There’s Gold In Them There Cans!
Posted on 03.01.14 by Danny Glover @ 12:19 pm

Imagine taking the dog for a walk one day and coming home a millionaire. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s reality for one Northern California couple.

The world only knows them as John and Mary. They understandably want to remain anonymous after finding a stash of gold coins that had been buried on their property in eight cans for decades. The 1,411 coins are worth $28,000 face value, $2 million if melted for the gold and an estimated $10 million in collectible value.

The Los Angeles Times reported these details about the “Saddle Ridge Hoard,” the largest ever found in U.S. history:

All dated between 1847 and 1894, 13 of the coins are the finest of their kind. One “miraculous coin,” an 1866 $20 piece made in San Francisco and missing “In God We Trust,” could bring $1 million on its own, Hall said.

When the motto was added to the coin in 1866, some were still minted without the phrase, he said. Had the couple attempted to clean the delicate surface of the piece, they could have reduced the value to $7,000 or $8,000 in under a minute, said David McCarthy, senior numismatist for Kagin’s, who evaluated the hoard.

The last big find was uncovered in 1985 in Jackson, Tenn. It had a face value of $4,500 and was eventually sold for around $1 million.

When I heard the story on the news one morning this week, I told our daughter to go get our son and tell him to take the dog for a walk. You never know what you might find!

The story also got me excited about using my metal detector again. My wife bought it for me for Christmas in 2012 and gave me some accessory equipment this past Christmas. I’ve only used it once on my father’s property in West Virginia, and the only coin I found was a wheat penny from the 1940s. (I also found an old, rusted pocket knife and other metallic odds and ends.)

But we’ve only just begun. We have more than 30 acres to search. National Geographic’s coverage of the Saddle Ridge Hoard says there are few hoards of gold coins in the United States.

Here’s a quote from Douglas Mudd, the director and curator of the American Numismatic Association’s Money Museum: “You get a lot of hoards in Europe — coins buried for hundreds or thousands of years, but they’re less common in the U.S. Our history isn’t that long, and for most of the time we’ve had banks, so people have tended to put their money there. … Sixty, 70, 200 coins — yes. Fourteen-hundred? That’s exceptional.”

But that’s OK. I’d be happy to find a few random silver coins and maybe an Indian arrowhead or two. It’s all about the hunt to us diggers. And as National Geographic says, “People who sweep metal detectors over fields as a hobby, and backyard dog walkers casually kicking up a bit of dirt, can always hope for a lucky strike.”

Filed under: Coin Collecting and History and Human Interest and News & Politics and Technology and West Virginia
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The Stuff Of Teen Hunting Dreams
Posted on 12.10.13 by Danny Glover @ 10:16 pm

I remember well the rush of adrenaline that coursed through me as I watched a seven-point buck (eight points if you counted the nub of another tine) turned the corner of the hillside and came into view on my grandfather’s farm. His antlers were thick and stood high above his ears. I could see them easily even though he was about 60 yards away in thick woods and brush.

The buck had no clue I was there and didn’t seem to care about anything around him. I soon realized why. I took a shot at the buck with my .32-caliber lever action, and a deer I hadn’t seen leaped from her bed. He was walking intently, with his nose to the ground, because he was on the trail of a doe in heat. I doubt he even heard the sound of the rifle discharging.

I took three more shots into the brush, and that buck never broke his stride. But after I fired my fifth round, he jumped up and to the right. He quickly disappeared up the hill, so although I was sure I had hit him, I also suspected I had missed the kill zone.

I waited a few minutes before heading up the hill to look for a blood trail. I lost hope after a half-hour and headed back to my stand to wait for my fellow hunters who were driving the woods toward me opposite from the direction the buck had been traveling.

A short while later, my uncle came around the hill. We then headed uphill to reconnect with another hunter who had been standing point at the top of the hill. He had fired a few shots not long after me, and when we met him, he blurted out, “Whoever shot five times hit a monster buck!”

It turns out that I had gut shot the buck, and he didn’t start bleeding until well after my last shot. My fellow hunter saw him crossing the right-of-way at the top of the hill and took a few shots. He later found the blood trail and followed it briefly before heading back for help.

For the next hour or more, my uncle, the other hunter and I trailed that blood trail for two miles. It was almost dark before we finally stumbled upon the buck. He staggered to his feet but didn’t get far before my uncle, who was at the front of our tracking group, finished the kill with his .348-caliber lever action.

I’m looking at the antlers of that deer on the wall of our living room as I write this. That hunt was 30 years ago, but I remember it like yesterday. I’m reliving the details now because I just read the story of Makayla Hay, a 15-year-old girl who downed a true monster of a buck in Texas this fall. My trophy pales in comparison to the one she claimed.

Here’s a snippet of her story from Outdoor Life:

Filed under: Family and Hunting & Guns and Rednecks and West Virginia and Wildlife
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The Day Government Goons Killed Giggles
Posted on 08.03.13 by Danny Glover @ 2:58 pm

The jack-booted wildlife thugs in Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources are worse than any hunter. They didn’t kill Bambi’s mother; they killed Bambi when he was about to be rescued!

The Washington Times reports that nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs raided a no-kill animal shelter to seize a presumably abandoned fawn left there by a well-meaning family. The gun-wielding agents then promptly killed the deer because “that’s our policy.”

This all went down a day before the deer, named Giggles, was headed to a new home at a wildlife preserve. Neither compassion nor common sense are welcome at the Wisconsin DNR, where bureaucrats have to obey rules no matter how cruel in any given situation.

Filed under: Government and Hunting & Guns and News & Politics and Wildlife
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #46
Posted on 04.20.13 by Danny Glover @ 12:28 am

We don’t want our children subjected to the disciplinary whims of school officials who lack common sense and ignore their own policies about what qualifies as acceptable behavior, speech or dress.

The latest case of bureaucratic overreach occurred at Logan Middle School in my home state of West Virginia, where an anti-gun zealot who also happens to be a teacher picked a fight with a student over his pro-Second Amendment t-shirt. This particular student, eighth-grader Jared Marcum, was old enough to protest — and did.

Marcum should have respected authority enough to change shirts and let his father argue the point, but he’s just a kid. When that didn’t happen, the adults in the room should have acted like it. Instead, the school not only suspended Marcum but also had him arrested, a decision that forced Marcum’s father to leave work and just inflamed the situation further.

Unfortunately, Marcum’s case is not unique, and the other students punished by public schools for simulating guns or carrying toy guns have been far younger. Here’s a list of the incidents, which likely will continue to grow as the hysteria over guns does:

  • The most egregious case occurred in Nebraska. Grand Island Public Schools insisted that 3-year-old deaf student Hunter Spanjer not use Signing Exact English to say his name because “Hunter” in sign language is the hand in the shape of a gun. The school system backed down when it appeared the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association of the Deaf could get involved in the dispute.
  • Mount Carmel Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania suspended a 5-year-old because she invited her peers to make a game of shooting each other with a Hello Kitty bubble gun. The charge from Principal Susan Nestico: The girl made a “terroristic threat.”
  • Center School in Hopkinton, Mass., suspended 5-year-old Jonah Stone for taking a toy gun to school. School policy did not prohibit such replicas, so the school superintendent overturned the suspension.
  • Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Montgomery County, Md., suspended 6-year-old Rodney Logan for holding his fingers in the shape of a gun. The school lifted the suspension and removed it from Lynch’s record after the decision became public. Talbot County Elementary School suspended two other 6-year-olds for similar behavior while playing cops and robbers during recess.
  • UPDATE, May 11: Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Va., suspended two 7-year-olds, including Christopher Marshall, for pointing pencils at each other and making “machine-gun noises.” Outcry over the incident prompted the school district to revisit its policy on “look-alike” guns.
  • Park Elementary School in Baltimore suspended 7-year-old Joshua Welch for eating his pastry into a shape that his teacher thought looked like a gun.
  • Mary Blair Elementary School in Loveland, Colo., suspended 7-year-old Alex Evans for tossing an imaginary hand grenade and making the sound to go with it. Evans was acting in a game he called “rescue the world.” The school has an “absolute” rule against weapons both real and imaginary.
  • The Suffolk County, N.Y., Pistol License Bureau suspended the pistol license of John Mayer because Mayer’s 10-year-od son by the same name threatened to use a water gun, paint gun or BB gun on two classmates. The son didn’t actually commit a crime or even posses a weapon.

These anti-gun witch hunts of children (and their parents) have become so ridiculous since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting last December that one Maryland lawmaker has proposed legislation to crack down on the schools, not the students.

By teaching our children at home, we don’t subject them or ourselves to such nonsense.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: Business and Education and Government and Human Interest and Hunting & Guns and People and Rednecks and West Virginia and Why We Home-School
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The Day The NRA Hung Up On Joe Manchin
Posted on 04.19.13 by Danny Glover @ 9:39 pm

Joe Manchin’s attempt to seduce colleagues with booze and the trappings of power on his yacht the Black Tie failed miserably this week when the Senate defeated the West Virginia Democrat’s bid for new gun restrictions. And now the senator once known for his “A” rating with the National Rifle Association is on the outs with the Second Amendment group.

During Senate floor debate, Manchin scolded the NRA for conducting a campaign of “misinformation” about his proposal. But a tidbit in today’s Washington Examiner makes it clear that the relationship soured before then.

NRA President David Keene was so irked by Manchin that he hung up on the senator when Manchin called to pester Keene during a trout-fishing trip to Montana last week.

“Unfortunately, I took my cell phone with me and my cell phone rings in the midst of my float and it’s Joe Manchin, who’s talking about how reasonable his idea is,” Keene told the Examiner. “And finally I said, ‘Look, I’m in the middle of the Missouri River, I’ve got a trout on the line. I don’t agree; you will have to make your own decisions.’ And I hung up.”

Filed under: Government and Hunting & Guns and News & Politics and People and West Virginia
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Si Robertson’s Redneck Swag
Posted on 04.08.13 by Danny Glover @ 8:35 pm

Nothing says enlightened redneck like a long-haired, scraggy-bearded Louisiana man missing a front tooth and sporting fancy duds over his camo. Yep, I’m talking about Si Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame, starring in a promo video dubbed “Redneck Swag”:

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Hunting & Guns and People and Redneck Humor and Rednecks and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

Joe Manchin, Then And Now
Posted on 03.06.13 by Danny Glover @ 11:02 pm

Washington changes politicians. No matter how much they may want to stay true to their roots, they start thinking like the people they spend most of their time with inside the Beltway instead of those they represent back home.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., illustrates this unfortunate phenomenon perfectly. The redneck who did this in his first Senate campaign …

… is now guilty of this very Washingtonian attempt at message control:

Manchin’s regression toward “typical Washington politician” has been gradual. He first started going weak in the knees about gun control after then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in 2011. Manchin voiced second thoughts about the “Dead Aim” campaign ad he had run a few months earlier.

Filed under: Hunting & Guns and Media and News & Politics and Video and West Virginia
Comments: 2 Comments

Joe Biden’s Shotgun vs. The AR-15
Posted on 02.26.13 by Danny Glover @ 11:01 pm

Vice President Joe Biden made news last week for advising American women to “buy a shotgun” for protection instead of an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine — the kind of gun Biden and others want to ban.

You don’t need an AR-15 — it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. … Buy a shotgun,” Biden said. “Buy a shotgun.”

Let’s put that theory to a video test and see what happens:

No wonder the woman who asked the question that prompted Biden’s response called it “sexist” and “the poorest advice he could give anyone.”

Filed under: Hunting & Guns and Just For Laughs and News & Politics and Video
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‘Crazy Rednecks’ On Python Patrol
Posted on 02.09.13 by Danny Glover @ 5:50 pm

Destructive Burmese pythons have invaded the Florida Everglades, and state officials determined to protect the habitat decided the problem is bad enough to warrant a 30-day open season. The result: “crazy rednecks running around with guns, knives, swords and bats” to kill the nasty snakes.

Or at least that’s how the reptile-loving elitists who live with snakes and alligators and other creatures in Florida year round see the Python Challenge that is about to end.

Snooty university snake researchers apparently feel the same way. “Look at all the yahoos coming down here,” one of them said when explaining why the Python Challenge has been a bit of a bust.

To put this episode of redneck- and yahoo-bashing in ironic perspective, let’s take a closer look at one of the members of the South Florida Herpetological Society mentioned in the first story linked above:

At the Grunwald home, it is not uncommon on cold days for the family to bring some of the wildlife indoors. The smaller crocodiles, for instance, very much enjoy splashing around in the family bathtub. Fred’s 16-year-old granddaughter, Brooke, spent her childhood sharing bathrooms with crocodiles, a practice that left her wondering as a child why the other girls in town were apprehensive about coming to her slumber parties.

Speaking of sleepovers, Brooke tells me that on one particularly cold night years ago, one of their Caiman crocs found its way into Fred’s bed, where they “cuddled” comfortably through the night.

Talk about throwing stones from glass houses! People who cuddle with Caiman crocodiles and play with snakes for a living really have no credibility to be hurling insults at python-hunting rednecks.

Filed under: Hatin' On Rednecks and Hunting & Guns and News & Politics and Rednecks and Wildlife
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Obama: Look At Me, I Shoot Skeet!
Posted on 02.02.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:53 pm

Millions of Americans fear that President Obama is going to infringe their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Guns and ammunition have been selling so fast that Walmart is now rationing them to address the demand.

Obama wants to restrict access to guns, but he first he has to win the PR battle. That’s why he’s talking about how he shoots skeet “all the time” at Camp David — and why he released a photo to appease the skeptics who doubt that claim.


Sorry, Mr. President, firing a shotgun occasionally won’t earn you any street cred among rednecks who cling to their guns ever tighter when politicians like you start plotting to weaken gun rights. You’re no Paul Ryan.

Update: The picture of Obama as skeet-shooter-in-chief is great ammunition for Photoshop fun. Here are a couple of spoofs from my Facebook news feed today:

Filed under: 1980s and Business and Culture and Hunting & Guns and Media and News & Politics and People and Photography and Rednecks
Comments: 1 Comment

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