A group of turkeys in a field with trees in the background, perfect for hunting enthusiasts.

Outdoors in RI: Thanksgiving hunt, a nod to a great fishing season, 2A active nationwide – Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

Photo, top: Demi Pita

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday. This writer joined droves of hunters on Thanksgiving morning for a tradition that predates the formation of the United States.  Hunters provided the main entrees for the initial Thanksgiving feasts. Why the symbol of the turkey is the traditional emblem for our Thanksgiving, other entrees made it to the dinner table as well.

In early New England lobster even made the menu. So all of us that are hunting Thanksgiving morn are in fact continuing that time honored tradition.  Some households are serving up either venison or pheasant on Thanksgiving as well. 

As of this writing there is a movement afoot to open hunting on Sundays in Maine and Massachusetts.  Both states are still in the dark ages and the only 2 left in New England that do not permit Sunday Hunting due to outdated blue laws.

Hunting in RI continues to be decent across the board.  Of note is the size of some of the stocked pheasants.  Last week Abby put up a rooster that weighed 4 lbs. His spurs were a whopping 5/8 of an inch long.  That length would qualify for an honorable mention in the Wild Turkey Federation’s Turkey scoring.  Needless to say, the 4 lb rooster will make a great entree.  The other pictured spur is from another rooster that measured 3/8 of an inch long.

Hopefully, as you sat down at the dinner table, you gave thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us by the US Military keeping us safe. While there is indeed an economic disaster we are in, coupled with an invasion at the borders, both south and now north, as well, this is due to a complete lack of leadership in Washington. However, the men and women of the US armed forces continually keep us from harm.  While we are taking a post dinner snooze on the couch and or watching football games, many men and women are standing watch at various hot spots around the globe.  After my Daddy served in the Army, but he didn’t lose his right eye, he flew a flag in the yard till the day that he died, he wanted my Mother, my brothers, my sisters and me to grow up and live happy in the land of the free. (Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue) To honor my Dad, my Grandfather and all Veterans past and present, heads are bowed at the dinner table and thanks and prayers are offered to all around the globe.  Never Forget!

I keep hearing “I used to hunt”, “I used to fish” and quite often it is followed by the statement “I don’t have the time anymore” Well the time is there, one just needs to make the effort.  We only travel this road once. We will not a get a second chance. “Time waits for no man”.  Make the time and keep after it if the first couple of times don’t work out.  Make a commitment to renew friendships by getting afield or getting on the water.  One will be surprised at the statements of “we should do this more often!” 

Fishing Season winding down

If the fish are not biting and you feel the need to do something else then that is the opportune time to focus on the nature going on. Often times that’s when a fish will strike and often a large fish at that.  Or, if one is admiring a scene in nature that is when suddenly a pheasant or woodcock will explode into flight right next to you.

As the fishing season is now wrapping up, it is also a good time to start making plans for 2024. If one makes plans to pack a picnic basket along with a cooler of cold drinks that could very well change the need to “do something else” after a short time.  Work will always be there; the motto should be “work to live not live to work”.

Following 2A developments

Numerous hours were put in at the gun club looking to qualify for a CCW.  April seemed a good time for the qualifying shoot.  In February an accident caused my hand to break. This interruption wasn’t planned and caused the delay of qualifying.  Everything happens for a reason and quite often life isn’t a coincidence. A new path was taken and there is a sense of uncertainty about where the path is headed.  But, for certain, the scenery on the path is exceptional.  Needless to say, in the post-Bruen world qualifying will be a thing of the past as there was no analogous law requiring a certain score to carry a firearm in 1791.  The broken hand appears to be a very fortunate delay.

As the attacks on the constitution continue to grow there are some notable concerns. The state of New York is being sued by the Babylon Bee. Allegedly New York is censoring the Bee and disallowing the Bee’s satirical humor.  New York allegedly is offended as the Bee directed some of the satire at New York itself.  Like many a Facebook meme has stated – when the 2nd Amendment falls so will the rest of your rights. 

While we in the gun community are enjoying not only Thanksgiving feast, we are also enjoying wins on the litigation front. On this past Wednesday the anti-gun groups were slapped down twice – both in Maryland and in Oregon. The Maryland victory involved a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that declared the Maryland gun purchasing scheme unconstitutional.  Maryland admitted there were no analogous laws in 1791 requiring a person to: 1) Obtain a permit to purchase a handgun, 2) Require a permit to Carry a firearm, 3) Wait 7-30 days to be able to purchase and take home a firearm. 

Me thinks that RI Firearm laws in 11-47 are in a lot of trouble!  RI 11-47 firearm laws are almost identical to Maryland’s laws. Now on the left coast in Oregon, Statute 114 was found to be unconstitutional.  Oregon citizens passed 114 in November, 2022. Oregon’s Supreme Court found that the Magazine Ban violated Oregon’s constitution. Also, Sections 1-10 of article 114 is about getting government permission to buy a firearm. Sections 1-10 are identical to Rhode Island’s Blue Card and 7-day waiting period delays. I mentioned to some RI legislators over the last 3 years that I plan on eviscerating 11-47.  Since our brothers and sisters in Maryland and Oregon already laid the foundation – this will be easier than we realize.

My prediction of National Permitless Carry in the ENTIRE USA still stands, and, at this Thanksgiving, it just became a whole lot easier.

Last note: Just before submission of this article a RI Mag Ban plaintiff informed me that the RI Mag Ban case has been remanded back to Judge McConnell’s court recently.  I wonder if he will get the decision correct this time?

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! – Jeff

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Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

1 Comment

  1. Ed on November 29, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Love the columns, Jeff. Thank you!