Thursday, 31 December 2009

Involved? Or Committed?

Here's a picture of a man filming some falconry, and getting a little more 'involved' than he intended to.
Click here to see some AMAZING pictures of the rest of the hunt. Nuf Sed.

Oh and before i forget - HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you !!!

Your pal
The Bushwacker

PS Big shout to Tom Chandler of The Trout Underground who found this

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ethical Hunters Blog

Over the last few weeks I've been doing a bit of reading, looking at other bloggers thoughts on the ethics of our place in the food chain, and so it seems has James. So much so that he's started Ethical Hunters a new blog to explore the subject. Hopefully you'll feel inspired to join the conversation.

This project was born out of a sense of frustration, that hunters in the UK are so often misunderstood and misrepresented. Hunting is not a 'hobby', nor is it 'killing for fun'. It is a way of life, with its own set of beliefs and ethics rooted deep in human nature and tracing its origins back to the dawn of mankind.

It is worth clarifying here that we are talking about hunting in its broadest sense, of catching and killing wild animals and birds (usually for food), and not the narrow definition of hunting foxes with packs of hounds.

I hope that through these pages we can begin to define what makes an 'Ethical Hunter', help to promote the highest standards of ethics among hunters in the UK, and perhaps explain to non-hunters something of what Ethical Hunting is all about.
James Marchington

In the meantime here's some food for thought:

I was fascinated by Jeff Simmermon's ' Roo shooter' post with it's no holds barred descriptions of the realities of culling in the Australian outback, I've bigged it up before - it's worth a read.

For the Australians, the kangaroo is both a boon and pest, a national icon and creature to despise. The country is overrun with them—58 million, according to the latest census, making the species amongst the most common wild land mammal on earth. This, ironically, is mostly thanks to a sheep and cattle industry that have created an abundance of man-made pasture grasses and watering holes, and have driven dingoes—the kangaroos only predators, but “vermin” to sheep farmers—into the center of the country. These cute, fuzzy hoppers now pose a serious environmental threat to the rangelands. Travelling in packs of several hundred, they can easily cover up to 500 kilometers. A pod can bisect a farm on one of these journeys and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to valuable crops in a single night, wrecking fences and outgrazing cattle for rare desert grass...........

Female kangaroos, however, pose their own problems. Although easier to lift than male ‘roos or “boomers,” the does are often pregnant. And in those cases, the only humane thing to do for the joeys that can’t survive outside the pouch is to kill them on the spot, quickly and decisively. It can be an emotional challenge. Even for Craig, who accepted this part of the job decades ago.........“Mate, I’ve been doin’ this for fifty years, and this part always makes me feel like such a cunt.”

Let the record show that I didn’t participate in this part of the job. The one time that I did, I made a horrible mistake. I was dragging a doe up to the Ute and could see something wriggling in the pouch. All of a sudden two legs stuck out. I grabbed them, pulling the joey free. I meant to hold it up and shout to Craig, “Hey, what should I do with this one,” but it leaped out of my hand and hopped into the distance with a chirping scream.

“You stupid fucking fuckwit, that joey’s not big enough to survive on its own out here! E’s gonna go off and get eaten or starve to death all alone all because you think you’re such a fucking animal lover!...."

Blunt as a spoon, hard as nails and underneath it all, soft as shite. Gotta love the Aussies init!

Another blog I've been reading is Rule .303 written by Jack Landers, author of the forthcoming book 'Deer Hunting for Locavores' were he argues the case for a sustainable diet hunted and gathered from the locale. As he lives in VA his major sustainable protein source comes in the form of Whitetail deer. He's quite an accomplished hunter and has been leading a class where he takes other foodies and turns them into hunters. He's been featured in the New York Times and my guess is we'll hear a lot more from him over the next few years.

There are a number of reasons to consider learning how to hunt for your own food. Many people reading this probably feel a little bit bad about eating meat but not quite bad enough to actually stop. If you feel that you've been somehow dodging the ethics of meat and animal cruelty in your own life, there is no more effective way of facing the matter head-on than by learning to hunt and butcher the food yourself. As a hunter, the experience of the animal that you eat is up to you. A whitetail deer in Virginia can live a good and natural life in the wild and then have one bad morning before becoming food. Which is an ethically better source of obtaining meat? From a wild deer or from a pig raised in a factory farm under Auschwitz-like conditions?

Commercial meat is typically filled with hormones and antibiotics and is fed on grain that required high amounts of petroleum to fertilize and transport. Wild venison is free-range and free of hormones, antibiotics and the cruelty of captivity. If you are concerned about 'food miles' and the impact that your own diet has on the environment, hunting is a very practical way of addressing this. There are wild deer in high numbers in nearly every area of the Eastern US. Many people reading this can either hunt literally in their own backyards or could be helped to find land within 25 miles on which they can hunt for deer. Literally, you could be measuring your food miles by looking at your odometer.

See you over there?

Monday, 28 December 2009

I Want One - A Not So Occasional Series Pt14

From pommel to tip 9 5/8" With the blade 5" of that. Ground from Crucible's 5/32" D2 hardened to 60Rc.
Handled in Green Canvas Micarta with white liners and stainless steel pins.
The price? $495

I've got a whole drawer full of knives so I guess the $500'll probably be going somewhere else in the foreseeable, but tiz luv-er-lee and I do WANT ONE!

If you're feeling flush you can get in touch with the man himself.

Charles May
Charles May Knives
10024 McDonald Rd.
Aberdeen, MS 39730

Catch you soon
Your pal

Saturday, 26 December 2009

New School Hunting Video

A couple of days ago a new face joined the google blog followers function (see team bushwacker on the right) and i spent an enjoyable couple of hours checking out their site' Wild Works'. Intrigued i popped the site admin, Kyle, an email and a conversation started.

I was born and raised in small town Texas. My home town has less than 3,000 people in it and hunting is a major part of the community. I grew up with a gun and bow in my hand and have always loved putting food on the table! If something seperates this team from all the other hunting shows and groups, it is,that what we are doing is not a hobby that we pursue on the weekends, it is our everyday. We have members on the team from many countries, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Cananda, and several from the US. Our goal is to bring hunting back to what it is really all about, the chase and the challenge, and to create our wildworks to share with others.....
We do all of our own hunting,filming, and editing. We use consumer cameras and we only hunt free ranging animals by fair chase. We are not interested in high fence hunting in the least. The logical end to a hunt is the kill, but there are many facets involved in our chosen past time and we hope they all shine through in our WildWorks

The video above is how I'd always imagined Elk hunting, with a bow, on foot and with loads of close-but-no-cigar moments. A true test of guile and sneakability, where in the words of Rifle Yoda 'you only get to take a shot if he makes a mistake'. If that's not hard enough for you, the Wild Works crew are self filming while hunting. What appeals to me is that the video is about the experience, there's no 'kill shot' no whooping' high fives, as ever swimming against the tide produces the more interesting work.

In this video Kyle shows some stone points he's found and talks about his connection with the food chain through hunting.

Professional as the videos are, this one proves that things don't always go according to plan.

My guess is we'll be hearing more from Kyle and the crew as 2010 develops.

Your pal
The Bushwacker.

Monday, 21 December 2009

'Appy Crimbo From Old London Town

Well guys what a years it's been! New direction with my work, learning to be a divorced suburban dad, and trying to work my way out of poverty during a recession. None of it's been easy.

But this blog has gone from strength to strength, more readers, more comments and more new commenters joining the conversation. It's really helped to keep me going during the hard times. Thank you all for reading, linking, commenting, and being optimistic enough about the quality of posts to read again! I cant tell you how much i get from the whole process.

So as the sun starts to get a little nearer again, all that remains is to deck the halls with gaudy crap, re watch the same old nonsense on TV, stuff our faces, endure the kids sugar and greed fueled mania, and, in amongst the chaos and consumerism, quietly take a private moment to think of those who, for what ever reason, wont be with us.

Hope you get what you want, and those around you show at least some appreciation of all you do for them.
Your pal

PS for more great pictures of animals 'hiding' in the London Underground 'tube map' click here

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Shoot And Release

Saw this one on Bashing Bambi, I concur. WOW!!!


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Oh Oh Seven

As you know i grew up in Blighty and therefore have the compulsory fascination with James Bond. I guess every English schoolboy grows up watching 007 and dreams of having more than his fair share of cool intelligence, lethal aggression, sexual magnetism and badass gadgets. Especially ones you have to assemble, with each piece making a satisfying click as it joins the last.

So I was amused to find this; while surfing t'web I was checking out TAD Gear when i stumbled across this ...err... toy?

I'm far from convinced that it would have any value afield, but it does look like a lot of fun. Made by father and son knife makers Pat & Wes Crawford it comes in 9 parts that can be changed around to make: A hiking staff, a walking stick ( no, i don't know what the difference is either) a baton, a blow gun (I can hear the 007 music now) a knife, and a lance.
Even at a STEEP $259.89 they've apparently sold out of them! Have a look.

For those of you of a more literary bent, here's all the ammo you need to sneer at us overgrown school boys, seduced Fleming's world of 'gadgets,sex, snobbery and sadism'.

More soon as
Your pal

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I want One - A Not So Occasional Series Pt13

I just, stone cold want one. End of.
Click here to learn more about the team who are bringing this and a few other bikes into production. Good Luck guys.