Archive for July, 2012

The Outdoorsmen’s Guide to the Off Season

contributed by Seldom Lavergne

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge – let’s face it, July is just not a good month for Outdoorsmen.   It’s too hot to fish, the Fish and Wildlife Department “protects” most game species through the whole summer, and the heat makes falcons particularly testy and difficult to wrangle.  But the thing that separates true Outdoorsmen from suburban tenderfoots, is the ability to Outdoor at any time of the year, any place on the planet, under any political landscape.

Here are some often overlooked sources of Outdooring that you can avail yourself of during the off season.

Pastures

How many times have you spent all day on the lake in July and come back empty handed?  Fish do not like hot weather.  In the summertime they retreat to deep water and hibernate until mid-December when they all come out to spawn.  During this time they are very lethargic and generally unresponsive to live or artificial bait.  Cows on the other hand, do not mind the hot weather in the least.  They continue aggressive feeding patterns throughout the whole summer, making local pasture land prime real estate for fishing enthusiasts.    I can tell you that I have never left a summer grazing location without landing a 1200-pounder.  I usually bait up with chicken livers soaked in vanilla extract, but I have caught a few aggressive yearlings on a top-water Scum Frog.  Not only is the fishing better on summer pasture, but they are also completely unregulated by the fish and wildlife department.  That being said, I usually hold myself to a gentleman’s daily bag limit of two.

Mythological Creatures

Also unregulated by any government.  I can tell you I have never been asked by a game warden about my Bigfoot tags.  This is convenient because it is rumored that the Bigfoot rut runs through mid to late summer, making them the perfect cure for the summer hunting itch.  I am 78% sure that I caught a Chupacabra in a live trap last summer but by the time I got back the next morning to check the trap, he had escaped and left no trace of having been trapped – simply ingenious creatures.  I’m also so sure that I saw a Minataur two years ago that I claimed an income tax deduction for the expenses I incurred on that hunt.  While there are no regulations for taking down this beast, it is generally accepted that hunters should not attempt to take down large mammals (mythological or otherwise) with rim-fire ammunition, and that particular day I was only equipped with such.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it should help cure the Outdoor fever most of us get this time of year.  I’ll leave you with the words of my Grandpapa, passed down to him from our ancestors, the official motto of Nova Scotia.

Si vous n’est pas à l’extérieur, vous êtes à l’intérieur.

That is, “If you ain’t Outdoors, you’re indoors.”

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Second Hand Smoke Kills Off Dinosaurs

Paris, TX – The debate is as old as the science of paleontology itself.  What killed the dinosaurs?  One man thinks he has finally solved this mystery.  Dr. Hames Blessing, founding member of the Blessing Organization for the Observation and Gathering of Information on Extinction (B.O.O.G.I.E.), published his new theory in the latest issue of his organization’s quarterly newsletter, BOOGIE Writes.

Dr. Blessing has concluded that “the complete absence of any living dinosaurs today must mean that they all died; that much we already knew.  If they all died, then something must have killed them all, otherwise they would still be alive.  I was pondering this reality when I realized we have never once discovered any fossilized lung tissue, not a single scrap.  This put me hot on the trail of a breakthrough.  I remembered coming across the corpse of a long lost family pet once during the construction of my parent’s new house.  “Tango” the Jack Russel terrier had died at a ripe old age of twelve, after spending his entire life in the home of my parents, both chain smokers.  When I examined the remains of my old pal, some thirty years after his death, I noticed the conspicuous absence of lung tissue in his remains.  To further bolster the claim I was working up, I exhumed the bodies of some 1200 deceased family pets who lived in smoking households.  The findings were nothing short of remarkable.  We found not one single shred of lung tissue, just like the dinosaurs!  This led me to postulate that second-hand smoke must have been the primary cause of not only the death of countless family pets, but also the extinction of the dinosaurs.  I’m not afraid to say this may be the biggest breakthrough since the discovery of fossils, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

 

 

 

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Swamp + Barge + Mennonites = Journalism Gold: PFN Outdoors Editor Named

We’d like to welcome the newest member of the PFN staff, Mr. Archibald Seldom Lavergne, or Seldom to his friends.  After running away from home at age 5, Seldom spent the next fifteen years living off the land in the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Louisiana.  Receiving no formal education, he taught himself using a cache of English textbooks of various levels that had drifted down the river into the wildlife refuge.

This unusual windfall was the result of a tragic accident involving a barge load of textbooks and a botched weapons sting operation.  The tug boat captain was informed by ATF agents that he would encounter two groups of men on horseback crossing the river at a certain time on a certain night.  One group would be undercover field agents looking to purchase a crate of crossbows, the other, a weapons smuggling militia group from west Tennessee.  In the dark of night, the captain was to distinguish between the two groups of riders by listening for the canter of the field agents’ horses, versus the gallop of the smugglers’.  If the smugglers were galloping across the bridge, that would mean that the agents’ cover had been blown and he was to bump the bridge piling with the barge, in order to shake the whole structure and throw the riders off their horses, where they could be overtaken by the agents.  If he heard cantering ATF horses, he would know that the operation had gone according to plan and he need not do anything.

It so happened that, on the night of the sting operation, a group of Mennonites were crossing the bridge, with trotting buggy-horses when they were overtaken by a boyscout troupe riding briskly walking Welsh Ponies.  The captain, unprepared for the new footfalls he was encountering, was looking up “horse gaits” on Wikipedia when he lost control of the barge, running headlong into the bridge at full speed, spilling the cargo.

While none of the Mennonites, boyscouts, or horses were injured, the smugglers got spooked and the operation was a failure.  Seen by locals and the national media as a careless oversight by the ATF (not to mention the questionable ties the Vice President had with the shipping company, book publisher, and Mennonites), the incident was dubbed “The Gait-Gate Scandal” and a Congressional panel was convened to investigate.  They have yet to release their findings.

An unfortunate incident for all parties involved, no doubt, except for young Seldom Lavergne.  Not only did he receive an invaluable education, which has since been recognized by Franks Junior College in Bethesda, Oklahoma, in the form of an honorary Bachelor’s Degree in English Theory, but the pages of those books also kept his belly full during hard times in the swamp.  This education, his vast knowledge of the outdoors, and the current popularity of all things “swamp” that we hope to capitalize on, make Mr. Lavergne a perfect match for the job of Outdoors Editor at PFN News.

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Never Look a Whispering Horse in the Mouth

Contributed by Steve Dbrockavitch

“Dude the Evian’s here!” “Sweet!”

Littlefield, TX – If you ask around any small Texas town, you’ll be hard pressed to find a sympathetic ear for organized labor.  But in the small ranching community of Littlefield, collective bargaining flames have been lit, and are blowing their way across the prairie.

It all began when rancher Nelson “Bucky” Toller hired self-described “horse whisperer” Amethyst Moon Soul to help him with some unruly horses.  “I just thought they was a pertick’ly orn’ry lot, but I woulda never guessed they was s’down-hearted.  Beat all I ever saw.” said Toller in a phone interview.

“This Moon feller said he was a jam up whisperer, said he’d have that riley buncha ponies sittin’ in my lap and purrin’ like house cats in two days.  That sounded pretty good to me so I flew ‘im out from, Stalingrad or whatever he called it, said all the best whisperers come from there, wherever it was.  Then I turned ‘im loose on my heard, and he went to whisperin’.  He’d whisper somethin’ to them and they’d go to whisperin’ back to him.  Next thing I knew he was a-writin’ things on a clipboard and collectin’ hoof prints on little cards.  Come back to me sayin’ my heard was now a local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Beasts of Burden – said they took a vote and they all whispered that that’s what they wanted to do.”

When asked about the temperament of his newly organized herd, Mr. Toller said, “Oh they do real fine ‘cept they cain’t carry a man over 155 pounds, and they cain’t work n’more than 2 hours at the time, what with all the breaks they git.  They really like that organic kale that I have to put in their feed now though.  That and the Evian spring water that I truck in from somewhere – fact they git plumb giddy when it’s feedin’ time, I never seen s’much frolickin’ and prancin’ about.  O’ Ame Fist, or however you say his name, says they’re all in good spirits – he has a whisperin’ session once’t a week, says I cain’t see it but they’re all smilin’ on the inside he says.  I’ll have to git out there to that Stalingrad place sometime.  He says out there the horses are smilin’ on the outside too, dangedest thing.”

Since their initial founding, the growth of the IBBB has been exponential.  Apparently there has been an uneasy, disgruntled mood in the equine community, lying just under the surface, hindered by the language barrier that Mr. Soul Wind has managed to bring down.  The IBBB is looking to expand their reach and have meetings scheduled with seeing-eye and police dogs in the coming months.

 

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