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May 22, 2008

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Another Shabby, Money-Grubbing Scheme I am Obliged to Support

My sister-in-law, who was for many years a successful literary agent, finally got out of the business because it was too sordid and depressing, and she wearied of the money-making schemes dreamed up by brain-damaged publishers and writers. She said she would rather teach cosmetology at a leper colony. 

Her wisdom is proven correct by Mr. Bill Heavey of Virginia.  Someone (who is presumably loose in public with no one in charge of him) has paid Bill to live off the land for a year and write a book about it. I don't know whether this involves eating grubs, snails, and cockleburs or fighting the local stray cats for dumpster-diving rights, but I do know that Bill will be foraging where the Confederate Army tried to live off the land and nearly starved to death.

Presumably, you will be interested in reading about Mr. Heavey's gradual descent into hunger and madness, with side trips to scurvy and pellagra. If so, he is right here on our website in a new blog called A Sportsman's Life. And if you live in Virginia and should happen to see a ragged, skeletal figure rummaging through your garbage, give it a kick for me.


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It really shouldnt be too hard if you know how to plant a good garden.

If hes allowed to go fishing it really sounds like fun.


sounds better than office work any day.


I would say it beat's hell out of a real job!



Well, It is a great weight loss program, maybe his hair will grow back.

Really Dave, Bill isn't all that bad a guy.. is he??

Dave, you and Bill should get the last two pages of Field & Stream, just like Cooper and Skelton use to have in Guns & Ammo.

Two different view points and stories. I think it would make for great reading. I used to love saving the best for last when I finished reading Skelton and Cooper, I know I had finished a good of issue of Guns and Ammo, even if the rest of it was not interesting.

Just a thought, do any of the editors read these posts?

Take a poll and see what other people think!!

Should Dave and Bill have the last two pages of Field and Stream to comment on everything from Hunting, Guns and well, whatever Bill says.. No really I like what Bill has to say, even if he is kind of goofy looking in those caricatures.

Take care and keep up the good work Dave,

Have a good Memorial Day Dave.

Have you ever seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbOcJ6kqJAA



Jim in Mo.

Concerned Soldier,
I don't think thats a caricature of Bill.
Dave, so your sister has a sense of humor as yours or did the literary business cause her to become so depraved?

Dave Petzal

To Çoncerned Soldier: Good speech, and thanks. That is some big LTC. And a good Memorial Day to you.

To Jim in Mo. My sister in law, not sister. And she is very genteel, not at all like me.

Mike Diehl

Why does the artwork in Heavey's column in F&S always make him look, not to put too fine a point on it, "already dead?" Is he really an extra from a George Romero flick who has escaped from some undead storage compound?


I just so happen to live in Virginia, Dave. I'll be sure to wear my steel-toed boots when I take out the trash!

Clay Cooper

Lets hope Mr. Heavey doesn't choke on a "WILD HICKORY NUT!"

Reminds me of another Alska story coming on, stay tuned!

Del in KS

Concerned Soldier,

The LTC was right on. Ft Benning was my old stomping (and hunting) grounds. Trained Inf. soldiers there for 3 years in the early 80's. Nowdays I'm a cranky old retired SFC that can't tolerate liberals. For those that don't know Ft. Benning is the home of the INFANTRY including RANGER and Airborne Paratroop jump school.

Del in KS

I suspect Mr. Heavy won't be very heavy by next year.


If the soldiers of the CSA nearly starved to death trying to live off that country, and one-third of what Heavey writes is true, then a snowball has a better chance sitting on the gates of Hades itself than Heavey has of surviving without resorting to extracurricular food provision. Perhaps his next caricature should show him pushing a racoon aside with one hand while opening a trash can with the other. Good luck Bill, I sure Dave is thoroughly enjoying this exercise.


My apologies for my mis-spelling, 'I'm sure Dave is thoroughly enjoying this exercise'.

Del in KS


I read your article about recoil in the hospital this mornin' as the Nurse was getting me ready for the scope. You are right on off course. BTW while I was on that gurney highly sedated I had an idea. I couldn't find any phonograph needles to use for bullets with that other wildcat round, but hey if you use a larger case you can use a fatter bullet and get the same velocity right? There are plenty of 17 caliber bullets out there and we could neck down a 105 mm howitzer case to .17 cal. Yeah I know we would have to do some reaming and annealing but heck it could be done. We would need RCBS to make a really BIG Rockchucker and dies. Man can you think of the velocity you could get with a couple pounds of Bullseye in that round? I'm sure you and Clay, with all the shooting you do could handle the recoil. Next I'm thinking about necking the .22 short up to .45 for a plinking round. I already have a good supply of 520 grain cast bullets. Is there a way to re-prime a .22 case? Oh, BTW the Doc said no ulcers the stomach is fine. Gotta go now to send my friend Jim in Mo an E-mail. Let me know what you think.

Clay Cooper

Back in 88, one of the shooters at the range invited me to go to an old friend’s house south of Fairbanks Alaska that was obtained thru homesteading to go Moose hunting. So I went unknowing what to expect and as we drove up, a elderly Black Man stepped out of the cabin and greeted us. Inside were lots of aviation war pictures of him and other fellow members commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen Squadron! A fine Gentleman and Sportsman he is. Never know who you will meet when you least expect it and what a learning experience it was and yes, he had outdoor plumbing with a outhouse outback with a heated seat!


I sure he will come back very thin. If the worms from the fish don't get him then the scurvy from lack of Vitamin C will. But then again no one said that he could get help planting a garden with ton's of tomatoes. Easy to grow and they produce very well. But then again Green Beans, shell beans, and pinto beans grow well also.

Tom the Troll


Del in KS,
Why not just neck down a .300 win mag or 30-06 to except saboted flechette rounds. You can buy the flechettes from cheaperthendirt.com by the pound. But then you would have to find a way to wrap a sabot around one. Or stuff then in to a shotgun round.

Tom the Troll


For Bill Heavey, living off the land means sleeping in the car in a laundromat parking lot and eating at 7-11 == didn't anyone read his "Adventures of a Deer Bum" last year?


Quote from Heavey's blog:
"Right now, I’m hitting the foraging books pretty hard. And finding out that Mother Nature can be less than maternal. One of the first plants I came across in my nearest woods at first looked like Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota, aka wild carrot, an eminently edible root vegetable. I looked it up in my Peterson’s “Edible Wild Plants” and found that I was looking at Conium maculatum, aka poison hemlock. Both have lacy, delicate leaves, a white flower that typically blooms starting in May, and a white, carrot-like root.

The only problem is that even small amounts of poison hemlock can cause “paralysis and death.”

I’ve invited Dave Petzal to come over for stir-fry."

Gonna take him up on his offer?
Could turn it into a real manly contest, kind of like doing shots to see who passes out first, only of a more permanent nature.
Ya Game?


I think halfway through Heavey's ordeal you (being the questionable gentleman you are) should drive by Heavey while eating a large slice of pepperoni pizza with extra cheese.


Having a sister in law means you have siblings. I always thought gun writers simply hatched out of the ground like mushrooms.


My, my. Where will it all end?
I tried this for a short time once! I think I lasted, unharmed, for at least eight hours!
My dad could walk through the woods, and be full by the time we got back to camp. I tried the huckleberries, bleh! The persimmons were more acceptable but I had a hard time finding the "ripe" ones!
If I can't shoot it, I ain't eatin' it! Unless it's blackberries or pecans!


Clay Cooper

Del in KS
Loaded up 50 rounds of 300 Win Mag with 100 grain Speer bullets with maximun 110 grain loadings and couldn’t hit the side of a barn. They were blowing up in mid air!

Trae B.

Bubba. People in my last year class thought I was weird when I started eatin peacans off the ground. And btw peacans is pronounced "p-cans" not "pa-cons".


Good Luck Bill Heavey. I know people who can't survive on $20.00 per day within walking distance to Burger King. What a world we live in.

How about smoked (dried) fish, venison, moose, elk, rabbit,quail, or whatever. Growing a garden is great if you don't starve to death waiting for it to start to produce. Depending on the weather, it takes my tomato plants 90 to 120 days to the first fruit. Then that's if nothing comes along and spoils it like hail, frost, wind, hurricane, tornado, etc. Like I said, Good Luck Bill.

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