Pine Barrens Enthusiast Is the Genuine Article

turtle

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Feb 4, 2009
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a village...in the pines
Karl,
Lucky you, being one of his "responsibilities"! (I see the resemblance) What a fascinating perspective and one that we can all relate to.

".....I experience a feeling of jealousy when I think of someone in my woods. I want them all to myself and at the same time I would like everyone to experience the feelings I have for the Barrens."

The article is a great heirloom for your family treasures.

turtle
 

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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loki.stockton.edu
Karl,

Very nice. Sportsmen are often passionate conservationists. There are so many good reasons to get out and celebrate the Pine Barrens. I bet we can stop a whole lot of potentially destructive land-use decisions if the officials in charge of this place became familiar with the region’s unusual natural history.
 

Teegate

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Great article Karl! I believe that writer was even on KYW for a while.

Did your dad ever tell you where his secret camp was?

Guy
 

kayak karl

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Sep 18, 2008
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Great article Karl! I believe that writer was even on KYW for a while.

Did your dad ever tell you where his secret camp was?

Guy
but i can't find my way back. its south off 563 towards the scrub pines. camped there once with him. there is still an ammo can with previsions out there :)
 

Teegate

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but i can't find my way back. its south off 563 towards the scrub pines. camped there once with him. there is still an ammo can with previsions out there :)
You have to ask him to narrow it down for you. That would be great to find.


Guy
 

piker56

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Jan 13, 2006
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Winslow
My brother Bud also had a "secret spot" he took me to only once .He passed away in 1997. I've tried and tried and can't find it. It's fun looking for it though. If I ever find it, I'll certainly post pictures, although not the location :)
Greg
 

kayak karl

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Sep 18, 2008
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Ann typed it for me.

Tuesday November 21, 1978 Philadelphia Daily News


ALL OUTDOORS
By BEN CALLAWAY


]Pine Barrens Enthusiast Is the Genuine Article


No, he isn't Grizzly Adams. Certainly NOT Grizzly Adams.


Fred Rothenbach, a product of our city, is a latter-day outdoorsman-conservationist. Each autumn, when trees shed their leaves, his face takes on a silvery grizzled growth. When Rothenbach's beard is in full bloom, it has to be hunting season in South Jersey.


]But hunting is, really, always in season for this nature boy who spends much of his time and energy far off the beaten path, deep back in the Pine Barrens. It's a year-round pursuit of happiness and peace of mind. A love affair.


Aahh, those woods. “My feelings for the woods must lie somewhere between love and desire – maybe a combination of both. Looking out my window at a full moon on a cool, clear, crisp night makes me want to pack up and leave for the Barrens. Only my responsibilities keep me from doing it. I experience a feeling of jealousy when I think of someone else in my woods. I want them all to myself and at the same time I would like everyone to experience the feeling I have for the Barrens.”


FRED IS NOT ALONE with such feelings. He, however, does something about it, and puts together words which strike a cord for so many of us.

Rothenbach is a camper, but not your typical RV, summer-season variety. He particularly savors cold-weather camping. “It gives a man a chance to prove to himself that he doesn't need what we call 'modern civilization.' I like to camp with the least amount of equipment and food.”


(He has spent three days in the woods with a one-day army ration and just one quart of water, just to experience what it was like.)


The best would be to take no food – just a gun – and eat only the game you kill. But the laws put a crimp in this idea,” he sighs.


Rothenbach has a camp in the middle of the Barrens, hacked out with a machete. It has a ridge-pole (for tent), a latrine and some equipment buried nearby. “Only three other people have seen it.” he says. “And only one would be able to find it again – my hunting partner (Richard Keich). He would know where to look for me if some day I didn't return.”


It wasn't always this way for Rothenbach – the open spaces and the quietude. He grew up in North Philly and Kensington. He says “My playgrounds were the subways, train stations, avenues and empty houses. The woods and wild animals were completely alien to me. I love animals – dogs, cats and horses – and I thought I could never bring myself to kill any animal.”
HE DIDN'T GO HUNTING until he was “about 40 years old, about the time I moved to Jersey. A whole new life opened up.”

He explains any apparent contradictions between animal-lover and dedicated hunter: “Since I have been hunting I don't love animals any less – I love them more. Now I have a better understanding about the relationship between man and animals. Man is an animal, and a predator, with an instinct to kill for food. A million years of evolution can't wipe that out. Like the well-fed house cat that kills mice and birds, man still has the urge to hunt his own food.”


But Rothenbach's outdoor involvement doesn't stop at camping and hunting. He is a certified instructor in rifle, shotgun, handgun and archery. He's an active member of the Riverside Rifle and Pistol Club. At least two evenings a week, he teaches others to shoot, and conducts Hunter Safety programs.


Wife Anna, daughter Donna and son Karl are all straight-shooters, too, mostly targets.


He has strong thoughts about ecology and conservation.


These are relatively new and big words to the hunter and the general public. Not fully understood. A discarded empty pack of cigarettes, a beer can thrown out a car window, how important can this be? Not by themselves, but multiplied by a million or two, it would be the end of what little free land we have left. Go into the woods the day after hunting season and see what the slobs have done! Empty bottles and cans and sandwich wrappers strewn over the landscape – it's enough to make an Indian cry.


THESE SO-CALLED 'sportsmen' don't realize that, besides being unsightly, their rubbish can cause a horrible, slow, painful death to the animals, causing internal swelling and bleeding. If they would just adhere to the old campers' code, 'anything you can pack in, you can pack out.' the woods would retain their natural beauty.”


He has harsh words, too, for the ravages of realty encroachment, which “does damage on a much greater scale, all in the name of advancement.” Rothenbach feels that “One day man will 'advance' himself to extinction.”


In winter, a weekend outing for Rothenbach is to sleep with food and water in his jacket to keep them from freezing. To awaken with frost on his beard, feet painful from the cold. And to start a fire with fingers which have no feeling. “How in the world can I say I enjoy this? But I do!”


He recalls how he's gone camping with a forecast of four to five inches of snow. “No problem. But the forecast didn't mention three-to-four-foot drifts. My hunting partner found me the next day and helped me dig out.”


Aahh... alone in the woods, walking at 3 o'clock in the morning under full moon, bare trees and a glistening forest floor covered with frost. A scene to recharge batteries and maintain security for sure.


This autumn, Rothenbach, like many of us, senses the approaching autumn of his own life, too. “As I get older, the trails get longer and the nights get colder, so now I have a truck with a camper and and live in relative luxury compared to the open fires and Sterno stove that I started with.”


But the challenge is still there. For one who hunts 52 weeks a year with shotgun and bow-and-arrow, next season he plans to try it with black powder rifle.


If you're an armchair “outdoorsman”, educated by the tube and teachers such as the fictitious Grizzly Adams, you are removed from reality. You might be inclined to invite a grizzly bear to your table for dinner, perhaps adopt a raccoon for a house pet. But Fred Rothenbach is the genuine article. He knows better.
 

Boyd

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Your Dad sounds like a remarkable man. Enjoy the time you spend with your parents while you can, because all to soon they are gone. My father passed away many years ago, but he has been on my mind recently. He was probably the polar opposite of your Dad. He designed helicopters, jet fighters and rocket ships, and the golf course was about as close as he usually got to nature. :D

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there!
 

Teegate

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I agree with Boyd! However, we must also add that dads must try to spend time with their kids.

Thanks for the bump Karl. It was as good the second time as the first.

Guy
 

Teegate

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So did you ever narrow down the location of his camp?

Guy