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December 31, 2008

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Petzal: Predictions for the New Year

Coach says it’s OK to bleed from the ears.”—Reggie Ray, in Not Another Teen Movie

For fear the hearts of men are failing,
For these are latter days we know.
The Great Depression now is spreading;
God’s word declared it would be so.
I’m going where there’s no Depression,
To that lovely land that’s free from care.
I’ll leave this world of toil and trouble.
My home’s in Heaven; I’m going there.

—A.P. Carter, from Songs of the Depression, by The New Lost City Ramblers, 1959

Some of the following is already fact. The rest of it will probably be fact before 2009 is out.

On December 18, one day after Washington announced its new “reasonable” gun-ownership laws, MSNBC news bunny Mika Brzezinski was mugged outside her D.C. hotel by a robber who did not carry a gun. Meanwhile, the murderer of Chondra Levy, the intern who was killed in a Washington park in 2001, remains at large.

President Obama will push a new firearms-control law through a Congress that is distracted by a debate over whether to bail out kitty litter manufacturers (unsympathetic reporters label the pro-litter faction “The Pissing Pussy Posse”). It establishes the National Bureau of Gun-Owner Control, and requires anyone possessing a firearm in the U.S. to carry an I.D. card issued by the Bureau. One of the requirements for obtaining a card involves passing a psychiatric exam and, to set the example, Vice President Joe Biden takes the first one. He fails it.

Stung by the shooting public’s rejection of the 592nd variation on its basic mid-20th-century rifle design, a major gun manufacturer will develop a breakthrough “game-harvesting system” that is actually a hand-held miniaturized heat-seeking missile with an effective range of 12.7 miles. Called the GHS and mounted with a celestial telescope, it requires no aiming—only pointing in a general direction--and cannot miss.

The GHS is given a radical advertising campaign (“Fair chase is so 20th century.”) and is a raging success; a black-powder version for special seasons soon follows. BATF chief Chelsea Clinton attempts to classify it as a destructive device, but Congress, distracted by the $13.5 billion in severance paid to top execs at GM, Ford, and Chrysler after their companies’ respective bankruptcies, does not go along.

And: This past hunting season I drove to hunts in South Carolina, Maine, and West Virginia, thereby depriving the airlines of the money they would pay ramp apes to dance on my gun case. I also avoided the TSA, getting stranded, the Ritalin-deprived 12-year-old sociopath who always sits in the seat behind me, and the awful despair in the eyes of all flight attendants.

My thanks to all of you who read this thing and contribute to it. I get a tremendous kick out of what you have to say, even if you disagree with me, which is surprising because I am always right.

Happy New Year.


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A very Happy New Year to you as well. Thanks to you and Phil for the excellent columns. All the best from Canada!


Dave, a happy, blessed, and prosperous new year to you and yours. I greatly enjoy keeping up with your efforts here and in the magazine. Always right? Being in a gracious and holiday frame of mind, you can have that one this time. haha. What area of WV do you visit? Sometime when you're going to be in God's country again, I'd love to share an adult beverage with you, discuss things of mutual importance and interest like the virtues of the .300 Win mag and .308 Winchester, Ruger firearms, and the sorry state of today's political climate, and perhaps burn a little powder. Good shooting and God bless.

Edward J. Palumbo

I'm still waiting for the Great American Novel. Haven't seen you since I was a salesman at Paragon Sporting Goods in Manhattan in the late '60s and early '70s, but admired your photography with that Hasselblad. Much happiness to you in 2009. May all your shots (and all your writing) hit the mark squarely.
God bless,
Ed Palumbo

Steve in VA

I thoroughly enjoy reading your column Dave -- Happy New Year to you and to everyone.

One question -- will the GHS do the field dressing as well?

jersey pig

happy new year to all.

and can the ghs be mounted with a remote control and a webcam so i dont have to actually go in the woods? this would be much easier if i controlled it from my bed


Dave, you are the f*cking man, and everything you wrote was true, especially the whole bit about the airlines...

This country is going to hell in a handbasket!


Jersey pig,

Have you forgotten the Texas ranch a few years ago that offered remote control hunts from your computer?

The GHS (in one form or another) is probably not that far off from reality.



Quite a vision there, Dave, but maybe not so far out...

Thanks for another year of your great blog, and I look forward to what you've got to offer us in 2009!

SHOT Show is only a couple weeks out, so here's to booth babes and worthwile firearms innovation! You won't know me, but I'll see you there!


Merry Christ Mass, as well, Dave, and don't tell me you didn't know that there were 12 days of it...Good hunting and shooting, and God bless ya. May we all keep laughing at your predictions, and never experience the reality of them!

Dr. Ralph

And just when I thought the old man was dead and had been replaced by drones and the plutocrats were giving us commercial grade crap instead of the good stuff... Classic Petzal none finer. Now all I need is to head down to Bluegrass Liquors and find a bottle with a Turkey on it like the one that keeps looking at me from the bottom of the screen.


New York predictions:

For the last few years, democrats have wanted to grab the State Senate. In the while, they've generally kept quiet about their anti-gun agenda, trying to assure upstate gun owners and hunters that they were not hostile to their traditions and activities. But not quite: the State Assembly has passed a wish-list of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence every year, that included prohibitions against 50 caliber firearms, numerous restrictions against gun dealers, gun ownership requirements, restrictions on "assault weapons," etc, all celebrated on a single day. Until now, the State Senate blocked these. Now, there's nothing to stop it.

Of course, guns aren't the only part of the problem for hunters. NYC democrats have long appealed to -- and been appealed to -- by the League of Humane Voters and HSUS. A couple of years ago, there was a lot of hoopla over the nomination of Pete Grannis, who had a long happy relationship with the LOHV-NY.

Early in December, Governor Paterson has ordered the sole remaining state pheasant breeding facility. There will be no more stocking program. With it, youth pheasant shoots, 4H pheasant rearing projects (stocked with pheasant chicks from the state facility), county sportsmen federation distributions, habitat improvement programs connected to pheasant habitat that supported not only pheasants, but other game and non-game species, are likely to be lost. The remaining birds are to be "donated" to certain food banks in the southern tier. The farm itself may be up for sale to Cornell University. All of this occurred without any notification or involvement of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board (constituted by New York State Law to review and advise how Conservation Fund moneys are spent: license fee moneys that may not be comingled with general fund $'s as required for qualification for Federal Pittman-Robertson funds). Essentially, the message is hunters, license fee protections, etc, do not matter in the new regime.

Now, for the prediction: NYAGV lobby/orgy day will be marked by passage of onerous anti-gun bills in both houses, and signed by Patterson into law. A list of anti-hunting bills that have tended to languish in Senate committees will now easily pass.

Happy New Year!



Good Carter Family song reference.
If you like the stuff the "first family" of country music wrote, go to Amazon and get "The Unbroken Circle".
It's all Carter family greats, sung by different artists from George Jones, Willie Nelson, John Prine, Dirt Band, Johnny Cash, June Cash, others, and the best "No Depression in Heaven" by Sheryl Crow of all people.



David will publish his long awaited seminal work: "Pen Knives of the One Room Schoolhouse."

PB will name a dog "jack".

Merwin will convince Bonnier that he should fund a 6-month harpooning expedition in the Maldives.

TEN will get lost inside Cabelas warehouse. He won't care.

Chad will submit an article with super graphics to People Mag about gut piles. They will not return his phone calls.

Hurteau will start a PH operation and post on the blogs at least once a year.

Bestul, bored with shooting, will tackle and rope a buck.

And that other guy...oh yeah...Heavey will seriously consider taking his new friend on an 8-hour date in a tree stand at the end of January. "Hell, she sat in the stupid boat all day - let's see if she likes watching me bowhunt with a hand warmer duct taped to my skull." His doctor will suggest he give it further thought.

Happy New Year.


Dave it sounds like your proposed Game Harvesting System might save hunting as we never knew by finally facilitating Governor Paterson's participation in the hunting tradition. This could cause the worthy governor to have more sympathy for our feelings with regard to the shooting sports.
Joy and good will to all, as much as is practical and possible considering events...


Dave: I have enjoyed your blog immensely over the past year. One of the few that I religiously check on.
I too have had it with flying. I can remember when it was fun - hell I can remember when we used to carry our guns right on board. A bunch of sociopathic hijackers put an end to that.
Now flying is something to be tolerated. Fares are up, service is down and with some rare exceptions the airline personnel look upon the paying passengers as something they have to tolerate. In addition the airports are the antithesis of people-friendly. If you have the time it is far better to drive. You see some country, meet some people and are personally in control of your life.
Complaints about the airline business aside - all the best to you and yours in 2009.


Ahhhhh, Bite Me! :-)


New York ... such a loss of resource. Such a large and beautiful land/wilderness resource controlled by narrow minded folks who reside on that popsicle stick of land called New York City. That stick should just be sliced off at the Rockland/Westchester line and left to survive, gunfree, on it's own.


New York ... such a large, beautiful natural resource controlled by narrow minded weasels indiginous to that popsicle stick of land ... New York City. A wall should be built on the Rockland/Westchester line trapping the snivling weasels to the South leaving the glorious land to the North for 'gun toting, Bible hugging' humans to enjoy.

Ahhh, the Nation survived the likes of William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and Billary Clinton ... this too shall pass ... not as fast as we'd like ... but pass it will.

That's my hope for 2009,



Hmmm, a bit of Internet stutter here. :-)


Same old crap, different country,we are now ruled by Europe here in the UK and have the same fight as you good folk over the pond. Keep up the good work and the fight we'll get there in the end.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and plenty of good hunting.


Dave - I enjoy reading your blog; a great way to start the morning. Have a wonderful New Year!


Dave - I enjoy reading your blog; a great way to start the morning. Have a wonderful New Year!


Dave, what are we "bathroom readers" going to do when all our publications goes digital? I don't have room in my bathroom for another computer.....Happy New Year Everyone.


Happy New Year Dave. You come up with great discussion topics. Your humor is right on. I always look forward to your next one. Lets all pray the incoming administration is tripped up on their plans for screwing up our love of God, guns, and hunting. They will try to ruin this country. Happy New Year to all who post here too.

forest hill

In our northern MI woods all we have to worry about in the New Year are red squirrels, porcupines, and skunks. HMMMMMMM maybe that isn't so much different than DC after all. May all your New Year shots be right on!

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