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4 must do tips for varmints

As spring blooms upon us, so does the annual varmint hunts. I speak of course of the wanton shooting of groundhogs, prairie dogs, muskrats, coyotes, field mice, rats, possums, skunks, moles, and other such vermin as are legal to hunt and fun to shoot. I purposely failed to mention either wild dogs or feral cats for obvious reasons that will become apparent as you  read further into this post.

Many people love to hunt varmints for various reasons ranging from target practice to revenge. These creatures are destructive by their very nature, and as such have made bitter enemies with mankind. There is the quandary however, of what exactly to do with varmints after you have successfully hunted them. Here are 4 ways to justify varmint hunts.

  1. Eat them. This is not as nasty as it may sound with the exception of maybe the coyotes and skunks. Muskrat and possum are very tasty if cooked right and both have a very dark, fatty meat. Groundhogs, prairie dogs, mice etc… are good eaters too, and are especially good cooked over an open fire.
  2. Sell them. Ok, you’re going to ask: “who the hell would buy a dead woodchuck?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Most taxidermists will put them to good use for you, They may not give you much if anything, but the hides are useful for taxidermy pieces.
  3. Skin them. Though the fur isn’t worth much anymore, the skins can be used for all manner of crafts and especially for traditional fly tying. There are lots of “outdoorsy types” who will purchase fur and skins for their own nefarious purposes.
  4. Make your own dog food. Why not buy a grinder especially for you K9 friends and grind the flesh and bones of these various varmints, (as well as a few road kill deer), to make a healthy, natural food source? It is more fitting for their digestive tracts than kibbles, and cheaper as well.
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4 survival lessons you must learn from the Bible

As the world grows more dangerous in the form of terrorist attacks, wars, widespread violence, and the eruption of superpower conflict, it becomes apparent that the temporary reprieve that this nation had acquired after WWII is coming to an end, and we may indeed be all thrown in to new conflicts that require us as individuals and clans to withstand the oppression of others. The safety and freedom that we enjoy is not common to the world, and has not been the norm throughout history.  Take for instance, the history of the Jews of the Bible. A tiny race of people who have not only survived through the harshest of conflicts, but who have thrived.  It could argued that they have done so through the grace of God, and while this may be so, here are five strategies that you can use to increase your chances of survival should the bottom drop out from under you:

  1. When the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. (Deuteronomy 7:2)  This one goes without saying, If you want to survive you must eradicate those who have chosen to oppose you. God told the Israelis to wipe their enemies out completely because he knew there would be no making peace with them. A point that has been proven repeatedly over the years.
  2. Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. (Deuteronomy 14:21) Great advice in a survival situation. Who knows the implications of consuming meat from an animal that died of causes unbeknownst to you? However, why let that commodity go to waste when it could be put to use as barter material.
  3. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:14). This is a great piece of advice too. Leave no clues behind for your enemies to find and decipher information from, and exercise cleanliness in your camp as an attempt to combat disease and to cut down on the bacterial discharge of composting materials.
  4. Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. (Deuteronomy 23:19) Another way of saying this is to treat your friends as close confidants and associates. Do not let them become just another business associate, lest they see the relationship as simply one of profit, and seek their commitments elsewhere.
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Deer camp 2018: utilizing road kill

Unless you are independently wealthy and are able to buy any manner of meat or other food items that strike your fancy, you are looking for a way to fill your freezer without emptying you wallet. One great way to do this to call your local law enforcement agency and get on their deer kill list.  Every day, across America, hundreds of police departments are forced to deal with deer that get hit by cars. They will give them away to anyone who wants them and it is completely legal, free venison.

Here’s the catch. Deer make it a habit to get hit by cars at the most inopportune of times, and if you are going to be a successful purveyor of free venison, you have to be one of those people who will answer the phone at 0300 in the morning, get out of bed, and go gut a deer by the side of the road. The cop will almost always hold the light for you and will keep you entertained with witty one-liners as the snow and sleet blow across your frozen bloody hands. The problems come when you are one of those people who won’t do that. Don’t come too many times, and police dispatchers will stop calling you altogether, favoring those whom they can depend on.

Often you will get the call to come take a deer that is too torn up to be of much value. At times like these, I smile, take the carcass anyway, and scrounge what I can for my dogs. I have an old meat grinder dedicated to Starling and Teeny, my two k9 friends. They love deer meat even if it is bruised or a little dirty, and a couple of deer will go a long way to supplementing those bags of dry dog food they seem to inhale.

Do yourself and your family a favor. Fill that freezer with venison that doesn’t cost you anything more than some time and a little sleep. It’s usually good, clean, fresh meat, and you’ll be performing a community service by getting that carcass off of the road.

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Portable Shooters Bench: Several Reason You Need to Build Your Own


When the time comes to head for parts unknown, one of the things you are going to want to have at your disposal is a shooter’s bench. If you do any amount of shooting using optics, then a shooter’s bench is going to be a must have piece of equipment.

There is no way to keep a scope zeroed in without a good rest and the ability to relax and take long distance, well timed shots. I personally try to shoot with iron sights as much as possible; however, I do know that sometimes you need to reach out and touch some other mother’s son, and to do that you need accurate optics.

I have looked over many different types of shooters benches, some homemade, and many factory made.  The video link I have posted is by the far the best and most affordable that I have found, and I have made two for myself.  I use them at the firing range now, and the fact that they are portable will only make them more valuable to me when it comes time to bug out. I usually have one or the other of them in the bed of my truck, so when the SHTF, I will not need to even think about them. Grab a bugout bag and go!

To make, simply cut the correct shape, and attach folding legs as per the linked video. These shooter benches are super sturdy, and you will be surprised at how well you like them. I use a pile of sandbags for mine, because you just need to carry the empty bags and fill them at the range, that way they lay flat and don’t take up much room at all. The bags can be used for hunting/gathering, building material and many other things as well.

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RDDUSA product review: the heated groundcloth

I was recently excited to see this new concept for outdoor cold weather sleeping, that of the “heated ground cloth”. This concept is not really new, we have all seen it put into play in movies such as Jeremiah Johnson, that 1980’s era movie which depicted our hero Jeremiah digging a hole and filling it full of ember from the fire to sleep on; however, if any of you survivalists out there have ever tried to dig a hole to sleep on, then you know what kind of misery it is to have such a task after a day spent hunting, camping, or surviving in the wilderness.


Now, I have spent many nights camping out in the elements, shivering and experiencing cold sleep which usually involves sleeping thirty minutes and then getting up to put more wood on the ash pit that I had somehow managed to waller into seeking the remaining warmth of the dying campfire. Luckily, this new product might offer some relief into future excursions.


The design is fairly simple, basically it is a minute water heating system that is designed to circulate your heated water through channels built into the fabric of the ground cloth. I am deeply impressed with this concept because I’m all about being comfortable even when I’m out in the bush. This device is fueled by a can of sterno; however, there has to be a way to bring this concept into bearing in the wilderness. The plus to this scenario is the fact that the hot water you are using to keep you warm all night will be utilized when not sleeping on it to make coffee, grits, oatmeal, and whatnot.


So now I have to go out into the shed and see what I can work out to accommodate this concept in the wilderness; however, these items are available on the online marketplaces. Just look up heated camping mat and you will soon be sleeping quite comfortably out under the stars.


In the meantime I will be conducting scientific experiments out in my garage…

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Photo By: hivewire3d

Though it’s usually military families, or prior military personnel, there is a movement afoot that is as old as the taming of the horse and the invention of the wheel; that of the nomadic lifestyle. The newest twist on this way of life is reminiscent of the Vardo caravans of Gypsy lore. And the fact of the matter is that it isn’t really a new lifestyle, rather it is one that comes and goes in it’s appeal depending on the going culture. Many of us, for example, can remember the free loving spirit of the 1960’s and the allure of Haight-Ashbury that drew so many of the countries youth away from the Viet Nam war and into a nomadic culture of free existence and community living. And though that movement has died for the most part, and was replaced by the yearning for a house in the suburbs and a nine to five, so does the dream come alive again, many times it seems on the heels of a war. It was after WWII that we saw a rise in the biker clubs of the 1950’s and following Viet Nam that we saw the hippie movement. And now, in the wake of the war in the Middle East, we are seeing a new nomad emerge from the ashes, gather his horse and wagon, and drive off into the horizon to live closely with nature. In this instance horse and wagon has been replaced by mini-van and RV. In the 1960’s we saw the VW Micro-bus, and post WWII the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. And so the question is posed regarding what makes veterans of foreign wars so adept at the nomadic lifestyle? What is the allure that draws such men and women into a wandering existence, traveling light and sleeping at night beneath the desert sun, or pitching a military surplus Army tent in the mountains? The answer I think is defined in one word: “freedom”. Many find freedom – true freedom- for the first time in an Army base on a foreign land. And once they get a taste of that freedom, they become possessed by the notion of it and it drives them then… into the wilderness.

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If you are going to pick a fishing tournament as a form of recreation this year, here are some changes being made to the rules by the International Game Fish Association that you might need to know about. Effective April 1, 2017, these rules come into effect and will be governing all tournaments which are being officiated by the IGFA. What this means for you is that if you choose to attend a sanctioned event as a military surplus tent adventure, or s a family camping trip, then you need to abide by the new rules or face disqualification from the tournament. Here are the four new tournament rules.

  1. Backing. (Current rule), “If the fishing line is attached to backing, that catch shall be classified under the heavier of the lines”. The new rule adds that backing can be used, but the catch shall be categorized by the first 5 meters of the line preceding the double line, leader, or hook.
  2. Assisting. (Current rule), ” The act of a person other than the angler touching the rod, reel, or line either with the body or a device is grounds for disqualification.” The new rule clearly states that touching the angler in a manner which assists him or her is a disqualifying act.
  3. Game Fish Species. (Current rule), “… only certain game fish species are eligible in the additional line-class categories…” The new rule removes class-record consideration from the following saltwater species: Pacific barracuda, black seabass, Japanese parrotperch, spotted parrottperch, Florida pompano, doublespotted queenfish, black-blue rockfish, Atlsntic spadefish, oxeye tarpon. Freshwater: rock bass, shoal bass, white bass, yellow bass, bluegill, black bullhead, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, burbot, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, freshwater drum, Florida gar, shortnose gar, spotted gar, oscar, European perch, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, red piranha, shorthead redhorse, silver redhorse, sauger, American shad, hickory shad, splake, green sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, tench, warmouth, lake whitefish, mountain whitefish, round whitefish
  4. World-record weight requirements. (Current rule), “…to submit a line class or tippet class (fly rod) world record, the only weight requirement is that the fish must weigh at least .45 kg (1 lb). As a result, the IGFA has accumulated a significant amount of records where the weight of the fish is much lighter than the size of the tackle used to land the fish. The new rule for line class categories up to and including 10 kg (20 lb) and all tippet class (fly rod) categories are: The weight of the catch must weigh at least ½ as much as the line class it is eligible for. For example, a fish entered for the 6 kg (12 lb) line class or tippet class category must weigh a minimum of 3 kg. For line class categories greater than 10 kg (20 lb): The weight of the catch must be equal to, or greater than the line class it is eligible for. For example, a fish entered in the 24 kg (50 lb) line class category must weigh a minimum of 24 kg.
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Photo By: MPatterson

I have told you before about my favorite bear hunt plan that was going to be a combination military surplus tent adventure and hunting trip. In this endeavor, myself and The Wildman had planned on taking a black bear with a couple of spears in the Great Smoky Mountains, since we both fancied ourselves to be great hunters and survivalists. That was, until we actually arrived and found out two very key factors: 1. The black bears at the Great Smoky Mountains are protected, and 2. They are just little bitty things that are nearly as tame as dogs. After having fed several of them bologna and cheese sandwiches, and hearing one of them literally cry like a baby when The Wildman cuffed it on the nose for getting a bit “nippy”, we both elected to amuse ourselves with taking pictures and we left the hand forged spears in the truck. However, the North American Grizzly bear is another critter entirely, and if you are actually in the mood for a spring bear hunt, let me give you five recommendations, (according to LiveOutdoors), for an excellent bear hunt this year, where you will be more than happy in pitching your military surplus Army tent and making a week out of hunting this big, magnificent creature.

  1. Russia. In Kamchatka they offer more to enjoy than a milky butter rum drink, there are bear aplenty. Just a few miles away from Alaska, this territory is densely populated and very affordable in terms of actual cost. A guided hunt here starts at around $8,000.00 American and goes up from there.
  2. Romania. In the Carpathian Mountains is the place where 70 percent of the bear population can be found. These mountains stretch all of the way into the Ukraine, and this would be the site for a true and exotic adventure… there are many skeletons weathering on the crests and bluffs of these rocky mountains and not of them are quadrupeds.
  3. Canada. In Canada we have ample bear hunting in British Columbia, which will run you about $3,500.00 American dollars for a black bear and it just climbs from there for griz… however, there are ample griz and if you’re willing to pay you can harvest one for the hunt of a lifetime.
  4. Canada. Manitoba is another Canadian spot which just re-opened it’s bear season last year. Jump on the new season for a mere $2,650 dollars for a week in the wilds.
  5. Croatia. Gorski Kotar is a mountainous region in Croatia which is reportedly famous for it’s bears. Trophy hunting is the most expensive but is also most likely to be the most rewarding starting at $6,000.00 American.
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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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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

According to UPROXX, the organizers of Coachella and Bonnaroo are preparing to bring a new music festival to Denver Colorado this year which is a great opportunity to expand our horizons and have yet another opportunity for a military surplus tent adventure. Though this one may be a bit too wild to be considered a “fun for the whole family” style of adventure, it is definitely an opportunity to get out into the mountains, pitch a military surplus tent, and “Howl at the Moon’ in a very real way. Though this is a project which is still in the works, the organizers of these events are planning to create a super-fest of dynamic proportions. According to AEG’s David Ehrlich, this plan has been in the making for about six years and has nearly come to fruition. Of course, he said, it is going to be up to the residents and the local interests to have the final determination on the inclusion of a new festival, but in reality, who wouldn’t want a fresh influx of tourism to a community that makes it’s living on tourism anyway? This new festival will be started on the grounds of Denver’s Overland Park golf course, and the report is that this festival idea has already been brought up to residents at a community hearing in the courses clubhouse on January 30, 2017. The makers of things, in this instance, have given their blessing however to a new music festival, and a new music festival they shall have. It has already been determined that there are definitely other places which will be open to a new music festival in the event that this one is rejected. So better start budgeting now, and make sure that you have taken the necessary measures to prepare your military surplus tent for yet another rock and rolling, beer slurping, late night, music adventure.

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