May 3, 2013
For trappers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, animal lovers and anyone with any interest in the process of gray wolf introduction in the Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho, I believe this book is a must read. I enjoyed it immensely and gained a different perspective about the author.
To be completely transparent about this book review, I have never met Mr. Niemeyer, the author, nor have I ever communicated with him, at least that I am aware of. I believe once I received an email from his wife suggesting I read this book. That was some time ago and it has taken me a couple of years to get around to reading it, mostly because of the recommendation of a friend.
When I first began reading the book, which sets the stage of a young boy growing up in rural Iowa, it didn’t take long to see that there were many similarities between Carter Niemeyer’s upbringing and young past in rural Iowa and mine in rural Maine, including the early deaths of our fathers.
Carter falls in love with trapping. It begins at an early age and his love for and knowledge of trapping grows with each turn of the page. His circumstances while growing up caused Carter to use trapping, the killing of animals, to pay his way in life. He never seemed to take much issue with killing most any animal for their resource, with the exception of the wild canines, excluding foxes.
In the book, I read where in his teen years, I believe it was, that Niemeyer shows his first unexplained affection toward coyotes and even displays hesitation in having to kill one; something that never is shown throughout the book, with the exception of the wild wolves.
After losing his father, Carter Niemeyer comes in contact with people who encourage him to go to college and through it all is presented with opportunities to work outdoors and especially take advantage of his trapping abilities, most of which he learned from people he grew up around.
Much of the author’s story of his trapping life isn’t all that much unlike many diehard trappers. Those around him, in this case his wife and children, have to put up with the long hours, hard work and rancid smells that get embedded into just about everything a trapper comes in contact with.
Eventually Niemeyer takes a job with the Federal Government in Montana and works for animal damage control (now Wildlife Services) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There he trapped and mostly killed predators that were killing and harassing privately owned livestock.
Things seem to change and Carter Niemeyer begins to morph into either someone different or into the man he really was inside, when he becomes involved in the Federal Government’s gray wolf introduction program. He teams up with Ed Bangs and the two of them travel into Canada, trap gray wolves, then release them in Yellowstone and central Idaho.
Carter Niemeyer comes across as a ballsy, stubborn and often arrogant man. From the book I gathered he was not afraid to stand up to anyone. A large chip grows and sticks firmly onto his shoulder. At times he doesn’t seem to understand that he is a turncoat; a man who willingly, nay, eagerly killed any animal threatening ranchers’ livestock, including the handful of wolves naturally re-habituating northwestern Montana, to one now bringing the most savage of predators, the gray wolf, into the lands surrounding some of the best ranching lands in the nation.
Niemeyer’s attitude toward these ranchers changes and throughout this book we find little good he has to say about any of them. His attitude becomes that of an elitist, self-taught authority on trapping and wolves. Pity the man who dared to stand up to him. He develops enemies.
The book is mostly well written and interesting enough to keep a reader’s attention. It’s a fascinating revelation of how one man can be transformed into a completely different person because of an animal.
From what I gleaned from the book, Carter Niemeyer, a good man, a great trapper, loses his way and forgets his past. His enthusiasm and learned dedication to whatever he attempts, makes him a prime target for being taken advantage of because of his skills as a trapper. But he prevails, always determined.
Pick up a copy, as I’m sure you will enjoy it. I hesitated because, to be honest, I’m tiring of the same old wolf wars and there’s little new that can be added to the debate. However, information I found in this book helps to show that the actual event of going to Canada to trap wolves and bring them back to the U.S. was extremely poorly planned and wrought with problems. I think, had it not been for Niemeyer’s determination for accomplishment, the wolf introduction may never have taken place. We can either thank him or blame him.
Out of five stars, I would give this book 4 stars.
March 4, 2013
Maybe more so if we studied it.
As is standard procedure, I was reading a book and the other day I came across the two paragraphs which I have included below. Not only did it strike me that what was written was about the struggles we have been and still do face in this country concerning middle class, balance of power, money corruption to influence society and political decisions, etc., but also that one might ask when was this written?
Was this book written about events occurring in 2013? How about 1913? 1813? Let me tell you this. The book was written in 1891 by A.T. Jones, titled – The Two Republics. But, the real shocker in this is that this is describing the struggles taking place in 146 B.C.
What do we learn from history?
And as these two classes were constantly growing farther apart, – the rich growing richer and the poor, poorer, – there ceased to be any middle class to maintain order in government and society by holding the balance of power. There remained only the two classes, the rich and the poor, and of these the rich despised the poor and the poor envied the rich. And there were always plenty of men to stir up the discontent of the masses, and present schemes for the reorganization of society and government.
Some of these were well meaning men, men who really had in view the good of there fellow-men, but the far greater number were mere demagogues, – ambitious schemers who used the discontent of the populace only to lift themselves into the places of wealth and power which they envied others, and which, when they had secured, they used as selfishly and as oppressively as did any of those against whom they clamored. But whether they were well meaning men or demagogues, in order to hold the populace against the persuasions and bribes of the wealthy, they were compelled to make promises and concessions, which were only in the nature of larger bribes and which in the end were as destructive of free government as the worst acts of the Senate itself.
November 29, 2012
After composing the seven-part series, “New-Science Wildlife Scientists: Creations of Wellington House”, I took the time to neatly (with a little editing) put the seven parts into one 19-page document. It is now available at Tom Remington’s E-Book Library as a FREE download – available in 3 formats (PDF, TXT, and ODT).
Please visit this page and get your copy as well as share it with other people.
August 21, 2012
I have finally released my new book and it is available in ebook only at this time. Follow this link for information about the book and your options for purchasing a copy.
The new book is titled, “Nobody in Their Right Mind Should Want to be an Innkeeper”. The content of this book may surprise some as most readers here know me to write mostly about hunting and other outdoor issues. In a prior life, my wife and I spent several years in the hospitality industry, owning our own bed and breakfast to top motel and hotel management. This book is very much a humorous and sometimes shocking diary of many events we experienced over those years.
About the Book:
It seems that for so many times I would gather with friends and family and inevitably the topic of conversation would end up being a storytelling session of all the whacky things that happened over the course of years of being in the business of inn keeping and hotel and motel management. The reactions I got ranged from shock to uncontrolled laughter.
As much as I would find pleasure in making people laugh, for certain, friends would always say, “You really need to write a book!”
And so, here it is. I left the hospitality industry nearly a decade ago, and haven’t regretted it, and it has taken that long to get this book together. Working on it in fits and starts I believe has been instrumental in crafting what I hope to be a masterpiece that, not unlike the hours of sitting around the kitchen table or open fire, I can cause people to pause in shock or laugh out loud, for that is my intent.
Too often the nonsensical dreams of wannabe inn keepers, clouds the realities of what may lie before them. I had no such chimera as my fantasies more resembled those of nightmares. I’m not sure that I can say the same for my wife as is displayed in the opening sentence.
In my storytelling, my wife has often remarked that to her it appeared all “these weird things happen to you”. Without fail my response has been that these “weird” things happen to everyone. It’s just that not everyone pays attention to what’s going on around them.
I have paid attention and I hope that I have been able to present those observations in an entertaining fashion worthy of your time. I am not one to write in adult or cursing language, however there are, on rare occasions expletives to be found that become only necessary because I am quoting someone and I feel it necessary to maintain the moment.
To all those people who have ever thought of and seriously considered becoming an innkeeper, the authenticity of that lifestyle might be more than you had bargained for.
This book is not a “how to” get started in the inn keeping profession but it contains a lot of valuable information, based on experience, than can be useful to anyone in this business or interested in jumping in. It helps to give those with such thoughts a better understanding what the commitment actually means. It’s not all roses and demands a special person.
Anyone who has been an innkeeper, a hotel or motel manager or employee, should read this book. They will find themselves in it and can relate. For anyone who has ever stayed at a bed and breakfast, inn, hotel, motel, etc., you might just find out I’m writing about you.
May 9, 2012
Some time ago, some good friends bought me a book for my birthday. The book is called, “Theodore Roosevelt on Hunting“. And shamefully I must say I am just getting around to reading it.
As is the case most often, we as Americans tend to idolize past iconic figures. I suppose each of us has our own individual perspective on Theodore Roosevelt, but most of us are guilty of placing people like him on a level perhaps a bit above being a normal human being, capable of errors, poor decision making and having faults. When we take the time to read personal writings that include accounts of his life, it does offer us a chance to see someone in a different context than the one history has painted for us. Teddy Roosevelt was only human and as much as one might or might not enjoy his storytelling, it seems that he had some unusual views on others who told stories and what I would say was a near bizarre concept about the grizzly bear.
Early on in his book, Roosevelt writes about hunting grizzly bears. He begins by recalling some of his own experiences with hunting the big bears; interesting enough. But then he gets into an odd sort of protective proclamation about grizzly bears and how they have been wrongly labeled as vicious by exaggerated storytelling but then uses his own storytelling (exaggerated?) to label the bears as vicious, still claiming them not to be.
One of the last grizzly bear hunting stories of his own personal account he tells us is of a time when having shot at and wounded a bear, it turned on him. Roosevelt then goes on to write:
This is the only instance in which I have been regularly charged by a grisly. On the whole, the danger of hunting these great bears has been much exaggerated.
I’m not sure I understand what he means by “regularly charged”. I’m still pondering that.
Roosevelt justifies his claim that grizzly bears aren’t dangerous to hunt by telling readers that, “At the beginning of the present century”, (that would be early 1800s) grizzly bears were an “exceedingly savage beast” that would attack a man “without provocation” and that was because there didn’t exist the modern equipment that Roosevelt was using, which has evidently taught the bear to run in the other direction. Roosevelt describes it as: “he[grizzly] has learned to be more wary than a deer, and to avoid man’s presence almost as carefully as the most timid kind of game.”
But did it really teach the bear to run instead of charge or was this merely Roosevelt’s perspective of the temperament of a grizzly bear that, for whatever the reasons, he felt compelled to project?
In his book, Roosevelt pretty much appoints himself as an expert on grizzly bear hunting and behavior while doing his very best to discredit anyone’s grizzly bear story that he might not agree with.
Hence men of limited experience in this sport, generalizing from the actions of the two or three bears each has happened to see or kill, often reach diametrically opposite conclusions as to the fighting temper and capacity of the quarry. Even old hunters – who indeed, as a class, are very narrow-minded and opinionated – often generalize just as rashly as beginners.
I wonder if, in Roosevelt’s elitist mind, obviously placing himself in a class of hunter above all others, he felt the same way toward those “narrow-minded old hunters”, when he became one? He obviously didn’t recognize himself to already be one.
Not only, it appears, has Teddy Roosevelt appointed himself the lone grizzly bear hunting expert, he lays claim to be the only one qualified to tell a hunting story. In the thirty pages that Roosevelt appropriates for telling his grizzly bear hunting stories, ten of those pages he dedicates to ballooning his own self-importance with his self-proclaimed authority on grizzly bears and dumping on anyone else with a grizzly bear story to tell I assume because they were not as intelligent as he was.
But oddly, which brought me to audible laughter while reading this chapter, Roosevelt takes 20 pages to retell all the grizzly bear stories he has heard and they are all about hunters being attacked by grizzly bears; some of those attacks being unprovoked. And if that isn’t enough, he also tells tales of humans not hunting and being attacked by grizzly bears unmolested. I guess whether a grizzly bear story is exaggerated or not or tells of grizzlies being vicious or not depends on who is spinning the yarn.
I suppose how often people were attacked provoked or unprovoked back then was all relative and therefore, someone like Teddy Roosevelt could easily state that grizzly bears have no interest in attacking a human. He appears to have had some issues in dealing with “old hunters” and accepting stories or even companionship from some of the “outdoor men” of the time and region.
Don’t take me wrong. There is much in what Roosevelt writes that comes directly from his own experiences of what bears do during certain circumstances. This information was useful then and probably would be useful today if there was any grizzly hunting in the U.S. I wouldn’t, however, be too quick to disregard the other tales from the rugged outdoorsmen of the day. As tall as some of those tales might be, there is always a certain degree of truth in all of them.
I did find it interesting to discover this part of Roosevelt, what in my opinion appears to be a bit of haughtiness on his part – but wasn’t the bully Roosevelt a haughty person anyway?
March 2, 2012
Many of you may already know that about 10 years ago my son and I coauthored a book called, “The Legend of Grey Ghost and Other Tales From the Maine Woods”. We sold quite a few hard cover and paper back copies but ran out of the print copies. With ebooks outselling print books, Steven and I have decided to make this great book available once again in ebook form.
If you will notice, at the top of TomRemington.com, on the menu bar, you will see, “Tom Remington’s EBook Sales“. If you click that link you will get information on “The Legend of Grey Ghost” as well as future books coming soon. The Legend can be purchased currently in two formats. At the bottom of the page, readers can click on the “BUY NOW” button. Through PayPal you will be able to purchase the book and download it to your computer hard drive. From there you can open and read the book or if you have other ebook reading devices, there are processes that exist to get this pdf version uploaded to those devices.
Or, you can follow the Amazon.com link and quickly and easily download “The Legend” to your Kindle.
Steven and I are excited about providing this opportunity for you. In addition, writing is underway and plans made for more ebooks coming soon. You don’t want to miss out.
January 17, 2012
Killing Lincoln, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC., covers many of the details about President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Depending upon your level of knowledge and the amount of research you have done in your lifetime, will depend very much on how much in O’Reilly’s book you would find “new” information and how much as rehashed and regurgitated.
I have read numerous books and writings on the killing of Lincoln, and I can say this one is well-written in the sense that it keeps your interest, even while constantly moving from one arena to another as the plot unfolds. However, no new information is revealed and the book falls short on any in-depth research into the vastness of the conspiracy.
Killing Lincoln spends much of the first 16 chapters setting the stage of Lincoln’s death by detailing battles and events that occur leading up to the ultimate surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Mostly leaving the Civil War battlefields, Killing Lincoln draws in the majority of the conspirators behind the plot to kill, not only Lincoln, but V.P. Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Seward, Sec. of War Edwin Stanton and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. O’Reilly provides enough background and information on those he and co-writer Dugard believe to be the main planners in the conspiracy.
As O’Reilly might call his “Back of the Book Segment”, the back of his book gives readers a glimpse as to what became of many of the key characters in his work. He even goes so far as to reproduce a copy of the April 29, 1865 edition of Harper’s Weekly. O’Reilly’s intent is to help readers get a better understanding of how the country was dealing with the killing of President Lincoln.
Over the years many theories have existed as to who was really behind the killing of Lincoln. While Killing Lincoln, the book, casually addresses some of those theories, it is my opinion that had the authors spent less time (16 chapters) recounting the Civil War battles leading up to the assassination and more time digging a bit deeper into the most readily recognized and easily proven conspiracy theory, they could have provided readers with more or a real jaw-dropping read.
The main hypothesis as to who or what was behind the killing of Lincoln points to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, led by the Jesuits and under the full direction of the Vatican.
Much discussion can be made as to the Vatican’s involvement or lack thereof in Lincoln’s death but if you consider the testimonies and actions that took place after the assassination, a different light is shed on the conspiracy theory; at least enough to pique the curiosities of some and give pause to others.
General Thomas M. Harris was a member of the military commission that tried and condemned the conspirators in Lincoln’s death. His accounts of those trials are quite revealing.
If we follow the trail on one conspirator, John H. Surratt, whose mother ran a boarding house of sorts near Washington, D.C., it was learned that at different times all the conspirators would meet to discuss plans to kill Lincoln. Shortly after Lincoln’s murder, John Surratt was among the missing.
O’Reilly, a catholic himself, mentions very little of John Surratt. In the Afterword, he tells how Surratt, the son of Mary Surratt who was hanged for her involvement, might have been saved if her son had returned to testify. The book states that John Surratt fled to Montreal and later ended up at the Vatican “where he served in the Papal Zouaves“. However, General Harris describes Surratt’s time at the Vatican as being confined to a room and protected from those searching for him in connection with the death of Lincoln.
The Pope is forced to arrest Surratt but arranges for his escape. He is eventually captured in Egypt and taken back to America to stand trial. Gen. Harris points out the work of the Jesuits in controlling and manipulating the trial that ends in a hung jury and the release of Surratt.
Gen Harris’s information is probably some, if not the most, credible of all those claiming theories on Lincoln’s death. His work is well worth the read I think.
While many books have been written about Lincoln’s murder, Killing Lincoln could have been an even bigger blockbuster if they had taken the time to research into the validity of some of these theories, particularly that of Gen. Harris. Should I create my own conspiracy theory by saying that perhaps O’Reilly purposely avoided this theory because he is Catholic?
All very interesting.
I recommend the reading of “Killing Lincoln” and then follow it up with “Rome’s Responsibility for the Assassination of Lincoln” by Gen. Thomas M. Harris and “Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” by Charles Paschal Telesphore Chiniquy.
An addendum to this story: Charles Chiniquy is key to the story of Lincoln as well as his testimony that members of the Catholic Church were telling people of Lincoln’s death hours before it even happened. Chiniquy, is a friend of President Lincoln and repeatedly warns the president that the Vatican wants him dead and that eventually he will be killed. Of course, even as is revealed in the book, Lincoln not only suspects he will someday be killed but he has recurring dreams about it.