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July 04, 2008

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Testing Your Mettle

There are very few things I believe in absolutely anymore, but one of them is, if you want to see what someone is really made of, go big-game hunting with them. There is something about the combination of wilderness, physical effort, the high likelihood of failure, and the constant presence of Murphy (he of the law) that brings out the best and worst in people.

Those who reveal themselves to be prize s***s will usually do so when someone else shoots something really terrific--particularly if that person is a beginner, or inept, or otherwise undeserving. You will see an instant personality change in the prize s**t. He will cease speaking, keep to himself, snap at his fellows, and insult the undeserving nimrod.

"Pure luck," he will say, or "Did you know what you had when you pulled the trigger?", or "You'd never do that again in a million years."

The other condition that turns some people into prize s***s is BEING OUT OF TOUCH, or its corollary, NOT BEING IN CONTROL OF EVENTS. When they discover that their Blackberrys and cell phones are no longer functional, they come unglued. They are the ones who go stomping through the woods, cell in hand, trying to find a few bars, wondering what is going on, and how the earth is managing to spin on its axis without their constant input.

Years ago, Gary Sitton and I were on a trail ride in western Montana, taking in some of the most wonderful scenery on earth. On the horses ahead of us rode two younger men, jabbering nonstop about computers. Gary and I just smiled at each other; we knew we were in the presence of fools.


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SD Bob, from the currents and Lake Freighters going down the St. Clair River I am not surprised you did not catch anything. I have spent many a hour on the concrete walkways on the Michigan side of the St. Clair River in Port Huron. There were times when I was almost afraid to get near the edge of the water because if I fell in they would find my body in Lake Erie a hour later. I will jokingly say you can troll off the side of the walk ways. Just throw your planing board over the side and tie the rope to the metal guard rails.

Tom the Troll


Unfortunitly some of those prized S**S can cost you your life when they are distracted by the technological marvels they carry. One of my former bosses was a cell phone freak and was not paying attention to the road ahead of him and the fact that traffic had stopped. By the time he seen the traffic it was too late and slide into the back of the back of the rest of us in the convoy. In all total there were 8 vehicles involved in the accident that day. What a Mess. Nothing like having Semi's pushing vehicles in to other vehicles.

Tom the Troll


I admit that I am a technocrate and have a lot of toys. But my cell phones (my wife and mine) bill only have between 10 to 20 minutes a month used. I only use it to let my wife know I am on my way home after work or she calls me to pick up the boys after she gets called in to work on her day off. Now my laptop is a different story. I admit I take it to the woods with me. But it gets used at the days end. I upload all my pictures from my camera in to it and edit them and add titles and or thought balloons to them. Besides it takes all day to recharge the battery with a solar charger.

Tom the Troll

Dr. Ralph

There's something inside of us that nothing can change. I've slept under bridges freezing with no food for days, had cars stolen, girlfriends stab me in the back with my so-called best friends and yet I wake up every day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. No one can make you happy or sad except yourself... it is a state of mind. I love facing the worst of odds because I know deep down inside I have what it takes and can do it singing.

As far as two men shooting a deer I usually just give it away unless it is a prize or a first... Chev Jim I'd hate to have been in your place because that buck was yours. Strange acts occur in the woods and I would have caused a strange occurrence.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

The Cell Pnone has it's pace in the woods, turned off. If needed, turn it on. We got too many gadgets now to worry with. I go hunting to enjoy the scenry, woods, peace and quite and watch all the game around. If I get a shot, thats a Bonus. Been hunting for 50 odd years, so successful in terms of a kill, others successful in a great day out there in Gods great world. Two yrs ago, I went on the best hunt of my life. I hunted with a Handicaped/disabled bunch of guys in WY for Antelopes. One guy, younger than I, BLIND: his Son was with him. The special gun built for this Blind man allowed the Son to sight the game to be shot at. The Blind Gentleman killed a nice Buck Lope. Too this day, I don;t know who was more pleased, the Blind man or the remainder of the group. I almost cried when saw the expression on the guys face when he rubbed the fur of his Trophy Lope. So if you Bitch about no game, remember the above statement. If you don;t share a tad of remorse, then you need to take up needle point. On the brighter side of this story, ther was l3 of us D/H guys and all filled our tags within 2 days, then I was on my way to Montana for Deer. Love those Rocky Mountains, just makes you feel alive again. Shoot-um-straight and often.

coach ike

rocky mtn hunter,

i agree with the cell phone policy in the woods --- leave it off. however as adults we are our own worst enemy in setting an example. i am a camp counselor during the summer teaching kids the joy of fishing. last week a seven year old in camp catches a HUGE crappie. i mean HUGE! i was about to take a picture of him with his prize and he tells me not to bother and whips out a CELL PHONE WITH CAMERA! what parent in their right mind buys their seven year old a CELL PHONE? needless to say i was floored and told the child well i guess you can unhook your own fish too while you are at it!

Pete Jefferson

Only law enforcement officers and the Military should be allowed to carry
any weapons at all. Even hunters should give up the "right to bear arms". In
today's society there is no longer a need to protect one self, one's family,
property, etc. More people die from their own weapons than any intruders.
780,000 people were killed AFTER John Lennon lie dead from a gun shot. please
don't tell me that this statistic wouldn't be significantly lower if GUNS
WERE OUTLAWED!!! -- There are more people killed by PRIVATELY OWNED GUNS
than in the entire rest of the world combined. Are we nuts or are we nuts?

Buddy Hinton  Sturmgewehr

Guns are for stupid people. I'm too smart for that.


I don't know where you're getting you info but you are wrong. If you're drinking koolaid from Sarah
Brady's bunch and using their stats you'll get skewered every time.
Gun crimes are highest where Gun are OUTLAWED. Think it might be because the bad guys don't care about the law, and the people that do care don't have guns? What a novel idea. The places that have the highest per capita gun ownership have the lowest crime rate, that means if you have more guns,you have less crime. Duh!
More people die from alcohol and drug related incidents than anything else. Alcohol and drugs contribute to more domestic violence than anything else, alcohol and drugs contribute to more fatality accidents than anything else, but prohibition didn't work so there is an amendment to the Constitution stopping it.
If people of your mindset were consistent you would try to outlaw tobacco, alcohol, all drugs, including the beneficial ones for heart, BP because we don't need these . Just eat right ,exercise and everyone will be ok.


Like P.J. O'Rourke(sp) said, "An armed society is a polite society."


Dr. Ralph;
Your comments are right on the money. Happiness, satisfaction, and contentment are in your own mind. Victor Frankle was in a concentration camp in WWII, he said it was wonderfully liberating when he realized that he could not control what the nazi's did to him, but he could control how he felt about it. They could not break his spirit if he would not allow it. Same goes for troops in a war, or hunting buddies out in the sticks. I find that if you decide that you can get along with anyone, you can. If you decide to be dissappointed and miserable you will be, and so will everyone around you.
It really tests the mettle of your companions when the pickup date arrives from your remote hunt and the boat or plane does not arrive. Do they man-up and set the camp back up, or sit there and whine about it? Don't let anyone steal your joy.


Pete J.
Please explain how Vermont has the lowest crime rate in the country? They should, according to your way of figuring, have the highest; anyone who qualifies under Federal laws to buy a handgun may carry it concealed or openly. Not only do they have the lowest rate of gun related crime they have the lowest rate of ALL crime in the country. Hawaii on the other hand has relatively restrictive gun laws and very little way to get guns into the state yet there is a high rate of violent assaults and domestic violence not to mention a lot of property crime. Maybe, just maybe; criminals are likely to live where citizens have less ability to protect themselves? Maybe there are other factors that lead to high crime rates than legal gun ownership.

As for your numbers; in the twenty seven and a half years since John Lennon was murdered 780,000 people may well have been killed by firearms in this country. That translates to about 28,000 per year. It also includes all instances of people meeting their demise via a firearm; murders, justifiable homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. Those justifiable homicides by definition means that one or more other persons lives were saved by the use of deadly force in each case. Someone truly bent on suicide will die regardless of what means are available to them.

Rusty In Missouri

A few years ago on an early morning turkey hunt I kept hearing something. Then I noticed my grandson Texting; the Blackberry was taken away from him, turned off, and put in my coat pocket for the rest of the week. Surprise, he lived through it and had a good time.

Dr. Ralph

Hate to tell you this Mr. Jefferson, but handguns were illegal in NYC when Lennon was shot... now paintball guns are also outlawed there. Bet you feel a lot safer, huh?

Mike Diehl

@Dave -

After about three days I start to feel really good about the whole thing. I pitch a tent, bring my own water, and hunt public land. The hunt usually starts of a Friday, so after three days most everyone else leaves and goes back to work, and I'm just starting to really fully detox from a year of computerdeskitis.

Clay Cooper

Mr. Pete Jefferson
Please carry a sign that reads, in case I am being mugged and you are an armed citizen please stand and watch!
I find it very interesting that Mr. Jefferson (not related to Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826 U.S. statesman and 3rd president of the United States. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence. As Democratic Republican president (1801-1809), he strengthened the executive branch of government) that it is the law enforcement officers and the Military personnel that supports the 2nd Amendment.


on my first deer hunt this past February, my buddy tried everything within his power to "psyche me out",...he harped on "flinch", "buck fever" anything at all, knowing that I was a pure cityboy with no high power rifle experience and no hunting experience, when I put my first three rounds into the bull's eye at 100yds he responded that in the stand I wouldn't have a rest, when I put the next two rounds in the bull's eye off-hand he grudgingly said "we'll see if you can shoot when it counts...but when I killed my first deer with my first shot at 130yds quartering away...he manned up and paid to butcher,pack and ship the meat to me in Atlanta. He probably unwittingly forced me to focus more than I would have without the challenge. I just recently joined a QDM club in Middle Georgia, 1240 acres, 9 members,...I'm the rookie, each member gets a "private primary area" of about 55 acres sqr, one of the founders turned me onto an open area to "claim" where a 150 class buck had been seen all last season, I thought that was very generous,... we'll see if I can make it count.

Jim in Mo.

Don't do it, your gonna mess up bad. The pucker factor is ready to jump on ya. It was luck before. Pure luck. Guns are fickle, that deer you shot was wounded, you didn't do it. Retain your manhood. Let me take that lease off your hands.
I'll give you my address when you regain your senses.

RK in PA

I have been deer hunting since 1956 and have killed one doe in all those years,and I was overjoyed, as were my companions. We share the outdoors as the ultimate life experience and never begrudge another his trophy be it nondescript or the trophy of a lifetime. Their question to me was "why did it take so long?" I said I guess I'm just a lousy hunter, and we all had a good laugh.

Doug Needlemeyer

Obama and the Drive for Slavery Reparations http://www.aim.org/aim-report/obama-and-the-drive-for-slavery-reparations/


S.A.,and all others who responded to the idiot. My dad,many years ago told me, concerning such debate: "Convince a fool against his will and he'll be of the same opinion still". These fools aren't interested in facts, that's why they toss bogus stats out, and make up their own,as often as not. What they are interested in is controlling this blog, and those who enjoy it. Maybe we all should completely ignore their bs, and maybe they will give up. And again that might just be wishful thinking.

Rock Wilson

Obama outlined many of the proposals he talked about Wednesday during appearances in Iowa last December.

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.""


Jim in Mo.,
I'll keep you posted...

WA Mtnhunter

The best hunt I have been on was one where I took a 4x3 raghorn bull and my son took a monster 6x6. I have never been more delighted on a hunt.

You are on target. Hunting camp will bring out the best or worst in a man. I have had a couple of hunts ruined by a few jerks and game hogs. Needless to say, they don't get invited anymore. I had to tell one guy who even goes to the same church that the fellas just didn't want him along again after he kept on inquiring about next year, etc.

I had rather stay at home than have a week ruined by some a-holes.

Clay Cooper

For the most enjoyable hunt, get a bunch of “Crusty Ol’Retired and/or NCO’s” together!

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