#41  
Old 07-17-2008, 07:43 AM
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OMG...this is nail biting stuff!!!

I got up first thing and thought, oh, I've got to see if Rick wrote anything else! lol
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  #42  
Old 07-17-2008, 10:08 AM
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Man, this should be in a book or something!
Congrats to Cale on the coon!

Waiting for the rest of the continuing saga....
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  #43  
Old 07-17-2008, 11:20 AM
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Geez, I was there, and I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat while I read it...
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  #44  
Old 07-17-2008, 03:44 PM
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Default Day Three - Hunt Three and More

We awoke to Randy knocking on the door. Well I say we, but honestly I never heard him. Cheri heard him, and then woke me from a sleep bordering on death. I poked my head out of the door and apologized profusely to Randy, then bumped into Cale and Cheri at every turn asking, “Where are my pants?” “Where did I put my boots last night”
Still very much asleep, we piled out of the trailer in what has to be world record time, and stumbled to the Honda, muttering more apologies to Randy.

Again, we moved into our stands, Cheri at a new one, I was at the aforementioned Deer Alley, and Cale and Randy to theirs. Literally nothing came into my stand, with one exception: Pansy. Oh that wonderful companion of mine from the prior night decided she just didn’t have enough time with me then, so why not once more.

The feeder goes off… Pansy pigs out on corn… then she left me to contemplate life and the wonderment of nature. I happened to have an inchworm trekking across the armrest of the tripod I was in, so I watched him for a while, but I quickly grew bored, and needed some mischief. I contemplated practicing my draw and set while Pansy was feeding away, but given the fiasco from two nights prior, I judged it was not in her best interest. I did spy a clump of uneaten grass in the roadway that seemed rather receptive to a shaft, so I rose in the stand drew back. The shaft drove home center-mass, so I deemed the effort a success, and settled back into the seat, astonished at the heat and humidity.

Randy sent a text notifying me that Pansy had slipped into their stand. Being bored and full of unchecked P & V, I resumed the fun from last night regarding the budding relationship between Pansy and myself.

The conversation, including the exchanges from the previous night, is as follows:

Randy: C anything

Me: Nope. Just Pansy making a pig out of herself.

Randy: OK. We’ll hang out a while longer.

Me: Ok. Pansy is a quite the conversationalist. You might be surprised to know the she is a staunch Democrat. Not surprising, she has anti-hunter leanings, though I find her stance on abortion odd.

Randy: You two are getting close I see.

Me: Yes her attraction to me, though understandable, is unnerving.

:: No response from here because Cale shot his Raccoon ::

Next day:

Randy: Pansy just came by and said you are a good talker, but a little flirtatious.

Me: DUDE! It is MY fault. She kept showing me her (EDITED). Oh great now I am going to be labeled the Clarence Thomas of the animal kingdom.

Randy: You got the little Euro (Dyson) headed your way, Clarence.

Time passes, and Dyson never showed. I took my shot and killed the grass.

Me: Hey all I’m gonna say is we were both thinking the same thing... just different shafts in mind.

Randy: All right Don Juan. We’re on our way.

Me: OK. Just be careful when you drive up here. I got bored to shot a clump of grass and the shaft is standing straight up.

Randy: Did you hit it?

Me: Oh yeah. It’s dead. Pansy commented on my prowess with the bow. She wants me.

That was it. They showed up with Cheri already onboard and we headed back to camp.

We tinkered around a bit, and Kevin and Jim came by to introduce us to Texas Bar-B-Que. Wow that was some good stuff! Kevin, being a generous person, picked up our tab. I tried to argue, but lost miserably. Jim just gave me a look as if to say, “Go with it. Don’t fight it.” We met Randy’s wife and daughters, one of which has the biggest, bluest eyes I have ever seen. We had a great time, and then headed out to terrorize the Wal-Mart. Needed… More… Water… ::gasp::

Cale was asked to stay with Randy’s family, and did so readily. I felt a little odd because here are these people we barely know, and they want to take Cale along to their house to play. Definitely not used to that. But that’s Randy’s family. They take you in, make you comfortable, and before you know it, you’re one of them. Well… at least you feel that way.

Nate was in camp when we got there, and he immediately went to work with Cheri and her bow. He noted a few problems right away with her set up. The first issue, and really the only issue, was the shafts. The first problem was uncovered immediately after she drew in front of Nate. The shaft stuck out 7 inches from the riser. He, and I can’t help but giggle here, he asked me, “Have these been cut down?”

A while back, I was having shaft issues, which were eventually resolved by changing rests, so I had some left over shafts. I thought about it, and I asked Cheri to shoot one of the Carbon Supreme Lights out of her bow. They flew REALLY well. They impacted the same as her other shafts. They were just awesome… On foam targets…

So the shafts she was shooting were cut for my bow. Yes I know… I know… Please don’t bomb me with hate mail just yet. She liked them. They flew well. I put a slick trick on them and she should have been good to go… that is if the second problem was not uncovered right away.

"These shafts are not stiff enough." Now hold on a sec! She shoots 42#’s Nate! Those were cut for my bow, which shoots 62#’s! What do you mean not stiff enough man! Are you nuts!! (No I never said it. But I sure thought it! – Stupid Ego!)

Poor ol’ Nate never knew he was gonna run a clinic, but he did. He explained that usually, the shafts sold by BassPro, Cabela’s, what have you, with the stores own label, (i.e. RedHead) are factory seconds.

He must have seen the blank look in my eye.

“Factory Seconds are arrows made by a major manufacturer. Let’s say Easton. Well Easton has tolerance specs that each shaft must meet, so they put the shafts on this machine and stand them on end, then give them a good spin. If the shaft bends too much, it’s out of tolerance for the their brand, and they set it aside. Did you ever look on the side of a shaft box and see that +.001” to +.004” marking? That is a measurement of the shaft against dead 0, or .000”. In other words a perfect shaft is .000”. If their tolerance for the Gold Tips, the premium, high-dollar shaft is .001 to .003, then anything out of that range is a second. Get it so far?”

Ok I follow so far.

“Ok. So say 100,000 are made and 75,000 don’t meet tolerance. Costs too much to scrap them and start over, so they take the ones that didn’t make tolerance, contact BassPro. They say ‘Hey, I got 75,000 shafts here. You want them? We’ll slap a RedHead label on them and they’re yours for $30 a box.’ Basspro sells them at $45 a box and makes a good profit. No one really knows the difference.”

Ok. So I got screwed. Well there’s something new… “Ok.” I said, trying not to let the irritation show.

“Those shafts are +.003” to +.006” That’s the reason Cheri can’t group them up. Heck you might only have 2 or three group well out of twelve.” Now he hits me where it’s sure to hurt. Keep in mind he wasn’t trying to crush me like a bug. Just get me to change my mind on the cheap route I’ve been on.

“So if you have 2 out of 12 that group well, and you want 12 well grouping arrows,” He continued, “How much money will you have to spend to get them?”

Point made with a sting Nate. And how. I shrank visibly in the white plastic chair I was in as the realization hit me like a truck. Cheri was missing the shots on the animals, because I was too cheap. I wished right then and there that I could just drop in a hole. All the anguish, all the hurt, all the time spent kicking herself, may have been avoided by simply dropping the extra money, I knew dang well I should have done in the first place.

Nate saw that he had come across clearly, and I have to tell you, he was not gloating or vindictive, although to be honest I would never have blamed him if he were. After all, there were 2 hogs out there now wounded because I… well… you know the truth now. Why beat it/me to death? He told Cheri to stay right where she was and he’d be right back.

Nate has a bow-shop on site, and it’s a doozey. He builds his own bows, and when some green horn comes down and… oh… I don’t know… let’s say dry-fires a bow, he can put it back together for me… er I man him… or her… them. He came out of the shop with 2 shafts. One aluminum, and one carbon.

“This is the shaft I use. I cut it down for my son to use.” He said handing the carbon shaft to Cheri. “It’s an Easton Axis. 9.0 grains per inch. .001” Tolerance. It’s longer than you need, but I want you to shoot it.” Cheri handed it back fairly impressed.

“This is just an old Easton Camo Hunter I had laying around. I want you to shoot it first, but I want you to shoot it with this broadhead.” He continued. I was on my feet.

I don’t know why, but I am just fascinated with broadheads. Always have been. He pulled out a two blade head that was just sick looking. I swear this thing looked like two buck knives welded together. And HEAVY! He put it in my hand and immediately I thought there is no way this is gonna fly out of her bow more than 10 yards. “So Rick, put that shaft on the aluminum and let’s see what Cheri can do at 16 yards.”

“Ok.” And I put it on.

At home, Cheri was barely able to penetrate the red target unless she hit the center, which was all blown out. She let fly with this behemoth head and shaft and hit the foam target so hard it spun…no it tumbled on its Y axis.

“Holy (edit)!” I thought, and I might have said it. I’m not sure. Cheri was astounded too. Nate just smiled and went to retrieve the shaft. When he got to the target he laughed and showed me the penetration. “Buried the fletching!” and he laughed again displaying the shot. 7/8 of the shaft was protruding from the back of the target, and I was becoming a believer.

Nate removed the shaft and hurried back to Cheri. He grabbed the Axis and handed it to me along with this hunk of metal he called a broadhead. “Put this on and have her shoot this!” He was giddy. I swear he was more fired up to teach us than we were to learn. So I try to put the broadhead on and… what??? “Hey Nate… this one needs an insert, buddy.” HA! I got the master!

“No this one has a HIT insert. ‘Hidden Insert Technology’.” OH! How stupid of me. I read about those somewhere. So I slipped the broadhead into the HIT and man that looked awkward. The base of the head completely dwarfed the shaft.

I handed it to Cheri and she loaded it up. Same thing. That target rolled end over end and the shaft was buried to the fletching. Nate ran to the target this time giggling to himself. “Ain’t nothing wrong with that bow or her. Just the shafts.”

I had to admit, he was right. We had been popping balloons earlier, so he took some of the rubber on the ground and tacked it to the target. “Hit that square in the middle Cheri.” He said in a decidedly Texan drawl, and handed her the Axis.

She took her time, and shot an eighth of an inch below it, and jumped into one of my own mantras. “See, if you can group your shafts in a small pie pan, you can hunt and be successful doin’ it.” When we started shooting, I told Cheri, Cale, and even Becca, that they had to decide right now whether they were going to be archers, or hunters. He just restated it.

Then he let out a big, loud, “What’s next man! I love talking shop!” Slapped his hands and waited for the next request for a magic trick. We had none. We were literally blown away by what we had just seen.

I needed to examine this two blade head a little more, so I did, and Cheri talked with Nate a bit, but I’ll be honest. I have no idea what was said. I was doing the math. I needed Cheri to get her hands on these heads and shafts right away, but our funding was low enough already that I was worried how we were going to get home, let alone afford them too. Nate, generous to a fault, gave Cheri two heads and two aluminum shafts before I could finish the calculations, and told her to get a hog. I never said it out loud, so I know it was just his generous nature that prompted it.

I sat back in the chair, remembering that I had somehow forgotten about that oppressive heat and humidity, and just shut up. Cheri was readying herself for a hog. Randy’s wife brought Cale back, and we piled into the trailer to gear up for hunt number 4. Somebody was gonna get one tonight!

Next Post: Hunt Number Four – Paydirt!
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 07-17-2008 at 07:22 PM.
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  #45  
Old 07-17-2008, 03:44 PM
Va Hunter Va Hunter is offline
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He's got us all hooked like a bunch of junkies!

We'll all recieve a PM saying" $50 for the REST OF THE STORY!

Cooome ooonnnn MAN! GIVE UP ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #46  
Old 07-18-2008, 06:36 AM
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OMG!!!

I am soooo on the edge of my seat!

I agree VA! I'd probably pay it, too!! lol
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  #47  
Old 07-18-2008, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
A while back, I was having shaft issues,
Quote:
"These shafts are not stiff enough." Now hold on a sec! She shoots 42#’s Nate! Those were cut for my bow, which shoots 62#’s! What do you mean not stiff enough man! Are you nuts!! (No I never said it. But I sure thought it! – Stupid Ego!
Rick, no one likes to hear they have shaft problems. especially us men.

don't boo and hiss at me, some of you thought the same thing. well, maybe the guys anyways.
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  #48  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLC View Post
Rick, no one likes to hear they have shaft problems. especially us men.

don't boo and hiss at me, some of you thought the same thing. well, maybe the guys anyways.
I didn't want to be the one to say it.....
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  #49  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:31 PM
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Default Hunt Number Four – Paydirt!

I seem to have confused activities and the days they actually occurred. I’ll attempt to set the record straight here.

Cale and Justin, Randy’s son, tinkered around together on Day Two between hunts, and then Christine picked Cale up on Day Three and took him swimming with her kids. He had a ball, and we are truly grateful to her for entertaining him. I’m sure that is just part of the 4D motto, but to us, it meant a lot to have someone care enough about Cale to include him in their family activity.

With that being said, I am pretty sure I have the proverbial ducks in a row now, and I feel confident I can continue without further interruption.

After the work that Nate put into Cheri’s equipment, the time he and Randy spent on their hands and knees crawling through trees, shrubs, thorn-vines, and God knows what else, we left the trailer feeling like we owed it to them to drop a hog. Cheri had more confidence and could almost smell the bacon cooking on the stove at home. Cale stated in no uncertain terms that he was ready, willing, and able to take one down. After the great hit he put on that raccoon the night before, I had no doubt he was.

For my part, after blowing up my bow, watching the untouchable Euro’s come in time after time and literally squeeze out the hogs we were after, and the lesson we were given by Nate earlier that day… well… I resolved to sit back and rejoice in any successes had by the others. Honestly, I wanted one too, and I’m not going to deny that, but this was their hunt, and I really wanted them to take the hogs.

As Randy drove off, having dropped me off for one last hunt at 4D, I felt melancholy and almost sad that the adventure was coming to an end. Cheri was taken to the stand I sat the night before, and Cale was headed to the square feeder. Now it was just a matter of time. I found a good branch to hang my bow from, so I noc’d an arrow with a HellRazor at the ready, and settled in the stand waiting for the feeder to kick off the last night.

Off to my right, under the cover of many bushes, I heard what sounded like a huge hog moving in to feed on the corn that would rain down soon. I assumed it was Helga or my stalker Pansy coming to visit. I peered through as much of the underbrush as I could, and I saw something small and white dart through. “Hogs!” I screamed in my head. And I watched as 4, then 5, then 6 hogs bounded through the cover to my 5 o’clock position. “I haven’t got a shot!” my head told my hands as I caught myself reaching for the bow. 7, 8, and a big sow made 9! Oh man! Not one shot possibility presented itself! I was beside myself now! The sun was at my back, the feeder was going to hit soon and they would attack like little Japanese Zero’s from World War II. Any movement I attempted would simply scare them off! What am I going to do??

Then it happened. The feeder screamed corn in all directions. The sound scared them all, and the black sow ran for her life with even the littlest ones in tow. And as quickly as the excitement began, it was over. It was just me in the stand, my heart racing, my eyes scanning for any hogs that may have felt brave enough to enter the clearing. But none were left.

I quickly thought to warn Randy that my group might be heading his way… or Cheri’s way. My fingers wouldn’t work fast enough on the keyboard. Dead silence hung all around me. The occasional Cardinal squawk was heard in the distance, and I felt like my chance was here… and gone.

Randy and Cale, after spotting a small doe, were set up in their stand, and experiencing the same dead calm I had. Nothing moved. Thankfully, there was an occasional breeze blowing through the woods, but that was it. Their feeder went off, and a couple of the big ones moved in mindlessly crunching corn.

Cheri’s position was just like ours. She was perched up in her tripod watching intently for any sign of movement. She held on to her bow, her senses tuned for anything out of the ordinary. But it never came. She and Randy were able to communicate by radio, and he diligently passed along my warning.

It seemed like hours went by in that stand that night. In reality, it may have only been 45 minutes at best, but I swear I felt every minute click by. A squirrel almost met his or her demise that night as it bounced from limb to limb behind me. Irritating little jerk. Every jump sounded like those hogs coming back in for the golden corn scattered everywhere in the clearing. Finally, I think due more to weariness than anything, my body uncoiled and relaxed and I leaned back in the stand.

I got a text message from Randy asking if I was ok with waiting until 8:30pm before calling it a night, and I agreed. I really wanted Cheri and Cale to get as much of an opportunity as they could to take a hog. More to the truth, I wanted those little hogs to come back to my stand. A rustle behind me stopped the response. I slipped the phone into my leg pocket of my pants, and slowly moved again to the right. There they were. All of them. The sow included.

My heart jumped into my throat, and heard what sounded like the Colorado River running though my ears. “This is gonna happen!” I thought. Still seated I reached for the bow, while watching the sow stop in her tracks, still under the brush. She sniffed the air and caught wind of the corn. Her entire brood piled up behind her, and she turned for the clearing.

Randy must have become accustomed to my immediate responses to his text messages. I’m sure he thought to himself that his message must not have gone through. He tried the question again. “8:30?” Cale was growing restless and was beginning to pack his gear up. As the moments ticked by, I can only imagine what he was thinking.

A while back he had a group of hunters in camp that for the most part obeyed the rules, with one exception. This guy just refused to stay in the stand. Randy mentioned that on several occasions he was found wandering the area because “I just don’t like tree stand hunts.” The gentleman actually wandered into another hunter’s stand, just as his buddy had a shot on a trophy boar. “Hey! Any luck?” he yelled as he tromped into the feeder, and the boar bolted off leaving Randy and the buddy fuming. Turns out the next night, the loud guy actually shot a huge trophy boar, and just couldn’t figure out why every one else wouldn’t share in his triumph. Hmmm…

Cheri, Cale, and I were immersed immediately into the rules of the hunt on 4D, and I am happy to say that we complied to the letter. None of us wanted to leave a legacy like that one. Poor Randy though, knowing my mischievous nature, had to have had at least once the notion that something wasn’t right, and maybe I was planning something. I am also proud to say that aside from my earlier joke about a broadside on Hercules, I was minding my “p’s & q’s”.

The sow moved toward the feeder, but never once cleared the trees in front of me to present a good shot. She dove in and out of the cover to display a nose then I would see a tail. The tree cover over them was also in front of me. They crunched the kernels that blew past the clearing, but never committed to the feeder in 4 passes. I drew to full draw twice in anticipation of the big move out, and it never came.

I noticed a spot about 3 feet across and 2 1.2 feet tall where the branches cleared and I saw dirt. I deemed the hole big enough, and watched intently. Three of her brood soon filled the hole with their bodies. It reminded me of a kaleidoscope. I saw brown and black twists of movement, with a small white patch every now and then visible. They tripped over each other, pushed and shoved, rooted and grunted, but I didn’t see a potential shot develop at all. I decided to come to full draw again and wait it out. I had time.

Cheri, the poor dear, sat patiently atop the tripod in Deer Alley just taking in all of nature. The bugs were starting to gather, so she reached into her pack and ignited her camouflaged Thermacell. She set it at her feet and waited the 4 minutes for it to expel the irritants that buzzed about her head and shoulders. Her mood was growing darker by the minute.

Three hunts had passed and this was how it would end? Not a hog in sight? And she would leave tomorrow knowing that all of the hard work Nate had out it would have been for naught on this hunt. A single tear welled up in her eye as she recalled the effort that Randy and Nate had put into tracking the hogs she shot. Again, a fruitless venture. All she wanted was a chance at redemption. One hog hit as perfectly as she could, with little tracking involved. Had the months of practice and worry all been for this? She let out a heavy sigh, wiped her eye, and rested her chin on the safety bar in front of her.

It turned out that the little patch of white I had seen periodically was a white patch on the front shoulder of a hog. He and his brethren jockeyed over each other for what small pieces of corn they could get. I put my 20-yard pin right on that white spot, but he turned away and turned back…. Turned away… turned back. The brown I noticed next. He was presenting a perfect broadside shot now. I swung to his direction, and the little white patch hog saw me. He didn’t bolt, but just looked up while crunching away. I had to shoot if I was going to, but I was seated. If I rose, I would lose the group. A branch was sticking into the elbow of my drawing arm, and lactic acid was building. I centered the 20-yard pin in the shoulder, and the arrow was away!

Randy and Cale had decided that it might be time to pack up and se why I wasn’t responding. They told Cheri to sit tight, and they would be along in a moment. Cale was about to rise from his seat when the first group came in. Four little hogs followed Molly into the stand. Randy adjusted in his seat and told Cale to get his gear ready. Cale froze for a moment, then quickly noc’d an arrow with a HellRazor. His hands shook for a bit, but he remembered what Randy had told him from last night, and steadied himself.

“Pick one, center the pin, release your breath, and release the arrow.” It echoed in his head as he found a little black one with a white shoulder patch.

My arrow left the bow with a hiss and found its mark. The brown hog spun 180 degrees and ran for cover. The others more shocked that anything, bolted for the area behind me. I never heard him squeal when it impacted. “Lung shot?” I wondered. I realized I was standing up and my bow arm was rigid. I relaxed a bit, and the blood rushed to my head so I sat back down. I reached into the leg pocket on my pants for the cell phone to let Randy know they were headed his way, but I couldn’t type. My fingers and hands were out of control.

As a cub scout, I was on a camping trip with the other scouts and bitterly cold rainstorm caught us off guard. I shook and shook while my dad, and the other dads, scrambled to find dry firewood for a fire. I think I was shaking worse after I released that arrow, but I finally managed to get the message out.

Randy’s phone went off from my text message, but he was too busy with Cale’s predicament to respond now. My group had indeed moved into his area, and now Cale trying to sort out the little bodies scurrying in and out of his shot. He picked out the hog he wanted, and drew. It took him a moment to get full focus, but the instant he did, he let loose his arrow.

I finally calmed down enough to send another message telling Randy I hit hard with no squeal. I felt it was a great shot, and I fully expected recovery. Three minutes went by and I still got no response. I went back over the shot in my head about a thousand times as I waited to hear from Randy.

“Did I aim well?” “Did it run off with the shaft?” “Will we recover him before dark?” “Where the heck is Randy?”

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Well that last one was answered.

“Cale just shot! It was another perfect hit! We’re on our way!”

I stood up in the stand again and let out a semi-loud “YES!!” Then danced a little dance that almost slipped the bow from its perch. “Oh thank you! Oh thank you!” I rushed to gather my things into my pack, and watched for the Honda to come around the corner.

Cheri was told over the radio that we had both hit and she was happy for us. Sadly, no hogs entered her stand that night. She gathered her things and packed up her pack, and I believe she said her almost cliché, “Well… it could be worse.” She too watched the clearing for the Honda with a heavy heart.

Next post – The Hunt After the Hunt.
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  #50  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:59 PM
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Aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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