Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I was made aware today by a friend who is a birder that there is a referendum to create a hunting season on Sandhill Cranes. This idea is being publicised by a Columnist who writes for the Knoxville Sentinel named Bob Hodge. I do not know Bob Hodge's credentials and I haven't seen the actual article yet. I will delve into this shortly. I have seen a couple emails with quotes from his articles stating his justification for a hunting season. He states "the freakin things are everywhere." If this is indeed a statement from an educated columnist, I feel it speaks volume's about the mentality behind the hunting movement here in Tennessee. I know that hunting provides the money that funds habitat development and tax dollars fund many agencies that provide stewardship for our wildlife. I have been a hunter up until I was about 45 years old. I have used, archery, shot gun, black powder, rifles and even pistols of several calibers to harvest game. A change occurred in my life when I asked myself why? What am I doing this for? Maybe it's an age thing. I don't know. I am not advocating the elimination of hunting here. Everyone exercises his or her legal rights as they see fit. I can justify my tolerance of it through revenue collection. There are better ways of controlling wildlife populations but this is not the forum for explanations. That all being said; I am deeply disturbed at the idea of opening up a hunting season on these birds. No, they are not nor have ever been close to extinction. The Whooping Crane was and is near extinction. Birds of a feather flock together. The Whoopers and the Sandhill's do share habitat on the ground and in flight. The destruction of a single Whooping Crane is unthinkable and the ramifications of a single death are many. Mr. Hodge's article mentions training. Hunters may be trained to discern the difference between a Whooper and a Sandhill. Education is the answer. Listen to me and listen good. I use the trail just off the Tellico Parkway near Route 95. You've seen my articles about it here on this blog. Trained and educated hunters! The beautiful sign on the trail pointing out a boat landing was destroyed the second day after it's construction. It was donated. It was laboriously dragged over that trail and installed next to the neat, clean little boat landing. It has been perforated by buck shot. Holes all through it. Senseless. I take my dogs on that trail frequently. I have found deer hides and piles of guts right on the trail. Not once, but frequently. I have had to leave the area because of my dogs inability to ignore the refuse. In these cases hunters intentionally blasted the sign and were too lazy and put out to remove entrails from their deer kills back in the woods. In the openness of the trail, they could actually skin the deer. Then just leave the offal IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL. Now, this mentality is going to be trained? Those are just a couple of examples. I have more, but you get the idea. If a season is opened on the Sandhills, I guarantee the Whooping Cranes will suffer the consequences. And what joy or pride could possibly be obtained by ending the life of such a beautiful, graceful bird? Explain that to me. What is it that is so honorable about getting a picture taken holding a dead Sandhill by the neck out to the side and smiling into the camera? Please, someone explain that. There is no habitat destruction that will be prevented by harvesting them. I guess the statement by Mr Hodge says it all----"The freekin things are everywhere." I will be printing an article concerning this issue in the Knoxville Sentinal. I must read Mr Hodge's article and find out a bit about his background first. This idea of slaughtering Sandhills is uncontionable and for an outdoor writer to promote the idea is next to sacrilige. Furthermore, anyone who considers himself a friend of the wilderness and an outdoor columnist who refers to a Sandhill Crane as a freeking thing is a detriment to his newspaper and hunters alike. He certainly is no friend to nature.


No, its not some kind of animal. Below this post you can find some pictures of a River Hawk boat. I have been investigating these boats for weeks now and discovered that the River Hawk is a spin off from another canoe called a Gheenoe. The Gheenoe was invented and later manufactured by a man named Gheene from here in Tennessee. To make a long story short; he got tired of upsetting canoes and decided enough is enough and designed his own boats. All kidding aside; these boats are the best of the best for their size. Below is some shots of Gheenoe's. Some are Custom Gheenoe's. Custom Gheenoe is a company founded by the original family to create personalized boats for customers. Some are quite elegant as you can see. By the way; Gheenoe is pronounced like canoe with a "g". Directly below is a standard boat. All that follow are custom boats based on a standard boat.

Monday, January 21, 2008

River Hawk Boat

I really need to get another boat and am having difficulty deciding weather to get a conventional boat or a River Hawk. The lakes are big down here with lots of streams and rivers running into them. A 17 foot Package Jon boat with a sixty horse power engine is ideal. Problem is fuel economy. If I can't afford to operate it; I may as well stay home. The River Hawk is a slick new 15.5' boat that is designed for rivers and lakes. I would probably feel insecure in storms and heavy wake situations. But the manufacturer states it is more stable than a flat bottom Jon boat. That's saying a lot. It will definitely get into places where a normal boat can't go. And the speed is around 30 mph. That's fine. It would certainly be an adventure to go camping with. The engine would "sip" fuel. That is the big issue. Gas absolutely will hit $4.00 and maybe $5.00 a gallon. Sorry, it will. And then there's the Bald Eagles I have been watching for the past couple years. I gotta get down river. I better make a decision. ha. Many of the pictures below are of the King Fisher model. I am most interested in the Pro Caster Model. It's the one flying down the lake. Both models are similar in appearance. At any rate; I need to move on this soon. I'll keep you informed. I miss photographing on the lakes and rivers. Don't forget to click the picture to enlarge it. This thing has get up and go for sure Flies along quite well. The River Hawk can take up to a 20 horse power four cycle marine engine A River Hawk at the Atlanta Boat Show The Kingfisher on the trailer Note the center console. A steering wheel and throttle along with gages can be put there Beautiful nose. Here it is hooked to the trailer. The boat has navigation lights in the hull each side Storage up under the nose deck. Trolling batteries could be kept here Work being accomplished in the factory in Atlanta The boats in the forfront are Kingfishers and the far boat, I believe, is a pro-caster There is a lot of dry storage on the boat. This is one of two huge storage areas This is a great bow picture of the Kingfisher. Lots of room A picture of the Kingfisher in the Atlanta boat show Boat with fishing chairs. I don't need them Good front end "bow" shot of the boat View from the back of the boat. The irregular edges are the chines that "grip" the water and allow the hull to bite into the water and maintain stability Rear deck area of Kingfisher model

Monday, January 14, 2008


They stare at me. They look at me with anticipation in their eyes. I can't move anywhere in the room without their total attention. Any move to the door on my part brings clicking of toenails on hardwood floor as they poise for an exit through the door. They love the time at the lake. I walk to the truck and they are sitting beside the truck doors waiting for me. Shade is back by the tailgate waiting. So here we go again. Who's faster? Catch me if you can Collision! Subtle as a bull in a puddle Smooth with finess Solid muscle. Like a horse Shady Lady retrieving Team work Two gorgeous animals as they should be------wild and unrestrained Doing happy laps after a swim A run down the beach Three Amigos Douglas. Golden Elegance Old Sigh. Look at her go. She is acting like a young pup today. Her broken, old body is allowing her a bit of joy. I'll start calling her Thunderbolt if she keeps this up. Catch me if you can. Happy taunts Douglas until the big guy just can't take it anymore. Then Happy leads him on a merry chase. Look at his face. That is a real expression. Their faces "can" change to show emotion. Douglas is showing absolute, total euphoric joy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Fort Southwest Point was constructed in 1791 and was active until 1811. The fort is built on a hill (now Kingston, TN) with a commanding view of the Clinch River. It was built for the protection of settlers from maurading Cherokee Indians who claimed that the land was theirs by birthright. They felt threatened by the white intrusion and drew blood from the white's when possible. Imagine that! The fort housed the Fourth Regiment of Infantry. There were Dragoons and artillery on the grounds as well. Later, Colonel Jonathon Meigs, Military Agent for the troops in Tennessee, balanced indian affairs with the Federal government from 1801 to 1807 when trade with the Cherokees was moved to the Tellico Block House in the present day Vonore, TN. The final task for the old fort was to house and supply trade goods that would eventually be shipped down river to other posts, thereby expanding the US frontier. Can you imagine having your home and lands infringed upon? Put yourselves in the mocasin's of the Cherokee for just one moment. Just a thought. Anyway, below is the reconstructed fort. It sits exactly on the same spot it was built on.

Friday, January 11, 2008


The boat below is called The River Hawk. It is very canoeish in looks but it is far from a canoe. It is sixty inches wide at it's widest point (middle). The River Hawk is 15.3' long and will handle a twenty horsepower engine. It's top speed is thirty miles per hour and will run in six inches of water. Well, it can be polled through six inches of water. It is a unique, very usable craft that could access places a larger boat couldn't navigate through. However, the lakes are huge and storms are nasty at times. Then, there are the ocean size ships that create four and five foot wakes. They can be alarming to say the least. I drove to Atlanta, Georga today to see these River Hawks. The boat below is the basic boat. The Atlanta boat show is this weekend and the fully rigged boats were not in this store. I simply do not drive in Atlanta. End of that story. The manufacturer will create any style deck and rigging desired. Sky's the limit. I like it. The River Hawk is a very stable boat and is exciting to see it on plane. Not sure Douglas would approve of such a strange craft. The price of the River Hawk is very close to that of a conventional boat. I put a picture of a G3 below. Don't forget; click on the picture for an enlargement. Below is a G3 seventeen foot center console boat. This probably will be the new magic carpet ride for 2008. Powered by a 60 horsepower Yamaha four cycle engine; it would be silent and sturdy for lake use. This boat is just about the same price as the River Hawk above. The River Hawk is a versitle tool, but the boat below has it all.