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Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds

Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds
Click the pic for "The hard Nosed Pack"

Luwire Photographic Safaris

Luwire Photographic Safaris
Looking across the Lugenda from one of the camps

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Like it Should Be!

Several years back I was in the Johannesburg Airport on my way home from 3 months in Mozambique. Sitting there in the lounge a tall gentleman saddled up next to me and ask if he could join me. Of course I replied in the affirmative and he introduced himself as Martin and proceeded to tell me he had observed me several times in my old Landcrusier on my way through Montepuez, an old Portuguese town that lies on the route we follow going and coming to the Safari area around the Niassa Reserve.
Seeing me sitting there he couldn't resist finding out what I was about. Of course you already know I was there working with a Safari Operation but his story is where I am going.

Martin was from Europe and his family were in the business of manufacturing very high quality classical musical instruments which wasn't all that rare, except the particular instruments that Martins family produced were made from Ebony, or the "Blackwood" as Martin called it. They also supplied high end Piano Companies with their ebony for the keys.

Martin seemed to feel my inquiring mind cranking up in my head as I asked him how long he had been in Mozambique. He could see the excited interest on my face when he said "over thirty years." I settled my thoughts and said, could you please tell me a little about how it was when you first came? He laughed said something about his memory and began.

One time I was traveling the road to Montepuez, late one afternoon with a friend. I had an old WW II army jeep and kept the windshield folded down across the hood as you can with the old Jeeps. Back then, he continued
the road was not paved so you took your time mostly. "You know that stretch between Sunate and Metoro?" Yes I said,

Well, we were carrying on and the sun had set and I had just switched on the lights. That stretch was pretty desolate then but the road was nice and sandy so we were relaxed. I had just asked my friend to hand me a beer and just as he reached back and grabbed a couple bottles I saw in the far reaches of the lamps perimeter sitting in the middle of the road a very large Leopard.
Everything mechanical on the old jeep was in a state old age and that included the brakes.

Martin chuckled as he continued, It was an agonizing decision, to stop or go and it needed to be decided quickly as I was already weighing the outcome of both. To try and stop I would probably only slow down enough to arrive at the Cat's feet. To hit the pedal speed up and try to bluff the beast into dodging for the bush was, well iffy at the least as the old petrol motor had little or no torque.
I decided for the latter anyway and drove the pedal to the rusty floor board. Little or no extra speed was attained and we continued on course at little more than 10 miles per hour, however the little 4 cylinder spit and spat as all the extra petrol began flooding the carb and over whelming the far from new feeble spark coming to the cylinders. So we slowed slightly, and only a bit of downward angle of the track helped to maintain what little speed we had.
The Leopard loomed larger and larger especially after he quit his sitting position and struck a pose on all fours, never moving from the center of the track. As we approached it seemed he would go for the Bush but at the last moment he jumped at the jeep, bounded up and on to the bonnet with one leap and with the other flew between us and out the back in to the night. We never let up our deadly speed but slipped low into our seats with the vision of the Leopard in hot pursuit coming for us.

Trienke Lodewijk photos

He continued, "I also had a small flat on the beach in Pemba where the Elephants would come and swim the surf and Leopards hunted the beach at night. I had a young pet Vervet Monkey as a pet in a cage on my porch once. A leopard took him one night.
Back then it was a very wild place, he said in a Melancholy stare. I said I was sorry I missed it back when it was like it should be.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This will give you a great perspective on how amazing these birds are.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


By DAVID LANGERMAN Professional Hunter

Early leopard success and a communications mix up

In October 2011, we had the pleasure of hosting four gentlemen from the American South. Joel Hanmer, Allan Rappuhn, Wade Gilchrist and Eugene Sak travelled from Alabama to hunt leopard and buffalo with us, LUWIRE Safaris, in the Niassa Reserve of Northern Mozambique. They were destined for a 10 day safari enjoying the very best Mozambican hunting has to offer – a million acres of unfenced, fair chase dangerous game hunting in ‘’miles and miles of bloody Africa’’.
The gentlemen were after a collection of plains game, Cape buffalo and a leopard. However, as those who have travelled to Africa know, the best laid plans can go awry at the drop of a hat. Right from the get go the buffalo decided they just didn’t want to play by the rules and subsequently gave us a hell of a time. During the course of the safari, many hot, thirsty, tiring miles were spent pursuing ‘Cape Fear’, only to get busted repeatedly by the wind or just plain bad luck. On about the second day, Derek (the senior PH and operator) asked me to hang some leopard baits for the group. Allan happened to be riding with me on that particular day, and as the buffalo had given us the slip, we agreed. I had scouted out the area a few days prior to the safaris start and I had a good feeling about an area an hour and a half to the south of camp. The area I had in mind is called ‘Marangamaranga’ and there is a huge granite inselberg range situated right up against our southern boundary. A small spring draws animals from miles around, and there was a small ‘donga’ or dry ravine nearby that I had set my sights on for baiting a big cat. I had not seen any tracks at this site, but it just felt real good. There was water nearby, good cover and habitat and prey species were plentiful in the vicinity. Sometimes going with a hunch can pay off. The second site I chose was nearer to camp and was at a cross road of two hunting tracks. There was an old waterhole with a large overhanging Kigelia Africana, or Sausage tree and a lot of Hyperrenia thatch grass that lined another small sandy stream that approached this dried up pan. Close investigation of the site revealed an old carcass. Further scouting around and we happened across fresh tracks - a cat had been busy here and he looked to be a good one.

We hung legs of waterbuck at the respective sites, and retreated to camp to escape the blistering October heat.
The following day saw us pursuing Buffalo yet again, only to get busted in the thick bush at 10 yards. Frustrating, I know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When you hunt buffalo, or for that matter any species in Africa, you must put in the miles of torturous, thirsty tracking, you must feel the intensity of the searing African sun and you must suffer the tsetse flies continual harassment to truly appreciate the hunt you are partaking. It is the small sacrifice you must give to honour the special species we are so privileged to hunt on this continent. It’s the way it should be! However, after who knows how many miles, I don’t think Allan was sharing this sentiment with me, so I decided we should take a time out and check our baits. The far site at Marangamaranga was hit on the first night, and the cat had taken a big chunk out of the bait and had scratched up the tree pretty good. Great! The trackers immediately set to blind building duties in silence. A friend of mine and highly experienced professional hunter John Sharp once told me that he happened across a leopard he was hunting a few hundred yards away from his bait. Since then I have always built the blind in silence and try to disturb the area around the bait and blind as little as possible. John’s lesson taught me that those cats could very well be close to the bait, even during the hottest hours of the day, listening and potentially checking out your building activities.
Whilst the trackers were constructing the blind, I got on to the VHF radio set and tried to contact the camp and Derek with the good news. Luwire professional hunters have a VHF (very high frequency) radio set on us at all times, and we are linked into the Niassa National Reserve repeater system. This effectively boosts our network coverage drastically and allows us to call outposts over 140km (Normal VHF system has a line of sight radius and at best 10km). In an area as remote as the Niassa Reserve, this is an absolute godsend. However we have to route all our calls through the Reserve headquarters and a designated radio set operator. On this particular day ‘Charlie Mike’, the reserve radio operator’s call sign, seemed to be in a daydream and totally messed up my message to Derek. Allan and I had decided to wait a way off from the blind until Derek showed up with Wade. As the afternoon dragged on and I hadn’t received a return call from Derek, I started to worry that they hadn’t got the message. Repeated attempts to raise Derek on the radio myself were unsuccessful, and the Operator assured me he had indeed passed on the initial message and not to worry. As any PH knows, when you have a good cat on bait, do not squander the opportunity. I think Allan sensed this, and he asked if we had a spare leopard tag over and above Wades. I responded that we did, and that if Derek wasn’t here by 1630hrs, the decision was his if he would like to sit for the cat.

Well Derek and Wade did get the call, but the radio operator told them we were at some place Derek or his trackers had never heard of! The frustrating part of it was that we were hunting near a road Derek himself had put in so he knew the area very well. They ended up tearing around the concession trying to find us to no avail, and eventually gave up in the late afternoon. Believe me that is the last time I observe Niassa Reserve radio protocol – next time I will be making the call direct! A classic case of ‘Chinese telephone’….

By 1645 we were seated in the blind. Late by normal standards, but we had been waiting for the ‘A team’ to pitch. The sun began its gradual descent into the western horizon and the cacophony of bird song, gave way to the buzz of crickets, the liquid call of Bubbling Kassina frogs and the occasional Rock Hyrax whistle from the nearby Marangamaranga Inselberg range. The last shards of peach and crimson sunlight pierced the smallest gaps of the grass blind, illuminating the inside of the structure with a soft light that made you appreciate the afternoon, the excitement of the task ahead and the pleasure of being on Safari with like-minded people. A noise pulled me out of my pleasant daydream. A fork tailed Drongo was kicking up a fuss behind the bait and i sneaked a peak through my viewing hole. 15 yards behind the bait, I saw a sooty black triangle twitch in the yellow grass. The back of the leopard’s ear! His large head and torso materialised out of the grass as he switched position to escape the nagging bird. He was a wary cat; he was searching the surrounding area intently. After a few minutes of scrutiny, he advanced cautiously to the foot of the bait tree and flopped down, waiting for darkness to fall so he could resume his feeding. I signalled to Allan that the cat was at the tree. I could see the adrenaline and his excitement take hold as his face lit up with the news. I cautioned him to have a look through the scope of his .375 and to orient himself. There was still enough light to plainly see the cat and Allan signalled he was positioned and happy. The cat sat up and looked to the right of the blind. I think he had seen something, but he didn’t get a chance to move. At my whispered command Allan placed a perfect frontal shot through his chest and out his back. He flipped over, tail thrashing and was still; sprawled under the bait tree and the bait he had come to dine on.
Whenever we take a cat there’s always that feeling of elation. And pride in getting the job done safely. However it’s also tempered with a twinge of remorse at taking one of Africa’s premier and most beautiful of trophies. I personally never take for granted the privilege of the line of work I get to call my vocation.

Joel’s unplanned Lion hunt
‘’You are going to have to shoot this lion real close, around 25 yards, and more than likely in some really thick stuff. He is not going to be happy with us that close to his meal’’ Derek explained. I could see Joel’s expression change, and I could only imagine what was running through his mind. Actually I had a pretty shrewd idea – ‘’ Lord what have I got myself into?!’’

The safari had been ticking along nicely so far. The southern boys were taking a nice variety of trophies. Derek and Wade had kicked the leopard baiting into overdrive and had festooned various trees with all manner of bait. A number of Toms had hit, but so far they just hadn’t sealed the deal. They had sat on baits on two occasions but the temperamental wind and a herd of elephants had scuppered their plans. One night on the way back from an unsuccessful attempt, Derek and Wade bumped into a big male Lion on an elephant carcass. The cat rushed the land cruiser pick up and in no uncertain terms voiced his displeasure at having been disturbed at dinner time. According to the hunters it was a scary but exhilarating sight. I can just imagine! Back at camp, the excitable talk was all about lion and what had just transpired. Derek mentioned that the lion looked old enough by the Niassa Reserve standards and that a tag was available, and would any one fancy a crack at a mature, full maned lion bright and early the next morning? Well, that got our southern gentlemen into a frenzied round of talks and deliberations! Over dinner that night, everyone was trying to talk each other into taking this unique opportunity – a mature lion on his own kill and on foot. A great opportunity indeed. For those of you who have hunted lion will know what I’m talking about – the time invested in safari days and the bait bill itself can be a small fortune! Eventually by evenings end Joel decided he was up for the challenge. That’s when Derek cautioned the group as a whole as to the lions’ temperament and how the hunt was more than likely going to be conducted and finished at very short range! But the decision had been made and we were lion hunting in the morning! Everyone finally drifted off to whatever sleep they could get after the excitement of that day’s events, and just before final goodnights, Derek asked me to back him up on the lion hunt in the morning. He reiterated that the lion was not a ‘happy camper’- he was trying to defend his kill- and that we were in for some serious sports the next morning. Well Derek is a vastly experienced hunter in his own right, so I knew if he was asking me for assistance in the morning, this lion was indeed a bad tempered old sod. It’s always reassuring to have another competent professional hunter with you if the proverbial ‘brown and smelly stuff hits the fan’, he explained.

The next morning saw everyone up and about with increased vigour in their step. Over breakfast, a strategy was devised and people were assigned their places in the forth coming hunt. Derek placed me on the right end of our little skirmish line, with Joel in the middle and himself on the left end. Tucked in right behind this was Allan. Wade and Eugene were instructed to hang back out of the way of the action at the rear with the trackers, and if possible Eugene was going to try and catch the action on film. The group departed camp in high spirits and arrived 200 yards short of the scene of the previous night’s encounter. Rifle magazines loaded, softnose bullets in chambers, slings detached, and last minute terse instructions were whispered by Derek, before we set off. We inched towards the spot where the lion was hunkered down. A small but densely over grown ditch ran perpendicular to our line of approach. Derek explained that the lion was skulking in this cover and that he had dragged the elephant into this hide out. Behind this ditch was a very thick and it vexed me to say it, a rather large patch of very tall thatch grass! As this troubled thought left my mind the overgrown ditch erupted in growls, snarls and the most audibly impressive demonstration I have ever heard from a lion. Derek was spot on with his assessment – this lion was not happy with our proximity to his meal! A tawny streak dashed to our right and was swallowed up in a sea of grass. A wave of disappointment washed over us – he had legged it. Bugger. However, the Niassa is full of surprises and we were all adrenaline jolted back into action and fear tainted, white knuckle excitement when the bush to the left of the original cat erupted into yet more snarls and guttural growling. There were two lions! This exciting yet dangerous realisation had only just dawned upon us when, in an instant, the ditch exploded and an unhappy male lion, came boiling out to meet us. Derek hollered at Joel to wait for him to stop, and he skidded to a halt at a very nerve rackingly close distance! He was clear of the brush, in the open and presenting a frontal target. Joel’s .375 boomed and that lion just simply disappeared! I could not credit the speed at which that cat turned and fled into that overgrown ditch. It was unbelievable.
‘’How did the shot feel Joel, think you hit him good?’’ Were the first words spoken. I could see the concern written all over Derek’s face. I realised instantly at the moment of the shot that if mortally hit that cat would have reacted far differently to the way it had. Instead it was swallowed up at the speed of light in that dreadful bloody thicket. The trackers came forward and exclaimed they had seen the hit – fur flying from the right side of the animal. Wonderful…. a wounded lion in that god awful grass. It was now my turn to wonder just what I had agreed to do! But that’s the job I guess. We wanted a good 20 minutes and then Derek asked the southern folks to stay back, and we entered rather gingerly into the area where the lion had pulled his Houdini act. There was no blood and the ground was very hard. What a nightmare – no visible sign on the ground and a wounded lion in thick cover. Just what you don’t want! Derek and I pressed on with extreme caution and slowly scrutinised every inch of cover and ground, our personal heavy calibre weapons poised and ready. Up ahead of us a troop of baboons started screaming and kicked upped a serious ruckus. While Derek and I pondered this in strained whispers, a small movement caught our attention to our left and all of a sudden a very large and handsome lion strolled out of cover 25 yards away from us and across our front like nothing had happened! We could see straight away that he wasn’t wounded, because if he was he would have been in our laps in a heartbeat. Instead, he ambled away indifferently into another thicket.
Derek and I pulled out of the thicket for a re-think. The situation was talked over and over again, with every one adding their two cents. The trackers then claimed that what we had seen after the shot wasn’t a hit but the bullet whisking off a section of mane hair as it flew high and wide of the intended mark. Nice of them to tell us that after we had been in that thicket, I thought. I guessed that explained the lack of blood, no fatal reaction to the shot and the fact that when we had seen him in the thick stuff, the lion had walked away from us, instead of bounding over to maul one of his pursuers. Joel was absolutely gutted. He was a worried man, I could see. Derek decided the best thing to do would be to anchor the bait in an opening, build a blind and come back that afternoon to see if the lion would return. It was the only sensible thing to do considering. Back at camp, everyone was in a sombre mood. Poor Joel was having a hard time. He couldn’t believe he missed. Despite our best efforts we didn’t cheer him up much. The rest of the day dragged by and eventually we made the journey back to the now newly built blind and bait set up. It was decided the original skirmish line would sit in the blind whilst the others could sit back in camp and make an early start on the cocktails. Derek and Joel sat upfront in the blind whilst Allan sat behind Derek and I sat behind Joel, keeping watch on the rear. We were all seated and reading magazines and Journals by 1600hrs. No more than half an hour went by and I noticed movement through Joel’s shooting porthole. The lion had returned in daylight and a mere 30 minutes after we had entered the blind! The afternoon sun caught him full on and he was a beauty. I could see he took offence to the fact that someone had moved his bait and he was grumbling and shifting his position a lot. He was uneasy, but he wasn’t going anywhere. Derek was studying him intently through his binos, Allan was grinning from ear to ear and Joel, the poor bugger, was shaking like a leaf! Derek very quickly made an assessment and told Joel to take him. Joel did nothing. Again Derek told him to go for it. Again nothing. Joel’s breathing was shallow and fast, and seated behind him, I could see he was having a hard time keeping his nerves and excitement under control. For those of you who haven’t hunted dangerous game, it’s not as easy as just aiming and pulling the trigger. Pure adrenaline is flooding through your veins and it’s a struggle to keep the excitement and nerves in check. The earlier miss wasn’t helping either. Derek looked puzzled and shot a quizzical glance over at Joel and me. I leaned forward and said, in as a politely forceful way as possible, ‘shoot the lion!’ Joels .375 thundered and this time it was plain to see the bullet strike home behind the cats shoulder. The Lion hunched up and took off growling. For the second time that day he disappeared into that same thicket. As he streaked away I popped my head over the blind and watched where he vanished into the tall grass. 40 yards or so beyond that I saw the second lion looking around in confusion. He slipped into the same section of bush that his mortally stricken brother had dashed into. We waited 15 minutes in the blind, and I called the trackers up on the radio. Joel and Allan (and for that matter Derek and myself) were all keyed up, ready to find the lion. It was evident that the cat had been hit hard. However in situations like this it’s important to be prudent and cautious. With the trackers in tow casting for blood and tracks, and ourselves looking into the grass where the lion disappeared, we edged forward to find the cat. Derek repeatedly warned to be wary of the other lion. Too often the wrong one is shot in the confusion of the moment by panicked hunters. At the edge of the thicket there was a bright scarlet smudge on tawny skin and suddenly a lion’s prostrate form came into focus. The cat had died at the edge of that damn grass, and I for one was glad we did not have to follow that cat in there for the second time that day! Shouts, backslaps and lots of hand shaking and laughter pierced the tense silence. Joel was one happy dude! We rolled the Lion over and examined his beautiful blonde mane, someone produced a bottle of Jack Daniels and I swear that bottle was finished in mere minutes. Joel was drinking that stuff like cola as he let off all that built up worry, earlier disappointment and pressure, and the relief came out in a flood of laughter and jokes. The amazing part of the story is that the lion was Joel’s first African trophy. What a way to start your safari experience!

Wades Leopard
Whilst all the excitement with the first leopard and lion was taking place, and unbeknownst to us, a large leopard had hit my second bait at the Sausage tree. Derek had assumed I was checking it and I assumed he was too (you know what they say about assumptions right?). Derek and I had been swapping the clients around, so some days I found myself with different members of the party than the day before. It just so happened that I was with Wade when we checked the second bait. When I checked the bait, I was mortified to see that it was almost gone and that we desperately needed more meat to keep the cat interested. Wade quickly did the honours and procured us an Impala ram to hang in place of the old bait. Again the trackers fashioned us a blind and very shortly we had a good well camouflaged hide out in some thick thatch grass with a nicely swept approach path, in case we had to walk in in the early hours of the following morning. By 1600hrs we were seated in the blind and waiting in great anticipation. The evening wind in our area normally blows to the west, but at this location the breeze was doing all sorts of crazy things. I was continually stressing that the cat was going to get our scent and bug out. Time dragged by, and ‘magic hour’ came and went. At one stage I thought I heard something at the base of the tree but it was too hard to accurately tell. I didn’t want to shine the light either unless I was certain that the leopard was in the tree. By 1900hrs I was starting to worry that the cat was not going to make an appearance. By 2000hrs I finally called it a night and suggested to Wade we go home and get some dinner. There was now more than enough meat in the tree if the cat did indeed decide to show up. However, I had my doubts. At that stage I thought I had blown it on a potentially good cat. Still, I thought it worthwhile to try for an early morning sit in case the cat did return. At 0330hrs the next morning we crawled from our beds, gulped down scalding cups of coffee and made our way to the blind. About a kilometre from the bait we stopped the hunting rig and made our way on foot, in silence and in the dark, to the blind. We nestled in to our chairs and prepared to see in the dawn, hoping like hell that the cat was eager for some early morning breakfast. Alas not a bloody thing stirred! However as it got lighter, and the more I could see through the binos, I realised that the cat had indeed returned. The fresh impala carcass was fed on heavily. He must have fed after our departure, more than likely watching us go, and had left before we had made our pre-dawn ambush.
That afternoon we returned to the blind. I was prepared to sit all night if I had to. I don’t think Wade was relishing the thought of sitting for hours on end in a plastic chair. But to his credit, he didn’t complain once and he was as quite as a church mouse. Again magic hour came and went and I became more and more anxious. At 1900hrs I heard a rustle in the leaves to the left of the bait tree. Faintly, but definitely a noise. Another 15 minutes elapsed in silence. The anticipation was killing me. Then I heard the unmistakeable sound of heavy claws going to work on rough tree bark. I peered through my viewing hole as the cat walked out onto the bait branch, perfectly silhouetted against the evening sky. Seeing or hearing a leopard in the tree is always a thrilling sight. All your hard work and planning has paid off. The leopard leant over the far side of the trunk and started swatting branches off the bait so he could feed. The dried branches and bait chain rattled every time he attacked the bait in gusto. In that evening calm it seemed awfully loud. As a result, every few seconds he would stop and cast around, looking for any potential threats. I let him feed for a few minutes and to get comfortable. I signalled to Wade to get ready, and that I was going to shine the light on him. I eased the light into position and switched it on. The cat turned to investigate the source of the disruption, and offered Wade his chance. I whispered the command to shoot. The words were hardly out of my mouth when Wade shattered the silence with his borrowed .30-06. The shot looked good and the cat sprang out of the tree very awkwardly. I could see the reflections of his eyes as he thrashed about under the tree, and then he disappeared from view, into a Buffalo thorn thicket off to the right.

I knew the cat was done for but I still waited for the trackers to come up so they could shine the light whilst I operated the artillery. Wade, the Trackers and I advanced slowly to the thicket where I saw the cat tumble into. Just like the lion, it was the splash of crimson on camouflaged spotted hide that showed us where our cat lay stretched out under the buffalo thorn. What a relief! Having thought I had blown a good opportunity to now seeing a magnificent cat lying next to an elated hunter, I was very relieved. My tracker Bilale, with a huge grin on his face, reminded me that we had taken three cats in eight days, and I thought we could justifiably be happy with that effort for this safari, even if we didn’t get the buffalo.




Monday, January 23, 2012

As some of you" Continue in Ignorance," I think, Meditation or Rant, I think I'll RANT

Your gonna say well here he goes again, and your right! so read on.
I am a Christian and I believe the Bible not the teachings of the allah, the buda, the holy cows, the holy monkeys, the motha of earth, the anything else tip toeing through the roses trying to convince everyone "to just get along!." This world has been at conflict since God created it. He made it this way not me. He made blood to be the great equalizer, we all got to have it flowing through our veins, we can all live and be forgiven because of the Blood Jesus lost dripping from his wounds as he hung on the Cross. In the end the Bible says blood from the final conflict will run deep as the horses bridle. My God is no stranger to shedding Blood, If you mess with my family I will confront you, If you mess with my friends I will confront you, If you mess with my country I will confront you, and to whatever level you want to escalate our little confrontational get together I will oblige you. You want to spill my blood? Be very sure "I will address your want." There is nothing, and I mean nothing in this world that hasn't been fought over at one time or another, so why do you think putting sugar on everything is going to stop human hostility? We're human, we were meant to be the perfect species but we screwed that up pretty quick! We have been fighting over this and that since the beginning. We crucified the only man that (never did anything to anybody). In my opinion a little fussing and fighting is good for us occasionally. It's good to be passionate enough to fight for what you believe, cause one day we may all have to fight for something dear to us.

If you are a Politically Correct Human Being or Family and you are teaching your children that this is the way, well you are gonna raise a house full of un-passionate go with the flow-ers. They will be followers not leaders. You can't be politically correct and be a man, simply put, you are afraid of something, you are afraid of how you are perceived that's the bottom line. Your afraid of saying the wrong words cause it might hurt some foreigners feelings, might upset some homosexual, might hurt you in the upper class circles you are seeking. Well, I have had a gut full of this none sense. You can't be a true friend of mine, you can't drink my wildcat, sit by my fire, dine at my table, sleep in my guest house or my tent. You will never hunt behind my dogs, or receive a heart felt gift from me. However if I find you desolate on the side of the highway I will give you help, I will show you kindness, I will try to comfort you as best I can but I will consider you a failure in life. Your a failure because you have lost sight of the truth and are too weak to look for yourself for the answer. You will just choose to be a fence rider and not stand for anything except becoming invisible. My dad used to say to people that raised doubts about his success at some task, "just hide and watch." That sums you up, go hide....... and watch! Come out when the coast is clear!

Listen, are you listening? Are you still reading?
I hope so, cause there's more. I have friends all over this world. I have muslim friends, hindu friends, gay friends, liberal friends, black, white and on and on. I hope they live long and prosper but their views are doomed in my view. I WOULD RATHER HAVE A PERSON AS A FRIEND THAT KNOWS WHERE I STAND AND RESPECTS ME FOR IT. THEY IN TURN GAIN MY RESPECT! I don't hate them because we are different, but I will defend my convictions to any degree necessary! I can overlook those with the politically correct attitude that are around me. I wont pick a fight with them about it. I wont confront someone and start a conversation about it but, I will defend my views if asked. I would be just as "sorry" as the politically correct believer if I sat back and hid and watched. This world is tuff and is getting tuffer. People you better take a cold hard look at where we are and know this.... Political Correctness makes you weak. This country can't continue and be weak. This country can't continue to condone the murder of unborn children, can't continue to give freebies to lazy sorry no good ass holes. This country can't afford the stupid Low Bred Judges and Lawyers that give a slap on the hand to criminals. This country can't afford third world type leaders in our Congress and the Senate! This country can't continue to financially support blood sucking third world leaders of doomed cultures, we only prolong and add to the agony of the common people affected. This country can no longer set back and be Politically Correct!

Now you can change or?

You can continue in Ignorance

If you choose the latter then please never read from this blog again. Drift away somewhere where your uselessness will not be a hindrance and listen.... Don't put me in some random category, I'm not a republican, an independent nor a radical bible thumper. Not a homophobe or islamaphobe or any other phobe, not a KKKr or a stupid arian nation type. I MIGHT BE a little red-neckish but more than anything I'm just a standard American man that makes a living with my own two hands. I come home at night to the love of my life, I worship her, my daughter my grand daughter my family and a very Hard Core God! I will die for all of the above at the drop of a hat. I drive a 43 year old vehicle and love my hunting dogs. My best friends run the gamut from millionaires to paupers and they all think like me and I cherish each friendship........ I'm just an American, but more than that,

I'm Right!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

From my buddy Devin Staker, breeder of formidable Big Game Hounds and part time deep thinker!

Ok, so I am riding along this morning thinking that only me and God have been in this country and then out of no where this beautiful naked woman shows up.lol

And A Little More,

Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." She was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day.

So what did we have back then…? After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

from my friend
Devin Staker, U.S. Government Hunter, Colorado

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I've been catching bits and pieces of this for a while now. Thanks to Stephen over at "QUERENCIA" for bringing this news to the fore front of his Blog. You, I, and every serious "Dog Man/Woman" better sit up and smell the smoke coming over the horizon. Small fire now, but just let the wind catch it and we'll all get scorched. AP

The below printed by permission from Stephen Bodio.

Politicians & Animal Rights vs the right to breed YOUR dogs

By intention I don't do much politics here- I am neither partisan or, mostly, interested enough. But does ANYONE pay attention to the fact that one socially conservative Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, is in bed with HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, and the whole Animal Rights movement, and has been for many years? Worse, he seems to fly totally under the radar. If you care about hunting, or, especially, private dog breeding, Google “Santorum HSUS” or "Animal Rights" or even "Wayne Pacelle"...

A lot of nutty stuff left and right, approving and critical, is available, but some of real substance is up too. Many people think or comment "I'm against puppy mills." Fine, but much of the proposed legislation, like Governor Perry's below or some of Santorum's failed attempts, would not just ban commercial breeders (who in any case have the money to move, fight, rebuild their kennels in technical compliance, or otherwise evade). Such laws would have prohibited my breeding (all of five non- profit pre- homed unique sighthound litters so far), and/ or have stopped me from bringing over my entire hound family, including Ataika, Queen of the World, who we got and lived with for a month in Almaty-- she was among other things, including just IMPORTED (apparently inherently evil), under 6 months old. Think she would have been as social and civilized later?*

The very sane Bob Kane on Santorum's proposed 2005 PAWS bill:

"PAWS has virtually nothing to do with animal welfare or closing Animal Welfare Act "loopholes." It's a direct attack on U.S. hobby breeders, hunting dog owners and animal rescuers. PAWS federalizes hobby pet breeding."

And then there is his fellow Republican Rick Perry, who fails on dumbass grounds anyway but tends to pose as a red blooded western foe of bureaucracy. I call bullshit. From petbreedersandowners.com: “HB1451 created a new state agency, allows for entry into a private residence without the owners presence, establishes a public database to include the private information of pet breeders, established a bounty fund for animal rights activists to report pet breeders to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and is a contradiction of the key values supposedly upheld by Gov. Perry. These bills were heavily backed by the H$U$, ASPCA, PETA, and other animal rights groups, and promote their agenda.”

Statist meddlers & "botherers" both...

The results can be seen in Continental European countries, where an unholy alliance of government and closed registry breed clubs can now decide who is born. A friend in Germany wrote:

"But here in Germany it is very difficult to breed with brindle salukis. I think you remember the brindle Metzlers dogs. They tried to get permission to breed their bitch Bahia, but in the shows they only got a "good" and that is not good enough for the breeding permissions."

Priceless unique genetic diversity is being lost for no demonstrable reason at all, and it CAN happen here-- intact dogs of my AKC and Saluki Club unacceptable bloodlines are in peril of compulsory sterilization in Albuquerque because of former (Democrat-- stupid knows no partisan boundaries) Mayor Marty Chavez's Orwellianly- named HEART regs. Longdogs and staghounds, types prized and run in New Mexico longer than (I suspect) the authors of such regulations, are mere worthless "mongrels" of course.
Stephen Bodio


Why we won't shut up

An important addition to, or even substitute for, my rant about ignorant or simply stupid politicians and regulations posted below, and their effect on dogs (and ultimately animal keeping and breeding as we know it); from Jess at Desert Windhounds. She says it all, and minces no words. Sample:

"The breeders who breed dogs for conformation shows are held up as the end all, be all, the True Responsible Breeders, regardless of the fact that they represent only a tiny portion of dog breeders. Look at any 'how to spot a responsible breeder' list or breed book, and you will be advised to seek out a breeder who shows. This has a terrible effect on proposed and passed legislation here in the United States. The defining characteristics of the 'responsible breeder' are directly responsible for much of the language in restrictive breeding legislation. The anti-breeding contingent is very clever about using the 'ingroups' very in-ness against them, because they are guaranteed to sound reasonable to people who look up to, but aren't part of, that ingroup. Here's how it works:

"Responsible breeders show or otherwise compete with their dogs."

"This gets us mandatory spay/neuter laws where the only exemptions are show dogs. Got a nice dog that hates to show? Too bad. Have crosses of any kind? Too bad. Breed pets? Too bad. Not the competitive type? Too bad."


""Responsible breeders NEVER cross-breed."

"You know how I feel about that one, it has been used repeatedly to define me as irresponsible. It is now illegal to cross-breed in El Paso [my emphasis--SB] and Los Angeles, and the breeding of unregistered dogs is forbidden. A list of 'approved' registries will usually go along with this type of law, putting people with rare breeds unrecognized by the larger registries at risk."

(El P! North Juarez! The city of Tom Russel border ballads, on the cusp of Texas and old and Nuevo Mexico--! Of course, Chicago bans pigeons these days...)

This is really a mandatory "Read The Whole Thing". Virtually EVERY DOG THAT APPEARS HERE REGULARLY, or that I have ever bred, is ineligible to breed under Los Angeles and fer Chrissake EL PASO rules, and arguably or at least practically speaking by Albuquerque ones, be they rare breeds, salukis blocked by SCOA factions because they come from improper countries or have "bad" colors, lurchers, or longdogs. I am tired of hearing (A) it won't affect me (B) I'll just ignore it (C) I live in a rural place. You know my favorite Trotsky paraphrase: You may not be interested in "X", but "X" IS interested in you.

More cheerful programming to resume soon. Stephen Bodio

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More from Mr, Black, "Lakeland Hunting Memories" this is, "The Mardale Hunt"

I wonder if you might be interested in my new book? entitled The Mardale Hunt, it is the "first" history of the most famous hunt in the Lakes. It is going out on four web sites including mine one chapter every two weeks as a free download.

"Recently I was told that 95% of Lakeland was unexplored in an Archaeological sense. With the abolition of Fox Hunting in 2005 there was a slight chance that places and structure(s) associated with fox hunting would in the fullness of time join them, lost in time and memory.

"It was with this in mind that I began to compile material for this site. It is NOT my intention for it to glorify or be used as propaganda for or against hunting, but simply to record associations with a 'sport' traditional to Lakeland for over 300 years.

"I am a native Lakelander with roots going back to 1700, the 4th generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy lakeland stone to free trapped terriers and also 'carried the horn' on occasions. I hope this site is of interest to you. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story."
Ron Black

Please go here to download this wonderful book for free! www.lakelandhuntingmemories.com/Index.htm

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Night in Heaven


For those of you that haven't been to Ron Black's site "Lakeland Hunting Memories" which can be accessed from my list of recommended reads on line, here is a short story from there that gives you a taste of what you'r missing. Mostly Lakeland Memories saunters through and around the time between the 50's/ 70's when the local packs as well as others across Lakeland ran the traditional gauntlet after their quarry. Stories about Harriers, Terriers, Lurchers and more give you a warm feeling of comraderie that must have prevailed in this taditional hunting style. I hate I missed it!


A Night in Heaven

The bus swayed and lurched as it climbed Dunmail Raise, crested the summit and began the descent on the Thirlmere side. As it picked up speed it became difficult to walk along the top deck and descend the stairs due to the jolting. I just managed to get down the stairs and attract the driver’s attention in time for him to stop at the little church at Wythburn. We bade each other “Goodnight”, and I stepped off the bus and into the road, adjusted my pack, and began the long, boring ascent of Helvellyn.

I had caught the last bus from Ambleside to Keswick and the darkening of the sky showed the lateness of the hour. It would go dark on that summer night, but it would not last for any great length of time.

It was another trip up Helvellyn to see the dawn. Not the first by any means, but so far I had had no success. On one occasion I was defeated by low cloud and a weather front that had sneaked in during the few hours of darkness. On another, we had carried a tent up on that still evening, in the school holidays, and pitched it on the summit plateau. We had climbed into our sleeping bags and attempted to get some sleep, only to be awoken by a strong wind and showers of rain that reduced our tent to a flapping hulk, and greatly worried the lad to whom it belonged. It was one of the old ex-army ridge type tents and totally unsuitable for camping at 3000 feet plus. However, today had been bright and there had been an almost cloudless sky all day and the forecast was good.

I climbed slowly through the trees. Even in the 1960s it was a good track, but today it is almost paved, such is the usage it gets, which unchecked would cause massive erosion. Soon the forestry was behind me and instead of looking at the trees I was looking at the tops of them. Little spurts of dust rose as my feet struck the ground. We had had no rain for weeks and the fell side reflected this.

To my left stretching away in the distance was Thirlmere, one of the sources of Manchester’s water supply since the 1930s, to my right Dunmail Raise and Steel Fell that towers above it. The top of Helm Crag, the site of many hunting adventures was not yet visible in the late evening light.

The sun had gone now, sinking over the Langdale fells with one final show of defiance, before it disappeared. Shadows lengthened in the valley bottom and the temperature noticeably dropped. I buttoned up my shirt. My path joined another path coming up from Grisedale Tarn, a lovely spot, and my descent route with the dawn. The path continued across the plateau rising slightly to the memorial to the two men, who, in 1926, landed a plane up there. Luckily two walkers were present to witness their achievement.

Moving on I passed the Gough memorial, situated above the cliffs that fall away to Red Tarn over a thousand feet below. In the year 1805 an artist called Charles Gough fell to his death from these rocks, whilst crossing Helvellyn to fish in Thirlmere Lake. His body lay on the shore of the tarn for three months, guarded by his faithful dog, until their discovery by a farmer. On the body was a penknife with his name engraved upon it, two and a half guineas in gold and fifteen shillings in silver, all of which were given to the overseer of Patterdale to be distributed to the local poor.

Soon I reached the shelter just under the actual summit. Built of local stone it is shaped like a cross with stone benches against the back wall. It had been re-built just after I left school and I had carried half a bag of cement up to help in the process. A couple were already in residence and had come equipped. Despite the climb they had had enough breath left to inflate two airbeds. I was destined to sleep on the ground. I wandered on passing the trig pillar that marks the highest point. Here the ground falls away to Red Tarn a thousand feet below, but if you look hard there are a couple of places where you can lay in your sleeping bag just under the top. It pays not to toss and turn in your sleep however.

After locating a suitable place I unpacked my sleeping bag and set out across the plateau to Brownrigg Well to get some water for a brew. I have no idea how water collects so high on Helvellyn but collect it does, and, although I have not used the spring many times, I have never known it fail. It did not take long to return to my “spot” and soon the purr of the primus stove could be heard.

Darkness was with me now. The outline of the fells against the night sky was a memory. Below me the lights on the M6 Motorway drew my eye, and individual lights from remote farmhouses could be seen, as could light’s of vehicles travelling on the quiet country roads. The town of Penrith could be clearly seen to my left. I dozed off. Not a deep sleep, but one where you are aware of the slightest sound, the cry of a sheep, the call of a mountain bird and the sound of a stone being dislodged, all registered in my mind as I lay there. Above me some stars were visible in the inky black sky, but to my shame I did not recognise them. My thoughts returned to other nights spent here. On one occasion I had been awoken in the early hours by a sheep sniffing my face no doubt expecting a sandwich, and on another by a mountain fox, which jumped my sleeping bag before continuing on its way down towards the valley below, startled me.

The lightening of the sky on the eastern horizon awoke me as the dawn began. A faint band of light over the Pennine hills, deepening by the minute, the light began to return and slowly the outline of the surrounding fells became visible. It was so quiet. The only sound that you could hear was a gentle breeze. Soon the sequence began which is, perhaps, best described as the palette of colours that precede the dawn. I sat there lost in wonder.

All the time the light intensified, and the valley sides began to show detail. It was quite cold and I sat there in my sleeping bag, with my back propped against a rock.


Suddenly without warning the sun blasted over the hills to the east. One moment there was nothing and then a bright yellow orb climbed steadily into the clear sky. Slowly sunlight began to spread down the valleys and the temperature became noticeably warmer. I unzipped the sleeping bag and put on another brew. As the water heated I sat there taking in the morning. I cannot recall the time, but it must have been quite early and was a lovely summer morning. The sharpness of the light was magical. The high tops were bright, illuminated by the morning sunlight that by now was making its way slowly down into the valleys as the sun gained height. The valley bottoms however, were still in a dark shadow, the sunlight not yet having penetrated the gloom.

Brew finished, and the sun well risen, I got to my feet and packed my sleeping bag into the rucksack. I shouldered it and set off back towards the shelter. As I wandered quietly by, I noticed the couple of the evening before had been joined by several more, and all seemed asleep. One in particular was snoring loudly. I wondered if they had missed the dawn. A few strewn beer cans and an empty whisky bottle suggested they might have.

I arrived at the track junction from the previous evening. To my right, the track I had ascended sloped away towards Wythburn. My way lay down over Dollywaggon Pike and down the twisting track, known as the zigzags, (so easy to descend but a nightmare in reverse), to my breakfast stop beside Grisedale Tarn.

Soon I arrived and got the primus going in the lee of an earth bank to brew some tea. No fresh milk so I opened another little pack of powdered milk, called Marvel, to add to it. I sat drinking tea and watched the morning develop. It was still quite early. A slight wind ruffled the water on the tarn and the reeds beside it. Already the temperature was climbing as the sun gained height in the cloudless blue sky. I seemed to be the only person for miles. Here and there a sheep was dotted on the fell side but apart from that no one.

After some considerable time, and several cups of tea laced with the sickly Marvel, I again shouldered my pack and descended via the Little Tongue route to Grasmere. As I entered the village it was just coming to life. School children were waiting for the bus; an odd van passed carrying workmen about to start their day; shopkeepers were just opening up ready for the tourists.

I sat on the low wall and quietly waited for the bus. Eventually it came down the road towards me. It was the familiar 555 that had so often featured in my childhood journeys. It was also the same driver of the night before. The bus stopped and I climbed aboard offering money for my ticket. The driver recognised me after a couple of seconds, “Been up all night?” he said.

“Yep,” I replied, “A night in heaven.”

He studied me for a moment. “Daft bugger,” he laughed, and put the bus into gear.

Thanks to Mr. Black for permission to share this with you.

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About Me

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I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks