Sunday, 30 January 2011

Blogs Of Note And Adult Onset Hunting

Tovar has helpfully outlined a list of my symptoms and come to a diagnosis. You can read the whole post here.

Adult Onset Hunting Know The Signs

When fully developed, the primary symptoms of Adult Onset Hunting are unmistakable: an otherwise normal, heretofore-non-hunting adult repeatedly goes to woods, fields, or marshes with a deadly implement in hand, intent on killing a wild animal.

Other potential symptoms include (1) a feeling of connection to nature, to one’s food, and to one’s hunter-gatherer ancestors, and (2) a re-calibration of one’s beliefs about hunting. Previous beliefs may suffer from atrophy, seizures, and even death, especially when an anti-hunter contracts AOH.

Knowing the early warning signs may protect you or a loved one from the worst effects. These early signs include:
  • Excessive reading about the production of industrial food, especially factory meat. 
  • Esophageal spasms upon learning that the average pound of supermarket ground chuck contains meat from several dozen animals slaughtered in five different states. 
  • Sudden bouts of wondering why the local food co-op—with its cooler full of local, organic, free-range meats—doesn’t sell hunting licenses. 
  • Compulsive eating of “real food” purchased directly from farmers. 
  • Recurrent realizations that farmers are killing deer and woodchucks to keep organic greens on your plate. 
  • Impaired ability to find meaning in chicken nuggets or tofu dogs. 
  • Insistence on a literal reading of Woody Allen’s dictum “Nature is like an enormous restaurant.” 
  • An uncharacteristic compulsion to initiate dinner conversation about firearms. 
  • Impaired ability to see humans as separate from the rest of nature. 
  • Repeated contact with real, live hunters (experts suspect that AOH is highly contagious, though transmission mechanisms are not yet fully understood). 
My Name's SBW And I Have AOH - I've recorded some of the outbreaks to help other sufferers 

RGN “ I know you spoke about this with Stuart, and I’d be honoured if you allow me to take you both deer hunting”

Mrs RGN “ No! This is your obsession! They don’t want to hunt!”

TNM and SBW “We’d love to!”

SBW “I’m not sure we’ve got the right gear though”

TNM “won’t we need camouflage clothes?”

RGN “you wont need anything special, this is gentleman’s hunting, dress warm I’ll pick you up in the morning”

Sunday morning dawned cold and transport-less, so I dressed up in a base layer of nylon sportswear, hoping the static generated would act as on-board central heating, with a layer of cotton work wear on top to keep out the thorns. I chose a bag that I'd be able to hose down if I needed to and said goodbye to the kids. As I was leaving the house I could hear Mrs SBW sniggering and singing Simon and Garfunkel's well known ode to successful rabbit hunting
'Bright eyes, Burning like fire. Bright eyes,How can you close the pain. How can the light that burned so brightly Suddenly burn so pale? Bright eyes.'
After three changes of train due to engineering works I was finally on my way to meet James for a spot of old-school rabbit hunting. With Ferrets.

We crept into the woods and were rewarded with a sighting almost strait away, cunningly the deer had silhouetted themselves against someone's farmhouse. No safe backstop - no shot. We stalked on, creeping down the pathways between the trees, after a long slow walk

BB - "think of it as armed rambling" we had worked our way around our half of the wood and met up with the others - they'd seen a highly shootable buck, but it had given them the slip. We split up again and with the chaps walking up into the part of the woods we'd just left. Then We Were Bushwhacked!

A flicker of movement ahead and to the right revealed our quarry, munching on a nut at the base of an Oak. I twisted so my body would obscure my hand signal to TNM. The squirrel froze, and did a very good job of disappearing into the leaf litter. I shouldered the air rifle and realized just in time that the scope was set on too higher level of magnification. Finding a grey camouflaged thing against a backdrop of leaf and shadow wasn’t that easy. The cross hairs danced over his shoulder and as I should have been at my stillest my squeeze of the trigger must have pulled the muzzle to the right. The squirrel jumped four of five feet to the left; I worked the bolt back and forward and sent a perfectly aimed puff of air towards him. Sadly the puff of air wasn’t pushing a pellet.

It appears I'm not the only one exhibiting symptoms. 

Here recent dad Will Stitch gives us an insighnt into the experimental stage of AOH

Our last armed hike at the Geysers almost lead to some kills, but the kills would have been due to hypothermia and would have been us, not pigs. It was on that windy rainy near-death experience that we realized how tricky these animals are. We found a fresh pig hoof-print that day. In the middle of a huge muddy puddle. There were no other prints nearby. None. How is that even possible?! The pigs were taunting us.

We decided we needed to step up our game. If the pigs are going to use ninjitsu on us – flying around magically and leaping huge distances – we need to study their craft and train to be ninjas ourselves. Bingels and I aren’t exactly ninja material, but we have an ex-Marine on our team who was gifted a compound bow from his dad. Plus he has a boat! Everyone knows that ninjas use bows and travel by boat. Oh it was on. 

Further news of the outbreak has reached us from The Bumbling Bushman

Warren is elected to take the shot, for which the rest of us should all be thankful for. As we pull up, Mr. X hands Warren his favorite 30-06 and points to the porker - 200 yards out in the field. Video cameras are deployed for posterity and there stands sleep-deprived Warren, with a bloodthirsty audience breathing down his neck, an unfamiliar rifle, two cups of coffee coursing through his veins and the prospect of the furthest shot he's ever attempted. It doesn't go well. There is a problem with the gun. Warren can't figure out how to chamber a round into the chute. He looks back at the crowd for guidance, gets it, and pushes the receiver button. "SCHWANNNNG" The pig looks up for the first time, sees his would-be executioners and decides life might be better somewhere over in Nassau County. I have never seen a pig run so fast.  It is the only pig we see all morning.
Part 1 and Part 2

More soon
Your pal
The Suburban Bushwacker

Friday, 28 January 2011

Bagpipes - Cooler Than You Thought

I ask you:
Who amongst us hasn't looked upon a goat and thought
"I know I'm gonna make me some Bagpipes!"?

More news as it comes in
Your pal

Sunday, 16 January 2011


A while ago I wrote a post called 'Travails with Laptop Rod and Rifle' it started with a silly pun and was a light hearted look at the simple fact that I'm still way more suburban than bushwacker. A few of you were kind enough to chip in with comments.

Since then blogger has been filtering spam from my comments moderation page, this evening i used the translate function to see what they were all about - frankly I'm none the wiser.

Maybe you can shed a little light?

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The question remains WTF?
More soon-ish
Your pal
The bemused SBW

Picture credit

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Book Review: A Year In The Woods

Sorry about the dearth of posts lately - sometimes work stops play. In the meantime a spot of commuting has enabled me to catch up on some reading.

I was lent this one by E of Stoke Newington, herself a woodland management aficionado, and the owner of that cool hut The Northern Monkey and myself use as a base for our Tree Rabbit hunting.

The book is pretty blog-ish it reads like someone's diary that's been edited by someone else, which is what it is. The premiss is a simple one - a chap works in woodland management and spends a lot of time alone in the woods with his rifle stalking Roe and Fallow deer. It's such a fulfilling job that at one point he reveals that he actually has a permission where he leaves his employers rifle at home and takes his own to sit in a high seat for shits and giggles outside of work time. That's it in a nutshell; he REALLY loves his job and as he's been doing it a while has a hooj knowledge of the flora and fauna of the woodlands he 'works' in. Lucky fella.

"I work with nature and I appreciate that every forest block is different. When considering a cull, I'll often look at the brambles in the rides because they are of use to butterflies and dormice. When the weather is hard, deer can eat all the brambles, and this is an instance when they have to be controlled.

Personally, if it was me putting the book together, I would have interviewed him to gain a bit more detail about some of the things that happen over the year. I always got the sense I was reading someone's diary, rather than being told a story. Which in fairness I was, shame though, as I think he has more to tell.

As usual with the actual pros there's none of the rifle fetish of the bloggers and weekend woodsman, I don't think he ever mentioned the brand of rifle or calibre he uses once, but he is very keen on a pair of boots he has. After all dead is dead, but dry feet are really something to be exited by.

Along with his forestry, and deer management duties he also has to take the odd paying client out stalking, and here the book give us an amusing insight into a mind of a calm solitary man having his peaceful day invaded by a German loudmouth with a trophy fixation.

"Today I have a German client with me who has come for a few days stalking......After a little episode in the woods I have to reign him in. In Germany and elsewhere on the continent it seems, there are numerous traditions involved in stalking and hunting. one of them is new to me. Basically if you are older than the resident stalker or guide, apparently you the visitor know the ground better than your guide within a day.I'm also informed that deer don't like to come out in the rain and other such nonsense. It amazes me how some people manage to get older without getting any wiser. Everything I have learned has been given to me by the forest and if the lesson is a good working practice I use it............

German man sulking

The next day: German man still sulking

Today I am god. The client even attempts to kiss me............For the next twenty minutes my ears hurt with the bragging of what a great hunter he is. It seems to slip his mind that the poor old buck was standing twenty meters away from him. I almost say, but hold back, that shooting a medal buck is no different from shooting a doe, and it certainly doesn't make you a better stalker."

In short I liked it and would defiantly like to read his next book

There's a short interview with the man himself click here

More of the usual silliness, outdoor incompetence and kit tart-ness very soon
Your pal