Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ATTS "Black Rifle Basics" Course Granted NRA LEAD Approval

On November 23, 2011 ATTS was notified by the NRA Law Enforcement Activities Division that our ATTS "Black Rifle Basics" course was a registered and approved course with the NRA LEAD.  This is exciting news.  The "Black Rifle Basics" Course is an indoctrination into the AR-15 platform of rifles.

This now makes a total of two ATTS courses that have been registered and approved through NRA LEAD.  Our first was the ATTS Tactical Shotgun course, which was approved in September of 2011.  Getting course approval was a very tough process but well worth the effort.  Several-hundred hours of hard work and dedication went into putting together the training curriculum's, the corresponding Power Point presentations, the instructor lesson plans, and the final written exams.

The next courses we are preparing to submit to the NRA LEAD are the ATTS Tactical Pistol Course.  This will be closely followed by the ATTS Precision Rifle (Sniper) Course.  Keep watching the ATTS web site and this Blog page for course updates.    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

.45 GAP Handgun Safari in Tennessee

While returning from the IALEFI Master Firearms Instructor Development Course held in Chattanooga, I decided to stop off at the Caryonah Hunting Lodge in Crossville, Tennessee and do some Handgun hunting.  The Caryonah Lodge has the distinction of being the oldest family-owned hunting lodge in the United States.  It has been operated by the same family for over sixty years.  I had hunted at the Lodge once before, so I knew what to expect.  Excellent food and lodging, and a great hunting experience with my favorite guide, Doug. 

On this trip, I was going to hunt several species of the Exotic Rams and Goats with the Glock Model 37 pistol, chambered for the .45 Glock Action Pistol (GAP) round.  For ammunition, I would be using the Corbon 200 grain JHP bullet.  These hollow-points resemble the old Speer "Flying Ashtrays."  I chose the .45 GAP cartridge because it is my favorite Home Defense and Concealed Carry pistol/cartridge combination.  My research also showed nobody had yet to take any game animals with it, so essentially these would be the first game animals harvested with this round in the United States.

We started the day off with an excellent breakfast and then Doug and I headed afield.  Three days prior to my hunt, eastern Tennessee had experienced several days of torrential rainfall so the game seemed non-existent.  We finally found a very nice Painted Desert Ram high up on a ridge.  Doug and I formulated a plan, so I took off to stalk this Ram and get within iron-sight handgun range.  I got to within thirty yards of the Ram but the brush was too heavy for a clear shot so he ran off.

Doug and I regrouped and came to the conclusion that the heavy rain had pushed the animals to deep cover, so we'd have to push the heaviest brush we could find on the 2,400 acre lodge.  An hour or so later, we were making a push through some heavy brush when we spotted a herd of Rams sneaking ahead of us.  I took off to the right of the herd and spotted an exceptional Barbarossa Ram in a clearing.  One shot from the Glock dropped the Ram.  He sported a very nice 32" spread on his horns.  After taking some photos and dressing out the Ram I took off to stalk the group.

The next Ram I spotted was the same Painted Desert Ram I saw on the ridge earlier that morning.  He saw me and immediately took off.  After several minutes of stalking, I managed to cut him off and dropped him with the .45 GAP as well.  The Painted Desert Ram is one of the most beautiful of all the Exotic Ram species.  This one was no exception.

Doug showed up so we took some more photos, dressed the Ram out and I went after the group once again.  Sometime later, I spotted a very nice Black Hawaiian Ram sneaking through the brush.  I acted as if I didn't see him and continued on past him to set up an ambush point.  The Ram appeared right where I expected him to show, but sensed I was there and started to run.  Another one of Corbon's "Flying Ashtrays" found it's mark and the Black Ram was mine.  We performed the customary photographic ritual once again and dressed the Ram out.  We headed back to the lodge to hang our quarry and have a fine lunch.

After lunch, Doug had mentioned that he had seen a fine Jacobs (4-horn) Ram in some high Swale grass in another corner of the lodge.  We proceed off to the spot and started to walk through the area.  I saw a patch of white to my right and then saw the outline of a very nice Spanish Goat.  The Goat turned to leave, but the 200 grain Corbon JHP caught him behind the left shoulder and down he went. 

As I was walking towards the Spanish Goat, I saw a set of horns sticking above the swale grass.  I turned and stalked the Ram to within seven yards or so.  The Jacobs Ram was standing deep in the high grass, so I figured he probably didn't think I saw him, so he'd stay put until I passed by.  That was a mistake on his part.  I shot this Ram and he just looked at me as if I had missed.  I shot him twice more before he finally fell.  The Jacobs Ram is a thick, and extremely woolly beast, so I believe some of that thick wool may have plugged up the hollow-point bullet so it didn't expand as expected.  All three shots were well placed and lethal.  We took our final photos and dressed out the two animals.

We drove back to the lodge and hung the game with the other three Rams.  All in all, I harvested five excellent animals.  They will all make wonderful wall mounts.  The taxidermist arrived and took possession of them.  This hunt has all but completed my Grand Slam for the Exotic Rams species.  Several years prior, I had taken a very surley Wild Boar, an excellent Texas Dall Ram and a beautiful Corsican Ram.  The final Ram I need for the Grand Slam is the Mouflon Ram.

I was leaving very early the following morning, so I bid goodbye to the staff at Caryonah and to my guide Doug that evening.  With such as successful hunt under my belt, the ten-hour drive back to the Chicago area didn't seem so bad.