Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Better Bring Yer Own...

Just a quick update from the Farthest North...

While it has long been held that the travelling hunter is well advised to shoot a smokepole chambered for ultra common ammunition. Apparently the reasoning is such that should the hunter become seperated from his cartridges, he can obtain a ready resupply at his point of arrival. I hear this commonly when new cartridges are introduced all the time as a real point of contention and justification of why a new cartridge should be avoided like plague rats.

"Sure the .375 Super Floogen Boomer is a great cartridge, but just try to buy shells in Africa or Alaska!" is often the cry you'll here from those predisposed to such things. Well my friends- I've got news for you.

No Longer Applicable.

Recently a travelling hunter became seperated from his baggage and was mere hours from stepping onto a bush plane bound for Middle of Nothing, AK. His rifle was a pretty common chambering- 7mm Remington Magnum. While admittedly not the most popular sporting caliber in Alaska, it is a popular Western hunting cartridge. Local hook and bullet store was fresh out given our timeline in moose season with the closest place having any a whopping two hours away in Fairbanks, and they only had two boxes. The enterprising pilot put out the call on the hunter's grapevine for a Good Samaritan to bring a box to the airstrip to get these guys on their way.

Well the word spread and the oddest thing happened- no 7mm Magnum anywhere in town with any of the local hunters. I'm sure some folks were hold outs but I was pretty amazed.

Looking at the small pile my friends and I established- he could have had a rifle chambered in any of dozens of calibers deemed "unusual" or uncommon and we could have helped him out.

Any flavor of .30 Magnum. Any flavor of Weatherby including .338-.378. Any of the Ruger boutique cartridges. Any of the .35s (including .358 STA and Norma) An off brand box of .25-35. .257 Bob. A few loose rounds of .280 Ackley Improved. Prodigous quantities of .270, .308 and .30-06 but not a round of 7mm Remington Magnum to be found. A Good Samaritan did lend our desperate hunter a rifle and cartridges but I'm still wondering about the original rationale.

So here's the question. Any of you readers ever lose/ forget ammo and had to resupply locally at your destination? Where was it and how'd that go?

Given the current state of ammunition availability in Fairbanks and locally you're apparently well advised to make doubly sure to bring your own.


R. Gabe Davis said...

Don't get to travel enough to have that problem. However I would not let a flimsy reason like "what if I lose my ammo" dictate the type of rifle I am hunting with. No matter what I will use what I think is the most effective tool for the job.

Oswald Bastable said...

Yep- one reason I kept my No.4 lee-enfield. Buying .303 in NZ is like buying 30-06 in the US.

Buying ammo for my 6mm Rem would be a mission!