Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Snipe Selfies

Saturday is opening day.  The fact
that the river is so low that I can snipe
hunt in an indicator of how bad the
opener may be.  I've seen no teal,
limited feed, and dried up ponds. 
On top of that, the days haven't dropped
below 80 yet.

At least the new shotgun is working
for me.  I'm still getting used to
working the pump on a deluxe
12 gauge instead of the souped
up youth model 20 I've used the
last couple of years.

I'd post pictures, but the only one
hunting/scouting has been me.  



Sunday, August 02, 2015

They Never Forgive and They Never Forget

Rousas John Rushdoony from a 1973 lecture
called "The Sabbath" from his series on The
Doctrine of Salvation.

------------------------begin here--------------------
"When man denies God, however, he denies the
transcendental, supernatural power of God, but
he doesn't deny an ultimate power in the universe.
Every philosophy has a concept of ultimate power.
So, when he denies the ultimate power is in God
because he says, 'There is no God,' he must then
locate power somewhere in the world. When he
says it is Man, it ultimately devolves on the
collective Man and of the State and increasingly
on the instruments of man - the Machine. It is
very interesting on how man who made the
machine now sees it as a threat to himself. There
was a prophetic novel written on that subject
about 175/80 years ago entitled Frankenstein
And the author saw the threat of the Machine. 
Man without God making his own creation -
the Machine - and the Machine proving to be
greater than man. Why this threat?  Some of
the top men in cybernetics have actually said
that machines - computerized machines - may
take over civilization and govern Man in the
future and make Man their slaves. This is not
only stated by science fiction writers, but by
professors at Harvard and elsewhere.  It's
ridiculous, but they seriously believe this. Why? 
When God made His creation, He gave it a
sabbath, a rest.  Man needs that rest.  When
Man made his creation, the Machine, his creation
needs no rest. It can work around the clock.  It
is a continuous power.  It works automatically.
And, it begins to terrify Man. It is continual
power. And, Man feels that somehow it is a
threat to him. It is power that somehow is greater
than himself because he no longer sees himself
as in the image of God.  As God's lord over the earth. 

A very interesting statement not too long ago
in a major publication commented on the world
of machines and Man's fear of machines and
computers and especially of these computerized
data banks. And the writer, Arthur R. Miller
comments, 'Some people feel emasculated
when private information about them is
disclosed or exchanged even though the data
are accurate and they do not suffer any career
or social damage, correctly or incorrectly. 
They think in terms of having been embarrassed
or demeaned by having been denuded of
something that hitherto was theirs alone. 
This concern for the record will be reinforced
by the popular conception of the computer
as the unforgetting and unforgiving watchdog
of society's information managers.  As one
observer has remarked, "The possibility of a
fresh start is becoming increasingly difficult.
The Christian concept of redemption is
incomprehensible to the computer."'

Very interesting point is it not?  If man has no
God, there is no forgiveness of sins from God
for him. And if he has created the Machine
 and is fearful of the Machine and now the
Machine becomes a data bank which stores
all his sins, every fact about him, where is
the forgiveness of sin? 

In some cases known to me, some veterans
have found that everything that they ever
did while in the Armed Forces is now part
of the record.  That every time they went
to the doctor for any kind of shot, any kind
of ailment, and some things they never
wanted to be any part of any record are now
part of a government data bank.  And there
is no forgiveness of sins with a data bank. 
And for the humanist, this is a terrifying
thing.  And this is why it is  the humanists
are so afraid themselves of the data banks
they are creating.  Because they want to
wipe out their past so often and cannot do it. 

Having no God above to give them forgiveness
of sins, they want to destroy the past and it
accumulates there constantly, unceasingly,
every time there is any written record. 

You recall in Huxley's Brave New World
 he had his Predestinators.  Much worse
now for people the predestinators are
computers.  The sabbath is gone for the
humanist and he cannot find rest, despite
leisure - more leisure time than ever
before.  But because salvation and rest
and work are inseparable intertwined,
when one goes, the other[s] go. "

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Ballad of James Monk

My mom told me that her mom would sing a lullaby to her children about the first murder in Clearfield County, PA.  I think these are the lyrics, but I've never found a tune.  

Come all ye good people,
Who now have to view
This sad and shameful death,
I have brought myself unto;
I pray you all take warning
By my unhappy fate,
And shun vice and folly
Before it is too late.

Chorus- Alas, I am undone.

In the county of Centre
I drew my first breath,
And in that same county
I meet my shameful death;
Had I obeyed the counsel
My parents gave to me,
I would not have to suffer
Upon this shameful tree.

I hope you will remember .
James Monks is my name,
This day I confess
To my sorrow and shame,
That I shot Reuben Giles,
Whom I never saw before,
And left his body weltering
In its purple gore.

I hunted in Clearfield
In Eighteen-Seventeen
Around the head of Stump Creek
Where I had often been,
And while on my way homeward,
On Anderson Creek hill,
I stopped to drink and gamble,
Like many men do still.

I left the stone tavern
In anger at two men
For cheating me in gambling,
At least I thought so then,
And walked off in the twilight
With evil thoughts astir,
And soon I met a stranger
Who said, "Good evening. sir."

Just after I passed him,
The thought occurred to me
To kill him for his money,
There is no one here to see;
And, without further thinking.
As if from hell inspired,
I turned-took down my rifle-
And in a moment fired.

I now caught his horse
And tied him to a tree,
Then hastened to my victim,
Who faintly said to me,
“My friend, you have killed me.”
But all I would reply
Was quickly to go to him
Resolved that he must die.

The devil so possessed me,
Before he was quite dead,
With my tom'hawk I gave him
Two blows upon the head;
Then dragged him off a distance,
And stripped him of his cloth "
And like a savage left him
To wild beasts exposed.

In trying on his shoes,
I found they were too small,
I cut them in the instep,
And let my penknife fall;
This knife and an old song book,
Left here as by design,
And with his ball-pierced clothing,
Betrayed this deed of mine.

His horse and saddle bags,
They now became my prey,
His watch and pocketbook,
I also took away,
Then covered up his body
With leaves and rotten wood
Some distance from the roadside,
Where once a tree had stood.

I threw his hat away
Before I rode a mile,
Then rode on toward Karthaus,
Pursuers to beguile,
And early the next morning
I viewed my bloody store,
And thought I could conceal
This, my gun, forevermore.

I hid his bloody shirt
In the trunk of a tree,
But this too was found
And produced against me;
To show that private murder
Would never be concealed,
A dog told the secret,
And the whole was revealed.

I tried to plead "Not guilty,"
My lawyers did their best,
But proof on proof appeared,
And guilt rankled in my breast;
His bones too were produced
And presented at my trial,
And this last shocking proof
Would admit of no denial.

One more thing I'll mention
Before I'm done with time;
Some blamed Andrew Allison
For this, my cruel crime;
But since I am to suffer,
To tell a lie, I scorn,
He's innocent as the infant
Or the child yet unborn.


Friday, February 06, 2015

Yute Hunt

I took a young man and his father out
to the Youth Waterfowl Hunt this year.
Unfortunately, I didn't get him a reservation
at the WMA so we had to head out
on the St. Johns.

We all went out Friday and scouted a
good 10 miles of river.  We saw a few
mottles and one group of 8 ducks that
I wasn't sure the species.  But they
were way down river and I didn't
think we wanted to get up at 0230
and brave the sandbars to get to
the spot.  Instead, I fell back on
Fog Hunt.  That's an area that
has history of being productive
in both prior years and this
year.  We also had a skunk
there this year.

After the scout, we came home
and cut palmettos.  I also gave
them some cold weather gear,
face masks, and gloves.  Since I
was the only one going in the
water, I was the only one with

The water, habitat, and weather
were perfect.  I put 6 bwt and
one mottle out as decoys.  For
motion I put the mojo teal and
three pinners on the jerk string.

It was dead at sunup.  There weren't
even many shore birds around. No one
else was out on the marsh.  We heard
no boats or shooting.  We did hear
a distant hen mottled duck.  I hit
her with the drake mallard call.
That went on all morning.

I commented that mottled ducks
sometimes fly around 0800.  Sure
enough at 0804, the calling finally
paid off and a pair of mottles swung
out wide in front of us and came
straight into the decoys.  The young
man got off a couple of shots with
the pump, but the ducks were awfully
close and he may have nipped one
of them.

I was amazed that they went behind
us and then back up to the far end of
our pond and landed.  I intended to
sit still in case the one was hit and just
took time to succumb to the wounds.

Oddly, a third modu showed up and
they all took off.  The original two
flew one way and the singleton another.
I wailed on the hen mallard call and it
turned and followed the same track
back across the dekes that the first
pair did.  I felt so bad that both shots
missed that bird too.  With some
experience, that young man would
have had a trophy bird.  They were
big old ducks.

In the boat:
 photo IMG_1743_zpsea556b86.jpg

View behind us:
 photo IMG_1745_zpsc99db405.jpg

View of the decoys:
 photo IMG_1744_zps9b0d9fda.jpg

Action shot:
 photo IMG_1748_zps1ee78d36.jpg

I was very proud of the young man
for listening, sitting still,
taking the shots, and cycling the
gun.  He did great.  I just wish I
could have put him on more ducks.

His dad did yeoman's work with the
jerk string.  We topped the day off
with a good breakfast at IHOP.



No Whimpering, This Season Went Out with a BANG!

The last hunt of the season proved to be a
winner for the Clan.  LT hit on a draw to
Broadmoor WMA.  We were 8th pick and
figured to get a good wade spot.  We
would have tried the Broadmoor Reservoir,
but my little truck can't launch and pull out
the boat from the unimproved launching

LT went up and scouted one Thursday
by driving around.  The next Thursday
he took his bike and got behind areas
that looked unhuntable.  What he saw
was amazing.  The primo spot was
covered up in ducks - specifically

We figured that the reservoir was so
hot during the season that the early
picks would choose there.  We also
learned that the draw order was wrong
on the FWC web site and that we were
actually pick 5.  We figured that we
were set.

We brought along one of my Army
Medic son's buddies who lives locally
and had been a 240 gunner in Trashcanistan.
He'd hunted on the St. Johns River with
us once where we couldn't make the
retrieve on a mottled duck that he
shot.  We needed to make it up to him.

The word was out that guys were
parked in the walk in line from
the previous Wednesday.  At the
check station, I didn't see a familiar
face.  There were a lot of hunters
there, but it wasn't as packed as I
would have expected.  Maybe, it
was because the forecast that morning
was for 30mph gusts, driving rain,
and lightening.  Maybe, folks were
just tired of getting up so early that
late in the season.

When pick time came, we waited
anxiously.  The first four spots
chose wading over the reservoir.
We were quite surprised when
the best spot was still available for
us.  It pays to have LT scout.

As soon as we had our draw, we
drove out there.  I brought the works:
palmettos, decoys (teal, pinners, modus,
ringers, and coots), sleds, walking sticks,
stools, ammo bags, and guns.  We had to
walk along the whole south edge
of the impoundment, but didn't have
to head too far up the levee when we
turned north on the east edge.

We used our Qbeams to spot a reed
island that looked like good cover.
We faced north, but the wind was
from the west - and hard.  There
was an occasional flash of lightening,
but it wasn't close and I've hunted
in far scarier conditions.  [Although
there's nothing quite like holding a
big old lightening rod and being the
tallest thing in the marsh for a long

LT was on our left side facing into
the wind and rain.  I took the right
and put the 240 gunner on the
center seat.

When shooting time came, ducks
were everywhere.  They came through
our spread with the wind at mach
speed.  When they headed into the
wind, they practically stopped dead.
It didn't matter, my shot string was
all over two counties and I had to
lead the birds by a time zone.  I
had one fulvous directly overhead
facing the gale.  I fired three shots
and didn't even phase him.  That
wind was strong.

Our 240 gunner, shot lights out
which wasn't bad for a guy who
used to rifled bullets and not a
scatter gun.  He was limited in
less than an hour with two hen
pinners, 1 green wing teal, and
three blue wing teal - one of
which was a beautiful wall mount
drake.  He ribbed us about our
great experience and poor shooting
skills.  We spent a good deal of
the morning laughing. 

LT and I rotated to the center
seat and scratched out our limits.
ofs:  2 ringers, 1 modu, three bwt;
LT:  1 hen pinner, 1 modu, 1 ringer, 3 bwt.

Retrieves were hard, but 240 did awesome
work for a couple of mine.  

We were tired and sore when we headed in,
but we did better than anyone else we
saw.  The guys in the reservoir were
reduced to shooting coots and the guys
in the impoundment just north of us
didn't get a duck (and there were
plenty to be had).

 photo IMG_1736_zpsd441af11.jpg
 photo IMG_1733_zpse0af30b9.jpg
We ended the season with 38 ducks - a vast
improvement over last year, but still sad.  We
started and ended with LT and me limiting.
It was a fun season overall.



Thursday, January 01, 2015


Took Navy boy out hunting twice.
The first time we didn't even ring
off a shot.  The blackbellies came
over too early and the lone wood
duck squealing behind us never
came into the open.

The second time we scouted hard
and found a spot we liked.  It was
9 miles from the launching ramp
and the forecast was for fog. We
got up at 0230 for the long, slow
boat ride.  At the ramp, we were
the only guys launching but there
was no fog.  We were able to
crank the boat up to full speed and
zing to our spot.  [It helps that the
river is still up high enough that
we aren't as likely to hit sandbars
at speed.]

We got to the hole and were able
to set up nicely.  The sun was at
our backs and we had lots of open
marsh in front of us.   I had to kick
a big wad of hyacinth out of the way
to clear a landing zone and we were
set.  We even used the same palmetto
fans that we'd retained from the
previous hunt.

We were in the shallows of a very
large pond.  Another boat that came
from a different direction, set up at
the far end of the pond.  They were
well out of our shooting zone.  Later,
an airboat shoved it way through dry
land behind us and came to rest in
some palmetto trees.  I never heard
them shoot and they may have been
deer hunters poaching the private
land to the east.

We waited an hour and 12 minutes for
shooting time.  I used the Thermocell
to keep the skeeters off and used my
Anglican training to cense Navy boy
in hopes of keeping them off him too.
He says I was only mildly successful.

Right at hunting light we heard a group
of blackbellies coming in.  The went a
skosh wide, but the second group that
came in a bit later was closer.  I opened
up on them, but they went on to their
retention pond feed trough undamaged.

Navy boy got on the board first with a
nice shot on a drake spoonie.  We had
a shot on a duck that landed behind a
clump of hyacinth.  I had to yell at
it to get it to jump up and to make sure
it was a duck.  Instead of going straight
up like a puddle duck is supposed to
do, it flew along the water and made
good its escape.

When we scouted, we saw a group of
mottled ducks in the area.  On the hunt,
we had three that we watched fly all around
the pond.  Navy boy got on his drake
mallard call and got them to fly right to
left over our decoys.  He dropped a fat
drake, but I whiffed.

I picked up two singleton blue wing
teal that came in and landed in the

The remaining two mottles continued
to fly around the pond, but I didn't think
they would ever come back over us.
Navy boy's drake call did the trick though
and back they came.  Again, I opened up
but didn't hit one.  It was no hard shot and
was embarrassing in the least.  Oddly,
the pair headed across the pond and did
a controlled descent behind some reeds.
I asked, "Did I nip one of them."  "No, I
don't think so was the answer."

The guys at the other end of the pond
only pulled the trigger twice and loaded
up early.  We pulled up stakes just before
0900 because we had to get home and
crash for a duck feast party that night.

As we motored out, I decided to look
on the other side of those reeds to see
if there might not be a crippled/dead
duck over there.

We snuck in from behind and saw
one mottled duck take off.  And
there, floating in the open water was
the mottle that I had indeed hit and

It turned out to be a good day.

When I was a boy and fished with my
dad, we had a running bounty of a dime
per category for First, Most, Biggest, and
Only.  Here's how that same bet worked
out for the duck hunt.

First Duck                    Navy Boy     Spoonie
Most Ducks                 OFS               2 bwt and 1 mottled
Biggest Duck               Navy Boy     Mottled
Only [species] Duck    Navy Boy     Spoonie
Only [species] Duck    OFS              Blue Winged Teal



Biggest (his modu was much bigger)



Saturday, December 20, 2014


We slept in until 0300 and headed out
to our spot code named Fog Hunt.  We
got there uneventfully and set up uneventfully.
The biggest excitement was a flock of black
bellies that flew over our heads six minutes
before shooting time.  It took a lot of restraint
not to round off the time.  We worked our
whistles to try and call them back, but they
had a reservation at some neighborhood
retention pond feeding trough.

We missed shots at a pair of spoons and
a pair of woodies that came through
the dekes, didn't see us, but also didn't

There was sporadic shooting around
us, but no one had set up close to us.
We saw several groups both large and
small on a different flight line than
ours.  We didn't score until I thought
I heard a hen mottled duck and responded
with a couple of drake calls.  We were
very surprised when a pair of blue wings
came in.   For once, they didn't leave.
I knew I hit mine with the first shot,
but he was still flying and I shot him
again.  I'm not sure many pellets missed
him.  Lt. Jim dropped the hen with one
well-placed shot.

A little later, I tried a hen teal call that
normally doesn't work for me.  We
were caught flat-footed when 20-25
drake blue wings showed up 20 yards
out.  We wiffed on six shots.  Sad.

By 0930 we called it quits and
headed back to the ramp.  Lt. Jim
had to go the airport and pick up
our Navy E5 boy, Craig.  It'll be
good to have him home and have
his gun in the boat.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Yo Yoing

The next week, I hunted with a
buddy on his draw at Broadmoor
WMA.  While the habitat had all
changed from prior years, the flight
line hadn't.  I was able to scratch
out a limit of hen blue wings.

Lt. Jim and I went back to the
same spot on the river scouting
the next Friday.  We saw enough
birds that we figured we'd do well.
We set up in perfect habitat and
were so camoed up that little birds
were landing on the blind.  Wow,
did the marsh go dead.  We shot
at a couple of spoonies without
doing them any damage.  And
that was our day.  The couple of
other boats we saw on the marsh
didn't fire a whole lot more than
we did.

So far the year has been
0-12-0-6-0.  By that standard,
we should do very well next