George Block Column

Lack of ammunition could affect hunting

Rural development, lack of ammunition could affect hunting

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote September ushered in the hunting season since dove and geese seasons begin.


But I have seen very few people hunting doves and the sound of shots has been seemingly nonexistent.


This, despite a high number of doves in the area.


I might be that I have just been in the wrong places at the wrong times, but the shortage of ammunition might also be a factor. The development of rural land in the area doesn’t help, either.


As I have previously stated, hunters had better not wait until the last minute to purchase ammunition. If you do, you might be found throwing rocks at a deer holding an empty rifle.


This past spring, ammunition was about as common as a partridge in a pear tree. I thought things would have become somewhat normal by now.


Unfortunately, I was wrong.


The scarcity of ammunition combined with the difficulty in finding certain calibers could lead to a real problem. If you hunt with a .358, 6.5 Remington or some other oddball combo, you had better start looking now.


I can’t help but wonder about another potential difficulty faced by hunters. Many hunters never set foot on their deer hunting baliwick until the first day of the season. I can see a problem arising when they approach their favorite spot only to find a drilling rig or well pad right in the middle of their favorite hunting spot.


I have lost quite a bit of varmint hunting territory to gas drilling and it has almost certainly happened to deer hunters.


The gas is a blessing to some, but there is no free lunch.


I know many hunters consider it a bit early, but John Dino and I are both thinking about which rifle we will be taking for a walk in bear season.


It’s still two months away but seasons have a habit of sneaking up on you and the weather can change in late October.


It’s easier to work up a load and sight it in now than it is while you’re busy with archery season or fighting the cold and rain.


John is seriously thinking about taking a 416 Sako Fiberclass. Talk about overkill.


As for me, I’m trying to decide between one of my 270s or a 7mm-08. I do know both will be shot before the end of the month.


• Speaking of John and his 416, which is an African cartridge, Will Orndoff of Orndoff’s Sporting Goods in Claysville just came back from a successful hunt in South Africa.


It was his second hunting trip to South Africa, and this time, he scored with a 43-inch Cape Buffalo.


Anything over 40 inches is considered a very good bull, and Will’s is an exceptional buffalo.


The buffalo is one of the big five and can be a dangerous beast. The one Orndoff bagged with his .375 was in a bachelor group of three. Luckily, they ran the other way when he shot.


Orndoff also bagged seven other plains game in addition to his buffalo. Among them was a Duiker, which is a tiny antelope. He went from a buffalo that weighed more than a ton, to a 30-pound antelope.


He also hunted a mountain reedbuck, which is similar to hunting sheep in North America, and in thick cover, where he downed a fine bush buck.


Not only did he find a variety of animals, but a variety of terrain in which to hunt them. Orndoff now needs a bigger store to display his animals.



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


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