Take the Trail Riding Survey

Just a little survey that is totally anonymous. I just wanted to get an idea about horse owners, landowners and trail riders. I will post results on Jan 1. 2017

Click here to take the survey: Trail Riding Survey




A Milestone! Thank You for Taking the Time

I would like to thank all of my followers and casual readers for allowing me to hit 10,000 views on my blog! stats.alltime

Many things I write about end up in places I never expected them to, like Rednecks Vs. City Folk which ended up in a discussion on a SB Nation College Football forum. Also, my best one day views on July 3, 2014 was an article about Kendall Jones (www.thekendalljones.com) when she was being attacked by anti-hunters Nature is Much More Cruel Than Humans Could Ever Be.

I do not write every day and when I do, it usually has a point to it. As you can probably see, I love writing about guns, food, West Virginia and anything outdoors (with a little politics thrown in), So it is very humbling to see so many people reading what I write and using my articles in conversations.

Thank you all and I will keep writing and I hope everyone has enjoyed the visit into my life, opinions and adventures.



Jeff Nichols






The Circle V Ranch and Old West Town



Me circa 1968.

Back in 2004, I came up with an idea, and at first, it was just kind of fun, and sort of just a dream. The dream was something I had since I was just a little guy, one of being a cowboy, riding the range and working cattle, horses and chasing the bad guys. It wasn’t until this past year, after turning over 50, that I thought to myself “What the heck, I am not getting any younger and what if I can do this?”

So, I decided to make more precise plans, write out exactly what I wanted to do, draw some concepts and maybe, just maybe some willing investor would like to join me in this venture.

The idea (which is listed below) is to be able to move back to West Virginia, to the county I grew up in, and if able to acquire the money and the land, that it just may help out the local economy and do something that hasn’t been done.

To start off, the namesake to my idea, is Velvet. She was a quarter horse that was two years older than me, and I spent my whole childhood with her, feeding her, watering her, riding. She lived a very good life, and passed away in 1991 at the age of 29, while I was overseas during Desert Storm.


Now the whole idea is listed below, and for anyone who would like a certified copy of the concept, I can provide that.



  • The Circle V Ranch and Velvet City is a one of a kind ranch, old western town and community farm where visitors can relive the way it was in the old West. At the ranch, you can rent a horse for a trail ride, or go on a guided trail ride; hitch up a buggy and take a leisurely ride down the road or across the countryside; head into town for some authentic western shopping and eat at one of the fine restaurants serving straight from the “farm to the plate.”


  • Watch as bank robbers take off and get deputized to chase them down and take them back to jail.


  • Kids can enjoy learning about the western lifestyle, riding horses, working with livestock, working the farm and even attend one of three summer camps during the summer.


  • Visitors can go out to the community farm and get fresh produce, place an order for beef, and be assured that everything they purchase is GMO free, which means it is all natural.


  • Every weekend, visitors can enjoy a concert by local country music and bluegrass bands or go to one of the various entertainment venues, such as the dance hall, saloon, or pool hall.


  • If you are looking to rough it, ride out with the chuck wagon and sleep under the stars with the cowboys watching over the herd. You might even get a singing cowboy out by the fire.


  • If you like shooting sports and want to try your luck to see how good your draw and aim are, you can head on over to the range and try out our cowboy challenge. There you can rent a six-shooter, shotgun and rifle and see how good you really are. Archery will also be available as well.


  • Want to take a ride on the stage coach, well it comes by several times a day for rides.


  • There will be a blacksmith and farrier on site in case you throw a shoe.


  • Stay overnight in the local hotel, enjoy the authentic western atmosphere.


  • Cabins will be scattered out back of the town for those who would like to stay a couple days or a few days.


  • If you come out for a summer camp, or you are staff cowboys, there will be bunkhouses to stay in.


  • Do you like the rodeo? Once a month our cowboys and local cowboys will compete for points to be awarded the top cowboy at the end of the season.


  • During the winter months, you can enjoy good food, poker, pool and entertainment in town. You can also take a sleigh ride when the snow is right.


  • Every week, pick up the local newspaper that will have stories and photographs of all that went out for that week with photos of visitors interacting with the town and ranch. A photographer will be on hand to photograph you as well.


  • There will be a doctor ( or EMT) on hand to patch up any scrapes and nicks you might get while visiting our town.


  • On Sundays, come out and enjoy sermons and fellowship at our cowboy church. Horse, buggies and lunch for those who attend church is free.


  • The town, ranch and farm will be made available for movie sets and the concerts will all be taped and be made available for use by bands who participate for free in lieu for performances. Bands can also ask for donations for the show.

That is a lot of information I know, but I always think in the way that, what if someone likes the idea? What if someone would love to be a part of something that will not only help out the local economy, but also give folks who want to relive the old days and learn how they lived back then? I think it is worth giving it a shot. six_gun
Right now we are looking for investors who will be full partners to purchase land, livestock, equipment and building supplies.

Town_Drawing Ranch_Drawing community_Farm2 copy

Click on each photo to see the full size (not scale).

This is a great start up opportunity for those who love the Old West.

For more information or you would like to invest please fill out the Contact Form.

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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!

Stand Up for Something or Someone Everyday

Today I shared a photo from Cowboy Ethics FaceBook page that struck a cord with me and I wrote something that is true to what I believe.

“I may not have the opportunity to do this everyday, but when I do, I make it count! One thing in my life I regret is not actually going with my heart, instead I went with the money and spent the rest of my life working to get back to my heart!”

What I said had a couple meanings, one was that I often try to stand up and help out those less fortunate whenever I see someone in need. Last year I was in the checkout line at the Wal-Mart  store that I shop at and an elderly African American woman was in front of me and had a few items in her cart for Thanksgiving dinner. Now I could not tell if she was fixing dinner for herself or if she had someone visiting that she was going to cook for, but she was checking the prices for each item she put on the belt. She got down to three items that she said she could not afford and so I told the checker to ring it up and I would pay for it. She pleaded with me and said, “No, it is ok, I really don’t need those.” But I replied to her that if she had it in her cart, that she evidently had a use for them. Well, she was beside herself thanking me and I gave her a big hug and told her that I hoped she had a very happy Thanksgiving and we went on our way. I have not seen her since, but I can tell you, it made me feel very good to be able to help someone out who had lived a long life and didn’t need to walk away from a checkout without things she needed.

Now, let me be clear, I am not looking for people to say how good a person I am, or how it was so nice I did that because, in my mind, this is something all of us should do every time we see someone who might not have enough money to enjoy a holiday, or even eat something that they want to eat on a daily bases. We all should strive to help out someone in need without anyone asking us to help. It is how I was brought up and it is how I live my life.


The other part of what I wrote, ”  One thing in my life I regret is not actually going with my heart, instead I went with the money and spent the rest of my life working to get back to my heart!,” was because I was one of the people who left my home to travel and work and look for the big deal in life that would make me rich.

Did I find it? Well, I am living, I have a roof over my head, food on my table, but am I happy where I am? No! While many have moved on from our childhood homes, I have pined for the day that I can return, with all I have learned and experienced, to help out the folks where I grew up. Now I am not saying that I want to “Bring sunlight to the wilderness” as some have stated. They are only in it because they want more money, prestige and power. What I would love to do, is be closer to family, lifelong friends and be able to help out a community that raised me. I don’t want to bring huge manufacturing back, I don’t want to bring back ideas from another part of the country. What I would love to do is bring back a simple life and possibly help some folks along the way.

I have thought of many ideas, talked to some folks and have even put some ideas out there that if they work, could help out. Right now, of course I am still planning, and trying to think of ways I can help, because without that little area in West Virginia, I would not be the man I am today and if I can help give back just a little bit of what I was given when I was growing up, it would only amount to a small fraction. Thank you Sistersville, for helping to make me who I am.

I guess what I am saying is, most of us leave with our eyes on making it big, on making money, owning land and that is fine, but I think that if we thought just for a minute as to where we grew up and some of the struggles people face, giving back is not such a bad idea. As a matter of fact, giving back every day to those less fortunate does more than any of us could imagine.

I always think of one person that I grew up with who did more for others than anyone I know. Kevin Ritchey, was that man. We grew up together, played sports together and when we graduated high school, Kevin decided that he wanted to help others. He joined the volunteer fire department and was also a member of the EMT. Once he had a few years in, he decided to move to another community where he worked as an EMT and one icy night while on a call, he gave the ultimate sacrifice when he died trying to help others. Kevin will always be a hero to me, always be someone I would strive to be like. He has been missed, but what he did for others will live on.

Remember your heart, where you came from and where you go. There are always people in your past that got you to where you are.

So, I guess in all of this, my one thing that I wanted to say is, “Stand Up for Something or Someone Everyday!”

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.


Monsters, Myths and Things That go Bump in the Night

I have recently acquired a taste for the TV show Mountain Monsters on Destination America and I can honestly say I love it! So I go on a search for all information on the show and I am intrigued, not just that they are from West Virginia, but because they are real people and it is entertaining.

Now I don’t know if any of the monsters exist and as long as I have been an outdoorsman I have not seen a monster in the woods. But I have seen strange things in my time. Limbs twisted, areas torn up etc… But I have also heard the stories throughout time. Stories from old timers who you know do not lie and you could trust with your life. These stories have to start somewhere, and something have to had prompted them.

Mountain Monsters has it all, it has drama, it has suspense and it has some good humor. But most of all, it tackles the old stories we heard as kids of monsters roaming the mountains. I know what you are going to say, “If there is something out there, why hasn’t trail cameras gotten a good photo of it?” or “with everyone carrying cameras, why are all the photos blurry?” I can’t answer that, except for the fact that with most videos and photos taken, are taken by someone who is surprised. How many times have you tried to take a photo of a pet or a child when they are doing something cute, only to get a blurry photo? Same thing goes for people who take photos of an elusive monster.

As I was browsing around, I actually came across an article by the Huffington Post about the TV Show Mountain Monsters and as I was reading the comments below (by New Yorkers I am sure) One said, “How in the world do they get out in the woods and see the monsters and not catch one in an hour show?” The quick answer to that is, it is a show! A three day expedition edited down to a 45 minute TV show. Those same New Yorkers think that no animals were harmed in the making of super market meat!

So back to my point is, something has caused the stories to be told, and some times there are things out there we have no clue about. But until someone proves otherwise, there is always a chance.

The way I look at it is, it is always good to have an open mind about the things that go bump in the night, and there is nothing wrong with believing. It is when you have no imagination left that nothing new will be discovered.

Plus, it is just fun to get out, get your heart rate up and face your fears!

Living the old way (kinda)

As I sit here 24 hours without power I have to think how it was in the days before electronics. I woke up this morning at 7am and didn’t realize what time it was. As I am sitting here now, it is 8pm and I am felling like I need to go to bed. It is dark in here, except for the light of the fireplace and very quiet. I can’t help but think of days before television, computers and things that keep me up late.

I also have to think of what families did in those days, without tv and video games. Kids had to entertain themselves, maybe reading or playing some sort of board game, or imagine this, family time!

Now I know I am not roughing it, I have a gas fireplace, I have a propane cooking stove, running water and this iPhone to keep me “in touch.” But it seems to me that this is just what we as people need once in a while. We need jolted Back to a simpler time, a time when families talk, a time when it got dark, it was bed time and when daylight came it was time to get up. Sometimes I wonder if technology has killed the way you should live. Yeah, I am writing this on my iPhone, and yes I am bored silly, but really I think if families did this once a month, maybe everyone would appreciate what we have just a little more.

Many people without power are swearing at the power companies, me, as much as I would love to have my power back, would thank them for the job they do and sash “no rush, it is peaceful here tonight.”

Rednecks Vs City folk: Why I am Proud to be a Redneck!

Yes folks, I am a redneck from West Virginia and proud of it. I have never claimed to be anything else. In the past 31 years since I graduated high school and moved around the country, my status as a redneck has stayed with me.

Now, before I go any further, let me explain to those who think that the term Redneck is a bad word, it is not. It actually came to be known because of the coal wars (1920 – 1921) in southern West Virginia, when the coal companies were forcing the miners to work in unsafe conditions and the coal miners wanted to join the union. A fight broke out, and several company thugs were killed in Matewan, WV. Then the union coal miners from northern West Virginia marched south to help the miners against the coal companies. The northern coal miners wore red bandanas so that they would be recognized as the good guys and thus, the term Redneck was coined. Yes, I know there are a thousand and one other thoughts as to where the term was coined, but I am pretty sure that this is the one that is the true meaning of the word!

Now that we know where the term Redneck came from, we can discuss the differences between them and city folk. We rednecks are tough, resilient and resourceful! We all like to laugh at someone who puts a metal watering trough above a fire and then uses it for a hot tub, but really, how many city folk would think to do that? Instead of spending $4,000 to buy a heated tub, the redneck used what he had and it worked just fine (maybe after a few comedy of errors).

The point is, Rednecks are not dumb people. They know what they have and they solve problems using what they have.

Now, I recently got into a conversation that was started from the Duck Commander’s suspension being lifted (I won’t get into the whole A&E thing) and one person who was clearly from the city (when I use city, I am talking about NYC size, not small town) and he was so appalled by all the redneck reality shows on TV now and how the world would be better off without rednecks. That is where I entered into the debate.

I explained to all who read that if ever something happened to our infrastructure, electric grid, electronics etc… that those people would be complaining about not having any food, TV, or any modern convenience that they enjoy now and that many who live in the city would perish! Well, I set off a firestorm with that comment!

He went on to say “Shouldn’t you be off researching what seeds Glenn Beck thinks are best to have for when the apocalypse comes ?”

When I explained to him that being ready is not a bad thing and that most rednecks do not need to have anyone tell us what we need to survive, it only got worse in the debate as another city person stated this:

Oh yeah – I forgot all about Doomsday Preppers (mostly just paranoid ignorant rednecks too).

You don’t fool me. Most people on welfare, sucking off the teat of the government, are white – and almost all of those who aren’t black or Hispanic are white trash rednecks or southern hillbillies.

The “lazy ignorant Southerner” label is more than just a stereotype – for many it’s a fact. Many blame it on ‘the humidity’. As transplanted yankee living in the South, I realize that could very well be.

Well, after I quit laughing at them, I said, well, I am not a prepper, I am prepped! Meaning that I know what to do when the time comes. I do not need to watch reality TV to know what to do and I certainly do not need anyone else giving me advice when they think that “the meat in grocery stores are from animals that are not harmed!”

So, the city folk quit debating me when I asked them what they would do if ever something happened. Not one could answer and they clammed up. I ended by saying:

“I know exactly what to do, I don’t have to research anything. unlike people like you. You will go steal what you want, or try to. Won’t make it far, because the people who are able to survive will not put up with looters like you.”

Well, maybe I was a little harsh, but such is life and if you want to survive, you learn how to take care of yourself. I have no problem in saying that if anything ever happened, I would still be fat and happy as I am right now. City folk, not so much. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how things go!

So, with that being said, I am very proud to be a Redneck from West Virginia!


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!