Many people have heard the phrase “That dog don’t hunt” when it comes time for a colloquialism to describe something that simply doesn’t or will not work. It is an appropriate saying to describe the ongoing manhunt for Eric Frein, which is now entering its fourth week. Eric Frein is the suspect in the killing of one and wounding of another Pennsylvania State Trooper. I should add that Eric Frein is accused of this and, thus, has not been convicted of it. According to the police, Frein is a self-styled “survivalist” and this is quite interesting for the reasons I will go into detail about below.
“Survivalism” is a word used to describe, often negatively, people that prepare for surviving various calamities such as nuclear wars, natural disasters, government collapse, economic collapse, and other breakdowns in the social order through which our foodstuffs and SAS Survival Handbook,... Best Price: $3.54 Buy New $11.50 (as of 09:20 EST - Details) necessities come from. One of the skills necessary in survivalism is hunting and, with that, woodcraft and wilderness skills. Those skills are as old as humanity itself and they were taught by Nature. Mankind abided by them for tens of thousands of years. Now, if we are to assume Frein is one of these types, then it would be safe to assume this man has wilderness skills of some considerable measure. Especially so if he is, in fact, successfully eluding hundreds of police personnel fanning out across the forest he is allegedly roaming about in. This manhunt is entering its fourth week. It is more likely that Frein is not in those woods and has successfully escaped. The Great Fathers of Pennsylvania are extremely reluctant to entertain that possibility because it would be quite embarrassing and humiliating, to say the least. But there are certain clues that those Great Fathers have misread. Why? Because those Great Fathers don’t hunt.
Early into the manhunt, the police turned up several cigarette butts from, of all things, Serbian-made cigarettes. Evidently, Mr. Frein has connections with a well-stocked tobacconist. I will refrain from comment upon his tastes in tobacco, if they are his. How the Great Fathers surmised Frein smoked those cigarettes, they do not say. But if Frein is any true wilderness pupil, he surely did not smoke those cigarettes. Every true hunter knows that you do not smoke in the forest while hunting. In the forest, there are only two reasons you will smell smoke. One is that the forest is on fire or lightning struck and touched off a small fire. The other reason is, humans are present. This can be a campfire or tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is very distinct and cannot be mistaken for woodsmoke which has a very different scent. Tobacco smoke can be smelled for quite some distance and this is why hunters do not smoke while hunting. In fact, they probably won’t smoke for some days leading to the hunt as well since the smoke can be smelled on your body. Hunters will not use cologne or aftershave, or even use scented soap because animals will smell that also. A hunter who has honed his own sense of smell can detect cologne from some distance as well, to say nothing of tobacco smoke. Therefore, if Frein has any true wilderness sense at all, he did not smoke those cigarettes because the smell would carry for quite a ways and give away his presence. He may have left them for police to find and if they fell for that, then the wilderness skills of the police are well below that of Cub Scouts. Any true hunter could have told the police this. Man, the predator, learned about covering one’s scent tens of thousands of years ago. Evidently, the police didn’t get the memo.
Next, the police found used diapers Frein allegedly used. This is questionable, at best. One would do that if one were in a sniper’s nest for days at a time, perhaps. Perhaps, I say. Hunters don’t do this because the smell of scat and urine gives away one’s scent to the prey. This is how animals mark their territory so other animals get the message to stay away. If Frein was really wearing diapers, he would have taken a shot at the police in the forest. That he didn’t is proof those diapers did not belong to Frein, or he planted them to be found and create a false trail police fell for. Otherwise, doing this goes against important rules of wilderness skills. That being, even wearing a diaper, the scent will remain on one’s person even after changing the diaper and become even stronger as one sweats. If Frein sought to evade tracking dogs, which evidently he did using travel along creeks, he would not be wearing diapers that any good dog could smell for quite some distance. The actual wilderness skill is to dig a hole and bury one’s waste. Man, the predator, learned that skill tens of thousands of years ago. Evidently, the police didn’t get the memo
Finally, we have the pipe bombs Frein supposedly planted. This is curious. They say they’ve actually spotted him, yet could not catch him. They cannot find this one man, but they found these two much smaller devices. It is obvious these are another false trail. If they truly were booby-traps meant to have gone off, they would have. That’s how they would have been discovered, much too late. The same with his supposed campsites, littered with bargain camping equipment. If he cannot be found for four weeks, neither would any of his caches, if he had them. But let’s get back to his being spotted. If they saw him, how is it they could not catch him given their state-of-the-art equipment and communications? More likely, they saw a bird flush from a tree when they approached, they saw branches move, and being jittery, their minds manufactured the rest. This is exactly how hunting accidents happen. They call it “buck fever”. An inexperienced hunter sees movement, shoots in that direction, and bags another hunter moving through the forest. There is an army of inexperienced hunters moving in that forest. It’s called the police. It is surprising they haven’t shot at one another so far. Man, the predator, learned tens of thousands of years ago that game drives using large numbers of hunters only works against herds but one must use stealth when hunting a single animal. Evidently, the police didn’t get the memo.
Finally, let’s look at the resources being dedicated to finding this one man. I understand the price tag in this manhunt has exceeded the million dollar mark. Four weeks have gone by, yet the police cannot call off the search. Why? Because it would be admitting defeat and, ergo, they would feel humiliated. There is also the question of revenge, since this suspect targeted one of their own. Would such a manhunt be undertaken and go on for four weeks for the average citizen? Highly unlikely. But if catching this man is their goal, they are going about it the wrong way. This isn’t a job for beat cops dressed in camouflage uniforms. This is a job for skilled trackers and hunters. In a free market system, there might even be such an outfit. Where there is a need, there is a market. Such an outfit wouldn’t have to adhere to government hiring protocols, quotas, silly uniforms, or grooming standards. They would be paid upon capture of the suspect. Therefore, they would have the motivation to capture this man and pay attention to everything around them. Why? Because that is their skill set. That’s what they do. That’s what they live for. They can tell you what animal passed by this place and about how long ago. How to read the land and see possible routes of escape most people won’t see. How to get within 100 feet of a deer without being seen or heard. And finding that deer in the first place. It’s called tracking and stalking. Those of us who are traditional bowhunters have to rely on those skills to make meat. We can’t shoot from a scoped rifle hundreds of yards away. We’re using 5,000 year old technology. But guess what? It works, it doesn’t rely on a battery, and we have to move unseen and unheard. We have time and patience and don’t let emotions take over our heads. It takes me a full day to make one arrow; so what? I know it better than any I can buy in the store because I made it. I paid attention to detail, I matched it to my bow. In a free market system, a group of people with those skills would be hired to do this work, rather than using a forest full of noisy government employees. It is highly unlikely Frein is still in that forest, yet the Great Father’s police are still angrily trudging along and getting more and more frustrated. Why? Hire people who have no emotional connection to the whole thing. To skilled trackers and hunters who aren’t government employees, it’s just a challenge to match your skills against. To see how good you really are. But the Great Father enjoys using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito. He sees the mosquito land on the table, smashes the table, and the mosquito flies away unharmed. The wise man uses patience, stealth, and a common flyswatter.
In closing, I say again, the Great Father don’t hunt. Throwing millions of dollars and scores of government employees at a problem isn’t the solution. It’s part of the problem. Those government employees will get paid whether they catch Frein or not. In a free market system, you hire experienced hunter/trackers and if they don’t catch Frein, they don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that. That provides plenty of motivation for the hunter/tracker outfit to hire only the truly experienced. The Great Father will say he can’t afford to have untrained personnel out there doing this sort of work. Yet, the Great Father has hundreds of his trained, so he says, personnel out there and they have not caught Frein some four weeks later. A true hunter reads the land like a book and it tells him what there is to know and he abides by what the land tells him regardless of his own feelings, emotions, needs, or wants. He is not guaranteed a deer, he must earn it with his own skill or he returns empty-handed. The Great Father is reading the land like a European battlefield of the 1700s that he can shape according to his will and that is why he fails to catch Frein. This is true of all things from the manhunt for Frein to the so-called war against terrorists. Truth does not change some tens of thousands of years later since humans were all hunter-gatherers. The natural laws of the hunt remain. But the Great Father don’t hunt.