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Old September 8, 2000, 08:04 AM   #1
Bruce in West Oz
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Location: Western Australia
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Was just standing outside, having a smoke between the rain showers, and thinking.

Last weekend, I was up at Ocean Reef -- a metropolitan boat launching facility and suburb, when I drove past the remains of an old limestone quarry that looked, somehow, familiar.

Then I twigged -- 30 years ago, my best mate and I used to hunt rabbits there, using an old air rifle and his dad's .22 with CB caps. Then it was on the very outskirts of Perth -- now it's another 10 km up the coast to the outskirts.

And that reminded me ...

A friend had an old Winchester L/A in 44-40 (from memory) about the same time. He used to "reload" using new primers, chopped-up cordite from old .303 cases -- and bar solder, literally hammered into the case and cut off with a pair of shears. Then, we used it to shoot ducks on Herdsman Swamp --- which is now Herdsman Lake, and one of the most desirable and expensive residential areas around.

We used to shoot rabbits at the back of my uncle's dairy farm, in the scrub -- then it was almost 2 miles to the next house -- now it's all 5-acre farmlets, and clasified "built-up area".

We used to go up the tracks into the back of the armed forces range at Swanbourne, and steal the rounds from the butts, to melt out the lead to make sinkers. Then it was desrted coastal sand dunes --- now it's one of Perth's most expensive seaside suburbs (and a nudist beach!!).

Then we used to go into the Collier Pine Plantation (two or three hundred aces of pines) with gings (slingshots, catapults, whatever you call them) and try to whack the big black cockatoos that lived there in their thousands --- now it's a university campus, with maybe 20 or 30 "token" trees left -- and the cockatoos have moved on.

I guess what I'm getting at is this -- has anyone else lived in the same area so long that they've seen the shooting "opportunities" and attitudes change?

Perth never used to be such a bad place to own a gun, and be a shooter. Now ...

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Old September 8, 2000, 08:31 AM   #2
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Boy did that hit home Bruce. Although the names and places are different (Michigan) I saw the same thing happen as my favorite hunting ground is now an industrial park and other favorite haunts (gravel pits,beachies and quarries) now developed or off limits. What a shame my kids and others will not get to experience what I feel are the highlights of my sunsetting life.
Thank God I was able to move on as things changed but now I have no where else to go.

"In my opinion, anyone pushing through anti-gun legislation is a bloody traitor and should be sent up for treason" N.H. Stuart
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Old September 8, 2000, 08:44 AM   #3
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Well.. I'm not quite old enough to have many recollections like that.. but I am old enough to see that you can no longer step out in your back yard in semi-urban America with a .22 or even a BB gun and not expect to get the police called on you. I find it quite pathetic actually..

However, I must give credit to neighborly homeowners to recognize that my family owns guns and that we occassionally shoot them to dispatch vermin in the yard.. WITHOUT having to explain it to the police.

God, Guns and Guts made this country a great country!

oberkommando sez:
"We lost the first and third and now they are after the Second!(no pun intended)"
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Old September 8, 2000, 09:01 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
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Oh hell yeah. I still visit the area where I was born and raised quite frequently.

Were I to set up in my old grounhog hunting area, I'd be shooting from someone's living room, and into someone else's garage.

The field where I shot my first deer is now another housing development.

And the fields where I used to go dove and pheasant hunting? Strip mall.

That's all within the last 20 years...

Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old September 8, 2000, 09:02 AM   #5
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Im with ya Bruce.....
The retirement community my parents live in here in fla is land that my father and generations before hunted and fished over...its kinda funny now to hear the Yankees come down and talk about how nice it is and what a great guy the farmer/landowner was who was able to keep such a large tract of land dad having know the owner quite well piped up and told the foreigners how he came by all that land, the ole the boy would loan money to people during the depression knowing they would default and he acquired hughe tracts of go kinda quiet then...this durn place they live now is straddling two counties, the community is larger then the city it started in. The community has purchased some of the last large tracts of ranch land left, several thousand acres and that puts it to the city limits of the next town....this community already has the voting power in the two cities it is in and one of the two counties it is in......but thats just here.....
When I lived in Elpaso, I could walk out my back door and go up into the mountains and shoot or go to the arroyo's and shoot, we were the last house on the road we lived on towards new the city has built to the border.........

I just wanna know were are all these durn people comming from ...cause they have to be leaving some places empty, and I need to go
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Old September 8, 2000, 11:27 AM   #6
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Ouch. I can sympathize. I used to be able to go to the end of my driveway and shoot into a dirt pile. Then, some walking dirt piles claimed that they heard bullets going over their house (a physical impossibility). But, in today's litigious society, anything goes. So, no more shooting convenient shooting.
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Old September 8, 2000, 11:28 AM   #7
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Yes Bruce,Its sad when you grow up and stay in the same area your whole life. My town was a rural farming community,with a major town as its hub. We had some very prominent industry here at one time and now most of its gone.
Land that I use to hunt is now nothing but suburbia and what farms are left isn't worth the hunt,to close to homes. Most of the small game is gone. Because of the demise in good farm land we no longer have the Pheasant population to hunt that we once had.
The deer are still around,but then again to close to homes.
They built a major dam here back in the 70's it saved some of the old hunting grounds but as far a fishing the lake,it stinks because the water quality is no good and they keep raising and lowering the lake which does not allow for the proper growth of reed grasses for the fish to live and hide in.
The population growth to this area has ruined it. Sad to say but that is the way of things all over America.

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Old September 8, 2000, 11:40 AM   #8
Oleg Volk
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And I just dug up a picture from 1990 when I fired my first dozen of .22s from a Marlin 60 (I think). That was in Illinois, the gun belonged to a friend. His grandfather got everyone out of Russia in 1905.

Guess he would have been breaking the law now, letting a minor w/o a FOID to handle a gun.

That is one of the reasons why I decline to venture into occupied territories such as NJ, IL, CA, and the like. I am pleased to see that my parents have adopted a similar view and also vote strictly along pro-RKBA lines.
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Old September 8, 2000, 11:52 AM   #9
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same story here too, i used to go out on a lake near my house that had so many gators in it you could walk across their heads, no one around - it was really nice. now they've killed all of the gators and if you're on the lake for 5 min. some stinking game warden will come shake you down. it is rediculous, i wish people that work for the .gov would all just quit, and refuse to enforce these craplaws. as far as shooting goes, not many places left except mineland and you have to have permission there.
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Old September 8, 2000, 01:59 PM   #10
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"Soylent Green is People! People!"

--you know who.
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Old September 8, 2000, 04:53 PM   #11
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I bounced around the country too much to have those kinds of memories, but this is what happened in 1995.

On occasion I visited my brother in the Florida Panhandle, 18 mi East of Pensacola. We used to go down to the end of a dirt road and blaze away at a dirt pile - handguns, rifles, shotguns.

One year later we went back and the whole place was a housing tract.

Back about '65, the North-South Skirmish Assn. had a shoot at Lake George in upstate NY.

We put floats out on the lake and had the cannon competition shoot at targets 100 yds away. Lots of smoke, spectacular splashes, and cheering from us as well as the locals. (We dropped a LOT of tourist money there.)

The next day, we went to an open field and shot our muskets at 1/2 sticks of dynamite.
More smoke, booms, and cheering from everybody.

The night before, we were all sitting around the campfires, comfortably buzzed, when the drummer boys started beating up a tune. Soon the bagpipes from the Scotties chimed in. Someone got the idea of having a parade (at 10 pm), so about 150 of us formed up and marched the 1/2 mile down Route 9W into town with the drummers and pipers leading the way. (We were uniformed but unarmed.) People came out of their houses and watched us. Someone asked the lone cop why he didn't arrest us for D&D. He laughed and said
"There's too many of 'em".

Another someone (maybe the instigator of the parade) thought it would be neat to parade through one of the big old Victorian hotels, so off we went. Amazing how loud the pipes and drums sounded in a closed setting. The clerk looked horrified at first, but ended up shaking his head and grinning.

We stumbled back to camp about midnight, much the worse for wear. The newspapers gave us a good-natured write-up and that was it.

Wonder what would happen today?

[This message has been edited by Oatka (edited September 08, 2000).]
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Old September 8, 2000, 07:30 PM   #12
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I am lucky. After living in various major metro areas areound the country, as I approach 60 I find myself completing the first year of living on my wife's family farm, where we moved after selling our empty nest. Nothing has changed as I look out my window. To the east, a corn field. South is the road that ends in my barnyard, lined by trees and fields; north is our Big Woods and more cornfield; west is the creek bottom and wetlands. Maybe the wetlands has moved toward the house a bit in 50 years...but I still cannot see another house from my windows. Just fields and trees. Last weekend we had a family gathering and shot a lot of clays down in my mowed creekbottom, where it looks like a 3 acre park; the next day we zeroed in some long guns on the bench my brother in law brought. I have a big pile of dirt for a target backstop, and behind that deep woods and a rise in the ground. The small town west of here isn't what it once was-- still 2000 people there but the world-famous industry left 10 years ago and local income fell accordingly. But I can visit several cities in a half hour, or a major metro area in an hour's drive, so I have ready access to anything I want. No, progress hasn't encroached here. And I like it that way.
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Old September 8, 2000, 11:45 PM   #13
Juan Hunt Greer
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Where I used to shoot in the U.S.V.I. is now a college campus. Few places left on that island safe or legal to shoot now; I also remember going small-game hunting in rural parts of McLean, Va. in early 60s TRY THAT NOW!.
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Old September 8, 2000, 11:46 PM   #14
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Tombread, I'm sure you know without anyone telling you but you have found utopia. May you always have it as it it's own natural, simplistic beauty.


I was promised a Shortycicle and I want a Shortycicle!
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Old September 9, 2000, 02:56 AM   #15
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I remember when you could go into New York City and buy a shotgun and take it home on the subway! No I am not 200 years old only 50. There were no long gun registration then and pistol permits were issued at the local police station not 1 Police Plaza. My neighbors never complained of my shooting rats with my Marlin 60. As to pistol permits nothing else changed and then as now it mattered who you knew.
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Old September 9, 2000, 05:18 AM   #16
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I am lucky, like tombread, in a way. The town where I grew up, grew toward the south. Our area is still much the same, except for the fact there are a few more houses down that country road. The really cool thing is, I own guns that reside in 4 of those houses, and none of the neighbors mind me and the kids shooting.
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Old September 9, 2000, 05:49 AM   #17
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I hear ya man! Almost all of the places where you could go to hunt or shoot are carpeted these days in wall to wall "soccer parent", Biffy, Buffy and Barfy the dog types.

oops! (Where is that embarresed face icon) I resemble that reply sad to say. My 14 year old house is built on one of the better rabbit fields of days gone by.

OUCH! I don't like soccer if that helps any though.
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Old September 9, 2000, 07:00 AM   #18
Bruce in West Oz
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See? As someone (wisely) said in another thread ... we may be half a world apart, and with a different background ... but "we are not alone".

Shooting really does provide a common heritage.

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Old September 9, 2000, 07:57 AM   #19
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I think we should have a shoot-in at tombread's place. What ya'll think? Maybe he won't even tell us where he lives

"In my opinion, anyone pushing through anti-gun legislation is a bloody traitor and should be sent up for treason" N.H. Stuart
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Old September 9, 2000, 08:52 AM   #20
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Not much has changed where I grew up. Only now the kids I grew up with are the ranchers or farmers instead of the field hands.


The debate is not about guns,
but rather who has the ultimate power to rule,
the People or Government.
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Old September 9, 2000, 11:01 AM   #21
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The old family spread was so far out of Lawrence Kansas that it was spared when Quantril's Raiders came through and flattened the place in the 1860s. When I was a pup we had throughbreds, all types of huntin and shootin on the place. Stone house, stone barns, stone fence posts. In the late 1930s we boarded calvery horses and sold some of our stock to the gvt.

When I went back in the 60s, the only thing left was the main house and it had become a museum, in town.

Bought a piece in Arizona, 20 miles out of a small town, one side state forest, nuther side gvt land. Land swap let the flatlanders n blue hairs do a high dollar developement complete with golf course next door, property taxes up and creeks down. Gave up on it. Now in a five car garage with couple useless rooms (bath, bedrooms etc) in village full of flatlanders. At least have all the shop space I ever wanted.

My great uncle Robert (who pulled the flag at Ft Sumpter) told grandpa that the country had gone to hell and big government was eating it from inside. That was in the 1800s.

It is all relative....and so much of it so sad.

Sam I am, grn egs n packin

Nikita Khrushchev predicted confidently in a speech in Bucharest, Rumania on June 19, 1962 that: " The United States will eventually fly the Communist Red Flag...the American people will hoist it themselves."
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