The sniper column

Watch your back! Sniping remarks and gleeful industry gossip – we love it!

 

The dating game

You have to be careful what sort of information you give out on dating sites. Of course, you need enough to interest potential swipers but not so much that you put yourself at risk – especially if you are bragging about breaking the law.

A Facebook update from the Oklahoma Game Wardens showed that one of their employees had come across a poacher while looking for a Valentine’s match. Cannon Harrison went from flirting to undercover reconnaissance while speaking to a potential date at the end of the area’s hunting season.

The woman in question commented that she had killed a ‘bigo buck’, triggering Cannon’s professional interest. She also admitted using a spotlight to blind the deer during the illegal hunt. After sending personal details and photos of the deer to Cannon, he reportedly tracked her down on social media, with fellow wardens showing up at her house to take further action.

US reports say that she was fined $2,400 (£1,880), but will avoid jail time because she paid her fines. So in terms of unsuccessful dates, I would argue that this certainly bucks the trend.

 

What a difference two years make

21 November 2016: Lord Bonomy, completing his comprehensive review into the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 which deals with hunting with dogs, says that restricting the use of packs of dogs to flush foxes to guns would “seriously compromise effective pest control in the country”.

31 January 2017: Scottish ministers endorse Lord Bonomy’s findings and announce plans to develop a code of practice for the use of dogs in fox control.

9 January 2019: Scotland’s rural affairs minister announces legislation that will limit the number of dogs that can be used to flush to guns.

Fans of fox hunting north of the border must wonder if they woke up in a different universe – or, perhaps more likely, they will just roll their eyes with sad familiarity.

 

Block party

In the shooting community we are used to receiving indifferent or downright derogatory treatment from those in non-shooting establishments, from banks to newspapers to politicians. But now, it appears mobile and internet providers are getting in on it too. One reader of Sporting Rifle magazine has written in to declare that the Sporting Rifle website has been blocked by Vodafone’s in-house anti-virus service, SecureNet, which declares that the site contains ‘Hate, Violence and Weapons’.

All three? Surely not. While you could find some items that could be construed as weapons (though someone knowledgeable in firearms would dispute even this), most of the hate and threats of violence found on the websites or social media pages of shooting mags is directed at them, by antis who have logged on for a quick flame-throwing session.

Of course, this website-block is hardly evidence of malice or a conspiracy. It’s just another example of ‘computer says no’, or in this case, phone says no. We have shooting publishers to thank for putting the good word out there and countering the negativity with evidence and positive stories about shooting.

Except they are not immune to content-blocking errors either. Word reaches Sniper that a field sports publisher not a million miles from Gun Trade News has recently updated the virus prevention software it uses, and it now displays a ‘Weapons’ warning before displaying many websites from shooting industry companies, including their own.

I’m sure their staff are shocked to discover what sort of content they will discover when heading to websites with words like Gun, Shooting and Shooter in their name…

 

Waxing lyrical

Gun Trade News quite often comes across exciting new business ventures, never more so than when the title rounds up the latest Market Opportunities. This month, there’s a roundup of gun care and maintenance. Just make sure you don’t misconstrue what any of the featured products are for.

One new arrival Sniper recently spotted in this market is Slippery Dicks Gun Wax, which offers exactly what it says on the tin (well, not exactly). Sniper hasn’t had a chance for a, er, practical test yet, but from first impressions we can immediately see that it must be ideal for wood. And this gives us the chance to ‘expose’ some of the innuendo-tastic terms relating to gun cleaning products in general.

Many cleaning agents loudly advertise their lubricating capabilities. And on one product specially designed for buffing forends, the instructions state to apply sparingly and then immediately rub off. Don’t forget, the more you put on, the harder-wearing it will be. Tee hee!

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