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“Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game”…. gets me back in the game

Congratulations to the Penn State football team on its defeat of Wisconsin for the Big Ten conference title last night.

How strange that Ohio State is in the running for the national title, when they neither beat Penn State in the regular season (OSU lost to PSU), nor did they win their conference (PSU won it last night).

We are back in the familiar conundrum of old, where PSU got and still gets no respect. How many decades did PSU go winning, winning, and winning, but frequently blocked  from playing for the national title?

It is time to stop this unfairness and give to PSU what is their due: A shot at the national title. This requires making the OSU guys feel bad, which is nearly always what happened to PSU in the past. Sorry OSU, enjoy a shot of your own medicine.

After coach Joe Paterno was railroaded and publicly humiliated at PSU by a weak board and a weaker CYA-run administration that made former assistant coach Mike McQueery a wealthy man, my interest in PSU everything pretty much dropped to zero. I stopped watching the games, stopped caring, stopped donating to the university, and basically dropped PSU from my life. The cataclysmic Paterno auto de fe signaled a break from the core values and principles I had grown up with and identified with. I was no longer Penn State Proud.

That said a lot, because I grew up in the State College area, graduated from PSU, my mother has her PhD from PSU, and I attended PSU home games from the time I was seven until I left for Vanderbilt to pursue my career as an academic.  Plenty of our family have graduated from PSU, and watching Penn State football together during the holidays was a family tradition. I went to school with two of the Paterno kids and still maintain contact with one of them, the one I was closest to and spent the most time with. Time spent in the Paterno home listening to Coach Paterno recruit players shaped my own life. He was all about clean living.

Last night’s win over Wisconsin was meaningful to me not because PSU is back in the winning game, but because the fans, the alumni, the board (more on that pathetic, worthless PSU board of trust-less-ees in a moment) and the administration have given Coach Franklin the breathing room to resurrect the destroyed team from the ashes of annihilation at the hands of State Senator Jake Corman, disgraced pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the NCAA, former FBI head Louis Freeh (a great fiction writer), PSU administrators, and the worthless PSU board.

Coach Franklin needed the space and time to breathe new life into a program that always was and always should be top ten quality. He needed the kind of space and patience Paterno had received. Getting the damned names off the jerseys, and getting back to the no-frills basics of Black Shoes, Basic Blues, No Names, All Game. Getting this space marks somewhat of a return to normalcy, where professionals are allowed to be professionals. Professionalism was one of the former hallmarks of PSU football. Staid dedication and loyalty were once a hallmark of PSU administrative culture. The former players’ conservative, humble, and respectful approach to playing football always contrasted with the weak hotdogging that plagues the NFL and most college teams.

Shades of Coach Joe Paterno here. Might we be touching greatness again? I am looking.

So I am now finding myself maybe interested once again in PSU football. But not all football, because I am still boycotting the NFL – not one NFL game watched this season – due to the league’s support of anti-America player Colin Kaepernick. Thank you, PSU folks. This could be rewarding to me, as leaving PSU football was a sad time in my life.

Now, about the PSU Board of Trustees, that worthless aggregation of empty names that supposedly runs Penn State University.

Last week, Harrisburg businessman Alex Hartzler was appointed to the PSU board by Governor Wolf. Alex and I attended PSU together, and we were both active in politics there. We have stayed in touch for the past fifteen years. Alex’s entrance into the snake den is a bright spot, because simply put, Alex don’t give a sh*t about whatever crybaby weak stuff the other members are bringing in as fodder for their continued presence there.

Alex and I differ on almost every policy subject. He is one of the few Democrats I know to ever emerge from Lancaster County, and a farm boy at that. I am a Constitutional conservative who thinks the Republican Party is worthless, and also from Pennsylvania farm country. While Alex has maintained his partisan loyalty to one party, even as it was going over the cliff, he has always displayed a sharp and incisive intellect and tough attitude that brooks no bullcrap. I think Alex Hartzler is exactly the kind of person to help PSU get its act together. Yes, he will want policies on climate change junk science, same-sex bathrooms, and a bunch of other PC issues that I believe are unworthy of consideration let alone debate, but at the end of the day, I expect to see lightning bolts from the moribund board. Thank you, Alex.

Let’s get the PSU show back on the road.

“Alt-Right”: What it is, what it is not

“Alt-Right” is one of the buzz-phrases popularized by the hard fought election, and it started with Breitbart.

Because I have been a Breitbart reader for six years, since the news site’s inception, I have closely followed the political developments spun off from its reporting.

One of those political developments has been the emergence of the “alternative right,” or “alt-right,” a loose assembly resembling the grass roots Tea Party activists who started in 2009, whose unofficial identity began to solidify and coalesce as the international “news” media, academia, and BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES openly flouted accuracy and integrity in favor of their common big government agendas.

Primarily Constitutional conservatives and libertarians, whites, Asians, and intellectually emancipated Blacks, this newly named Alt Right is nothing more than your next door neighbor – you know, the guy with a job, a backyard grill, a family dog, a pretty wife and a couple kids – getting disgusted with BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES and the establishment media, and deciding to make his own political way without their misguidance.

These are Americans who do not identify with the Right as defined by the washed out and spineless Republican Party, but who instead arrived at conservative values from alternate experiences and places. They are not “official” conservatives because of some political party affiliation, but because of their run-ins with bad government and official overreach.

Enter into it the gay guys who recognize that they are not only now accepted by general society, but they are desirable neighbors sought by normal suburban taxpayers throughout America.

No longer content to live in gay ghettoes within depressed crime-ridden Democrat-run urban hellholes, these gay men have ventured farther afield and found themselves warmly welcomed by our neighbor, the guy with the family, grill, and dog, because gay men are overwhelmingly law abiding taxpayers whose biggest crime is looking contemptuously upon their neighbors’ unraked leaves. These are pretty damned good neighbors to have, and in return, these gay men have increasingly left the old liberal political ghetto and accepted that they are safer with a strong national defense, concealed carry laws, and immigration enforcement skeptical of gay-killing Muslims newly arrived from Islamic hell-holes.

The one man most responsible for the coining and use of “Alt-Right” is Breitbart technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

Milo was one of the first politically incorrect purge victims at Twitter, whose gay CEO truly hates the openly gay Milo, because Milo is a conservative.

Typical of the Left, Twitter tried to deny Milo a platform for his unique political perspective and simply shut down his Twitter account. No reason given. No free speech rights for you, conservative gay Milo!

But Milo refused to butt out of politics and instead went head-to-head with Twitter, culminating a six-month battle with his highly effective “Dangerous Faggot Tour” (indeed it is called that, I am not making it up, go look it up). Across America, Milo the dangerous faggot was threatened, assaulted, maligned, and repeatedly denied access to university campuses as a speaker because his gay conservative message does not comply with politically correct culture.

As leftist activist Sally Kohn recently said, conservatives do not have free speech rights “because they are wrong” (again, I am not making this up, you must look this up). Milo discovered this un-American attitude on his own, and he broadcast for any and all to see just how hateful and intolerant liberals are. As a result, he became an Alt-Right hero and icon.

Because he’s on the political right, but coming at it from an alternative place than the traditional political party source, Milo, and by extension Breitbart, is Alt-Right.

What the Alt-Right is not: Racists, bigots, kooks, although the establishment mainstream media liberals would like you to think so. Then again, they are the same people who call flamboyant Milo a homophobe. Seriously.

 

Why we hunt

Deer rifle season starts Monday (tomorrow) morning, and for about three quarters of a million Pennsylvania hunters, this is an early Christmas. The excitement is palpable at every gas station, outdoor store, and hunting area.

I’m hoping my son will get a deer, either a doe or a buck, because last year he was twelve and slept through the taking of a buck we had planned would be his to harvest. Now that he’s thirteen and feeling more focused, we are both excited about his prospect of becoming a man. The hunting rite of passage is as old as humanity, and is more meaningful than just about all others I can find. This is a big step for my boy, and I’m operating as his guide, spotter, coach, and cheerleader. It’s tough to tell who is more excited, he or I.

I myself hunt because it makes me feel fully human. Asking some newer hunting buddies who hail from big metropolitan areas why they hunt yielded these responses:

“Hunting off the beaten path makes me feel more connected to the food we eat. I enjoy the strategy, teamwork, cooperation and effort that it takes to put together a successful hunt.” -Shai

“I hunt for the chase, the mystery, the outdoors and to outwit.” -Jon

“I hunt because it brings a tremendous sense of honesty to my life. Although I keep kosher and do not eat the animals I harvest, I donate the meat to friends and to the homeless through state programs. Participating in every step of the process, from field to table has given me an appreciation for and honest perspective of the meat I do eat. Furthermore, a hunt that ends without game is still a success because it gives me the opportunity to honestly reflect on everything else in my life.” – Adam

“I hunt to understand what it means to provide for oneself. While living in a major city, it is very easy to exist but no way to understand what it means to provide for oneself. Hunting is a way to force yourself to think about what’s really important and how to refocus our efforts to accomplish it. Plus it allows for a really really great stories knowing I have certain skills that will help me in certain circumstances is a necessary endeavor.” -Max

“I hunt because it’s real. Not some video game or some movie or tv show. Although the ultimate goal of hunting is to kill, hunting makes me appreciate life. It reminds me how rugged and yet precious life can be. It makes me feel alive. It makes friendships more meaningful, time more valuable. Hunting reminds me to live, not just exist.” – Irv

These are men fairly new to hunting, but their answers likely speak for the millions of other more experienced hunters in America.

Bottom line: Hunting is a deep, often spiritual undertaking.

Recently I hosted a hunter from Scotland, where it is actually illegal to bow hunt. He came to America to hunt buck, turkey, and bear at our cabin in the Pennsylvania “Big Woods.”

After nine days he had passed on some nice bucks, because they were not what he wanted. After a lifetime of killing deer with silenced rifles in Scotland, this man came that far distance just to experience a more primitive, more challenging way of hunting.

Though he returned home with no heads or hides to show for his remarkable diligence, he tells me “I am haunted by whitetail deer, I even dream about them now” because they are so cagey, wary, beautiful, difficult to kill. His sensory experience alone in the woods with one of humanity’s oldest weapons, and his memories of that, were sufficient satisfaction for him.

Good luck tomorrow, hunters. Enjoy our sport, which is safer than cheerleading, basketball, football, soccer, and a host of other recreational pastimes Americans readily accept as part of our culture. Except hunting is not a pastime. It is us, it is human.

George Washington’s 1789 proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

End University Tenure, Now

College professors enjoy employment-for-life called “tenure.”

Long ago tenure was created to attract the best and brightest educators, and to buffer them from the whimsy of changing administrations by ensuring they could remain in their ivory tower and continue to think Big Thoughts.

The tenure process is pretty much an in-house show, where the most senior fellow academicians in the particular department pass judgment upon an applicant’s teaching and publishing history, as well as her personality, professional demeanor, and other considerations that are utterly forbidden in the rest of the hiring process everywhere else in every other line of work.

Once tenured, a college professor is more or less untouchable. Even egregious violations of basic workplace conduct, such as sexual harassment of students and colleagues, are usually swept aside in the interest in of preserving face. Department standing usually trumps actual productivity and usefulness. Toxic cruelty, viciousness, and unprofessional “bomb throwing” by university staff are behaviors now not only expected but nearly de rigeur to establish street cred, irrespective of field.

Galileo comes to mind as someone who could have benefited from tenure. The great ground-breaking Italian philosopher and astronomer was constantly harassed, victimized, physically threatened, and nearly bankrupted by a religious-political establishment unhappy about Galileo’s deviation from the conventional narrative.

Other free thinkers like him in his day were publicly flogged into a screaming bloody pulp before then being burned alive atop a pile of fresh green boughs, which give a low, slow heat that hurts and does not char. Slow-roasting in the public square was a risk Galileo ran to improve science, a benefit we all today enjoy.

Today, many Galileo-type educators and researchers find themselves professionally stranded by a ring of fire commanded by a politically correct band of tenured faculty who behave much like Galileo’s tormentors back in the 1400s.

Real academics and researchers are now trying to understand “global climate change,” but they reach scientific conclusions contrary to the politically acceptable talking points propounded by tenured faculty who themselves are funded by extreme foundations far outside the mainstream. Free thinkers and real scientists today stand much less of a chance of getting their PhD, much less achieving the protection of tenure in which to pursue their scientific research. The careers of intellectuals who do not conform with the left’s narrative about human-caused global climate change find their careers abruptly terminated.

Political orthodoxy trumps actual scientific curiosity. Science has become heavily politicized. This condition marks the end of science. Galileo’s attackers could not have done any better, and in fact just today anti-Trump, anti-democracy agitators from within the Hillary Clinton campaign are publishing personal details and home addresses of professionals who do not toe the Left’s line on the outcome of the election. They have done the same with college professionals who dare to stand alone, to think differently.

This week my daughter received two wild anti-democracy, anti-Trump emails from two of her biology professors at a nationally prominent university. Fearful of being degraded, humiliated, harassed, or literally downgraded for disagreeing with them, she found herself browbeaten and feeling coerced into showing up at a political rally having nothing to do with the subject of microbiology, for which our family is paying a princely sum.  She did not show up at the rally her two biology professors urged her to join, and she now anxiously awaits their judgment that she somehow “failed” because she did not join in something she finds detestable.

This is the decayed state of academia today, and this is why tenure must end. Tenure no longer serves its original purpose, and in fact the beneficiaries of tenure have themselves become the very thought police and public executioners they were supposed to be protected from.

Tenure is a liability, and it allows university educations to become an expensive farce. Tenure is a benefit no other employee enjoys in any other line of work, and instead of being the outlaw exception, academia should be exceptional, derived through competition and the rise of excellence.

It is time to put all university faculty on five-year contracts, and judge them objectively: How well their students enjoyed their classes, how useful their publications are to their field and to larger American society. Professors who believe it is their role and right to harass and coerce students into politically correct thinking can be let go to find better work, and actual productive professors can stay on another five years and continue to bring real value to society.

Let’s start with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and set a national trend. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve their money’s worth, because God knows, I am not getting it at my daughter’s school.

is “racism” now dead?

Like the little boy who kept falsely yelling out “wolf! wolf!,” and who was then eaten by one when his genuine cries for help were ignored, false accusations of racism, sexism, etc have burned out the audience they were aimed at.

Politically motivated fakes are a dime a dozen.

So ludicrous have accusations of racism become, that Caucasians have been told they are racist merely because of their skin color.

Not their actions. Not their words. But just their skin color.

This is the most racist thing possible, of course. Ascribing character traits based on skin color is nothing but racism.

And the self-appointed arbiters of and supposed guardians against racism said nothing about this hypocrisy. Many of them encouraged it overtly or by acquiescence.

Likewise, the accusation of sexism is applied to just about any man, regardless of his actions. It’s silly, but it’s routine. Those of us with daughters in college are not sexist. We are bankrupting our families so our daughters can be all they can be.

And of course there’s the unreal “islamophobia” accusation, now part of the politically correct package of false failings.

Westerners are naturally phobic (afraid) of beliefs and the people who hold them, when they are associated with cruelty, violence, injustice, unfairness, and hypocrisy. Islam’s book, the Koran, calls Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists cows, donkeys, apes, pigs, and so on. The Koran mocks and denigrates over half the global population, and enslaves all of its own women, and yet we are bad people for resisting it? For being afraid of it? I am terrified of Islam!

The “wolf! wolf!” shouting also includes environmental policy these days. Apparently a reasonable person cannot think for herself, and judge all the facts on her own, without running the risk of being negatively labeled a “climate denier.”

Of course the truth is that our free-thinking woman here is in fact denying fake, politicized science that is about 10% science and 90% shouting. She is entitled to be skeptical.

Today a video is circulating the Internet. It shows a “white” man being dragged from his car and brutally beaten by a raging mob of “black” people, incensed that he dared to vote for a candidate they did not approve. He voted for Trump, apparently. His attackers repeatedly accuse him of this failure.

And the national media, politicized as they are, have ignored it. The Jesse Jackson Klan has ignored it. This video does not support their false narrative that white people are violent racists.

The video shows just the opposite, that racism and violence are epidemic in the American black community.

Most of the American public distrusts or disbelieves the establishment media, and the self appointed guardians of social causes, with good cause. Like in the 1700s, when governments held the communication channels, citizens now communicate facts and ideas around the censors at ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, BBC, NYT, etc. The more these fake “news” outlets engage in social engineering, and lies, the more the citizenry will push back and ignore them.

What is sad about this is problems like real racism will then be generally ignored, or worse, allowed to grow, like among African Americans. Racism, as an accusation, is now almost dead, because it cannot be taken seriously, except in very narrow circumstances. The white guy beaten by the black mob is a good place to start.

You cannot keep crying wolf and expect good people to come running. Eventually they think you’re a fraud.

The American spirit is alive and well

Rejecting an openly corrupt and evil candidate who intended to run America through executive fiat, our voters have acted in nearly biblical fashion, saving our budding Gomorrah from ruin.

The original American spirit is yet alive, just enough to save us all.

The adults have stepped in.

Hopefully, the La Raza offices will be raided, traitors outed and deported, Soros will have his money impounded and a warrant issued for his arrest. He needs to spend his last years behind bars.

And Nana Clinton must finally be held accountable. No fake retroactive presidential pardons for her. Wait to charge her after Obama leaves office. And then charge Obama for his own treason. Bring the whole evil empire down. It is a Gomorrah worthy of complete annihilation.

God bless America.

America’s Frontier Identity Cuts Both Ways

America is a frontier nation.

It was carved out of the North American continent, geographically speaking, and conquered and purchased from its first inhabitants, the American Indians, sociologically speaking.

This was a frontier within a frontier within a frontier. Walls upon walls of high mountain ranges, surrounded by a vast ocean. As the Europeans steadily pushed inland, they found one Garden of Eden after another after another. This experience forged an identity not seen since the Hebrews left Egypt and trekked through the desert to the Promised Land.

One of America’s great beauties is its identity, the frontier identity, resulting from and coming out of our founding times. This is an idea in most people’s heads that the nation is huge, nearly limitless, nearly boundless. This is an inspiring conception, and it has been bolstered by 250 years of unfettered individual success.

Over the years industrialists, and to an increasing extent Republicans, were accused of having a false sense of natural resource limits. The natural resource exploitation of the 1800s and 1900s gave birth to unimagined material wealth, and also incredible land, water, and soil pollution. Some observers have more or less said this inexact misuse of valuable resources was due to the frontier mentality our early industrialists inherited.

Today, it can easily and more exactingly be said that the Left is living in a fantasy haze of unsustainable frontier mentality. The bizarre notion that tens of millions of illegal border crossers can simply enter any nation, here we are talking about America, and impose enormous costs on the inhabitants without fueling an explosive conflict is one of the standbys for liberals and Democrats today.

That Los Angeles and every other Western city is out of land, air and water (their huge impacts on schools, roads, hospitals, police and sewage infrastructure are barely guessed at) and yet must steadily absorb an increasing number of illegal economic migrants is a testament to the failed frontier mentality of the white liberals promoting this assault on their fellow American citizens. Some say liberals will burn down their house to keep control of it, and I might agree with that, if I thought it were going to be burned down. Instead, I am more likely to believe that we are headed toward some sort of genocide where my house will remain intact, but I and my family will be officially evaporated. To make room for someone “more deserving.”

Only in huge nations like America, and Russia, and China can these fantasies play out. The mental frontier is so vast, so unattainable, that pretty much anything can go, and everything will be alright. Stalin and Mao toyed with it, and used it. Today the American Democrats are following in that path, albeit slower, right now.

I myself am drawn to the frontier mentality that values wilderness, clean streams, large unbroken blocks of forest, farmland, and wildlife habitat. To me, that is the best expression of America’s frontier legacy, and boy do I like to roam in the big woods. A lot of the animals there seem more interesting than a lot of people I encounter.

Tomorrow we all vote, a referendum on this frontier mentality. My own conception has never been very popular with either of the political parties. Instead, we will see one side vying for the ability of a person to make his or her own way on merit alone, and the other side trying to flood the streets with new voters who can artificially breathe life into an unsustainable frontier mentality and create an America sure to fall apart.

And thus, the frontier mentality cuts both ways, for good and for bad, for health and for ruin, for fairness and injustice. Will our old frontier mentality ride in to save the day?

Rolling Stone & Gawker decisions are a good first step

First it was Gawker, the sensationalist “new media” icon that abandoned decency to make an extra few pennies. Along the way of Gawker’s brutal path lay strewn the unfairly damaged reputations of many innocent people, including homosexuals who wanted their private lives to remain private.

When Hulk Hogan sued Gawker and won a huge award that reflected the cruelty they had inflicted on him, normal people rejoiced.

Today Rolling Stone magazine has been held accountable for a fabricated story about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia campus.

Turned out, everything in that story was false. A federal court jury assigned a huge award to the very real victims of that story, and more victims will be coming forward to hold the fake journalists responsible for their assault on truth and justice.

These are good steps in the correct direction. It is time the other media outlets were also similarly held accountable for their fake “reporting” on political and cultural subjects. The willful misconduct now being represented as honest reporting is damaging American democracy. All this pro-Clinton anti-Trump political activism masquerading as  impartial, professional journalism counts as an illegal and unaccounted trillion dollar donation to the Clinton campaign. Time to clean this up.

Every day now new facts leak out from the FBI and the New York City police department. Computer files demonstrate how utterly corrupt and evil Clinton is and those who surround her. America was not designed to withstand official corruption aided and abetted by the media complex. And the official mainstream media news blackout about the corruption emanating from the White House is exactly that: Aiding and abetting

Without a public airing of this dirty laundry, America cannot cleanse itself and right the ship. Political coverups are like initial murders. The collateral murders that follow as the perpetrators try to cover their tracks are where the real damage is done.

Here we have a growing pile of evidence of the worst sort of illegal deeds, and the people who don’t want to be held responsible are making official government decisions to stop the inquiries.

Only the media can let the American people know, and yet they are blocking the news. What is the cost of this crime? What is the penalty?

Outdoor sports starting to ramp up now

Outdoor sports are well under way here in Pennsylvania. This is the “Christmas in October” season soo many of us dream about since the last hunting season ended months ago.

Archery season started a month ago, and the rut (primary breeding season) is now in full swing. That is evidenced by the “deer storms” that go crashing through the woods at any time of day or night now, as well as the increasing numbers of dead deer lying on the side of the roadways. Chasing is a main part of rut activity, and deer of both sexes will blindly run right out into the middle of a suburban lawn or a road as their hormones and instincts take over their better judgment.

Bowhunters take full advantage of that mindlessness, and they are now starting to really spend time on stand, trying to lure in the otherwise wary whopper trophy buck. Estrous doe pee is the number one deer lure, and it is what I use with very high success rates. One problem is that so many eager hunters jump the gun and start putting out doe pee, in huge quantities, too early in the season. A few drops on a tampon or cotton ball hung from a branch is all you need in early November.

Although furbearer trapping season started a week ago, the unseasonably warm weather has many people, myself included, holding off laying out steel until mid-November, when mink season starts. What is the point of catching a predator with patchy fur? The colder it gets, the more their fur fills in, the softer it becomes. The softer the fur, the more luxurious it feels. The better the fur, the happier I feel about spending late nights skinning, fleshing, and boarding pelts in the cold.

I will say this, however: Most of my predator trapping these days is aimed at reducing the over-abundant populations of skunks, opossums, and raccoons, all of which are voracious bird nest raiders. To my eye and ear, cute little birds are always entertaining and pretty to watch, and they deserve a chance to enjoy a comfy nest with a successful brood of hatchlings. Wild turkeys and grouse especially are vulnerable to these insatiable varmints that have few natural predators and a lot of suburban habitat in which to unnaturally propagate.

Having never sold a pelt, trapping is not a commercial or financial effort for me. Rather, it is the joy of being outside, being an integral part of the natural predator-prey chain, helping balance wildlife populations, and obtaining something useful, pretty, natural and biodegradable. The wild caught furs that adorn our home and cabin reflect the wild places we enjoy visiting, and the ancient skill set needed to catch these wary hunters.

Earlier this year a long time dear friend nastily chided me for hunting and trapping. Asking her how she could criticize me on the one hand, while on the other hand she regularly eats stone crabs (claws torn off of living crabs), other shellfish (taken from their cozy homes, jailed, then boiled alive), and all sorts of meats from suffering animals living on unsavory factory farms elicited no response at all.

This shallow, careless, hypocritical approach to life bothers me, but I doubt there is anything I can do about it, other than continue to live my own life well. Why or how people find pleasure from interfering in other people’s lives is a constant source of mystery. They get a sense of purpose, I suppose.

As a hunter and trapper, I am fulfilling a purpose that is as old as our species. The hunter-gatherer purpose is as old as humans, heck it is human, and is as old as the last ice sheets that covered the northern hemisphere. This lifestyle is eminently more natural than the artificial life of food from tin cans, huge monoculture “farms,” and sad feed lots that blot out habitat and wildlife, not to mention crushing the spirit of the animal.

Good luck this season. Enjoy living like a real human being, fellow hunters and trappers.