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Spend a Day with Wm. Hovey Smith to Change Your Life and Make Your Fortune

Wm. Hovey Smith

  Blog surfing is about as addictive as its TV equivalent, and has as little value. To extract something useful from a book, TV or blog, some attention must be paid to the material or you are just reacting to stimuli, rather than learning.  It is more time-consuming to dig for information, but once earned, some of it will  “stick,” and you will be able to make a plan to improve your life.

  I have been around for some 70 years and have experienced a lot of  living. Some if it was very good, and at other times not so hot.  Finally, I have figured out who I am. I am an idea guy. I produce a lot of ideas which are presented in my books, blogs and radio shows; but I am most satisfied when I can come up with new concepts, compared to putting all of my energy into a new business to make it  work. I had rather let you use my concepts and make money from them.

 I tried a direct approach with 21 “Starting your own outdoor business”  YouTube videos. This series takes you through the business process from conception to disposing of it when you die. Although I discuss aspects of  outdoor-based businesses, these tips will work for any business. Should you want suggestions as to what business to start, these are scattered throughout my blogs, books and radio shows. This is where the digging and “fun” comes in. There are more than 100 business concepts concealed, sometimes as gag ads, in my radio shows, suggested in my books or illustrated in my videos.

  I have one of the most highly rated WordPress blogs. If you are a blogger, or want to be, there is much to be learned from them.

 Are they perfect?  No they are not.

 Will you agree with everything I have to say? I sure hope not.

 What you will find in all of my works is the unexpected, unusual and sometimes strange.  This is perhaps best illustrated by my “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures”   radio shows on  These shows are highly variable. There are some that have a format, such as my coverage of trade shows. Others, might be absolutely “out of the blue” for an outdoor-radio show; but I work in cooking, chiropractic care and global warming as well as my usual hunting and fishing materials.

 I trust that I have convinced you  that I do come up with ideas. Some of these are things that you can turn into multi-million dollar businesses. However, they are only of value if you adapt them to your needs, personality, outlook and drive to succeed. This you must do yourself.

 Make a game out of  it. Go through my materials and write down what is of potential value to you. These might be wildly diverse. Some could be direct business tips, others might be about  interpersonal relationships (the most difficult thing that we do in our entire lives) or how to improve your health and lifestyle. All of these are there  for you to find.

  Perhaps the most useful of my 16 books is,  Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound.  This title is available as an E-book from Among my blog posts is an index to my first 150 postings to my “Backyard Deer Hunting  Blog.” This will allow you to select those which are of  interest to you.  YouTube lists my videos on the “wmhoveysmith channel.” The most potentially useful of my radio shows are on “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures.”  Once you go to my show page on, you will be able to pull down descriptions of  nearly a years’ worth of  hour-long shows.

 The quickest access to all of this is through my website, There you will find a link to my radio show, descriptions of my outdoor books and at the very bottom of the page links to my blogs. 

  Spend the day with me and perhaps change your life for the better. It will cost you nothing, but the time you are willing to invest. This time is the only thing that  has real value and that you can never replace, use it wisely. Take a look, and grab what you need.    

 If I help you, and you feel a desire to donate something, I have a donate button on my website,

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Hunting Small Game with Percussion Revolvers


The Ruger Old Army at work, in this case killing a Georgia alligator after proving itself squirrel hunting.

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  Hunting small game with pistols is a challenge and doing it with cap and ball revolvers is even more interesting. I started this process with almost no success back in the 1950s with a replica .36-caliber Colt-pattern revolver. This gun was so ill sighted and shot so high that hitting an animal the size of a squirrel required aiming six inches below and two inches to the right. Only at practically end-of- the -muzzle range, could I reliably hit small game.

  Over the years I owned a variety of .22 L.R. and centerfire handguns and used these successfully. With pistol hunting for squirrels I found that I was using over twice as much ammunition as I would with a .22 rifle, even shooting at sitting animals.  Using handguns I hunted  rabbits,  ptarmigan and some Western grouse (in states where this is legal), and I often fed myself with pistol-taken small game in Alaska and elsewhere.

Sometimes during the early 1970s, I purchased a replica Colt .31 pocket pistol. As much by accident as design, this one shot to about the point of aim. I was able to take rabbits with this revolver and a few grouse. I later sold it and have regretted it ever since. What all of these guns needed was adjustable sights so that I did not have to worry about “Kentucky windage” when I was trying to kill something. Having repeat shots was an advantage, but could not overcome the fact that the original replica patterns were so ill-sighted.

  The Ruger Old Army, now discontinued, used many of the Blackhawk cartridge revolver’s components, including an excellent set of sights. I immediately latched onto one of these and was pleased to discover that this gun worked on squirrels, other small game and was also useful for alligator hunting. More recently I have been working with Cabela’s .44-caliber Buffalo revolver which also has adjustable sights. My gun is made of stainless steel, has a 12-inch barrel and can take loads capable of  killing deer-sized game at close range.

  Using this gun I found that I might see a dozen squirrels, find five  in safe places to shoot (where a tree or the ground will take the ball after it penetrates the animal), and actually kill two of them. Something like this is how my pistol hunting for squirrels usually progresses.  At nearly 70 years old, my eyes are not as good as they were when I was 17.  I must take off my glasses to see the pistol sights clearly and then my view of the animal becomes indistinct.

  Could a younger guy with better vision do better?  I would hope so.  Nonetheless, using a .44-caliber percussion pistol to take small animals like squirrels is a wasteful expenditure of powder and lead. Why do it?

The results of a hunt with the Cabela's Buffalo .44.

It is fun. It does work in the gun as many more shots will be fired at small game that the few fired at deer and hogs each year.  It also gives the user the confidence that if he can take animals as small as squirrels with pistols like the Ruger and Pietta revolvers using maximum-level loads of  Triple Seven, then he can likely take larger game with precise bullet placement.   

 I have a 7-part video series on “The Modern Percussion Revolver” on YouTube at the wmhoveysmith channel  that shows  my use of  these guns. Video 7 A, below, covers small game hunting with Cabela’s Buffalo revolver. If you have trouble viewing it here it is also available on YouTube at: The pistol was provided by Cabelas and the components by Dixie Gun Works.

 After I did the video several people reported that Cabelas does offer an open-top leather holster for the Buffalo revolver. The current price (2011) is less than $30.00 which is good for that large piece of  leatherwork. If you have the gun and not the holster, get the holster now, because that price is going nowhere but up.  

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Hovey Smith Will Present “Long-Term Restoration of the Mississippi River Delta” at the 9th INTECOL Wetlands Conf.

Wm. Hovey Smith at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force's meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi.

  For the past eight years the University of Florida has sponsored an International Conference on worldwide wetlands restoration. This year the 9th INTECOL conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on June 3-8, 2012. Those who follow my blogs will recall that I presented a paper at the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s final hearing in Biloxi, Mississippi, in August, 2011.  The paper (or poster) that I will present at the Florida Conference will be an update on my presentation which called for a 200-year plan for restoring the Delta and a new TVA-type organization that would be independently funded to be established in Louisiana.  My presentation was included on a broadcast of  my radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures,” and you may listen to my presentation as part of a YouTube video at:

A pin awarded the author for his presentation at the Gulf Task Force Conf.

As a Professional Geologist and writer who frequently wrote about scientific advances, attending, presenting and reporting from scientific conferences is not new to me. Like at many such conferences, the INTECOL organizers will have both oral and poster presentations. The oral presentations will be 20 minutes of Power Point materials, whereas the posters will typically be up  for a day or half-day and then be replaced by another set.  The costs of either presentation is the same, which the organizers estimate at between $600-$700 to which must be added travel expenses, lodging and meals. Even being frugal, this conference presentation business is expensive stuff, and the total costs for the six-day event could easily run over $2,000.

  I feel that I have important things to say that should be voiced. My abstract has been accepted, but I need to be there to deliver it. For a guy who is trying to do interesting things with radio and writing, but is living on Social Security, I need help to get this message out. I am now applying for grants, but these will take a year or more to be approved as they work through the cycle.

 A copy of the abstract is below:

A Centuries-Long Plan for Implementing the Practical Restoration of the Mississippi River Delta

Wm. Hovey Smith

Consulting Geologist, Sandersville, GA, USA 

Recent major hurricanes and a large oil spill have highlighted the centuries-long deterioration of the lower Mississippi Delta south of New Orleans. Restoration of the Delta must not only take ecosystems into account, but also the maintenance of vital energy, transportation and seafood production areas while simultaneously providing increasing protection for upstream cities. A new, independently funded, TVA-like organization is proposed. This organization is intended to have the scientific knowledge, political infrastructure and resources to act quickly in the face of future natural disasters and also manage a long-term program to progressively rebuild the Delta through water and sediment management.

Because of the near-impossibility of a new Federal organization being approved by Congress in the present economic climate, a new NGO is proposed to gather stakeholders and draft proposed legislation that might be enacted when legislative conditions are more favorable.

This is a follow-up on a paper presented at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force hearing in Biloxi,Mississippi, in August, 2011.

Contact Information: Wm. Hovey Smith, Professional Geologist,1325 Jordan Mill Pond Rd.,Sandersville,GA31082USA, Phone (478) 552-7455, FAX (478) 552-7455, Email:

  If I am fortunate enough to be given “oral presentation status,” I will have 20 minutes to present my best case for the establishment of a new Lousiana-based organization that will have both the capabilities of rapid response in the face of natural disasters as well as the long-term mission or restoring the Mississippi River Delta while simultaneously making the economic and political trade-offs that will be necessary to practically manage such a dynamic ecosystem.

 This is an organization where energy, transportation, fishing, environmental and political interest could all have input and pre-agree on plans of action for long-term Delta restoration. There must be trade offs and hard bargains to be made that are best done before, rather than during, a crisis. Basically, this would be war-gaming nature and the consequences of living in such a fragile, variable and dynamic ecosystem.   

 Check me out. Listen to what I had to say at the Biloxi Task Force meeting. If you think that my position sounds logical, or at least is a potential solution that should be thrown into the mix of possible arguments,  you can send me a check to help out to the above address.

  The major actors such as the Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey and existing NGOs have their own funding difficulties and are not likely to finance a “loose cannon” like me who has good ideas, but is not under their control, even though they may agree with almost everything that I have to say.

  I need help from individuals and other interests to offer bridge-support for my activities until grants or other funding can be secured.  I have a  Pay Pal “Donation Button” on my website, where you may donate from $50 to $1,000 using a credit card.

  Contributions can also be mailed to me and will be directed through a 501c organization and will be tax-exempt. A receipt will be issued for each donation of $50 or more. If this is too much for you now,  I certainly understand. My books are priced at $20 each and may be purchased through my website at  If you need help as much as I do getting your life re-started in this economy, look at my free 21 YouTube video series on how to start your own outdoor-based business.  Perhaps these will help.  If you have an artistic slant, I also have a YouTube video titled, “Selling Creative Content in a Down Economy.” 


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Drinking the Dregs of the New Wine in this Economy

Even drinking the dregs of a poor batch of wine is better than not making the attempt.

Blood was streaming down from the top of my head from where I had crashed against a metal arm of my disappearing stairway while getting my wine-making stuff out of storage.

A bad start for a road trip.

This event resulted in 2:00 AM trip to the Emergency Room of my small-town hospital and was not a good start for my first attempt to make a 5-gallon batch of persimmon wine. I wanted to start the wine before I left for Missouri to attend an outdoor writers’ conference and shoot some squirrels with a cap-and-ball revolver.

 Like many of us living on Social Security, I am trying different things to save money and augment my  income.  I have a lot of  things going on. I write books and have a new one coming out later this year (X-Treme Muzzleloading). I also do an outdoor radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures,” which is different in that I cover a range of topics in what I hope is an entertaining fashion. I am also an inventor and most recently have taken to making my own wine. If I push enough things, sooner or later, one of them is going to bump into some serious money; but this has not happened yet. In fact, rather the opposite is occuring. Still, I keep trying.  It would be a rather dull life otherwise.

  While writers do not take “Holy Vows” of poverty, it certainly seems that way at times. I have learned a few things, many of which I share on my blogs, videos, radio shows and books. This trip to Missouri was to share with my fellow writers and hunt for squirrels and hogs with my Cabela’s Buffalo .44-caliber percussion revolver, which is a modern stainless steel gun with adjustable sights and outrageously long barrel. I had done previous work with this pistol that has been recorded on seven You-Tube videos and in previous blog posts.

  Near Branson, I found two public areas to hunt. Each morning of the conference, I would take off attempting to take some “useful critters.” Conditions were very dry. I found squirrels, but no hogs. I had three shots at squirrels, but could not hit anything. That is not unusual for pistol hunting for squirrels, as I average two squirrels for seven shots.  Nor may I shoot at any squirrel, because I have to make sure that I have a backstop to catch that .44-caliber ball after it passes through the animal.  I was not successful at the Caney Mountain or Drury-Mincy Conservation areas. 

  Missouri does an excellent job with their conservation areas, and many allow public hunting for small and/or big game. The state small-game license is also inexpensive with a day license costing only $11. Their deer tags are a bit more at over $100, but still fairly reasonable as non-resident big-game licenses go. My only complaint is that they have a terrible, bad case of “mile streatch” in that part of Missouri. It is not that Missouri miles are any longer than any other, it is just that it takes so much longer to get over them with all the corkscrew roads and right-angle turns.

  The conference ended and no squirrels. Back home my persimmon wine was doing nicely. I decanted it and allowed it to de-gas for another week or so until it had almost stopped fermenting. I had only added five pounds of sugar to my ripe persimmons and had left the skin and seeds in the mash. Before fermenting, I boiled the mash to kill any wild yeast. The result was a thin tasting, low alcohol product with a citrus taste – not really good wine, but drinkable. 

  I decanted the clear liquid. When I got to the bottom of the container where the sediment was, I poured this off into a jar, and after that settled, poured up the still cloudy dregs. This batch is not my best wine.  It did not return as much alcohol as might be desired, but still has life, interesting flavors with a little kick.  

 That’s how life is right now. It is not how I, and a great many others would want it, but for most of us it is still worth doing. If you keep rolling the dice, sooner or later something besides snake-eyes is bound to come up. The only thing that is sure is if you do not keep trying, you won’t have any chance at all.

 Continuing my “quaint arts” of muzzloading pistol hunting, the Cabella’s Buffalo revolver has now harvested five squirrels which have been converted into a batch of squirrel and whole-wheat dumplings. We finally had rain last night, hunting conditions will be good this morning. Maybe I will get  a deer.

 Drink you wine if you’ve got it. Make it if you don’t. Get along, get by, get through this mess. God bless.

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Reloading Percussion Revolvers While Hunting

One of two WMAs that I hunted while attending a conference in Branson, Missouri.

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I was having considerable trouble finding and  killing squirrels on a recent hunt in Missouri. The dry weather prevented silent approaches through the noisy leaves on the forest floor.  Only in the stream bottoms and walking on the relatively soft soils around food plots did I ever  get close enough to try for three squirrels. This turned out to be an exercise in “How not to kill squirrels.”

Got tree, but no squirrel.

 I had driven 500 miles from Georgia, had only three mornings to try for them, was hunting in new areas and also trying to see if I could find some hogs to take with the Pietta (Cabela’s stainless steel Buffalo) revolver for an upcoming Gun Digest article. The result was that I had gone through a lot of expense and trouble, and I needed  some dead squirrels.

Besides the pressure to produce a desired result, age is giving me increasing problems with seeing the pistol sights and the target squirrels with any degree of sharpness. With my glasses on I can see the squirrel clearly, but not the pistol sights. With them off I have a crisp view of the pistol sights, but the squirrel is almost invisible against the tree.

Although not planned that way, I did “bark” a squirrel and blew a slab of bark off an oak tree with a .44 caliber ball fired from across a creek valley. The squirrel escaped, apparently uninjured. Barking might actually work on a hard-barked tree like a hickory, but in this case  only an inch-thick hunk of bark was blown from the oak.

I made the decision that when I had fired my five shots (I carry on an empty chamber.) that I would  reload the entire cylinder, rather than recharge each chamber as I fired. I picked out a soft rock and sat down. I had a clear area to lay out my components and reload. This was not as convenient as doing it using a loading stand on my kitchen table, but it did get the job done with a minimum of pick-up and put-down motions.

Reloading the five or six chambers of a revolver cylinder requires considerable handling of multiple components. This is best done at a relatively clean, flat spot where you can sit down and take your time.

 (Making up and using paper cartridges can help this process, as was done in the 19th Century. My loads are chamber full prior to seating the ball and require considerable compression to load the balls.  Paper cartridges, even using combustible nitrated paper, would be too long to fit into the chambers under the loading lever.  If I tore open the cartridges and poured the loose powder in, this would likely result in spillage.  Others may elect to use paper cartridges with different powders and/or lighter loads, but I will stick with reloading loose components for my big-game-powered loads that I use on everything to  keep from having to readjust my sights. )

 I first put powder and a .44-.45 caliber felt Wonder Wad in all of the chambers and seated the wads. Then I seated all of the balls and flipped away the cut rings of lead with the tip of a knife blade. Following this, I put wax wads over the top of the lead balls. Next, I removed the cylinder, crimped the no. 10 Remington  caps and fitted them on the nipples. After reassembly, I was ready to resume my hunt.

Although I suppose that it is not  impossible that a person might need to reload a five or six-shot revolver  in the field while hunting big game, it is more likely to be necessary on a small-game hunt. Occasionally there are times when squirrels are seemingly everywhere, but more often I take one or two on a morning’s hunt. With handguns of any sort my kill ratio averages about one squirrel for every two or three shots. My shot opportunities with pistols are also fewer, as I do not shoot at moving squirrels or at squirrels where I cannot be sure that I have a backstop  to catch the lead balls once they pass through the animal.  And no, these bullets do not blow the squirrels to pieces. The balls just punch a .44-caliber hole through them and mostly take out ribs which have no significant amounts of meat on them.

 If you are interested in hunting with percussion revolvers, I have a dozen or more posts about them as well as ten YouTube videos (wmhoveysmith channel). These are interesting guns, and new powders and bullets now allow the best of them to be considered for serious short-range use on deer and similar-size game.  I will have also have a radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures,” that will highlight small and big game hunting with these pistols on a future episode in the Fall of 2011.

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Bear Paw – Pumpkin Soup for Halloween

The author getting ready to make an unusual Halloween meal from pumpkin and some more uncommon ingredients.

 When cleaning out my freezer in expectation of shortly having some fresh deer meat to put into it, I found a set of last year’s bear paws that I had planned to cook, but had not gotten around to doing. What better time to work up a dish with them than Halloween week?

 Wanting to keep this a nearly all-American meal, I picked a fresh puff-ball mushroom out of  my cemetery plot from behind the house, bought a small pumpkin and looked for ginseng root.  I could not find that locally (It grows in North Georgia, but not where I live.), so I substituted ginger. I also added two large cans of  tomatoes, two small cans of  whole kernel corn and an onion. I selected an interesting hatchet  from Fox for pumpkin busting, and I was soon videoing my first experience with cooking bear paws.  There are Asiatic recipes for bear paws, but I was interested in seeing what could be done with home-grown ingredients.

  I documented my cooking with a 15-minute video which you can see on YouTube at: and cut this down to the 5-minute blog version which appears below.

Front and rear bear paws.

The paws yielded more gelatin than meat. In  in my next effort I will add a pound of  lean bear meat to the recipe as well as another similar-size pumpkin. Alternatives could get quite fancy including using the gelatin to make any of a variety of  aspics such as a chilled tomato aspic ( see Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking  which calls for boiling calf feet as the source of gelatin). I found that when the soup was refrigerated it set up firmly, but reliquified when warmed.

  In the longer version of the video, I said that I was going to feed the boiled foot bones to my dogs, but thought better of it when I examined them more closely.  Dogs cannot (or will not) crush these small rounded bones and would be tempted to swallow them whole, and they could be choked.  I took the precaution of pre-crushing the bones with a two-pound hammer and then mixed them with dry dog food. When I feed dogs bones, I dole them out a few at a time and then follow with bulky dry food.  My dogs are Labs and do not have any problems processing occasional bones through their digestive systems using them as I do as an occasional treat that is always supplemented with dry food.

Bear paw soup served with iced tea, homemade pear wine and a sugar-depleated pear pie from the fermentation mash.

  I describe my initial attempt as yielding a soup that was  “eatable, but I would not go out of my way for it.” This means that it is a product of average quality that could easily be served to other people, but not “out of the ordinary.”  It taste like a typical tomato-based vegetable soup without much meat. One could almost pass this off as a vegetarian soup if you omitted the lean meat and only used the paw-derived gelatin – an unkind act for a hard-core vegetarian, but a way to get some animal fats and protein into them.  Most people these days have no idea that gelatins are an animal-derived product. 

  “It comes from a box, dosen’t it?” Yes, but some animal died to produce it. I just derive my gelatin from somewhat closer to the source.  If I am going to take an animal’s life, I am going to use as much of it as possible.  Often this leads to some interesting adventures in wild-game cooking, as occurred here.