Saturday, December 29, 2007


Since the woods (as well as the catwalks) have grown silent over the holidays, let me take this quiet time to further consider this successful vs. unsuccessful artist issue. I've had a few paying gigs over the years writing for newspapers and magazines. The longest job I had was writing for Paper magazine as the religion editor. If you know Paper you can see how this would be an odd position. Nonetheless I worked for them from 1989 to 1999. At the height of my tenure I made $125 per month for a 1000 word column. It barely covered my pot bill. And, if you can believe it, I had readers. One such reader happened to be a TV producer in LA. I had written a rather scathing column on the movie Forest Gump that caught his eye and his office gave me a call.
A lovely woman told me how much her boss liked my twisted take on the movie and wanted me to read my column over the air on a TV show that followed Nightline on ABC. I was psyched. I was also incredibly broke. My first question to her was "How much?" She kind of giggled at my query. "Well...." she went on, "....we don't pay our guests. This is a very good opportunity for you to promote your act." ACT? I had no act. Now when I say I was broke. I mean BROKE! I made $200 per week working the door at the bar Max. Fish and whatever my band could bring in playing LES dives. A real job wasn't an option at the time. I was an artiste.
So I told the woman I wanted at least $100 to do the TV gig and dug in my heels. Then she got tough. "You know there's thousands of people who would give their eye teeth to be on TV?" I told her I wasn't one of them and asked how much they got for ad space on the show? We went round and round. Long story short, that was the beginning and end of my TV career. I moved to the sticks, started writing way more about hunting than religion, got fired from Paper and for 12 years didn't watch broadcast TV in protest. Then a couple of years ago I got satellite TV. Not much had changed but the commercials.
Today the so-called successful artists who write for TV are on strike. My question to you is does anyone even notice? Late night shows like Letterman and Jay Leno are such garbage they are unwatchable. Newer shows like Colbert or John Stewart preach to the choir with such wink-wink heavy handedness they are almost as bad. The rest of TV is bad movies and unscripted "reality". And what is the big issue here? The paid writers want to get paid more if their "product" goes out over the net. Jeesh! These folks think they shit gold. Maybe I've discovered that new word for us "unsuccessful" artists. Scab-success challenged artistic brothers. We do it for free and never strike. Now if we could just get organized.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


HA! What a joke. Poor Benny Bhutto didn't live to see 2008. Blown up by a suicide bomber in Pakistan, it's no surprize , but nonetheless a sad state of affairs in the world at large. I know my half dozen readers come to this blog for a little distraction and a flash of ankle in an otherwise depressing landscape of war, famine, and celeb crotch shots. But, lacking the soothing sched. of up before dawn and in the woods until dark, even I can get caught up in current affairs. Forgive me.
Last night a good artist friend of mine called to chat and catch up. She told me of a holiday party she attended at photog Cindy Sherman's penthouse apt. over the holidays. She took her husband and kids, and after the shindig, on the way down in the elevator, her little boy asked his father what the host did? He explained that Cindy was a "successful" artist. The kid mulled this over for a bit, obviously impressed by all the opulence and tray carrying help. Then he poked his mom, confused that Cindy and she could be in the same business, wondering why THEY didn't have a penthouse and butler? Well Tiny Tim, let ME field that one.
Just like you wouldn't think a giant 300 lb. 12 point Kansas whitetail would be of the same species as an 80 lb. spike found here in Sullivan Co., it's like that in the artworld. They are both deer....but barely. There are many layers to this onion we call "art", and the practioners of art are as varied as their so-called product. As in most things in western culture, we measure success in monetary terms and gathered accolades. $ is good, but throw a Macgrant in the pot and you're doing even better. So the artist$ who don't work a day job, show around the world, get written up by critics and have butlers and documentaries made about them, are called successful aritsts. The rest of us (like your mom) are just called artists. I can see TT is still confused. Jesus, this harder than I thought.
Now, let me step back a little farther. In the grand scheme of things, art affects the world very little. In fact a Jasper John's flag painting nor a Damien Hirst diamond encrusted human skull (both valued at millions of euros) does absolutely nothing to bring about a better world. The artworld is a disgusting, vapid, self-absorbed place. I can't believe i once wanted so badly to be a part of it. Yet, I (like Tiny Tim's mom) both call ourselves artists. Maybe it's time we come up with a better term to label ourselves and end the confusion. Christ, it's either that or start making a buck and get a penthouse and a couple of butlers. Tiny Tim looks up at me with those big Keene eyes and smiles. "God bless us, everyone." Can I show you my slides?

Sunday, December 23, 2007



Saturday, December 22, 2007


After the season was over, I went back to work for a day and predictably got sick. I'm better now. Thanks for asking. The snow that hit last week formed a crust, not quite strong enough to support a grown man's weight. So every step holds for a split second, then gives way into a foot of soft snow. The paths I've cut to and from my traps freeze up every night and are just as awkward to walk in, making checking sets long and laborious. Nonetheless if I go more than a day without checking, I feel guilty.
When a fresh dusting of snow fell, I could see that coyotes were hitting the chicken sets, but had nothing to fear from my traps. They all had sprung under the weight of the snow. I reset every one, tossed some venison scraps about and hoped for another hit. But every day was the same story. Nothing. Then today, down along the river I saw fresh tracks again. The pair were criss crossing the field. I had high hopes. #1 set on a little spit of land jutting into the creek, came up empty. The coyotes walked right over the trap but it didn't spring. The freeze was fucking with all my attempts at fur. I walked down to the second set, under a big boulder and....another hawk. Christ almighty! But on closer inspection I realized it wasn't in the trap. The damn bird was sitting on the chicken, and wasn't moving. I poked it with the barrel of the .22 and it just snarled and spread it's wings. Oh well.
So I left the hawk sit and went home. I'm thinking of taking the quiver critter out this afternoon and seeing if I have any luck calling them in. But then again, I'm still kinda under the weather, and in pre-holiday lazy mode. The woodstove is nice and warm and there's a little more Jack in the the bottle. Eggnog anyone?

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I'm fast asleep in my brother Smokie's easy chair when i'm awakened by what I perceive to be a golf ball to the forehead. It's been expertly thrown across the room by my 6'4" maniac of a nephew Ezak. It turns out to be GG's chickadee, that's as heavy as a golf ball, only sharper. I wake up with a start and a string of invectives. "Sorry Uncle XMO." Ezak giggles like a little girl. The occasion is a pre-Xmas XMO bash at Smokie's house. It's louder than a subway train pulling into the station, still, only a ceramic bird to the forehead could wake me from my booze and food induced stupor. OK, now I'm up.
Up until this year my sister Mrs. B's kid Boggs was the only one of the kids to hunt. But recently Ezak has picked up the gun. He killed a turkey with a borrowed shotgun and went deer hunting with some sort of worthless military style rifle. "It's got a bayonet!" he tells me proudly. Then he switches gears and tells me of giving a local Maine debutante a lap dance wearing only a bright red thong. (That would be Ezak...not the girl wearing said thong.) I have to admit the kid has talent, and if anyone could hunt with a bayonet attached to his deer rifle, it would be him. But Bird, Smokie and I feel an uncle's responsibility in steering him in the right sporting direction. His father's worthless in these matters. He's too busy baking pies for the local womenfolk.
So Smokie pull's out "Kenny", a nice Marlin .30/.30, given to him by Kenny Williams years ago and gives it to the kid. You can tell by the look on his face he would've preferred an AK with a sniper scope. The youth are so brainwashed by the military/industrial/media/ video gaming culture, that they don't have a clue as to what tool suits what job. C-4 explosive in a pine cone grenade would do the job just as quickly as a 30.06 with a good scope, he's thinking. Nonetheless he takes the gun and blathers on about the three monster bucks he missed with "Bayonet Boy". My brothers and I look at each other. It took us all years in the woods to even get a shot, let alone see a big buck. Well, here comes the next generation. Better duck and get behind a tree. When the smoke clears, a 6'4" hillbilly in a red thong may be running through the woods, with his bayonet gleaming . It's an American tradition.



Sunday, December 16, 2007

"....AND he's going to get laid."

Right after I wrote my blog on Friday, Al Blanchard showed up. The dead doe was still laying in the snow in front of the house. He congratulated me and i told him the whole story about how badly the gun was shooting, how i had no bullets left and was going right to Walmart to get supplies. He studied the gun and we determined I also needed a very tiny allen wrench to adjust the sights. He handed me the gun back and i asked what he had done with the bolt? He said he hadn't touched it. Fuck! The bolt had somehow slid out of the gun, while I was dragging the deer home. Al and I retraced the groove in the snow, all the way to the gut pile. Al even brought along a magnet he uses for nails in the driveway, but we came up empty. Now the gun was totally worthless.
So, all my good intentions of staying legal were shot once again. So I went to Walmart and bought 12 ga. slugs instead of black powder supplies. Once again, it was the spirit of the law. I would put one slug in the gun...but carry some more in my pocket...just in case. Bird was coming up to put on some drives for me. Little bro Duke was coming to town and one doe was not enough. Plus a little meat for GNJohn would be nice. Also, Carlito had told me of an 8 pointer he had been seeing. "He's running on that back ridge. Only coming out just at dark." he offered. I invited him to join us, but he declined. "You have to be lucky to get a shot. I'd rather sit." Each had it's merits. But, a nice afternoon in bright sunshine and deep fresh snow, with Bird as my driver sounded too good to pass up. Then, just before we went in the woods, I heard from Shewho. She was coming for a visit. So far the day was going quite well.
We decided to do the cemetery drive. I stood right where Carlito had walked up on me taking a crap, a few days earlier. The radios didn't work. There was so much snow weighing down the hemlock branches you could hardly see 50 yards, in little pockets. I didn't have much hope of seeing anything. Then I thought I should move to another spot about 50 yards towards the driver. Everything was silent. As I stood there day dreaming, with no rustle or warning, out stepped a buck. I raised the gun, but didn't shoot. It looked like that big 4 I had seen. Then the sun caught a brow tine. I pulled the trigger. It went down. I fumbled for another shell in my pocket and chambered it as i walked up on the deer. It was crawling over a deadfall, when I shot it again, killing it. It was the 8 pointer.
After Bird and I got it home and hung it in the pine tree, it wasn't much past 2pm. We were done. OK, it wasn't completely legal, but it was close. And man, did I feel good. Two deer in one day, with a mile off gun, a lost bolt, heavy snow, radios that don't work and lucky shots. (I'd just caught the doe in the neck, and broke the buck's back with the first shot.) An inch higher on the buck or lower on the doe and i would've missed entirely. If I hadn't had a second shot I'd have had to straddle that big thrashing animal and slit his throat. No thanks. I can't even step on a fox. So as Bird and I downed a few celebratory Budwissers, Shewo called and I told her about the buck. She told me later, that after she hung up the phone, she actually said aloud. "AND he's going to get laid."
So it's over for me. Deer season, that is. And what a way to end it. Bird and I with two eights. I may even get that buck mounted. I want to mount it as a dead deer. Taxidermists always try to make mounts look alive. I want to have this deer look just like it does now, solemn, majestic, hanging from my porch rafter. You could never, in a million years, replicate what it looked like when it silently stepped into that snowy, hemlock clearing. And then I saw a brow tine.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Photo: R. Kern

Friday, December 14, 2007


Remember what I said about hunting failure, persistence and all that? Yesterday and today are perfect examples of both. After finding how far off my muzzleloader was shooting and having a foot of snow on the road and no time (nor bullets) to site it in, I decided to take the slug gun with the only slug I could find in the closet. It was illegal to hunt like this, but in keeping with the spirit, if not the letter of the law, I decided to give it a go. One shot was one shot.
So I got up before dawn, made coffee, put another log in the stove and gathered up all my clothes that had been drying along the stove pipe during the night. I screwed the rifled choke in the 12 ga. and grabbed the slug. Then something came over me. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to do it. It wasn't the risk of getting caught. Hell, I could've taken the .243 with a pocket full of shells and no one would've said boo. It was thought that if I got a deer (and god forbid a big buck) I would'nt have bragging rights. The kill would be tainted. So, at the last minute, I cleaned and loaded the muzzleloader and hit the woods.
A foot of fresh snow made walking silent, but difficult. Yesterday i'd seen tracks coming and going by where I'd set my traps. I decided this was the spot to sit and wait. There were fresh tracks of two deer going in and nothing coming out. A good sign. I figured they were bedding down in a big brush pile up on Carlito's hill. There was no telling whether they'd move. Any time the wind stirred the trees big gobs of snow fell...on my head.... down my neck.....then....what's that? Two deer (probably the same two) were coming right for me. The first was a big doe. the second was smaller, but not a fawn. I raised the gun, held high and to the left and waited. When she stepped broadside I squeezed the trigger. She went down in a heap and never moved. The second deer, a spike, almost ran me over.
The sense of relief and accomplishment is indescribable. I field dressed her, leaving the gut pile for the coyotes and crows and drug the doe all the way home, leaving a trail of blood in the snowy tobogan skid left by her body. I'm beat, sore, sweating and one happy hunter. Meat on the table. In case you're wondering.... that's why I do it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Yeah, yeah. I can hear all the groans. So, let me just tell you right now, you can't make me feel any worse than i already feel. Here's the thumbnail:

I got up early- 5:30am. I knew this storm was supposed to hit by 7am, so I decided to go right behind the house. I followed the chainlink fence, my scumbag neighbors had erected and sat down behind their scuzzy bungalows. They live in Queens and it being Thursday, and a snowstorm on the way, I knew they wouldn't be around. The ground was crunchy. Once I sat down i didn't move. Then, just as the first sparse flakes began to fall, i heard crunch- crunch. This time it wasn't Carlito. Off to my left I saw a mature doe coming my way. This was it. She was about fifty yards out and crossing. Perfect. I put the gun on a small opening. The woods were thick, but I had room. As she stepped into the cut, I put the sights right behind her front leg and squeezed. Black smoke. Ears ringing. She hunches, spins and stops, head up. I wait for her to drop. And wait. And wait. Then I fumble for another bullet and primer. And as I do she bounds off. How the fuck could I have missed that deer?
Well , it will take the rest of the day trudging through increasingly deep snow to answer that one. After 20 mins. I get up, check for blood and wander in circles. It's now snowing hard. I never touched her. The air smells of sulfur, so I decide to walk. The wind is coming out of the SE and the snow is piling up fast. I keep my nose to the wind and do the loop behind Elijah's and the cemetery. Then I cross another neighbor's land, heading into Carlito's. I jump one doe and two turkeys. The snow is coming down so hard, if you see an indentation it's a fresh track. I check my traps, and come home from behind the schoolhouse.
At home I put a log on the fire, and a dry coat and gloves and go back out. In order to keep the wind to my favor I walk all the way down Denniston's hill. Just above Ray Gilkey's, by the Hassidic truck container I duck in the woods. Deer like to bed in this spot in shitty weather. Just before I head back to the road my hat hits a bunch of snow covered beech leaves and I hear a snort. I turn and a big bunch of deer go out. Fuck!
I know I said this was going to be a thumbnail....but hey, I was the one out in this shit. So I looped around, back up the hill, trying to get in front of these deer. It didn't work. I continued down past the bridge and went back in the woods over by the sewer plant. Then it was straight up in 10 inches of snow. It took me the rest of the afternoon to get home. (I just took a vic.) I had to keep scraping the frozen snow off the sights. Not that it would've mattered much. I saw tracks, but they were going out too far ahead of me to even see a flag. My neck and back were burning and my legs had just stopped working when I hit the road again.
While there was still light I went home, and push pinned a post card to a pice of 4X4 plywood. I paced off 30 yards and got a good rest. I squeezed the trigger. Much to my surprise the gun went off. After all the snow I figured the powder would've been fouled. I saw the hole. Low and 8, yes 8, inches to the right. Did I sight in the gun? No. Did I even have bullets? I borrowed three off Savage Lynch on Sunday. Yeah, yeah. I hear all the groans.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Just before i checked my traps yesterday, Carlito stopped by to tell me he took a shot at that traveling pair of coyotes....and missed. He was pissed. I told him there'd been no tracks on my side of the farm, but that we'd seen a bunch of tracks behind the cemetery. We parted ways. I checked my traps. Empty again. Then drove behind the cemetery to hunt. About 10 years ago I purchased a small strip of land at auction in between a group of country cemeterys. My plan is to someday have this act as the church graveyard for the LGM. In the meantime it gives me entre into a nice section of woods that no one hunts.
Just before stepping into the tract, my guts started to churn and I realized last nights tuna sandwich was about to flop and break water. I unstrapped my belt and pack and scooched down along a stone wall. Better to leave this much human stink on the edges. I no sooner was beginning my morning sit down, than I heard crunchy steps. A deer. I reached around and shouldered the muzzle loader, balancing on the balls of my feet, the turtle almost out of his shell...... I saw brown, fingered the safety.......then saw a floppy orange hat. IT WAS FUCKING CARLITO! "What the fuck are you doing?" I hollered. He jumped. "I saw that coyote again." he said, taking a drag off his cigarette. "You must've spooked him towards me. Your dick is shriveling, hermano." he added with a chuckle. I realized my pants were still around my ankles.
I knew this spot was now ruined for the day. So went down by the river ridge, and saw one doe, who stood broadside, with her vitals behind a tree, never presenting a shot. And that was it. By 3pm it was freezing rain, and I'd had enough. I went home, put a log on the stove, dropped off my gun and all my wet clothes and drove to the store to get something to eat. On the way I must've seen a dozen deer, standing in fields, crossing lawns, bounding in front of the car. They somehow knew I was unarmed. On the way home I lost control of the car on the icy road and headed right for Carlito's stone gate. I wrenched the steeling wheel to the right, and at the last second the car vered and piled up in a snow bank, missing the gate by inches. Phew! Now, where to hunt tomorrow?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The past couple of mornings I've slept in. I'm getting a cold. My muscles are achy and stiff from so much walking up and down ridges. And I'm doing all I can to keep my enthusiasm up, for at least killing, gutting and dragging a doe out of the woods. Savage assures me that the second rut kicked in yesterday and the next couple of days are the best chance for seeing bucks. Do I really care?
I've been hunting deer since the balmy days of Oct. 15., a far cry from the frozen tundra that now spreads out before me. I shot a doe with the bow early in the season and haven't taken a shot since then. Morning after morning I check my traps and walk home empty handed. The frozen chickens, legs sticking obscenely through the snow, seem to mock me. What am I doing wrong? The snow is so crusty the deer scatter long before they are in sight. Yesterday I hunted White Sulfur Springs in the freezing drizzle and saw nothing but a lone doe on somebody's front lawn. My bank account is dwindling, as i miss day after day of work. If it wasn't for Al Blanchard GNJohn 's job would be no more than a hole in the field. What am I doing?
But then I remember. Hunting season is no more than a microcosm of life itself. As it starts to wind down, self-doubt, regret, second guessing increases. If only....... Unlike life, you DO know when it will end- Dec. 18. I can do it. I know I can. One last chance for meat in the freezer and just maybe horns. Then it's back to work, the holidays, and a long, long, long stretch of cold, snow, and coyote hunting. How many days until turkey season?

Monday, December 10, 2007


Anyone who's ever dealt with supermodels knows that plans can change at the drop of a g string. At the last minute KM called me to cancel her weekend hunt. Seems there was a big "snowstorm" in the Bahamas, and she couldn't get out of her hotel room. I told her that was not a problem, to stay warm, and we'd do it another time. Poor thing must've been very upset. She kept sniffling, as she explained how deep the snow was. I had no idea the islands got such weather. Global warming I guess.
So instead of guiding Miss Moss, I called up Al Blanchard, Savage Lynch and Bird and we spent the day putting on drives around the shack. I own less that an acre of land but Carlito's farm combined with GNJohn's property is more than 300 acres. Thank God for good neighbors. Without their permission I would never be able to hunt and trap in the neighborhood. It's not that i never trespass, but I do try to keep it to a minimum.
The first drive was behind Elijah's old trailer, ending up at the cemetery. Savage put out eight doe to Al. And Bird saw one. I saw nothing. No one had a doe tag. It was bucks and coyotes only. The next drive was across Carlito's ridge and down to Ray Gilkey's. Savage and Al were sitters, while Bird took the high side and I dropped down to the river. Bird reached Al first and I looped around below them. We had radios but they didn't work that well. As i jumped two doe up to them, the radio crackled...." man.....hisssssss......with a cell phone.....zzzzz" When the drive was finished i asked what the hell they were talking about? Seems there was a black man, in blue jeans, talking on a cell phone wandering through the icy woods. Go figure.
The last drive of the afternoon was across the road behind GNJohn's old house. Tracks and beds scattered the woods, but the furry, hooved critters seemed to have vanished into thin air. Bird and I sat, while Al and Savage pushed. No one saw a deer. There was about a half hour of shooting light left and I asked if anyone wanted to sit, or would rather go back to the shack and drink? I t was a no brainer. Savage burnt his ass sitting on the woodstove, figuring it was as cold as all the other times he'd been in my house. As it grew dark and the freezing rain came down, we told hunting stories, smoked, drank, and counted ourselves as lucky men to have spent another afternoon driving these woods. Kate missed a good one. I sure hope she gets plowed out.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


You know it's cold when the little plastic bottle of doe urine you've been carrying in your coat pocket all season freezes solid. So yesterday before I hit the woods, I put it on the woodstove for a minute to thaw. The only problem was I forgot it when I left the house. About an hour into my morning, huddled against a tree in the the snow, I remembered. Shit! Worse case scenerio the plastic melts, catches fire, and the house burns down. Best case, the urine spreads across the hot surface and stinks up the house like a skunk blasting under the floor boards. My morning hunt was ruined.
Thankfully, when I got back to the shack everything was OK. These are the kind of things you have to be careful of when you live my sort of lifestyle. Do you think an an 11 year old city girl, who goes to private school and is a card carrying PETA member will warm to my despicable hillbilly ways? This was the subject of last night's conversation with Shewho. Shewho and I have known each other for over 20 years. We both married other people and through it all remained in love. Now we are making the necessary life changes to once and for all be together. It's way more complicated for her, than I. Nonetheless we are moving slowly forward and soon I will meet aforementioned daughter. Did I mention Bambi is her favorite movie?
I'm hoping to bamboozal the kid with the exoticness of it all, but it may be a tough sell. "Bet you're little friends don't know what a tail stripper is?" Sure, i can charm the pants off her mother, but hey, if I was her I sure wouldn't like me. "Come on honey, after we skin this coon, lets go check the traps. Sure you can carry the gun." If all else fails I'll try to buy her love. I saw a real sweet pink .22 rifle at Gander Mt. Whaddayathink? For now we'll take it slow. Shewho's laying the ground work. "Hunting's not so bad if it's done ethically. Why, where to you think a hamburger comes from?" she points out. The daughter turns up her nose, chomps down on a sprout sandwich and pops Bambi in the DVD player. This could be way tougher than shooting that elusive 10 pointer.

Friday, December 7, 2007


I've had to work the past couple of days, just to keep the money flow, and not piss off everyone for being a deer hunting slacker. Al Blanchard, J. Murnzy and i are building GNJohn's house at the bottom of the hill. It only takes me 30 seconds to drive to work, after I check my traps. This morning i didn't bother. We worked until 2:30, in a snow storm. They hadn't yet plowed or sanded the road. I predictably couldn't get the Neon up the hill, so I parked it at Ray Gilkey's, grabbed the .243, and headed home through the woods.
I checked my sets at Ray's, along the creek leading into the Neversink, and even with the stinky dead chickens, i'd come up empty. No tracks or sign of coyote anywhere. Then I headed up the ridge. I got within a couple hundred yards of my neighbor's property and saw a doe's head , ears up, against the snow. I got a good rest on a hemlock, pulled up the scope, dialed it to nine and looked into her eyes. Within minutes she moved on and another doe came into view. "Where is that buck?" I thought. This thought no sooner passed through my mind, than a buck walked into the crosshairs. It was a nice high four, but I couldn't see brow tines, which would make it a legal shooter. 3 or better on either side in this county. I clicked the safety off and put a bit of pressure on the trigger.....

In years past I wouldn't have hesitated. But, nowadays i'm showing restraint. I let him walk. The second rut is just kicking in. Kate Moss may be coming up this weekend. That big one has got to be out there. Be nice to put him in front of her.


Thursday, December 6, 2007


I live between two rather large chicken farms. If the wind comes from the west you smell Gibbers . If it's out of the east you smell Egg U. It's not over powering, but a subtle, back of the pallete stench. Yesterday was the first time I ever visited either. After a week of empty traps i decided to see if Egg U. could provide some tastier bait. Per my request, a friendly worker said, "I always have dead chickens.", then emerged from the back carrying a large garbage bag containing a half dozen, dead, shit covered hens. Yummy.
Because of the brutal weather I haven't worked all week. My days have been filled with checking and resetting traps, and deer hunting. My nights I spend huddled next to the woodstove trying to keep warm. In each set I wired a chicken to a piece of rebar driven into the frozen ground. Then I plucked and scattered some feathers, splashed around a little fox urine and moved on. In this hard, snowy landscape the coyotes have to be getting hungry. This morning I'll see if it works.
After deer season is over I'll do my best to hunt the 'yotes. As I mentioned, this is not an easy thing to do. Plus, you think it's cold now? Just wait. To this end I purchased something called a "Quiver Critter". This device is a piece of bent wire attached to a battery pack and stake. A cute , fuzzy bunny puppet slides over the wire. When you turn it on, the rabbit does a shivering, epileptic dance. Combine this jerky, erratic movement with the high pitched screams of a dying animal and according to the box "They can't resist!" For now I have it waiting on my kitchen table. Every morning before I hit the woods I give the QC a little rub and say a prayer. Maybe this talisman will do the trick. Please let me shoot straight and true if i see a buck. And if there is a coyote in my set, don't let him suffer until I can dispatch him cleanly.....through the ribs with one shot from my .22. Amen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Drop your guard for one second....and there goes a buck skulking through the underbrush in the last twinkle of shooting light. I saw the tracks and should of held up at the clearing. He most likely would've stepped right out. Instead i went crashing across the frozen puddles, in a hurry to get home after a freezing cold afternoon in the woods. Out he went. I saw horns, but couldn't get on him. He turned, keeping enough thick stuff between him and I to live another day. FUCK!
Disgusted with myself, i had all i could do to get in the right frame of mind for the 10pm showing of all those VS legs, tits and asses. Clothes? Oh yeah, if you can call them that. Mostly the duds look like something Nashville glitter suit maker Nudie would make for the strippers at Vegas Gold. Lets just say they were made to show off the girl's wares to the best advantage, stupid wings not withstanding. After a good rehearsal, Slick and I grabbed a couple of cold ones, lit up a bone and settled in to watch our girl Morgane.
I don't know whose idea it was to put that Teutonic, nasal toned bimbo Heidi Klum in charge, but.....First there was the self-aggrandizing home movie, THEN a duet with husband Seal. I hope Al Queda is watching. LOOK! There's Morgane under that stupid floppy hat. Whatthefuck? That hat made the wings look like understated Chanel. Slick and i moan. Then the show breaks for commerical. Slick and i are talking and on comes a Brit voice over. We both hear- "Victoria Secret is having a vagina sale.." Did we hear that right? That set the tone for the rest of the show.
Morgane came out one more time in a nice little baby blue number, but the camera man didn't give her the lense time she deserved. It's a tough show to stand out in; a clover field with a dozen 10 point bucks milling about. Which one is the shooter? On the hole it's about the tackiest production of so-called pop culture entertainment, our rather sick society can come up with. Next year ditch the family Klum, trim some of those feathers, throw that big floppy hat in the dumpster and keep that camera on Morgane Dubled. She's our hunting buddy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007



Yesterday I strapped on the trapping basket, loaded the .243 and trudged through the woods checking traps. Now that winter is upon us, just finding them can be a chore. (note: do not poke through the snow with your finger.) Some traps were sprung, others were frozen solid to the ground. None contained critters. Up here in the Catskills there's a couple of inches of dusty snow on the ground, whipped into a fine mist by 45 mph NW winds. I don't want to hunt, let alone work in this shit. Checking traps, and hoping maybe I'll kick a deer out of a bed in the process, is about all i can do.
Every trap I carefully reset and lay in fresh bait. My rubber gloves are frozen blue prothesises, of little use. No coyote tracks. Barely any deer tracks. It's like every animal in the forest is sitting tight, letting this front blow itself out, before foraging for a meal. Still, I know time is limited. Muzzle loader season ends on 12/18 and from then until March 25th it's only coyote. You think they're difficult to trap? Try hunting them. Coyote hunting makes deer hunting look like shooting fish in a barrel. They have the sight, smell and hearing of a supernatural beast. Add to that, sub-zero weather, 2 feet of snow and you can see how I'd love going after them with a call and a furry decoy.
If all this sounds negative and futile, it must be that I'm going through the change. Only women bleed, but hey, they do call it MEN-o-pause. I can feel a mustache growing on my upper lip and when I step in the kitchen I'm freezing and in the living room I sweat. My mood swings from easy going nothing bothers me, to bitchy drama queen histrionics. I argue with people I love and make nice with that bitch Dawn down at the propane store. Everything is topsy-turvy. Tonight I'm supposed to play guitar with Slick and watch the Vic. Secret show. Maybe that will smooth out the rough edges. Or maybe today will be the day I see horns or get fur in the traps. Who knows it's still early. Ought oh. My t-shirt is wet. I think I'm starting to lactate. Is this suppose to happen?

Monday, December 3, 2007



There's so many metaphors between hunting and life I don't know quite where to start. The most glaring example would be persisitence through failure. Citizens don't understand, what with all the deer crossing the road in front of the Beemer, or nibbling the bonzi on the front lawn, that hunters can't shoot a couple deer every time they step in the woods. And this part of the season is the toughest to hunt. The rut is over, hunting pressure has the critters spooked and one is lucky to see a fresh track in the snow, let alone get a shot at a buck. Nonetheless you get up before dawn, and hit the woods in the 10 degree chill, blowing snow or freezing rain. Except this morning. It's pissing sleet and I'm fed up. I can't get myself out the door. Just like life.
As things go my life is pretty good these days. No more trouble doll girlfriends with heroin habits and sex change husbands. No more mean, miserable wives who suck the joy out of every sleigh ride. AND no more bone crushing loneliness because i had neither. I get along fine with my cats, friends, family and the odd visit from Shewho. Oh, and there's the models. Like seeing deer, meeting models takes a good guide. My favorite guide is my buddy Slick. He draws them like flies. Once again, like hunting, some guys just have the stank on. Savage Lynch can step in the same woods his brother, or Bird and I have hunted hard , to no avail, and see and shoot a monster buck. Slick's like that with the skinny, long legged ladies. People ask me where he meets them? Wherever young good looking guys, with money, hang out I guess. Savage won 't tell me where he hunts either.
Morgane's only one in a long line of supermodels I hope to get in the woods. Today I recieved an email from one of my favorite girls Veronica. She's working in Singapore with a whole bevy of hot girls. As we all know, hot girls draw hot girls like coyote to fox urine. Now that Morgane has hit the woods, Veronica, Betty, MTVGeorgie, et al may want to grab the gun and don the Sorels. In the meantime Veronica sent me a pic of a hot nameless Slovanian. And don't forget Morgane is putting the wings on Dec. 4th for the V. Secret TV show. Check your local listings. Now I have to check my traps. I'll bring the gun....just in case.

Saturday, December 1, 2007



It's 5 am, 18 degrees and the wind is whipping the top of a hemlock out my window, making it dance against the pre-dawn sky. I know I should hunt. I want to hunt. But....the woodstove is cranking, the shack is toasty and my first cup of coffee tastes sooooo good. As I decide whether or not to crawl back under the covers, or layer up and drive to White Sulfer Springs let me give you the latest from Paris, s'il vous plait.
First there is the picture of Bird and Ray Key with the deer in the back of the pickup, that I emailed Morgane, that started making the rounds of all the haute couture back rooms and fancy shoe stores along rue de franc bourgeois. Then there is the video that one of Morgane's entourage shot at my place, that turned up on the internet. There's Morgane getting dressed. There she is again, with the gun, standing in front of the two coons I trapped, hanging on the porch. That's me and Bird, my stuffed coyote, the blood dripping from the dead coon's nose. Ooooo la la. It didn't take long before I began hearing from my Euro buds. "You're brother's the toast of Paris!" To you or I the sight of Victoria Secret wing feathers may make our hearts go pitter pat, but the French eat this American hillbilly hunting crap up. Show 'em a gutted deer, or a couple of good 'ol boys in a pickup truck and they begin to sweat profusely in those tight leather pants. Merde!
Now with his new found fame, Bird has gotten a little full of himself. Just because he shot an eight and I got squat he thinks he's a deer hunting expert. He tells me to wash my clothes and shampoo my hair and beard with unscented soap, sight in my gun, put my stand in a different spot.... And if i have to hear the story of him shooting that deer one more time. Hell, let the French have him. The wind's beginning to die down. Guess I'll take a shower and hit the woods. I'm sure that famous brother of mine is sleeping in. Bon jour.