I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cop Jokes

An overweight cop was in foot pursuit of a robbery suspect. The suspect being young and in good physical shape soon outdistanced the cop. To taunt the cop, he would slow down and wait for the cop to catch up and then take off again. After doing this several times the young suspect turned around to run and ran straight into a hanging flower pot knocking himself out cold. When he came to, the cop was sitting on his chest yelling, "Don't move, you're under arrest"! "Like Hell I am" said the suspect "I'm not under arrest, I'm under a fat cop"!

I'm collecting cop jokes. If you know any good ones, either post them here under the comments or send them to hstallard@yahoo.com and I'll post them for you. Anything goes just keep them reasonably decent.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'd Forgotten Just How Much Fun It Was

No, I didn't kill this one. It was given to me by a friend who has no more room in his freezer. I'm happy to get it but at the same time I have mixed feelings about those who continue to hunt when they don't need to. Me, I'm a meat hunter. I really don't care how big the antlers are on it as long as it's legal. In fact I would rather have a young tender spike or fat doe as compared to a big buck in rut. The meat from the first two is much better tasting in my opinion. Anyway I'd forgotten just how much fun it really is skinning, quartering, butchering and packing up the meat for the freezer. But that's how I spent most of my Thanksgiving today.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Little Dog Lost

Today was the opening day of rifle season. I did manage to get into the woods and on my stand before daylight this time. Since it was a balmy 17 degrees I was wearing several layers of clothing. Around noon, I walked back to the truck for a cup of hot coffee and shed some of the now unneeded clothing. On the way back to my stand, I met the coonhound pictured above.

Coon hunters are a little strange to begin with but one who runs his dogs the night before opening day of rifle season is way out in left field. I tried to shoo said coonhound on towards the road and he did go for a ways but soon was back on my heels following me. Getting lost is part of coon hunting, so all dogs come equipped from the factory with a collar inscribed with the owner's name, address, and phone number. Using my cell phone I notified the owner that he could find his dog tied to my truck.

After waiting for about 30 minutes, I decided to go back into the woods and continue to hunt. Now the coonhound had other ideas and wasn't about let his new human just walk off. So he started baying in that deep rich coonhound voice that carries for miles. My stand was about a mile down the ridge and I could hear him all the way. Just before I got to my evening stand, he stopped so I figured his owner had shown up and claimed him. About 5 minutes later, I heard what sounded like a deer running through the leaves behind me and then felt a very cold wet nose on the side of my neck. I said a few very choice words to the owner of the wet nose and he got the idea right away. But still not about to let go of his new human he ran off about 20 yards and lay down behind the log in the picture. If you look slightly left of center and underneath the log you can just see him curled up in the leaves.
Now one thing you can be sure of is that coonhounds and hunting from a stand don't go together, so after a few minutes I gave up, called his owner again, and walked him back to the truck and waited for said owner to show up. Since I had walked about 4 miles already today I decided that it was nap time so I went home and took one.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Opening Day AKA I must Be Getting Old

Yesterday was opening day of muzzling loading season for deer. Usually I get up a couple hours before daylight and am on my stand and ready to hunt long before the first streaks of gray break across the horizon. Yesterday I didn't even make it into the woods till well after daylight. The clock went off at 4 AM and I jumped (well actually sort of fell ) out of bed. I went to the front door to check out the temperature, saw the frost on the ground, read 24.1 degrees on the thermometer, and crawled back in bed to argue with myself about the foolishness of getting up so early. After about 10 minutes the more sensible side had convinced my wilder side that it would be best to sleep another hour or so. The winning argument was that my favorite place to hunt (pictured above) would be so crowded that it would be hard to find a place to park and with so many idiots in the woods it would be safer to go in after daylight. You can imagine my surprise when I pulled up to find only one other vehicle. As a matter of fact the only other vehicle was a couple of game wardens as I was coming out around noon to shed some of my extra clothing. That was the first time in about 20 years that I had had my license checked. The really funny part of this story is that I saw 2 does driving in and 2 more driving out but not a single deer while in the woods. So, I'll try it again Monday. Maybe I can get in the woods before daylight this time.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bar Fight

In the West End of the little town of Coeburn sits the last of a past relic. The Moonlight Cafe Bar & Grill is the sole survivor of about a dozen little bars that used to dot the corporate limits of Coeburn. At one point in time, a bar fight was a nightly occurrence especially in what was called "The West End". Several shootings and stabbings resulted from these fights. One Virginia State Trooper, Robert Giles was killed in 1954 trying to make an arrest during a bar fight.

We had made a traffic stop Saturday night about two buildings up from the Moonlight Cafe. We were just telling the driver that he was free to go when we heard a lot of loud yelling and screaming. I turned to look and saw a body come flying backwards out of the bar. The guy hit the ground, jumped up, and ran back in only to be thrown right back out. We all took off running to the cafe. As we got to the door, one guy was on the floor against the door frame while another was standing over him. There were 5 or 6 other people pushing and pulling on the two who were fighting. In that kind of situation, the first thing you do is get everyone separated. I grabbed the first body I came to that had hands on one of the two fighters and pulled her outside and told her to put her hands on the hood of a car in front of the door and to not move till I told her to. Going back in I helped the other officers cuff 3 suspects and took them one at a time to our cruiser. By the time I got back from putting the 3rd one in they had determined that the first guy wasn't involved and I went back out and released him. About this time the other officers came outside and as I walked up to them I heard the first lady I had pulled outside ask in a small shaky voice "Can I move now?". We ended up taking the two who were fighting to the magistrate to be charged with disorderly conduct. It's about a 15 minute drive and by the time we got to the magistrates office the two miscreants were laughing and joking like they were the best of friends.

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