Claim the privilege of hunting according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all hunters the same privilege;
let them practice how, where, or what they may.








Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Blog Rodeo 9/26/09

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Today is
National Hunting and Fishing Day!

So stop reading this, grab a fishing rod or shotgun and get outside!
(Then come back and read this...)

Well, here is another Saturday and it is time for another Rodeo!

I've picked out posts that I especially enjoyed this week from the hundreds of blogs I follow. Remember if you bump into a post you especially like, drop me a note and I'll include it in the Rodeo. You can even feel free to copy this whole post and run it on your own blog; always nice to give a little link love to our fellow bloggers!

Blog Rodeo: 9/26/09

Sometimes it is Hard to See the Forest... is another great post by Doug over at Harris' Hawk Blog. Giving a lot of thought to the issues of hunting, conservation, and animal rights, Doug sifts through the chaff and separates the misinformation from the facts.

The Reluctant Paladin has an artistic streak a mile long, go check out some of his projects, and get a look at his hand carved stockwork in Paladin's Assorted Crap #5. It's awesome!

My Favorite Marlin brings us a great, short essay: Bush Living by Sharron Chatterton. Eloquent, direct, and full of insight, it is a must read this Saturday morning.

Brigid writes so well on her blog, Home on the Range, that quite frankly I'm embarrassed to call my blog written. Anyway, Brigid has a post that knocks the socks off of almost everything else she has written. I Am a Shooter should be in those high school literature anthologies. The prose is flawless, the content unique, the meaning unmistakable. I mean, she even knows who Clausewitz is! How HOT is that! (Oh, and check out the recipe list on the right hand side while you're at it.)

Resident OBS falconer Doug has a another great post on conservation and animal rights extremism on his blog Harris' Hawk Blog. Doug has been putting some great posts together on the subject, one of which I highlighted last week. This week he follows up with Giving Conservation a Bad Name, another post that neatly dissects the issue.

As usual we have our resident security expert Bore Patch dishing out the important stuff. Security Smorgasbord, Vol 1, No. 2 covers an "interesting mix of security news, from the concrete (could very well effect you) to the esoteric." You would be well advised to visit him, and often!

My man Caleb got his first bow deer! I couldn't believe it when his post popped up on my reader, and I couldn't be more tickled! Stop by his blog and lets congratulate him! My First Bow Deer Caleb is working real hard, not only on his hunting, but his writing skills also. Let's give him some support and encouragement!

Rick follows up on After the Shot with After the Shot Part 2, and After the Shot Part 3. All three are well written and worth the time to read.

I can't say it any better than Josh in You Can't Sell Conservation at Ethics and the Environment: "We often appreciate the older guns, the leather and oilskin products whose wear and scars don't come at the factory, but from years of reliable use. We admire maintaining and becoming familiar with our equipment. We strive for self-sufficiency."

Making Wine and Riding the Dragon; isn't that a great title? Mr Hank gives us his perspective on the process, both physical and metaphysical, that goes into wine making. Honest writing about honest food from the Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook.

The Reluctant Paladin reminds us in Fork in the Road, that vigilance must be eternal. Right in his own back yard so-to-speak, a thug wanna-be jihadist, attempted to blow up a building.

Well that about wraps it up for this Saturday. Beats me what's in store for everyone next week, but I'm sure I can come up with at least one contentious post!

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Friday, September 25, 2009

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Tomorrow!

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What are you Doing Tomorrow,
On National Hunting and Fishing Day?

Well my friends, tomorrow is National Hunting and Fishing Day! Don't let it go by without doing something outdoor related.

In case you don't know what to do, or you just weren't able to plan anything even though I've been reminding you for the last couple of weeks, never fear! The folks at NHFD have kindly put together a huge list of events for every state of the Union.

The National Hunting and Fishing Day Events list is available here.

For instance here in Florida, one of the activities is The University of Florida's Wildlife Expo that is being held by the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service with the help of some fine sponsors including Buckmasters, The National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, the Florida Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Commission and Alabama Game and Fish.

This year’s event will have information and activities for the entire family. We are striving to have an outdoor experience through a variety of topics on wildlife, food sources, ATV and shooting safety, and current hunting regulations for Alabama and Florida. Demonstrations will also be ongoing that include some native wildlife and birds, archery, equipment use and scoring antlers correctly. The kids will have a lure casting competition in the afternoon and there will be raffles, prizes and lots of food, entertainment and fun. Come out and meet the professional biologists and other speakers that will be present at the Expo, learn a lot more about the outdoors, and just have a good time.

So go and get out there and introduce, or reintroduce someone to the delightful activities of the great outdoors. Get off the couch, those football games will still be there when you get back!

For more information, visit www.nhfday.org.

Related posts on The National Hunting and Fishing Day:

National Hunting and Fishing Day
Three Big Reasons
Hunting Facts and Figures
Hunter's Contributions Exceed 5 Billion Dollars
Hunter and Angler Fact

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Making Wine and Riding the Dragon

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Blog Posts of Note
Just a quick "Check it out."

Hank, super duper wild food chef of Honest Food / Hunter, Angler,Gardener, Cook has posted a really neat monograph on wine making that is super neat.


Now as you all know, I think the world of Holly. So I was a little surprised when Hank asked her to crush the grapes old-school style.

I have always assumed Holly walked on water, so how was this going to work out?

Well as it turns out, I believe that Holly suspended the laws of physics for the crushing; problem solved, wine making continues, and all things are as they should be.

Close one...

Best regards,
Albert

Quality Deer Management in Florida

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com

QDM in Florida
Bigger Bucks, Better Herds

The history of trophy whitetails is pretty short in the Sunshine State. I believe that there are only two in the Boone and Crockett book, the 1941 Clark Durrance buck from Wakulla County, which scored 201 3/8 points in the all-time record book. The second is the Henry Brinson buck from 1959 out of Jackson County, and that deer scored 186 1/8. Now as it turns out, both of these are non-typical racks and as of right now, there are no typical racks in the B&C books that I am aware of.

The Pope and Young books are a little more populated than the B&C books, but still slim none -the-less. 13 bucks have made it into the archery only books from Florida. The Largest Florida buck in the books is Robert Ballard's, taken in Columbia County in 1980. It scored 153 4/8 points.

Image Credit: Kathleen
There have been several more deer that haven't been recorded but are either well known like the Green Swamp buck, or just haven't been registered by their owners. Even taking that into consideration, they do not amount to more than a few dozen, and most of those in the low range of 120 to 130 points.

If you are hunting public land exclusively, historically there are only three counties that you can consider: Alachua County is number one, followed by Brevard and Putnam counties. But if you look at the most recent “Big Bucks,” bucks that score over 120 on the Florida Buck Registry you will find that Hamilton County has 10 bucks in the last three years, Jackson County with nine, Jefferson County has seven, and Alachua County rounds it out with six in the same three years.

Photo Credit: Joe Povenz

All of these counties are in the northern tier, and where the soils are better, the bucks have a better chance of growing bigger. The rest of Florida, with its poor soils and high rainfall produces abundant, but poor-quality vegetation. Better soil means better forage, which means better nutrition, and better growth potential for those deer. The majority of quality bucks come from QDM (Quality Deer Management) managed properties where both soil and plants are managed for maximum nutrition, and the deer are managed to promote healthy populations. In central and southern Florida, the only way to produce a better herd and bigger bucks is by taking a direct role in managing for those results.

Other parts of Florida can ameliorate the lack of nutritional forage by instituting a carefully thought out plan that increases the nutrition available to the deer. A site analysis and inventory should be done in order to understand what the property has available to it, and what it lacks in.

Photo Credit: Blair Nixon

Remember that the quality of forage can vary widely, even within close proximity. Florida soils are also notoriously variable, and in many places there is only a thin veneer of organic matter and vegetation over sand. Proper husbandry of the soil, with the application of appropriate minerals, and the sowing of plants that helps the soil and at the same time provide quality forage, should be an important component of the quality deer management plan. Supplemental feeding of the appropriate feed, and the establishment of food plots that supply year round nutritional forage, can be instrumental in producing exceptional bucks for the area.

Credit: Koubian

But deer don't get big if they die young. Remember that in most of the country, 80 percent of all bucks taken are yearlings less than 1 ½ years old. With uncontrolled taking of these bucks it is unlikely that any potentially exceptional deer will survive.

As a result of this, many properties have instituted strict deer management guidelines that are followed to allow the younger deer to grow. Most bucks will not maximize their potential until they reach 4 to 5 years of age, and their ultimate size won't peak until 6 ½ years!. The age of the buck is the determining factor of the size of the buck's rack. By purposely avoiding shooting any young deer most property managers can see an increase in the number of older, larger bucks on their properties.

PhotoCredit: Jeffrodsj

In addition, it is imperative that the adult sex ratio be kept in line with the management goals. Initially a 2 to 1 doe to buck ratio should be pursued, with the goal of 1 to 1 as the future target. This will require careful observations, trail cameras, observation cards from fellow hunters, and even the use of a wildlife biologist.

Antlerless deer culling is one of the three most important steps that need to be taken. With a deer herd kept in check by best management practices, with a healthy sex ratio, the number of bucks actually increases. This of course requires a change in hunting practices, you will have to take more does, so make sure everyone is on board.

Again, your quality deer management program can be no better than the data collected. Every management program should have a “Check-in Station” where every deer taken must be brought in for the collection of information. It could be as formal as a clubhouse located right on the property, to one of the members garages where everyone stops by and the data is collected accurately and completely. Data from deer killed should include date the deer was taken, deer identification number if available, sex, age (jawbone), weight, lactation and antler measurements. Not commonly known, the dressed weight of fawns and yearlings, is the best indication of overall herd condition rather than the live weight.

Note: Materials needed to stock and equip a check station are available through the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA; 1-800-209-3337) or Forestry Suppliers, Inc. (1-800-647-5368)

A PDF for the Check-In Station for data collection will be available soon for downloading here at TROC.

PhotoCredit: FDLReporter
Fond du Lac County Buck

Instituting a Quality Deer Management programs for not only high quality deer, but a healthy and productive herd, are well within the reach of Florida land owners, lease managers, and hunting aficionados. The keys are limiting the number of young bucks killed to the very minimum, sound nutrition, and a balanced adult sex ratio. Time is a necessary component, with discipline and patience its counterpart. You need time to see the results of your efforts, along with patience to see it through. Discipline, both in data gathering and trigger control are requisite to getting the results you want.

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert is actually a biologist. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN.com.


Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

The Weekly Rut Report with Larry Weishuhn 9/24

WEEKLY RUT REPORT
9/24 through 10/1



by Larry Weishuhn, "Mr. Whitetail"

Hey Albert!

I spent most of this past week in Saskatchewan, Canada experiencing record high temperatures looking for whitetails. Tough…. seems to be the best term to describe the endeavor. I was after one particular deer in an area where there was a very low deer density. To see how I coped with temperatures higher than those I left in southern Texas, underbrush so thick I could only see about 10 to 12 feet in most instances with the exceptions of some prairie areas, you’ll have to watch the 2010 Winchester World of Whitetail with Larry Weishuhn shows (produced by Orion Multimedia) which appear on Versus.

In my travels this past week I did have the opportunity to visit with whitetail hunters from throughout North America. Optimism is high as we start the fall and with good reason. Range conditions relative to whitetails have been exremely good throughout much of North America during the “antler growing season”. The result will be big antlers.

I’ve heard of a 230 plus non-typical taken in southern Saskatachewan with a bow. And while I was in Canada, upon my return I received an email from Oak Creek Whitetails in Missouri that one of their hunters took a new world record estate typical, taken with a handgun. The deer reportedly scored 250 SCI! I’ll be hunting on this same property for a Winchester of Whitetail World show later this fall. And you might have seen the hunt we did there last year on the current crop of shows on Versus, if so you’ll understand why I’m going back.

No doubt it’s going to be a great antler year in most parts of North America. Throughout most of North America bucks by now have pretty well shed their velvet and the early pre-rut has started.

Charlie Walter from northern Kentucky sent me photo of great whitetail he took with his bow and with it mentioned the bachelor herds in his area are starting to split up and that he is starting to see some scrapes and a lot of rubs. Obviously the early pre-rut is starting in that part of the country. I got a report this morning (September 24) from George Winslow with Bullseye Outfitting that bucks are doing much the same on properties he hunts in both central Illinois and also over in Ohio.

Over in central Kansas Stan Christiansen said he’s starting to see more and more bucks coming into the soybean fields and that the bucks while still coming into the fields sometimes in small bachelor herds seem to be demanding more and more space. He also said he’s seeing active scrapes and rubs. He has also seen some minor sparring matches.

Bang Collins who outfits and hunts the lowlands of South Carolina where the hunting season has been going on for a while says it seems to him “things” are a little ahead of their normal schedule. Bucks are free of velvet, bachelor herds have broken up or are breaking up. “We’re seeing a lot of rubs and scrapes. In the past we’ve even seen a few bucks chasing does by the last days of September and early October, but it’s only the bucks that are interested and not the does.”

Back in central Missouri, Marc Shoenfield reports he’s seeing a lot of does in the urban areas but not many bucks at this point. He expects this to change as the pre-rut gets underway. Down in Texas and northern Mexico the area has finally gotten some rain, but it came to late for antler development and to help with fawn survival rates. But in visiting with Trey Moore with the Los Cazadores Deer Contest he reports “Ranchers in the area have seen some extremely big bucks, even though as a whole antler development may be down a bit, particularly in younger bucks. Our Managed Land Permit season is about to start. Once it does we’ll have a much better idea. Bucks here have shed their velvet, and I’ve talked to several property owners who tell me their seeing bachelor herds and a few newly opened scrapes and a fair amount of rubs, as the bucks start strengthening their neck muscles.”

I had an interesting email from Bill Clark in southern Florida. He provided me with information just released by Florida wildlife biologists in regards to whitetail breeding dates. In Florida’s Zone A in the southern part of the state the breeding dates for whitetails run from July 21 thru September 15. In Zone B in central Florida the whitetail breeding dates are November 5 thru February 6. In Zone C also in central Florida the breeding dates run form September 11 thru November 23. While in Zone D, the Panhandle area the breeding dates run from January 1 thru February 22nd. Those extended dates might well make Florida the state that has the longest whitetail rut!

I have to admit theVersus Weekly Whitetail Rut Report has been a learning experience for me, as well as I hope it has been for you.

My personal website is finally up and running. (www.LarryWeishuhnTV.com)

If you get a chance I hope you’ll stop by for a visit.

I’m headed to the range in a few minutes to make certain my T/C Encore .460 S&W Magnum (I’ll be using it as a .454 Casull, shooting Winchester’s new 260 grain Dual Bond ammo) and my .30-06 pistols in preparation for my first Texas whitetail hunt of the year on the 4C Ranch near Pearsall. If you’ve not checked the zero on your firearms lately, may I suggest you do so now.

Thanks again,
Larry

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Must be Dreaming...

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From the "I can't believe I am really reading this" file:

Imagine my surprise when I was informed that President Barack Obama has recognized the conservation spirit of hunters and anglers and officially proclaiming Saturday, Sept. 26, as National Hunting and Fishing Day in America.

"Following in the centuries-old footsteps of the pioneers who walked before them, hunters and anglers have played a key role in the conservation and restoration of numerous species and their natural habitats. They not only understand their pivotal role as stewards of the land, but also seek to pass on this honored tradition to future generations.
"

As everyone knows, Congress formally created National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1972. Every U.S. President since Richard M. Nixon has issued a proclamation commemorating the contributions of the millions of sportsmen and women. Obama’s proclamation will be archived at Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield, Mo., the official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day. I'll be putting a post together on that in the near future.

Here is the full text of the Obama proclamation, now posted at The White House NHFD Proclamation


National Hunting and Fishing Day

For more information, visit www.nhfday.org.

Related posts on The National Hunting and Fishing Day:

National Hunting and Fishing Day
Three Big Reasons
Hunting Facts and Figures
Hunter's Contributions Exceed 5 Billion Dollars


Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Ronald McDonald Targeted by PeTA Thugs

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From my cohorts at PeTA Watch

Yet another example of the lack of respect that PeTA and their supporters show others. Like most other extremists they will resort to almost any ploy to get their thoughtless agenda out in front of the public. Regardless of your position on McDonald's, the is no excuse for assaulting Ronald in front of children. Need I remind you that the McDonald's corporation funds the excellent Ronald McDonald House for ill children.

What has PeTa done for any child?

Ronald Attacked by PeTA Thug


"Violent vegan lobby, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has smashed a vegan pie in the face of the McDonald's character Ronald McDonald when he appeared on stage at South San Francisco Day in Orange Memorial Park on Saturday.

The incident occoured in front of an audience of children and is part of the lobby's "I'm Hatin' It" campaign which seeks to pressure the chain to adopt 'controlled-atmosphere stunning' for its chickens. This method is currently not commercially viable or used widely in the United States.

Violence is a recurring tactic for the lobby despite claims it "respects all animals including the 'human' variety." SFist

Related Posts:
Hypocrisy
PeTA: Cruel to Children
Giving Conservation a Bad Name
Sometimes it is Hard to See the Forest...
PeTA: Cowards, One and All

Handfeeding a Mockingbird: TROC to the Rescue!

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Every once in a while, you get a real nice letter from someone, that just cheers you up.

I guess it was about three months ago when I received an email from Carrie Clark about a little mockingbird chick that she and her husband, John, found. I'll let Miss Carrie tell the rest.

Image Credit: bhullett

Our Mockingbird Experience

"It was in the middle of June; warm weather with a cool breeze. After we had lunch, me and my husband went down to the garden to do some work and pick some things. On our way down, we saw our cat "Boogie" bouncing around as if he were playing. We got a little curious about what in the world he was doing, so we walked over to him near the cherry tree. There he was, the baby mockingbird. We gently picked him up and brought him inside to make sure he wasn't hurt in any way. We were more confused than anything, we had no idea what to do or how in the world to put him back into his nest. He was a fledgling so we knew that if he were to jump down again, chances were that we wouldn't be out there and he would be Boogie's dinner.

That is when I jumped on the Internet to search Google about how in the world I would go about taking care of the little guy until he was big enough to fly with out getting harmed. I came across The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles by Albert A Rasch and he had an entry about taking care of a mockingbird. I had searched other websites and none of them really gave me the information I wanted except Albert's. I wrote down the recipe that was on his blog and made it up and we had went back outside to try to find some worms to put in the mix. While we were out under the same tree digging around I saw something in the corner of my eye fall to the ground, it was another baby mockingbird!

The cat(s) were still waiting around so my husband ran over and picked that one up also. This one seemed to be in better condition and a little bigger than the first one we had found. So we looked around for something to nail to the tree so that the mother could maybe hear them and come feed them for the day. We found something (I am really not sure what you would call it) but it looked like a bucket, but it was rounded out at the bottom instead of flat. We nailed it to the tree and put them in it with some grass and sat back and watched. The second bird that we had found jumped out onto the tree and had went back up and we couldn't find him. The mother bird had come and fed the other baby bird and we thought it would be alright.

So we went back inside and watched from the screen door, and what do you know the other cat "Coal" got up in the tree and was starring down at the helpless baby bird. That was it, me and my husband went out to get the little bird and brought it back inside and started to feed him with the recipe. At first, he didn't want to open up to eat so we had to gently open his mouth to feed him for a few days. After a few, he got to know that we were only trying to feed him and not harm him. If someone walked by him he would open up and stomp his little feet (it was soooo cute!).

For the time being I had kept him in a cardboard box with some toilet paper for some fluff. When he had gotten a little older we had made a cage for him out of rabbit fence. It was a pretty good size cage and we had gotten some sticks to slide through for some perches. He seemed to like it very well and hopped up and down the perches all the time. We would give him a paper plate with some water covering the bottom and he would bath in it. We also had tied a cup to the side of the cage inside and kept him fresh water in it.

But one night, we went to check on him and he had hurt his leg and was just laying there (as if he were getting ready to go to sleep). We had no idea what had happened to it and then again went on the Internet to see what we could do. I couldn't find anything, only to take it to the vet and we just don't have that kind of money, not to mention it is a wild bird and that being known they probably wouldn't help.

So I had decided to e-mail Albert about it to see what advice he could give us. He was very helpful and told us to keep a close eye on it and that a lot of birds survive with only one leg. The mockingbird was getting to where he didn't want to eat and I was getting very worried. The main thing Albert said to make sure is that he is eating like he normally would. So like the beginning, we had to force feed him again. After about a week, he had gotten better and was almost back to normal. He healed completely and every thing was good. Sometimes we would catch him standing on one leg and we didn't know why he did it, but it was cute.

We had a hard time getting him to eat on his own. It seemed like we had tried everything. Then we was about to give up trying we just thought to put another cup onto the cage but this one be full of his food and he would eventually figure out what it was because he pecked at everything. He finally found out that it was his food and ate it. The cup was about an inch and a half tall and the same width; he would eat one cupful per day. He became smarter too; we had a little hole that was a little bigger than the squares in the rabbit fence and he figured out how to escape that cage. We was on the computer one day and saw something fly into the room and there he was flying around the house. So we had patched up the hole so that he wouldn't get out unless we wanted him to because the ceiling fan was on when he got out and that would be no match for him.

So in late August we figured that it was about time to let him loose so that he can live in the wild and have babies and have "the birds life". I have to say that we really got attached to him. It was hard to let him go, but we didn't want him to be stuck in a cage forever and never be able to fly very long distances; because he just loved to fly around in the house and we couldn't let him because he pooed all the time! So we all gathered onto the porch and my husband had let him free and we watched him fly around, he had went into one tree, then he flew into the other tree. We waited for awhile to see if he would fly back out but he didn't so we figured he was probably making friends or making a nest.

That was our experience with the baby mockingbird (I had named him Tweety). We would have never been able to do it without the help of Albert, and we thank him so much for his time and advice!!

Carrie"



Note to self: Another job well done by a hunter and conservationist.

Best regards to all!
Albert

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bore Patch: A Soldier is being railroaded

I just grabbed this off of BP's website:

Bore Patch: A Soldier is being railroaded

By the Pentagon, no less.

1LT Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years for the murder of an Iraqi detainee he says attacked him. The Government's own expert witness filed an affidavit saying that he told the prosecutors that Behenna's story was the only explanation that fit the forensic evidence. I've read the affidavit, and it is damning of the Government's actions.

Behenna's attorneys were not informed of this testimony. He was convicted, and a motion for a new trial has been denied.

Please pass this on. Bloggers, please post a link to Lt Behenna's site.

Hat tip: A Large Regular.

From Boys to Men of Heart: Hunting as Rite of Passage

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From the Outdoor Wire:

I'm ordering this book myself for my library. This review is very favorable and the author, Randall L. Eaton, Ph.D., is an award winning writer and producer. I suspect that "From Boys to Men of Heart: Hunting as Rite of Passage" will become an important reference book in my research and studies!

From Boys to Men of Heart: Hunting as Rite of Passage

Is hunting good for kids? Why do they do it? Is it sport or is it instinctive? Does hunting encourage violence or does it teach empathy and compassion? Would it be a more peaceful world if more men hunted? These are some of the questions addressed in a new book entitled From Boys to Men of Heart: Hunting as Rite of Passage.

Award-winning author, Randall L. Eaton, Ph.D., is a behavioral scientist with an international reputation in wildlife conservation who has been studying hunting for 35 years. While producing "The Sacred Hunt" in the mid-1990s, he interviewed scores of recreational hunters as well as Native Americans. Eaton was surprised to discover that they all used the word "respect" to describe how they feel about animals they hunt.

That prompted Eaton to conduct questionnaire surveys on thousands of mature hunters who described their attitude toward animals they hunt as "respect, admiration and reverence." More than 80 percent of the hunters claimed they prayed for the animals they killed or gave thanks to God.

Eaton's survey also asked hunters what life event most opened their hearts and engendered compassion in them. The choices included death of a loved one, death of a beloved pet, becoming a parent, taking the life of an animal and teaching young people. The women hunters overwhelmingly chose "becoming a parent," but nearly all the men selected taking the life of an animal..

"These results indicate the fundamental polarity of human life. Women are adapted to bring life into the world, but men are adapted to take life to support life," Eaton said.

The same survey asked respondents to choose those universal virtues they learned from hunting. The top three choices were inner peace, patience and humility.

Eaton's book contains interviews of leading authorities in several fields who corroborate his research. One is Michael Gurian, family therapist and best-selling author of several books on how to properly raise boys. Gurian agrees that hunting does teach men compassion, and that it would be a more peaceful world if more men hunted. The Gurian Institute recommends Eaton's book to parents.

"Hunting is counter-intuitive," said Eaton, "because people who haven't had the experience can't imagine that it opens the heart and awakens a moral sense."

Taking calls on a national radio show, a distraught woman told Eaton, "You're just teaching kids violence!" He responded, "What do you think Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela would say? They won the Nobel Peace Prize and both are avid hunters."

Many people are aware that the U.S. government was modeled after the Iroquois Confederation. According to Eaton, what they don't know is that a thousand years ago the Peacemaker united the tribes under a system of government designed to maintain peace. "He advocated hunting reserves where young men could hunt and be mentored by elders because he knew it would make them more peaceful."

Also mentioned in his hunter's hall of fame are Teddy Roosevelt, greatest conservationist in the history of the world, and other exemplary Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, Audubon, Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, John Steinbeck and Jimmy Stewart. His list includes contemporary celebrities whom he considers worthy role models for youth, among them Morgan Freeman, Kurt Russell, Ted Turner and Shaq O'Neal.

The book contains an interview of Dr. Don T. Jacobs, professor of education and author of Teaching Virtues Across the Curriculum. Jacobs concludes, "Hunting is the ideal way to teach young people universal virtues including courage, fortitude, patience, generosity and humility." According to Jacobs, "humility is discovering that you're part of something greater than yourself," which Eaton considers an apt definition for spirituality.

The book presents evidence that hunting is an inherited instinct in boys. A German scientist who investigated 62 different cultures around the world found that in all of them boys start throwing rocks at the age of 4-5 years. Eaton said, "My survey of older hunters indicated that almost all the men spontaneously had killed a small animal before the age of ten, but women hunters rarely had. Typically the boy cries, as 8-year old Jimmy Carter did when he threw a rock and killed a robin."

Eaton believes that for boys at least, hunting definitely is not sport but an instinct. He compares hunting to sex.

"Sex drives a young male towards a sexual encounter, but a surprise awaits him. Sooner or later he falls in love. The instinct links up with the heart. It is a transformative experience with enormous consequences including marriage, parenting and providing. The instinct to hunt propels a young man to pursue the animal, but a surprise comes when he takes its life and his heart is opened. He discovers first-hand the interdependence of life. That is how males fall in love with nature and why they are the leaders in conservation." He added, "If sex is the bicep of love, hunting is the bicep of conservation."

The book presents compelling evidence from numerous disciplines that adolescent males need rites of passage to become responsible adults. Eaton argues that the original rite of passage was hunting because it proved that a male could provide and qualify for manhood and marriage. He believes it still is the ideal path by which boys may become men of heart. He also recommends wilderness survival and vision quest, always with appropriate mentoring.

"Without transformative rites of passage that open their hearts and connect them to nature and society males may become egotistical, self-centered and materialistic," Eaton said. He added that untempered masculinity is a factor behind the global social and environmental crisis, and it also promotes delinquency and gangs.

The book interviews Dr. Wade Brackenbury who for 13 years led groups of delinquent boys into the wilderness for two weeks where they had to survive on what they could forage. Brackenbury is convinced that it was hunting small animals for food that had the most transformative influence. Follow-up surveys showed that 85 percent of the boys did not get in trouble after their survival experience.

Eaton's book claims that hunting also develops character, values and virtues in girls and profoundly connects them with nature. If it so good for youth then why are the ranks of hunters declining?

"There are many contributing factors," Eaton suggests, "and one of them is fear of guns. How many parents and teachers know that hunting is the safest form of outdoor recreation?"

The book refers to the work of Dr. Helen Smith, author of Scarred Hearts and the world's leading expert on youth violence, who says that access to firearms does not cause youth violence. She believes that teenagers need boundaries and responsibility, which shooting and hunting provide when mentored by adults. She suspects that the Columbine tragedy never would have happened had the boys been properly mentored in hunting and shooting.

Adolescent neuropsyschologist, Dr. Jim Rose of the University of Wyoming, is interviewed in the book. He says that shooting and hunting teach kids self-control, self-restraint and sound judgment.

Eaton is glad about the "No Child Left Inside" movement, inspired by Richard's Louv's book,
The Last Child in the Woods.

"It's a good thing for kids to spend more time outside, but I doubt that the connection they make with nature is deep enough to promote a conservation ethic." In his opinion, "Not only are hunting and fishing better for kids, kids who hunt and fish are better for the environment."

According to Eaton, hunting is justifiable in terms of its enormous economic impacts and benefits to environmental conservation. He said, "We all take life, but for those who participate directly in it, the food chain becomes a love chain.. Look at Ducks Unlimited. They've permanently conserved over 12 million acres of wetlands throughout North America to the benefit of the entire living community. In just a few years, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has conserved over four million acres for wildlife and successfully reintroduced elk to the eastern U.S."

He sees most of the environmental community engaged in rear-guard actions while the hunting and fishing community are on the offensive. "How many people are aware that hunters and fishermen are behind the National Wildlife Federation, largest conservation group in the world?"

Eaton concluded that the social justification for hunting lies in its positive influence on the development of our youth into compassionate, virtuous and responsible adults who respect life and defend nature.

The 336-page book is available from OWLink Media at a discount before Oct. 1, official publication date.

For more information contact Dr. Randall Eaton at 513-244-2826 or at reaton@eoni.com. Visitwww.randalleaton.com or www.owlinkmedia.com.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hunter and Angler Fact Sheet

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Hunter and Angler Facts

National Hunting and Fishing Day is set for Sept. 26, 2009, and with the fourth Saturday of September quickly approaching, all outdoorsmen need to make an effort to promote not only National Hunting and Fishing Day, but the the great strides and accomplishments of all hunters and anglers.

The National Hunting and Fishing Day Organization has several assets available for the conservationist to use. Among them is this easily printed PDF with great facts on the leadership and conservation that Hunters and Anglers provide in the great outdoors.

Click below for PDF
Hunter and Angler Fact Sheet

Take a few moments, and print out a dozen copies, (it's only a single side). Share them with non-hunting or fishing friends and let them know the facts about hunters and anglers.


National Hunting and Fishing Day

For more information, visit www.nhfday.org.

Related posts on The National Hunting and Fishing Day:

National Hunting and Fishing Day
Three Big Reasons
Hunting Facts and Figures
Hunter's Contributions Exceed 5 Billion Dollars


Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman with FWC

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Women's Outdoor Workshop Comes to Tallahassee Oct. 9-11

Wanted - adventurous and outdoorsy women wishing to learn more about Florida's great outdoors in a comfortable, noncompetitive, hands-on environment. If this could be you, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to participate in the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop near Tallahassee.

The three-day workshop takes place Oct. 9-11 at Camp Wallwood on the pristine banks of Lake Talquin on the Gadsden County side. Sessions begin Friday at 10 a.m. and end Sunday with lunch.

Although designed with women in mind, the workshop is open to anyone 18 years and older who wants to improve her outdoor skills and enjoy several recreational activities.

The program offers a fun and supportive atmosphere for participants wishing to try new things and enjoy the camaraderie of other women wanting to do the same. In four, three-and-one-half-hour sessions, the BOW workshop teaches skills associated with fishing, hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation, at all levels of physical activity.

"The most requested classes women sign up to take are primitive chef; canoeing/kayaking basics; basic wilderness survival skills; and introduction to handgun shooting and hunting," BOW state coordinator Lynne Hawk said.

The cost for the three-day workshop is $175, and there are a limited number of discounted slots available for low-income participants, single parents and college students. The workshop is restricted to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the BOW workshop or how you can register, visit MyFWC.com/BOW or call 850-413-0085.

Contact:
Lynne Hawk, 561-625-5122
FWC News Release 9/14