Beer bottle tops (and bullets)

Huh? To be more accurate, not that I know much about these things, it’s beer bottle tops and bullet casings. Or is that shell casings? I’m way out of my comfort zone here (well, not entirely, I might have opened a beer bottle or two every now and again…)

I was almost cleaning out our car the other day, not because it needed it (but it does), more because when I was driving along, each little bump in the road caused a jingling and tinkly sound somewhere near the dash. Mechanically minded as ever, I ignored it until I couldn’t take any more, and tried to track down the cause. Turns out there was a small pile of (brass?) bullet casings and rusty bottle tops in the change compartment atop the dash.

Clean this car!

PlaidCamper has guns and ammunition? I hear you ask with a gasp! PlaidCamper has bottle tops? Perhaps less of a gasp there…

No! No guns for me. I grew up in Britain, back when the police were armed with those funny hats and asked you nicely to stop being unlawful or they’d be forced to ask you again. Not much of a gun culture, although I do realize things have changed since then. Nevertheless, no guns for me. With my recent eyesight history, it would be foolish indeed – I’m a danger to myself and those around me simply wielding a spork. They’re not that user-friendly you know.

Little Bear, early morning

Anyway, where did I get the bullets? I picked them up. The beer bottle tops? I picked those up too. From the ground, and no, I didn’t drop them. They were strewn on the grassy area in front of Little Bear cabin. We’re not talking one or two accidentally missed items. Over a few days, I picked up hundreds of casings. I kept thinking that I must have found them all, and then I’d spot another, and another. Don’t ask Mrs PlaidCamper, but it’s possible I may have gotten a touch obsessed about finding them. At that point in time, post eye surgery, I was really quite happy at even being able to spot them. But if I could spot them, well wouldn’t that mean the shooter (is that the correct term?) could find them? Still, it kept me quiet, and Mrs PC finished a couple of long novels.

Is it dangerous here?

It did get me thinking, why all the bullets up there at Little Bear? Was the Parks Service not letting on how dangerous it could be? There was the usual literature and warnings about bears, and I shouldn’t (and honestly don’t) make light of the risks with animal encounters, but it is called Little Bear cabin. Not Rabid Slavering Bears Only Want To Eat You So Bring Your Guns cabin. We’d still stay there even if they change the name. Bottle tops and bullets. Hmm. Beer and bullets? I don’t know, is it just me…?

Put ’em up! (Your feet, you must be exhausted…)

I tried to imagine the scene when the previous gun toting occupants were at the cabin. Beer in one hand, gun in the other, whirling this way and that way, blasting at anything moving. Anything moving? While we were there, that would have been swaying trees, crickets, a hiker or two, and the occasional small squirrel. Oh, and many – unarmed, though – birds flying overhead and from tree to tree. Plus, there was a deer that gave me a funny look one morning, but probably because I was peeing behind the woodshed, being too lazy to tramp down to the outhouse so early. (Oh c’mon, give me a break. I was unarmed, and there might have been squirrels about…) Well, on that evidence, best lock and load then.

Squirrel’s eye view

I don’t want to get into the whole gun control debate (because what’s to debate when the solutions are so obvious – you know, fewer guns, more sporks?) I don’t understand shooting, although I know many enjoy the sport. Fair enough, fire lead balls into straw mounted paper targets and pretend you’re ready to defend yourself (maybe in the unlikely event of a paper target or clay pigeon invading your home?) I certainly don’t understand the sport behind hunting animals for fun. It can’t be that much fun for those gangs of scary squirrels and herds of deadly deer, or even fair, not if they can’t shoot back.

I’d best stop soon, and get back to cleaning out the car. Just one request before I do? The noise pollution is bad enough, but if you do feel the need to be heavily armed with beer and bullets, and to blast away because animals are out there, could you at least pick up your trash? Please? Yes? Thank you!

Pick ’em up!

And thank you for reading! As ever, please feel free to leave a comment (are you proficient with a spork?)  or share a story, and have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

25 thoughts on “Beer bottle tops (and bullets)”

  1. Great thing that the place is cleaner now 🙂 I hate when people don’t respect mother nature. I grew up with zero tolerance for weapons (in Sweden.) Being a woman, having a young child, and living next door to mountain lions and bears, have changed my mind. Of course there should be rules. Having a gun in rural areas is part of life. I wouldn’t hunt for pleasure (it would never be any pleasure for me.) I have taken lessons, and used my pistol a couple times on rattle snakes threatening my horse. If my horse would of been bitten, I would of been stuck in the wilderness (I’m not as fast as a horse,) my water supplies would of eventually ran out, if the temperatures are in the three digits that’s a fatal misstake.


    1. Thanks, Maria, for your thoughtful comment and points well made. In the right hands and for the right purpose, guns likely have a use as a work tool. I still don’t see them or understand them as toys or fun leisure items, and there are far too many out there…
      Thanks again, and I hope your week is going well!


  2. Really funny post, pc. I found myself laughing outloud a few times, espec. the part about not being “mechanically minded.” I’m with you about guns, hunting, and littering. And I, too, pick up garbage when possible because some folks just don’t get it; and other folks treasure the earth immensely. Always a pleasure to visit here — and have a great weekend~~


    1. Thanks, Jet, and I’m glad you found a laugh or two in here. I try and find a little humour, otherwise it’s me sobbing, and that’s too awful for anyone to have to see or listen too. Although, it’s probably a funny sight from a reasonable distance…
      I hope your week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! I LOVE this post. I was raised around guns and learned the proper way of handling them. I have been told that I am an Annie Oakley but do I get out there and shoot the dickens out of everything? Nah….I rarely target practice (once in 10 years or so) and I know that I could really be top notch but I prefer not to. I live in an area that are into guns big time. I prefer not to have a gun or listen to all that gun rights nonsense. I am a deer lover, animal hugger (I would if I could) kind of person. I am a vegetarian not because of my love of animals (I’m getting there) but because I like my food without “that” on my plate. I can’t stand the attitude towards animals in general coming from a bunch of hunters, hate it! I am not into guns and this is coming from someone who could outshoot a lot of them! I inherited my father’s sharpshooter skills but I prefer to live without guns and I am happy to do so. I want to enjoy wildlife without a gun and in silence! In short, I love this post and all that you had to say. Today I will be buying a orange vest to let hunters know that I am human and not a deer, the season opens tomorrow. Great! Ha… your photos by the way and your humor. Geez this is long……Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, it had me smiling, especially the whole wearing an orange vest to be safe when out painting. Yikes! And somehow, it would be even more of an indignity, as a vegetarian, to be shot at by hunters, don’t you think?!
      Thanks again, and I hope your week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Better safe than sorry, oh but I dread hunting season, I know how the deer and bear feel….geez can’t everyone be a vegetarian like me? lol wishful thinking! I have yet to find that orange vest. I was directed to the “biking section” yesterday….what? I’ll have to take a selfie with my vest as soon as I find one 😉


  4. Wonderful photos, especially enjoyed the western caption and photo Put ’em up! after seeing The Magnificent Seven (the movie and acting was very good, but I thought some of the violence took away from the movie). The contrast of viewing these photos as a place where someone would stay for the solitude and beauty compared to gunfire disrupting the peace and quiet is amazing! Enjoy your weekend!


    1. It is hard to imagine the contrast when it’s always so quiet up there on our visits. Seems contrary…
      Hoping to catch Denzel on a horse in the next little while. Always enjoyed Denzel, and a decent western, so we’ve got highish expectations!
      Thanks, and I hope your week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Someone else kind of hinted at what I was about to say, which is…I suspect that the bottle caps and the shell casing went hand in hand. Some drunk fools taking on target practice while improperly doing away with their garbage. I can only suspect as it does not sound like you ran into glass fragments. I would just rather it be that than the other. I mean, I know bears can be dangerous…but we know I’m a tree hugging-wild animal loving hippie. 🙂 Hope you and the Mrs. have a beautiful weekend.


  6. So guys go out to a beautiful site like this cabin in MT and the first thing they do is let the surroundings know who is here and in command (hate to say it, but it seems to be the American way!). Getting well-lubricated with industrial brew, they fire away at the dangerous world as if to drive it back. Oh yeah, they might be tossing off some cigarette butts, as well. I know, and you know, all the visitors aren’t this blunt, but enough of them are that they leave a bad impression on the next set of visitors. But you’re doing us a service, PC, by cleaning up when you have to and by posting creative articles to remind us gently that there IS a better way.


    1. It is strange behaviour when you think about it! Fear, or ignorance, or a combination? Still, once you’ve scared off the squirrels, it can’t be that hard to pick up the litter.
      If the snake oil charlatan conjures up a depressing victory, there’ll be a warm northern welcome for those seeking shelter. Although then it would feel like he has a double victory…
      Nah, it’s not going to happen. Too many thoughtful people will exercise common sense given the options, even if it is a case of some having to choose what they see as the lesser of two evils.
      Thanks, Walt, and enjoy your week!


  7. I always wonder how many of those that think a squirrel might be armed and dangerous therefore it must be shot, how many of them would be able to take a surprised bear down with a single shot before it gets to them. Bear spray and awareness and shooting bears with a camera from a distance is how it’s done.


  8. the only thing worse & more prevalent to beer caps & shell casings I’ve find out in Nature are cigarette butts! Good to you for cleaning up after the rednecks! ( after all,they don’t have their mother around to wipe their face or bottom)


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