white tail squirrel

10

Muddler Minnow step by step

Don Gapen invented this legendary pattern for the Nipigon river in Canada. It was supposed to imitate Cockatush minnow which is a sculpin and called a “muddler” in parts of Wisconsin. The muddler wasn’t supposed to be that type of firm and clinically cut that we like today but rather sparse and long. Customers seemed to prefer the look of the shorter cut tighter heads and the fly evolved accordingly. You might want to try it with a more original head too for fishing as it will have a very different type of movement and sinking rate. The version tied above is just according to my personal preferences, cut to a symmetrical cone and packed pretty dense but not too dense to still keep it soft.

Hook: #2-10 3X Streamer hook.
Tail: Mottled Brown Turkey wing.
Rib: Oval Gold tinsel.
Body: Flat Gold tinsel.
Wing: Natural white tip Squirrel tail and Mottled brown Turkey wing slips on top.
Head: Natural Deer hair muddler style. Stack the tips of the first bunch to form a neat collar.

Hunting

I hunt.
This may surprise some, but not others. I often deeply reflect on the fact that I hunt, and what it means, and what it means to others. It took a lot of courage to make this post, because frankly hunters are often viewed poorly by modern society. Some of this negativity is because there are a lot of asshole hunters. But, some of this is because of ignorance. I don’t mean this in a mocking way; it’s just that, like all things, we form opinions about controversial subjects by what we have personally experienced and been exposed to.

It is for this reason that I am inviting any hunting related questions to my ask box. Though I don’t allow anonymous asks (when I do, I get a lot of garbage), if you don’t wish to be identified when I respond, all you need to do is ask to remain anonymous and I will respect that. I’ll remove your name when I respond.
This is especially aimed at people that might be interested in learning to hunt. I’ve always been willing to mentor others locally, but few people are like minded. So, if I can help you online in a calm, peaceful way, with no bravado, I’ll try. So many resources online for learning seem to be generic articles (with a lot of bravado, sadly) or forums, where the people often get quite toxic in their responses. Every hunting forum I’ve attempted to visit seems to have a lot of bickering and awful misogyny. I have also noticed that the majority of hunting videos are not representative of how I hunt. It’s a huge turn off to people like me, who are sensitive and thoughtful, and just want to learn.

A few things, so you know what to expect:
++ I will tag all of my responses with a “hunting” tag so that you can avoid them if you’d prefer.
++ I will not show photos of dead animals, gore, etc.
++ If asked for specifics, I will attempt to respectfully discuss specifics. For example, though, if someone asks about butchering, I will tag the post with a “gore” tag even though I will not post photos.
++ I will always attempt to be respectful and thoughtful. This is how I hunt, and this is also how I will discuss hunting.
++ I will not engage in arguments; if you are curious, ask. If you want to scorn or guilt trip me, expect to be ignored.
++ For real; don’t just try to start an argument. I respect that people may not share my opinions, but I am not down for debate. I’m trying to help people learn. I’m really nervous posting this to begin with, please don’t be a jerk. There are a million other places online that will happily engage you in hunting debate and arguments. This is not one of them. If you want to argue with OTHER people, please take it to asks and don’t do it in the reblogs of this post. Please.

To start things off, the basics:

Why do I hunt?
I hunt because I consume. I mean this literally and figuratively; I am a consumer and eating is not something I can go without. I take great personal responsibility for the origins of my food (veggies, too) and attempt to source as much as possible myself. Around 80% of what I eat grew or lived within 20 miles of my home. I am a meat eater, and though I do not eat meat that often, it has been increasingly important for me to source meat in a way that jives with my personal ethics. To me, taking a sustainable wild animal as food, and being involved in it from start to finish, is more agreeable than supporting any sort of commercial livestock operation (though I do also support a few local farms where I can see in person that they care kindly for their animals). I admittedly also sometimes hunt when I do not necessarily intend to harvest (this means kill) an animal. I suppose you could call this stealthy hiking, in a way. I never kill for fun or enjoyment or trophy. Taking the life of an animal is very serious to me and I never take it lightly.

What do I hunt?
I hunt primarily white-tailed deer and squirrels. I have hunted geese once, and have hunted turkeys in the past.

Where do I hunt?
I hunt where I live, which is Western NY state.

How do I hunt?
I use firearms. At this time I am physically incapable of drawing a bow of the legal draw weight limit (for my state’s laws). I understand that there are compound bows that meet the legal requirement designed for people that can’t pull many pounds but they are very expensive and I haven’t been in the position to explore that option yet.