Whatever you do, don’t call them over-under mounts

September 2, 2017

I was standing at the counter of a major sporting goods store when this sensible looking fellow came up. I told the sales clerk I was just looking.

Naturally, the person behind the counter shifted his attention to the other customer and asked what he was looking for. It seems he had just purchased a new scope and asked the salesclerk to show him a mount. Then came the question that made me grimace. He wanted one of those over-under mounts.

Normally, I am an understanding fellow but I can’t stand it when someone calls those gosh-awful see-through mounts over-under mounts.

First, I can’t help but wonder who first came up with that over-under moniker. Honestly, going a bit further, whose idea was it to offer the hunter not the best of two worlds but instead the worst of both worlds?

For those who don’t understand how the sighting arrangement works, it is a system that allows the scope sight to be mounted high enough to allow the hunter to look under the scope and see the open sights, thus the name see-through.

Sounds good; doesn’t it? In the land of fantasy and see-through sights, it’s great but reality shows a different picture.

It is not easy to look through that dark tunnel under the scope. I guess it’s just point and shoot. Can you picture it? The hunter jumps a deer, he ignores his perfectly good scope on the rifle, then tries to find the running animal along with the iron sights in that small opening under the scope.

He would have been more accurate if he had mounted the scope down where it belongs and used that. One has to remember that the rifle, when being shot, is supported in three places. A right-handed person uses his or her left hand to hold the rifles forearm, and the right hand the pistol grip and often forgotten the cheek.

How do you cheek the rifle and still see any sights? To do this, one needs to be built like a giraffe. You want success in heavy cover? Mount that scope low where it belongs and get used to finding things in the field of view.

• If you remember, a month ago I mentioned a plan was in the works to create an award for youngsters performing something outstanding in the field of hunting, fishing or conservation.

The youngster must be 18 years of age or younger and must be a resident of Washington County. The application should include the name, address, phone number, email address, age, sex, description of achievements of the nominee and sponsor’s name, title, phone number, email address and date.

Applications can be mailed to Mike Weber, 46 Sugar Camp Lane, Scenery Hill, Pa., 15360.

The award will be presented at the sports show at the Washington Crown Center. The name of the award is the George H. Block Conservation Scholarship. It is my greatest wish that the scholarship will promote and encourage our younger generation to be conservationists, good sportsmen and enjoy all outdoor activities.

The judges and committee members are Denny Fredericks, past president of the Game Commission; Chet Krcle, president of the Washington County Sportsmans’ Club; Mike Weber, who teaches youngsters to hunt; and myself.

My son Patrick and daughter Kathy also are helping and plan to stay involved. I hope to receive many applications.

George Block writes a weekly Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.

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