Archive for March, 2008

Al Gore is a Big Fat Idiot…

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Ok, maybe he isn’t quite so fat any more, since he was considering making a run at the presidency. But that isn’t what this is really about. I saw Al Gore on one of the network news shows tonight, and was shocked by what could be the absolute worst journalism I have ever seen. The whole piece was on “global warming” and the great work that Al Gore is doing to stop the dreaded phenomenon. He was not asked one tough question, nor challenged about the legitimacy of the theory that he has spent thousands of dollars, and hours spreading. In fact, at one point, the interviewer asked him about those who disagreed with him, and he said that there are a few out there that still reject the concept of global warming, but that they are the same people who think the moon landing was faked, and still believe that the earth is flat. What an ignorant statement! There are plenty of people who disagree with him, and his theory, and that disagreement is based on rational, and scientific data. To dismiss those who disagree with such a flippant and immature statement lowers his own respectability and credibility. The news station lost their credibility as well by the reporting that they did. They suggested that Al Gore’s movie was proven to be valid because it won an Oscar. What? You have to be kidding me! They further suggested that Al Gore gained credibility because he won the Nobel Peace Prize. How, exactly, does his work on Global Warming (which was proven to have at least 9 major errors in a court in England) even qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize? Gore’s winning of the award, in and of itself, proves the illegitimacy of the award!

Here is the video from the interview:

I have to wonder just how much Al Gore believes in his own theory. After all, he still travels by private airliner all over the world, and he (like counter part John Edwards) bought a house that consumes more energy than some towns. Although, the thorough news cast showed us that he did put a few solar panels on the roof of his 18 room mansion. And, he was going to put up wind turbines on the family farm. He does, after all, have 35 million dollars to play with! This is just another instance of how he is out of touch with reality.Nothing showed just how far out of touch Al Gore is, than the part of the news story that showed him traveling to India. They showed him walking through towns, where people were obviously very poor. I imagine that many of these people were more concerned about what they were going to eat, or where they might get clean water to drink, rather than hearing about how Al Gore was going to tell them that their plants were not “green enough”.

You may disagree with my assessment on the global warming issue. Personally, I tend to believe the science that points to the cyclical weather patterns that have been documented. It is interesting that we are told about the vast climate changes over the last several thousand years, when weather has not been tracked, and recorded for more than a couple of hundred years.

I know this isn’t in the normal vein of my blog, but this interview really ticked me off. Al Gore’s statements were completely prejudicial, and absent of any logical rebuttal to those who would disagree with him. Such a response shows that he does not have a good enough response to give, or else that those who follow him are willing to follow after him without actually being shown evidence.

This issue is much like other environmental issues. Some people jump to the extreme, and try to fight for a cause, even when the evidence does not really support it. Oh, we can find evidence on the internet to support our position, but often, those sites that are quoted are nothing more than propaganda.

I am not against protecting our environment. I am, in fact, for it. However, it is important to remember that we must get all the facts accurately before choosing a side. I am all for improving the way factories and plants run so that the environment can be taken care of. But, we cannot call for the shutting down of all factories and plants. It is no rational, and causes much more socio-economic problems than it will ever solve environmentally. I am afraid that we sometimes make a judgment based on who shouts the loudest, rather than who presents the best evidence.

Feel free to disagree…just be a bit more respectful about it than Al Gore!

I Am So Very Thankful…

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I am happy to report to you all that my niece is doing much better.  My brother and sister-in-law have been able to hold little Cheyenne finally.  They have let them do quite a bit for her over the last couple of days.  She seems to be progressing very nicely–and faster than the doctors even expected.

I want to thank all of you for dropping in on Cheyenne’s Website, and leaving messages for her and my brother and sister-in-law.  It means a lot to them to read the kind words you have been leaving for them.  I also want to thank all who have given money to help this family.  My brother has been out of work for most of the last 2 months taking care of his wife, and now his new daughter.  We have been able to raise a significant amount of money to help them with the added expenses that they have been facing, as well as to help pay some of their bills until they are able to go home.  Your generosity has been astounding!  Though most of us only know each other through our blogs, over the internet, we certainly are a close knit group.  Thank you so much for your generosity.  Some of you are facing your own difficulties, and yet you stopped by to offer encouragement, and donate of your own money.  I cannot say it enough:  Thank You!

As we are now quickly progressing into spring, I am hoping to get back to writing about the outdoors.  Fishing and turkey seasons should be heating up soon, so there will be plenty to write about.  I am looking forward to getting caught up in reading all the great blogs I have missed over the last several weeks.  I do miss keeping up, and commenting on your blogs.  I haven’t forgotten about all of you!

Busy, and Tired…

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

It has been extremely busy around these parts lately.  I would like to thank all you folks who have shown interest in the health and wellbeing of both my sister-in-law, and my niece.  Things have been very touch and go for a while, but seem to be improving, at least slightly.

Most of my blogging efforts will probably be focused on a blog to help keep our friends and family updated about my niece.  If you get a chance, you can drop in at Cheyenne’s World, and wish them well.  Thanks also to those who have already helped my brother and sister-in-law financially–they are great people, and well deserving of the help that they need so much right now.   Be sure to say hello if you drop in on them over there!

I hope to be able to get back to “normal blogging” sometime soon…but it may still be a while!  Until then, keep your line on the water!

A Worthy Cause…

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I have not been able to write for a while, and I have not been able to read too many blogs either (I think I am suffering some withdraw symptoms). I wrote a few weeks ago (about 7 weeks ago) about my sister-in-law and her unborn baby. She was put into the hospital, at only 27 weeks. She has a condition known as pre-eclampsia, which has high blood pressure as its major symptom. The doctors thought at the time that she was admitted they were going to have to take the baby, but were able to stave off the birth with medication and bed rest until she reached 34 weeks, which was last Sunday. They decided to deliver the baby on Monday night, but she did not come until yesterday evening. Baby Cheyenne is now in the NICU, where she is on oxygen to help her breathe. We just found out that she has had to be put on a ventilator, instead of just a breathing tube in her nose.

My brother has been working as much as he can, but has had to take off a lot of time over the last 7 weeks to care for his wife and be with her during the frightening time she has been in the hospital. He has exhausted all his “paid time”, but his bosses have been great about letting him continue to take time off to be with his family while they need him. He has had to drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh over and over, and they have had to provide food and other necessities away from home during this period of time. It appears that these conitions will still be present for at least another week, and perhaps longer, depending on how long the baby will have to stay in the hospital. Once my sister-in-law is discharged they will have additional expense in providing accommodations near enough the hospital to be convenient to care for the baby.

We have, in an effort to help with the additional expenses that will obviously not be covered by insurance, set up a paypal account for my brother and sister-in-law. If you would like to help them in this difficult time, by providing a small monetary gift, it would be greatly appreciated. I know that most who read this blog are very generous, and very helpful. That fact has become evident in the recent challenge issued to us all to “write about the good”. If you are able, and willing to help, I know that this is a good cause. This young family will be very thankful for your considerations!

 

 


Even if you are not able to help at this time, I ask that you do me a favor. Simply click on the icon at the upper right hand corner of this post to “Digg” it. The more “diggs” it gets, the more people will see it, and have the opportunity to help! Thanks for your help!

Blog About the Good: National Hunting and Fishing Day

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Kristine at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit has issued a challenge to outdoor bloggers to write about the good that occurs when it comes to hunting and fishing. These sports receive so much bad press, we need to take the time to think about, and write about, what is good. Why is that we participate in these endeavors? It is because we see the good! We know the great things that happen because of our involvement, from personal growth and enjoyment, to the protection of the environment, to the fact that getting kids involved keeps them off the streets and out of trouble. So, first, off, hats off to Kristine for putting this challenge out there, and providing a way for us all to join voices and improve the image of our respective outdoor sports.

There have been a lot of great posts that encompass the spirit of blogging about the good this week. You probably have already seen them, but if you haven’t, make sure to go see these posts:

I am sure that I missed some good ones, but will be happy to add them to the list if you let me know about them! It is great to see so many people who are interested in writing about the good things that are out there supporting the outdoor sports!

One thing that gets some pretty big news up here in West Virginia is the National Hunting and Fishing Day. This is a day that is set aside, usually in the fall, to promote the outdoor sports. There are several festivals worked in around the National Day here in West Virginia. You can see a list of available activities at the State DNR Page, or at the State Specific Events page at the National Hunting and Fishing Days website. There is obviously some marketing and sales/profit from many of these events, but they still serve to lay out an opportunity for people to see the good that exists in hunting. Many sponsors come to these events, and make them possible for free, or low cost to the patrons. Most of these events have activities for the kids which can encourage them to start hunting or fishing if they are not already so inclined.

Another thing that WV does is to offer a free fishing weekend. I thought that this was in direct connection to the National Hunting and Fishing Day, but upon further research, it does not seem to be. It is an activity that is sponsored by the WV DNR. This is a great opportunity to get someone who does not currently fish started in the sport. There is no license required, so the new fisherman doesn’t have to pay the $20-$30 upfront to find out they don’t like it. Perhaps that fee stands in the way of someone trying the sport. Last year, the free weekend was June 9-10. I haven’t been able to find the date for this year, but I am sure it will be announced soon.

West Virginia has a ton of opportunities for promoting the outdoor sports. I am sure that many states provide the same types of programs. But, it is always good to know what is going on out there, and what opportunities we can join in to promote our sport.

Tuesday’s Tracking: DeerPhD

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Tuesday's TrackingI almost didn’t get the Tuesday Tracking in today! I’ve been having some trouble with my hosting service. They are experiencing some “growing pains”, and are having to move some sites around to different servers. Today, it seems, they ended up having to move all my databases, which is of course, what WordPress blogs use to run. But, I am finally able to sit down and write a bit…

One blog have started reading quite a bit is the DeerPhD. Bryan has a great site going, and writes some good thought provoking pieces. One feature that Bryan has had going for a while has been his “What Would You Do” series. Each post presents some dilemma that has confronted, or could confront a hunter. He then suggests several options for a resolution. These posts seem to generate quite a bit of discussion, and some show how there can be multiple solutions that could be considered ethical.

Bryan is working on his Doctorate (thus the Phd part of his blog’s name) in Psychology. He recently announced that he will be serving his internship in Kansas City, Missouri, at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Congrats on that big step. Maybe having a deer hunter in psychology field will help more people realize that the hunting mindset really is normal!

Bryan also has a good article about having the right kind of Mental Edge, and applying that to practicing with a bow. I know I need to get out more often, and practice before season comes in. My hope is to be able to join a club this summer and spend some time practicing with my son. I know we have a pretty good club close by, so we should be able to get out at least a few times per month.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the DeerPhD. It is well worth your time to head over there and read Bryan’s writings.

My Kind of Online Store…

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Cavender's Western WearI have always liked western wear stores, even though I have not really have a lot of western wear. While I was living in Alabama, I really got the itch for buying western wear. I got to where I wanted a pair of boots, and ended up talking myself out of it over and over. But, surfing the web today, I came across a website that reminded me how much I like this style of clothing. Cavender’s has a really good selection of cowboy hats boots, shirts and pants. In fact, looking around the website, I found several products that caught my eye…so if anyone wants to get me a birthday present next year, here are a few suggestions…

Justin's Work BootsFirst, I really like one pair of boots that I found in the sale area. This pair of Justin’ Work Boots is now available for $124.99. They look comfortable, and have a no-slip soles, and they actually come in size EE, which I need (and they are hard to find).

They have a huge selection of cowboy hats, which are really cool too.  I’m not sure I would ever really wear one enough to buy one, but they are still really cool!  I knew some of the boots could get expensive, but I never really expected the hats to go so high.  I guess this area is like a lot of other things:  you get what you pay for.  Cavender’s has, of course, boots and hats for every price range, so they are worth a look if you enjoy this kind of clothing.

Texas Dry Goods ShirtI really like western wear shirts.  I have a couple of these, even though they are not really “in style” where I live.  But, that’s not the point.  I like ’em!  I noticed that Cavender’s has a great selection of western wear shirts, and there are tons of styles.  Even though I am not from Texas, I really like this shirt (to the left).  Again, my birthday is in January…hint, hint, hint…

If you get a chance, jump on over to Cavender’s Western Wear, and look around.  If you like this style, I’m sure you can find all kinds of stuff to suit your fancy.  I’m going to go look at some of their sale items, and see what is available…

Thanks to Cavender’s for their sponsorship of this post…

Pennsylvania Trout Season to Open Soon…

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

This article reminded me that Pennsylvania has an actual trout season. It comes in, at least in part of the state, March 29th. This short article also gives some good information for trout fishermen to remember as time draws closer to opening of the season. However, the purists among us may cringe at the advice of this expert fly fisherman.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I am fishing, I am willing to use anything that is legal to catch fish. Sometimes, I like to bait fish, using salmon eggs, worms, mealworms and the like. Sometimes I like to fly fish, and I use streamers, wet flies, or dries, depending on what the fish are biting. And, I am not opposed to tying on a glo worm, or a San Juan worm, what Mr. Daniels calls “candy flies”. I figure you have to go with what is biting! Along those lines, I enjoyed a post over at the Tennessee Valley Angler, which discusses some of the snobbery that sometimes surfaces around fly fishing. Elitists may not enjoy the article so much…

One thing that is mentioned in this article that is important is to remember to take the proper clothing for any kind of weather. I know that when I am going up into the mountains to fish, I often forget that the temperature is going to be quite a bit lower than where I live. The evenings can be especially cool. I try to remember to take sweatshirts, jackets and rain wear for every trip. You can never tell what will happen with the weather in the mountains!

I am glad that there is no closed season for trout fishing here in WV. We can fish for trout year round, and there are several places that hold trout over through the summer and winter. Through the spring, the DNR stocks a lot of rivers, and we also have several streams that hold native brook trout.

I still haven’t had the chance to get out and fish yet this year. I am hoping to maybe hit a stream later this week. We’ll see if I can actually get out, and if I can actually catch anything. It has been so long since I have been on a stream, I may have forgotten how to catch fish…

North Dakota Debates High Fence Hunting

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I tried to post this last night, but for some reason my WordPress hiccuped and deleted the whole thing.  I guess I will try to get it out again, though I am sure it will be a lot different than what I wrote up last night.

It appears that the Fair Chase Initiated Measure is to appear on the ballot this November.  A group called the United Sportsmen, held a town hall type meeting to allow both sides of the issue to express their opinions.  This seems to me to be a good idea, as there is much disagreement over this issue.  There was a pretty good turnout at this meeting in Jamestown, ND, as about 200 people attended.

On one side, supporters of the initiative argued that this practice is not really hunting.  After all, the animal is penned up behind a high fence, and doesn’t have much chance of escaping the hunters.  Statements were made such as “high fence is not fair chase” and “A guaranteed hunt is as unethical as you get.”  This is representative of many hunters across the country.

On the other side, the ranchers argued that this was an issue that had to do more with land rights, than with hunting.  They argued that the government would be taking too much control, and impeding their rights as land owners to step in and ban this type of hunting.  They argued that the animals on their ranches, behind their high fences were not taken from the wild, and therefore were not the property of the state.  These animals were in fact purchased by the landowners, and controlled like livestock.  They also pointed out that the animals were actually regulated by the state as livestock, and fell under the supervision of the Board of Animal Health.

The debate over this type of hunting has gone on for a long time, and each one of us as hunters have to decide if we want to participate.  Bryan, over at DeerPhD had an interesting post in his “What Would You Do?” series that addressed this very issue, and he had quite a bit of response to it.  While I was composing this post last night, I discovered that Tom, over at the Black Bear Blog had also posted about “Fair Chase” hunting.  Be sure to go over and read those posts if you haven’t yet.

But, with this post, I really want to delve into the idea of land rights.  Even if we as hunters decide that we don’t want to participate in hunting behind high fence, should we try to make it illegal through legislation?  Do we really want the government being able to step in and ban certain kinds of hunting?

My fear is that this is one of those “first step” types of legislation.  When this is banned, then the anti-hunting crowd will move on to other types until they get as much as they can (or all the hunting).  This is not the first time that this has happened.  There are cases of stopping hunting with hounds.  There are cases of stopping particular types of hunting, such as dove hunting.  These tactics are always escalated to the next level, the next species, and the next type of hunting.  The bad thing in some of these cases is that the anti-hunting crowd drums up the support of hunters to help them in their fight!  So, if they can find hunters who find hunting behind high fences distasteful, they can rope them into helping them ban one type of hunting.  What we will see happening is the effort to expand laws that are formed off of this legislation to limit other hunting opportunities.

But, some may say, the government already has the right to legislate what you do on your own property.  After all, you can’t grow drugs, or make Meth.  But, that is a different issue all together (though many will try to compare them).  If the government is allowed to come in and control what ranchers do in this case, it will not be long until they can control what they can do in all cases.  If they can stop one kind of hunting on your neighbors land, they can stop all hunting on your land!

My take on this is that we as hunters should not push for the eradication of this kind of hunting, even if we do not like it, or would not participate in it.   I think it will lead to other problems for us, and we will have a hard time stopping it.  Besides, if all hunters feel that high fence hunting shouldn’t be done, the easy way to get rid of it is to not go hunt there.  Let the market control it.  If no one hunts, these ranches would not be profitable.  If they are not profitable, they will close down.  The truth is, there is a market for it, and probably always will be.  This aspect is kind of a moot issue for me, because it is too cost prohibitive for me to participate.

I will make one comment about the practice of high fence hunting itself.  It seems to me that the size of the enclosure is important to the discussion.  The ranchers quoted in the Jamestown Sun Article claim that their ranches are between 600 and 2000 acres.  Personally, I rarely cover 600 acres in a day while hunting (and that includes a lot of still hunting).  2000 acres would be nearly impossible to cover.  Unless you were right beside the fence itself, it seems like it would be hard to know it was there, and wouldn’t affect your manner of hunting much at all. However, if the enclosure was only 20 acres, that would be a different story.

If I am missing the boat on this, show me why!  Here’s your chance to change my mind!

Source:  The Jamestown Sun 

The Next William Tell?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Jacob Loading the BowA while back, I wrote a post about Jacob’s birthday, and the bow that we got for him. I also wrote a post reviewing the Matthews Genesis Mini Bow, so if you haven’t had a chance to see that make sure and go back and read it–especially if you have children that will be looking to start shooting any time soon!

Well, the weather finally broke here in WV, and we were able to get Jacob out to try his new bow. He had a ball with it! It didn’t take him long to be able to load it up, and shoot it by himself. I’m not sure why, but he was having a harder time hitting the target this time around. He started getting frustrated (I was seeing a bit of myself in him then!) and even threatened to quit. However, I convinced him that we were going to have to practice a lot for him to get good, and assured him that it wouldn’t be long until he was hitting the target all the time. That seemed to work, and he was ready to keep trying. As you can see from the pictures, he looks like he almost knows what he is doing!

Jacob Drawing BowWe did run into one problem while shooting however. It turns out, because of the way the bow is designed to be used with any draw length, that you have to be careful and not draw it too far back. If you draw it “to the wall”, then there is a chance that the string can jump off the cam wheel at the bottom of the bow. How do I know this you ask? Because we managed to do it. I was actually trying to show Jacob where to draw the bow to, and drew it too far on purpose to show that he was going to far sometimes. When we released the arrow, the string jumped the cam. Of course, I don’t have a bow press, so this meant a trip to the bow shop to get the bow restrung. The shop owner showed me how that problem occurs, so hopefully we will be able to avoid it in the future.

We got in about 4 or 5 rounds before the string jumped the cam, so he got to shoot it about 20 times or so. It was enough that he really got the bug. He can’t wait to take it with him up to his Papaw’s house and shoot his deer target with it. I figure Papaw can’t wait until Jacob brings it up either!

Jacob Shooting BowI got some pretty decent pictures of Jacob shooting. This one to the left is one I got just as he released an arrow, and before it cleared the bow. That was just luck, as he often shot too quickly for me to catch a picture. In these pictures, I think he has a pretty good form. One thing he kept trying to do was pull his head out away from the bow just before he releases the arrow. That made all of his shots pull to the left. When he gets a bit more experience with it, we will work on the form, and I am sure he will get those shots in the target.

Though he had fun shooting, he was not too terribly disappointed when the bow broke, because he still got to go out and play in the yard. As I said before, the weather has been terrible, and the kids have been cooped up inside for what seems like forever. So, while I tried to fix the bow, he took off up the hill, because as we all know, if there is a hill, a five year old boy has to climb it. And, of course, halfway up the hill was a large rock, so he had to climb that as well. It was good to get him outside, and let him have a little fun, and run off a bit of energy. Maybe, we will be able to get back out before too much longer, and let him get a bit more practice with that bow!

Jacob ClimbingJacob on the Wall