Tag Archives: 2nd amendment

USCCA SHIELD vs. NRA CARRY GUARD

Anyone who carries a firearm every day of the week is well aware of the responsibility that it entails. Whether or not someone is a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), or a private citizen, people who EDC carry for defense, but they also realize the liability involved when it comes to use of deadly force. EDCer’s have spent countless hours researching the best firearm to carry, the best ammunition for their pistol, and the most comfortable holster to wear. After procuring the perfect setup that fits their style (which also includes other accessories such as a flash light, a monkey fist, or a knife) many more hours are spent practicing their shooting skills and utilizing the tools they EDC. People who practice EDC do it because it is the inherit right of every living creature on the planet to protect itself. As I like to say “Even a bunny rabbit has sharp claws and teeth”.  Remember, you are your own first responder. 

As I stated above, there is a liability in legally carrying a firearm. Any person who decides to EDC needs to ask themselves a very important question: What happens to a person who EDC’s when, God forbid, the unthinkable occurs and one has to use their firearm to defend themselves, possibly leading to the death of an assailant? What’s next? Will they be greeted by LEO’s and be given a pat on the back for subduing a dangerous perp? Or will the next step turn into one of the horror stories we’ve all undoubtedly heard about where people were arrested after defending themselves? Could you imagine legally defending yourself and the being placed in handcuffs, your firearm is confiscated, and you are thrown in jail facing murder charges? What does someone do if a frightening situation like this befalls them? Most “regular people” (not rich) would be screwed for lack of a better word, but there is an answer. 

There is a service that comes highly recommended and offered by the USCCA, or the United States Concealed Carrier Association. The USCCA offers the self-defense SHIELD which is a subscription membership program of varying degrees of legal and financial protection in the event that you have to use deadly force. They also offer lots of training and access to instructors that teach skills that are vital to know if you’re going to EDC. 

This “EDC” insurance is offered at different monthly subscriptions depending on how much protection you want to give yourself. They give an example that if you are charged with homicide, no credentialed homicide trial lawyer will even begin representing a potential client without at least a $50,000.00 retainer. Who has that much cash lying around to give an attorney even if a person was in the right in defending themselves? I know I don’t. But this is where the USCCA comes in. 

When one subscribes to one of their monthly subscriptions, the USCCA SHIELD will cover your attorneys fees in the event of a homicide charge against one of their members. They will also post bail, and cover any lost monies from missing work. It’s a fantastic program offered at an affordable rate by the USCCA. In comparison an NRA membership only offers insurance on firearms, but doesn’t cover members in the event of a criminal charge or other inconveniences that are paired with such a situation. Or do they? 

Recently the NRA issued a video regarding their brand new offering of the same type of legal protection. Link is below and I recommend watching it: 

https://www.facebook.com/NRATV/videos/10154599844907898/

As seen in the video, the NRA is now offering legal insurance in the event that a member has to defend themselves, and also offering training just like the USCCA SHIELD program.

That being said, which is the better choice? USCCA SHIELD or NRA Carry Guard? Lets find out!

Both USCCA and NRA offer three levels of subscription. 

USCCA                     NRA

Platinum  $30.00    Gold     $31.95

Gold         $22.00    Silver    $21.95

Silver       $13.00     Bronze  $13.95

As you can see they are about neck and neck as far as price goes. Now lets compare the main features:

Platinum vs Gold:

USCCA offers $1,000,000.00  in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers the $1,000,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil Protection”

USCCA offers $125,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $150,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $10,000.00/$100,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA says that members have “IMMEDIATE ACCESS AS NEEDED TO SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENTS FOR: Bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, legal, referrals, lawful firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and clean-up costs”. The NRA doesn’t expound upon how much is allotted for each one. For the remainder of this article we will call it “As Needed”

USCCA offers $500.00 a day compensation while in court. As stated above the NRA says members have “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Gold vs Silver:

USCCA offers $500,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $500,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection” 

USCCA offers $75,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $100,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $5,000.00/$50,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $350.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Silver vs Bronze:

USCCA offers $250,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $250,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection.

USCCA offers $50,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $50,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $2,500.00/$25,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $250.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Both companies offer 24/7 access to a member hotline to “call for help”. They both also offer a training video course and a monthly magazine. NRA goes on to offer a 1 year membership to the NRA (not sure if this renews every year if you have a subscription or not). NRA goes one step further and offers the same coverage for your spouse at no additional cost.

So to me, at a glance, they both seem to be pretty comparable. The prices vary slightly between the two services and member levels. The coverages seem to be on par between the two. However I have only covered the main differences in key features of the subscriptions, and there are more details that you will need to research before you decide on which direction you will go. Either way you choose, you will be covered in the event that you have to defend yourself. Below are links to each program.

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com

https://www.nracarryguard.com

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Watch your back…

Contrary to popular belief,on January 20th 2017 the next battle for gun rights began. With a Republican rule of the House, the Senate, the majority of Governor’s, and the next Supreme Court pick, a considerable portion of gun owners let out a collective sigh of relief. I mean after all, the potential of another Brady bill/AWB/Clinton fiasco was surely over right? Pardon the pun but, “WE” can now ramrod anything “WE” want straight down the barrel of the court system and straight into law right? When you have the power that’s what you do, or is it?

“We The People” are in charge, we are the ones that govern decisions that have to be made by electing officials that we believe are most like-minded to ourselves. To an extent we have ourselves to blame for what we consider “wrong doing” that has been done to us. If we are to make change, first we have to determine what changes have to be made, Then organize them from highest priority to lowest,and gather support from those that believe the same. As a collective, unified body, you then make public what you stand for and hope that others will agree, thus lending their support to a worthy cause. With enough support, voices, and a correct corse of actions, concerns, fears and want for change reach the ears of the right individuals in local government. In turn those local government officials, keep working those issue further up the ladder, hopefully gaining steam and followers (such as other county’s, states, or even country’s) Finally those well-organized ideas that have come about through correct measures, hard work, and research, are taken before the ears and eyes of our highest ranking elected officials. They are discussed, then voted upon. Pretty simple huh? No place in there did I say start a riot, or grab your rifle and head to the bell tower or nothin’, I also never said just ram em’ through, it doesn’t matter what other people think (we have checks and balances for a reason). The correct way to achieve change, right wrongs, or establish new standards and laws, is to use the ground work that has been laid out before you since the drafting of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So what does this have to do with me personally (and since its not hunting season, you know that I’m going to start talking about guns!)? Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all falling victim to a huge invisible problem called “back door gun control”. No I’m not sitting on a bean bag chair inside my underground bunker, wearing my tin-foil helmet, listening to Rage Against the Machine, with a Che Guevara black light poster in the background. I am actually speaking more from a potential business stand point then anything else. I like to paint stuff, usually stencil work on items that I personally use,  rifle stocks, coffee mugs, Nalgene water bottle’s and the like. Which got me thinking about how I could blend a couple of things that I love together and actually make a living doing it. Cerakote seemed to be the answer, selling firearms (I have gunsmith certs, albeit with a bit of a key-holed wheel house (application wise) as for variety past hunting firearms and the usual suspect pistols, plus I have sold firearms before) and making them personalized would be a ton of fun, if not entirely  lucrative. So I started looking at what it would take to become a certified Cerakote application specialist. Well it’s 2 days process, in Oregon, there is a hotel relatively close, you have to bring your own material to paint (I.E. firearms, metal coffee cups, etc.) and you must have a type 07 ffl . That’s just to have them show you how to sand blast material, cook it off, mask it down, spray it, and bake it. Up until July 22nd, 2016 you had to pay $2,250 to ITAR as well just to be able to throw paint at a receiver. Add in the cost of a decent cure oven, material, Hvlp gravity feed spray gun, blast cabinet and a ventilation system and you quickly have $15,000-$25,000 tied up with nothing to paint on and no place to do it. If you want to actually “acccurize” firearms you must have tools, and insurance, and you are going to have to pay ITAR. Unless you want to roll the dice on a $250,000+ fine and a 10 year felony charge! If you manufacture or modify any part of the firearm, you have to register with ITAR. The government wants their share, one way or the other. The more it cost you to have modifications or repairs done to your firearms (even if the up-charged cost are justified due to increased licence fee’s, and registrations) the less likely you are to have those things done.(also the less number of working firearms in circulation). “But the Government, isn’t taking your guns”, some will say. That’s Backdoor gun control at its finest.  Anyway that you can put limits on firearms without taking the firearm directly out of the owners hand, is backdoor gun control. We have all seen it before and we have also seen that fallout from it also. The easiest way to control firearms is to regulate their ammunition. Lead is still one of the main components in a bullet. Lead is harmful and potentially deadly, so the government states that since lead is so dangerous, then it has to be closely regulated, and will be outlawed in some jurisdictions. New specialized projectiles have to be created, and they cost much more to produce so the cost of the ammo reflects those inherent cost.computer chipped firearms, and micro stamped ammo, it all serves the same purpose.  In 1993 New York Senate Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, proposed that taxes  be raised to 50 percent on most handgun ammunition and 10,000 percent on 9mm hollow points. Talk about a fast talking fly-by-night dirty way to directly control what the consumer is able to buy. It is called legislating something out of existence.  If ammo cost more, you buy less, and you shoot less. Its pretty cut and dry.

So in being conscientious gun owners like we are, what can we do? First of all we can actually be knowledgable about whats going on. Here are just a few items that will (hopefully) be going to vote this year:

Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act. (H.R.4321)

This legislation blocks any executive actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringe on Congress’s Article I responsibilities.  The bill also allows for civil action to be initiated in district courts to challenge such executive actions.

National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 402)

This commonsense legislation allows individuals with a concealed carry permit in one state to have that permit honored in another state that allows concealed carry.

The Second Amendment Defense Act

 This commonsense bill rejects the Obama Administration’s unacceptable violations of the Second Amendment and prohibits any new executive orders that restrict the Second Amendment.

The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act (H.R. 2710)

This bill is endorsed by the NRA and prevents ATF from arbitrarily reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor-piercing ammunition.  This legislation also allows for lawful non-NFA firearm and ammunition to be imported and sold in the U.S.  This bill also prevents shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from being arbitrarily reclassified as destructive devices.

The Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799)

This legislation removes the current unreasonable restrictions on the purchase of silencers under the National Firearms Act.  Instead, the bill requires that sound suppressors be treated as ordinary firearms and subject to the typical NICS check.

Ending Operation Choke Point

H.R. 1413, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act and H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.  Each measure makes conducting or facilitating Operation Choke Point illegal. Operation Choke Point was an unconstitutional program created by the Obama Administration that put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut down industries that President Obama and Attorney General didn’t like.

Right now the ball is in our court. But if left unchecked, and untested, those values that we speak so highly of can still be taken away and the clock is ticking. If you feel strongly about the hearing protection act, speak up now why you still have the opportunity. There are currently 3 years, 11 months, 7 hours and 45 left on Our 45th President’s term. Now is the time for you to use your voice, if there are things that you don’t like or that you would like to change, organize your thoughts and speak up, write a letter to your congressmen, start a petition, do things the right way. The worse thing that you can do when placed in an advantageous situation is to grow complacent. No one can make the decisions for you about what matters, you are crafting not only your own future, but the future of every generation to come. Hold fast to your values, don’t be taken advantage of, and always watch your back.

-Grant Willoughby 2/19/2017-

 

Suns out… Guns out…

I apologize that there wasn’t a blog last week… Last weekend we were all out and about at the gun show  in Post falls. Thanks to all the members that came out and chit-chatted with us, and a big thank you to all the new friends that we made. It is always fun when you can spend a little time talking all things freedom with some good, like minded people. While I am at it, there won’t be a blog next week either, Kris, Brad , Ellen and myself are headed down to elk camp for the weekend in hopes of putting a little meat in the freezer, and were going to try to get some new videos done for you guys too, a lot of that just levers on how good the hunting is.

With that being said I will try to keep this short.

What I learned at the gun show:

  1. It is stupid to have a gun show where vendors are not allowed to carry. If you haven’t been to one in a while, they may surprise you.Some vendors will have literally $150,000-$200,000 in firearms on display, not to mention countless amounts of ammo and accessories, The fact that event organizers will not allow them to carry there side arm seems a little strange. Even though we brought no firearms to sell this time, (remember PWP now has a class 7 FFL, we will be building some AR’s. And remember by joining PWP Kris will do FFL transfers for $15 cheaper then anyone else out there. Yet another perk to joining.) we still had our cash box for decals, shirts and memberships. That’s a couple hundred bucks that is just sitting there, and by the rules of the gun show, any firearm that entered the building had to be unloaded and safety checked. I understand there reasoning, and with Kris and Brad’s affinity for all things fixed blade, I never felt vulnerable, but it just didn’t make sense to me.
  2. There are plenty of guns out on the market, and there are deals to be had if your  patient. We had a table right across from us that had a Windham Weaponry SRC carbon 15 new in case (if you don’t know much about Windham rifles, read up on them a bit, its a pretty cool story, and each of there rifles comes with a 30 round PMAG, Hard case and a lock. On top of that if you buy a Windham at Cabelas, both companies donate to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) for their Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund (ORHF).  The ORHF provides for many different programs that take disabled American veterans hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and more.) Any way, these rifles can be had for right around $850 (cheaper on-line) every day. That being said, that rifle sat on the table across from us for a whole day with a price sticker of $585 on it. By Sunday they decided to sweeten the deal a bit with an extra G.I. mag, and 3 boxes of P-TAC ammo. They also dropped the price to $500. It still sat there until the end of the show when someone offered him $450 cash. Am I saying that the cost of firearms has dropped across the board? Hell no. But on some firearms, if you are willing to be patient, there are still some deals out there.
  3. Keep your guns! My Dad bought the 7 1/2″ Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag that I woods carry, around 20 years ago for $230. The retail on them now is $850 dollars, the cheapest ones at a gun show are 500 bucks, with most riding between $550-$700. The same can be said for all of the classic rifles and side-arms. Have you seen what a Smith and Wesson 629 goes for? How about a pre-64 Winchester model 70? It will make your head spin. Should you buy up any old gun that you see for cheap because it will be worth a ton of money? It’s your money and you can do with it what you will, but I think it doesn’t hurt for a guy to be a little research and have a few cards up his sleeve when he goes to any event where firearms may be seen. Check out books like the “Blue book of gun values“, and for those of you that have smart phones (I know, I know, I’m the only person still rocking the flip phone) you can download an app like “New Gun Digest” it cost you $20 a year, but it will instantly put correct information at your finger tips. Notice I said any event where firearms may be seen, some of your best bargains on firearms don’t come from gun shows at all, they come from garage and estate sales, next time your out with the fam and pass by a garage sale where you see outdoor stuff, stop and talk with the people, within minutes you will have a pretty good feel for them, and just ask the simple question “are you guys selling any firearms, or anything like that?” A lot of times, you will get the reply, “well we weren’t really thinking about it, but yeah we have a couple that have just been collecting dust for years.” You never know what they may have, or what they may want for them. But the best thing you can do is not sell your firearms, I know that its tempting to thin the heard a bit, and recoup funds to finance something else, but just be really picky about what you are willing to part with, shortly down the road you may wish you had it back, or be kicking yourself when your trying to replace it.
  4. You really don’t need to wear your tac-vest and mean mug to the gun show. Seriously! Its one thing if you buy one at the show, and put it on because you don’t want to carry it around the whole time. Its another when you walk in off the street with more gear on then most swat teams are issued. Double leg rigs, 6 extra mags, taser, a Scottish claymore mounted vertically on molle locks, and God knows what else. Then to top it off, you walk around all smug faced turning your nose up at everything. That isn’t cool man, and you aren’t impressing anyone. If you want to impress me, turn the machismo down a bit, and use your “expertise” to help somebody else, if someone is trying to get a drop leg rig and looks a little confused, ask if you can give a little advise. Smile, laugh, and enjoy the company. If you,  don’t like to be in the company of others, or feel that you need enough tactical gear to fight off an oncoming hoard of zombies, stay at home, or in your shipping container, or wherever it is that you “combat nap” at.

In all seriousness though, The gun show was a lot of fun. And thanks to all of you who came out, you meet some of the coolest people at social gatherings like that. Not only do you make friendships, but you also make contacts and connections, its networking face to face, not over the internet.And maybe what we should start going her at PWP, is to start a (now I’m really going to be dating myself) a Rolodex of information for companies that we use. If you are too young to know what a Rolodex is ill try to explain it.It was pretty much a trial size ferris wheel that sat on your desk, and you used it to organize business cards in alphabetical order, each card had the name of the business, there address, and phone number, and a lot of times people would pen in the name of who they talked to at the company, as to be able to personalize better with them when the called again. (think the contacts area in your smart phone) No apps, or avatars of anything. kind of lame by today’s standards, but hey it works. We have contacts from all over that we use on everything from gun projects and  sheath making, to plumbers and dog breeders  They are companies that we trust.  For example, if you are in need of a good gunsmith, or reloading supplies (this guy has TONS of powder, primers, brass, you name it, he has it) go see Hunter at Brown Dog Gunsmithing, hes a hell of a nice guy and his shop is in Athol. If you need some leather work done, custom holsters to dog collars, give Barbed Wire leather in Pinehurst a call, she can make just about anything that you can imagine, and she is affordable.Looking for a waterfowl dog, look no further then Northwood Retrievers (based out of Athol), Will and Brandy are great people and they breed and train the best dogs that I have ever hunted over. These are just three examples of people that I have built relationships with, If you have companies (especially local ones) that have done you right, send us a link and maybe we can post and share that info, theirs nothing worse then being in a time of need and not having someone that you can trust. Take care everybody,and if your headed out for opening day, be careful and may all your shots find there mark.

-Grant Willoughby 10/9/2016-

Donnie you’re out of your element…

“If this is the way were going to act,I am not so sure that I want to be apart of our civilization any more.” This is a direct quote from me, and I say it almost daily. I could use this weeks blog to talk about “not so peaceful gatherings”, and “freedom of speech”… If you want to see that, leave a comment and maybe I can make it happen next week… or you can turn on any news channel, or look at any media sight… It’s all been done.

I want to talk about something that really pisses me off… Stupid, disrespectful, un-aware gun owners… Let me clarify that all my friends, own guns, carry guns, and fight for all of our rights to own guns. And knives, 4 wheel drive pick ups, compound bows, brush burners, American and Gadsden flags (always fly the latter lower, lets be respectful.). We on a daily basis strive to keep ourselves, (and in all reality, all of ya’ll) safe. That being said, people are really, and truly effin’ up! if you haven’t seen this video and read the story, here’s a link. Basically it’s a road rage incident in Oregon where two individuals felt so offended by poor driving decisions that they both pulled to the side of I-205 and had a confrontation, one driver returned to his suv, and grabbed his Glock 19 returned to the confrontation with it pointed at his own stomach no less, in a tactical “come to center, brandish (trying to look like a bad ass)”. he then walks back to his suv, and the confrontation is over… Or is it? A driver, (Russ Ceperich, who by the way, has a concealed carry permit and regularly carries) caught the whole thing on his smart phone and immediately posted it to facebook, he then called 911, stating that the whole situation just was “way out of line”. Hell yes it was way out of line!

This is just one example, if you type “gun involved road rage incident” into the Yahoo search you will literally get 3,890,000 results. That is ridiculous. People are getting so upset about how others drive, that they are willing to risk life and limb, pull off to the side of the road, confront a driver and possible draw a firearm in order to prove a point. This really sickens me for two separate reasons:

First of all: If you think someone is driving poorly, write down there license plate number and call the cops. You are not a cop, you don’t have any authority, and its not your job. I know its frustrating to have someone tailgate you, but you have choices. I was blessed to have grown up in a household where my Dad fixed cars that were broken because people had accidents (or made bad decisions). In so I learned very early to drive safely, and to be very aware of those around me. The down side of that is that I tend to drive a little more on the “old man” side of the tracks. I drive the speed limit, if i get tail gated, I pull over in the next wide spot and let them pass. I refuse to put myself in a situation where I am going to drive unsafely because of those around me. This is a daily occurrence on one lane roads, some people refuse to abide the speed limit, and just don’t have the time to get where there going in a timely matter, I just let them pass, and forget that they even exist. (In fact, if they end up in the ditch 1/2 mile up the road, I won’t even feel obligated to stop and pull them out, that is how good I am at forgetting about them. 😉 )

So if you are placed in a situation where potentially you will be involved in a road rage situation, what should you do? I guess that just depends on which car your in. If you accidentally run a stop sign or cut someone off, do what I do, Act surprised (it shouldn’t be hard. If it was truly an accident you will be surprised.) Then wave and mouth the words “I’m Sorry”, 99 times out of a hundred, the other person will acknowledge the statement, and even if they are not happy about it, they will let it go. That’s pretty simple and effective. On that one random time where someone won’t let it go, what do you do? Do nothing. By no means, pull over and get in a gun fight about a blown red light. That even sounds stupid just to say. Keep on about your day, and try not to make the same mistake next time. obladi oblada life goes on. But what about if you are in the car where someone else is driving recklessly? You have all the power, LET IT GO! You will gain nothing from a face to face confrontation, even if you are right, your loss will be much heavier then your gain.

This brings me to the second thing that pisses me off about the whole situation: Why the hell do you draw a gun? At any given moment, I have a sidearm, an extra magazine or two, as well as a couple knives on me. To quote the title of chapter 8 in Uncle Ted Nugent’s book ‘God, Guns, and Rock n’Roll’ “Wanna go to a knife and gun show? I’ll open my jacket”,But that’s beside the point. I have never in my life been forced to draw my sidearm, or my knife in anger, ever! Why? Because it isn’t the right thing to do. There is a time and place to draw that line in the sand, and stand your ground, I just don’t think a California rolling stop on a stop sign is that time. This goes way beyond “tactical carry” “castle doctrine” or any of that, It goes back to hunters education, and firearms lessons from our Father’s that  we were taught at a young age. “You never point a firearm at anything that your are not willing to destroy.” You remember that lesson don’t you? Is tail-gating worth someone’s life, and more so, is tail-gating worth taking away someones father,child or husband?  I don’t think so. Furthermore, when you go about your daily life, living in a responsible way, being accountable for your own actions, and making the decision to carry some form of protection (I.E. Knife, Gun, ASP, martial arts training, taser or pepper spray.) you HAVE to carry yourself with a different demeanor. You cannot act/react recklessly, You must become the “eye of the storm” let the world spin in a crazy rage, but be calm in the center of it all. If we care about keeping our rights, we must be prime examples of why we deserve them. Step back from potentially dangerous situations, take a deep breath and calm down, don’t take yourself out of your element, act accordingly, and do what you KNOW is right. You represent me, and I you. I take that very seriously. Don’t let your ego fuel a fire that cannot be put out.

-Grant Willoughby 9/24/2016-

 

Why is your freezer empty…

If you are reading this on a Sunday, we can draw a couple conclusions…

Conclusion #1: There is a chance that you are a fantastic hunter. With archery elk opening on September 6th, archery deer opening on August 30th, and fall bear (you pick the weapon) being open since August 30th also, there is a chance that you have already tagged out on all of your big game for the year. Now you are just biding your time until October 1 so that you can slay a bunch of ducks and geese. If that’s you… Got any ideas how a fella could fill his freezer that you would like to share? If Not, then we can move on.

Conclusion#2: You  have been out hunting a few times already and are wishing that you had bought a B tag, and never decided to pursue critters with stick and string.You just needed a break. Hey I been there too my friend. There is a reason why people say that any animal that is harvested with a bow is a trophy, The amount of miles covered (quietly) and the amount of work entailed in  putting yourself into range with a bow is truly commendable. But you know as well as I do that the chances of shooting a critter from your couch are really limited. (If you regularly shoot critters from your couch, and you decide that you want to adopt a 33 year old fat guy… I might just know one. 🙂 )

Conclusion #3:You either go to church on Sundays, or Sunday is your “family day”. Both are acceptable answers, and I respect both answers equally. We would all love to spend every waking moment in the woods chasing dinner, but most of us have regular jobs that allow us very little free time. With only 2 days a week that don’t require a time clock, it is pretty hard to juggle your real priorities, God, Family, and Hunting! I personally try to limit my hunting excursions to one day out of the weekend (and boy is that hard to do when you got onto a good scrape the night before, or saw a ton of green heads land  just after shooting light  when you were picking up dec’s.) But, as for me at least, I feel that it is important to spend some time with the fam. Now when my boy gets old enough to carry a rifle and give it a go himself… Well, I should  just start apologizing to my wife now…

All things being considered, I think most people fall into group #3. That being said, It is always important to hedge your bet a bit by being proactive. So here are a few things that you can do before rifle season opens so that you don’t have to waste what little hunting time that you have getting ready.

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1: A man is only as sharp as his knife: It sounds silly, but a sharp knife is one of the most important items that any outdoors men can have, especially a hunter. With a little practice and a small sharpening kit you can maintain your own blades in almost no time, and its always better to start with a sharp blade and be able to touch it up. Believe me, having to sharpen your knife mid-deer stinks. You can take an hour or two (after work) and probably sharpen all the knifes and hatchets that you will need for your hunt. Another nice tool to have especially for game processing is  the Piranta knife made by Havalon. They are basically a gutting and field dressing knife that uses replaceable 2 3/4″ hermetically sealed scalpel  blades. If a blade gets dull or breaks, just swap the blade out. Is it a replacement for a good fixed blade knife? I don’t know that I would say that. But I do know a guy who raises buffalo, and it is the only knife that he uses for processing them out (field dressing and caping) and that says a lot.

ob32: Shoot your rifle: Its the easiest thing to take for granted. “It shot straight when I put it away last year.” Yes it did, but it has been stoved up in a case or gun cabinet since then, it has been cleaned and oiled, and maybe it has even been knocked around a little bit. I try to pull my shootin irons out a couple weeks before season starts and give them a good once over. Make sure all the screws are tight, run a few dry patches through the bore, then take it out and put a few rounds down range. if all goes right, the rifle prints right where I’m aiming. At this point I DO NOT clean the bore until hunting season is over, a bore that is clean and oiled will shoot to a different of impact then one that has been shot in. because of the residual oil,  rifles will tend to ( but not always) throw the first couple rounds high, due to less drag, and settle as they wear off the oil. Plus it gives you a little time to re-familiarize yourself with your fire arm. I know it is expensive (I shoot a .338 Win Mag for elk, and at $50+ a box I feel your pain) But if you cant afford to burn a half a box sighting in, you probably cant afford to hunt.

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3: Batteries, batteries, batteries: What do you have in your hunting kit that uses batteries? If you said everything you are correct! GPS, walkies, range finders, flashlights, head lamps, if your lucky… a camera. Yep, you already thought about those, but what about for your ATV and truck?  Make sure everything has a good battery in it, and make sure they are all charged up and ready. Foul weather brings out the worst in everything electronic. While your at it, maybe change the oil, air filter, and even throw a little fuel additive in the gas tank. Be prepared for all the challenges that arise in the field, you know what they say about an ounce of prevention…

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4:Packs and survival gear: This is by far the easiest and most fun pre-hunt preparation you can do. Dig out your pack frame, your hike pack (hopefully if you have been listening, your survival gear will already be in there. 😉 ) and check the condition of both, as well as what you have in inventory. Do it in the living room, in the middle of the floor and get the kids involved. If they see what it takes to do what you do, they will be super excited about it when they get to do it themselves. Matches, lighters, fire starters, knives, sharpening stones, tinder, game processing bags, meat sacks, something to boil water in… Its awesome, it is exciting, and its what you are about. Share the experience, if you don’t have kids, do it with your hunting buddies, when you compare and contrast what you carry, you may just learn something new, or you may get to share some lessons that you had to learn the hard way.

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5: Fellowship: I am very lucky to have a group of friends that share the same values as myself. In that, most of our conversations usually are about either hunting, fishing or guns. Big surprise huh? No, that’s not all that we talk about, but much like every road in Idaho leads to the bunco, all conversations lead to those topics. If you want to get ready to go on your fall hunts this year, I have a super easy recipe that will get you there. Grab a 6 pack, wrangle up your buddies, and talk about hunting. Talk about how much fun last year was. Talk about the ones you got, the ones that you missed, and about “the Big One” that you just know is out there. Talk about how good the coffee was in the morning, and how tasty the beer was when you got back to camp. Talk about hunting camp breakfast! Talk about how much it rained, or snowed or whatever. Reliving last years adventure is a sure way to wet the taste buds for this year. The memories that you make afield, are addicting. The more you make the more you want to make. Start a tradition and stick to it. Wouldn’t you love to be able to one day talk to your great grand children about your hunting adventures and show them a picture like the one above?

22 days… That is all the time left before opening day of Idaho’s general elk and deer season. The time is running down, fall is in the air. I wish you all the best of luck in all of your adventures, if you don’t hunt, that’s fine, fall pike  fishing is some of the best of the year, no to mention the steelhead run on the Clearwater. In whatever you do, make memories and traditions that will last a lifetime. Even one day in the field, will make the five days that you spend in the salt mines well worth it. Be safe, and good huntin’.

-Grant Willoughby 9/18/2016-

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…

15 years ago today, our country was pushed to a limit that only we could withstand. We were attacked on our homeland, by an extremist group, that wants nothing more then to destroy us. We are Infidels, we are Kafir. On that day we lost close to 3,000 fellow Americans, including almost 400 of whom were either EMS, Firefighters, or Law enforcement officials. The fallout is still coming through today, with over 1,140 people who either worked, lived, or studied at ground zero being diagnosed with cancer from the fallout of the blast. Only this country is strong enough to endure that, Only the good Ol’ USA has the ability to take that burden, and still go on about our ways of trying to help those less fortunate. I don’t want to harp on this too much, and it is not what my blog is about this week. I just want us all to take a minute and think about where we were when  9/11 took place, and to think about how our lives are different today because of those events. More then anything, give a smile, a nod, a wave or even start a conversation with your local EMS/Firefighter/Law enforcement officer, tell them that you appreciate all that there brotherhood has done for us, I guarantee that the small amount of time that you will take from your day will be well worth it, both for you and for them. Just like you, they like to feel appreciated for all the sacrifices that they endure. We are truly BLESSED to live in The United States of America.

So,now ill talk about what was really my topic of conversation for the week… I am extremely tired of the the Johnny-come-lately  Prepper/tacticool/SHTF scene. If I see one more dude who is wearing a scarf trying to tell me about how open carry is so passe, and that in a SHTF ( If you haven’t figured it out yet, I also am not a fan of acronyms)situation, open carry makes you a target, I am going to puke. This isn’t a fad to me, I’m not a prepper, I’m not tactical, I don’t believe in basing my life around one huge event. To ME, that just doesn’t make sense. If I played basketball, should I constantly practice full court, one handed shot’s because at some point in time I may be called to do it? I don’t think so. How does the fact that you have 1000 pounds of fava beans, and a fedora make you more prepared then me? Cool, you have 10,000 rounds of Soviet 5.56, you have 12 Ar-variants, and class IV body armor…Cool stuff man, but how does that relate to anything? We that have grown up in the woods, and have spent our lives refining our skill sets, value things a little differently I guess.  Being prepared is no different then growing up.
My Son just started kindergarten,in so he now is doing real school stuff. No more toys in class, and he is actually expected not only to learn, but to retain the knowledge. In so we work him at home pretty hard in order to solidify what he has learned, repetition makes the heart grow fonder right? 😉 But anyways, the other day he was supposed to write numbers, and was having some trouble writing the number 2, so we drew guide lines for him, then dots, then a starting point and an ending point. he still wasn’t getting it. He quickly lost focus and became frustrated. So we just gave up right? No way in hell, I looked him straight in his eyes and said “If you give up on yourself, then you have nothing to believe in ever. Just stick to the path, Keep going and it will all make sense. Just never give up on yourself.” Then magically he could draw a 2… Wait a minute, no he couldn’t. And that was never the point, as he worked towards refining his skill, he learned that he will earn his ability. Being prepared has nothing to do with looking the part, or ownership of the tools. It has 100% to do with proficiency earned through practice. Owning a guitar makes you no more Eric Clapton, then having a McMillan tac-338 makes you Chris Kyle. It is the work that makes the difference. We, having the luxury of growing up in the Great Northwest, have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time hunting, trapping, tracking, shooting and being prepared. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) a fad, it is just part of life. All the ammo in the world shows me nothing about your ability. Show me targets with tiny groups and barrels that are wore out and you will have my attention. Tell me stories of 1000 yard elk kills, and I will listen. Show me a freezer full of head shot squirrels and you will have my undivided attention. That isn’t something that you stumble into. That is hard earned knowledge, and I respect that.

As  children, we are expected to learn the things that will make our lives better. We learn to add and subtract.  We learn to read and to write. We learn to speak, and more importantly, to listen. As we grow up we are given opportunities to listen to those that have gained there knowledge through hard work. If we spend enough time with our mouths shut and our ears open in presence of people like that, we may gain the the ground work for our own knowledge. But that all depends on our willingness to practice what THEY have preached. True knowledge is something that is crafted, and cultivated, not something that you can buy in a box or read on a forum. May your pursuit of knowledge never falter, and may your willingness to shape your craft never grow tired.

-Grant Willoughby 9/11/2016-

Politics, Euthanasia and Recycling…

Well, if all my other blogs lead you to believe that maybe I am half a bubble shy of level, a title like “Politics, Euthanasia and Recycling”  would surely finalize that idea… But hear me out on this one…

This week I had quite a few ideas about what I would like to write about, but due to time constraints, I have to be pretty selective and try to get to something that I hope you would like to read about, and at the same time keep it short enough to where if you are reading it on your smart phone, you don’t have to plug in before you attempt to navigate through my run-on-sentences and over-hyphenated neologism’s. (by the way that is a real word… of the $5 variety, and it will score you you 36 points on scrabble if you play your tiles right 😉 ) So I figured that I would make this pretty simple, I would talk about something going on in the world, something that’s going on in my neighborhood, and something going on in my life.

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Politics: Any one who has watched any amount of television, or has been on any form of media site , knows exactly who this is, and why he has been a major focus for the media. But just in case you don’t…His Name is Colin Kaepernick, and he is the  back-up quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He attended college in Nevada, where he was named Western athletic offensive player of the year as well as MVP of the 2008 humanitarian bowl before being drafted in the second round of the NFL draft. That seems like reason enough for him to be in the lime-light right? No Sir, you are mistaken. On August 26, 2016 in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick decided to make a political statement by refusing to stand for the singing of Our National Anthem and the raising of Our flag, stating “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Well This is America, if you choose not to stand for the national Anthem, that’s on you man. Thank God for those brave men and women that gave there lives protecting and serving our beautiful country, They gave you that right. It’s The First Amendment for pete’s sake, and you have to right to exercise it. You want to know about oppression,  Go to a country like North Korea, or Saudi Arabia. You pull a move like “Not showing respect to ones flag and Country” the only thing you will have to worry about is how to stop the bleeding. People have, and will continue to be killed for less then that, daily. Thank your lucky stars that you were born in a Country that “ALLOWS” you to have an opinion. You know that I would rather trim my eye lashes with a weed-eater then talk about politics, but there is one thing that I stay away from even more then that… And its race. If Kaepernick wants to use his mediocre football career as a “soap box” to express his feelings about oppression and racism, Once again that is up to him, He has that right. But If you want to get down to the real nitty gritty of this whole black lives matter thing (If you want my full opinion click “here“) is racist. I believe that black lives matter, I also believe that red lives, yellow lives and white lives matter too. Life matters period. I think some people just Just have an inability to deal with not being the prize pig, Kaepernick will never be remembered for his 27/20 win/loss record. Now being a backup, maybe he is afraid that he will disappear all together. His football career may never make a true impact, but maybe he feels that his actions will?

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Euthanasia: This was a rough week for the Willoughby clan, Well for My wife to be more precise. Walking out to my truck Monday morning I noticed a white tail doe laying in our front yard, as I walked closer she turned her head to look at me but she didn’t flee. Something was up, I looked at her rear legs and could see that she had been hit by a car. Being an avid hunter and outdoors-men, I hate to see things in pain or suffering, and I could tell that she was both. I looked down the road and saw a sheriff sitting at the corner in his Suv and figured that he had been called out to evaluate the deer, and displace her if necessary. That being said, I immediately text My wife and said “Hey there is a doe out in the front yard, she looks like she has been hit. There is a cop out there, so if you hear a shot, just know that it is a cop. Please don’t let the dogs out until the situation has been remedied, I don’t want to stress her out any more then she already is.” Later I got a reply to my text, that just said “can you talk?” I called her and she was in tears, she had walked outside to see where the doe was at, and found her piled up, but still alive-ish. I told her to call fish and game and see what they could do. Fish and game told her that if she was laying there she may still be ok, and that because she wasn’t already dead they really couldn’t do a whole lot about it. Hearing this story, I felt the need to make a call to fish and game myself. After explaining myself to the receptionist, she forwarded me up the chain of command “Well the Deer looks to have 2 broken legs, she is laying in my yard, we live in a neighborhood that is filled with dogs, if one of those dogs gets out of there fence, the doe has no chance and she will be torn to shreds. Plus there is a state aided day care across the road, I would really hate to have all those little kids spend there whole day watching an animal die in pain. I hunt, and I love animals but she is hurting pretty bad. If I lived out in the country I would have put a bullet in her this morning, and put her out of her misery”. That was all that he needed to hear, he said he would send a guy out and see what he could do. 15 minutes later, a fish and game officer come to my door and spoke with my wife, he said that in fact the deer had been struck 2 blocks away and had in fact broke both rear legs,he then asked her what she would like to do? Maybe I should have prefaced my story with this very important detail. My wife is an animal lover, and a… wait for it…. wait for it…  VEGETARIAN! (I know what your thinking, you are a hunter, and your wife is a salad eater how does that work? Well my deer meat just last longer then yours does 😉 ) In that the officer asked if she would like him to make the call? Less then a minute later, he had already been to his truck, grabbed a small caliber rifle, and put an end to the situation. He then came back to our porch and consoled my wife. “That deer was in bad shape, there was no choice. The neighbors down the road are going to keep the meat and nothing will go to waste. You did the right thing.”  Needless to say my wife still tears up a little bit when she thinks about it. When I got home, we talked about it, and it dawned on me. That was the truest form of mercy. She would never be able to kill that deer, but the fact that she could see the pain,and know what was right even through her personal feeling were telling her something totally different. I am very proud of her. Now I just have to work with her about telling the fish and game officer that we want the meat next time…

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Recycling: Yesterday, I did My part in figuring out how to reduce my carbon foot print and recycle… Pwp fired up the forge, and we built some cool blades. We will get some pictures up shortly. We are going to try to get in some kind of schedule  for when we will be banging metal. Maybe next time you could come join us, or send us some ideas for potential project. This time we used old rail road spikes and made hatchets and knives out of them. In my opinion, that is the best kind of recycling that can be done. Take something of very little value, and make something awesome using  only fire and sweat-equity. Plus everyone looks like a boss spraying carbon sparks all over and wielding a hammer like the Sons of Ivaldi.  Happy labor Day.

-Grant Willoughby 9/5/2016-

lets all be seated…

I have been struggling with what to let loose down the post world patriot pipeline this week, I absolutely love to try to be funny, interesting and most of all I want to be informative to all of ya’ll. I would rather teach then give you a shame session.That isn’t my nature. But its pretty hard to speak to a point that no one wants to talk about, I want a conversation, not a monologue… But maybe I haven’t been open enough, maybe I haven’t been honest enough, maybe you don’t know me (by “ME” I mean a “Post World Patriot“). So this may be a little different blog post then before, and I hope that maybe me flexing my voice and opinions, will make you do the same. I feel that I have the ability to speak as the voice of PWP, which means (if you are reading this) that I am your voice too. So please find your seats. This is the sermon of the “Post World patriot”

My name is Grant Alexander Willoughby, I am in fact an ordained reverend,  I have actually married people… Kind of cool stuff huh? I spent quite a bit of time working for North Idaho Youth for Christ. ( about 6 years) working with kids that didn’t have a chance. That’s why I wanted to be a teacher when I got out of high school, went to NIC for a year, then decided it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to craft our youth, it was the fact that I couldn’t pay my bills with there salary (next time you go to a parent teacher conference be heartfelt and thank your kids teacher, there doing it because they love your kids, not for the money… Because there isn’t any.) Then I did a correspondence course and became a Gunsmith. Filling out paperwork to prove that I know about guns seemed a little redundant, but I finished a 9 month course in a little over 6 weeks, with scores that perplexed the makers of the program. I wasn’t learning anything, I was just proving what I already knew. And now I am a husband, a father, a son, a beer warehouse supervisor, and an active member of my community. But….

(You were waiting for the tie-in huh?) I am the “Post World Patriot“. Not that this was my idea, that’s not what I am saying at all. People, as a whole are “johnny come lately’s” PWP wasn’t something crafted because prepping was all the rage, or 2nd amendment , or organic farming, or hunting and gathering. “WE THE PEOPLE” have always done this, We didn’t start doing this when PWP  was created, We have always done this, and a name finally  came about. We didn’t invent PWP, it was a living brand of our lives. It isn’t a group to join, its a support group for those that do. Teach, learn, and grow everyday. Be honest, Love and learn. Stand on your own two feet… and have support in us. Want to know the best caliber pistol to carry? The best way to carry it? How to start a fire with a maxi-pad and a plastic bag filled with urine? how about how to get your Kids outdoors? I want to share the skills that I have, and I would love to know yours. That I owe 100% to my parents and my raisin’, I have always been a Post World Patriot, Kris, And Brad would explain there upbringing the same way. We don’t do this, this is who we are. We are as different as you could imagine. Kris has a way of interpreting things that goes without explanation. If he were a super hero, his super-hero persona would be “Mr. Matter-a-fact” he believes in two things… right and wrong, they create a balance, and are both needed. But he does, and teaches, the right way… no matter what the cost, and the pain you have to endure to get there. You earn your knowledge. Brad, if you have never met him, is as charismatic as they come, he doesn’t know a stranger. He is a good father and husband, and the life style that he lives is what he wants his children (and yours) to be blessed with. His gifts are yours, just ask. Now I have to explain me, and I don’t like doing that. I’m not perfect, In fact I might be the farthest from plumb pillar in PWP. I am both sides at once, if you hop up in my truck you may listen to Killswitch Engage,  Merle Haggard or Bubba Sparxx, I don’t feel a need to fit into any idea, all I can do is be me. With an open heart ill give you my last nickle, and my last breath (I can’t thank my parents enough for instilling that ability in me) I know about a couple things, if your willing to learn, I am willing to teach. And vice-versa… Hopefully. What I’m trying to say is that “Post World Patriot” isn’t something that we take lightly, It is the idea that makes us believe that tomorrow can be better then today, it is the mortar that holds our foundation together, preserving the foundations  of freedom. “We The People” are a community, we are a revolution,  We are an embodiment of tomorrows hopes, we are family… Warts and all. I hope that I am as important to you, as you are to me. This is our chance to do something that matters, to be a part of something that changes not only our lives, but tomorrows generation too. Remember when the United States was the land of opportunity? It can be that way again. Remember when you could leave the front door open, or your truck doors unlocked without worrying about being robbed blind? We can still have that. It will just take some work. Stay the True North, don’t falter, when we do whats right, we become what is right. No matter the burden, always stay true not only to yourself, but to what you represent… “We The People”…  AMEN!

-Grant Willoughby 7/24/2016-

A country boy can survive…

Lately my Blogs have grown long and pretty serious. This week I will try to refrain from both. I think its time that we lighten up a bit. But if you guys have anything that you would like us to do some research about and throw into a blog, leave us a comment. For that matter, if you just like what we have already done, leave us a comment too. Video ideas? How about you leave us a comment? Maybe I should do a review on shovels, for all the digging I’m doing for a comment here folks. I want to keep the Post World Patriot fire burning, and as much as I like to run my unfiltered mouth through my finger tips, I want to write about something that interests you. And if you are already a loyal reader of my nonsense, and you appreciate what we are doing as a PWP community, then share us with your friends. As we learn more together and we grow as a family, we all get closer to true enlightenment. But as for now your just going to get good ol’ fashioned run-on, over-hyphenated, Grant speak. lets let-er-rip tater-chip!

  Hank Williams Jr. said that all you need is a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4 wheel drive and a country boy can survive… And that’s one hell of a starter kit. But you and I both know that that’s just the tip of the iceberg, Cool beans, you got a rifle and you shot a deer for food, but how are you going to clean and butcher it without a knife? I don’t know if you have ever tried to clean a critter with a shotgun or  a 4 wheel drive, but it ain’t easy brother! (Notice I said it ain’t easy, I never said it was impossible 😉 ) So what I am going to do is go through my list of mandatory items for survival. Yes I will start with the the trinity ,with explanations for each, But then I will add a few of my own.

  1. shotgunShotgun. Everyone needs a shotgun. Period. Some will say that a shotgun is grossly overrated as a weapon, to that I would simply say “prove it”. A shotgun is one of the most versatile weapons ever created, even without the ability to aim every single pellet individually, a shotgun lays a swath of destruction that almost nothing can compete with. Shotguns bank on the laws of averages and math. Without going to far into multiple-hit theory and cumulative-kinetic energy, lets just agree that even a load of #8’s out of your lowly shot-sucker is pretty impressive. And name me another weapon that can be used for as many purposes. From hummingbirds, to home defense to charging bears (with proper shot selection of coarse), its pretty hard to find a match for a good shotgun.
  2. weatherbyRifle. Those that spend any amount of time in the great outdoors, know the true value of a rifle. From gathering food, to protecting the homestead from vermin(be they 4 legged or 2) its hard to beat a good rifle. Especially if you own a rifle in an easy to find caliber. In selling firearms, I have sold literally hundreds of rifles, In every caliber from .17 hmr to .50 Bmg, but the caliber that I sold the most of was the good ol’ 30-06 springfield. Why?  Well it has been said that the aught 6 is about the most recoil that the average shooter can handle, And to an extent I can agree. I personally have quite a few rifles that kick harder, but for a new shooter the 110 year old cartridge seems to cover just about every situation. With standard bullet weight from 150-220 grains, everything walking the  north american continent (save for the largest of coastal bears) is fair game. And the ammo is still reasonable priced, and readily available. Everyone should own at least one rifle…for each member of there family… in each caliber. Oh boy here I go again.
  3. 4x44-Wheel drive.Maybe my opinion is just super skewed because I live in North Idaho, But I cannot imagine owning a vehicle that isn’t 4-wheel drive. I know someone will come out of the wood work and say that a good front wheel drive car with studded snow tires can go almost anywhere that a 4×4 will. The imperative word in that statement is “almost”, Yes a front wheel drive car does better on the snow and ice then a real wheel drive car does, but lets be honest here, do you really believe that your 2010 Honda civic will go anyplace that my 1993 Ford F-350 crewcab 4×4 will?  Sure my truck can get stuck just like anything else, but it has 2 things going for it that are hard to replace: Ground clearance, and 4 tires pushing me where I want to go. “But I live in California, and I have no need for a big gas sucking truck” Yes you do, you should trade in your Prius, and get a truck, then load all of your belongings into it, then move out of California. Quality of life greatly improved just by buying a truck. Funny how stuff like that works.
  4. randallA Good Knife. Ok you will probably want more then one, but lets start off with one. A good knife is a tool that it is almost impossible to live without.From cleaning critters to making dinner, a knife is a must have. A good fixed blade knife is hard to beat, They range in price from $35 dollars to pretty much as much as you would want to spend. Think of it as an investment, if you buy a solid knife made with quality components (quality steel blade, quality handle material etc) and you take care of it (keep the blade sharp and free of rust) it will outlast you and provide many lifetimes of service.
  5. 10-22A .22 lr.  Everyone needs a .22, from honing your skills at the target range, to use as a hunting instrument, a .22 lr. (pistol or rifle) is really hard to beat. Even with the elevated prices that have now become standard on ammo, the .22 is still pretty reasonable to shoot, and it is still probably one of the easiest calibers to introduce a new shooter with. Plus they are just a ton of fun, its amazing the accuracy that you can muster out of such a tiny cartridge. Everyone remembers there first .22, and all of the adventures they had because of them. Why do we all throw one in when we head up into the woods? Because its tradition, and just in case you get stopped by the country boy inspector, you don’t want to get demoted for that one.
  6. ms261cmA Chainsaw. No Self-respecting red blooded American, would even consider themselves a country boy without a good chainsaw. Just saying chainsaw makes me smile, I recorded the sound of my chainsaw and I use it as the ringer on my phone for petes sake! I had a hand me down McCulloch  pro mac 10-10 for years, it was given to my Dad 40-some-odd years ago by a guy who worked at the factory. That saw is HEAVY, but it always starts on the third pull, and in all the years of service, we have never even had to change a plug on it. Just sharpen the chain and cut. But last year I decided to make the investment and get a newer saw. I ended up getting a lightly used (were talking all of the stickers from Ace hardware store are still intact and still on the original factory air filter and plug) Stihl MS290. I know that the 290 is not a pro-level saw, but holy nuggets man, the new saws are awesome. With a 20″ bar and a 55.5 cc motor, the saw rips. anytime I head up in the woods I throw my saw in, it doesn’t matter how good your 4-wheel drive is, if there is a big log across the road, your adventure is over.
  7. fnxA Pistol. You need a pistol, there is no way around it. caliber isn’t as important as some would lead you to believe, but a quality pistol is definitely a good investment towards your country boy merit badge. Be it a revolver, or a semi-auto it doesn’t matter. Just get one that you love, carry it always and shoot it constantly. If you hunt, a sidearm  (in my mind at least) is a necessity, not only for personal protection, but also for dispatching game humanely. If you have ever tried to deliver the coup de grace from close range with a .338 Win mag you will know what I mean.
  8. gloomisA decent fishing pole. If only once in your life, buy a decent fishing pole. Not that there is anything wrong with a store assembled combo, but there is something special about searching out the correct rod for you. I personally like a 7′ 2-piece medium spinning rod, and a decent midsize spinning reel that holds a fair amount of 10-12 pound test line. I want it to balance well, be light enough to be able to cast it all day, but have enough backbone to be able to horse pike or bigger bass off of the bottom. If you primarily fish for pan fish (perch, crappy, blue gill etc.) you may want a lighter profile rod with extra length for casting smaller lures, if you primarily target catfish you may want a heavy weight rod that is built for presenting huge baits on the bottom. No matter what you target you owe it to yourself to use the right equipment, you wouldn’t use your kid’s sled and try to qualify for Olympic bobsled, the same can be said for using a down-rigger combo to ice fish. Can you do it? Sure. Would it be more enjoyable with the right gear?  You bet.

Maybe all you really need is a shotgun, rifle, and a four wheel drive, but if I’m going, I’m gonna be loaded for bear, There are plenty of other things that I would have liked to put on my country boy list, I love my ATV, and don’t get me started on bows, arrows, muzzle loaders, air-boats, brush burners, loud guitars, a good dog and mud tires, but that’s just me I guess. The most important factor in country boy survival is (and always has been) the want to survive. Be proactive in your quest for knowledge, be prepared, and surround yourself with others that are striving for the same goal. Learn from, and teach each other daily, become well rounded, and most off all never lose your drive, not only to survive, but to thrive.

-Grant Willoughby 07/17/2016-

today…

Thursday morning I was thinking about what I was going to write for you guys this week. Should I do that story I had been planning about suburban horticulture and how you can utilize your back yard as a grocery store? Should I go off on a crazy tangent about how cooking with cast iron is the only way to go, and how no non-stick pan ever created can give you the elegance of 50 year old cast? What about a write up about the AR-15, and its potential to be one rifle with infinite uses? How about the correct way to site in a rifle, or sharpen a knife, or how to get in shape for archery season? All ideas seemed valid, They could be informative, funny and most of all, they could give you and I an escape from the world outside our window’s. But then I woke up Friday morning and turned on the news… Any hopes of escaping the outside world have disappeared. This issue has been growing for along time now, and we have all seen the writing on the wall. People have decided which side of the fence they wish to stand on. That is our right, and I am not going to speak to that point… Per se. But I am going to talk about the facts though, in all there gory details. We need to be informed, and we have to be smart with our actions. Let’s see how this one works out, If I offend you with what I have written, I am truly sorry, and if you want to leave a comment, I will do my best to address whatever the problem may be. But lets get down to the nitty gritty.

Racism is wrong. Mass shootings are wrong. Living in fear is wrong. We are currently living in a situation where all three of these wrongs are totally acceptable, every one believes that they are more important then the man sitting next to them. We have lost the ability to stand as one united front. But why? Well lets just take those three wrongs and see what happens when we give them a closer look.

Racism is wrong.  We all know this, and for the most part, we all live by this. We as human beings, and citizens of the United States of America, are all granted protection EQUALLY from discrimination, no matter what our race, color or creed. Know how I know? Its in the Constitution, The 14th amendment to be exact. You know, That same historical doctrine that is constantly trying to be dismantled. Its truly a shame too, because that “piece of paper” is the basis for our freedom, It single-handedly draws a line in the sand, that separates us from the rest of world. Our side is freedom, tolerance, and hope… Then there is the other side. People have no problem trying to take out the 2nd amendment, but there is no way that they would even consider doing it to the 14th. I guess “shall not be infringed upon” only counts if its something that you personally believe in huh? Not this guy, Our Forefathers wrote them all down for a reason, because they work, and because they are ALL needed to insure Our freedom. “But Police officers all over the country are discriminating against African American’s daily. There were 2 officer involved shootings just this week”. Yes there were two shootings this week, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and both of those losses are tragic to say the least, and without having personally witnessed either I will keep my opinion’s to myself. Were the law enforcement officials acting exactly correct in both situations? Like i said before, I don’t like to give opinions without more information then what I have. Could the officers have made a mistake? Sure, in the heat of the moment, with an ultra-high stress situation taking place, it is possible. But like I said, I wasn’t there and I don’t know all the details. Did you know that a white unarmed male was shot by police in Fresno, his name was Dylan Noble, and he was 19 years old? I didn’t either, because the news didn’t cover that one, its the same situation, I was not there and in so I don’t know what could have been done or if the situation transpired correctly or not. What I do know are some facts. In the last week,  Americans lost there lives to gunfire, and that is truly heart breaking. I, as a responsible firearms owner, hate to see guns used in that manner. It sounds weird to some, but I have reached a true balance with my firearms. They have as little meaning, and as much meaning as I am willing to put into them. They are only a tool, a tool that allows me to provide food for my family, to protect them, if God forbid, something happens, and to provide me with recreation and fellowship with those in my life that share the same feeling. Many people own pens, and with those pens they have written hateful, horrible things. But others also own pens, and have done beautiful things. A Bad craftsmen always blames the tool right? So here are the facts about officer involved shootings brought to you by Heather Mac Donald, from her book  “Are Cops Racist”.

  1. Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. Wait a minute here, we don’t see this on the news at all. 50% of all cop shooting victims are white. 26% are African American. Those are actual stats for the year 2015.
  2. More whites and Hispanics die from police homicides than blacks. Whites and Hispanics account for around 12% of the homicides due to officer shootings. African American’s account for 4%. Percentages are just numbers, every life matters and is important. White, black, brown ,color doesn’t matter,but the lives do.
  3.  Unarmed black men are more likely to die by the gun of a cop than an unarmed white man. But if you look at what else the report shows you might be surprised at what constitutes  “unarmed”.  If an assailant tries to wrestle the gun away from a police officer, or has taken the officers night stick and is using it against him, he is technically “unarmed” If they didn’t enter the conflict with a weapon, they are classified as unarmed. Stray bullets also count against this total, in situations where an officer was justified to take a shot, and a bullet either passed through or struck a bystander, it also counts towards the unarmed statistic.
  4. Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire a gun at blacks than white officers. This statistic was actually discovered by a criminologist at the University of Pennsylvania by the name of Gary Ridgeway. He concluded that in Philadelphia, according to the Department of justice in 2015, a black officer was 3.3 times more likely to fire his service weapon then any other officer at the scene.
  5. Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops. According to the FBI, 40% of cop killers are African American. In fact a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by an African american, then he is to kill one who is unarmed.

What else has happened, that hasn’t gotten much media publicity, is what has been termed “the Furgusen effect”. The Furgusen effect states that law enforcement official have become reluctant to police certain areas for fear that they will be labeled racist.There fear for there own lives, as well as the lives of there own family’s,  has made it so that they cannot do the job that they were sworn to do. TO SERVE AND PROTECT. In 50 of the largest cities in the US, the murder rate has spiked 17%, and you can’t tell me that  has nothing to do with the absence of a police officer presence.

What is really important to remember is that racism isn’t just an action that take place where a Caucasian treats someone of another race poorly, racism is the action of treating someone of a different race differently because they are different then you. If you don’t believe it go to another country, or even a different area in the United States. In Mexico were “gringos”, in Hawaii were “haoles”, in the south, (and strangely enough in Canada) we are called “Yanks” or “Yankees”. Technically that is being racist. Even if you treat someone nicer then you need to just because they are different then you, that is racism too.  It’s pretty sad, but it is the truth. And we have to remember that police officers are just like us, some of us are nice polite individuals that have nothing more then the best of intentions at heart. Others do not. But, law enforcement officials deal with a different assortment of people then most of us do. Can you imagine going to your job everyday, knowing that 95% of the people you are dealing with are going to lie to you? As soon as you get pulled over you immediately start calculating your story. “well I was late for this or that”, or “I got new tires and they must cause my  speedometer to be off”, no one just says, “yep I know that it is a 35 mph zone, but I just felt the need to do 47 mph, my bad”. To me ,that would be pretty hard to deal with on a day to day basis.  That doesn’t even take into account the risks that they face everyday just doing there job. If you work at a machine shop, you have the potential to have mill or lathe slip, and potentially you could be injured, but you can use the safety clamps and tilt the scale in your favor . I work at a beer distributor, yes I could have a keg fall and potentially crush me, but there is a safety cage that covers our forklifts, so in the rare occasion that a keg falls the potential of bodily harm is very unlikely. If you are a police officer, your job is filled with potential for bodily harm or death. A routine traffic stop can become anything but routine quickly, all it takes is someone not paying attention, or taking there eyes off the road for a second and you could be struck by there vehicle, or worse, someone could have something inside the vehicle that they feel the need to protect (I.E. drugs, weapons, they fact they have been drinking etc.) and they decide to use there weapon, (be it hand held or the vehicle itself) to take the police officer out of the situation, in order to save themselves. That is a true worry, and completely terrifying to me. The stress level would have to be incredible.

Mass shootings are wrong. I shouldn’t even have to type that. The idea of going on a “shooting spree” is so foreign to me that it is really hard for me to wrap my head around it. So far this year, according to the mass shooting tracker, there have been 229 multiple shootings, accounting for 841 injuries and 337 deaths. What in the Hell is this world coming to? When did it become common practice for someone to feel like they had been slighted by the system, or to get there feelings hurt, and instantly go directly to the idea of inflicting death and destruction upon others? Call it what you want, but I call it terrorism, and in all reality, how far away is the idea of racism and the idea of terrorism? They seem like one in the same to me. Both are loosely based, one way or another, on the idea of invoking fear or “terror” by means of threatening, or actually using violence, as a way of achieving  religious, political, or ideological goals. What a sad existence it is where people have to live in fear that someone is going to be so fragile and so broken that the only way that they feel they will be heard is to start popping off rounds at a peaceful protest, or a school, or into a random hotel or mall. If that is the way that our civilization is going, I don’t want to be a part of it any more. If you feel that you have been mistreated, do something about it. I am sure that you are not the only one. Stand up, and use your words not your bullets. Build a better world for those that feel the same way you do. Get help, unite, and stand strong together.

Living in fear is wrong. I really believe that this one goes without saying. People should be able to walk down the street, or spend time with there family’s without having to have an escape plan for all of there activities. I make a personal choice everyday to be more observant of my surroundings then I probably need to be. My feeling is that I like to know whats going on around me at all times. In the words of Jeff cooper, I go about my day in condition “yellow”, which pretty much means that my eyes are always surveying, and my ears are always alert. Since I make the choice to carry, I also have to be more aware of my surroundings . But I don’t do all this because I live in fear, I do it because I strive to be prepared. We as Americans, should be able to live our lives without fear, our Constitution grants us liberties that no other country has. Our ground work was laid so that we could venture out into this beautiful country, free of the burden that other country’s have to endure. Living in fear, is really not living at all. We, even in times of hardship, must stand tall as a nation. We must walk proudly, banded together, knowing that we can conquer all things, But only if we do it together. Each one of us important, each one of us is special, and each one of us is an integral component in this super machine that we call freedom. I want to make this world a better place for my family, my Son,and for you. Will you stand with me?

-Grant Willoughby 7/10/2016-