Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 16 Comments

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here. In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning. It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling "committed Christians") who do not hold one or…… [read more]

Crossbow Versus Bear

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

Dean Weingarten.

On the evening of 22 September 2005, a hunting guide and his hunter, who was from Ohio, were attacked without provocation, by a grizzly bear in the Shoshone National Forest in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The details of the attack were found in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response to AmmoLand. This correspondent has not found any other published account of this attack.

[ … ]

The guide attempted to draw his .44 magnum revolver, but the pistol hung up on the trigger guard. The bear was very close, so the guide dodged behind an eight-inch birch tree, to avoid the bear. The guide estimated he spent 40 seconds dodging the bear around the tree, until the bear grabbed him by the right side, and threw him to the ground.

With the guide on the ground, the bear worried him for a short period, then left him and ran at the hunter, who was armed with a crossbow. At ten yards, the hunter shot the bear in the chest with his bow. At the impact of the bolt, the bear stood up, and started back toward the guide, then lay down.

The hunter shouted to the guide, “She’s dead, I’m all right!” The guide got up and asked where the bear went. The hunter said “She is right next to you, about 6-8 feet away.” The guide determined the bear was still breathing, so he shot her in the back of he head with the .44 magnum.

This is impressive skills at composure under pressure.  Still, I’d rather have successfully deployed the .44 magnum handgun.

Week Long Bear Attack Ordeal In Alaska

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago


US Coast Guard officials were alerted by an SOS message on a shack roof and spotted a man waving his arms in the air calling for help.

The man told them he had been attacked by a bear and hadn’t slept for days after it kept coming back to his camp.

He was found with chest bruising and an injured leg he had taped up.

The helicopter crew had been on their way to fly a team of scientists on a wildlife research mission when they were diverted off-course by weather and spotted the distress message.

According to the New York Times, the man had almost run out of ammunition for his gun and the door of the shack where he was staying had been ripped off.

“At some point, a bear had dragged him down to the river,” Lieutenant Commander Jared Carbajal told the newspaper. “He had a pistol. He said that the bear kept coming back every night and he hadn’t slept in a few days.”

The pilots found the man stumbling out the shack waving a white flag.

The man has not been named but officials said he is in his late 50s or early 60s and had been reported overdue home from the trip by friends.

The US Coast Guard flew him to hospital in order to get medical attention, but say his injuries are not life-threatening.

The Alaska Department for Fish and Game describe the state as “bear country” but emphasises that aggressive encounters with the species are rare.


I’d like to know more details.  What kind of handgun?  What caliber?  I assume – since it hadn’t been done yet – this wasn’t the sort of firearm one could rely upon for a one or two shot kill.

How much ammunition did he carry?  Why didn’t he carry more?  Why didn’t he carry GPS and a satellite phone with uplink?

So many questions.  Maybe this will be followed up with more reporting.

Montana Grizzly Bear Attack

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

News from Montana.

Early Tuesday morning (July 6), a bear attacked and killed a woman while she was camping in western Montana. Local authorities are still searching for the animal.

The attack took place near Ovando, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of the state capital Helena, according to KGVO News. A statement from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) noted that, prior to the attack, a video camera at a local business caught footage of the animal, which appeared to be a grizzly bear. Grizzlies are common to Ovando and the surrounding Blackfoot Valley, according to the statement.

[ … ]

The bear initially passed by their campsite about a half-hour earlier, waking the campers and prompting them to secure their food before going back to bed.

“The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times,” Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles told The Associated Press.

[ … ]

It’s not clear why the bear sought out the campsite or attacked Lokan, but Tuesday’s attack does not represent “normal bear behavior,” Lemon said. “Usually, human and bear conflicts stem from bears protecting food, female bears protecting cubs or surprise encounters that result in the bear feeling threatened and attacking the person. … Going into a campground and attacking a person is not a natural instinct.”

I think he needs to update his psychological profile of bear behavior.  This video was a juvenile bear attack in California.

Bear Attacks In Alaska And The Smoky Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

Down South.

COSBY, Tenn. — Rangers shot and killed a black bear Friday after a 16-year-old girl was attacked while sleeping in a hammock in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

According to park officials, the girl was camping with her family at Backcountry Campsite 29 in the Cosby section of the park when the attack happened. The family was able to drive the bear away and called for help.

The incident happened about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

When rangers arrived, they provided medical care to the teen, who had multiple cuts on her body, including to her head.

The Tennessee Military Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were alerted shortly before 7 a.m. Friday about the wounded teen.

A Knoxville-based Tennessee Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter arrived at the campsite about 8:45 a.m. A critical care paramedic rode a hoist down to the site, assessed the teen with rangers and then rode back up with her in the hoist to the chopper hovering overhead.

The entire hoisting operation took 14 minutes to complete, according to the National Guard.

The Blackhawk then flew her on to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. She was in stable condition, according to park officials.

Two bears were spotted in the area following the attack. One larger male entered the campsite several times despite the rangers’ attempts to scare it away. The family identified it as the bear that attacked the teen so rangers shot and killed it.

Up North.

An Alaska hiker whose whereabouts were unknown for nearly two days after she reported being chased off a trail by bears was found alive Wednesday evening, officials said.

Fina Kiefer, 55, of Palmer, Alaska, emerged from the woods and was spotted on a road about a mile from the Pioneer Ridge trailhead. Kiefer was injured and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation, according to statements from the Alaska State Troopers as well as Alaska’s National Guard.

State troopers were notified on Tuesday around 1:29 a.m. local time that Kiefer was alone and in need of assistance on Pioneer Ridge Trail near Palmer, about 42 miles northeast of Anchorage. Kiefer had called her husband asking for help after she said she was charged by multiple bears and had to use bear spray. But she stopped responding to telephone calls and text messages shortly thereafter, according to officials.

These are tough situations, but once again, there are common themes I would highlight.

Bear spray, scaring the bears away, and medical kits.  Don’t rely on spray.  Carry a large bore handgun.  And these people are fortunate – the national guard and helicopters won’t always be available.  Carry a medical kit.

Seven Rounds To Stop The Grizzly

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

Dean Weingarten.

He saw the grizzly coming at them. He dropped the arrow and bow and drew his Taurus .45 1911 semi-auto. He yelled at the bear and started backing away. As the bear saw the two other hunters behind the lead, it momentarily paused, giving him time to rack the slide and chamber a round. The Taurus had eight rounds in its magazine.

The pause was momentary; not a full stop of the charge. The lead hunter was able to start shooting from a range of six feet. The grizzly grabbed the lead hunter by the left thigh and the hunter went down with the bear on top of him.

As the bear closed with the lead hunter, the middle and last hunters had seen the bear, dropped their bows, and drew their pistols, a .44 magnum and a 9mm. They started shooting.

With the lead hunter down and the bear in his lap, he put the .45 against its head and shot his last rounds. The bear went limp. The lead hunter was able to crawl out from under the big bear.

Shortly afterward, the bear was seen to move, and the hunters fired two more rounds into the chest cavity from the side. The hunters estimated they had fired 19 cartridges at the bear; 8 rounds of .45, 6 rounds of .44 magnum, and about 4 rounds of 9mm.

[ … ]

At the scene, they collected 12 cartridge cases, including 9mm, .45, and .44 magnum.

The wardens found seven bullet wounds in the bear, five of which were from the front, and two of which were from the side. They recovered four bullets from the bear in three different calibers.

Good Lord.  That bear was hard to put down.

Yet more lessons learned.  Pistols, not bear spray.  Next, the bow hunters thought they had discharged 19 rounds.  They actually discharged 12.  Finally, don’t always assume you’re going to hit your target in that sort of situation.  They connected with 7 out of 12.

Carry A Large Bore Handgun For Protection Against Predators When In The Bush

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 1 week ago

From reader Richard, awful news about a man being killed by a bear in Yellowstone.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Grizzly bears are part of life in the gateway communities around Yellowstone National Park, and backcountry snowmobile guide Charles “Carl” Mock knew well the risks that come with working, hiking and fishing among the fear-inspiring carnivores, his friends said.

Mock was killed after being mauled by a 400-plus pound (181-plus kilogram) male grizzly while fishing alone at a favorite spot on Montana’s Madison River, where it spills out of the park and into forested land that bears wander in search of food.

The bear had a moose carcass stashed nearby and wildlife officials say it likely attacked Mock to defend the food. The grizzly was shot after charging at a group of seven game wardens and bear specialists who returned the next day.

Bear spray residue found on Mock’s clothing suggested he tried to ward off last week’s attack using a canister of the Mace-like deterrent, considered an essential item in the backcountry. He usually carried a pistol, too, but wasn’t on the day he was killed just a few miles north of the small town of West Yellowstone where he lived, according to two friends.

While some on social media questioned the inherent perils of such a lifestyle in the wake of Mock’s death, those who knew him said he accepted the risk as a trade-off for time spent in a wilderness teeming with elk, deer, wolves and other wildlife.

“People don’t understand that for us who live here, that’s what we do every day,” said Scott Riley, who said he fished, hunted, hiked and kayaked numerous times with Mock over the past decade.

[ … ]

Mock, 40, managed to call 911 following the mauling and was found by rescuers propped against a tree with the cannister of bear spray in one hand, his father, Chuck Mock, told the Billing Gazette. His other hand had been “chomped off” as he tried to protect himself.

One of the animal’s teeth punctured his skull and Mock died two days later in an Idaho hospital after undergoing extensive surgery.

One more failure in the bear spray category.  The pistol he usually carried didn’t do him much good sitting at home.  While the risk wouldn’t have been nonexistent, it would have been reduced with a large bore handgun.

Black Bear Attacks Hunter In Virginia, Tearing Softball-Sized Chunk From His Leg

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

News from Virginia.

A Virginia hunter was attacked by a black bear, with the animal taking a softball-sized chunk out of his leg.

Ronnie Dalton, 68, from Carroll County had been out hunting on Saturday in Hillsville and was about to pack up for the day when the incident occurred, The Carroll News reported.

Dalton was in his hunting tree stand when he noticed a black bear cub nearby. After scanning the area for the mother and failing to find her, he decided it was safe to climb down.

But when he reached the floor, he spotted her and the animal rushed towards him in an aggressive manner.

“When my feet hit the ground I saw her. She looked up and saw me and when that happened she made a beeline at me as hard as she could come. I tried waving my hand like they say on a black bear, but I guess that doesn’t work if they have cubs and feel threatened,” Dalton told The Carroll News.

Dalton decided in the moment the the best chance of saving himself was to climb back up into the tree stand. But he was not able to escape the bear’s reach.

“I thought maybe I would have a chance. When I tried to climb the tree stand, I got about three or four rungs up and she made a lunge on me and grabbed my right side. She bit me on my right calf and jerked me out of the stand,” he said.

The bear took a softball-sized chunk of Dalton’s leg, and left three or four large teeth marks. It also caused him to fall around 7-8 feet out of the tree, temporarily knocking hum unconscious.

“When I came to and got to my senses and looked, she was already leaving with her two cubs, thank goodness,” Dalton said. “And so then I looked down and saw my britches was tore and my leg gashed open. I said to myself, ‘I have to get out of here.’ I grabbed my bow and took off toward the house.”

Dalton thinks that being knocked out may have actually saved his life, because the bear may have no longer considered him a threat to her cubs.

Bad situation.

Question.  Did you have a large bore handgun with you?  This could have ended far worse than it did.

“I Could Have Touched The Bear’s Nose”

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

I’d prefer not to be that close.

Renee Levow enjoys walking with her two German shepherds in the wooded area near her home on Rum Springs Road, about a 15-minute drive from Myersville.

Lately, however, the 53-year-old has been nervous to step outside, because on Sept. 21, she was attacked by a bear.

Levow said her two dogs were off the leash when, about a half mile from her home, she spotted a black bear nearby in the woods.

Her female dog, Kylie, chased after the bear, which she said weighed about 150 pounds. The bear then charged at Levow, after Kylie returned to her.

“I could have touched the bear’s nose,” Levow said this week about the encounter.

She is recovering at home from her injuries. The bear bit her two times above her left knee, wrestled her to the ground, stomped on her chest and damaged her face.

After playing dead for about 10 minutes — and her dogs Kylie and Bones possibly chasing the bear away — she called 911. Levow was sent to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown and then flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

A surgical team worked on her face for four hours, said Levow’s husband, Steve. Renee said they had to sew up all her wounds.

“I have a good amount of damage, but I don’t know how it will turn out. It will be months until I know what I really look like,” she said. “There may possibly be nerve surgery above my right eye. We don’t know yet, because of the swelling.”

The Levows are glad the attack didn’t turn out worse, and hope it raises awareness of the growing bear population in the area. Steve said since he moved to the area with his wife more than 20 years ago, he’s never seen as many black bears in the area as he’s seen in the last few months.

They said they’ve seen more than a dozen black bears around their home this summer, which is in a wooded area of the county, roughly six miles north of Gambrill State Park.

Harry Spiker, a bear biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service, said the bear population has been growing in the state and region.

But bear attacks are rare, Spiker said, as the attack on Levow is one of only a few recorded in Maryland history. The last was in 2016, also in Frederick County.

Speaking with colleagues in similar positions throughout the region, Spiker said bear attacks usually happen because of three scenarios: Someone could intentionally or unintentionally be feeding the bear, through a bird feeder or other something similar; a person startles the bear when they encounter one at night.

The last scenario? Dogs.

“One of the most common [causes] is dogs … dogs and bears just don’t get along,” Spiker said.

That’s for sure.  Dogs will go after bears, and usually dogs are too agile for the bears, but you’re not.  But I’d rather have the dogs with me to alert me to bear presence.

Both the Levows and Spiker noted the topography and development in the region, as there is rolling farmland to the west and Frederick and its development to the east.

Because of this, the bears tend to travel along wooded ridge tops, like the area near Rum Springs Road.

“That is a natural funnel that the bears tend to come down,” Spiker said, adding Maryland’s healthy forested areas and plentiful food sources have likely led to an increase in the bear population since the mid-20th century.

DNR officials have set a trap in an attempt to catch the bear or others. Spiker said it’s unlikely the bear would be put down if trapped because it would be difficult to know if it was the one that attacked Levow.

Both Steve and Renee urged people who bike or hike in the area to be alert for bears, and not to approach them if they see one. Steve thanked DNR for bringing up some cans of bear mace for protection.

“We encourage anybody who walks up here to carry bear mace,” Steve said. “It’s probably better than a gun.”

Yea okay.  You keep your bear spray.  If I’m out and about in the bush, I’ll carry a large bore handgun, thank you.

Bear Spray Failure In Alaska: 46-Year-Old Killed Clearing Trail

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Dean Weingarten.

On 29 July, 2020, Daniel Schilling went to clear trail about a mile from his cabin in Alaska. His dog returned home without him. His wife was very concerned. Searchers found his body, killed by a bear, where he was working. An empty can of bear spray, with the safety off, which had been discharged at the site, was also found.

[ … ]

How much of his decision to take bear spray, and not a revolver, was made because of the claims of bear spray effectiveness?

Prior: Black Bear Kills Unarmed Woman In Unprovoked Attack; Bear Spray Fails, Gun Works.

Don’t listen to the “experts.”  Dean is an expert you can listen to.  And listen to your common sense, sometimes no so common among men.

Carry bear spray if you want.  I don’t choose to.  But always carry a large bore handgun, and keep it within reach.  If it’s in your backpack, you won’t have time to get it.  If it’s near your encampment, you won’t have time to go back and get it.

The same thing goes for big cats, feral hogs and coyotes.

Black Bear Kills Unarmed Woman In Unprovoked Attack; Bear Spray Fails, Gun Works

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.

The father said he was talking to her when he heard a gurgling noise, and was no longer able to communicate with her. Nine minutes later, his son-in-law, Stephanie’s husband, Curtis Blais, called him and told him of the attack. Curtis had tried bear spray, but it did not work, so he got a gun and shot and killed the bear. From

After waiting two minutes, Esquirol disconnected and called back. No one answered. Seven minutes later, he got a call from his daughter’s husband, Curtis Blais, who had been in the cabin’s kitchen about 30 metres away.

“Curtis called advising me that a bear attacked her, that he sprayed the bear with pepper spray, and the bear got more angry.”

Esquirol said his son-in-law told him he got a gun and shot the bear twice before it went down.

“So by that time, Stephanie had no pulse. He gave her mouth to mouth, but she was injured beyond the point of recovery.”

[ … ]

The bear was not starving. Its stomach was full of blueberries. From

He said a conservation officer told him the bear was unprovoked in the attack and that the bear wasn’t hungry. It had a stomach full of blueberries.

We do not know how much time was consumed by complying with the Canadian government laws on firearms and ammunition storage.

Free men don’t follow unrighteous laws when those laws put themselves or their loved ones at risk.

When in bear country, always have a large bore firearm within reach.  Or be at increased and unnecessary risk.  The choice is yours.

And no, bear spray isn’t a large bore firearm.

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