Friday, December 9, 2016

Are shotguns dangerous ?

What gun isn't dangerous ? .
We used to have a 5 shot pump action shot gun which we only ever used to kill rabbits . Spotlighting rabbits is a joy every Aussie should experience .
How dangerous ? 
well even with the very fast pump action  I can remember our last night out chasing one  rabbit around the car The one older youth charged with the responsibility expended 18 cartridges on dat one wabbit ... and without out us ever finding him . I tell you this , not because it reflects well on the skill of the operator , but because we remember just how rich that boy was ; how many cartridges he went through  and how much it cost !  It was nearly $20 bucks worth about 40 years ago
When Howard changed the law , we reluctantly gave up this fine gun and it was crunched up . Now all we use is a single or a double shot and you can imagine how many we get .

If you are close enough , and are a reasonable shot,  you can get a few . Shotguns are good for rabbits because they kill quickly and effectively. Much harder even with big animals to kill quickly with a shot gun . You really need a rifle and a powerful one too to be safe and effective ( you want it to be quick and not cruel)
Even the old 22 wasn't much good for killing dying calves at close range . The pellet would bounce off the skull if you weren't aiming well. Not pleasant even to think about now !

If all this talk of killing makes you feel uncomfortable , it does us too .
I don't know any farmers who find it easy. They will teach you even when trapping to never leave animals hurt-- if you can ."Go round your traps very early and regularly or don't set them " my uncle used to say!   We used to go around after breakfast when the sun was strong and they could die of thirst.
Apart from rabbits,  having to kill and animal  is something that you have to do on a farm . Someone will have to do it , even if you would rather not . You do it quickly cleanly or not at all . We love our horses cows , calves , cast ewes and it has to be that way if they are suffering. Foxes and some birds can really wreak havoc on exposed animals leaving them fit only for a bullet ---and quickly ( the gun in the ute )  .

So whats with this worry about the Alder shotgun this week ? As far as I can see The Adler  should be available to farmers even though you can add more rounds than our old pull action five shotter. Its very unlikely anyone would be stupid enough to use one in a hold up situation because they take too long to load , are not  short,  or very effective in harming lots of people.: You would be very easily disarmed if you tried to keep using it .
 If you are chasing or being chased , you might need 10 shot gun rounds to kill the animal , just as we experienced all those years ago for one poor little myxo rabbit .
Please.. worry warriors - stop meddling in an area you know nothing about . Ask questions if something troubles you --  there maybe better ways to kill . Recognise that death is a part of life and we have to have the freedom to deal with it and injury if we care , We are responsible as stewards of their being fed or not,  in many cases as we manage land , the resources and their injuries and starvation ( as they get older their teeth wear out etc) 
You can't and shouldn't try manage these sensitive  issues from the city and through TV images.   Stop denying death and our need to act in that area ; The same applies to the related issues of risk management 

As for my claim that spotlighting rabbits is for everyone ? . In the sand dunes near Dimboola.. at youth camp   girls and all would pile onto the back of utes and chase the rabbits under the spot light ( strong light  stuns them) catching them and giving them to the boys to kill -Quickly, Its called rabbit kicking and its great fun. A fair game.

The ABC have provided some good background on the adler shotgun

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Next to my wife I like my chainsaw ..and

Did you know that burnt hair and burnt skin smell different ? Until I was welding up higher than my head in the shed yesterday . I have to say I had forgotten . Either that,  or,  in all my joyous years at the end of the sticking stick,  I had never got quite so close to setting myself on fire as I did yesterday.
I could blame my lack of awareness on my girlfriends at the time . None of them commented as they stroked through my hair ( ha ha) . "You have got a hole in your head Modi" ( explains a lot -you say? ) . For those of you that don't know,  red hot metal lumps spatter off the stick area and burns their way into anything they land on .Find them all over other metal melted in.  The current helmet doesn't help cause it doesn't have a hood on it - Perhaps that new helmet is the reason and am not losing my mind after all .What do you think?
The reason I posted this is because I enjoyed the idea that I was again,  after 20 years , wearing my old favourite work gear and doing one of those jobs I like doing best - welding . My brothers used one of these red T shirts that I used to always wear" up to the bush "as we would say ( 30 % of the farm was still timbered) in a skit at our wedding.
You can't see it on the photograph,  but the red T shirt is full of holes on the front - burnt holes from red hot metal, They don't make T shirts like they used to!
I went to a birthday party that night and a beautiful chick and I shared our burning experiences.  She had just that morning ( 7 am ) been on the CFA crew mopping up after the bushfire at Dereel. Everyone could tell we had been somewhere strange - our hair smelt like smoke.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

No place more welcoming than the country

Went cross country today to visit a lost contact single farmer friend whom a friend nurse found for me again some months ago . He was never home when i visited so I rang or called all the local hospitals none of whom would 
tell me whether he was there (.He lived in the middle of nowhere with three or four possible care centres ). In future I won't ask over the phone , I will just turn up and assume "he's there " and suggest you do the same.
I was devastated that privacy laws prevented me getting even basic information . Out of the blue about 3 months ago a friend nurse  said my name had come up in conversation. Went there to visit today and found out he had died some months ago . He was a grateful inventive and tidy bloke who had no family, kept to himself, lived off the land with few comforts using his cattle sales to pay for improvements like soft drink and stores on the monthly visit to the city far away.
Single people are at great risk and single independent farmers are at great risk. Like many blokes though he would have loved the attention in the "the home" .
As many of you know too our nephew Luke lost his dearest precious and key friend yesterday too- unexpectedly due to ill health.
I hope we all make the most of remembering friends and being friends with whomever you can, somehow this Christmas . 
Thinking of you all out there- many for whom Christmas will mean remembering a loss much greater than mine . As if to bless us all "Lord of the Rings "is on the TV.
I dropped into his property on the way home . After finding the bits for his letterbox  I went into his home area in search of some flowers ( he used to grow a few sometimes )to display there -the path was all overgrown . All I could find was some fruit from his orchard of pears apples and nectarines  ) I enjoyed a bit of fruit remembering how he would want me to have some - so generous. Stuffed my pockets with fruit to share with family back home This is the country . where abundance and scarcity share the same home  . The birds from the extensive native forest (you can hear them on the video) nearby would get the rest of the fruit -the cows were already sharing the shade.

Heard a police siren while i was walking back to the car -Couldn't see the car because of all the bushes  Had I been noted as a trespasser ?. No, but find out what i was charged for that day---on another blog.

This day is too precious a time to continue here and now
Its a day _
to remember
- our friends and to talk to them 
-people in need around us  
-farmers who grow us our food only to be poorly fed 
- the great abundance and beauty around us 
- the wonder of the gifts we are given and
- our need to share those gifts   ( and if Lord of the Rings is right - to fight for them ) 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Selling out

This beautiful scene was much more common in the Otways than it is today. Foreign investors chose this view for a $1000 a night hotel with valet parking.
Typically though , the wealthy investors were ignoring what made the scene so special -Grass and Agriculture.

It hasn't been an easy week  for me . Like Bob Katter I get depressed when  people don't listen - I mean really listen -( especially the new breed of worriers from the city) . They patronise us , our people , the country and its children. They can't see the beauty for the trees,  and before long,  that's all they will have. They don't really listen to the real issues of looking after the bush  and the people there.
Feel for Bob and the 3 amigos trying to get a grip on the opportunity they have to influence our future ; What a workload and a responsibility they have. With all that power ,we know it is possible for any one of us  to be distracted- (Wanting to change the constitution- wild claims about who owns the land?  - Leviticus 25:23)  .  Bob mentioned "God given"  opportunity - well , noone else could have organised him to be heard like he  has been .I  pray for them,  that they get the priorities for the country right ,and don't get distracted any further .

My concerns this week have been more concrete and local . On the weekend I met a farmer friend who owns some of the most beautiful land in the country( Just like the bit pictured)  and he's now just selling it off piece by piece to the very wealthy .He has never had a lot of cash, single most of his life  his profile is like that one pictured here. All my hard work in the area to keep it attractive and with public benefit "externalities" is clearly under threat.
The paradox of rural life is that its "poverty" keeps a beauty that the rich may treasure,  but in keeping it for themselves - destroy . The once so beautiful - gone never to return .That reality should break your heart too, because it was only a few years ago it was your country to enjoy too !
His actions  are a real symbol of what Australia has come too - selling our soul out the rich and the apparently " more succesful" .
Rural people never get a return to capital easily. The city girl may love the idea of being a farmer's wife but - if she only knew what the demands were,  she would understand why my rich handsome friend had no best friend for most of his life ( very common ). This blind ignorance and arrogance from the city creates much mental illness out here. Instead of being respected for being the salt of the earth as they once were  , the new generation of young farmers  get guilt ( not sound sustainability questions) projected on them  with quiet contempt from "Wow aren't we clever" city people . "We really know how to get the most out of life"; Extracting the very last drop for themselves and their causes  .They might vote green but are they really thinking green like we have to ? .  Those whose focus is on extracting the last drop would not last out here - Their preoccupation  with Alan Kohlers' curves and route to success - that  1% or so that separates them from the Jones next door who only get 11% return to their capital . I won't tell you what farmers all round the world get . Unless of course you really want to know.
When no longer on the front page is Katter, will our concerns to you , still matter? Join The Lateral party

Thursday, January 21, 2010

That constant flood of cowshsh

How many of you you know just what it takes to get the pure white stuff into a sealed container . How many of you know just what other dangerous and disturbing things are flowing around you as you seek to provide this wealth of glory to our world - the basis for all the flavor and the fancy on Celebrity Chef , but worth only 20 cents- if you are lucky .
I've just spent 5 hours ( 4pm to 9pm yesterday ) milking over 200 cows on my own  . It had  been a quite a few years since I had last done it, but  I was still surprised to find myself in a state of shock afterwards . . All that white with brown and yella flowing together -  it was a huge constant challenge to keep em apart !
Strangely, despite the constant flood of manure and urine hitting the working desk , young son Jimmy and I agreed , at the very end , ( this is important because it was highly stressful for those 300 minutes) was fun .( he constantly washed the stuff away and herded the mob)

After the marathon hours of torture in the pits,  I was very tired. On the way home we had to turn back to return a tiny black kitten who had found its way into the car. Cats get a free ride on a dairy farm,  and they clearly know how,  at an early age,  to get lots of em. Even though I had collected 200000 cups of coffee's worth of milk for someone else, the cats had clearly got more than their share too.; They do well .Can't help thinking cats know something we don't.

Nearly home ,who should pull up behind us, though , as we pulled out of Mackas for tea ,  just before 10pm , and want to know "why my the lights on my trailer ,now full of cowsh, weren't working."
Was the trailer registered?. "where was the label "? "Your licence Sir "?,

Jimmy later describes to his mother how I had this incomprehensible conversation with the police officer ( news to me at the time) .  Jimmy thought the Policeman just gave up in the finish. I on the other hand thought I'd told him this and then went on to that .... when I clearly told him nothing . Half a dozen half finished sentences interrupted by a whole lot of irrelevant facts later , others knew I was failing as I tried to restrain my anger and grief at my big Angus tea going cold and our cones melting in out laps . Something about going to Phillip Island was mentioned eh? Some might even say,  - for Modi ..."incomprehensible? "sounds normal !
I thought I had  explained that i just fixed the detachable lights up ( which i had ) but had left them off for this trip.( minor matter of new bolts needed to stop it rattling ). "so where was the number plate and the label ?'I wasn't going to tell him I actually had 3 number plates off being" repaired ' at that very moment! I has explained NOTHING .
Can you ever explain your excuses? Should you try? Maybe I should have said the actual old faded lights still on the trailer broke when my son backed the trailer up onto the platform in his first driving lesson on the farm ( he couldn't reach the clutcheh!0. A fact, but not a relevant fact as farm loving trailers need the detachable kind of lights.( not the faded set that sit there and never work when you want them to!!)
SO , I made very little sense according to the highly intelligent young man who sat beside me the whole time ..At the end , I tried to say thank you to the police officer after he deliberated long within his flashing blue and red lighted local advertisement of my sins, and then unexpectedly didn't offer me a ticket , or points off ( wow and i thought policing in the country ...the sort where you learn respect for authority...was dead!).
Jimmy thought he was going to ask "what sort of drugs I was on;" What is it Sir ...some new form of crack? My passenger was sure infact that he was going to , at least........ breath test me
Not a good look------- but its not every day we try to do the impossible it ?
Thats the country for you !

We have seen a few good movies lately. How about you ? -