Monday, December 6, 2010

Diva with a gun.....

I have spent a lifetime in the shooting sports.  Starting at age 8 and all the way to the present day, I am, simply put, a Marksman, with pistol, shotgun and rifle.  I have a long list of credentials in that regard and a bunch of trophies, but more than that I just love being outdoors and participating in the shooting sports in all their many forms.

I have been keeping up with the mini-series on TLC channel, "Sarah Palin's Alaska", and it is more, much more, revealing than I would guess she is aware.  For example: here's what I saw when the great Sarah of Wasilla sallied forth on a caribou hunt:  She wasn't either allowed, expected or willing to carry her own rifle. In fact, it wasn't hers at all, but one chosen by her father from his battery...picked for its lack of recoil, according to him.  I would guess it was something like a .243 Winchester. Palin Sr. referred to it rather disdainfully as a 'varmint rifle'.  Neither was she expected to load or operate the bolt-action on this rifle. It was the kind of thing you might see when a kid is hunting with a parent for the first time.  But, apparently, Palin Sr. has been taking Sarah hunting since, is that perhaps why he still treats her as if she were a ten-year old?

So, finally, a caribou presents itself on the second day of the hunt.....and the moment of truth is upon her.  Sarah squints into the scope and squeezes off a shot.  Nothing happens, the caribou stands there.  So, her father reaches over and operates the bolt-action and Annie Oakley squeezes off a second shot......caribou stares in disbelief.  She misses four times before it dawned on anybody that the rifle wasn't properly zeroed-in.  The scope must have taken a knock during the travels to the camp....but any responsible and knowledgeable sports(wo)man knows that the first thing you do on arrival in camp, certainly before heading out, is to fire a few shots to verify the zero on your rifle.  Nah, not the Palins.

 Then her friend, Becker, hands her his rifle with the warning,"...Careful, this one kicks", and she finally shoots the by now bored caribou, who had apparently decided that its fate could only be fulfilled by being a victim of the storied huntress who had traveled so far to kill it.

The whole business was just silly.  This woman--despite all her claims to outdoor expertise--violated a primary rule of hunting: be sure of your shot.  By not knowing if the rifle was properly zeroed, she turned the whole thing into a Keystone Cops movie.  When she got home and was showing off the meat and antlers to her family with great pride, her smallest daughter, Piper, was singularly unimpressed and when Sarah asked if she'd like to have the antlers on the wall in her bedroom, I believe I heard Piper observe that her mommy had shot a very small caribou. 

If the goal of this mini-series is to impress all of us who love the outdoors that Sarah Palin is one of us, I've got some bad news for you, Mark Burnett.  It ain't workin'.

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