Even though the Empty Cases BLOG had a major crash in late 2014, the most popular posts survived. So, here are the top four for 2014 along with number 5; a late December entry that has already run up a lot of views.
(5) Johnny Walker – Hillbilly
Appalachia is a cultural region of the eastern United States. Geographical reference books claim it runs from Mississippi to New York. But those who most often write those books don’t live there or understand those who do. The heart Appalachia is the mountains of West Virginia; the only state fully inside the referenced territory. There in those hills is where Scotch-Irish and German immigrants settled, lived off the land, raised families and fought Indians. It’s also where they took up different sides and fought each other during the War of Northern Aggression.
Hillbillies are what folks who live there are often called and the term “hillbilly” is one of the most misunderstood. In 1900 the word first appeared in print in the New Your Journal and was used to explain a, “free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, had no means to speak of, dresses as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.”
That sounds exactly like how a Yankee would define a real, outdoors, gun using kind of man and truth be told, it’s probably still the way a lot of New Yorkers envision the mountain folk of Appalachia. READ MORE
(4) Lion Dogs and Dreaming
The chances of me ever going to Africa to hunt lion are about as good as the chances of me ever being called upon to dispatch a lion that has escaped from a local zoo. Considering there are no local zoos near me, my chances are slim. I expect Kate Upton will come to visit before I go lion hunting.
That does not mean it is something I do not want to do. I don’t really have a bucket list but I would really like to hunt lion. And, the operative word is “hunt.” I don’t care all that much if I ever kill one but I really want to hunt one.
What does that have to do with a dog. A lot or a little depending on how you look at it. I raised hunting dogs for about the first half of my life. Hounds mostly. I’ve also owned a dog just about all my life. The times when I did not, were not as bright as the times I did. READ MORE
(3) Elmer Fudd versus the Tactard
There is somewhat of a cultural war going on in the gun world and while you may not be aware of it because of the cave you live in, I see it all the time with the writers and editors I work with. At odds are the Elmer Fudds and the tactards.
Fudd or tactard? You can’t tell can you?
The Fudds are the hunters and the tactards are those other guys. Fudds look at tactards like they are from another planet and tactards look at Fudds like they are Barney Fife. Fudd writers like to wax on with nostalgic verse and tactards like to beat the life out of you with acronyms and battlefield slang. Get a group of writers together and they’ll divide; tactards near the pool table and Fudds near the fireplace. READ MORE
(2) Harmony Cronin – Elk Skinner
The Madison River joins with the Jefferson and Gallatin at Three Forks, Montana where the water continues on to the Missouri. The Madison uncharacteristically flows north through the Madison valley between the Tobacco Root Mountains and the Gravelly Range. Nestled in that valley is a little town called Ennis, which was established at about the end of the Civil War. The current population is about 850 and I think i found that river town’s most interesting resident.
Getting 250 pounds of elk meat from Montana to West Virginia requires the assistance of a meat processor / packer. Sure, you could load up multiple coolers and put them on your airplane but there is no guarantee your protein will land at the same airport you do. The guys from EOTech and I rode into town with my elk and headed straight to Deemo’s Meats; the local butcher shop in town. That’s where I met Harmony Cronin. READ MORE
(1) The Empty Cases Guide to being a real, gun using, outdoor kind of man. (This was also the top post of 2013.)
Carry a knife. Always. The only time you should not have a knife is when you are naked, in a bed or when you’re swimming. (Real men swim, they don’t play in the water. And, there is only one kind of knife and that’s a sharp one. A dull knife is nothing but a flat piece of metal with a handle.)
Get a hat; a real hat, you gotta have a hat. Not a baseball cap. You don’t have to wear it all the time but when you are wearing it, take it off when you hear the National Anthem, when you are eating and when you go inside and sit down.
If you are going to carry a handgun, carry it concealed. There are only a few social settings where open carry is proper and they are cookouts and barbecues, campfires and hangings. (We don’t have many hangings these days.) Never open carry in nylon, plastic or Kydex; it’s like wearing tennis shoes to a funeral. And never, ever open carry a Glock unless you are a cop. Nobody wants to see that ugly thing. READ MORE
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