Thursday, 28 March 2013

DeerLand By Al Cambronne

Over the last few years of blogging I've noticed a few names coming up in the comments sections of the more literate blogs, Al Cambronne being one of them.
Always one of the more thoughtful and informed commenters he's brining out a fascinating book on the intersection between people and deer.

We live in Deerland. The U.S. is now home to 30 million hungry deer—100 times more than were here a century ago. When we see all those deer out in the woods, most of us believe it’s a measure of the forest’s health. It is, but in exactly the opposite way we think. All across America, overabundant deer routinely devastate ecosystems and alter entire landscapes. DEERLAND traces the story of how we got here, and asks tough questions about what it will take to restore the balance we’ve disrupted.

For a taste of his writing have a look at his excellent blog or order the book its released next week. 

Anyhoo off to work

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Salmon On The Tay, With Andy Richardson

My old pal and mentor Andy has been up to his old tricks again, showing the TV folk how its done. This time he's guiding us for Salmon on the river Tay.
More Soon

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Customising Fallkniven's TK6 Part 1

The deed is done!

I've had my TK6 for quite a while now and I've loved every minute of it. The blade is chunky without geting in the way, the steel holds an edge like a Lightsabre, it's worked its way though a lowland Roe deer like Luke Skywalker through a Tauntaun,  but you know how it is, I've always wanted to pimp one.

More news on this one as materials arrive and time permits

Big Shout Going Out to the chaps at EdenWebshops who made this project possible. Nice guys, low prices, deliveries by Millenium Falcon.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Spencer Angeltvedt: Dishonest or Stupid?

"It inspires me everyday knowing that paris hilton tweeted and follows me!"
Spencer Angeltvedt

I've recently been contacted by a young man whose opinions are both strongly held and weakly thought out, and it would apear I'm not the only one. All kinds of people are welcome guests on the comments section of this blog, some of you I'm broadly in agreement with, some of you hold dear opinions which I feel are erm, less than well thought out, but its usually interesting to hear what you have to say and hopefully by exposing myself to the learnings and opinions of others I'll expand my own thinking. Hopefully.

Enter Spencer Angeltvedt actor, model and blogger. I too was young good looking and stupid once, time took care of young and good looking, stupid has been, if not cured, put into remission by engaging in debate.

Spencer was bold enough to write a comment on my blog post about Andy Richardson's goose hunting video, claiming he had stumbled across the video and been upset by its content.

Offence isn't given its taken

If you see a blog post that is titled with the words 'Goose Hunting' is reasonable to surmise that it'll contain content about the hunting of geese, right? Seeing as Spencer had taken the trouble to start a conversation with me I felt it would only be a matter of common courtesy to read some of his writing and respond. What a treat awaited me. In his post Do Hunter's Love Animals? Spencer treats us to a glimpse into the depths shallows of his thinking

'Well until I hear a hunter say he/she is going to track down the sickest and thinnest dear to end its suffering by killing it, then I will continue to know that they kill for fun and use excuses to justify it'

I was of course happy to oblige and wrote to him, confirming that part of our management practice is indeed to shoot and animals that are suffering due to genetics or as a result of injury. Sadly this wasn't good enough for brave Spencer and after a couple of days he deleted my comment.

On the same post Spencer implies that a man who has shot a trophy mountain sheep is in some way less virtuous than a woman who is feeding what are represented as wild birds. Spencer let me spell this out for you. 
When an animal has reached the age and size where it would be regarded as a trophy it has passed its genes on several times, and is starting to decline in health, it will be forced away from breeding opportunities by younger males, it's worn teeth will limit its ability to gain adequate nutrition through browsing and its fate will be starvation, illness, being eaten alive by predators, or a mixture of the three. Meanwhile your claim that a woman feeding wild birds is a sign of her love of animals is misguided at best. By creating clusters of feeding animals she is also creating the ideal circumstance for passing disease from one bird to another. She's not evil, just thoughtless. Bit like Spencer really.

Spencer also likes to post ghoulish videos of animals being mistreated on cattle farms purportedly for the company Burger King, as regular readers will know my interest in hunting stems from my abhorrence of the industrialised food chain so I commented that this sort of behaviour was what had lead me to start hunting. Not inline with Spencer's already fully-formed opinions this too was promptly deleted. 

I was delighted to see that one hunter at least has passed muster in Spencer's eyes - Gordon Ramsey - celebrity chef and hunter has been campaigning against the killing of sharks for their fins and in doing so has earned Spencer's seal of approval. My guess is that Spencer doesn't waste any time researching his opinions before posting them and is unaware that Gordon has killed and eaten quite a few of the luverly cweacherz that Spencer believes he is standing up for.

Amusingly it turns out Spencer has 'form' for this kind of behaviour. A blogger called The Wandering American has awarded Spencer 'Douchebag of the week'.

"There’s a 99.9999999999999% chance you have no idea who this guy is but I think you should know about him anyway. Spence writes about animal abuse and climate-change and other issues along those lines which is fine and good. However, he’s a typical liberal in that if you don’t fully agree with whatever he says, he’ll attack you while claiming that he’s in the right. As you can see in the image below, I left a cordial comment merely pointing out some new research that has been stirring up some interesting debate. What is this guy’s first reaction? He calls me naive and then verbally abuses me, a guy who took time out of his busy day to read a site that had been recommended by a fellow blogger. There’s a word I’ve picked up in my time abroad for guys like that. Twat."

Harsh but fair.

We are all born ignorant, staying that way is optional.

Your pal

Thursday, 7 March 2013

I'm On My Way, Really, Tomorrow, Or The Day After

You know how hard it is to get a plumber these days? Well just think how hard it must be for the poor plumber-hunter gatherer-blogger. So instead of the usual excesses 

1. van broken down,
2, been called to another job,
3. still awaiting delivery of parts

All of which happen to be true, here's just a quick note to regular readers.

I'm still alive, still having adventures afield, just not had much spare time to finish writing any of them up.

On the way:
Reviews of: More Kifaru goodness, and a tech-tro pack from Mystery Ranch
A look at pack frames, their history, development, and a back to the future moment
A 'fox drive' with my pal, and long term commenter The Bambi Basher
An English 'driven game' day [or two] with Shooter
Reviews of a particularly fine harvest of books about people, animals and their much misunderstood interaction.
At long last starting work on that pimped Falkniven TK6

and if that's not enough I thought I might try my hand at a little travel writing a' la Newby i.e on the road with the Bloody Lady Foreigner. So its a date more of the usual gibberish from yours truly, um er 'shortly'.

Your pal