Thoughts, observations on the flooding of Missouri RiverIn discussing the aftermath of the flooding along our Missouri River, it would be difficult to improve on the perspective I’ve gained living in Wagner. I frequent the local recreational facilities on Francis Case Reservoir, and I personally know those who have been profoundly affected on the river bottom south of Wagner.
By: Roger Wiltz, The Daily Republic
In discussing the aftermath of the flooding along our Missouri River, it would be difficult to improve on the perspective I’ve gained living in Wagner. I frequent the local recreational facilities on Francis Case Reservoir, and I personally know those who have been profoundly affected on the river bottom south of Wagner.
Most of the families who live along or adjacent to the bottom road that runs in an easterly direction from Chalkrock to Greenwood to the Choteau Creek made an effort to remain home even if their homes were fortified by sandbag dikes. Folks at Running Water, Springfield and The Apple Tree were also affected. I’ve noted that the bottom road from Springfield to Running Water is gone.
With the road south of Wagner under water, it was necessary for those who live there to create alternate, often hazardous northward routes over the ridge. Getting to and from work meant many additional miles often traveled in darkness. Boats were often a vital part of the shuffle, and huge sacrifices were made. The closure of the Standing Bear Bridge between Running Water and Niobrara, Neb., also necessitated more travel.
In spite of having every reason to be angry, I marvel at the resiliency of these people. Imagine racing your boat across a cornfield so the kids can one day tell their kids about tubing on the south forty. For the past two months, neighbors have joined together to fish the road ditches from folding chairs on the asphalt or the tailgate of a pickup. Many ditch anglers have taken hundreds of catfish. The atmosphere has been festive in spite of the circumstances.
Based on my personal observation, I’m extremely pleased to report that from Aug. 26, to Aug. 30, the water level of the river in the Running Water area dropped two to three feet. This same drop was also readily apparent along what I call the bottom road.
With the heartache, billions of dollars in damage, not to mention the countless acres of eroded river bank, it would probably be in poor taste to talk about the fish, but I’ll do it anyway.
Where there are no culverts under the roadway, the road has become a dike that will land lock countless acres of fish. The blue herons, raccoons, etc. already realize this. Eagles will soon be living the high life. It will be interesting to observe which fish species have been trapped. Older locals tell me that carp are the most often trapped, and that catfish are too smart to fall into this predicament. I intend to follow this, and I’ll keep you informed as to how things along our river progress.
* * * * * * * * * *
Now for some “No Spin” talk about bullets. With twin 11-year-old granddaughters who are anxious to become deer hunters, I’m already giving some serious thought as to what they will use next year for rifles. Two years ago, their brother, Sam, killed his first deer with my Ruger .223 single-shot rifle. Sam made a well-placed shot, but the deer still ran 50 yards before it expired. The bullet was not adequate. With today’s high tech bullets, has the .223 become a reasonably good deer rifle?
Page 6 of my August 2011 American Hunter magazine is titled “Online.” The question is raised, “Is the .223 Too Light for Deer Hunting?” It instructs the reader to go online to AmericanHunter.org/223deer. I did just that. I guessed, prematurely, that the online article would say yes if the hunter was within reasonable range, and the hunter was using the all copper bullets made today by Barnes or Hornady.
Why did I guess that the article would say yes? Last year I killed a bull elk with a 180 grain .30-06 Barnes Triple-X all copper bullet. My recovered bullet peeled back perfectly and retained 100 percent of its original weight. I had the same experience in Africa in 2007 with Barnes Triple X bullets fired from a .375 H&H magnum. I’m a believer!
So what did the article say? Use a Barnes Triple X or Hornady GMX copper bullet, keep the range under 150 yards, and go ahead and use the .223.
It went on to say the bullet would retain its weight, and expand to .74 hundreds of an inch after penetrating one inch into the deer. That’s a big hole! It’s also a very dead deer with a good hit.
Next time you see me on the street, ask to see one of these bullets. I’ll try to remember to carry one in my pocket. Also, the Randall Creek boat ramp beneath the dam at Pickstown opened at noon Friday.
*See you next week.