We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, June 7. 2014
Over the transom:
A one-of-a-kind triple barreled revolver. Unfortunately not much is known about the Spanish gunsmith who created this firearm. The only information passed on by the previous owner is that the piece is unique.
The gun utilizes a tip-down or break-open system similar to Smith & Wesson models. It's originally crafted from an adapted 6.35 pistol and sports a 3" barrel with-fixed front sight.
The single trigger fires 3 rounds at one time.
Friday, May 9. 2014
Saturday, May 3. 2014
Friday, April 25. 2014
This guy is a good, articulate teacher of this delightful sport which is far more challenging - more sporting and more aesthetic - than trolling, lure-casting, or Southern-style bass fishing with a big outboard engine.
As we always say here about fishing and hunting, if you really need the food to feed the kids, go to the supermarket....or put a worm on a line with a lead sinker and a barbed hook.
Fly-fishing is a good sport for gals, too, although most of my pals' clubs do not allow females on the grounds. Guys need their own places to act like kids, free of female judgement.
Wednesday, April 23. 2014
Dr. Bliss queried about challenging and difficult things which can be intrinsically rewarding despite their effort, complexity, difficulty.
Making music has to be the highest of all hobbies, and understanding music perhaps comes second, but fly-fishing is one of the more humble but still somewhat complex things as are most absorbing hobbies, like woodworking to photography to baseball. Anybody is blessed to have one or two hobbies.
For those to whom fly-fishing is a mystery, here's one example of complexity: Fly Fishing Knot Tying Basics.
Sunday, April 20. 2014
A view from ye olde fishing club yesterday morning.
Bird list, while trying to focus on the fishing: GB Heron, Mallards, Bluebirds, Robin, RW Blackbird, Carolina Wren, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Downy WP, Red Bellied WP, WB Nuthatch, Tree Swallows, Turkey Vulture, Sharp Shinned Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Phoebe.
There was a good hatch yesterday including Mayflies.
A few more stream/fishing pics, and related pics, below the fold -
Continue reading "Yesterday, outdoors all day in the woods with bamboo fly rods"
Saturday, April 19. 2014
Using this recipe, more or less - whole critter, head on of course, caught today: BAKED TROUT WITH SOUR CREAM
Update: Delicious, and that big trout was enough for three of us.
Our fishing friend Harry Briscoe of Hexagraph Fly Rod Company sends us this email:
The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Pic is a sea-run Brown Trout we caught from a stream in Long Island a couple of years ago. Sea-run trout is a story in itself.
Sunday, April 13. 2014
Spent yesterday trout fishing with Gwynnie down in CT. We took a few photos to give our out-of-Yankeeland readers a little taste of CT in April:
Trout Lily, in bloom:
Continue reading "A Connecticut April Show-and-Tell, re-posted"
Thursday, March 13. 2014
Sunday, February 23. 2014
Sunday, February 9. 2014
We're having 30 friends over here at Maggie's Farm HQ for a casual wild game dinner tomorrow night. Perfect for a 10 degree (F) winter night. I'll have all three fireplaces burning.
Three of us guys now do the cooking for these events, and lucky are the invitees.
Hor's doevres: Slices of rare charcoal-grilled wild venison filet mignon and slices of rare Canada goose breast, en croute, with a dab of horseradish.
Entrees: One hunting pal is making his favorite venison curry with rice. My Louisiana-born and bred hunting buddy is making wild duck gumbo. I am making wild duck breast with dried cherry sauce, with cheese grits. Or maybe a warm duck breast salad. Can't decide.
Somebody offered to bring a big salad, and somebody else graciously offered to bring home-made desserts. I supply the beer, and everybody will bring a bottle or three of red wine.
I'll provide pretty good cigars too, for them what wants 'em. In my experience, women never complain about guys and cigars when men do the cooking and party planning. We'll have to set up a few extra tables in the living room to do this, because this ain't no palace (but not a trailer either). The persnickety Mrs. BD just hates it when a plate of gumbo or a tankard of Pinot Noir gets spilled on her furniture.
Sunday, January 26. 2014
When sitting in a duck blind or deer stand, standing on a ski slope watching your grandkids, and winter hiking, it's much more pleasant to have warm toes and fingers. I have had times in duck blinds when my fingers were too cold and numb to pull a trigger, but I have a touch of Raynaud's Syndrome.
Assuming that you wear things to keep toes and hands dry, hand and foot warmers can add plenty of comfort.
This site has aluminum-coated insoles and insoles ("footbeds") with inserts for 6-hour warmers.
They also sell Grabber Hand Warmers for your gloves - or for your pocket.
Saturday, December 7. 2013
Thanks for a good, fatiguing day in the field and plenty of good talk about serious matters. Glad I had the chance to test out my Grandpa's 16 ga. A-5. It seems to shoot straight. Heavy, though, after a few hours. This is how we roll in Yankeeland:
By the way, I know our readers always wondered what Woodcock "chalk" looks like. It's like a white splash on the fallen leaves. You have seen it in the woods, if observant. I took a photo:
Wednesday, November 20. 2013
Here's what they emailed me:
We have plenty of space if you would like to go on a duck goose combo hunt. We get ducks and geese in the same blinds on the marshes we hunt. It is $190 (plus $10 tax) per full day per hunter. We hunt all day and meet you at 5:15 am and hunt till sunset. We can come in for a lunch break or a break at anytime during the day or we can bring you lunch from a local restaurant if you want. We have many nice duck blinds, most all have roofs, we have all the decoys, you will be in your own blind & dogs are welcome. Hotels are listed on our website and off season rates are about $55 a night. Just bring your gun, ammo, boots and lic. You can get your license by calling 866-721-6911, it is easy and immediate over the phone, you get your lic, hip number and state stamp, just get the federal stamp at the post office, you can also get a 3 day out of state lic. for about $40, be sure to sign your state and federal duck stamps. You will love this place, we get a large variety of waterfowl: black ducks, mallards, teal, shovelers, brant, pintails, wigeon, gadwall, a bunch of other ducks plus Canada and snow geese.
Thursday, November 7. 2013
Hunting Woodcock, which we usually do in conjunction with hunting Ruffed Grouse, is an interesting and challenging sport. They tend to fly in a spiral, and many of us have a moment of remorse when we take one of these lovely little tasty birds from the dog.
The dog is needed not so much to flush them or point them as to find them when shot. Their camo is perfect.
Always make a sauce for them by sauteeing all of their innards and guts in butter and shallots, and shmooshing them up with a fork with a little brandy and pepper. There's no mess in there, because they conveniently flush out their GI track when they flush.
Readers know that the best Woodcock recipe is Woodcock Ravioli in a splash of gibier sauce and shaved black truffle on top.
Currier and Ives' Woodcock Shooting:
Saturday, November 2. 2013
Repost - I guess this is Part 2 or 3 of our Outerwear mini-series, and part of our world-famous Winter Warmth series which we will begin to post in view of the coming Global Cooling Crisis -
The invention of Gore-tex rendered plenty of waterproof and windproof fabrics obsolete - or quaint. For example, rubberized raingear, or waxed cotton or waxed canvas. Gore-tex is much lighter, it breathes, it requires no maintenance, and Gore-tex outerwear is cheaper to produce and can be made with the blaze orange patches which American field hunting (unlike European) requires by law.
Trouble is that waxed cotton jackets, wellies, a dog, and a nice gun look so natural together. It's about fashion to some extent: how many Americans wear their Barbour when brush-busting for grouse or mucking the stall vs. the number that wear theirs to the hardware store, the mall, and their kids' soccer games?
I own a Lewis Creek and an old Browning waxed jacket, but I have plenty of Gore-tex parkas and field gear for various purposes: camo, blaze, parkas, outer-jackets, etc. Gore-tex hunting brush pants, too - insulated and uninsulated (insulated hunting trousers was a waste of $ - all you need is winter underwear of whatever weight you select for the weather of the day).
Despite all the above, I'll just address waxed cotton here despite its impractibility. Gore-tex is great stuff, but it's boring. Waxed cotton has character and Gore Tex is industrial.
Orvis has plenty of men's and women's Barbour stuff.
Lewis Creek. Good stuff, distributed from VT but made in Scotland.
LL Bean is doing waxed cotton too.
For true heavy-duty waterproof outerwear, Filson's tin cloth is the ultimate. That waxed canvas is so tough that it stands up by itself after you take it off. In fact, if you died standing in a goose blind or in the woods the tincloth jacket and tincloth trousers would probably still hold you up straight like a scarecrow until a strong winter storm blew you over. Their "shelter cloth" is lighter weight. I have some of the stuff. Its durability:comfort ratio is high. Feels like medieval armor before it warms up and softens a bit.
Remember: Always check Sierra Trading Post first for good deals.
Sunday, October 13. 2013
If you're set up in the right barley or hay field before 5 am, the Snows will come noisily fluttering into your decoys like this. Hot barrels. Great fun.
You get up at O dark 30, grab a coffee, a Marlboro, an apple and a banana and a handful of granola bars, then drive a while down gravel roads and through vast farm fields and set up early in the chilly field in the dark with the aid of headlights and headlamps. Then you drive the trucks out of the field and hide them behind a distant tree row.
Unlike Canadas with their tough plumage and rugged build, Snows are easily killed. As it is said, "They go down like a prom dress."
Friday, October 11. 2013
The view at sunset with the “second half” held firmly in one hand, a Montecristo #4 in the other. Lord Dundee, who drank his whiskey by the tumblerful, once said, ''A single Scotch is nothing more than a dirty glass.'' We love single malts and single cask single malts, but, for regular drinking, Famous Grouse is the favorite.
Sunday, September 15. 2013
Sunday, September 1. 2013
Feral pig, Wild Boar, Wild Hog, Russian Boar, farm pig. They are all pigs, all very slight variants of the one species Sus scrofa. (The tusks are removed from farm pigs at birth.) In the US, they are all called "pigs."
No sus scrofa is native to North America.
We have posted in the past about the pig/boar hybrids which have been expanding their range across the US, wreaking havoc in the process to woodlands and to agriculture. They are so prolific, and so destructive, that most areas of the US now have open season on the pigs. Hog wild: Feral pig population explodes in U.S
Distinguishing European (aka Russian) Boar from farm pig/boar hybrids is almost impossible, but it is thought that, in many or most areas, most animals are hybrid. Since they're all the same species, it doesn't really matter. Pigs.
Texas and California have seen enormous population growth of Sus, but they have spread around the country - even around Albany NY where the biggest pigs have traditionally been the NYS politicians.
Since every area in the US in which they have appeared is eager to be rid of them, year-round hunting opportunities are abundant. Hunting over bait stations is entirely legal. Some use AR-15s, some use bow, some use revolver, and some macho dudes use baying dogs and kill the pigs with a hunting knife.
There are simply not enough pig hunters to control these creatures, so I propose releasing Wolves into areas where the wild pigs are a problem. The Wolves would have a field day.
Some people do not enjoy the taste of wild pig, which is a bit gamier than the corn-fed farm pig. I have had the wild boar, the same Sus scrofa, which lives in the Appenines of Umbria, and it is a special treat when cooked the ways the Umbrians do it. "Cinghiale." I've had it there cooked several ways, and the sausage too. Even snuck some cinghiale salumi home in my bags.
Here's Pigging out in Umbria
Here's a number of Italian recipes for wild boar/pig/whatever, to perhaps inspire our American pig hunters.
Here's a pic of my pal (on the right) with a Texas pig he
Saturday, August 31. 2013
Saturday, August 24. 2013
Tuesday, August 6. 2013
Saturday, August 3. 2013
While in process of cleaning out my parents' house, we discovered where Dad had stashed the shotguns. This nice surprise, among other well-used field guns, had been one of my Grandpa's.
It's not as if I needed more shotguns, but this is a 16 ga., which is a good thing.
You know what this is. Remington built this one. It's a fairly heavy SOB. I don't think I have used it since I was 15.
The bore is clean as a whistle. I will clean 'er up and use it again for both sentimental and practical reasons.
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