HANDGUN PERMIT-LESS CARRY
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
October 13, 2021
In recent times and, by legislative action, some Republican States have enacted permit-less carry laws encompassing both concealed and open carry handgun laws. The reader should investigate specific concealed carry handgun laws in your state of residency, prior to conducting open or concealed handgun carry. In essence, this legislative action bypasses the normal procedure of a citizen obtaining a concealed carry handgun permit, before being legally able to carry a loaded handgun on their person in public. To obtain a concealed carry permit the applicant must pass a rigorous criminal background check and subject him or herself to a stringent handgun safety course, including firearms training and actual live firing requirements at the shooting range. All of which is performed in the presence of a licensed firearms instructor.
PROS AND CONS
As a former Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Professional my opinion remains the same – “It’s A Bad Idea,” except when mandatory supervised professional firearms safety and training criteria are attached to the legislation. A perfect example of untrained citizens carrying guns can be constantly witnessed on the nightly news when a gang of criminal thugs engage each other in a gun fight on the streets of major Democratic run cities. Whose at the most risk when firearms are fired indiscriminately without proper firearms training? The general public and innocent citizens of course. Normally, this unfettered gun fight results in innocent bystanders, including children, being randomly shot and killed in the process. In my opinion, this collateral damage is unacceptable and completely avoidable.
LAW ENFORCEMENT P.O.S.T. CERTIFICATION
In Louisiana law enforcement, each officer has to undergo and pass the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certification program before their allowed to carry a firearm during work activity, i.e., on duty. The program consists of a rigorous firearms safety and live fire training program. Most POST certifications require a minimum of 300 rounds of ammunition during live fire training exercises – including night and daytime training exercises. However, there are other modified versions of the Practical Pistol Course (PPC) which requires less rounds of live fire. The (PPC) course consists of live fire and reloading capabilities within a specific time frame as well as shooting stationary targets at 7, 10, 15, 25, and 50 yards. Some training requirements may vary from state to state. Normally, the firing is conducted from the standing, kneeling, and prone positions. The original PPC course enacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation consisted of: Prone shooting at 60 yards, sitting and barricade positions at 50 yards, kneeling and barricade positions at 50 yards, kneeling and barricade positions at 25 yards, off-hand shooting at 15 yards, and point shooting using the “FBI Crouch” at 7 yards
Additional training is conducted with both right and left hand firing along with right hand and left hand barricade shoot positions. POST Certifications can be obtained while using either a revolver with speed loaders or with a semi-auto pistol with extra magazines to reload and shoot the (PPC) course with. In law enforcement, the caliber and make and model of the handgun used are controlled by each individual law enforcement agency. In civilian use the type of handgun, make, calibre, and model is not controlled and the private citizen personal selection is strictly based on budget restrictions and personal choice. After POST certification, the law enforcement officer must complete additional mandatory range firing time to demonstrate proficiency on designated times during each annual period. All firing is conducted at humanoid paper targets, instead of the traditional bullseye targets.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A GUN FIGHT?
As a Veteran combatant I can attest that a gun fight is normally instantaneous and involves many moving parts. First, the decision to shoot or not to shoot spans a time period quantified in milliseconds, not seconds, minutes, or hours. The armed citizen is attacked, the gun is drawn to stop the attacker, a fired projectile leaves the guns muzzle and hopefully reaches the intended target (attacker) without collateral damage to innocent bystanders. Therefore, each armed citizen has a duty to seek and complete the proper firearms training and fire his or her weapon as often as possible to become so proficient with it that its use becomes second nature, i.e, natural instinct. During a gun fight, the process involves natural instinct more than a thought process. Remember, in a gun fight, there’s only a winner and a loser!
While I was in law enforcement I was a combat instructor training individuals in instinctive shooting. After all, during a gun fight the sights on a gun are basically useless. I’ve never observed a gun fight where an individual had time to acquire a perfect sight picture before firing a round of ammunition. Gun sights are reserved for rifles. In a gun fight instinctive shooting skills are the rule of thumb, so-to-speak! I’ve always trained my students to disregard the sights on a hand gun and rely on instinctive shooting as much as possible while using the “hand-to- eye” coordination theory and to concentrate on a center mass aiming point. Squat to present as low a target as possible, bring the handgun up to eye level, concentrate on a center mass hold point, and fire the weapon. During a gun fight, the Adrenalin is running, the heart is racing, and the breathing is heavy. That’s why its so important to practice, practice, practice to the point that every process is instinctive for survival.
If the gunfights erupts in a crowded pedestrian area, pandemonium erupts when the first shot is fired. People are running everywhere seeking shelter from flying bullets. For the armed citizen, it’s important to train his or herself to look through or past the intended target (attacker) and obtain a visual of what’s behind the intended target, e.g., innocent citizens before pulling the trigger and firing a round of ammunition. Another consideration for the armed citizen, is to realize that bullets travel through the human torso and strike objects and people directly behind the attacker.
DEADLY FORCE LAWS
The armed citizen should either take a private class or educate him or herself on a states use of deadly force laws as well as “Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine Laws.” Just because an individual is armed with a handgun doesn’t automatically authorize that individual to use deadly force in every circumstance. Normally, deadly force can only be used to preserve the life of the armed citizen or another. Someone stealing personal property doesn’t qualify for the use of deadly force.
As the reader will learn, the qualifications and firearms training in law enforcement vastly out classes the permit-less carry individual. However in certain states, each one is allowed to arm themselves with a handgun. In my opinion, each citizen should be allowed to defend themselves. The 2nd Amendment to the constitution guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. However, the untrained armed citizen may prove to be more problematic than useful.
“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”
WHO OWNS A NON-PROFIT?, Part 2
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Risk Manager and Analyst
Freelance Writer and Author
July 21, 2021
CRIMINAL CHARGES DISMISSED
SEIZED ASSETS ORDERED RETURNED, BY COURT
On August 14, 2014 Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP; Freelance Writer and Author, released an article on allaboutcutting.com, titled: “WHO OWNS A NON-PROFIT?” More specifically, the article, in specificity, declares and demonstrates a 501 C 3 Non-Profit isn’t and can’t be owned by an individual or group of individuals. Once setup, a 501 C 3 Non-Profit becomes an entity unto itself and is operated by a Board of Directors and is approved for operation as a 501 C 3 Non-Profit, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Furthermore, there are Federal and State laws governing the operations of all 501 C 3 Non-Profits. Annual tax filings are found on GuideStar.Org in order for the public to verify, whether or not, an entity is actually a legitimate 501 C 3 Non-Profit. To read the entire article in detail, click on the following link:
Michigan Legislature enacted the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The (Client) is a business owner in the State of Michigan and was affiliated with a legally organized 501 C 3 Medical Marijuana facility as the “Agent of Process,” for said business. In this article, the identity of the formerly accused defendant will be referred to as “John Doe (Client).” Further, this article delineates the unscrupulous and fraudulent actions (Public Corruption) of a Michigan Drug Enforcement Agent in order to illegally arrest and seize the assets of an individual as well as shutting down a legally organized 501 C 3 Non-Profit. However, the charges were eventually dismissed, but only after years of legal court fights encompassing Michigan lower courts, appeal court, and Supreme Court. This legal fight cost the (Client) thousands of dollars spent in legal fees and court costs. Risk Analyst worked as part of the legal defense team and directly with David Moffitt – Attorney At Law, through authority of (Client) to end this horrible nightmare. The facts are contained in the following:
STATE OF MICHIGAN VERSUS JOHN DOE
A few years ago an individual contacted me because he found the foregoing article on the internet and asked if I would review his case file. After reading and analyzing his case file, I contacted this individual hereafter referred to as (JOHN DOE (Client), because even though his criminal charges have been dismissed, the judge in this case ordered all seized civil assets returned, the (Client’s) civil action (LAWSUIT) for damages is pending and moving forward. Upon speaking with the (Client) I was asked what I thought of his case. I was specific when I stated: “I bet I can charge the Narcotics Team with more factual criminal charges than their trying to convict you of.” In essence law enforcement made monumental errors and fatal flaws during their investigation of the (Client) as well as in the Search Warrant Applications thereafter Example:
FATAL FLAWS IN THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
· PERJURY BEFORE THE JUDICIARY – THE FIRST FATAL FLAW: The first and most significant FATAL FLAW in law enforcements criminal investigation into the 501 C 3 and the (Client) is contained in the lead investigators search warrant application and report of investigation. In the search warrant application the lead investigator identifies the (Client) as the owner of the 501 C 3 NON-PROFIT instead of in the proper context, for which, the (Client) was identified - in the Michigan Secretary of State legal documents. Example: The (Client) is identified in the legal documents as the “Agent of Process,” not the OWNER, as the lead investigator referred to (Client) as. Nothing more, nothing less.
For the record, an “Agent of Process” is nothing more than a glorified mail catcher. In truth and fact, the (Client) was not and never will be the owner of the 501 C 3 Non-Profit. Furthermore the 501 C 3 Non-Profit is run by a board of directors. The (Client) is only a member of the “Board of Directors” which governs the day-to-day business operations, e.g., “Agent of Process.”
· PERJURY BEFORE THE JUDICIARY - THE SECOND FATAL FLAW: The second most significant fatal flaw in the investigation pertains to three alleged undercover marijuana purchases by a Cooperating Individual (Informant). In the Search Warrant application, the case Agent described this individual as a willing participant. However, it was later learned this individual was working off criminal charges by being an informant. This is usual and customary with criminal drug enforcement investigations, but the individual is not freely cooperative. The informant has a vested interest. Also, this information was deliberately withheld from the Magistrate.
Further, the case Agent informed the judiciary the (Informant) had never been to the 501 C 3 Non-Profit, but the Agent failed to inform the judiciary (Magistrate) the informant was having sex with the female employee he was allegedly consummating the undercover marijuana purchases from. This information was revealed by the case Agent during his legal deposition. The other relevant fact which was concealed is the fact the (Informant) made an application to be a member of the medical marijuana club which would’ve legally qualified him to purchase Medical Marijuana there. Therefore, the Confidential Informant is in a conflict of interest, as is the lead investigator.
· BROKEN CHAIN OF CUSTODY OF EVIDENCE AND DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE – When an evidence review along with the Chain of Custody of the evidence was authorized by the judge in this matter, it was determined the surveillance cameras seized from the 501 C 3 Non-Profit were vandalized and broken as well as missing power cords. The items were located in the evidence room of the law enforcement agency and were presented to the defendant and the lawyer in the presence of the Assistant District Attorney on metal carts, in unsealed boxes. Therefore, this evidence which could’ve been used by the defendant to demonstrate his innocence was deliberately destroyed while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.
· IMPROPER ITEMIZATION OF EVIDENCE AND FAILURE IN ESTABLISHING A LEGAL CHAIN OF CUSTODY OF EVIDENCE – Yet another problem encountered during this process was: all of the medical marijuana evidence; seized during the operation, was combined from several locations, instead of individually logging said evidence from each location where it was found. Again, failing to establish a legal Chain of Custody of evidence.
TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE
Certainly, the Magistrate would’ve never readily signed an application for a Search Warrant if he would’ve known this vital information and the deliberate man made flaws in the case. Notwithstanding there are a myriad of other instance identified by the Risk Analyst which were reported as fact to the judiciary, by the case Agent, when in truth and fact they were completely false. The other travesty’s of justice in this case are:
· Other Search Warrants were obtained by the Drug Task force which were piggy backed off of the fraudulent one, resulting in civil asset forfeitures from the (Client’s) personal unrelated businesses and bank accounts as well as cash and assets from the 501 C 3 Non-Profit along with (Clients’s) parents.
· It should be noted, both of (Client’s) parents died during this process with each one being under intense undue stress, caused by an unscrupulous law enforcement agent.
CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS – 4th AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
During the Risk Management and Analysis of (Client’s) case, it was determined law enforcement violated his 4th Amendment Rights, e.g.,: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In addition, it sets requirements for issuing warrants: warrants must be issued by a judge or magistrate, justified by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Therefore, the facts will lead a reasonable person to believe: This entire law enforcement operation was a well crafted plan to shut down the 501 C 3 Medical Marijuana dispensary, falsely accuse and arrest the (Client) as well as seizing as many assets as possible while using fraud, deceit and his power as a law enforcement officer as the method of operation (MOA). This was not the handiwork of an inexperienced Drug Enforcement Agent, but the handiwork of an experienced, but unscrupulous individual who knows how to use trickery and collusion to his advantage to punish innocent people. Abuse of Power. The real oddity in this case is: Risk Analyst contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Detroit, Michigan to alert them of this law enforcement scheme, but Risk Analyst never heard from them. This type of public corruption case and civil rights violations are exactly the ones the FBI and the Department of Justice are supposed to investigate.
CIVIL ASSETS FORFEITURE LAW
Although highly controversial, civil asset forfeiture laws allow the police to take (and keep) large sums of cash or property suspected of either being used to commit crimes or obtained through criminal means (e.g. goods purchased with "dirty" money). I worked in drug enforcement for 16 years as both an Undercover Agent and as an Enforcement Agent. In my day, an enforcement agent had to have high probable cause to effect a civil assets forfeiture. The forfeiture usually resulted from a Drug Enforcement criminal arrest and conviction. Today, all a law enforcement has to do is think a suspect a person in possession of a large quantity of cash, obtained the funds from an illegal enterprise without any proof whatsoever.
In the (Client’s) case the seizure of assets precluded a conviction. The irony of the case is: The (Client) was offered a plea bargaining deal by the Sheriff’s Office prior to being convicted. More specifically, the Sheriff’s Office offered the (Client), in exchange for a guilty plea and the complete forfeiture of all seized assets, the (Client) would receive a suspended sentence. Notwithstanding, the (Client) has maintained his innocence in this matter and prevailed in the end.
Lastly, Risk Analyst was informed this is standard operating procedure for this Michigan Sheriff’s Office. Search Warrant, Arrest, Assets Seized, Plea Bargain, and Assets Forfeited. The record shall reflect, seized assets are divided up between the Law Enforcement Agency, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Courts. In Risk Analysts opinion, this is just a racket to seize peoples assets. When an individual arrestee doesn’t have the funds to fight the system, it usually ends up in a Plea Bargain and a conviction – whether guilty or not, and a loss of everything the individual owns. After this, the Attorney General Office should scrutinize every case this particular Drug Enforcement Agent has ever worked, for impropriety. However, in this case - the (Client) prevailed and justice was served!!
“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!!”
LAWSUIT FILED OVER HORSE’S
By Glory Ann Kurtz
COURT DISMISSES LAWSUIT, by JIM McCOLLEY, AGAINST BRUCE AND DENISE COLCLASURE, et al
ADDENDUM AND UPDATE, BY: Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
WIND RIVER INDUSTRY NEWS
March 31, 2021
LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH OF
HORSE AT TRAINER’S FACILITY
On July 2, 2014 Glory Ann Kurtz; Editor, allaboutcutting.com wrote and released an article on her website entitled: “LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH OF HORSE AT TRAINER’S FACILITY;” More specifically, “On July 18, 2011, a lawsuit was filed by Jim McColley (Plaintiff) against Bruce and Denise Colclasure and their Flying Bar Ranch Arena, Inc. (Defendants), in the District Court in and for Creek County, Oklahoma, Sapulpa Division.
The petition reads: That on or about July 3, 2009, McColley contracted with the Colclasure’s to board, feed, and train his 2007 AQHA registered stallion, Hard Rock Acre, (nick-named) Rocky. However, on or about May 4, during training and with a rider on his back, Rocky collapsed and died.
McColley is CLAIMING, the Colclasure’s failed to properly care for Rocky and negligently allowed the animal to ingest the “bovine feed supplement – Rumensin, which is known to be lethal to horses. He CLAIMS that the Colcalsure’s knowingly and intentionally bought the MGA with Rumensin for the purpose of feeding the supplement to Rocky and other horses housed at the Flying C Bar Ranch.”
JIM McCOLLEY’S LAWSUIT PETITION CONTAINS SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS OF (DEFENDANT’S) WRONGDOING, HOWEVER THE COURT DISMISSED (PLAINTIFF’S) LAWSUIT WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Furthermore, and according to Denise Colclasure: The (Defendants) unequivocally have always denied any wrongdoing in this matter and also state: “Even though this lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice the damage to our training facilities reputation was already done and our business reputation is constantly being questioned due to the article written by Glory Ann Kurtz; without adding an addendum stipulating, the courts dismissal of the lawsuit.” Additionally, and according to Denise Colclasure, “this case has negatively impacted us and our training facility, this many years later.”
For the record, In both civil and criminal matters, allegation are just one or more persons accounting of a specific incident as well as those involved, and each actors participation. Furthermore, an allegation of impropriety or wrongdoing is just that – an allegation, until evidentiary proceedings prove the allegation to be factual in order for the (Defendant) to be guilty of the allegations contained in the lawsuit’s petition. Notwithstanding, in this case, McColley’s lawsuit was dismissed, by the court, without prejudice. Therefore, no incidents of wrongdoing, on (Defendants) behalf was ever proven, in court, by the (Plaintiff).
GLORY ANN KURTZ AND ALLABOUTCUTTING.COM - CLOSED
Unfortunately for the Colclasure’s, Glory Ann Kurtz was unable to provide an addendum article stating McColley’s lawsuit was dismissed against the Colclasure’s. Another unfortunate fact for the Colclasure’s is: Glory Ann Kurtz developed a medical condition which caused www.allaboutcutting.com to be prematurely and permanently closed forever, therefore preventing any further updates to this article or any other previously written article, for that matter. Lastly, this premature closure also prevents the first article from ever being retracted or removed from the internet, by the author.
However, the following links to Mrs. Kurtz’s original article is attached hereto which includes the original lawsuit filing, the dismissal, and the verification of the same.
The links are located in a contributors comments, at the bottom of the original article.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
REFLECTIONS - CHRISTMAS 2O2O
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Journalist and Author
Copyright December 2020, All rights Reserved
December 10, 2020
WHAT THESE EYES HAVE SEEN
WHAT THESE HANDS HAVE DONE
WHERE THESE FEET HAVE BROUGHT ME
WHAT MY SENSES HAVE TAUGHT ME
As 2020 comes to a close, I usually take time to reflect on the blessings I’ve received during the year, including my successes, and give thanks to those clients that have made my business progress possible. However, this year has been a trying and most unusual one – probably the most unusual one of my lifetime. What started out to be a fantastic year has turned out to be a complete lifestyle change, due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. More specifically, this year is more reminiscent of the 1951 film; The Day The Earth Stood Still when aliens arrived on earth, except this time the alien was a virus created in a biochemical lab in Wuhan, China and released to wreck havoc on the world.
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic: World Economies have collapsed or been brought to a standstill, nonessential businesses have been closed, nonessential employees have been laid off, and in many cases ending: Hopes, dreams, and careers thus causing financial ruin. Wearing masks in public is a standard operating procedure, isolation and social distancing has become the new normal, and loved ones have been lost.
Therefore, instead of reflecting on my accomplishments this year I’m taking this time to count my blessings and reflect on real life events utilizing our most used items that some take for granted: Our eyes, hands, feet, and senses. More specifically, our sense of touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. From the time we’re born, until we die, these items are used daily to gather information which we store in our brain. A virtual memory bank of knowledge recording events and interactions of our lifetime through time and memorial.
WHAT THESE EYES HAVE SEEN
However, the 2020 Pandemic; as significant as it is, isn’t the only significant event my eyes have witnessed in my lifetime, e.g.,: being born in Birmingham, Alabama and growing up in the Southern United States; my eyes have witnessed the Korean War and the KKK marches in the 1950’s, the struggle for freedom, i.e., the Civil Rights movement, the moon landing, the Rock and Roll era, the advancement in science and electronics technologies, innovations in travel, and a stint in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in 1969 and 1970 as well as my time as a Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Officer in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Gulf War in 1990, the tragedy occurring on September 11, 2001, the endless wars thereafter. Further, my eyes have witnessed Military Combat and Urban Combat as a Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Professional. A combat role I was perfectly suited for after combat training I received in the U.S. Army.
Overall, my eyes, have witnessed birth, death, struggle, suffering, love, hope, joy, tragedy, hopelessness, success, advancement, and defeat. No matter what the outcome or event, my eyes have been here to witness it. More importantly and during my travels, my eyes have witnessed mother nature at her finest and worst, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, hurricanes, and tornados. Notwithstanding, my eyes have taught me a myriad life’s lessons.
Furthermore, my eyes have witnessed the beauty of other countries, it’s people, their languages, food, and customs. My eyes have provided me with a visual of all the glorious sights GOD created. My faith has guided me, and my guardian angel has protected me. I must confess, without divine intervention I should’ve been history long ago. My travels provided me with a visual observation throughout the North and South American Continents, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Greece, Saint Johns and Saint Croix – to name a few. More importantly, my eyes have provided me with a lifetime of memories – good and bad.
WHAT THESE HANDS HAVE DONE
If you picked up your hands; closely looked at them, and remembered all you have accomplished with your hands, you would realize how important they are to your everyday life and what a marvel they are. A persons hands are really marvelous apparatuses!! From birth, you learned how to feed yourself. Later in life you learned how to cook with them as well as how to show love, expression to prove a point, show hate, build with, tear down barriers, protect yourself and your love ones, display artistic talent, to pray to the almighty, care for the wounded, and express yourself through literary journals and books – authorship. Besides your eyes, your hands are the most valuable and versatile appendages you have and can even teach the deaf, open their world of silence, and bring happiness to their lives!!
From my early childhood days to the present, my hands have been the bridge that spanned a lifetime of work. I’ve used them in athletics in school, education, the Military to prepare for war, Drug Enforcement, Law Enforcement, Journalism, training horses and K-9’s, to build a horse ranch, and a myriad other uses. Nurses and Doctors use their hands to administer to the sick, and Priests and Pastors use their hands to heal the downtrodden.
WHERE THESE FEET HAVE BROUGHT ME
The other day, my cousin Kathy and I were looking at old photographs when one in particular caught my eye. It was a photograph of me when I was three years old along with my Papa Johnson, and my cousins Steve and Patsy Jean Street. The photograph was taken at the old Homestead in Fungo Hollow, Alabama. I was three years old. My cousin Steve and I are about the same age. It’s hard to believe the two youngsters in that photograph would serve in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War along with our cousin; Roger Dale Curl. Three cousins served in the Army while our cousin Kathy Jeronowitz and her husband Jerry served in the Navy, during the same time period.
It’s hard to believe, my feet afforded me the opportunity to walk out of Fungo Hollow, Alabama and embark on a life’s journey, spanning global venues. In my youth, my feet lead me all over Oak Mountain and Fungo Hollow, Alabama - embarking on one hunting and fishing adventure after another. In high school, my feet allowed me to become a star athlete performer. Later in life or 1969, my feet walked me out of my house and into Fort Polk, Louisiana as a draftee in the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division.
It was here, I learned the importance of taking care of my feet. Later and after a transfer, my feet brought me from the Infantry at Fort Polk, Louisiana to the 1st Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where I was assigned to a Huey Helicopter Assault Division. It was during my time in the Army that I learned the true meaning of DUTY. Duty to GOD, Family, and Country. After walking and out of the war, my feet walked me into my career as a Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Professional as well as a new combat theatre - Urban Warfare. I was well suited to the job after my combat training with the U.S. Army. Today, my feet are still taking me where I need to go as a Professional Horse Trainer and Private Security Professional. However, taking proper care of my feet is still the practiced today.
WHAT MY SENSES HAVE TAUGHT ME
Each one of us are blessed with five senses. The sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. During my lifetime, I’ve been blessed to have traveled the world. The sights I’ve seen have mostly been wonderful, except for the war and my time in Drug Enforcement and Law Enforcement. Notwithstanding, I’ve witnessed the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets GOD ever created, in all parts of the world, smelled the most tantalizing aromas or forests, mountains, prairies, and oceans. A world full of nature and spectacular landscapes and people. Nothing like being in a hut on a beach and hearing the sound of waves lapping against the shoreline or watching a beaver build a dam in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.
I’ve smelled the most aromatic scents a man could ask for. The most distinctive smells are the ones I enjoyed in my family kitchen during the holidays. Living in rural America, I was able to enjoy the voice of the screech Owl and the Whippoorwill, during the evening and night hours . The Screech Owl emits a high pitched sound that defines logic as to how it’s emanated from such a diminutive bird.
In my travels I’ve touched the ground of the Rocky Mountains, seen all of the oceans, and hunted the mountains of the Wind River Range, for-which my company is named after. I’ve traversed continents and oceans and experienced all there was to experience. Perhaps my most memorial events and happy times was living in Fungo Hollow, Alabama and cutting our own Christmas tree off of Oak Mountain. It was a family tradition. My Grandmother Jeannette was the matriarch of the family. It was she, and only she who picked out the Christmas tree for harvesting. It was the kids duty to bring it back to the house for erection and decorating.
I view the Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020 as a bump in the road of life. One aspect of my life, I learned in the U.S. Army which is more appropriate today than ever before, is:. In any adverse situation: Adapt to the situation, and improvise a plan to circumvent, and overcome the obstacle. After all, we’re all in this together. Remember to keep “Christ” in your Christmas, enjoy your family during the holidays, and have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!
“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”
CLINT SPENCE, 42, CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY TO HORSES & THEFT
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
September 5, 2020
© September 2020 All Rights Reserved
Jonny Goodday, 09/04/20, Goodday Mineral Wells, Pablo Pinto Sheriff Updates reports: PALO PINTO COUNTY, TX Reports: “On September 4th, 2020, Clint Spence, resident of Mineral Wells and owner of Spence Ranch/Spence Cutting Horses, was arrested for theft and also charged with animal cruelty.”
On Monday, August 30, 2020, a Facebook post of horses being abused - repeatedly beaten went viral. The video caused a great deal of panic from viewers resulting in the PALO Pinto County Sheriff’s Office getting calls about the incident. At this time, it has been shared over 3.2K times.
According to Brett E. McGuire, Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office, this is currently an ongoing investigation. At The time of the Facebook post, the Palo Pinto Sheriff’s Office was not informed about the animal abuse. No one had come forward to report the incident to them until this post went viral. As soon as they were made aware, they started investigating. At this time, they are trying to get a witness statement from the person that initially captured the videos and photos. Sabrina wasn’t the one who caught the videos. Actually, the video clip and pictures were possibly captured awhile back. The horses shown in the video were not at the ranch when a deputy arrived appeared to well fed, hydrated, and healthy.
On a completely unrelated all, deputies had reason to believe they had come across a stolen Skid-Steer Loader from Ward County (West Texas). The Warrant for Clint’s arrest was for theft of a Skid-Steer Loader and a trailer. After his arrest, detectives were able to positively identify him as the individual in the video, adding on charges for cruelty to a livestock animal. Clint’s bail is placed at $10,000,00.
To read the complete article, and review the videos – Click on the following link:
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE
PERSONAL DEFENSE FIREARMS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Journalist and Author
August 5, 2020
© August 2020 All Rights Reserved
GOVERNMENT BACKGROUND-CHECK DATA SHOWS STRONG AND GROWING DEMAND DRIVING NEW 2020 FIREARM SALES.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are reporting: As of July 13, 2020, or in the first six months of 2020, 19 Million firearms have been sold in the United States. The Brookings Institute reports: “There are more guns than people in the United States ( 400 million are in circulation for a population of 330 million people.) This represents, 1 firearm for every 20 Americans.” The types of self-defense weapons designs include: Long guns (rifles and shotguns), revolvers, and semi-auto pistols. Basically, any weapon type which can be used for self-defense purposes. Black powder weapons, were excluded.
As the run on firearms purchases continues and increases – ammunition, on dealers shelves is either non-existent or in short supply. The vast number of firearms and ammunition purchases are directly attributable to the uncertainty of individual safety existing in our society, and the fear gripping the average American due to the Covid 19 pandemic. An uncertain future, is being driven by the news media’s ever constant - daily and hourly reporting, of anarchy and instability in the United States. Rioters, looters, and anarchists, are burning buildings, taking over government buildings – including Police Precincts, and assaulting, maiming, and killing American citizens and Law Enforcement officers.
Extremist groups like Black Lives Matters (BLM) and ANTIFA as well as their members are terrorizing the general populous of the United States under the guise of protesting racial inequality. An example of BLM’s violent extremist intentions can be realized in one of their promoted slogans: “KILL A WHITE ON SIGHT, THEIR SILENCE IS VIOLENCE,” However, their actions and violent extremist slogans are having a reverse effect. Instead of cowering in fear, American citizens are arming-up to protect themselves, their property, and loved ones.
AMERICAN CITIZENS FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF THEIR LOVED ONES
Another factor driving the upsurge of firearms and ammunition sales can be contributed to various government members, in control of the Democratic run cities and towns, who are unwilling to control its lawlessness by refusing to arrest rioters, looters, and anarchists. Instead of enforcing the rule of law, politicians are instructing law enforcement personnel to stand-down, during rioting and looting events. Citizens are no longer resolute, law enforcement can protect them. In simple terminology, these criminal actions can only be described as “mob rule” and are nothing more than domestic terrorists activities. It’s also being reported, these individuals are being paid for their lawless actions, by individuals, and organizations with an ominous agenda for the USA. The emerging sad commentary is: common criminals are martyred and revered while law enforcement personnel are vilified.
The daily news cycles are filled with Democratic politicians and members of these domestic terrorists groups, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, demanding the defunding of police agencies across America and siding with lawless anarchists. In major U.S. cities; like Portland, Oregon, large swaths of real estate are being over-run and taken over by these self-proclaimed anarchists. Makeshift self-established rogue governments are replacing existing legal authority with anarchists, to occupy and govern these areas - known as, autonomous zones.
In reality, autonomous zones are nothing more than anarchist operated crime infested areas where the rule of law is ignored, business owners and residents are being extorted and citizens are being assaulted, raped, and murdered. Today, our country more aptly resembles a third world country than the United States of America. Democratic leaders identity the anarchists as peaceful protestors and elevate their stature to “hero status. However, rioters, looters, and anarchists promoting violence aren’t – peaceful protestors, no matter how hard Democratic politicians and the news media promotes this false narrative.
SELF-DEFENSE FIREARMS CLASSIFICATIONS
Self-Defense firearms come in a myriad varieties: Double and Single Action Revolvers, Double and Single Action Semi-Auto Pistols, Single Shot, Semi-Auto, Pump Action, and Fixed Breech shotguns, and bolt, pump, single shot, and semi-auto rifles. Revolvers are chambered in either rim fire or center fire ammunition. Centerfire revolvers are capable of being loaded with 5 or 6 shots. Rim fire revolvers and semi-auto pistols are capable of holding significantly more rounds.
The black rife or the AR 15 is the most popular rifle in America and is a favorite among citizens, for self-defense.
SELF-DEFENSE AMMUNITION TYPE, CALIBERS, AND GAUGES
Revolver and pistol calibers range from the diminutive 22 caliber rim fire cartridge, to the centerfire pistol cartridges capable of firing a myriad popular calibers ranging from: 5.7 X 28, 25 ACP, 380, 9MM, 32 Special, 38 Special, 357, 41, and 44 magnum cartridges, 10 mm auto, 44 special, 45 ACP, and the time tested 45 Long Colt. Other, more powerful cartridges are available but they are hard to shoot and may not be practical self-defense choice. In addition to the foregoing, some revolvers are also capable of firing 410 shotgun shells.
The difference between a rim fire cartridge and a centerfire cartridge is: the primer to ignite the powder charge in the case, of a rim fire cartridge, is located in the rim. The primer to ignite the powder charge in a centerfire handgun cartridge is located in the center of the cartridge case itself. Overall, the center fire ignition system is more reliable than the rim fire version.
The rim fire is capable of firing a lead projectile of either the hollow point or solid lead configuration. Centerfire handgun cartridges are capable of firing lead, jacketed or semi-jacketed hollow points, wad cutters, or soft nose projectiles. Shotgun gauges range from 410, 28, 20, 16, 12 and 10 gauge configurations. Shotgun shells are designed to propel lead, steel, or rifled slug projectiles. Shotguns and buck shot are a favorite among self-defense users, law enforcement, and the U.S. Military. A single load of buckshot is designed to propel a myriad shot pellets with a single firing. At close range a shotgun loaded with buckshot is devastating. In the law enforcement community it’s known as, the “Fight Stopper.”
MILITARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SELF-DEFENSE AMMUNITION VARIATIONS
Ammunition for law enforcement is vastly different from ammunition for civilian self- defense purposes. Ammunition for military purposes is vastly different from either law enforcement or civilian self-defense purposes. Military ammunition is designed for tracer capability as well as piercing armor, barriers, and individual protective vests with steel plate inserts – body armor. Law enforcement ammunition has to perform a myriad functions. It must have barrier piercing capability while maintaining a sufficient amount of mass and energy to successfully dispatch a bad guy on the other side. Personal protection or self-defense ammunition is designed to protect an individuals health and welfare by quickly dispatching an aggressor, at close range.
In the Military and Law Enforcement, I was designated a small arms expert and I served as a sniper on a law enforcement Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team as well as the pistol team. On the pistol team, I specializing in fast draw and multiple target acquisition and engagement. Between the military and law enforcement, I’ve fired just about every conceivable small arms combat round ever designed and in use today.
In law enforcement, I carried the 38 Special, 9MM, and 45 ACP along with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with either number 4 lead shot, 00 buckshot, or rifle slugs. The required shotgun round depended on the environment I was working in. In the Military I carried the M14 and the M16. The civilian version of the M16 is the AR 15. During my professional career, and as a combat veteran of many gunfights, I’ve witnessed individuals shot with a myriad ammunition types.
Today, in the private security sector operating as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), or (Body Guard) I carry a variety of self-defense weapons to include: A Sig 226 15 shot 9MM, a Kimber 45 ACP, A Smith and Wesson 9MM Shield, and a 12 Gauge Benelli semi-auto shotgun. Each firearm is loaded with quality ammunition for its intended purpose. The pistols are loaded with Sig Sauer V Crown hollow points and the 12 gauge rounds are either 00 buckshot or rifled slugs.
SELF-DEFENSE CARTRIDGE KNOCK-DOWN POWER
One of the misnomer’s promoted about various self-defense handgun cartridges is: most shooter are under the impression that one shot from a handgun will completely incapacitate an aggressor. This is another fallacy. The human torso is in the same class as a deer, i.e., a light thin skinned animal. In order to completely incapacitate an individual with one shot, the shooter must hit the brain or the spine. If a brain or spine shot isn’t accomplished, the shooter must have a handgun cartridge which carries enough energy to create hydrostatic shock. Hydrostatic shock is the concept that a penetrating projectile (such as a bullet) can produce a pressure wave that causes “remote neural damage,” “subtle damage in neural tissues” and/or “rapid incapacitating effects” in living targets.
Therefore a projectile with enough velocity and energy to produce sufficient expansion to creat a hydrostatic shock, makes the hollow point varieties the most preferable and desirable in self-defense handgun use.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SELF-DEENSE FIREARM
Choosing the right firearm, for self-defense is an individual preference. My best advice is to go to a firing range where the shooter can rent self-defense firearms to try them out. Caliber is also an individual choice. Over-all, the best philosophy to adopt is to shoot a firearm and caliber the shooter is most proficient with, and has the most confidence in. There’s really no need in buying a 45 caliber pistol, if the shooter can’t handle the recoil and isn’t proficient with the firearm. After all, if the shooter is afraid of the firearm or can’t hit what he or she is shooting at, it’s a waste of money buying it in the first place.The apprehensive shooter won’t practice with the weapon enough, to become proficient.
For senior citizens and small stature shooters without a lot of hand grip strength, I always recommend a revolver. Pushing a button and opening a cylinder is a lot easier that pulling back the slide on some semi-auto pistols. Another reason I recommend a revolver over a semi-auto is: a person shooting a semi-auto has to possess the hand grip strength necessary to pull the slide back and clear a jam in an emergency situation.
Whichever, firearm a shooter chooses for self-defense the main recommendation is for the shooter to practice with the firearm enough to become proficient.
Each State as well as the Federal government has laws governing firearm purchase, possession, storage, and transportation. Before purchasing a firearm for self-defense the rule of thumb is to familiarize yourself with the firearms laws in your State of ownership. If the firearm owners intent is to qualify for a concealed carry permit, this information and requirements is readily available on the the internet. One mistake I see being made with firearm owners is mistaking owning a self-defense firearm automatically provides an individual to brandish a firearm and threaten a citizen with it. This philosophy, is a total fallacy. A rule of thumb to remember is, never pull your firearm unless your life, or the life of another is in eminent danger. And only pull it, when you intend to use it for self-protection or the protection of another.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
DETERMINING THE BEST SHOTGUN GAUGE,
FOR MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING?
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
July 31, 2020
© July 2020 All Rights Reserved
WHICH GAUGE IS BETTER?
12, 16, 20, OR 28.
Back in the early 1970’s, I began hunting migratory waterfowl. More specifically, Ducks, Coots, and Geese, in the Louisiana wetlands and marshes. My first waterfowl hunting experience was a duck hunting trip outside of Lafitte, Louisiana. My hunting companion was Peggy Brown. During our previous time spent together afield, Peggy and I embarked on a myriad small game hunting trips on her family farm in Mississippi.
Our primary quarry, was the Mississippi Grey Ghost, or bushy tail Grey Squirrel, but rabbits were also on the harvesting list. Peggy was a crack shot with an open-sighted 22 rifle, and usually out scored me on most small game hunting trips. However, neithe of us had any experience hunting migratory game birds. A chance meeting with a Lafitte, Louisiana resident and an experienced duck hunter, would soon change that.
While I was assigned as a Special Agent with the Federal Strike Force; Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement (ODELE), a division of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, I met a Lafitte resident who was also an experienced migratory game bird hunter. This chance meeting was made possible by my new assignment with the (ODELE) Gulf Coast Anti-Drug Smuggling group. This strike force was located in Lafitte, Louisiana and covered most of the Gulf Coast Area. Lafitte Louisiana; a well known duck hunting area, is-in close proximity of another well know Louisiana duck hunting location; Venice, Louisiana.
Acting on the advice of our local resident hunter, Peggy and I borrowed 12 gauge shotguns. Peggy used her fathers semi-auto and I used a borrowed pump action. On the barrel, both shotguns carried the Full Choke designation. Also, on the advice of our duck hunting aficionado, we both used 2 ¾ Winchester Super X high brass 7 ½ lead shot. In the 1970’s, waterfowl bag limits were very generous and a hunter could harvest three times the daily bag limit we have today, or six ducks.
Due to the generous bag limits and the quantity of decoying ducks, Peggy and I were able to harvest enough ducks to make our first hunting experience successful. What we both suffered from was wing shooting experience. More specifically, maintaining the proper lead on fast flying targets. We soon learned, our shots fired at fast flying targets usually landed behind the intended target, instead of on the target, especially on crossing shots. Another problem we encountered was: judging proper shooting distances over over open water.
After my first duck hunting trip, I embarked on a mission to acquire wing shooting experience at the skeet range while determining which shotgun gauge was the ideal shotgun size for harvesting migratory waterfowl. I also wanted to know which choke configuration was the most desirable - Full, Modified, or Improved Cylinder. During this era, most seasoned duck hunters used a fixed Full Choke at the end of their shotgun barrel. The desired shotgun barrel length was 28 to 30 inches. Over time, I tested a myriad shotgun gauges, choke configurations, and shot sizes. I hunted with the 12, 16, 20 and 410 gauges with either a Full, Modified, or Improved Cylinder choke. The same research applied to the best type of shotgun action to use and the most reliable. In the Louisiana marshes, duck hunting is accomplished in a harsh environment. Therefore, I tried: Pump, Semi-Auto, Double Barrel, or Over and Under action types.
In the duck blind, I determined pumps, double barrels, and over-under shotguns were the most reliable. However, one semi-auto shotgun stood out and was a favorite among Southern waterfowl hunters – the Browning Auto 5. The two gauges I like most are the 16 and 20 gauges. Between those two, I preferred the 16 gauge. However, I would soon learn 16 gauge shells were hard to find and in short supply.
Notwithstanding, the lengthening of the 20 gauge shot shell to 3 inches created a magnum version which wasn’t helping the 16 gauge maintain longevity - in the hunting field. The development of the 2O gauge 3 inch magnum shell made it possible for the 20 gauge to hold and propel the same amount of lead shot as a standard 2 ¾ 12 gauge shell, or 1 ¼ ounces.
For shooting ducks over decoys, my first personal shotgun, was a Browning Auto 5 Magnum 2O gauge which shot 2 ¾ as well as 3 inch magnum shells. During Teal season I’d shoot 2 ¾ shells and on opening day I’d switch to 3 inch magnums. My shotgun shell of choice was the Winchester Super X loaded with 7.5 shot. For years, that combination proved to be very successful on migratory game birds, especially over decoys. I’ve always found the 2O gauge was lighter than the 12 gauge, kicked less than the 12 , and I could swing it faster, especially on fast flying Teal. People often asked me why I excluded the 16 gauge from my regular hunting trips and the best answer I could give them was: 12 and 20 gauge shells are readily available and 16 gauge shells were in short supply. The lack of 16 gauge shells remains true, today.
It’s not that the 16 gauge isn’t a dandy shotgun, I actually prefer it over both the 12 or the 20 gauges, but again the handicap or drawback was and still is: finding the shotgun shells to feed it. Like the old adage, “The 16 gauge swings like a 20 and hits like a 12.” Truer words were never spoken, or written. The 16 gauge is a great shotgun, especially if it’s made on a true 16 gauge action. However, most firearms manufacturers deciding to chamber the 16 gauge usually does it on a 12 gauge action.
With the 16 gauge: I’ve harvested deer, waterfowl, quail, turkey, squirrels, and rabbits. In a lot of instances the 16 gauge is better than the 2O gauge, especially when shooting buckshot, and from the simple fact the 16 gauge shoots a larger pellet size. Perhaps, the most notable and well known 16 gauge shotgun ever designed, is the venerable Browning Auto 5 Sweet 16. Today, very few firearms manufacturers chamber the 16 gauge, preferring to chamber the 20 gauge 3 inch magnum models over the 16 gauge. A sad commentary to a great shotgun gauge.
INTRODUCTION OF MANDATORY STEEL SHOT REQUIREMENTS
In 1979 the duck hunting world would soon be turned upside-down, when the Federal Government implemented the mandatory non-toxic shot ruling for hunting migratory game birds. This ruling eliminated lead shot, altogether. This single ruling revolutionized the migratory bird hunting industry - from shotguns to shotgun shells, to the type of pellets they were loaded with, and the size of the shell. The first transition, non-toxic shotgun loading available to migratory waterfowl hunters, was steel shot. By itself, steel shot changed the entire perception of waterfowl hunting. It required an entire retooling of modern firearms manufacturing processes. More specifically, fixed barrel chokes were replaced with interchangeable screw-in choke tubes. Further, a new variety of shot shells were developed to meet the new federal ruling , and demand. Non-toxic shot.
PROS AND CONS OF STEEL SHOT
First of all, steel shot is lighter than lead. Second, steel shot is loaded with less pellets than lead. Third, steel shots lethal shooting distance is limited as opposed to lead shot. Fourth, steel shot doesn’t deform on impact like lead which reduces steel’s lethal ability. It’s been argued for years, steel cripples more birds that it actually kills. Fifth, steel shot doesn’t compress in the shot string like lead shot. Therefore, the duck hunter had to learn to use a more open choke to achieve the desired choke constriction, e.g., improved cylinder was the new modified. Modified was the new full choke, etc. Sixth, without the screw-in choke tubes, steel shot is hard on shotgun barrels and could damage the shotgun – making the gun unsafe to shoot.
Seventh, shot shell engineers have determined: steel shot is most effective when driven very fast and a larger shot size is introduced into the equation. However, larger shot sizes reduces the number of pellets in a shotgun shell, requiring a longer shell length to accommodate an adequate supply of steel shot. Over-the-years, shot shell engineers have also designed other non-toxic shot ingredients such as: Bismuth, Tungsten, etc. However, the other alternatives, like Bismuth and Tungsten are cost prohibitive for most water fowl hunters. The cost for ten non-toxic shotgun shells can range between 25 and 40 dollars, or more. The advantage to these types of non-toxic shot is: more pellets can be loaded in a shotgun shell, and compares to a lead shot loaded shot gun shell.
THE 12 GAUGE REMAINS KING
The one gauge which stands out the most in the duck blind is the 12 gauge shotgun. Twelve gauge loads range from 7/8 ounce in a 2 ¾ inch shell to 1 ½ ounces in a 12 gauge 3 ½ inch magnum shell. This versatility, establishes the 12 gauge as the most versatile shotgun gauge available, for the one shotgun hunter hunting migratory game birds or any other game, for that matter. Twelve gauge shot shells come loaded in lead, steel, copper plated, and a myriad varieties of non-toxic shot along with: buckshot and slug varieties for hunting large game. In reality, the 12 gauge has a shot shell for all seasons and all reasons including skeet and sporting clays, for recreational shooters. In addition to standard and magnum varieties it also comes in reduced recoil versions, which makes shooting it easier on the shoulder. Reduced recoil loadings can be used for either, practice or hunting.
Today, the 12 gauge shotgun can be manufactured where their almost as light as a 20 or 16 gauge, the balance is superb, and the recoil has been tamed by a myriad recoil reducing options. As in all things, everything has a purpose. The same is true with shotgun gauges. When choosing a shotgun gauge, analyze the intended shotgun applications the gun will be used for, the type of terrain and game you’ll be hunting, then match the shotgun shell accordingly. Example, today I hunt ducks over decoys with the diminutive 28 gauge shotgun, loaded with 1 ounce of non-toxic shot.
However, I limit my shots to decoying ducks and the occasional fly over. I never shoot beyond its intended or effective range. Over-all, under these circumstances I find the six pound 28 gauge, entirely adequate. After all the next important component, of the equation, is how well the shotgun fits the shooter which perhaps is the most important part of the equation. After all, if you can’t hit what you shoot at, gauges become irrelevant.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE!”
IF I COULD DO IT, ALL OVER AGAIN
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
July 23, 2020
© July 2020 All Rights Reserved
HINDSIGHT IS 2020, REALITY IS 100%
We’ve all heard the old cliché, “If I only knew what I know today, back when I was young.” In retrospect, this is an ideal scenario. However, in one aspect, our lives are unique. As we age, we undertake as series of mistakes that drive us to a conclusion. That conclusion is, wisdom. In our younger years, it’s these common mistakes which allow us to mature into knowledgeable adults. The same applies to Duck Hunting and other facets of our lives.
WITH AGE AND EXPERIENCE, ONE ACQUIRES WISDOM
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama on an October afternoon, about 70 years ago. My family was at the Alabama State Fair in Birmingham, Alabama - when God decided it was time for me to enter the world and embark on my predestined life’s journey. At this moment in time, or the time of my birth, my family lived in a three room house at the base of Oak Mountain in Shelby County, Alabama. Oak Mountain is now a State Park. The community I grew up in, was a rural farming community. It’s located in a valley running between two mountain ranges and is known, by the local inhabitants as: Fungo Hollow, Alabama. Today, the valley is part of the Pelham, Alabama town governing body, but still aptly named Fungo Hollow.
During my early child hood, in the 1950’s, there wasn’t a lot of affordable firearms designs around which my family could afford to buy for hunting purposes. Using firearms for general recreational shooting purposes was unheard of, and taboo. The most common or principal firearm designs consisted of: Double barrel shotguns, single barrel single shot shotguns, or a twenty two rifle, of a myriad designs. The twenty two’s were either - a semi-auto, pump, bolt action or a single shot design. My first firearm was a single shot twenty two made by Winchester Repeating arms. It had a single loading port and a cocking plunger, at the rear, which controlled the firing pen. In Fungo Hollow, and parts of Oak Mountain I hunted: Turkey’s, Deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, Raccoons, and Quail. Over the years, this little rifle served me well.
It was my special rifle because it was a birthday present, from my Grandmother Jeanette Bates Dennis. My grandmother bought the Winchester Rifle at Words Store, in Pelham, Alabama, for $5.00. For the record, my grandmother shot a Browning 22 semi-auto. With that rifle, Grandma Jeanette was a crack shot. Grandma Jeannette would’ve given Anne Oakley a run for her money in a shooting contest. Grand Ma’s twenty two was her prize possession and no one shot it, except her, not even me. The only time it was seen, was when she was shooting it.
As a testament, I witnessed my grandmother shoot many-a-quail, in flight, with her twenty two. It was this experienced tried and true master markswoman who taught me how to correctly shoot my Winchester, and with precision accuracy. My practice time consisted of my grandma throwing pine cones off of one side of a bridge on Bishop Creek, with me positioned on the other side of the bridge, earnestly awaiting the arrival of the emerging pine cones from beneath the bridge. It was my duty to intercept and shoot the pine cones as they emerged from under the bridge while traveling in a swift moving current downstream under the scrutiny of my Grandma’s ever watchful eye.
VALUABLE LESSONS LEARNED
For years, I hunted with my Winchester. While hunting, I kept my ammunition in an empty metal Brewton Snuff Can. It had a snap on lid to keep the cartridges dry, and moisture out. Learning to shoot moving targets taught me two valuable lessons: 1) to aim and shoot quickly, and 2) to reload quickly. It was my job to shoot each pine cone until they made the bend in the creek and moved out-of-sight in the swift current, or they sunk in the creek from a bullet impact ahead of their arrival at the creeks bend. Another valuable lesson my grandma taught me was: “Never waste ammunition.” You need to hit a target each time you squeezed the trigger, or don’t take the shot. Still another valuable lesson I learned from Grandma Jeanette was: “Beware of the one firearm owner.” He or She knows their firearm meticulously, and is usually an expert marksman.
MORE PAGES OF HISTORY, TURN TO THE NEXT CHAPTERS IN MY LIFE
When I was seventeen I registered for the draft. When I was 18, my draft noticed arrived. In the Army, I was introduced to another type of rife – the M14. In 1969, the M14 was the official battle rifle of the Military. The Army furthered my firearms education and trained me for combat in the Vietnam War theatre. My marksmanship skills, learned in my youth, carried me through the war with the M14, along with the M60 Machine Gun, the M40 Grenade Launcher, and the GE Gatling Gun or GE Mini-Gun. My marksmanship skills landed me an assignment with the Army Air Calvary.
After the War, I entered a career in Drug Enforcement and picked up another gun – a revolver. My Military firearms training and my youth firearms training prepared me for combat in a different theatre - Urban Combat. The weapons were revolvers, semi-auto pistols and pump shotguns. I would remain in Drug Enforcement for sixteen years. It was during my time in Drug Enforcement, that I attended college; studying Criminal Justice. It was also during this time that I started hunting again. Primarily deer, but I was also introduced to a new hunting sport – waterfowl.
It was during my early days as a Drug Enforcement Agent that I was invited on my first Duck Hunting Trip, in the Louisiana Wet Lands. In order to make the duck hunt happen, I borrowed a 12 gauge Winchester Model 12 pump shotgun. Needless to say, from my first duck hunting experience I was hooked for life. There’s just something about the early morning fog vaporizing over a marsh setting, at sunrise, and the sound of decoying waterfowl that permeates a persons soul. On my first waterfowl hunt, I was very fortunate to have an experienced duck hunting partner; who knew the ins and outs. His experience made my first duck hunt a success.
Over the years, I struggled to learn how to duck hunt properly as well as acquiring the proper equipment I needed to have success on every waterfowl hunting trip. In the early 1980’s that struggle came to an end when I met Ted St. Pierre at the New Orleans Sportsman show in New Orleans, Louisiana. This happened meeting would evolve into a personal friendship and hunting partnership that lasted over 30 years, along with his business partner; Albert Guidry. Prior to my first duck hunt with Ted, I met him at his sporting goods store in Cut Off, Louisiana and inquired what I needed. Ted promptly stated “All you need today, is a proper fitting shotgun, the right shells, a camouflaged shirt and hat, and rubber boots.
EQUIPMENT – HINDSIGHT IS 2O 20
A number of years ago, I made my last duck hunt with Ted – he passed a few days after. While on this hunt I sat on my shell bucket and pondered over the vast amount of money I had spent over-the-years trying out new water-fowling guns, ammunition, and gear before I met Ted. The first mistake I made was going the “learn-as-you-go” self-education process. Being self-taught isn’t going to work out very well for the beginning duck hunter. One needs a mentor. I was very fortunate to have Ted St. Pierre as my mentor. Ted was born on a trap-line in Cutoff, Louisiana. His father was a muskrat, nutria, and alligator trapper. Ted literally grew up in the marshes of Louisiana. However, Ted also grew up to be an entrepreneur and a multi-millionaire, in his own right
Soon after Ted took me under his wing, I learned that I didn’t need: Six sacks of decoys, nor did I need a 12 gauge shotgun. Five or six decoys would suffice and a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with number six shot was just right, especially when shooting over decoys. The twenty gauge didn’t ruin as much meat as the 12 gauge, especially when shooting small ducks - like Teal. Ted’s theory was: It’s not what you shoot, but how you shoot it. Ted was a firm believer in the twenty gauge and shot a Browning A5 20 gauge magnum. He’d shoot 2 ¾ shells for Teal and early season ducks and 3 inch magnums for large and late season ducks. The only size shot Ted used, whether lead or steel, was number 6.
One morning we both had a laugh, when I pulled out my vast assortment of duck calls stored in my shooting bag. Ted said, “man you don’t need all of that, here keep this one and throw the rest away.” The call he taught me to call ducks with is an old wooden Duck Commander, which I have to this day. Again, Ted’s theory was: “It’s not how many duck calls you own, but the one you know how to use the best, and the one that’s effective in calling ducks within shooting range at the decoys!” After all, the average shooting range over decoys is 25 yards.
Hunting waterfowl all over the United States, Canada and Mexico has taught me some very valuable lessons, especially when it comes to duck hunting gear, decoy outlays, and proper calling techniques. The only time you need a 12 gauge is for late season ducks, pass shooting, or geese. Everything else can be accomplished with a 2O gauge with the right shot size. Sometimes a small decoy spread is better than a large one, especially in the late season when ducks or geese has been shot at which makes them wary of large decoy spreads. Another valuable lesson I learned is: “more isn’t necessarily better, and it saves a lot of money,”
Today, I still have that one duck call, my Browning 20 gauge A5 magnum, and my Beretta 391 12 gauge semi-auto. On occasion, I break out my latest addition to my duck hunting repertoire: A 28 gauge semi-auto that I load with 1 ounce of number 6 non-toxic shot which I’ve determined is just fine for waterfowl over decoys. That little 28 gauge will out pattern either of my other two shotguns. After all, a number 6 pellet traveling at 1300 feet per second is just as deadly whether its launched out of a 28, 20, 16, or 12 gauge shotgun shell. The only difference is the amount of shot each gauge size shell is capable of holding. Again, more isn’t necessarily better. It’s the experience of the shooter, behind the shotgun, and not the size of the shotgun shell which determines the kill factor as long as the target is within an appropriate shooting distance.
On occasion, I like to reminisce about my hunting experiences that I’ve been fortunate enough to go on and the treasured memories I’ll have with me until I depart this world. Who knew that a young man living in Fungo Hollow, Alabama learning shooting techniques from his Grandma Jeanette Dennis, and hunting techniques from his father William E Dennis, his uncle Emmett B Dennis, Jr., and his uncle Horace Dennis would be fortunate to hunt all over the North American Continent. It’s times like these, that I can sit back in my chair and reminisce about my early hunting days and I can still hear my Blue Tick Hound – Handy Andy, baritone howl reverberating in the night air and the Fungo Hollow Valley, signaling: The Chase Is On.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE!”
TRUMP ADMINISTRATIONS BRUTAL PLAN,
FOR WILD HORSES AND BURROS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
June 29, 2020
© June 2020 All Rights Reserved
Bureau of Land Management’s Nefarious Plan,
For Decimating A Protected Species
Through “Time and Memorial” the Federal Government has worked in conjunction with the Public Land “CATTLE GRAZERS” to decimate the wild animal populations inhabiting our National Parks Wilderness Areas. More specifically, herbivores and predators are the main targets, e.g., Wild Mustangs, Burros, and Carnivores such as: Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves, and Coyotes.
The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act established their ranges as dedicated habitat to be “managed principally ” and responsibly for their welfare. But are they Federally Protected, or is the Bureau of Land Managements (BLM) present-day actions just a modern era genocide using an existing law as a cloak to conceal their true intentions – extinction?
As I’ve always stated, “When the Federal Government gets involved in something, it usually never works correctly, again.” In this instance, truer words were never spoken. Just imagine a visual description where arm-chair-quarterbacking, by Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are deciding the fate of the Wild Mustangs and Burros as well as our history. The very same Bureaucrats; who in all probability have never visited a wilderness area, much less observed a Wild Horse or Burro, first-hand, are the ones delegated with the authority to remove entire herds of Wild Horses and Burros in order to re-stock the public grazing land with cattle.
Does anyone think our Federal Government will lie to us? It’s been a proven fact – over and over and over again! An excellent article, describing this modern-day-dilemma for these poor animals has been posted in the Washington Examiner.
In a Washington Examiner article, the publication; https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/the-bureau-of-land-managements-nefarious-brutal-plan-for-wild-horses, by Ginger Kathrens & Charlotte Roe, dated June 27, 2020 - 12:00 AM reports:
Environmental travesties are on the rise, many obscured by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest ones will soon be taken up by Congress.
In its long-overdue report to Congress, the Bureau of Land Management proposes capturing and removing 220,000 wild horses and burros over 10 years to achieve its unsupported, arbitrary “appropriate management level” of 26,690 — a near-extinction population level.
It will cost American taxpayers $1 billion to expel these animals from the dedicated rangelands where they currently live at no cost to taxpayers. Thousands of wild mares could be subjected to ovariectomy, a discredited, brutal form of sterilization. In the end, hundreds of thousands of once-wild animals will languish in crowded holding pens — and taxpayers will be footing the bill.
Wild horses are federally protected animals. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act established their ranges as dedicated habitat to be “managed principally ” for their welfare. Flouting this law, the BLM has removed wild equids from nearly half of their designated 52 million acres. Now, government machinery is accelerating to remove most of the rest.
The BLM plans to wipe out three herd management areas in Wyoming’s famed Checkerboard and sterilize an entire herd in a fourth — “zeroing out” 2.5 million acres of their habitat for continual use by privately owned livestock.
In Nevada, the BLM intends to eliminate six herds in the Caliente Complex, imprisoning 1,700 wild horses at taxpayer expense. They will also take 1,800 wild horses from Oregon’s Barren Valley, proposing sterilization as “management,” killing off the “wild” in these wild horses.
Seventy-three percent of Arizona’s Black Mountain herd (1,727 wild burros) are slated to be removed despite a finding by the National Academy of Sciences that this could “jeopardize the genetic health of the whole population.” Even Montana’s famed Pryor Mountain herd could be cut in half, threatening the horses’ genetic survival.
Millions of privately owned cattle will remain on federal rangelands, their taxpayer-subsidized grazing often expanded after wild equids are ejected from the land.
The BLM’s insidious plan will reduce America’s wild equid population to roughly the level estimated in 1971, when Congress declared them “fast disappearing from the West” and acted unanimously to protect these heritage animals from extinction. The plan is based on a staggering compilation of misinformation and greed. Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley, who opposes the concept of public lands and has no background in range management, claims wild horses are an “existential threat.”
Perhaps they are — but only to his agenda. This is just the latest sound bite in a long-conducted public relations campaign against wild horses. Wild horse bashing is a smokescreen for what the BLM wants to hide — the commercial takeover of public lands. Subsidized livestock already outnumber wild horses and burros by over 37 to 1, yet livestock overgrazing is a top cause of damage to federal rangelands. Another group includes the extractive industries, which the administration is promoting at an unprecedented rate. Wild horses and burros are the canaries in this “coal mine” of commercial exploitation.
The benefits of wild equids to the land are as powerful as they are unsung. They are walking fertilizers. They clear up fire-prone vegetation. Burros dig new water sources for other wildlife. At Skydog Sanctuary, a large rescue in central Oregon, new springs and vegetation nurseries emerged and pastures revived after several years of wild horse and burro presence on what had been overgrazed land. Other nonprofit groups have noticed a similar rebirthafter introducing mustangs and burros.
Better choices are at hand. The vast majority of people in the United States support humane approaches to population management. Over 100 animal and equine advocacy groups propose rehoming captive wild horses and burros to zeroed-out rangelands; engaging partnerships to carry out PZP fertility control darting, wild horse monitoring, and range improvements; protecting predators; establishing more livestock-free ranges; and raising population targets to genetically sustainable levels.
Replacing the harmful cycle of wild equid roundup and livestock overgrazing with initiatives to restore broken lands is a key climate action measure. The BLM’s plan, tucked in the FY20 appropriations package, is fiscally irresponsible and environmentally disastrous. Not one more dollar should be wasted on this latest scheme to destroy a national treasure.
ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
If Animal Rights Activists intend on countering the governments plan, now is the time to act. The various groups should come together and organize a plan to flood the government with their concerns and objections. In the past, what we’ve observed is several groups operating independently and not as a collective whole embodiment. They should join forces, flood Washington D.C. with opposition calls and organize protests, if necessary, to get their points across. Remember, there’s only one thing a Politician fears – the American Voter.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
Cowboy Dedicates 11,000 Acres to a Wild Mustang Horse Sanctuary
By Richard E. “RICK” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
© June 2020 All Rights Reserved
PLIGHT OF THE WILD HORSES AND BURROS ON PUBLIC GRAZING LANDS
It seems, the battle between Animal Rights Activists and Horse Lovers against the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) and the Cattle Ranchers leasing government leasing public grazing lands to cattle producers, on America’s National Park land, is a never ending saga. Records indicate, the BLM has caused the removal of a significant number of Wild Horses and Burros from their natural habitat along with a significant number of predators whose job is: to balance nature or the number of Wild Horses and Burros occupying public grazing land. As I’ve openly stated before, “ANYTIME THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVOLVES ITSELF INTO A PROJECT, IT USUALLY NEVER WORKS CORRECTLY AFTERWARDS.” A proven example of this is the governments “Helter Skelter” approach to business management, e.g.: The way the United States Post Office is run as well as all other governmental agencies, including our Military. Waste waster, and more waste.
For the record, governmental waste abounds and it seems; no government agency can balance the books and account for the billions they’ve been delegated, spent, and wasted. The government operates on a scale defying logical business operations.
For years, the BLM has been on a failed course-of-action with the Wild Mustang and Burros populating our wild western landscape. Even though they’ve been delegated with the authority to protect Wild Mustangs and Burros, their caregiver responsibilities are lacking and is an exercise in futility. Leasing large swaths of public land to cattle ranchers was destined for failure from the very beginning. Example: The BLM leases land in remote areas inhabited by predators such as: Bears, Wolves, Bobcats and Mountain Lions. Natures Natural Predators; whose sole purpose in life is to control the number of herbivores being produced annually. This herbivore group comprises Wild Horses, Burros, Deer, Sheep, Bison and Elk. Thus, the wild landscape provides the carnivores with Mother Nature’s Bountiful Dining area.
When the Cattle Producers move their cattle onto these wild remote areas, the carnivores naturally add beef to their dining option. As a result, the cattle producer whines to the BLM, the BLM pays the whining cattle producer for their livestock loss – with tax payer money, removes the predators, by either removing them or killing them outright – with taxpayer money, along with the predator removal is: The roundup of wild horses and burros to make room for more cattle. During the roundup process, many horses, burros and juvenile descendants of each species is either injured, crippled, or killed in the process. The BLM counters this fact of reality as non-existent, but facts have proven this denial is nothing more than bald face lies.
After the roundup, these majestic creatures are moved off the public landscape and incarcerated in holding pens. This treatment, of our Wild Mustangs and Burros, is not only. cruel, but it’s an expensive proposition for the American Taxpayer and a total waste of Government Funding. The annual cost for this ludicrous ideology to pacify public land cattle grazers runs in excess of $500 Million Dollars annually just for Predator Control and the removal, housing, and care of Wild Horses and Burros. However, this is only a partial expenditure. The other added costs include the subsidies the public land cattle grazers receive each year from the Government, via, U.S. Taxpayer Subsidized Funding which also is in the Millions of Dollars, annually. Hardly a worthy cause, when the actual public grazing cattle production comprises only two (2) percent of the overall annual USA cattle production. Further, BLM statistics illustrate the BLM makes more leasing RV Parking Spaces on Park Land, than they do leasing public grazing rights. Go figure.
WILD MUSTANGS HAVE AN ANGEL - DAYTON O HYDE – AMERICAN COWBOY
In an article appearing in Horsey Hooves, Published on: 06/04/2020 by Anna Stanek, the author provides her reading audience with an incredulous good deed performed, by an American Cowboy – Dayton O Hyde.
In the article, the author states: He struggled with the government and his neighbors, but American cowboy Dayton O. Hyde refused to give up. After lots of hard work and dedication, Hyde founded the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota, where over 500 wild Mustangs call home. Hyde was born on March 25, 1923. In addition to being passionate about horses, he is also known as an author and conservationist. Hyde even began his career as a Rodeo photographer on his way to being a cowboy.
Dayton O. Hyde’s Journey to Saving Wild Mustangs
His journey to save wild Mustangs began in 1987, when he visited Nevada to buy cattle. While there, Hyde was shocked to see wild horses stuck in captivity that had been captured by the federal government. “It was just too cruel to take a wild horse away from their freedom and home and be contained in a corral,” said Hyde.
Hyde was determined to help these wild Mustangs out, as he had always loved horses from a young age. He set out to start a sanctuary where these beautiful creatures could run free. However, it was not an easy journey and Hyde had to fight hard to get there. South Dakota Governor George Mickelson got news of Hyde’s plan and offered to show him land in South Dakota that could be used for a sanctuary. The land was located in the Chilson Canyon in the Southern Black Hills, bordering the Cheyenne River. Unfortunately, there was a large amount of opposition from the neighbors and local government, but Hyde and Mickelson decided to team up and form a partnership. “If you’re telling me it couldn’t be done, then that’s the wrong thing to say to a cowboy,” said Hyde in the 2013 documentary Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde.
In 1988, Hyde founded The Institute of Range and the American Mustang (IRAM) and his dream started to become reality. The IRAM, which is a non-profit organization, works to preserve and protect America’s wild horses. By fall of that year, horses began to arrive at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. One of the first Mustangs to arrive was a stunning two-year-old blue roan filly named Prairie Lark. Prairie Lark became Hyde’s partner in exploring the vast sanctuary and welcoming hundreds of horses to freedom.
From there, Hyde dedicated his life to these horses. He would work tirelessly every day to ensure these horses could safely run free, saving wild horses from unknown futures. Hyde even described operating the sanctuary as “seven days a week; no vacations, no salaries.”Dayton O. Hyde’s LegacyOn December 22, 2018, Hyde passed away at the age of 93 after living a full life. He has been called a cowboy, a fighter and even “the most dangerous man in American conservation.”
Today, Hyde’s legacy still lives on at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Hundreds of Mustangs still roam free on 11,000 acres in the beautiful plains of South Dakota. The IRAM still works to save the Mustang and preserve different endangered bloodlines and bands, including Spanish, Choctaw Indian, Curly and American Mustangs.
To donate, visit the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary website here. To read the entire article, click on the following link:
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”