My main reason for spending most of today banging around on Hardscrabble Mountain in the Dark Horse (and adding to the old veteran's extensive collection of dents and branch scrapes in the process) was to find out where the elk are hanging out. Two weeks until my cow tag kicks in, and the elk are higher than Tommy Chong and scattered like a bag of marbles busted on a wood dance floor.
That's not encouraging.
The bright side was that I stopped at an improvised range I know about and banged out a few rounds of rifle ammo. After letting my .338 Mag, Thunder Speaker, bang against my shoulder for five rounds to check the zero, I uncased my new Hornet and zeroed it.
What a fun little rifle! For those of you unfamiliar with the #3 Ruger, it's a falling-block single shot - you pull down the little finger lever that makes up the trigger guard, the block drops into the receiver exposing the chamber - you place one diminutive Hornet round in the chamber, snap the lever up to close the block and you're ready to commence operations.
My #3 was obviously made before corporate liability lawyers decided that it was necessary for commercial rifles to have crappy triggers. The trigger breaks cleanly at (I'm guessing) around four pounds. After zeroing, I laid the rifle on a rolled-up jacket on the Dark Horse's hood and proceeded to break five clay pigeons at 100 yards as fast as I could eject brass and stuff in new rounds. The short barrel makes a pleasant little bark, and there is no perceptible recoil, but the little charmer will put a round exactly where you want it with little fanfare - it should be death on fall turkeys, foxes and coyotes.
That's an idea, in fact; I may have to buy a furbearer license this winter and take the Hornet out after foxes.