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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
January 9, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 9, 1997

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Outdoors / Operation Game Thief: 1-800-992-3036 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800-952-5400 Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, January 9, 1997 25 Moon Times For January by FM Tomchin According to Doug Harmon, noted author, eonser- expert and innocator, your fishing Sueceas will be drastically increased by :avitational force; which es rect and game, since feed!ng rmg specific periods of each day, based on the times of the exi water- fowl orgamzatlon, more or less endorse Hann n s ime tag: llne mtlr ttlfe  Handloading Bismuth Shotshells by Ed Tomchin In this final article about the new bismuth shot, we will take a general look at the characteristics, parameters and requirements of handloading your own shells with bis- muth. The basic rules of the bismuth game, according to Ballistic Products, Inc. are few, but important. First among these is that bismuth is a highly unique shot load. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE. Bismuth loads cannot use lead or steel shot load recipes or proportions as bismuth has its own unique characteristics and ballistic reactions. To substitute recipes or pellet types is to sacrifice the advan- tage of using bismuth and your own vital safety. Use only bismuth specific load recipes. Better loads are produced using very specific propor- tions and components. Using "o n hand" components will produce uninspired loads and could be dangerous. If you want the best, if you want to produce a top quality, safe load, you have to make use of the latest technological breakthroughs and bismuth related components. All bismuth applications will be very specific and no general substitutions, no matter how small, should be inferred. Though you will see certain components used with lead and bismuth or steel and bismuth, or even all three, this is not an invitation to create generalized substi- tution rules, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Follow bismuth formulas precisely and do not deviate from the printed guidelines, no matter how much experi- ence you have handloading your own. Generally, lighter loads, using the advantages of high velocity, are the best route to more lethal loads. Given the same amount by weight, bismuth shot produces higher pressures in a given load than does lead. Follow the formulas carefully. Nor can currently available or "on hand" steel or lead shot bushings be used for determining charge. Special bismuth shot bushings from Ponsness/Warren and spe- cialized bismuth charge bars from MEC are the only accurate volumetric way to measure bismuth pellets for loads. If you do not have these specialized bars or bushings, you must weigh out the shot charge on an accurate, calibrated scale. All gauges can use bismuth pellets effectively. This is great news for younger and smaller shooters who have been excluded from waterfowling by virtue of the heavier equipment requirements of steel. All the small bore water- fowl shotguns currently sidelined by steel shot will be geared back into action by the use of bismuth. The 28 gauge is a very effective non-toxic upland game gauge with bismuth shot. Smallbore .410 shotguns can also be used with bismuth shot, although their application for waterfowling is very limited (as it always has been.) Skilled shooters, however, can use the .410 very effec- tively. The best part is that bismuth shot is totally non-toxic. Bismuth is found as an ingredient in many over-the-counter health products and cosmetics. The most common use of bismuth is in the time-honored upset stomach remedy, Pepto-Bismol. However, this does not mean that you should pop open a shell and down the contents in the field if you get an upset stomach. While the shot won't hurt you, the powder could give you a bad case of heartburn. Cost for bismuth shot, whether factory loads or hand loads, is substantially higher than steel. However, since your bird to shell ratio will increase substantially (aim being equal) the cost per bird should be lower. And as bismuth shot becomes more popular, the price should drop. Currently average costs for bismuth factory loads $1.33 and hand loads $0.98 each, while the costs for steel are factory loads $0.56 and hand loads $0.40 each. Bismuth shot and shotsheils are still difficult to find in the Southern Nevada area. The Pahrump Valley Gazette has located a few gun shops in Las Vegas that stock some bismuth shells, but call before you make the trip in. The valley shops are Accuracy Gun Shop on Boulder Highway, Nevada Air Guns on Las Vegas Blvd. North, and the Pawn and Gun Shop on Boulder Highway in Henderson. Both Pahrump Gun & Pawn and French's Guns & Gun- smiths in Tonopah told the Gazette they would order the Bismuth shot upon request. You can also get both shotshells and handloading sup- plies from either Dunn's Supply Co., a friendly little mail order supplier out of Grand Junction, Tennessee (800-223- 8667) or Ballistic Products, Inc. in Corcoran, Minnesota (800-273-5623). Ballistic Products will also send you a free primer on handloading bismuth shot on request. Call each to request their free catalog. Happy hunting. Lee Canyon Ski & Snow Report by Ed Tomchin As of Sunday, January 5, 1997, Lee Canyon had lost some of its base due to rain toward the end of last week. Currently the base is 20"-25" of packed powder, which is being supplemented with snow-making equipment. Ac- cording to Heather Bean, resort weather person, it was snowing pretty hard Sunday morning and was expected to continue all day. As long as the northern cold front contin- ued to push south, snow is expected to continue. At the time of this report, the only runs open were The Strip and Rabbit Peak, but with Sunday's snow, the other runs are expected to open again soon. Skiing is reported to be fair to good. Night skiiing is still closed until sufficient snow has based. All chair lifts are open and operating from 9a.m. to 4p.m. Normal snow road restrictions were in place on the mountain as of Sunday, but none are expected for the latter part of the week. Current updates on skiing and snow conditions are available at: Las Vegas (702) 645-2754 and (702) 593- 9500, and on the mountain at the Ski and Snowboard Resort (702) 385-2754. 00'00sh00wReport by Geoff Schneider Nevada Division of Wildlife LAKE MEAD - Fishing had been hit and miss for striped bass with some anglers reporting fair success while others are having little or no luck. One shore angler said the fishing was good for stripers late last week at Pumphouse Cove, but was extremely slow over the weekend. Fishing improved Tuesday morning as he caught five stripers in the three-pound range. Boaters are having fair success by drifting anchovies and live shad in Las Vegas Wash. Most of the stripers in that area weigh less than two pounds. One boater reported having good success at the north end of Saddle Island. Sporadic success is now being found at the intake tower near Lake Mead Marina. The Nevada Division of Wildlife is scheduled to stock rainbow trout Friday at Government Wash, Hemenway Harbor, Horsepower Cove, Pumphouse Cove, and Pyra- mid Island. LAKE MOHAVE - The few anglers who have been trying their luck for striped bass at Cottonwood Cove and Willow Beach have had little success to show for their efforts. Anglers who braved last weekend's cold weather and strong winds were generally disappointed with only a few fish in the 14 to 16-inch range being caught. ALas Vegas Bass Club fishing tournament held Satur- day at Cottonwood Cove produced 14 largemouth bass for the 14 contestants. Most of the fish were pulled from shallow water in coves. The Nevada Division of Wildlife stocked rainbow trout earlier this week at Aztec Wash, Placer Cove and below Hoover Dam. Cottonwood cove is scheduled to be stocked Thursday. EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR - Ice is approxi- mately six inches thick at the launch ramp and three inches thick in the center of the lake. Caution is urged when walking on the ice, Evening temperatures have been plunging to the single digits. ECHO CANYON RESERVOIR - The lake is covered with a three-inch layer of ice. Some open water is found along the shoreline as the ice is being pushed up by incoming water flows from the river. SCHROEDER RESERVOIR - Dirt roads leading to the lake are extremely muddy. The walking trail leading from the parking area to the lake is covered with water that is more than two feet deep. Anglers are being advised to avoid the lake until conditions improve.