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PA’s Forester Jim Finley Enters the Forest Cathedral

Penn State forestry professor emeritus, department head, and all-things-forestry guru Jim Finley died yesterday. I was told that he was either felling a large tree on his property, or he was trying to dislodge a large tree that had been felled but was hung up on another tree. Whatever the actual facts are, Jim died from the tree falling on him. It is a reminder that even the best, most experienced forestry professionals are at grave risk.

As trite and awkward as it sounds to write here, the fact is that Jim Finley died doing what he loved in the environment he considered sacred. I am quite sure that had he been asked about whether he would like to die from a tree falling on him, or some more peaceful and less traumatic way, he would have given us the look he is giving below. It is that knowing “Why are you saying that, you know it is wrong” look. In his mid-70s, Jim was nowhere ready to leave us, and we were nowhere ready to let go of him.

His death is a huge loss.

Jim was a remarkable man, who I admired, and who left a way outsized hand print on Pennsylvania conservation and the practice of forestry in eastern America. He was a force to be reckoned with, an institution in his own right, a political-cultural movement, a gentle soul with a will of iron, kind and easy but also passionate and unrelenting.

He did not suffer fools easily, though he accepted honest debate and earnest dissent exactly the way an academic ought to: His eyes took on this hard laser focus, and you could tell he was actively listening and processing, not always ready to give an answer, either. His response might come tomorrow or next year, and if your argument was good, you could tell it had moderated Jim’s perspective.

Jim Finley was an academic, and sometimes prone to the idealism that academics naturally grow into. However, he also had the ability to be hands-on practical, and even more important, he had the ability to support aggressive, hands-on, totally practical forestry practices. You know, the kinds of visual impacts that most urbanites recoil in horror from, and which many land conservation groups really did not want to see, either, no matter how scientifically they were needed or justified. It is an admirable and rare trait to be able to be honest about unpleasant things, and Jim could look at a heavily cut tract with tree tops lying all over the place, and cheerfully explain all of the wonderful things that were now going to follow on the heels of all that disturbance. Because of Jim, conservation easements in Pennsylvania are now a lot more forestry-friendly than they used to be. And a landowner who is able to manage his or her forest as aggressively as they need to under a conservation easement, is a landowner who is much more likely to sign that easement and protect their land in the first place.

Jim invited me to speak to his classes a couple of times, and we worked together when I was at DCNR and the Conservation Fund. I knew him when I was a kid in State College, I knew him as a professional forester and academic at Penn State, and I knew him as a colleague of land conservation legend and Penn State forester Joe Ibberson, whose PSU forestry department endowment Jim presided over at the end of his formal career. It is always a huge loss when someone of Jim’s high caliber leaves us, but it is even more so when he was just starting to become mature, as he would put it in the terms of a tree.

So long, old friend. Happy travels in your peaceful forest cathedral. We who are left behind mourn your untimely departure and we will miss you greatly. You were a hell of a guy, Jim.

Wooden bowls and a vase turned by Jim Finley. Photo kindly provided by forester Dale G.

Charlie Gerow is a good guy

Turns out long time lobbyist and current candidate for Pennsylvania governor Charlie Gerow experienced an odd vehicle accident earlier this year, which has just now come to light in a police report and semi-journalistic analysis by the ardently partisan PennLive.

As reported by the State Police, Charlie was driving home towards the Harrisburg area on the PA Turnpike in the stretch through Chester County, when his car was hit from the side and from behind by a motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist, Logan Abbott, aged 30, who from descriptions sounds like an awesome all-American kind of man, became deceased on the scene after he crashed his borrowed motorcycle, for which he was not licensed, into Gerow’s car at around 9:30 PM. Abbott was thrown from the bike, and then subsequently struck by multiple high-speed vehicles as he was in the Turnpike roadway; he died from one or all of those impacts. I don’t know of any good way to die other than in your sleep, and this death has to be one of the saddest ways to go. I am really sorry for Logan and for Logan’s family. I have kids; as a parent, this is about the worst thing I could hear in my life. Hugs to you from our family, Abbott family.

My friend Dan, a brain surgeon and psychiatrist, calls many young men driving motorcycles “motor donors,” because of their dangerous hot-dogging ways and the resulting high body count statistics. Young men on motorcycles make up a huge proportion of annual highway injuries and deaths. And then donating a lot of young, healthy organs.

From what witnesses saw, Gerow was driving in the right lane at regular highway speed, Abbott was passing Gerow, and then swerved into his car. The rest is sad history. The police report surmises that Abbott was inexperienced at driving the motorcycle and made a fatal error.

Gerow was eventually pulled over by State Police several miles down the road, because the motorcycle was lodged under the front of his car. Witnesses reported seeing the motorcycle stuck in the front of the car and throwing sparks. People are wondering what the hell happened after the impact, and why didn’t Charlie pull over immediately.

Here is my take on what happened:

  • The impact came from behind and from the side of Charlie’s car, where he could not see, or at least he could not see very well. We drivers are always focused in front of us when we are driving, especially so on a turnpike with a 70 MPH speed zone. Charlie did not see and could not see what happened.
  • The motorcycle driver never appeared in Charlie’s view.
  • The motorcycle never appeared in Charlie’s view.
  • The motorcycle was lodged under the hood of the car, and out of Charlie’s vision. It would be difficult to see any time, and especially at night, when you can’t see very far ahead and you are looking as far ahead as you can.
  • Charlie probably thought he had hit some road debris, of which there is a TON on the Turnpike. Back in the early 1980s, I hit a dead deer lying flat in the middle of the PA Turnpike’s right lane, and it became lodged up under the car’s carriage. My Chrysler K Car rode up on top of the deer like a skateboard for a couple hundred feet before it became dislodged and the car regained its straight trajectory. That was a close call. Today there are lots of dead deer and tons of tractor trailer tires all over the Turnpike.
  • When Charlie realized he was carrying the road debris under his car, he probably thought it would eventually break off or break free, so he kept driving.
  • He may have realized it was not going to break free any time soon, and like any sane and experienced driver, Charlie was not going to pull over on the side of the Turnpike. No freaking way! That is the most dangerous area of any highway, and especially the PA Turnpike. If you get a flat tire on the PA Turnpike, you are best served by slowly limping to the next designated pull-off area and changing your flat there. If you pull off on the narrow roadside margin and try to operate there, you stand a good chance of being hit either by accident or ON PURPOSE by passing motorists.
  • For example, back in 2003 I was driving south at night on a regional highway, when three deer suddenly stepped right in front of my truck. Going 60 MPH, there was no time to stop or avoid impact, and in one second all three deer were scattered across the highway and my truck was severely damaged (but not disabled…it was a Toyota Tacoma). The State Police were immediately on the scene, and as we tried to pull the dead and dying deer out of the roadway, so that other motorists did not strike them and have subsequent accidents, I twice had a trooper grab my belt and yank me backwards. Why? Because as the trooper grimly stated to me matter-of-factly, a surprising number of vehicle drivers actually try to hit people who are alongside the side of the road. I could feel the whoosh of air go right past my face both times, and I could see both vehicles swerve back into the middle of their lane after they had each swerved onto the side of the road to try and hit me. The cops took it in stride as part of the daily risks they face.
  • Point being here, Charlie is a smart guy and he knows that the side of the PA Turnpike is the last place you go if you have some road debris stuck up under your car, if you can help it. You wait until you can pull into a well-lit, large, safe place where you aren’t going to be hit or carjacked.
  • Troopers who pulled over Charlie’s car then checked him for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and found none. Charlie was not impaired.
  • In sum, the conditions of this lamentable accident are a dark night on a busy and fast highway, in a place where road debris is common, and there are few places to safely pull over if you do have an accident or get some debris lodged up under your vehicle. The car driver was not responsible for the impact, did not see what happened at the moment of impact, and he did not see what his car was carrying up front subsequent to the impact. The driver was waiting to find the right place to pull off in order to safely inspect his vehicle, when the State Police pulled him over and told him what had happened.

I am sorry for the Abbott family on the loss of Logan. And I hope that Charlie Gerow, who is a good guy, is not artificially targeted here because of his politically incorrect political beliefs, or because of the Abbott family’s understandable grief. Logan made a mistake (his obituary notes that Logan “had just finished 14 days straight of 12-hour shifts and was looking forward to his 14 days off and camping with his family“), probably due to being exhausted from hard work, and Charlie did nothing wrong. It’s just a damned crappy tragedy, and we should not want to see an injustice done to one party because we are feeling aggrieved over the loss of the other.

And for the record, I am not committed to any candidates for governor right now, not even to Charlie. I do think Lou Barletta has already been in politics long enough and that he should be championing someone younger for PA governor, not seeking it himself. I don’t know how Charlie will fare among grassroots conservatives, because though he is a good guy, he is also a political lobbyist long associated with a political establishment many grassroots voters and activists have come to distrust and even revile.

Fake news doesn’t sleep. One of the reasons I wrote this essay is this kind of lie, from a website proclaiming itself, what else crooks and liars. Nowhere did anyone report a motorcyclist lodged in or stuck to Gerow’s car. Yet this 100% lie remains up on the website

Fake news headline…no one says a “motorcyclist was wedged to his car’s grill,” except on a website that deliberately tells lies like this. And the comments on the article show what gullible fools liberals are. No one stopped to question this outlandish claim or ask for facts.

Logan Abbott, great guy who made a small but costly mistake. Be careful on those motorcycles, folks

Charlie Gerow holding court in January 2015 with Governor Tom Corbett and PA movers and shakers. Note photo of JFK.

 

 

 

Cultural Warlord Wanted for PA Senate Candidate

While sitting on the North Face cabin porch with some Democrat Party friends on the Lycoming-Tioga county border last Sunday, I was politely asked “the only political question” of our time together:

“What do you think of (D) Lt. Governor John Fetterman’s chances at winning the US Senate seat being vacated by Patricia Toomey?”

And I responded: “John Fetterman may be an anti-democracy, anti-America, totalitarian communist with the face of a worn out prize fighter, but he has an honest charisma that is going to be tough for most Republican Party candidates to beat.”

This is because most Republican Party candidates everywhere, and in Pennsylvania in particular, are well groomed, boring, milquetoast moderates who really stand for nothing except getting a public pension and invitations to all the right cocktail parties. If Fetterman has the looks of a Neanderthal’s old shoe, he still is identifiable as a manly man, and a refreshingly plain-spoken one at that. In a different age and place, Fetterman could easily have been a warlord with a sword across his knee and a coat of chain mail over his shoulders, his beetle brow scouring his subjects with fierce determination to win and to dominate.

Contrast this kind of mindset and distinctive personal presence with the usual GOP spawn that has bubbled up from the top of the donor class to become a candidate for anything: Timid sounding, almost effeminate, tepid, moderate and clean-cut appearing; ruffle no feathers, offend no one, instantly forgettable. And historically speaking, which kind of personal presence wins the hearts and minds of the people, the fierce warlord, or the milquetoast fairy?

Easy answer: Warlords win.

And the American electorate is not just hungry for strong leaders, we are starving for them, because we know America is up for grabs. Leftists know that strong Democrat personalities will make their Marxist revolution succeed, and conservatives know that strong Republican personalities will push back against the Marxists and make America’s Constitution prevail, thereby saving the Republic.

President Donald J. Trump won both the 2016 and 2020 elections because of his fierce and unwavering determination to put The People ahead of the political donor class and the Washington, DC Swamp. The only people who did not understand this then and who not only still do not understand it now, but who also oppose it now are the same old GOP donor class and Chamber of Compromise who try like hell to elect wimpy wusses they can easily control. To the GOPe and its elite benefactors, the Republican and conservative voter is now and always has been barely an afterthought. They don’t give a fig about our views or needs. The GOPe just needs our votes every two to four years to get their milquetoast Gumby candidates over the finish line, and then they immediately kick us and our values to the curb until the next election.

And so looking at the current lineup of declared and possible Republican Party candidates who might be the nominee to face Fetterman, what qualities do we see?

  • Feckless
  • Hopelessly moderate and standing for nothing
  • Money-oriented and ignoring basic values, culture, borders, language
  • Afraid of going to war and braving battle to save America

I won’t name names, but outside of Joe Gale, the list of Republicans running for PA governor is pretty much the same thing.

Who Pennsylvania needs to beat Fetterman is a GOP cultural warlord. A candidate who listens to and cares about the electorate, all of whom are values-driven, culture-driven, America-first-driven. Someone who is unafraid at all times, especially unafraid to firmly and honestly speak her or his mind and to do battle to the last dying gasp, for the sake of everything most Americans hold dearest.

I don’t know if I have seen such a person yet, but if you do, please let me know. I’d like to make a small political donation and volunteer my valuable time to help that person beat Fetterman.

Typical Republican candidate

 

Democrat candidate John Fetterman

“If you don’t vote for me, you’ll get a Democrat,” says the GOPe candidate du jour

The kind of candidate the America-First voters actually want

Trump sends warning shot right into Pennsylvania GOP over 2020 election audit

Just yesterday worthless, useless, spineless GOPe hack state representative Seth Grove issued a defiant statement that Pennsylvania would not be holding any kind of election 2020 audit. He gave no reason. Representative Grove also ran into a friend of mine in the Capitol this week, tireless freedom activist Ron Boltz, and behaved arrogantly, and cocky, and defiant, and dismissive, and again gave no reason why an audit of the 2020 election could not be done, or should not be done. From Ron:

Was there [at the PA Capitol this week] with a constitutional attorney who came up from D.C., with the issue being getting an forensic audit in PA.  Of course you and I know they have no interest, and we won’t get one.  That doesn’t mean we don’t demand it anyway, and use the issue to beat these assholes over the head.  You know how this works…

By chance, we ran into Rep. Seth Grove in the cafeteria.  I told the attorney we should approach him, and we did.  Grove was visibly uncomfortable with the topic, but was his cocky, condescending self.  Said there’s no money for an audit.  We said we’d pay for it.  He said they wouldn’t accept private funds, and then said “the machines have been swept anyway”.
He then referred to the resolution where the bi-cameral/bi-partisan committee voted it down, as he said “on party lines”.  That’s only a half truth.  What really happened is only three of the four in leadership of the committee voted.  Republican representative Barrar decided it wasn’t even important enough to vote.  So the vote was 2 nays, 1 yay.  Two dems and one Republican, but the full committee didn’t vote on it.  Leadership voted to not take it up.
Does that sound like representation to you?  It doesn’t to me.  Three representatives decided for the entire state that the election wasn’t worth auditing.  THREE.  That’s it.”

Well, news of this malfeasance got back to Our Lord and Savior Donald J. Trump, who issued his own statement today:

“SAVE AMERICA
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP
JUNE 4, 2021
BEDMINSTER, NJ

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America:

Great patriots led by State Senator Doug Mastriano, Senator Cris Dush, and State Representative Rob Kauffman went to Maricopa County, Arizona, to learn the best practices for conducting a full Forensic Audit of the 2020 General Election.  Now the Pennsylvania Senate needs to act.  Senate President Jake Corman needs to fulfill his promise to his constituents to conduct a full Forensic Audit.  Senator Dave Argall, Chairman of the State Government Committee, has to authorize the subpoenas, if necessary. The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth.  If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, there is no way they will ever get re-elected!

Now this is big talk for anyone, even for Trump, because Trump and his advisors obviously have no idea just how backwards and dug-in the PA GOP is, just how snowed and easily fooled the PA GOP voters are, and how tenacious useless nepotist political hacks like Corman are. For example, despite his poor standing with the GOP voters, Argall has amazingly survived several attempts to dislodge him from his apparent lifetime seat in the PA Senate.

However, on the other hand, for five years I have been trying to find a primary challenger for the seat presently occupied by Corman, because he is very vulnerable, and maybe Trump’s words will help us get the right person. Corman is definitely weak. No one likes him. He has no friends. I am not exaggerating. Check out www.jakethesnake.us

In other words, we could see some real political change in Pennsylvania as a result of Trump bringing fire to the dark recesses of the GOPe electorate. Maybe. Even primarying-out one or two bunkered-in careerists like Corman or Grove would be a huge success, although to President Trump it might not seem like it. These names are all worth pursuing anyhow, for sure.

These corrupt Pennsylvania politicians mentioned above, and including people like PA reps Brian Cutler and Kerry Benninghoff, won’t conduct an audit of the corrupt and stolen 2020 election because they must have personally benefited from it in some way. Now the voters are beginning to see just how aggressively these audits are being fought, and how obvious the steal was, and how our votes are being bought and sold like a sack of potatoes so that political insiders like Jake Corman can get rich, and there is a justified rising tide of anger coming the way of elected officials who stand in the way of getting justice for the voters, for We, The People. Thank you, President Donald J. Trump.

Seth Grove’s ridiculous public statement about not having an election audit. Hey Seth, how do you know what went wrong with the 2020 election if you won’t audit it?

 

President Trump’s one mistake is the biggest

President Donald Trump is a fantastic American. He was a fantastic president; probably the best America has had since Theodore Roosevelt.

All of the fake outrage criticism heaped on Trump has been shown in just five weeks of the Biden administration to have been utterly partisan manufactured horse shit. Like the “kids in cages” boo hoo nonsense that had Democrat Party adherents branding Trump a cruel and evil man. Now corrupt financial criminal Joe Biden is doing the exact same thing, a policy that was begun in Bush II and perfected in Obama’s administration due to a Ninth Circuit court decision, continued on in the Trump administration with great fake outrage and crocodile tears by his opponents, and now is continuing on in the Biden criminal gang administration, with the US Democrat Party Media looking the other way.

This is to say, criticism of Trump was 99.98% baseless horse shit fake outrage nonsense meant to poison the political environment.

So yes, Trump was fabulous, brilliant, hard working, devoted to America and its un-appreciated citizens who are quickly turning into slave labor for the Democrat Party’s illegal alien troops being trucked in to our nation in order to displace us and steal our stuff.  Yeah, Trump was the one sole person standing between America’s citizens and the howling gulf of civilizational destruction now opening at our feet wider every day.

But as great as he is, and as devoted to him as I am, it is important to say that President Trump keeps making one mistake over and over, and it is a fatal one.

He is hopelessly loyal to something that does not deserve his loyalty.

He keeps playing politics by rules designed to hamstring him and other law-abiding American voters and that the other political party will never follow; he remains loyal to a political system that is hopelessly dysfunctional because it is filled with corrupt frauds in both political parties; and he remains party to a Republican Party that is utterly useless, filled with spineless jellyfish gutless political pukes whose sole purpose for being in politics is to enrich themselves and their chums, not to carry a political philosophy of freedom and liberty to fruition, or to oppose the Marxists.

When Trump was elected, he entered the White House expecting to run government like it was a business. He mistakenly presumed that American citizens working in taxpayer-funded government positions would be loyal to the Constitution, its process, the rules and regulations, and therefore, they would follow the directives from their legal boss Chief Executive in the White House. Trump’s White House did not immediately, or ever for that matter, dig into the executive branch and legally remove the politically partisan people who ended up deciding the outcome of his 2020 election.

Basically, Trump put up with a daily dose of illegal insubordination from within the executive branch, and he played nicey nice with the criminals who openly did it for the US media cheering section.

He mistakenly believed that the same corrupt bipartisan political establishment that stole the 2020 election from We, The People, and from him, would eventually treat him fairly in lawsuits and investigations into open vote fraud from coast to coast.

And now President Trump is mistakenly remaining loyal to the useless spineless jellyfish bottom feeding scumbag Republican Party (don’t get me wrong, I am not somehow in favor of the Democrat Party; I just recognize that the GOP is only half as corrupt as the totally corrupt and anti-America Democrat Party) that sold him out in Washington, DC, and in state legislatures across America.

President Trump has the rare opportunity to truly transform American politics. He tried to do so inside Washington DC, and despite succeeding wildly for four years, he mostly failed in the end. Because his re-election was illegally blocked so that the thieves and criminals could re-assemble their cozy little lair they had carefully constructed over the past fifty years. And despotic edict by despotic edict, the Biden crime syndicate daily tears away the hard work Trump did for America.

So Trump could start a new political party, a pure party, a party devoted to America First principles and policies. At least 50 million Americans are ready for him to do so. And yet, instead of starting this new political party, Trump wants to continue working within the existing messed up system, within the same Goddamned disgusting corrupt Republican Party that is run by the disgusting likes of PA State Senator Jake Corman, the political hack of all political hacks in the history of American political hackery.

Is there any way for Donald Trump to win this insider fight with the GOP ultimate insiders? Well, in the company of many other hard working, devoted political activists, I myself have spent over a decade in open and direct personal political warfare with the PA GOP establishment. And while I have some modest gains to show for all my effort, the fact is, vile Jake Corman (www.jakethesnake.us) has been promoted to “leader” of the Pennsylvania state senate.

By the same PA GOP that tonight voted NOT to censure RINO closet Marxist US Senator Patrick Toomey, who used his elected position to undermine and damage America at every turn, and to attack and hurt President Trump at every turn.

This is just one example of a billion such examples of how the GOP is hopelessly beyond help and reformation.

I would have to say that Trump has a very long row to hoe here; a very long uphill slog through slime and muck to turn the GOP around. A new political party (Patriot Party, MAGA Party) would have immediately gutted the useless GOP and sent it to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, but Trump has said he will not do this.

What can we say? President Trump remains hopelessly loyal to America and everything he knows about it. God bless the man. And God Damn the political hacks in both parties who have brought our great nation to the edge of fatal failure.

PA’s must-do 21st century deer management policy

When Gern texted me on November 12th “planning to plant the entire farm with grass next Fall… 100%  hay… can’t afford to feed wildlife. Going broke trying to make money,” I knew that my best deer management efforts had finally failed over the past 13 years.

Every year I work hard to make sure our deer season is as productive as possible. Because our tenant farmer pays us a per-acre rent every year, which covers the real estate taxes and some building maintenance, and for 13 years he has grown soybeans, corn and hay in various rotations across the many fields we have. Our arrangement has generally worked out well both ways, but that text message ended my  sense of satisfaction.

While I do wear dirty bib overalls when I run the sawmill and also when I try to impress people who don’t know me, Gern is the actual farmer who tills (broad sense), fertilizes, plants, and harvests a very large farm property in Dauphin County, some of which I own and all of which I manage. Our property is one of many that comprise about 30,000 acres of farm land that Gern and his family cultivate in Central Pennsylvania. To say that his family works hard is the understatement of all understatements. Gern embodies AMERICA! in flesh and spirit, and to see him so utterly beaten down by mere deer is heartbreaking.

Over the years I knew that both overabundant deer and bears were taking a significant toll on our grain crops (Gern’s primary source of family income), and so I worked hard to recruit the kinds of good hunters who would help us annually whittle down the herds, so that the pressure was taken off of our crops. About five years ago I proudly photographed one of our late-summer soybean fields, at about four super healthy feet high, indicating a minimal amount of deer damage. When I passed the soybean field pictures around to other farmers and land managers, nothing but high praise returned. And so I patted myself on the back for our successful deer management, and congratulated our guest hunters, who were killing about 25-35 deer a year on our property. Our hunters were filling an impressive 50% to 65% of the roughly 54 DMAP deer management tags we hand out every year, as well as some of their buck tags and WMU 4C tags.

But, change is life’s biggest constant, and while I rested on my hunting laurels, deer hunting changed under my feet. The past few years have seen a lot of change in the hunting world. First and biggest change is that hunters in Pennsylvania and other states are aging out en masse, with fewer replacements following them. This means that a lot less pressure is being brought to bear on the deer herd. Which means a lot more deer are everywhere, which is not difficult to see if you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania in a vehicle. There are literally tons of dead deer along the side of every road and highway, everywhere in Pennsylvania. We should be measuring this at tons-of-deer-per-mile, not just the number of dead deer and damaged vehicles. Frankly this overabundant deer herd situation is out of control not just for the farmers who feed Americans, but for the people who want to safely drive their vehicles to the grocery store. Hunters are sorely needed to get this dangerous situation under control, and yet Pennsylvania’s deer management policies favor overabundant deer herds to keep older hunters less crabby.

So, because I am about to break out the spotlights and AK47 to finally manage our farm deer the way they need to be managed (and yes, PA farmers are allowed to wholesale slaughter deer in the crops) (and yes, I feel the same way about our favorite forested places in the Northern Tier), here below is the kind of deer management/ hunting policy Pennsylvania needs via the PGC, if we are going to get the out-of-control deer herd genie back into its bottle and stop hemorrhaging farmland on the altar of too many deer:

  1. Archery season is too long. At seven weeks long, the current archery season lets a lot of head-hunters stink up the woods, cull the very best trophy bucks, and pressure the deer enough to make them extra skittish and nocturnal before rifle season begins. Even though rifle season is our greatest deer management tool. The same can be said of bear season, which is the week before rifle season. So shorten archery season and lengthen rifle season, or make the opening week of deer season concurrent with bear season, like New York does.
  2. Rifle season must be longer, and why not a longer flintlock season, too? Is there something “extra special” about deer come the middle of January, that they are prematurely off limits to hunting? Most bucks begin to drop their antlers in early February. Have three weeks of rifle season and then five weeks of flintlock season until January 30th, every year. Or consider flintlock hunting year ’round, or a spring doe season in May.
  3. More doe tags are needed. There are too few doe tags to begin with, and most doe tags sell out and are never used. This is especially true in WMUs 5C and 5D, where despite enormous tag allocations, tags quickly become unavailable. That is because individual hunters can presently buy unlimited numbers of doe tags, for some reason having to do with the way deer were managed in the 1980s…c’mon, PGC, limit of two or three doe tags for each hunter in these high-density WMUs, and at least two doe tags in Big Woods WMUs like 2G and 4C.
  4. Despite good advancements in reducing the regulatory burden on deer hunters this past season, there are still too many rules and restrictions. For example, why can’t our muzzleloading guns have two barrels? Pedersoli makes the Kodiak, a fearsome double percussion rifle that would be just the ticket for reducing deer herds in high deer density WMUs where the PGC says they want more deer harvests. But presently it is not legal. Another example is the ridiculous interruptions in small game seasons as they overlap with bear and deer seasons. This bizarre on-again-off-again discontinuity of NOT hunting rabbits while others ARE hunting deer is an unnecessary holdover from the long-gone, rough-n-ready bad old poaching days of Pennsylvania wildlife management. PA is one of the very few states, if the only one at all, with these staggered small game and big game seasons. Bottom line is hunting is supposed to be fun, and burdening hunters with all kinds of minutiae is not only not fun, it is unnecessary. Other states with far more liberal political cultures have far fewer regulations than Pennsylvania, so come on PA, give fun a try.
  5. Artificial deer feeding with corn, alfalfa, oats etc on private land during all deer and bear seasons must end. Not only does this “I’m saving the poor starving deer” nonsense lead to spreading deadly diseases like CWD, it artificially draws deer onto sanctuary properties and away from nearby hunters. Or it is baiting, plain and simple. Feeding causes overabundant deer to avoid being hunted during hunting season, but then quickly spread out on the landscape where they eat everything out of house and home when hunting season ends. This year up north (Lycoming and Clinton counties) is a prime example. We had no acorns to speak of this Fall, and whatever fell was quickly eaten up by early November. As the weeks rolled on through hunting season, the deer began leaving their regular haunts and unnaturally herding up where artificial feed was being doled out. This removed them from being hunted, and creates a wildlife feeding arms race, where those who don’t feed wildlife run the risk of seeing none at all. So either completely outlaw artificial feeding or let everyone do it, including hunters, so they can compete with the non-hunters. And yes, people who buck hunt only, and who do not shoot does, and who put out corn and alfalfa etc. for deer during hunting season, are not really hunters. They are purposefully meddling in the hunts of other people by trying to keep them from shooting “my deer.”
  6. PGC must better communicate to its constituency that too many deer result in unproductive farms that then become housing developments. Because the landowner and farmer must make some money from the land, if farm land can’t grow corn, it will end up growing houses, which no real hunter wants. So real hunters want fewer deer, at numbers the land and farms can sustain.

 

Democrat Party steals White House – A-OK, Americans briefly occupy their own Capitol – ‘arrest everyone’

America is in the rubber-meets-the-road period of a full blown authoritarian Marxist revolution aiming to destroy our constitutional republic.

The Democrat Party uses blatant election fraud to steal the presidency right in front of our faces, and then two Georgia senate seats, and we are told by the mainstream media that we must shut up, sit down, and do what we are told. Then, a few hundred thousand patriots assemble peaceably in Washington, DC, to air their grievances. A handful briefly occupy the US Capitol, which is known as The People’s House, four of whom are executed in cold blood by the US Capitol Police, and suddenly the Democrat Party-run media are telling us that every single protestor there must be rounded up and jailed as well as anyone who supported them.

No mention of the four executed protestors, or even an acknowledgement that quite a few ANTIFA guys got into the Capitol and raised hell.

The hypocrisy of this situation is glaring, because we just experienced a solid year of violent BLM and ANTIFA riots that were driven by Democrat Party politicians and their media and tech arms, like MSNBC and FaceBook. Entire cities were destroyed or set back on their heels for decades to come, without any repercussions at all. None, zero.

This situation is exactly how the Communists took over Eastern Europe in the 1940s. They used the appearance of democracy to achieve power and non-democratic results, like locking up their innocent political opponents on fake charges.

Folks, we have a full on illegal takeover of America happening right in our faces. How many Americans are willing to live under the Democrat Party’s ruthless tyranny is a big question.

Another big question is what the hell is the purpose of the Republican Party, if most of its elected members are unwilling to mount any kind of resistance but are actually all too happy to help the Marxist takeover happen?

Vice President Mike Pence is a shameful example of this spineless attitude. Pence said on Wednesday that “the Constitution constrains me” from sending the contested Electoral College votes back to the several states for a re-certification, and so he certified the utterly false Electoral College votes that gave the presidency to a fraud, Joe Biden.

Hey, Pence, the US Constitution and the laws from it actually enabled you to do exactly what was needed. And did you not notice that your supposed political opponents, the Democrat Party officials, do not feel constrained by anything? Not laws, not rules, not decency, not a democratic spirit, and certainly not the US Constitution. Now that you gave them the power, the Democrat Party and their allies in Big Tech are blowing up the Constitution.

Guess this end result makes Mike Pence really committed to the Constitution…

If elected Republicans continue to play nicey-nice by the most restrictive interpretation of the rules and laws, while their opponents are falsely accusing and jailing good people without any regard to law at all, then there is no official opposition to the Democrat Party’s evil. And so there is no purpose to the Republican Party. A political party that cannot stand up to what has just transpired is not worth being called a political party.

Let’s face it, as so many people have said for decades, the GOP is truly a country club, a gentleman’s club, a social club, an investor’s club, a blue blazer and short hair and and khaki pants club, an elitist snob club; it sure as hell is not a political club or political party.

I have run against the GOPe three times (in a Republican congressional primary in 2009-2010, a Republican state senate primary in 2012, and another Republican state senate primary in 2015 that I bowed out of after severely injuring my left knee while hunting), and each time the Pennsylvania Republican officials and GOP money men fought harder against me than empty suit VP Mike Pence or Senator Mitch McConnell just fought against this Marxist takeover of America. In 2012 the Pennsylvania Republicans actually gerrymandered me out of my own State Senate District #15 at the last second, and it took the PA Supreme Court to throw that out and put me back in, a historic decision. Then the PAGOP ran two people against me, and their chosen candidate beat me with I think 43% of the vote, only to lose to the incumbent Democrat state senator that fall.

If the GOP has more fight against America-loving conservatives than it does against open Marxists seeking to overthrow the rule of law, then what the hell is the purpose of the GOP? Not much. Seems like America needs a Patriot Party to supplant the failed GOP. Yes, third parties always enable the Democrat Party, but so what? So does the GOP!

The GOP welcomes all the hypocrisy, sedition, treason, and lawlessness that the Democrat Party and its adjuncts in Big Tech and Big Media can daily assemble, just so long as the existing GOP elected officials maintain their jobs…

Folks, this is not the political arrangement planned by America’s founders in 1776 or in 1787. If Americans wish to hold on to their most basic freedoms, then they must organize right now and plan on mass direct action against the lawless theft of our government. Think of yourself as living in 1776, and act accordingly.

Reflections on 2020 bear season

As if by magic or just the batting of an eyelid, the much anticipated 2020 bear season is now behind us, having concluded at dark yesterday. Sad to see our friends go; we had such a fun time! The last of our bear hunting guests have left, cleanup has commenced, preparations are under way for Thanksgiving, and there are some reflections to be had on bear season.

First, where the hell were the bears? Serious question here. We hunt in a mountainous Northcentral area that is Pennsylvania’s “Bear Central.” And despite us daily scouring a lot of remote, very rugged territory that is usually home to lots of bears, we saw neither bears nor bear poop. None. It could be the warm weather has bears hunkered down under cool overhangs in even more remote places. It could be the low acorn crop has bears going in to hibernation early, because there is no more food for them to eat to put on the extra fat they need to hibernate successfully. The truth is, no bear tracks or poops have been seen around here for months, which is remarkable. I cannot think of any year prior like this.

Second, where were all the hunters? We heard only a few shots between Saturday and Sunday, and either none or one on Monday, and for sure none on Tuesday; and very few hunting parties were on the radio on any day. This means that few large scale hunting drives were going on. Without hunters moving across the landscape, the bears don’t have to move out of their way. They can just sit still and not run the risk of exposing their rib cage to a hunter’s bullet. That means that the bears can loaf about in some remote corner, escaping the unseasonable warmth or just waiting for the wafting human scent to drift away before making their usual rounds again. Which means the few hunters who are out don’t see much action.

Third, where were all the other critters, like turkeys and deer? Like with bears, we saw very little deer or turkey poop in the woods. And although I myself saw two whopper bucks and a five-point up close, no one else saw any deer. Nor did any of us see any turkeys. Once again, the absence of these otherwise ubiquitous animals could be due to the relative absence of acorns. Which would push the wildlife far afield to find food sources.

Fourth, despite all of our hunting setbacks, did any of us care a bit? No! We missed all of our friends who could not be with us for various reasons, like fear of the CCP virus, or family emergencies requiring them to stay at home. But those of us who gathered had a lot of fun nonetheless. And with or without a bear on the game pole, we would not have missed this time together for any reason at all. We caught up on our families, our work, our homes, cars, friendships, wives, and politics (yeah, there was a lot of pro-Trump  politics). Some people drank way too much alcohol, and we got some great pictures of it all, like the one guy asleep on the cold ground outside. No, we don’t post those here. We ate like kings, that is for sure, and no one lacked for food or drink.

Finally, it is possible that the new early bears seasons (archery, muzzleloader, and special junior+ senior rifle) are removing so many bears from the woods that come rifle season, very few huntable bears remain to be had. According to real-time hunting harvest data posted at the PA Game Commission website, more bears were killed in the early seasons than in the official rifle season this year. This means there are fewer bears available for the rifle hunters. It is possible that many hunters expected this, based on last year’s harvest patterns, and they stayed home or hunted alone, instead of joining the big crew at camp, like usual. As of late today, just 3,138 bears had been killed total this year. That is about a thousand fewer than expected.

Based on this raw data alone, the early bear seasons are actually backfiring. They are not removing the high surplus number of bears that are beyond Pennsylvania’s social carrying capacity. Rather, the early bear seasons are removing the easiest bears and leaving few to be hunted in the later rifle season.

And this new dynamic could be the real story in PA’s bear season: There are so many early season bear hunting opportunities for individuals that they collectively take the wind out of the sails for the regular season hunters, thereby having a boomerang effect on the entire thing and limiting it.

We won’t know what all this data really means for another few years, and by then either great or even fatal damage will have been done to Pennsylvania’s traditional bear camp culture, with its big gatherings and big drives and big camp camaraderie dying out, or we will simply all have to learn to adapt to new ways of hunting. I have to say, there is no substitute for men gathering at a camp to hunt together. The gathered hunting party is the most human of experiences; it is an institution as old as our species. Its purpose was not just making meat, but also social and sociological.

I sure hope these myriad new early bear seasons are not self-defeating, in that they do not kill that traditional bear camp culture by removing its whole purpose ahead of the game. Question for the PGC: What incentive is there to push your body hard through rugged and remote landscapes, destroying your boots, tearing your clothing, and often losing or breaking some of your gear, including damaging your gun, when the animal you are seeking has already been removed?

Below are some photos from one of our trail cameras two years ago. Just days after bear season ended, a bear was caught gloriously and most joyously rubbing its back against a young white pine tree. Almost like a pole dancer. Pretty hot hip shakes there. We haven’t seen a bear anywhere around here since May this year.

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When one of our guys is finally browbeaten into washing dishes after years, it is cause for “Notify the media” acts like taking his unhappy picture. This is back in 2015. He still has to be browbeaten into washing the damned dishes

Lycoming County is the boot-looking shape in the northcentral area. Its northwestern corner is where we hunt. The darkest township there demonstrates the importance of organized hunting drives. A bunch of large hunting clubs are located in this area, and their members put on highly coordinated, obviously successful drives.

There is just one Election Day

Election Day is when democracies around the world elect their leaders.

Each free or supposedly free nation has its own Election Day, devoted to collecting and counting the people’s votes for various candidates at all levels of government. It is obviously a special day, even a sacred day, as it gives the power of running government to The People, a rare and unusual way for government to be run, if human history is our guide.

Tyranny and despotism are the usual means of governance. So electing our own leaders and representatives is a really big deal. It is a statement of freedom.

Election Day is just one day, always and for good reason, and it is so important that people take off from work in order to be able to vote. Unless you file an absentee ballot, if you miss voting on Election Day, then you don’t get to vote at all.

But Election Day is now under attack, because like almost everything else in America these days, the rules of this ‘game’ also have to be changed in the middle of the game in order for just one American political party to have a shot at winning something legitimately. And so now an entire American political party apparatus is devoted to making Election Day into Election Week, or Election Month, or even Election Forever Until We Win this damned Election.

Aside from the obvious phoniness of changing the rules of the game in the middle of the game, the problem with turning Election Day into a drawn out process is that the longer an election is drawn out, the more opportunity for fraudulent behavior and fake voting there is. And nothing undermines the value of voting than allowing false votes to be counted just like the real votes.

And again, there is just one American political party that has really gotten the fraudulent voting process down pat over the decades. Like with the new “ballot harvesting” laws in several states, why people can go out for days after the election and literally create truck loads of new votes, and voila!, their candidate miraculously wins…days after Election Day. This recently happened a bunch in California, where people kept running out to “find more ballots” until they had finally defeated various incumbent Republican officials in districts that almost always or always voted Republican. Never were enough “new ballots” found that actually favored the Republican candidates.

Funny how that works, how this rule change favors just one political party…every…single…time.

Here in Pennsylvania the state Supreme Court ruled last Friday that voting can be extended beyond Election Day, even though no court anywhere has the jurisdiction or the government role to determine Election Day. Only the state legislature and the governor have the job of setting Election Day. Here, the PA Supreme Court is engaging in just one more act of political activism in a long line of activist behavior devoid of actual jurisprudence.

Making things worse, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, has incorrectly stated that people who vote by absentee ballot are actually voting by mail, which they are not. There is a world of difference between filing a single marked absentee ballot long before Election Day, and being able to file a flurry of multiple fake votes by mail even after Election Day, and thereby literally stuffing the ballot box to steal the election.

You would almost think that the Democrat Party majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and that Democrat Party member PA AG Josh Shapiro were deliberately supporting a corrupt election process that always seems to favor the Democrat Party….

Obviously Election Day must be protected, and you must help stop every attempt to corrupt the election process by extending ‘voting’ beyond Election Day.

There is only one Election Day. Vote once on Election Day, or don’t vote at all, and make sure everyone else plays by this same rule. It is just that simple and just that fair.

Quiet hero Jim Broussard moves on to next stage of being

Jim Broussard was one of those old school quiet, soft-spoken Southern gentlemen who could easily get by at a liberal cocktail party just because he was the nicest, most affable guy on Planet Earth. Unless you pressed him hard on politics, he would smile easily, laugh easily, tell some easy jokes, and make some subtly incisive social or political comments, and ask a lot of questions. But inside he was more than just quick political wit and analyst. He was probably my favorite guy in Harrisburg politics, and for a very long time he “sat in” for Dr. Krug at Charlie Gerow’s monthly public policy meetings downtown. Two weeks ago Jim left human life as we know it on Planet Earth, and if there is an afterlife, I am confident Jim is enjoying the best it has to offer. The man lived life to its fullest, left a huge footprint, without crossing any double yellow lines or cursing.

Jim and I first crossed paths at Charlie Gerow’s office, probably around 2009. He impressed me, which is difficult to do (observers of Josh know this, for better and for worse). He immediately asked me out for coffee, and ever after for a buck he would give the best political advice available around here. He sent the best Christmas holiday cards, because he used collectible stamps from decades past, and every card included genuine well wishes about things specific to the recipient’s life. Jim Broussard was a big positive force on Planet Earth, and I will miss him very much.

Below is the email his wife sent out, which includes his obituary, and then some photos I took of Jim over the years while holding forth at Gerow’s place:

“Dear friends,
We wanted to tell you how much Jim appreciated your messages of concern during his illness. They brightened his days up to the very end.
Thank you,
–Margaret and family
James H. Broussard, professor of history at Lebanon Valley College, died peacefully at home from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, on August 10, 2020.  He was born in Houston on May 6, 1941, to Charles Hugh and Ethel Rollins Broussard.  In 1959, he graduated from Bellaire High School, where he participated in R.O.T.C., debate, and student government.  He majored in history at Harvard College, receiving an A.B. degree in 1963.  While there, he was a member of R.O.T.C., the debate team, and the Young Republicans.  He attended graduate school in history at Duke University and received his doctoral degree in 1968.

From 1968 to 1970, Dr. Broussard performed his active-duty military service in the Army Adjutant General’s Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, reaching the rank of captain.  Subsequently, he served as a reserve officer in the Office of the Chief of Military History.  He taught American history at Clarkson College of Technology, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State), served as the historian of the Indiana state legislature, and returned to teaching at Ball State University and the University of Delaware.  In 1983, he was appointed chairman of the history and political science department at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA.  His publications include The Southern Federalists, 1800-1816, and Ronald Reagan, Champion of Conservatism, as well as scholarly articles and book reviews.

In the late 1970’s, Dr. Broussard began working to start an historical society focused on the early national period of American history, which he thought a neglected field.  He founded the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), which is now a thriving and respected part of the historical profession.  In recent years, he came to view political history also as a neglected field, and at the time of his death was engaged in establishing the Center for Political History, based at Lebanon Valley College.

In 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey proposed a tax plan which required a constitutional amendment permitting different categories of people to be taxed at different rates.  Dr. Broussard believed this would not only raise taxes but would do it in an unfair manner.  He formed the group Citizens Against Higher Taxes (CAHT) and campaigned against the amendment across Pennsylvania.  It was defeated by a margin of three to one, the biggest defeat of an amendment in the history of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Broussard listening to immediate past PA Governor Tom Corbett explain why he lost the 2014 election

Dr. Broussard was a member of the Lebanon Country Club, the Steitz Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous historical societies.  He is survived by his wife, Margaret; their son, David Broussard, and David’s wife, Sophie, and their children Elsa Rose and Samuel, of Atlanta; his brother, Thomas R. Broussard, of New York City; his sister, Nancy Leonard, of Kentucky; his sister, Dorothy Bell, of New Mexico; one niece and three nephews.  Arrangements for services will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Center for Political History at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA.”

Jim sitting next to PA House Speaker Mike Turzai, with his hands clasped. Political whiz Charlie Gerow has his back to the camera on the right.