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Slothin'02

Book Review/Recommendation

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Hi All,

First off, I have nothing to do with this book. I just saw it and thought it sounded interesting, bought it, read it, enjoyed it and thought others may like a good read.

I just finished a book entitled "Poachers Caught!: Adventures of a Northwoods Game Warden" by Tom Chapin and would recommend it to anyone.

This book is a collection of thirty-five true stories which recall Mr. Chapin's twenty-nine year career as a Game Warden in Itasca County, MN. He tells very interesting, funny and disturbing stories of his time spent enforcing the game and fish laws in Northern Minnesota.

It is a great account of the adventures of a man who spent almost 30 years protecting our natural resources and trying to maintain a "level playing field" for all of us.

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I heard him on the radio say that he's probably collected better stories from people who have come to his book signings.

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a really good book i just read is Sex, Death, and Fly Fishing. funniest book i have read in a while. it is written by John Geierach

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I just read "A Voyaguers Highway". Was more of a history book than anything but had a lot of good info that I didn't know before, like how the Minnesota/Canada border from Lake Superior to Rainy lake is an old portage route. Talks mostly about the route from Basswood to Rainy. It was kind of hard to follow since the author jumps around a lot.
Next book: The DiVinci Code, I just ordered it from Amazon, I hear it is pretty contravercial(sp) and it's the #1 bestseller.

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I also saw this book in the store and thought it looked pretty good. After reading the whole thing all I can say is that it is an excellent book and I would recommend it to everyone. It is scary to think about all the people that get away with things when they can only be in one place at a time.

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A book that I read when I was a boy that got me addicted to reading was "my Side of the Mountain" A book about a kid that lives in a hollow tree and lives off the land. I've been a reader of books ever since. I would reccomend this for people who want to get their kids into reading.

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One of my favorites is "the anglers guide to daily inspiration", its alot like alanon for fishermen.lolol Another good read is by Joe Fellegy, if you think you want to guide read his book thirty years on the big lake, lots of good wisdom in there. Another local and good humor book is called half cooked bear meat and northern pike bones, the adventures and misadventures of guiding hunters and anglers in the bwca.. Paul

------------------
Paul Rohweller
Pine to Prairie Guide Service
218-962-3387 home
701-261-9525 cell
[email protected]
N.P.A.A. 425
Quality Bait and Tackle, Detroit Lakes Mn
www.scenictackle.com
North Country Outdoors Radio 99.3 fm
http://fishingminnesota.com/pinetoprairie

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A very good series of "light" books are from Patrick McManus.

Some of his are

"They shoot canoes don't they?"

"The Bear that ate Goomba"

Quite funny.

Here's a link to his site:
http://www.mcmanusbooks.com/

Also here is a quick one of his stories.


The Christmas Hatchet

Patrick F McManus

The best evidence I've been able to come up with that the human race is increasing in intelligence is that parents no longer give their kids hatchets for Christmas.
When I was a boy the hatchet was a Christmas gift commonly bestowed upon male children. In an attempt to cover up their lapse of sanity, parents would tell their offspring, "Now don't chop anything."
By the time this warning was out of mouths, the kid would have already whacked two branches off the Christmas tree and be adding a second set of notches to one of his new Lincoln logs.
It was not that the kid harbored a gene compelling him to be destructive. The problem was with the hatchet, which had a will of its own. As soon as the kid activated it by grasping the handle, the hatchet took charge of his mental processes and pretty much ran the show from then on.
Shortly after Christmas the kid would be making frequent trips to the woodshed with his father, and not to chop wood either.
"The hatchet did it!" the kid would yell as he was being dragged toward the woodshed by his shirt collar. I was just walking through the gate and my hatchet leaped out and chopped the post!"
Some kids were gullible enough to try the old George Washington cherry tree ploy. "I did it with my own little hatchet," they would confess.
"I know," their father would say. "Now haul your rear end out to the woodshed!"
The moral most of my friends and I drew from the cherry tree story wasn't that George Washington was so honest but that his father was a bit slow. This showed that even a kid with a dumb father could grow up to be President.
The average length of time a kid was allowed to remain in possession of his hatchet was forty-eight hours. By then the hatchet would have produced approximately sixty bushels of wood chips, eight hundred hack marks, and a bad case of hysteria for the kid's mother. The youngster would be unceremoniously stripped of his hatchet, even as its blade fell hungrily on a clothesline post or utility pole, and be told that he could have it back when he was "older" by which was meant age twenty-seven.
Kids now probably wouldn't understand the appeal hatchets held for youngsters of my generation. If a kid today received a hatchet for Christmas, he would ask, "Where do you put the batteries?" He would have no inkling of the romance of the hatchet and what it symbolized to boys of an earlier time, presumably all the way back to George Washington.
In the time and place of my childhood, woodcraft still loomed large in the scheme of a man's life. A man sawed and split firewood for the home, of course, but more important, he could take care of himself in the woods. He could build log cabins and lean-tos and foot-bridges, chop up a log to feed a campfire, fell poles to pitch a tent on or to hoist up a deer or to make a stretcher to haul out of the woods the person who wasn't that good with his ax.
One of the best things you could say about a man back then was that he was a good woodsman. Being good woodsman seemed to erase a lot of other character flaws.
"Shorty may have some faults," one man might say, "but I'll tell you this-he's a good woodsman!"
"Yep," someone else would observe. "Shorty is a fine woodsman, all right. If he made it to the mountains, I reckon it'll take the posse a month to root him out."
The ax was the primary tool of the woodsman. If he wished, a woodsman could go off into the woods with an ax and provide heat and shelter for himself and live a life of freedom and independence and dignity and not be at anyone's beck and call or have to comb his hair or take baths. Not that I recall anyone ever fleeing to the woods, not even Shorty, who was nabbed sitting on a barstool at Beaky's Tavern, still a long way from the mountains. But it was the idea! If you were good with an ax and a gun, of course, and a knife, you could always fall back to the mountains. What it was all about, underneath, was the potential for freedom, not the jived-up freedom of patriotic speeches but real freedom, one-to-one-ratio freedom, where man plucks his living directly from Nature. Of course, sometimes Nature plucks back, but that's not part of this dream, this vision, as symbolized by the Christmas hatchet.
I first realized I needed a hatchet when I was five years old and my mother read me stories about the pioneers chopping out little clearings in the great forests of the land. Ah, I thought, how satisfying it would be to chop out a clearing, to chop anything, for that matter. My campaign for a hatchet began immediately and achieved fruition on my eighth Christmas.Although I wasn't allowed to touch any of the presents before Christmas Eve, I had spotted one package that bore the general shape of a hatchet. Still, I couldn't be sure, because my mother was a clever and deceptive woman, once wrapping a new pair of longjohns to look like an electric train. Was she pulling a fast one on me this time or had she truly lost her senses and bought me a hatchet?
It turned out to be a hatchet, a little red job with a hefty handle and a cutting edge dull as a licorice stick. Even as I unwrapped it, I could feel all the thousands of little chops throbbing about inside, pleading to be turned loose on the world.
"Now don't chop anything," my mother said.
Within minutes, I had honed a razor edge onto the hatchet and was overcome with a terrible compulsion to chop. Forty-eight hours later, the hatchet was wrenched from my grasp and hidden away, presumably to be returned to me sometime after I had children of my own.
A few days after Christmas I learned that my friend Crazy Eddie Muldoon, who lived on the farm next to ours, had also received a Christmas hatchet.
"Where is it?" I asked. "Let's go chop something."
"Uh, I got it put away," Crazy Eddie said. "Let's use yours."
"Uh, I loaned mine to my cousin for a while," I replied. "He said, 'You don't have a hatchet I can borrow, do you?' and I said, 'Sure."'
"Sure," said Crazy Eddie, who was only crazy part of the time.
As good luck would have it, an epidemic of permissiveness swept the county the following summer and both Eddie and I regained possession of our respective hatchets. There were still plenty of chops left in the hatchets and the two of us wandered off down to our woodlot in search of a suitable recipient.
A large tamarack soared up uselessly on the edge of the woodlot, and Crazy Eddie said maybe it would be a good idea if we built an empty space in the sky where it was standing. As it happened, I had long nourished desire to yell "Timberrrrrr! " at the very moment I sent a mammoth of the forest crashing to the ground.
"Your folks can use it for firewood," Crazy Eddie said, in an attempt to explain his motive for felling the tamarack. But I knew he too yearned to hear the thunder of a great tree dashed to earth; he, as much as I, was into chopping for the pure aesthetics of the thing.
We spent all day chopping away at the tamarack, with Eddie on one side, me on the other, our hatchets sounding like slow but determined woodpeckers. At noon I went home for lunch.
"What are you boys up to?" my mother asked, with no great show of interest.
"Chopping down a big tree."
"That's nice," Mom said. "Don't fight."
After lunch, Crazy Eddie and I were back at the tree again, chipping out a huge U-shaped gouge all the way around its circumference. We were both exhausted, sweating, standing in chips up to our knees, but we could see now it was possible to accomplish the task we had set for ourselves. The tree began to moan and creak ominously as the hatchets bit into its heartwood. By late afternoon the huge tamarack stood precariously balanced on a gnawed core of wood slightly thicker than a hatchet handle.
Neither Crazy Eddie nor I had the slightest clue as to the direction in which the tree might fall, which heightened our anticipation with the added element of suspense. We took turns charging up to the tree, whacking out a quick chip, and then dashing back to relative safety.
Suddenly we heard it: the faint, soft sigh that signaled the tree's unconditional surrender to our Christmas hatchets. A silence fell upon the land. High above us the boughs of the tamarack rustled. Crazy Eddie and I shivered happily. We had accomplished something momentous!
Crrrrrraaa ... went the tree, beginning a slow tilt. We were now able to determine the direction of its fall, which wasn't particularly good. Eddie's father, a short while before, had built a fence between our woodlot and theirs and now, even though I had not yet studied plane geometry, I was able to calculate with considerable accuracy that the tree would neatly intersect the fence at right angles.
"You better yell 'timber,"' Crazy Eddie said, his voice trembling.
"Timmmm . . . " I started to cry. Then we heard another cry. It was that of Eddie's father, who had come down to the woodlot to call him to supper.
"Eddieeeee!" his father called. "Crazy Eddieee! It's time for supperrrrr!"
Cr-r-r-r-a-a-a-a-A-A-A-A-ACK! went the tree.
"Eddieee!" went Eddie's father. "EddieeEEEEEE!"
The monstrous tamarack smote the earth with a thunderous roar, rising above which was the twanging hum of barbwire. Fence posts shot into the air fifty yards away. Eddie's father shot into the air fifty feet away.
"Bleeping bleep of a bleep! screamed Eddie's father, introducing me to that quaint expression for the first time.
There is an old saying that cutting firewood warms you twice: once when you chop it and once when you burn it. Well, chopping down that tamarack warmed Eddie and me three times, and one of those warmings was a good deal hotter than when the wood burned.
I learned a good many things from felling that tamarack with my Christmas hatchet, perhaps the most interesting of which is that a barbwire fence is regarded by its builder as merely a barbwire fence until a tree falls on it. Afterward it is looked back upon as a priceless work of art, surpassed in beauty and grandeur only by the Taj Mahal.
My Christmas hatchet disappeared immediately after the great tree-felling but surfaced again a few years later when I was old enough to conduct my own camping trips. Much to my surprise, I discovered the hatchet was almost useless for cutting wood. It was as if Excalibur had been reduced to a putty knife.
The very next Christmas, I gave my little cousin Delbert the hatchet as a present.
"Wow!" he said. A real hatchet of my own! Thanks a lot!"
"You're welcome!" I shouted after him as he raced away, homing in on a stand of shrubs in his backyard. "But don't chop anything!"

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

[This message has been edited by jpz (edited 02-25-2004).]

[This message has been edited by jpz (edited 02-25-2004).]

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I have the "Poachers Caught" book but haven't got to it yet.

Other books I really enjoyed were Steve Chapman's. "A look a life for a deer stand" and "What a hunter brings home". Both are a lessions in life from a religous angle through hunting stories. I thoroughly enjoyed them. And have loaned them out to freinds.

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HOGEYE,

The three-book My side of the mountain series showed up in my kids' school book order form and I bought it and have it dog-eared. I've read the books to my kids and they can imagine what it's like to live in a tree or fish with a handline.

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I ABSOLUTELY recommend Jean George's book, My side of the Mountain and also the movie.

I am the outdoorsman I am today due to this book/movie. Way back when, before video tape and cable movie channels, my Mom would drive me to whatever town the movie was playing in. It would show up every couple of weeks or so, especially in the summer. And I probably have owned over 6 different copies of the book, always a nice present when someone finds a different version of it for me.

As a boy, I ran the woods every day pretending to be Samuel Gribley, with my pet raccoon "Gus" and trained peregrine falcon "Frightful". Actually attained a raccoon once, never got the falcon!! An incredible book, awesome movie, even today, and to this day, nothing brings back my childhood days running the hills of upstate New York like the mention of that book does.

(sigh) Oh for those simple days smile.gif

------------------
Mike
Kalispell, MT
<<><<
"LOOK ALIVE, MAGGOT!"
(Not you Pal, I was talking to my bait)

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My favorite is by a guy name Capstick (sp), I think it's Peter Hathaway Capstick. He is a new York stock broker that quit selling stock and moved to Africa and became a safari guide. The book I like the most is called Death in the Long Grass, it's broken up into chapters about cats, buffalo, elephant etc... It's very interesting to hear the perspective of a guide that has to go into the bush to retrieve animals that their clients may not have made a killing shot on!!!! Especially the big cats. I highly recommend it to anyone that likes to hunt or even just likes to read.

Ole

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just finished another amazing fishig book: called Pavlov's Trout. It is written by one of the top psychologists in the world about why people fish. The last chapter gave me chills reading it, but the book is just amazing. This guy is an amazing writer, and i am justr aboot to start the sequel called: Darwin's Bass.

------------------
Diplomacy - The art of saying "nice doggie" while you find a rock.

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A couple other good books I read a long time ago are:

"Canyon Winter" by Walt Morey
"Hatchet" by Gary Paulson
"Lord of the Flies" ??
"White Fang" Jack London
"Call of the Wild" Jack London
"The Yearling" ??
These are a few more of the books that I read years ago that really inspired my outdoor interests.

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I've read everything written by James Michener, but for laugh out loud writing about the outdoors, Patric McManus has assembled his magazine columns into several books. When he writes about his first deer or his sister, the troll, its a scream. His friends and mentors are way too much fun.

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"Poachers Caught" is a fun book to read. A lot of interesting stories. What I was impressed with is how he admits to some of his own errors in judgement when he was younger---like jumping on the hood of the Corvette---as well as telling about the poachers mistakes.

A book I'm reading now is called "A Hunter's Journey" by Dan Prusi. I'm only half way through it, but it is an enjoyable read so far. I think all of us hunters can relate to his stories.

Ok, I have to quit now...this is sounding too much like Oprah's club... wink.gif

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I reviewed the book "Poachers Caught" in the paper I'm editor of.

It's got some cool stories, and I believe they're all true. Of course, it's tough for a writer to read stories that have so many exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!

------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
[email protected]

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My recommendation is John Steinbeck`s Travels with Charley,in search of America.It`s Stienbeck`s last book.He builds a wooden camper and travels America with his dog Charley.If you like Charles Kuralt`s On The Road series you`ll like this one.

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"Into the minds of mad men" It's a look into the progression of the FBI's behavioral science unit. It profiles cases and shows how the FBI creates criminal profiles of serial killers. Very interesting stuff, It's written by a retired FBI Chief.

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