WV Bananna: Paw Paws, The Unknown Fruit (And Deer Food)


So everyone has heard the old children’s song about the “Paw Paw Patch,” that goes like this:

Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, of where is Susie?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Chorus:
Picking up paw-paws; put ’em in a basket.
Picking up paw-paws; put ’em in a basket.
Picking up paw-paws;put ’em in a basket.
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

But did you know anything about the Paw Paws they are singing about?

Paw Paws (also known as the WV Banana as well as other states claiming it to be their banana) is a fruit that grows in eastern North America forests and unless you know what you are looking for, you might just over look them.

In West Virginia, there are many festivals and celebrations that celebrate the fruit. The Paw Paw is a very tasty fruit and can be eaten raw (after it ripens and turns brown) and is also an ingredient in Paw Paw pie.

One of the things with being an outdoorsman, I am always looking at what wildlife eats. One day I was hunting squirrels in October and as I was sitting there, I kept hearing a loud plop in the hollow below me. I ignored it at first, but then I heard more plops and deer began to show up. After a while the curiosity got the best of me and I walked toward the sounds only to find Paw Paws hitting the ground and just like a deer feeder throwing corn out, the deer came running, eating them as fast as they were falling.

When you are looking to see if you have Paw Paws, here are a few photos to help you recognize them.


 

 

Here is what the leaves look like.

 

 

 

 

 

The trees are slender but tall and the weight of the Paw Paws make the trees lean.

 

 

 

 

Here are how the Paw Paws look in the trees.

The key to hunting around Paw Paws is to make sure you are in the woods when they start dropping for two reasons:  1. You want to be there when the deer are in there feeding and 2. you want to be able to pick some for yourself before the deer and wildlife eat them all.

 

Many people have never seen Paw Paws before, but in WV, they are all over the place and easy to find, if you know what you are looking for.

Watch this video that I made, showing a good Paw Paw patch. Enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer, live off the land and live healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Do More Gun Laws Really Work


Another terrorist decides to kill Americans and the focus by those who don’t believe in the right for law-abiding citizens to own guns of course blame the gun! if you have read on many outdoor, conservative, firearm and hunting blogs, you have read all of the reasons why the liberals think it is alright to blame guns, gun shops, gun and ammo manufacturers, and all the reasons they are just nuts! Many times I have written about the myth of the assault rifle, as well as the non-existent “gun show loophole!”

I read a comment on an article the other day that said there is no difference between an AR-15 and a M16. So I ask the person that if a car runs over people, can we classify it as a tank? Of course they didn’t have the answer because they were too busy drinking the koolaid! I have done some research, updated the FBI homicide crime statistics on what kills more people.  You can see my slideshow here

You can see a steady decline in the homicide rate, while incidentally, the rate of gun ownership increased, (of course if you take out Chicago, DC and a few other big liberal cities, there are almost no homicides).

So, the liberals in congress, the president and others who do not have a clue about guns decided that terrorists are really not the problem, but the it is the guns fault and they want to make more laws that criminals and terrorists will ignore, instead of enforcing the laws on the books and you have to be politically correct!

So my take is, if they really want to make a difference and slow down the gun violence, they need to make a mandatory maximum sentence to anyone who is convicted of a violent crime using a firearm! You rob a store while armed, 15 years! You shoot someone, attempted murder, no less than 25 years! You take the criminals off the streets and you will slow down the violent crimes! Yes I know, it won’t happen over night, but this is a much better idea than to punish law-abiding gun owners because of the acts of criminals. Terrorists, well, first off, we can’t be held back for calling them what they are! We can’t cower to them and hope that love and hugs will keep them from trying to kill us! We have to get tough and we have to fight back.

When did the liberals become so wimpy? Why is it that they would rather make America a target than to deal with the real threats? They [liberals] love to coddle the people who hate us most and that just doesn’t work! You have people like Michael Moore and Piers Morgan who are peace loving and non-violent types who think that if you grab your guitar and sing to the criminals (and terrorists), that they will drop their guns and sing along! They have gone so far as to take rifle icons off of Apple products. I am guessing because, like the so called “journalist” from the Chicago Sun said when he shot an AR-15, it will give you PTSD!

The second Amendment was written for a reason, and the president, Hillary, Piers or any other liberal thinks they will take our guns away are sadly mistaken.1911-45

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Limited Time Offer, Buy 3 and Get 3 at Half Price!


With the Osprey returning and starting to build nests we have a special limited time offer during the 2016 nesting season, buy 3 and get 3 at half price! http://www.offsprey.com/2016/03/special-limited-time-offer-buy-3-and-get-3-at-half-price/

There I was (37 years ago)…


37 years ago I experienced one of my greatest hunts in my life and I was only 14 years old!

We were off school for Veteran’s Day, and at that time in my life (most of my life), in the fall, when school was not in session I was in the woods.

While walking up my favorite tree stand before daylight, I saw four does bedded down about 50 yards from the stand. They jumped and started running. after watching them run off I proceeded to climb up into the stand and get settled in. Hanging my Bear Whitetail Hunter bow in the tree, I sat back against the tree and waited. It was a cold morning, and a heavy frost had set in the night before. As I sat there, I was getting pretty chilled, that is until the sun started coming out and shined right on me. The warmth felt really good and I closed my eyes for a minute. When I opened them back up (it was around 9 a.m.) and something shining in the sunlight caught my eye off to the left.

If you look long and hard enough, you might get to see a large buck like this 10 point.

 

I looked down and it was a very nice buck, walking steadily with his nose to the ground. He was heading right down to where the does were earlier that morning. When he got about 35 yards away, he stopped. I drew back and let an arrow fly. Dang thing hit the tree right in front of him. He bolted and my heart sank. Now it should be noted that at that particular time, I was shooting instinctive, which means, I was not using a sight or a release.

After the miss, I stood there more mad than anything as he stood about 100 yards away looking around, then to my amazement he decided to put his nose on the ground and walk right back up to the same exact spot! Wrong move for him! I drew back, let the arrow fly and hit him!

Now I was not cold anymore. I waited for a little bit, then got out of the tree. I walked over to the last place I saw him and found some blood. Then a little bit further, and found a lot of blood. So I decided to get some help tracking. We tracked that deer, with a blood trail that was not hard to follow at all, for about 300 to 400 yards. Then out of nowhere, the spigot ran dry.

Deer are more active during the fall and have lost the velvet from their anlters and prepare for the breeding season.

Most of the time, when a deer stops bleeding, it means that he is probably down, maybe jumped off the trail, or in a pile of brush. We did a circle around the area to see if we could find the deer. No luck. I had to go to school the next day and I had someone else look for it. As luck would have it, someone did find it, said a truck had hit it, although, sure didn’t look like it, since it had only one hole in the lungs from an arrow. I was asked what the antlers looked like, and explained that on the right side there was a fork in one of the tines. That proved that this was the buck that I had shot and it was a nice 14 point, but never got to put my hands on him!

Even though I did not get to bring that nice buck home with me, it was still a great hunt!

If only we had iPhones and digital cameras then…

Still, to this day, I will never forget that hunt!

Progress is not always good


What would you do if the internet went down, Facebook, online games, cell phones or email is no more? Would you be able to function?

We are in a time where the world is living on technology. Every part of our lives is controlled by smart phones, computers, machines and the internet. While I myself am able to communicate worldwide in a matter of seconds, there is a downside to all of the progress we have made in the past 30 to 40 years.

There are several ways that progress and technology has changed our lives for the worse, we have gotten lazy. Machines make jobs easier, more efficient and profitable, by being able to control functions from a computer, or a key board or other remote way, we have forgotten how to work hard. It has caused us to instead getting up, walking down the hall to speak with someone face to face, we call them on the phone, send an email or text them.

This hurts us in many ways. First, we get used to this and sit at a desk all day (I am as guilty as anyone) and get no exercise. We wonder how we get out of shape. We miss out on the face-to-face interaction and being personable with others.

It also costs jobs. For example, if every time you sent an email you instead took the time to hand write a letter, put it in an envelope, buy a stamp, and go to the post office and mail it, the problems with the post office would not be as bad. As a matter of fact, I believe that if people would take the time and write a real letter and send it out once a week, the U.S. Postal Service would do much better.

We hear all this talk about child obesity rates, but a lot of kids these days sit in front of a computer screen, or on their smart phones and play games instead of  going out to ride bikes, play in the dirt and do things kids do. When I was a kid, during the daylight hours I was no where to be found, well, within shouting distance most times. But I was out running around with my friends, whether digging something up, finding critters, fishing or whatever. Now kids don’t leave the house.

All of this technology makes us very impatient too. When we can send an email across the world and get a reply within seconds, it causes the expectation of how long it should take to get an answer. We then demand that everyone reply back to us immediately and if they don’t, something must be wrong!

Dating has taken a whole new turn as well. Not only does progress make it easy to speak with good looking people (so we think) we no longer take the time to get to know someone in person. But that is not really the worst part. With the websites like Ashley Madison and other sites making cheating on your husbands or wives, or boy friends and girl friends easy and anonymous, the morality of the country is going straight to hell! Yes I know, people cheated on their spouses a long time before the internet came along, but not as much as it is happening now.

Of course you never know who you are talking to, as illustrated in The Internet Conversation!

Because of progress, you and your family is less safe, hackers steal identities easier, newspapers post ridiculous maps to show who owns guns, protests online run rampant and people are constantly attacking others anonymously with no fear of repercussion!

Because of progress, we have less attention paid to infrastructure, roads, bridges, skilled labor. People think the next best way to become rich fast (remember the patience) is to become a computer guru. Building games, websites, morally imperfect sites are all ways that some have made billions, yet they all take away from real life. We push our kids to go to college and learn all about these new technologies and forget about the basics that are needed.

People are so addicted to technology that you would be hard pressed to find a teenager working in a grocery store who can manually count out change. Unless we start remembering the basics, the progress is going to tear us down.

Imagine this, if all the sudden the technology failed (computers and internet goes down) for a year, what would you do? Could you survive? Is your life saved on a chip?

 

Mover’s Etiquette


The United States has always been the land of immigrants and we are proud of that fact. We came to a new land, fought to make it our own country and have been defending it ever since. But lately we have all been bombarded with news of illegal aliens moving into America, sneaking in the southern border and coming from many different countries, as well as those who live in other states moving into states because the cost of living is much better and life seems a little slower. In my opinion (and the opinion of many others) when you decide you want to move into another country, another state, another town, it is you, the traveler, the newbie, the “outsider” who is obligated to conform to the area you are moving into.

Most who move to our country are moving to the U.S. because:

1. They want a better life.

2. Their country is corrupt, socialist, dangerous.

3. They just want freedom!

I have no problem with people wanting to live here, as long as they do it legally. But is it really right for someone to “jump the line” ahead of those who do it legally and get the benefits? Many of the legal immigrant have a problem with that.

Now, we have in many areas where the illegal aliens are given more rights than Americans. They get upset if kids in schools wear shirts with American flags on them and the schools discipline the American students. The illegal aliens get upset if we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, yet they came to our country to live the pledge. Then comes the ones who complain about our celebrations, such as the Texas Independence Day just to name one because it offends them. I have little patience for those who move somewhere only to complain that something we do offends the country they came from, they didn’t have to move here. There is much more that  I could go into here, but I think my point is made.

Moving inside the USA

Now, in the same way that immigrants move into a place and try to turn it into the place they left, are those who move from state to state, town to town and because they have money think they can try to make their new home into the same place they left. While I was living in Kalispell Montana, I loved it. Mountains, horses, grizzlies you name it, everything you could want in the outdoors. Then the folks from California started moving in, clearing off land, building huge homes, moving closer to wildlife so that encounters were more frequent. Property prices started climbing, cost of living started climbing making it hard for those who have lived and wanted to live the simple life. Now, granted, every person in the USA has a right to move and live anywhere they want, and live the way they want to. But it is their obligation to conform to the area they live in.

While some people bring money to small towns, that is commendable, and to share ideas as to things that might help out the community is a good thing, however, pushing those ideas on the people who have lived there all or most of their lives is outright unacceptable. You are not the savior, and you are not going to “bring light to the wilderness” if those who live there do not want it. Sometimes a small town wants to stay that way, a small town! Most who move from a large town to a small town do so for a couple of reasons:

1. They want the small town feel, friendly attitudes and slow pace or

2. They are greedy, and all they want to do is bring more in like themselves to make as much money as possible. And of course, take advantage of the low taxes and score in the gas and oil boom.

That is all fine, as long as they treat the town with respect and do not look down on them for who they are and how they want to live. As I had said before in a previous post :

“There is no place in the country, let alone the world that has more people that would give the shirt off their backs to help out others, but don’t talk down to them, because the same kindness can turn to a fast butt whoopin by the same people.”

With that being said, I hope that this explains how you should act when moving into a new country, or a new town.

 

Coming home: It’s that time of year again!


It is a week before I begin my travels to my hometown for the Thanksgiving holiday and some much needed time in the woods deer hunting.

But this year, it is a little different. You see, my hometown is in a bit of spot with City Hall not being transparent, people feeling harassed and intimidated when they speak out against those in charge of the city. Well, I have a bit of advice for the residents of my little town, stand up, be heard and do not back down. Just like the lack of transparency can cause chaos in the federal government, it can crush a small town and when residents allow that to happen, you can’t blame anyone but yourself.

Now I am one who does not take to intimidation very well. I will tell you what I think and if you don’t like it, walk away. You can discuss differences and come to middle grounds or even an agreement, but you have to know all the facts.

Now, someone might ask, “what do you care, you don’t live here?” or “you don’t know all the facts!” I would agree with that, except for two points:

1. I care because that is my hometown and I am moving back.

2. I have seen what both sides have said in public forum as well as watch clips from local news and articles written about what is going on.

Now this little town has gone on social media and has an “Official” information page. But the problem is, they do not post relevant information, like when the next council meeting will be held, where it is and what is on the agenda, and the minutes of the previous meetings. When businesses use social media, they allow the customer to originate posts when they have questions or comments, good or bad about the host page. On this particular page, that is not allowed. So, I took it upon myself to post the city council meeting just an hour before it began, so that those who did not know would be informed.

After the meeting was over, I went back to the host page and my comment had been deleted, and I was magically banned from making any further comments on the page. My comment was simply “Don’t forget the city council meeting at 7pm.”

Well, I had written to the administration asking why it was deleted and why they banned me, but they have yet to respond to me. Instead, they posted this “This facebook page is for city information only any negative posting will be removed.  Let’s keep it clean.  Thank you.”

I wrote them another email asking about why they deleted my post again and have yet to get a response to that as well.

Now I am not going to go into the weeds as to all the problems of the town, or name names on here. What I will say is, that it is time for the residents of this great American town to stand up and take it back. The residents own the town, the city government serves you and you as residents deserve to be treated with respect and honesty.

I make it home at least once a year and really look forward to getting back there. Yes, I can see that my trip home will be interesting to say the least, but it will be even more interesting when I finally move back there for good!

Even with all the problems of this great town, I can’t wait to return, it will always be my home. See you soon!