Sunday, August 28, 2011

It is hard to hunt with a 8 year old

We typically eat between fifteen and twenty squirrels a year, they are not a favorite food of my family but they are relatively easy to obtain and hunting them late summer/early fall gives me a chance to scout for deer and turkey.  It is also an ideal time to take your young hunters afield and teach them the lessons they will need to learn to be successful when after larger game. I will be the first to admit that it is tough to hunt with young kids.  Young boys do not want to be quiet, sit still, or be patient, which are important when hunting anything. I love hunting with my son even when it causes us to be less successful because I can see him learning, growing, and enjoying the success we do have.  Knowing that it was the valuable experience I gained as a kid which allows me to feed my family and make money off ginseng and trapping on top of my day job gives me the extra incentive to teach my son all I know. If you have skills or knowledge you think are valuable please pass them onto the next generation, it will make a difference and really it is your responsibility.  On this hot August morning what might have appeared as a fun opening day of squirrel season with my son was in reality just another part of shaping the men of the future. your pal the Envirocapitalist.
Boy with squirrels, working radio

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Steven Rinella hits the nail on the head.

Image courtesy of
Every once and a while someone comes along and speaks your mind better than you do.  As is the case for Steven Rinella, who puts into words what most hunters wished they could voice and he does it in an entertaining and authoritative way.  Even though he has only written two books, (American Buffalo : In Search of A Lost Icon and The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine) He is one of my all time favorite outdoor writer's. 
          One of  his articles entitled " Steven Rinella: Why I Hunt" which I believe to be a must read for anyone struggling with the ethics of hunting, made me kick myself for not being able to verbalise any of these points to some of my outdoor compatriots who struggle with the life and death aspects of hunting.  Both books and numerous articles I read seem to really hit the nail on the head and left me craving for more of Mr. Rinella.  His love affair with the obtaining and preparing of wild foods really speaks to me. This lead me to his T.V. Show The Wild Within on the Travel Channel.  It focused as much on the skinning and cooking of the game as it did on the chase, which I believe is a major part of the hunt and sadly missing from conventional hunting shows. After devouring all five episodes I realized it didn't appear to be coming on anymore. As heart broken as I was, Mr. Rinella appears to still be writing so I digress since I enjoy the written word over television any way. He has written several other articles, of which I can safely say you will not be wasting time by following this link and reading a while. I recommend his work highly and I am sure you will enjoy what I hope becomes an outdoor voice for my generation, your pal the Envirocapitalist.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rosie and Brave

I believe dogs are important for children. They not only teach responsibility to children but are just plain fun to hunt, hike, and camp with.  We have acquired the next generation of dogs. I would like to introduce them to you.
The Boy holding Brave

My Baby Girl holding Rosie
 Brave is a boy and my son has already decided that he will take charge of him. Likewise Rosie is a girl and my daughter has decided to take the caretaker role for her.  Both parents (Penny and Biscuit) are both Jack Russell Terriers and good squirrel dogs. We are very happy to get the new companions and the kids are so excited they can't stand it.  We were blessed to get from a close friend of mine.  It will be a hard couple of months of training but nothing compares to a well trained dog.  Remember dogs are man's best friend because they like meat as much as we do, your pal the Envirocapitalist.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A morning on House Mountain with the Envirocapitalist.

House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville. It is cooperatively managed under a lease agreement with the State by the Knox County Department of Parks and Recreation. The 2,100-foot crest of House Mountain provides significant vistas where visitors may scan the parallel ranges of the Unakas and Cumberlands some 30 miles away, or look northeast at the adjacent Clinch Mountain.  It is rugged and scenic and very representative of the region.  I love taking my son there because we can get the feel of back country with out the long drive.
Parking area at trail head as we left

Big Ry and I left the parking area at daylight since it was going to be a hot July day.  We had the parking area to ourselves. It is fairly nice even though there is no running water or electricity. The bathroom is really just a pit privy but is well ventilated and didn't stink as bad as most public restrooms.
Signs were made by a local Boy Scout.
A short walk from the parking area led us to the trail head junction. Both of these trails lead to the 3 mile long crest trail which  have scenic overlooks at both ends and one in the middle. We did all the trails today making it about five total miles.
Rocky outcrops on the southern slope

The trails leave the bottom and pick there way through extremely rocky and beautiful slopes until they reach the crest trail.  The rock formations are great to climb on and explore or just sit on to take a break.
Big Ry having lunch at West Overlook

After reaching the top we made haste out the much easier and flatter crest trail  to the East overlook and bushwhacked out to a third vista (my favorite) which is often used for illegal camping (no one allowed up here after dark).  We moved on to the west overlook and had lunch (snack). Which consisted of a granola bar, gummies and a fruit juice pouch, you now real adventure food.  After packing up we set out to finish the hike.

Big Ry leading the way

Steep and rugged

Falling rocks always a danger
Sliding our way down we dodged a few rocks that let go of the steep slopes. We also past the first hiker's of the day. they were heading up. I can't imagine why someone would wait till noon to start this strenuous hike with temperatures predicted to hit the 90's. I was starting to really pour sweet and me and Big Ry were going downhill at this point.

Forty feet below our lunch time perch

We made our way out of our little wilderness no worse for wear but with our appetite for adventure whetted.  We agreed that we should do this more often and I thanked God for his creation and my son.   Please take a kid out of doors. It teaches them lessons and toughens them. I fear we may be raising a generation not able to overcome uncomfortable situations and deal with true adversity, Your pal the Envirocapitalist