Tag Archives: Survival

Holy Waters

A Fine, Wet Miracle. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

December 23, 2013

For some time now I have made a special effort to drink only water that I have collected and hauled from a high country spring, and I have no plans to quit anytime soon. It is some distance from my house and it takes a bit of time out of an otherwise busy day, and it would be so much easier to turn on the municipal tap or crack a cap of bottled water.

Is it worth the trouble, you might ask?

Well, yes it is, as a matter of fact, and in more ways than you might guess, would be my answer…

Drawn deep from a primordial source, this water is wild and whole and tastes of mountain and ancient sunlight. It flows steady and true and offers a host of special properties quite hard to define. It is alive, and it feels good just to be around it. In fact, it is all about how it makes you feel, this living water…

It is not something I wish to take for granted. It is a sobering fact…


[article in progress]


Michael Patrick McCarty


Waters From Heaven, and Earth. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Pheasantful of Memories

A Memory In The Making – Rocky Tschappat Jr.

Where would we be as outdoorsmen, and as men, if not for the people in our lives who took us hunting?

It is a question not so easily answered, though at least we get to ask. Sadly, a steadily increasingly group of young people never get that chance. In most cases I can only grieve for the loss that they will never fully understand, while staring upward and thanking the heavens for the sportsmen of my youth.

It was only a natural way to be in the world in which I grew up. My father had been a hunter all of his life, and his father was too. To be true so were my uncles and cousins, my brothers, friends, and our neighbors. There was always someone to go hunting with and a shotgun was never far out of hand.

We hunted small game and deer and birds of all kinds, but pheasants – pheasants were a special creature. There were not many to be found in our corner of the uplands, and those that remained were wary and smarter than smart. It was a big event to bag a hefty, redheaded cockbird.

If you are like me then there is no doubt that you remember your first cackling rooster rising like a shimmering phoenix in the sky. The memory of that long-tailed vision burns brightly in the mind, ready for access at a moment’s notice. Mine is a mind full of ring-necks.

I hold my treasure trove of remembrances most dearly, yet it occurs to me that It is only right to return the favor. I am more than willing to share that long list of images in my head, though I would be most happy to help you gain your own.

One thing can be said.

Take a boy, or a girl, hunting – today. It is a responsibility and an honor, and in fact a debt that must be repaid.

We can only be as strong as the sum total of our experience, and I cannot comprehend a life barely lived without the solid grounds of woods and field beneath the boots. The pursuit of wild things is a foundational activity, built upon the realities of the natural world and the spirit of the quickening heart. It is an opportunity to learn some core moral values, while becoming part of something much larger than one’s self.

We owe it to our mentors to carry the torch; to help ignite that undying spark in the imagination and energy of the next generation. I can think of no greater reward than to be remembered fondly in the thoughts of the grateful and fortunate soul of a hunter.

It is only but a moment of memory, and a towering pheasant, away.


Food Freedom – Young Gunner’s, and Pheasants Forever!

Michael Patrick McCarty

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Clawing For The Skydglassme / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


Even Preppers Are Unprepared For The Real Hunger Games

Do Not Let This Happen Again

 November 22, 2013

By Durable Faith

Like me, millions of Americans are discovering that today is not like yesterday and that tomorrow isn’t likely to be much like today. As difficult as some days are, these will be the good days for most of us. This is the calm before the storm, we can feel it. And so we attempt to prepare for what comes next and that makes us preppers.

Proverbs 22: 3 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

Most preppers are concerned about a deepening recession and an eminent financial reset which will cause civil unrest which could last weeks or months. Most preppers live in cities or suburbs of big cities. Most preppers have less than an acre of land which is not zoned for agriculture (chickens are frowned upon). So most keep living their suburban lives and they keep up appearances, but when no one is looking, they buy dehydrated food in # 10 cans and they study rainwater catchment systems and self defense. They prepare for the coming trouble because they love their families and want to provide and protect them. But their prepping won’t be enough.

A smaller subset of preppers live in rural areas,  many having recently relocated because of their prepper mindset. An increasing number are selling their suburban dream home, moving to a humble home in the countryside and are working on getting “back to the land”. They rightly surmise that the best case scenario for the imminent financial reset will involve a decade long depression. The civil unrest will very likely outlast the food storage. The ability to live off the land when the stored food runs out is important.

Proverbs 27
23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds,
24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field.
27 There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household…

These rural preppers practice agriculture and every chance they get, they trade paper money for productive goods that will lest for decades and which will work fine with or without power. They are getting to know their neighbors and are forming mutual aid groups. They mount a valiant effort to live self-sufficient lives in tight knit community. Sadly, even this level of prepping likely won’t be enough for what is coming.

Farmers relocating involuntarily

This week the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy is hitting theaters across the US. Audiences are riveted, critics rave. Meanwhile all around are indications that we are entering our all too real version of the hunger games. And even preppers aren’t adequately prepared for this…

Consider the history of the Holodomor (the word means Hunger Extermination) in Ukraine  

The term Holodomor refers specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed by Stalin’s regime on Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnically Ukrainian areas in the Northern Caucasus in 1932-33. In its broadest sense, it is also used to describe the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s most successful farmers  as well as the deportations and executions of Ukraine’s religious, intellectual and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent individuals.

Consider the EVIDENCE that what is going on in America is eerily similar to what went on in the Ukraine during the Holodomor.

1) Government granted authority over all food production components

Ukraine – 1928 Stalin introduces a program of agricultural collectivization that forces farmers to give up their private land, equipment and livestock, and join state owned, factory-like collective farms.

USA – In 2012, Obama signed an executive order called the National Defense Resources Preparedness Act which grants the secretary of agriculture (section 201) authority over farms, farm equipment, food, and even farmers.

2) Government uses laws and brutal enforcement as a means to eliminate those refuse assimilation

Ukraine – 1929 Many Ukrainian farmers, known for their independence, refuse to join the collective farms. Stalin introduces a policy of “class warfare” in the countryside in order to break down resistance to collectivization. The successful farmers are branded as the class enemy, and brutal enforcement by regular troops and secret police is used to “liquidate them as a class.” Eventually anyone who resists collectivization is considered a kurkul (an enemy).

USA – 2011 Peaceful farmers are enduring armed raids by regulatory bodies for crimes such as selling locally produced natural milk and cheese or raising hearty heritage breed pigs (which the regulatory agency forced the farmer to shoot).  The Amish, who refuse to be collectivized are under fire both from armed raids of their farms and from reality TV shows such as Amish Mafia and Breaking Amish which appear tailor-made to undermine public opinion of the Amish (thus reducing public outcry regarding their persecution).

3) Government assumes authority to seize land and to harass and even relocate targeted people groups

Ukraine – 1930  1.5 million Ukrainians fall victim to Stalin’s “dekulakization” policies, Over the extended period of collectivization, armed dekulakization brigades forcibly confiscate land, livestock and other property, and evict entire families.

USA – Eight years ago, the supreme court ruled that the government can seize property if doing so will result in economic development.  Today in many towns across America (like Maryville, TNDaytona Beach, FL)   independent boards of unelected officials are being granted the authority to exercise eminent domain (the power to seize land and allocate it for other uses).  The Federal government has admitted to collecting data on all Americans and particularly on those who oppose its policies. The digital age enables them to build quite a color coded list of dissidents and they have been hiring Internment / Resettlement Specialists since at least 2009.  When will the round up begin?

4) Government militarizes local law enforcement and implements travel restrictions

Ukraine – 1933 “military blockades are erected around many Ukrainian villages preventing the transport of food into the villages and the hungry from leaving in search of food.”

USA – 2013- Cities across the US are being armed with TANKS and heavy equipment in what even the mainstream press is reporting as the militarization of local law enforcement. TSA is setting up on roadways across the US.

5) Government asserts that speech critical of government is criminal / terrorist activity.

Ukraine – 1933 “Anyone claiming that there was a famine was accused of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda.”

USA – 2013 “Whistleblowers are being treated as criminals. Free Speech is under fire and even reporters are being censored by the US government, prompting an investigation by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Refusal to give verbal agreement to (insane) government policies is now grounds for employment termination and the military is being purged of dissent.”

Let this sink in. The millions that died in the Holodomor were successful farmers. They were not city dwellers intent on learning farming. They were not suburban dwellers with a 2 month supply of dry goods and a camp stove. They had land, they had community, they had skills.

The millions who died in the Holodomor were what preppers want to be when they (we) grow up. 

Is it going to go better for us because we are Americans? Ha.

Don’t shoot the messenger. I make no money from this blog. I seek no endorsements. I sell no product. I am just an intellectually honest believer in Jesus Christ who is attempting to deal with the issues of our day with my eyes and my bible wide open. I record my thoughts, discoveries, and convictions here for the benefit of those who are on the same journey. I am not saying that you shouldn’t be a prepper.

Prepping is good. It is a moral positive and empowering response to what is going on around us. But don’t fool yourself that prepping will be enough.

In addition to physical preparedness, we each need to get our spiritual preparations in order and count the cost.

Spiritual Preparedness

If you died tomorrow, are you confident that you would be welcomed into God’s eternal kingdom?

Have your sins been forgiven? Have you received Christ Jesus as savior and Lord?

Is there known sin in your life that you have not repented of? He longs to set the captives free.

Is there anyone in your life that you are estranged from? Make amends.

Don’t delay. Its getting real dark out there and we simply don’t know what a day will bring.

Hebrews 3:15 – “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”

Count the cost
If the government forces you to choose between being assimilated into and supporting an evil world order or being separated from your loved ones, are you ready to stand your ground?

If they come to your door and demand that you surrender your means of self defense and/or provision for your family, what will you do?

Have you come to terms with the fact that these central planning psychopaths are not misguided, they are truly evil.

Consider that a time is coming when men will “seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.” Rev 9:6

Although it is unnatural and contrary to our conditioning to think in terms of not surviving, the bible says the following:

– “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rev 12:11

– “it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them” Rev 13:7

– “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” Rev 14:13

It turns out that our greatest challenge is NOT to survive the end of the world as we know it. 

Rather the worthwhile challenge is to survive the end of the world as we know it WITH OUR FAITH and to hear “well done”

“when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8


Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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“Aim Small, Miss Small”

Tuning Up The Mighty-Mini .17 Caliber

October 12, 2013

Michael Patrick McCarty

It is that special time of year again, and for many of us it can never come quite soon enough. The promise of a weather change hangs suspended in the air and the hunting season – our season – is just around the corner. For some lucky soul’s it has already begun.

It’s time to oil up that favorite rifle and send a few well-placed bullets down range. Of course, people of our persuasion rarely need an excuse to do a little target shooting, and there’s never really a bad time to brush up on the exacting skills of fine marksmanship. Besides, it is also a constructive way to get some sun on the face and some fresh air for the lungs, and it delivers a lot of bang for the buck in the fun department too.

Yet there is a most serious side to the right to keep and bear arms, and it becomes more and more obvious every day. There are those around us who obsessively scheme to take our arms away, and they constantly pick at the edges of The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. They are a constant reminder to the fact that like any critical muscle in the body, a right must be exercised to remain toned and ready.

Let us never forget that it is an inalienable right of all free citizens of the United States to keep the firearm’s of our choice, for the simple reason that we can. We earned it, or at least some of our ancestors did. My father shed blood for it – and for us all. Perhaps your family did too.

It is the quintessential sobering thought. This reality means that it is not always just about hunting or shooting, for to hold a gun in the hand is a great responsibility. When in doubt just recall the images of the founding fathers, who were more than happy to record their opinions on the matter under threat of quick arrest and certain death. Their foundational actions have always held the obvious solutions for times like these.

I, for one, do not take their words lightly, and they continue to ring loudly with ultimate truth and inexorable consequences. How could anyone disregard the forewarnings of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, or the thousands and thousands of patriots who laid down their one and only life for the life of liberty?

They also fought with unending fervor for the rights of those who simply wish to touch off a few harmless rounds in the privacy of their own backyards.

I sometimes think about these things with each tightening pull of the trigger, as well I should.

In the realm of what really matters it is an easy choice, after all.

“Live free or die” truly are words to live by.

“Use it or lose it” is not just a catchy phrase.

“Aim small, miss small”, I say, and pass the ammunition!

It’s time to get a little hunting in too.


“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good” (George Washington)


Michael Patrick McCarty

Food Freedom, and Rifles Too!

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*”Aim Small, Miss Small” is from the movie “The Patriot”, starring Mel Gibson.

In The Eyes Of A Pigeon

Always Watching

It’s All In The Eyes


Up And AwayViaMoi / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND




A willing and observant person can gather some extraordinary insights about the natural world in the most unlikely places. It can happen in the short time that it takes to blink an eye, no matter if that eye belongs to you, or to something else. Nature abounds with beneficial lessons and the teachers of true meaning are everywhere. I just happen to gain some of my clues from the clear-eyed and attentive stares of my backyard pigeon flock. You can learn a lot from an otherwise ordinary and common creature.

I spend a fair amount of time with this captive audience of one hundred in their outdoor aviary. I am their provider, and their lifeline from the outside lands. I supply them with their daily ration of grains and clean water, irregardless of the weather or the many other duties or time constraints I may have. I fill their pickpots with grit and minerals. I break ice from their bowls in the winter, and suffer the same stinging snows and biting winds of the day. I clean their flypen and pigeon-house, and keep a sharp eye out for the telltale signs of distress or disease. I study them closely, and through it all, they watch me too.

I am a constant in their lives, and a spoke in their wheel of life. I have come to know of them and their world just a little bit, and they of me. It could be said that they would rather prefer that I was not involved at all, but I am a necessary intrusion they must tolerate, at least for a brief time.

Yet, they wait for me each morning and afternoon, the anticipation building as I drive up to the entrance doors. They mill about excitedly as I approach, ready to perform just for me. I touch the door handle, and they begin their wild jig, dancing like ecstatic puppets on hidden strings. They hop about and swirl their wings like crazed whirligigs, or slap their wingtips smartly as they launch from their perch for a short flight across the pen.

They chant their pigeon talk and coo even louder as I step in through the inner doors, to become completely surrounded by frantic birds, eager to fill their crops before the other’s. They push and shoulder for each speck of grain as if their life depended on it. Perhaps they bicker and fight to establish or maintain some imperceptible pigeon pecking order, or maybe just to remind themselves that life can be a struggle. You would think that they would know by now that their will be enough food for all comers, but it is a wild ritual that they simply must abide for reasons known only to the pigeon.

We have repeated this madcap scene a few thousand times and more, the pigeons and I. It has become routine, with little deviation from the usual suspects. That is until yesterday, when our normal interaction abruptly and inexplicably changed.

It was immediately obvious when I pulled up in my truck. The abscence of sound or flashing wings struck me first, and what pigeon heads I could see sat on top of outstretched necks, alert, with searching eyes. They crouched in the classic manner of all prey, with feet tucked under their bodies, coiled and ready to spring out and away from impending danger.

The birds stood frozen and paid me little mind as I entered and searched the ground for an animal intruder. I investigated the pigeon houses and the nest boxes and found nothing. I checked every nook and cranny of their limited world and came up empty. I paused to scratch my head, and ponder this puzzling circumstance.

Hand on chin, I stared at the closest pigeon and wondered, determined to discover just why he would not fly. And then he cocked his head, and I saw his eye focus on something high as he grounded himself more tightly to his perch. At that moment I spied a wide, dark shadow moving across the dirt floor, and smiled. I knew exactly what belonged in that kind of shadow, as did my fine feathered friends. All I had to do was look up, to see just exactly what it was that had struck such all-consuming fear in their hearts.

I had no doubt that the shadow maker was an eater of birds, but there were several possibilities in this category. A red-tailed hawk maybe, or a gleaming eagle from the nearby river. In this case the black shadow belonged to an animal of equal color, with a distinctively naked neck. It was not what I expected to see.

The Turkey Vulture, or Buzzard as it is sometimes called, is quite common to the American West and many parts of North America. A six-foot wingspan casts a long shadow across the land, and he covers a lot of it as he travels. That great red and bald head is immediately recognizable from afar, and known by all. His sentinel like posture and hovering demeanor create and perpetuate his iconic image. It is a form often associated with death, and it is a meaning not entirely lost on my domesticated, but anxious, pigeon flock.

The Vulture is classified as a bird of prey, after all, even though he finds most of his meals by smell after they are already dead. I suppose that it is a distinction utterly lost on the brain of a pigeon.

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