Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spud Valley Sporting Goods Inc.

Spud Valley Sporting Co. was our first stop in Pemberton. Thanks to the new highway it had been less than 2 hours from Vancouver with a stop in Squamish for MacDonald Angus Burgers and a pee break for Gilbert. Brad and Sheraton were suitably impressed with my new hunting dog.
This trip was partly to introduce Gilbert to gun fire. Here he was in the centre of outdoor world. Even the incredible guys at Reliable Guns in Vancouver knew Brad and Sheraton. Family businesses. All the good guys know each other.
"How's Pemberton Fishfinder's Guiding Business going?" I asked Brad while Laura tried to interest Gilbert in the latest in women's outdoor fashion but Gilbert kept whining to be back with the boys discussing men and dog things. "Just great, People keep calling back, and coming back".
I told him I wanted a .223 rifle. Guys like Ed and Richard have been on me to get out with them target practicing. They're using .223 for competition. The .223 sport load was later developed into the M16. It's attraction for me was that other than my 22 LR shells my other rifle shells were$1 to $3 a piece. No fun target practicing with that cost. The .223 can come even lower but the standard cost is about 75c. a shell from Winchester.
Sure enough Brad had a real deal on a Chinese Model JW-105 caliber. $350 the price was more than right.
Next thing I knew Brad had a strap on it as well as the ATV Gun Guard hard case I'd been looking for. It's made to mount on ATV's and I'm sure it's going to mount just fine on my Honda 230 enduro motorcycle.
All the while I was also thinking how I was going to carry Gilbert on the motorcycle. At that moment Gilbert was wrestling Laura for fishing line he'd taken an interest in.
Brad's been blogging. Mostly about the hunting and fishing business. "It's really fun writing about that stuff. ", he said. I'm not surprised since he and Sheraton really are living the dream.
He's been reading my blog since last year and even told me after I'd bought another rifle how much he enjoys the things that interest me.
It was too late to get a membership in the Pemberton Wildlife Club. You
need that to use the gun range.
"I figure the folk over there are already settling down for the big hockey game tonight." Brad said. He and Sheraton are big hockey fans too. You can't get more Canadian than these two. The tv was on in the store to catch the opening ceremonies so they wouldn't miss anything before closing the store.
Thanks to them I got pointed in the right direction to a gravel pit where the locals get out shooting. Normally he's pointing me to where the fish or game soa gravel pit for target practice certainly didn't tax him any.
Laura held Gilbert in the truck while I set up some targets and then settled in to sight the .223. What a sweet rifle. Open sites I was getting bullseyes at 30 yards. That's grouse range but I know my friend Dr. Richard Cho would be hitting the target as well at a hundred yards. Bill Mewhort probably spoiled me for target shooting. He got me into shooting deer and moose at over 400 yards. Something about the 'edibility' of a thing brings out the best shot. Cardboard never has done it. As well I'm fairly accurate when being charge by animals, something I'm rather pleased to be alive to say.
Still there's a lot to be said for target practice and thanks to all the can shooting I'd done last year when I tried my Mossberg 30:30 I got a tight group of hits around the bullseye with one dead centre.
Soon Laura had Gilbert out of the truck on the leash walking closer towards me as I popped away at targets. She gave him treats and at no point was he startled or frightened by the guns. A really good start.
After that we did a little 4x4 driving up the mountain. Gilbert got his first sighting of a bear. I had a tag and it was bear hunting season. I certainly had the 30:30 handy. But the bear wasn't much bigger in bear world than Gilbert was in dog world. "I'll tell Luke to come out here hunting in few years." I said. We watched him bound up the hill away into the woods and looked around to see if Mom was near. He looked like he'd maybe been a year on his own. Momma bears can stay with their cubs a season or two.
There was still snow by the road and Gilbert got his first experience of snow. Not surprisingly, since he eats everything at this stage, he ate the snow. He liked that as well as bouncing about on it. Gilbert's first snow.
We turned the Ford 4x4 Ranger about when the road up became covered in snow and lower down we parked.
Laura, Gilbert and I went for a terrific stroll along a canyon to a ridge overlooking the valley. Sunshine, blue sky, fluffy clouds, snow capped mountains all about. It was majestic.
I can understand why Brad and Sheraton can't leave it. Pemberton has really become an outdoors capital with hunting, fishing, hiking and moutain climbing. Whistler and Blackholm are uptown now. This is where the wilderness begins. By the end of the walk Gilbert was strutting out ahead and looking back at us. He certainly likes this pack he belongs to. He also likes all our friends too.
"I sold 5 guns today," Brad told me. "I don't know what it is." Laura wants to get her firearms and and possession rifle. She'd like a .223 with a shorter stock herself. "I like that I can shoot targets, grouse and deer as well with a .223 . I could shoot bear too but I'd prefer a larger calibre." Not surprisingly women have been flocking to some of the Chinese rifles because they have a shorter stock. This one fit me just fine but we got to talking about some of the other Chinese models that suit people without big ape arms.
"I'm planning a moose hunt this year up Fort St. James way in the Omenica with my friend Luke. " I told Brad. "I ate the last of my moose from 2 years ago this last spring." He'd been talking about his wife and family for a bit before we got back on the important topics of hunting and such.
"Alot of moose up past Prince George by Vanderhoof way," Brad said. While I knew that it was reassuring to hear Brad confirm it. I'd shot a couple of moose up that way with Bill Mewhort and one by myself. Tom Kennedy helped with the last two, hauling and butchering. The last one I shot was with Luke and Tom. Luke and I are hoping Tom will be able to join us. You don't want to break up a winning team. Laura's likely to come as camp cook but Luke's not sure he could get his girlfrend out on a 10 day moose hunt. "I don't even know if she'll spend a week end backwoods camping with me, yet."
The weather in Pemberton this weekend was fabulous. Laura and I and Gilbert after playing in the mountains headed back to a night of roughing it at the Pemberton Valley Lodge We'd loaded up with delli chicken and salads and planned a night in luxury watching satellite tv. We like the hot tub and pool as well as the secure underground parking. Coming up on the Harley the underground parking is a really attractive feature. This time it was all about their being really dog friendly.
"Right now, I'd rather go to Pemberton that Europe, " I told Laura. "I've not been to Europe so maybe one day, This year I want to be with Gilbert and enjoy him being a puppy. There's no better place to be outdoors with a dog than here. He makes everything outdoors come alive with newness and interest.
Tomorrow maybe we'll get to one of the natural hotsprings in the area, like Meager Creek, before heading back to the city.

No comments: