Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Job

Some readers from other blogs already know about my new position with Orion, The Hunters' Institute, which started July 1.  Here's the press release that went out.

For Immediate Release:
July 2, 2012

Orion, The Hunters’ Institute Names New Executive Director

JOHNSON, VT – James A. Tantillo of Ithaca, N.Y., has been named executive director of Orion, The Hunters’ Institute, an organization that provides leadership on ethical and philosophical issues related to fair chase and responsible hunting.

"Jim's strong management and leadership skills make him the right person to push Orion to a new level," said Mark Hirvonen, chairman of Orion's board. "In addition, the organization will benefit from Jim's expertise in environmental policy and natural resources management as well as his commitment to upholding our hunting traditions."

Tantillo said his immediate goals are to increase fund-raising and to work on shared goals with groups such as the American Wildlife Conservation Partners. In addition, his efforts will include maintaining and expanding Orion's publications and speaking services and strengthening its hunter education services.

An avid upland bird hunter, Tantillo has served on Orion's board since 2009. During that time, he was chairman of the board’s governance committee, and he also represented Orion nationally at conferences and hunter education training workshops in various states.

Tantillo's management experience includes serving from 2006 to 2008 as CEO of Historic Ithaca, a local historic preservation organization in Ithaca, N.Y. Prior to that, he was interim executive director and chairman of the board for the Tompkins County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also in Ithaca, N.Y.

Currently, Tantillo is a lecturer in environmental history and ethics for the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, where he will continue to teach part-time.  Tantillo holds his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and doctorate in natural resources from Cornell.

Orion, The Hunters’ Institute is the nation’s leading hunting think tank and provides education and consulting services for hunters and nonhunters throughout the United States and Canada. The organization was founded in 1993 by Jim Posewitz, a Montana big game biologist.  Posewitz put Orion on the map with his book Beyond Fair Chase, which has sold more than a half million copies.

To learn more about Orion, The Hunters’ Institute call 906-362-1969 or visit Orion’s website at www.huntright.org.

James A. Tantillo of Ithaca, N.Y., has been named executive director of Orion, The Hunters' Institute.
Contact: Mark Hirvonen, Chairman
Orion, The Hunters’ Institute Board of Directors
657 Maple Hill Rd
Johnson, VT 05656

One of the things I am hoping to do with Orion is expand our writings on our webpage, and from time to time I may look to some of you to display your literary talents--and who knows, with luck I will even be able to pay you for your efforts . . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ad homina homina homina

in honor of commenters at DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-payments-university-victoria-professor-susan-crockford-probed

I guess what I didn't realize about DeSmog Blog is the extent to which the entire blog's emphasis seems to be on personal attacks and ad hominem questioning of people's motives, character, funding, rather than examination of people's actual arguments on the merits. One look at the entries in their "denier database" makes this pretty clear: http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database .

Rather feel as if I misjudged DeSmog Blog--I had originally the impression of more of a fair forum, akin to Keith Kloor's site . . . but this sadly does not seem to be the case.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Monday, September 5, 2011

more on sport

From a comment on another blog:

Just in from a day huckleberry picking on the local mountainside. I t occurs to me that, for myself, gathering wild berries is not substantially different from hunting deer. i would class neither as a sport, but rather an attempt to step outside the "wage-earner" cycle, and however briefly, deal directly with the local environment to gather/take/harvest a portion of my food needs.

I read an interesting take on sport in a book about sea kayaking years ago. The author (George Dyson) was discussing the value of sport (in this case kayak racing), as an artificial means of creating the intensity of effort that might come naturally in a hunter/gatherer society. We trick our minds into thinking that it is REALLY IMPORTANT to paddle faster than the other guys in their boats. For myself, hunting is not an abstraction, designed to induce the inner sportsman to push himself to the limits. If anything it is the opposite, an inducement to slow down and really take in my surroundings with all my senses.
The last sentence is interesting, implies all sport is aggressive and designed to "push to the limits." The ideas of zen and the art of archery--or zen handgunning--appear to be completely foreign here, the idea that sport can be "an inducement to slow down and really take in my surroundings with all my senses" basically absent. Forget sailing also I guess.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hunting as sport

Almost went a full month without a blog post, can't let that happen.

The "hunting as sport" meme has raised its ugly head again, I played my little part in a discussion that started on the Mindful Carnivore blog and spilled over onto other blogs, including Phillip's Hog Blog.

Someday I'll get around to working on my "Why Hunting is a Sport and Why It Matters" project.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saga of aging eyes: ongoing

After falling apart during the styrofoam cups event on Sunday morning (zero for . . . [cough] nine), I decided to make haste to my optician for some vision expertise. I can tell you that everything was a blur during that event--and I do mean EVERYTHING, targets, front sight, rear sight, everything. What concerned me most was the apparent double vision I had of the targets themselves . . . I couldn't blink them straight, I couldn't line up the front sight on a single isolated cup, nothing. That's never happened to me before. So off I went.

The optician I go to is a good one, and he's got several other customers who shoot. Half the problem he suggested was not having the right color shooting glasses to make the targets pop out of the green background a bit more. That made sense to me, so we talked about shooting glasses. We also talked about the need to focus on the front sight with my dominant (right eye). Ordinarily I've been shooting with bifocal contact lenses and clear non-prescription shooting glasses.

He suggested dropping down a diopter in my right contact lens and wearing a non-bifocal lens in that eye. He predicted that would give me good focus on the front sight at around 30 inches or thereabouts. So he gave me a couple of -3.75 lenses to try (my normal prescription is -4.75) in the right eye, with the instructions to keep my normal bifocal -4.75 in the left eye.

And I bought a pair of Bolle sport glasses with 4 different colored lens inserts: yellow, light brown, vermillion, and a polarized set for driving. These are polycarbonate so should work for shooting; he also sells the Wiley X brand but did not have any in stock, so I went with the Bolle. The idea here is to see if I can get the target image as sharp as possible against the various backgrounds and in different light conditions.

Went to the range yesterday morning before the rains came--put in the weaker contact lens in my right eye, wore the yellow lenses (cloudy conditions) in the shooting glasses, and shot 20 or so rounds at paper.

Results were encouraging: My first target put three just outside the black in one big hole; the second five shots were kind of all over; and the last ten shots put a number in the black.

Then I shot a half dozen or so shots plinking at blocks of wood against the backstop. This was the best thing I did: I probably hit 2 out of 3 shots on average for about ten shots total.

So hopefully this will be the next step in trying to figure out how to improve my musket shooting with aging eyes. The rains came a bit too quickly yesterday to shoot anymore at clays, but I'm going to make up some hanging clays to try with the vermilion lenses, which I understand really accentuate the orange. I'll let you know how that goes.
you can't hit what you can't see . . .

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ridley's Tourniquet Theory

Matt Ridley at http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/tourniquet-theory :

I call it my tourniquet theory and it goes like this: if you are bleeding to death from a severed limb, then a tourniquet may save your life, but if you have a nosebleed, then a tourniquet round your neck will do more harm than good. This metaphor can be applied to all sorts of scares and their remedies, but it is climate change that I have in mind. Over the past few years it has gradually become clear to me that climate change is a nosebleed, not a severed limb, and that the remedies we are subsidising are tourniquets round the neck of the economy.
Last month, the Government’s plan for a job-deterring carbon price floor, and an Australian official’s admission that even if the world stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, the temperature would not drop for several hundred years, reminded us that the pain could well outweigh the gain. Two new peer-reviewed scientific papers ram the point home. The first makes it clear just what a mild nosebleed climate change is proving to be; the second just what a lethal tourniquet climate change policy is. Note that this is different from arguing about whether climate change is real. Nosebleeds are real.
The nosebleed paper appeared in the Journal of Coastal Research (salute the web, in passing, for its extraordinary capacity for giving us access to such sources) and it concludes: “Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in US tide gauge records during the 20th century. Instead, for each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records. The decelerations that we obtain are . . . one to two orders of magnitude less than the +0.07 to +0.28 [millimetres per year squared] accelerations that are required to reach sea levels predicted for 2100 by [three recent mathematical models].”
To translate: sea level is rising more slowly than expected, and the rise is slowing down rather than speeding up. Sea level rise is the greatest potential threat to civilisation posed by climate change because so many of us live near the coast. Yet, at a foot a century and slowing, it is a slight nosebleed. So are most of the other symptoms of climate change, such as Arctic sea ice retreat, in terms of their impact. The rate of increase of temperature (0.6C in 50 years) is not on track to do net harm (which most experts say is 2C) by the end of this century.
The tourniquet paper is from the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons; its author, Indur Goklany, concludes: “The production of biofuels may have led to at least 192,000 additional deaths and 6.7 million additional lost disability-adjusted life years in 2010. These estimates are conservative [and] exceed the World Health Organisation’s estimates of the toll of death and disease for global warming. Thus, policies to stimulate biofuel production, in part to reduce the alleged impacts of global warming on public health, particularly in developing countries, may actually have increased death and disease globally.”
In short, biofuels are doing more harm than good by pushing people into malnutrition, which makes them more vulnerable to disease: a tourniquet round the neck of the poor. Not far from where I live, there is a biofuel plant on Teesside, and to my disgust I find that some of the wheat grown on my farm goes there after it’s sold. About 5 per cent of the world’s grain production is now going to make motor fuel rather than food, with the result that rich farmers like me get better prices, but poor Africans pay more for food.
Yet that 5 per cent of world grain has displaced just 0.6 per cent of world oil use, so biofuel is hurting the patient without even stopping the nosebleed.
Almost every other climate change policy suggested so far is similarly futile. Wind: costs a fortune, kills eagles and does not even reduce carbon emissions because of the need for fossil fuel back-up. Solar: the tariff paid for energy fed into the grid is so high that you might even make money if you shine off-peak electric lamps on your panels at night. Tidal, hydro: far greater impact on natural habitats than climate change. Wave: does not work.
As the world begins an historic switch from coal and oil to abundant natural gas (which the International Energy Agency now says will last for at least a quarter of a millennium), carbon emissions are bound to start falling in a decade or three. Electricity from gas produces 37 per cent of the carbon dioxide that electricity from coal produces, and cars running on natural gas produce 25 per cent less carbon emissions, not to mention costing half as much to run.
As the climate nosebleed dribbles down our collective chin, we will look back in horror on those who proffered a tourniquet for our collective neck.


Monday, April 11, 2011

a target I meant to post earlier.  After a long day of shooting, multiple guns, multiple trips to the range, here is the last target of the day.  That last bull (top left) is a 42-4x . . .  offhand.  Hard to say when THAT will ever happen again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snow day trigger work

Spent the snow day working on the triggers of my CZ 452s. First up was the American, which got the green YoDave shim tube between the sere and the barrel, and the third heaviest spring. Shot a couple of targets with it earlier in the afternoon--not quite a hair trigger, but very, very light and virtually no creep. Pretty impressive, actually.

Came home and did the UltraLux. This one got the thinnest (blue) tube, and although I was going to put on the heaviest spring, it was longer than the factory spring and felt like it would stiffer than the factory spring. So I opted for the #2 spring (second lightest). Got everything back together, shot a couple of targets. Managed the following target offhand, one of my better efforts. The Ultra trigger is not quite as light as the American, but comfortable with the BRNO sights.

Other than falling apart on the fourth bull (I was getting pretty tired at that point), this was pretty good offhand shooting for me with the aperture sights.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You'll see on this first benchrest target where I got stuck after the first three bulls (clockwise from the sighter) just a hair to the right of the x-ring. Messed with the screws, pushed/nudged the windage knob gently but firmly for the next two bulls, finally dialed in on the sixth bull:

I'm pretty pleased so far. Offhand shooting seems easier with these sights, at least for the Ultra -- I've always struggled to shoot the Ultra as well as I shoot the lighter Trainer. The first bench target with the thing dialed in yielded the following results:

That's pretty good for me--I generally can't do that consistently with my scoped American. (and yes, I always seem to fall apart on the third bull . . . don't know exactly why that is. but I usually finish strong.)

enough for now. As soon as I'm done with this post I'm going to attack the sights with some Kroil to loosen things up, and then a good cleaning and oiling.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finally got the BRNO sights on the UltraLux today, with pictures below. I have to say, the BRNO target sight photos thread on rimfirecentral was very helpful, particularly the photo of the modified screwdriver to seat the nut holding the front sight to the ramp. I did exactly that with a Dremel tool and it worked great, whole thing only took 10-15 minutes.

Took the gun down to the club tonight, but also had Sophia with me trying her new 22 as well, so I only got to shoot a couple of targets with the new sights, but I was in and around the black pretty quickly. Offhand didn't seem to difficult at all, and first three sighters off the bench went into a single hole--that got me pretty cranked up.