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SAD NEWS IN HUNTING?: 2 THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT PEDALS BEING KILLED BY A NJ HUNTER

Photo By: The New York Post

It is with a heavy heart and sad visage that I must report to you the demise of the nations most beloved black bear, Pedals. Pedals was a stalwart and comely bear who had learned to walk around on two feet like a human after having probably been injured by a car collision. He lived in New Jersey. Pedals has been the ire of many an over-enthusiastic would be Sasquatch hunter and has also sent lots of people fleeing into the underbrush screaming at the top of their lungs, while he simply ambled about looking hither and yon for any scraps which would be of interest to a bi-pedal bear. His demeanor was always one of mild disinterest and he somehow created an air of Narnian proportions as he strode about like an absent minded professor who had somehow mis-placed his car keys. It is reported that a bow and arrow shooting bartender from Somerset County is the one who dispatched young Pedals to wherever it is that bi-pedal bears go when they get their birthdays turned off. And the New York post further reports that this individual has been targeted with scads of offensive hate-mail, threats, and petitions for his revocation of hunting rights… he did, after all, kill a beloved New jersey icon. I would like to point out however, two things that should be considered before passing judgement on the poor guy from New jersey.

    1. Pedals was a bear. And as such he was available for harvest in accordance with state law and game regulations. This means that even if the act of killing him was distasteful to some, he was open game during the hunting season. There had been a act afoot to have him removed from the public domain prior to his being harvested and the state of New Jersey had declined to remove him to a private sanctuary.
    2. He was wounded. This means several things. First of all, he wasn’t a Chronicles of Narnia character like Mr. Tumnus, he was a bear who was struggling to make a living because he was hurt. This is why he was often seen close to and in towns… he couldn’t compete in the wild. He was also dangerous. Since he was hurt, he was going to have to get food any way could and it is rumored that pets would disappear in any area he was seen at. This means that anything that was small and weak was at risk to become Pedals’ next meal… these are not conditions that make it favorable to enjoy a military surplus tent adventure anywhere near where Pedals was prowling around, especially if kids were involved.
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CAMPFIRE RECIPE; STEW AND BISCUITS, NO DUMPLINGS

A dutch oven and fire

I was perusing the news recently when I happened upon an article which had the uncommon ability to start my mouth to watering and which furthermore set my imagination onto a much needed adventure, which entailed it’s being transported immediately to an arctic environment where I was suddenly inside a small trapper’s cabin, in the midst of a winter storm. It wasn’t really much as far as articles go, just an idea for a simple campfire recipe of Dinty Moore beef stew and some Bisquick biscuits, however, the combination of the two together elicited an excited stimulus of Pavlovian dimensions in my tongue and belly and I immediately began to scheme. In the original recipe it called for a can of Dinty and some Bisquick and milk… pretty boring, so I went into the kitchen and began to concoct this:

JOHNNY’S WHATCHA-GOT? STEW AND BISCUITS

Ingredients: One small roast cubed, three potatoes, six carrots, and some peas of you’ve got them. In a survival situation, I would prepare whatever meat I could get, excluding fish, and use cattail tubers in place of the potatoes and wild carrots in place of the carrots, (think Queen Anne’s lace). The initial trick is to boil the beef first, until it looks a little “raggetty”. In a survival situation, or even on a military surplus tent adventure with the family I would probably pull some wild onion and garlic to enhance the stew and keep the black flies away. In normal situations however, there is no need to put them all through that. Feeds four. The biscuits are most easily prepared in a skillet and are a concocted from lard, flour, some baking powder, and milk. In a survival situation you might be ok trying to use acorn flour in place of regular flour; however, it will be bitter and most likely will serve you better as dumplings rather than biscuits. In any event, I can easily imagine trying to brave the wilds of an Alaskan Wilderness with a belly full of beef stew and biscuits much better than I can a mouth full of jerky and hard tack.

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4 great uses for a surplus bag

I read recently that an military surplus army bag makes a great camera bag. Well, huh? I guess that makes sense considering the fact that military equipment is designed to be ultra functional and practical. But there are many uses for a military surplus bag that goes beyond a camera bag. let’s be honest though, the military surplus bag looks cool as hell and there is little else that can just say “adventure and ruggedness” like the rumpled canvas of a coyote brown or OD green military surplus bag. I have had several uses for my military bags over the years. I use one, for instance, as a possibles bag whenever I go hunting with a black powder rifle. I like it much better than I like the stiff leather purse I bought at the second hand store years ago, simply because it is much more functional. These things are great and are multi-functional, the best thing about them is the fact that they are so in-expensive that you can have an assortment on hand for in the event that the need arises to have one. Here are four examples of great uses for a military surplus bag.

Photo By: petapixel.com

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

  1. As an herbalism bag. I like to hunt for tubers and mushrooms. I also like to go out during certain times of the year and gather flowers, roots, and leaves for different medicinal purposes. A good military surplus bag , especially one like the Australian soft bag, fits easily around the shoulder and neck, and offers a great way to save what you gather without getting in the way or taking up needed pack space.
  2. As a relic bag. I also love to hunt for relics. By relics I mean arrow heads, artifacts, treasures, etc. I find these types of bags to be perfect for underwater excursions as well. I also carry two or three military surplus bags with me whenever I am on a military surplus tent adventure, especially one with the entire family where I am usually the person who ends up packing everyone else’s gear.
  3. As a medical kit. I always try to carry some occlusive dressings, two or three tourniquets, and some combat gauze just in case I get into some trouble in the form of miscreant contacts, bear attack, or I run into a nest of sasquatches. Not common, but not totally unheard of either.
  4. As a shell bag. I had mentioned that I used a military surplus bag as a possibles bag, but another function I like one is for use as a bag to hold my shotgun shells when I am skeet shooting or dove hunting. This is much easier to handle than to try to juggle a box of shells, or to hold them loosely in my pocket.
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CAREFUL HUNTING: 3 PITFALLS TO AVOID BEYOND MISSING YOUR MARK

It wasn’t long ago that a good friend of mine came banging on my door all a-quiver with excitement over the beautiful ten point whitetail buck he had managed to bag at my family farm. Stuttering and giddy, he retold the story of the kill over and over, and then showed me the tag he had, freshly printed, from his computer, (in Ohio, we tag deer electronically now, at least that’s how we check them in). In any event, I happened to notice that he had indicated on the tag that he had harvested the deer with a shotgun, and I knew that shotgun season didn’t open for three more days… My friend, (we’ll call him Tim because that’s his name), hadn’t been paying attention to changes in the game laws, and he though that gun season opened on Thanksgiving Day that year. It was actually a very simple but costly mistake. No, the Ohio DNR never came looking for him like I suspected they would, but he got so worried they might that he packed up everything he had and moved to Key West Florida. So, here are some tips for having a successful hunting season this year, and by that I mean one that does not involve a trip to court under a capias.

  1. Make sure of the season. I know that, in your area, trout season might have opened up on the same day for the last one hundred years; to the point that it has become a family tradition to go trout fishing on the first of April and you have been doing it for 80 of the one hundred years… but just for precaution, make sure you pull up the local and state game laws… just to be sure. Things change and so do procedures. Wildlife management is an evolving science.
  2. Check for zones. I was never so happy to have missed a shot one year, when I let loose an arrow at a turkey and later discovered that turkey season was only open in the Northern region of my state that year.
  3. Be cognizant of trailcams. Though I am no advocate of poaching outside of a survival situation, I am understanding of the fact that mistakes happen and I do believe in the concept of mental culpability. I’m reminded of the time a friend of mine shot a deer which ran into a thicket and stopped to look at him. He shot her again to put her down humanely, (he was sure he hit her the first time), and then… you guessed it, found two dead deer in that thicket. His first shot had been true and the mortally wounded deer ran into a thicket where her twin was bedded down and dropped at her feet. Said twin stood up and got shot too. THERE WAS NO INTENT TO BREAK THE LAW IN ANY WAY! This is a law abiding citizen who did the right thing, he called the game warden. Even though both deer were killed on his property and he had seven children, five of whom were of legal hunting age and all of whom were entitled to tag two deer each, he still paid a hefty fine. Simply because he was honest. I bring this up only because I recently read an article about a similar mistake which happened involving an elk that was shot on a trailcam, and the errant, (not criminal), hunter was prosecuted.
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CAMPING 2017: 3 REASONS TO TAKE A FOLDING TABLE WITH YOU

If you are like me then you have already gotten a jump on the camping season this year and have gotten out into the Spring mix to get a taste of the crisp cool air and the gentle sunshine without the benefit of the noseeums and mosquitos. The fact of the matter is, at least for me, that it’s the little things that make a camping trip miserable or great. One of the things that I despise most in life is being hunched over something for any length of time. The worst for me is when filleting a thousand or so panfish; but a close second is trying to use some old log or a flat rock as a work space when I am camping and preparing game or fixing a meal. And as a matter of fact it was during a recent fling into the wilderness while I was trying to prepare venison kabobs, corn on the cob, and an apple strudel for the wife and the kids that inspiration struck. (This inspiration did not strike me in the usual way, it struck me right across the top of my head… the bald spot, where the errant, early season fly had landed, which my wife had promptly smacked with a rolled up magazine). It turns out the magazine was an old copy of Popular Mechanics™, and there was an article about fold up tables in it. (YOU CAN READ IT HERE IF YOU LIKE! 🙂 ) Here are three really good reasons to take a folding table camping with you:

  1. You don’t have to be hunched over. Most of these designs are made so that you can take full advantage of your homo-erectus status and stand erect while using them. What a treat for the back, huh?
  2. You won’t have to juggle your items to keep them clean. As I mentioned earlier, a log in the woods or an old flat rock both have a common characteristic that is problematic, namely, they are both filthy as hell.
  3. You won’t lose your knife. This might not be a problem for you, though I’d venture to guess it affects all sportsmen, but there is nothing I hate more than to be using my knife, lay it down for just a second, and then not be able to find it anywhere. With a handy dandy collapsable table in your midst, you shouldn’t have any problem at all finding it, it should be right there where you left it.
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SURVIVAL EASTER EGG HUNTING: FOUR EGGS YOU CAN HUNT FOR SUSTENANCE

Egg hunting is not an activity that is inherent to humans or that is reserved strictly for religious holidays. From a survival sense, egg hunting goes on every single day and eggs are a much celebrated staple of many of God’s creatures. Survivalists often overlook this succulent bounty as a means of much needed nutrients and protein. And the fact of the matter is that chicken eggs have become a main part of the diet of most Americans, while many other types of eggs have gone by the wayside, often because of the richness of the yolk, the strong taste, or the quantity. The chicken egg, it seems, it just the right size and shape to satisfy the American palette. This should not dissuade you however, to give up on these succulent little morsels in a survival situation. The fact is that any kind of egg can be eaten in a survival situation, )except for rotten eggs), and you should not ever pass any up if you find them. Here are four very common egg types located pretty much throughout the country.

  1. Goose eggs. Now remember, we are talking a survival situation here, so anything goes if you have to eat to live. Goose eggs are huge and they offer an excellent source of nutrition. The hardest part about obtaining goose eggs is in dealing with the goose who quite often isn’t very interested in sharing her resources.
  2. Duck eggs. Very similar in size and richness to the goose egg. They are quite strong depending on the species and unless you are half a wild-man, you will probably not really enjoy the savor of a duck egg. I prefer them boiled to scrambled or over-easy, but will slurp them down raw if necessary. A word of caution here: Duck eggs are usually not just eaten raw and forgotten about. At least it has been my experience that a raw duck egg will try to come back up for a while, so you should resign yourself to enjoying a single duck egg for several hours before the proteins decide to remain.
  3. Seagull eggs. These pesky creatures can literally be found anywhere there is water. I’ve seen them in southern Ohio! Their eggs are small so be prepared to gather a lot.
  4. Turkey eggs. These are harder to find, but I’ve found them to taste better than any other kind of wild eggs. Almost “brothy” in their essence.
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3 WAYS TO COOK WILD EGGS IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION

As was discussed earlier, if you are not a half a wild man and if you don’t have an iron stomach, then you probably don’t want to pour a hot, raw, wild egg down into your poor unsuspecting gullet. The truth is that if you are not used to it, then it isn’t going to stay in there most likely. And the worst part is that if it is a true survival situation then it has to go right back in there regardless… because the nutrients are too precious to part with. So, in this insert I am going to go over several different ways to get these morsels cooked and eaten in a way that is conducive with good digestion for most people. I discussed earlier how to cook fish in the bush, and cooking eggs in the bush isn’t too much different. So, with that in mind, here are three different ways to easily cook your eggs in the wilderness.

    1. Fried. This is usually accomplished with the use of a flat rock that is placed, frying pan like, over or very near the fire. This is not a difficult concept, you simply heat a surface and place the eggs on it to cook to readiness. Remember that in a wilderness situation the presentation isn’t necessarily going to be pretty, but it is important that you get the protein in you anyway.
    2. Cooked in ashes. This is my favorite method because it is the easiest. Basically you are roasting the egg in it’s shell. Remember that you don’t want to burn it up so you will generally cook it in hot ashes and place a vent hole in the shell. These roasted eggs are akin to boiled eggs and are quite tasty.
    3. Boiled. The method that you will probably be most comfortable with, but which is actually the hardest to obtain in the wilderness. You need to either have a vessel that can withstand the heat of a fire to bring water to boil, or you need one that you can place hot rocks into to bring your water to a boil.
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HERE ARE THE 3 BEST BUYS AT RDDUSA RIGHT NOW

Summertime

Now that the warm weather is officially here, it is time to get ready for hiking, camping, military tenting, fishing, frolicking, and family. I took a trip to one of the Goose Mountain type stores the other day and was astonished to learn that apart from a few read-headed stepchild brand of clothing items, if I wanted to buy anything from there I was going to have to take a mortgage out on the farm in order to do so. Apart from the ambiance of the place in the form of stuffed bears and moose heads adorning every wall, I wasn’t really impressed with the quality of the merchandise per se… for you see, I have always had this proclivity to hurt people and destroy things. Even before I decided to do such as a means of support for myself, I was able to destroy an anvil with a rubber mallet, (easily done if you set the mallet on fire and melt it over the anvil). So my point is that I am hard on equipment. I checked the soft thin fabric of one of the name brand tents that was on sale and could just picture what only a few floating embers from the fire would do to such a dainty means of shelter. I quickly went home and looked up my favorite military surplus site, and here is what I found to be a great deal right now.

    1. Packs. Let’s face it, you can’t do any sort of camping, fishing, or foraying without a pack to carry your stuff in, (or out for that matter). And the good news is that RDDUSA has a great assortment of packs that have helped several different armies win wars over the years. These things are well built and easily cared for. They are also rugged.
    2. Clothes. This isn’t the thin fashionable stuff that you will see presented sweetly on a svelt and thin limbed European mannikin at Macy’s, this is rugged wear at it’s finest.
    3. Military surplus tents. These things will shake off the swirling embers of your bonfire like cattail down scattered in a summer’s breeze. definitely not the dainty fabrics that dreams are made of, this heavy canvas duck will withstand hurricane winds in some instances, and will make you stronger in the process.
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THE TENGU STOVE: 2 REASONS TO HAVE A PRIMITIVE USB CHARGER IN THE BUSH

THE TENGU STOVE:

This bizarre device – ideal for campers – and named after a fantastical, legendary, Japanese devil dog – will allow you to boil water and cook while charging your device. It is called a Tengu, after the Japanese spirit which supposedly protects travelers.

It Resembles a small camping stove and has a tiny generator attached to it that transforms heat into electric power to reliably charge cell phones.

Inventor Aidar Khairullin, from Ufa, Russia is working on a new model that will allow customers to power up their laptops.

‘There is a fireproof wire attached to the metal body of a generator, made of titanium and stainless steel, that has a USB port,’ he said.

‘To charge your gadget, you need to plug it into the USB port.

‘Charging will take the same time as it would traditionally take thanks to 10W power output.

I can honestly only think of one good reason t have this technology available in the event of a total, grid failure, SHTF scenario; and that is relating to the last post that we discussed the Helio Lantern in. It would certainly be nice to be able to convert fire to battery power though, in the event that you are just involved in a normal survival situation, or even of you are in a military surplus adventure with the family. Here are two main reasons to have one of these in your kit:

  1. It will give you light in your camp. As we discussed earlier, a new product is soon to hit the market which will revolutionize backpacking and camping. A powerful, reliable light source that is as small as an egg and which will easily be recharged by the Tengu.
  2. You can use it to power your cellphone. I don’t know about you, but my iphone has taken the place of so many devices that I used to carry it isn’t even funny. I can’t imagine going on any sort of excursion without it, and this stove usb charger will keep me from having to carry extra battery packs from now on.
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