Tag Archives: family

Unplug!

As the rain pitter-patter’s on the steel roof of my humble abode, I sit here quietly wishing that it was 12 degrees colder outside… I know what you are thinking, and no I’m not going to do chapter 2 of “Can you feel the nip in the air?” even though it would be a great idea. More so this blog is to be one centered around something that is quite contradictory. Y’all need to unplug.

We all know that I am the master of contradiction, I wrote about how great AR-15’s were when I didn’t even own one (even though I had shot PLENTY, and sold literally hundred’s of them), then when I finally pull the trigger and purchase one, I haven’t written anything about them since… I write about the benefits of carrying a sidearm as the centralized part of your EDC kit, then someone see’s me out in public armed with only a knife for personal protection. What sacrilege… Am I a hypocrite? I sure don’t think so, I prefer to take Kris’s stand point of accepting the challenge of bringing a knife to a gunfight every once in a while. I don’t feel that you come to our Post World Patriot page to hear us chatter nothing but tacticool jargon all the time. If that is what you’re looking for, there are plenty of web pages that do just that. Hopefully none of the other members of PWP will take an exception to the fact that I am speaking for them, but I feel the need to. We are not the stereotypical firearm/ survival/ tactical website. We don’t take the position of being elitists when it comes to everything that we do, You can call it whatever you want, but I call it a breath of fresh air in an industry that has become stale in topic. ” I only use a thumb forward modified C-grip while shooting my Gen III Noveske N6 Switchblock, I refuse to place my cheek upon anything that wasn’t made in Grants Pass, Oregon by John Noveske” Blah, Blah, Blah, nobody cares! Ok, I take that back, obviously someone does or else those pages wouldn’t exist (or be so popular). That just isn’t us. Sure we could just regurgitate info that we read in the coolest gun magazines, but if you wanted that info you would probably just buy that magazine. At least if you read the article you’re getting the information from the person that actually did the testing. There are lots of “Google degree” graduates out there, I’m just not one of them. Sure I will read up on a thing or two in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, but until I have busted my knuckle on “that” difficult bolt, or until I have personally shot that “particular” rifle, with that “particular” optic, I don’t feel I should be the one who stands at the altar and passes judgement on it. If you don’t experience these things yourself, than you really don’t know, your just taking someone elses word for it. There is only one way to truly gain that knowledge (Let the contradictions begin)… Turn the computer and phone off, and step out into the world and experience them! Yes I know that you read this on some sort of internet enabled device, and by all means keep visiting our page and reading our blogs, but on the flip side of that coin start doing some intimate research on your own. It amazes me that 6-year-old children know every function on an Iphone, but don’t know how to tie a fisherman’s knot. The ability to have patience and actually wait for something is nonexistent, and doing things the “old” or “traditional” way is being forgotten before we ever have a chance to teach it. It’s not just the wee-lads in elementary schools either, I work with guys in there 20’s who have never written a check for God’s sake! Everything has always been electronic for them, electronic payments and electric deposits… Instant oatmeal and instant messenger… Do you remember the last time that you hand wrote a letter and mailed it old school,  like with a stamp and the whole nine yards? People still do it I promise you. Remember when you listened to the radio and sometimes waited all day to hear that new song that you like? Not now, you can instantly listen to that song all 3 times that it takes for you to grow tired of it, all from your phone. Some of these guys have never bought a CD… I use to buy cassette tapes man, you put it in and had to listen to the whole thing or become a fast finger clairvoyant in order to guess just how much fast forward or rewind you needed in order to hear your favorite Skidrow song twice in a row.  The struggle was real!

What we write about are the things that we have experienced in our lives, and with experience comes knowledge. I have learned a lot while having a 6-year-old Son around the house. On any given day I need to be proficient in all forms of toy repair, I may be called upon to proform most basic medical procedures, all while being a caring father and still being able to identify the telltale signs that he is spending way to much time in front of the television or on his tablet. You cannot be scared to tell those you care about to get off their damn phone. “But they get bored”, do something about it, get them up and out of the boredom. Try this experiment: Take one day out of the weekend, unplug your TV, turn the data off on all the phones, cook an honest homemade breakfast (lately we have been doing some great fruit and oatmeal variations that have become favorites. No instant oats allowed!) After breakfast, pick a project that can be proformed around the house in a timely manner (if tools are involved most kids will instantly want to help) and when the work is done… Go have some fun! Kick it old school, load up the fam and take a ride into the woods lookin for critters, or grab a dozen night crawlers and head out to the lake. Build a snowhill, or jump in that pile of leaves that you worked so hard to rake up. Drink hot cocoa (with marshmellows). Take time and enjoy all of the moments.  you will be amazed at how quickly your day has passed and how much fulfilment you got from it. Days like this have amazing rejuvinating abilities, Its funny how sometimes the only way to recharge your batteries is to completely unplug from the system.

-Grant Willoughby 10/14/2017-

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Way cheaper then therapy…

Remember back to a time when you didn’t have to stress about paying bills, a time where your only worry was a good time… Those times are not gone forever, we have just been taught to overlook them, disguised as youthful ignorance. Our perception of life has  been skewed by what we think we have to be in order to be considered “grown ups”… Well guess what, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your “grown up” life gets in the way of your real life, monday thru friday is our punishment for what we like to do on the weekends. Tell me I’m wrong? Its impossible. If you had the choice to put in extra time at work, or take your family for an extra day of vacation which would you pick? if you could make an extra $25 on your paycheck, or have a barbecue with those you care about, crack a few cold beers, and eat like it was the last supper… Which would you choose?

Yesterday was one of the few occasions where the stars lined up and Kris, Nick and I were able to synchronize our watches and take a trip up into the woods and do a little shooting. Were talking full-blown redneck extravaganza, clay pigeons, shotguns, ar-15’s and dueling 45’s? My hands still smell like burnt powder… You know what? I may never wash them again! But more important than the rounds that we sent down range, was the time spent. Sure we burnt up a couple hundred dollars in ammo (seriously we weren’t messing around) Laughs were shared from the minute we started our voyage. From breakfast burritos from a women with sharpie applied eyebrows to possibly pre pm hour beers (no, I don’t drink and shoot. because Badger ordinance decided not to commercially build their tactical beverage retention system) a great time was had by all. Yeah I probably could have shot a little better, but by the same token that wasnt the point, it was all about enjoying a little trigger time and good friends always make good company, My sides are still aching… Then we had to load everything back up and return to civilization, and guess what happened? In the course of 7 hours, my whole mood had changed. Where I had been a little short in the morning with the boy, the wife and even the dogs,  when I returned home I had done a complete 180. How does that happen, and why do I always forget the remedy? When our stress levels start to climb there is almost always a correlation with the lack of time doing what we truly enjoy.

This year has been a different one for me, I never even pulled the tarp off of my camper, I fished twice, didn’t hunt all spring, went shooting once. You know what I did do? Get stressed, had a short temper, and to be completely honest, I became an asshole. Putting money in the bank account to sustain an existence, became more important than living the life that I have and being thankful for all the blessings. We all fall victim to adult-itis, and it is important to take care of business, but remember why you are doing it. You can’t take money to your grave, if it’s a decision of one more dollar in your bank account, or one more bedtime story that you get to read to your children and one more sit down dinner and goodnight kiss for the wife, I can just about guarantee what they will pick. Some say “you have to remember to stop and smell the flowers”, well flowers really aren’t my thing but I still understand the sentiment. Maybe we need to “stop and smell the powder” and take time to enjoy the life that we have worked so hard to create. Give yourself a “spiritual recharge” and remember what makes you happy. A Saturday morning and a couple of boxes of ammo can change your whole perspective, maybe even your life, hell its way cheaper than therapy…

-Grant Willoughby 9/24/2017-

Like a Boss!

Ownership does not constitute competency. We have all heard it, it doesn’t matter if it is playing a guitar or proficiency with firearms. It doesn’t matter how many you own, if you are not well-practiced and disciplined in your drive for success, you are nothing more than a collector. We talk guns all the time, if im not shooting for sport or hunting, chances are pretty good that I’m flapping my gums, or pounding away at the keyboard about boom sticks and smoke poles. Whether those surrounding me want to hear about them or not. But not this week, no Sir, were going to talk about the really important stuff. Cookin’ and Eatin’!

It still amazes me that for all the people who hunt and fish, (somewhere around 250,000 hunting licences, and nearly half a million fishing licences are sold annually in Idaho alone.) how few of those people know how to cook a meal with the animals they harvest. Anybody can open up a pack of deer burger, smash it between their grubby mits and burn the snot out of it on a barbecue, that’s not what im talking about. I am speaking about crafting home cooked delicious meals with delectable protein that you have harvested, cared for, and prepared correctly. Some hear the word “venison” and instantly turn their nose up, stating that “deer meat is gross”. Well I’ll be damned, I must have always been cooking it wrong, because mine has always been super tasty. Lets break a few things down, and burst some bubbles before we even get into cooking with game and fish. First of all “venison” isn’t deer meat, “venison” is technically speaking any meat that is harvested by a hunter ( Its originates from the latin word venari, which means to hunt or pursue) typically though the term refers to any animal from the Cervidae (deer), Leporidae (hares), Suidae (wild pigs) family’s as well as some of the goats that are traditionally hunted. So pretty much all the things that we hunt with the exception of bears and cats are venison. Secondly, deer meat isn’t gross. Sure, some has more of a distinct flavor than others, but that really has more to do with the care and the handling of the meat than anything else in my opinion. In previous blogs I have given a few recipes for tasty dishes, and a few pointers for insuring that your hard-earned protein is treated with the greatest respect (if you don’t remember, you can go back and read them all again and click the like button, we can always use the positive feedback) But for now I would like to focus more on the cooking aspect wild game.

Red meat: You knew I was going to go here first huh? Why? Because it is the most sought after protein that hunters pursue. That being said, it is also the protein that is most obviously “abused” by hunters who believe that venison is “gamey”. Often times after a successful harvest, a hunter will take the cleaned carcass and drop it directly off at a butcher to have it processed. Just because you have a professional do your knife work for you does not guarantee that you will have better meat, the flavor and tenderness of your animal has as much to do with your post shot practice, than it does with someone’s ability to cut muscle groups apart. I know of more than a few hunters who will have their whole deer turned into jerky and burger, and I guess if that’s all you like to eat that’s fine, but at the same time there is limitless potential with the animal that you have laid before you. Venison is more moist, higher in protein, lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than grass-fed beef or pork. But it can be used in all the same dishes as either. Use your imagination, and learn to make meals that you look forward to preparing and presenting to your loved ones. I personally make quite a few brats out of my deer meat, because I love a good sausage (yes I can hear you giggling) and I own a combination grinder and sausage stuffer. Even at that, I don’t just season them the same and throw them into a bun (I do that also, but im not limited to it). My last batch of sausage consisted of standard brats, jalapeno cheese smokies, and sweet onion teriyaki sausages. Tasty as they were on their own, they also lended themselves well to being added to pasta dishes, stuffings and gumbos, just the same way that I would with any other store-bought sausages, but mine were better, and I never heard once that they were gamey. If you are not big on venison sloppy joes, tacos, meatloaf, stuffed bell peppers and burgers (and you consider yourself a hunter and an American?) then don’t get your animals ground up. Use those same low-fat cuts of meat that you would usually grind, and turn them into something that you like. I personally love a good Reuben sandwich, That sweet and salty corned beef or pastrami, the deli rye, the kraut, and a swiss cheese and coarse ground mustard… I’m drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it, and you can make your own pastrami with venison, and its pretty simple.

Venison pastrami:

Prep process:

  • 3 pounds of venison meat (leg meat works very well, it tends to have less connective tissue and is pretty lean)
  • To make your brine use 2 tablespoons of pink salt #1, a cup of kosher salt, 3/4 cups of brown sugar (or 3/4 cups regular sugar and a table-spoon and a half of molasses), and about 3 tablespoons of pickling spice (if you want to make your own, just add together 2 tablespoons mustard seed, 1 tablespoon whole allspice, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 2 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 bay leaf, crumbled and 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches). Just mix it all together and put it into an airtight container. It will yield about 1/3 cup, so you will have plenty to use on future pickling projects.
  • In a stock pot add all brine ingredients to a gallon of water and stir frequently over medium heat until all sugar and salt is completely dissolved. Place brine into a non-reactive pot or crock (let’s be honest though, if you own a crock you probably have no reason to be reading my pastrami recipe) let the brine cool to room temperature (this is an important step because you don’t want the meat to try to boil when it enters the hot liquid, it will give a weird consistency to the outer crust of the meat)
  • Add the meat to the container, making sure that it is completely submerged in the liquid. Cover it tightly (or seal it with as little air as possible in a ziplock bag) and place it into your refrigerator to cure for 5 days.
  • Once the cure process is over, remove meat from the fridge and rinse it thoroughly. Move it to a pan and let it sit for an hour to completely dry. At this point you should cut a small piece off the roast and fry it quickly to check for salt content. If it is too salty just soak it in water for an hour or two. then move onto the cooking process.

Cooking process:

  • Seasoning a pastrami roast varies a lot depending on your personal tastes. A good base rub consists of 2 tablespoons black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 tablespoon mustard seed. I personally like a lot more pepper, and I also like to use the 3 pepper medley with white, red and black pepper.
  • cover your roast with your rub, making sure to cover all surfaces.
  • At this point you need to fire up the smoker and get it up to 225 degrees. The internal temperature of your roast will need to register 145-150 degrees before the smoke process can be considered done, so plan accordingly with enough soaked wood chips, and briquettes.
  • Once you have reached desired temperature, remove the roast from the smoker, and place it into a roasting pan with a wire rack that suspends the meat off of the bottom. Add an inch or two of water (or stock) to the bottom of the pan making sure that the meat does not make contact with the liquid. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place into an oven that has been preheated to 275 degree. Steam your pastrami for an hour to an hour and a half, or until it reaches your level of tenderness.
  • Let cool for at least 15 minutes and slice for sandwiches. if you have a meat slicer this task is much, much easier. You can also reserve half of your roast to make hash for breakfast… but that’s a whole different recipe all together.

If you are like me, you probably already have a barbecue, a smoker, a crock pot, an oven and who knows what else that you can use to cook with.  But, how many of you are truly proficient in the use of all of them? I know I sure as hell am not, but I’m trying to get there. I know that it is sometimes hard to work up the gumption to attempt new cooking styles (or even new recipes for that matter), but with hunting season upon us, we have the opportunity to do a little experimenting with our menus. Step out of the norm and you may be surprised at what you have crafted with the amazing protein that you have procured. Turn the cries of “Not deer burger again” to cheers of “can you please make that dinner every night?” With a little practice and some patience you can be feeding your family amazing healthy meals, that they will rave for years about, and commanding the kitchen… Like a Boss!

-Grant Willoughby 9/15/2017-

Opposites Attract…

I haven’t had a chance to write a blog in a bit, because there simply wasn’t enough hours in the weekend to do everything that I had to do, and write a blog too. For those that don’t know, my wife and I are expecting our second child (just found out it will be another BOY). With all the excitement, also comes a lot of preparation. It just so happens that the next challenge we had to check off our list was to get a different vehicle for the wife. Pretty cut and dry huh? This is where the adventure (and revelation) started for me…

First of all I hate debt, so the idea of spending ten’s of thousands of dollars on something that gets you from point “A” to point “B”, is pretty tough for me. Even more so the fact that you are making payments on something that will be worn out by the time you pay it off seems absurd. Secondly, I’m a very no frills kind of guy, so newer vehicles are super foreign to me. It looks as though almost nothing can be simple any more. My wife previously had a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was a pretty nice rig, (for her) leather seats, power everything, aftermarket everything… To me it seemed pretty loaded, until I  stepped into the first van (yes I said van) that was on the wifes radar… HOLY CRAP MAN, vans are not just for tree planters, people who live in Utah and have lots of children, or that dude that use to give me free candy as a child anymore. The things are more technically advanced then the friggen Bat-mobile! Backup cameras, power sliding doors, electric start, not one, but two DVD players, power inverters, AV inputs all over the place, mood lighting in the roof panels, the middle seats even spin around and there is a table that mounts into the floor so a family of five can sit in the back and have a meal together. Way to fancy for me, but it got me thinking about people in general, and how every person has their own idea system of what should be considered normal… Case and Point: My wife and I. You all have read where I have made reference to how different we are, but this damn van hunt (see how I had to tie it back to hunting to make myself feel better about the whole thing.) really made me think about how dis-similar that we truly are.

FOOD: My wife is a vegetarian, (ancient Indian word for shitty hunter) doesn’t like “real” meat, has fish on occasion. She married a man who will make three meat nachos, using jerky instead of chips. Her Idea of a perfect meal is some sort of black bean and cheese enchilada thing with a strain of rice that the Dalai llama himself discovered. Mine would be a hamburger made of ground prime rib, that uses moose back straps instead of buns (cooked rare of course) with a peppered blue cheese, for a side dish I would like bacon wrapped jo-jo’s, and boneless buffalo grouse wings. I literally spend hundreds of dollars each year in the pursuit of all things finned, furred and feathered, and I’m married to a women who upon seeing a deer first says “AWWWWWWW”, then quickly transitions to “Run Bambi Run”.  (I guess I can’t complain, it gives me an opportunity to practice my Doe bleat and see if I can stop a critter at full gallop right?) But whats important is that she doesn’t try to keep me out of the woods, and I don’t try (too hard) to get her to eat meat, that is the working balance that we have come up with, and it has worked pretty well.

LIFESTYLE: If you have spent time around me and my clan, you know that my wife does not leave the house without looking like she is ready to go to the biggest party of her life. Her make-up is always done, her hair is always perfect, she smells nice, she is beautiful. Which is crazy to me because she married the exact opposite of her. I can be out of bed and into the truck in less than 10 minutes,  I buzz my hair because I don’t like to waste time fixing it when I can just put a hat on. I grow a beard  because I hate to shave (as a plus, it makes me ruggedly handsome, like if a lumberjack and a viking had a baby), and as for fashion I don’t really care much, I try to dress in a way as to not embarrass her, and that serves my purpose, If a pair of shorts will carry my pistol, my multi-tool, a can, my keys, a knife and my wallet, while at the same time covering my unsavory parts I deem them to be perfectly fine to wear just about any place. While were talking about lifestyle let’s  just go down the list of differences: My wife has a smart phone (probably just like you ) that can do just about anything in the world email, text, watch videos of kids falling on bikes,  read Post World Patriot blogs, buy a custom ar-15 in .223 Wylde from Shogun munitions systems, or even order a copy of “hunt with the Sun at your back” from Amazon and leave us an awesome review for it… I have a ruggedized flip phone that has a compass that will work even when I don’t have cell phone service… And its camo. My Idea of lining up for a good shot is finding a good solid rest, insulating the forearm of the rifle from any hard surfaces, making sure that I focus on a clean trigger squeeze and my shooting breath. Her Idea has something to do with getting the whole family into the view finder in selfie mode. We bought the van mentioned above, so you already know its bells and whistles, but I drive a 1993 Ford F-350 crew cab, no power windows or locks, currently it has a power motor, a power stereo, and a power heater, that’s it! It is exactly what I wanted. But it wouldn’t be right for me to expect my wife to have those same requirements to justify her happiness, or vise versa.

People are different. When you think about it, even your closest friends don’t share the exact same thought processes that you do, And how can you expect them to? Yes I may wish that everyone else was the same kind of weird as me, but I know in all reality I would end up trying to get weirder to overcome the monotony of similarity. Acceptance of individual want and needs is very important, if you click on the news tickers, or flip on the boob-tube you are constantly seeing people rioting and fighting about their beliefs, which to me is the most hypocritical thing that a person can do. If you don’t like the way that someone else thinks, don’t listen to them. Why would you surround yourself with people who have made a choice to stand on the other side of the fence from where you hold to be truth? If someone wants to rally on one side of town about how meat is murder (delicious, delicious murder) and you are a butcher why would you go to that gathering? The only reason I can think of is to start a confrontation, and by doing so, you are  saying that your beliefs are more important than theirs. To me that is wrong. If you really don’t like the anti-meat rally being held, why not start your own rally (on the other side of town) and gather with others who believe as you do, your voice can be heard, and so can the other sides, just in different locations where the chances of altercations are lessened. We as fellow Americans have the right to gather and express our feelings and beliefs (no matter how strange and wrong they may be) in that we have to respect each other and work together in order to keep that liberty, be respectful and kind even when faced with situations that lend themselves well to confrontation. Be bigger then the problem, life your life in a way that perpetuates happiness and growth, not hate and fear. We can all get through this together, and person by person we can restore our faith in humanity. If the beautiful vegetarian women in the minivan, listening to Adele on her Iphone, sipping on a $4 bottled water can find it in her heart to love the redneck Grizzly Adams sitting on his tailgate, drinking a Budweiser, eating deer jerky, listening to Merle Haggard, then why can’t the rest of the world find a way to do the same?

-Grant Willoughby Suptember 3rd 2017-

 

 

You asked for it…

All This heat… I blame it on you! If you remember way back on October 29, 2016 I wrote a little piece called “Can you feel the nip in the air” explaining my love of all things in the changing seasons of fall and winter… Shortly there after Kris posted a blog by the title of “I’m dreaming… But it’s not of a white Christmas”, explaining how he was not “built” for the cold, and how the dark days with nothing to forage, mentally challenge him. In all truth I think that a lot of people follow that same sentiment. But take a look outside right now (it was 68 degrees on my porch at 6:13 this morning) and I think it may be time to reevaluate your thought process. According to the local news, which I watch with the sound turned all the way down… in the early hours of the morning… in my underwear… (Yes, I guess my actions are finally matching the grey hairs I have recently been cultivating in my beard) it has been around 30 DAYS since we have had a measurable amount of precipitation, and the temperatures are going to fluctuate between 96  and 103 degree’s for the next 14 days. What the hell is this, Death Valley? If I have to live in a place that you can’t enjoy being outside, I at least want a better selection of Mexican food to choose from! This summer sucks, this late summer and early fall is going to be filled with fire restrictions that deem camping senseless (if you can’t have a camp fire and cook outside, I just don’t want to go). Say what you want about the short cold days of winter, but it is a scientifically proven fact… When its cold you can always throw on an extra coat, but when its hot you can only get so naked. Speaking of outdoor activities, and being limited by the cold… How many of you have been outside soaking up sunshine, and participating in the same activities that you do every other summer? I am guessing that this weather has forced you to adjust your vacation plans, at least to some extent. My friends have been picking huckleberries for the last couple of weeks, but now they have to leave at 3 a.m. in order to get to the woods, get some picking in, and be back into town before the real heat sets in. No more hauling the quads up, packing a lunch and making a day of it. It’s just too damn hot.

So whats a fella or lady to do? Just sit inside and gripe about the heat? Well that’s one option, but you and I both know that s not going to get us anywhere. Some people use this time of year to take that boat out that they have to make payments on all year and only get to use 6 times a summer. (Personally, I think it’s too hot to even be out on the boat, let’s be real honest here. Its 100 degrees, you’re sitting in the middle of the lake with no shade, probably having some wobbly pops, your super prone to heat stroke, a sun burn is inevitable. The fishing is horrible. Even when you jump out of the boat to cool off, you have to worry about every other yahoo on the lake running you over. How safe of a recreational activity does this really sound?) Personally if I can’t be fishing or hunting, I want to be getting ready to go fishing or hunting. Enter living room scouting: Of all the years I have spent in the field, and reading books about refining my craft, I (up until a few  weeks ago) had never heard of a stereoscope. Basically a stereoscope is a device that is to be used in conjunction with two identical images (in a 10″ x 10″ format) that have been shot from slightly different angles (or elevations in the case of some aerial photos) and when used correctly they give a true three-dimensional view. For the avid outdoorsmen, this is a fantastic tool for scouting. The USDA offices usually carries quite a few of your local areas maps shot in 2 formats to be used in a stereo scope. If they do not, they will gladly help you fill out the paperwork that needs to be submitted to have the Aerial Photography Field Office in Salt Lake City Utah, send you the pair of images that can be viewed with the stereoscope for your hunting area, all for $6 a picture. What this does for the hunter is give them the ability to see exactly how the land looks, as opposed to the generalities that are typically shown on topographical maps. Whats even cooler than that, is that when you order your smaller maps, you can also order maps in sizes up to 38″ square. If you have these maps laminated you can use a use both sets of maps in conjunction, and use a grease crayon to mark the larger format map with probably hunting locations to be scouted when the temperatures finally drop. All this without leaving the comfort of your own bunker, I mean home.

Just because Summer has been miserable so far, does not mean that you can’t try to make the most of the remainder of it. Knives have to be sharpened, packs need to be cleaned and reorganized. This is a great time of year to get your hunting buddies together and make plans for this years adventures, dust off the maps, break out those last few packages of venison and toss them on the grill. Now is the time to get excited for the seasons to come, it’s also a great time to start putting away a few extra bucks to soften the financial blow that hunting season almost always causes (by the way its much easier to find ammunition and reloading components during the summer months too, when everyone else is focused on their tans and polishing their boats). Most importantly try to use this not so exciting time to be around your family and love ones, before we know it hunting season will be upon us, and whether you believe it or not, those are the people who are the most supportive of your primal drive to fill the freezer. Speaking of freezers, it’s all the way up to 91 on my deck right now, I think I will throw a little camo on my face, grab a duck call and crawl into mine. Come on winter, I’m waiting…

Form over Function

Somewhere throughout creating modern society at large it was decided (unconsciously or consciously) that a warrior class of the public was either no longer necessary, or no longer important.  What seemed to take its place was a slew of fad fitness routines.  Now I’m not calling anyone out here, if you want to join crossfit, do yoga, insanity, or lift good old fashion weights then do it.  These methods will obviously have positive health results if done correctly, but is that enough?

Efficiency is a really big thing to me and it should be for everyone.  In today’s world we have less and less time to devote to gaining and practicing skill sets.  Is there a way to capitalize so that while improving our level of fitness we are also learning valuable skills?  The answer isn’t new, it isn’t a fitness trend yet to be realized.  For me and what I hope are more people everyday Martial Arts is that answer.  It will undoubtedly get you in better shape, it forces you to use your entire body.  To me the icing on the proverbial cake here isn’t the physical improvements, it is the extremely valuable skill sets that will be gained.  In martial arts you learn personal protection skills that could save your life, or the life of someone you love, maybe a family member.  On top of that martial arts also teaches one deep levels of patience and focus.  If you get lost foraging, or someone is injured and you have to put those first aid skills to work(you do have first aid skills right?) you will find through martial training you can attack the situation at hand without turning to panic.

I have trained in various forms of martial arts and I wont sit here telling you the best style or method.  I think its a personal choice and different systems work better for different body types and personalities.  I will however throw this question out there for you to think about on your next trip to the gym.  Do your current exercise methods offer you the same benefits that a martial training program would?  Are you maximizing gain vs. time invested?  Does it give you skill sets over assets?

 

Consult a physician before considering any fitness routine.

-Kris Anderson 4/23/2017

Hello… Is there anybody in there…

In case any of you are keeping track, this is the 40th weekly blog that I have written. 40 week is long enough to gestate a human being for God’s sake. 40 times I have thought all week about what I wanted to share with you, then spent what few hours I have on the weekend alone (useually in the wee morning hours from about 4-6 AM, sometimes late at night) typing away at these keys in hopes that it means something to someone. (Remember that show Doogie Howser, and how at the end of the show he was always typing into his computer… It looks just like that, except I’m not a 14 year old surgeon, and a lot of times I have a cocktail by my side for encouragement)  We have spoken of everything from mall ninjas, to political theories. From forging your own knives to foraging for mushrooms. Every diamond has many facets I guess…But our conversations have become monologues, with myself giving long-winded speeches about how “MPBR” can be the best friend or your worse enemy of the average hunter depending on practical application, or about ways to not look like an idiot at the gun counter. Maybe im preaching to the choir, or maybe im just preaching to myself. I guess there is no way to know for sure…

“I ain’t never seen a hearse with a luggage rack”-George Strait. Kind of a weird thought huh? The new, cool, skinny jean, no socks with summer shoes in the winter, ride a bike with tires made of hemp (because its greener man), grow the front of your hair real long and cut the back short (then wear a beanie on the back of your head for some dumb reason, even in the summer) wear horn rim glasses with no lenses, use a beard as a fashion statement hipster revolution has bought into quite a few things (even though they will tell you that they invented them all). 2 of the biggest being “YOLO”, and “bucket lists”. YOLO (standing for: You Only Live Once) is pretty much their excuse for making stupid decisions. “Hey yo Bruh, why did you get that tattoo of my little pony burning an upside down cross on your face?” “YOLO Bruh.” That’s considered an acceptable answer! Never in my life have I ever wanted to strangle a man with his own purse, or choke someone out with their own man bun so badly. The “bucket List” is even funnier. People will see someone else doing something “Epic” (another word that drives me nuts) or “LEGIT” (maybe im just getting old, Matlock and porch-swings here I come) and start saying things like #BUCKETLIST. In other words stating that what ever said action was, they want to complete it before they die (kick the bucket). Maybe “YOLO” really does stand for “You Obviously Lack originality”, or maybe Jack Black was right when he stated that “I’m fairly certain that YOLO is just Carpe Diem for stupid people”. People get so caught up in what they can take from the world, they never give a thought to what they can give back. They want memories of experiences, that they can say changed their life. As a matter of fact, we all do, but in different ways. To validate ones life, some resort to jumping out of a plane, or scaling  Mt. Everest (by the way, I Google mapped it, and it looks like a HORRIBLE place to hunt, you may want to search a little longer for a better place to hang your deer stand for next season. I mean who is going to hike that far without even the chance of shooting a monster?)  Some even say that they “Live” for it. Well if that’s what it takes, so be it. But what is experience, and memory without companionship and the ability to share it with someone else? I personally have been privileged enough to experience a lot of different things in my life. Given I have not summited K2, but I have been to a lot of beautiful places, from remote glacial lakes to mountain peaks, I have had the ability to explore the world around me. Now being a father,a husband and a friend, I am blessed to have the opportunity to share these experiences with those that I care about.

I think of my bucketlist differently… My bucket is one that is full of hard-earned knowledge that I need to give away. What kind of legacy do I leave if my son does not walk out into this world with everything that I know already up his sleeve? Why do you always swing a baseball bat (or a golf club, fly rod, ax, or a sword ) with fast hands? Because the hands lead the weapon, the same way the brain leads the hands. Be it a solid base hit, a perfect cast, or a fell tree, it is all the same knowledge that one only gets once he understands it completely. Why should a 5-year-old understand how to make a debris shelter, how to trick a shy brook trout into collapsing on a fly, how to find a good crop of mushrooms, or the correct way to breast a grouse? Because it provides character, it allows him to be able to sustain himself if he decides to pursue the life style that I have, and because it keeps him close to his roots. It humbles you. Why does my son almost always shoot his Nerf gun from a prone position (feet flat as to not move back and forth and give away location), why does he (try at least, he still has little hands after all) hold his toy pistols with a thumbs forward IPSC grip? Well, that’s what Daddy does. Why do I do it that way? Because it cost me thousands of rounds of ammo, and countless hours at the range to find out that there is a reason why all the best shooters do it that way. Because it works, and it takes away a lot of the variables. By no way am I saying the my way is the only way, but it is a better starting point then ground zero. I guess thats what I have tried to do with these blogs. I feel that I have information that someone would like to have, I feel that the hours that I spend honing my craft can be put to good use. Maybe give someone a good nudge in the right direction, The problem is, I don’t know what you want to learn. If you want product reviews, I will start doing that. If you want more informative blogs explaining single subject matter (guns, knives, etc.) we can do that too. Or have you just grown tired of my writing, and want something different all together? Anything I have, and everything I know is available to you. If I don’t know the answer off-hand, I will do the research and give you whatever I can find, that knowledge is important to me too. But I want this to be a conversation and not a monologue. With out you, there is no reason for me to do this. Teach me something, pique my interest, we all have our comfort zones, and areas of expertise. Now its time to share them, after all you can’t take them with you when you go.

-Grant Willoughby 03/05/2017-

…And the truth shall set you free…

I have said it before, and I will probably state it thousands of more times before it is all said and done… People suck! Not you or I of course, But a lot of people that we allow to share the same planet and oxygen with us. Every day a new “Johnny-come-lately” shows up on the scene and tells us something that we already know, so that we can more easily relate to them, then they will try to fill your brain with their psychobabble, As you accept and believe, they feel better, they feel powerful. Who cares how you feel or what it does to you? (Listen to “Liar” by Henry Rollins. Talk about the groundwork being laid…)

The latest and greatest “Snake Oil” scheme has everything to do with “PREPPING”, as soon as shows start coming out on the discovery channel, you can just about bet that ship has already sailed. So what do these shows do? Sell product. Period. Why else would otherwise logical people start buying shipping containers and filling them with God-knows what? Am I saying that prepping is wrong, hell no! I base most of my life on the ideals of prepping. But my theories are based of personal experience, and catered to my skill set. If given the opportunity to share my experience and theories with someone who has questions, I will gladly, by no means would I ever tell anyone I am an expert, How can someone ever be an expert in something that has no set parameters for its inception? The industry has banked on the fear of their consumers. I call it “prep-aganda”, they feed people full of extremist ideas, and show them the 1% of hard-core prepping. They make people question why they don’t have a bunker buried with enough food to feed Coxey’s army until the next apocalypse? Why don’t you have 15 crates of Mosin-Nagants, and 2 “spam can’s” of ammo for each of those rifles? Do you have a few extra 55 gallon drums lying around full of fuel that you use and replace in a piecemeal fashion? How big’s your bunker bro? People get so caught up watching how the lunatic fringe conducts business, they become worried,  thus creating “prep-paranoia”. Some people (like you and I) can see through the garbage, and sift the good out of it. But to someone who is new to the idea of self-reliance, these shows may not only overwhelm them with their over the top force feed, it may even turn them away all together. Pushing someone to a mindset where they will rely on any one other than themselves in a survival situation is  not something I want on my conscience. We as the “informed” need to give reliable information, and be helpful. We all had to start some where, and without help from those that had already learned those lessons, we would all still be in the dark and unprepared. I think one of the biggest things we can do is “de-bunker” some of the prepper myths.

  • “We all need to prep now, because  (the ozone is depleting, solar flares are coming, EMP’s, zombies, the government is corrupt… You get the picture, pick one insert it after “because”)” Prepping is not a new idea , it even talks about it in the bible: I Timothy 5:8 says. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”, and Proverbs 21:20 states. “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. “ The term “prepping” is the only thing that is new. We use to call it “being a grown up”, you don’t need a have a pig farm where you harness methane gas to run your stove, or a M35 deuce and a half that runs on canola oil, the basis of the whole thing is the ability to survive with only what you have on hand. Some can survive with less, while others need more. What is truly important is having the ability to understand your potential situations, and being honest enough with yourself to plan accordingly.
  • “Buy tons of guns in common calibers, 5.56, .308, 9mm,40 s&w, 45 acp, that way you will be able to scavenge ammo if you find places where people have left. Plus the military/police pick those cartridges because they are the best…) Hell, I will be the first pot to call the kettle black on this one, I sold firearms for a living for pete’s sake. I even sold firearms during the last Obama election and the 2013 ammo shortage, And I sold a lot of guns. I may have learned quite a things also. Lets say you own all 5 calibers I mentioned above, and you are left in a world that has gone to shambles… You happen upon a house and the doors are open, you decide to walk in and look for supplies. What will you find? My bet is nothing! There are 2 reasons why a person would abandon their home, 1: They decide to leave and travel towards some destination. 2: They were looted, and probably worse. Either way you’re not going to find ammunition. If you leave under your own free will and have firearms, you will pack all that ammo with you come hell or high-water. If the house was looted, you can bet that the culprits will take whatever has value, including the ammo. When the ammo shortage set in, it was pretty safe to say that those 5 calibers mentioned above were the first to be sold out (lets not talk about .22 long rifle, that is still a point of contention for me.) 25 different slots for 9mm, and all of them empty. What was on the shelf? .327 Federal Magnum, you know why? Because no one owned one, yet. I ended up selling a few for that reason alone, there were cases of ammo, it was less than a .357 magnum, more than a .38 spl. and you get 6 shots out of a revolver, not 5. The problem really levered on people knowing that there was a shortage, and hoarding like crazy. Common calibers were first to go, but it touched every round the same. Ammunition companies had to shut down some calibers for a period of time to keep up with demands of the popular ones, either way there were a lot less boxes of ammo on the shelf. So what is the answer? For me, it is to buy a caliber that you like to shoot, that you can afford to shoot, that you can find components to reload with , and learn to reload. Look at systems like the Lee loader pistol kit, or rifle kit, they are simple small kits that allow you to reload ammunition in about 30 seconds a  round. You won’t be breaking any speed records but you will be able to reload live ammo without having to haul you reloading bench with you. Bullets, powder, primers, a small mallet and a kit that is about the same size as your favorite Jetro Tull  8-track tape.Also take a look at Trail boss powder by hodgdon, it will work in just about everything. Another great option is to buy common calibers that aren’t really in the lime-light. 30-06 is a great one, plenty of ammo options, and every place that sells guns or ammo will have it. Other good options are, 30-30 Win, 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 win Mag, .270 Win., .243 Win… and the list goes on and on.
  • “Prepper’s are anti-government, and are all preparing for the collapse of civilization.” Sure, some maybe, I however am not. I do take the stance of liking smaller government, but I thoroughly appreciate our military, and law enforcement officials. They fight to keep our country free, and our family’s safe when we can not do it for ourselves. That is heavy burden, that comes with a lot of responsibility. They deserve much gratitude. And what will cause the collapse of our civilization anyhow? Will the infrastructure just totally collapse, and the whole land will fall into complete disarray and anarchy? Will the Government decide to eradicate the whole population? I refuse to believe either. We, when placed in stressful situations, push forward into a structured society, creating laws, protecting those that need it, and crafting civilization. We did it back in 1776, and we can do it again if be, it’s the American way.

So what is the correct answer? Take care of yourself, take care of your family, perpetuate better living through knowledge, understanding and practice. If the sun burns out, what does it matter if you have 500 gallons of gas? It doesn’t! If the power goes out and the gas pumps don’t work, whats important is to have your vehicle full, and enough spare fuel to last you through the pinch, thats being practical. Practical prepping is what our forefathers did.  Living in North Idaho the potential of losing power for 3 days at a time is pretty likely (it happened last year), there for I have enough food, water, dog food, medication, gasoline and cooking fuel to keep my family (including my parents who live a couple of miles down the road) going for at least 72 hours, without experiencing any sort of real discomfort.I have enough ammo to keep me busy for a while, and enough books to keep my wind working, and learning. If we can’t continue to learn, then we are completely lost. When you learn a new trick or skill, practice it until it is perfected, then share it with others that you care about, once they have it perfected, ask them to do the same to those they care about. Share fact, not misguided opinion, be honest and be truthful. Share that truth, and the truth shall set you free.

-Grant Willoughby 01/29/2017-

 

That ain’t Country…

We, collectively, live in a constantly changing (evolving?) society where social norms are forever moving. It was the gripe of our parents and our parents-parents before that… Damn kids! And maybe, just maybe, I’m getting old, and crap bothers me more now then it use to. For everything that I have grown more tolerant of, I find something new that pisses me off worse. Maybe I am just the social experiment that no one wants to take…

Like many of you I was raised in town (downtown Coeur d’Alene, tourist central of Idaho no less… Luckily, only 3 months out of the year are filled with tourists… The other 9 are filled with college kids, to tell you the truth, I don’t know which is worse), but thank God my parents are of the sort that don’t do the whole college/tourist trap activity set list. Off to the woods, or off to the lake (not usually Coeur d’Alene lake, that’s where all “those people” congregated,  and that’s what we were perpetually trying to escape) My foundation was laid early. But, like most of you, I had my rebellious years. No I didn’t go join the circus, or become a card-carrying member in the Wu-tang clan, But I did depart to the dark side. Baggy jeans and skateboard t-shirts filled my closet. (remember JNCO jeans, no I didn’t own a pair, but just the memory of them helps me to realize that we allowed that trend to happen. What the hell was wrong with us?) Shortly there after, I realized the fault of my ways, and returned to my senses. I didn’t care if I was “in style” or cool or whatever, all I cared about was being me, and being functional. The emphasis always being on function. What the hell is the functionality of skinny jeans? Remember way back in the 90’s, we had many not so nice words about the skinny jeans of the 80’s, now they took that style and made them even tighter? What the hell is that, you can’t carry a pocket knife or nothin’! I was looking at the Urbancarry G2 holsters the other day, and in their ads, they actually have to have a disclaimer that the holster system will NOT work with skinny jeans?/!.% Well no shit, you can’t even carry dignity in skin-tight jeans, let alone a firearm. I wish it would have said, if you wear skinny jeans, please take a look at gun tote’n mama’s for a purse carry option. That ain’t country… But that is what our “evolution” has brought us to. As you well know I drive a truck, it’s a 1993 Ford F350 crew cab, it has a couple dents, an 8 foot bed, standard size off-road tire, and all 4 windows have manual cranks. How boring right? In order modern society you aren’t cool unless you have rims the size of manhole covers, and rubber bands for tires. How much more opposite can things be. Back in the day, guys would stick the smallest wheels they could on, so that they had more room for tires, not less. A guy I work with is a prime example, he tells me he got new wheels and tires for his truck, and that I should check them out. Me being  more than slightly redneck, make a b-line for the door to see these “Big” new tires… 24″ rims, yes 2 feet of rim, polished to a point where even the Stevie Wonder could see them, with a tire about as thick as a band-aid stretched around it. “Are those things bad ass, or what?” he says. I mean, what do you say in that situation? I said “or what?” you will never be able to keep those things clean, you will be scratching them constantly on gravel roads, and that tire doesn’t have much tread. “No bro, this truck doesn’t go up in the woods. Its my baby, she’s a highway queen”. It actually hurt my soul just to type that out. Is that even a real thing? What the hell is happening here? I started looking around for a hidden camera or something. He was being completely honest, and it makes me honestly sad. Why you would live in North Idaho, buy a 4 wheel drive pick up truck, and castrate it, I have no idea. And to spend $5,000 in the process of doing so? I could just about watch those Chevy bow-tie’s trying to rip themselves off that truck, call ita seppuku if you will, anything to not be affiliated with anymore emasculation  Just proves some people have more money the sense I guess. That sure as hell ain’t country.

I guess my biggest problem is that this is all becoming common practice. It is the standard, and like everything else, this too shall pass. But whats coming next? My son is 5 years old, what will the trends be when he is in junior high? Someone will decide that everyone should wear ski jackets, daisy dukes and a sombrero, and we “the consumer’s” will buy into it, and more importantly we will accept it. How a kindergartener can get suspended for bringing a clear bubble gun to school, but we allow our children to go to school with clothes so tight that you can actually see what their thinking, is beyond me. Maybe the next generation will do something different for a change. Maybe they will take charge of their own destiny, and not waffle in the face of greatness. Maybe they will have opinions and be able to express them without rioting. Maybe they will be accountable for their own actions. Maybe they will remember to turn their phone/tv/tablet/computer off, and turn the conversation on. Maybe they will have compassion for their fellow-man  without fear of being taken advantage of.  Maybe they need better examples, better role models. Being a stand-up person, getting callused hands,and doing it all honestly, now that’s country. Just like a potter, we owe it to our clay to craft it beautifully as well as strong, for the shortcoming of children, come’s from the shortcoming’s of their parents.

-Grant Willoughby 01/22/2017-

127,872,000 Seconds….

127,872,000 seconds. That is how far your clocks have been set back. If you would rather hear it in other terms: 35,520 minutes,  or 1,480 days, or roughly 211 weeks. 4 months and 20 days. In 20 days we will have a new President of the United States.But this isn’t about him, it is about you, and I… We the People. Why then do I say that your clock has been set back 127,872,000 seconds,?

Whenever new leadership comes into office, there is always an uprising of sorts, no matter what the ballot count really is. Look at the election of 1800. John Adams vs Thomas Jefferson or should it have been Aaron Burr? Remember, Jefferson and Burr, were actually in a tie, and the House had to vote to figure out who would be the representative for the Republican Party. They dead locked and thus exposed a flaw in the early system of our young  nation (remember that the United States was shy of 4 years old at this time). Tempers flared and there was talks of disunion and civil war, even going as far as to have 2 states rise there militias and prepare to battle the Government if Jefferson didn’t win. Needless to say we were a work in progress, and in a lot of cases still are. Watch the news, look at the riots that are going on all over the country. We still have a lot of learning (and growing) to do.

Trump is not the answer to all of our questions, nor is Clinton the root of all our evils. Our candidates were just a living embodiment of there Nations people, 2 sides to the same coin. If you believe that Trump is going to be able to come in and completely fix our economy, eradicate the war on terror, and completely clean up our government in 4 years?.. Well, lets just say that we have been over-promised and under-delivered before. Do you really believe that Clinton could have outlawed all firearms, reclaimed them all and destroyed them all without a little resistance? All while single-handedly rebuilding the ozone layer, unionizing the whole United States, and providing LGBT equality and racial justice?.. I’m not saying that its impossible, but I would consider highly unlikely the biggest understatement in documented history. These are all problems that go deeper then one persons decisions.  Out of the 318,309,524 people who are currently living in the United States (as of 8:20 A.M. pst on December 31st, 2016) these were the 2 best candidates that we could muster? These were the best?  Really? We voted them in, that being said, that must be what we believe right? I think more so we came to a “T”, in the road and had to make a choice. We had to look past the people, and look at what the potential ramifications would be from our choices. We American’s (as a collective body) have become 10 ply toilet paper (soft), as opposed to making a stand, saying enough is enough and drawing a line in the sand, we hunker behind a figure that we believe will save us from ourselves. All the while forgetting that out future, our destiny, and our salvation is in our own hands and no one else’s.

In 127,872,000 Seconds… 35,520 minutes… 1,480 days… or 4 years and 20 days, where will you be? Remember 8 years ago? how about 4? The Obama administration? Were you running out to Cabelas to buy all the AR rifles and ammunition that you could find? Often times spending 2 or 3 times what retail cost were just so that you would have the opportunity to own something that you feared would become illegal. Were you scared? Did you feel helpless, and feel that you were not being represented? Right now your clock has been set back 4 years and 20 days. This is borrowed time, You have 1,480 days to prepare, not for the end of the world, but for the potential that our freedoms may once again be challenged. Do not fall victim to the scare tactics, but also don’t be blinded by time. Take an active stance about your future and your rights. Between now and then, if you get payed bi-weekly, you have roughly 105 paychecks that will come into your possession. If you alternate between rifle and pistol, and buy one box of ammunition every time you get payed, you will find that  you will have 52 boxes of one and 53 boxes of the other at the end of this time frame. That would be 1,040 rounds of rifle and 2,650 for your pistol. If you put away one dollar a day, you can afford that AR-15 that you always wanted. Were not talking that budget model that you don’t really want, but its the only one that you think you can afford. With $1,480 cash you put yourself in the market for a tricked out standard brand, or even something in the class of a Larue tactical or Daniel Defense. All for just $1 a day.  1,480 days works out to be 208 weekends, or 416 days that fall on the weekend. 416 opportunities to be outdoors, to be hunting, or fishing, or shooting. 416 opportunities to get someone new involved in your passions, and 416 chances to change someones mind about what gun-toting conservatives are really all about. Be apart of the solution, and quit being part of the flock, don’t succumb to the hysteria. We have the control, and we grant that power to them. We make the choices. 35,520 minutes and each one is precious. Spend them wisely, grow closer as a community, and tighter as a family. Use each moment to become informed about what is going on in your Country, and learn about the issues that may effect your life and livelihood. Take charge  of your destiny, and hold true to your values. Its your time, and the time is now, all 127,872,000 seconds of it.

Happy New Year.

-Grant Willoughby 12/31/2016-