Fun In The Great Outdoors – Tickling Catfish

tickling catfish

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Tickling Catfish

I learned the skill of tickling catfish when I was a child. Tickling a catfish is mainly a southern sport, and is fishing without any equipment other than your hands.

The first time I tried it alone, I leaned out over the river to peer into a hole undercut into the river bank, looking for a catfish. I slid out on my belly using the gnarled roots of tree behind me to hook my bare feet into allowing me to stretch out further over the water. It was then that a water moccasin sprang from the hole. I quickly cut short my intentions of catching catfish from holes I couldn’t see into.

One warm summer day I was belly down on a river bank watching minnows when a catfish swam up in front of me. I decided to try my hand at tickling catfish, and actually was able to put my fingers into the gill intending to use the forward motion of my hand in his gill to propel him up and onto the river bank.

He managed to get away, but time and practice soon gave me some success in tickling catfish in this manner. I learned that the moment I moved, the fish would quickly swim away, I learned in areas where catfish frequently swam I could place my hand in the water and hold it very still, waiting for them to appear, and hoping they came close enough to my hand and sometimes they did.

My technique was simple, index, middle and ring finger went into the gill and I used the forward motion to throw the catfish in an arc up onto the bank as far as I could. I couldn’t have depended upon my successes to have lived upon the catfish I caught, but each success was a thrill. This method of tickling requires lightning fast hands and a lot of luck as well as skill. It became an activity I enjoyed (when I was successful) and provided an occasional supplement to my daddy’s big catch caught on the trot lines. Mainly, it was a challenge to become faster.

It became a sport for me and my cousins, a contest if you will. We never achieved more than one fish each at a time, but we were quite proud of our successes. I was especially proud when our evening meal included a fish I had caught.

In this method of tickling, other than keeping an eye out for snakes, the most we ever suffered was getting finned, and that most frequently occurred from picking them up on the bank.

Catfish can injure you; they have teeth and will bite. Their fins create a very painful wound, and if the barbs penetrate the flesh they often have to be cut out. Any fisherman knows the catfish is a powerful fish, surprisingly strong for their size. Tickling requires caution, patience and a great deal of practice.

Most ticklers reach into holes on the bank or under logs. This form of tickling can be very dangerous as I learned early on. In the days of my childhood snapping turtles on the Cahaba River could be huge. I have seen snappers that were so large that it was impossible to lay them flat in a pickups bed; they would only fit in at an angle. I have seen these snappers bite a broom handle clean in two. I doubt the monster turtles exist today, but turtles can bite so hard that not even heavy gloves will protect you. As I learned, snakes can be in the locations that catfish prefer, as can turtles.

If you decide to tickle a catfish, check your local regulations as it is illegal in some areas.

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Call For Responsible Governement

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Government Shutdown-Again

The next looming government shutdown has been moved up for an earlier-than-expected arrival. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday warning that measures to staying behind the debt limit would be exhausted by late February. The previous projected deadline was early March.

The Treasury can take measures to extend the debt limit, but in his letter to Boehner, Lew specified the availability of those measures were more limited than in previous debt limit crises, partly because of borrowing capacity limits and partly due to the payment of income tax refunds that will begin in February.

Last fall’s shutdown delayed the payment of income tax refunds until after February 7. The payment of refunds will increase government spending by about 5 times the normal amount for other months of the year

“Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress, because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority,” Lew wrote in his letter. “No Congress in our history has failed to meet that responsibility. I respectfully urge Congress to provide certainty and stability to the economy and financial markets by acting to raise the debt limit before February 7, 2014, and certainly before late February.”

To Lew I would have to say no Congress in history has ever had to deal with a president who spends so much money and demands a blank check with no qualms over increasing the national debt.

In addition, the President has consistently refused to negotiate over raising the debt limit in past fiscal standoffs.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded to Lew’s letter stating that “The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House,” Steel said. “We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally-responsible solution.”

Quite obviously another standoff is in the making. On the one hand we have a President who wants unlimited spending, while on the other we have a Congress who wants spending cuts (and some of them are harmful to seniors who have worked and paid their dues to this country). Other proposed cuts are common sense and justified in the opinion of many Americans. But neither party is tackling the REAL problem behind the budget shortfalls, the loss of American jobs.

The following are my thoughts on our President and Congress’ responsibility to our nation’s debt, our nation and our people:

  1. Holding our nation ‘hostage’ to your differences is irresponsible. Your duties are clear, pay our debts, increase commerce and trade and stop spending on pork and waste. It has been said by a congressman that Congress has the authority to choose what debt it pays, use this authority if in fact that is true. You have a guide, it is called the Constitution.
  2. It takes two to make a team and as long as you hold office you are required to be a team with the single goal of ensuring our nation’s prosperity and common defense. In the former you are failing miserably.
  3. The American people are not subjects, we are your employer. It is upon our backs that you live and work in luxury. Show some respect! After all, a true leader serves the people and not themselves.
  4. Being in office has nothing to do with what you, as an individual like or don’t like. It is about upholding the law and representing your constituents who aren’t limited to your biggest campaign contributors. We the people have spoken and some of you have chosen to ignore it. You are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution that some of you have publically proven to disdain by consistently attempting to nullify the parts you don’t like. You are unworthy of your office and are a disgrace to all Americans past and present. Why those of you who are guilty are still in office is beyond my understanding.
  5. I don’t know of anyone who gets an income tax refund. The hard working people I know work 45-90 hours per week but are only paid for 40, and government does absolutely nothing about the labor law violations. They can barely survive yet they receive no refund and no government assistance. Nor can they afford their health insurance any longer…
  6. Your priorities are out of line, it is time for government, as well as some citizens, to learn a new word-accountability. Make that two words and add responsibility to the list.

  7. The world we live in is a far different one than a few decades ago when threats were dealt with and our nation flourished. Today, our nation faces some the most deadly and ruthless enemies ever. In a time when our nation should be at its strongest to face this threat, we are instead being divided by our own government.

The fact that this division is being promoted by activist groups trained to spew propaganda makes me question if the NSA shouldn’t be focusing on these activists.

We are Americans, and as a people we historically deal with those threats that endanger our nation, our people and our freedoms with a united front. Our government works to protect us from those enemies, both foreign and domestic, who would destroy our nation and subjugate us in a means few Americans can even imagine. Our nation’s defense should never be risked by budget squabbles, not even for an hours’ time.

I call for the President and the members of Congress to utilize the tools available to them. Those tools are compromise and wisdom, and have served nations well throughout history. Furthermore, if government would look into the cause of our economic shortfalls, and correct the problem, we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation. Perhaps if more of you had listened to the citizen you would already know the causes. Do your job gentlemen and do it responsibly.

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Concealed Carry in The Cold

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Concealed Carry Holsters

You are never too old to learn, and yesterday I learned a lesson. I found that I was completely unprepared for the unexpected snow that fell leaving thousands (and reportedly hundreds of thousands) stuck on iced over highways. Unprepared that is, from a concealed carry perspective.

Bundling up to withstand the frigid temperature left me with the dilemma of where to carry my pistol that provided easy access. It was too cold to leave my coat open. In fact I had to wear two coats, a light one and a heavier one.

You are likely wondering why I didn’t just wear thermals. The fact is I am allergic to the manmade material of thermals. I have to wear 80-100 percent cotton against my skin.

I wore sweat pants plus pants, thick cotton wicking socks with leather hiking boots, a sweat shirt, two coats and gloves. I felt like a stuffed duck, and walked about like one. My outer coat pockets wouldn’t hold my pistol. If I wore a belt holster access was delayed by two zipped coats, an ankle holster was out period, my carry isn’t a derringer (though I do have a little .38), and even if it had been, my boots would have prevented the carry.

Insulated coveralls would have kept me warm without all the layers, but I couldn’t conceal a weapon, nor could I carry a rifle around in public view without scaring people to death. My goal was to help stranded motorists, not frighten them. Besides, the zipper had broken on my coveralls.

A thigh holster would have worked but I have never bought one. My Ranger vest wouldn’t fit over two coats and was useless under them. With a proper winter coat I could have worn the Ranger underneath. Not ideal, but at least usable.

In the end I broke down and pocketed the little derringer and was off into an icy nightmare.

This spawned an online investigation of holsters for a winter concealed carry, and a decision to update my winter closet to accommodate an icy Deep South. While items such as backpacks are an option I am only including those that provide fairly easy access. The following is what I found that should accommodate a concealed carry in the winter months.

  1. Concealed Carry Coats-Offer pockets designed with concealed carry pistols in mind and provide easy access. Great solution!
  2. Cargo Pants-These have pockets on the thighs, some of which are very large and deep. The ones my son wears would easily hold a full sized pistol. Most of them easily accommodate a concealed carry pistol. Personally, my arms are too short for fast access to cargo pockets.
  3. Coats with Pocket Sleeves-I can see it being difficult to access but it would be better than no access at all.
  4. Faux Pocket Coats- Coats with a false pocket that allows access to belt or shoulder weapons. Another great solution!
  5. Fanny Packs-Any well-constructed fanny pack will work, but concealed carry fanny packs are made for a weapon and provide ambidextrous access unlike a typical fanny pack. Many that I saw provide storage for extra magazines.
  6. Tactical Vests-Great as long as the coat is open. My Ranger vest would have been fine if it would have fit over my coats. I generally wear it in the woods, under an open coat in the winter. Winters are being redefined for the south this year however, and require some creativity.
  7. Hunters Vests- These vests are a potential possibility with their pockets. Years ago I had a hunter’s orange quilted fur lined vest with removable sleeves. Warm with deep pockets and much longer than most. It was oversized enough to wear over a coat.

In my region snow and ice are rare. We don’t get enough snow plinking to count but we do get cold. You have to adjust to shooting with gloves, if you aren’t used to gloved shooting, choose the gloves lacking finger tips, it will help but won’t stop a sliding gun. Be cautious of gloves, some cause slippage when trying to handle a gun.

You may ask why bother carrying when transportation is limited and most people are being helpful. As I wrote this a four wheeler approached a neighbor’s house. None of my neighbors made it home and are stranded in fuel depleted vehicles on the iced roads. The rider was a little too interested in my neighbor’s unoccupied house to suit me.

I went out on my porch, though I didn’t bother to pull my concealed, let’s just say I was carrying something far larger and very visible. The rider lost interest in the unoccupied house windows and left in a great hurry. I have been watching this stranger ‘visit’ all of the unoccupied houses on my street. Law enforcement are unable to investigate, they are too busy trying to reach people stranded in cars with no fuel on the highways in sub-freezing temperature. We are on our own.

My next observation is that I will no longer listen to the local forecasts or those of the national weather service for my area. All predicted a dusting with no travel problems.

I thought I was prepared for anything, but this degree of a disaster has never occurred before in my state. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles were stranded, and tens of thousands remain so. Children were stranded at schools, and buses were released too late leaving children stranded on the roads in buses that ran out of fuel. Churches and business’ opened their doors to the stranded, but no shelter was available for most people.

With all of the abandoned cars on the highways and people walking to get to warmth, food or home, it looks like a walking dead episode out there on the highways. They are alive however, very cold and hungry. Lacking an appropriate conceal pocket seems minor when compared to their situation.

GrabAGun has a large selection of gun holsters, including a great selection of winter options including tactical vests, thigh holsters and much more for your concealed carry pistol needs. We offer one of the largest inventories of guns for sale online, optics, accessories and much more. Give us a call, we will be happy to assist you.

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An Alternative to Hunting Guns – Hunting Bows

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Archery for Hunting, Pleasure and Self Defense

While it is true that an arrow has little chance against a bullet don’t discount the bow as an unworthy weapon.

Proficiency in archery played a vital role in mankind’s survival for thousands of years. The skill of armies of archers often determined the fate of kingdoms, societies and countries. Ancient man depended upon the bow for food and protection and they were very accurate with it. As a sport, target archery is very popular and has had a place in the Olympic Games since 1972.

The invention of the compound bow in 1966 by the late H. Wilbur Allen of Missouri created a more efficient bow for hunting. It is very popular due to its being easier to handle at full draw as well as providing a greater velocity arrow, which results in better penetration than recurve or long bows are capable of.

As a defense weapon a great number of ‘preppers’ have bows in their arsenal. Not only is it useful in hunting and fishing, but it provides an almost silent weapon. Under cover, an archer can strike without the tale-tell smoke and noise of guns.

Today’s graphite and alloy arrows do not bend and are shatter resistant, as well as attaining higher velocity and flatter trajectories than older arrows.

There are many factors to consider when a novice begins with archery. Any novice can do well to take archery instruction. It is easier to learn proper form and habit than to ‘un-learn’ improper habits. Here we will look at just a few of the factors that influence becoming a more accurate archer, and will enable the novice to realize that there is a science behind archery.

Spine is the stiffness of an arrow shaft and must be compatible with the archers bow weight. The reason for this compatibility requirement is a phenomenon called the Archers Paradox. When the arrow leaves the bow it does not fly straight toward the target, rather it actually deflects around the bow. A properly released arrow of correct spine will stabilize itself, whereas one that is too stiff or too flexible will create target acquisition problems. An arrow released by a right handed archer will first deviate to the left before stabilizing, and if released by a left handed archer will deviate to the right before stabilizing and traveling to the intended target. This is Archers Paradox. The use of improperly spined arrows will cause an inconsistent grouping of arrows. Your individual arrow length and grain as well as arrow point type and weight are important factors to be considered.

If you do not already know your individual arrow ‘fit’, your best option is to request it at an archery pro shop where measuring will provide your correct length arrow. Archery pro shops are not the same as your local sporting goods store which generally will not know the grain of arrows or how to determine your proper length. Hunting Bows

Modern hunting bows include the compound hunting bow, crossbow, long bow and recurve bow with the compound bow being the most popular. Hunting bows have higher draw weights than target bows. Hunting draw weights are determined by state and wildlife regulation, but generally are established at a minimum of 40 pounds. The crossbow-where allowed for hunting-generally has a higher draw weight minimum of 125 pounds. The higher minimum draw weight ensures adequate penetration for killing game. Most experienced bow hunters will use greater draw weights than this. Check your states requirements under bow hunting rules and regulations to ensure your compliance with the law.

GrabAGun stocks bows, arrows, shafts and points, as well as archery and archery hunting supplies and accessories. Give us a call we will be happy to help you with all of your archery needs, or to assist you with our extensive stock of guns for sale, gun parts and accessories.

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Protecting Our Rights & Liberty

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The Enemy Within

U. S. Senators are required in their oath of office to affirm they will “support and defend the U. S. Constitution.” That oath is as follows:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Yet 46 of 100 U. S. Senators voted to approve the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty which is backed by Obama. This treaty would have drastically altered-if not eliminated-our ability to have, sell, trade, import and export guns.

Gun manufacturers, gun shops, gun sales would also have been severely affected establishing another blow to our failing economy, as well as our personal liberties.

In a 53-46 vote we barely maintained our 2nd Amendment rights. These 46 Senators blatantly violated their oath of office and may even be guilty of anti-constitutional crimes. Gun control is and has long been a hot topic. It divides peoples and parties. There are those who seem intent upon destroying everything the United States has stood for the past 200 plus years, and then there are those who wish to maintain its historical stand of freedom and the power of the people.

So why hasn’t anything been done to the 46 Senators who have violated their oath of office and made clear that they disregard the very Constitution they swore to uphold?

Federal laws are indeed in place to deal with those who violate their sworn duties. The law requires the oath and if an oath is worthless then why would the law require one? Let’s take a look at the 4 sections of law, and the provisions provided for those who violate their duties.

  • 5 U.S.C. 3331 provides the oaths of office Congressional members are required to affirm before assuming office.
  • 5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress to sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office.
  • 5 U.S.C. 7311 explicitly makes it a federal crime for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”.These Senators will undoubtedly deny the U. N. treaty would overthrow our government. But it would certainly alter and potentially nullify the 2nd Amendment. The Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land” and specifically bans any treaty that is contrary to it. It stands to reason that any usurpation that would nullify any part of the Constitution without proper procedure is a violation of law.
  • 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides the penalties for violation as described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which includes confinement for a year and a day and/or a fine. It reads:

18 U.S.C. 1918: “Whoever violates the provisions of section 7311 of title 5 that an individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government [and] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and a day or both.”

Our form of government is defined by the Constitution of the United States. It can only be altered by constitutional amendment. Thus, any act taken by government officials who have taken the oath of office prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331 which alters the form of government other by amendment, is a criminal violation of the 5 U.S.C. 7311.

Furthermore Article 6, paragraph two of the U. S. Constitution forbids treaties that are contrary to constitutional law:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The U. N. Arms Trade Treaty is in direct conflict with the 2nd Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, and its text breaches other laws as well. So why are these 46 Senators who would nullify the Constitution one Amendment at a time still in office?

Even more important is why are ‘We the People’ allowing all such crimes against our Nation to proceed without penalty?

Have no doubt, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence make it plain, and in no uncertain terms that the ultimate power and destiny of the United States of America lies in the hands and authority of the people when government fails in its duty of checks and balances and proceeds into tyranny.

We as citizens have a duty to defend our Constitutional form of government and maintain our freedoms as prescribed by federal constitutional law.

In summary, the U. S. Senators who voted in favor of the U.N. treaty were promoting an action that is contrary to Article 6 of the Constitution which is “The Supreme Law of the Land.” These Senators are not above the law and should be treated accordingly as the law allows.

Freedom must be maintained and defended against all who would enslave and control us, including our own government. It is big government ideas such as President Obama’s that the founders warned against, and is why the founders provided the checks and balances to prevent it. It is also why, when these latter fail it is the first the States’ and then the citizens duty to enforce the law according to the U. S. Constitution.

In a time when our enemies are global, our worst enemies are proving to be within our own leadership. It is time we take a united stance as we the people are the entrusted guardians of freedom, and inform those who would subject us to tyranny that we will accept no more. In doing so, we will preserve our great nation, and our freedom for generations to come.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
James Madison

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G2 Research RIP Ammo

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R.I.P. Ammunition-the New Kid on the Block

G2 Research out of Georgia has released a new ammunition that is causing quite a stir. Almost everyone wants the R.I.P. (Rapidly Invasive Projectile) ammunition.

At the present time G2R’s website (www.G2RAMMO.COM) only lists the specifications for their 9mm round, but the R.I.P. will be available in other configurations. Those specs according to G2’s website are as follows:

  • 16″ Penetration
  • Up to 6″ diameter spread
  • 96 gr projectile
  • 2″ grouping at 25 yds.
  • 1265 FPS / 490 Muzzle Energy
  • Provides 9 Separate Wound Channels
  • Precision Machined
  • Solid Copper / Lead Free
  • Defeats all known barriers such as sheet metal, sheet rock, windshields, plywood, heavy winter clothing

As a retired registered nurse who is no stranger to GSW’s, I can see the implications of this ammunition in human tissue. It is going to be absolutely devastating and I don’t envy the surgical team who will be called. The question is, with a 96 grain bullet just how effective the penetration will be. The company claims 16 inch penetration. In the video it appears to be very effective going through the ballistics gel.

Modern hollow point ammunition penetrates deeply where they are likely to hit major organs or the central nervous system. R.I.P. appears to operate on the principles of other similar ammo where rapid fragmentation occurs causing massive wounds and rapid blood loss but penetration of vital organs is less reliable.

I wouldn’t want it, not even for home defense. The reason being in the video you can see fragments ejecting from the gel. If that were an assailant wounded in my home, those ejected fragments could cause collateral damage in my family members. I can count on my precision accuracy, without the risk to my family.

If the R.I.P. is as effective as the video suggests, I can see it being banned, though some states have passed laws that the federal government cannot govern firearms or ammunition made and sold within the state lines.

It will be interesting to see the government reaction to R.I.P. ammo and I have little doubt that R.I.P. ammunition will attract the attention of big government and anti-gun activists. Currently production is in limited quantities and only in the 9 mm configuration but other calibers will follow. The ammo is reportedly higher than the usual 9mm due its means of manufacture with CNC precision machining.

Time and autopsy reports will in time answer our questions about the R.I.P. ammunition, but as for myself, I prefer a clean shot.
Judge the R.I.P. ammunition for yourself in the following video here.

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Hunting Gun Sales Help Economy

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Gun Sales

PETA vs. Hunting

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. PETA does a lot of good as advocates for the ethical treatment of pets, domesticated livestock and often intervenes when other animals are abused or neglected.

PETA states that “hunting has nothing to do with ‘conservation’ or population control,” and goes further to claim that “animals are often specially bred and raised for hunters to kill.” While it may be true of some wild game, it certainly isn’t true of deer in my state. In fact, when wildlife rescue is called regarding orphaned or abandoned fawns they refuse to take them citing “letting nature takes its course”.

In addition, PETA apparently supports the capture of female deer and providing sterilization. I can see it now, ‘10 down and two million to go’. Surgery and veterinarians are expensive, if PETA wants to pay for the capture of two million deer, and their surgery fine. Otherwise I don’t see it in the budgets of cash strapped state or federal agencies. Agencies I must note, who use funds from hunting permits to keep conservation efforts going. The fact is hunting fuels gun sales in gun shops, online gun sales and the hunting supply industry which helps to fund the economy.

Personally, I think PETA members who spread deer repellant and human hair in hunting areas are promoting a double standard. On the one hand they claim the noise and stress of guns makes wildlife lose a meal endangering their winter survival. Yet they promote spreading deer repellant in hunting areas which are feeding grounds.

PETA states the first day of hunting is directly correlated to an increased number of vehicles vs. deer accidents. They may be correct, but vehicle accidents involving deer occur every day, with or without hunting season being in effect. If you want to stop these accidents it should be year round, rather than using it as an excuse to ban hunting.

PETA states modern “man doesn’t need to eat game, there is no reed to.” Dear PETA, I know many persons who eat wild game as it is healthier meat, and some persons eat it exclusively, not liking domesticated meats. There are persons who are allergic to the antibiotics and hormones being fed beef and pork. Such persons purchase deer meat processed from the local game butcher-or hunt- and stock it in freezers to last until the next hunting season. The medical community tells us it is especially healthier for persons with high cholesterol and heart disease.

People do still eat wild game. I grew up on it predominately, with very little “bought” meat from the local store. I had rather eat grouse than any other meat any day. More people now than I have ever known eat deer meat simply because the grocery store prices exceed their incomes.

PETA states “killing animals is inhumane, they want nature to take its course for control”. They appear to forget that in many areas the only predators to control the deer is man. They also appear ignorant of the fact that if nature does indeed provide a predator to take on the game population those predators are a potential danger to humans. What do you prefer? A hunter in the woods 15 miles down the road or a cougar who considers your subdivision back yard his territory and your children fair game?

Whether by intent or ignorance PETA seems to dismiss the human rights factor, or the fact that we are after all, predators ourselves.

I always encourage owners of any guns to practice weekly to ensure proficiency and accuracy. I don’t know of any hunter who isn’t after a one time kill shot though admittedly, not all succeed.

In this country hunting is legal, and just because Jane Doe eats tofu and mushrooms gives her no right whatsoever to dictate what I as an individual eat.

As an animal lover I have every respect for PETA’s activities in the humane society. Domesticated animals and pets have every right to proper care by their owners.

However, when it comes to PETAs attempts to force a vegetarian state upon our nation I cannot agree. In this country we have individual freedom of choice that includes the hunter’s right to continue to do so, and PETA nor anyone else have the right to force us into the mold of their personal belief system.

Our personal liberties are indeed narrowing, but as long as Americans have free will some things will not be tolerated. Making me eat tofu and mushrooms is one of them. I like neither, and I do like my barbecue, and my pit roasted grouse.

Continue your good work PETA where it needs to be. But as for sterilizing a large number of female deer I find this notion just as ridiculous and budget-impossible as expecting politicians to stop spending on pork and fund the Affordable Health Care Act.

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Preparing a Homemade Survival Kit

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Making a Homemade Survival Kit

Homemade survival kits are easy to make and cheap to put together. Almost everyone has their own list and all have some common items. I use the following when going deep into the smoky mountains where it is easy for a non-native to get lost. I mark my trail and have never been lost, but there is always the potential. I also carry my kit when entering deep woods in my native state on extended trips.

My survival kit is not one of the ‘coffee can’ kits many people put together. Mine fits into a small military bag with a shoulder strap that I carry on my shoulder. This kit will also fit into a small backpack. You can adjust it to suit your needs.


  • Matches in a water proof container, I double up by placing mine in a small ziplock
  • Space blanket and 2 disposable ponchos (the latter can double up as a water proof cover over a brush shelter or lean to)
  • String (about 15 ft.) wrapped around my mini Maglite or a stick. Useful for brush shelter when willow bark isn’t available and many other uses
  • Toilet paper
  • Pocket size fishing kit with fishing line
  • Pocket size sewing kit
  • Nylon braided rope-25 ft. loops through attachments on the exterior of my bag
  • Fire starting blocks (I carry one for an emergency, but make my own fire starting bundles from the wild)
  • Good Knife
  • Duct tape wrapped around a tongue depressor. Great for many things including a shoe whose sole comes loose
  • There are some items I include in my basics such as I have a magnesium fire starter for back up, and a Leatherman multi-tool that will clip to a belt as well as a compact mess kit that can hold small items
  • First Aid & Medical
  • Scissors (I found a neat pair of folding mini-scissors some years back)
  • Tweezers
  • Band-Aids, 2 × 2 and 4 × 4 sterile gauze
  • A good sticky medical tape (this can double up in a pinch to hold the gapping edges of a wound together. NEVER wrap it all the way around a limb if you do not have appropriate medical training, the circulation can become cut off and gangrene can result)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment, it has 3 types of antibiotic
  • Aspirin and Tylenol. If you are losing blood aspirin can reduce coagulation factors resulting in increased bleeding. In the case of a bleeding wound use Tylenol
  • A small travel size bottle of peroxide. If you have ever been injured 3 days back into the woods with a contaminated wound you will appreciate having this
  • Bring along any medications that you take, including an epi-pen if you are prone to life threatening allergic reactions

Food & Nourishment

  • Instant soup packs, ramen noodles, small packs of nuts and raisins. Individual servings of instant coffee or tea and single serving tang
  • A straw or surgical tubing for extracting water
  • Hard candy, helps with dry mouth

Adjust the bag to suit your needs; I have never used the fire starter block. I have always had enough paper in my pockets (or found it on the ground) to start fires and gather kindling from the woods as long as dry is available.

Good places to look for dry tinder in a wet forest are against tree trunks and rock overhangs. Pine wood, hemlock and cedar burn easier; use it for kindling if you can find it. Pine especially gets a fire hot and going quick. Collect ‘twigs’ to feed a new fire, and then graduate to larger and larger wood until the fire is going. Paper is great to start the burn, use a bit of the toilet paper if necessary. Keep an eye for paper on the ground. This may indicate a road is nearby, a hunting camp, or depending upon how long it has been on the ground, the presence of other people in the woods. Even if it is wet, it can dry in a pocket and be used for fire starting.

On camping trips and when hunting, a Ranger vest can provide a lot of handy pockets and can be used as a supplement to a survival kit.

GrabAGun offers a variety of survival kits and guns for sale including the AR-15 for sale and the AK-47 for sale.

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Carry Concealed Tips

carry concealed pistol

Gun Shops

Accept No Compromises|Carry Concealed Pistol

My friend Donna and I went shopping before Christmas several years back. When she arrived at my house I asked her if she was carrying. She replied that she wasn’t as she wanted to wear her Christmas sweater and was only carrying her “pocket wallet”. We exchanged gifts, shopped and made plans to see each other after Christmas. Donna was on her way out of town for Christmas. I never saw my friend alive again.

Donna was a well fit woman who never showed her age. She wore tight jeans that her slim design pocket wallet would barely fit into. Born in Alaska this woman wore shorts in the winter and found our southern winters to be “warm”. In 15 years of knowing her I can’t recall ever seeing her wear a jacket. She rarely carried her weapon unless in a purse. She found southern people to be “mild” compared to Alaskans and felt “safe”.

I often told her that if our southern criminals are tame when compared to Alaskans, then the latter must have bear in their blood. In today’s society you should never compromise your safety, and Donna did quite often for the sake of vanity and convenience and she paid the ultimate price.

That day I packed my carry concealed pistol and we had a fun day together that is still bright in my mind. I talked to her about her habit of compromising her safety by not carrying her pistol, and she replied as she often did, that she could seldom find a place for a gun in her fashion accessories.

Never allow vanity to compromise your safety, in her case a purse upon her person would have sufficed. A purse was an object Donna had trouble keeping up with and carried her “pocket wallet” most of the time.

Her husband Rick made fun of her the few times she carried, and disdained guns himself. Never allow ridicule to prevent you from carrying a weapon to protect yourself.

Stopping for gas at a convenience store on their way to Rick’s family home for Christmas Donna ran in the store to purchase sodas and snacks, and walked into the middle of an armed robbery in progress. Donna had the habit of paying very little attention to the people around her. She was inside the store not over 2 feet from the robber before she noticed him according to eyewitness accounts. She broke the rule to always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.

The armed perepetrator was yelling at her move and she did, backwards towards the door. That wasn’t what he meant, had she complied moving to where he was pointing his gun she may have lived. Donna continued backing to the door and the perp shot her in the face killing her instantly. In the chaos that ensued the store clerk was shot but survived. The robber ran away without money, stepping over my dead friend as he fled.

Donna’s husband waited in the car with their two children oblivious to her lying dead inside. Donna’s carry concealed pistol was in her purse inside the car.

In summary, our personal safety is something we have to maintain ourselves and can be promoted with a consistently carried concealed weapon as well as observing the rules summarized below.

  1. Be Aware. When you are out in the public always be aware of your surroundings. Look in front, left, and right and don’t forget behind yourself! Don’t just look, really observe what is occurring. The gunman who shot Donna was in full view of the convenience store door.
    Being aware also includes knowing what is in your line of fire behind and beside your target, and know if your caliber will pass through the perp and into the person behind him. Practice often; you will be a more accurate shot for it.
  2. Always Carry. Carrying your carry concealed pistol is your only defense against a gunman prepared to shoot. If you are going to be shot anyway taking the risk of attempting to use your weapon at least gives you some chance of survival. Doing nothing and not having it on you affords you none.
  3. Comply with armed perpetrator's demands. If he says to sit down do so. Keep your wits about you and remain calm, your survival depends upon it. Having a gun doesn’t mean you have to use it. Your gun is for self-defense and the protection of family or an innocent third person only. Complying with his demands may be all it takes for everyone to get through safely. If he has a gun and is facing you and says he is going to kill you or is hostile to you, take it to heart that he intends to shoot you and defend yourself.
  4. Ignore ridicule for carrying a concealed weapon, and be willing to sacrifice your vanity in order to wear clothing that conceals your weapon. Vanity does nothing for the dead.
  5. Recognize a dangerous location. We never know when or where a threat will occur. I used to walk in the park where guns aren’t allowed. After observing drug deals in the park I stopped going there. After several assaults, rapes and finally a murder most everyone I know of did as well. I avoid locations where guns are banned if I can. I have to get my driver’s license renewed (gun must be left in car), but I don’t have to go to many locations where weapons are banned. If I don’t have to-I don’t. Some locations are known "robbers territory", convenience stores are well known as the most dangerous locations. Pay at the pump, observe and don’t linger.

Most of the time, simply being aware of what is going on around you is enough to keep you safe. However, if you do find yourself in a life threatening situation, a cool head, and a concealed carry pistol can be real lifesavers.

GrabAGun offers a large selection of carry concealed pistols, gun holsters and a full line of other guns for sale. As one of the fastest growing sources of online gun sales in the U. S., our online gun shop can provide for your firearm needs with new shipments arriving daily and the best online gun prices. Our customer service agents are here to help you with all of your questions and requests.

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Ethical Hunting Habits

ethical hunting practices

Gun Shops

Hunting with Drones and Hunting Ethics

A new trend in hunting is using drones to locate game. Apparently drones are a fast growing product on the market and are raising feathers and hackles nationwide in hunting country.

My first thought was, "are you kidding me?" Apparently not, and wildlife managers are really drawing a bead on this trend. Idaho has already outlawed it; Colorado is considering banning drones and other states are likely not far behind.

It seems that many outfitters are already using drones to locate game, shortening the time their paying clients spend hoofing it on the trail.

Opponents state it provides the hunter with an unfair advantage and are calling for a ban, especially during hunting season. Many cite fair chase and fair opportunity are being denied, while wildlife management declare the drones distract game from eating, but add they will continue to use drones themselves for game surveys. I don’t believe game is going to know the difference between who is behind the drones when their lunch is distracted.

As most hunters already know other technology has already been banned in some areas of the country such as some electronic callers, lights and laser lights for example. A good rule of thumb is to check hunting rules and regulations in any area you plan to hunt as an informed hunter breaks no laws mistakenly.

When we speak of drones what comes to mind are those such as the military use, correct? In the initial investigation of drones-used-for-hunting those apparently in use are of the size you can buy your child in any hobby or toy outlet. They are called remote controlled aircraft. So no, we aren't speaking of drones armed with sniper rifles.

Besides the mischievous kid next door who loves buzzing you with his remote controlled aircraft planes, most remote controlled aircraft owners are hobbyists. A small number of ‘preppers’ have them for property surveillance. With their very limited flying time (a recent shopping trip found only one drone capable of flying anywhere near an hour. The remainder was limited to 7- 30 minutes) I don’t even see how hunters are using them to accomplish very much game location but apparently it is being done.

So really what is the objection to using remote aircraft to locate game? It’s all about hunter’s ethics.

Most hunters feel skill and experience should be earned. Traditional hunters learn to look for scat, hair, broken twigs, gouged bark and tracks. They follow ‘sign’ to the source, or freeze their buns off sitting in a blind. Hunters ethics guide almost all hunters, and most of them feel that drones violate those ethics.

Another reason to keep drones out of hunting lands is safety. At first thought I can envision a hunter crossing a wooded trail just as a low flying remote aircraft smacks him in the head. That is because the tree canopy will dictate the height of flying in wooded areas. The next hazard I can foresee is a crashed aircraft initiating a forest fire when batteries spark. The third hazard that comes to mind are other hunters getting angry when remote aircraft disturbs game in their sights. There are no guarantees a hunter with an aircraft won’t aggravate a fellow hunter just for fun and it can result in dire consequences.

I can’t speak for you, but I don’t aggravate anyone with a gun. You have to stop and think before you act, and unfortunately many people today don’t.

American methods of traditional hunting are to a large extent unchanged from their grandfather’s day. A hunter takes pride in bringing home the meat. Many hunters (especially in the south) actually eat the meat they earn. Nationwide, those who do not predominately donate it to food banks, jails, homeless shelters and needy families.

To the American hunter game are the masters of the wild and are respected as such. The hunter’s ethics require a person to take responsibility and fairness to heart. The most likely scenario regarding the use of drones/remote aircraft to locate game will be banning from the hunt nationwide. As to those hunters who use drones, I suspect they will find their circle of hunting buddies narrowed.

Hunters are overall a special breed who takes their ethics seriously in the effort to protect the future of hunting. Perhaps already the folly of using drones is becoming apparent. In talking with a fellow hunter of the trend towards drones he cracked a big smile and told me a story. A few weeks ago his brother-in-law (let’s call him Bob) from another state came to visit and went hunting with some friends. While they sat in tree stands Bob climbed down, and bragged he would find the game. He ventured down a trail and out of site with his new $2,500 hunting gun with him.

An hour passed and Bob had not returned. Another half-hour passed and still no Bob. They all agreed big city Bob was likely lost in the woods. Cell service was actually fairly decent and they called Bob on his cell, fearing he was injured and unable to call them.

Bob answered right away, “No, I’m not lost. But I have lost my gun and can’t find it.”

Bob knew where he had been standing when he flew his aircraft (candy wrappers, a coke bottle all confirmed it as well as his lack of hunters ethics). There were boot tracks on a trail leading right up to where he had propped his gun to fly his aircraft. While he concentrated on flying, someone had walked right up and took his new gun.

Arriving at their trucks lying across the hood was Bob’s gun and a note under the wipers that read, “Any geek with a chopper used to cheat game from a chance has no business with a gun. Let this be a lesson to you.”

Remote aircraft are not yet a staple in any gun shops online or not. There are undoubtedly a few hunters who will embrace their use, but overall hunters appear to be on the side of wildlife management. I can almost guarantee you the game are rooting for the game wardens opinion.

Shop GrabAGun’s site for guns for sale and check out our new arrivals!

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