Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Blog Rodeo 10/10/09

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Blog Rodeo: 10/10/09

Well, yet another Saturday has arrived, and it is time for another Rodeo!

I've been roaming the hinterlands of the webz and as usual, I've picked out posts that I especially enjoyed this past week from all of blogs I follow, and some that I found. 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; it spreads the word, and it's always nice to give a little link love to your fellow bloggers!

Photo Credit: All Animal Life
I found this one through a commentary on another post, and by golly it is just too good to pass on by. Bay of Pigs has some great pictures of a group of "tame" feral pigs in the Bahamas. Just look at the cristal clear waters! Them piggies can swim!

Hodgeman's Thoughts takes a shot at the fools that come from the Hail Mary School of Shooting: "From the hunting field this year I'm hearing more and more tales of these outrageous shots. Hunters in the field being tempted to squeeze the trigger on a moose or caribou at distances well over 300 yards. Maybe they're desperate for a moose, maybe they've watched shows like "Best of the West" and feel confident anybody can whack an elk or a moose at 700 yards, or maybe they feel its reasonable to even try." Are you seriously kidding me? Look I spend a lot of time defending hunters, but if that's what people think is acceptable, then we are getting just what we deserve.

Here's a new blog I just found a few days ago. Alphecca.Com is Jeff Soyer's creation and a great one at that! Jeff blogs about Second Amendment issues, and is the "Tribal Elder" of People of the Gun. I haven't had the time to delve deeply in his archives, but here is a great post: Idiot of the Day. Stop by, say hello, and learn a little more!

Mr Hank had his hands full up north, Hunting Ducks in Canada. "Probably the best thing to come out of this experience is that it really highlighted why I hunt, and what it is about this pursuit that makes me want to do it so much." That Mr Hank cooks well is a foregone conclusion, and we all know he's a pretty good shot, what's important is his observations on hunters, hunting, and why he hunts. I highly recommend this post to everyone.

Photo Credit: Born to Track News

Born to Track News as a great post on getting young pups started on bloodlines. BtTN specializes in wire haired Dachshunds, but all of his advice is applicable to any game recovery or blood tracking dog. In Training Young or Inexperienced Dogs they cover several important points, and give out a handful of tips that you can use to get your dog started on blood tracking.

Over at Patrick Grotto the Old Lion gathers us once more for further musings on life and a discussion on Code of Conduct. I am always thrilled when his posts come up. You should really stop by, read carefully, and pay your respects to the Old Lion.

Well, I bumped into this blog after doing my usual wandering about. The Jahntastic Angler AKA Zach J fancies himself a writer. Ain't no fancies about it, he writes pretty darn good if you ask me! He crafts a fine yarn in There's a New Shadmaster in Town.

Myself, on the off hand you missed it, I posted Reasons to take a Whitetail Doe, where I discuss some very good reasons to fill that doe tag. And you might want to take a look at this old post High Fence Hunting: What are the Facts?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quick and Dirty: Linking to Other Blog

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Make Linking Part of Your Blogging!

Wild Ed at Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors asked me to expand on linking after I posted the note on Linking to Each Other on Oct 4th.

In the preceding sentence I used a couple of different hyperlinks to illustrate linking methods. (By the way, I will use the words link and hyperlink interchangeably.) The first is the link directly to Wild Ed's blog, while the second is a link to one of my own posts. There is a third, but we'll talk about that one in just a moment.

There are several reasons to link to someone else's blog. The first and foremost should be because you value what they have written and want to share it with others. Links are a great way to not only improve your own posts, but actually invite people to view what you value on the internet. For instance on my Saturday Blog Rodeos, I highlight many of the posts that I go through every day.

If you right click, open in new tab, on the SBR link, you will find yet another link tactic that you can use. If you are using labels, you can find them in the bottom of your publishing frame, you can use those labels to gather all posts that are similar and have them all come up on a single page. You can copy that url, and create a hyper link with that url! Use your labels judiciously, come up with as many labels as you need, without going overboard! I did go overboard, but now I use a limited number of them.

You can hyperlink to a picture. Select the picture, and then hit the link button up there, and copy the URL to the little window that pops open. You will notice I used that to link Ed's Picture to his blog, and all of these other ones too.

Another good reason to link is to help a fellow blog get some readership. Nothing like throwing a couple of their links in your posts and comments, and introducing them to your circle of readers.

You might do as I do, and include links to your own material in your comments. This allows other readers of that blog to also make your acquaintance.

So the long and the short of it is, link to anything you think is valuable. Share the blogs out there with other folks. Direct others to your blog by putting links in your comments.

If you hover over a link, right click on that link, copy, paste it on your compose window, and then switch to html view, you will see how a link is formatted.Or you can just do it the easy way: type out what you want it to say, hit the little html link button up there, and copy the link location/url of the page.

You should have a text document where you paste hyperlink html for future use. I've secured the hyperlinks to most of my posts on a text document, in addition to the urls to many of the blogs I read.

OK one more technique. Everyone should have their backlinks allowed to make it easy for others to link to their posts. You may notice that sometimes I will have a single sentence link to a post I think is good, and that I want to bring some attention to. I also link to it to increase its authority. Listen, Y'all are my friends, and I want YOUR posts coming up on the google search near the top. So I link a lot! You can even do the link from the comments section where it says "Create a link", save it as a draft, put your current post in it, and put something like "Other Great Posts" over it near the bottom. See the example below.

So there you have it. If it doesn't make sense to you, make a note of it in the comments and I'll try to make it clearer. And get out there and do some linking, both to your own stuff, and to people you like.

Other Great Posts

Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors: Bushnell Trophy Cam Review Continues

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Nebraska Hunting Company Scott Croner

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Morals, Rights, and Shooting That Deer

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Rights and Morals, Words That Shouldn't be Bandied About

I suppose it seems that every time I get into an interesting subject, something new and revelatory about me is brought out.

Ok, as it turns out, I spent a couple of my formative years studying philosophy.

Some time after my stint in the US Army, I thought I would try to become an ethicist and delve into the morass of morals and ethics as applied to biology and medicine. I had been studying biology, micro-biology at that, and after a brief but mind numbing turn at production mono-clonal antibody lab work, I decided that philosophy might be more exciting.

As usual my thinking leaves something to be desired. After spending two years cloistered with dusty books, pale, clammy skinned neurotics that decent folks passing in the hall shied away from, and professors that mumbled passages from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Hobbes, while pointing a gnarled and accusatory finger at us lesser beings, you can imagine my surprise, when I found that they had even less of a clue than I did.

It all really came to naught as I realized that people in general just want an excuse to do whatever they felt like. Most ethical dilemmas, as it turns out, can be figured out via a common sense approach, lawyers not withstanding.

So to bring this to the subject at hand, Ms Bea Elliot commented on my post with a thought provoking discourse on animal rights.

I really hate to be so harsh, especially to a woman. But as Phillip of The Hog Blog, who has no such sentimentality and therefore thought it in my best interest to kick me square in the ass for allowing it. He felt, and rightfully so, that I was giving undeserved leniency to Ms Elliot's argument. Which was, unfortunately, mostly vacuous and without or with very little merit.

Let's get to it then, shall we?

So, in your defense you say: Animals are "tools". I suppose that falls in line with a belief once held that "blacks were made for whites" and "women were made for men". (?) Whatever suits your desires seems to be what "purpose" that "object" or being has. Who can argue with "logic" that sees himself as master? But I'll try.

Animals certainly have no rights, they do not even have a potential for rights. Therefore they can be considered property, and that Ma'am, means that I can use them and dispose of them in any way I see fit. That we, the ones that can hold rights, can also find moral imperatives to the treatment of animals I will agree to, the same as one might find that there is a moral imperative not to abuse the tools of your livelihood, or watch how you drive so you don't damage other peoples' property. Man and woman, regardless of race creed or color, are rights holders no matter what someone may say. The infirm, the handicapped, and very young, though they cannot directly exercise their rights, they are none the less potential rights holders and given all consideration for that. So you see, I am master of one, me. I seek no mastery of others, just myself and my skills.

So, you never hung around a crowd that had regrets of it's mistreatment to animals based on their "otherness"? I suppose you also didn't realize that Darwin's revelations of our "common ancestors" were vehemently challenged partly because it devastated the comfortable notion that animals were just "things". After his theories were revealed it was no longer as simple, to utilize those who were seen as more the same as us than not. --- Once his discoveries were published, it caused a great rift between the populace... Not to mention that his evolution theories challenged the ancient bibles... I hang around with this "progressive crowd" that analyzes this "new" knowledge; that we are all kindred and fellow earthlings.

Well, that's all very well and good, I hang out with men and women who appreciate the capabilities of the human mind, who celebrate the accomplishments of that mind. People who have mastered skills and are experts in their chosen fields, the men of substance, the women of intellect, the doers and creators of their own fates. I also know the men of the earth, men who have carved out their mark in this world with nothing more than their mind and hands, women that, using nothing more than a disciplined effort and the sweat of their brows created their own reality. That Darwin discovered the truth of how we crawled out of a primordial stew, does not make us anything more or less than creatures evolved from other creatures. With the exception that we are a reasoning predator, kindred to all other creatures.

The immorality is - is that it does not belong to you. As I said before, it is a theft. Not your "life" to take, have or negotiate. But no... I do not have to take the defensive to "prove" theft (harm) is wrong. It is the advocate of the supported act that is responsible for validating his view. I am the passive oppugn. My responsibility is to advocate why my position is rational, just, kind, etc. The initiator, the one who "acts" - (that would be you), is the one obligated to defend those acts.

You asked for it, and you aren't going to like it.

May I take the life of animal, you ask. Yes I may. As Phillip Loughlin stated, if it is right for the eagle, it is right for me. You either accept that if animals are the equal of us, then we are the equal of animals, and thus we may act in the same way and reasons as animals. If you accept that we are superior to animals, then you must, by the logic of that argument, cease to try to equate us with animals.

If we are superior to animals, then we have rights and animals do not, for the following reasons:

Humans are pursuers of projects; we have goals that are unique and have distinct values, and we make conscious commitments to fulfill our ends. As humans we have consciously determined reasons to value those ends that are ours individually, in a fashion that no one with a different undertaking does. We are agents of our own designs, we are self directed, autonomous, and and above all cognitive. When we pursue a task, we expect that there must be an exchange with others if we expect to reach our ends without interference. These then become our rights.

Rights by definition, are the result of an exchange, therefore animals can not have them because they don't engage in any form of exchanges.

Furthermore, animals do not make decisions based on free choice, the choosing among alternative possibilities. That is an exclusive ability of the rational mind. And I might add that rights are used to describe the choices we should or should not make. Animals as we all know, cannot make free choices, and as such, are without rights.

Now to the nitty-gritty.

We agree that animals do not have the capacity to reason, with perhaps the limited exception of some higher cognitive functions in a few species. None the less, they do not choose things based on rational criteria, nor are animals to be held accountable for their actions regardless of how we view those acts. The wolf is not evil for killing sheep, nor is the lioness good for nurturing her cubs. That, right there, determines the rights issue.

Since, there is no exchange in any animal's actions, that can be defined as relevant to the pursuit of a plan, they have no rights, and cannot function as a moral agent.

The fact remains, and it is an incontestable fact that any animal may be killed to ensure the life of another living creature, and that includes human beings.

Now someone might argue that there are moral reasons for not killing an animal. But that would not be a moral question in the least. Moral issues only apply to those that engage in exchanges, have rights, pursue cognitive objectives. You can say that there may be a social reason or perhaps a legal reason why you shouldn't kill an animal, but never a moral one. It just doesn't work.

So, we have dispensed with the idea that it is not moral to kill an animal. Unless you can find a hole in the logic I feel that I have proven my case and the defense of my acts as you requested.

I base what I think on this: We do know that the most common "rule" throughout the world - in every culture is the edict of "no killing" --- Or at least the golden words: To do on to others as you would have done on to you.

Usually it is a edict against murder rather than killing. But anyway...

Killing is the first capital "sin" is it not?

Actually the first Mortal Sin is "Thou Shalt not Murder" in the original texts. Biblically they did a lot of killing way back when. They killed each others with plagues, in battle, when they were drunk, heck they killed them with rocks, knives, even sharpened sticks. Man, there was a whole lot of smiting too! Smiting takes killing to a whole 'nother realm!

But of course you will say this is limited to mean only "human animals" and I say it means: all who live... All that breath, walk, swim, crawl and fly. All who are beings that could be "killed". Your view (of compassion and virtue) is exclusive - to only your own kind. Mine is inclusive to all "others".

Hey that's cool, if that's your thing. It just not mine and it has nothing to do with morals or rights either.

"As for food, I don't think that anyone can argue against it." Really? It's one of the most controversial subjects of our time. It's riding a close second and is closely related to the health-care debate, and global warming issues...
And because of our appetite for meat, 70% of pharmacuticals made in the US go to livestock, compromising the effectiveness of antibiotics. No one is arguing the merits or disadvantage of "meat"? Surely you jest!?

I never jest... Well not usually because I'm really not that witty. But you did take me out of context there. And again this has nothing to do with the morality of using animals, taking them, buying or selling them, or killing them.

I am not advocating "...a system that devalues the human mind, and places it squarely in the realm of an animal's", in that I'm not saying animals have a right to our social systems that require "a mind" to participate in: ie - driving, voting, entering contracts, etc. That a being is given "the right" to live his/her life without harm does not take anything away from the rights humans have which necessitate "a mind".

Since we have determined that animals do not have rights, we can dispense with the pretense, but for the sake of argument wouldn't you say that "Rights are Rights." And if that is the case, how would you limit their use? Maybe you shouldn't use the word rights...

"From the cottontail to the wildboar, their existence is part of mine, and becomes part of me." So literally, when you kill them - the cottontail or wildboar - you kill part of yourself. (?) Yes, that's what they say about some who hunt. That it is a self loathing... That they wish to experience their own death through experiencing it via an animal. How sad - to dislike ones own life so much that the only relief is to take another's from them...

Nope, no self loathing. Just the absolute certainty that I am the better for the experience.

"I assiduously avoid harming others." But really you mean "others" of your own species... I hate to be a stickler on this point - but I believe clarity is the way to better communication.

Right. What kind of "others" can there be? That's an odd question... unless you advocate equality for all.

"And compassion is a luxury I can ill afford. It is the surest way to get taken to the cleaners by those that are lazy, shiftless, and unwilling to sweat for every morsel of food they get." Ouch! Sounds like you might believe that "humans are ***intrinsically evil***".

Nah, not really. Just lazy and shiftless. And as I mentioned earlier, I truly believe that we all have to make our own way. The thing is I appreciate those that work hard and produce.

Finally in closing - I find your attempt to justify killing innocent animals as being on par with protecting my freedom of speech totally incongruant.(sp)

I don't think I was justifying anything with that statement. What I was saying, and I thought I was clear about, is that it is a hell of a thing that I will take a bullet for you in some far away, god forsaken hell hole, so you can politely cast aspersions at what I do. Granted, you are much more polite than some of the crazies I bump into, but it's almost the same thing. But I allow it because I am a nice guy and I believe in the social contract that is the Constitution.

In closing, you are welcome to attempt to poke a hole in what I said. To summarize:

Is it wrong to kill an animal?
Does it have a plan or purpose that it has created? No.
Does it have any conceptualization of the future? No.
Does it have a cognitive emotional bond to others? No.
Therefore an animal cannot pursue cognitive objectives,
It cannot enter into exchanges;
Without the ability to exchange, it has no expectation of rights.
Does it have a right to life? No!
The mere fact that it exists, is to be sustenance for another creature.
A chicken exists to provide eggs and meat for us to eat.
Wild turkeys exist to provide food for coyotes and lions.
If animals exist to be eaten, then it is not wrong to kill them.

Phillip was right. I've been too easy on the AR movement.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hunting, Blogging, Magazines, Video, and the First Amendment

Even the Justices know this One is Wrong

As many of you already know, the US Supreme Court has taken a very close look at the
1999 federal law that makes it a crime to create, sell or possess videos and other depictions of cruelty to animals. Though meant to combat "Crush" videos, it was used against a Pit Bull aficionado who created a documentary on the breed and was subsequently charged and convicted in a West Pennsylvania court at the behest and instigation of the HSUS.

I listened to portions of the transcripts, and in my opinion, the HSUS and the DA pretty much got a whipping from the Justices, and I predict the case will be thrown out, and the law struck down.

The following is from a news release by POMA.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hunting communications were a central focus of the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday as the Justices heard arguments in the case U.S. v. Stevens, 08-769.

At issue in the case is a 1999 federal law that makes it a crime to create, sell or possess videos and other depictions of cruelty to animals. The case arose over the conviction of a Virginia man, Robert Stevens, who received a three-year prison sentence from a Western Pennsylvania court for selling videos that included scenes of hunting with dogs. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction, stating it was in violation of Steven's First Amendment rights.

In addition to working with the Washington, D.C., Jones Day Law Firm to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of its members, the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), headquartered in Johnstown, Pa., coordinated a larger group of amici from a wide range of constituencies, including numerous large organizations and more than 600 individual journalists, outdoor industry professionals and sportsmen.

POMA Executive Director Laurie Lee Dovey was in the courtroom to hear the arguments.

"The Justices were highly engaged," Dovey said. "Clearly, their queries were focused on testing the limits of the First Amendment. The questions were direct and at times extreme.

"Patricia Millett, the plaintiff's attorney, represented Mr. Stevens, the hunting and fishing industry and traditional outdoor sports journalists at the highest level," Dovey added. "Patricia understands how the statue could criminalize the communication and promotion of legal hunting and fishing activities. She directly argued the overreach and chilling effects of the existing statute."

Testing the wide net cast by the language of the law, hunting-related questions were debated. Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal often stated hunting imagery did not fall within the parameters of the statute. Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to disagree. Scalia concentrated on the language in the statute that says, "... a visual or auditory depiction ... in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed."

"Kill" has one meaning, which is kill," Scalia told Katyal, plainly indicating concerns about the legal actions of hunters. Katyal responded with a statement citing cruel killing versus hunting. Scalia countered with a question about an accidental low shot on an animal by a hunter, which he said was completely legal. Justice John Paul Stevens also asked about bow-and-arrow hunting or hunting with knives. Katyal backpedaled, saying, "So, there may be certain hunting examples that fall within it (the law).

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg looked at another aspect of the law, the separation of the filming of a criminal act and participation by a photographer in a criminal act. The abuse of the dog and the filming of the act are different, she said. The abuse would go on with or without the photographer. The comparison being made was to image-makers in child pornography cases - where the photographer is an actual participant in the criminal act.

In response to questions by Justice Stephen Bryer about Congress simply writing a statute that actually aims at the "frightful things they were trying to prohibit," Millett agreed Congress must use a scalpel, not a buzz saw, when crafting statutes that restrict free speech.

Justice Samuel Alito posed the most difficult hypothetical of the day to Millett. He asked if the First Amendment would cover "a human sacrifice channel". The discomfort in the courtroom was palpable.

Taking a few moments to collect her thoughts, obviously taken aback by the extreme nature of the Justice's example, Millett responded.

"I don't want to watch this channel, and people should fight with their wallets and their votes and not support these things," she said. "But, under the First Amendment, if the only rationale Congress is giving is we are here to shield your eyes for you, we will make this censorial decision, it has got to find some basis to think that was never freedom of speech under the First Amendment, in the way that obscenity was. You don't get to make it up as you go along. We are interpreting a constitution."

The United States Humane Society, which pushed the original prosecution of Robert Stevens, claimed this case was and is about animal cruelty. POMA, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, National Media Coalition, American Society of Media Photographers, National Press Photographer's Association and dozens of other groups, which filed amicus curiae briefs in the case, strongly disagreed. They defined U.S. v. Stevens as a First Amendment case that could have potentially devastating consequences on journalists and Americans' right to information.

A decision could come sometime after the first of the year, but the Court's final deadline is July 1, 2010.


Reasons to Take Whitetail Does

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

Good Reasons to use that Doe Tag.

When considering if and when to take a doe give these reasons some thought.

1: Your deer herd has a limited amount of land to thrive in. Even on public lands, thinning the number of does has a positive effect on the herd overall. On private land, keep the population and sex ratio in balance by taking does whenever your analysis indicates you should. Remember a doe affects the population numbers much more than a buck does.

Image Credit: Kathleen
2. Letting young bucks mature obviously impacts your chances of a larger, mature deer the following year."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." QDM in Florida

3. As the number of bucks increase, and the age cohort also advances, the number of truly mature and dominant bucks will also increase. This leads to less competition for does, as the harems are smaller and the mature bucks compete more effectively with the younger bucks. As capacity is kept below the maximum, the bucks stay stronger and healthier. . The result is a healthier, stronger, more productive herd.

PhotoCredit: Jeffrodsj

4. Likewise, as the number of does decreases, they tend to be younger and fitter. This leads to more successful breeding. The does also maintain better condition and the fawns are likely to be stronger, in better condition, and more fit. Fawns will likely be earlier in the season than later, so they will be better prepared for the coming winter. Young does lactate more freely and produce more milk than older does, again benefiting the year's fawns.

5. Overall, good deer management practices including maintaining does at a limit, benefits all other game and non-game animals. There is more browse for small game, and cover for birds.
6. In addition, does tend to be tastier. I mean face it. It really is true.

Hunting is the primary game management tool at your disposal. It is effective and imposed by those most likely to see the benefits of the program. Coupled with care of the land, sound supplemental strategies, possible plantings, and love for the sport, you will see the results of your efforts in a few short seasons.

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert is actually a biologist. Really. But after a lemur was hired to replace the other lab tech because the capuchins were considered too smart for lab work, 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(dot)com

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Black Tail Deer Drawing at Native Hunt!

T. Mike Riddle; Native Hunt
Press Release 10/01/09

Doves, Hogs, Dovepaloosa and the Native Hunt Blog

As always we are doing new, exciting, and innovative things here at the Native Hunt ranches and headquarters.

We just wrapped up our annual Labor Day Dove Shoot and feast, and let me tell you it was quite an event. All throughout California everyone was complaining about the low numbers of Dove and how an early cold front drove most of them in a southerly direction towards warmer climates. Although the numbers were considerably lower this year compared to previous ones out at the Native Hunt ranches, most everyone still was able to fill out both days during the event, and best of all, there were enough of the tasty little birds to go around for our yearly feast this year as well, and I gotta' tell you, Hank Shaw (Honest Food Blog) cooked them up as fine as he did for last year's Dovapalooza, as so coined by Hank himself!

Many, many thanks go out to Hank, Holly (Nor Cal Cazadora) and our very own Evandro Brandao for the five star cuisine during that fun filled weekend!

This year was a bit different from all of the previous years, in that we opened this particular shoot up to the public (in the past this was a "By Invitation Only Event") and we had a few Wild Boar, Ram hunters, Dove shooters out with us this time who took advantage of our package special. Everything went nicely as they always do here at our ranches with everyone filling their tags and then joining us on our dove hunt outing the day afterward.

Phillip and his double ready to shoot some doves!

We have received nothing but positive feedback from all of our guests including very high praises for our Native Hunt Professional Guide Staff, and the consistent theme in the running commentary was "We had fun, Fun, and more FUN during our stay at the Native Hunt Facility's"!

So I believe that we just might run that very same special for next year's event again!

We also began filming the pilot for our Reality Series during this past Labor Day weekend as well. Most all of the outdoor channels which feature hunting shows/videos are in essence, nothing more than giant infomercials that hawk their own wares or are channeled towards selling popular hunting gear, and all of the corresponding products associated with them.Our goal here is to show what really goes on behind the scenes of an outfit such as ours, because this is a business just like any other business, and there is a lot of hard work, detail and logistical planning that goes into a client's happy success on the actual day of their hunt. And yes, we will show all of the bloopers in all of their glory and splendor, this will be a true to life reality series, mistakes and the like, so look for this project to be completed by year's end.

Now on to the good stuff which you all have been waiting for, our current special of the month! This month we are giving away a free hunt to anyone who can bring along 5 other paid guest's at the current rate for a 2 day, full service Wild Boar hunt. Just simply call in and talk to the front office to set your hunt date and for details between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST. That number as always is 1-888-HUNT-321.

This Ol' boy was snapped from the back of the truck by Jimmy (ranch foreman) in the early morning hours at the Jolon Ranch.The Eurasian Wild Boar sport's a nice wooly coat, even in the middle of summer. Them teeth ain't bad either!

Good Hunting To You All,
T. Michael Riddle

P.S. Don't forget to go over to our brand new Native Hunt Blog and leave a message for us in the comment section, your name and contact information will then be placed into a drawing for a FREE BLACK TAIL DEER HUNT for the 2010 California deer season!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Got Skunked!

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Well, that's why it's called "Hunting," and not shopping.

Due to some stuff going down yesterday and this morning, I didn't get to the WMA until mid-afternoon. By then it was good and warm, the sun shining and the humidity doing its best to make me as soggy as a chip in the sink.

After paying my entry fee, a very reasonable $3.00, I showed my license and archery tag to the volunteer at the check-in. He kindly helped me fill out the WMA card, and showed me where to put it at the end of the day in case he wasn't there anymore.

I drove down the road, made right turn where it teed, and drove until I found a partially obscured dirt trail that presumably would lead me to the old hunting camp that existed there long ago.

I decided at the last moment to bring my Browning compound instead of my longbow. I really want to take a deer with my SeigeWork American, but I want the wood arrows to make the experience complete. They should be here by weeks end, and then I'll take them out with the longbow.

I load up my pockets with the essentials, and start down the path. I only brought a few things with me, a TacPac (Those broadheads are sharp!), my magnesium fire starter, and a Case knife in case I got lucky. I had ten feet of cord in my pocket, my camera, and a do rag for my face.

I think I walked for about fifteen minutes, and still hunted another 30 or so until I got to an open area adjacent to what I think was the old camp.

Finding a convenient place to set up wasn't easy. The breeze had picked up a little, so that required me to circle as quietly as I could to the south, and then finding a place to sit was just about impossible. I finally settled on a crooked and bent tree that I could half sit, and half lean against.

I was there for a good hour, feeling all sorts of drowsy when some rustleing in the leaves alerted me. The squirrels had been doing their thing all afternoon, but this sounded more deliberate, and definitely from something bigger. But unfortunately it drifted off away from me, and I never got to see it.

Another hour passed, and drops of sweat gathered and spilled their way down my face. Once again I heard noise coming from the west, but these where the methodical sounds of a person tromping through the woods.

I silently watched him pass within thirty yards of where I half stood, half leaned.

The squirrels got back to business and birds flew through the scrub on occasion. Other than that, nothing else moved as the sun began its final decent.

I got to the truck while there was just enough light to see in front of me, so I timed it pretty well.

I had a good if not quite successful hunt. I need to get a tree stand, and I really should carry a pen light. I think I'm going to give it another go this Friday afternoon, but if not then definitely this coming Tuesday again.

Best regards,

Gone Hunting!

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

There a couple of pre-written posts for you, but no spur of the moment ones until late tonight (and maybe not 'till Wednesday!) because I am going out to chase some wily whitetails.

"Most likely nearly all of Florida's Gulf coast once appeared like that,
before modern developers diked, ditched, drained and filled ….."

-Archaeologist Jerry Milanich

I'll be hunting Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (Informative PDF) on the west coast of Florida in Hernando County.

I'm told the hunting is hard, but I met a young fellow named Justin that took pity on me and was kind enough to sit down with your ever faithful writer and go over the map. I told him I was primarily interested in getting a doe for the freezer, and he suggested two spots, and then recommended that I carefully walk the dirt access roads during the day. He says he has seen plenty of hog on the roads during the late morning and early afternoon. Sounds counterintuitive I know, but he was a sincere young fellow, and I have no reason to doubt his observations.

I am looking forward to taking my new SiegeWork Creations American Long Bow
with me on this hunt. I haven't received the wooden arrows yet, but I have some aluminum Eastons that will serve well for the time being. I will also be using the Muzzy Phantom MX broadheads that I reviewed on September 10th.

I'm looking forward to this long anticipated and well deserved hunting foray. And even if nothing comes my way, I'll consider it a successful trip!

Wish me luck!

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gut Piles and Deer: Every Stomach Tells a Story

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
What can you learn from poking around guts?

I got to thinking about guts and viscera about a week or so ago after a comment on NorCal's blog post, Pear Jack. I studied biology, and I am a bit of a student of Quality Deer Management. That led to the post on QDM in Florida, which now leads to this one! It's amazing how things work out.

An animal's viscera should be studied with the same scrutiny that you give to the antlers. Many things become apparent, not the least of which is a good understanding of a deer's anatomy.

So, what can you learn from poking around in a whitetail deer's gut pile?

Well, as it turns out, lots.

Deer are ruminants. That is to say the eat their forage, hold it in their stomachs, and regurgitate it at leisure to chew it up some more. Then they swallow that and burp up another partially digested mouthful and grind that down. So a whole lot of food goes down in mouthfuls, to be chewed up later. With that in mind you can see how the remains of what a deer has been eating will tell you a lot about where it's been. Now that I've pointed that out it's a no brainer, but how many of you actually go through the trouble of actually looking?

Next time you bag a deer, after you have gutted it and hung it, take a moment and separate the paunch (stomach) from the rest of the viscera. Take a sharp knife and slit it open. If you're a little squeamish, (Really?) put on some gloves. Then just reach right in there and pull out a handful or two of partially digested plant material for inspection. It might smell a little by the way...

Back in the day, we would bag the sample for analysis. You can do the same if you carry some ziplock bags with you. Just secure a couple of cups of stomach contents in a ziplock bag, rinse the outside of the bag off, and take it home or camp for inspection. It would be a really bad idea to forget it in a the car. Heat and fermentation will jointly conspire to ruin your life.

Get a small pail, and dump the contents of your new science experiment in. Best you do this outside; the Mrs will not appreciate your sudden interest in biology. Gently pour water into the gooey mess until the bits and pieces separate, sloshing it around occasionally with your hand. There will be particles of all sizes, and what you want to do is separate the larger pieces from the smaller.

You can use a piece of quarter inch screen as a colander, or carefully pour off the smaller, ground up bits and pieces.

Now it's time to carefully inspect the remains.

What are you finding? Are there chunks of acorns, or is it all greens? What kind of greens are there? Pine needles, tree leaves, shrub leaves or is it grass? Maybe it contains mushrooms or tubers and roots. Give it a through going over, and really try to identify what it is that you are going through.

Now it's time to correlate what you have found, with what you know, or think you know about the land you are hunting on.

If you've been on a stand and the deer you take has a belly full of acorns, try to find out where these came from. You might have thought that no oaks were in your immediate area, but the deers stomach contents tell you otherwise. If everything has been burned by the cold, and you find green material in your examination, you need to go and look for the spots that are still green. It could be a hardy plant stand, or near a thermal mass like a swamp, or sheltered but sun filled area. Look around and really take stock of what you have and is available to the deer.

If you keep records, (You do, don't you?) and you're writing this information down, you will see patterns develop that you can use to your advantage. As the seasons unfold, you will learn to anticipate what the deer are going to forage on next, and prepare accordingly.

Checking the stomach contents of your harvested game can be very illuminating, especially if you do it on a long term basis. Patterns will emerge and make you a better hunter by anticipating which seasonal food sources deer use.

Related Posts:
Quality Deer Management in Florida

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

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(dot)com

Whitetail Deer Passion: Hunting Cornfields

Othmar answers on hunting cornfields!

Whitetail Deer Passion: Ask Othmar Q&A: Hunting Cornfields


Sunday, October 4, 2009

PeTa, Animal Rights, Animal Welfare: The Discussion Continues

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

Albert's note: I have bumped this up as Ms Bea Elliot of Provoked has kindly responded to me in a very thorough and thought provoking way. I'm going to have to take some time to formulate a proper response to her comments. As always I expect that all of us will maintain our usual respectful and constructive dialogues.

I don't look at my archives that often, usually I'm looking ahead. So imagine my surprise when I found that my post, PeTa: Why I Despise Them had taken on a life of its own!

There's the usual drivel from simpletons masquerading as saviors of humanity... You know something, and sorry to veer off here, but maybe they should all volunteer to go to Afghanistan and serve as advisers to the locals so that the Afghan people could feed themselves and feel good about it and not kill each others. Just a thought.

Anyway, the usual "animals are the same as us, but humans are evil, but we are the same, but animals aren't evil because they're not the same as people, I mean, we are but not exactly. All I know is I'm right and you're not!" type of commenter with their usual shenanigans of name calling and cowardice.

But occasionally I get someone with a lick of sense and something between the ears that will make a civil argument and go toe to toe with me. Brenden over at Screaming Chicken Activism is one, and now Miss Bea Elliot of Provoked is another.

The fact remains that Brendan and Miss Bea are unlikely to ever become hunters, (Though Brendan has honestly admitted that under certain circumstances he would. But for survival only.), but as it is true that knife sharpens on steel, man must sharpen on man. So I appreciate their passion and enthusiasm, that and I just like anyone that will walk into the this lion's den with nothing more than their wit and intellect. That takes chutzpah!

It might behoove everyone to go back to the original post, PeTa: Why I Despise Them, and read through the comments. I am going to answer section by section, and try to keep my answers within the intent of the comment.

Miss Bea responded to other comments with:

"Very interesting topic... indoctrinating kids. Hummmm.... Lets see, "indoctrinating" would be denying information to promote one's own agenda. "Brainwashing" would be an effort to prevent questioning or thought. I can't think of anything that brainwashes and indoctrinates kids more than the way society (and parents) bring up children to "pet the kitty, because it's good to be kind to animals - BUT eat the chicken because it's "normal".

I have little argument with that perspective. I might say that we as a species constantly indoctrinate our young with survival strategies that have been passed down over millions of years. I would also argue that as tool makers and users, we have evolved (albeit in a short time) to make and use living tools such as dogs, cattle, elephants, etc. That is one of the things that makes us different from animals, the ability to leverage our mental capabilities far beyond our physical ones. Kitty cats are a decorative item, useful in keeping bubonic plague carrying fleas on mice in check. Chickens lay eggs, and when they are older taste good in a soup. Different tools, different uses.

"Have none of you ever met adults with deep regrets of how the(y) were raised "indoctrinated" to deny that animals (food animals) matter or feel pain? Science has stood it's ground that there's absolutely no difference in the sentience between a dog, pig, cow or deer... or us. We all "feel pain". We are all aware of the world and wish to live."

Uhhhmm, no not really. Never hung around with that crowd. That's not to say I don't imagine there are those that might feel that way. But hey, that's their guilt trip, not mine. I have a couple regrets, not about hunting or fishing though. And I think we hunters that frequently take the life of another animal are more than amply aware of our capacity to inflict pain. That is why we are so careful of what and when we shoot. None of us want to cause any undo suffering if we can help it. So we practice, we self limit, we ascertain that we are taking our limits in the proper fashion.

Stealing an animals life is just that. Just because you can point a rifle or a captive bolt gun and pull the trigger does not mean you have a moral "right" to that life. We each only get ONE of these... and it is ours to live. Unless of course some brute who has more "might" takes it from you.

I think that at this point we take leave of what can be argued simply. A "moral right..." well you would have to pinpoint the immorality of taking an animals life, before we could even argue the moral issue as you put it. Morals are a slippery thing and subject to interpretation; even Socrates couldn't get to the root of what morals are. We tend to say things like, "Well this is moral because: I said so, I think so, or I feel it."

I find no moral objection to taking an animal, whether trophy or for food. As for food, I don't think that anyone can argue against it; I like meat, it is food, most primates will consume meat or animal protein given the opportunity. Trophy hunting has an other set of imperatives that are followed. Can we argue that it is immoral to waste an animal's flesh? I would agree it is, but you would have to take me to the rotted carcasses that presumably litter the landscape before I would agree that this is a problem. But yet, I see no argument that hunting in and of itself is immoral.

If you think this moral dissonance of being kind to some animals while eating others doesn't eventually catch up as an adult - you're sadly in denial. It's one of the most difficult conflicts to resolve as adults. This contradiction permeates our culture and it's time we grew up and faced it square in the eye - like "real men".

But there is no moral dissonance! I'm an adult, and your moral code is not mine. Your idea of what is moral and what is not is predicated on my accepting your system, a system that devalues the human mind, and places it squarely in the realm of an animal's. By extension, it requires that we accept that the least sophisticated have the right to my ability only because they exist. I refuse to be a subject to anyone or thing, except of my own volition. . The contradiction you speak of or dissonance as you put it, is a construct in your own "reality," not mine.

I find that the "Moral" argument promoted by most animal rights proponents revolves around the idea that killing is wrong. But no one ever defines why killing is wrong. Does killing a deer diminish me or harm me in any way, shape, or form? Let's see, I'm a successful hunter therefore,

1: I provide sustenance for my family.
2: Others see that I am a good provider.
3: Other men see my ability as proof of my capabilities.
4: I outsmarted a wily creature, I therefore am more capable than the next guy who didn't.
5: Breeding opportunities are increased exponentially by my prowess.
6: Due to the above, testosterone levels increase, thereby guaranteeing I won't lose my hair prematurely.
7: Now, because my testosterone levels are higher(Stronger), I still have hair (Big Mane), and I am more aggressive (Get more food.), I get the better job (Pride-Master), and live in the better neighborhood (Game rich territory.) I won't mention the pride...

Hey, you're the ones that say I'm equal to any animal, so now I'm playing by those rules too! And don't think I'm BSing there. All of the above is true if a little tongue in cheek.

Point #2 - Videos. They are all over! Thousands on youtube, and millions on the web. If anyone thinks they are going to gag this information and these truths from kids - You're dreaming!

That's all well and good for you, and after reading some of your blog, I think you don't actually mean it the way it came out. But you see, as long as I'm the Dad, things are done my way. That means no reality TV, no inappropriate clothes, yes sir and yes ma'am, the classics of literature, and a thorough grounding in all those dead white guys that everyone seem to want to discredit and forget. So when someone brings in a cruel and abhorrent video into her life without my permission, they're the ones that brought the consequences upon their own heads. PeTA used a psychological artifice to coerce agreement with their cause. Doom on them.

Now I would tread very carefully on this subject, those of you that would challenge me on this. I take child raising as a very serious responsibility, and though I make dozens of mistakes daily, I keep at it and I never quit. I would gladly give my life in defense of my family, and take as many lives as I need to, to protect my family.

You see, kids are a lot smarter than what we think. Nothing about "loving this animal" while "killing/eating this animal" makes sense to them. As it shouldn't. Thousands of kids wanted to become vegetarian/vegan after Charlottes Web and Babe... Are you saying those movies were made by "animal rights extremists" too? Should they be banned because they might get young people thinking things the culture wishes to keep hidden... like the dirty secret that it is?

Really... Kids today smarter... yeah... right. Spoiled, self-centered, products of the greatest period of prosperity in all known history, unable to write, read, or do simple arithmetic, rude, and undisciplined, yes. But they are no smarter than we were at their age. They just know more "things" than we did, and they don't have the maturity or wisdom to comprehend it.

All those movies are made to make money. They sold the sizzle and reaped the benefits. I don't know about you, but I've never heard an animal speak. It is easy to ascribe emotions and behavior to any object and create a sense of familiarity with the viewer. Just watch Beauty and the Beast; inanimate objects given "life" and all of a sudden we think they are real. But it is all a bunch of baloney. Substitute little children for the animals, and you would get the same reaction! You can dress a pig in a suit and it is still a pig.

And who's hiding what? We all know chickens are raised in little cages, and have half their beaks cut off. That's why the market demanded free range chickens. That's why cities are allowing folks to raise chickens within city limits. The Market self-corrects. Whereas animal rights activists think humans are intrinsically evil, the truth is most people will do the right thing, as long as they aren't hungry, coerced, or in fear.

And I'll give you this much... It would be totally understandable if it were a matter of "survival". If there was no other choice in the matter... If for some reason our bodies could not live without flesh and blood foods. But such is not the case... Clearly as the fastest growing dietary choice is towards a plant based diet. It's better for you... Better for the planet... Better for sustainability - and just plain better for us on a spiritual level. But, I'm not here to convert anyone - just laying down the reasons why it's not "necessary" to kill animals. Therefore killing animals is done for "pleasure"... Kids (and adults) aren't buying this line anymore. Find your "pleasure" without harm to others... that seems to be the compassionate choice.

Clearly, humans evolved as a result of switching from a vegetarian diet to an omnivorous one. I will grant you that we eat too much fat and chemicals, but it seems to me that we live a hell of a lot longer than our "healthy" ancestors, even with this crappy diet of pop-tarts and soda pop.

You can't use spirituality as a marker for ethics. It just doesn't work. Again it is too subjective. My perception of a spirituality is subject to my experiences. For instance I feel the connection to the animals I hunt deeply and keenly. From the cottontail to the wildboar, their existence is part of mine, and becomes part of me. I have an intimate relationship with the wild creatures that few will experience. Each animal gives me more than meat in the larder, it gives me an education.

And I have never hidden the fact that I enjoy hunting. But don't mistake my intense pleasure for the hunt with pleasure over the death of an animal. And I assiduously avoid harming others. Unless they start it first of course. Then I am an implacable foe.

And compassion is a luxury I can ill afford. It is the surest way to get taken to the cleaners by those that are lazy, shiftless, and unwilling to sweat for every morsel of food they get. I work for my keep, so can everyone else. And what I earn is mine by right; by the right of my superior mind, abilities, and the moral certainty that my hands, mind, and will worked together to gain me an advantage over others.

There again is part of the problem, I work hard, both in the market and on the field. I have yet to find an animal rights activist that didn't believe that they had a right to my efforts. If hunting was abolished, the costs borne by hunters would still be have to be paid. And that means there would be a demand placed on my hard earned income. And as it turns out, I get paid well to do what I do. As much as I respect Brenden, he doesn't make squat; why should I be coerced to subsidize his vision.

Finally, peta. PETA is associated with such a small, tiny little segment of the animal "welfare" issue... peta is NOT an animal "rights" organization.
I would think that everyone here... great warriors, soldiers, hunters would know the first effective rule of battle: Know your enemy.

PeTA does not hide the fact that they are trying to abolish all forms of hunting, animal use, animal ownership, lab use of animals, and everything else that relates to animal/human interaction.

HSUS is the same.

The ALF are just domestic terrorists that should be treated the same as the Weathermen, Red Faction, Taliban, and Al Queda.

I know my enemy Miss Bea, and I know the honest and compassionate also. I doubt that you would agree that force and coercion would be justified in fulfilling your agenda. There are others that believe that they can, through law, bear the armed might of the government against those that do not believe as they do. Members of animal rights groups forget that in this country we are free men, free to do as we please as long as it does not interfere with the rights of other free men. You have the right to say what you want, eat what you want, and pretty much do what you want. Coercing me at the muzzle of a gun is not in keeping with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights.

And I suppose that in the end, I sometimes resent that I am willing to risk my life so that you can speak your mind, even though I know, with a soldier's certainty, that you would never do the same for me. It is in my blood, my psyche, and my being, to uphold the the values of the Founding Fathers. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I continue do so.

Miss Bea, thank you for stopping by and sharing your perspective with us. As you will undoubtedly ascertain, you will be vigorously challenged by my friends and readers, but in a respectful and intellectual manner.

I look forward to your response.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, 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(dot)com.

Related Posts:

Giving Conservation a Bad Name
Game Reserves, High Fence Hunting What are the Facts?
Sometimes it is Hard to See the Forest...
High Fence Hunting

Linking to Each Other, an Important Consideration

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


I think it's important to link to other bloggers on a regular basis. I'm sure you are all familiar with the Saturday Morning Blog rodeo, but I also link to individual posts on a regular basis.

Another thing I am going to start to do is add related posts from other bloggers to the bottom of my posts. Again, it gives good exposure to a lot of other folks work that is just as important, and in many cases more so than what I wrote!

Photo Credit: Othmar Voringer

Case in point. Othmar Vohringer writes a lot of great posts that just shouldn't be missed or forgotten. I've drifted back in his archives and pulled a few up for everyone's attention.

"While it is true that a turkey can be shot with a magnum load and large pellets – heck you could even use buckshot - there is more to choosing the right load than just picking any shot shell box that says “Turkey Load” or something to that effect on it."

Find the rest at:
Wild Turkey Fever: Which shot?

It's a short post by Othmar, but fact filled and full of good advise. I'm taking it and heading out to country with a half dozen different loads, several dozen brown paper bags, and an armful of newspaper so I can pattern my H&R 12 gauge properly. I want to make sure I am ready for Spring turkey season.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles