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hunting and fishing

 
master steward
Posts: 29132
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I just wanted to make it clear that this forum embraces the subjects of hunting and fishing. 

 
                            
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Awsome, my neighbour is an older man who is an avid fisherman and we often trade, fish for veggies.
One animal that requires no licence to hunt (were I live), and is very abundant is pigion. A lot of people think this seems gross but many many old farmers I know ate it often through the thirties as a wild meat, I have eaten many, although you don't get a huge amount of meat it is very good, I prefer it in a stew personally.
 
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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  I have recently become interested in bow-hunting. I don't really know anything about it =) but I am getting a bow soon and will proceed to mess around!
 
pollinator
Posts: 464
Location: South West France
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My OH is a keen bowman although we eat well mostly thanks to his rifle. We've recently started organising bow practice days here - it's a shame you're too far away to join in Kirk.

Benny we don't get pigeon here, but we eat a lot of wood pigeon - it's a delicious meat and two can feed four people plus make a good soup.



 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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What kind of bow does he use? I am looking around and am somewhat bewildered by all the variety.
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
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He has a Hoyt Trykon XL.

You have to find a bow hunting crowd either on the internet of in real life. It took Fabrice ages to find exactly the bow he wants, you have to try out and play with them.
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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I was thinking more of an old-fashioned longbow. Thanks for the advice about bowhunting people!
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
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I prefer the noble longbows too but for wild boar hunting you really do need a powerful bow.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Indeed. I don't think I would try for one of them beasties without a gun! 
 
                    
Posts: 63
Location: N.W. Arkansas
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Great news... this forum embraces hunting and fishing!  So do I!

I view hunting and fishing as harvesting, just like when the garden is ready.

If you harvest too many new potatoes, you ruin your harvest later, the same is true of poaching, but proper hunting and fishing, a great pasttime, and very helpful for folks.

You get exercise, fresh air, and healthful meats!
 
Posts: 42
Location: wellsville, utah
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i've been bow hunting for a couple years now. i've harvested deer and elk.

i wanted to give some input on what type of bows to use.
in utah, it doesn't really matter what you use, as long as it's classified as a bow, and the minimum weight allowed to hunt with here is 55 pounds.

that being said, i have a strong like for hoyt. not just because it's made exlusively here in utah, but also because i've not been impressed with the history of those bows. hoyt (to my knowledge) hasn't had any major recalls of flagship bows the way pse, and any number of other manufacturers have.
another thing is, the pro's use them.  of course not all of them do, but if you look at the history of the olympic archery winners, and competition archery winners, most of them shoot a hoyt.

you've mentioned long bows...

all bow manufacturers make a "long bow" or  a "recurve" as it is called. these used to be pretty low tech. where you have to release the string, or risk loosing pounds, and wearing out the bow. this is no longer the case. most bow makers have warranties that cover their bows pretty extensively. i've heard of hoyt, and browning giving a brand new bow to replace a broken obsolete one.

a top of the line bow can run in the thousands.

before you buy a top of the line bow, go to several pawn shops, and look around. my first bow was a hoyt, for 50$ completely set up...

i've never known a person to bow hunt, and  decide they hate it. it's a much more personal experience with the animal, because it's so close to you. you can feel it's pain almost. there is nothing like it in the world (well, i guess human murder might be.... but they dont' sell those tags to just ANYONE) ok, so now i've made it sound like i'm a serial killer....
and that bow hunters are too...
we're not. calm down everybody
 
                                
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"all bow manufacturers make a "long bow" or  a "recurve" as it is called."
Not accurate info at all. Firstly because not all bow makers make them (either one). And secondly a long bow is not always a recurve. Historically, first came the longbow, then the recurve and crossbow, then the "compound". Splitting hairs, I know
 
Josiah Maughan
Posts: 42
Location: wellsville, utah
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you kind of shut me down there... didn't you... as the nerds say you "pwned" me.      i don't know what that means... i think it's like... when you take a person to the pawn shop...  (hmm, i just realized, i improperly use a ton of elipseseses)


 
                                
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Sorry dude, it's not about you personally, just the bow info. Sometimes folks read here and get ideas....I was just going for more accuracy, but I agree after re-reading it does sound harsher than it was meant to be. 
 
Josiah Maughan
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Location: wellsville, utah
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lol, no i know. I never want to just say nothing, but what else can i say? i mean, technically you were correct, which is the best kind of correct. (well, i'm downplaying your correctness now...)
it wasn't harsh at all really.
 
                          
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The meat our family eats is almost exclusively wild. Predominantly venison, but in the recent past also moose, bear, caribou, beaver, squirrel and turkey.
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I don't hunt here in Costa Rica (though I used to in the States) but I definitely fish. Usually in my ponds which are stocked with channel catfish. 

I channel catfish can grow to around 12 lbs in two to three years here. You are talking a serious fish! Nothing like a 12 month growing period...
 
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That is impressive about the catfish growth rate.  I would like to have seasonal ponds at some point.  I fish freshwater and ocean but very very rarely , less than once a year.  I also have harvested seaweed for making bread and shellfish just for an individual meal.

I would very much like to do so more often in an way that gives something back in balance with the environment .  I understand organic gardening and find it something sustainable but haven't quite rationalized taking from the wild except I suppose wild harvest on a very low consumption level cognizant of the environment might be more sustainable than shopping at a supermarket with all the added resources that go into that and harvesting that is often completely without regard to the environment for profit.
 
                    
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Yes that is impressive about the catfish growth rate. I had no idea.thanks for that tid-bit! 
 
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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blot101 wrote:as the nerds say you "pwned" me.      i don't know what that means... i think it's like... when you take a person to the pawn shop... 



Wrong root Looky here

 
                          
Posts: 62
Location: Bozeman, MT
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Kirk, since you are interested in bow hunting, I assume that you are aware of the need to get closer to the animal for shots, than you can with a gun. With that in mind, I would like to suggest a great book to you (having hunted and been out with hunters, including the bow). I dont know why they dont market this book to hunters, it would be an awesome resource. Deer Proofing Your Yard and Garden -
http://www.amazon.com/Deerproofing-Your-Garden-Rhonda-Massingham/dp/1580175856/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281382112&sr=8-1

The reason that I suggest it for hunters is that they go into great detail to describe the physiology of the deer family, how their eyes work, what startles them, their olfactory sense, etc; as well as their bedding habits, their distance range, eating habits, what plant matter they prefer and what they will be forced to eat in certain situations like drought, etc. Every little bit helps.

BTW, in case you have not come across this yet, deer see in the UV spectrum. Many laundry soaps have UV brightens in them, which means that if you wash your camo's in this soap, the deer will see it. Also, many dyes have UV properties, including dyes that are used to make camo. The way to tell is to put your camo under a black light and see if any of it lights up, if it does, the deer will also see it. I have seen camo do this. Good hunting.
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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I think you underestimate the hunters, there is a lot of money going into producing camo based on the opsins in deer retinas and producing special laundry detergens for deer hunters to wear. If you watch to outdoor channel they spend wuite a bit of time talking about deer movement and preferences.

Parenthetically I'm not a hunter but watch the outdoor channel because it has a lot of really good really interesting wildlife footage, sure the animals get shot at the end but they show them doing interesting things first.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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AHHH so my ideas that one can not truly live off the land without considering what wild protein sources they can harvest are embraced here. I was concerned that some of my more direct methods of wildlife control would be treated as if I were a Neanderthal at computer geek convention. That said I have no intention on discussing hunting and fishing in general however you will find that I treat them the same as planting a garden or trees in other words a resource. I also believe that one must "protect" what one has from predation be that a fox in the hen house, coyote after goats, or deer eating my trees before they can grow and the best method in my opinion is population control. I do think though I might ask a few questions here about hunting for food specifically that I know if asked on a mainstream hunting forum I would be treated like a Neanderthal at a computer geek convention. I love that concept as it does somewhat describe me.
 
                          
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Synergy wrote:
That is impressive about the catfish growth rate.   I would like to have seasonal ponds at some point.  I fish freshwater and ocean but very very rarely , less than once a year.  I also have harvested seaweed for making bread and shellfish just for an individual meal.

I would very much like to do so more often in an way that gives something back in balance with the environment .   I understand organic gardening and find it something sustainable but haven't quite rationalized taking from the wild except I suppose wild harvest on a very low consumption level cognizant of the environment might be more sustainable than shopping at a supermarket with all the added resources that go into that and harvesting that is often completely without regard to the environment for profit.



Nature produces a harvestable excess.  If a species overpopulates it's environment there will be a mass die off due to disease or starvation.  It happens naturally all of the time.  You do not have to feel bad about harvesting natures bounty as long as you do it in a sustainable manner. 

Any land that you set aside for wild harvest benefits all the species that live there, not just the ones you harvest.
 
Emerson White
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Tinknal wrote:
Nature produces a harvestable excess.  If a species overpopulates it's environment there will be a mass die off due to disease or starvation.  It happens naturally all of the time.  You do not have to feel bad about harvesting natures bounty as long as you do it in a sustainable manner. 

Any land that you set aside for wild harvest benefits all the species that live there, not just the ones you harvest.


Agreed, but I will mention that you have to be humane about it too. If you shoot an animal with an arrow it dies with little suffering compared to getting a disease or starving to death, If you catch an animal in a leg trap and leave it for two days then it dies with much more suffering.
 
                          
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Emerson White wrote:
Agreed, but I will mention that you have to be humane about it too. If you shoot an animal with an arrow it dies with little suffering compared to getting a disease or starving to death, If you catch an animal in a leg trap and leave it for two days then it dies with much more suffering.


Nature is not humane.  There is no reason to let an animal sit in a trap for two days, check them every day. 

Animals can as easily suffer from a poorly placed arrow.  The goal is to minimize suffering.  If you want to entirely prevent it you need to completely opt out of life.
 
Posts: 38
Location: Sweden, Stockholm
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Tinknal wrote:
Nature is not humane.  There is no reason to let an animal sit in a trap for two days, check them every day. 

Animals can as easily suffer from a poorly placed arrow.  The goal is to minimize suffering.  If you want to entirely prevent it you need to completely opt out of life.



I'm more or less a vegan by now (by that I mean that maybe one in every ten meals contain some milk or egg) , and actually... I totally agree with your second statement. Though I think traps that does not kill the animal would cause a lot of stress and suffering. Actually, I would have thought there was some kind of law prohibiting that practise. Is there? I'm pretty sure there is in Sweden at least (where I live). And if not, where are you situated? I don't want to tell you what you should and shouldn't do, I don't think I have the right to do that, but I have a hard time believing that checking a trap every day would reduce that amount of suffering by very much. The thing is that more often than not when I talk to somebody who decides to eat meat or hunt they get the impression that we have to have an argument rather than a discussion and I hate that.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Here in the U.S., we have very little in the way of "national" laws regarding hunting/fishing.  Each state makes its own laws (hopefully) taking into consideration animal populations, breeding seasons, and humane practices.  I am not well versed on trapping laws (I would guess that not all states allow it), but there are laws in place that prohibit some less humane ways to do it.  With that said, there are hunters who ignore the rules.  There are also some poor hunters who wound more animals than they kill, as well as some "hunters" who kill, but leave the dead animal where it lies.

Hunting/fishing has been the backbone of human diet long before people realized that grains would regrow in certain areas.  Like anything else, done responsibly, it remains a viable option for feeding your family.
 
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Illinois
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You could always take up the skill of slinging. It is lightweight, portable, and infinite amount of ammo. Deadly accurate after a while and extremely powerful. You could make it out of scraps of leather also.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1455
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Can someone suggest a bow for a beginner woman with no strength in her arms?  I can do push ups all day but, due to shoulder problems there is no strength when I try to pull. 

I have done some research but the amount of info is overwhelming. 

We have guns but I am not comfortable using them unless my personal safety is threatend (then it is no problem I assure you).  I would like to take advantage of the local wildlife myself though.  Currently I have to beg or barter for someone elses score. 

I am looking for some specific suggestions that I can go to the store and try out.  I went to a small local store once and they really were not helpful.  The big box stores are better but the poor sales people don't always know the product.  I may end up having to travel to a Bass Pro shop or something.    Suggestions anyone?
 
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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When I was a teenager I learned to shoot with a Bear compound bow. It was a good beginning bow, but didn't have the draw weight for hunting.... could kill a hay bale though!

You'll want something with a stabilizer -- looks goofy, but they do make a difference, especially if you're starting out and find that the bow wobbles a bit.

Or go with a crossbow. If you go for large game that has a season, a crossbow will fall into rifle season because of the oomph (I have always had a thing for crossbows, so I'm biased) over a compound, recurve or long bow.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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South Carolina, if you end up getting a  bow you're happy with, please post about it!  I'm interested in bow hunting, as a medium-sized middle-aged woman without much upper-body strength. 

 
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Paleo Gardener wrote:
   I have recently become interested in bow-hunting. I don't really know anything about it =) but I am getting a bow soon and will proceed to mess around!



LOTS of practice.  Then Lots more practice.  I grew up hunting and fishing.  I got my first bow when I was a youngster and began hunting cottontails shortly thereafter.  When I was 11 years old I got my first deer with bow & arrow.  I stopped hunting with a gun when I was deer hunting in the early 70's and my arrow passed completely through the Doe and she only raised her head as if she heard a noise (probably the bow string) and then kept right on munching on some grass while her blood was pumping out of her chest like Niagara Falls.  She took a few steps and fell over dead.  Even a very well placed shot with a rifle inflicts a great deal of pain from the shock of a bullet.  So I stopped using a firearm to bag deer and have an incredibly long hunting season as a result plus my stalking skills have been "re-honed." 
Shooting a bow well takes lots of practice. Find someone that is experienced and take some lessons.   I went through all of the modern incredibly high tech compound bows for a bunch of years but went back to a much more "primitive" deflex reflex Long Bow and I also have a very powerful Crossbow.  Long bows aren't as fast and don't shoot as flat as a modern compound bow but are much quieter, easier to restring, take much less time to accomplish competency and are very effective at taking game.  I have been a big fan of primitive weapons for most of my life.  I used to hunt cottontails with a very powerful  slingshot too but prefer a low power bow for rabbits too.  I have some friends that hunt wild turkeys with bow & arrow too.

If you like working with wood and are carefully patient Long Bows and First People style bow are not too difficult to make yourself.  I have two that I made.  The first attempt is not what I had in mind when I built it but my second attempt has taken Deer.
 
                                  
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Here in Australia, we are pretty lax about hunting feral animals.  native animals on the other hand are completely and utterly illegal.  According to the EPA i can't hunt kangaroos even with Aboriginal leaders in traditional areas using hand made weapons.  not allowed to do it, unless i get a kangaroo culling licence, in which case i can make up to a hundred grand a year killing thousands of animals. 

our gun laws are little stricter then you folk, but we have enough rights that we can use guns as tools.  i posted in the aussie permaculture forums asking why it wasn't talked about in the permaculture crowds, and how important hunting was to permaculture.  i got shut down, saying that this day and age hunting is obsolete in Australia, there is no room for it. 

why because our permanent culture is being lost.  you wanna talk about carbon footprints and environmental impacts of cattle, it makes no sense to let such a valuable resource go to waste.  you can buy Kangaroo in the supermarkets for slightly cheaper then beef, IMO it tastes a hell of a lot better then beef, and deer for that matter.

just makes me mad that our culture has accepted that supermarkets are the only place you should be able to eat beautiful free range kangaroo!  ARGH makes me so cranky! 

Anyone interested in trying kangaroo?  i think there could be a market for kangaroo jerky in the states, anyone want to be a distributor?  only half serious
 
Dave Bennett
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I would love to try it.  I always wondered if they were good to eat.  I imagined that they were.  I have been a hunter all of my life but don't fish much any more.  I do take my bow and arrows out in the woods every fall and harvest a whitetail deer.  I used to use a rifle but have bow hunting exclusively for the last 19 years.  I make my own bow and arrows.  I am into "primitive weapons" so no compound bows and I have to use my stalking skills and get really close.  I may miss getting out there this fall though.  It seems to me that harvesting wild game is as much a part of permaculture as growing vegetables and raising livestock. 
 
Posts: 700
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I had a number of 'roo steaks when the navy was kind enough to let me spend a few days in Oz loved it nice and red with great texture. sad to know they don't allow hunting as a management technique
 
                      
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John Polk wrote:
With that said, there are hunters who ignore the rules.



A hunter is someone who legally harvests game. Someone who "ignores the rules" is not a hunter, he is a poacher! (much as someone who legaly withdraws money form his account at the bank is a customer but someone who holds the bank up is a bank robber).
 
Dave Bennett
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South Carolina wrote:
Can someone suggest a bow for a beginner woman with no strength in her arms?  I can do push ups all day but, due to shoulder problems there is no strength when I try to pull. 

I have done some research but the amount of info is overwhelming. 

We have guns but I am not comfortable using them unless my personal safety is threatend (then it is no problem I assure you).  I would like to take advantage of the local wildlife myself though.  Currently I have to beg or barter for someone elses score. 

I am looking for some specific suggestions that I can go to the store and try out.  I went to a small local store once and they really were not helpful.  The big box stores are better but the poor sales people don't always know the product.  I may end up having to travel to a Bass Pro shop or something.    Suggestions anyone?

This will help you a great deal to develop the muscles in your upper torso.  http://www.3riversarchery.com/Hunting+Outdoor+Gear+Training+Systems++Bowfit+Archery+Workout+System_c50_s264_p0_i799X_product.html
You actually use all of the upper body musculature to properly shoot with a bow.  I have been using Bow & Arrows since I was 6 or 7 years old.  I started with a 15 lb. draw weight and of course progressed up to deer hunting draw weights.  If you decide to take up bow hunting I would recommend that you decide on your "system" before investing in a bow.  I started back before compound bows were invented.  I went through a period when I used a compound bow but I learned "instinctive shooting" and I literally had to re-learn the skill when I switched.  I have a Bear Compound in my closet that is powerful enough to harvest whitetail deer.  I will never use it and is available to anyone that is interested.....cheap (be reasonable).  I am a "primitive weapons" lover and compound bows are not primitive to me so I do not use them.  English Low Bows are the easiest to learn.  I use a Deflex/Reflex Long Bow that I built from scratch.  I make my own arrows too.  If you plan on hunting with a Bow and Arrows keep in mind that you will need to learn stalking.  I am a ground hunter.  I do not sit in a tree stand and wait.  That is waiting not hunting.  I do similar preparation when preparing for the season such as scouting and finding heavily used deer trails but I hunt from the ground.  Everyone has their preference and I learned to stalk by some genuine woodsmen.  Nobody where I grew up used tree stands so I still hunt the way I learned.  Staying silent in the woods is a useful skill.  You will need at least a 45lb. draw weight for deer.  I use 55lb. but when I was younger I used a 70lb. and very heavy arrows.  The most important rule of bow hunting for deer.  When you make your shot pay attention to which way the deer runs.  Then sit down and calm down for 20 minutes or so.  Then go find the blood trail and track your game.  If you run after a wounded deer they will just keep on running.  Another idea is to get a lower draw weight of about 25lbs. and learn by hunting rabbits.  That is how I learned as a youngster.  It teaches you aiming precision because after you gain experience you see your quarry you wait for a clear shot and then draw your arrow and release in a smooth motion.  There isn't any holding the draw and aiming.  Learning instinctive shooting is a good idea in my opinion.  I know that using a sight helps but they work best with a compound.
There is a very good book on instinctive shooting too.  "Become  The Arrow" by Byron Furguson is an excellent book.  There are a plethora of books here:
http://search.3riversarchery.com/search?p=Q&srid=S10-4&lbc=3riversarchery&ts=custom&w=archery%20books&uid=82821547&method=and&isort=score&srt=0
I will help you any way I can.  I love archery.  It is my Zen.
 
Dave Bennett
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PS: for those new to bow hunting this book is invaluable.
http://www.3riversarchery.com/Product.asp?c=4&s=18&p=46&i=7004
 
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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a fascinating read:

SURVIVAL POACHING by Ragnar Benson

he explains a few reasons poaching is beneficial to nature.  and i tend to agree with some of his reasoning.  after all man made laws are not always right or correct.  this is not saying i poach.  b/c i dont. im not much of a hunter either.  but i do enjoy reading or watching something on hunting.  and Ragnars books really take you outside the proverbial box.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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