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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Trespassing and poaching

I must have been around 12 years old when this happened. I was tall and strong for my age so dad had no problems with me helping him out. Dad had a little side business making traditional style snowshoes. My grandfather would build the harnesses and help with the woodwork. Dad paid me to do some of the lacing. I was fast enough to make about double minimum wage, pretty good work for a kid.

The frames were made from ash trees. It's strong wood, straight grained and good for steaming and bending. One year there was a shortage of suitable ash trees. The local timber companies had high demand for things like baseball bats and hockey sticks. They used to let dad take the occasional tree, but that access was cut off. Every stick of ash was being shipped to Canada. The weird thing is that these very same companies also bought snowshoes from dad for their timber surveyors.

That's when my dad resorted to trespassing and tree poaching. He'd disappear into the woods by himself and search out suitable trees. When he found one he'd get me. We'd snowshoe up into the woods. Using a two man crosscut saw we'd cut down the tree we needed. Chainsaws were too noisy. We weren't supposed to be there and certainly not cutting trees.

Dad had built a little sled for skidding logs out of the woods. We'd load one end of the logs on the sled, letting the other end drag. Together we'd pull it down the packed trail that we made coming in. Dad was pretty good about picking trees where it would be a downhill drag all the way.

For some reason it was always dark by the time we got down to the truck. It took no time at all to load everything up and get the heck out of there.

The next year a cousin had bought some timber acreage. There was a good stand of ash trees that my cousin let us have. That was the end of our tree poaching. Too bad, trespassing and tree poaching was a good father/son bonding experience.

Happy memories.



  1. Yup, and proves that silence is best !
    This too fits right in with using a bow, and traps etc. are the wise ways for feeding oneself after SHTF.

    1. Silence really is golden. If squirrels are on the menu, get some rat traps. Squirrels are just rats with puffy tails. They certainly aren't something to wast ammo or arrows on.

      I do like the feel of a bow and have kept up my bow license.

  2. "bow license"??
    Do you have to have a "sling shot license" too?
    (must be a northern thing)
    Bigfoot in TX

    1. Must be. Any chance to make more money on fees.

    2. I thought the same thing Bigfoot....
      Yet in some ways I can understand, as it is very easy to just wound and not kill an animal with a bow. Some very unethical folks bow hunt and will take shots that are not good.
      My motto is "Dead meat ,or don't release" !

  3. Nothing like a little undercover logging to bond a father and son!

  4. If oak and hickery and most all woods turn to ash when they are burned what does an ash tree turn to?

  5. a criminal teaching another to be a criminal...

    such a bonding experience

    but then to survive we are all crininals condemed by those truely experts at crimes

    your dad was the best ever for you

    what else did he train you to be?


    1. He trained me to be trouble, among other things. Learned the difference between being good and being legal.

    2. Prisons are chock full of the mentally challenged. The smart don't get caught quite as often...

    3. Not a lot of rich folks in prison either.

      It's also full of slow runners.

  6. "Good men must not obey the laws too well."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson