Thursday, May 28, 2020

Video: How to identify amanita vernicoccora

Lots of mushroom hunters see this treat and pass right on by out of concerns it might be a destroying angel or death cap, which can kill you. Not me and Hank - we love these things! In this video, Hank points out the six traits that confirm this mushroom is an eater.

© Holly A. Heyser 2020

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Op-ed: Ammunition background check disaster in California

When the California Legislature enacted an ammunition background check law in 2016, they said it would be convenient and easy for law-abiding gun owners to go through the check.

The state had three years to develop the regulations for carrying out background checks.

So what happened? The state finalized the regs literally the week before the law went into effect last summer, and did such a bad job on them that literally tens of thousands of ammo purchases by law-abiding gun owners have been rejected.

Click here to read what I've got to say about that.

© Holly A. Heyser 2019

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Video series: Hanksperiments

My house is littered with the unusual: A truly impressive accumulation of Hank's odd projects in various states of progress. Or maybe these things are just detritus that he left on our beleaguered kitchen table instead of tossing them. Sometimes they're both.

Really, it's too ridiculous not to share, so I've created a video series called "Hanksperiments." You can see the entire playlist here, and a recent one below. Enjoy!

© Holly A. Heyser 2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

Video: Hanksperiments, Episode 1 - Wanna see anchovies fly?

When your boyfriend makes a living pushing the boundaries of what normal people do with wild food, you end up with a LOT of weird stuff going on around the house. This is what happened when he came home from a halibut fishing trip this weekend with more bait than halibut.

Welcome to my world!

© Holly A. Heyser 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Videos: Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

Did I need a new gun? No. But last fall, Benelli invited me on a hunt in Saskatchewan where I was one of four shotgun/hunting writers to try out the new Benelli Super Black Eagle 3, before it had even been released. I liked it a LOT, so as soon as it was available, I bought one.

The gun is getting rave reviews, so I figured there are people out there who might like to know how to do a few things with it, so I've made a few videos: how to assemble the SBE3 out of the box, how to reverse the safety and how to adjust drop and cast.

All three videos are below, as is the story behind the video about how to reverse the safety - feel free to enjoy a good laugh at my expense!

Now, the story:

As soon as I got my SBE3, I took it apart, reversed the cast and reversed safety so it was good for left-handed shooting. I had zero trouble doing it. So then the next weekend I did a re-enactment so I could make a how-to video.

Reversing the safety involves removing a retaining pin that holds back a tiny, 1/2-inch long spring. At one point in that process, I didn't realize I'd pushed the pin all the way out so I turned it around to look at it. Snap! ......... Plink!

Oh. My. God. The spring had flown out and hit something metal somewhere behind me, which could've been one of the dozens of photo prop tables I have, a sheet of corrugated metal, a refrigerater, a freezer, the Instant Pot sitting on the freezer, the electric slicer sitting on the box next to the freezer, the water heater, the washer or the dryer.

At this point it's worth noting that I was working up one of my MONSTER headaches and I was not feeling good, and getting more nauseated by the second, both because of the headache and my predicament. I watched the video up to the point where I started saying "Oh God" over and over. Unfortunately I had pulled the trigger assembly out of the frame, so I couldn't see which way it'd been pointing.

But it sounded like it had hit the corrugated metal behind me. Right underneath that metal was an enormous wad of duck blind camo grass, like a roll of brittle shag carpet. So I tipped it upside down and shook. Nothing. Then I started picking up and shaking every single photo prop/table. Then I tipped the frame that holds the tables and looked underneath. Then I reached into a corner that looked like a great place for a family of black widows and pulled every piece of junk sitting there.

Hank came home at that point, so I pulled him in. He pulled out the fridge. Took out all the pieces of camo grass and shook them separately. Helpfully (not) pointed out that it might have hit the rafters and gone God knows where. Dear God. Not the decoys! Nausea increased. I decided to look by the water heater and asked him to put all the grass back into its plastic bag, which is akin to putting a genie back in a bottle, which is to say it didn't really happen the way I'd envisioned.

While he worked on that, I began picking up each item of dirty laundry near the water heater and shaking it. This was mostly Hank's filthy gardening clothes and bloody elk processing towels and aprons, which is to say it was all dank and crusty. Still nothing.

Despondent, I resolved to give up and hit the Brownell's website to order a replacement spring and cancel my planned Sunday shoot at with a friend. So I put the laundry back in its pile, shaking each item again for good measure. And after the last item was on the pile, I looked down on the floor and there it was: the spring.

It had been two hours since I'd lost it. But my persistence - honed by 11 dogless seasons of searching for ducks that drop in terrible places - had paid off.

So, I rallied! I finished the filming, went inside the house, took some meds for the headache, and thanked my lucky stars.

So if you watch that video and you can see how much my hands are shaking as I work on the trigger assembly, it's because I could barely see straight at that point. But I got it done!

© Holly A. Heyser 2017