Babbs in the Woods: Rut on!

If you stop by my house this week, you might see the CanCooker on my stovetop, as I try out new recipes for upcoming deer season. I read that Michael Waddell and his partner, the guy who lost all that weight eating healthy meals from the cooker, endorse this aluminum steam pot. Although, with recipes using kielbasa, how healthy can that be? Is there such a thing as fat-free kielbasa?

Meanwhile, we’ve sighted in our guns and brush-hogged the territory to make some shooting lanes and also, we’ve checked straps on tree stands. While on the topic of sighting in your gun, I’m always amazed when I hear folks say they haven’t had time to sight in their gun. Geesh, I bet they had time for lunch or dinner every day. To not know (or care?) where the bullet flies is not only ignorant, but this is what gives hunters a bad rap out there. It takes a little time and some trouble to make sure your scope is sighted in. A rifle is simple. The scope … is a little more complicated to understand.

Talk about a redneck set up for sighting a rifle! Here's my husband at our homemade, make-do shooting bench!

A primer on sighting a riflescope …

First, remember that your eye is the rear sight. You have to place it in the same place with regard to the rest of the gun every time to avoid a parallax error when using the scope. That’s called achieving a cheek weld against the stock.

So, what is parallax?

A Leupold long-range tactical Mark 4 riflescope. Very nice.

Parallax is an apparent displacement against a background, or a difference in orientation of an object, when the object is viewed along two different lines of sight. Parallax is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.

In a riflescope, parallax is an optical illusion. Parallax occurs when the “primary image” of the object is formed either in front of, or behind the reticle (crosshairs) of the scope. When you move your eye from its proper alignment with the scope, the resulting parallax moves the image in relation to the crosshairs, causing your aim to be off.

Think of it this way. You’re sitting in the passenger seat of the car and you look over at the speedometer. It will read differently to you than to the driver, because you’re not lined up with the steering wheel and gauge in front of it, so you’re not getting the true reading.

Every scope has a quality called eye-relief. That’s the distance behind the eyepiece lens that your eye should be placed to be able to see through the scope effectively. You have to place the cheek of your shooting eye against the stock; move your head forward and backward along the stock—always with your cheek against the stock—until you get the best view through the scope.

The best view is when sight picture in the eyepiece lens fills the entire lens. As you move your head forward from the best viewpoint, the picture collapses and when you move your head back from the best viewpoint, the picture starts to get smaller and then goes black.

So, practice getting the same cheek weld every time you shoulder your rifle and you will be one step further in taking a good, clean shot.

Rut on!

And check this out … Ay, there’s the rub. Here’s one of the rubs we found while out scouting at an undisclosed location, somewhere in the Ozarks.

For more information on the CanCooker, click here.



  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at


The Conversation

  • Women's Outdoor News says: November 16, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Hey Beth … good to hear from you here, and yes, that is cutting it close! What if he/she needed a part or something? Also, the CanCooker … I need a good recipe for that!

  • Beth N says: November 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Both! The CanCooker is a great deer camp item. On another note, I have a friend who waited until Friday afternoon to sight in. Now that’s cutting it close!

  • Tammy Ballew says: November 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I’d love to hear about some of the recipes you’ve tried in the CanCooker!

    I know what you mean about sighting in rifles, a friend of ours was telling us this past weekend about his friend that waits until almost dark on the Friday night before opening morning of deer season to sight in. Cutting it a little close, I would say.

    Hope you all have a great opening weekend! Send pics, please!!

  • Women's Outdoor News says: November 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    The CanCooker or the sweet scope? Or both? That way, he can cook the venison that he brings home from the hunt? Or cook for us at deer camp?

  • Beth N says: November 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    What a great Christmas gift for the man in your life!