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Pickling Excess Eggs

 Even if you do not have chickens, at times you may have more eggs that you can really use because more than one person brought home a dozen after there were not enough for  breakfast. One simple way of using these extra eggs that does not require refrigeration is pickling them in white vinegar, a little salt and a couple of peppers.

  I have posted two videos on YouTube that will take you through the process. The first is “Pickling Excess Eggs Blog Version” which is  a 4-minute video that outlines the process at: A second, longer video, goes into more detail at:  

 This process goes back to ancient China where the tradition of 1,000-year-old eggs emerged. What might have occurred is that robbers raiding royal tombs in China found and ate a porcelain jar of eggs that had been left to feed the deceased a millennium before. This is how the rumor of  1,000 year-old duck eggs might have been started and how such a thing occurs on restaurant menus today.

 Any egg may be pickled. In  the early history of the U.S. eggs from all manner of fowl and reptiles (turtles & alligators) were pickled in jars and crocks. Even today you can still purchased pickled quail’s eggs from pen-raised quail in gourmet stores. Dr. Sues’ “green eggs and ham” may have its ultimate origin with pickled eggs which were sometimes colored with dye (and still are today). In earlier times these dyes were mineral-based such as copper sulphate and arsenic salts, and were toxic to deadly. Nowadays we use organic-based food dyes which are not quite so blatantly harmful, but may be less than helpful to human health.

  If you are going to have a few pickled eggs to keep in the fridge for a few weeks, boil them, put them in a glass jar with some salt and white vinegar and a few peppers (or crushed red pepper) and eat them as you feel the need. Should you wish to keep them long-term, then you will need to make sure that everything so much as possible is sterilized by boiling in hot water, just as you would “can” anything else in glass jars.

Pickled eggs packed in vinegar, salt, peppers and granulated red pepper in reused glass jars. The partly filled larger jar is kept chilled prior to use, but the smaller sealed jar is suitable for long-term dry storage.

  An additional caution is that if you are going to use ordinary glass jars that might have contained pickles or mayonnaise, be warned that these are non-tempered glass that  will break if exposed to quick heating or cooling. Put hot material in hot jars and cold material in cold jars. Wait until your jars cool before putting them in the fridge. I cannot say that pickled eggs will keep for 1,000 years, but they will certainly keep very well for months if properly canned and stored.

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Practical Bowfishing: The E-Book is available from iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon


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The expanded E-Book version of Practical Bowfishing – Wm Hovey Smith is now available from iBookstore, and as a Nook book from Barnes & Noble.  The electronic edition contains a new chapter, “Bowfishing across North America,” which was written about the author’s cross-country bowfishing in 13 states from Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Grays Harbor, Washington after the book was published.

This trip was taken to prove one of the book’s claims that bowfishing can be done almost anywhere, anytime there is open water. This trip was taken with a beat-up trailer “Weldo Trailer” and patched up boat “Bondo Boat” that I felt was safe to park along almost any road in the country. In fact, there was only one part of one state, the Idaho Panhandle, where bowfishing was prohibited in this mountainous area’s  rushing trout streams. The biggest fish taken was a 58-lb. carp from a lake in Central Washington and the most interesting shot was taking two fish with a single arrow.

The new E-book also contains updated supplier and contact information, but preserves the original book’s detailed instructions on gear, bowfishing boats, techniques, species, cleaning and cooking instructions. The photos that were removed to make the E-book publishable are replaced with expanded captions to assist the user.

Sometimes bowfishing targets can get quite large, as is illustrated here with Muzzy’s Mark Land and his Georgia alligator.

Although used soft-cover editions of this out-of-print title are sold on-line for between $50 to sometimes over $200, new copies of the book from the original printer’s cartons are available from me for a little over $20 at

The E-book can be purchased now for $8.99 from for Mac-system computers, at for Nook readers and from for the Kindle reader. This book will also be available from Reader Store (Sony), Kobo,  Gardners, Baker & Taylor, eBookPie  and other E-book outlets by mid-July, 2012.

Practical Bowfishing – Wm Hovey Smith

A video about the author’s new book products appears below:

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X-Treme Muzzleloading: Game with Muzzleloading Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns

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  Looking at the subtitle that I just wrote, perhaps it would have been better than the X-Treme Muzzleloading: Fur, Fowl and Dangerous Game with Muzzleloading Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns official title that I used for the book; but finally, after three years in progress, it is published. Any author is happy to have his book finished, and after working with this one for so long I am too – whatever it is called.

  I had already decided that this was very likely to be my last printed outdoor book and that it ought to contain the best of my writings on muzzleloading hunts that I published over the past 50 years. I do not claim to be a “big hunter” in either physical size or accomplishments. I have always enjoyed hunting with  a variety of  muzzleloading guns. Occasionally I take “trophy” animals, but more often they are common species taken with uncommon guns.

  I wanted this to be a 9X11 format book with a sufficient number of photos to adequately inform readers about the muzzleloaders that I used, how I loaded them, hunting with them and ultimately took game that ranged from armadillos, to swan to Cape buffalo. Not only did I use rifles for my small and big game hunting, I also used uncommon muzzleloading pistols and smoothbores.

   My immediate challenge was that illustrated books this size are very expensive to design and produce. I made an agreement with Hungarian editor Balazs Nemeth who publishes the “Pedersoli’s Blackpowder  No. 1”  quarterly E-zine to use materials from my book in exchange for designing X-Treme Muzzleloading. This way it could be submitted “ready to print” and save considerable production costs.  Nemeth has also been a long-time black-powder enthusiasts in addition to having a University position, wife and young children. In between holding down three jobs, he was also working on my book. He honored his commitment and got the job done, even though it took longer than either of us anticipated.

  From my end, I had to make a book from a number of articles written in various styles that had been published in whole, or part, in a number of publications, several of which were not longer in existence. These included magazines like Chevy Outdoors, Dixie Gun Works Blackpowder Annual and Blackpowder Hunting, to name a few.  It would have been nice had the book contracted to  the publishers of the Gun Digest Annual, but they saw this book as appealing to too small a market to be profitable.

  I also looked for sponsors to help print the book and found a welcome one with Hodgdon Powder Co. who purchased the ad for GOEX powder that appears in the rear of the book.  Author House, the print-on-demand publisher, was already doing Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound for me, so it was logical to also use them for my new title.

  What’s in the book

    Contained in the book’s 293 pages are 25 chapters considering four subject areas. Chapters 1-4 are comprehensive and cover respectively, Small Game, Waterfowling, Turkey Hunting and Deer Hunting. Chapters 5-20 are hunts for  small and large game including squirrels, rabbits, quail, ducks, geese, swan, hogs, deer, bear, ostrich, bison and Cape buffalo. In Chapters 21-24, I consider hunting with black-powder cartridge guns, muzzleloading gun maintainance, knives and solo hunting. In the concluding chapter I have 31 of some of my more unusual wild-game recipes including roasting a whole boar’s head (and what to do with it) and alligator paw soup.

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  This book is now available from my website for $27.77,  from and other on-line book retailers.  Reviewers and Editors who would like  review copy, contact me at

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Building and Shooting the three-barreled Duck Foot Pistol

This three barreled pistol discharged all of its barrels simultaneously. This was an early attempt at a crowd control arm in the days before percussion revolvers were common.

If you are going to name a pistol after a bird, names like “Eagle” and “Condor” have connotations of power, but Duck? This is even less true when it is not even the whole duck that you are talking about. Who is going to feel particularly safe with something in his great-coat pocket called a Duck Foot Pistol?  You may recall that the rabbit’s foot charm was not particularly lucky for the rabbit when it was alive, and he had four feet. Imagine someone waving a duck’s foot in front of a crowd of angry sword-waiving sailors whose grog rations had been terminated.

Nonetheless, there was such a gun that made during the late 1700s and early 1800s that was sold to sea captains who might have to face down a mutinous crew or a tight group of armed men in close combat on a ship’s deck. At least ducks had something to do with water, and the gun had three barrels, like a duck’s three toes.  Somehow through the decades that name has stuck to this pistol-sized version of the volley gun. The volley gun contained multiple barrels that discharged at once and such guns were produced in sizes that ranged from pistols to cannon. Such guns are still occasionally used as props in movies about pirates and the Napoleonic wars.

As part of a series of an upcoming Gun Digest article “Self Defense Guns Then and Now,”  I decided to include one of these seldom-written-about guns in the mix and give it a serious evaluation along with police models of the 1858 Remington and Colt Revolvers.  Completed guns are not generally available, but a kit, made by  Classic Arms ( New Legacy Products of Hope, Indiana)  was sold by Dixie Gun Works. I bought the kit and built the gun.

The pistol consists of three steel barrels, a steel connector block vented to each barrel, a brass frame, percussion nipple, hammer-lock parts and a wooden block that is already inlet to the back of the frame; but not shaped. The buyer’s tasks are to shape and finish the pistol grip, fit and install the lock parts and blue and polish the metal. The most challenging part for most people will be to make the pistol grip without destroying it. With patience and skill these grips can be very nice indeed, but I was after something that was more functional than attractive.

As a first step, I tightened up the wooden block to the frame, clamped that into a vise and took a large rasp and starting working down the corners of the block. The walnut was nicely grained, but would have taken a very long time to shape by only using a rasp. My next effort with a chisel went much faster, with the result that you can see below.

Roughed-out grip after chisel work.
Fit of grip to gun.

After I had removed as much as I dared with the chisel, I took the rasp and smoothed the grips down. Now that the grips were shaped, I installed them to the rear of the frame to determine what additional wood that I would have to remove by sanding. Following that, I converted a hand sander into a bench sander by clamping it into my vise and proceeded to do the final shaping on the grips. Sanding with coarse, medium and fine grades removed the last of the chisel gouges. The grips were then coated with wood stain and a MinWax stain-finish combination. After this had dried I coated the grips with furniture wax.

  When I completed my assembly of  the pistol I had something that half-way worked in that I could not install the trigger spring to the extent that the gun would cock and function normally.  I sent it off to a gunsmith who had the drill press and bits to successfully install the spring (by drilling pilot holes in the trigger and frame) and smooth up the lock. Upon its return, I had a gun that would work after I reduced the diameter of the nipple so that the no. 11 caps would fire.  I shot the gun with its recommended load of  12 grains of FFFg black powder and a patched .350 round ball. I also worked with stouter loads and received improved accuracy and terminal performance, but nothing very confidence building. While better than no gun at all, the Duck Foot was/is best used a ranges less than 10 yards with the barrels held vertical so that an adversary would catch all three balls in different parts of his body. This would not likely to be instantly disabling, but could surprise him to the extent that you could escape to obtain a more effective gun or assault him with a knife.  It appears that those using these weakly-powered pistols were  also armed with a blade as a back-up defensive weapon.

 A caution when shooting these low-powered pistol loads is that balls/bullets will bounce back and may return to hit the shooter if the projectile impacts against a hard object such as a plank, rock or tree. Always test shoot these guns against a soft backstop or in other places where “bounce backs” cannot occur.   

A 3-minute video going through the construction stages is now available on YouTube at: I did a  follow-up  video on shooting the pistol in connection with the Gun Digest article, and this video is posted below.  I later obtained  improved results from this gun with additional load development, but even so, it remains a very specialized gun with limited potential uses.

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My Home Town CDs: Money Making Opportunities

This is almost exactly how the CD appears when packaged in a plastic holder, rather that the more traditional and less durable jewel case.

Everyone lives somewhere, and if you are a small-town guy who lives in one,  you have likely picked up a lot of  local lore that others will find interesting and pay money to hear about. 

As a former news writer, author, radio broadcaster and stand-up humorist facing a declining book market; I decided to produce a history of Sandersville, Georgia, in the form of a radio show, put it on a CD  and sell that product.

 My radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures,” provided a non-traditional format. This show is usually divided into several sections. I open with a bit of  “found sound” which relates to the topic. Then comes a few minute introduction and the first ad. In this case I used a gag ad from “The Association of Town Criers.”  Then I did a 4 AM walk around the town square describing the changes that I had seen and events that had taken place on the square, including Gen. W.T. Sherman’s burning of the town during the Winter of  1864.

Following a gag ad on about the half-hour, I tell a little about my family’s history which included a former Mayor, a doctor, educators, plantation owners and native Americans. I am frank about issues like slavery, wars, depressions, segregation, intergration, agricultural decline, migration and population changes.  Through these changes, the resilient population has adapted.  Seen through the longer view of history, it is apparent that small-town life is not as unchanging  as it appeared when we were kids. An interesting aside is how I came to meet my great, great, great-grandfather face-to-face, although he was more than 100-years dead at the time.

I usually have a cooking section on my show, and on this one, “The Secrets of Cooking Southern Fried Chicken,”  was a natural element to incorporate, as this skill is an essential part of almost every Sunday dinner.

The thrust of this CD is that although not everything has been harmonious throughout the town’s history, “It was a good place to live then. It is a good place to live now. Sandersville, Georgia, my home town,”  I conclude.

This CD’s production took most of a week to think about, compose,  record and edit. I first used it as an episode on my radio show,  “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures.” After approaching a number of  town businesses, a local bank agreed to purchase 250 copies as promotional items, which financed Disc Makers run of the first 500, production of art for the disc printing, shipping in paper sleeves and purchase of  250 plastic disc holders.  This approach avoided the expensive design and production of  printed inserts and CD covers, as only the face of the CD was printed.  

Although costs will change, this approach allowed me to price the CDs to retail at $5.00 for the paper sleeved version and $7.00 for those in a plastic case. My market area is small (10,000)  with only two privately owned pharmacies and one gift store as potential outlets. These agreed to take from 8-12 copies as an initial order. Additional copies were also sold for resale to the local historical society. This is small area, small volume  and small-dollar marketing where personal interchanges with people who you have known all of your life are significant.

I will also participate in local craft shows and markets a few times a year, to gather additional sales.  Although CD sales are in decline in the music industry, the CD still remains viable for retailing through gift-selling outlets. They are also convenient for listening on long-duration car trips. While it is possible to put the same information on-line on a pay-to-download basis (and Disc Maker will also sell you download cards), buyers in my rather conservative market prefer the CDs that can be wrapped and given as traditional gifts compared to the same information on less conspicuous thumb drives.

Promotion was done by a short article in the county newspaper, speaking at local clubs, and on-line.  Once the base market is established, additional CDs about different aspects of the community can also be produced on an annual basis  for the September-December gift-buying season.  A little research can extend this approach and your product line to nearby cities.

To purchase a copy of the CD and for more information about my books, blogs, videos and radio show go to my website