first deer with that gun. When he graduated from high school with very good grades, I decided that the #1 would be a far better gift than a wrist watch, or some other foolery.In the ensuing years I have managed to acquire several more of the great rifles, all with iron sights and the schnabel fore-end. My deer rifle of choice is a Ruger #1A, in 7×57, with a Leupold 1-4x scope and a Peabody sling from Barranti Leather Company. In addition, I have a .375 H&H and a .45/70. If you think I am stuck on the Ruger #1, you are beginning to get the picture.

Recently, Ryan joined me on a hunt just west of the Pecos River in Terrell County, Texas. Ryan used his .270 to take a 7-year old 9-point mule deer (one shot at about 70 yards). That old bruiser went four feet after he was hit… straight down.

On the same hunt I managed to connect with a 7-point whitetail buck, using the 7×57 loaded with a 139 gr soft point. He, too, gracefully kissed the earth virtually in his tracks. This was even though I had managed to miss him completely with the first shot. Distance was about 100 yards.

The ranch that I hunt on is participating in the Texas Managed Lands Deer Program (MLD) and both bucks were considered to be management bucks. This is one of the great things about hunting in Texas. The state allows land owners to participate in the MLD if their property is located in areas with heavy deer population. Extended hunting seasons and extended bag limits are just a couple of the benefits of getting involved in this great program and do a lot to help balance the deer herds.

Meanwhile, I also saw a really nice 10-point whitetail buck and I just believe I’ll go back to the ranch this weekend and see if I can’t collect him. Did I mention how much I love hunting in Texas?

Posted in Hunting, Rifles | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Heritage

Sheriff Jim Wilson's new Mossman Dreadnought guitar, part of Texas Heritage
As many of you already know, my friend Texas bluesman Mark Pollock recently lost his battle with cancer. Mark owned Charlie’s Guitar Shop, in Dallas, for years and, some time back, sold out and moved to Alpine. His Transpecos Guitars, in Alpine, was the headquarters for pickers in our area. In addition to knowing just about everything worth knowing about guitars, Mark was also a gun guy. So you can begin to see why he and I hit it right off from the very beginning. Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Old Hunters, New Tricks

Sheriff Jim Wilson Old Hunters, New Tricks Buck Alpha Crosslock
I was down at deer camp a few weeks ago with my friend Shane Jahn and his daughter, Katy. Katy had whacked a nice 10-point whitetail buck and Shane was going to dress it out for her. What was interesting was the knife that he pulled out to do the surgery with.

It’s a Buck Alpha Crosslock. It has a very well-shaped hunting blade, some 3-inches in length, that locks. But the knife also has a 3-inch sawblade that is just perfect for opening the pelvic girdle and ripping the sternum. The grip panels are synthetic and have numerous slots in them to cut down on the weight and to also make washing up an easier chore. In addition, the overall package is about ¾ of an inch thick. Handy, lightweight, and easy to use, that’s the Buck Alpha Crosslock.

As soon as I got home, where I could get Internet service, I had my own ordered and on the way. It’s a dandy knife/saw in every way and you can shave with the knife right out of the box. You can also cut yourself very easily (it’s absolutely none of your business how I happen to know that last little tidbit).

So I have pulled that heavy, cumbersome, folding saw out of my day pack and put it on the shelf. With this new Buck Alpha Crosslock, I just don’t need that old-fashioned gizmo anymore.

Posted in Gear, Hunting, Knives, Review | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Training or Playing?

In the past I have made the observation that some people play at personal defense. These may be the folks who keep buying gun after gun and not budgeting any money for professional training. These may also be the folks who see themselves as pseudo-soldiers who feel the need to wear all sorts of web gear and tactical outfits to play the role. Closely akin to these are the guys who are wanna-be snipers, like they are ready to go when the Pentagon calls them. Continue reading

Posted in Personal Defense, Philosophy, Training | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments