Barking Up The Right Tree
“April showers bring May flowers.” Have you all heard that old time saying? The dogwoods are blooming that means the red horse (fish) are shoaling, laying their eggs at the shoals on the rivers and streams. If you don’t have this kind of fish in your area, let me describe them. They are built like a sucker, but they have red fins and some red scales on both sides of their back. They do get up to over two feet long. They are good to eat, by pressure cooking the bones along with the rest of the fish after skinning and defining them, then you form them into patties and you can save them in the freeze or fiy them up. The way we caught them was with nine hooks (regular hooks) tied about four inches apart near the end of the line with a heavy piece of lead weight at the end. The line was about twenty feet long and was tied to a twenty foot river cane. You just throw upstream; drag the line and hooks down across their egg beds. This was a great deal of fun. It’s so much fun it could keep a person there about three days, (Ha, ha.) Oh, and I might add, you would need a 50 pound test line.
Well, how are you readers doing? Real well I hope.
I received a surprise call from a friend from about twenty some years ago. It was Roger Wagner and we talked for an hour. He sure brought back a lot of wonderful memories about hunting black bear. I was in there where he was hunting near the Upper Peninsula in the great State of Michigan several years ago. There was quite a bit that he told me about that I had forgotten. He was hunting Redbones at the time and I had gone up to see how a young Bluetick was doing that I had sent up there for hunting bear and to collect my money. Roger was operating an insurance agency and I was also in the insurance business and again we both were raising children and as you readers know that keeps you pretty busy and doesn’t leave much time for bear hunting or any other kind of hunting.
Roger said he had tried out Redbones, Blueticks and Walkers, and now was into Leopard Curs and the mule called Kawasaki.
He mentioned that he knew O.L. Beckham; we both were acquainted with him. I’m sure Roger met him several times at the big hunt at Kenton, Ohio. In my opinion, O.L. Beckham was a great guy and a great column writer. I read his column for years and so did Roger.
Roger said he took a trophy bear in about 2005 that weighed 538 pounds. I hope to get some pictures and stories from him. They had the wolves come in to their area in 1992 and took a big toll on the deer population. He and his hunting party last September took three black bear and only saw eleven deer in eight days. I’m looking forward to hearing from you, Roger. I’m sure we have a lot to discuss about the past and the future.
I sure enjoyed trips to Michigan to hunt the black bear and the fellowship with the hunters up there. They are great people.
I did an oil painting of a hunting lodge where I stayed at one time on one of my trips, then I sold it the same day I finished it. I will paint another one someday. I just keep putting it off. Every once in a while, I look at the pictures of the lodge where I stayed while hunting. Hunting black bear is a great thrill and I have had several thrills. The closer the bear is the more of a thrill, in my opinion.
I received a letter from my youngest brother, Loy McCoy, Torrington, Wyoming. He had purchased a new 243 Ruger rifle and scope.
He said last year he shot at five mule deer with his bow but missed all five shots. He had a black bear walk through his camp and saw several elk while hunting in the Medicine Bow National Forest, and saw very few deer. That’s not like him to miss his target. His new grandson Justin is now walking. He has only one grandson and I can tell he’s very proud. He was telling me that he spent a lot of money duck and goose hunting but no luck. Don’t feel bad, Loy, my luck has not been good either when it comes to hunting that is the last couple of years. I stay too busy and fail to plan hunts. I hope to be able to manage better this year and just take off and do it.
I plan to plant gourd seed next week; to me they are pretty tricky to grow. I have some new seed, one kind is hen and goose egg size and the other kind is big goose neck gourds. I am going to try long straight neck gourds also. They are the hardest for me to grow. They have to be grown on a fence where the gourds hang down this causes the neck to be long because of the weight. If anyone wants to try their hand at growing gourds, send a self-addressed, four by nine inch envelope with a stamp on it and I will send the seed free. I have received several orders this year. “It’s time to plant!”
My sister-in-law Pat McCoy, Guernsey, Wyoming, sent me a CD with eight songs she had written through the years. They are good; I have been listening to them every morning while going for coffee. Thanks, Pat, for sharing your songs with me. I have recorded 267 Country, Western and Gospel songs on CDs. It is one of my favorite hobbies and I enjoy it very much. I play the keyboard and sing, my daughter Lena plays the guitar. In some of the songs I play the mouth harp or play the guitar. It’s fun, you all should try it some time. It’s some good clean fun.
My flowers are beautiful this year and there are several different types.
My hideout (outside patio) is looking good. I have cleared it out and it has more room by taking a few trees out. There is a small swing, picnic table and a fire and grill area. The pecan tree has lots of blooms this year and is also a nice shade for the hideout. I hope to add several items in the near future. It’s big enough to play horseshoe, croquet and I ride my 4-wheeler though it. I also have targets around the inside for the grandsons to practice shooting at with their BB guns.
One of my grandsons, Trevor, is turning 15 and it’s time for him to get down to some real shooting. First with the BB gun, then we can take it to an even higher level. We’re going to start out with a small pebble and a twine string. The string will be tied to something solid, and then the pebble will be tied on the bottom end of the twine string about one foot down so the weight will hold the string straight and still. He will start practicing at fifteen feet and then when he can cut the string at fifteen feet regularly, we’ll then go on to the twenty foot shots. When he gets good at it and he will, we will start using the 22 caliber rifle. He is already a good shot. He killed a squirrel when he was nine years old with his .22 rifle. It was up a tree about 50 to 60 feet. He is lucky to have a steady arm and hand, and a good eye to go with it. I have to get my bragging in every month about my grandsons and my friends, (Ha, ha.)
At this point as a NRA Member and a News Media Outlet for the Association, here is a special report by Chris W. Cox NRA-ILA, Executive Director, and I quote.
“Whatever you think is the most important issue facing voters this year — the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or any other issues that Americans are concerned with at this truly pivotal point in history — Election Day 2012 is about the future of our country.
That’s why it’s not going to be enough just to vote in November. We have to go the extra mile by helping our candidates’ campaigns and by making sure our family members and friends are registered to vote—and that they exercise that right this year.
But we also need to be able to tell our friends why they should vote this November, whether to win election in 2008, to help his congressional allies before the mid-term elections in 2010 or to dupe voters in electoral battleground states today. It’s also the repetitive, arrogant disregard for legal and traditional limits on presidential power.
For example most gun owners are aware of the Obama administration’s illegal expansions of the federal multiple sales reporting requirement. By law, the requirement applies only when dealers sell two or more handguns to an individual in five business days, but the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has now begun applying it to semi-automatic rifles. November, will help both to defeat Obama and to put out Second Amendment supporters in control of both houses of congress. For that task, we can take advice from Shakespeare: “What’s past is prologue.” To foresee what President Obama would do if elected to a second term, look at his first term (and earlier)—then imagine him pursuing his radical goals to the fullest without fear of how voters would react. We’ve already detailed the anti-Second Amendment record Obama amassed before he ran for our nation’s highest office. For all the details go to www.gunbanobama.com.
Then consider the things Obama has done since taking office. If you’re like me and like most of the NRA members I meet around the country—you’re disgusted by what has come out of the White House in the last three years. It’s not just Obama’s false claim of supporting the second states that boarder Mexico that’s only the tip of the iceberg, however.
In January Obama appointed four individuals to government posts without congress’ approval. It would have been equally possible for him to appoint gun control activist Andrew Traver to head the BATFE, except that it would have angered gun-owning voters in the states that he cannot afford to lose in November.
And in February the New York Times pointed out that while the Federal Espionage Act was used to prosecute government officials accused of providing classified information to the media only three times between 1917 and 2008, Obama has used it six times. As ABC News’ Jake Tapper put it during a White House briefing, Obama has been aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court.
Whistle-blowers play an important roll of course without them, we might never have known that BATFE and U.S. Attorney’s officials authorized “walking” guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels as part of “Operations Fast and Furious.” That revelation led to an ongoing investigation by Congress and even the mainstream news media, and now we know the officials within the Obama justice department were willing to have people die at the hands of criminals armed with “walked” guns in Mexico, just so they could use those crimes to call for gun control in the United States.
Even if Obama won a second term, his successor could end “gun walking” and the gun registration scheme it was used to justify. It would be much harder to undo the damage from more Obama appointments to Supreme Court. Of the two justices he’s appointed so far, Sonia Sotomayor joined Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago, in which Justice Breyer said he could, “find nothing in the Second Amendment’s history or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as ‘fundamental’ insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes.” This reasoning obviously, would have made the Second Amendment a dead letter. Obama’s other pick, Elena Kagan, was a key part of the Clinton administration’s gun control efforts as a White House policy adviser.
The importances of Supreme Court nominations cannot be overstated. The Heller and McDonald cases in which the court declared that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right that applies everywhere in the United States, where both decided by five-four votes. If Obama is able to replace just one of the five justices who vindicated the Second Amendment in those cases, the right to arms will be in peril for generations.
One of the four justices who voted against the Second Amendment in those cases, and who has said that overturning the Heller decision is a priority, was Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In February, Ginsburg went to Egypt, where she said, “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012, instead,” she said, “I might look at the constitution of South Africa,” and she also advocated Canada’s 1982 Charter of the Rights and Freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights. Naturally none of these documents recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms.
But Supreme Court justices are only a tiny handful of any president’s nominees. Consider the people that Obama has brought to the executive branch of the federal government.
There’s Vice-President Joe Biden, a longtime gun control supporter in the Senate.
There’s former congressman and Bill Clinton advisor Rahm Emanuel who served as Obama’s Chief of Staff before becoming Mayor of Chicago. In his latest role, he recently asked the Illinois State Legislature to require anyone who buys a handgun to pay a $65 five-year registration fee, with a renewal fee of $25, and to impose a 2% tax on firearm ammunition purchases.
Then there’s Obama’s Attorney General, longtime gun control supporter Eric Holder. Before his nomination, Holder joined a “friend of the court” brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, taking the position that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to arms.
Soon after taking his new job, Holder called for bringing back the federal “assault weapon” ban of 1994. Out of fear of riling gun owners before the 2010 mid-term congressional election, gun control supporters in Congress didn’t oblige with new gun-ban legislation, so for the sake of political expediency Holder temporarily went mum.
But on February 2, during a House of Representative Committee on Oversight and Government reform hearing on “Fast and Furious,” Holder admitted that “This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban.” When asked why he or the president had not requested Congress to consider a new ban, Holder replied, “I’ll be more than glad to submit something for consideration.”
There’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who advocated gun owner licensing and national handgun registration before running for president in 2008. She has since agreed with Mexican President Felipe Calderon that America is much to blame for the violence perpetrated by Mexico’s drug cartels; and who recently indicated that the U.S. supports a strong Arms Trade Treaty and is prepared to work for it at the United Nations Conference of the treaty, scheduled for July.
There’s Arne Duncan, appointed by Obama to head the Department of Education. Duncan’s position on Second Amendment issues has best summed up by Duncan himself. Accepting a “Man of the Year” award from an anti-gun lobbying group in Illinois in 2008 said, “We’ll keep fighting the NRA, the gun makers, the gun dealers… We’ll fight them in Springfield in the courts, in the community, and even in the home.”
There’s Obama’s “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein, an animal extremist who has said, “We ought to ban hunting,” and who thinks animals should be able to file lawsuits against people. If you wonder what kind of mind would produce such a nonsensical proposition, consider that Sunstein also believes that “Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending.”
There’s Andrew Traver again, Obama’s nominee to head the BATFE. Traver served as an advisor to a “Gun Violence Reduction Project” funded by the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which has donated more than $26 million to anti-gun causes since 2003. (More than 18 million of the total was donated during the years when Barack Obama was a Member of the foundation’s Board of Directors.) Traver also collaborated with Chicago’s NBC-TV News affiliate in a story that was supposedly about semi-automatic “assault weapons,” but which showed machine guns being fired.
Obama said three years ago that he believed in “Change.” With only a few months to go before the elections, I expect you and I couldn’t agree more. Together, our ballots will help decide whether America will become more like the countries that Obama and his allies such as Justice Ginsburg admire—or whether Election Day 2012 goes down in history as the day we reaffirmed our belief that America is different, and ended the failed Obama experiment once and for all.
And I agree with Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice-President and I quote.
“Every gun owner must be ‘All In’ to defeat Barack Obama in the political fight of our generation this November 6 — when all of our freedoms are on the line.”
Marvin Dewitt called from Forgeville, Kentucky, to mention that he has been reading “Barking up the Right Tree” for years and years and enjoys it very much. He said he was slacking up on coon hunting at age sixty-six. He did have a Walker that was age ten. Marvin has worked at an aluminum plant for 38 years. He now hunts an English Redtick female on squirrel. His female is seven years old but is coming along really good. He just got through killing a big timber rattler. Marvin is pro-gun 100%, and understands that the anti-gun movement into attacking our ammunition supplier, and that the gun is worthless without ammunition. We talked about how serious the situation is and that over 80,000 gun owners need to get in there and vote. You hunters and gun owners amount to a lot more than 80,000 people, and know if you think about it who to vote for. We take a big chance in the next election, think of it, presidents and their followers do drastic things when they are going out of office. Right now the antis are quiet until the election is over, and then they will come down on us like gangbusters.
Something else that Marvin said that kind of shook me up a bit. He stated three times he had good dogs and all three where stolen. It reminded me of something that happened many years ago. My dad had a topnotch Bluetick hound and most bragged to dad about his great Blue dog. Remembering back it was in the late 40’s and times was not good, but that’s not the reason for my little story. Dad went and bought a pup that was out of his Blue dog. It was eight weeks old and stayed in his little bed just under the porch. We went somewhere and came home to find the puppy was lying on the porch beat to a pulp and they left the big rock laying there by his lifeless body, I guess to show how they killed him. Now what I have experienced through the years about people, people that would do that are killers of animals and humans. They grow up loving to kill little animals like frogs, baby rabbits, little possums, and baby coons. They learn to enjoy taking the life of animals. I know now that we had a killer living pretty close in our neighborhood. In police work I found out that these people that murder other people killed little animals when they were five, six, seven, and eight and when they were real young and after growing up they moved into something they enjoyed a lot better and that was to kill a human being. These murderers love to see the life go out of a person. They love to watch their eyes as the spirit leaves them. I will always remember how disheartening it was to imagine someone that would want to kill that little pup. I was only nine or ten years old at the time but it will always stick in my memory.
Years ago I did a story about how I had to put up with my old slick saddle. I ran across a good picture of that very saddle. I don’t ride it any more but it’s one of my best riding days and the picture was taken in 1983. I would like to show the picture to you readers. It was quite a challenge to just stay in it.
I had a visit with Don Story, Bentonville, Arkansas. Don is a retired Walmart truck driver. He is a very interesting person to talk to. He and I have a lot in common, one is music. He plays the fiddle at several gatherings in northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. We are both cowboys and have been retired several years. I enjoy visiting with Don and hope to see him again before long.
I was talking to a hunter about his hunting dog that got bit by a big rattler, and the dog was given 30cc of Benadryl and then in 30 minutes they did it again. The dog was a medium size dog; it put him to sleep and helped him to sleep it off and got all right. I can believe that and in case of an emergency I would take the chance in order to save my dog.
Another photo is of a nine point, whitetail, buck deer taken in 1982 with my fifty caliber, black powder, Hawkins rifle.
The next picture is of me in 1965 dealing with society. I was there when they needed me.
That’s all for “Barking up the Right Tree” this month. Happy hunting to all!
By Max McCoy