issue 64 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #64

Real gun criminals

Why indeed? Because we have no choice. Who can we vote for that is not a swine? In CA you cannot get a permit, unless, unless you are a big shot or an ex-cop. I worked there as a security agent and it was dicey. Only the cops can issue permits, and they will not.

We could, constitutionally, rise up and throw the wretches out. But the last time we tried that, they burned the South even with the ground. And it was other Americans who did the dirty work. Not too encouraging.

I pray every day for decent government. One hopes that Americans will turn off their TV sets and rise up quietly, like the Russians did, and just walk away, and that will be the end of it.

Michael Peirce,

You’re right. We should demand to know of all politicians pushing for gun control, who among them have permits to carry. Also, before they open their mouths in favor of gun control, they should sign waivers to voluntarily end their protection by armed guards, either by state or federal officers or private guards. If they refuse, their votes don’t count. Let them try that on for size.

Bob Gentile, Atlanta, GA

This may well be the best piece on this subject that I have ever read. Thank You.

Lamar Brown,

Thanks for your article on guns. You are right about why do we let this happen? But Americans are letting a lot of things “just happen.” Only articles like yours will help hit them long side of the head.

The real enemies are also brain dead. The plan does not have to make sense. The only real reason is to disarm us following the blueprint of Pol Pot, Stalin, Castro, Hitler, and the usual suspects making armed assault against the population easy as pie.

My subscribers (I run a “forwarding” service to a great group all over the world) for the most part understand that the REAL reason must be emphasized instead of fingering the obvious enemies like Feinstein, Schumer and the socialist Democrats.

They are following the blueprint same as Joe Biden must. Must? Probably, by now, they must.

It is the One World Govern-ment—New World order, my friend, nothing more.

Get ahold of the 21 Goals of the OWG-NWO and you will see the entire plan has almost all been checked off. But I know you know this.

If you do, write about that instead of your splendid premise that we should DO something about the gun grab because we need to defend ourselves against street criminals.

I urge you to go the whole way.

Start with the United Nations mandate, voted on in their DISARM THE UNITED STATES in Vienna almost a year ago. The vote was 17 to 1 for disarming us quickly. The one vote against was cast by Wayne LaPierre. He was, sadly, the only representative at that UN meeting about confiscating guns from the US citizens.

There were no congressmen, no senators,—no one (certainly) in the Clinton administration speaking for the Second Amendment.

Karolyn Martin,

Let’s try a little PC (Plain Common) Sense.

There are such things as BG (Bad Guys) with Guns. They have them regardless of gun laws, because they are lawless. Unless, of course, we prosecuted all gun-toting criminals, which we don’t.

So we need Good Guys around with guns for our protection. They include the Military, Police, and PG (Plain Good) Guys with guns.

The Military can go bad, if their top leadership sells out. The Police can go bad, with the wrong leadership. But thousands of GG (Good Guys), individualists, good citizens, qualified, and licensed to carry guns, are the best protection that any community can have.

So why are they taking the guns away from the GG (Good Guys)? Is it really “for the Children?” Is that why? Why did Adolph Hitler do it? Why did Stalin, Mao, and all dictators do it?

Was it “For the children?” Or were they too, afraid of the GG (Good Guys) with Guns? Did they have something bad in mind when they confiscated the guns? Could William Clinton and the Media have something bad in mind for us? I say yes. They could, and do. It is called the New World Order. A radical departure into an Orwellian World without freedom, under the U.N.

GG (Good Guys) with guns were provided by our Constitution to restrain future enemies of Freedom from having their way. When and if our personal weapons are gone, we are totally defenseless. Is that what they want? Did Hitler, Stalin, and Mao have plans? Do they have plans? Oh No? Would they ever lie to us?

Think twice about letting them eliminate the GG (Good Guys) with Guns. They/we are our only security when the chips are down.

Warren Appleton, Dennis, MA

Your article says it all, Dave…RE the press’ complicity, especially in dancing on the graves of the children, they have a proven record of success in a campaign. The mainline press (7 sins) made it possible to turn Viet Nam and so many Asian citizens over to atheistic communism, by turning the American public away from winning…Has anyone given the full count of the thousands who perished trying to escape, plus those murdered outright? Why was it that only against communists were we not in a ‘popular’ war?…that’s the self-answering question, isn’t it? How’s the finality, Democrat foreign policy coming along in communist N. Korea?—You remember the “7 Sins against the US” during Viet Nam, don’t you? ABC—CBS—NBC—NY Times—Washington Post—Time—Newsweek.

John Maggiore, River Ridge, LA

“Which brings up a final question: Why are we letting this happen?”


Why did Americans let Roosevelt steal their money?

Why did they elect Clinton?

Why did they allow Waco or Ruby Ridge go unpunished?

Why WILL they allow confiscation of guns?

Because Americans are uneducated, misinformed, selfish cowards.

Leszek Borkowski,


Thank you for an excellent magazine. No. 63 was especially interesting/educational from cover to cover. “Armed and Female” and “Finding the Best Dog for Country Life”—both very important and interesting to me. (The wet dog on page 28 reminds me of our dog “Dixie,” my companion of 12 years. Particularly the head and facial expression).
We share our copies with a son who recently moved from eastern city life to Oregon to live in a rural area and more simply. His 8 year old son is having a great time exploring woods, checking on and helping with “chores” of ranch/farm life.

Dale & Marie Dinsmore, Sixes, OR

I’ve been a subscriber to your magazine for three or four years and was reading you long before I subscribed. I continue to enjoy BHM and hope that you don’t change a thing! You might like to know that I consider myself to be a good Christian and that I find nothing offensive in your magazine except for some of the letters from my narrow minded Brothers and Sisters in Christ. It may come as no surprise that while I enjoy all of the contributors to BHM I look forward, most of all, to the thought provoking contributions of John Silveira. He is an excellent “burr under the saddle blanket” of those folks who need to be irritated. The Irreverent Joke Page is also a hoot, especially in our PC world.

I recently purchased a small bit of land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in the next couple of years will be building a retirement home for myself. It won’t be “off the grid” and I won’t be a total back-to-nature retiree; I’m too damned lazy for that and I’ve worked long and hard so as to be able to afford to indulge myself in my retirement. Now all I need do is find someone to share those so-called golden years and my bit of Paradise with.

Jeffrey R. Garner, Flint, MI

Keep up the good work. You’re pretty much a lone voice crying in the wilderness. But more and more people are hearing you with every issue you put out. Use the internet for all it’s worth.

Mark Broshar, Plainfield, WI

I love this magazine and it is the only one that I still subscribe to. I read the letters that you publish and often I am disgusted by some of the things that people write. I know that many people don’t subscribe because of your political views but don’t let them get you down. Only small minded people with big ego problems aren’t interested in other points of view and this magazine doesn’t need them anyway. All I have to say is thank God that we live in a country where it is still legal to publish such opinions. To those who dislike your opinion I would like to say listen to all points of view before you close your mind, or move to China!

Dave just keep up the good work and keep sending Backwoods Home to me and I will keep reading it from cover to cover.

Also I would like to read more about gardening in the South (zone 8) where it is mild in the winter and hotter than hell in the summer. Most of our days are extremely hot and have 100% humidity. The heat kills a lot of things except weeds.

Debby Widener, Haughton, LA

I found your booth in an energy show years ago. I’ve got every issue you’ve ever printed. I love your way of reporting the facts. I like the old cover better than the new glossy one (probably two or three years old now) I don’t care for so much color. It’s the information I want. You are brave people and I agree with everything you have to say except one or two things that don’t come to mind at the moment.

Sita Milchev, Gualala, CA

I just want you to know that I’ve enjoyed your magazine since I found it in a small town in Montana.

I’ve enjoyed the articles and am really happy that you all didn’t press the end of the world topic any more than the one magazine.

Myself I had enough with having to work that night. I’m part of the law enforcement community in Denver.

A lot of people were mad that the city didn’t do anything, but the jail didn’t have any more people go to jail than any Saturday evening.

Fred C. Lester, Federal Hts, CO

We still love your magazine, and we are ready to begin again this spring with your information in hand. We were finally able to get up to our place at 10,000 ft today because the snow is starting to melt a little. We had a blast! Our neighbor was up there, too, working on his place. Anyway, I’m just writing to tell you I really love A. Evangelista’s articles. I love to write myself, and I even have a couple of her books. She’s so practical, down to Earth, and full of tried and true experience. I hope you’ll let her know sometime. Actually, all of your writers are just full of character. I miss the “country moments” photos, though. They were really cute!

Mark & Nicole Williams, Ft. Garland, CO

Cordwood home

I’m writing this letter because of the many letters I’ve read that have inspired me. I hope this will be an inspiration to someone else.

Years ago I learned about cordwood masonry and thought I’d like to try it someday. I’ve never lived in “the city,” but in small towns. I’ve always had the dream of building my own home in the country. Well, a few years ago I took the first step. I bought 13 acres in Bath County, Virginia. It’s only 11 miles away from where I live now in Covington, but it’s in a very rural county. It’s all open pasture land so the first spring I started planting fruit trees, Christmas trees, and making plans for building a small round cordwood house. Having never built anything like this before, I spent a lot of time studying and designing. By the following spring I had most of my wood cut and my foundation ready to pore. In June of 1998 I started my 628 sq. ft., two story, round cordwood cottage. After 4 months of working evenings, weekends and using 2 weeks of vacation time, I had my cottage under roof. The rest of the fall, winter and spring was spent finishing the inside.

There were times when I doubted myself and what I was doing. But, I kept up the hard work and now I’m very pleased with the finished product. It’s small, but everyone loves it. Throughout the process many people slowed down or stopped by to see what we were building. We received nothing but positive comments. Some people said we should have built it bigger, but that was not my intension. I wanted to build something small and inexpensive. Something that I could gain building experience on. Something we could live in while we built something larger. I believe that I accomplished my goal.

I hope to build a larger house in a year or two and I’m sure the cordwood cottage will be a valuable addition to our property. We could rent it out, use it for a small business or just a guest house.

I have gained a great sense of accomplishment and feel more confident that I can build something bigger or do other things I may have not believed I could have done before. My advice to anyone who wants to live “the good life” is to set your goal, have patience, believe in yourself, work hard and trust God.

Don Harrison, Hot Springs, VA


Thanks for the copy of The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the U.S. The first thing I did was turn to article 1 section 10 just to make sure it was still there. It seems like that particular article has been dropped from most of the schools text books these days. It won’t be long before the Second Amendment gets watered down or left out of the Constitution. I guess it’s all part of the “Dumbing of America.”

Have you guys ever thought of offering a similar sized booklet containing an index to articles in the past issues of Backwoods Home? There have been quite a few times when I had to skim through 40 to 50 issues of BHM to find an article that would help me with a project. This “concordance” would be great for us subscribers who keep and file every issue but can’t remember what article was in which issue. I know you printed something like it in a previous issue but I can’t remember which issue it was in. It’s just a thought.

Since I have your attention, I’d like to comment on Skip Thomsen’s article about the Island of Hawaii (BHM Nov/Dec issue). I don’t know how long Skip has lived in the Islands but his euphoric description of Hawaii indicated that it couldn’t be very long. His enthusiasm reminds me of the first time I took my kids to Disneyland. All of the Islands are pretty, BUT you can’t eat pretty and it doesn’t make up for freedoms we lose whenever the legislature starts a new session. Joe Schmoe and Micheal Shaum made good points in their views of Hawaii (BHM March/Apr) but they didn’t mention how stupid and intrusive the state government is. Take for instance the introduction of a bill that would allow government workers time to take naps during the day to increase productivity. The naps would be bad enough but snacks would be provided courtesy of the taxpayers; or, how about a bill that would make organ “donations” mandatory. This has been dubbed the “Frankenstein Bill.” Both of these bills probably won’t make it, but one bill that’s moving right along is a bill that would require the re-registration of privately owned firearms every couple of years; much the way cars have to be registered every year. Hawaii’s State Government is extremely anti gun.

We’re also going battle (again) with a governor who is hell bent on fluoridating the water supply.

There’s more; much more that would make you cringe.

I’d advise anyone who wants to move here to do his or her homework first. Find out why an ever-increasing number of the local people are moving to the continent. Ask why people move back to the mainland after a short residency here. Save yourself some stress and ask first.

John Mayer, Honolulu, HI

Y2K, dogs, snakebite

I just read through the May/June issue, and a few minor things that I found throughout the issue bother me. I’d appreciate it if you heard me out:


I called back in February, and I believe that I spoke to Ilene. “American Survival Guide” had just come out with a review of a book that claimed that the world would end on 5/5/00 when all the Antarctic ice broke loose. We had a good laugh. I called BECAUSE you had predicted that the doomsayers would find another ‘crisis’ to proclaim. Saying that no one gave you credit is not correct—I did.


The article was fine for a general dog article; but, for dogs in the country, I believe that there was one serious omission: no mention of coyotes. At least here in Nevada, you had better have a good-sized dog, or a pair of medium-sized dogs, or Mr. Coyote is likely to make Fido his special dinner guest.

Also, too many move to the country “so the dogs can run free.” This irresponsible behavior results in both semi-wild packs and anonymously placed poison baits, or shootings. Keep your dog within a fence. You also might consider, when you choose your dog, how much the dog might resemble a coyote—and get accidently shot.


The advice Marjorie Burris gives (cut & suck) may be somewhat dated. I believe that the Sawyer Extractor, which applies a much greater suction, may be today’s preferred method.

I did see someone once selling a “special forces snakebite kit,” whose instructions started with ‘cut & suck,’ and concluded with ‘then shake the snake vigorously, saying, “if you bite me again, it’ll be worse the next time!”‘

Looking forward to the next issue.

John Steinke, Reno, NV

Evolution vs. creation

I WAS going to re-subscribe until I read the article by John Silveira on the age of the earth. I was disappointed to see first of all that he actually believes the philosophical propaganda put forth by the evolutionists…(his own first and second paragraphs used the words “best estimates” and “guess.”) This is not scientific at all, but is a philosophical theory, a “faith” issue. Many true scientists will admit that they have no scientific proof of the earth being more than 6,000 to 10,000 years old, yet they present as fact this “billions and billions of years” theory. I wonder why this is?

Secondly, I was disappointed by the article because I don’t see what philosophical issues have to do with homesteading, getting back to nature etc.

If you don’t believe my statements, read two books. “Darwin On Trial” by Johnson and “Darwin’s Black Box” by Bede. Both men are experts in this area and they both debunk the teaching of evolution as FACT…they both state it is a “faith” issue.

So, I will not be renewing my subscription.

Priscilla Dugan, Remer, MN

Even when I disagree with your articles, I find them interesting, even thought provoking, a rarity among magazines today.

The above was certainly true of “A very short history of the earth” written by Mr. Silveira. First of all, let me say that I believe in creation but am not a “Creationist,” i.e. I don’t believe the Bible teaches all things were created in 7 literal days. Also Genesis merely says “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So if Mr. Silveira wants to say that was 4.6 billion years ago he could very well be right.

Also in Genesis chapter I can be seen what geologist Wallace Pratt noted to be essentially the sequence of the principle divisions of geologic time, in fact very similar to your graph of life on page 9.

Mr. Silveira uses the word creation several times in his article, but we differ in that I believe a creation necessitates a Creator and that animals and humans were created, and are not the product of evolution from a life form that came about by chance.

So I want to ask Mr. Silveira a question that I have asked many evolutionists and have yet to get an answer. The question is, how can the theory of evolution explain procreation? If life just happened by chance, what inspired it to start making copies of itself? And when animals and humans came on the scene, how, exactly at the same time, was there both male and female who had evolved simultaneously, the male ready with seed, the female with eggs and somehow they knew that if they got together, a new life would result? But that’s only the beginning. For months her body would nurture and feed it, and then when it was born and still could not fend for itself, little milk factories sprouted to further nurture this new life. If we are to believe in evolution, this happened not once, but with every animal found on earth today. This of course only scratches the surface of what I believe can only be a God-given miracle.

Evolution is called a theory, and if a theory seems illogical, it should be challenged and that’s my purpose in writing you today.

Mark Trierweiler, Coeburn, VA

Religious editor

In your Jan/Feb 2000 issue one Michael Briggs wrote telling you that the mag. should have a religious editor. The second line of his reasoning for this was; “…for objectivity, since you folks aren’t acquainted with the fine points of the Christian religion.” Mr. Briggs please realize that this nation was founded on, among other things, freedom of religion. I know that Mr. Duffy recognizes and believes that. As such we must realize that if we get a “religion editor” in this magazine he/she would have to include ALL religions, not just Christian. Then, frankly, if this editor said something that even appeared to take a stand that favored, say, an Islamic stance over a Christian one there would be a major league hue and cry from the Christian faction probably calling for Duffy’s head! This is one of the things I like best about Dave and his magazine, i.e., That he (and it) ARE objective…with religion, as well as most other aspects of human life in the U.S.A. If you want a Christian oriented magazine there are a number of them on the market for you, but let the rest of us have one that accepts viewpoints outside of yours. To maintain the objectivity that your letter calls for, he (Dave) must never give in to one side of any argument just because it is the most commonly held one at the moment. Freedom of religion must allow all the rest, yes, even including Atheism, and not just allow us to be whatever denomination of Christian we may desire.

Fred Force,

Guns in America

Your magazine is like a beacon in a maelstrom. Thank you and all of the major contributors—Silveira, Ayoob et. al.—for it. I especially enjoy reading your commentary My View. Issue No. 62 is no exception. Your article “Let’s stop apologizing for guns” is excellent, well written and very informative—as usual. Gun owners, and hopefully many non-gun owners as well, know that guns prevent crime and protect us from criminals. Much has been written of this fact in BHM. But what about the deterrent value individual gun ownership has in making any foreign aggressor think very carefully about sending soldiers to invade the U.S. in a “conventional” attack where they would face a determined armed populace as well as regular and reserve military units? Also, how many non-democratic totalitarian governments in just the last hundred years or so have relied on gun control as a cornerstone of their philosophy? Most, if not all. And finally, if the most extreme element of the gun control forces were to succeed in their “holy grail” of completely disarming the American citizenry; who then would have the guns? The military of course and the police. But what about the corrupt element of these “protectors of the people.” Well for one thing they will assure that a third group of people with a lot of money at their disposal will also be well armed—the criminals. And do you suppose for a minute that the people running things—the politicians—will have to forfeit their guns? No way! You can bet your life on that.

Freethinker, Las Vegas, NV


I want the electronic subscription and have subscribed tonight. I read on your website at an earlier date about them being available on CD at a later time. Please let me know when and if this is going to be done. I like being able to share my magazine.

I am so upset by this idea of you not being able to get your magazine on the newsstands. I am a regular reader but I purchase your magazine at a local news agency and I believe this will decrease their business as well. I purchase five small magazines each issue from them and now they are also going to lose my business and this is a shame. It just breaks my heart. Monopolies just are no good for anyone.

Mumsy, Plymouth, IN

The Internet will destroy all publishing and magazine distribution monopolies. It is the greatest economic and freedom tool ever. The CD-rom for years 7 thru 10 is available now for $39.95. The CD-rom for years 1 thru 6 will take longer to prepare since we have to scan in all the photos and drawings (we had no scanning technology in those early years) and recover text from old corrupted files. —Dave

Libertarian stand on abortion

I agree with everything that I read in Backwoods Home and was even considering joining your Libertarian Party until I read about the pro-choice stand on abortions. If a woman is pregnant she has already made her choice. Whatever happened to “safe as a babe in a mother’s womb?” The issue with a pregnancy is now a means of protecting an innocent life that has no voice. An American in every sense of the word that should have protection in the words of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that you are so fond of.

You squawk about losing your right to bear arms (which is important) but the poor babies are losing their lives. Shame on the people out here that can snuff a life at the drop of a dime and on the doctors that perform such procedures and wring their hands over the money they are making. What a damned industry. If they would just use their talents doing a few free organ transplants this world would be a better place.

I know a lot of people that refuse to donate organs because doctors are getting fat off of free organs.

Thank you for letting me vent. I don’t want you to think I picket abortion clinics (I don’t) or snipe the doctor’s that do it (I don’t) but once I find out a woman has had one or two and a guy brags about not being stupid and giving the money to a doctor instead of the woman. I have no more to do with them. People like that have no morals and they scare me.

Keep up the fantastic work and if I can continue to get the money together. I will continue the subscription.

Cynthia Weathers, Front Royal, VA

Libertarians are as divided as the rest of the country on abortion. I am pro-life, but I am also in favor of widespread education about birth control. I was not aware that the Libertarian Party had taken a pro-choice stand. Although I am a member of the party, I adhere mainly to its philosophical position of maximum freedom coupled with maximum personal responsibility. Plus the party is adamant in its defense of the Second Amendment, which is the main safeguard for all our freedoms. — Dave

Water glassing eggs

I am a 70 year old semi-retired carpenter. Still work part time for some of my 20 plus year customers.

In your 5th year anthology page 322 you had an article about Water Glassing eggs. At that time you didn’t know of a supplier of Water Glass. Well, my good wife of 40 years got on the Internet and found a place in Florida.

This is a very nice company. I made one phone call at 8:05 Monday morning, got to speak to a real person first thing. No menu, no music, no waiting. I gave them my order for one gallon. On thursday this same week I received my Water Glass via R.P.S.

Yesterday I was able to get 34 eggs packed into a gallon restaurant size pickle jar. I plan to take one egg out each month to see how long they keep.

Dave, I love your magazine. We still live in the house I built in 1960, on a 4-acre parcel my father deeded to me from a corner of his dairy farm, as a wedding present. We burn wood, most of it bought, have a generator and four PV roof panels. Doin fine.

Richard Hauth, Honesdale, PA

Poison ivy/Bill of Rights

I’d like to compliment you on your excellent magazine. Issue #61 (Jan/Feb) contains a couple of items that I’d like to address.

In his very informative article, “Keeping Poison Ivy Under Control,” Mr. Griebe left out one very good control and one very good remedy. If you live where you can do it, simply tether a goat within reach of poison ivy or oak; they eat it like candy. For a remedy for either ivy or oak, we use jewel weed. I prefer the juice freshly squeezed from the stalks, while my wife makes a tea by boiling the leaves and stalks of the jewel weed. Neither is taken internally, but are rubbed on the affected area. Applied immediately following exposure, they will generally keep the rash from showing up at all. The juice is comforting on almost any type of rash, and is even soothing to sunburn pain.

On the letter entitled the Bill of Rights, I think that you and the author missed the point of the First Amendment, when it comes to a state or locality posting the Ten Commandments in school. Simply put, it is not forbidden by the First Amendment to do so. Unlike all the other original amendments, the First Amendment specifically states that “Congress shall make no law…”, and, thus, limits only federal legislation, not state legislation (see the 10th Amendment), unlike most of the other amendments. By the careful wording of this amendment by the founding fathers, the intent to limit only the federal government is obvious in this case, as alien as the concept may seem to the way that we have been taught. The only truly Constitutional limitation on a state’s handling of religious matters is that particular state’s Constitution, whatever it may be. The popular phrase “separation of church and state” has nothing to do with the Constitution. It is an out-of-context excerpt from a private letter from Thomas Jefferson.

This exemplifies a very real and present danger in this country; too many people believe that the Constitution says what they would like for it to say, or what the Supreme Court (with ever-changing socio-political ideologies) claim that it says, instead of what it ACTUALLY says.

Gregory Kay,

Since the adoption of the 14th Amendment, in 1868, the state governments are held to the rights in the Bill of Rights, just as the federal government is, regardless of what their state constitutions say. So states cannot make any laws “…respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” any more the Congress can.
— John Silveira

Congratulations to Dave

Congratulations on your 10 for 10 predictions for the year 2000!!! There—now you have a letter, and I can’t imagine it will be the ONLY one you receive, now that you have pointed out how neglectful we’ve all been! Shame on us. I’m with you in regard to the pending planetary alignment, by the way. As you said—it’s happened before, and we are still HERE…

I have to tell you how much I enjoy your magazine! I grew up in the wilds of Alaska back in the 40’s & 50’s, on an island accessible only by boat or plane—depending on the weather. Our only communication with the outside world was via a HUGE 2-way radio setup that took up an entire room & was powered for an hour, twice a day, by a gas operated generator. Those two hours were the only time we had electricity. We had “outdoor” plumbing, running water only in the summer (which was brief) and we depended on the natural chill of Mother Nature for “refrigeration.” We logged for a living: a crew of about 20 joined us on our island from late May to late September. The rest of the year, there were only my mom, dad, myself, and my brother’s family of four. I was homeschooled, thanks to the Calvert Correspondence Courses out of Baltimore, Maryland—and very well, I might add! Your magazine is like a breath of fresh air, in our over crowded, gadget and energy dependent world, and brings back a rush of memories from a simpler, gentler time…

Keep up the great work—and those “Right on” predictions!

Joy LaCole Shirley, Bonney Lake, WA

You have a great publication. Been reading it for years. Just ordered a gift subscription for my son, he loves it. So you don’t feel bad, congratulations on your 10 out of 10 on Y2K stuff. Lots of generators for sale in our local paper!

Clint Tawse, Pueblo, CO

A letter from prison

My brother, a Grants Pass area contractor, recently started a subscription for me to BHM—After I’d written to him about my wishes to live so far back of the beyond that it takes daylight 31 years to reach it—and I’d like to thank you for your fine magazine and refreshing attitude.

At one time, I had considered myself Libertarian in most ways, except as to legalization of drugs. But I’ve come to understand how insidious governmental regulation is, and that all law, not selected areas of law, must return to that which was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, or we will not truly be free of its tyranny.

I have a unique perspective, being in prison for defending my children from a molester…prior to this, I had the usual public perception of prisoners and prison life. It ain’t at all like I thought: it’s worse, far worse—greater than 60% of the men I’ve spoken to would not be in prison if not for government intrusion, search and seizure laws, and rules making mincemeat of the Constitution.

This has affected me directly: After my arrest, my wife (whom I was separated from) put my stepdaughter, age 8, in foster care. The child was a handful, but only to her mother. Anyway, this little girl tried to commit suicide in the foster home by throwing herself through a plate glass window. Luckily, she bounced off. Instead of counseling, the county took charge of her, put her in mental health care almost 200 miles away, and then forced my wife to put our 2-year old girl, the light of my life, in a foster home as well. Social services would not let my wife, or my 25-year-old son from a prior marriage, bring her to visit me in jail—saying it was bad for the child.

Nobody would anticipate this, but the Foster Mom went “Nuts” and threw my baby girl across a room, causing a concussion which the woman ignored. My baby was dead in the morning. My step-daughter is now living with the natural father she hadn’t seen since she was 9 months old—contacted by Social Services.

I spent 25 years driving tour and city buses, until poor health sidelined me. I’m familiar with those regulations and rules. Yet I had no real idea of the power of “our” government to control every aspect of our daily lives, even down to destroying a family.

So now, my family is gone—even my son, whose own stepchildren were taken away when his fiancée, their mother, was arrested for “controlled substance” possession. Not being married to her, he had no say over the kids. He kind of went off the deep end, sold my van, stole my social security income, and took off for parts unknown.

Eventually I’ll find a piece of land and build my itty bitty cabin way off the grid, and write about happier things. Your publication is giving me hope that it is possible to do, with articles and ideas that, while I may not agree with, certainly provoke thought.

Although I’ve had health problems, including a stroke last January, I’m determined to live far away from any city and its immediate medical help. I’d rather die amongst the trees than live in the rat race—although I have a good idea that getting clear of cities will prolong my life. Thank you once again for a fine publication—keep it up! I wish I’d found you years ago.

Thomas A. Darby K74687, Vacaville, CA

Slug throwers

A couple of years back BHM published an article I wrote, about shotguns for backwoods uses. Shortly after that I received a pretty nasty letter from this guy here in Indiana, who mostly was upset because (in his opinion) no shotgun was capable of the sort of accuracy I’d claimed for the newer rifled barrels for slug guns.

Yesterday I received the enclosed letter, telling of his results now that he has finally tried one of those nicely accurate slug throwers. Seems that now he’s probably more impressed than I was! I thought maybe you’d like to see this letter…

Rev. J. D. Hooker

Hello Joe:

Well, as you can see, two things have happened. One, it’s been quite some time since we’ve contacted. Two, the address has changed and now we have our own address out here in the country. Even though it sounds like a city address, we’re way out in the boonies. That’s one of those new E911 things.

Well I guess it’s time for me to say, please accept my Humble Apology many times over!!

I got one of the Mossberg 695 Slugster Turnbolt 12 ga. “Rifles” some time back. I was really disappointed with it at first as it only printed 5 to 6 inch groups at 100 yards using Federal or Remington slugs. It sat in my gun vault for who knows how long. Late last summer I purchased a LEE Slug Mold. Don’t know if you’re familiar with it but the slug has a “cross key” cast into the hollow base. It is loaded into a standard 1 or 11/8 oz. plastic shot cup and locks the slug to it. The plastic cup locks into the rifling and the two work together to impart positive spin on the slug like a sabot load. I recovered some of the shot cups to check them out and that key definitely does do what it’s advertised.

Now my surprise and delight! I know, you told me so! At 50 yards, firing from bench, the only way I can tell I’m hitting the target after the first shot is the slight jump the ole piece of log I shoot into makes when the slug hits. They go through the same hole. At 100 yards, it shoots about 2″ or a little under. I MEASURE my shooting ranges. Haven’t had time to check it out at farther ranges, but I’m now satisfied that I have a 12 ga. weapon that performs like a rifle. I admit that if I hadn’t done it myself, I still wouldn’t believe it, but now I’ve proven it to myself.

If you haven’t tried one of these Lee Molds for these slugs, you owe it to yourself. They are aluminum molds and the easiest to use I’ve ever worked with. Compared to the cost of commercial Sabot loads, just a few shots will pay for the mold and they come with handles.

Lee recommends using pure lead for the slugs. I contacted them to see if it was for safety or some other reason. They told me that it was because of the cooling shrinkage rate of different alloys and that I might have a problem getting the slugs off the core pin if I didn’t use pure lead. Well I had to try something I had in mind and it’s worked great! I’ve been purchasing Federal Heavy Field Loads as the box says at Wall Mart for just over $4 a box. They are loaded with 11/8 oz. shot. The slugs are 1 oz. So if anything, the velocity is higher and there is no bore pressure danger with a lighter payload. Haven’t gotten to shoot them over my friends Crony yet, but they shoot great. I open the shells, dump the shot into my melting pot. Melt down the shot and cast it into slugs. Put the slugs back into the same shells and then close the crimp with my Lee Loader. These are actually the ones that are shooting the one hole 50 yard groups!

I measure my shooting ranges when testing because of technicalities. Many people exaggerate or simply can’t estimate range. I once had a friend I worked with that swore up and down the range we were looking at the target to was 300 yards. I told him no and no again and he said yes and yes. I finally went and got a 100 ft. roll tape and started measuring. It was precisely 97 yards.

…One more thing. I did top that Mossberg with a cheap Bushnell Sportsview 4X scope I had laying around in my shop. Although it does have real nice iron sights, my old eye sure isn’t what it used to be. The only one I have has had to do the work of two for over 31 years now since I caught a piece of a frag. Grenade back in 68 when I was just 18 years old so I guess I can’t complain about being a bit fuzzy nowadays.

J. Bishop, Oaktown, IN

Dehydrator coil

Your magazine is fantastic! I knew when I saw the preliminary issues that I was going to be satisfied with it. When the last issue arrived supper was a half hour late. I needed the time to read the article by Charles Sanders regarding the building of a food dehydrator. I’ve wanted one for years but all were either the round style or too expensive for my pocketbook. The very idea of building one of my own was ideal, and the prices of the items were within range.

But now I need help. I stopped at the local hardware store and requested the 600 watt ceramic heat coil. They didn’t have one in stock, checked their catalog and didn’t have one to order. They had catalogs for the neighboring town hardware and they didn’t carry it either. So I contacted two hardware stores that provide appliance repairs and had no better luck. Could you possibly provide the name, address and phone number of the hardware store where the ceramic heat coil was purchased? I’d have the phone lines burning to get a call to that outfit. The strawberries, raspberries and apple trees have been providing bumper crops the last three years. I’d really appreciate having a food dehydrator and the timing is perfect to build one.

Just an aside. I brought my Backwoods Home Magazine into work to read during break periods. Well, one fellow worker is putting in a subscription, another is checking out your web site, another was writing down information on the suppliers of woodstoves, wood heaters, and saw mill operations, and today another staff requested to see the magazine overnight. Hope he brings it back tomorrow!

Linda L. Johnson, Mapleton, MN

The address and phone number of the ceramic heat coil provider is: Akinsun Heat Company, Inc., 1531 Burgandy Parkway, Streamwood, IL 60107, Att: Mr. Syed Musavi, Telephone: 630-289-9393. They have two models available: #CS1003-01 500W, #CS1003-02 660W. Cost is $25 each. — Charles Sanders

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