August 23, 2023
In only a few days Labor Day will be here, the unofficial end of summer. Dove season will start September 1. Dove hunting is one of my favorite things to do. If you want to be a good wing shot, hunt doves. One of my favorite memories is a dove hunt that Dr. Tom Samuels and I went on, years ago. Tom Samuels and I did a lot of pistol shooting together. Tom and his wife were big game hunters and hunted in several parts of the world. Bird hunting was Tom’s favorite.
One day I got a call from Tom asking me to come down to Decatur, Illinois to talk to him. When I got there, he gave me the sad news that he had brain cancer. Tom was a surgeon and decided not to fight it. He knew the outcome would be the same, and he would be miserable. I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he told me yes. He explained he wanted to go on one last safari, and would I go with him. His wife had Alzheimer’s and had to be in a special facility. Of course, I agreed. When I asked where he told me Argentina dove hunting.
Tom knew an outfitter that was putting together a group of guys to go. The cost was $3000, cheap for what we were getting. I agreed, and we began making plans. I had never taken any firearms overseas or been on a safari. I’m glad we had the guidance of a professional to get us through the ins and outs of the process. My passport had lapsed, so I had to get it renewed, first.
We were allowed to take two shotguns with us. I took a Browning Gold Hunter and a Winchester X-2. Really the same gun. The Browning was wood stocked, and the Winchester synthetic stocked. I knew they would be used hard, and they were.
We drove to St. Louis where we met the rest of the hunting party for the first time. A couple of them were professional shooters, so I knew we were in for some good shooting lessons. We flew to Miami and boarded a Boeing 777, for Santiago Chili. It was a long fight, but the airplane was comfortable, for which I was grateful. When we got to Santiago, we all bought our favorite liquor at the duty-free store, to take to the lodge. The rule was: You bring what you like and leave it for the next guy. You get to drink what the last guy left. I chose Famous Grouse Scotch, a safe bet.
At Santiago, we caught a LAN Airways to Córdoba, Argentina, on a rather tired Boeing 737. I watched something drip off of the right engine, all the way, but we made it! Our paperwork was all in order, and we sailed through customs without incident. We boarded a small bus with a truck loaded with our gear, following behind. Soon we were out in the bush. The countryside is covered with rock outcrops and littered with really, nasty thorn trees. This has to be a haven for doves. The weather there is warm enough that doves have seven clutches a year, and with no predators to keep them in check, they are a real nuisance. In Córdoba Province, they eat 50,000 bushels of grain a day. The farmers were glad to see us.
We stayed at a hunting lodge, known as Rancho Del Norte. A great place. Tom and I bunked in a room with two other guys. We were required to store our guns in the armory each night. The ammunition in Argentina is sold by the government, and you must buy your ammunition from them. The cost is about 300 percent more than it is here. Your choices were RG, Rio, and Fiocchi. I drew RG which is the dirtiest shotgun ammunition I ever shot. We had to take our guns to the armory every night and clean them before we took our showers. By the time we got done we would be covered with gun powder residue, cleaning fluids, and everything else! We were assigned a “bird boy” to carry shells, pick up any retrievable birds and count every shot you took, every shot you missed, and every dove you got. I really appreciated the bird boys. The first day we drew 500 rounds, which was gone by noon. Humping that ammo up and down those foothills would have been tough without them. They also carried your extra gun.
The best way to describe how many doves are down there is that they actually are more like a swarm of insects than anything else. The longest I ever went without a shot was less than a minute. My shots the first morning were awful, averaging 17 percent. By afternoon, I was up to 30 percent, and on my last day, I was at 76 percent. Much better! My final count was 1794 doves in the four days. I think I shot about 4000 rounds in four days. Our top shooter had 4100 plus, doves. Our party harvested over 43,000 doves. I was below average because of my lousy performance the first two days. Those records came in handy for tracking improvement in our shooting abilities. On the second to last day, I noticed the forestock of my Browning was smoking! There actually were red embers burning where the wood was next to the barrel. We were told to bring gloves and I was glad I had them!
We would break an hour-and-a-half for lunch. Lunch is not the way we think of lunch in the States. A safari kitchen was set up, and the two chefs that came along, prepared fresh dove in various ways, right there. The food was delicious! Then tents were put up, complete with white tablecloths and napkins on every table. Two or three waiters in tuxedos served everyone.
In the evening, after we took our showers, there was a cocktail hour before dinner. More white tablecloths and tuxedoed waiters. The women who assisted the chefs in preparing the food were not to be seen. We finally asked to meet them. Only then were they allowed to talk to us. Not exactly like home but decided I could get used to it!
September is Springtime in Argentina and is supposed to be a little cooler according to the weatherman. It turns out, the weathermen in Argentina are no better than the weathermen here. It was very hot, and our clothes were always soaked through. Each night we laid our dirty clothes at the bottom of our bunks. When we got back, we found our clothes had been washed, ironed, and laid on the foot of our bed. Everything was pressed, even our socks and underwear! We tipped the bird boys and cooks and gave them the rest of the doves to feed their families or their village. They really liked the American hunters because we treated them very nicely, unlike the European hunters.
Four days flew by. On the fifth day, we could hunt or take a tour of Córdoba. Tom and I took the tour. What a beautiful city! Wealth and poverty, but not much in between. We boarded another LAN Airways 737 and flew over the Andes to Santiago. It was on the anniversary of the airplane crash that forced the survivors to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. We were on the same flight number.
We landed safely in Santiago, then back on a Boeing 777 to Dallas. We were all thinking about what we would face going through customs. Remember, we were warned that we might have a problem. When we got there, we opened our gun cases and the biggest Policemen I ever saw, glanced at them. “Nice guns”, he said. “How was your trip? Tell me about it”. We did, and that was that. I was glad we landed in Texas.
Tom and I loaded up, and I drove him home. Tom had a last successful safari, and I was glad I was part of it. It was a dove hunt to remember. Tom began to slip in the coming weeks, his wife passed away, and soon he was gone. I was glad we went, and I miss him.
We are still waiting for a decision from the Seventh Circuit on the Harrel et al v Raoul et al lawsuit. I would expect it to come at any time. Our other suits are still moving along.
I have to say the antigun crowd has come up with some really dumb ideas about how to limit criminal activity. The reason is: They don’t want to hold the real perpetrators responsible, in my opinion.
In Chicago, the mother lode of bad ideas, one Chicago alderman is asking criminals to “cease fire” between 9am and 9pm. Brilliant! I bet the gang bangers will be jumping on that idea like a free truck load of cocaine. I guess everything is up for grabs between 9am and 9pm!
Not to be out done by the State of Delaware, home of the “Big Guy” is following close behind with the idea of roving or mobile “gun free zones”. This is how it works: If a school, college, or university leases, rents or occupies a vehicle or property, it is automatically a gun free zone. How anybody knows that is unclear. Even less clear is why anyone would care, other than a concealed carry permit holder who would be disarmed, to become easy prey for criminals.
August 27, 1883
Krakatoa erupts. Krakatoa is a small uninhabited island east of Sumatra and west of Java. On this day, the volcano blew five cubic miles of earth 50 miles high. The explosion was so loud it was heard 3000 miles away. The tsunami it created was 120 feet high. It is estimated 36,000 people were killed but it could have been more. The ash cloud that was formed lowered the earth’s temperature by several degrees. There are about 130 active volcanoes known today. There could be more under the sea somewhere.
August 27, 1955
The first edition of the Guinness Book of World Records is published. I was fascinated by this book in high school. I would prop up my history book and read the paperback version in study hall. I still got an “A” in history by the way.
August 29, 1914
World War I was just getting started, but Great Britain was quick to recognize that it could face a manpower shortage. The Women’s Relief Defense Corps was created. The corps was made up of two sections. The civil division used women to substitute for men in factories, and a semi-military division where women were trained in the use of arms, drilling, and marching. About 80,000 women served the corps.
August 30, 1776
George Washington refused British General Howe’s letter of reconciliation. The letter was accepted by the continental Congress and negotiations began but fell apart because the British would not accept American Independence.
August 30, 2003
Actor Charles Bronson dies at age 81. He was born Charles Buchinsky of Lithuanian parents in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania. He served in WWII and began taking acting lessons. He changed his name because it sounded Russian during the “Red Scare” of the 1950’s. His first film was “Your in the Navy Now” starring Gary Cooper. His biggest successes were his series of “Death Wish” films.
CMP will stop receiving Round 3 1911 Pistol orders,
postmarked after August 25th. This is so we can prepare for Round 4 View details on the CMP 1911 Pistol Program on our website at
4800 East Exline Road, Kankakee, IL 60921
East of Kankakee, Illinois
The cost is $30 ($15 for targets; $15 for ISRA donation). Hamburger soup and homemade bread, provided by Big Jack! Prizes & split-the-pot raffles.
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For every person concerned about self-defense,
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Please click here for details on how to sign up.
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A day at the ISRA Range is always a great day!
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Upcoming Meetings: https://isra.org/isra-activities-and-events/
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While the gun show information shown in this email is believed to be accurate – sometimes changes occur. This is provided for informational purposes only.
August 26 – 27 Belleville Gun & Knife Show, Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, Belleville
August 27 Lake County Gun & Sportsman Show, Antioch VFW, Antioch
September 16 – 17 Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee County Fairgrounds, Kankakee
September 17 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
September 23 National Civil War and Collector Arms Show, DuPage County Fairgrounds, Wheaton
September 23 Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club Gun & Knife Show, Chillicothe
Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 Central Illinois Gun Collectors Assoc. Sangamon County Fairgrounds, New Berlin
October 8 Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles
October 22 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
October 28 – 29 Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton
November 4 – 5 Decatur Gun & Knife Show, Decatur Conference Center, Decatur
November 4 – 5 ECA Hunting & Trade Shows, Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, Belleville
November 4 – 5 Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee County Fairgrounds, Kankakee
November 12 Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles
November 19 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
November 25 – 26 Central IL Gun Collectors Association, Sangamon Co. Fairgrounds, New Berlin
November 25 – 26 Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton
“Ninety-eight percent of the people in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”
“The people who work against your gun rights are basically saying to you, “The right of the criminal to rip you off, rape and kill you shall not be infringed.” And they wonder why we’re a bit testy”
“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
“You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you’ll find me in a pile of brass.”
“Using inner city kids as your proof that guns and kids don’t mix, is like using an alcoholic to prove all people will abuse alcohol.”
“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”
The said Constitution [shall] never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe or to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”
“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution are courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution THEY don’t like.”
“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”
“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”