Monday, March 23, 2009

Steelhead Weekend

This past weekend a few Grousers kicked off the 2009 fishing season with some Steelhead fishing on a Lake Ontario Tributary called Sterling Creek. The photos and video below tell the story.

No Grousers gathering would be complete without some low level argument about something. Rich and I hashed over the reclassification of Steelhead. To wit, the following from a NOAA web site:

1988, steelhead (the anadromous form of rainbow trout) was classified in the genus Salmo along with Atlantic salmon, brown trout, and several western trout species. With additional osteology and biochemistry data, biologists have now reclassified steelhead as members of the genus Oncorhynchus. The reason for this is that new information suggested that steelhead are more closely related to Pacific salmon than to brown trout and Atlantic salmon. As such, the American Fisheries Society - American Society of Ichthyologists Committee on Names of Fishes voted unanimously to accept Oncorhynchus as the proper generic name. For full scientific details, see Smith, G. R., and R. F. Stearley. 1989. The classification and scientific names of rainbow and cutthroat trouts. Fisheries 14 (1): 4-10. As such, the scientific name of steelhead was changed from Salmo gairdneri to Oncorhynchus mykiss. The generic names of the golden, Mexican golden, Gila, and Apache trouts were also changed to Oncorhynchus. Since all of these western trouts including steelhead are biologically capable of repeat spawning and do not die after spawning, it has been suggested this group be called the Pacific trout.

It was a great weekend of fishing and grousing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I caught this big male crossing a field on the Canoga Creek Conservancy the other day. Since the season is open and I happened to have a .223 in the truck, I decided to take crack at him. He was about 200 yds out, but the 55gr full metal jacket found its mark. He ran to the edge of the field and it was all over.

See you in the field.


Friday, March 20, 2009

More off season- Changes

Instructions for this post. Play the You Tube clip, and then continue to play other sounds clips over the You Tube Clip. Have fun.














Blank I am on the lookout for change. So far nothing on the gun rights front. However, on the beer swilling front, Change has Come. Leave it to the Canuks to take the lead first. Get this.

Tiring of my regular "Blue Flasher" Labatt's Beer, and being a closet hip-hop fan, I could not resist trying the new offering from Labatt's called "50." You know, like 50 Cent. You know, I just wanted to "Crack a Bottle," feel my Slim Shady, an all dat.

Well, Change has Come. As I was swilling, cold chillin', like a ruthless villain, admiring my fizz, my gaze was drawn to the label on the bottle. New hip colors, classic shape, then "WHAT!?" (Say it like Flava Flav, now!). You know where its supposed to say 12 Fl Oz ? (that means 12 f#*%n' FULL ounces, yall!) Well, guess what? It don't say 12 Fl Oz. Somebody pulled some CHANGE on the people. Somebody up and CHANGED the rules on me and my crew. It says 11.5 fl oz. That's right. That means someone is "redistributin'" the wealth, you know what I'm sayin'? For every case of 50 I buy, I am gettin' ripped a beer. Who do you think is getting that beer? The MAN is, that's who. Guess who the man is NOW? Uh-huh. That's deep. That's Canada, socialist, beer thievery deep. Good thing the McKenzie brothers are with Molson. Yo, I got yer stimulus package...

Just A Lil Bit - 50 Cent

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Waterfowl Hunter's Party at KUNEYTOWN!

Sellin' tickets now.

For more see

Thursday, March 12, 2009

rumors of a birthday

everyone should give a big ol' grousers high five to none other than Dr. Dirt, who turns [cough] forty two today.

You know, he used to have hair.

skillfully cropped head shots courtesy of Dr. Dirt

happy birthday Uncle Pete!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unwanted Celebrity

Had a bit of excitement this week as I was quoted out of context in an AP story that ran in the New York Times. My thanks to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Public Affairs Office for sending the reporter to me for a juicy soundbite. JOSH.

heh heh

The misquoted statement made me look like a complete sociopath and prompted hate mail including the following:
While reading the online article about the 11 year old boy who shot his stepmother and her unborn baby, I came upon your ridiculous quote. This quote sounds as if it is coming from a serial killer not a college professor...not that teachng "environment philosophy" qualifies you as a professor. You are a dangerous person to be projecting your warped views onto age 20 something students.

After reading your quote (below) many times and I can't help but come to the conclusion that you are the biggest horse's ass on the planet. One thing is for sure you should not be around young people.

"Life exists at the expense of other life. You have to kill in order to live," said Jim Tantillo, an environmental philosophy professor at Cornell University in New York, who is also a hunter.
"There's just something very honest about owning the responsibility for the life you take. When you pull that trigger, you know something's going to die," he said.

There is something about hunting that I don't quite understand. You put on your gear, pick up the latest high powered killing machine, take your family and beer....don't forget that....we are doing the macho bonding thing...and you blow a hole in the side of an sentient animal that wishes you no harm. If you want to go the male bravado route...why don't you put your gun down and head for brown bear country and fight one one one with a larger more challenging animal? You don't need philosophy training to see that men who hunt are looking for validation or something that makes them feel manly or in control. Hunting deers isn't it!

Hopefully, you will lose your tenure at Cornell over your lack of good judgement. I seriously hope you are a person who likes to create sensations by talking out of your ass and really don't believe your dangerous quote.
In the interview with the reporter, Ramit Masti, we were talking about vegetarianism, not homicide. The actual quote was, and I have recited this almost verbatim in every talk I've given and hunting-related publication I've written for the past ten years :
"Alfred North Whitehead wrote that 'all life is robbery.' Life exists at the expense of other life. You have to kill in order to live, whether you are pulling carrots or pulling the trigger on a deer.

"In contrast to vegetarianism, there's just something very honest about owning the responsibility for the life you take [in hunting]. When you pull the trigger, you know that something's going to die."
Anyway, I asked for a correction and/or retraction, and an apology. The Associated Press issued a "clarification," and the reporter apologized for the poor editing.

So although there's still a chance that I am the biggest horse's ass on the planet (discuss), I guess all's well that ends well.

¿quien es mas macho?

Friday, March 06, 2009

I want one of these for snow geese . . .

4 Shot Massacre- Snow Geese on Cayuga

It was a day of reckoning for the tundra destroying Snow Geese. Eric and I invested a few hours in patriotism and civic duty to rid the world (management or sport? Discuss.) of excess Anser caerulescens caerulescens . The first hour or two of the hunt looked doubtful, but the beautiful weather made it down right enjoyable to be back in the blind. Our patience was rewarded as we observed the borg-like "mind " of a group of thousands of snow geese "decide" to move south into our cove. The collective consciousness of the snow goose borg soon enveloped the intrepid hunters and it was all we could do to fend off the invading horde. Alas, after two shots each, a fair number were mowed down and the main body retreated.

Nick had his work cut out for him retrieving the near-shore birds, while I, in typically imbecile fashion, rowed around the middle of the frigid lake sans life jacket or other safety equipment, practicing naval maneuvers on crippled and escaping snows. I managed to get most of them.

It was an epic excursion, and memorable in many ways. Check out this link for photos of the cove full of snows the day before. It was the same this day, once they finally moved in. What a deafening cacophony, and a sight to behold.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mouse puppets and 800-yard shots at elk

Who would have thought mouse puppets would be such a crucial issue to the survival of hunting as we know it? More Ballet Boy getting under peoples' skin at the Fair Chase blog. for what it's worth.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Woke up a few minutes ago and, in a moment of 2am clarity, performed hari kari on a silly post. Whatever the link, my mind wandered to thoughts of ritual, actually, the ritual killings by my beloved Dayak of Madurese transmigrants in Borneo in the 1990s and early 2000s. In a semantic haze, I am struggling with the role of ritual in our hunting activities. I suppose Jim's "sport" emcompasses the concept of hunting as a ritual activity, but I have never been comfortable calling our "structured activity" "sport." There are so many aspects of individual and cultural ritual in hunting that bring to it transcendent meaning that I just don't tie to sport. I would think that Cagey, with his classical training in anthropology, would be able to help me here. Isn't sport too narrow?