Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Calling Doctor Dolittle!

There is no shortage of pharmaceutical ads suggesting that I should be taking their pills or at least telling my doctor to subscribe them. The funny thing is, they go on to cover their butts by giving a litany of side effects that should make most of us cringe. The miracle of these drugs sounds so promising, it makes me wonder why my doctor isn’t telling me about them rather than the other way around.

There is nothing new about advertising pharmaceuticals, I mean they’ve been doing it for years, it’s just the focus now seems to be on pedaling the more costly ones – if you check, most of them cost between $400 and $500 per script. Where are the ads for more common drugs, like aspirin, cough syrup and hemorrhoid cream? They seem to have dropped off. I can only assume they’re less profitable than the new ones. Your butt may itch, but your A1c is probably lower.

The ads I wish they’d run are medications for dogs: How about running an ad for a medication that curtails a dog’s licking his paws … maybe one that offers relief from allergies, or one for itching or drooling. Gus has a tendency to salivate excessively, he’s done it since we brought him home from the breeder. The blanket we had him wrapped in was soaked when we got home, so was the front seat of the car the first time I took him to explore potential grouse cover. A possible solution would have been appreciated …snake oil or not.


Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

A Blast From The Past!

I’m a trap shooter; I like the notion of hitting a flying object going away from me at various angles. It’s a sense of accomplishment when a clay target breaks into dust as I pull the trigger on a shotgun that looks and feels good – that is to say, one made from fine steel and a stock made from a handsome piece of wood with fine checkering. I like loading my own shells which began as a way of keeping costs down, but every time someone mentions gun-control, the cost of the components goes up. Lead shot, for example, used to cost less than ten dollars for a 25-pound bag, now costs close to fifty. Primers have gone up if you can find them at all, and powder may or may not be available, you have to be flexible with brands.

There aren’t as many places to shoot as there used to be. Gun ranges have dried up for one reason or another – the anti-gun crowd and environmentalists top the list. Some shooting clubs have been plagued by rising costs and a drop in members. The Detroit Sportsman’s Club, still one of the biggest around and open to the public, used to have kids that pulled for shooters (trap and skeet). They were like caddies. Now, the fields are automated. You sign up in the club house and get a keycard that you insert into a kiosk which allows as many clays as are on the card. The problem is, a skeet round is 25, but there are times when there are issues with your safety or barrel selection or a clay just plain breaks coming out of the house. Seldom does the starter put more than 27 or 28 clays on a card. Several times my round ended at station seven.

My favorite club to shoot at is The Chain of Lakes Sportsmans Club in Antrim County. Small and rustic, it has the basics and is member hands on. The only thing automatic is the gun you may use.


Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

It’s All Good!

April and I’m beginning to believe that spring is actually here. In about three weeks the annual trout opener will arrive and it’s something to look forward to. Truth be told, I won’t make the actual opener, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” hosts her lady friends at the cabin for the Shorts Brewery Anni-Party which is always the last Saturday in April. I suppose I could crash the hen fest, but 53 years of marriage taught me to pick my battles. At any rate, I’ll get there a couple of days after the actual opener.

Snow can still be seen in and amongst the trees, but where the sun reaches, the snow is gone except for where the snowplow created a wall. I’m not sure how high or fast the river will be this year, but I’m sure the flow will require careful wadding.

The next few weeks will require careful planning of what to bring. Years ago, it didn’t take any effort at all to get ready. I just grabbed the only rod I had, a pair of leaky waders and a couple of badly tied flies I was determined to catch a native on. But age brings the acquisition of “stuff” that sounded and looked better than it actually turned out to be. But, like the saying goes, “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys” and the sheer number of them.

The only practice I still follow is, Gus stays home. I know he’d stay around me while I’m wadding, but at 35 pounds, I worry the current could take him away like the fawn I saw being carried downstream years back. The doe followed it along the shore and eventually when the fawn reached a sandy slow moving part of the river around a bend, it was able to get to its feet under itself and make it to the bank where the doe was offering encouragement. It was a sight I still have ingrained in my mind.


Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

I got you, silly wabbit!

Happy Easter, Doc!


Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Lesson learned!

A young lad named Piedmont decided to go into the night crawler business. He’d soak the lush grass every night and wait for the crawlers to leave their holes after dark. In bare feet with a flashlight, careful not to spook them with the light, he’d pinch off their retreat. it took a while to catch a dozen or so, but he did well selling them to those not wanting to take their shoes and socks off.

As word spread of his business venture the business grew and Piedmont decided to expand his operation. He made a deal with his neighbors; he’d water their grass in return for him being able to  catch and keep the crawlers. The money slithered in.

It was going well, so well in fact that the local, state and federal government took notice and decided they had to get their share of Piedmont’s profits. So Piedmont had to make more money in order to stay even.

Then tragedy. A pandemic struck and his business was ordered to close; it was determined his business wasn’t essential. But as time went by the government came through, if Piedmont laid himself off, he could get unemployment compensation. The federal government, wanting to make sure Piedmont knew it felt his pain, added additional money to his state unemployment compensation on top of stimulus checks.

Eventually the shutdown was lifted and Piedmont could hire himself back. But Piedmont being a smart businessman added the numbers; the money he was given to do nothing amounted to more than he cleared when working after giving the government its share.

Piedmont had planned to go to college when he graduated from high school to learn how to support himself but decided the economics lesson he had just gotten from the government was enough.





Category Archives: Two Cents Worth


Deregulation – Abandonment of commonsense for short term profit.

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Time To Move On

There doesn’t seem to be a topic that doesn’t encompass the Covid 19 pandemic. No matter what we think about or talk about, somehow Covid makes its way into the conversation and always gives an insight into our character. And what reveals itself, worries me.


I’m worried because I see weak minded people asking for things they should be providing for themselves. I’m worried because I see people and businesses preying on people’s fears and weak nature, trying to talk them into buying cures like a snake oil salesman. I’m worried because I see people losing their sense of commonsense and replacing it with fear and aggression and the lack of will to put a stop to it. And I’m worried because I feel like I’m being sucked into these weaknesses.


There are problems with the speed of inoculation but the vaccine is here and people are beginning to get it. And as with everything in this new world of technology, glitches are popping up and despite they’re being addressed and fixed, we are inundated with them on every news program, podcast or in the few remaining newspapers. It seems the new fad of “it’s my right” is taking the place of “improvise, adapt, overcome.” When problems are fixed and a new learning curve mends the glitches, the problem is still the headline rather than the fix. Credit isn’t given, only blame. It seems we can’t move on by ourselves ….we need someone to fall on their sword.


I’ve had enough. Inoculated and not watching anymore cable or other news programs, I’m going through my “stuff” in anticipation of the opening day of trout season.  I’m digging out old maps, notes and dairies of past seasons, loading the Jeep and heading back in time to when the only thing I had to worry about was if the patch on the waders was going to hold … and if not, there is a change of clothes in the back seat.



Category Archives: Two Cents Worth


I recently found a copy of the poem High Flight …and although having read it many times over the years, this time – probably because of the trying and soul searching year about to come to a close – it seemed to encapsulate the strength of character some have found to weather this test of endurance and survival.

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God


Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Thanksgiving Thoughts

There have only been two times in my life when I wasn’t with family on Thanksgiving: The first time when I was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama for training before being sent to Viet Nam, and the other, during my year in Viet Nam. Neither one of those times however, were as lonely as this Thanksgiving will be without family sitting at the table. It’s not that family is far away as was the case then, it’s that the whole year seems to come to a head this Thanksgiving.

Covid-19, invisible as it is, looms over our daily lives just as sure as a hurricane does over those living in its path.  The reaction is just as varied and diverse as those made by people who make decisions whether to evacuate or hunker down. We’ve even had a national election based on it.

Thankfully there is hope. Three pharmaceuticals have developed a vaccine for Covid-19, and there are more coming. We’re close; just not there yet.

I think we’re all caught up in instant gratification. We’re used to, and in fact, expect things to be as we want them to be without delay or having to ask for them. It’s the entitlement mentality.

If we just stopped to breathe and look around, count our blessings, I think we’d see no matter how frustrated we are over the restrictions of Covid-19, there are a lot of folks worse off than we are: There are those who struggle with rent, food and medical costs. There are those who worry about whether the heat is going to be shutoff or the car repossessed. People are in line for food.

This Thanksgiving is going to be lonely, but it won’t be without contact – virtual of course; something I would have given a lot for in 1967 and 68.

We made the decision to have a virtual Thanksgiving because we are so close to beating Covid-19 it makes no sense to expose ourselves to others, especially those we really can’t do without.

Happy Thanksgiving!




Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Day Dreams

Day four and even the laziest among us are bored. I’ve never been afraid to be lazy, I always figured it was a sign of contentment. But, I was wrong.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to live on a farm. The thought of raising animals, fields to run and of course, a couple of farm dogs to follow me around was my dream.

Farm dogs are big, rambunctious and follow you where ever you go. And on a farm, there are a lot of places to go and explore, sometimes following the dogs and sometimes having the dogs follow you. Either way they are always part of a farm kid.

Being lazy, though, poses a problem: who works the fields, milks the cows, feeds the chickens and of course, who does all the clean-up and chores? My dad, when I’d go into my rant about living on a farm would say I was so lazy I’d sit under an apple tree waiting for an apple to fall into my mouth. There are times I think he was right.

I don’t want to live on a farm anymore, I just want to hunt on one.

With all this time on my hands, it’s easy to daydream. So I think about fall days with changing leaves, browning ferns and white splash over berry bushes and orchard floors. I see easy walking through thicket patches and swamps, being followed by Jake, Duke, Seamus and a pup named Gus, doing his best to keep up with the big dogs. I dream abut making doubles on grouse and woodcock with my old double: a Rossi, 20 ga. I bought for $75 fifty years ago.

But then, something brings me back to reality and suddenly I have a taste of apples in my mouth.

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