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Outdoor topics => The Outdoor Board => Topic started by: WV Sawmiller on December 21, 2020, 11:03:46 PM

Title: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 21, 2020, 11:03:46 PM
   I figured I'd start a new thread with trivia and tidbits and decided to limit this to outdoor and wildlife matters and keep it here in the Outdoor vs the General thread. I'll try to add something new I have seen or learned over the years about various animals and outdoor matters. If you have something of a similar or related subject you have learned please post it here to keep this interesting and informative. 

    To start with: While he looks like he has an extremely rigid backbone did you know that an alligator can actually bend his backbone at the neck so much that, if the water is deep enough, he looks like a person standing straight up and walking upright. I assume crocodiles can do the same thing but can only certify this fact for the American Alligator. It kind of makes his look like the Pogo alligator cartoon.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 22, 2020, 09:13:28 AM
   Have you ever watched a bobwhite quail with a clutch of chicks when alarmed? The chicks will freeze and hide under a leaf or anything handy and the hen Bobwhite will try to draw you away with a broken wing act. Once safely away from the chicks her wing miraculously cures itself and she flies away. When the threat is gone she calls her brood back together.

   Did you know other birds will do the same thing? Even a "domestic" guinea chick will freeze and hide under a leaf. I have observed ostrich chicks in Southern Africa and Ibis in Mongolia, when they could not outrun pursuit, who froze and stretched out on the ground while the parents acted injured and tried to draw us away. Once we cleared the area the parents called and the young jumped up and rejoined them. Killdeer will do the same thing and I have even seen hen turkeys do the same thing. I suspect that there are many other birds who will do the same thing to protect their nests and young. This may be restricted to birds that spend their lives on the ground more than birds that spend more of their time flying.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Southside on December 22, 2020, 12:34:20 PM
Blue birds will do the same broken wing thing.  

Speaking of game birds.  Did you know that if hunting Grouse in the winter and you find a group of them roosted in a tree you can get your bag limit if you shoot them from the lowest limb up.  All they do is look down and wonder why Frankie is doing the funky chicken in the snow.  But if you shoot the one on the top limb first he warns all of his buddies "they got me" on the way down and they will all take flight.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 22, 2020, 01:11:28 PM
   My bluebirds always just attack anything that gets near their box but maybe if I'd walked out when the young one were learning to fly and fluttering in the grass they would have tried that. 

  That sounds like a very useful thing to know on the grouse. Kind of like Alvin York shooting the last German in the line till he worked his way to the front (if the movie was correct).
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on December 22, 2020, 02:48:25 PM
A good heart attack can be caused by ruffed grouse in the winter. They actually burrow into the snow, and will almost let you step on them before they explode up through the snow and fly away! Just a flushing grouse is enough to give a good start (I've seen dogs run away from it😊) but combined with coming up through the snow from under your feet will make your heart skip a few beats!!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 22, 2020, 05:10:18 PM
BB,   We have grouse here but few and I've never flushed one in the snow like that. I have had quail and rabbits do that in Fla when you'd be walking across a bare cow pasture with clumps of briers here and there. You'd swear there was not enough cover there to hide a sparrow till you step beside it and a covey of quail busts out or Mr. rubberbutt comes bounding out starting you. Many times I have seen people swinging there guns like tennis rackets at the quail because they would be so close. I once flushed 3 deer out of a patch of switch cane no bigger than a sofa on Ft Benning. Sort of makes you wonder how many animals you walked right past.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on December 22, 2020, 08:09:34 PM
I've never seen a bluebird do a true distraction display, but they sometimes flutter one wing which I interpret as an anxiety display. They will divebomb you when getting too close to the babies, especially just before they leave the nest. Mourning Doves do the broken wing act. Ovenbirds will fly up close to you and then run away dragging their wings on the ground. Indigo Buntings will come flying up close by and flutterglide away about 3' off the ground. Hooting like a Barred Owl will cause Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers with babies nearby to pitch a fit. I had a sapsucker fly in and land in a dirt road near me and roll around on the road. I treasure all such experiences. And then there are raptors that  can be outright hostile when you get near their babies.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 22, 2020, 08:34:42 PM
   I had a beaver in a slough off the Flint River at Lake Worth near Albany Ga do that one time. She had a den built in the bank and I was easing along pitching minnows or jigs for crappie and when I got close to the den she started coming up and splashing sounding like someone through a big log in the water. She did that right in front of my boat for 60-70 yards till I got far enough past the den then I saw a line of bubbles pass under my boat. While she did not draw me away chasing an "injured" beaver, she did disturb the fishing enough there was no incentive to stay near the den so she still accomplished her goal.

In a way I guess deer do the same thing as many times I have had an old doe snort and prance out in the distance. No doubt she is warning the fawn but she may also be trying to get the predator to come chase her.

I assume most of you have been busted by an old doe where she would stamp her foot and maybe snort and try to get you to move and show yourself. Other animals will do that too. We watched a cow Waterbuck in Kenya at the Nukuru Game Park walking through tall grass stomping her foot like an old whitetail doe. A leopard had just passed and no doubt she smelled him. I guess when they stomp like that sometimes they play on a predators nerves and make them charge prematurely giving the prey animal more time to run away. It was neat to see animals on another continent do the same things ours do.

KEC,  I have never been super close to a nest of raptors but we used to have a nest of red-tailed hawks in the top of a tall maple growing in a steep draw. We could walk up on either side and look down in the nest and see the young. I was never dive bombed or anything but the mom and dad would raise Cain in the air above. Any young in the nest would hunker down when they heard the parents. Since this was in the spring it usually coincided with Spring Gobbler season and the hawks screaming would shock any gobbler in the area to gobble so they were a good locator tool. One day I was returning from a morning hunt and a bunch of Jakes ran out past me and I busted one and he flopped and rolled and landed at the foot of the Hawk maple. Boy did the mom do some hollering then. I did not know if she did not want me that close to her young or she just hated to see that much free meat leaving when I collected my turkey.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: SawyerTed on December 22, 2020, 08:55:27 PM
Did you know there are jumping mullet (mostly a salt water or brackish water fish) in Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion (Santee Cooper lakes) in South Carolina?  Years ago I was fishing with a guide who caught 20 or so 12-14Ē mullet in a cast net.  We used them for cut bait for catfish.  It seemed to me then we were too far inland, but apparently not.  Now Iím used to it but I do remember my surprise when he brought those fish up in the net.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 22, 2020, 09:11:32 PM
   I know they will come a long way up fresh water rivers but I do not know how far. They used to come up the Escambia River in N. Fla where I lived and that was at least 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. They would sometimes jump and they were always swimming upstream and would make 3 jumps in a row and clear the water at least a foot high. We used to speculate on shooting them with bird shot because by the 3rd jump you could gauge real close there they would surface the next time.

They used to come up the Suwannee River 50 miles or more from the Gulf. I watched an old timer catch a bunch of them in the run from Hart Springs on the Gilmer County side of the river. He was using about a 25' cane pole (common to that area) with a #8 hook and about a 1" piece of earthworm for bait. He had a dozen or more when I saw him and they all looked to be 4-6 lbs or bigger. The water was swift but crystal clear and he would drop the bait right in front of them when he saw them in the spring run off. I hooked the biggest one I ever saw up above the Yellowjacket landing on the Dixie County side in the river fishing with my dad. He thought it was a mudfish (grinnel/cottonfish) and would not net him for me till it was close enough to identify and I always accused him of knocking it off but I know it really just flopped loose at the boat. A better netman still would have had him. :D

We found baby flounders in the sand in those fresh water springs too.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on December 22, 2020, 11:59:50 PM
I've had American Kestrel dive bomb me when I got near their nest. I knew a man who I helped to band Great Horned Owls. He once got nailed by one while he was at the nest up in a tree. After that he would not go up without a helmet on. I have no experience with Goshawks but they are well known to attack people who get too close to the nest. I know the Red-tails will just fly around and scream at you.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Logger RK on December 23, 2020, 06:19:14 AM
I'v seen where a grouse broke its neck trying to dive bomb in the snow after a freezing rain on top of the snow. Also seen where a bobcat chased a grouse up out of the snow. Looking at the tracks the grouse had a frozen chunk of snow on its chest & the bobcat did eat that day
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on December 23, 2020, 06:55:16 AM
I've seen the broken wing trick a few times. I know there is a nest close by.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: K-Guy on December 23, 2020, 08:25:31 AM

We have a bird feeder on the side of our deck and when I go out there and stand near it and a woodpecker has been getting at the suet, it doesn't want company. I've had them fly up from behind and pass inches from my head, definitely gets your attention. 

Originally when I got here we had a trailer because that was what the property had, after we put up a house and hadn't put the bird feeder back up, at dawn one morning we heard a tapping noise in the basement near the boiler. I go down to investigate and don't see anything wrong, as I'm going upstairs, I hear it again. I open the basement door and look at the boiler vent and there is a woodpecker pecking on it. I guess he was trying to tell me something was missing.  ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 23, 2020, 09:28:53 AM
@Logger RK (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=31718) ,

  Talking about broken necks did you know that is one of the normal causes of death for older Blue Footed Boobies in the Galapagos Islands? You can tell the ages as follow: Young Boobies have black feet. Mature Boobies have blue feet. Old Boobies feet begin to turn a purple color. By the time the Boobies get purple feet (15-16 years old if I remember our guide correctly) they also begin to get cataracts and before long they misjudge the depth of the water and when they dive bomb their target fish, which is how they catch fish, they impact the shallow bottom and break their necks.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Onthesauk on December 23, 2020, 11:11:17 AM
Twice over the years I've run into a grouse with chicks on the trail.  Both times the hen went through the flopping wing trick but in both cases the chicks ran for my feet.  I can only assume it has something to do with the predator stepping toward the hen and stepping away from the chicks?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 23, 2020, 11:55:29 AM
   The only time I flushed a grouse with chicks the young were as big as quail and they flew up in the multi-flora rose bushes and lit till I passed. The young quail I saw as a kid used to just hide where they were and they would often grab a leaf and flip it over them. They would not be as big as the first joint on your thumb. I bought some guinea chicks and they would do the leaf hiding trick too. 

    We chased a couple of 3' tall Ibis in Mongolia while on vacation there and the chicks were as big as a grown chicken but had no feathers to speak of. We were in a dry riverbed and there was no cover. When they realized they could not outrun us they flopped down with their chins flat on the ground while the mom and dad acted injured about 50-60 yards away. My wife walked over and took pictures of the 2 chicks from about 5-6 ft away. We watched several minutes till finally one of the chicks just raised his head and chirped. Mom answered and he jumped up and took off running to her and then his sibling jumped up and followed.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 24, 2020, 10:04:51 AM
   Did you know that a baby bull elephant calf will charge even a full sized vehicle when they are a few months old. The female calves stay back with the cow but the "little boys", as our guide in Kenya described them, when 5-6 months old are much more aggressive and bold and would trumpet and make a mock charge at our vehicle then stop and shake his head as if to say "I'm bad" (and he is with a huge mom backing up his play). It is really funny to see a little bull elephant that only weighs a couple hundred lbs charge at a vehicle weighing several tons. 

    We watched a herd of forest elephants of assorted ages from a hide overlooking a mineral rich stream in The Central African Republic one time and a little bull under a year old was engrossed with chasing what looked like a big old Muscovy duck across a mud flat. The little bull was so engaged he did not notice his mom and siblings had wandered off into the forest without him. When he did he he searched the nearby area then trumpeted and his mom answered from out of sight and he went galloping full speed across the mud flat like a child lost in a department store. It is amazing how young animals can remind us of children at times.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 25, 2020, 10:18:47 AM
   How many of you have ever watched an old turkey gobbler who was all full of himself and strutting with a bright red head till suddenly he busted you or some other threat and suddenly that bright red head went all white as he showed his heels clearing the area? Did you know ostriches can exhibit similar behavior? When a huge cock ostrich is feeling his oats his head will be blood red and it can also instantly change colors when he feels threatened. There may be other birds that do the same but that is two I know of who do.

   A big old male ostrich, if he can whip all the others, will take over a harem of 10-20 hens sometimes. Then he will run himself ragged keeping them together and mostly keeping the other males away. Finally he gets so run down and weak a younger or stronger male comes along and takes his harem away from him and he is cast out of the flock to ramble alone. The good news is once he has only himself to look after he can concentrate on finding food and such and suddenly he will start putting on weight and muscle and after a few months he is strong enough to challenge the upstart that took over his flock and defeat him for breeding rights again then the cycle repeats itself. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on December 25, 2020, 12:12:57 PM
I've had a few friends like that😂😂
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 25, 2020, 03:48:52 PM
Did you know there are jumping mullet (mostly a salt water or brackish water fish) in Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion (Santee Cooper lakes) in South Carolina?  Years ago I was fishing with a guide who caught 20 or so 12-14” mullet in a cast net.  We used them for cut bait for catfish.  It seemed to me then we were too far inland, but apparently not.  Now I’m used to it but I do remember my surprise when he brought those fish up in the net.
Ted,

  I was re- reading this and it reminded me of the time I took a buddy of mine out frog gigging in the New River there at Jacksonville NC. We put the boat in at the landing right in front of the USO at dark and rode up the river looking for the frogs I'd heard bellowing a few days before while fishing there. I remember we were chasing a frog under some overhanging willows and my buddy was in front of the boat already nervous about snakes dropping in the boat and a big old mullet jumped right up and hit him right in the middle of the back and nearly made him have a heart attack. I remember another one jumped in the boat a little later in our trip. I don't think we got many frogs but we did come home with a mess of mullet. That area was pretty close to the ocean and still very brackish.

   And as to jumping fish one time I took my BIL in a canoe in a slough just south of Charleston SC to look at gators. My wife and I had discovered the slough was full of gators when fishing and frog gigging a few weeks earlier. We went at dark and as soon as we turned the lights on there were red eyes everywhere. They were mostly small (3-4 ft long) but there was one big set of eyes off in one corner of the slough but they would go under every time we'd get close. This was the first time I had ever seen a gator "standing up" in the water as first described at the start of this thread. Anyway we circled the slough and returned to the truck parked on the side of US Highway 17. As we approached JW was talking to my wife and his girlfriend about all the gators we had seen and just as we touched the bank a little bluegill jumped out of the water and hit his hand resting on the gunnels of the canoe and he nearly had a heart attack on the spot.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: SawyerTed on December 25, 2020, 09:07:37 PM
Sounds like the gators had your BIL a bit unnerved.  I canít say as I blame him!  

The Diversion Canal between Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie (the Santee Cooper Lakes) to Charleston by the Cooper River is nearly 70 miles. We catch mullet at the hot hole in the canal.

Lake Moultrie is not considered brackish but the Cooper River below the dam is considered a tidal River.  I suppose I shouldnít be surprised at the mullet because Striped Bass make the run from the ocean to Lake Moultrie.  There are both locks and a fish ladder at the outfall of lake Moultrie. 

While Iíve not had a mullet land in the boat, Iíve had them bounce off my kayak.  

Yes there are gators in Lake Marion and Moultrie.  Iíve not seen any in years because Iíve decided winter fishing is more to my liking in Santee, SC.  They of course are less active and harder to spot in winter.  Iím told they reach 800 pounds or more!

Brackish water and the creatures that adapt to it are fascinating.  My first real introduction to brackish water was while fishing in the late spring in Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County NC.  In the early 20th century somebody got the idea to drain Lake Mattamuskeet by digging canals to connect with the Pamlico Sound.  They built gates and pumping stations and proceeded to try to pump the lake dry all in an effort to farm the rich peat laden bottom of the lake.  

Well the whole enterprise failed miserably.  But the lake remains connected to the sound via the canals so the water can be brackish during drier times.  Often what happens is the heavier salt water remains on the bottom and fresher water will lay on top until the water is mixed by wind or storms.

I was bass fishing the lake in late May or early June.  It had been dry.   I made a cast in a likely spot and caught a 14Ē largemouth.  Since I caught a fish there I cast back to the spot but let my lure fall to the bottom.  When I lifted my rod, I got a strong strike.  The fight that followed had me thinking I had caught a much larger bass.  That is until I netted a 20Ē flounder!  Initially I didnít understand but eventually it dawned on me the saltier water was on the bottom.  It didnít take long to switch to flounder fishing!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 25, 2020, 09:45:23 PM
   I hired a boat for the day in Douala Cameroon one day and right after we started out we spotted a heavy plank boat about 20' long with a woman and 2 men in it paddling upriver in a pretty swift current. They had evidently been running a trotline and had a number of sting rays and 6-10 lb catfish in the bottom of the boat. We towed them about half a mile up river to a village and they gave my guide about a 6-7 lb catfish. This was pretty close to the ocean so the water was pretty brackish.

   BTW - the woman was doing all the paddling and the men were kicked back relaxing. And the woman was at least 7 months pregnant. Did I ever mention I loved Africa. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: caveman on December 26, 2020, 05:02:03 AM
Coral snakes have black noses and move with jerky motions.
Armadillos can walk underwater to cross narrow streams but can also swim.
Opossums sometimes play dead or "possum" but around here if you see them on the road, they aren't playing possum.
Black mullet taste good fried or smoked.
Frogs, mice, snakes and many other animals use gopher tortoise holes to take refuge during fires.
Baby wild turkeys can swim.  When I was about 12 years old, a friend of mine and I came across an Osceola turkey hen with several chicks and we chases her up to the edge of a narrow creek, Fox Branch.  She flew over with a few wing flaps but the young ones hopped in and started swimming across.  We caught them but let them go back to their mother after we decided we did not want to raise wild turkeys.
Scorpions seem to really like living in the bark of longleaf pines.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 26, 2020, 09:11:48 AM
   We talked earlier about salt vs brackish water and some how it affects some fish. Did you know the salinity of the water may affect the color of flamingos? We had to overnight n Swakomund Namibia on the Skeleton coat while on vacation in the area due to a mechanical problem with  our Nissan bakke (truck) and watched flamingos feeding along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean there. Our guide pointed out that some of the flamingos were a much darker pink than others and told us the more salt in the water where they were feeding the darker pink they turned. Reading further I discovered the color is apparently caused by the amount of beta carotene in the brine shrimp and other such food that they eat and it seems reasonable the salinity of the water would affect the food supply the flamingos are eating thereby affecting the beta carotene intake of the flamingos. I doubt our guide had ever read about the beta carotene and I bet the biologists never checked the salinity of the water against the natural flamingo foods present.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on December 26, 2020, 09:29:16 AM
Ground hogs can climb trees and mockingbirds return to the same place to nest and will slam into your back when you mow near the nest?  

Possums love pink impatience and eat down the row similar to the way we eat corn on the cob?  

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 26, 2020, 09:41:06 AM
   I did not know groundhogs could climb trees or that possums ate down the row of corn. I have heard that possums eat a lot of ticks and have homodont (All the same shape) teeth. I know mockingbirds, and some other small songbirds, will chase crows. I know crows and blue jays (which are a first cousin to the crow) will attack owls, hawks and eagles. Once at my in-laws in N. Alabama I bet there were well over 200 crows circling and calling. If you looked closely in the middle was a small dot that was a red-tailed hawk. I don't see how he could survive a concerted attack by that many crows. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: SawyerTed on December 26, 2020, 10:08:37 AM
Speaking of possums, one of the most memorable sermons I ever heard was, ďWhy indecision killed the possum.Ē  The Late Reverend A.B. Weaver from Jefferson, NC preached it at a revival when I was a teenager.  The illustration was of the indecisive possum running back and forth on the road in the glare of your car headlights. A.B. was the funniest man I ever have known, somehow his humor was dead serious at times.

I learned that groundhogs climb trees like a cat shortly after we moved to Emilyís family farm back in 1988.  There was a huge population of the old whistle pigs.  My task was to decrease the groundhog population in my free time.  One wisened old bull groundhog would appear and disappear before I could get a shot.  One day I switched my hunting location to the opposite side of a group of trees.  The old groundhog came out, looked in the direction that I had been sitting then promptly climbed a tree.  Just like a squirrel he jumped from one tree to another.  It was on his climb down the second tree that he met his demise.  
 
I have a little dog now that keeps the possum and groundhog population in check along with the coyotes. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 26, 2020, 10:21:27 AM
   Did you know lions can climb trees? We saw a lioness not far from our lodge on Nukuru Game Park resting on top of the branches of an acacia tree about 20' above ground right at sunset. I can see how they could pull themselves up the trunk of the tree but to this day I don't know how she climbed up on top of all the small branches. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 27, 2020, 10:10:25 AM
   Did you know that bullfrogs are cannibals? If fact I think a bullfrog will eat anything he can get down his throat and his mouth opens almost 180 degrees. When I used to gig a lot of them in N. Fla in my late teens and early 20's the main thing I found in their stomachs were crawfish but I also found small turtles, snakes, and bluegills. I had one in a 55 gallon aquarium in NC and the kids gave me a baby snapping turtle I was real proud of till the bullfrog ate it. The frog weighed about a pound. (I have gigged them that weighed over 2.5 lbs.) I caught another that weighed about 1/3 of a pound and put him in the aquarium but he disappeared shortly thereafter and we thought he had escaped and we'd find him in the house later - maybe by the smell under a worse case scenario which did not my wife some happy! We went to clean out the aquarium and I caught the big frog to put in temporary quarters and looked and saw the tips if the smaller frogs toes sticking out his mouth.

   My next door neighbor here in WV had a small pond and some ducks and he came by one day just in time to rescue a duckling when I saw a big bullfrog  jump and land right on top of Daffy Jr. The frog had his lips completely around the duckling and if Billy had not been there when he was it would have been a gone duckling.

   A bullfrog will eat anything he can catch. I have hooked but never landed them on a fly rod with a cork bug when fishing for bluegills. It is a fierce battle and lots of fun but they always broke my line. I have caught them with plastic worms when bass fishing. I'd see one on the bank or shallow water and toss the worm past him and drag it by him and twitch it and there would be an explosion in the water's edge and a quick battle to bring the frog in.

   (I once hooked a big old hoot owl on the Suwannee River with plastic worm in a live oak over the river the same way but he broke free too after I had pulled him down into the river. He floated a few seconds looking awful confused then started flapping and got air under his wings and broke my line.)

   I gigged a bunch of bullfrogs in Beaufort SC when my son was about three and cleaned them telling him I was "taking their clothes off". After a while my son handed me a skinned frog and told me "Okay Daddy. Put his clothes back on."
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: SawyerTed on December 27, 2020, 10:22:01 AM
I once caught a bat on a plastic worm in the air!  Unfortunately it got a broken wing and flopped around on the pond until some large fish took it with a huge splash. 

Frog gigging is not something Iíve done.  It sounds like it provides lots of opportunity for adventure!  

At one time there were enough oysters in the sounds of North Carolina they could filter the water in all the sounds every three days!  

Flounder gigging is something Iíve done and occasionally a Stargazer fish will be mistaken for a flattie.  Itís a weird thing full of terrible teeth.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 27, 2020, 11:16:31 AM
Ted,

 I never gigged flounders but the back ends of my Samburu and Masaai spears have a barbless spear just like the flounder gigs people used to use in the Gulf of Mexico around Pensacola. I guess I could use them. I have heard of several people who gigged their own feet when shuffling around in a little bit of murky water.

 While very modest I must confess, I was dang good as a frog gigger in my teens! I'd take the 6V tractor battery out of our old Farmall Cub, had a pair of alligator clamps hooked to about 10-12 ft of lamp cord connected to a Ray-O-Vac 6v head light so I could travel anywhere in my 12' aluminum jonboat. I had to change the bulbs from normal PR13 to PR18 I think it was because the extra amps would blow them often. I kept plenty of spares with me too. I could spot an amber eye of a big bullfrog behind a log from the reflection in the water for several hundred yards. The first thing you normally see is that big white belly. My gig pole was bamboo and 2' longer than my boat so I could run right up to the frog and spear him. I used a square gig with 5 points (One on each corner and one in the middle) that was wicked. When hunting in ponds and sloughs you'd have to use a canoe or scull the boat really quietly because at the first sign of a paddle scraping on the side of the boat or a little wake reaching him the frog would go under if in the water or jump in the water if on the bank. I mostly hunted the Escambia River where boat traffic was common and I could idle my outboard right up to the frog as he was used to the sound. Also the waves from the boats tended to make the frog sit further back on the bank instead of right in the waters edge.  It was critical to keep the light on him once you spotted him to hold him motionless. I'd point the gig at him and drive the boat right into him giving the gig a short jab when I was about 6" from him. Newcomers tend to want to stab at the frog from 4' away and I don't know how many times I'd see them spear the sand right under the frog. Once I speared one I would usually slide my hand down the gig and grab him unless I was confident I had speared him solidly through the backbone as a frog would push off and escape a very serious wound. Once you had the frog on the end of the gig it was time to carefully search the overhead willows (a frog's favorite hangout) and surrounding area for snakes. You could not hold the frog at bay with your light and search the area at the same time so priority had to go to holding the frog at bay. Once the light was out of his eyes he'd jump so you had to be moderately insane to go in after them. I have had snakes jump on a struggling, bellowing frog I had just speared and that is a very annoying and will also elevate your heartrate real quick and in a hurry. Never gig a snake except in self defense and a last resort as they are very hard to get off the gig and it thoroughly piths them off.

 If you happen to miss a frog, not that that has ever happened to me of course, mark the spot, run up the river and gig another frog then turn around and come back as after a couple of minutes he will be right back up.

 I have had frogs jump in the river then immediately jump back out on the bank. I always wondered what he saw down there to make him do that. The hardest frog to get and the one that will most often escape is the one that takes refuge over land and you see him bounding off 10-12 feet at a jump into the logjam and cypress knees behind him.

 The absolute best time to gig frogs was dark nights in the summer when the water was very low and the sloughs had drained significantly. The dark night meant your light was more effective at holding the frog in place. The low water meant the frogs would often migrate to the river and at the mouth of the slough you might find several in close proximity.

 We did not have many gators in N. Fla when I was a kid so it was rare to see but I remember coming up on one near dry slough and seeing a pair of bright red eyes that looked to be 3" in diameter and a foot apart. I was in a 12' fiberglass boat and pointed it right at the gator and ran straight to him till he submerged and headed into deeper water scrubbing the bottom of my boat in the process and it seemed his head and tail stuck out on both ends. That certainly was not the smartest thing I ever did not both the gator and I survived the encounter.

BTW Ted, did you try bats for bait after that encounter? Sounds to me like you may have hit on a new lunker bait.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 28, 2020, 05:44:57 AM
   Did you know a mature male bullfrog will have a bright yellow chin? A mature female will often have a black and white spotted belly. Younger frogs may not have either of these traits. The male makes the distinctive and very loud ground shaking "Wronk" sound to attract the female during the summer mating season and the female goes to the male much like a turkey gobbler calling to the hen. The difference being a hen turkey will sometime answer back.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on December 28, 2020, 03:33:36 PM
More grouse stuff.
I was once "attacked" by a momma grouse with chicks while atv riding on a gravel rd.
She puffed her neck feathers (ruff)  and ran right at me stopping about 3 feet away.
Also while xc skiing a good number of years ago I had one explode out of the snow between my legs while I was coasting down a hill.
Im glad it wasnt a very steep hill.
I have gigged frogs here in NY when I was a kid, but a fellow who worked for me took me out one night in Maryland.
I swear the first one I saw was the size of a house cat. Nothing that big here in NY

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on December 28, 2020, 04:04:58 PM
A woman I used to work with was into horses and had a couple acres with a small pond in one corner.  Her husband was into hunting and fishing.  I guess he brought back some catfish and one was still pretty lively so they put it in the pond.  So she would go out nearly every day with some bread or crackers and feed the catfish - who got pretty big.  One spring, a Mallard pair set up a nest and hatched some eggs.  One day she was out there and the ducklings went for their first paddle.  She watched in horror as several disappeared when a gaping mouth swallowed them up.  They had catfish for dinner soon afterwards! :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 28, 2020, 04:53:16 PM
  That tale reminded me of one of Mr. Tom Cadenhead's tales. Hopefully the link below will take you right too it but if not it was titled A Catfish Story. (looks like the link did not work but Mr. Tom seems to have posted the first Thread in the sawmills and Milling and if you open it you can got to his memorial website and look under his Allegories for the catfish story. I will always regret I never got to meet Mr. Tom but he had already passed long before I got a mill or found this forum.)

Tomssaw.com Error (http://www.tomssaw.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1069463366,9612),
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 28, 2020, 05:12:53 PM
Pete,

  I used to tell my buddies if the frog was not big enough to make Frog Head Cheese (Souse) I would just pass on him and let him grow some more.

  I did save the front legs and backs as well as the back legs. If he was not big enough to use the whole frog I did let him go.

  I don't know how many of you ever skinned or cut up a frog. They are pretty easy to process. First cut through the skin on the back right below his head. Grab the skin with a pair of fishermans's pincers or pliers like you would use to skin a catfish. Hold the frogs head and pull and the skin pulls off very readily. Cut off the "hands", cut off the feet at the "ankles" then put 2 fingers in the chest and pull the breast plate with both front legs attached. Next cut the back legs off at the hip joints. Next cut the side meat and guts off the backbone. When finished you have the front leg "assembly", the back and the two separate back legs.

  Be sure to get rid of the hides. head and guts quickly as since it is usually warm weather they will get fly blown and raise a patch of maggots while you watch if not. Bury or toss them back in the lake for the turtles and fish to eat. Never try to grind them in the food disposal - don't ask me how I know this but I assure you it will not make your wife happy some at all not any!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on December 28, 2020, 06:21:13 PM
Back in the day we had friends that we would baby sit their house when they were gone for a period of time.  An idea of the nature of the house, it had a plexiglass roof, built in the round, with a two story atrium, built over a pond.  Pond was stocked with catfish.  There was a bell mounted on a post in the yard beside the pond.  They would ring the bell, catfish would show up and be fed.  Being fond of catfish, a cane pole with a dried shrimp on the hook tossed in with the feed, and we had supper.  Not fair, probably, for the fish, but paid for the baby sitting. 8)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 28, 2020, 06:56:44 PM
TR,

  Years ago I saw an article where some fish farm was raising Sea Bream which was a very desirable and pricy fish. They would ring a bell every time they fed the fish. They did this for many months till the fish reached a certain size then they put the fish in a cage in the ocean and did the same thing for a few more days or weeks then they opened the cages and released the fish but every day at a certain time they rang the bell and fed the fish a token amount but basically the fish were foraging on their own and putting on weight. Finally at the desired time they rang the bell and when the fish entered the enclosure the closed the gates and harvested the fish for the market. They recovered an amazing percentage (Something like 95% IIRC) of the fish.

  When I was a small boy I was listening to my grandfather telling about when he was a kid and they raised hogs in and around the Steinhatchee River in central Fla and he said he would get on his horse, load a 100 lb bag of shelled corn and go off to feed the hogs which were free ranging for miles around on their hog claim. He said he would ride down a different trail each day dropping a small trail of corn and he said he'd look back and the road would be full of hogs - dozens if not hundreds at times. I asked him how he ever figured to feed that many hogs with that relatively small amount of corn and he said there was no way that many hogs would survive on the feed he gave them. He said feeding them like that was just to gentle them down a little and make them easier to trap in the Fall when they would capture and butcher or sell the excess. The hogs foraged for their own food but the corn was just a treat to make them easier to catch later. I guess that was the same idea with  the fish farm's Sea Bream.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Ianab on December 29, 2020, 02:46:30 AM
Hogs are SMART, and even fish are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for. If you have ever kept Oscar cichlids in an  aquarium, they get to recognise you, and their food jar. They act more like a puppy than a fish. 

We called in at a local wildlife reserve earlier in the year. They specialise in the rarer native birds with a predator free fenced forest and captive breeding programs. But one if the "side shows" is the "tuna" (native eels). These are "wild" and just happen to live in the stream that flows though the reserve. 

We walked past the stream, and not much was happening.. Came back  1/2 an hour later, and the eels knew it was close to feeding time.  


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/IMG_9768.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1609227117)
 

Once some leftovers from the kiwi / falcons / owls lunch showed up, the water was boiling. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/IMG_9772~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1609227151)
 

The volunteer feeders had a safety briefing, DO NOT FALL OVER. No children or old folks allowed in the water. 

We have the same fish living in the little stream in the back garden, but that's the most I've ever seen in one place. 

The "Did you know" part?
The adult eels swim out to sea and breed somewhere near Tahiti (1,000+ miles away). The elvers then drift back on the currents and swim up the rivers to live and grow until they are big enough to repeat the cycle. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 29, 2020, 09:32:36 AM
   Did you know that, like the electric eels in South America, there is an electric ray that lives in the Red Sea? There may be others around the world. The Red Sea electric ray has a pair of electrodes on his nose area that he uses for defense and to stun his prey. They generate a very impressive jolt to the uninitiated.

I first found out about them on a Christmas Eve night dive while working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I went diving in the Red Sea with a young man who was visiting his mom and dad for the holiday. His dad was a friend/co-worker of mine. During the dive on our return heading back to the entry point my light died so I was following along behind and we were passing over a sandy bottomed area at about 25' deep. Suddenly my partner stopped and shined his light in my face and I stopped to see what he wanted. Suddenly I saw a flat bodied fish about 12-14 inches long hovering right in front of me. I guess it had been hiding in the sand and we were diving close enough to the bottom such that we disturbed it and it it was hovering about 3' above the bottom when we spotted him. It did not have stinger and I assumed it was a baby ray shark. I put my right hand directly in front of him to stop him from swimming away and my left hand behind to stop him from backing up. This lasted several seconds with  the fish easing forward and backward a few inches at at a time till I put my right hand, the one with a hole in the index finger of my rubber dive glove, too close to his nose and electricuted-smiley he lit me up like a Christmas tree! My mind entered another universe and I lost all feeling in my joints for several seconds and felt like that cartoon where the guy has grabbed a live wire and his hair is all frizzed out. It was hard to see because of the sand we had stirred up but mostly from the bubbles from my partner laughing at me under water. If Santa was anywhere overhead I bet he saw the glow in the water like that Geico commercial "Houston are you seeing this?". Somewhere in my confusion the electric ray exited the area and I confess I did not see or look for him any more!

Oh well, the results passed quicker than when I tried to lip-lock a large porcupine puffer fish. I had a blue thumb for weeks and lost the nail in that encounter. Note to self: Never attempt to lip-lock any fish that eats coral for a living.
scuba-smiley
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 30, 2020, 09:42:53 AM
   Did you know know the Florida gopher tortoise digs a burrow about 20-25 deep where he lives. Their northern range is largely determined by temperature as being true southerners they don't do well in the cold. They also need soft sandy soil without rocks for easy digging but with enough clay to hold the soil together and prevent collapsing of the roof.

   These burrows are often shared by rattlesnakes, armadillos and rabbits. The gopher is a vegetarian and a harmless critter that makes a great pet for kids. Well, where it is legal to keep one they do as they are highly protected in Florida now and it is illegal to possess one there. They live pretty much everywhere in the Fla but are also found in south Ga and southern Ala. They may even be in Mississippi but I am not sure they ever crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana. In Florida they now are a nemesis to construction projects because if one is found on the building site all construction is halted until after the breeding season and the tortoise can be/has been relocated.

   Gophers are easy to catch in a pit trap made from a 5 gallon bucket or larger container. Just dig a hole directly in front of the burrow deep enough the can is level with the top of the ground, put a piece of brown paper or thin cardboard over the top of the can and the next time the gopher tries to enter or exit he falls in and is caught.

  Be careful when working around a gopher hole! You can readily tell an active burrow by the fresh sandy dirt at the front and you can see the slide marks. Also leaves and spiderwebs in front of the burrow indicates inactivity. I went to pit a large gopher behind my house on USMC base Albany Ga while picking blackberries with my 6 y/o son and used a rusted out 30 gallon garbage can I found in a nearby garbage dump. I dug the pit, covered it with paper and explained to my son what we were doing. The next day while at work I called my wife to see if she had checked to see if we caught the gopher and assured her our son could show her the place. When I called and asked she said "No, there is a rattlesnake there and I'm not going back!" She went out with our son and 4 y/o daughter. Sean rushed up to the pit and suddenly there was a loud buzzing of an angry rattlesnake in the area. She yelled at Sean to stop and scared him so much he and Sharon were both crying but they safely cleared the area. Evidently the snake had fallen in my pit. When I came home I went back with a hoe to kill and recover the snake but it had gotten out but the gopher was in the pit so I recovered him, filled in the pit and stayed away from the area.

   In Opp Ala just across the Fla panhandle line they used to have an annual rattlesnake rodeo to see who could catch the most and biggest rattlesnakes. The hunters would find a gopher hole and run a garden hose down the hole and listen to it like a stethoscope. If the gopher was home they could hear him blowing. If a snake they could hear his rattles and scales clicking and they would pour a small amount of gasoline in the hose and blow the fumes into the hole and the snake would quickly come out. Some people hooked the exhaust of their vehicle to the hose and the CO2 would chase the snake out. Others used to cut a plug out of an orange, squeeze the juice out, pour in a little gas and roll it down the hole. In most cases gassing gopher holes is now illegal as too many innocent gophers were killed during the process.

   Dad said the gophers in central Fla where he grew up were nearly wiped out during the depression as they are good to eat and slow to raise.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on December 31, 2020, 01:41:57 PM
   Did you know that there are still many parts of Africa where the people still believe in Magic and witchcraft?

   On my last trip to Cameroon in February 2008 we were on a long stretch of road between villages and our guide, a college educated travel guide, told us that road was bad for truck jackings as it was a major ground transportation route between much of the country. I asked her why the Gendarmes did not set up a sting operation with a box truck or such full of armed gendarmes then when the bandits stopped the truck jump out and capture or kill the bandits. The guide said "Oh no, that won't work because they take local medicines they eat or rub on their skin and it makes them invisible." While she was college educated she still believed people could make themselves invisible.

 Over next to the Nigerian border while trekking in and camping with the Koume (Koo Mah) people who were first discovered/contacted by outsiders around 1986 I spotted a flat rock propped up by another smaller rock and asked my local guide if that was a deadfall trap for small animals or birds. My guide told us "No, it is a spirit trap. If anyone is coming to this village ahead with intentions to do harm to anyone in the village and they pass here the stone will fall and capture their spirit and they will die. The first time that happens they can buy their way out by buying a cow or steer and having a feast for the village but if they try a second time they will just die and there is no way out." My wife asked "What if they just walk around it?" The guide explained it was like a long line and even someone flying over in an airplane with harmful intent would lose their spirit and die.

  In Ethiopia while visiting along the Maga Valley region I saw some baskets hung in the trees as bee hives which was common in many areas I had visited in Africa. Baskets made of palm fronds or wood are hung in likely spots and when the bees swarm they find them and settle into them and the villagers collect the honey and brood to eat at a certain time of the year. I asked my guide what was to stop someone from stealing another persons beehives and he said "Oh no. They go to the local witch doctor and he puts a curse on the hives if anyone steals them a Mamba will crawl into his hut at night and kill him and his family and anyone else who ate the honey." (I like that idea - I wonder if I can hire a WD to hex my tools?)

 Our South African guide on a trip there told us many Africans believe evil spirits are little men who hide in the corners and jump up on the beds at night to cause harm to the occupants. That is why they make their huts round (No Corners) and their beds are made high off the ground. (I always wondered if those Mambas and spiders and such might not be part of the reason for the tall beds.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 01, 2021, 08:30:01 AM
   Since it is New Year's Day and I want all my FF family and friends to have the best possible start on 2021, did you know that traditionally if you ate Black-eyed peas and hog jowls on New Year's Day you were supposed to have a better year ahead. Somewhere along the line the tradition added some greenery to the meal which was supposed to indicate more wealth in the year ahead. In the South the greenery was typically collards or possibly turnip or mustard greens. In the North I understand the greenery was typically cabbage. (I suspect these were the green items still in season in those respective regions at this time of year.)

  My dad told me his version of the BE peas and Hog jowls came from growing up in the Depression era. Back then people were dirt poor and most had no refrigeration. BE Peas were one of the few foods people could grow, whip out the dry peas, and save them without refrigeration. The hog jowl used to season the peas was about the cheapest cut of meat on the pig. He said with all that in mind if you were down to eating BE peas and hog jowls on New Years Day you had to have a better year ahead because it could not get much worse as you were already just one step away from starving. :D

   Happy New year and enjoy those BE Peas and hog jowls. digin1
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: SawyerTed on January 01, 2021, 08:01:36 PM
Well we didnít have black eyed peas in the pantry but did have white beans.  So today we had white beans and ham hock, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese and Emilyís awesome cornbread (it might be one of the reasons I married her). We had a whole ham on Sunday for lunch o the ham hock was leftover.  The rest Emily made from scratch.  

The traditional meal, I believe, was made up just as you say to help bunt the feelings of poverty and because those foods were more available in the dead of winter.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 01, 2021, 09:31:20 PM
Ted,
 
   We had BE peas with pork loin cut up in it for seasoning and a couple strips of bacon. We had rice, cole slaw and cornbread with it. When we finished my wife asked "Why don't we eat that more often?" We have enough leftovers I will be eating a couple more meals off it I suspect. It was simply good.

   I don't know what kind of luck you generate from eating white beans but I wish you luck. 

   We had dinner alone Christmas and Becky cooked a ham and I think there is one chunk left about the size of a tangerine or small orange. I'm hoping Becky dices it up and makes another ham and cheese omelet with a batch of yellow grits out of it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Southside on January 01, 2021, 09:56:08 PM
Having some black eyed peas, green beans, rice, and rainbow trout right now.  We grow the peas - actually for the cows in the summer - known as cow peas of all things - then just keep some back for us, and the trout was compliments of @Poquo (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=45962) - it was very good!!   
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 02, 2021, 08:51:41 AM
   Did you know that when a female hippo gives birth to a bull calf she leaves the pod to raise him alone for the first 8-12 months because the bull hippos in the pod will often kill a bull calf. If she gives birth to a female she will typically return to the pod with the baby because it is not at risk like a male would be.

   We were touring southern Africa and stopped for a couple of nights in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and I was fishing for baby tiger fish with ultra lite tackle near a small papyrus island at sunset. It was a magical time with no wind and glassy calm water and the sun setting on one side of the boat and a full moon rising on the opposite. My wife was like a swivel rotating from one direction to the other trying to get pictures of both. I was pitching a small jig spinner like a Beetle Spin and 6-8 inch tiger fish were attacking it nearly every cast (although I was not landing many) when suddenly a cow hippo with a newborn calf, we assume was a baby bull, drifted down the river to our fishing spot. My guide quickly pulled anchor and cleared the area as he said a cow hippo with a calf was very likely to attack us. We tried a couple more fishing spots but I never got another strike.

   I remember we got up the next morning and found fresh hippo tracks about 10' in front of our tent. They were not there that night when we went to bed the night before.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 02, 2021, 02:10:54 PM
Did you know - you can levitate when you hear a rattle but not see the snake?  Olympic jumps.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 02, 2021, 04:54:49 PM
@Texas Ranger (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=7) ,

  I can believe that! That reminds me of the old picture of the new Olympic record for the standing broad jump showing a young lady on a nude beach in the south of France bending over on the beach to adjust her towel or blanket and a cold nosed hound dog walked up and sniffed where cold nosed hound dogs are subject to sniff but I guess this is not the appropriate place for that photo.

  I have been watching the History Channel on Thursday nights with the Swamp People crew from Louisiana down in the Everglades catching pythons. Chase or Troy Landry will be walking through the swamp and suddenly yell "Snake, Snake" and run grab the snake by the tail while his partners go grab the head. I am still watching to see them make a grab and pull up a tail with rattles on it. That would be my luck. Maybe we will see it on the did something dumb thread one of these days.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: rjwoelk on January 02, 2021, 06:37:34 PM
I have had baby lambs while chasing them to the barn yard up and play dead. They stay that way for a minute then jump up and take off.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 02, 2021, 08:12:30 PM
   I was never around sheep. We raised goats for a long time and there is nothing cuter than a bunch of kid goats jumping and playing. I guess the lambs playing dead is like a fawn laying motionless and maybe that is a retained instinct but I did not know that. Thanks for posting this tidbit.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 03, 2021, 09:24:54 AM
   Did you know the worlds fastest snake is generally believed to be the Black Mamba in Africa? He is also one of the deadliest with enough venom to kill a grown elephant. They are often reported to be very ill tempered making multiple bites. Reports have been received of a black mamba crawling into a hut after mice or rats and a sleeping inhabitant would roll over on him and the snake would bite everyone in the hut wiping out whole families. Maybe this is where the stolen honey hex came from.

On 28 December 2010 while touring in Ethiopia and on our way to the Omo Valley, our local guide Clahoon, suddenly yelled that he spotted a snake crossing the wide clay road we were on. We stopped and he said "It was by that bush" so I ran to the bush and got a long stick and probed around but no snake. We looked around but did not see anything so I walked a little further into the stand of scrubby acacia and mopani trees beside the road. The trees were maybe 20' tall but there was very little leaf matter or understory so the ground was pretty clear. I spotted the snake crawling quickly along the stony ground rapidly flicking his tongue out tasting the air. I grabbed a bushy limb and was able to stop and turn him. He was slender, olive colored and about 5' long. Clahoon said it was some kind of mamba and asked if we wanted to kill it. I told him there were no villages around so we'd leave it alone. Our daughter Sharon snapped 2-3 quick pictures and ran back to the car followed by Clahoon. Our driver had never gotten out. Becky and I stayed a couple more minutes with her taking pictures and me, armed with a 1.5 liter bottle of water (I guess I still had it in my hand when I exited the car because I can't recall thinking it would be useful for snake wrangling) and my bushy limb, trying to keep the snake in the area for her to photograph. She got several pictures then we decided we'd better leave or the rest of the gang were going to leave without us.

When we got to a village or lodge with internet we looked up the snake and it was, indeed, a black mamba. Apparently this one must have been a teenager as it was only about 5' long and a mature snake is typically about 8.5' long and can be as long as 14'. Fortunately for us, this one showed no signs of aggression and I never got to, nor did I want to, see the famous black mouth although we did see the coffin shaped head.

A little over a week later on 6 January 2011 while staying at a lodge on Lake Tana, the headwaters of the Blue Nile in northern Ethiopia, a local kid came and got us to photograph a python in the papyrus along the lake. We finally spotted the snake in the reeds but only part of his body slowly crawling forward till I saw the stubby tail which was nearly 2" in diameter at the tip. I grabbed the tail planning to pull the snake out for Becky to get a picture but after a brief tug of war and with no help from the crowd who scattered quickly and far, the snake pulled free. I don't and will never know if he was 10' long on as long as the telephone poles like the locals insisted. I assume it was an African Rock python as I don' t know of any other kind in that area. The tail was nearly black instead of the normal reddish brown like you normally see but different color phases are common in our American snakes and I assume that is true other places in the world.

 One thing I remember was in the crowd along the sidewalk surrounding the lake who had been watching the snake there was a young man in a wheelchair. While it may not be politically correct to say so, I really did think it was funny watching him leading the pack of the crowd running away when I grabbed the snake's tail. Have you ever seen a wheelchair burning rubber? I swear it looked like that one did.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 04, 2021, 09:03:45 AM
   Did you know when the African warthog runs it carries its tail high in the air like a flag or banner? Apparently this allows the young to see their mother in the tall grass of the Savannahs and such and stay together instead of getting scattered. It is a comical sight to watch but has practical purpose.

   Did you also know the meat of a warthog is a dark, red flesh rather than white like our American and European pigs.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 04, 2021, 10:32:10 AM
Did you know:  Events that end with you saying "what?". 

Sitting in the deer stand and a cougar runs across the feed patch, fast enough to make you think twice. 

Sitting on a friends patio with an adult beverage in hand, watching the Martin house when a hawk flys in, lands on the side of the house, reaches in one of the nest holes, and extracts dinner.

Sitting in the deer stand and a racoon joins you, the question arises as to who will vacate the stand.

Walking a pipeline road in deer season, friends wife walking beside me, she turns and grabs my arm with a look on her face.  Points down to the skunk walking between us.

Sitting around the fire, mid day deer season, when the rattle snake crawls out from under the cabin and the camp lights up with gun fire.

One I have told before:  driving to another county with my wife when a cougar jumps the road in front of us, wife's question was, "what was that?" I replied "the cougar you say I never see".

Moments that stick in your mind.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: azmtnman on January 04, 2021, 09:38:03 PM
A little over a week later on 6 January 2011 while staying at a lodge on Lake Tana, the headwaters of the Blue Nile in northern Ethiopia, a local kid came and got us to photograph a python in the papyrus along the lake. We finally spotted the snake in the reeds but only part of his body slowly crawling forward till I saw the stubby tail which was nearly 2" in diameter at the tip. I grabbed the tail planning to pull the snake out for Becky to get a picture but after a brief tug of war and with no help from the crowd who scattered quickly and far, the snake pulled free. I don't and will never know if he was 10' long on as long as the telephone poles like the locals insisted. I assume it was an African Rock python as I don' t know of any other kind in that area. The tail was nearly black instead of the normal reddish brown like you normally see but different color phases are common in our American snakes and I assume that is true other places in the world.


I've been watching "Serpent Invasion" on Discovery Channel lately. But I believe their weight (and possibly length) is inflated for TV. If you watch those guys, they're not picking those things up and putting them in a sack like they weigh 100+ lbs.  :D :D :D 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 04, 2021, 10:06:58 PM
   Good catch. I know those snakes can be very heavy. I have been wondering as I watched the History Channel specials and three of them walk out of the Everglades carrying, based on what the individual weights were listed during the show, must have been over half a ton of snakes. Those Cajuns are pretty stout if they can each carry 400 lbs of snakes in a pillowcase over their shoulder.

We were going to relocate a big female green Anaconda in Ecuador in December 2008 because it was too close to a village and was a threat to the animals, pets and children of the village. We stopped and took pictures of the snake on our trip downriver. It looked to be at least 20' long and over 6" in diameter. The year before the residents of the village had killed a large anaconda in the same area and our guide wanted to protect the snake as much as the people. Our guide said he would grab it from behind and put a sock over its head to help calm it but that he was going to need our help carrying it to the boat and unloading it at the new site because he was sure it weighed over 200 lbs. I was game to help catch and carry the snake and my wife was excited to take pictures of the whole operation but when we returned to the site on our trip back upriver a week later the snake was gone.

 I have a python skin I bought during my travels that is about 14' long and it is 18" wide.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on January 05, 2021, 06:40:44 AM
Howard , you underestimate the strength of those cajuns. I've watched with my own eyes ( tv ) as the announcer narrates , them one handed flipping " a 500lb dinosaur " ( gator )  into a 14' jon boat.  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 05, 2021, 07:28:27 AM
Ellmoe,

 You underestimate the strength of a relocated Hillbilly I bet. I'd bet if that 500 lb gator were in my boat I would have readily thrown him a good 50' getting him out! :D

 Did you know the primary food of the Harpy eagle in South America is arboreal/tree-dwelling mammals such as monkeys and sloths? They cruise the sky over the jungle and when they spot their target they swoop down and pluck him from the tree-tops to take back to the nest of a convenient perch to eat.

 In December 2008 we vacationed at the CuyaBeno wildlife reserve/national park (Famous for several of the Naked and Afraid contests now) at the corner of Ecuador and Peru and were on a private boat tour down the a tributary of the Amazon River when we stopped to camp in an Indian village. A young local Indian man offered to show us a young harpy eagle on the nest to we trekked 2 hours into the bush to the nest and watched and photographed the rare bird the rest of the afternoon. When we started to leave we checked the ground underneath the nest tree and found and brought back a monkey skull about the size of an egg and a sloth toe (off a three-toed sloth) about the size and shape of a large turkey spur.

 I think the Harpy eagle is about the size of our golden eagle and is white with a distinctive fuzzy ring of feathers around his neck. The beak and toes were black on our immature bird (He could fly but never left the nest tree) but may change colors as he gets older as is the case with out American Bald Eagle.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 05, 2021, 10:21:42 PM
WV  Sawmiller, all I can saw is that, with all your exploits and adventures I'd welcome you to sit on my front porch for a visit to hear more !
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 05, 2021, 10:35:45 PM
@KEC (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=40283) ,

   I'd love to come talk. Talking is one of my favorite hobbies which was one of the reasons I got a sawmill. :D I think we may have to wait till summer as if I read your profile right you are up in New York and I'd be afraid your winters are worse than ours. I guess if I come I'll have to bring my own grits won't I? :D :D Better yet, you come here and we can feed you catfish and grits and show you pictures to match the tall tales and scars. We'll keep the light on for you. ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on January 06, 2021, 02:47:46 AM

 You underestimate the strength of a relocated Hillbilly 
:D :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 06, 2021, 09:46:28 AM
   Did you know the world's smallest monkey is the Pygmy Marmoset in South America. They are about the size of an eastern flying squirrel - about 4.5"- 6" long and weighing about 3.5 ounces. It is known as a Gummivore meaning it lives on the sap of specific trees. It gnaws the bark off small spots in several locations on its target tree and spends its day running back and forth lapping up the syrupy sap that oozes out and re-opening the spots by gnawing off the healed spots on the bark to keep the sap flowing. I gather the tree must be similar to our sugar maple. I read they live in small troops of 2-9 individuals.

   In December 2008 one one of our last days  in the jungle of the Cuya Beno reserve in Ecuador we started out for our morning outing. As soon as we pulled out from the dock at our lodge our guide, Neiser Toro, directed Clever, our Indian boat driver, to pull across the small river which was not much wider than the length of our 50' fiberglass canoe with a 40 hp Yamaha outboard, to the opposite bank. We walked a very short distance into the bush and Toro pointed to a particular tree and we walked around it for about an hour looking from various vantage points between the foliage to see parts of the tree and photograph the little marmosets. Finally we spotted what Toro had told us to be looking for. A tiny monkey darted to a spot on a large limb and looked like a tiny dog lapping up water in his dish then he laid his head on the side and gnawed rapidly for a minute or two then darted to another spot on the same tree and repeated the gestures. The tiny monkeys seemed to be in constant motion and were very hard to see clearly because of the thick leaves, their small size, distance from us, and their speed. Without Toro knowing what to look for and pointing them out to us we would never have seen them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 06, 2021, 07:30:58 PM
Not so much exotic, but around here, gray squirrels will sometimes gnaw Sugar Maples to get the sap. They seem to select one particular tree when there are others nearby. I suspect that female squirrels are nutritionally stressed in spring. They get pregnant in mid-winter and carry babies through the late winter period when food is scarce and have to make milk  to nurse. This is before new seeds and nuts are available. They really can chew heck out of a tree. One thing that puzzles me is that Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers don't seem to bother Sugar Maple.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 07, 2021, 09:32:30 AM
   Did you know that the African Oyrx or Gemsbok (Hems Bok) will crawl under an obstacle if possible rather than jumping over it. We watched an oryx walk up to a tight barbed wire fence keeping cattle away from a road through a pasture along the western/Skeleton Coast in Namibia then stick his head under the bottom wire and basically he just crawled under letting barb wire slide down his 4' long scimitar shaped horns until it slapped him on the rump just as he cleared the fence. A whitetail deer will exhibit similar behavior by walking along a typical 47" high pasture fence hundreds of yards or more to crawl under a knee high low spot in the fence rather than simply jumping over it which he could very easily do. They will do the same and crawl under a fallen tree in their trail rather than jumping if possible. Also when a deer, elk, antelope or such do jump a fence, instead of getting a running start, which would seem to be easier, they will walk up to a fence, stop, squat down, commence a standing broad jump over the fence while lifting his front legs against his chest and tucking his back legs in as they clear the top of the fence. It is a very graceful maneuver when typically exhibited.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 07, 2021, 06:39:07 PM
I've seen adult woodchucks squeeze under a concrete slab where you would not think they could fit. I once watched a muskrat waddle over to a storm drain and go down through the iron grate  cover. I measured  the slot that it went down through and it was barely 1 1/2" wide. I once got a bat out of someones' house that got between two windows. I got it out through a slot that was barely wide enough to get a not-so-large diameter ball point pen through.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 07, 2021, 06:45:11 PM
   I knew a mouse could squeeze through a spot about 3/8" if not smaller. I was never around muskrats enough to know what they could get into and never had the occasion to see what a woodchuck could get in. Good on you for getting the bat out of the window! I've seen sleeping bats in our local train depot and they did not look like they were 2" long. They looked more like a leaf than an animal.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 08, 2021, 09:24:34 AM
   Did you know natural rubber comes from the sap of a rubber tree? When the tree is about 6" in diameter a "catface" is cut along one side of the tree at an angle through the bark which is thin and smooth and similar to the bark on our American Beech tree. As I remember a cut about  24"- 30" long was made and at the bottom a small pail (about a pint size) with a wire bail was hung on a peg. White milky sap "bleeds" from the tree and follows the path of the cut and drips into the pail as a dirty white substance. It has a very foul odor and looks very similar to old paint that has been left exposed to the air to harden. Periodically the pails are collected and the hardened rubber sap is dumped on strategically placed work tables built of bamboo or raffia palm fronds on access roads or trails through the rubber plantation. Workers then drive a tractor or ATV pulling a cart through the plantation and collect the chunks of rubber to take to a factory for processing. 

   While the collection may be similar to tapping maple trees for syrup it is more akin to "chipping turpentine" on pine trees in the southern USA. Every few days a plantation worker refreshes the wound on the tree using a special tool that looks similar to a beekeepers hive tool with one sharpened edge. The worker cuts a strip about 1/4" wide of fresh bark off the tree at the top of the exposed surface/cut on the tree. This continues until the tree is about 12" in diameter when production decreases and the tree is cut down and, at least in the area of West Africa I was visiting, cut up into firewood. There is evidently no obnoxious smell when the wood burns. Rubber plantations are obvious from a distance because the trees have a distinctive lean indicating the prevailing wind direction. The trees I saw were leaning about 30 degrees or so.

   The rubber tree was apparently native to South America but it was eventually smuggled out and planted in Africa and possibly the tropical areas of Asia.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 09, 2021, 11:33:43 AM
   Did you ever buy river gravel for use in making concrete or to put in a fish aquarium or on a walkway? Did you ever see how it is collected and processed? Where I grew up in N. Fla sand and gravel was and remains a big local operation. I grew up fishing, frog gigging and swimming in large borrow pits where the gravel had been pumped out.  I gather the operation starts with the owner excavating a pit with a loader or bulldozer until they reach the water table, which is pretty high. Once they get a small pond created they put a gravel barge in the pond. The gravel barge is just a square barge, usually floating on 55 gallon drums or such for flotation. In the center is a flexible pipe (seems to me like they were 6-8 inches in diameter) hooked to a very large pump. The pump is fired up and starts pumping up dirt, sand and gravel which spits out the discharge side on to a series of progressively finer screens. The large river  rocks get screened out at the first 3-4 inch square screen, 1-3 inch gravel is next, then pea gravel (generally under 1/2" or so) and finally the sand is on the bottom. As the powerful dredge pump runs the lake gets deeper and the sides cave in and the lake gets bigger. The barge is towed around the lake as the lake gets bigger. River gravel is generally pretty well rounded from rolling around in running water which knocks the rough edges off. I have worked on construction sites where we had a big rock crusher and crushed large slabs of stone into smaller pieces to use as the aggregate used in concrete. It probably binds better than river gravel due to the rougher edges.

 In Cameroon and Guinea in Africa sand and gravel mining was a manual operation. Large dugout or plank built boats were towed, paddled or poled to spots in the river or mangrove swamps and at low tide a diver got in the water and would reach or dive down to the bottom and scoop up the sand and gravel with a bucket then surface and empty the contents into the boat.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0681.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610208856)
 Gravel boats on the kissi-Kissi River near Forecariah Guinea, West Africa

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0937_Sign_at_the_bridge_to_KissiKissi_River.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610208935)
 Yes, there is a Kissi-Kissi River and it looks like the bridge is about 173 m long.

Sometimes this was a one person operation, sometimes one man would stay in the boat and the other was the river rat doing the digging. They would fill the boats till it looked like a light chop on the water would sink them. Most boats I saw looked like they would hold about 1-2 cubic meters of wet gravel.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0734.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610209112)
 No much free board left on this load.
 At the landing the sand and gravel is unloaded using shovels and it is thrown against a piece of 1/2" hardware cloth built on a frame at about a 45* angle. The sand and tiny pea gravel falls through leaving the larger gravel on top.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0675.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610209343)
 Boats full of gravel being unloaded at the landing.
 Often someone will set up a concrete block operation at the landing taking the freshly collected sand and gravel and mixing it with cement in volcano shaped mounds with water added in the volcano mouth. This concrete is then poured into metal forms along the bank, tapped down to remove air pockets, the excess on top is troweled off then the form is lifted off and moved over a few inches for the next block and the cinderblock is left to air dry on the bank in the sun. Local builders will drive to the river bank and buy these blocks for any new building projects they are working on. I never asked the price of such blocks but my price no doubt would have been more than a local buyer would have been charged.

 In Guinea as shown above the gravel was collected at low tide from the Kissi-Kissi River. In Douala in Cameroon the operations I saw were out in the mangrove swamps and I never actually got to visit the collection sites. It was common to go down to the unloading site and see a naked man working in and around the boats. I have seen loaded boats coming down the local rivers with a naked man poling his vessel to the landing. When or just before he landed he'd slip on a pair of ragged cut-off shorts as a concession to the civilized world.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0957_Howard_with_family.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610209918)
 I would walk around the local villages and observe and talk with the local residents. The kids loved to have their picture made and some young man or lady was excited to get to "snap" this picture of me with his family or neighbors.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 09, 2021, 01:08:06 PM
   Here is another picture of a fully loaded boat full of gravel. Note the boatmen use their 8" contractor's shovels as paddles. It almost looks like the water level is already higher than the sides of the boat.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF2099.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1610215556)
 This was taken right at sunset just outside our camp in Forecariah, Guinea in West Africa. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 09, 2021, 06:07:04 PM
Regarding fractured stone being better for making concrete, when I worked for a concrete company I learned that  concrete used on state jobs such as bridge decks had to have fractured stone as aggregate. State inspectors actually would sample stones and count the number of sharp points. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 09, 2021, 07:42:47 PM
 Dad used to have a Chain link fence and monument business and he refused to bid on state or federal fence jobs. He said their specifications would list things like #1 gravel being used in the concrete around the post. He said evidently because it was labeled #1 they evidently thought it was better when actually pea gravel would have been must stronger and held the post in place better. #1 gravel were big river stones more appropriate for landscaping and would not bind well in concrete. 

   I remember the US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan bought a lot of the big river rock and laid in walkways for dust abatement. I don't know how many sprained or broken ankles we got from that as they were nearly impossible to walk on.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 10, 2021, 09:40:25 AM
   Did you know the snapping turtle (Alligator and common snapper) has a little organ on his tongue that looks like a worm? The turtle lays in ambush on the bottom of the lake or stream with his mouth open and wiggles this lure which attracts fish who dart in and try to grab it and the turtle lunges forward and catches a meal.

    When we first moved here to WV we met a couple who used to help do recovery diving in the local lake and river to look for the bodies of people who drowned. (We used to and still sometimes have several people each year who slip on the slick stones in the river while wade fishing and drown, often after hitting their head on another rock and too much water weight and current for them to get up.) Recovery diving is often done in zero visibility water so the recovery divers dive to the bottom of the stream and crawl along the bottom feeling with their hands for the body which is usually hung on a rock shelf or snag or something. The lady was feeling around and stuck her hand into the open mouth of a large common snapper and he chomped down - hard! That was her last recovery dive and she refuses to ever attempt another.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Hilltop366 on January 10, 2021, 10:09:24 AM
Thanks WV, sound like you have been on some interesting adventures, its nice to here the normal side of the story about places otherwise we only here the horror stories when there is a disaster or war. (our own countries included) :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 10, 2021, 08:16:49 PM
I've got one for you. When I was a kid I liked to play in the crick (AKA creek). A few times I saw a muskrat jump into the creek, roil it all up and go limp, and let the current carry it downstream. When it figured it was safely out of sight it would  "come back to life" and crawl up out of the creek.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 10, 2021, 09:04:08 PM
  Thanks for posting. I was never around enough muskrats to know anything about them. Maybe we should think of them as "Water Possums". :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 11, 2021, 10:02:39 AM
   Did you ever see a flying squirrel? Most people have not even though they may have plenty on their property. They don't fly - they glide. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and are rarely seen in daylight hours and only then when disturbed in most cases. They are about 6" long from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail and maybe 4"-5" wide when they spread their "wings". They have a section of thin loose skin between their back and front feet. When they stretch their legs out this skin tightens and allows them to glide from spot to spot. They have huge, limpid brown, bulging eyes and extremely soft, velvety fur. They typically live in small round holes in dead limbs or standing dead trees. I do not know if they take over woodpecker nests or make these holes on their own. They will sometimes live in splits or big cracks in trees and occasionally even in small leaf nests they build or take over from other squirrels. They have a flattened tail about an inch wide they use as a rudder in flight.

 If you are looking for flying squirrels go to your woodlot and look for standing dead trees on your property and search them for small round holes approximately 2" in diameter and normally near the top of the tree. An occupied den will usually show up as clean white wood. To check for occupancy you can lightly shake the tree or scrape the side of the tree with a nearby limb to simulate a predator climbing the tree. Be careful shaking these old trees as many are weak and can fall back on you. The area around the den if often especially weak and the tree top may break off at the base of the den. If a flying squirrel is present he will often stick his nose and face out to see what is causing the disruption. Sometimes he will often run out a few inches and stop while flattened out on the side of the tree. If you cease all noise and movement the flying squirrel will normally duck back in his hole. If you continue the disturbance the squirrel will generally run higher and higher up the tree. When he has what he considers sufficient height he will stop, squat down then launch himself out into the air as he spreads his legs and goes into glider mode. I have seen them glide and land on a tree 40-50 yards away but usually they have a target closer. They will often glide down at a very steep angle then flare out to slow and land on another tree. They often have another hole designated and sometimes look like they fly right into it.

 I had an old HS friend who several times tried to catch a flying squirrel that would fly directly to a hole in a large tree where he would escape. Jeff studied this and went home and sewed a thin cloth bag/pouch which he then stuffed and opened in the escape hole. He went over and shook the den tree and the squirrel jumped and glided right into the bag which Jeff then closed and pulled the squirrel out and took it home for a pet.

 Flying squirrels are very cute but not ideal as pets because they are nocturnal and are only active at night. When you want to play with them they want to sleep, when you want to sleep he wants to get up and chew and run around. As rodents they have to chew constantly it is essential you keep plenty of hard foods like walnuts or hickory nuts and such so they keep their teeth worn down.

 They will often target barns and feed on leftover tidbits of animal feed or chew holes in sacks of feed or grain. I had one co-worker in Albany Ga who had one get in the attic of his house and was keeping him up at night. When he finally found what it was George was able recover 20-25 lbs of pecans the squirrel had stored. George finally got the entrance holes closed so the squirrel could not get back in.

 A cousin of mine and I chased a flying squirrel into a den hole at the base of a hollow tree. It was near sunset and we came up with the truly brilliant idea of smoking him out. In case he got past us we put Randy up in the tree to grab him as he came by. I gathered a bunch of dry leaves and pine straw and lit them. The smoke did not go up in the hole as planned but came out and up choking me and Randy till I got the bright idea of putting my burlap catch sack over the opening. This worked better and in a minute or two I felt something scratching on my bag so I moved it to check and Rocky came running up with his tail on fire. He ran across Randy's bare leg burning/blistering it then past him to the top of the tree. He stopped momentarily and the fire in his tail died to a small red glow - till he jumped! The tail flared up and it was "Flame On" again as he glided from tree to tree. It was a pretty dry time of year and we were worried we were going to set the woods on fire which fortunately we did not. I always wondered if the hair grew back on his tail after that? In closing I can only suggest you do not try smoking an animal out of his den.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 11, 2021, 01:39:11 PM
We had a bird house hanging by a wire, the limb was growing around the wire so the girls (11 and )  decided we needed to undo the wire so the tree "would not hurt".  Top of ladder, undoing the wire when a flying squirrel came out, jumped on my shoulder, and then the next tree.  I was lucky to keep my balance as that was not expected, the house being "empty" as far as we knew.  Girls ran after the squirrel and ignored me.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 11, 2021, 02:29:59 PM
TR,

  Your girls sound like they have their priorities in line with many of my buddies and, truth be told, family members. :D I am glad no squirrels or Texan's were injured in the making of this memory. I had forgotten they will take over birdhouses but seem to remember them doing so.

  I love to see them gliding as they are so graceful in flight. They look little almost square kites and they shift their bodies or their tail from side to side to direct their flight then when they land they just flare out and land ever so gently on their target tree.

  I took down a deer feeder several years back. Squirrels had chewed a 4" hole in the plastic barrel. There were a couple of inches of corn left from after my feeder battery had died. When I lowered the feeder I found a flying squirrel trapped. He had plenty of corn to eat but no water but the sides were too tall and too slick for him to climb out. He did not look to have been in there long as he seemed in good health. I put a feed sack over the hole and tilted the barrel till the squirrel jumped out in the bag. I brought him home and showed him to Becky. We took the squirrel back to the area he where I caught him and released him and she got several pictures of him on a small tree. No doubt his den/nest was near by and he returned safely as soon as we left.

  When we were in the woods if we found a den and happened to catch one I would normally take off one my boots and tie him up in my sock till I could get him home.

  We had one here in a hardware cloth cage and I was feeding him assorted nuts and such but I found he would not eat the pecans. It finally dawned on me he had never seen a pecan as they don't grow up here. I cracked a couple and put them in his cage and when I got up the next morning every pecan had been eaten. If it was a hickory nut or black walnut he knew what do do but not a pecan.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: timberking on January 11, 2021, 02:32:47 PM
More than once got in deer stand and heard movement then see 2 big eyes with the light.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 11, 2021, 03:25:27 PM
   as you know I have the same problem with chipmunks. :D

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=112872.0
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 11, 2021, 09:05:01 PM
The last flying squirrel I saw was one with 2 babies in one of my bird boxes, which I left alone. When I did wildlife control work I found that they like attics and when the winters are rough they will go all over in a house looking for food. I trapped several out of one attic using rat snap traps, which are a mediocre trap for Norway Rats, but well suited for flyers. Some that I caught were partly eaten by the rest of the flyers; I found no other animals in that attic. Like many critters they are great when they stay out of the house.  They get into houses, usually up high and really like to get in where there is a bad screen by an attic vent fan. I think the most I removed from 1 attic was 22.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on January 12, 2021, 05:45:52 AM
I cut a big beech here about 20 years ago. Out came a flying squirrel as the tree was falling. The only one that I have ever seen. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 12, 2021, 09:32:13 AM
Cfarm,

   Beech trees are perfect den trees for flying squirrels and other den dwellers such as racoons, squirrels, possums, woodpeckers, screech owls etc because they they are notorious for have large hollow cavities.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 12, 2021, 09:47:50 AM
   Did you know there is a nocturnal species of monkey? In South America especially in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru there is a monkey about the size of a Fox Squirrel and supposedly up to about 18" tall called the Noisy Night Monkey (Also called Spix's Night Monkey). It apparently is one of the fastest monkeys when traveling through the jungle because it is adept at using all 4 feet when moving and can hurl itself further through the trees than most monkeys. It apparently lives in small family groups with the father doing much of the child care. It has a series of, apparently, very loud calls it uses for protection and to find a mate and such. It is rarely seen, similar to our flying squirrel, because of its nocturnal nature.

   We saw part of a NNM on Christmas Day 2008 while overnighting at the Samona Lodge in the Cuyabeno in Ecuador. It was right behind the lodge near the water tank/tower where the lodge pumped up water from the Cuyabeno River to gravity feed to the bathrooms in the lodges and kitchen. The monkey was in a 4" diameter hole in a tree about 50' above ground. All we were able to see of the monkey was his face as he peered out to see what all the noise below was about. If our guide had not pointed him out I would never have seen this one.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 13, 2021, 12:40:48 AM
The first flying squirrel I ever saw was when I was a kid. We liked to go in the woods and push over dead trees. One a day I pushed one over and when it hit the ground a flyer rolled out, climbed a tree then glided to another tree; I was mesmerized. Regarding hollow beech trees. When I hauled logs the company I worked for bought a stand of timber on state land with a lot of beech that looked really nice. When they cut it nearly every one was hollow. Luckily it was within reasonable distance to a mill in Pa. that chipped it into chips for masonite. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on January 13, 2021, 06:49:57 AM
I had a lot of big old beech on my land. Couple feet across was no big deal. I was cutting one and made the felling notch and than started the back cut. All at once I had liquid running out of something. I thought my saw had sprung a leak!!  ::)   :o  Than I realized the saw did not have that much gas in it.  :D  It was hollow inside and there was water in it. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 13, 2021, 09:16:31 AM
   I dragged and cut up a clump of small beech trees yesterday for firewood. They were a clump on the edge of my creek that washed out and uprooted last year. I think there were 6-7 stems with the biggest was about 10" diameter. When I cut the stems off at the base the clump stood back up and dropped in the creek. The stems are pretty much dead and ready to burn. I am torn between whether to save the butt log from the largest stem for lumber or not as what little beech I have sawn has been beautiful lumber. I will look one more time before I buck it further. I do know beech is very dense and the hardest wood I ever tried to split. I'd hit it with a splitting maul and it would bounce back at me. I'd try to drive a wedge in it and it would bounce a foot or more up in the air when I hit it a good whack.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 13, 2021, 09:41:13 AM
Back in the days when I used increment borers on a regular basis we would occasionally hit a hollow with water, more often a hollow with pressure built up, from bacteria most likely.  Also if not care full a hollow will eat an increment borer bit.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 13, 2021, 09:46:56 AM
   Did you know frog sweat will make you see things? It will if it comes off the Giant Tree Frog in Peru. The GTF looks like our little green rain frogs, you know - the ones that stick on your window pane after a summer rain shower - only much bigger. The ones I saw were about 6" from nose to rump. When agitated they exude a thin milky looking sweat all over their body. This sweat has toxins in it that force a predator to immediately spit out the frog. I don't know if they would eventually kill the predator if they actually ate him or not. Native Indian tribes would collect this sweat/poison and take a burning ember and burn a spot on their skin and rub the frog sweat it it. This would cause them to have visions which they used to locate their next hunting area.

   On our vacation into the jungle of Peru we took a small boat up the Amazon in April of 2010 our local Indian crew caught a couple of giant tree frogs and staked them out spread eagled about 6" above the ground with 4 cords tied to small stakes driven into the ground. They tickled the frogs nose and belly with a green leaf until he began to ooze white sweat. They wiped the sweat off with what looked like a wooden coffee stirrer or popsicle stick. They would let this sweat dry and crystalize and sell it to some medical or pharmaceutical company who were studying it for possible medicinal use. After they finished collecting the frog sweat the frog was released. GTFs kept in captivity cease to produce the same toxicity apparently due to the change in diet. (Note: No GTFs were killed or injured in the making of this memory.)

   Our guide, a relocated Floridian game warden, living in Iquitos Peru and married to a local Peruvian lady, said he had tried the technique of rubbing the sweat into an open burn wound and it definitely sent him on a trip. He said when it wore off he was amazed that it had corrected his vision and some other improvements. There are still lots of strange things out there about nature we haven't learned yet.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 14, 2021, 09:42:09 AM
   Did you know that even though they look like a horse or donkey, a zebra barks like a dog instead of neighing, whinnying or braying? The first time I ever heard them was on our vacation to Kenya and we were on the Masai Mara preserve we kept hearing all these dogs barking and frogs croaking and I finally realized there were no dogs, jackals (which sound like birds BTW) or hyenas and it was actually the zebras feeding on the savannah. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 15, 2021, 10:13:01 AM
   Did you know that an African (I'm not sure there is any other kind) wildebeest croaks like a frog or toad. So does a Mongolian yak.

  As mentioned previously on our first trip to Kenya on the plains of the Maasai  Mara at the tail end of the annual migration we were surrounded by zebra and wildebeest and we kept hearing barking and croaking like frogs. The barking was the zebras but the constant croaking was coming from the wildebeests. In the summer of 2006 after completing an assignment in the Gobi desert and while on vacation in central and northern Mongolia we observed herds of yaks and to me, they sounded almost identical to a wildebeest. I don't know how closely the two might be related. I think a yak is closer to a cow.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 15, 2021, 04:54:13 PM
The Elk is the only North American animal with Ivory . Two teeth 🦷 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 15, 2021, 05:53:15 PM
The Elk is the only North American animal with Ivory . Two teeth 🦷
  Now wait just a minute for a fact check here. :D I thought walrus had ivory tusks and they lived along the coast of Alaska and Canada. I was not the world's best geography student (If I'd ever known I would travel as much as I did I'd have been a lot better student) but aren't they still considered N. America? ???

  I have a couple of carved shakers I bought somewhere in Africa - Cameroon I think. They are about 6-8 inches long and 1.5" diameter or so. Evidently they used to make them for kids rattles and fill them with beads or gravel to make some noise. They may have also been a teething toy. The guy that sold them to me swore they were hippo teeth. They may well be cow bone for all I know.

   BTW - I did not know elk teeth were ivory. Thanks for posting that tidbit.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 16, 2021, 01:16:24 AM
I remember a long time ago in an outdoor magazine, I read about a guy who went to far Northern Canada. While there, the Inuits killed a walrus and cut it open and removed clams from the stomach and ate them. I think that it was in the same article that he told about a lake with landlocked cod in it that he fished for.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 16, 2021, 09:33:09 AM
KEC,

   I am surprised the clams were intact after being eaten by a walrus. I never thought about it but guess I always  assumed the walrus would crush the shell before eating them. I used to catch big alligator snapping turtles who were full of mussels but the mussels had been crushed before the turtle swallowed them. I am not surprised the Inuit ate intact clams they found inside. I'd bet most indigenous people would eat any stomach contents in their prey they found reasonably intact. I have used unlaid eggs I found in alligator snapping turtles. My wife made a bunch of cookies or brownies out of some one time just for the novelty of it. They tasted fine and the kids got a kick out of taking turtle egg brownies to school with them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 16, 2021, 09:39:58 AM
   Did you know dogs dream? My not so fearless Rat Terrier, Sampson, will often be laying here on his favorite spot on the rug in front of the TV and we will hear him sound like he has the hiccups or such. When we look at him we see his eyes are tightly closed and he is making little Woof, woof, woof sounds in his sleep and his feet are all twitching as if he is running. I don't know if he is chasing a rabbit or running from one.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 17, 2021, 10:06:34 AM
Did you know seal oil is supposed to help treat cholesterol problems? At least that is what the plaque says at the memorial at Cape Cross on the northern end of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

Cape Cross is home to a huge fur seal colony and previously the seals were harvested for their skins, meat and apparently their oil. Maybe this is why you never hear that Eskimos who eat seal blubber don't die of stroke or heart attack. (Then again - Maybe they do but we just don't hear of it.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on January 17, 2021, 11:52:39 AM
Come to think of it, I really don't hear much of anything about the eskimos🤷🏽‍♂️😊
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 17, 2021, 12:21:41 PM
   Yeah, we are probably politically incorrect in using that term.::) We likely should be referring them as Inuit or indigenous residents. I think Native and Indian and we know Redskin is no longer a PC term. >:( Oh well, at least my dog still loves me. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 18, 2021, 08:43:42 AM
   This is something everybody needs to know! Did you know you can estimate the size of an elephant from his footprints? A pretty good estimate of the height of an elephant is determined by measuring and then doubling the circumference of his footprint. A 12" diameter footprint (They are slightly oval rather than being round - kind of like many logs) would be a little over 3' in circumference which would mean the elephant would be a little over 6' tall at the shoulder.

   At least this what out guide in Thailand told me on a trip over there in 2011.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 19, 2021, 08:35:18 AM
   Did you know one of the best ways to pick Muscadines (Wild Scuppernongs - Vitis rotundifolia), if you are fortunate enough to live where they grow, is in a boat.  Muscadines are big, sweet, tough skinned wild grapes that grow in much of the southern USA. They are usually black or very dark purple but occasionally you may find bronze versions. They may grow to be over an inch in diameter. When you eat them the skin is usually discarded as it is too tough to eat but when cooked the skins make some of the best preserves you ever ate on a hot biscuit.

   Muscadines usually get ripe in the Late summer and early Fall around September and October. The vines grow hundreds of feet to the very tops of their host trees and can be very hard to reach the fruit but they often grow on trees along the rivers and streams. If you watch carefully you will often find a tall tree along a river with a vine full of ripe muscadines where the current has undercut the roots of the tree causing it to fall in the river. While this usually kills the tree the muscadine vine roots remain firmly rooted in the soil and it survives and thrives for several more years. The tree will often be dead and leafless making the muscadines easy to see and access.

   In such cases you can often run a boat right up beside or even under the vine and pick the muscadines. If you catch them at the right stage the fruit will be so ripe they practically fall off at your touch. In those cases if you can position your boat under the bulk of the fruit you can give the tree a good shake and literally cover the bottom of your boat in ripe muscadines in seconds.

    Warning - check the host tree carefully before you start as there may be a big wasp or hornet nest in the tree or even a fat ill tempered cottonmouth.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 19, 2021, 09:11:04 AM
May have told this before, can never remember.  But, I was about 10 maybe a little older, fishing with dad on the Meramec River, Franklyn County, Missouri.  We fished a section below the farm that had an Island that was our circle fishing spot, go up river to the point, back down the northern branch, down to the point and back up to home.  The northern branch had tall limestone bluffs with hanging over trees.  Dad liked to float slow down the bluff under the trees, deepest water and the fish seemed to congregate there.  We are floating under the trees when a cotton mouth drops into the center of the boat.  We had wooden oars which dad applied to the snake, and the bottom of the boat, there by inventing the live well, as well as teaching me ever cuss word in his vocabulary, which I still use to this day. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 19, 2021, 09:30:37 AM
  Sounds familiar. I don't know how many boat paddles and poles I have broken beating on snakes. (Truth be told many were probably harmless water snakes.) Everybody I used to fish with in N. Fla had a tale of a friend or relative, if not personal experiences of shooting holes in the bottom of a boat or two (some were slow learners). 

   Another truth be told is I'd really prefer the snake in the boat to stirring up a nest of big red wasps. I don't know how many times we'd tie a bushhook on a limber limb for catfish and come back the next day to find a big catfish shaking the life out of the limb only to find it was home to a wasp nest the size of a dinner plate covered with very angry red wasps. I don't know how we put the line out without disturbing them to start with. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 20, 2021, 08:12:45 AM
   Did you know that individuals from unlike animal species will hang out together for mutual protection and companionship? In Africa it is common to see small groups of big old bull animals from different species together. You may se an old elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, and giraffe hanging around together. These will be old bulls that are still healthy and virile but not strong enough to maintain a harem of cows so they have been kicked out of the herd. Together they have some mutual protection and companionship.

   Impala very often stay close to baboons because the baboon troop always has designated "watchmen" and are very alert to predators. We saw an old cast out Blue wildebeest bull we nicknamed "Uncle Remus" hanging out with a bunch of impala fawns on Kruger Game park in South Africa.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/Uncle_Remus~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1611148239)
 Here at my home in WV it is common to see 1-2 big fox squirrels hanging around a bunch of wild turkeys. Evidently the turkeys scratch up and expose walnuts and hickory nuts and such they can't eat but the turkeys do.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 20, 2021, 08:29:26 AM
Great interesting information 👍
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on January 20, 2021, 08:42:36 AM
Deer, turkeys and squirrels tend to be like that around here, at least to some extent.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Hilltop366 on January 20, 2021, 09:21:20 AM
Deer, turkeys and squirrels tend to be like that around here, at least to some extent.
Funny... I just had a turducken image pop into my head.

Its a Deer stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a squirrel ....... Deeturkels?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on January 20, 2021, 10:51:04 AM
Let's seen how should I do this...my family on one side are Indigenous inhabitants of this continent. My Dad calls himself Indian😊
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 21, 2021, 10:16:07 AM
   Did you know maternal instinct will cause animals, even natural enemies, to do strange things?

  We had an old housecat named Ugly. Ugly was an excellent hunter constantly bringing home mice, chipmunks and rabbits she had caught around our place. Our neighbor had a terrier who would find nests of baby rabbits but would not kill them. The neighbor kids would bring the rabbits to us to raise. We had a tiny Evenflo bottle with a soft rubber nipple we got from our vet and fed the rabbits powdered bitch's milk and they generally thrived on it. In one instance Ugly had just had a litter of kittens that morning when the neighbors brought us a baby rabbit that was probably a week old as it was covered with fur but it's eyes were not yet open. We were wondering and tested our theory and put the rabbit in with the kittens and Ugly immediately accepted it and immediately began to nurse and clean it just like her own. The rabbit opened its eyes the next day. It was a funny sight watching him nurse with his feline siblings who were all 3-4 times bigger than him. All went well for several weeks till Buggs got older and jumped out of the box and another kitten we had in the house spotted him and accidentally killed him with her excessive rough horse play.

 When I was a kid we had an old female Boxer who used to try to steal the puppies of our dachshund. She would also nurse our kittens included two that became large tom cats but would still nurse her even as adults.

 I have read articles of other natural enemies adopting young of natural prey including a lioness who repeatedly adopted various Oryx fawns. She could not nurse them but protected them for weeks at a time from other lions and other predators in the area till it died then the lioness would steal another oryx fawn to raise. I have read of lions adopting leopard kittens and a bald eagle adopting a red-tailed hawk chick it had evidently brought to the nest to feed the baby eagles.

 A couple of years ago I watched 2 whitetail does and 3 spotted fawns just outside my backyard fence and we watched all three fawns nurse from both does. I have heard if a doe is killed the fawn will also be adopted by other does in the area. The same is supposed to be true with elephants which will raise calves from others.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Edvantage on January 21, 2021, 11:36:12 AM
A few years back I watched a coyote hanging around with a black bear and 2 cubs.  Acted like best of friends
This went on for several weeks.  Was able to locate the bear den and watch another pair of cubs the following spring. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 21, 2021, 12:31:09 PM
A few years back I watched a coyote hanging around with a black bear and 2 cubs.  Acted like best of friends
This went on for several weeks.  Was able to locate the bear den and watch another pair of cubs the following spring.
Ed,

  That sounds pretty neat. How big were the cubs? You'd have thought the mother bear would have been very protective of them and killed or chased away the coyote if they were small and would seem like natural prey for a coyote.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 22, 2021, 09:13:29 AM
   Did you know that male members of the deer family all have antlers that they shed and replace every year while members of the antelope family have horns that they retain their whole lifetime. The largest member of the deer family is the moose which can grow huge spreading antlers. American Elk (In Norway what they call an elk is actually a moose), caribou, reindeer, whitetail and mule deer all are true deer. The pronghorn antelope is the only antelope I can think of while there are many kinds of antelope in Africa from tiny rabbit sized duiker or dik-diks to Eland which are the largest.

   Antlers grow back with more or less points and bigger or smaller each year depending on diet and health. Generally for a whitetail buck will have his best rack of antlers at about the 4.5 to 5.5 year old mark. After that his antlers will often be smaller. We had antlers from a pen raised buck at Auburn from tiny spikes up though about 12-14 points in his prime. While the size and number of points varied from year to year they all had the same symmetry. This deer had a constant feed supply but the antlers still peaked at 4.5-5.5 years old and were less impressive after that.

   In our area this is the time of year you are most likely to find any shed antlers as the bucks have recently or are currently shedding the old antlers. These shed antlers will not last long in the wild as mice, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc. will chew the antlers to obtain the minerals in them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 23, 2021, 09:13:43 AM
   Did you know the incubation temperature in the nest determines the sex of some reptiles such as turtles, tortoises and, IIRC, alligators and crocodiles. Since the nest temperature in nature is typically pretty consistent throughout all hatchlings from a given nest will either be all male or all female.

   Knowing this fact helps biologists save threatened or endangered species. In the Galapagos Islands eggs of tortoises are collected and incubated at specified temperatures to raise more of whichever sex is needed. For example they may produce more females if they need more future breeding females. The clutch of eggs can be divided and both male and female will be produced - something that would not normally occur in nature.

    In the case of the Galapagos tortoises the biologists hatch the baby tortoises and raise them in captivity until they are about 5 lbs then return them to their home island to increase their survival rates.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 24, 2021, 09:36:55 AM
   Did you know in the skull of an alligator snapping turtle (and I assume on a common snapper) on either side of the brain stem (the bony tube extending from the backbone) is a large pocket of muscle/meat. The next time you butcher a big turtle when you cut the head off be sure to take a thin fillet or boning knife and make a quick circular cut inside the skull freeing these cuts of meat. On a 70+ lb turtle these chunks may be as big a soda can and when you cut them crossways into steaks and flour and fry them they are excellent eating.

    Note - be sure to comply with all your state game and fishing regulations pertaining to harvesting of turtles and other wildlife. When I left Fla as a young man the regulations were restricted to harvesting no more than one alligator snapping turtle per day while when I moved to Albany Ga there were no such restrictions.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 25, 2021, 08:50:51 AM
   Most of us associate a turtle as being a slow creature. Did you know the softshell turtle is a serious exception to this rule? A softshell turtle is relatively flat with a pointed nose, leather like shell and looks like a ground frisbee when he gets off a hook in the boat or on the ground. They race along the ground at a very impressive clip. You are not going to catch an escaped softshell by walking. Trotting or running is going to be necessary.

   A softshell turtle is also much easier to clean than a snapping turtle and is very tasty when fried similar to a chicken.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 25, 2021, 10:07:41 PM
According to the man who was New York States' DEC wildlife pathologist for many years, big Common Snapping turtles can have a lot of accumulated toxic chemicals in them. I would not eat one taken from an area known to be polluted. New York legislators, in their infinite wisdom, declared them to be New Yorks' official amphibian a few years back. And, whereas they were an unprotected species for many years, they are now protected with a season and bag limits. And you cannot trap them. I doubt that DEC knows how common they are. You find out when doing summer beaver control work with body-gripping traps and start catching turtles. When you take them out of the trap and think they have drowned, a few minutes later they start crawling away. They somehow can store oxygen and go without breathing for some time.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 25, 2021, 10:25:57 PM
@KEC (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=40283)  - fact check please. Did NY really declare a snapping turtle, a reptile, to be the state's official "Amphibian" or was that a misprint? :D

  OK, I just checked on line and it shows the snapping turtle is their state reptile and a wood frog is the state amphibian.

   Good point about eating turtles from polluted areas. Our state Fishing Regs includes quantities of various fish to eat from various waters. I think bream and rainbow trout have no warnings.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on January 25, 2021, 10:59:33 PM
According to the man who was New York States' DEC wildlife pathologist for many years, big Common Snapping turtles can have a lot of accumulated toxic chemicals in them. I would not eat one taken from an area known to be polluted. New York legislators, in their infinite wisdom, declared them to be New Yorks' official amphibian a few years back. And, whereas they were an unprotected species for many years, they are now protected with a season and bag limits. And you cannot trap them. I doubt that DEC knows how common they are. You find out when doing summer beaver control work with body-gripping traps and start catching turtles. When you take them out of the trap and think they have drowned, a few minutes later they start crawling away. They somehow can store oxygen and go without breathing for some time.
Yeah, snappers are pretty fearsome creatures. I don't know a lot of guys that fish or trap them, its rare these days. There are lots of them for sure, nasty buggers. I ran over one with the fire engine once (I had no choice, code 3 to a working fire and I could either run him over or flip the truck, he lost the coin toss) made quite the spot when the dual tires hit him. 
 For a long time (since Mario anyway) the NYS DEC has been run by politics, not science. I was part of a campaign to fight some new regulations about 15 years ago and we had them on the ropes bigtime because we kept going to public hearings and asking simple polite questions based on science and the data. We knew the science, and they had NO data. We had them on the ropes and I was interviewed by several papers and on the radio news. Newspapers were given written copies of my statements and questions which many printed verbatim. The DEC was stymied by a simple minded guy with no college degree armed only with google and hundreds of hours to read, research, and study. They finally called me and asked for a private meeting WHERE THEY ASKED WHAT IT WOULD TAKE FOR ME TO STOP GIVING INTERVIEWS AND GOING TO THE HEARINGS.  They admitted the science was clearly in our favor but they had been instructed by the Governors office to push the new regs through. I told them right is right and wrong is wrong, neither I nor the others would let it go. They finally bagged the whole plan. BUT, they waited 5 years and passed the regs anyway with only one barely advertised public hearing that we never found out about. The NYS DEC is nothing but another political branch. Its too bad, because they have a lot of good people, just bad managers. Hopefully the wildlife and the land survives this section of our history.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 25, 2021, 11:15:13 PM
   One of our regs that ticks me off every time I see it is the prohibition on having a gun and a bow in the woods at the same time. In rifle season you can take a bow but no gun. In muzzleloader season you can substitute a crossbow for a ML but not a compound or recurve bow. Since I hunt mostly out of permanent shooting houses I'd love to take a bow along during rifle season. If the deer was 20 yards away I'd grab my bow. if he was at 50 yards I'd grab my rifle. I have never understood that restriction. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Andries on January 25, 2021, 11:26:45 PM
. . .  a simple minded guy with no college degree armed only with google and hundreds of hours to read, research, and study. . . 
Not so simple minded.
. .  and a university degree shows the world what?
The ability to sort out facts from political fiction is key to keeping a sense of balance and perspective in times as weird as these.
Good on you buddy!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Chuck White on January 26, 2021, 08:09:00 AM
I can understand your frustration, Howard!

That makes absolutely no sense!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 26, 2021, 10:11:14 AM
   Did you know there are many different kinds of bananas? Here in the USA we typically only get one type. Sometimes you may see a store also selling "finger" bananas that are only a few inches long. In Africa we had bananas like we see here, the little finger bananas (which I find to be sweeter than the bigger ones), another relatively short (4-5 inches) large diameter "white" banana (which is also tasty and seems to keep better than most others), and there is even a red banana which I found comparatively bland compared to the others listed. Then there is the plantain which is kind of like a banana on steroids.

  All the above bananas were pretty readily available in Cameroon and Guinea in west Africa when I worked there. I had never eaten plantains till then. Many of the locals liked green plantains sliced and fried but I prefer them dead ripe and they are best fried in local artery clogging palm oil but are also very good when cut crossways into 1/4" - 1/2" rounds and nuked for about 5 minutes. The best plantains I found usually had skins that were already about half black. I have tried them here in the USA but they are never as good as the tree ripened ones I got in Cameroon.

   BTW - did you know a banana plant only bears one stalk of bananas? I think the plant would grow to full height in about 9 months and put on a fruit stalk. Commercially when the stalk is about half mature they put a plastic bag similar to a dry cleaner bag over the fruit which makes the fruit grow down instead of outward. Once mature the stalk will never bear again so it is cut off and the plant is cut down at the base and a shoot from it will form a new plant.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 26, 2021, 10:27:52 AM
Good stuff Howard 👍
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 26, 2021, 10:34:10 AM
  One of our regs that ticks me off every time I see it is the prohibition on having a gun and a bow in the woods at the same time. In rifle season you can take a bow but no gun. In muzzleloader season you can substitute a crossbow for a ML but not a compound or recurve bow. Since I hunt mostly out of permanent shooting houses I'd love to take a bow along during rifle season. If the deer was 20 yards away I'd grab my bow. if he was at 50 yards I'd grab my rifle. I have never understood that restriction.
They passed several years ago you can bow hunt during rifle season. So you could have a gun to but you have to wear orange if bow hunting 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 26, 2021, 12:11:09 PM
   We can bow hunt from the first day of bow season which usually starts in late September until the last day of December which ends our season. You can use a crossbow all that time too. The only exception is the week of muzzleloader season when you cannot use a compound or recurve bow - you can still use a crossbow or a ML. You cannot have a gun and bow in the woods at the same time even during rifle season. If there is gun season going on we do have to wear orange which I feel is reasonable. I just don't understand the prohibition about carrying a bow and gun during gun season or why we can't use a compound or recurve bow in ML season - then again., they never asked my opinion. 

    Small game season starts a week before bow season and lasts another month after all our deer season goes out. We cannot take a .22 rifle or shotgun with small shot during bow season to shoot any small game we see if we take our bow for deer. (Not that I would as I would not want to scare off any deer in the area. Also I rarely shoot my squirrels as they often warn me when there is a deer coming.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: rjwoelk on January 26, 2021, 02:49:42 PM
We had 3 mares that were related, mother daughter and a half sister to the daughter. They foaled at the same time and the foals nurses the first mom they came too.  So at weaning time I just kept removing one mother couple of day the next mother and then the last one. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 26, 2021, 03:11:39 PM
   Our old cat Ugly (The one that was nursing the rabbit) and her daughter both had kittens the same day. They were both in the whelping box in labor and both were massaging (What we always called "Making up dough") each other's bellies during labor. There were 6-8 kittens and I never knew which one was the actual mom and they both raised all of them till the kittens were weaned.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 26, 2021, 07:25:17 PM
OK so I goofed and mistakenly said that NY declared the snapping turtle the state amphibian instead of reptile. I stand corrected on that singular point. Old greenhorn said it right that there are some good people at our DEC. And there are some others.....
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 26, 2021, 07:53:00 PM
  We can bow hunt from the first day of bow season which usually starts in late September until the last day of December which ends our season. You can use a crossbow all that time too. The only exception is the week of muzzleloader season when you cannot use a compound or recurve bow - you can still use a crossbow or a ML. You cannot have a gun and bow in the woods at the same time even during rifle season. If there is gun season going on we do have to wear orange which I feel is reasonable. I just don't understand the prohibition about carrying a bow and gun during gun season or why we can't use a compound or recurve bow in ML season - then again., they never asked my opinion.

    Small game season starts a week before bow season and lasts another month after all our deer season goes out. We cannot take a .22 rifle or shotgun with small shot during bow season to shoot any small game we see if we take our bow for deer. (Not that I would as I would not want to scare off any deer in the area. Also I rarely shoot my squirrels as they often warn me when there is a deer coming.)
I agree they need to get that changed. On late season antler less here  they finally changed so you could use a bow or crossbow in addition to rifle just a few years ago. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 26, 2021, 08:45:25 PM
  
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/DSCF0630_red_bananas.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1611711315)
 I've been polishing up my journal (925 pages at present) and going through my photos and trying to select sample pictures that match the text and came across these red bananas I bought in Guinea at an open air market called "The Old Man's Market". Figured I'd post it here to go along with this mornings post.

KEC,

    Not trying to bust your chop there buddy. ;) I just figured with some of the legislation some of the folks in the NY legislature are famous for it sounded like something they would have done. If I hurt your feeling I apologize profusely and will fix you a big ol' bowl of  hot grits and butter the next time you are in the area.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on January 26, 2021, 09:23:29 PM
OK so I goofed and mistakenly said that NY declared the snapping turtle the state amphibian instead of reptile. I stand corrected on that singular point. Old greenhorn said it right that there are some good people at our DEC. And there are some others.....
I wouldn't even call that a 'goof', more like a typo or poorly thought word choice. I make those too many times a day. ;D Although I think the apology with grits is well meant, it wouldn't strike me as any kind of 'reward'. Not a grits guy (OK, lets all get ready for the hail storm of protests and offers of re-education :D).
 After my post last night I did some searching and thinking about that event I mentioned. It was in 2003 and I could only find one single reference of all the public testimony I offered at more appearances than I can remember at town and county boards including the county legislature. 16 municipalities drafted stances against the DEC proposal and many more organizations. That was an article in a 4x4 forum which was a full clip of an article in the local small city paper in which I was quoted when I addressed my own town board asking for a resolution, which they passed. (I wrote it for them, just like the many others I had written, including the legislature's.) I learned that if you hand folks things in writing, as long as it saves them time that will take it verbatim, provided it passes muster. So when I presented at a hearing I had printed copies of my remarks which included my contact information to provide to the press and they printed them in full because I made it easy. When I went to towns and the county I had pre-written suggested statements of objection. Most used them with very little editing.
 But I post here just to clarify my statements about the folks at the NYS DEC. I found there were 3 layers of folks there. There were the working stiffs like most of us, biologists, foresters, maintenance folks, clerks, mechanics, office folks, etc. They are just doing their jobs like any good folks. Then there are the natural resources professionals with degrees in their specialties, they do research, make recommendations for rules and laws, forestry plans of state lands and other things that feed the policy making (or so they hope). These are good folks too, in the main, BUT some of them want to get to the next level and they do things they would never do unless they were trying to make points or keep their job. Because above these guys are the managers bureaucrats and political appointees. This is where it all goes wrong because they really don't give a hang about the environment, the land, or the people, it's all about how they can get to the next step up the political ladder. Many of them have no usable skills having to do with the environment or wildlife. These folks manipulate all the smart people underneath them and look only for what will get them ahead. 
 When those 2 nice fellas came to ask me politely to 'shut up' they were very honest. They knew their stuff and they laid it on the table (literally) they told me I was right, they had no data to back up the changes, that the counter proposal I had was not only a good one, it is what they have wanted to do for years, but the managers won't give them the funding to do it. They were very curious how I knew so much about managing a 250 square mile plot of wilderness because my proposals and suggestions were all 'cutting edge' (their term). They pleaded with me to let it drop because they were stuck between what was right and a demanding boss that wanted to get 'the plan' pushed through in time for some political deadline the Governor dreamed up (and he was a crook and a real piece of work, but that's another story). I felt bad for them. They were honest smart guys. But right is right and I stayed the course. The big date came and went and they didn't get their plan through, 'too much public opposition'. They waited 5 years and then slipped it through when nobody was looking.
 Never turn your back on these guys and always stick with what is right.
 Now the whole story is history and you can scarcely find any evidence of it anywhere, like it never happened. ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 26, 2021, 10:14:50 PM
WV Sawmiller, Not to worry, we're good. Old Greenhorn, I'd love to hear 'The Rest of The Story". I'd like to talk to the right people at DEC about an issue that concerns me, but I'm pretty sure it would resemble running into a brick wall at 100 mph. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 27, 2021, 08:25:33 AM
   Did you know that if you move a box shell turtle (terrapin?) from his small home range he becomes lost and will spend the rest of his like lost and trying to find his way home? I did not know that as a kid or when my children were growing up and every time we would see one we would pick it up and take it home for a pet. My kids even had some in Albany Ga and they would take them down to the neighbor lady who had strawberries in her flower bed. The box shell turtles would run around and eat all the pill bugs/rolly polies. When they could not find any more they would start to eat the strawberries then we would pack them up and take them home. I remember we had road work on the county road in front of our house one day and we were stopped about 2 miles from home by a steep bank. Suddenly pebbles began rolling down beside us like a min-rock slide ended by a BST who evidently lost his grip. I am sure he had tumbled at least 50' before landing upside down on the road. Becky said "Oh, poor turtle" and jumped out and righted him. He seemed to be doing fine, just shook up.

Don?t Move a Box Turtle Somewhere ?Better? ? For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue (https://forfoxsakewildlife.com/2019/11/03/dont-move-a-box-turtle-somewhere-better/)

  If you see a BST even if you think he is in a risky location please resist the temptation to relocate him as you will be dooming him forever.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 28, 2021, 10:37:28 AM
  A little off the normal course here and if you have a spouse who is into quilting you might pass this info along to them.

  Did you know quilts were used as a warning system by people helping escaping slaves on the underground railroad? Over on WV state road 122 and US Highway 219, a major route through VA and WV, it is a common sight to see brightly painted quilts on people's barns. The first time I passed through and saw them I thought the residents had a quilt shop and were selling quilts and such. After more research I found that area was part of the old underground railroad used by escaping slaves on their way north to freedom. The people who were helping would hang out a particular style/pattern of quilt which meant things like: "Safe place to stop, Danger present - steer clear, Come after dark, etc" Anyone outside the loop seeing a quilt hanging out drying or airing out would not have thought anything about such a sight as quilts were used in every home and there were no dryers so the quilts were hung outside to air out and to dry. (I don't know how often a mistake was made when someone not in the loop hung out their quilts and escaping slaves saw and misread them.)

    Many of the people in our area paint a quilt pattern on their barn and never realize the original purpose it represents. I sawed for a customer 25 miles from here last October and his wife and a barn quilt on the end of their barn. My wife came along with me and told her about the history of them. The lady and her husband had moved here from near Atlanta GA and had no idea and thought it was just a decoration common to this region.

https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/underground-railroad-quilt-codes
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 28, 2021, 06:58:14 PM
There is an old barn just outside of Syracuse, NY that its owner told me was used as a hideout stopover for the underground railroad.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on January 28, 2021, 07:18:27 PM
Quilt squares on barns have exploded in popularity in the last 20 years for reasons having nothing to do with the underground railroad. The red editorial WV links, by the way, appears to be attempting to discredit the notion that quilts were used as a slave-era code. Whether they were or not, I have seen no evidence that barn squares have any connection with such an idea. Most of the Virginia examples are following the trend of southern Ohio examples, where this recent fad seems to have picked up steam, and where there was no inkling of underground railroad codes involved. I doubt many of the barn square owners in Virginia, West Virginia, or anywhere else, associate them with the Railroad.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 28, 2021, 07:53:55 PM
   As I mentioned above my customer had one on their barn and did not know about their use in the Underground Railroad. While I am getting old I am not that old so I can't personally verify this was the case. I suspect many of the people who may have been involved kept quiet long after the war and emancipation of the slaves because there would still have been a lot of ill will by some folks. It makes sense whether it is true or exaggerated and is thought provoking.

    We have a good friend in Greenville SC who has a quilt top she got from her great or great-great grandmother. The slaves had actually done the sewing to put the pieces together. Sherman's troops came through and his "Foragers" stole/confiscated all the quilts in the house for his troops to use. Since this one was not finished they left it and it had passed down to her. She is 89 right now. She asked my wife to finish quilting it for her but when Becky looked at it and heard the tale behind it she said she would not touch it as it needed an expert who specialized in restoration and such. Hopefully she will find someone who can do it and put it in a museum or such such some time.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 29, 2021, 09:15:09 AM
   Did you know racoons are famous for washing their food? What they are actually doing is wetting their food, apparently to make it easier to swallow. If they are near water they will pick up pieces of food and swish it around good then eat it. If no water is nearby they will eat normally.

    My uncle was a big time coon hunter and my cousin had a pet coon in a cage they had caught somewhere. I remember watching him feeding grapes to it. The coon would pick up each grape and swish it in his water dish several times then pop it in his mouth, chew, swallow and repeat. My cousin dropped a sugar cube in the cage. The coon grabbed it and promptly swished it in his water dish where it immediately dissolved. The coon frantically felt all around the water dish for the missing cube with no luck and finally gave up and walked to the back of his cage. My cousin dropped another sugar cube in and the coon grabbed it and ran over to his water dish started to wash it then paused in mid air and popped it in his mouth. I'll give him credit for being a quick learner.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on January 29, 2021, 09:55:13 AM
I been told about that sugar cube habit before by a co-worker. I have not heard anything about this before or since, until now. Thx WV. If I ever see her again then Iíll let her know!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 29, 2021, 08:11:47 PM
We had some pet raccoons on the farm when I was a kid. They could cause more trouble than you can imagine. They'd chew open bags of cattle feed, then one would take its' paws and push feed to a hole in the floor and the feed trickled down and landed on the back of a cow in her stantion. The raccoon found it fascinating, not so the cow who was swishing her tail to get it off.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 29, 2021, 09:30:59 PM
   My son had a couple. Last one he had he caught 3 in the road in a local park coming back from fishing one night. Gave 2 away and kept one. DNR gave him a permit for it. One of our daughter's best friends was in the vet program up at WVU and they neutered and vaccinated him. Wife made him a halter out of 2 dog collars - small one around the neck, bigger one around the waist, joined by a strip of leather with D ring for a leash. He was litter box trained but would not cover like a cat. he had lots of personality and would play tag and run from you then chase you and hassle like a happy dog. He'd fish in the minnow bucket for a snack and they'd toss him a small crappie and he'd run under the bow and eat and snarl and bite the heck out of you if you tried to take it away. He was always vicious about his foot and you did not mess with him a about that! He was so fat and slick it was hard to pick him up if he did not have his halter on. BTW - he was a real chick magnet. My son would take him for a walk and every teenage girl who saw him wanted to come play with him. I am thinking about catching one for myself - with my luck I'd empty out the local nursing homes. ::)

My old mentor used to tell the tale about a guy who had one and they left him in the house alone one day. He said it got up in the kitchen cabinet and pushed out every dish up there. he broke every glass, plate, saucer and bowl except for one heavy china bowl that would not break and he took a crap in it.

My grandfather said when he was a kid down in central Fla they had 2 bear cubs and left them alone in the sleeping cabin one day. They came back and found the cubs had both climbed up the chimney, over the dog trot to the dining cabin, slid down the fireplace there, knocked over a bucket of hog lard and rolled in it and generally made a huge mess there then climbed back up the chimney and returned to the sleeping quarters and rolled in Great Grandma's quilts. When G-Grandma returned in real short order they had a new home address with a circus!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on January 30, 2021, 12:11:53 AM
Wow thatís some funny stuff 👍
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 30, 2021, 09:58:36 AM
   Did you know that many, if not most snakes, even non-poisonous ones, will vibrate the tip of their tail when alarmed? If it happens to be resting on a dry leaf it sounds just like a rattlesnake and will have the chill bumps racing themselves up and down your spine.

   I assume if this is an instinctive reaction but even a harmless rat snake or such will have your heart racing if the circumstances are right.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on January 30, 2021, 08:12:30 PM
When I did wildlife control work I got a call for a raccoon in an attic. At first they thought that a burglar was up there. I believe that the coon climbed a small tree growing up to the edge of the roof, then went up the roof to the chimney, down the inside of the chimney, out through the flue pipe to a T joint, out the open side of the T to the basement. Then it went up the inside of an end wall between the studs (balloon frame house) to the attic. Then, frustrated at not being able to get out, it proceeded to destroy everything stored in that attic. There are few animals as destructive as one that has gotten in somewhere and can't get out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 30, 2021, 08:55:02 PM
   Oh yeah - see what a bobcat can do to a ragtop jeep when he gets trapped in there!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 31, 2021, 09:22:50 AM
   Did you know the eastern part of the USA as far up as southern Ontario is home to one of the most feared and deadly species of snakes known to man? It is known as the Spreading Adder or Blowing Viper? When threatened this thoroughly vicious reptile will spread its neck wide to show you just how mean, vicious and deadly he is and he will strike at anyone in range. If he fails in his attempt to envenomate or chase away any threat he will actually bite himself and his venom is so toxic he will almost immediately roll over and die usually with his mouth open.

   The only thing is - this snake is totally harmless and his antics are all a bluff! This is the hog nosed snake. When threatened he rears up and maybe a foot of his neck (on a large snake say 30" or so) spreads out 2-3 times the normal width as a warning and he will make mock strikes if you get too close. If this fails he will pretend to bite himself and flip over on his back with his mouth open as if dead and play possum. If you turn him back upright he will flip right back over and remain belly-up.

    Hog nosed snakes have some popularity as pets but if you adopt one he will quickly abandon the bluffing and playing possum act.

    If you encounter one, once you get your heart restarted, please don't hurt him as this is a useful and totally harmless snake.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on January 31, 2021, 11:57:54 AM
They may have poison glands deeper in their throat, actually to help digestion.  I have never seen one over a foot or so, they tend to be lunch for a lot of critters, other snakes particularly.




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10007/bird~2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1591536958)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on January 31, 2021, 12:24:53 PM
    Most I have seen are small also. I think they may have some mildly toxic venom, or it could just be their bad breath, but it is not enough to make them a threat to people. They certainly don't have any prominent fangs. They are not really an adder or a viper. Those are just a couple of mis-labeled common names people hang on them. Thanks for the photo - they look wicked for such a harmless snake.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 01, 2021, 10:19:48 AM
   Did you know cow manure is a common building material in many parts of Africa?

    In Kenya, when a Maasai woman marries the tribe makes a break in the Kraal (Corral)/perimeter fence and they place the corner posts for her house. She and the other women collect brush and weave it into a wall frame and every morning they collect all the fresh cow manure they can find and plaster it on to the frame. Remember the tribe brings the cattle in every night to protect them from lions, leopards and hyenas. Each family builds a calf pen from about 1/3 of the house to keep the calves safe and to separate them from the cows so they can milk the cows the first thing every morning. Anyway, this way the fresh cow manure is applied in stages so it dries and is ready to support the weight of the next level. When the cow manure dries it has no odor so when visiting a Maasai house you will find it cool and pleasant inside. 

    BTW - each engaged/married woman has her own house and her own gate in the perimeter wall so by quickly counting the houses built or under construction you can get a count of them. BTW2 - if a woman of exceptional status dies the village will bury her inside her home and burn it on top of her instead of taking her body several hundred yards away and leaving it for the lions and hyenas to eat which is the normal Maasai burial practice.

   The Himba tribes on the other side of Africa in Namibia and tribes in parts of Ethiopia north of the Maasai mix fresh cow manure with sand and make a plaster to put on the sides of their homes and for flooring. When dry it is very difficult to distinguish it from poured in place, finished concrete. 

    We visited a village in Ethiopia many years ago and every child we saw had a board, pot, or tray with a clump of fresh cow manure and were all headed to the school building. When we got to the school we found one wall had cracked or been damaged and was being replastered. All the fresh manure was dumped into a pile and water was added and one little barefooted boy was happily stomping away and mushing it up between his toes. When it reached the right consistency it was applied to the wall and finished with whatever tools they had available in the village.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on February 01, 2021, 12:08:49 PM
Might just have to resort to that if framing lumber keeps going up 😂
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on February 01, 2021, 12:09:12 PM
Not sure how that construction material will work in climates with regular rain or monsoons.
   :-X
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on February 01, 2021, 01:50:54 PM
Did you know that shrews donít hibernate and over winter months they shrink their brain and the skull cap, so they can conserve energy?  Seems brains require the most energy from food to maintain. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on February 01, 2021, 02:54:29 PM
Did you know cow manure is a common building material in many parts of Africa?
I have sawed a few crappy logs which made crappy lumber.  I occasionally have to tell customers that I can't make chicken pie out of chicken crap.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 01, 2021, 03:56:40 PM
Did you know that shrews donít hibernate and over winter months they shrink their brain and the skull cap, so they can conserve energy?  Seems brains require the most energy from food to maintain.
Roxie,

   Please keep politics out of this thread even if you change the names of the political parties involved. :D

    I grew up in Fla and I guess our shrews never had to worry about that level of cold. I do know their salvia had some mild toxicity and they have a very high metabolic rate and have to eat something like their weight every day. 

    I tried keeping one for a pet as a kid and he wore me out chasing up grasshoppers and grubs and worms for him. I think he only lived a couple weeks under my care. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 01, 2021, 03:59:52 PM
Not sure how that construction material will work in climates with regular rain or monsoons.  :-X
JJ,

   Good point - the areas where I saw it used were desert or semi-desert. With the Maasai they did not stay in the same area over a couple of years before they moved anyway. I think their homes were more for shade and for the cool evenings rather than for wet weather.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on February 01, 2021, 04:15:24 PM
To read an enjoyable imagining of a year's time from a shrew's perspective see the book Life of a Sandstone ridge by David R. Wallace... I think.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 01, 2021, 07:35:30 PM
Short-tailed shrews have musk glands and their waste has a special nasty/funky odor. They like to check your mouse traps for you and eat the mice. When they come in houses they generally stay at ground level or go in the basement. They have toilet stations where they go repeatedly and the smell is bad. They are well and good outdoors but no so good in the house.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 02, 2021, 09:44:18 AM
   Did you know if a squirrel or many other animals escapes into a hole in a tree you can usually pull him out if you can access the hole and know how to remove him?

    When I was about 13-14 my maternal grandfather was squirrel hunting with his old buddy Mr. Frank. My cousin and I joined the hunt in progress and Gypsy his old semi-retired bluetick coonhoud or Cricket, his constant Rat Terrier companion, chased a grey squirrel into a hole about 3' high in a 12" diameter red oak. Grandpa looked around for a greenbrier or grape vine but none were handy so he found a straight, limber hickory switch about 3' long. It was about the size of a pencil at the little end. Grandpa out took his pocket knife and split the end twice - one inch down from both directions. For good measure he spit on the end then inserted the top end into the hole and slowly pushed it in turning constantly in a clockwise direction. A time or two he would hit a blockage then the stick would move up a few more inches. This was the squirrel moving higher in the hole. Eventually the stick stopped turning and Grandpa began to slowly pull down. He would hold steady pressure then it would give a few inches and stop again as the squirrel was grabbing new footholds on the way down. Grandpa would periodically give the switch another quarter to half a turn to keep the tension on it. Finally the upper end of the switch came into sight with the squirrel's tail wrapped around it. Grandpa reached into his old striped pillow ticking shot sack and pulled out a small homemade hammer handle he carried for that purpose and grabbed the squirrel by the back leg, pulled it out and gave it a sharp rap on the head as it came free.

    Every responsible hunter should learn this technique in case he has to retrieve a dead or wounded animal that takes refuge in such a den or hole which is a common occurrence.

    Normally the best material for this purpose is a greenbrier (Smilax) vine about the size of a pencil on the small end. The perfect vine is the one with the small thorns near the base and you can reverse the vine sending the thorny end up first. The length is dependent on the depth of the hole. In many cases a 3' vine or switch is adequate and much easier to work with than a longer one. The last squirrel I had to twist out I had to use a 12' grape vine to reach him.

   The smaller diameter works best because the tail or fur can be wrapped around itself. Anything that will help hold the fur is useful. The thorns on a greenbrier, splitting the end, moisture, tree sap or any gummy substance on the end to grab the fur helps. I guess if I had another world class squirrel dog like I did in my younger years and I was doing a lot of squirrel hunting I'd keep a tube of shoe goo in my shot bag.

    Keep the vine twisting in the same direction as you push it into the hole or den. Often a squirrel will chatter at you as the stick touches him. His tail twisting completely around itself gives the best hold. When you feel this happen stop twisting and start pulling but use steady pressure instead of  brute force or you can pull his tail off (Don't ask me how I know this) then it is very hard to get a new hold on him. Holding steady pressure will cause the squirrel to tire and he will slip a few inches and grab another foothold and repeat till you can grab the tail or back foot and pull him out. I used to toss them to my dog who would quickly finish off the squirrel for me and as a reward for treeing him. Warning - the squirrel is normally very ill-tempered when forcibly removed like this! 

   The last one I twisted out was an old boar fox squirrel who was 12' up in a hollow poplar tree. When I pulled him out he grabbed the back of my right hand and started pretending he was a beaver making a new lodge, I shook him off and Sampson grabbed him when he hit the ground but the squirrel twisted around and wrapped his hind legs around his neck and started chewing on his left ear. Sampson howled and shook the squirrel off but not before our old late Australian Shepherd instinctively attacked him. The squirrel ran one direction still attached to 12' of grapevine and Sampson ran the other way howling at the top of his lungs (Have I ever mentioned Sampson is not a very brave dog?). I rescued Sampson, who still periodically has nightmares and wakes up howling on our living room rug, then I chased down the squirrel and killed it.

    I have used this technique with coons and rabbits and it should work for groundhogs, foxes, etc who take refuge in a den hole. With a coon you have wrap up the fur on his side and he is much bigger and with longer teeth and a generally worse disposition than your average squirrel so be well prepared when you reach for him. (I made this mistake and eventually reversed it stuck the barrel of my Ruger Blackhawk .357 up the hole and shot. There was a lot of thumping and bark and rotten wood falling followed by the well dead coon - that was much easier than twisting and manhandling him). A rabbit has very thin skin and you have to use much more finesse when actually pulling him out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 02, 2021, 08:01:10 PM
WV,  Where is your disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of these stories?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 02, 2021, 08:43:15 PM
   I think I ate it along with the victims. :D

   Actually a few months after we got married I took my new bride hunting at my parents place down in Fla. Bertha, unquestionably the world's best squirrel dog and pretty fair contender for coon hunting champ, quickly treed a squirrel. I walked around the tree so it would show itself to Becky. It started running through the treetops and I think she emptied my little Remington 870 .20 gauge pump trimming the limbs right behind where the squirrel had just passed. We lost sight of him then heard Bertha barking on tree so I went over to her and she was jumping  on a small oak with a hole about 3' high so I told Becky "We've got him now". I quickly cut a perfect greenbrier and as Bertha sat watching expectantly and knowing what was coming, I ran the vine up the hole a couple of feet till I touched the squirrel's tail and he started fussing violently and moved up a few more inches. Becky said "You're hurting him." I answered "It won't hurt long" and pushed the stick up a couple more inches and he fussed again and Becky said "Stop, you're hurting him." I reminded her she had just filled the air with shot trying to kill him but my explanations were in vain. She made me quit so I started walking away which really confused Bertha who kept going back to the tree. I finally had to pick her up and carry her away. When I put her down the next time Bertha made a beeline back to the house. That is the only time I ever had her go on strike on me. I guess her attitude was "I've done my part. If you aren't going to hold up your end of the job I'm going to the house!"
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 02, 2021, 10:24:26 PM
You HAD a really good winner of a dog! You just really confused her (both of them)!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 03, 2021, 09:13:41 AM
   Did you know driving over a pile of elephant dung can result in a flat tire on your vehicle?

    One of an African elephant's favorite foods is the acacia tree which also produces some wicked thorns capable of puncturing the tires on an SUV, car or pick up truck. Elephants rip off limbs and tree tops and stuff huge chunks of them down their throat loosely chewing and swallowing without breaking them up very much. Whole acacia thorns pass through their digestive system intact and pass out in the bowling ball sized "elephant pills". Running over one of these pills may leave you changing a tire in elephant and lion infested territory so drive around them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 04, 2021, 08:53:41 AM
   Did you know turpentine was made from the sap of pine trees?

  Turpentine was widely used as paint thinner and for cleanup of paint brushes and rollers and equipment. It was also used for medicinal purposes as a disinfectant.

 When I was a kid in N. Fla large, mostly planted pine plantations, would be "chipped" at a certain size. I never saw the actual process but I assume they used a sharpened spud bar similar to a mechanic's scraper to remove a wide strip of bark about 12" wide and about 3'tall. The trees were big enough this much bark loss would not girdle or significantly damage the growth of the tree. At the bottom of the cut a piece of thin metal about 6" wide would be folded in the middle and tacked to the tree to make a shelf. On this shelf a little metal cup about 3" wide X 3" deep X 12" long with a slight curve was placed tightly against the tree and the sap would run down into it. In older times these cups were made of glazed pottery and are highly collectable now when one can be found. Periodically workers would ride between the trees and dump this sap into a container. In the older days this would have been by using a mule and a small wagon and a big barrel to collect the sap. I don't remember how long it took before the sap stopped running enough to be worthwhile. The sap would be taken to a processing site where it would be distilled in a huge still operation.

 Also when I was a kid we used to see loaded flatbed rail cars full of "lighterd" (heart of pine with all sap wood rotted off) stumps being transported to a processing site to make turpentine. I assume they were ground up and heated and possibly steam applied to remove the sap to make turpentine.

 If any of you reading this are more familiar with the actual processing steps of the sap or "lighterd" stumps please chime in.

  It has been many years since I have seen pine plantations where the sap was being collected to make turpentine and assume it is too costly and labor intensive to do any more.  I think it is largely synthesized now from artificial ingredients.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 04, 2021, 01:04:11 PM
Reminds me about how they say that, at one time, huge virgin hemlock in the adirondack were cut down and stripped of the bark for tannin to tan hides. The logs were left to rot. Many years ago, I talked with a log dealer who told me how guys would buy standing timber on state lands and the had to cut down all the trees that were marked even if they didn't want it. They would cut big clear elms, which would probably have value today, and leave them to rot. A mill that I worked for in the 1970s sold gun stock blanks sawn from elm to Ithaca Gun Co. They could stain it to look really nice.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on February 04, 2021, 08:15:06 PM
In the early-mid 1800's my ancestors listed their occupation on the census as "turpentine", they were tarheels. That catface was periodically scraped to keep the wound flowing. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 05, 2021, 09:14:34 AM
  Since KEC mentioned tanning above: Did you know you can tan various skins (Furs, leather, buckskin, etc) and hides using various natural ingredients?

 If you follow the Mountain Man TV series you have probably seen Tom Oar and his wife Nancy out in Montana and possibly Eustace Conway down near Hickory NC or others tanning hides using the brains from various animals. I used to hear an animal typically had enough brain to tan his hide. The skins are fleshed and usually salted then stretched and when dry a solution of boiled mushed up brains is painted on to tan the hide. One big advantage of brain tanning is, when properly done, it will allow the hair to remain on the hide, if desired. As a teen my son shot a small deer and fletched it and after carefully consulting the correct FoxFire book he brain tanned the hide with the hair on. It is still hanging here over the cabinets in our kitchen area 25 years later and looks as good as the day he tanned it.

 I have watched documentaries where urine was collected and used to tan leather. I've read horror stories where people took the love of their life car across the border to Tijuana Mexico to get a cheap upholstery job on the seats and got a real bargain - till someone spilled a bottle of water on the seats and they smelled like an outhouse.

 KEC mentioned the use of tree bark to tan leather. I don't know the recipe or entire process but it is likely they made a "tea" of the bark and soaked the skin in it.

  One of my fondest memories in our travels to remote areas around the world was visiting an outdoor tannery on the outskirts of Marioua (Mar Wha) Cameroon in the extreme north, desert region of that country. The tannery smelled awful and had sheep, goat, monitor lizard, maybe a python or two, and a couple of cow hides in processing. On a lucky day you might find an elephant skin from the nearby Waza Game Park - the park officials would let selected friends or associates come skin any elephants that died of natural causes. The skins were strung on what looked like clotheslines around the tannery. Pits about 3' in diameter and maybe 6' deep were used to process the hides. In one pit they had a mixture of bird manure and buckets of water with hides soaking. In another similar sized pit a mixture of water and acacia beans (Which I now assume were high in tannic acid) were used. I don't remember the sequence of which pit was used first. The chemicals in these pits soaked into the hides and preserved them just as effectively and were as "chemically correct" as any sophisticated factory would have used. There were stations with smooth logs and tools similar to drawknives for fletching and smoothing/softening the hides.

 We had to go meet and make nice with the "Chief" of the tannery which I guess is the term applied to any manager or foreman in charge in that part of Africa. He looked to be about 80 years old, wearing typical Muslim attire with the long thin blue shirt affair over matching thin trousers and rawhide sandals on his feet. He was laying in on a mat under a low lean too shade made of palm fronds. I remember he had a hint of a red T shirt poking out from under his shirt/jacket. My wife asked and got permission to take his photograph and he laughed and agreed. She took the picture and showed it to him on the viewer. He had serious cataracts and I offered him my reading glasses to see if the could see better with them. When he saw the picture on the small viewer screen of the camera he gave a big belly laugh and pointed to his neck at his red T shirt so he obviously could distinguish that. Becky offed to let him tuck it in and take another picture but he was fine with it as it was. When we got home she had a large print like an 11X14 or such made and I brought it back and we sent it back to him by our travel agent. I always wondered if he ever got it. With the Boko Haram idiots now active in that area I'll never be able to go see. Even then I saw lots of locals wearing T-shirts with Osama bin Laden pictures on them - and they did not have a crosshairs over his face as I was used to seeing so this "Canadian" tread lightly when we were up there.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 06, 2021, 08:49:52 AM
   Did you know the dung beetle (Tumblebug to us from down South) are found on every continent except Antarctica?

   Where I grew up in N. Fla our local tumblebug would come rolling by with his prize a ball about the size of a nickle. The last I saw were on a trip to South Africa and they had rolled up a ball about the size of a tennis ball. There were 2-3 of them working on it and their was no coordination. One would roll it south the other north sometimes rolling his companion along with it and often over the top of him. They were pointed facing away from the dung ball and pushing with their back feet and it was very comical. They actually serve a very useful purpose in helping break down and scatter the waste. The ones I was familiar with would lay eggs inside the ball and they would incubate and when the little worms or grubs hatched they would feed on the nutrients in ball.

    I have not seen one in the US since I was a kid. I don't know if pesticides helped wipe them out significantly lowered their numbers.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 07, 2021, 09:38:12 AM
   Did you know a "cow ant" also called a "Velvet ant" is actually a wingless wasp? They are very brightly colored reddish-orange and an inch long or longer. They are very pretty but very painful if you get stung by one. I just read only the females have a stinger and that some males even have wings.

    They were always solitary insects running rapidly around searching for food or a nesting area in NW Fla where I was raised. They were not that common but we enjoyed seeing them when we did find one. We usually had to mess with it and as often as not we paid the price where if we'd just left it alone it would have done no harm.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: trapper on February 07, 2021, 10:14:05 PM
woodpecker blue jay cardinal is the pecking order at my feeder.  cardinal allows some small birds to feed at the same time.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 08, 2021, 09:16:06 AM
   Did you know that when splitting (riving?) wood into thin strips for weaving such as for replacing a bottom in an old ladderback chair or to make an old fashioned white oak cotton basket, you need to split the wood into halves each time until they are thin enough to use? Do not try to just split off thin strips from the edge of a larger piece. They need equal support on each side to split uniformly.

  In the mid 1980s I stopped by Westville, a visit at a reconstructed 1850's era "town" outside of Columbus Ga. I encourage anyone in the area to visit if you have the opportunity. The founders collected various buildings from the area, dismantled and reconstructed them on site into a "town" with a church, blacksmith shop, residences, etc. The site brings in various craftsmen, some dressed in period uniforms, to operate the equipment and show the skills used in the 1850s including blacksmithing, spinning cotton into thread/weaving, etc.

  I was fortunate enough to observe an 80+ y/o black gentleman who was weaving thin white oak strips into cotton baskets. He explained how many ribs you started with no matter the size of the basket and most interesting to me he explained and demonstrated how he made his weaving strips. He started with good clear, straight grained white oak sections a couple of feet long then split the "log" with a froe. He then took a half section and split it again into quarters which he split into eighths then sixteenths until he had strips about 1/8" thick that were thin enough and flexible enough to make the bends he needed. He explained how he stored his wood in damp soil or in water to keep it flexible.

 Many years later while working in Cameroon I watched local basket weavers using rattan, a local vine, for baskets and such. I observed they used the same technique splitting the vine into halves each time till they reached the desired thickness.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/Yingui_trip_044.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1612793972)
The palm like plant in this picture is a small rattan vine growing in the jungle on the way to the village of Yingui, Cameroon. Larger rattan vines are collected, peeled and split into strips for weaving.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 08, 2021, 07:11:51 PM
Sounds much like trapper pack baskets, which are woven out of thin strips of ash.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 09, 2021, 09:04:27 AM
   Did you know if you are planning a trip to watch wildlife the generally accepted best time is during the dry season - whenever that happens to be in the area where you are going?

    In Africa the dry season means there will be much less vegetation to obstruct your view and the animals tend to come to and collect around the remaining water holes where you can clearly see a much wider variety of different species interacting (I.e. Eating each other :D). The down side is if you want to see young animals they are typically born in the wet season.

    We visited the everglades several years ago in March which, luckily for us, turned out to be the dry season there although we did not know in advance. This meant the most available water was in the canals that had been dug to make the road bed which meant most of the alligators and water birds and such were there too. This meant all you had to do was drive along the main road and pull off on the side of the road to see lots (I mean lots!) of big alligators and cormorants and anhingas and such right there in plain sight. In fact we had to check carefully every time we stepped out of the car not to step right out on a big sleeping gator.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 09, 2021, 04:23:51 PM
Very often, the people who like to see birds and critters have it best when the critters are not having such a good time. During harsh winter conditions birds flock to feeders, cornfields and roadsides for food and grit. After a winter of deep snow you can take a drive on a sunny afternoon when the snow is starting to melt and see a lot of deer on Southfacing slopes. Here it has been cold lately and the lakes and rivers are iced over. Find open water and you'll find waterfowl, gulls and eagles. At Onondaga Lake in Syracuse someone repored a count of 52 eagles by the open water at the South end of the lake. Some critters thrive in rough conditions such as coyotes that take advantage of deep snow to get deer. In Quebec, I read that coyotes suffer in mild winters and literally put on fat in harsh winters because the deer are easy to get. No doubt, the ravens benefit as well.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on February 09, 2021, 04:49:21 PM
In the woods, the palimpsest of snow shows the traces of its life. The tracks and trails hard to see on frozen ground are revealed. The blood and urine are gaudy announcements of life and death. Sometimes you can get surprised how many things move around in a winter day.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 09, 2021, 05:01:51 PM
KEC,

   Very good point. We vacationed in December 2008 at the Cuyabeo Reserve in Ecuador (Where they have done several of the Naked and Afraid contests) and the water was dropping rapidly. We got out on Christmas Day as within days the stream could not have been navigated. A few more weeks and the lake would be drying up and they tell me it is full of Caimans and birds and such eating the trapped fish. I would love to see a sight like that but I don't know how we would ever get in to see it.

   The last time we went to South Africa it was in late December and we went Kruger Park and it was the rainy season. You could not see as far but there were antelope fawns and other young animals everywhere which were really fun to watch. It is just a matter of picking what you want to see and time your trip accordingly. Just like watching the Fall foliage here in WV.

Will,

   Yes. It is interesting to get up and see the fresh deer tracks in the drive or front yard. It is also a good time to find the deer beds and such and identify future hunting hotspots.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 09, 2021, 09:32:32 PM
Many people hereabouts are scarcely aware of the existence of Meadow Voles. They are a preffered food for predators and can sometime occur in very high numbers in grassy areas like hayfields. There was an irruption of voles a number of years ago on a pininsula the juts out into Lake Ontario West of Watertown, N.Y. I went up there with some birding friends and we drove around checking the hayfields. We saw a Red-tailed Hawk or two, a Kestrel, at least one Northern Harrier, 4 Snowy Owls, 1 Long-eared Owl, 30-40 Short-eared Owls and 87 Rough-legged Hawks, all dining on the voles. As we walked across a weedy field, about every 2nd or 3rd step a vole would dart away by our feet. Memorable it was.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on February 10, 2021, 06:46:25 AM
I have seen some kind of hawk work my field like a quid. Flying low over the field. I stood there and watched it do it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 10, 2021, 09:42:16 AM
    Did you know the snake with the world's longest fangs is reported to be a Gaboon viper in Africa? There are reports of snakes with fangs over 3" (50 mm) long and a large Gaboon viper can produce and inject enough venom to kill 30 men.

    The Gaboon viper is a very large, heavy snake with a pattern similar to that of an American copperhead that very effectively allows him to hide in the leaf matter in the jungle areas where he is typically found. The head on a large G. viper may be over 4" wide. Fortunately these snakes are not particularly aggressive and will generally not attack except in self defense. A large snake can be over 6' long and will be over 4" in diameter. I don't know what they weigh but am confident they can easily weigh over 50 lbs. (Based on the weights reported for the pythons in Fla on "Serpent Invasion" he may weigh 350 lbs. ::))

   In all my travels in Africa I never saw one in the wild. I did have a co-worker who was a surveyor on a pipeline project we were working in Cameroon who found one along their planned route. He said they tried to get the snake to move but he absolutely refused and the surveyors finally killed him for safety of the team and to continue the mission. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on February 10, 2021, 04:10:30 PM
We wanna be foresters at Mizzou had to take a survey course in summer camp.  In the depth of the Ozarks in the heart of Wayne County.  In our class of 17 students better then half came from the hills around southern Missouri.  Some of the best men you could want to meet.  We were in the woods doing a survey on part of the U of Mo forest.  This generally meant cutting a trail and dragging a chain and taking notes.  The lead man was a kid from Branson when it was a wide spot in the road.  We were required to have a double bit, and this guy had one half worn out, but he could cut a tunnel through the woods in no time.  The record keeper was another Missouri mountain man, tough as a boot and at home in the woods.  He was squatted down taking notes, when the lead man started pulling the chain.  In those day the chain had a leather pig tail in front and in back.  As the tail end pig tail came in from of the note  taker, he never took his eyes off the book, but whipped his machete out of the dirt and cut the pig tail off at the chain loop.  He said he thought it was a copper head.  We named him quick draw.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 10, 2021, 05:21:31 PM
   That's funny - but I can relate to his response! I nearly had heart failure walking through a trail in the jungle a few miles from my apartment one Sunday in Cameroon and almost stepped on a curved root in the trail. I thought I had stepped on a Gaboon viper or a forest cobra or a black mamba or such.

    I was sitting in a deck chair beside our pool in Guinea. On both sides of the pool they had knee high shrubbery that was neatly trimmed by the local camp staff. Suddenly a Green snake raised up out of the hedge about 2' and looked me right in the eye and if ever a snake could think and form an intelligent thought,  that one looked like he knew exactly what he was thinking. As near as I can tell from all the photos I have looked through I am assuming this was a green mamba. I got a gardener and we looked for him but never found the snake in the foliage. This snake was about 5 yards from the door of our safety officer's hut. (We lived in little round concrete huts about 20' in diameter with palm thatched roof's.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 10, 2021, 07:19:18 PM
Thecfarm, If the hawk you saw flies low over the field, maintaining a given distance from the ground, has a longish tail, wings tilted upward and has a white rump, think Northern Harrier. Females and immatures are brownish and adult males are very pale. WV sawmiller, I got a call once from someone who said that there was a snake in his toilet. When I went and looked, it did sort of look like it was, at first. A closer look and it turned out to be a spoon that fell in the toilet. He happily paid me to come over.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 11, 2021, 09:45:14 AM
   Did you know the best animal engineer in North America, if not the entire world is the beaver? They are the best in the world about stopping water. They carefully survey the area and find the best chokepoints to build a dam using available trees, limbs, leaves and mud. They stop up the water so they can transport, i.e. float, larger materials where they want them and so they remain under water for safety reasons. They will also dig canals used to float heavier wood and they build mud dikes to extend the height of the pond. Where I grew up and used to coon hunt in the Escambia River swamp beavers had built a dike about 12"-14" high for over 1/4 mile backing up  water that high along an otherwise dead flat area. That is particularly amazing when you remember every bit of that dike was made by digging up a pint sized, or less, scoop of mud and leaves and swimming over to the dike construction and patting it into place. The beavers build dams in places that also catch wood in flood times then they reinforce that using nature to help them.

  Beavers built a dam along the Big Escambia Creek where it runs into the Escambia River at the Fla/Ala line below the town of Flomaton Ala. Compounding the political issues was that the dam was on the Fla side of the line but the water was backed up into Ala actually flooding some streets in the town and putting them out of commission for decades. (Why was the State of Fla going to be concerned about spending money clearing a  beaver dam/logjam that was only causing problems in Ala? :D) The dam helped create a logjam that went on for miles. They flooded several miles and hundreds of acres of lowland in the surrounding swamp. Compounding the problem was the logjam was in Fla but the havoc caused was in Ala. Finally after many years the US Army Corps of Engineers got involved and blew up and bulldozed the logjam to restore the water level to previous levels. They will have to continue to monitor the situation as the beavers will continue to try to rebuild to their former level of greatness.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 11, 2021, 07:00:26 PM
State Highway Department people will sometimes spend who knows how much money to send a gradall and operator out to open a beaver dam only to have the beavers rebuild with a vengeange. Then they keep sending out the gradall. For less money they could pay a trapper to remove the beaver. And then, when a trapper, trapping for fur, not charging them, parks on the shoulder of the road to trap, he gets flack for parking there. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 11, 2021, 07:23:16 PM
   The State paid a trapper to remove a bunch at my parents where they had blocked the runoff. Mom would go out and clean all the briers and honeysuckle off some prized Magnolia or Maple only to come back the next morning to find a pencil shaped stump where her tree had been. They would come a couple hundred yards up in the yard from the edge of the pond. My brother told her she was just making it easy on them. I had a cousin who tried to shoot them but never could hit one. I think the state paid $75 each to trap them out. I made Mom mad telling her I was rooting for the beavers. It was just a little wet weather branch that had never held a constant supply of water before the beavers built the dam. They had fish and frogs and turtles there full time after that. I finally told her she should buy them a bunch of sugarcane and maybe they would get cavities and rot their teeth out. She never tried that as far as I remember. :D

   I saw a series of photos one time where beavers had stopped up a big culvert under a road to make a dam. The road dept kept breaking it but the beavers would rebuild. They finally put an overflow drain in to remove the water. The beavers stopped that up. The road dept put about a 4' square box with chain link fence around the overflow. The beavers stopped up every hole in the wire. The road dept kept cleaning that out so finally the beavers built a reverse U shaped dam around the overflow.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 11, 2021, 10:00:57 PM
For sure, beavers create some great habitat for other critters. One problem is that beaver were wiped out by early unregulated trapping. Then, people came along and built houses along streams. When beaver populations  recovered, they caused problems for those homeowners. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 11, 2021, 11:12:19 PM
Nature finds a way....
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Logger RK on February 12, 2021, 05:50:59 AM
My Trapper Buddy ďMuskrat ďsay,thereís nothing worse Then a angry Beaver,four & two legged.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 12, 2021, 09:51:29 AM
   Did you know the udders on a female elephant are located between her front legs rather than between her back legs like you find on most large four legged animals? Other than primates which have their udders on their chest and animals with multiple udders such as felines, canines, pigs, etc. most female animals have they udders between their rear legs like a cow, horse, goat, deer, antelope, giraffe, etc.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on February 12, 2021, 10:11:21 AM
udderly educational
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on February 12, 2021, 06:59:19 PM
 :D :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 13, 2021, 09:56:40 AM
   Did you know that 3/8" is called "Bee Space" to bee keepers? Long ago beekeepers discovered that in a hive, spaces under approximately 1/4" would be sealed with propolis or bee glue while spaces of approximately 1/2" or more would be used to build cells to store honey or raise brood. Using this knowledge they developed the current telescopic hive. They built removable frames the bees would draw out and store honey and brood while leaving approximately 3/8" between each which the bees used for travel and so the bees did not cross-connect them basically locking them into place. With this knowledge and design the bee-keeper could remove the top and inspect the brood and determine the basic health and condition of the hive. The top could be removed and more supers or boxes could be added to provide more storage space when there was a honey flow going on or removed to harvest the honey or at the end of the season to make it easier for the bees to maintain heat in the hive to keep the queen and any brood alive over the winter months.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 14, 2021, 09:54:14 AM
   Did you know that skunks like to eat honeybees and yellowjackets? Often you will find a hole in the ground in the woods about a foot or so deep where they dug up a yellow jacket nest in the ground. You will often find pieces of paper nest scattered around where they ate the brood. On a bee hive they will stand at the little porch on the bottom board on the front of the hive and scratch on it and lap up the guard bees as they rush out to defend the hive.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on February 14, 2021, 06:45:06 PM
     I poured gas in a yellow jacket hole one evening after they were back home.  The next day I saw the nest had been dug up as you described.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on February 14, 2021, 07:10:15 PM
Beaver is some tasty stuff. Tastes like really good tender roast beef 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on February 14, 2021, 07:35:08 PM
I guess I've always been too sentimental. When I was about 7, working with dad, I got stung by bees in the ground. He told me to pour gas in their hole and when I did their humming slowly faded away like a dying engine. Once they were quiet I went out behind an old rusty bulldozer and cried.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 14, 2021, 08:24:04 PM
Saw fixer,

    I wonder if the dying yellowjackets came to the mouth of the hole and the skunk located them and went after the rest. I'd have thought the gas smell would have kept him away. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

WB,

    I have not eaten much of it but do know it is edible. My dogs ate the first one I shot and they would not eat a coon carcass after I skinned one of them. I think the standard recipe where I was raised was to wrap the beaver quarters in foil with BBQ sauce and bake it in a slow oven till done. 

Will,

   Yes. Crying for wasps is too sentimental. Since you were only 7 y/o I guess we can forgive you. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 14, 2021, 10:22:57 PM
I have taken beaver(after removing the oil sacks and castors) and put the carcass cut in two into a large institutional cooking pot  and put it on the wood stove overnight. Next day take it out, discard the water and debone it and discard anything you don't like the looks of. Put the meat into a crock pot with " Sweet Baby Ray's" Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce, stir it and heat it through, but don't cook it. The last time I took it to a game dinner it was gone by the time I got in the serving line. It's great in a hamburger bun.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 14, 2021, 11:52:41 PM
KEC,

   I thought you were fixing to post the old "How to cook a Fox" type recipe. As I remember it went something like:

Take one moderately freshly killed and skinned red or gray fox
Place it on a green cypress board
Garnish with carrots, onion, and sweet potatoes
Cover with foil
Place in a medium oven and cook for 12 hours basting hourly with soy sauce, salt and pepper until the fox tests tender when poked with a fork.
Remove the fox from the oven, remove the foil, throw it all away and eat the board. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on February 15, 2021, 06:58:27 AM
I had beaver only once. Was a dark brown meat. If I would of been blind folded, I would of thought it was a pot roast. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on February 15, 2021, 07:09:48 AM
Remove the fox from the oven, remove the foil, throw it all away and eat the board. :D
I guess that prooves you can do almost anything with cypress! ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on February 15, 2021, 07:16:22 AM
...that when armadillo's reproduce they  have identical quadruplets . As a side note , they can jump high enough to hit a pursuing teenage boy in the chest , knocking him to the ground!  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 15, 2021, 10:12:07 AM
Ellmoe,

   I did not know they had identical quadruplets. I always thought they looked like someone dribbling a basketball when they run and that they cannot see well and run into trees and fences and such. The last one I saw was in SC above Charleston SC in a state park several years ago. I did not know they even ranged as far as SC till then. This one was running around under a pine canopy. I let the others (Wife, daughter and family friend) get their cameras ready and I walked wide around him and herded him past. He bounced between them as they took pictures, ran over to my wife's truck and ran right into the front right tire, got up, shook it off and ran away.

   Since we are talking about Armadillos for todays topic: Did you know that armadillos have been reported to transmit leprosy? 

   Cajun's/Coonass, who supposedly will eat anything, were reportedly eating armadillos and were warned to wear rubber gloves and such when cleaning armadillos to eat. I have eaten armadillo and properly prepared, it is very tasty - what I had tasted like good roast pork.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 15, 2021, 11:39:56 AM
Iíve been told that leprosy lives in the palms of their feet. I donít know how true that information was, but it was enough for ME!

Iíve never had the opportunity to taste either beaver or raccoon, but Iíd be willing to try it, especially if the cook tries it first and LIKES itís taste. Thatís very important. A cook is his own and worst critic!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 15, 2021, 01:24:58 PM
Taco,

   Good point. Maybe on my next visit to my dermatologist I need to have him check to see if my Eczema is really leprosy. ::) I have caught and eaten armadillos and my wife and I even visited a leper's colony in Cameroon in 2002 or thereabout. The patients there were amazingly upbeat and happy and we enjoyed visiting with them.

   I have eaten raccoon many times. Usually we made it into hash or fried it if a real young one but one time I killed a big one while deer hunting on Ft. Benning and my wife cooked it off the bone and added BBQ sauce and we took it to a church social. One lady would not eat it at first because she knew we ate turtles and such "strange things" as she called them. I told her I would not say what it was but that I had killed a couple of deer already that season. She said she was fine with venison and ate a sandwich and came back for a second. Her husband told me "That was no deer, what was it?" and I mocked a coon squalling and he said "Oh, its a coon." to which his wife acted deathly ill. It tasted real good till she knew what it was.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 15, 2021, 02:57:03 PM
Itís like Sushi. People that will not give it a chance just donít know what they are missing.

Itís just a matter of mind over matter.

BTW, Sushi, if you look carefully, means: the way the rice is prepared. For example, a California roll is Sushi but has zero fish in it. Now, Sashimi, different also. Iíve even had 1 thing at the Sushi bar here in AR that had nothing but fresh raw fish, and it was the best tasting and it had the most tender BEEF STEAK spanked hands down! Ingali I think it was.

But, if you can smell it, send it back ASAP! Itís no good. Itís done TURNED.

I know that Iím gonna be getting some flack over this, but, itís just good to be able to voice my opinion on it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 15, 2021, 03:27:21 PM
   The first time I ever tried Sushi was in Okinawa at Gate 2 street outside Kadena AFB when I was in the USMC stationed over there. None of the staff spoke English. The sushi was pretty good and all was well till I popped that cute little star shaped green after-dinner mint in my mouth in one bite and learned all you ever need to know about Wasabi. electricuted-smiley smiley_dizzy whiteflag_smiley pepsi_smiley smiley_sick
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 15, 2021, 07:12:57 PM
Oh yeah, itís just the prettiest and simultaneously ugly hottest uuuh stuff that youíre going to be eating. But the problem with it is since itís all natural then there is no GOOD way to know exactly how much is needed.

And like with so many things, it treats different people different ways. When Iíve chosen a bit to much, it acts like a VERY short and intense ice cream headache. Other people are different, in fact, Iím the only one that people say have ever described it that way. Itís hot, but so is some salsa and curry, but I think that probably (donít know) has more to do with the ingredients (salsa) or qty used (curry). Just go easy with the wasabi and sneak up on it until youíve got it right!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Ianab on February 15, 2021, 07:44:37 PM
Wasabi is related to mustard and horseradish, and it's "active" chemical is completely different to the capsaicin in hot peppers, and latches on to totally different sensors, mostly in your nose, the ones are usually sense "irritation". So it makes your eyes water / cough etc first. Chilli may also end up doing that, but it attacks the "heat" sensors in your mouth first, and works it's way up from there.   ;)

Both can pack a punch, especially if you aren't expecting it.  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 15, 2021, 09:11:35 PM
   Yeah for me it is an instant burn with a smoky after burn then nothing. In my case I did not know it was a hot substance. What a way to learn!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on February 16, 2021, 06:45:33 AM
Had a father -in law that would eat almost anything. Armadillo's were on the long list. To me his bbq'd "Hoover hog" tasted just like rich , fatty pork. I read once that in some Caribbean Iislands that is considered a delicacy and there was a limited season . If memory is correct , they call it tatoo.
   Armadillos have been reported to have leprosy , but it must not be very common or I surely  would be infected . They invaded N.Florida when I was a boy. I remember dragging my outdoorsman Uncle out in back of the farm to show him this unusual track. He had never seen such a track but speculated that it might be an armadillo as he had heard that they had been reported in the area. As with most invading species they soon overran the area. My high school buddies and I would go 'dillo hunting often. We'd just pull into any wooded area and go looking for them. It wouldn't be long and the chase would be on! We never kept any , just kept score on who could catch the most. They are very quick and can jump! My buddy was in pursuit of one . I came form the opposite direction and the pannicked 'dillo spun 180 degrees and jumped! He hit my friend square in the chest and knocked him flat on his back! I don't recall catching that one. I suspect I was too busy laughing a he got away.

  As normal, the population has receded in numbers and they aren't nealy as many around as there was in those days.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on February 16, 2021, 07:59:11 AM
Their proclivity to jump when startled or stressed does not bode well when they meet a vehicle when they are crossing a road.  I see lots of road killed armadillos. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 16, 2021, 08:05:57 AM
They tend to jump up just about the time that the engine oil pans are right over them and they take it out. It tends to be very expensive, if not caught right away. A hassle just to replace the pan on most of the vehicles today.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 16, 2021, 10:51:50 AM
   I always heard of possums as being referred to as Hoover Hogs where I grew up. Bologna was Hoover Ham IIRC. Bertha, my 17 lb shorthaired, curly-tailed fiest squirrel dog dug an armadillo up in a sand pit under an uprooted tree one night while I was coon hunting with her. Her bark sounded more like she was after a snake than a coon or possum. She had a distinct "scared" bark and she was using it then. Finally I heard her nails scraping on his shell and I went in to help. I grabbed the tail when I spotted it and killed him with a Ka-Bar knife. I never knew her to chase another although they were common in our area. I think she must have been bored that night as it was cold and poor hunting.

   For today's topic, since I can't think of anything else: Did you know catfish can be caught pretty easily using set lines tied to limbs, baited and left out in targeted areas? They were called bushooks where I was raised but some places they are called droplines or limb lines. Check with local regulations as to any restrictions including locations, hook type, number authorized, baits allowed, and marking.

   Trotlines are long lines with multiple short leads tied on and are also effective but can be more difficult to set out and can be more dangerous to use. They have their place but I find bushhooks faster to put out and take up and to run. Where fish thieves are common you may have to use a trotline which you can hide rather than a highly visible shaking limb.

    I generally use about a 10' long piece of #21-#24 nylon cord (I use white but some people prefer black or green - white works for me and is easier to see), tie on a big eyed #2/0 to #8/0 hook (I now use only circle hooks) and add about a half ounce weight 6-12 inches above the hook (although a weight is not necessary in many cases) and tie it to a strong, flexible overhanging limb and adjust the depth to between 1-6 feet deep. I normally fish pretty shallow. For bait I now use live bait but that is not allowed in many states so check carefully. I have used cut chunks of soap (Camay, ivory and Octagon were the old standards), cut bait, worms, caterpillars  and tried chicken or beef liver. Soap will only catch channel or blue catfish and not flatheads, turtle or "trash" fish. Live bait is essential for flatheads. The catfish mostly feed at night so you want to check your set lines at first light. Many people run them throughout the night removing fish and rebaiting lines to maximize their catch.

   It is very exciting to pull up to a line on a lake or river and see a green limb beating the water to a froth but around here the really big fish are flatheads and may be resting on the bottom holding the line tight or swimming in slow circles until alarmed. When you pull on the line or they see the boat they usually have a violent reaction. Be very careful when landing hooked fish as many are lost at the side of the boat. Instead of trying to catch the fish with the net it is more effective to lower your landing net deep into the water then lead the fish into the net and then lift him out of the water. This helps keep him from being as scared and violent in his attempts to free himself.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 16, 2021, 08:08:25 PM
About things hit in the road. I was once motoring down a narrow, crowned back road with a trailer load of hardwood logs grossing around 90,000 lbs. and I came over a knowl and a Ruffed Grouse was in the middle of the road. I did not want to hit it but there was no safe way to avoid it. I said "sorry, grouse" and straddled it. I looked in the mirror and saw the grouse fly out from under the trailer, unscathed. Happy ending.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 16, 2021, 08:32:41 PM
   I've watched squirrels and chipmunks get straddled by a vehicle ahead of many many times and it is funny when the vehicle passes over and they are scared and confused and did not know which way to run. Once in the clear they would run in circles then scurry back into the woods totally confused about what had just happened.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 16, 2021, 09:36:45 PM
  I've watched squirrels and chipmunks get straddled by a vehicle ahead of many many times and it is funny when the vehicle passes over and they are scared and confused and did not know which way to run. Once in the clear they would run in circles then scurry back into the woods totally confused about what had just happened.
That sounds exactly like my former boss when he was forced to make a decision. :D ;D :D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 16, 2021, 10:48:28 PM
  I think I may have worked for him on a couple of projects. :D We had a regional manager filling in for our project manager in the Gobi desert of Mongolia and our warehouse caught fire and burned down, a water truck driver had a heart attack and died and drove through the fence. Mr. "Bucking for VP" was on the plane out the next day even before our PM got back to the site.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 17, 2021, 09:52:24 AM
   Did you know that birds can be poor judges of the strength tree limbs they choose to light on?

    Several times we have witnessed large birds come in for a landing on a dead limb only to have it break under their weight leaving them scrambling to resume flight. Once we watched a limb break under a great blue heron who actually fell into the lake below before he could get airborne again. Multiple times my wife was photographing a mature bald eagle majestically spread his wings and gracefully settle on to a limb in the top of a tall tree over the river near here. The limb snapped and he dropped 25-30 feet toward the water below before he caught enough air under his wings to resume his flight and stayed dry. My wife was snapping pictures the whole time.

    We never tend to think about birds lighting on dead limbs or squirrels jumping from limb to limb only to misjudge and take a tumble. It can be pretty funny to watch when we are fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 17, 2021, 11:33:36 AM
Iíve seen it a few times but usually when I do I only see the limbs going down and the bird(s) scrambling like crazy to ďget me OUTTA hereĒ! 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 17, 2021, 12:38:23 PM
Quite a few years ago I was keeping tabs on a Red-headed Woodpecker nest in a dead soft maple tree. Then one day the top of the stub where the nest was was broken off. I'm not sure, but I think maybe the babies were out before it broke.  Red-headed Woodpeckers are now very scarce in this area.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 17, 2021, 01:20:51 PM
   I was, okay - I still am - bad about shaking old dead trees when I see a freshly built/used hole in them to see if a flying squirrel pokes his nose out. I don't know how many times I have had the top snap or a limb break and I barely escaped getting seriously whacked. Usually they break off right at a woodpecker or flying squirrel hole where the tree has already been weakened. Sometimes the top breaks and flying squirrel scramble to open up and glide to a nearby tree.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 18, 2021, 09:45:20 AM
   Did you know some species of cuckoo and cowbirds are brood parasites meaning they lay their eggs in the nest of other birds tricking them into hatching and raising their offspring for them?

   As I remember the cuckoo and cowbird eggs typically hatch faster than the host eggs do so once junior hatches he pushes the eggs of his pseudo-siblings out of the nest so he gets all the parental love and attention.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Chuck White on February 18, 2021, 01:28:06 PM
I knew that, Howard!

A few years back, I noticed that some of the female Cowbirds would occasionally enter one of my Bluebird houses!

They had a method though, they would light on top of it for what seemed like 2-3 minutes, that was long enough for me to get the .22, we don't have many Cowbirds around here now!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 18, 2021, 02:40:04 PM
Chuck,

  I did not know a cowbird could even get into a bluebird house. I thought they would be too big to get in. Then again, last summer was my first experience with bluebirds when a pair raised 2 clutches of 5 eggs each time. They were the highlight of our summer as they were right in front of our house and we could watch them out our LR window. I never knew they were so protective and aggressive until last summer when they chased squirrels, me, deer, my horse, and everything with feathers that passed by.

  We have about half an inch of ice from last night which reminds me when we had an ice storm in Jacksonville NC when we were stationed in USMC there and Bertha, my squirrel dog got after a squirrel in the back yard. He got up the tree in good shape but the first time he jumped to a new limb it got real exciting and he was slipping and sliding and fell. He lost half the hair on his tail when Bertha chased him around a tree several times. He finally got back up the tree but learned to just park in a fork and wait and not try to jump to another limb till things thawed out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Chuck White on February 18, 2021, 06:41:12 PM
I make quite a few Bluebird/Tree Swallow houses each year and the entrance hole is 1ľ"!

I use that size to prevent European Starlings from entering, but they can still get their head in and damage/kill eggs and fledglings if the birdhouse isn't deep enough from the entrance hole to the bottom of the house!

But Cowbirds can still get in!  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 18, 2021, 07:25:33 PM
   I made the opening in mine 1.5" and it is probably 7-8 inches below the hole to the bottom of the box so likely 6-7 inches to the eggs assuming 1" for the nest. It would take a pretty skinny or longnecked bird to reach the eggs.

    I think our WV bluebirds must be more attentive or more aggressive than yours because I doubt a strange bird could light within 6' of the box of over a minute before they'd send him packing. :D I remember one big pileated woodpecker running circles around an ash tree about 7' in front of the box as the bluebirds swooped at him till he finally gave up and flew away.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 18, 2021, 08:10:40 PM
I am quite sure that a bluebird cannot get in a 1 1/4" hole. A starling cannot get in a 1 1/2" hole. And, if a cowbird gets into a box, that hole has to be a bit over 1 1/2" in diameter. Thus, the long standing recomendation for a 1 1/2" hole for bluebirds. Yes, bluebirds can be fiesty. I've seen them get after a cowbird that was near their nest cavity. Unfortunately, House Sparrows can enter any box that a bluebird can enter.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 19, 2021, 08:37:30 AM
    Did you know if you are charged by a silverback gorilla you need to be submissive, kneel and keep your eyes down as making eye contact is seen as a threat and will quickly turn a bluff charge into an attack? When any member of the troop is threatened they scream for help and the silberback charges to the rescue which is how so many are killed. Poachers catch a small gorilla and make him scream then kill the silverback when he comes to their defense.

On June 25, 2003 while visiting the Dzanga-Sangha preserve in The Central African Republic we trekked in to watch a group of habituated gorillas being tracked by an Italian lady biologist named Cloe with the WWF and her pygmy trackers. The trackers had already located the gorillas so when we joined them they briefed us on what we needed to do such as keeping our distance, no flash photography and being submissive if charged by the silverback. The week before a tracker got too close and the silverback charged, then walked up to the negligent tracker and "bopped" him on the head with a closed fist as a warning. The tracker was not hurt but got the message.

Anyway we approached where the gorillas had last been seen and we did not notice a 5-6 y/o juvenile gorilla sitting with his back to a tree eating termites with a stick he would poke down their hole till they covered the stick then he'd lick them off and repeat. In the shade of the tree the black gorilla was impossible to see till we were 5-6 feet from him then he jumped up and ran off screaming which immediately summoned the silberback the trackers had named Kerchak (Tarzan's ape stepfather) came charging out of the bushes hooting and ripping up small bushes, breaking limbs, etc. until he was about 10' from us where he stopped and stood resting on his knuckles, 4' arms and 500 lbs of rippling muscles glaring at us. After a moment Becky regained her composure enough to take a picture of him walking back into the jungle. Note: No gorillas or tourists were killed or injured in making of this memory.

The highlight of that years personalized Christmas card was the picture of a gorilla butt with a caption "Can you guess what this is?". Following is current details on the preserve if you want to go visit Kerchak and his family. Check security recommendations before traveling as the last I heard the CAR was still in the middle of another civil war. There is a "small dry season" usually in late June or early July for about 3 weeks when the roads are moderately passable or wait till October or November for the best travel conditions.

Central African Republic gorilla safaris (https://www.responsiblevacation.com/vacations/gorilla-safari/travel-guide/central-african-republic-gorilla-safaris)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on February 19, 2021, 12:36:34 PM
I really enjoy following this thread! 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 19, 2021, 03:30:29 PM
   Thanks but remember we need your contributions and observations here too. ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on February 19, 2021, 03:54:36 PM
     This isn't earthshaking, but in the six days we've been in this icy time, there have been three big hen turkeys in the front yard looking for seeds or acorns.  No pics but I'll try next time. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 19, 2021, 07:59:12 PM
   Is this unusual? Have they been coming around before? Is there anything else around your place they could be getting to eat? Around here the turkeys start coming in about this time of year and tossing through the hay I feed the horse and mule looking for worms and seeds in there. I have seen them in deep snow light in multi-flora rose bushes apparently eating the rose hips. 

   BTW - I love your photo on your posts. I bet she is not even a little bit spoiled either. Our youngest GD will be 2 on Monday and we have not seen her since her last birthday because of the virus. We get our first vaccination then so 3-4 weeks later we get the second and I guess 2 weeks after that we can go see them or they can come up here.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Skip on February 20, 2021, 08:26:42 AM
Had 2 big hens cleaning up the leavin's underneath the bird feeders yesterday, hadn't seen that in a long time .
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 20, 2021, 09:48:25 AM
   Did you know that whitetail deer will stick their heads completely under water and feed on submerged plants like moose in Alaska and Canada will do?

    Several times here on our local COE Bluestone Lake in the summers while fishing I have watched deer wade out about belly deer, I guess to keep the flies from biting their undersides, and stick their head under and bite of big chunks of submerged grasses and eat them. I have seen the bucks get the grass tangled in their velvet covered antlers. Until I moved here I had never seen or heard of deer doing this.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 20, 2021, 03:18:27 PM
Once, when driving through the village of Old Forge in the Adirondacks, my son and I saw a doe go up to someone's front steps and put her head inside a pumpkin to get a bite. Couldn't get the camera out quick enough to capture it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on February 20, 2021, 06:18:59 PM
     Seeing turkeys around here is not unusual, spring and summer I see 3-4 hens with their poults bugging in the fields.  The toms stick together until mating season and then there some pretty sights as they swell up and strut around.  We have a cedar brake of about eight acres, that a lot of wildlife hide in. 
What was unusual about seeing the turkeys was that it was lousy weather, sleet and freezing rain when I saw them.  There weren't even any snowbirds or squirrels about.

     The little person in the picture is our 18 month old grandson. Don't worry, easy mistake to make not seeing him grow.  He has the prettiest curly hair, but he is 110% boy.  He never crawled like other little ones, he kind of hitched along like a sidewinder on his butt and one crooked under him until he could stand up and started to walk.  The only time he is still is when he is sleeping.  And he is spoiled to a fault!   We keep him 4 days a week so his parents can work.  I hope you are able to see your grand daughter soon.  I so look forward to visits from our girls and the grands.  I would not want to be able to visit.  Wife's mother is in in assisted living because of brittle bones in her spine, and if we want to visit we must walk around the building and talk through the window screen.  No Bueno for sure.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 21, 2021, 10:31:27 AM
   Did you know the Przewalski or wild Mongolian horse is the rarest breed on earth and they have two extra chromosomes? They were extinct in the wild at one point but were reintroduced from a zoo in Holland and seem to be set to make a comeback. They bark like a zebra instead of neighing like a domestic horse. I read somewhere a hybrid Przewalski horse and a domestic horse cross is not sterile like a mule or many other hybrids. They are a light colored brown or dun horse and a big one might weigh 750 lbs. I think there were about 160 or so in the wild when we visited Mongolia.

   On July 15 & 16, 2006 while on a private tour through Central and Northern Mongolia after my job down in the Gobi Desert ended, my wife and I stopped to visit the Khustain Nuruu National park which is home to the wild Mongolia Horses. We had seen a few the afternoon of the 15th but were touring the park on our way out and found a pretty large herd in a valley with a small flowing stream. I put Becky, my free lance photographer wife out and told her to hide and set up behind a nearby bush. Shagai, our driver, and Boildick, our guide and I drove past the horses and got out and got on line each about 40 yards apart. We slowly walked toward the horses humming a whistling so we did not startle the horses. This caused the horses to slowly ease closer to Becky. She was frantically taking pictures especially of the mares with young foals. They had eased up with 20-30 feet of Becky so we stopped and watched. All was well till another van loaded with tourists topped the hill. They saw Becky down below with the horses all around and I guess they assumed they were tame enough for everyone to get that close so they started walking towards them. Before they got a couple hundred yards away the horses saw and heard them and ran away over the hilltop half a mile away. I don't know if they were jerks or just ignorant. Anyway Becky got some really beautiful pictures of the wild Mongolian horses before they arrived.

wild horses of khustain nuruu national park in mongolia - Bing video (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Khustain+Nuruu+National+park&docid=608001893349720810&mid=C5C3A71387C31C36A345C5C3A71387C31C36A345&view=detail&FORM=VIRE)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 22, 2021, 09:33:45 AM
   Did you know a male swan is called a Cob, a female is called a Pen and the young ones are called cygnets (signets)? Swans can be very protective and aggressive especially around their young.

   We had stopped beside a lake in southern Norway when I was working a project there at Kristiansand in 2008 and Becky was taking pictures of a Pen and 5-6 cygnets swimming in the water about 40-50 yards away. The Cob was on the opposite side of the lake several hundred yards away and he spotted us. He immediately folded his wings back in a sort of half-cocked position and swam straight toward us at "ramming speed". I don't know why he did not just fly. When he got to the shore near us he came right up on land after us and we ran and got back in our vehicle.

  Canada geese will also defend their nests quite vigorously around here in WV in the Spring but I've never seen one as aggressive as that Norwegian Cob.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on February 22, 2021, 12:05:16 PM
     We have a lot non migratory Canada Geese around here, they are very messy on the golf courses and parks, in the cities.  A flock has taken up at a farm pond on the east side of me.   They will not fare well if they come to my pond.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 22, 2021, 12:45:59 PM
OSF,

   We have the C Geese here too year round. They are neat to watch on the river but they get on the football field and make a big mess. Our HS is located right beside the river so they don't have far to travel. An old man was our local junk dealer and lived along the river in town. He got all the left over produce and bread from our local grocery store and threw it out on the river bank behind his house to feed the geese and ducks for many years. He invited my son and his friends to come fish there and they spent many nights fishing for there as teens. One afternoon they set up a leaning box, a stick and a string as a trap and baited it and caught a duck and were fixing to kill and cook it. All was going well till they invited Mr. Cox to come eat with them and he told them "You boys better turn my duck loose or I'm gonna skin your heads." and they released the duck unharmed. They were probably going to burn an old tire or such for their campfire to cook him. Mr. Cox told that tale many times and really got a kick out of it. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 22, 2021, 02:38:14 PM
The super aggressive behavior of Mute Swans ( the white ones with an orange bill that often hold their neck in an S curve position) is why some state wildlife agencies have proposed getting rid of them. They are old world birds, not native here. A few years ago the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation proposed a lethal control program as they displace native waterfowl. There was such an upswell of protests that the plan was dropped. People in canoes and kayaks have been attacked by Mute Swans and drowned. While in the army in Germany I went through the Nueswanstein Castle, the one that Disney portrays in their films. In the king's bedroom is a swan made of silver at the sink that had it so water flowed out of its' mouth.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 22, 2021, 02:54:09 PM
   As I remember those we saw in Norway were white but I was thinking they made a noise of some sort so I don't know if they are same as a mute swan or not.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 22, 2021, 11:53:34 PM
I did a little search about swans. Apparantly, Mute Swans are not totally mute. I can't say for sure what WV saw in Norway, but the behavior of the swans suggest mutes, which are notoriously protective of their nest and young.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on February 23, 2021, 07:58:32 AM
Speaking of mute birds, vultures have no vocal organs and can only hiss, cough, huff, and so forth. 

Their nesting areas are revoltingly stinky places, usually under rock overhangs, on cliffs, or in small caves. The white (where not vomit stained) chicks hiss violently when approached, but I've only seen adults engage in defensive regurgitation. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 23, 2021, 08:28:37 AM
   I've never  seen a vultures nest here in the USA. I saw lots in Africa but never got too close to them. I did see a fried buzzard last year who lit on a power line about a mile from my home and crossed the electric wires. he was still smoking when I came by but he won't do that again. :D

   Dad had a friend who found two large eggs in central Fla and I think he thought they were turkeys and hatched them. Turned out to be a pair of buzzards. He raised them anyway and they would come and go. He'd leave dry dog food on the back porch for them and it was a hoot to see them hopping around the back porch eating dog food.

   They are a nuisance at the landing down on Bluestone Lake where I fish 8.5 miles from here. People throw old carp and other dead fish and minnows and such out at the landing and they eat them. There will usually be dozens hanging around and they land on people's cars and scratch them up and crap all over them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 23, 2021, 08:48:52 AM
    Did you know bees in Africa are caught using homemade baskets and boxes? One of the neatest bee baskets I ever saw was in Cameroon in February 2008 when we returned on vacation. They were made from a raffia palm frond and were about 3' long and about 1' in diameter. The palm frond was stripped and split down to about 6" from the base which was left as a handle. The split sections were spread for ribs and more sections were inserted to make it bigger. Then thin strips of raffia or bamboo were tightly woven to make the sides. When finished they were shaped like a horn-of-plenty basket. The end plug was made by wrapping half inch wide strips of raffia palm or bamboo into a concentric circle leaving about a 1" hole at the center for an entrance hole. When finished the round mat was tied tight and coated with mud or fresh cow manure, inserted in the end of the basket and tied in place. The bees would seal it tighter once they moved in. This formed container that had about 10 gallons of storage capacity with a small entrance that could be easily defended, was light weight and was hung about 10'-20' high in local trees and when nearby bees expanded beyond their capacity they would split and swarm and take up residency in these bee baskets.

  In Ethiopia I asked my driver why people did not steal the bees and he said if a bee basket was stolen the owner would collect some of the sand from the thief's footprints and take them to the local witch doctor and he would put a curse on it and a mamba would crawl into the thief's hut and bite him and anyone else who eaten the honey. Mamba's are particularly ill-tempered and bite multiple times and one crawling into a hut after mice or rats and stepped or rolled on to by a sleeping resident could result in the mamba biting everyone in the hut.

  A missionary in Zambia set up an operation providing free bee hives made from scrap wood from his WM mill and woodworking operation and he collects and pays the local residents for the honey and it has become (beecome?) a big operation. I read about it in the WM magazines. Here is a video of it.

Customer Stories | Wood-Mizer USA (https://woodmizer.com/us/Customer-Stories/ArtMID/5109/ArticleID/155/bee-sweet-honey)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 23, 2021, 04:46:05 PM
There are 2 species of vulture in the Eastern US, Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures. The Black Vultures generally don't range as far north as TVs. The BVs are noted for being destructive by trashing vinyl roofs on cars and ripping up roofing material on buildings. This brings to mind, when at a drive through game park in Quebec years age they had an area with baboons. As soon as a vehicle entered that area the baboons climbed on and rode to the exit where workers chased them off. A tour bus was in front of us and the baboons got onto the bus and proceeded to rip off every marker light, even pulling the socket and wires out. Must have been an expensive repair. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 23, 2021, 05:51:05 PM
   Baboons are notorious for getting into stuff and can be very dangerous and they are powerful animals. The worst is where people feed them and get them used to being around people. I have seen them in Saudi and various places in Africa. They are very alert and young impalas hang out with them for protection. They always have a guard or two watching. Where they are damaging crops and such and people try to shoot them they first have to kill or sneak past the sentry. I saw 2 big males in Saudi jump off a rock wall into the back of a moving P/U and get in a fight. The same troop had reached in an open car window and dislocated a child's shoulder trying to get food or such.

   We were camping along the river that is the border between Namibia and Angola. The office had a sign saying "Don't feed the monkeys - they already eat better than the staff." The owner would walk around shooting them with a paintball gun and they would scream and warn each other as soon as they saw him walking around. The day we left we had cooked breakfast and had one piece of sausage and one piece of French toast and we were all looking at it wanting it but too polite to take it and a Vervet monkey jumped off a nearby tree and stole them both resolving the issue.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 24, 2021, 08:36:33 AM
  Did you know horses in Mongolia typically will be seen side by side in pairs and standing head to tail? This means when one horse swishes his tail he is knocking the flies off the other horses face at the same time.

   I worked a project in the Gobi Desert in 2006 at a gold and copper mine project (Oyu Tolgoi) and at the time I was told there was something like about 2.5 million people and over 8 million horses. When you'd drive into a town or village it looked like an Old West scene with buildings made from small poles and lots of Gers (Yurts) the round tents common there. In front of every dwelling you would see a hitching post to tie your horse while you were inside.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on February 24, 2021, 12:07:57 PM
WV your posts are hard to beat. Reminds me of a few years back I was driving past a pasture and it was raining. In the pasture was a very big draft horse standing there with a goat taking shelter under the horse. No camera, of course.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 25, 2021, 09:15:35 AM
   Did you know that a giraffe has a very difficult time drinking water? First they have to spread their front legs very wide just to be able to bend his neck down to reach the water and then when he does his lips do not seal and water pours out from between his lips when he lifts his head to swallow.

  Here is my journal entry of 27 June 2010 when we were touring southern Africa on a private tour and stopped over to visit Etosha Game Park in Namibia. We were watching a water hole on the park:

Several large giraffe come and drink. They have to spread their front legs very wide to be able to reach the water. When they finish drinking and lift their head a quart or so of water always runs out of their mouth as they canít swallow it all and I gather their lips donít seal it in. One cow is evidently coming into season as the bull follows her closely and tastes her urine to see if she is in heat.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 25, 2021, 03:35:44 PM
I knew that they had to lower their head to extremes, but I didnít know about the lack of closing of the lips or the inability to swallow until closer to the upright position. Iím learning new things from this thread quite often. 

And to think, several people already say that Iím the smartest person that they know. What THEY donít know is, this all just means that I need to find smarter people to hang around 🤷
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 25, 2021, 07:55:36 PM
Taco,

   Thanks. The odd and really awkward thing was how really wide he had to spread his front legs to reach his head down to the water. I don't know how much he actually swallowed while he had his head down and I guess it is a bit of a chore to pull enough of a vacuum to suck it up that far but when he raised his head the water did spill out. The guide knew it would happen and told us to watch so we saw it and my wife got a picture of it.

    BTW - did you know they have a really big head? I think the head of a big bull giraffe is nearly 3' long? Also our guide said a young cow giraffe is very good eating and provides a lot of meat. I guess they mostly make biltong or jerky out of it. 

   No offense since I don't even know you but if people are saying you are the smartest person they know, I agree you need to start hanging out with a better group of people. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 25, 2021, 09:42:57 PM
Yes, yes I think I will!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 25, 2021, 10:23:38 PM
   Does that mean you have changed your mind about coming to visit? :D :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: K-Guy on February 26, 2021, 08:39:06 AM

Like these guys??

Randy Travis - Better Class Of Losers (Official Music Video) - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuL8g2Szse0)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 26, 2021, 08:42:02 AM
    Did you know that White Rhinos are grazers and typically live on the plains and savannahs of Africa while the Black Rhinos are browsers and live in the brushy areas of Africa resulting in them being much harder to find?

    Did you know the White rhino is not white but got his name from the old Dutch settlers pronunciation of the word "wide" for his wide mouth?

    Did you know rhinos are severely threatened for the value of their horn (Actually a Keratin substance like hair rather than true horn) which is sold to Asians to make aphrodisiacs and to wealthy Arabs who want to make traditional rhino horn handled daggers?

    Did you know poachers will typically give a local tribesman an AK-47 and 30-40 rounds of Ammo to go kill rhinos for them and the value for such a horn may represent enough for them to buy a farm and build a home on it? To put that in perspective what would it cost you to buy 100 acres or so of good farmland and build a contemporary home on it?

    In December 2011, my wife, daughter and I visited Kruger Game Park in South Africa for about a week and stayed in a different camp/lodge every night to see the different areas. At every campground they typically had a map of the park set up as a game sighting board with little colored magnets to indicate where tourists had seen various big or unusual animals. They quickly learned to remove the symbols for rhinos because the poachers were using that info to help them go slaughter them. Rhinos and leopards are the two hardest members of the big five (Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion & Leopard) to actually find and watch.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on February 26, 2021, 11:34:46 AM
  Does that mean you have changed your mind about coming to visit? :D :D :D


No. Unequivocally NO!
I still want to meet up with everyone that is there. I believe that it will be great fun. 

BUT, back to the current fun and learning 🥳
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 27, 2021, 09:15:59 AM
    Did you know a baby marsupial in Australia is called a Joey? I understand this is from an Aboriginal word meaning something like young one or small one or such. 

   I guess in North America a baby Marsupial is called a possum (since that is the only marsupial we have ::)).
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 28, 2021, 12:15:20 PM
   Did you know the Ger, sometimes called a yurt over here, in Mongolia is designed to be disassembled, transported and reassembled on a new site as needed, basically when the forage has been depleted or weather changes?

(This may get a little wordy so be warned!)  

 The basic components of a Ger include:
Panels - these look much like the wood lattice you buy at a building supply and are the walls
A door unit - a wooden door on a frame transported as a unit.
Center Support poles - Normally 2 tall (12-14 ft) T shaped poles with a cross arm about 3' long
A "Wagon Wheel" - Not correct name but what it looks like. It holds one end of the "rafter poles"
Rafter poles - slender poles like TeePee poles that run from the Wagon Wheel to the Panels.
Felt - usually about 3/4" thick and insulates the sides and roof. Cut to fit the shape of the ger.
Canvas - Used to cover the sides and roof and helps shed the rain and snow
Stove and stove pipe - a small, round sheet metal stove about half the size of a 55 gallon drum and stove pipe to vent out the roof
Rawhide strings used throughout to tie everything together

 To start construction the door unit is placed facing South and temporarily propped up. (It is bad juju to face the tent in the wrong direction and I nearly started a strike/riot one time setting up several for lunch tents at the mine site because I had the door facing North). I suspect the South facing direction is based on prevailing wind directions and likely good reasoning.

 Next stand up the panels and tie them to the door frame and each other with rawhide strings. Ger sizes are referred to by the number of panels used and a 5 panel ger was about the smallest I ever saw, an 8 panel ger was larger and anything larger was rare and for ceremonial use and such. Panels are made from lattice strips cut traditionally with a draw knife but likely sawed/milled now. Traditionally where the strips cross a hole is made with a awl and they are joined with rawhide using a special knot so the tighter you pull the stronger the knot gets. The panels are adjusted to make a circle. A panel is typically about 4.5' high and 9' long when opened. When not in used you push from both ends and the panel folds up like an accordion into a neat round bundle for transport about 12" in diameter and 5' long.

 Next the 2 T-shaped poles are stood up and the "wagon wheel" is laid flat and tied to both of them with more rawhide strings. The wagon wheel has holes for the spokes which in this case are the rafter poles. The number of holes/rafter poles is standard and magical based on long standing superstition. I want to think it is 79 or 81 or such but I honestly don't remember. The center support poles were often carved with a horse head design on them.

 Now we are ready for the rafters. The rafter length is based on the final size of the ger planned. One end of the pole is placed in the spoke hole of the "wagon wheel" and the other is placed in the top valley of the X on the panel and lashed in place. More rafters are placed at right angles and tied and the panels are moved around slightly to make the ger into a perfect circle. After 3-4 rafters are placed the hole framework is temporarily self-supporting. As more rafters are added the structure becomes increasingly stronger and more stable. When all the framework is in place and lashed together the structure is very strong!

  When the framework is complete the felt is lashed to the sides then over the roof. Traditionally the felt was made from wool and hair saved from the sheep, horse, yaks and camels. I don't know how they wove it together. One pie shaped panel in the roof felt now has a hole for the stovepipe and fire retardant material around the stovepipe opening. Finally the cut to shape canvas is fitted over the top and sides. During the colder months sand and dirt are piled on the bottom of the sides to seal out the cold weather. In the short summer months the sides are raised and tied up during the day to allow ventilation then lowered at night. The sheet metal stove is put into place at the center of the ger and the stove pipe is fitted to run out the roof. Traditionally dry horse, camel and yak dung were mostly burned but wood and coal is burned if available. Most of the trees I saw in Mongolia looked similar to a white pine and except up north near the Siberian border where they were larger, they were rarely much over 12" in diameter. In some of the valleys small birch trees grew. These were the only hardwoods I saw but in Ulaan Bataar (Capitial city of Mongolia) I saw sweetgum leaves and read where it was used in making some medicines so there must have been some there somewhere. A rabbit was used as a symbol for a doctor or pharmacist on some drawings.

 I don't remember any staking of the ger to hold it down but I may have overlooked that step as there are very strong winds in the area. The ger would have been erected in sheltered valleys near water if possible and the weight of the felt and sand on the bottom edges must have been sufficient to keep it in place.

 In our mining camp we had prefabbed wooden floor sections that fit together to make a circle. Traditionally rugs would have been placed on the ground or the bare soil would be left exposed.  In our new camp under construction when I left we were building concrete floor pads with in-floor hot water heating we would pipe through them. We were building them in pods of 4 with a bathroom connecting all four which was a huge improvement over getting out and walking to a bathroom 100+ yards away in sub-zero weather. Constipation and urine filled water bottles thrown over the walls were a constant health problem. Also dehydration was a big issue as people were very reluctant to drink enough water especially at night. All the urinals in the bathrooms had color coded urine descriptions reminding the workers to drink more water.

 Traditionally when broken down a ger could be lashed on to the back of camels or yaks or pulled behind them or horses on a 2 wheeled cart. Now they are often hauled in a truck.

 A ger was considered a living family member. Our safety team nearly started a riot when they were going to set one up and burn it to identify how much response time they had if one caught fire. I had the same response when I was going to cut holes in the sides for openings for the serving and dining gers I set up. We finally just built multiple gers and built wooden weather fences connecting them to avoid the strong dusty winds in the area at lunch. The workers allowed me to face 2 dining gers east and west but not north.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 01, 2021, 10:06:51 AM
   Did you know that most of Mongolia is home to a little rodent that looks about like our Prairie dog? We saw hundreds of them driving around the grasslands of central Mongolia on our vacation there in July 2006. They are about the size of a Fairydiddle (Pine squirrel) and upon further research I discovered they are actually a Gerbil. 

    These Gerbils store food in underground "larders" for the long winters. A common food supply is a grass bulb that looks very much like a chufa. The local migrant Mongolian herders look for these larders and when they find them they raid them taking all the seeds/bulbs they find. This is a traditional food source for them. I understand these larders may contain 10-12 gallons or more of stored seeds/bulbs.

    On 11 July (Naadam - Mongolia's National Day) 2006 we visited a local Mongolian family and as we arrived the women were preparing a special treat using a bunch of seeds/bulbs they had found in a Gerbil's larder. I don't know if they roasted them first or not but I remember seeing them grind them with a mortar and pestle. They took the top off their little sheet metal stove and put a round bottomed pan sort of like a big wok directly over the flames, added a big gob (maybe a pint) of yellow Yak butter, an equal amount of sugar then they added the ground gerbil food and cooked it till it was done. The finished product was very good and tasted very much like oatmeal no-bake cookies. 

   I sort of felt guilty for the gerbil who had a long hard winter ahead of him.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 01, 2021, 03:35:44 PM
Red Squirrels (Pine Squirrels) put up large caches of food for later use, too. Doing wildlife control, at one house the R Sq had put a garbage bag full of Staghorn Sumac seed clusters up in the false ceiling of the garage. At another home they had filled several interior wall voids to the top with Black Walnuts. Another had the soffits of a car port stocked with Black Walnuts, and the R SQ were  still feeding on them in June. In the winter,especially, R Sq go into underground dens like under tree root wads where it is a lot warmer than up in tree nests or cavities. They will also tunnel under the snow to avoid predators and extreme cold air. Like many animals, when they have lots of food they can be hard to trap in a baited trap. They will prey on bird eggs and nestlings. I try to keep a lid on them around my home. I've learned a couple of ways to trap them without bait.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 01, 2021, 04:53:13 PM
    I rescued a chipmunk from our old cat and he escaped and stayed in the house undetected for months. One day he came out of the portable dishwasher and my son and wife spotted him as he ran to the dog food dish and stuffed his cheeks full of dry dogfood and my son grabbed him before he could get back inside the DW. He said he had gotten huge eating the dogfood and it slowed him down trying to squeeze into the DW back. My son took the back off the dishwasher and found about 25 lbs of dry dog food stored back there. All this time we had from 1-3 dogs and 1-3 cats in the house and nobody ever knew he was there.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 01, 2021, 09:16:26 PM
That's called living large.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 01, 2021, 11:39:40 PM
hehehe
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 02, 2021, 10:35:11 AM
   Did you know one of the basic principals of scuba diving is neutral buoyancy? This allows the diver to remain at a specific depth without having to struggle all the time to stay down or to keep from sinking too deep. The basic components used for this is a weight belt to make you sink and an air filled vest called a buoyancy compensator or BC to make you float. You add air to your BC by pushing a button on a hose which adds air from the tank till the 2 balance each other. Think of a fishing float and a lead weight on a string. When perfectly balanced the float will neither float to the surface or sink to the bottom.

    Compounding the issue is the fact the air in your BC is compressed by the water pressure the deeper you go making it less buoyant and making you want to sink faster - so you have to add more air as you go down. The air in your BC expands as you rise making it larger and making you float to the surface faster so you have to dump air using another little valve on a hose to the BC as you ascend to keep from rising too fast and before your body can adjust to the pressure changes. The major safety rule in Scuba is Breathe Constantly to keep from blowing up your lungs or getting the bends from rising before the air in your joints works its way out. Another safety rule is to stop at about 15' depth for 3 minutes and breathe normally to allow the gases in your body to adjust.

    Since you never truly achieve permanent neutral buoyancy when you reach the depth you want to stay you use your fins and swim up or down slightly while observing the coral and sea life in the area. Also since your lungs are an air bladder an experienced diver learns to inhale a little deeper if he wants to rise a little or exhale a little deeper if he wants to descend a bit.

   BTW - Did you know Scuba is an Acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 03, 2021, 05:59:52 AM
Howard, I learned ALL of that stuff in college when I took scuba for an ďelectiveĒ that we were FORCED to take for a phys-ed course . It was either that or tennis. Scuba sounds MUCH more fun, and I think 🤔 I made the right choice! 🤗
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 03, 2021, 08:20:45 AM
   Did you know that when you plan to cook live shellfish such as crabs, lobsters or crawfish you need to have the water boiling before you add the shellfish to the cookpot?

  While I was stationed at Parris Island in my USMC days we met several friends from church at a retreat our pastor owned on an inlet near Beaufort SC. The wives got out and caught a bunch of blue crabs in a trap and by using the old chicken neck on a string technique. They decided to cook the crabs so the pastor's wife got a big pot with a lid, filled it with water, added salt and seasoning and put the crabs in then put the pot on the stove and turned on the burner. A few minutes later we began to hear a scritching and scratching sound so Darlene went over and lifted the lid only to find the top was ringed with the crabs trying to get out. I will always remember her beating those crabs back with a big wooden spoon for several minutes till the water began to boil. We should have realized ahead of time this would happen.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on March 03, 2021, 10:20:29 AM
     Don't forget the Old Bay seasoning Howard!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 03, 2021, 10:59:48 AM
   It was already in there but not enough incentive to make the crabs want to hang around when the temps started rising. 

   My brother was working near Morgan City LA and said they would have shrimp and crawfish boils and when they ran out of shrimp or crawfish they threw hot dogs in the seasoned water mix and the crowd would eat them before they finished off the shrimp or crawfish.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on March 04, 2021, 12:31:14 AM
On diving:
Did you know that the first mass produced individual diving apparatus was made in France in the early thirties? One of the things driving the development of autonomous diving equipment was the race to explore underwater caves or to breach sumped sections of caves. Standard Equipment used in open water diving had been used in such settings with some success, and lots more failure. The much improved Aqualung, developed in the forties by Jacques Cousteau and others, was soon put to work in caves. 

Cave diving developed at different rates all over the world, with many examples of ingenious or idiotic homemade equipment. Even now it remains one of the most dangerous sporting endeavors. 

But the most audacious such exploration, maybe, was that of Norbert Casteret  in the Grotte de Montespan. In 1922 he passed a flooded section of cave by free diving in total darkness. Finding air on the other side, he returned prepared, with matches and candle sealed up in a swimming cap. Passing the sump again, he lit his candle and explored, finding a second, longer sump. He dove this one too finding more air-filled cave. Going onward involved crawling in a heavily dripping passage that put his candle out repeatedly. Being separated as he was from the surface by two sections of water-filled cave, and with no gear of any substance, the fact that he kept exploring further is remarkable.

It is a strange feeling to dive under the water and come up in a place that has never before been seen. I have had this experience only once, largely because I am not too comfortable in the water.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 04, 2021, 09:39:04 AM
Wil.K,

   I am no fan of cave diving. I prefer to have open sky above me that I can at least attempt to reach if things go south. At the end of a night dive in Jeddah Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea in the early 90's right at the exit point I spotted and shot a nice snapper with my compressed air spear pistol with a 12" spear under a large section of riprap - a broken concrete slab. He ran to the end of the 12' line and got fouled. Instead of tying off the gun and trying to reach him from the other side I crawled in there after him. My gauges got hung in a crack in the coral and I was out of air so my dive partner was at the edge of the concrete and I gave him the share air signal. He pulled off his octopus and methodically uncoiled it while I was sitting there turning blue thinking "This is a significant inconvenience" (Funny what lack of O2 will do to your brain that way). He passed me his spare regulator and I started breathing and I shed my vest to try to untangle it and the quick release on my weight belt got hung on a piece of old fishing line and it released and fell to the bottom of the coral. This caused me to float to the top till I bumped the underside of the concrete slab. I got my tank and vest freed and pulled it out from under the concrete into the open sea but then without my weight belt and the partially inflated vest and empty air tank I started to rise uncontrollably and I lost the spare regulator off my buddies tank and was surface bound. It was about 40' to the surface so I breathed out all the way up to keep the air in my lungs from rupturing them as it more than doubled in that distance. This is standard "Uncontrolled Buoyant Ascent Training" in PADI scuba classes and the only time I ever had to use it. I can certify that it works. I came back the next day with a spare weight belt and went back down and retrieved the weight belt and spear. The fish had long been eaten by crabs and other fish. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 04, 2021, 09:43:38 AM
   Did you know there are two living genus of egg-laying mammals alive today? They are the Duck billed platypus in Australia and several different species of Spiny Anteater in New Guinea.

   These animal lay eggs and hatch their young then nurse them like all other mammals do. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 04, 2021, 09:02:24 PM
I think the Duck-billed Platypus has some nasty claws that may be venomous, too.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on March 05, 2021, 06:46:37 AM
If you castrate a buck he will grow antlers that will stay in velvet and never harden or shed. Administer some testosterones and they will harden and shed . "Rinse and repeat".
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 05, 2021, 09:46:25 AM
   I'm hitting a dry spell so I will add some primitive culture here.

  Did you know the Mursi Tribe in Ethiopia are one of the tribes where the women wear lip plates to make themselves more "attractive."? The bigger the lip plate, the more attractive they feel they are.

  The women start at around puberty and slice through their bottom lip and poke a peeled wooden peg in the hole to keep it open and to help stretch the hole. Over the next months and years they widen the cut and put in a bigger peg each time. When the hole is big enough they put a hardened clay plate in there shaped like a pulley with a groove all the way around it. The dangling lip is slipped into the groove of the clay plate/pulley to hold the plate in place. The smallest plate I saw was a little over 2" in diameter and the largest was approximately 6". It was common to see Mursi women who were not wearing their lip plates and the "loop" formed by the dangling lip section would hang down on or even below their chins. Is some cases evidently they had stretched their lip too far and the round section in front had broken and you would see them walking around looking like they had 2 pieces of 1/2" diameter rope 4-5 inches long hanging from the corners of their mouth. (I don't know if any attempt to surgically repair these breaks has ever been made.)

  On Christmas Day 2010 my wife, daughter and I visited Mago National Park in southern Ethiopia to so see a tribe of Mursi tribesmen living there at the time. When we got to the entrance of the park they assigned us an armed "scout" to ride with and accompany us the whole time we were there. Evidently the Mursi people can be a little "temperamental" at times. Our SUV was packed full with our driver, wife, me , daughter, and local guide so we made space in the cargo area and he sat on a water cooler as a stool of sorts. I noticed he kept rubbing his left arm and scratching a freshly healed hole about 6" below his shoulder. I asked him about it and our local guide translated that the day before he had visited the same tribe we were going to see. Evidently they had been drinking heavily and one man got into an argument with the scout and shot him with an AK47. Evidently the other men in the tribe came over, disarmed and talked to the man and discussed how much trouble he was in for shooting a government/park employee. I guess this sobered the man up somewhat so he negotiated a settlement on the spot that was satisfactory to both parties - he gave the scout his 12 y/o daughter to be his wife. I guess it makes sense a young man would not want to put his FIL in prison or have him executed so that seemed like a pretty bright move to me. Actually they may have made a nice couple and are probably living happily to this day with 7-8 children running around.

  When we got to the camp the Mursi people were going about their normal daily tasks. Most of the men from boys about 10-12 years and older were carrying weapons. The tribe seemed angry that there had not been more tourist by to see them that day. Evidently the tourists come and take pictures and pay tips which seems to be their main livelihood in this region. Their normal livelihood seems to be as cattle herders and cattle thieves raiding other tribes in the area. The men had already started drinking heavily and were pretty surly. The Mursi people we saw, men women and children, were naked except for a skin or cloth skirt on most of the women. Many had on or were wrapped in a thin brown, wool blanket as the morning was still pretty cool. We stayed a few minutes and took a few pictures and learned a little bit about their culture and left.

  I have visited many primitive tribes in Africa and South America and I can only say this group did not rate real highly as the most enjoyable. They were mostly dusty, angry drunks with chips on their shoulders and with guns.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 06, 2021, 09:12:27 AM
   Did you know women (Girls?) in the Koma (Koo Mah) tribe in the Atlantika Mountains on both sides of the border with Cameroon and Nigeria have the two upper front teeth pulled when they get engaged/married? 

   The Koma people were first contacted by outsiders around 1986. The women wear only a belt of red beads and stuffed fresh green leaves in the front and back for clothes. One explanation I was given for pulling the front teeth was to make them less beautiful so Muslim raiders in surrounding areas would not steal them. I saw young girls 12-13 years old who were married or engaged and missing their front teeth. We met one lady who was 30 years old and had 15 children and was already a grandmother.

   We trekked in and camped and visited with them July 18, 2003 then we went back for a longer stay starting on February 22, 2008. Gifts we packed in to pay for our stay included boxes of matches, local black tobacco that both men and women smoke in pipes, and soap which came in sticks about 1"X1" X 2' and would be cut to length. The women carried their pipes stuck in their bead belt with the stem resting dangerously close to the crack of their butt from my observations.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: beav on March 06, 2021, 05:00:49 PM
HA HA!!
Crack pipe!!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 07, 2021, 09:31:21 AM
   Did you know that predatory birds are often the target of their prey? Owls, Hawks and even eagles will often be chased and attacked by crows and blue jays. Sometimes they sit on nearby limbs and yell to everything in the area that there is danger in the area. If the larger bird is flying they will give chase and even dive bomb the larger bird knocking feathers loose. I assume the smaller birds must be much faster and more agile and the bigger bird cannot catch and defend himself from them and can only fly away. Where I grew up in N. Fla it was very common to see a small mockingbird chasing crows completely out of sight. I don't really know how far they will chase one. In N. Ala one time my FIL and observed the sky filled with screaming crows. There were hundreds if not over 1,000 making a large circle over 100 yards in diameter and literally blackened the sky. Finally right in the middle we spotted a red-tailed hawk. The entourage drifted out of sight so I don't know if the hawk survived or not. I see no way a single hawk could have survived that many crows attacking. I know most were just making mock charges at the crow but a large mammal could not have survived a serious, concerted attack by that many crows.

    I have heard crows on our local lake calling and would get to the site to find a bald eagle eating a dead fish on the river bank. I never saw the  crows actually attack but assume they do at times.

    I have mentioned how aggressive my Eastern bluebirds in my front yard. They attack everything that gets near their nest box including my horse, me, passing deer, fox squirrels, woodpeckers and every species of songbird that fly or land too close to their nest box.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Hilltop366 on March 07, 2021, 10:39:16 AM
See it here often that is a crow harassing a red tailed hawk, the hawk is kind of different as it is mostly white with a gray head, it shows up in the early winter for the last 6 years.<br
>(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18975/_DSC3788.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1573143368)
 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18975/DSC_0102.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1454030459)
 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 07, 2021, 11:09:26 AM
Hilltop,

   Thanks for the photos. That is a good example of what happens. The first crow to see the hawk and starts swooping and calling and others in the area hear and see him and they come join in until you can have a very large, even huge crowd swooping and calling and sometimes actually attacking. I guess birds get a mob mentality just like people do sometimes.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Hilltop366 on March 07, 2021, 12:59:59 PM
Yup, often only 3 to 6 crows here when I see them, I have seen seagulls going after bald eagles too.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on March 07, 2021, 03:35:43 PM
I watched a flock of seagulls gang up and kill another seagull that couldn't fly.
Took a while but there was like 100 gulls..

     JJ
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 07, 2021, 04:05:01 PM
I don't think that many of the birds that are mobbed or hazed by other birds get seriously injured. Around here when you hear crows making a ruckus often means that there is a Red-tailed  Hawk or Great Horned Owl, your chance to see the raptor. Many birds mob predatory birds, especially when they have a nest or recently fledged young. I have boxes by my house for Screech-owls and I know when one is in a box when Chickadees, Nuthatches, Blue Jays, bluebirds or other little birds are making a fuss by a box. The chickadees will land right at the entrance hole of the owl box, peer in and scold the owl. Eastern Kingbirds are especially bold about driving bigger birds away from their nest or young, ditto for mockingbirds.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 08, 2021, 08:31:06 AM
  Did you know various animals will make warning or notification type calls when other animals are in the area? These other animals do not have to be predators or a threat. Sometimes they seem to be playing a joke on the other animals. 

   A common example is a squirrel will often start chattering and making a whining call when a deer is in the area. Most deer hunters know this and take note and stay on the alert when they hear a squirrel start whining. Sometimes it is a deer coming, sometimes turkeys or other animals. Sometimes it is another hunter. One time I was in a deer stand and heard a very loud and insistent whining by a nearby squirrel so I got ready expecting a big buck to come out. Finally I could see the squirrel but not the deer. At long last it came into sight only it was a possum with insomnia who had woken up in the middle of the afternoon.

  I seldom hunt my squirrels any more because they are more valuable as a deer warning system for me. You can often determine with very close accuracy the location of a deer in our WV woods by listening to squirrels and chipmunks. As one walks a squirrel or chipmunk will call as long as he is nearby. When he feeds out of their area the next squirrel or chipmunk will start calling so you cab tell if he is coming closer or getting further away. I have been able to track deer sometimes for half a mile just listening to the squirrels and chipmunks. 

   I saw a special one time about prairie dogs and their various call. One specific call meant there was a rattlesnake nearby. I think they had other calls for other predators.

   I remember bow hunting one time in the Fall and there were chipmunks and birds and such all over making normal calls to each other. Suddenly everything got dead silent and this was odd enough I noticed the silence. A couple of minutes later a beautiful red fox with white throat and tail tip walking out and jumped up on an old clayroot about 35 yards away and looked and smelled the air. Once he left the noises got back to normal.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 08, 2021, 07:28:42 PM
THAT was a very cool read!!!!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 09, 2021, 08:55:32 AM
   Did you know the pygmies in Central African Republic (CAR) and Cameroon and such hunt with nets? They strip the bark off a particular local vine and twist it to make cord. They take the cord and make nets about 30" tall and 40 yards or so long. At the top and bottom of each end they weave or tie on a forked stick with the fork pointed back (Like we used to string fish on). When hunting they go into the jungle and find a particularly dense "island" of brush and the "huntmaster" directs half the team to go one way, the other half the opposite by using hand and arm signals. This surround is made very quickly and quietly. They hang the first net on a small tree or shrub using the forked sticks then they unroll the net till they reach the end then they hook it to the next net using the forked sticks on both ends. They complete the circle on the back side then they go back and improve the surround by making sure the nets are on the ground everywhere. Once they are satisfied they position "standers" at regular intervals around the pen armed with machetes and clubs and 1-2 hunters go into the center of the pen and beat the bushes and yell and chase any game hiding there out into the net and the nearest stander rushes over and kills it. The preferred game is a bush pig but the most common game killed are dik-diks (the smallest African antelopes), anteaters and porcupines. Men and women participate in the hunt and at the end of the hunt the kill is divided between them all.

   My wife and I went hunting with the pygmies in CAR on June 24, 2003. You have never lived till you have ridden with 8 near naked pygmies in the cargo area of an SUV. This was evidently the first time they had ever been in a "Moto" and they were signing and whooping the whole way. 

   We got to the spot and walked half a mile or so into the jungle along game trails till we reached a likely spot and they made their surround. They beat the bushes but nothing came out. We got to see the technique which was all I cared about.

   At the end of the hunt we paid/tipped the pygmies for taking us with them then took them home. We paid them one kg (2.2 lbs) of salt which they immediately divided on 8 large green leaves they picked and rolled around the salt, each got a book of matches and we gave them wooden pencils, mechanical sharpener and plastic whistles we had brought for the kids but realize they would be useful to the hunters.

   I also bought 2 of the nets and brought them home for a souvenir.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 10, 2021, 10:21:28 PM
  I was going to try drawing a picture for todays post but it is late, I'm tired and have another early start and probably a long day so you will have to read and use your imagination to understand what i am describing.

   Did you know old time Norwegians, and possibly others designed the footers on their buildings to prevent access by rodents? While living and working in Norway our Noggie daughter Ruth (Former HS exchange student who lived with us for a school year and has been back on many visits since and vice versa) took us around her home area and showed us some old buildings with design features to keep mice and rats out. They used a large rot resistant wood as footers. I don't remember if they set them on a rock or directly on the ground. Envision a log about 18"-20" in diameter and maybe 30" tall. Imagine having such a footer log then sawing a circle about a foot below the top to a depth of 5-6 inches then using a hatchet or hand adze to shape the area below the circle cut to make half of an hourglass shape so it a mouse climbing from the ground up would reach the narrow spot on the footer only to find a flat, squared off roof over his head that he could not easily pass.

   Some of those old Noggies had their stuff in one bag! This simple design has kept those old buildings free of pests for hundreds of years. (I understand some of those Noggies were even smart enough to come to the USA, although some stayed in New York instead of coming further south.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 11, 2021, 09:32:32 AM
Iíd like some pictures when you can, because that sounds VERY interesting. Maybe, just maybe, something like that could be incorporated into use today.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 11, 2021, 12:21:41 PM
Doing wildlife control, I learned that codes call for a block wall that comes up just a few inches above grade for the house to sit on. This to reduce heat loss from the basement. Leaf litter builds up to the siding and sill plate, landscapers throw mulch against the wall AND in the winter the ground freezes. It warms up and rains and the ground is still frozen. This all adds up to wetting the siding, sill plate and bottom of the studs, which rot out. The mice, rats, chipmunks, red squirrels then proceed to chew and claw their way into the wall and house. This is very serious, structural damage and difficult and expensive to repair. I have seen it on some very expensive homes. I told many of them that if they don't get anything else out of me looking at their problem, that if I convince them to read the riot act to the landscaper and pull all that organic matter away from the wall, then they got their monies worth. And understand that that mulch and tree debris contains every microbe  and fungi known to destroy wood, including the wood on the house. Making it hard for mice to scale the house is on the right track. I have watched mice scale my house, run the roof to a dormer and dive in where the dormer roof meets the main roof. They also climb trees and run a limb to the roof to get into houses. One house had a telephone wire stapled vertically on the siding of the house and mice were climbing up the wire to the roof.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 11, 2021, 09:54:37 PM
  We talked earlier about animals giving warnings about others in the area. Did you know in southern Africa (S. Africa, Namibia, Botswana, etc) there is a bird called the Go-Away bird? It is a Grey Lourie and it is famous for finding a hunter or photographer in the area and he sticks with them calling repeatedly warning all other wildlife someone is there. He is very frustrating to people trying to be stealthy and hunt to photograph the animals in the area. I don't know if he has a sense of humor or is just a piddling nuisance but his name is well earned.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 12, 2021, 09:33:04 AM
   Did you know before a Hammar tribesman in the Omo River Valley of southern Ethiopia can get married he has to jump up on to the backs of and run across a line of bulls? He has to do this while stark naked and he has to run over and back of 15 bulls held tightly by men from the tribe then repeat making 4 successful trips without falling. If he falls he has to wait a year before he can try again. The bulls are actually steers and the ones we saw looked to be 1-2 years old so they were not the huge bulls you sometimes see in herds of African cattle. I guess short, fat men can never marry. (I don't know if there is a provision to use a springboard or shorter bulls in such cases?) ::)

   Prior to the jumping the man's female relatives get whipped. The "groom's" friends and relatives are future groomsmen and have long limber switches and the women relatives (Sisters, cousins, mom, aunts, etc) are pretty drunk on local beer and taunt the beaters and blow horns in their faces and make sexually degrading remarks at them and such until they lash them across their bare backs. The beaters are often reluctant to hit them but when they finally do they typically raise a welt and draw blood. Many of the women have permanent scars from previous beatings. I even saw very pregnant women participating in the beating. An old matriarch from the tribe is standing by with a tub of lard or butter and will occasionally put a halt to one of the women participating especially when the girl is getting too frenzied in her actions. The old lady then rubs the "salve" into the wounds to help prevent infection I guess.

   When we were there December 26, 2010 the bull jumping had become commercialized and any white tourists in the area were invited to pay to attend. The father of the jumper was in charge of setting the amount and collecting his fee. I don't know if that money is used to help pay a bride price or just to fund a big party.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 13, 2021, 08:59:08 AM
   Did you know for those of you living in the South where gars are common that you can use a piece of nylon cord to help you land them? Gars have a hard bony mouth a long bill full of tiny wicked little teeth. They like to feed in old oxbows and where these empty into the main river. I remember getting into a bunch of them in Dixie County Fla where Old Town Springs, a big clear spring, emptied into the Suwannee River which is similar to an oxbow mouth. The gars feed near the surface and often break the surface. I have had them reach up and grab topwater bass lures with the little propellers on the front and back but could not drive a hook into the bony mouth. What I learned from a friend was that you can tie on a big eyed hook like a catfish hook or such to your line then take a piece of about #24 (Or a couple of smaller pieces if that is all you have) nylon cord 18-20 inches long and center the length through the eye of the hook and tie a hard knot or two then unravel the ends of nylon cord. Set a float 12-18 above the hook, bait with a live bream or shiner or a piece of cut bait and toss it out where you see the gar breaking the surface. When the gar grabs the bait he will get the loose nylon threads hung on his sharp teeth and you will often land him to find the hook actually hanging outside his mouth. Be sure you are using a heavy catfish rod and reel if not saltwater tackle as gars can be very big strong fish. Where legal and safe you may want to use a .22 rifle or pistol and shoot the fish at the boat. Gars are notorious for tearing up landing nets. They get the point of their bill between the holes in a net and spread the hole bigger as they escape.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 13, 2021, 11:11:59 AM
Talk about something escaping, some TV show recently showed a sqid or octopus that someone caught and plopped it on the deck of the boat. That thing found a small hole at deck level in the wall by the railing and proceeded to ooze through that hole and escape. You'd have to see it to appreciate it. Best way to describe it is that it extruded its' way through the hole.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 13, 2021, 11:46:11 AM
   Sounds more like an octopus than a squid from what I have seen of both of them. I know an octopus is extremely flexible and can squeeze into some ridiculously tight spots in coral and such. I'd heard of them squeezing out of a live box or such and getting out of the boat on occasion and can see them doing something like that.

   They also change colors for camouflage and regrow missing limbs. Early in my diving career in Okinawa my dive buddy and I spotted an odd shape about the size between a volleyball and a basketball on the bottom of the bay we were diving in. We rotated it around and found an eye looking back at us. It was a very big octopus with 6 legs bitten off near his body. I bet the legs were 3" in diameter where bitten off and the 2 left looked to be 30" long. We released it and it limped off and I assume it survived unless another predator found it first. I remember we finished our dive and were walking back to our BOQ rooms (We were stationed on Camp Schwab USMC base and rented our gear from the camp MWR) and we were talking and suddenly we stopped and looked at each other and asked "What bit those legs off?" It had to have been a pretty stout predator like a shark or barracuda. I don't know why we did not think of that at the time. ??? ::)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 13, 2021, 04:19:04 PM
A little closer to home, I removed some Long-tailed Weasels that were going under someone's porch, through a hole in the foundation and getting into the basement. They will clean the mice out of a house, but somehow people don't care for their toilet stations. I caught one in a small cage trap and put it in the back of my pickup. When I got to a place where I wanted to release it it had gotten out of the trap which had 1" X 1/2" wire mesh. Weaseled right through it he did. I once watched a muskrat go down through a steel grate with 1 1/2" slots.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 14, 2021, 09:29:30 AM
   Did you know the heart of a Swamp Cabbage (Sable Palm - State tree of Fla) are edible? The best height to cut is about waist high then you cut it off right at ground level. Supposedly the heart is as big in one this size as a 70' tall tree. You cut the fronds off, cut through the tree, cut the top out and had a "boot" about 30" tall. With a knife you cut through the this spots on each side of the cabbage boot and remove the next frond stub and repeat till you get to the tender heart. Cut or break off the tender white tip till it starts getting hard to break then remove another frond stub or two and repeat till you reach the heart itself. You can boil this with some bacon or pork for seasoning but it is even better fried. Fry a couple of strips of bacon to season the pan, add the chopped up Swamp cabbage till it is tender. If you trip too far up on the buds you will get some bitter taste supposedly Quinine which was also reported as the reason Seminole Indians did not get malaria. My grandmother used to sprinkle a little sugar in her swamp cabbage to off-set the bitter. Warning: Because it is all fiber, it is probably the world's greatest laxative. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on March 14, 2021, 11:16:52 AM
I expected you to mention adding 
ďsome fava beans and a nice Chianti.Ē

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 14, 2021, 07:07:55 PM
Roxie,

   I have eaten a lot of strange foods but even I have my limits. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on March 14, 2021, 07:16:40 PM
My my Indiana WV you are loaded with great information 👍
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 15, 2021, 09:07:01 AM
   Did you know that baby paper wasps/grubs make very good panfish bait?

It can be a little tricky to collect them. ::) The best way I found, other than sending someone else after them, was to find a big old red wasp nest the size of a dinner plate on a small bush or limb overhanging the lake or river. I'd use one of my cane poles or fiberglass crappie poles (The longer the better). I would ease my boat up towards the nest till I could just reach the nest with the outstretched tip of my pole and leave the outboard motor idling out of gear. I would pull the line on the fishing pole tight like a bow and ease the tip of the pole up past and over the nest so that the small stem of the nest was centered between where the line was tied on and the tip of the pole. Once this was done I'd continue to hold the line tight and give a sharp jerk cutting the nest off from the limb where it was attached allowing it to fall into the water below. Since this annoys the adult wasps considerable it is a good time to throw the motor into gear and head downriver a good piece. I'd let the nest float downstream until it was a safe distance away from the angry wasps clustered around the bush where the nest used to be then I'd go collect the floating nest. The baby grubs are very tender and are easily knocked off by small bluegills if they don't get hooked. Be careful removing the grubs as those ready to hatch can still sting.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 16, 2021, 09:09:52 AM
   After yesterday's post this may be a good time to post wasp and bee sting info. Did you know that a wasp can sting multiple times while a honeybee can only sting once? When a honeybee stings her abdomen attached to the stinger pulls off and she dies. If you have been stung by a honeybee you will see the abdomen attached to the stinger and it will be pulsing as it pumps more venom into you. Never try to pull a honeybee stinger out. It is barbed and is not going to pull out and all you will do is squeeze more venom into the sting. Beekeepers typically use a hive tool to scrape and break off the stinger level with the skin. If you don't have a hive tool handy use a sharp knife or if nothing else scrape it off with your fingernail and break it off as close to the skin as possible. 

   Wasp, bee and ant venom are a strong (Formic) acid so anything that will neutralize the acid should help. Use a base solution such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach directly on the sting. Be careful if using a very strong bleach not to cause even more damage. I once got stung by a hornet on the forehead and soaked a cotton ball in bleach and held it on the sting. It neutralized the sting so well I got no swelling or anything but I ended up with a bleach burn that took many months to heal. 

   An old wives tale was to put chewing tobacco or chew up a cigar or cigarette and place the damp tobacco on the sting. Another OWT was to mash up 3 different types of green leaves and rub the juice on the sting. I don't know if that is true but lacking anything else in the area I have tried this and it may be my imagination but it seemed to offer some relief. I figure as long as none of the leaves are poison ivy/oak/sumac or other irritant, it probably can't hurt.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on March 16, 2021, 12:46:43 PM
Honey Bees, my neighbor keeps them.
They swarm my pool during the hottest part of the day right when you want to go swimming :snowball:
Bugging me honey bees - YouTube (https://youtu.be/CNHXRxlIXvE)

I think they are after the water, and congregate wherever they can reach the water without falling in, which is the steps, ladder on deep end, and anything floating in the pool including me.

Funny thing is my neighbor also has a pool, but I think the bees do not like chlorine.. my pool is salt water.
I complain to him about it, but don't think he has told them to stay out of my yard - nobody has been stung yet but my kids will not swim when they are there.

        JJ
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 16, 2021, 02:48:57 PM
   I am surprised they are coming to salt water. They definitely come to water but if your neighbor puts out water closer to them they should be coming to it. A gentle slope to the water makes it much easier and safer for them to come to it and should actually increase his honey production since they won't be having to travel as far or as long. 

   Even during the winter if you get a warm sunny day or two they will make cleansing flights to clean out the hive and get water. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on March 16, 2021, 03:08:21 PM
The salinity of my pool is 1/10 of ocean water.
I keep the pool at 3200ppm and ocean water is 35000ppm (I just looked it up).

The pool just barely tastes salty.   Mostly the bees are going into my railings, where pool water gets trapped from kids sloshing around, and climbing out up the stair.   That time of year it was very dry, so nearby stream alternative was dried up.   Maybe a little salt helps the honey??

I was trying a citronella tiki torch to drive them off, but I think it just agitated them.

They also mob my potted plants, that I was watering daily:
Honey bees - YouTube (https://youtu.be/RWnRZyswCSA)

     JJ  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on March 16, 2021, 03:51:38 PM
I have a chlorine pool with a waterfall and an exposed aggregate concrete deck.  The dogs are always getting in and out so water sits on the deck.  I think the ag seems to hold water better than a smooth deck.  On hot days, the bees will be on the deck or on the rocks that get splashed by the waterfall.  The only problem for them is one of my dogs likes to eat the bees ::)  After her tongue gets stung, she will snap them out of the air, spit them out and step on them, and then eat them.  But then, sometimes, she gets stung in the foot ::)  She just doesn't learn... She's been doing this for years.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 16, 2021, 05:34:52 PM
Why not just supply the bees with another source of water nearby?  Bees and wasps come to my bird bath when it's real dry.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on March 16, 2021, 07:04:13 PM
  After yesterday's post this may be a good time to post wasp and bee sting info. Did you know that a wasp can sting multiple times while a honeybee can only sting once? When a honeybee stings her abdomen attached to the stinger pulls off and she dies. If you have been stung by a honeybee you will see the abdomen attached to the stinger and it will be pulsing as it pumps more venom into you. Never try to pull a honeybee stinger out. It is barbed and is not going to pull out and all you will do is squeeze more venom into the sting. Beekeepers typically use a hive tool to scrape and break off the stinger level with the skin. If you don't have a hive tool handy use a sharp knife or if nothing else scrape it off with your fingernail and break it off as close to the skin as possible.

   Wasp, bee and ant venom are a strong (Formic) acid so anything that will neutralize the acid should help. Use a base solution such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach directly on the sting. Be careful if using a very strong bleach not to cause even more damage. I once got stung by a hornet on the forehead and soaked a cotton ball in bleach and held it on the sting. It neutralized the sting so well I got no swelling or anything but I ended up with a bleach burn that took many months to heal.

   An old wives tale was to put chewing tobacco or chew up a cigar or cigarette and place the damp tobacco on the sting. Another OWT was to mash up 3 different types of green leaves and rub the juice on the sting. I don't know if that is true but lacking anything else in the area I have tried this and it may be my imagination but it seemed to offer some relief. I figure as long as none of the leaves are poison ivy/oak/sumac or other irritant, it probably can't hurt.
Very Important. Anybody thatís allergic make sure they carry there EpiPen with them on a trip out in nature 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 16, 2021, 07:39:41 PM
   My wife is allergic to them and carries her epi-pen in her camera bag and any time we go fishing or such. They are not nearly as much of a problem as when we were further south but there are still plenty around here. I usually getting into them in one of my wood stacks every year then I get more diligent about checking first. A leafblower works fine to find them and you can defend yourself with it. Blow the dust out of you stacks of lumber or slabs and if they are in there they will come right out while you are still far enough to keep from getting stung till you can get something to kill them. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on March 17, 2021, 01:47:12 AM
Why not just supply the bees with another source of water nearby?


we did that, somebody tell the bees smiley_contract
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on March 17, 2021, 09:02:44 AM
 I was going to try drawing a picture for todays post but it is late, I'm tired and have another early start and probably a long day so you will have to read and use your imagination to understand what i am describing.

   Did you know old time Norwegians, and possibly others designed the footers on their buildings to prevent access by rodents? While living and working in Norway our Noggie daughter Ruth (Former HS exchange student who lived with us for a school year and has been back on many visits since and vice versa) took us around her home area and showed us some old buildings with design features to keep mice and rats out. They used a large rot resistant wood as footers. I don't remember if they set them on a rock or directly on the ground. Envision a log about 18"-20" in diameter and maybe 30" tall. Imagine having such a footer log then sawing a circle about a foot below the top to a depth of 5-6 inches then using a hatchet or hand adze to shape the area below the circle cut to make half of an hourglass shape so it a mouse climbing from the ground up would reach the narrow spot on the footer only to find a flat, squared off roof over his head that he could not easily pass.

   Some of those old Noggies had their stuff in one bag! This simple design has kept those old buildings free of pests for hundreds of years. (I understand some of those Noggies were even smart enough to come to the USA, although some stayed in New York instead of coming further south.)
If I can't remember where I saved an old picture from I guess it is probably fair use  :D

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10017/stabbur.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1615985112)
 
I know these buildings as a "stabbur" which might bring up more links if you go looking. Often the pier post is round and shaped on all sides.

The typical person's notions of a pier foundation is a set of unbraced wobbly legs under a building that grows in height and weight. A collapse waiting to happen. Look at how these builders solved that problem, a tall egg crate type joint captured within the post. Notice the gap at the stairs. Also the water shedding features throughout. Take a look at the log profile, shaved so that a shaped wrought iron ring would slide down the length. This gives a neat pleasing appearance, makes notching and grooving easier, but also removes the sapwood exposing more resistant heartwood to the weather.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 17, 2021, 09:20:11 AM
Don,

  Nice workmanship. Those old timers had their stuff together. I assume that is an old mill of some kind?

  Since we are on historical issues did you know the most important man in many cases when the original settlers landed in America was often the ship's carpenter? The high class, landed gentry with plenty of prestige and money in the old world might be the ones who could afford to buy passage over but when they landed the low level ship's carpenter was the only one who knew how to build a house.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on March 17, 2021, 09:31:14 AM
A stabbur was traditionally a farm storehouse for grain, dried meat and fish, etc. The mouseproof tupperware container of the day. Variations on the same basic style run across Scandinavia into Russia. 

Some of those ships carpenters houses were even built like a boat upside down. Early settlers knew or learned quickly just how valuable the tradesmen were. Carpenters and blacksmiths immediately come to mind but you aren't getting far without a cobbler! They were all needed in the new country.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 18, 2021, 09:33:47 AM
   Did you know nightcrawlers come out of the ground on warm nights when the ground is damp especially after a heavy soaking rain or where a sprinkler has been in use? (I understand golf greens are fine places to collect nightcrawlers in areas where they live.) The rear end of a nightcrawler is flat and he uses it as an anchor in the ground while the bulk of his body is outside searching for food or a mate or such. If you have ever watched a robin and nightcrawler doing a tug of war this is a fine example of the strength of this anchor. Sometimes the robin wins but if he loses his grip the worm escapes back underground.

   Nightcrawlers can detect light so when collecting them you want your light on a low setting or use old weak batteries. Try to keep the worm in the dim outer circle of light as much as possible. Since it is difficult to see/locate the end of the worm it is often hard to see which end is in the ground and which is the head end. The technique I found that works best is when I see a section of a worm out of the hole I use my index finger to quickly but firmly pin down the worm. Once that is done I determine which end is in the hole and which end is free. With my free hand, I then grab the worm between my pinch point and as close to the hole as I can. Once I have a good grip on it I hold steady pressure until the worm pulls free. If you pull too hard you will break the worm in two pieces. 

   Catching nightcrawlers for fish bait is a great activity to do with small children like your kids or grandkids. On a damp night around here as you walk you can actually hear the nightcrawlers retreating rapidly into their holes. They are very loud and sound like a bunch of kids slurping long spaghetti noodles. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 18, 2021, 10:23:01 PM
Did You Know, Nightcrawlers will come out at night even in the winter if the ground isn't frozen and the temperature is mild. This can be a great food source for foxes, skunks, raccoons, etc. Did you ever drive a steel rod in the ground and have earthworms come out ? I was once out and saw some molehills and then saw the ground moving from a mole working its' tunnel. Suddenly, earthworms began squirming, almost flying out of the ground to escape from the mole. Worms are a big part of moles' diets. This helped to explain the worms being so sensitive to steel rods being driven in the ground and the sounds of someone walking on the ground. When I was a kid I knew guys who did well selling worms for bait.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on March 19, 2021, 07:47:42 AM
In North Florida, they "grunt" for worms.  I bet that WV has been a "worm grunter". 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 19, 2021, 08:30:21 AM
I saw something about that on the tube. It looked REALLY interesting, especially for fishing. I think that the guy did it to sell the worms in his shop. Hmm...
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 19, 2021, 09:33:05 AM
Danny,

 I was never able to grunt up earthworms. My wife calls it "fiddling" them up and they used to use an old handsaw and saw off a small tree and vibrate it by sawing down into it as if splitting it. The vibration through the roots would bring the worms up. Some people used an old chainsaw and took the chain off and stuck the snout in the ground and revved it up. The standard way was to make a point on a rough 1X4 about 3' long, drive it a foot or so in the ground then rub another rough board across the top causing maximum vibration. I hear experts can grunt up worms as much as 30' away under ideal conditions.

 Around Blountstown and Two Egg Fla, about 200 miles south of where I was raised, the state or national parks there rent out earthworm grunting rights. I read where one old timer there sent all 3 of his kids to college on his worm grunting income. We would buy them and used to use these earthworms for fishbait on the Suwannee River when we would go down to my grandparents there. At Two Egg they had an annual contest to see who could grunt up the biggest earthworm and the furthest distance. At the same contest they have a Possum Beauty contest.

  Since we are talking fishbait did you know that catalpa worms, the caterpillar phase of a moth that lays its eggs on the the catalpa tree, make excellent fishbait? The caterpillars eat only the leaves of the catalpa tree and will completely strip the tree of all leaves. The caterpillar grows to about 3" long then "goes down" into the ground to pupate. The best time to catch the catalpa worm is when it is fully mature and ready to go pupate. You can use a long slender fishing pole and reach up and touch or "tickle" the worm who lives on the bottom side of the leaf and he will turn loose and fall to the ground.

 To keep catalpa worms alive people made big screen wire cages and stuffed green catalpa leaves in there for them to eat. Another trick was to put them in a big brown paper grocery bag in the refrigerator to slow down their activity. Often we would put an inch or so of corn meal in the bottom as absorbent. My old mentor used to package them in plastic cups and cover with white Karo corn syrup and freeze them for future use.

 They spit out a nasty green-brown juice that is nearly impossible to get off your fingers no matter how strong a soap you use. My dad was a cook in the Army and he said the only way he found to get catalpa worm juice off your hands was to make up a big batch of biscuit batter. steve_smiley
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: stanmillnc on March 19, 2021, 10:49:41 AM
I can vouch for the Catalpa Worms as an outstanding fish bait. Not sure you'll find a better catfish bait. Was fishing one day, not having any luck and an old timer was bringing his jon boat to shore full of catfish saying he was done for the day and he gave me his leftover funny worms. He said to bite off the head and once they hit the water the green goo guts ooze out into the water creating a fluorescent cloud, which is irresistible to fish. He was right!

They are commonly called "Catawba worms" in my neck of the woods, due to the major river system here, the Catawba River. They emerge around the beginning of July usually and sometimes there will be a second emergence later in the summer. They totally defoliate the Catalpa tree and even in drought years the Catalpa survives this infestation and puts out new growth. I planted a few Catalpa seedlings in my yard and neighborhood and now have a good supply for a couple of weeks a year.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 19, 2021, 09:06:15 PM
Two other good fish baits are those big green grasshoppers and big black crickets you find by flipping over flat rocks and boards laying on the ground. I never figured out a good way to get them in large numbers. Also, crayfish that have just shed their exoskeleton (shell). I have never seen anything that will get a strike faster than a softshell crayfish.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 19, 2021, 10:34:15 PM
Stan,

   Sometimes small fish would suck the insides out of a catalpa worm. When fishing was slow another technique was to pull (No need to bite) off the head, take a match sized stick and push from the rear to the front basically turning the worm inside out then run your hook through and pull the worm off the stick.

  I can remember slang term was "Tawby worms" or "Tawbah worms" where I grew up. Rain crows were bad to eat them.

Karl,

   Bait shops here I think fed the crawfish oatmeal and such to make them shed to get softshells which were preferred fish bait. I used to use a long handled shrimp net and scroop in the leaves and bottom of the deep holes in drainage ditches and such and catch baby crawfish. A crawfish an inch long is perfect bream, crappie, and catfish bait. They are scared of a big hardhelled crawfish. I know bass and catfish eat them but a big crawfish is poor bait. I'd tear them in two and just use the tail for bait with some success but a baby 1" long is preferred food for all the fish in our local lakes and streams.

   I like the black crickets but where I grew up in the south grey crickets were sold in all bait shops. I have found places where the long grey mole crickets would come out and on to the paved roads or parking pads and such. They are good bait where you can find them. All grasshoppers are good bait where you can catch them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 20, 2021, 05:28:12 PM
   Did you know the Baka pygmies of the central African countries live in dome shaped huts covered with leaves? They start by cutting a bunch of small limber trees/shrubs, generally under 1" in diameter at the big end and maybe half an inch in diameter at the small end/top, then they stick one end in the ground. On a small overnight/temporary hunters hut, they will stick both ends in the ground. On a larger more permanent hut they may tie the tops together in the middle. They repeat with more sticks weaving them together as they go around the hut. They leave a space at the front as an opening/doorway. When finished with the framework it looks very much like an eskimo igloo. Next they collect a bunch of broad leaves and start weaving them into the framework starting from the bottom to the top overlapping as they go. When they are finished they have a very comfortable, cool, watertight structure. if they stay in an area any significant length of time they just periodically add to the leaves to make sure the hut remains watertight. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on March 21, 2021, 06:50:36 AM
Dang , Howard. How can you remember all of your travels and experiences?
I really enjoy reading about them . Thanks.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 21, 2021, 08:47:41 AM
ďDid You KnowĒ almost needs itís own board!

Itís THAT good.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 21, 2021, 10:53:38 AM
Ellmoe,

  I have a house full of souvenirs from the places we visited and every one is a memory whether it is a basket, boat paddle, spear, red cloth wrap they wore in Kenya, crossbow, camel saddlebags, rawhide Mongolian rope, etc. Plus I have about 940 pages of journal records I wrote while I was there. Many of these entries are backed up by my wife's photos for when she was there for a visit on we were on vacation together.

  When we visited the Central African Republic we went out with the medicine woman and another lady (23 June 2003). Sonjah (Medicine woman about 45" tall) took us out and showed us the plants and described their use while her friend Mballi stayed near the trail with the baby she was nursing. Mballi cut the limber switches and when we got back she made the framework for a hunters hut about 4-5 ft in diameter and 3.5' tall.  Then she and Sonjah put the leaves on. I talked Becky into both of us sitting in it for a photo we used on the Christmas Card that year. We filled it to overflowing.

Taco,

  We just need more user input. I'm learning too and now know groundhogs can climb and other tidbits that will come back to mind as I see something new.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 21, 2021, 11:32:03 AM
    Since we were talking about bees coming to water last week did you know that is where the term "Beeline" comes from? To find a bee tree old timers would find a spot where bees would come to water and watch them when they left because they would fly a nearly perfectly straight line back to the hive or bee tree. The old timers would watch and follow a bee till they lost sight of it then stop and wait for the next bee to come along the same path. My maternal grandfather used to even talk about sprinkling flour on the bees to make them easier to see in flight. Eventually they would find the tree.

   When they found the bee tree they would carve their initials in it. Once so marked the tree was claimed as their property and most folks would honor the claim - or suffer the consequences. 

   If you read Louis L'Amour westerns and such you will sometimes find where his hero was wounded and dying of thirst in the desert till he spotted a bee which he then followed to a hidden water hole and was saved accordingly.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on March 21, 2021, 08:40:14 PM
My Father use to call it lining bees. He was born in '23. Honey and maple syrup was their sugar than.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on March 22, 2021, 05:43:34 AM
Sometimes itís what you donít know that makes for very funny and fond memories looking back. 

When I was very young, our extended family would have picnics in a nearby State park in the area called Hibernia State Park. As children we really got excited about going because they had pavilions and outdoor rest rooms and endless possibilities for exploring with all our of cousins. 

My great grandfather was always a main attraction because he was so grizzled and just a little scary. One particular year the old man really surprised us by giving each one of us little tiny Morton salt shakers. He told us that if we could sneak up on a squirrel and sprinkle its tail with salt the squirrel would stop running and we could take it home as a pet. 

Itís embarrassing to admit but I was well into my twenties before I realized that great grandfather was a genius at getting us to leave him alone. 



Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 22, 2021, 09:12:00 AM
Roxie,

   Sounds like a good way to keep the kids busy and out of your hair. When I was a kid they used to tell us if you could sneak up on a bird and sprinkle salt on his tail you could catch him. I think it was my first grade teacher who explained that if you could get that close to a bird you could catch him anyway and you did not need the salt.

   When my 4 y/o grandson comes to visit he gets us up every morning and immediately wants to go with me to feed the horses. On the way out to the barn I would see a small stick in the access road and kick it out of the way like a soccer ball and Quinn will run around kicking sticks like that the rest of the morning. When I take him for a walk in his home area of Charlotte NC he will do the same thing to any stick he finds on the sidewalk on the Greenway and such there. Sometimes it does not take a lot to keep the kids interested and entertained.

    Did you know the southern Anole changes colors from green to brown based on his background color? We always called them Chameleons in N. Fla where I grew up. Also they are equipped with a break-away tail. When a cat or other predator slaps his paw down on one of them and pins the tail it will break off and the Anole will escape and grow a new tail. I have seen them where the tail broke half way and they grew a new tail as well as keeping the old one so if you ever see a fork tailed Anole you know what caused it.

   One way to catch Anoles and fence lizards, where they are common is to tie a cricket with a piece of string and tie it along a wooden fence or tree limb where the reptiles travel. They will find the insect and grab hold and not turn loose. That is a great project to do with your kids and grandkids.

   I think some African tribes catch monkeys in a similar fashion using a narrow necked clay jug and a piece of fruit or such placed where the monkeys travel. The monkey will stick his paw in the jug and grab the fruit and can't pull his hand free and will remain there till he is caught by the tribesmen. I think Aesop had one of his fables about the same subject or something similar.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on March 22, 2021, 09:40:12 AM
I have been debating telling this story, but, statute of limitations has run out.

When in the service in Germany we had field exercises that were "tame", no loaded weapons.  But some of us, me, discovered that you could load a cleaning rod tip in front of a blank cartridge and had some short range accuracy.  I was and am a country boy, raised hunting and fishing with all that entails.  Standing (sitting) guard duty in German forests was as much like sitting in a deer stand or under a tree as I did in the Ozarks of Missouri.  Only  there was more game at the time and some very restrictive laws, both German and military, that prohibited a lowly enlisted man in killing game.

With all that in mind, I was sitting in a location when a local family of pheasant wandered up with in range, and I fired.  The cleaning rod tip spins and becomes a buzz saw, more or less.  Rather luck, or well aimed, it took the head off a pheasant.  The only problem was the sound of the shot.  In a short period of time the Sgt of the Guard showed up in a jeep and questioned the shot.  "Sorry, sarge, I was half asleep and changing position I  fired my rifle."  Short chewing out and he left.  I picked up  the pheasant, cleaned it, and took it to our mess Sgt who was, by good chance, a country boy as well.  So, the mess Sgt had cooked the thing up and he and I were enjoying something besides field rations when the 1st Sgt shows up looking for coffee.  The smell of good food in the air, another chewing out, and split a rather small bird three ways.

Not to be out done, one of our guys ran over one of the little red deer that they have over there.  Being a county boy himself (I noted a lot of combat engineers were country boys) he took a ham, which is in its self a chore in that bayonets are not designed for skinning and butchering game, and took it to mess Sgt, once again the 1st Sgt, who must have had foresight or a spy in the cook house, showed up and demanded an explaination as well as a share of the booty.

You can take the boy out of the county, but don't give him a gun, a knife and game in front of him.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 22, 2021, 10:34:26 AM
TR,

  Reminds me of tales my dad told about guard duty in Korea about 1946 or early 1947. (He was there at 16 y/o after lying to get in the Army and this was before open hostilities had started but tensions were pretty high.) They were on one end of a bridge over the river and the Russians manned a similar post on the other end of the bridge. Evidently the Russians got to trash talking one of the American teams till an old redneck from Ga stepped out, raised his rifle and aimed at a wading heron of some sort a couple hundred yards away and with one shot took its head clean off. There was no more Russian trash talking.

  Another time one of the Americans came to the post staggering drunk. He grabbed an OD can of bug spray with screw in cap, staggered across the bridge, screwed the cap in till it started hissing, then he lobbed it through the door or window of the Russian guardhouse. The Russians evidently thought it was poison gas and ran and left their rifles behind. The drunk American walked back and collected them and brought them back. Of course this created an international incident and a serious butt chewing for the American. I suspect he got off much easier than the Russians did.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on March 22, 2021, 11:48:09 AM
Did you know the southern Anole changes colors from green to brown based on his background color? We always called them Chameleons in N. Fla where I grew up. Also they are equipped with a break-away tail. When a cat or other predator slaps his paw down on one of them and pins the tail it will break off and the Anole will escape and grow a new tail. I have seen them where the tail broke half way and they grew a new tail as well as keeping the old one so if you ever see a fork tailed Anole you know what caused it.
They also can/will fight:  LINK (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=50213.msg725559#msg725559)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 22, 2021, 12:40:27 PM
Texas Ranger, Sounds like maybe you were in Grafenwoehr ? I drove all over West Germany, Holland and Belgium while Stationed near Frankfort in the army. Took a load to Grafenwoehr and nearly got lost on all those roads through the woods there.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on March 22, 2021, 05:27:31 PM
Texas Ranger, Sounds like maybe you were in Grafenwoehr ? I drove all over West Germany, Holland and Belgium while Stationed near Frankfort in the army. Took a load to Grafenwoehr and nearly got lost on all those roads through the woods there.
I was, but the pheasant event was some where on the Rhine, the deer was Grafenwoehr.  I was stationed in Schweitzegen, but traveled a lot.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 22, 2021, 09:06:12 PM
Lynn,

 I think yours are same genus but different species than ours. I never saw them fight but bet it was neat to watch. Yours in the picture have a sail on their backbone ours never had. They would "Show their money" with the circular red body part under their neck they show to attract a mate or chase off an invader to their chosen territory.

 I learned geckos in Okinawa are territorial and I watched them knock each other off my ceiling. They also chirped like birds and the first night on the island I heard them in my BOQ room and kept looking for chimney swifts or such till I talked to some other old salts who knew what it was.

 Back to Anoles - while we were in Jacksonville NC after I left the USMC and I was working for the RSNF my 11 y/o son caught a couple and decided since they would open their mouth and bite but had no teeth and did not seem to hurt anything they would be cool earrings for his 9 y/o sister and he hung one on each of her ears. She let out a scream and my wife had to go out and made our son remove them. Another budding fashion trend shot to heck! :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on March 22, 2021, 09:21:32 PM
Howard, I have/had never seen that humped back either and neither of these had that until they squared off.  Notice that even the stomach's especially on one of them was puffed out.  After the battle, both of them resumed their normal slim shape.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 22, 2021, 09:56:08 PM
Lynn,

   Maybe they are the same then and only expand like that when they fight. Thanks for the update.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 23, 2021, 07:47:27 AM
   Since Texas Ranger mentioned the difficulty and restrictions to hunting in Germany which is similar to other parts of Europe did you know how difficult it can be to hunt over there? We think to hunt you just go down to WalMart and buy a hunting license, grab the gun you have had since you were a teenager and a pocket full of ammo and hit the woods. Not so in Europe.

    We have a Norwegian daughter, former HS Exchange student of ours, who hunts with her Dad over there. She tells me to get a hunting license in Norway you must first show proof you have access to land to hunt - a club or own a lot of land. Every year you have to shoot at least 30 rounds in practice then you have to demonstrate to the DNR agent or whatever they call him there observing your practice, that you can hit a 5" bullseye 5 times in a row from 100 meters. The Game Warden will then issue you a license with your rifle number on it. That is the only weapon you can hunt with. If you want to vary your guns you have to repeat the process and qualify with each different gun and have them listed on your license. Oh, BTW, you or your hunting club have to own or be under contract for a government certified tracking dog. If you or any member of the club wound an animal they get the tracking dog to go find him. To get your dog certified (Ruth has one and maybe her second one certified by now) you give the game warden a container of sheeps blood I guess you can buy from your butcher. The GW lays a track of a certain length and number of twists and turns and waits 24 hours then you put your candidate dog on the track and he has to find the end of the trail. If he finds the end of the trail as required in the time allotted he will be certified. Once you have met these requirements you can get your license and legally hunt. Game legally killed can be sold to local markets unlike here where it is illegal to sell wild game. We routinely bought Elk meat (Noggie for moose - so a Norwegian Elkhound was a moose dog) in the grocery store there. Where Ruth lives they have the largest free ranging herd of Reindeer left in Norway.

    If a deer, reindeer or moose gets hit by a car in her area the Game Warden will sometimes call Ruth or others with certified tracking dogs to go hunt up the injured animal. When she finds it they either pay her a fee or all or part of the meat which she can use or sell.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on March 23, 2021, 10:57:19 AM
Hunting culture varies, a lot,  region to region in Europe . In the south, central and western parts, so the bulk of the whole thing, hunting is and has been limited, primarily, to the social elite, it's a thing for the posh and in that sense there is even a kind of stigma attached. Joining hunting associations has broadened access and I think is a source of income for large land owners too. It obviously is related to having access to large enough tracts of land which has been for the most part privately held, if not, again depending on region,  then often locally regulated in order to control conflicting interests: wood supply, recreation, grazing and farming and so on and so on. 
I think it is more egalitarian up in Scandinavia, isn't everything there? But it makes sense with a thinner population and more open areas. 
The east is something different again and I'm not so familiar. 
It's my idea that almost everywhere game meat is widely available in restaurants, super and street markets.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 23, 2021, 03:36:07 PM
Don,

  I think we discussed earlier in this thread about game farming in Africa. Any supermarket or restaurant over there will have Springbok, Kudu, and Oryx and such. It is really good for the farmers/landowners and the environment as the game is adapted to the area and survives on the native vegetation without bringing in new diseases or destroying the plant life and such. They typically hunt them at night with lights and teams of professional shooters with small caliber rifles making head shots followed by a team of skinners and they hang the meat in chiller trucks and have portable abattoirs with a team of butchers cutting the meat into the desired cuts for market. The teams can travel around the country working for first one landowner then another.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on March 23, 2021, 04:12:10 PM
U
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/64601/image~20.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1616530178)
 That's very different from these parts. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 23, 2021, 07:16:51 PM
Don,

  I don't know what I am looking at. Looks like mystery meat sirloin tips of some kind from Colorado. Was this a fresh (almost) road kill or something? 

   I don't know but will ask the next time Ruth calls if she has to take her reindeer meat to a special butcher to be processed before it can be sold in the market in Norway.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on March 23, 2021, 08:07:59 PM
Your meant to be only looking at the, "not for sale" stipulation on this elk, (not moose), out of my freezer, the rest inconsequential, in contrast to the commercial African enterprisers in wild game meat and even the commercializations in Europe. A hunting license in Colorado includes the provision the meat is used for personal consumption. Of course we've got a lot of ranchers who'd not appreciate competition.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 23, 2021, 08:54:24 PM
Don,

 Thanks for the clarification. I think you will see the same stamp on any of their personal beef, pork, lamb, goat, etc. people take in to be butchered. Anything that has not been USDA inspected will typically have that stamp.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on March 23, 2021, 09:22:41 PM
I don't know to much about it since until now all the meat I ever had hanging in the pantry or stocked in the freezer gets butchered at home, this packaged elk being a neighborly gesture, very welcome indeed. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on March 23, 2021, 09:50:41 PM
Did You Know, At one time, the commercialization of North American wildlife was a big factor along with unregulated harvest by individuals in the decimation of  game species. Enter the Federal Restoration of Wildlife Act  which put an excise tax on firearms and ammo. The money was(and still is) used to pay for law enforcement of new game laws, seasons and bag limits. It also pays for biologists, programs to restore wildlife populations, and hunter safety/education programs. Sale of game meat was outlawed to prevent over harvest. Where I live in Onondaga County, New York, there were no deer left in the early 1900's. Now we have municipalities paying US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to cull deer where hunters don't have access to land to hunt on. In the 1800's gunners shot wheel barrow loads of shorebirds for market. I wonder how many hunters have read up on this history.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on March 23, 2021, 11:24:06 PM
The 30's were rough in my part of the Ozarks, folks ate everything that moved.  I killed a deer in 1966, and got a letter from the mayor and from county judge congratulating me on on killing the first deer in the county in decades.  Not commercial, survival.  Now, deer, turkey, pheasant and quail abound, or so I have been told.  Oh and bear coming back in Missouri.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 24, 2021, 07:57:17 AM
KEC,

   I read something last week where no game animal had ever gone extinct and the article was stressing how the money and attention spent by sportsmen helped protect the wildlife. I sent a copy of the article to my old guide in South Africa who is big into trying to preserve the animals there. He is a hunter but realizes they need to be managed to survive.

TR,

   I have read about the market hunting and my grandfather was a gator hunter and a plume hunter till the laws changed. He was one of the early game wardens in Fla when the judges did not even believe in enforcing the laws. One particular judge was bad to release the people Grandpa had charged. The judge was also a big land owner with lots of cows and hogs he had to tend. He started having problems with the bridges burning behind him and he had to walk out of the woods a couple of times then he started handing out convictions to game violations and his bridges quit burning.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 24, 2021, 08:03:00 AM
    Did you know that in Mongolia to ensure the sheep do not give birth at the wrong season when the weather is too harsh for them to survive, rams are outfitted with a "sheep condom" to prevent premature breeding of the ewes? The device looks like a leather apron tied around and hanging below the ram's belly. When he goes to mount the ewe the apron blocks access and prevents breeding. When the proper breeding season for ideal birthing arrives the herders remove the apron and nature takes its course.

   The next time you see a post of the MM wearing his leather welding apron I hope you will remember this tidbit. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on March 24, 2021, 08:10:15 AM
AW, that's just wrong, on so many levels. :D ;D :D ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 24, 2021, 08:15:17 AM
BUT, itís funny!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on March 24, 2021, 09:08:49 AM
And I can testify....

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/2410/DSCN0298.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1267041251)
 
That it works as intended.  ;)  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on March 24, 2021, 09:19:00 AM
MM is a heck of a man, double apron.  ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on March 24, 2021, 11:35:59 AM
     Nearly every evening we have a tom turkey pecking around in the front of the house in the garden spot.  Once in a while there will be four to six hens working the same place.  I enjoy watching them and won't allow them to be hunted on my place.  The deer on the other hand are fair game, especially the does "when legal".  The population needs to be thinned out but it's hard to get cooperation, since the nephews seem to think horns make venison taste better.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 25, 2021, 09:13:39 AM
   Did you know one technique Himba cattle herders in Namibia use to wean large calves that fail to naturally wean themselves promptly enough is the herder pokes a hole in the thin skin between the calf's nostrils and inserts a couple of small bristle like sticks in there? When the calf tries to nurse he pokes the cow in the udders and she kicks him away. I assume over time the sticks rot away or get hung in the brush while feeding and get pulled out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: dogone on March 25, 2021, 09:05:15 PM
   Most European countries have well managed game populations.This , along with a moderate climate and good cover makes for some excellent hunting.
   Sweden is about the size of my province, Saskatchewan , with about eleven million people. They take one hundred thousand moose and two hundred thousand deer each year. I doubt if there are that many moose taken in North America.
       We have a million people in Saskatchewan and maybe take five thousand moose.
     There is a case to be made for private ownership of game
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on March 25, 2021, 09:26:05 PM
  Most European countries have well managed game populations.This , along with a moderate climate and good cover makes for some excellent hunting.
    Sweden is about the size of my province, Saskatchewan , with about eleven million people. They take one hundred thousand moose and two hundred thousand deer each year. I doubt if there are that many taken in North America.
        We have a million people in Saskatchewan and maybe take five thousand.
      There is a case to be made for private ownership of game
There are around 200,000 deer per year harvested in Ohio alone. Same goes for West Virginia and likely several other US states.

The total US annual harvest is 6 to 7 million
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 25, 2021, 09:29:40 PM
  Yeah, and that may just be the ones we kill with our cars. :D I think WV has the highest vehicle to deer kill in the country and our insurance is priced accordingly. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: dogone on March 25, 2021, 10:03:18 PM
   I was just referring to moose harvest. I edited post to clarify.
  How many moose taken in Ohio?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on March 25, 2021, 10:18:37 PM
Ain't no meeses living in Ohio that I know of.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 26, 2021, 09:22:28 AM
   Did you know the screw worm used to be the limiting factor for the number of deer in the state of Florida? Evidently, if I remember my Wildlife Biology classes correctly, Fla used to have about 10,000 deer. Any time a deer got a cut, scratch or other injury the screw flies laid eggs in it and the maggots drilled into the muscle infecting and weakening the animal till it died or predators killed it.

   The screw worm was eliminated in my lifetime by scientists taking advantage of its lifecycle. The female fly will only mate once but the male, lacking a leather apron ;), would mate many times. Scientists found they could irradiate adult flies and sterilize the males which were released in the area. The males flew around merrily spreading dead pollen to unsuspecting females who then set up housekeeping laying eggs everywhere that never hatched. After several cycles of this the density of viable flies in the area dropped so low the female flies could not find a mate and they died out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 27, 2021, 06:12:09 AM
    Did you know the steering mechanism on a camel or yak is a stick through his nose with a rope tied to it? The rope is pulled left or right to make him go in that direction. I don't remember if you pull it down or up to stop him. As I remember the owner would find a stick with a fork and cut off both sections above the fork leaving a Y shape a couple of inches across, they poke a hole in the nose between the nostril and push the stick through till the Y stops it then the split the other end and spread it kind of like opening up a cotter key. They tie a rope around the stick and pass the end up to the rider. I never got to watch them training a new animal to steer so I don't know how long it takes the animal to learn. I do know a Mongolian yak is the smoothest ride I have ever been on - he just sort of glides along with almost no noticeable bumping up and down or side to side.

  I think they use this same system for a Filipino Cariboo or water buffalo they use as their draft animals.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 28, 2021, 10:51:39 AM
   Did you know the worlds smallest antelopes are dik diks? These little antelopes are not as big as some of our rabbits or hares. Some stand about 10"-12" at the shoulder and can weigh 5-6 lbs. They are beautiful little animals with 2"-3" horns. They are mostly nocturnal with big limpid eyes and typically stay in heavy shaded brush. They are browsers eating the leaves off of various shrubs and such. Fortunately they are pretty adaptable and as best I remember they have pretty stable populations with good reproductive rates. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on March 28, 2021, 12:04:43 PM
     I used to eradicate possums until I learned that they eat ticks and are 98% immune to rabies.  They also help keep the carrion devoured.  I wouldn't eat one though! 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 28, 2021, 12:19:51 PM
   I have eaten many strange food around this old world but I can honestly say I never knowingly ate a possum. I have pulled too many out of old cow and mule carcasses and such to ever get that hungry. I have also heard that they are tick eating machines and if so, more power to them. I used to catch mother possums and bring them home for the kids to play with the babies. There are few things in life cuter than a baby possum.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 28, 2021, 04:32:19 PM
  Did you know the worlds smallest antelopes are dik diks? These little antelopes are not as big as some of our rabbits or hares. Some stand about 10"-12" at the shoulder and can weigh 5-6 lbs. They are beautiful little animals with 2"-3" horns. They are mostly nocturnal with big limpid eyes and typically stay in heavy shaded brush. They are browsers eating the leaves off of various shrubs and such. Fortunately they are pretty adaptable and as best I remember they have pretty stable populations with good reproductive rates.


Iíve also read that they are VERY tough to put down. Thatís according to some of the safari type readings that Iíve read in the past, although Iím fairly certain that Iíll never be able to go on one. I also understand that most Africa game is the same way.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 28, 2021, 05:37:01 PM
   I have never heard of the small to medium animals being particularly hard to put down with a well placed shot from most adequate modern firearms. I forget the name of the old hunter but I remember one who killed most of Africa's big game with a 30-06 up to and including elephants. He studied his prey carefully and used bullets designed to open at the desired rate, conducted careful stalks and placed his shots precisely to great effect. Most hunters tend to want to overkill their prey because they are legitimately scared of it. I'd be scared to face a cape buffalo on the ground with him too. Ted Bear killed an elephant with a bow as I remember. He had a special bamboo bow with something like 110 lb pull and 40 inch arrows. In all honesty I think after he made his shot with the bow his PH shot it again with a heavy caliber rifle round.

  If I were going to Africa to hunt I would love to take a good .22 rifle and shoot Fracolins (which always looked like a big bobwhite quail and made me drool every time I saw one) and Guineas and maybe a DikDik or two to eat. I have no desire to shoot the big game. I'm not a trophy hunter. Cape buffalo reminded me of a big herd of black angus cows - but I was riding through them and not threatening them.

  Local tribesmen do not understand our animal rights groups getting upset about people shooting lions and especially leopards which are bloodthirsty killers and will wipe out a whole flock of sheep or goats or such. I have no problem with people killing such in self defense or for protection of their flocks but for me to put a hide on the wall or rug or hang a set of horns in the corner is not for me.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 29, 2021, 09:22:21 AM
   Did you know the largest, and probably the least dangerous, shark in the ocean is the giant whale shark? They have a huge, wide mouth they open to feed on plankton, small krill and such. The mouth on a whale shark looks a lot like the one on a big old flathead catfish.

   The only time I ever saw a whale shark was June 21, 2011 on a dive off the coast of Phuket Thailand. We were diving along some pinnacles admiring the coral and sea critters when my dive partner for the day, an Italian dive master name Francesco Ferrari, grabbed my left arm frantically pointed out to the open ocean so I followed him. Suddenly out of distance a huge shape appeared as a 30' female whale shark circled within 2' of me. I could have easily reached out and petted her. I spun in the water watching her swim away then looked behind and a second, smaller, male about 20' long followed her and passed by me also. It was truly an amazing sight to see.

  We continued our dive by the pinnacles till we had run out of time and air then when I got back to the boat and shed my tank and weight belt, Francesco told me "I have over 1,000 dives under my belt but this is the first time I have ever seen one of them. Not only that, this is not an area where they are known to frequent." I don't know who was happier to see them - me or Francesco.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 30, 2021, 09:19:59 AM
   Did you know that the water filters out the various colors of sunlight at a specific rate based on the wavelength of the light? The first color to go is Red which disappears in as little as 15-20 feet, then orange, yellow, green, etc light disappears as you go deeper. As a scuba diver we would encounter this phenomenon routinely. Many times when scuba diving and spear fishing in the Red Sea off the coast of Jeddah Saudi Arabia, I would dive down and shoot a blue and grey grouper at 50-60 feet deep only to return to the surface to find it was actually a bright red fish.

    Night diving with artificial lights and flash photography show the true colors and the difference is amazing. Many times my wife would take pictures of soft coral (Fire coral is a prime example) of something that looked grey or blue only to find it was vibrant yellow or red colors. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on March 30, 2021, 03:11:09 PM
And MAN has evolved to the point of no longer seeing the UV effect on some plants and even what many laundry detergents have on clothing. Wild game can quite often detect these wavelengths and will ďbustĒ you when hunting. Sight, scent and hearing are games primary means of staying alive. These are the reasons for being still, not making noise, and being as scent free as possible. Itís just difficult for us humans to determine whether or not our laundry detergent has this ďbrightenerĒ in it. There are some products out that do away with the fear of smell and UV effects, but noise is totally up to the individual.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 30, 2021, 03:36:16 PM
   I remember our camo classes back in USMC training. Factors that help you detect the enemy or game included movement, shape, color and shine but the first thing the eye picks out is movement. That will give you or a game animal or predator away faster than anything else. A person standing still in the middle of an open field will often not be noticed even but a chipmunk running in heavy leaves will quickly be spotted.

  One of the hardest animals to spot in Africa is the leopard. What gives away a leopard hiding in the trees is typically his swishing his tail like a big old housecat. He could lay on a limb all day and never be seen but when a game animal or something comes by he instinctively starts swishing that tail and gives away his presence.

 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 31, 2021, 09:21:12 AM
   Did you know when diving where dangerous sharks are present you should always dive with a partner and be sure to carry a dive knife?

    If dangerous sharks appear and look to be threatening there are several schools of thought on how to use your dive knife effectively to repel them. Some divers will tell you to try to stab the shark in the eyes as his weakest point. Others will tell you to stab or pound on the shark's sensitive nose to chase him away. Still others will tell you to stab the shark in the belly and eviscerate him as he swims by.

   Since sharks have a very low sensitivity to and a high threshold for pain poking him in the eye and pounding on his nose does not really work very well. Also since sharks are very fast and aqile swimmers and have very tough skin it is very difficult to penetrate especially with a dive knife which are typically made of very poor quality steel and are generally very dull.

   The only tried and true method proven to work to protect yourself from an angry and aggressive shark with a dive knife is to stab your dive buddy in the leg and swim away from the feeding frenzy while the sharks are distracted.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on March 31, 2021, 10:18:02 AM
     I have no desire to venture into the sharks' grocery store, so I won't need a dive knife.  A bayonet for my Garand, on the other hand...
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on March 31, 2021, 10:32:00 AM
   I worked in Cameroon on a project where we built a 650 mile 30" diameter oil pipeline terminating in a Floating Storage Operation in the Atlantic Ocean. I asked my co-worker, a former sea captain, who was in charge of the shore to ship operations if he was a scuba diver. He replied "I have spent my whole life trying to stay on top of the ocean and I'm not about to change now."
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 01, 2021, 08:49:14 AM
   Did you know the recommended method to protect yourself from sharks and barracudas and such when spearfishing is to attach the fish your spear to a buoy towed or tethered a good distance from the diver? If a shark or other large predator fish is attracted to the smell of the blood in the water he goes to the fish instead of the diver giving the diver time to abandon his catch and safely clear the area.

    When I was diving I normally used a special ring much like a giant safety pin designed to hold the fish. I would open the pin, unscrew the point of my spear which had barbs a couple of inches long, and slide the fish directly off on to the ring then close it to keep the fish secure. Since I did most of my spearfishing at night my shots were very close and very short distances - like gigging frogs - and I shot most of my sleeping/blinded fish through the eye. If the fish was not shot through the eye I would string him up through the gills or poke a hole through the bottom lip and slide the ring out through his open mouth.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 01, 2021, 03:36:27 PM
And you lived to tell about these adventures !
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 01, 2021, 06:15:26 PM
   Yes but I have shed a few body parts along the way. :D Did you know you should never liplock a porcupine puffer fish like you do a bass? If I'd remembered that they eat coral I could have saved myself a thumbnail and a lot of pain and some temporary embarrassment. I assure you I got over the embarrassment a lot quicker than the lost thumbnail.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 01, 2021, 10:25:31 PM
I once was trying to get a skunk out from under someones' deck and got impatient as I wasn't having any luck. I was determined to get it in one visit so, knowing the risks, I reached in and grabbed a hind leg, snatched it out and tossed it in the yard. Then I rushed over to it and humanely dispatched it. He managed to reach around and bite me in the process when I grabbed him. I washed the bite and it healed fine. I was vaccinated for rabies. Another time I was trying to transfer a feral cat from one cage trap to another and got careless and it nearly escaped. Determined not to let that happen I grabbed it with bare hands and that cat bit my forearm HARD. I got a nasty infection and ended up going to the doctor for antibiotics. Cat bites are not fun. The cat did not get away.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 01, 2021, 10:44:11 PM
  Our son caught a skunk and brought it home to show our Norwegian exchange student who had returned a couple years later for a visit. As he walked between the fences the dogs barking on both sides agitated it and it started to climb up it's tail which Sean was holding. He put it down on the walk to get a better grip and it sprayed the yard and stunk it up then bit him on the finger and got away so he had to get the Rabies shots. One a week in a different quadrant intra muscular till done. After insurance we still had to pay $800. I told my wife not to be too hard on him as I had showed him how to catch them. That set her off as he had already told her "Aw Mom, Dad will understand." So she chewed on both of us.

   Then 5-6 months later Sean and his buddies came home from fishing late one night. I heard the dogs bark then a coon squall. Sean stepped in the door and all 3 baby coons he had caught crossing the road at the lake got loose at the same time. Neele (Nee Lah) our German exchange student that year, ran to her room and locked the door. I grabbed one, Sean grabbed one and his buddy Josh grabbed the third. By then my wife and daughter were standing in the middle of the sofa and my wife said "Sean, you're gonna mess around and we're all going to get rabies!" His immediate but ill-thought out answer was "Not me. I've had my shots." He should had kept quiet or just apologized.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 02, 2021, 09:50:15 AM
   (I hope some more experienced trappers chime in here.) Did you know the two main techniques of skinning fur bearing animals for their pelts is what I have always heard called "Casing" and "Boxing"? Think of casing as removing a pullover shirt and boxing as removing a button up shirt. From what I have seen on shows where lots of trappers skin their catch, casing seems to be more popular.

When casing a fur first the animal is hung head down and the skin is "ringed" at the ankles cutting just through the skin. Next the skin is cut from one ankle to the other along both legs and under the tail. The tail is either split and skinned or cut through and the bone is pulled out. The skin is loosened around the legs which are pulled free then the hide is pulled down over the belly then the chest and finally the head and front feet. The front feet are either cut off or ringed at the "wrists" and the skin is pulled free. The skin is pulled over head carefully cutting it free at the ears and around the lips till it pulls off. Once removed the skin is pulled down onto a skinning frame made of wire or an appropriately sized and shaped board, that looks something like an ironing board, with the flesh side out. The skin is salted and fleshed (excess fat and any pieces of meat left are removed) and hung up to dry. Once dried the skin is removed from the frame/board and inverted with the fur side out and sold to the buyers.

When boxing a fur the same basic procedure is followed except the skin is cut up the middle of the belly and the fur is nailed to a board or holes are punched along the edges of the fur and stings are run through the holes and the hide is stretched tight, fleshed and dried. Beavers are boxed hides and when stretched they are basically a round or oval shape.

Most people skinning a field dressed deer or elk or such are basically boxing the hide. Since I hunt on my own property and am minutes away from my skinning rack I do not field dress and case the hides on my deer.

For those of you who have read the FoxFire series there is a tall tale in there about a family who had a locally famous hound dog named Old Blue who was so smart the owner could take down a skinning board and show it to Old Blue and he would run off to the swamp by himself and usually within an hour or so he would come back with a possum that size. One day the husband came home and asked his wife "Where's Old Blue - he didn't meet me when I came home." His wife replied "Well our new neighbor, Myra Wilson, came over about noon to borrow my iron and ironing board and when I got the ironing board out Old Blue jumped up and ran around us looking at it then started whining and whimpering and ran off into the woods and I haven't seen him since." The story goes Old Blue was never seen again.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on April 02, 2021, 01:58:43 PM
 :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 02, 2021, 09:56:13 PM
Nearly all furbearers are case skinned, that is what the buyers insist on. Yes, beaver are skinned open. The fur should be clean and dry before skinning. A lot of fur is spoiled by waiting too long to skin it and not keeping it cold or fleshing and stretching it in a timely manner. Only hides of deer,moose, cattle, etc. should be salted, not furs. After skinning, furs can be frozen or fleshed to remove fat and tissue from the skin and placed on a drying wire frame or board. Anyone who is serious about learning this should try to get with an experienced trapper and/or visit a fur buyer and ask for help to learn. Smart fur buyers will help so that you don't mess up your furs and then want them to pay you a good price for them. Doing a really good job handling furs takes experience. Some guys can flesh and stretch 100+ raccoons a day. Partly due to covid, furs prices are not good right now. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 02, 2021, 10:58:19 PM
KEC,

   Thanks for the input. I was hoping for input for someone with experience on this. The only furs I ever actually sold were a few deer hides, a few coon hides (Back before the price dropped more than it was worth to skin one), a nice road killed mink and a small coyote I shot while deer hunting. I did not stretch or flesh or otherwise process them. I just cased the hides then froze them till I could take them to my local fur buyer. I used to live trap a few nuisance coons around my barn and my deer feeders but the last 2 seasons they were not worth it. I caught and killed or relocated 7-8 coons and a couple of possums off the front porch but never skinned a one due to stupid low prices. Same with deer hides. They never brought much but I always figured I had already skinned it to get the meat but after last year it got to the point it was not even worth the hassle to store them till I was traveling to near where my buyer could get them.

    I am a big fan of Tom Oar on the Mountain Men TV series. He is the old guy out in Montana who traps then processes the hides into end products getting many times the value of the raw fur.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 03, 2021, 09:27:32 AM
   Did you know the puffer fish, when threatened, inflates to several times his normal size? If he can hide in a crack in the coral that makes it hard for predators to get him out. If in the open water it makes him very hard to swallow. There are unicorn puffers that have rows of spines all over their bodies that lay flat when deflated but stick out when inflated.

   One night I came across a large porcupine puffer fish in the Red Sea near Jeddah Saudi Arabia while diving there. When I grabbed him he swelled up to the size of a basketball and with all the spines out so I could not grab him. Watching him breath in and out I had an epiphany and grabbed his bottom lip like a bass to lip lock him which should be in the Did something dumb thread because he crunched down. I forgot they eat coral as their normal diet. He crushed my thumb, the nail turned blue and eventually fell off. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 03, 2021, 10:10:57 AM
I wonder what the difference is between these puffer fish orf which you speak and the blow fish I used to catch by the bucket fulls when I was a kid (saltwater)? Those fish would blow up when you tickled their bellies and had teeth like a rabbit, so if they ever bit down on you they made quite the slot in your finger. The mouths were small though. I haven't thought about them in decades.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 03, 2021, 02:49:47 PM
Tom,

   I suspect they may be the same thing as the puffer fish I saw had buck teeth similar to what you describe. One smaller version had a mask like a raccoon and I believe it was even called a raccoon puffer fish. Some had spines and were the porcupine puffers while others were smooth. You see the dried inflated ones for decoration in Chinese restaurants.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on April 03, 2021, 08:58:14 PM
Howard, did you eat any of the puffer fish?
I think it can kill you quite suddenly, if not done right.

      JJ
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 03, 2021, 09:32:57 PM
Apparently there are over 600 fish around the world in this family with similar characteristics. The poisonous effects vary with the specific fish. I was 12 years old or so when I was sent out in a rowboat for the day to "catch all the blowfish you can for Aunt Julia and she'll make us a nice dinner" which I did. We would gut and skin them and wind up with a piece of meat that looked a lot like a chicken drumstick. She would bread and deep fry them. I could eat them until I was sick they were so good. (I generally hate fish, but a Aunt Julia was the best game cook I have ever known, she made a moose meat fondu that was just heaven on a plate). Aunt Julia could also make a killer deep fired eel  but I did not enjoy the catching so much as a young boy. We would spear them off the front of a special built boat late at night. I would sit in the back as they squirmed all over the deck and kept my knees next to my ears. We'd go out when the water was calm, around 10pm, and get back around 1am, then cleaning began....
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 03, 2021, 09:40:51 PM
JJ,

No, I never did anything but mess with them and paid the price on at least 2 different occasions. I understand there is a poison gland of some kind in there the sushi chef's have to remove. I do not know if cooking would neutralize it or not. I understand to get a master sushi chef certification the chef has to prepare a certain type of puffer fish and eat it. I do not think repeating the course is an option. ::)

  The second occasion I mentioned above was on a night dive at a private pier near Jeddah that belonged to the owner of all the Pizza Huts and Popeye's Fried Chicken places in Saudi Arabia. He had given me unrestricted access to dive there. I was diving with my dive buddy and his 13 y/o daughter and near the end of our dive I encountered a big, smooth puffer fish and started messing with him. Since he did not have the spines of a porcupine puffer I was able to really mess with him. He had blown up to about the size of a basketball and I was dribbling him up and down in the water. Finally I turned him upside down which he enjoyed about as much as a cat does. When I released him he righted himself in the water and turned to face me and I could actually see the angry look in his eyes as he charged and grabbed me in the left upper chest and came as close to giving me a male mastectomy as I ever hope to experience. I had on a thin (1 mil) wet suit and my whole left pecs turned purple and were a sickly yellow for several weeks afterward. It eventually healed and I wish I could say I learned my lesson. When they went to leave Jeddah, Joanna, now an ER doctor in Greenville NC, gave me a paper mache  puffer fish I have on my mantel to this day which reminds me of that dive every time I see it.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_2442.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1617500151)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_2441.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1617500150)
 This momento given to me by a then 13 y/o dive partner remains one of my treasured possessions. Her dad has since passed but the memories of that night dive at Shaker Pier in The Red Sea near Jeddah live as long as this simple puffer fish survives.

Tom,

  I had to go get a bib just reading about Aunt Julia.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Ianab on April 04, 2021, 01:52:17 AM
Big puffer in the lagoon at Rarotonga. About 2 ft long. And no I didn't mess with it.  :D


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/DSCF9528.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1617515142)
 

These guys (Picasso Trigger) on other hand will actively chase you (and bite) if you get into territory. Luckily they are only up to about 12" long, but they have a much bigger attitude than that. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/DSCF9542s~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1617515353)
 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 04, 2021, 09:18:53 AM
Ian,

   I am well familiar with the Picasso trigger fish who were popular in the Red Sea too. I did not notice and swam too close to a big one's nest and the first sign I had of her was when she came nipped the end of my fins. They are very aggressive.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 04, 2021, 09:47:09 AM
   Tom mentioned Aunt Julia frying eels and such earlier so we can talk about them a bit. Did you know that a common eel most of us catch in the rivers and lakes have only a backbone and no ribs or such? This is one reason the old timers used to love to catch one or two to feed the kids. They could fry the eel and the meat would slide right off on to their plate.

 We used to catch them on catfish hooks baited with cut bait which was one of the reason's my dad quit fishing with anything but soap for catfish bait. The only thing he would catch on soap was channel and blue catfish and no eels, gars, turtles, mudfish (Bowfins), etc that he was not going to keep. I never ate any eels but I skinned a few and cut them up for catfish bait and they were very pretty white meat that looked very much like a channel catfish. We hated to catch an eel because they are very slimy and will twist round and round on a catfish line. Sometimes they will free themselves doing this as will a channel catfish. They difference would be you would see an empty hook with the line twisted with a catfish but if was an eel that had escaped you would have a foot or so of slime on the line above the hook. The truth be told we hated to catch them because we were scared of them because they looked so much like a snake.

 One trick I learned to skin one was throw it in the sand. It would roll and get completely covered in sand and you could hold it without getting the slime on your hands. I'd make a cut behind the head like skinning a frog, grab the cut skin in my fishermen's pincers and pull and the skin would come right off just like skinning a big fat rattlesnake. The best way to get slime off your hands is to grab a handy handful of Spanish moss and rub vigorously with it and it will peel the slime right off. If you don't live near where Spanish moss grows you need to move further south, learn to talk southern and eat grits.

 I came home from a one year tour with the 4th Marine Regiment from Okinawa Japan Christmas of 1986 via Osan Korea and spent a couple of days sightseeing and shopping there. I found the Koreans eat a lot of eels. Later we had a Korean contractor in Saudi and found they ate lots of dried or smoked eel. In the markets of Osan eelskin leather products were very popular with wallets, purses and belts being the most popular. It was very soft and pliable leather and they dyed it into some really pretty colors. Of course you had a seam about every 4-6 inches as that was apparently as wide as they could stretch the eel.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on April 04, 2021, 02:30:04 PM
My thrasher terminology is likely ammis but eel skins were essential for harvesting grains. They formed the connection twixt handle and flail on a thrasher because they are so tough. When I took over my house in Holland from its original owners who'd farmed there for three hundred years, not that that mattered because the farm never was mechanized and relied on horses up till the last farmer retired in the 1970s, there were two skins plastered to a wall in the barn. Looking close I could make out a row of residue in the form of the drying skins across the wall. One of the skins remains, the other I mounted and framed as a memento. Other than that eels mostly disgust me and I steer clear.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on April 04, 2021, 07:54:48 PM
When I was a boy, my Grandaddy would take me down to the big creek that was a tributary to the Ocmulgee River below Macon.  As there were no dams between us at that point and the Georgia coast some 180 miles away, the eels would come into the river from the Atlantic Ocean and come upstream to spawn in the tributary creek.  We would catch them on limb lines or small bamboo poles cut from switch cane stuck into the bank.  He would skin and fry them right there on the creek bank.  They were very good.  Had there own unique taste, not fishy at all.  Those are very fond memories for me. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 05, 2021, 01:26:21 AM
Grandpas are ďuniqueĒ in what and how they teach us the things that we learn from them, at least when we have the patience to sit still long enough.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 05, 2021, 08:09:21 AM
   Did you know that many fish lay their eggs according to moon phases? Where I grew up in N. Fla bluegills would start bedding around April and would be on their nest every full moon up through September. They liked sandy gravel patches and would form shallow depressions they would guard vigorously. If you could find them on the nest and ease up and drop and worm in the nest you were certain to catch a big old bull bluegill because he would move the bait of just to clean out the nest. Most times you would not see your float woggle, it would just slowly line away from the nest.

 I remember a neighbor who had lost an arm to a railroad accident who would sit on a 5 gallon bucket in about a foot of water on a sandy point on a big borrow pit made by pumping the sand and gravel out. Mr. Brown would use a long cane pole and throw it as far as he could reach to a spot in about 2' of water. When he'd catch a fish he'd simply lift his pole behind him to his wife who would remove the fish rebait and tell him when ready and he'd repeat. He could not use a rod and reel to reach the spot so he improvised.

 That old man would keep us in stitches talking about hunting or fishing - both of which he was real good at. He'd tell us how hard it was to bait a hook with only one arm because he said he had to hold with either the bait or the hook in his teeth. He said minnows were too wiggly and hard to hold and you'd swallow one pretty often if not real careful. Crickets were too scratchy and the legs would break off and get caught between your teeth and worms were too soft and wiggly and it was easy to bust one and they tasted awful.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 05, 2021, 09:57:09 AM
 :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on April 05, 2021, 10:13:32 AM
eels would come into the river from the Atlantic Ocean and come upstream to spawn in the tributary creek.


The mature eels do not come into fresh water to spawn, instead they are swimming out to salt water to spawn somewhere in the Sargasso Sea.   After spawning at sea, glass eels return to fresh water and swim upstream to lakes & ponds to grow into elvers and eventually mature eels.

There is big business in Maine to catch net/trap the glass eels for sale to Japan, who's eel aquaculture was wiped out by 2011 Tsunami.   Many fisherman made 100's of thousands of dollars in this business as it was so sudden, it was unregulated at first.   They were getting $1200-2000/lb from Japan for these eels.

Inside Maine's Multimillion-Dollar World of Eel Trafficking (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/glass-eel-elver-trafficking-fishing-unagi)

They need continuous fresh supply as the eels will not spawn in fresh water or in captivity of a salt water pen.

           JJ 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 05, 2021, 03:57:15 PM
Grandpas are ďuniqueĒ in what and how they teach us the things that we learn from them, at least when we have the patience to sit still long enough.
Todd,

   Did you ever read the FoxFire series of books? A teacher up in the Appalachian Mountains near the intersection of NC, TN & GA conducted a project to collect and record the old ways of doing things. Topics included digging a well, building a log cabin, skinning and butchering a hog, tanning hides, etc. The source for the information were the old timers in the community and the researchers were their grandkids. The old timers were very happy to show and explain the details of each of the chosen topics and a colleteral benefit identified during the process was that the kids got a much better appreciation and respect for their grandparents. It started pretty small and just kept growing. They recorded the info in a book, then another and another. The last count I had I think it was up to a dozen or so books. They are entertaining, educational and a very good reference source for people interested in local history, handcrafts and related skills.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 06, 2021, 09:24:27 AM
   The well is feeling a little dry this morning and I know this should probably be in the health and safety thread but Did you know malaria remains one of the top killers in the world? There are several types of malaria common in Africa, Asia and South America. Malaria is spread by mosquitos biting an infected person then buzzing over to someone else and biting them. When Mozzie bites he she first injects and anticoagulant to start breaking down and thin the blood so she (As with so many dangerous animals in the world it is the female who is dangerous ;)) can suck it up into her proboscis. When she injects the anticoagulant she also injects a small amount of the infected blood and the bacteria take root and begin to grow and multiply exponentially in the new host. (This is the same way heartworms are spread in canines here in America.)

There are several ways to prevent and several other ways to reduce the risk of Malaria. One of our on site doctors may chime in with corrections or updates on the medicines but methods to prevent malaria I took when working in Africa, Afghanistan/Iraq and visiting in the Amazon include:

1. Stay away from everyone else with Malaria - if there is no infected host for the mosquito to bite you are perfectly safe.
2. Stay away from all mosquitos - if there is nothing to transfer the disease you are safe. This is easier said than done if you are in a warm climate.
3. Don't let the mosquitos bite - also easier said than done but boots, long sleeve shirts and long pants, mosquito repellent on your skin and clothes, mosquito bed and head nets, etc. are techniques people use to keep from getting bit.
4. Take medication to stop the bacteria before it can start growing - there are several kinds including Larium (Weekly dose), Malerone (Daily and expensive), Doxicycline (I am not sure about the recommended dose here. We took 250 mg/day in Afghanistan but the company fed it to us as a general preventive for other maladies too so that may not be the correct/normal dose.). With any of these preventive meds you have to start well in advance of visiting the affected area and continue for a certain amount of time after you leave so you have enough in your bloodstream to protect you any time the bacteria is present.

  Quinine used to be and may still be used as a treatment/preventive. Quine present in the Sable Palm (Swamp cabbage/Heart of Palm), which was a staple food item for the Seminole Indians is one of the reasons given that they did not get malaria.

We had several co-workers who died from Falciparum malaria on our project in Cameroon. They all died at home in the USA. They would go home on leave and get flu like symptoms and go see their local doctor who had not seen malaria since he took his parasitology class in college and they evidently forgot to tell the doctor they were working in the tropics. The doctors would treat them for the flu and the disease just kept spreading until it was too late. Any hole in the wall clinic in Africa would have assumed malaria and started proper treatment immediately.

Anyway if you plan a visit or vacation to any warm tropical area check with the CDC site to see if malaria is a risk and start your medication as required in advance before going.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 07, 2021, 09:16:31 AM
   Did you know Sulphur can be used to help repel various insects, ticks and chiggers? You can buy small boxes of "Flowers of Sulphur" at most pharmacies. My grandfather spent most of his life working in the woods girdling cypress, hunting for food, plume hunting, gator hunting and finally as one of the early game wardens for the state of Florida. He would sprinkle powdered Sulphur into his shoes and it would be absorbed by the skin of his feet. He'd drop a drop of syrup into Sulphur and roll it into a ball and swallow that to help get more into his system. Across the line in southern Ala from where I grew up in N. Fla a community of Pollard Ala had a community artesian well and many of the residents would stop and get a drink. It was high in Sulphur and when visiting near dusk I remember we would be slapping mosquitoes like crazy while the people who lived there and drank the local water did not seem to be affected. I remember as a kid when we'd get into a batch of chiggers my dad would feed us Sulphur Cream of Tartar tablets which seemed to help repel them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 07, 2021, 10:16:33 AM
Iím wondering if @mike_belben (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33722) saw that.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 07, 2021, 04:56:59 PM
   I went back and re-visited Mikes post again. He was asking about a spray to kill ticks and chiggers it seems on the bushes and grass along a walking path. I doubt the Sulphur would kill them but it might help repel them. I don't know how long it would linger in the area or how much it would take to cover as much area as Mike needs. I think you can buy 50 lb bags and such commercially but don't know if feed stores would handle it. I don't know of any harm it should cause the plant life. We always used Sulphur as a repellent not as an insecticide or such.

 If you check your feed supplier you will see yellow salt blocks which are salt with the Sulphur mixed in so evidently it helps repel flies and maybe horseflies and such from cattle and other livestock. It make even be a wormer medication of sorts. It also is a good indicator it does not harm the animals. I know sulpha drugs have been used for medicine for a long time but do not know how it works. Maybe one of our doctors can chime in and elucidate (and help clear things up).
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 08, 2021, 05:53:07 AM
Now youíre in @doc henderson (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=41041) territory.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 08, 2021, 08:47:09 AM
we had a counselor at camp brown who always was chewing on match heads from paper military matches.  His dad had told him to do it.  He was not the most pointed tool in the box so we worried that it was not a good idea ;).  I have posted before about use of sulfur.  it is a micro nutrient for plants and animals.  (I will see if I can find it).  Bactrim has a sulfur group and is therefore called a sulfa medication.  great for urinary infection.  sulfur can bond to itself, so can attach two bigger molecules like two magnetic objects.  your mucus has disulfide bonds.  we use mucomyst as an aerosol to break up mucus to provide another sulfur group so it is not so stringy.  It is also used for Tylenol overdose to keep the better enzyme breakdown pathway working.  acetylcysteine.  used to have to drink it and it smelled like rotten eggs, but now have an iv preparation.  so it wont kill you in moderation.  can cause nausea.  and may not be as effective as deet.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 08, 2021, 09:44:34 AM
   Did you know you can load 4 full sized camels in the back of a full sized long bed Chevy pick up? My last assignment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was just on the other side of the Bin Laden Memorial Park (The park was dedicated to Ossama's Dad) from the camel souk. I would go over there and talk with the Bedouins there and watch them milk the camels and load them for transport. They would sit the camel down and wrap wire between the ankles and thigh area so they could not straighten them and stand up. They would wrap a couple of slings around them and lift with a boom truck and position them in the bed of the truck to be transported. Camels are amazing animals and can transport a huge load across soft sand and they will get fat of forage that would starve a billy goat. They are also one of the world's most obnoxious beasts and will bite and spit on you.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on April 08, 2021, 09:56:45 AM
I would give my dog 2 garlic tablets with her food to keep ticks off of her.
Seemed to work, I had more ticks on me than I found on her, but she had bad breath.
          steve_smiley
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on April 08, 2021, 10:01:36 AM
used to have to drink it and it smelled like rotten eggs
So, my well on my cabin property has a huge excess of iron but also "sulfur fixing bacteria" which makes the water smell like rotten eggs a little.  The taste is somewhat metallic (duh), well, actually really metallic!  Maybe I should drink this water to keep the mosquitoes at bay!  Was planning on just using it for showers/dishes.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 08, 2021, 10:07:13 AM
I think you can infuse bicarb to raise the Ph and get rid of the bacteria and smell.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 08, 2021, 10:29:12 AM
used to have to drink it and it smelled like rotten eggs
So, my well on my cabin property has a huge excess of iron but also "sulfur fixing bacteria" which makes the water smell like rotten eggs a little.  The taste is somewhat metallic (duh), well, actually really metallic!  Maybe I should drink this water to keep the mosquitoes at bay!  Was planning on just using it for showers/dishes.
I would verify it is safe to drink before drinking it. The health risks might be worse than the skeeters. If you have problems with mosquitoes and ticks and chiggers it might help to drink some of it. We have had wells with iron and sulfur and it turned the clothes yellow in the wash and made strings floating in the tea water. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 08, 2021, 10:33:57 AM
mmmm mmmmh.  sounds good   ;)   :)   :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: jb616 on April 08, 2021, 11:20:49 AM
I think you can infuse bicarb to raise the Ph and get rid of the bacteria and smell.  
Don't they do that with Peroxide too? 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Hilltop366 on April 08, 2021, 11:29:41 AM
I'm not sure what else it does but peroxide will oxidize the dissolved iron so it can be filtered. Water with dissolved iron in it can still look clear until it has access to oxygen.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 08, 2021, 01:24:45 PM
I am not a well expert.  someone was on last month and spoke to this.  I do not recall the handle.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 08, 2021, 04:20:42 PM
But thatís still interesting about the camel. I had no idea. They are supposed to be very smart as well. But of course, itís from a movie, so who knows(rhetorical)? 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Billbob on April 08, 2021, 05:33:19 PM
  Did you know you can load 4 full sized camels in the back of a full sized long bed Chevy pick up? My last assignment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was just on the other side of the Bin Laden Memorial Park (The park was dedicated to Ossama's Dad) from the camel souk. I would go over there and talk with the Bedouins there and watch them milk the camels and load them for transport. They would sit the camel down and wrap wire between the ankles and thigh area so they could not straighten them and stand up. They would wrap a couple of slings around them and lift with a boom truck and position them in the bed of the truck to be transported. Camels are amazing animals and can transport a huge load across soft sand and they will get fat of forage that would starve a billy goat. They are also one of the world's most obnoxious beasts and will bite and spit on you.
LOL!  Brings back memories of when I was in Amman, Jordan for a year back in 2004.  Spent a couple of weekends in the desert riding camel.  Just about ruined my back.  At the time I could spend 8 hours on horseback and think nothing of it.  Spent 3 hours on camel back and couldn't straighten up for 2 days.  lol
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 08, 2021, 07:26:44 PM
   I asked a Saudi co-worker one time why we would see all these 4 door pick up trucks with the men and boys in the front seat and the back seat area would be full of sheep and goats and the bed of the truck would be full of the women and girls. (They would be wrapped up in their black Abayas and wearing veils.)  My Saudi friend sagely told me "You don't have to tie the women and girls in the back to keep them from jumping out."

   Its pretty hard to argue with that kind of reasoning.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 08, 2021, 10:03:12 PM
I'm going to have to keep this in mind if I ever decide to sell my Chevy pickup. What a great selling point  ! 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 08, 2021, 10:19:41 PM
   Yes, it is a definite selling point. You can only get 2 big camels in a long wheelbase toyota.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on April 08, 2021, 11:41:18 PM
I would verify it is safe to drink before drinking it.
The water was tested and it is indeed safe to drink.  The iron level is "above the level where it affects the taste" but not unsafe.  Tested for all sorts of stuff and passed with flying colors - except for the iron.  The water is even somewhat soft - not much calcium and one other thing that I don't recall the name right now.  My sister had a place that had high iron.  Just NEVER use bleach.  It causes it to stain clothes big time!
Water with dissolved iron in it can still look clear until it has access to oxygen.
 
Yep, comes out of the well crystal clear.  Let it sit and it turns brownish and it settles to the bottom of jugs.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 09, 2021, 10:04:27 PM
   Did you know a newborn camel looks kind of like a 5'-6' long fuzzy snake with long legs? The ones I saw did not look like they were over 6" diameter at birth. They are born ugly and do not improve much with age. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 10, 2021, 08:34:22 AM
bout like us Howard?.   :D :D :D,  except our girth exceeds 6 inches.   :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 10, 2021, 09:35:40 AM
Doc,

   Don't tell me I am out of shape! Round is a shape. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 10, 2021, 10:00:05 AM
I should have quoted the born ugly and do not improve much with age.  we are round just not under 6 inches.   ;) :).
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 10, 2021, 10:01:33 AM
    They are born ugly and do not improve much with age.
:D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 10, 2021, 10:10:13 AM
   There has been a lot of discussion lately here on wells and well water and such. Did you know one of the biggest health hazards world wide is poor quality drinking water? One of the first things many NGOs and Benevolent associations try to do to help people in undeveloped or developing countries (Whatever the current PC buzzword for them may be) is to drill or dig wells for community use.

   Water is purified by several methods including the following methods. Community water systems often use a combination of several of these: 

Filtration - various media including ceramic and carbon filters remove the dangerous pathogens. Some natural substances like sand and limestone and such filter the water. One advantage of ceramic is only items smaller than the acceptable level diameter pass through. When dirty, the filter plugs up and no water passes through. In 1986 we returned to Cameroon and trekked in to visit with the Kouma tribesmen and we took a filter we had bought at an outfitter in Charlotte NC. We'd put one end in the stream and pump the water through a ceramic filter to get our drinking water. The trek was too far to carry that much water weight with us so we needed to generate it along the route.

Heat - boiling water is a common technique to kill bacteria and viruses. As an extra measure of safety we often boiled our filtered water to kill any virus which the filter might have missed. 

Chemical treatment - Iodine, chlorine, etc have long been  chemicals added to kill bacteria. We visited the Amazon in Peru and our guide used Iodine to treat our drinking water on the trip.

UV light - UV can kill many pathogens but often it is used with a filter system because too much turbidity in the water prevents the UV light from killing various "bugs" in the water. UV improperly used can give a false sense of security as you think you are drinking safe water but may not be.

   People build up immunity to the "bugs" in their water but are not immune to new ones. A tribesman in a remote village in Africa drinking very sketchy water that would kill one of us might come to our home and drink the well water we drink every day and get sick from it. And you can lose your immunity if not constantly exposed to it. I had an uncle in the USAF (Yeah - I know pretty embarrassing for an old Marine but it is true) who was stationed in Iceland. He came home to central Fla after his tour and went fishing on the Suwannee River and had been dreaming of a good drink of that limestone water he had drunk all his life. He grabbed a PA tobacco can and dipped up a couple of swallows and filled his craving - and it nearly killed him. He had lost all his immunity to the critters in it that he had as a kid.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 11, 2021, 04:03:36 AM
Very interesting about the built up immunity. What about bleach?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 11, 2021, 05:34:42 AM
 Interesting stuff. I donít recall ever getting sick from water but have sipped from risky water holes before  :D
If Iím in the woods and see a small stream Iíll drink out of that no problem untreated, been doing it since I was a child :D. I donít know ANY science behind if itís safe but my ďtheoryĒ is the water gets filtered thru moss, rocks all sorts of things and if you sip the surface of the current thatís where itís clean since sediment sinks. Iím sure you already knew this just thinking out loud here for discussion ;D. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 11, 2021, 09:26:56 AM
if you do ever get sick, it will prob. cure you of this.  It is not like it will make you sick every time unless you get a load of organism.  lots of lore like moving water is safe.  if you dig a hole nearby standing water and it fills with water, it will be safe.  we all get a sip of lake water when skiing or swimming.  You do not drink the water or use ice in Mexico.  At Philmont we filtered and boiled our water to make food.  for drinking we filtered and added tablets.  on a canoe trip we carefully got water from the river to make chicken and noodles.  boiled the water first then added a few drops of bleach.  In college I got salmonella typhimurium from my fridge, and was not the same for months.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 11, 2021, 09:41:40 AM
I had no idea about the dug hole near a water body, makes sense how it would be more clean! Will remember that one.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 11, 2021, 09:47:15 AM
lots of neat survival stuff.  a big tarp that get condensation over night, and collect the "dew" by manipulating the plastic tarp.  can only live so long without water.  If you are in the wilderness with N/V/D you will die sooner.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on April 11, 2021, 10:25:47 AM
I donít know ANY science behind if itís safe but my ďtheoryĒ is the water gets filtered thru moss, rocks all sorts of things and if you sip the surface of the current thatís where itís clean since sediment sinks.
Out here, it is assumed that ALL surface water has Giardia since there is so much cattle grassing on public land.  My wife and daughter got Giardia from eating at an "authentic" Chinese food establishment off the beaten track in San Francisco.  We were the only English speaking people there.  Either that, or the locals had built up an immunity to what they served there!  My theory on "bugs" is I eat just about everything leftover in the fridge.  If it hasn't popped the top off the Tupperware (just bulging a little), its all good!  I have a pretty high tolerance to questionable food.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 11, 2021, 10:55:18 AM
I donít know ANY science behind if itís safe but my ďtheoryĒ is the water gets filtered thru moss, rocks all sorts of things and if you sip the surface of the current thatís where itís clean since sediment sinks.
Out here, it is assumed that ALL surface water has Giardia since there is so much cattle grassing on public land.  My wife and daughter got Giardia from eating My theory on "bugs" is I eat just about everything leftover in the fridge.  If it hasn't popped the top off the Tupperware (just bulging a little), its all good!  I have a pretty high tolerance to questionable food.
:D :D As long as no mushrooms or anything is growing from the leftovers right?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ESFted on April 11, 2021, 11:32:53 AM
On a long spring hike in the wilds of Alaska, I took a chance on a drink from a beautiful clear running little stream running down the valley.  Tasted great.  Then I noticed the dead and rotting winter kill moose 50' upstream.  Moose infused water.  Tastes great, less filling.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 11, 2021, 11:43:06 AM
Todd,

   There are recipes out there on how much bleach to use to purify water. When we first got married and I was assigned to Okinawa and we lived in the ville the water pressure was erratic and when low crud flowed back into the water system so we were told how many drops of bleach per gallon. Seems like a teaspoon for 5 gallons was one guideline. When I mentioned chlorine I was including bleach as a purifier. The various survival reality shows include many of these steps such as the well near a stream to help filter water. Not 100% but much better than flowing water. I think giardia (I believe that is the one called Beaver fever) can be removed by simply filtering through a fine cloth as they are a pretty big organism. There are plants and vines that you can cut that contain or drip pure water or refill the stump with water. Taking charcoal left from the fire and crushing it and filling a hollow tube, like bamboo with a layer of sand and letting the water filter through is one technique. Putting a clear bottle of water in the sun and letting the UV rays purify it is another. Using several of these together is even safer like boiling iodized or chlorinated water. Contaminated water remains one of the world's biggest health hazards. If you are going into a remote area you can buy filtration systems like the one I mentioned or you can buy purification tablets. We used to take powdered Gatorade to add both for the electrolytes we were losing and to kill the taste of treated water. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 11, 2021, 11:53:14 AM
   Did you know other cultures (OK - maybe just different individuals) have developed a different taste for various foods? We trekked in to camp with and visit the Kouma people in the Atlanka Mountains on the border with Cameroon and Nigeria. On the way out we stopped for a rest break and my wife and I broke out some small boxes of raisins and were snacking on them. My local guide for the trip, Abdou, asked what they were so I explained they were dried grapes, etc and gave him a box. He tossed a handful in his mouth like we had been doing and chomped down a couple of times and started gagging and spitting out the remnants, rinsed out his mouth with drinking water and spit it out a couple of times then calmly went back to eating his termites. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on April 11, 2021, 02:12:56 PM
Never been downstream of a moose but have met a dead deer in the water a couple of times after camping and cooking downstream the night before. It's surprising how much sketchy water is out there. Giardia takes a heathy period at a rolling boil to do in. Very often travelling around building we were getting different water or were the first ones to use a new well. It wasn't uncommon to get the green apple quickstep for a few days as my system adjusted to the new flora. Some wells I decided it was better to buy water and a time or two the test results came back not so lovely after we had been drinking it for quite awhile. There's a couple of commercial places that somehow pass that I would never eat in, wells that go turbid after a rain (no surface water there  ::)) and cross connects in old work. Pretty much all municipal water systems have leaks. As long as the pressure stays positive treated water is leaving the system so no health worries. When the pressure drops like in a power outage then the soil water can enter the system and bring whatever it has been in contact with back into the pipes, all depending that can be not so good for a body. Generally if water or squeezings will make beer or wine it is safe, that is where what to us seems like heavy consumption comes from in some cultures, hard cider was the drink of choice for colonists here.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on April 11, 2021, 04:07:14 PM
We live 90 some odd miles north of where my inlaws lived just south of Houston.  I soon learned to take bottled water with me, as drinking their water would lead to a day of quick step.  Cooked food, no, ice in scotch, no, just straight water.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on April 11, 2021, 08:41:23 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/3612/DSCN0521~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1320196222)
 
Pumping from a stream.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN0696.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1327002413)
 
using this pump and then 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN0694.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1327007708)
 
using the above shown UV "light" to further purify our water.  After we had been there several days Marty was walking upstream and noticed a big cow pie.  Yup, upstream from our pumping location and no, we did not get sick.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 11, 2021, 08:59:39 PM
  Yep, same company if not same model we used for filter pump. Mine has a ceramic filter that  removes all dangerous pathogens.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: RichTired on April 11, 2021, 09:26:44 PM
When my Dad returned from WWII he got a job at a tractor company. He made deliveries and made repairs out in the field. He had one story where he had worked all morning on a tractor left out in the back 40 from the end of the last season. He got it running and drove it back to the man's house. He was parched from being out in the sun all morning and went directly to the well, drew a bucket of water and put the dipper in the bucket and pulled out a big dead rat.
He said, "boy all of a sudden I was no longer thirsty!"
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on April 11, 2021, 10:38:49 PM
Yep, same company if not same model we used for filter pump. Mine has a ceramic filter that removes all dangerous pathogens.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN0693.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1327002411)
 
Here it is disassembled.  The ceramic filter is seen in the top right.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 12, 2021, 08:45:49 AM
   Did you know that one way prickly pear cactus spreads is by the pads breaking off into various animals which then transport them to a new location and then pull the pad free and it takes root in the new site starting a new plant. They have very long, sharp, barbed thorns and can be very painful and dangerous to people and animals. My grandfather had a piece of land that had a bunch on them in Central Fla and when deer hunters using dogs jumped a deer in the area the deer would often deliberately run through them. The dogs following would run into the prickly pear patch and it would shut them down that day and until the hunter could remove them and they could heal up which usually took several days. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 12, 2021, 09:49:32 AM
MM I have the same one, and we used another that held 4 L and went through a filter by gravity, for enough water to make a meal for the group (13).  water is heavy, so you cannot always carry it with you in large quantities.  when we made food, we boiled the water well after filtering. then added the dehydrated stuff.  The wide mouth Katadyn can attach directly to the top of a water bottle (Nalgene) and then we added a purification tab.  if you waited several hours to use that water for drinking, there was no bad taste.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on April 12, 2021, 10:25:53 AM
Did you know prickly pear cactus is good to eat too? I first ate prickly pear (with a roasted little javelina) when camping near the big bend of the Rio Grande. Now I have some growing on my place and harvest occasionally.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 12, 2021, 12:27:44 PM
Just donít eat the spines.  

O U C H !!!🤬👿😄😱
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on April 12, 2021, 02:10:02 PM
Yes, doc, we pumped directly into the Nalgene water bottles and then inserted the UV light thingy for the specified amount of time.  No tablets.  We then used it for our freeze dried meals and also poured it directly into our "Camelbaks for the next day's water.

We used and drank "cow pie" water for 10 days with no ill effects.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 12, 2021, 02:37:01 PM
   The streams we used as a source were plenty sketchy too and the filter worked fine for us. Weight of the water was the very reason we bought and used it as we'd have had to have hired 2-3 extra porters to carry enough safe water in to see us through in the remote areas we were visiting. Every day we could just generate the next days water and stay as long as we liked and we were carrying a device that weighed a couple of pounds instead of carrying 100 lbs or more and limiting our stay to the amount of our water supply.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 13, 2021, 09:44:41 AM
   Did you know the first fruit trees in my area of WV to bloom are Blackheart (Wild sweet) cherries, followed almost immediately by plums, then apples? Actually, this year I have a peach tree that beat them all to the bloom by nearly a week. The cherries will start to ripen in late May and finish in early June. My Red Delicious apples will get ripe in August and September. The plums probably in June/July (I don't know as this is the first year the bush has bloomed). The odd thing is my peaches, which were first to bloom, will ripen in late September and October. Our dogwoods are just starting to bloom. 

   I typically actually get a crop of Blackheart cherries about every 4-5 years as most years a late freeze knocks the blooms off the tree. The last couple of years critters stole nearly all my apples. I don't know what I will be fighting to get my plums. The deer, horse and mule eat a few peaches but not enough to hurt me.  My big horse can easily reach 10' high and will trample you to get an apple out of your hand but has not figured out how to eat the ones hanging 4'-5' high in his pasture. Go figure!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 13, 2021, 11:03:30 AM
For sure, apples are relished by a wide range of critters. I once caught a Gray Fox on New Years' Day and its' belly was full of apples.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 13, 2021, 12:37:09 PM
@KEC (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=40283) itís probably because a grey is the only canine that can NATURALLY climb trees, just not all trees. 

Iíve no idea why the horse canít figure out how to get those apples. Curious, isnít it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 14, 2021, 09:10:31 AM
   Since there is an active sister thread about bats I'll discuss them. Did you know that most bats are insectivores and are very a very helpful species but some species eat fruit and there are even the famous vampire bats down in Mexico and Central/South America that live on a diet of blood? The insect eaters locate their prey by a type of sonar. You can go out to a night light where a few bats are swooping and diving catching bugs and pitch a few pebbles up in the air and watch them swoop down and grab them. I have always thought about taking my fly rod out with a cork bug like I use for bluegills and see if I can't catch bats with it. Then I get to thinking about how I am going to get him off the hook and I really don't want to hurt them and I back off. Kind of like the first time I went frog gigging and gigged a big water snake then had to get him off the gig and realized what a dumb thing that had been to do.

  In the city of Douala, Cameroon in West Africa there were a couple of big mango trees near where I lived and worked where the big fruit bats roosted. There were 10's of thousands, if not more, bats there hanging off every limb. They were about the size of crows. At sunset it looked like a tornado over the area as they left the roost and circled a few times before leaving for their favorite feeding ground. Sometimes in the middle of the day we would see them circling and knew that something had disturbed them - usually a local guy with a pellet gun shooting a few to eat.

  We went back there in 2008 and I took my photographer wife over to see them and get some pictures. She has very good cameras and lenses and got plenty of good pictures. We were looking at the pictures on our computer later and my wife was looking at yawning bats and such and she suddenly asked me "What are these things on these bats?" I looked and told her "They are male bats." I never realized her equipment was good enough to tell the sex of roosted bats.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 14, 2021, 11:46:30 AM
Howard, not sure it is appropriate to talk about sex and your wife's equipment!   :o :o :o :) :) :) ;) ;) ;) :D :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 14, 2021, 12:29:33 PM
Doc,

 The next time time she is wearing her "Miss Kitty" dress I will have to check with her about that. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 14, 2021, 03:47:10 PM
I was trying to be funny, and I hope I did not offend too many.  Us medical folks work and live with a different line in the sand than many.  My apologies to any and all that thought my comments were over the line.  all due respect to you and your wife.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 14, 2021, 04:58:48 PM
Doc,

   You sure haven't hurt my feelings or offended me. I still want to talk with you some time about that missing ring though. :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Jeff on April 14, 2021, 05:20:13 PM
So you do know, the post was reported, so there is a line for some. Be careful with it gents.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 14, 2021, 05:50:21 PM
Howard you and I have a history of poking fun, and of course that was all I intended, but i was made aware, and I know this is a family site.  i have crossed the line accidentally before and so i know that I am somewhat numb to some items of off color biological stuff.  It was a play on words.  Jeff as you know I love the forum, and mean no harm.  thanks for the heads up, and hope you all do not loose patience with the ol doc.  

Quote:
"They are male bats." I never realized her equipment was good enough to tell the sex of roosted bats.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 15, 2021, 02:32:33 PM
   Did you know that old timers, and maybe some still do, used to snare gar fish in the southern USA? As I understand the process they would take a thin wire and make a snare/loop, tie it to a long cane pole and place it in front of a live or cut bait under a float in shallow water in oxbow lakes and other places where gars were common and fed on the surface. I assume when they saw the gar approaching they positioned the loop in front of the fish between the gar and the bait. The slender gar would swim into the loop and the gar fisherman would pull tightening the loop. I understand it was very exciting to watch a fish caught in this fashion as they fought really hard and gars can be very large, strong fish.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 16, 2021, 08:48:40 AM
   Did you know that yucca (Spanish bayonet/bear grass, etc) has long been used for cordage? If you watch any of the current reality survival shows you will often see contestants using it for making string to tie together their shelters, make raised sleeping platforms, or to make snares and such. My dad used to tell us it was what folks used to hang the meat in their smokehouses when he was a kid. It is very strong and flexible. Apparently they cut it into strips about 1/4" wide and it was strong enough to hold up heavy hams or sides of bacon and such.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on April 16, 2021, 09:16:41 AM
We used to tie things together with yucca when we were kids. This was a parallel discovery I reckon as we weren't taught this use. I tried to make cordage out of all kinds of stuff, but lacking patience and knowledge I usually failed.

In appalachia, yucca and/or daffodils growing in the woods are a common long distance indicator of an abandoned homesite or lost/forgotten graveyard. Yucca is also food.

And on gars: They are not too hard to get on a hook, but getting them to stay on with their violence and bony-headedness is tougher. Sometimes it's easier to snag them. They are good food too.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 16, 2021, 10:35:24 AM
Will,

   I am well aware of how hard it is to hook a gar. I can remember using a topwater bass bait with propellers on the front and back at the mouth of a slough on the Escambia River where I grew up. Gars were breaking the surface all over the place. Regularly I would see bony bill rise out of the water with my lure in between the rows of teeth. I tried repeatedly to set the hook but usually just ended up ducking and dodging as it whizzed past my ear. I never did succeed in hooking one. I think I mentioned earlier I later learned using a piece of unraveled nylon cord in a big eyed hook with a piece of cut bait or live bait set under a float a foot deep or so worked. The gar would grab the bait and get the fine cord wrapped in his teeth and I'd reel him in and often find the hook completely outside his mouth.

   Most of the gars in our area were long-nosed gars. We had a few of the alligator gars but they were less common. We considered them trash fish and killed and threw them back in the water. One time Dad was catching a lot of the and had an old broken cane pole and even stuck pieces in their mouths and taped them shut with electrical tape and threw them back. He said they looked like porpoises jumping out there. I think this is why PETA denied him his membership request. ::) I never ate any but cut some up for trotline/bush hook (Limbline) bait for catfish and it was very pretty meat especially the backstraps on both sides of the backbone. They are very strong fish and hard fighters. Salt water tackle was common when fishing for really big ones and a .22 rifle or pistol was used for landing them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 16, 2021, 10:48:56 PM
   While I am thinking about gars 2 come to mind from my time at Albany Ga. One was on a trotline and my wife and kids were along. It was about 4' long and probably weighed 30 lbs or more and had drowned on the line. My son was about 7-8 y/o and said " What a pretty eye. I want to take him home to show Michael (His buddy next door" so I loaded it up and he ran over and got Michael to show him. Great. Now, what to do with a 4' long, 30 lb dead gar. I realized this was not the smartest thing I had ever done! Like the old Indians did, I figured he'd make great fertilizer so I took him out in my garden patch and dug a ditch about 1' wide & 3' deep and 4' long and buried him. I did have a bumper crop of tomatoes that year.

   When my daughter was about 6 I took her out and we were using ultralight tackle with 6 lb line pitching jig spinners with about a 1/6" jig head and instead of the rubber twisty tail or grub I was putting a live cricket on the hook - very effective bream bait as the spinner attracts them and they smell and readily grab the cricket, especially in running water which seems to make them more aggressive. My daughter said "I'm gonna catch me a gar". I told her no as they did not hit this kind of bait and we were in running water (Flint River below the Radium Springs boat landing) and gar were not common. I think the next cast (which was not over 10-15 feet as she was still learning) her 4' rod bowed and she said "I've got a fish" and I said "No, you're hung on a snag" then about a 5 lb fish gar surfaced and she tried to hand me the rod. I told her it was her fish so she started pulling and reeling and I grabbed the landing net and scooped him up. Once in the net he either released the bait or came unhooked but it was too late as we had him. I think I cut him up for trotline bait. I now wish I'd kept him and had him mounted. Not a big fish but a great memory.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 17, 2021, 05:51:10 AM
  Did you know with the warmer weather the snakes will be active again? Be careful in working around your log, lumber and slab piles. Even venomous snakes are helpful to have around so don't kill them unless they present a threat to you, your kids or pets. Most bites occur when people are messing with snakes followed by accidents when we step on one or right beside him and he strikes in defense. For those of you in the deep south where you have coral snakes remember they tend to be very docile but are very dangerous if they do bite. Remember they have a black head/snout and the old saying "Red on black - good for jack. Red on yellow - kill a fellow." So if the red rings touch black rings it is a harmless, useful king snake while if the yellow bands touch the red ones it is a coral snake. Growing up in Fla in the woods all the time we had lots of encounters and still don't know how I kept from getting bitten but I never did have the urge to catch snakes so if I saw one I either immediately killed it (Way more than I should have) or I got away from it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 17, 2021, 08:21:46 AM
I always heard ďred & black, venom lack; red & yella, kill a fellaĒ
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 18, 2021, 06:31:41 AM
   Did you know river mussels prefer to live in gravel over sand? If you are looking for them you will find a lot more of them in a gravel bar than a clean sand bar. I don't know why but have noted this to be the case.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 18, 2021, 06:34:28 AM
 Did you know with the warmer weather the snakes will be active again? Be careful in working around your log, lumber and slab piles. Even venomous snakes are helpful to have around so don't kill them unless they present a threat to you, your kids or pets. Most bites occur when people are messing with snakes followed by accidents when we step on one or right beside him and he strikes in defense. For those of you in the deep south where you have coral snakes remember they tend to be very docile but are very dangerous if they do bite. Remember they have a black head/snout and the old saying "Red on black - good for jack. Red on yellow - kill a fellow." So if the red rings touch black rings it is a harmless, useful king snake while if the yellow bands touch the red ones it is a coral snake. Growing up in Fla in the woods all the time we had lots of encounters and still don't know how I kept from getting bitten but I never did have the urge to catch snakes so if I saw one I either immediately killed it (Way more than I should have) or I got away from it.
Seen a Garter snake the other day...thankfully no dangerous snakes here, the ones here arent venomous but I have seen one swallow a frog before :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2021, 09:39:38 AM
   Did you know that dogs kill snakes by grabbing and violently shaking them which damages the snakes spine to the point it kills him? Of course not all dogs are successful at this and the greatest risk is when first grabbing the snake. If they miss or are too slow they may get bitten. Jack Russel terriers are one of the most popular dogs in southern Africa because they traditionally kill snakes and that part of the world has a large selection of some really nasty snakes. (Some professional hunters also use them as leopard dogs to track down and hold a wounded leopard at bay. While a pack of large hounds can do the same thing and several working together may finish off the cat, the PH can expect to lose a hound or two. The little JR terriers are fast enough to stay out of the leopards reach and survive to hunt another day.)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: DonW on April 19, 2021, 11:54:17 AM
In Holland the jack russell's also one of the most common dogs on the farm, used for getting the rats. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2021, 12:14:32 PM
   Many years ago we took a trip through Amish country in Ohio and the Amish farmers were plowing behind a pair of big horses. They would ride on a sled which I guess helped break up the clods and leveled the ground. All I saw had 2-3 little dogs like mixed terriers or such. They walked behind the horse and I later realized they were catching rats, mice, moles, shrews and baby rabbits the horses were uncovering.

   My grandfather had a little Rat Terrier named Cricket that was his constant companion and a very good squirrel dog. We'd gather on Sunday afternoons and move the corn and kill rats. I remember Cricket sitting in a likely spot and grabbing any rat that got past us. She was real good at it.

   Ironically she was bitten and killed by a big eastern diamondback on an early season squirrel hunt. I don't know whether she was trying to catch him or inadvertently wandered up on him. I remember that was a very sad time for my grandfather.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on April 19, 2021, 04:06:04 PM
Did you know old foresters smell worse than young foresters?  (cheap)Whiskey, (cheap)cigars, gun powder, old dogs, etc. 8)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on April 19, 2021, 10:52:03 PM
We had a black and tan that flat out hated snakes. He would snatch and shake them to pieces. Michelle had just stepped outside on one job when he jumped ahead, grabbed a big old rat snake and did his routine. She couldn't step back fast enough and when she turned towards me there was a stripe of smelly snake goo right across her shirt  :D. I won't kill a rat snake as long as he isn't coming after me, but I don't love the ornery cuss's either.

If you break the pointed tip off a yucca leaf and pull down it'll bring some of the fiber with it. Hold the two ends and twist, a quick needle and thread.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2021, 11:09:30 PM
Don,

  Thanks for the yucca needle and thread suggestion. May come in handy sometime.

  When I was a kid we heard the dogs barking on the porch. The front porch was a concrete add-on to our shotgun modest wood frame domicile and was a slight step down from the house. Mom went to open the screen door and our old German shepherd Rex jumped in front of it and laid down and absolutely refused to move no matter how much Mom yelled at him. Finally she spotted a snake tail under him. We came out the back door and grabbed a hoe or shovel. When we got to the porch Rex moved and he was laying on a big cottonmouth. Had he not laid down where and when he did Mom would have stepped right out over the snake and likely gotten bitten. To this day I still believe that dog knew exactly what he was doing even though he put his life and health at risk. Dogs sometimes do amazing things. Of course, truth be told, he'd probably brought it up from the branch behind the house anyway.  ::)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2021, 09:07:30 AM
   Did you know that wolves will catch and eat fish and eat blueberries? I was reading an article yesterday where researchers in one of the western states had attached a camera collar on a wolf and released it. The camera came on for 15 seconds every hour for a sample of what the wolf was doing. They showed 3 cases in short order where the wolf was wading in a local stream and eating fish it had caught. Another researcher found and photographed wolves eating blueberries and in some cases estimated 85% of their diet in some areas and at certain times of the year. Having never lived anywhere where wolves were present I have no personal experience with them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Wudman on April 20, 2021, 09:22:36 AM
  Did you know that wolves will catch and eat fish and eat blueberries? I was reading an article yesterday where researchers in one of the western states had attached a camera collar on a wolf and released it. The camera came on for 15 seconds every hour for a sample of what the wolf was doing. They showed 3 cases in short order where the wolf was wading in a local stream and eating fish it had caught. Another researcher found and photographed wolves eating blueberries and in some cases estimated 85% of their diet in some areas and at certain times of the year. Having never lived anywhere where wolves were present I have no personal experience with them.
I have three pit bull mix mutts that somebody kicked out on the side of the road.  They are fenced for most of the day, but I turn them out for a couple of hours each day.  One day, I walked out in the yard to find a fresh huge bluegill laying there.  I thought, "Oh no, they have stolen a fish out of somebody's bucket."  I walked down to the pond, and didn't see anybody fishing....other than three pitbulls in the upper end of the pond stalking the bream beds.  I saw the female catch another one.  :D


Wudman  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2021, 09:36:15 AM
    I had never thought of dogs or such catching them but I do know that bluegills and bass will build shallow depressions in the sand for beds and they are often in very shallow water. I grew up fishing in big gravel borrow pits in N. Fla where they had pumped the sand and gravel out and the fish loved the shallow gravel points for bedding areas. I watched one 4-5 lb bass build her bed in about 16-20 inch deep water and her tail would completely exit the water like she was standing on her head. The dorsal fins of bluegills will also sometimes stick out of the water. I can see where a savvy, stealthy dog could ambush them in this environment. Looks like eagles, ospreys and herons would catch a lot. 

   Did you try praising your dog, give him a treat and see if he will go bring you another? You may have a gold mine there and did not even know it. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on April 20, 2021, 10:46:37 AM
I had a german shepherd who liked to eat raspberries and blackberries. He drew back his lips and picked them quite neatly with his teeth. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2021, 04:36:32 PM
First-Ever Wild Wolf Collar Camera Shows What They Really Do All Day Long (https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/wolf-collar-cam-075822857.html)

   BTW - here is the link to wolf camera article. FWIW
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on April 20, 2021, 04:49:52 PM
our dogs started eating our tomatoes.  all you see is the back half of a GS dog, and the vines are shaking, and out comes a dog that run over to the side to chew on a tomatoe.  I know they say the green ones are bad for them, but what do you do.  :)   running-doggy musteat_1 smiley_beertoast
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2021, 09:38:01 PM
   I knew this thread would get around to food sooner or later but did not know it would a mater eating shepherd in Kansas. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on April 20, 2021, 11:22:07 PM
We were on a job in IL and it was big enough that we would be there for awhile. They plowed up a good sized area so Michelle could plant a garden. At one point she was out there with the same black and tan and their big rotty and decided to feed them sweet peas, which they loved. So much so that they tore out the plants  :D. Later in the season we had come home for a break while the drywallers did their work. We got an email with a picture of their dog leaving the garden with a big cantelope stuffed in his mouth  :D.

Later on on that same job we were working inside on trim, the masons were there on the chimney and the tile guy comes in carrying a box of donuts and a cappucino. Walks right by everyone and heads up to the bathroom to do his work. Kind of bad form and we all looked at one another and shrugged, prima donna ::). Awhile later he stepped out for a smoke. Best I could tell our dog ate 10 donuts and polished off his coffee  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on April 21, 2021, 06:00:19 AM
We mow the fields now, once every few weeks. The wood chucks have no place to hide now, no tall grass so they hide in the stone walls. I had a dog that would hunt them things. I would hear him barking, staying in one place and I knew he had something. I would tear apart the wall and the wood chuck would ran off and Dew would kill it. Fist time he did not know what to do. I had to kill the wood chuck. Second time his instinct took over. He somehow knew to flip it over and bite the throat of the wood chunk. First time he did this the wood chuck wrapped it's feet around Dew's body. I knew Dew was about to get hurt. I had a gun in my hand but no way to shoot. Than all at once that wood chunk released it's grip because it was dead!!!! My little baby boy turned into a killer!!! He had a lot of fun hurting those walls for a wood chuck.
He was not all that brave with a racoon. Or maybe he was smarter than what I thought. I let him out one morning, still dark, and he had his, I got something PaPa bark. I grab the gun and go to him. Out back there is like a square "U" where the garage hooks on to the house. I shined the flash light in that area and all I saw was teeth and claws and a racoon that was some mad. Dew run in behind me and said, Get him PaPa.  :D  Never seen him do that. He had enough smarts to run behind me and leave that critter alone.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 21, 2021, 09:45:35 AM
   I raised what was probably the best squirrel dog ever. Her mom was my rabbit and knock around dog and was a black and tan dachshund basset cross and the father was supposed to be a beagle but may have just been a good fence climber. She had treed squirrels for a couple of years and I heard her barking behind the house one day so I grabbed my .22 rifle and went back there. She was treed up a broken off red oak stump with a hole in it. I tried twisting him out the hole and could get red hair but could not pull him out. Finally I climbed up and looked over in the hole and found a big sleeping coon. I pulled a slab off the side of the stump and poked him till he jumped out and 17 lb Bertha grabbed him but he quickly got on top so I pulled him off then he jumped on me and Bertha pulled him off. We tag teamed him a few more times and he finally decided he could whip either but not both of us at the same time. He broke and ran and got in a hole in a hollow bay tree. I went home and got my pistol, feed sack and an ax. My yellow and while beagle followed us back. I cut a slab off the tree and spotted the coon tail and grabbed it and threw it out on the ground. Leader bayed and ran up to it and it slapped him across the face and he suddenly remembered why he was a rabbit dog and turned and went back to the house never to return! After a couple more sessions in 2 more hollow trees I finally inverted my old Ruger blackhawk and fired a warning shot up through his chest and head and he fell out. After that not only did I have the world's best squirrel dog I had a top notch coon and possum dog and a beagle who knew and respected his limitations. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 21, 2021, 09:52:14 AM
   Did you know goats are browsers not grazers? If you see them in a nice clean mowed pasture feeding they are probably starving or at least looking for weeds. They love to eat blackberry leaves and tips, poison ivy, smilax vines, grape vines, and multi-flora rose is like ice cream. They will eat the leaves and tips and even gnaw and strip the bark off the stumps girdling and killing them. They sure cleaned up a mess of them here when we bought this place which was overgrown with them. They will stand on their back legs and create a browse line 6-7 ft high. They will push over small trees and bushes to get to the tops and they will climb leaning trees to unreasonable heights. They are also the world's best agent for teaching patience. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 21, 2021, 01:30:30 PM
Some airports and other commercial property owners pay people with herds of goats to fence off areas that they want cleared and put goats in the fenced area to eat up the brush and vegetation. The goats we had as kids would eat Bull Thistle thorns and leaves.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 21, 2021, 02:43:59 PM
KEC,

   I had one old nanny goat like that. She'd slurp down a thistle plant like my grandkids eating a chocolate bar. If we could just breed them for targeted species we could be rich. One species for poison ivy, another for blackberry, another for multi-flora rose, etc. We'd do great on the kudzu goats. ;)

   I watched a news report one time of a guy with a big flock of goats and some very good herding dogs who had contracted with the highway department to clear selected areas along the right of way for places that were too steep and rocky to reach with regular mowers  and such. He had a big box truck and a narrow ramp/door he'd lower at the site, the goats would run out/down the cleated ramp and start browsing. He had 3-4 very good herding dogs like border collies or Australian shepherds or such that moved them to where they were supposed to "work" and away from areas off limits. They would stay in the area till they had adequately cleared it and he'd whistle at the dogs and they'd bring them back, load them up, close the ramp/door and move to the next site. I knew the military bases used sheep and goats around the ammo storage bunkers, many which were earthen covered. I don't know if that was a contract service or how it worked. I never saw an MOS/MOT for any service for that. I guess if there were his T/O weapon would have been a shepherd's crook. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on April 21, 2021, 08:41:58 PM
Back in the Jurassic when I was in college, goats were an invasive species.  Not to be put in wooded areas.  We had a Pakistani and an Egyption in our classes, they could not understand why we were so prejudicial about goats.  We explained the depredation they could cause, and they, having been raised in goat country, explained it was management at fault, not the goats.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on April 21, 2021, 09:16:15 PM
When someone here gets the bright idea to go into goat ranching the discussion at the store usually starts with "I see Joe has got hisself an infestation of goats". Most of the time within a year or two they understand the 24/7/365 meaning of the phrase "If it won't hold water it won't hold a goat" and move onto something less inquisitive. I think the great emu breakout was the most fun though  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 22, 2021, 09:58:09 AM
   Did you know the galvanized minnow traps catch more minnows than the black plastic coated/painted ones? I don't know why but they do. I keep several tied out by the creek in my front yard and when I want to go fishing I grab a handful of dry dog food and bait them with it, toss them in the deep holes in the creek and come back a couple hours later to harvest my catch.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 23, 2021, 09:37:25 AM
   Did you know a long handled shrimp net is a handy tool for catching crawfish? I used to stock up on shrimp nets about 5' long, net a little over 12" in diameter and mesh about 1/4" in diameter. I'd drag it along the bottom of deep pools in ditches and pools left by highwater. Crawfish, when alarmed, scoot backwards and in this case into the net. There was a ditch near our country church near Albany Ga that was a great source. After church I would stop and make a couple of passes sometimes collecting many dozen 1" long crawfish at a pass. I'd put them in a styrofoam bait bucket full of moss and a couple inches of water and keep them in a cool shed and be set for bait for weeks. I found every fish out there ate 1" baby crawfish. Many fish were scared of larger crawfish, which is strange since you find them in their stomach when cleaning them. I would pull the tail off the larger crawfish. It is excellent when placed on the hook of a 1/16-1/8 oz jig on a jig spinner (Beetle spin is a common name brand) and fished on ultralight tackle for bluegills and crappie. The spinner attracts the fish, they smell the meat and attack. I have used nets like this here in WV in high water pools but the rocks tear them up quickly and they need lots of repair and frequent replacement.

  Another technique is go out at night with a light and use the net to pick up crawfish in shallow water but these are usually too big for good bait - think eating size crawfish in this case.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: stavebuyer on April 23, 2021, 05:43:12 PM
I went to my creek to catch a few micros including this nicely colored Northern Studfish;

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25189/P4230450.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1619213636)
 

I kept a couple Bluntnose minnows to use as bait and fished the main river for the first time this season. Something broke my line on minnow #1 and this Smallmouth hit minnow #2 as soon as it hit the water. Big or small I love to fish!


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25189/P4230461.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1619213668)
 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 23, 2021, 11:59:14 PM
   Did you know a wily old raccoon will often cover his eyes when treed by dogs at night? I don't know whether he feels if he can't see the dogs and hunter they can't see him or if it is instinct or what but it can make it very difficult to find a treed coon at night especially if he is in a tree with thick leaves or lots of Spanish moss. A young one when captured and grabbed by hand will do the same thing. One technique coon hunters use is to squall at him like an injured or fighting coon and sometimes that will make him look. I squalled and slapped the side of a big gum tree in the river swamp near home trying to get an inexperienced dog to bark at a coon my squirrel dog had treed and I was too good at it and scared him so bad he came down, jumped out and got away from us before I could shoot him.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 24, 2021, 08:41:34 AM
  Did you know a wily old raccoon will often cover his eyes when treed by dogs at night? I don't know whether he feels if he can't see the dogs and hunter they can't see him or if it is instinct or what but it can make it very difficult to find a treed coon at night especially if he is in a tree with thick leaves or lots of Spanish moss. A young one when captured and grabbed by hand will do the same thing. One technique coon hunters use is to squall at him like an injured or fighting coon and sometimes that will make him look. I squalled and slapped the side of a big gum tree in the river swamp near home trying to get an inexperienced dog to bark at a coon my squirrel dog had treed and I was too good at it and scared him so bad he came down, jumped out and got away from us before I could shoot him.
https://forfoxsakewildlife.com/2018/12/26/raccoons-cover-their-eyes-to-hide-because-theyre-geniuses/ (https://forfoxsakewildlife.com/2018/12/26/raccoons-cover-their-eyes-to-hide-because-theyre-geniuses/) You might find this a interesting short read. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on April 24, 2021, 08:52:52 AM
OK, I may have told this story before, but, I'm old.  A friend of a friend approached me to let him run his coon dogs on my lease.  I agreed with the condition I come along, first mistake.  The lease was 800 acres of plantations, hardwood corridors on streams and drains, a pipeline, and fences.

We got to the camp and got set up and they turned the dogs loose, withing 30 minutes they hit a trail and off they went.  We followed, second mistake for me.  They went straight line through 12 year old plantation, briars and all.  Rather than go around on trails and roads, straight line.  If you have never experienced a young plantation in the south, think of a thicket where stuff on the ground wants you  to bid a wea, the trees have closed crowns at ground level and whip you as you and the team go through.  At night.

We finally hit the tree where the coon had climbed, and the dogs at the base.  The guys 10 year old son was with us and he told the boy to leash the dogs and hold on to them.  They gave me the honor of shooting the coon out, and I did.  When he hit the ground he took off on a high rate of speed for an injured coon.  The dogs, of course, took out after it.  The boy, told to hold the dogs, was not ready for that, and went down, to be drug by the dogs a short run through the woods and into the creek, where they got the coon.   Coon, dogs and boy soaked, and smelled all about the same.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 24, 2021, 09:00:37 AM
OK, I may have told this story before, but, I'm old.  A friend of a friend approached me to let him run his coon dogs on my lease.  I agreed with the condition I come along, first mistake.  The lease was 800 acres of plantations, hardwood corridors on streams and drains, a pipeline, and fences.

We got to the camp and got set up and they turned the dogs loose, withing 30 minutes they hit a trail and off they went.  We followed, second mistake for me.  They went straight line through 12 year old plantation, briars and all.  Rather than go around on trails and roads, straight line.  If you have never experienced a young plantation in the south, think of a thicket where stuff on the ground wants you  to bid a wea, the trees have closed crowns at ground level and whip you as you and the team go through.  At night.

We finally hit the tree where the coon had climbed, and the dogs at the base.  The guys 10 year old son was with us and he told the boy to leash the dogs and hold on to them.  They gave me the honor of shooting the coon out, and I did.  When he hit the ground he took off on a high rate of speed for an injured coon.  The dogs, of course, took out after it.  The boy, told to hold the dogs, was not ready for that, and went down, to be drug by the dogs a short run through the woods and into the creek, where they got the coon.   Coon, dogs and boy soaked, and smelled all about the same.
Have you ever heard one of those things snarl? They sound like mad demons from hell 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 24, 2021, 09:04:23 AM
Yes I have. It was because of the group that I was with. Iím glad that my aim was good that day!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on April 25, 2021, 07:15:25 AM
Right about the goats!! I am clearing land and I would let them loose. They would run for the cleared land. Have grass in front of the house, but as was mentioned they love the small bushes. 
Of all the animals I've had here, I miss the goats the most.
I had 2 goats that was funny little critters. I would let them loose and be working the tractor there too. I would shut the tractor off and be picking rocks of leveling out an area with hand tools. Them goats would wander off and be back to to me and could not see me. They would state a blatting!!! I would have to speak to them and tell them I am right here. They would come running and jumping over to me like they have not seen me for a week. :D  Than they would wander off again and start the cycle all over again in about 15 minutes.
I taught the goats to leave something alone by saying out,out,out to them. Yes a few times if there was a piece of paper sticking out on a shelf they would still have it in their mouths as I said out, out, out and they would drag something off the shelf, but they would leave that area.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 26, 2021, 09:32:21 PM
   Sorry, I have been off-line a couple days doing overnight distant sawing jobs.

   When my son was about 10 I took him behind our house in NC with his pump up BB gun. I was the squirrel dog looking for squirrels for him to shoot by shaking vines going up to leaf nests and searching likely trees. I had found and he had killed 2 cat squirrels. I came to a medium sized water oak with a likely looking nest and a convenient grape vine running up the tree. I told Sean to get ready and I pulled on the grapevine. The whole nest just sort of unraveled and climbed higher. Evidently it was a sleeping curled up in a nice crotch. I told Sean to shoot it in the head and he got a good rest, shot and the coon fell and got hung on a limb apparently dead. I told Sean not to worry as I'd get it for him and started climbing. (FWWIW I taught John Eubanks how to climb trees.) About half way up Sean started yelling that the coon was alive. I stopped climbing and told him to shoot it again. He zinged a dozen BBs around always hitting the limb the coon was on but not the coon. Several ricocheted dangerously close to me so I told him to stop and I'd go catch it. (Did I ever tell you I am a world class coon catcher with the scars to prove it.) I told Sean to be ready in case the coon fell out. I got up to the limb the coon was on and reached for him. Just as I felt fur he jumped and I watched him fall a good 40' to the ground. Sean immediately stuck his gun barrel to his ribs, shot and both took off running out of my sight but I could still hear a steady "Whack, Whack, Whack." I yelled at Sean "Stop beating that coon with your gun" and in reply I heard "Whack, Whack, Whack - I'm not beating him with my gun. Whack, whack, whack. I'm beating him with a stick." I finally got down from the tree and found Sean with a very well dead coon and a huge grin on his face. We took the coon home and got a picture or two, I cleaned it and Becky made hash from the meat. I tanned the hide and Becky made him a coonskin cap with the face pulled down in front and the tail in back. Sean kept that hat many year and hung it on his bed post. Years later he had a pet coon named Chester and when Chester would misbehave, Sean would point to the cap and say "You better behave! You see what happened to the last coon I had who didn't listen to me."
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 27, 2021, 11:22:29 AM
   Did you know Spanish moss is a handy thing to use for lots of projects. It is great for washing dishes when camping, handy for wiping fish slime off your hands or to grab a pesky eel so you can hold and unhook him and it makes great field expedient toilet paper. Warning - it is typically filled with redbugs and sometimes seed ticks and such so make sure you have built up some immunity to those in the area or you may regret that particular choice.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 27, 2021, 11:51:33 AM
I could see it making a great impromptu rope. Twisted together for a strand for 1 and do that 2 more times and then braid those 3 together. Thereís got to be better ways than that, but I think I could easily do it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 27, 2021, 02:13:20 PM
   Makes a heck of a Gilly suit if you need one.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on April 27, 2021, 04:37:02 PM
Henry Ford hauled trainloads of Spanish Moss to be used as stuffing for seats in his early automobiles.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 27, 2021, 07:56:35 PM
When I was a kid growing up on a dairy farm I used to take the baling twine that we pulled (not cut) off bales of hay and braid 3 together, then braid 3 of those together making a strong rope. I then tied it to two of the beams in the barn; made a great swing.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 27, 2021, 08:40:14 PM
Lynn,

  Dad said they cut a lot of big old hickory trees to get the moss when he was a kid to get the moss to sell to Henry and also for mattress stuffing. I think it was a pretty big industry in Louisiana and I am sure in Mississippi too.

  In central Fla when I was a kid they did not have any range laws and cows and hogs ran free and were just rounded up to mark the pigs, brand the cows and castrate the boar pigs and bull calves. Then they would round them up and fatten and sell or butcher for their own use. I remember taking my new bride through there 43+ years ago and it was February and the cows had had a hard winter. We'd drive along the old sand and limestone rock roads in Dixie County and see starving cows everywhere then round a bend and see a round fat Braham bull. He might be sleeping in the road and he might move or he might just stand up and paw throwing big clods behind him as he shook his head and debated on charging or not. Sometimes you could drive around him, sometimes you backtracked. The old cows would all eat any Spanish moss they could reach but the bulls could rare up on their hind legs and eat moss 12-15 feet high the smaller cows could not get.

  I'll ramble a bit - A local realtor had a live one on the wire from up north somewhere. Remember southern etiquette does not allow dishonest representations but when dealing with northerners such rules do not apply. The realtor was showing them a site with about 100 acres of palmetto scrub (No doubt full of rattlesnakes and yellowjackets) and the yankee asked "Is this plant - pointing to a palmetto - okay for horses as we want to raise some horses?" Billy Bob the realtor replied "Oh it is the finest kid of horse feed known to man." (I don't know any animal that can eat a palmetto - even a goat won't touch it.) Then the Yankee prospect asked "How about all these old stumps - pointing to a bunch of fire blacked lighterd stumps. Are they a problem." Billy Bob replied "No sir, they are some of the finest fertilizer known to man." They rounded a bend in the road and saw a crew of men out there dynamiting and dragging stumps out. Our northern friend asked "If they are such good fertilizer, why are they working so hard to get rid of them?" Billy Bob responded "They are stealing them and as soon as we finish closing on this sale I'm going to go call the sheriff and report them."

KEC,

  I save my hay strings too but I do cut mine. We lost a cow when I saw a kid who got one wrapped around her hoof and lost circulation and her hoof so I am paranoid about leaving an uncut hay string around. I used 23 this afternoon to tie up 23 dozen/bundles of tomato stakes I sell to the local nurseries, at flea markets and to individuals. A hay string with several wraps around a dozen tomato stakes works real well to make a neat bundle.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on April 28, 2021, 06:45:52 AM
An Uncle of mine stressed to me when I was a young child , "Only use moss found hanging in a tree for T.P.". Poor man was a city slicker married into a family of dirt farmers. He learned this lesson the hard ( and itchy ) way. Red bugs/chiggers ... only thing I truly fear in the woods!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on April 28, 2021, 07:02:09 AM
You could always tell a rookie Forester when they would sit on the pine straw.   taz-smiley  I know where someone will be scratching tonight  :D. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 28, 2021, 08:55:07 AM
   Did you know bullfrogs will readily attack an artificial lure? If you happen to spot one on the bank of a lake or river toss him and plastic worm or flip a dry fly or cork popping bug on a fly line over to him. Warning - they are vicious fighters. I was never able to land one on a fly rod but boy did we have a fight for a while before he broke the line. I spotted one in an old gravel lake where we were fishing and I pitched a plastic worm on a bass rod to him. It landed a few inches from him but got hun on a root so I was trying to twitch it loose and the frog slowly turned to face it then attacked, got it free and hooked himself.

   I hooked an owl on a live oak limb on the Suwannee River the same way one time. I pulled him to the river with a real surprised look on his face but he got some air under his wings, lifted off broke free.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on April 28, 2021, 09:43:49 AM
Bullfrogs will readily attack a bare hook. Bounce it in the air in front of their nose. Enjoy.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 28, 2021, 10:27:24 AM
   I read one article where I guy had a long cane pole with about 1' of line and a gob of worms or a crawfish or just a small piece of colorful cloth on a treble hook. He'd scull slowly through the thick lily pads and when he'd spot a frog he'd drop it in front of him and they would latch on.

    My grandmother used a similar outfit she called a "dabbler" to catch big bream under low over hanging bushes. She'd poke it in those tight spaces and maybe jiggle it a bit to attract fish and when they'd grab it she'd pull it out end over end.

   
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on April 28, 2021, 12:19:51 PM
I threw over and past an ole Cottonmouth once intending to snag it when I reeled it.  Yup, I snagged it and what a fight it put up?  :o  Now, what da heck do I do now?  :o  Surely neither PatD nor I wanted it in da boat and thankfully it finally entangled itself enough that I could break da line.  Dat won't happen again!!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 28, 2021, 03:03:17 PM
Lynn,

   The first time I went frog gigging I gigged a big old water snake with the same results - now how and I going to get this thing off! It is amazing how many things seemed like a good idea at the time but further down the line you're asking yourself "What was I thinking?" ::) ???
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 28, 2021, 03:27:03 PM
Iíve done similar. I think that all of us that have done it/that mustíve gone to different schools together, somehow!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on April 28, 2021, 04:26:34 PM
That time in Texas.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10007/asnake.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1619641495)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 29, 2021, 09:01:05 AM
   Did you know an effective way old timers caught big bass was to use a long cane pole with a lure tied on about 6-12 inches of strong line which was also tied back about half way along the pole for insurance in case one broke the pole. They would fish along the banks of the lake at night gently beating the tip of the pole in the water creating ripples that looked like a frog swimming? We used to call this jigger fishing or JoeMoling. My old mentor made one out of a 6" long piece of leather with 5-6 hooks wired to it facing up. Other people used a jitterbug lure and dragged it along the bank and up under the overhanging bushes and such on moonlit nights. The best fishermen I ever knew of to use this technique were a pair of brothers my dad's age. They'd use a big treble hook over a big white rubber skirt and swim it along the bank and around stumps and along the edge of heavy grass. A strike was a near heart attack inducing event and all you could do was drag back on the pole to drag the fish into the boat. They fished in several big gravel borrow pits near where I lived. I was working with them on a summer job at a St. Regis paper mill and asked one of them one night if they had been catching a lot of fish down there lately. He replied "Yeah we are catching lots of 10-12 lbers but not near as many of them old big ones as we usually do." I never did figure out was he meant was a "big one." He did say you had to be super stealthy and he always fished with his brother as he knew how to scull a boat. He said the bass were real spooky when you were that close and even an electric motor was too loud so you had to ease along the bank in complete silence to catch them 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 29, 2021, 10:47:40 AM
Sort of reminds me of when I was a teen I did a lot of fishing. I found that largemouths went for rapalas. But, the most effective way to fish it was to cast out to the edge of some brush, let it sit for 10 seconds and then give it just a light twitch. I think the fish are a little spooked when a lure hits the water so you have to let them calm down for those 10 seconds. The little twitch tells them that the lure is "alive" and they go for it. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 29, 2021, 11:56:40 AM
KEC,

   I think that was the standard way when I was a kid that very good fishermen used a Lucky 13 which was a big topwater lure with a concave mouth. They'd throw it in a likely looking spot and let it sit then twitch it which made a popping sound and indicated a live bait. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on April 29, 2021, 02:49:01 PM
Talking about fishing. My WORST day was the day that my friend & I went and on the very first cast (we hadnít even got the motor in the water yet) I made with a top water jig of some sort and got a fairly good strike, fought it for about 8sec and nothing the rest of the day. My buddy that is with me must have landed close to 20 that day. I was so pithed off all day because of that. I believe that was a big cause of me forever going back to hunting instead.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 29, 2021, 04:20:10 PM
Todd,

   I am sure my worse day was when I was a kid and we took and old wooden boat down a rough washed out dirt road to a place called Ralph's Lake which was just a wide spot in a creek. My dad, older brother and me were fishing and I was using a Zebco 22 on about a 3' long stiff el-cheapo rod throwing a Bomber lure. Most places we could not cast very far but we finally got the boat positioned where I was able to make a maximum length cast so I took aim and threw as hard as I could and watched and waited patiently for the lure to land, and I waited, and I waited and it never landed so I turned around and saw my lure hanging from my dad's jaw. I immediately just started crying because I knew I was never going to get to go fishing again - ever! My brother tried to pull it free but could not get it loose. Finally Dad spotted a turkey hunter walking along the bank and yelled over at him and he came a finally wrenched it free with a good chunk of bone in the barb.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 29, 2021, 04:43:07 PM
Talking about fishing. My WORST day was the day that my friend & I went .............................
My worst day of fishing was much better than my BEST day at work. :D :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 29, 2021, 07:48:44 PM
The past few years I've gone fishing a number of places known to have walleyes. I went at the times that they allegedly bite and cast rapalas until my arms were sore, which is supposed to be effective. Not one walleye.
I'd love to come home with a few nice sized walleyes to filet and have a tasty meal or two. Any suggestions? I know there are fishing authorities here.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 29, 2021, 08:27:48 PM
KEC,

   I hope they reply with some help. Don't ask me as I have never caught one in my life although I love to eat them. I well remember a great meal of walleye fillets up around Erie PA when I worked on a project at Kodak HQ in Rhochester NY.

   I remember on that trip seeing lots of dead deer along the interstate in PA and thinking "These guys must have a lot more deer than we do as they sure have more dead deer laying around." Then I realized "They don't have more deer, times are just better up here and when they hit a deer they leave it laying while we take it home and eat it."

   When we moved in here July 4, 1990 we had a team of teenagers come help us unload our U-Haul and get settled in. I was cleaning up outside and complaining about the junk left behind and one of the teens said "My grandpa has a junk dealership in town and he'd love to have those old electric motors and such in that old log barn" so I told him to send him up. He came and helped us clean up and invited us to come fish at his place on the river in town. His name was E.C. "Carlton" Cox and he had caught the WV state record walleye here in the New River just above the bridge over highway 20 but he said somebody else had beaten him out that year by a few ounces so it was the last year he was listed as the state record holder. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 30, 2021, 06:52:03 AM
I always wondered if those dead roadkill deer could be of use to maybe farmers for say butchering up and using as heard dog food etc. Basically free meat, dogs wouldn’t care. Maybe they already do this I’m not sure I’m not a farmer, always made me think about it though when I see one, I mean it would make sense if you wanna save money instead of buying dog food... saving a buck is earning a buck.

No pun intended ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 30, 2021, 10:35:10 AM
Hemlock,

   I understand around big cities with a large zoo the zoo often works a deal and the county road department call them to collect and feed road kill to their carnivores. In nature the big cats, wolves, hyenas, etc. eat small bones and chew on the big ones and they need such to stay healthy. 

   Many years ago WV caught a lot of flack from Jay Leno, et.al. when we passed what is called our road kill law. It basically says if we kill an animal we can call it in then take it home and process any salvageable meat. I think it is a very reasonable law. No reasonable man is deliberately going to hit a deer with a car because the repair costs far outweigh the value of the meat but if one is killed I am a firm believer in trying to use it if possible. Besides, if the animal is left on the road or right of way the county has to spend money to clean it up and until it is removed it creates a hazard to other drivers crashing into coyotes, dogs, cats, possums, foxes, hawks, eagles, etc attracted to the kill. 

   We have hit and picked up and eaten deer and once a turkey hen and I have no shame for doing so. I think it was the responsible thing to do.

   Okay - for today's topic: Did you know bamboo/river cane is wonderful stuff with tons of uses but to properly dry it so it does not split and weaken you need to store it completely out of the sun and let is dry? We used to cut canes for fishing poles and the larger ones for gig poles, push poles, etc. We would store them under the house  or in the rafters of our shed or such where the sun never hit it for a year or so until it was well seasoned. I assume most fishing poles were dried over heat as any you bought would likely have scortch marks. When dried they would varnish them. Fiberglass has largely replaces bamboo as crappie/bream poles and such. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 30, 2021, 11:18:10 AM
I’m not so sure about folks avoiding deer because of cost of damage to the vehicle, could rig up a beater from a old Toyota pickup weld up a front bumper and good to go  :D :D. It’s probably been done actually, some ppl are hungry 

You never know with the general public 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 30, 2021, 11:28:30 AM
Hemlock,

   The welding and metal and such would still cost more than the value of a mangled up bloodshot deer in most cases but I live in Redneck Heaven so I'm not saying it couldn't and hasn't been done. :D My son hit a big old doe 20+ years ago about 1/4 miles from our house. He hit her right in the head with a Pontiac Catalina and that front headlight was cock-eyed till the day we got rid of it. She staggered to the neighbor's walkway and died. The meat was not hurt but usually there is a lot of waste. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on April 30, 2021, 12:33:51 PM
About the deer, Pennsylvania, for some time had a very high deer population and the roads were strewn with carcasses. Their policy was to let 'em lay there so people could see the extent of the problem and drive more careful.  At one time, I drove for an organization where myself and a bunch of others made one trip a day from Syracuse, NY to Scranton, Pa. and back. One driver would combat boredom by counting the road-killed deer. From the state line on I-81 to Scranton he once counted 70. One state I heard about instituted a policy to simply drag the deer to the outer edge of the right-of-way and let the scavengers have them. Made sense to me. Many areas around the world are seeing declines in the numbers of eagles, vultures, etc. and one factor is the insistance of government agencies that people have to "properly dispose of" (bury) large animal carcasses, eliminating a big food source for scavengers. Here in the Eastern US many deer are killed by motor vehicles and they are great food for Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles in the Hudson River Valley, crows, ravens, etc.. Our D.E.C. seems to be moving towards mandating that deer carcasses be landfilled out of concern about cronic wasting disease. I think those carcasses rightfully belong to those scavengers, just put them out away from roads and houses. Then when they are reduced to bones they could bury the skeletons (most of the CWD prions would get buried with the spine). Here you can get a tag to keep a road-killed deer  (Last I knew) and that's OK too. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 30, 2021, 12:56:45 PM
Hemlock,

   The welding and metal and such would still cost more than the value of a mangled up bloodshot deer in most cases but I live in Redneck Heaven so I'm not saying it couldn't and hasn't been done. :D My son hit a big old doe 20+ years ago about 1/4 miles from our house. He hit her right in the head with a Pontiac Catalina and that front headlight was cock-eyed till the day we got rid of it. She staggered to the neighbor's walkway and died. The meat was not hurt but usually there is a lot of waste.
I got a bunch of things I could make a front bumper out of thanks to all the kind folks who have dumped garbage off on my land over the years :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on April 30, 2021, 12:59:52 PM
I only hit a deer once but Iíve had many close calls, out here in rural ns people FLY , 100 down 70 barrelling around corners in the dark etc, deers get smoked all the time. One jumped in front of my truck in town one day and I was only going slow so I slammed the brakes and just kissed his rear end with my front bumper and he bounced off the road, ďrecoupedĒ then darted off into the woods. I was ready to put a axe to it in case I broke itís hip and it would be suffering, I would of taken it home in that case for sure
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on April 30, 2021, 01:48:48 PM
I have caught many stumpknocker pumpkinseed sunfish (bream to me when growing up) with a cane pole and worms dug out from the rich wet ground at the end of the gray water drain from the house I grew up in.  Also fell into that gray water drain (ditch to you country folks) many times trying to pole vault it with a chinaberry pole.  Chinaberry makes a poor pole vaulting pole  :-\....
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 30, 2021, 04:43:56 PM
Danny,

   If you guys were like us we never threw a bream back either. We'd save them the size of your three fingers. Mom and my grandmother would fry them crisp and eat bones, tail, fins and all.

   I remember digging up wigglers from the washing machine drain too. Where I grew up was real sandy and worms were hard to find and that was the only spot that stayed wet enough for them to stay with any regularity. Not like here with our nightcrawlers. I caught about 30 last night in 15 minutes which which will last me 3-4 trips catching bait and such.

   I never tried pole vaulting with a chinaberry pole. Your observation that a a chinaberry pole makes a poor pole vaulters pole is good information but your comment about you falling into the grey water ditch "many times" did cause me some concern. Lets see - you opined that a chinaberry pole was a poor vaulting pole but you still fell in the ditch multiple times. Were you just a slow learner or something? :D :D :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 01, 2021, 10:48:22 AM
    Did you know a plastic bucket makes an excellent live bait container? I have made several taking a plastic bucket with a lid and drilling dozens of 1/4" holes in the sides and top. Drill a hole near the edge of the lid and near the top of the bucket to tie the lid and bucket together to keep them from getting separated. I tie my cord to the bucket then run the cord through the hole in the lid stringing them together but still allowing you to slide the lid up to add or remove bait. I use several feet of camo cord so I can tie my bucket out in the lake and hide it. If you don't drill any holes in the bottom 3-4 inches of the bucket it will hold a gallon or so of water when you raise the bucket. I like to use a green or black bucket that does not show up well when staked out in the lake. I like to catch small bluegills and sunfish for catfish bait, keep them in my live well of my boat but I stake them out overnight so they are not stressed by the ride home. I find my bucket is slightly buoyant so I add a small rock or railroad spike to make it sink.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 01, 2021, 07:33:48 PM
About cooking small sunfish tail, fins attached, I've fished in some places where there were tons of small, overpopulated bullheads. About the size of smelt. Cut the heads off, remove the spiny dorsal fin and any other spines, pull the skin off with pliers (or leave it on) and fry them and eat the bones. One time my wife and I found a stillwater "lake" that held the mother lode of small bullheads. Toss out a hook and line with a small piece of worm and in seconds pull one in. So she's having a ball pulling them in while the fishing guide (me) was taking them off the hook and fixing the bait. So she asks why I'm not fishing. I had to tell her that I'm too busy playing fishing guide. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 02, 2021, 05:09:20 PM
   Did you know fishing for bream such as bluegills with a cane/fiberglass pole is one of the best ways to introduce your kids and grandkids to fishing? Be sure the line is no longer than the pole so it is easier for them to control with they jerk the fish out of the water. A float set from 1-2 feet deep, a BB shot to get the bait down and a number 8 or number 10 long shanked cricket hook with a cricket, worm or similar bait is a perfect starter. Warning - you may want to wear eye protection and a hard hat and be prepared to get slapped in the face, have lines with a flopping fish wrapped around your neck and be prepared to untangle lines from any overhead trees and offending limbs. Remember - it is all about the kids having fun so be patient and tolerant. If/When you find you can't fish for helping them bait hooks, get untangled, replace broken hooks and lines and such, put your rod down and dedicate all your time to the kids. You are making memories - not trying to land a lunker. ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 03, 2021, 08:19:15 AM
    Did you know that you will never see more than one eye of a cottontail rabbit at night? I don't know how or why they do it they turn their bodies such that only one reddish orange eye will ever show in the light at night. If you see 2 eyes you are looking at a whip-or-will or nightjar or such.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on May 03, 2021, 10:54:19 AM
Did you know that the Gypsy Moth, which has been one of the most destructive invasive species to North American hardwoods, was introduced to the US in the 1860s? A French artist and astronomer named Etienne Trouvelot moved to Massachusetts around the time he was experimenting with hybridization of hardy moths for the purposes of silk production. His interest in this project didn't last too long, but long enough for some moths to escape into local forests and begin the plague that is yet ongoing. 

Trouvelot remained and artist and astronomer, combining the two by producing many highly artistic and scientifically valuable drawings and color pastels of planets, the sun, and celestial phenomenon. The muted colors of his illustrations are a reminder of another interesting astronomical fact:

Did you know that the stunning photos of space we've all seen are artificially colored?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on May 03, 2021, 11:02:50 AM
Did you know that the Gypsy Moth, which has been one of the most destructive invasive species to North American hardwoods, was introduced to the US in the 1860s? A French artist and astronomer named Etienne Trouvelot moved to Massachusetts around the time he was experimenting with hybridization of hardy moths for the purposes of silk production. His interest in this project didn't last too long, but long enough for some moths to escape into local forests and begin the plague that is yet ongoing.

Trouvelot remained and artist and astronomer, combining the two by producing many highly artistic and scientifically valuable drawings and color pastels of planets, the sun, and celestial phenomenon. The muted colors of his illustrations are a reminder of another interesting astronomical fact:

Did you know that the stunning photos of space we've all seen are artificially colored?

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/65126/EC4F9FED-A6A5-44CE-BF30-D839101F6ACE.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1620054086)
 Speaking of space, here’s a photo taken by astronomer Michael Collins, the only man on the other side of that camera, Neil, buzz, were in that capsule. Everything you’ve ever know or will be is on that little blue ball.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on May 03, 2021, 11:52:25 AM
you will never see more than one eye of a cottontail rabbit at night? I don't know how or why they do it they turn their bodies such that only one reddish orange eye will ever show in the light at night


It is because they are watching you..  Because their eye are on each side of their head, they can only see you clearly with one eye.   Ducks do same thing -look sideways at things they want to see clearly.

        JJ
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 03, 2021, 12:26:56 PM
Will,

  My son used to put out Gypsy moth traps for the state of WV when he was in college as a summer job. The good part was he got paid for it and it served as his forestry internship he had to complete to get his AS in Forestry. I don't know if it applied to his BS in Management or not.

   On one of his trips - the state gave him a map and a grid to mark where he placed the traps so they could verify and go check them later - he found a small pond or waterfall as a special site. He took his girlfriend, now wife, there to propose to her so good things came come even from unwanted bugs. ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 04, 2021, 09:48:45 AM
   Did you know that mink hunt and eat crawfish? Several years back my wife and I were fishing in the headwaters of Bluestone Lake in the New River side and observed a mink on a big log basking in the October sunshine. She as rolling around like a housecat in heat. My wife had taken a number of pictures of her. Suddenly the mink jumped up, ran down the log and stopped at the waters edge about 10' from us for Becky to get a good picture then she jumped in the water and we watched a trail of bubbles go out for about 45 seconds then the bubbles made line for the bank. She came out with a crawfish in her mouth that looked as big as my fist. It had its claws outstretched and as it ran up the log it grabbed a small grapevine and nearly jerked the mink off the log. They had quite a tug of water for a couple of minutes till the mink won and took her hard won meal back to a den to eat. These little unexpected events are what make it so much fun being in the outdoors.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 08:35:08 AM
   Did you know the African Grey Hornbill builds a nest in a hollow in a tree, lays 2-4 eggs, the female moves in and incubates and feeds the babies after sealing the gap with mud and droppings? The male hornbill brings food to the female and you and feeds them through a narrow slot left in the opening of the den. When the young are big enough to leave the adults remove the seal and the mother and young are free to go live on their own.

  The hornbill is an impressive bird with a very long, heavy beak used to crush nuts and hard fruits and such.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 05, 2021, 10:38:39 AM
And so I understand, the female hornbill undergoes her feather moult while in the nest cavity too.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 10:53:06 AM
   She might as well - she has plenty of time on her hands with nothing much else to do while incubating and waiting for hubby to bring them a meal. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on May 05, 2021, 03:29:20 PM
take out!   :) :) sketti_1
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 06, 2021, 09:49:41 AM
  Did you know birds are very often indicators of other wildlife and people in the area? The most common indicator of lions or other big cats in Africa are hawks, eagles and vultures circling and diving at the kill site. I have had crows warn me when a whitetail buck was headed my way. A Grey Lourie is called a "Go-Away Bird" in Africa because it is such a pest to hunters there. A Bee-Eater bird is used by Pygmies and bushmen to find bee trees in Africa - supposedly the bird deliberately leads them to the hive. The superstition is if the hunter does not leave some honey and larvae for the Bee-eater as tribute for his help he will send a mamba to visit and attack the family of the hunter. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: jb616 on May 06, 2021, 11:12:14 AM
Blue Jays and Crows are the top two "Alarms" in my area...
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on May 06, 2021, 11:26:15 AM
Blue Jays and Crows are the top two "Alarms" in my area...
Red squirrel here, also chickadees
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 06, 2021, 12:00:41 PM
   You can hear/track a man, deer, or predator here in WV by the squirrels and chipmunks. As someone or a deer, bear or coyote or such walks past the squirrels and chipmunks will start chattering on "munking" as long as the visitor in their area. When they leave one's territory he does a "hand-off" with his neighbor and the next rodent takes over warning everything in his range. You can determine with pretty good accuracy where the person/critter is at any given time.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on May 06, 2021, 12:48:49 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/65126/B49DE31D-3A34-42F9-BC9C-687FB84F0DAF.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1620319716)
 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 07, 2021, 08:20:20 AM
   Did you know this is supposed to be the year of the Gen X cicada hatch out? Apparently, from what I have been reading, this is supposed to be the year the 13 year and 17 year cicadas hatches coincide. We had a huge hatchout a couple years ago and I can't imagine more of them than we had then.  It seemed like every square foot of ground in my pasture had a half inch diameter hole in it and the noise was worse than any jungle I ever worked or vacationed in.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: jb616 on May 07, 2021, 11:09:19 AM
I probably won't notice because my tinnitus sounds like Cicada's 24/7.... 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 08, 2021, 09:38:54 AM
   Did you know the tallest bird in North America is the Whooping Crane? They are endangered but it is amazing they are around at all as in 1941 there were only 21 wild and 2 captive birds left alive. I remember part of their reintroduction efforts included incubating the eggs in captivity and placing them with sandhill cranes. It took a while for this to work as the cranes imprinted or fell in love with the sand hill cranes and it confused them for a while it seems. The researchers overcame this and the last I read there are over 800 alive today but they are still critically endangered due to loss of habitat, poaching and predators. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 08, 2021, 11:02:48 AM
You guys who have had poultry probably understand that if you let a hen chicken start a nest and you leave the eggs alone that the hen will lay ~a dozen eggs and then stop laying and start incubation. But, if you let her start laying, let her keep one egg and start taking any additional eggs as she lays them, she will lay an egg every day for weeks or longer. Biologists who want to bolster the population of endangered birds will use this to get them to lay more eggs than they normally would to increase the reproductive rate. California Condors don't nest until they are several years old and then they only nest every two years and (I think) they only lay 1 or 2 eggs. Not exactly a high reproductive rate ! However they learned that they too can be "double clutched" as they call it to speed reproduction and recovery of the birds. Even the condors have come a long way from when their numbers bottomed out a few years back.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 09, 2021, 05:04:03 PM
   Did you know condors are not rapters? They are scavengers in the vulture family and not hunters like raptors (Hawks, Eagles and Owls). They are very large and colorful birds and the largest soaring birds we have in North and South America. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 09, 2021, 06:53:16 PM
A friend saw them in the Grand Canyon where they had been relocated.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 09, 2021, 08:12:26 PM
  I have never seen one in the USA. We saw some in a Raptor center in Ecuador near the Equator. While they are not Raptors they had them there that they had rescued and they were a pretty good tourist draw.  
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 09, 2021, 10:11:49 PM
My neighbors just returned from vacationing out West. They went to some place and saw signs about a place to view the condors. After driving back and forth over a bridge looking for the condors, a local told them that the condors roost under the bridge. Sure enough, they went below the bridge and looked up to see 6 or 7 condors.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Ianab on May 10, 2021, 03:52:37 AM
However they learned that they too can be "double clutched" as they call it to speed reproduction and recovery of the birds

Same technique is used with endangered birds here in NZ.  The Kakapo is a flightless nocturnal parrot, which was almost wiped out by introduced cats and ferrets. Numbers were down to under 60 by 1995. They rounded up the surviving birds and moved them to predator free Islands, and have been closely monitored. And that's one of the tricks they use to get double clutches.  Numbers are now up to ~220 birds. 

They also found that if the females were too well fed they produced mostly male chicks, which isn't ideal if you are trying to build up the population. So they have to be very careful about the supplemental feeding. Make sure they have enough food to produce eggs, but not so much that they get fat and produce mostly male offspring. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 10, 2021, 09:22:31 AM
Ian,

   So you are saying fat moms are more likely to produce boy babies? Or is this an Australian and New Zealand thing? :D 

   That is interesting. I know some reptiles produce gender specific clutches based on the temperature of the nests which has been used to regulate the number of females hatched. The Galapagos tortoise is one such species that comes to mind. Basically since nest temps are pretty consistent in the wild clutches incubate and hatch with either all male or all female young.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 10, 2021, 09:28:31 AM
   Did you know that seals in the cold Atlantic ocean waters along Namibia's Skeleton Coast will lift one flipper out of the water to catch the sunlight like a solar panel and regulate their body temps accordingly?

   There is a huge fur seal colony at Cap Cross and it is a neat sight to watch the seals floating on the surface with one flipper raised high like they are waving to the world as the exposed flipper warms the body of the seal.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 11, 2021, 10:16:36 AM
   Did you know there is a pride of lions living on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia who almost never drink water? As I understand they get virtually all their moisture from the blood of the animals they eat. Their main prey are the seals at Cape Cross mentioned earlier. When we visited the seal colony there were plenty of fresh jackal tracks there and they also evidently get their moisture from their prey as there is almost no fresh water along the Skeleton Coast.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 12, 2021, 12:06:34 PM
   Did you know you can twist a stuck vehicle out of a sand or mud hole using a long, heavy rope or nylon strap tied in a loop between a tree and the vehicle? Insert a heavy stick or pipe and start twisting and as the rope tightens you can actually pull the vehicle out. Use a pipe or stick a little longer than the distance between the rope and the ground. Angle the stick when twisting so it will pass under the rope but can be straightened and wedged against the ground to hold it in place if needed.

  Warning - this is for emergency use only and can be very dangerous if not properly done. The tension created on the rope can cause the stick or pipe to spin backwards and can seriously injure or kill an unwary user.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on May 12, 2021, 05:49:54 PM
Did you know..
That the North Star is 4000 times brighter than our sun? The light we see when we look at the North Star was generated in the year 1587, travelling 434 years through space to reach us.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 12, 2021, 07:56:55 PM
    Did you know that NASA is planning a manned trip to the sun? When asked how they were going to keep from burning up when they reached the sun the current, recently appointed NASA head replied "They are going to land at night." :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 13, 2021, 08:35:18 AM
   Did you know an elephants trunk is flexible enough to pick up a single leaf like a person using their thumb and index finger? The very tip of the trunk can be opened and closed to grasp and hold items. The top and bottom come together. In Thailand at the various elephant shows you will see elephants painting pictures of flowers, grass, people, hut, etc. with amazing accuracy - I dare say better than I can do.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 13, 2021, 08:29:35 PM
Totally off topic, but a forklift operator once demonstrated to me his ability to pick up a nickel lying on a concrete floor with a forklift. True story.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 13, 2021, 08:52:56 PM
   I have heard of similar MHE rodeos first from a friend and fishing buddy (I hung a beetle spin in his head one time fishing on Lake Blackshear and told him to be careful getting it free as it was a best lure - your can imagine his reply! :D) who worked with the track department of the John Deere dealership in Albany Ga and again from a Chief Warrant officer who was a USMC counterpart at my last assignment. They would do things like have backhoe operator's pick up an egg from a bed of sand and move it to another one or lift a quarter or such. My USMC buddy said he had some really good operators who were proud to show off. My fishing buddy said they had some good ones and some who were simply "very entertaining" to watch. ;) I love watching a skilled operator no matter what discipline he/she is working.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 14, 2021, 09:46:57 AM
   Did you know the Bakka pygmies in Cameroon and the Central African Republic hunt birds and monkeys with crossbows? I have one I bought from them and it is interesting craftsmanship. They took a piece of wood and basically carved out a board about 4' long and a little over an inch thick and several inches wide . About 6" from the front they bored or burned out a notch about 2" long and 1" wide and inserted a dense, flexible, hard wood for the bow about 28" long centered and secured in the notch. They bend the bow and tie it in a bowed shape using heavy cord they weave from the bark of a local vine. They cut a vertical slot in wood several inches back from the bowstring and cut a notch to hold the string in place under tension when cocked. Inside the slot they carve and insert a trigger that looks like a narrow smooth board that pivots at the rear on a nail or wire. They cut a thin groove the length of the arrow or dart (Actually a bolt in correct terminology) from the tip to the string. When cocked and ready to shoot they aim then push up on the trigger which pushes the string out of the notch causing the bow to fire. The darts I got with it are a foot or so long, about 3/16" in diameter and smoothed with a knife or piece of glass. They cut a slot in the back and insert a small green leaf for fletching to stabilize the bolt in flight. They sharpen and coat the tip with a fast acting poison that affects the nervous system immobilizing any game animal or bird struck by the bolt. I don't remember hearing what they make their poison from. Bushmen further north in Namibia would dig up a particular grub and toss them in a pot and heat and stir to a gooey black mush they dipped their arrows in. The plants the grubs ate had a toxin that affected the nervous system of any game struck.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 14, 2021, 02:07:57 PM
That grub is one of the many things that I will NOT eat (but sushi is awesome, I like).
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 16, 2021, 10:19:17 PM
   Did you know that a whitetail deer can stand on its hind legs to reach overhead food? We raised a little doe fawn many years ago. Her mother was killed by a car when the fawn was about the size of a grown housecat. We had goats at the time and would milk them and give it to her in a bottle.  We found if we held the bottle up high she could stand up on her hind legs to nurse from it. When she got older we'd feed her apple slice or fortune cookies and make her stand up on her back legs to get them. I was amazed how well she could balance on only her hind legs.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on May 17, 2021, 07:36:36 AM
When I was with Game and Fish I took possession of an "orphaned" ( not really , fawn and doe were behaving as they should ) fawn picked up by ignorant , if well meaning neighbors to the Management Area I supervised  . Not equipped to take car of animals , I kept him the trailer I lived in. Mimicking the actions of the doe, I would stimulate the anus area with a paper towel and the fawn would defecate into the paper towel. No training needed  , they come house broken! Not having paper towels ,  in the wild the doe would stimulate the area orally ,  consume the body waste , thus eliminating the additional scent that would be in the area where the fawn was hidden. This was 40+ years ago , can't remember , but I assume I handled the urine the same way. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 17, 2021, 09:20:08 AM
  Spot was never a house deer. We kept her in a dog crate the first night then after that we'd leave her in a stall in the goat barn with the door open so she could come and go. When she was about 4-5 months old I went hunting the first day or antlerless season, walked to the top of the pasture and a couple of yearlings jumped up and ran up the hill. One stopped and I shot it in the head with my 30-06. When I did Spot jumped up about 30' away and I felt so guilty. I would not have shot it if I 'd known it was her friend. I dragged the deer home and cleaned it and Spot followed me home. I gave her an apple and she forgave me.

    We could never pick her up or she would kick so violently I was afraid she would kick her hip out of socket. She was worse than any mule if your tried to pull her. If you wanted her to go somewhere we'd put a hand on each hip and push her like a wheelbarrow. You could push her anywhere like that.

    When we first got her she'd get milk all over her face eating her milk. Morris, our big yellow cat would lick it off and they became good friends. It was funny later to watch them in the pasture. She'd be feeding and Morris would start stalking like a leopard after an impala. She'd watch him out of the corner of her eye. When he got close enough he'd charge with his paws spread wide. She'd kick a hoof past his ear and they'd chased around the pasture a bit, stop, go sniff noses then go their separate ways. It was obviously a big game to both of them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 17, 2021, 09:27:26 AM
I know youíve thought about it, what would you have done if it would have been Spot?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 17, 2021, 09:31:56 AM
   Did you know there are several ways to hook a live minnow when fishing with them for crappie or such? We typically us a thin #2 wire hook and I hook the minnow in the soft spot of the lips. Sometimes a crappie will nail it and I land him and find the minnow has slid up the line. I then take him off and run the hook just in front of the eyeball through the eye socket. When the crappie are biting fast they will grab him and sometimes the minnow will still be alive but they tear the hook out. At that point I hook him in the middle of the back and maybe catch a third fish on the same minnow. A back-hooked minnow does not survive nearly as long as a lip hooked or eye socket hooked minnow.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 17, 2021, 09:33:10 AM
Todd,

   Couldn't be Spot. I had a reflective neon pink color on her to prevent such.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 17, 2021, 12:12:13 PM
Gotcha. I guess that I just missed that somehow, but I did wonder about that!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 17, 2021, 01:03:22 PM
Todd,

 I had not mentioned the collar earlier. We had a neighbor who raised one to become a very big buck. His ran away fairly soon. He had put an ear tag in it so we would know not to shoot it. Ours stayed here till she was over a year old and disappeared in June. I figure someone shot her out of meanness as it was not hunting season or dogs or coyotes got her as she was too dependable to come check in regularly with us. That was what made her such a neat pet as she was always free to come and go. She'd go play with her wild friends then come back here to visit and get a treat or such. She loved to lick kids faces - I guess for the salt but they always thought she was kissing them so we got some great pictures of her with them.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 18, 2021, 10:05:08 AM
   Did you know that if someone falls out of a fairly small boat in open water you may need to help them climb back in from the stern to keep from swamping the boat as you would do if you entered from the side? Keep this in mind if you are by yourself and find yourself in the water. Where possible it may be easier and safer to hold on to the side of the boat and float or swim to shore where you can stand up. If you are too far out or the water is too cold you may not have that long to wait and need to get back in immediately.

   When I watch Swamp People and I see them pulling big heavy gators in the boat I keep wondering why they don't all use rollers like the system Frenchie and Gee invented to hang on the side of the boat. It looks like it would be much more stable if mounted on the bow of the boat. It looked like a simple, very effective and inexpensive solution/system. Heck I probably should have several around the sawmill to load heavy stuff over the side of the trailer or such.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on May 18, 2021, 08:57:06 PM
Kind of on the same lines. I've heard that when Eskimos who were basically sewn into their kayaks first got hold of guns they didn't know not to unleash a broadside. Since they had to set their paddle down to fire and often hunted alone they lost more than one before they figured out to line up and fire forward.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 19, 2021, 07:44:47 AM
   Did you know most whitetail fawns in WV are bornin May and June? The peak of our rut is about mid November. The gestation period is normally 201 days I understand. I remember seeing very small spotted fawns when hunting in Ala in November. Their rut is apparently more in January. When are most of the fawns born in you area?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on May 19, 2021, 07:55:18 AM
No problem here whenever our fawns are dropped.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/IMG_7200.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1583935512)
 
Our peak breeding is the last week of December, but if Does aren't bred they repeat back ~30 days later.  Apparently this doe missed two cycles because this trail camera pictures was taken March 5th.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 19, 2021, 01:01:53 PM
MM, our deer have lost their horns by then. Or is their something that Iím missing from the great state of MS?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on May 19, 2021, 01:09:49 PM
His antlers were not the only thing that he has not lost yet so you are not missing anything.  As long as our WV friends keep sending "product infringement contributions" we will continue to keep our secrets......secret.  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 19, 2021, 01:18:31 PM
 8)  ;)  :-X 

Nuff said?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 19, 2021, 01:20:23 PM
After all, I learned a long time ago, KMS.

Keep Mouth Shut 🤐 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 19, 2021, 09:43:30 PM
   We took a trip today and I saw my first fawn of the season with a doe out in a field about 20 miles from our home. It was a good ways off but still looked pretty wobbly. Always great to see them every season. I looked at home in a normal nursey area but did not see one. Only a WV Tarpon.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 20, 2021, 07:04:14 AM
    Did you know there are tarpons in WV? I did not realize that when we moved here 30+ years ago. They are fierce fighters and creatures to beware of and have been reported to have eaten small children and pets.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_2534.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1621508532)
I spotted this one just outside my pasture fence a couple of days ago while looking for fawns.

   I suspect the naming may have something to do with WV language and culture issues. ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on May 20, 2021, 07:43:33 AM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN1108_28Small29.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1346519794)
 
They are more accurately identified as a common Box Turtle.  The numbers are rapidly increasing in our area and soon we will have to use the additional funds from WV to build enclosures and barriers to prevent human/turtle interaction.  :o
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: jb616 on May 20, 2021, 12:04:11 PM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN1108_28Small29.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1346519794)
 
They are more accurately identified as a common Box Turtle.  The numbers are rapidly increasing in our area and soon we will have to use the additional funds from WV to build enclosures and barriers to prevent human/turtle interaction.  :o
@Magicman (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=10011) , Do the admins know what kind of pictures you have been posting lately?  :D  I have Box turtles on my property in Michigan as well. I have never seen one before that as we mostly have Painted and Snapping. The local environmental club put 2' high chain link fences along the highway to keep them from crossing and getting squished. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: JJ on May 20, 2021, 12:54:25 PM
I think you miss-spell Terrapene carolina
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on May 20, 2021, 06:52:30 PM
Yes, that Box Turtle picture was first posted here on the FF with Jeff's OK in 2012.  The Deer picture was posted here in March, 2020.

Obviously I do need to get out more so PatD and I will be on a 106 mile road trip sawing next week.  ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Will.K on May 20, 2021, 10:49:03 PM
The fastest moving box turtles I've seen were three males chasing a female through a cedar thicket. I thought about trailing the parade to see how things turned out, but decided to give them their privacy. 
While we're on such topics, did you know that some female mustelids (weasels and such) are sexually mature and actually impregnated while nursing and hairless? I forget which species, or if this is a characteristic many mustelids share. Gestation is delayed for months until an ideal time, at which point the egg implants and pregnancy proper begins. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 21, 2021, 11:56:47 PM
   While most whitetail deer hunters are well of this fact did you know that when in rut the male deer makes a scrape in a well used deer trail under a low hanging bush (4'-5' is typical height), urinates in it then rubs his eyes on the bush which leaves his scent for any passing interested doe? Any doe in heat passing through finding the scrape will wait patiently for the buck to return. The buck typically runs his line of scrapes (I don't remember how many they typically make but they range from the size of a dinner plate to about a square yard) in a circuit from the same direction. Hunters can look at the scrape and see which direction the leaves and dirt have been pawed in and determine the direction the buck will be coming from and be sure to hunt the scrape when the wind is coming from that direction so the buck will not smell them. My grandfather was one of the early game wardens in the state of Fla and he always referred to scrapes as "them pawed places". He never fully understood the details of the scrape but he did know when he saw one there was often a big buck near by.

   I remember reading in sister threads about one FF member in Mississippi who said he made his own scrapes by removing the leaves and peeing in it himself. I always wondered if when he checked his personal scrapes if he found more Mississippi State or Ole Miss Co-Eds standing waiting for his return. I think that should be a worthwhile study for some young Mississippi Game Biology grad student or for one's Doctorate thesis.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 22, 2021, 09:03:30 AM
Use to make false scrapes, under a bush and a few drops of doe urine.  It would tend to hold bucks in the area looking for that bright eyed doe. 8)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 22, 2021, 10:02:40 PM
   Did you know that deer, especially whitetails, get really stupid during the rut? This is when most of the big bucks are killed and also probably when the most deer/vehicle accidents occur because the bucks are frantically running their scrapes and chasing the does, even the ones that aren't yet in heat. Our news stations routinely advise motorists to watch as a big buck is just as likely to chase a hot doe across a highway full of fast moving traffic as an empty field.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_1035~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1621734680)
 This is not a big deer by many of your standards but it was a 175 lb 8 point I shot a couple of years ago. I was riding my ATV up the trail about 2:00 pm to my stand when a doe ran about 20 yards in front of me. I stopped and the buck followed paying me no attention. I grabbed a loaded magazine out of my pocket and unslung my Remington 7600 pump 30-06 and slammed it in and jacked a shell in. I looked up and the buck looked like the MM Mississippi deer on top of the doe about 50 yards away. I waited patiently for him to finish and leave his heir for the next year and when he got off, I shot him.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 23, 2021, 08:46:01 AM
   Did you know a moose is the largest member of the deer family? In Norway a moose is called an Elk (So a Norwegian Elkhound was bred to be a moose hunting dog). Deer have antlers which the male members grow and shed each year while members of the antelope family have horns that both male and females grow and they retain all their lives. Members of the deer family include whitetail (And Key deer which is a sort of pygmy whitetail), blacktail, mule, caribou, elk, reindeer, red deer, fallow deer, and moose and possibly a few others I am leaving out.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 23, 2021, 01:20:17 PM
An add on to the false scrapes I made.  I collected the sheds of the last buck I killed, each year, but never saw the buck till his last day.  The three years of horn shown the same pattern of forking, and just got bigger, hunted that land for 30 years.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on May 23, 2021, 01:46:11 PM
An Alaskan in Fairbanks told me that all Reindeer are Reindeer as long as they are behind the fence.  Leave the gate open and they instantly become Caribou.  ::)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 23, 2021, 10:19:32 PM
TR,

 I studied Wildlife Biology at Auburn and on one of our classroom walls we had all the sheds from a buck that was pen raised there on the campus. We had antlers from his first set of small spikes up for 12-14 till years till he died of old age. His antlers varied but every set had the same peculiar twist on one main beam throughout his life. The best racks he had were at about year 4 & 5. He might have more points on some racks later but they were smaller. This deer was pen raised so he had a consistent diet so forage was not an explanation for variance in size and points like you would expect in the wild. The racks still peaked then dropped off on any scoring method you'd have used. You'd have thought they would have gotten bigger to a peak then stayed there till old age set it but they did not. Anyway, our pen raised buck verifies exactly the findings you mention from the sheds on your place.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ellmoe on May 24, 2021, 06:57:45 AM
When I was with Fla. G and F. we trapped deer off of Cape Canaveral (NASA) which is located on an island. The bucks we caught all had the same pattern to the shape of the main beams. We would saw off the antlers before placing the drugged deer in the transfer boxes so that wouldn't damage the box or their skull smashing the inside with there antlers. I still have some of the antlers and from the smallest to the largest they will "nest" inside each other. Tight genetic pool!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 24, 2021, 08:49:51 AM
TR,

 I studied Wildlife Biology at Auburn and on one of our classroom walls we had all the sheds from a buck that was pen raised there on the campus. We had antlers from his first set of small spikes up for 12-14 till years till he died of old age. His antlers varied but every set had the same peculiar twist on one main beam throughout his life. The best racks he had were at about year 4 & 5. He might have more points on some racks later but they were smaller. This deer was pen raised so he had a consistent diet so forage was not an explanation for variance in size and points like you would expect in the wild. The racks still peaked then dropped off on any scoring method you'd have used. You'd have thought they would have gotten bigger to a peak then stayed there till old age set it but they did not. Anyway, our pen raised buck verifies exactly the findings you mention from the sheds on your place.
We had a phd at Stephan F. Austin (Dr. Kroll) that worked in deer, had one display where he kept the horns of one deer for a 7 year, or longer, collections.  They show the same degradation over the years.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Walnut Beast on May 24, 2021, 09:28:15 AM
Deer that donít shed their antlers. I got this guy several years ago and he was probably the biggest body deer Iíve ever taken. Probably close to 130Ē I had watched him for several years and when I was bow hunting and had the opportunity I took it. His drop tine is 9 1/2 inches, Here is a little bit about them. This condition in whitetail bucks that results in antlers in velvet beyond the normal velvet-shedding date of late August to early September is usually caused by a birth defect known as cryptorchidism. In extreme cases both testicles remain in the abdominal cavity and never descend into the scrotum. The normal production of testosterone is diminished, and the antler cycle of hardening, velvet shedding, and antler casting is altered. These same results can sometimes be produced in a buck that is born normal but subsequently suffers a testicular injury.
In normal bucks, a rise in testosterone levels occurs in late summer with increasing day length. A buck responding to late summerís photoperiod (exposure to daylight) experiences a change in behavior due to the sudden elevation in testosterone in his system. The bachelor groups (https://deerassociation.com/biology-bachelor-groups/) that have been together since early the previous winter begin to separate due to more aggressive attitudes among the individuals. Antlers harden, the velvet is shed, and bucks continue to rub their antlers (and forehead glands) on bushes and small trees as a means of scent communication known as signpost behavior. As days begin to get shorter, a buckís testosterone level declines. Their antlers are shed, and the bucks become much less aggressive, and bachelor groups form again. Having lost his protective headgear, a buck has obvious survival advantages in being a member of a bachelor group
Cryptorchid bucks are different. They donít participate in the seasonal rituals of normal bucks. Because their testosterone levels remain low in early fall, their antler development is not completed, and their velvet is not shed. Cryptorchid bucks donít participate in signpost behavior by making rubs or scrapes. They lack the chemical stimulation to express their dominance and individualism. The 
tarsal glands (https://deerassociation.com/tarsal-glands-know/) of cryptorchid bucks are rarely stained because the bucks do not rub-urinate. Also, the necks of cryptorchid bucks do not swell as the breeding season approaches. Reproductively, they are in neutral. Antlers are not shed, and they remain in velvet year round. Furthermore, the antlers continue to grow as the animal matures.
Very old cryptorchid bucks often have numerous abnormal points giving them a ďcactusĒ appearance. Also, enlarged antler bases are characteristic of older, cryptorchid bucks. I have seen several with antler bases in excess of 10 inches in circumference.
Cryptorchid bucks are incapable of reproducing. If allowed to mature, obviously they have the potential to provide a memorable, quality hunt.
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59695/45CAAB09-D311-4773-A750-DCEFDBF2E859.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1621862398)
 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 24, 2021, 12:04:35 PM
Antelope; the horn that you normally see is a sheath. The male certainly sheds the sheath once yearly but I know nothing concerning the female. They also donít have definition horns or antlers in the strictest definition sense, but they do deserve the nickname ďspeedgoatĒ. They do have some sort of permanent underlying structure that the new horn-like sheath covers yearly, but Iíd still like to know exactly what to call these particular animals. I wonder what qualifies them for whatever and exactly what they are. Anybody know?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 24, 2021, 11:16:07 PM
   Did you know a whitetail doe will nurse fawns other than her own? We watched 2 does 2 years ago in our backyard with 3 fawns. All three fawns nursed off both does. I suspect the old doe was mother of some and grandmother of the other and mother to the young doe but I can't prove it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 25, 2021, 08:45:19 AM
   Did you know that occasionally a whitetail doe deer will grow antlers and a hen turkey will grow a beard? In most such cases the doe or hen will be sterile.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 25, 2021, 09:02:07 AM
  Did you know that occasionally a whitetail doe deer will grow antlers and a hen turkey will grow a beard? In most such cases the doe or hen will be sterile.


Yup, Iíve seen photo proof of that before on the deer, but Iíve not seen it in the turkeys. Of course, Iím just some Turkey myself  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Chuck White on May 25, 2021, 09:32:34 PM
I've seen both, in fact last hunting season one of my brothers shot a big doe that had 10 inch spikehorns and they still had the velvet on them!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 26, 2021, 07:40:10 AM
   Did you know only the pregnant female mosquito bites? Apparently the mosquito needs the blood to feed her brood. Just another case of the female of the species being the more dangerous member. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on May 26, 2021, 08:35:28 AM
Arnt the male ones the big suckers that are real docile? We call them daddy long legs locally. Usually can be found hanging out on a blade of grass or house siding etc. Probably as big as a quarter in width 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 26, 2021, 09:57:53 AM
Iíve always called them mosquito hawks. The male also just finds the water (from what Iím told) and if so heís got some serious hormones making his decisions!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 26, 2021, 11:07:32 AM
   Boy are you guys confused or confusing me. We always called a dragonfly a "skeeter hawk" and a Granddaddy long legs was the critter about the size of a #1 buckshot that looked like a spider. Actually he is a plant eater and only has 6 legs if I remember correctly. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 26, 2021, 11:50:18 AM
Colloquial terms at their finest. Depends on where you grew up as to how you learned stuff from the ďolderĒ crowd, now weíre teachers    ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 26, 2021, 12:20:16 PM
That time of the year in Texas.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10007/asnake~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1622045961)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 26, 2021, 12:34:58 PM
TR,

   Here I was trying to figure what kind of bugs were on the plant when suddenly I realized there was a long scaly creature coming over the gutter. ;)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 26, 2021, 12:44:56 PM
WV, donít feel bad, cause I was too!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old Greenhorn on May 26, 2021, 04:10:50 PM
That time of the year in Texas.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10007/asnake~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1622045961)

That appears to be a snakecicle.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 27, 2021, 07:29:36 AM
   Did you know a cottontail rabbit builds a "nest" in a shallow depression on the surface of the ground, lines it with fur from her body and gives birth to and raises the babies in it? We had a neighbor when we first moved to WV with a Jack Russel terrier who would find baby rabbits in the nest but would not harm them. The kids would bring them to my wife who raised several using powdered bitches milk and a 2 ounce glass Evenflo bottle with a soft rubber nipple we'd get from our local vet. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 28, 2021, 09:09:31 AM
   Did you know bears are omnivores? I posted this in more detail on Sawguys Surprise visitor thread.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 29, 2021, 08:16:24 AM
   For those of you who watch Swamp People catching alligators using set hooks baited with rotting meat, fish, chicken, etc. the original way to hunt alligators was primarily to still hunt them? My grandfather was a gator hunter in central Florida and he would find a gator hole or den typically in or near a sinkhole in the limestone riddled country of central Fla. He would ease up to the site and "Set them up" as he described it. He would sit quietly till the gator surfaced then he would shoot it and jump in and pull it out. He also had a pole with a hook he would use to retrieve his dead gators. Sometimes people would hunt on the rivers and lakes at night "Fire-hunting" them looking for their eyes and easing up on them and shooting them. He said about the time he quit gator hunting to become one of Florida's early game wardens people had started putting out hooks with beef "lights" on them for bait. I don't believe he ever used that technique. As a kid we thrilled at listening to him telling of hunting and killing big gators and several near misses he had. He said he was down in a gator hole poking around with a pole trying to find where and the direction of the den when a big gator came out and charged him. He said it grabbed a man sized piece of driftwood beside him and tried to take it back in his den and got it crossways and he jumped on its back and shot it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 29, 2021, 06:32:03 PM
Were it not for the fact that we all know that all members of this forum are totally honest and of impecable character, that might be viewed as a fish/gator story. My concern is that WV is a confessed fisherman and some fisherman have at times told some real fish stories. :D :D On the other hand if Grandpa told it it must be true.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 29, 2021, 07:14:44 PM
   Purely for educational and entertainment purposes I may have, on very rare occasions ::), been known to slightly "embellish" certain aspects of my recollections of various events but I never knew my grandfather to engage in such practices. Now when my dad was telling a tall tale ....

   I remember Grandpa said he had a lady hide buyer who paid top prices for gator hides but she would always dock him $1/hide for a cut place in the hide. Her prices were still better than other buyers so he always tried to sell to her. He was a little embarrassed (Probably where I got my shy streak from) but he finally explained to the lady that was not a cut, it was the gator's anus and it was always going to be there. She said she had never thought about that and wondered why all the gator hunters were so careless when skinning their catch as she always docked everyone for the cut in the hide. Nobody had ever explained it to her. After that she dropped her purchase price $1/hide but stopped docking everyone for a cut hide.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on May 29, 2021, 07:41:41 PM
Sort of like fur buyers who would look at a pretty decent Red Fox pelt and say that they can't pay a good price because the fur was weak on the neck. That is the way all foxes are. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 30, 2021, 09:04:12 AM
   Did you know wildlife can become habituated to humans? A truly wild animal will almost always react to the presence of humans. He will either run or nervously walk away or in some cases he will attack if he feels threatened or thinks of the human as prey. In places where humans and animals frequently come into contact with each other the animals become habituated and basically ignore the people around them. Places like National Parks are good examples of habituated animals. Think of Yellowstone and all the animals coming into contact with humans. The same is true in big game parks like Kruger in Africa. 

   This does not mean the animals are tame! This is a big mistake many tourists make. They see the animal at very close range and it is ignoring them so they decide to get a selfie with the nice wooly bison, elk, moose, or black or grizzly bear and when they get so close the animal feels threatened it defends itself or its young. You read accounts almost weekly about some foreign tourist (Japanese are a favorite because they seem to want a selfie of everything they see or do) or a dumb American thinking the Park rules on distances to maintain from the animals are a "suggestion" and don't really apply to them and they get trampled, gored or eaten.

    We visited The Central African Republic around 2002 and were allowed to go with WWF researchers tracking Lowland Gorillas. The gorillas were habituated as the trackers followed them every day recording what they did and what they ate and such. We were warned if we got too close the silverback would charge and we were to kneel down and not make eye contact because he considered that a threat. Sure enough almost immediately when we got to them one of the trackers got too close to a juvenile (It is very hard to see a coal black, fuzzy animal in the dark shadows in the jungle) and it jumped up, screamed and ran. The massive silverback immediately ran out of the forest ripping up small trees and hooting loudly and beating his chest. He looked to weigh about 500 lbs with 4' long arms and rippling chest muscles. I complied and knelt down got real interested in the bugs around my shoes. He came within about 10-12 feet with his mock charge, stopped after he felt we were well warned and turned around and walked back on his knuckles. My wife got a picture of his butt as he walked away. The week before he had walked up to one of the trackers in a similar incident and "bopped" him on the head with his fist. Not hard enough to hurt him but enough to let him know he was not welcome. From the looks of the silverback I speculated he could have ripped every limb from my body and never broken a sweat.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on May 30, 2021, 11:09:36 AM
Sharon, thatís gonna leave a mark!

An infamous quote from Ozzy Osborne to his wife Sharon.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 31, 2021, 09:09:44 PM
  Did you know tomato seeds will survive being eaten, passed through the digestive system, processed through a commercial waste treatment plant (WTP) and still sprout and grow?

I shared a company provided house with Fred who ran the WTP on a project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was an avid gardener and would bring home big bags of the treated waste which was light weight, gray and odorless and looked sort of like crumbled charcoal only lighter in color. He always had a large number of tomatoes that sprouted and grew from this treated waste.

The waste was filtered, stirred into a slurry and air was added in a big tank digestor system. The bacteria broke down the waste. The slurry was pumped into sand filled drying beds to a depth of about 18". The sand filtered the water which was collected through a system of perforated piping and the clear odorless IW was used to water the plants on the project.

We had a pair of large, beautiful, Grey Crowned Crane (National Bird of Uganda in case you are ever on a game show - if you win using this info remember 5% of your winnings goes the FF and you can split the rest with me which is much cheaper than if this info came from some of our Mississippi or Kansas members.) who would wade in the drying slurry. One of our resident characters was an Irishman named Joe Cosgrave. He said they were our S__t testing birds and said if you watched one would wade around, lift one foot, shake it vigorously and say to the other bird "This one needs a little more work." Then he would hop over the divider and do the same with the next batch till finally he would tell his mate "Yep, this one is ready" and our Filipino skid steer operator would jump in his machine and go collect the dry, crumbly waste and dump it into a waiting metal dumpster to be taken to the land fill. (They might have had some more scientific method they used to double check the bird's accuracy but I am not aware of it.)

 I had assigned a Bangladeshi janitor to work there at the WTP and he decided the birds would fetch a huge price from some wealthy Saudi sheik or such and chased them trying to catch one. He scared them off and the Filipino work force were so mad I had to reassign him for fear he would end up in the digestor tank. I don't know if the Filipino workers were animal lovers or just mad that they had to go back to using their alternate waste treatment testing processes.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on June 01, 2021, 09:53:23 AM
I worked at a WW II era sewage plant once upon a time.  It was at an Army installation built for training troops, had a huge capacity but we only used part of it.  The dried sludge will sure make grass grow!  And we had tomato plants in the sludge beds. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 01, 2021, 10:27:27 PM
   I am sure I have mentioned this here on on another thread but did you know a Jack Russel Terrier is one of the more popular dogs in southern Africa? They are excellent snake catchers included really wicked ones there. Also many professional hunters use them to track and bay wounded leopards in the bush. A pack of hounds will find and hold the cat but you can expect to lose a few dogs in the process. The JRTs are so fast they can yip and dodge and annoy and distract the cat till the PH can ease in and dispatch him.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 02, 2021, 09:42:00 PM
   Did you know that many birds, especially when nesting, are very territorial and establish clearly defined boundaries within which the chase off birds of the same species and sometimes expand this protection to other species of  birds an animals?  I grew up in N. Fla and we had lots of Mockingbirds and when nesting you could watch one fly a circuit from specific points such as a fence post to a powerline to a limb on a tree to a tv antenna, etc. At each point the bird would sing a few notes, move and repeat. Any unwanted visitor was quickly attacked and sent packing.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 03, 2021, 04:55:40 AM
  Did you know that many birds, especially when nesting, are very territorial and establish clearly defined boundaries within which the chase off birds of the same species and sometimes expand this protection to other species of  birds an animals?  I grew up in N. Fla and we had lots of Mockingbirds and when nesting you could watch one fly a circuit from specific points such as a fence post to a powerline to a limb on a tree to a tv antenna, etc. At each point the bird would sing a few notes, move and repeat. Any unwanted visitor was quickly attacked and sent packing.
White breasted nut hatches were freaking out yesterday, looked over and a blue jay was trying to poke inside the nest box to see what was there, birds were having none of it but blue jays are much bigger. I shooed  him off for them, as they were pretty stressed  :D blue jays are jerks! They have a lot of personality that’s for sure. I’ve seen flocks of chickadees, nutnhatches, blue jays, etc all collude together to chase of bigger birds like crows, Hawks etc. Grackles are fearless too, I routinely watch just one chase off 2-3 ravens every few days, ravens will try to dive bomb and spin to lose em but the grackle always gains ground and nips him  :D. Ravens can’t do nothing as the grackle is too small and fast so all they can do is try to escape!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 03, 2021, 05:47:12 AM
    Remember a blue jay is basically a colorful crow and you will understand him better. They are sort of first cousins and in the same small family sub-group in the bird kingdom. 

   Did you know it is often not advisable (I read it about Blue bird nest boxes IIRC) to install a perch in front of the entrance hole. It looks nice and you think it is a homey touch for your birdy renter but it also allows/makes it easier for predator birds and such, like blue jays to access and kill the young or steal the eggs. Check with the experts about the various specifications before building nest boxes to make you feathered home site as attractive and safe for your guests as possible.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on June 03, 2021, 05:49:16 AM
How right you are about the perch!!!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 03, 2021, 06:10:36 AM
I like jays! They have tons of personality and every family of em makes their own little noises, they sun bath in my yard too :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: thecfarm on June 03, 2021, 06:12:46 AM
The only thing I don't like about blue jays is all the other birds that come to my feeder is scared of them. All the other birds will eat almost side by side. A blue jay come by and all the others disappear.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 03, 2021, 08:46:01 AM
The only thing I don't like about blue jays is all the other birds that come to my feeder is scared of them. All the other birds will eat almost side by side. A blue jay come by and all the others disappear.
I agree, they are feeder hogs. Last summer I had about 25 that would show up, I had at one point 17 in my yard, it was nuts, 3 or 4 families of them battle royal for the feeder
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 03, 2021, 04:42:50 PM
   You can all have my share of the world's blue jays! They steal pecans, they eat your figs and other fruit and did I mention they are a first cousin to a crow? 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 03, 2021, 04:47:47 PM
  You can all have my share of the world's blue jays! They steal pecans, they eat your figs and other fruit and did I mention they are a first cousin to a crow?
Iíll trade my army of squirrels and chipmunks for them lol no shortage of those tree/trunk rats
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 03, 2021, 05:03:57 PM
  I have plenty of chipmunks but can always use a few more squirrels. I'm thinking I may trap some munks the next time my GS comes you to "help" me. I figure that is a good project for us to undertake.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 03, 2021, 07:07:47 PM
Did You Know that chipmunks eat baby birds? Researchers studying nesting Barn Swallows in New Yorks' Adirondack region found that if a baby swallow got bumped out of a crowded  nest before it could fly and ended up on the ground, the chipmunks would get it. Red Squirrels are predators of eggs and nestlings as well. WV, you can knock the chipmunks numbers with rat snap traps and peanut butter.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 03, 2021, 09:25:03 PM
   Did not know that but makes sense. I saw a grey squirrel carrying a dead baby bird in front of the library at AU in the mid 70's when I was a student there.

   I'd want to live trap the chipmunks with my grandson.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 04, 2021, 05:22:14 AM
Iím not sure why youíd want squirrels imo they are even more destructive than chipmunks  :D
Maybe you guys donít have the red squirrels. They are fiesty little suckers. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 04, 2021, 05:23:52 AM
  Did not know that but makes sense. I saw a grey squirrel carrying a dead baby bird in front of the library at AU in the mid 70's when I was a student there.

   I'd want to live trap the chipmunks with my grandson.
My grandfather use to catch chipmunks with the classic old stick holding up a box of some sorts, and yanking string tied to the stick when it goes for the bait under the box  :D
He would then drive them away and realease them. Yeah I donít have the time for that too many and too much destructiveness 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on June 04, 2021, 06:07:54 AM
Just carefully dispatch them  fudd-smiley :rifle: and then C&C. When done properly, good eating. Done wrong, some of the worst.

Itís not always possible due to improper shooting lanes available, not to mention the neighbors safety. 

Just a thought  laugh_at
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 04, 2021, 06:20:00 AM
Just carefully dispatch them  fudd-smiley :rifle: and then C&C. When done properly, good eating. Done wrong, some of the worst.

Itís not always possible due to improper shooting lanes available, not to mention the neighbors safety.

Just a thought  laugh_at
I actually tried one for the first time about 6 months ago. I cleaned it up boiled the meat then fried it like chicken. I hear dumplings are big too
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 04, 2021, 08:55:42 AM
   I have caught several and the ones I caught did not try to bite. I don't know why not as any other squirrel would eat you up. The same is true with cottontail rabbits I have caught. They did not bite but I stuck my finger in the pen of a big tame rabbit wiggling his nose at me one time and he like to took my finger off.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on June 04, 2021, 09:42:14 AM
Squirrels were the prototype for gremlins in the movie.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 04, 2021, 11:00:47 AM
I think I've read somewhere that Red Squirrels take enough bird nestlings in some areas that it impacts bird populations. And there are places in the Rocky Mts. where there are no Red Squirrels (which eat conifer seeds, as do crossbill birds). Areas with no RS have more crossbills. Red Crossbills and White-winged Crossbills occur sporadically in New York. They are nomadic, wandering over wide areas in search of stands of conifers with a good cone crop to feed on. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 04, 2021, 04:04:13 PM
   Did you know fox squirrels come in several color variations based on different regions of the country? Here  in this part of WV and where I grew up in NW Fla they were a reddish gray color with a black mask. Around Albany Ga they were a light grey and almost white with a dark mask on their faces. In some areas I understand they are almost completely black. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on June 04, 2021, 08:35:21 PM
Here they are a very light gray with black heads.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 04, 2021, 09:02:21 PM
Danny,

 Well they should be! You are only about 75 miles from Albany so I am sure they have common ancestors. The ones that ran and escaped you and your relatives when you were kids with your BB guns, slingshots and .22 rifles made it to Albany a long time ago and started the population there. :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on June 05, 2021, 08:00:29 AM
Exactly!  They had to migrate.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on June 05, 2021, 09:07:47 AM
Exactly!  They had to migrate.
Ya mean run for their lives!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Roxie on June 05, 2021, 04:40:36 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11566/31207F9E-3DB6-4BC5-A88B-3ACB0F689484.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1622925246)
 Run for your lives.  :D

Speaking of color variants, took this picture of a brown sheep. He is on the far left, the one that Thanksgiving dinner is running toward. Itís face is the same shade of caramel brown. Never saw one like that.

Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 05, 2021, 10:51:16 PM
   Did you know that whitetail deer, especially the does with young around the area, make a loud, wheezing, sneezy call when alarmed? They will repeat this warning several to many times in most cases.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 06, 2021, 02:50:49 AM
  Did you know that whitetail deer, especially the does with young around the area, make a loud, wheezing, sneezy call when alarmed? They will repeat this warning several to many times in most cases.
Itís a fast exhale through nostrils, I hear this from them often.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on June 06, 2021, 06:25:32 AM
They are just clearing their nose because something stinks. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 06, 2021, 10:39:08 AM
They are just clearing their nose because something stinks.
Makes sense, Iím typically burning grass when they do it  :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 06, 2021, 01:12:07 PM
   Did you know when an old whitetail doe "busts" you she will walk slowly toward you stomping her front foot? I guess when she does this to a predator it makes him nervous and causes him to charge prematurely and she has a much better chance of escaping. Foot stomping is often accompanied by or immediately followed with snorting/sneezing/air intaking because she smelled Danny, etc.

   What surprised me was watching a cow waterbuck in Kenya in 12" tall grass doing the same exact technique when she smelled a leopard in the area. I think the leopard had already left or was just not interested in her as it never charged.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on June 06, 2021, 08:24:50 PM
On the black squirrels, when we were building a couple of houses just south of Lake Superior almost all the squirrels in the nearby town were jet black, something the locals took pride in pointing out. I just looked it up, interesting reasoning on cold tolerance, it sure got cold up there!
Black squirrel - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_squirrel)

We were working near an old relatively short portage that would connect from the lakes, through a flowage system, to the Mississippi.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Tacotodd on June 07, 2021, 12:40:52 AM
I know that almost all of the ones on campus at UALR are black. I was told at one time that it was a different kind of albino-ism, but I donít think that itís true. Does anyone knows one way or the other?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 07, 2021, 08:17:23 AM
Todd,

   I think you are saying the same thing Don P is saying above. It is a genetic condition that causes the black phase just like an albino. It makes sense if that trait helps the animal survive by keeping it warmer in cold climates, helping it hide better in the snow, becoming a protected animal due to social issues or superstitions (It was bad juju to kill a white buffalo or grizzly bear as I remember) it will will pass along those genes and if it mates with a like animal they will breed true to this trait. They will normally breed with other animals of their species but the young will most likely be normal colors. 

    I think I read somewhere in Africa villagers were plagued with baboons destroying the crops, poultry, etc. so they caught a baboon and painted him white and turned him loose. Being very social animals it kept trying to return to his troop but the other baboons were scared of him so they kept scattering and running away and eventually left the area. I won't swear this is true but it is a good tale.

    Did you know a black panther is such a melanistic phase of an African or Asian leopard or a South American jaguar. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on June 07, 2021, 08:29:24 AM
an albino lacks all pigment and will have pink eyes with blue sclera (instead of white).  the are also white squirrels (not albino) with white fur.  The black squirrels have two of the black fur genes (jet black) or 1 gene and have black mixed in the brown.  area that have a lot would be due to some natural advantage or good camo in a darker colored habitat.  If they survive better than other colors, even though this would be mathematically a smaller proportion, if more of them live then the mutant gene becomes more prev.  so kind of the opposite of an albino, and a genetic characteristic.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on June 07, 2021, 08:39:30 AM
so 2 black furred squirrels would have all back offspring. 1 back furred parent with a normal (no gene for black fur) parent would have none.  a black furred parent with a brown/black parent would have 50% black furred offspring.  and a pair of brown/black parents (with only 1 black gene each)  would have a 25% of a black furred offspring.  now we remember why we did not go into genetics.   :P ::) ??? :o :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 07, 2021, 08:49:58 AM
Doc,

   Now I will have nightmares remembering my genetics class. All my fruit flies died and the teacher gave me fabricated data to use to determine they had curly wing trait. It was a very rough period in my life and I was perfectly happy to never remember it again. Thanks a lot! You're a real pal. >:(  "May you discover pinholes in all your right hand rubber gloves. ;D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: doc henderson on June 07, 2021, 09:23:33 PM
 :) :) :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 08, 2021, 08:46:11 AM
   Did you know the African waterbuck  has a thick shaggy coat of loose hair that sometimes emit a musky, greasy, foul smelling substance that makes it very unattractive to predators? Most predators will not attack one because it is very difficult to get through the loose hair to eat the meat anyway. I guess it would be kind of like us having to eat a skunk or such. It could be done but is not a particularly attractive option if there is any other game around.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on June 08, 2021, 10:44:27 AM
     Howard, I've known dogs with a coat like that!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 09, 2021, 07:36:17 AM
   Did you know this is the time of year most whitetail fawns are born in WV? Unfortunately it is also the peak of haying season and a significant number are killed during the haying process. Does deliver and park newborn and very young fawns in the tall grass and when very young the fawns will not move until literally stepped on. When the mowers cut the hay the fawns remain in place and are injured or killed by the mowers. I had one neighbor that tried making a "tickler" out of PVC pipe and dangling chains he'd drive in front of the tractor. When the chains touched the fawn it would jump up and run. It had limited success and was costly to operate as it meant another operator and transporting another piece of equipment to and from the fields which were often located far from the farmers home. Many local farmers may cut hay in 10-15 different fields scattered over the county. For the years when weather conditions force hay cutting to be delayed the fawns have a much better chance of survival as older fawns will break and run quicker and survive the haying operation better. My feed dealer told me this week he had 14 fawns killed in one field a year or so back. You will always see vultures and crows circling and landing in the hay fields here eating dead fawns and snakes and such killed during the process.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 10, 2021, 08:42:47 AM
   Did you know that free ranging hogs were marked by cutting specific notches in their ears? These marks were registered with the county and were legal proof of ownership in court. When selling fresh pork my father said the seller had to have the head present to show it was his hog. A stolen hog with such notches was supposedly the start of the Hatfield and McCoy feud a little west and north of here.

   Hog traps that looked like Lincoln log structures were built in strategic locations and hogs were fed around them. In the Spring and Fall they would be baited and the hogs caught. In the Spring the new pigs were caught, boar pigs were castrated and all had their ears notched showing ownership. In the Fall adult hogs were trapped, penned and fattened and butchered for the winter meat or sold as appropriate.

   My mom has had a couple of instances of skin cancer on her ears over the last several years with surgery and plastic surgery required to remove the cancer and affected skin. I told her she needed to go to the county office and re-register her mark. I am not sure she appreciated the comment.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 11, 2021, 08:40:06 AM
   Did you know Trichinosis is a type of infection where a species of roundworm infects the muscles of the meat eating host? This is why you are always warned not to eat undercooked pork. Bears are also a carrier of Trichinosis so be equally carefully if you are cooking a bear steak or sausage. To be safe be sure to cook bear or pork to temperatures of 165 degrees or more.

   In some cases beef or other animals can become infected with Trichinosis by mixing under cooked pork in their feed. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 12, 2021, 09:23:49 AM
   Did you know lights are used as a fish attracter? Throughout the south (and maybe up in the glatiated northern climes) people living along lake shores often attach long fluorescent lights to their docks just a couple of feet above the water level. When they want to fish they turn the lights on at dusk and the lights attract insects which fall in the water attracting small baitfish which in turn attracts crappie, bass, and other such predator fish. There have been heated disputes including shots being fired, between land/dock owners using such lights to attract fish and fishermen in boats who see the lights and come fish there too.

   My derelict buddy in Cordele Ga along Lake Blackshear had lights on his docks and it was common to see bass up to 10 lbs just under the surface feeding and resting. He did not worry about other fishermen getting his fish because he had installed a "lure catcher" - a roll of old used field fence nailed under his dock. When a city slicker in a $20K bass boat pitched his $10 gonna catch em all bass lure under there it was not coming out. In January they typically lowered the level of the water to work on the hydro power equipment at the dam and Jack would go out and pick all the lures free from his trap. He'd get hundreds of dollars worth of lures each season.

   I remember fishing there with Jack and his wife Patty and got my beetle spin hooked in Jack's jaw and telling him to be very careful getting it free as it was my best lure. I can't repeat here his opinion of my favorite lure but suffice it to say he did not share my opinion of it. It did not help that for the next couple of hours every time Patty would look back she would laugh when she'd see the pink spot in his white beard.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 12, 2021, 11:57:12 AM
Back to the problem of mowing machines chopping up critters, yes it's a real shame. Many birds and critters get killed that way every year. And, yes, a rainy spell often delays mowing so that the young can grow up and evade the mower. You can't hate the farmer who wants early cut hay that is tender and nutritious. The mower is truly a double-edged sword in that mowing maintains grassland habitat instead of reverting back to shrubs and trees. But it also is rough on creatures whose babies are in the path of the mower. Landowners who want to mow a field just to keep succession from turning it back to shrubs and trees can hold off mowing until late summer when the fawns, rabbits, birds, etc. are grown.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 12, 2021, 12:31:12 PM
KEC,

   I certainly don't blame my farmer neighbors. They do everything they can to prevent it - like the one with the "tickler" on the ATV. They love and respect the wildlife too. They will often start cutting in/from the center and make their cuts to the outside to push the critters out of the fields rather than trapping them in a smaller and smaller patch in the middle. Besides, the critters damage their equipment and cost them time and money on repairs. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 12, 2021, 01:18:30 PM
KEC,

   I certainly don't blame my farmer neighbors. They do everything they can to prevent it - like the one with the "tickler" on the ATV. They love and respect the wildlife too. They will often start cutting in/from the center and make their cuts to the outside to push the critters out of the fields rather than trapping them in a smaller and smaller patch in the middle. Besides, the critters damage their equipment and cost them time and money on repairs.
Canít help but wonder maybe a sheep dog or something could be trained to ďscanĒ the area and bark/chase deer out. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 12, 2021, 07:42:13 PM
WV, I didn't think in any way that you begrudge farmers. Some people might though. I grew up on a dairy farm and we felt bad for the critters.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 12, 2021, 08:58:32 PM
Hemlock,

   That sounds like a great idea but a newborn or very young fawn has very little scent and they will not move from where they are parked until you literally step on one of them. A barking dog in the area would have no effect on a parked fawn. That is part of nature's defense for it. I don't think a sheep dog would ever smell one - if he did a coyote or fox or bobcat would have already smelled and eaten them. Remember these are large fields and many are not near homes where housedogs or such would smell them. I had a fawn that raised just on the other side of my yard fence 2 years ago and within 35 yards of my house. My Rat Terrier, Sampson, was in the back yard the whole time.

KEC,

   I never thought you felt I was being critical. If others want to criticize the farmers they should come up with a system to protect the animals. The farmers would thank them for it if it was anywhere near reasonable and cost effective. I want the farmers to keep doing what they do for us. I have several habits I can't break - like eating and drinking milk and I like my ice cream from time to time. The deer park their fawns in the hayfields because they think it is safer than leaving them in the woodline adjacent to it and most of the time they probably are. I don't know what % of the fawns get hurt or killed in this process but it is likely fairly small overall . 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on June 12, 2021, 10:23:34 PM
And PLEASE teach little ones not to hide from equipment working in those fields. Make sure they understand they have to be seen. There was a tragedy in my family before I was born. Really it goes for any of us on equipment. A shy young special needs boy ducked behind my skidsteer the other week and was walking right behind me, luckily I caught him out of the corner of my eye. We had a friendly conversation and I made sure he understood that he has to see me seeing him. PSA for the day, back to our program  :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on June 13, 2021, 08:14:07 AM
We had a tragedy here a few years ago.  A good friend of mine backed over his young grandson that was "helping" him with the farm chores.  The grandfather never recovered and was an "empty man" for the rest of his life.  :'(
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 13, 2021, 06:02:21 PM
Just a thought. If you want to see a bird or animal skeedadle, just get after them with compressed air with the nozzle like you use to blow dirt out of something. So what are the odds that you could have a compressor on the tractor with a line running to a long wand sticking out in front of the mower. And a gadget like on a water sprinkler so that the hissing sound goes off and on. Much might depend on how fast the tractor and mower are moving forward. What do you think?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 13, 2021, 06:38:24 PM
KEC,

  Nice thought. I'm no engineer. How big a compressor would it take to blow a path 10-12 ft wide which is pretty common for these tractors and mowers and haying equipment around here? As to the speed they are moving pretty fast. A deer would have time to jump up and run away of the air were projected 10' in front of the tractor I would think.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on June 13, 2021, 07:46:42 PM
I saw a black bear this week down in the bottom below the sawmill, pretty rare to see one in that area. Then it dawned on me how many times I've spooked fawns down there, i'd bet he was looking for dinner.

Several years ago I was running the tractor and bush hog around to a new neighbors place about this time of year. I had it in road gear and running close to wide open on the blacktop when I startled a bear. It hopped up into the road with a fawn in its last twitches. The healthy sized bear dropped the fawn and skeedaddled up the road in front of me. I had an unopened can of Mt Dew for defense and I'm gaining on the bear but also not wanting to change the tone of the tractor for fear it might just turn around. So up the road we go with me right on its heels and he's running flat out  :D. After a few hundred feet of that there was a break in the roadbank and he hightailed it up the bank. On my way home that evening the fawn was gone so I assume he circled back. I think that was the same ill fated mowing session where I found an antique cast iron intake manifold that I failed to cut but it sure tore up some parts and deck.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 14, 2021, 08:10:03 AM
   Did you know that skunks have very poor eyesight? If you are very careful you can sneak up behind them and grab them by the tail and lift them quick enough they cannot spray. Warning - when you grab for the tail, don't miss!
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 14, 2021, 12:51:52 PM
  Our daughter and SIL and their 2 kids came up this weekend. As the left and I walked back to the house I spotted this fawn in the pasture right behind the yard fence about 35-40 yards from the house. I have seen the doe near there several times over the last couple of weeks and figured she had a fawn nearby but this is the first I have seen of it. I watched it several minutes then my wife and walked down and got a couple of pictures before it ran off.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_2583~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623689152)
I hate the grandkids missed seeing it. I took them fishing and on a boat ride on Bluestone Lake yesterday.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/Quin_first_fish.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1623689248)
My grandson caught his first fish, a real monster as you can see. (Now if I can just get that line free from that tree top before we stir up the wasps nest beside it!)

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/Lyric_fishing_with_Grandpa.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1623688234)
His 28 month old sister was pretty full of herself then she had to try and caught a couple about the same size.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/Lyric_in_boat_after_catch_first_fish~0.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1623688384)
Then we took a ride up the lake which she said was "Amazing". Sampson is resting in the background. It was a great trip and I hope for many happy returns.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 14, 2021, 01:04:58 PM
Beautiful lake!! Looks like a fun time, good memories.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WDH on June 15, 2021, 07:26:47 AM
Good on you, Sir. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 15, 2021, 11:31:04 AM
   Did you know when cleaning a catfish there is a nice little fillet or at least a nice catfish nugget on each cheek? When you clean the fish go ahead and split the skin down the center of his head then pull the skin down over his eyes and peel off the meat with a fillet knife or pocketknife. On a large catfish, say 20 lbs or so, it is nice thick fillet. Even on a 3-4 lb fish you can get a chunk of meat off each side the size of a couple of fingers. It is not hard to recover and there is no reason to waste it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: tmarch on June 15, 2021, 05:37:25 PM
Antelope; the horn that you normally see is a sheath. The male certainly sheds the sheath once yearly but I know nothing concerning the female. They also donít have definition horns or antlers in the strictest definition sense, but they do deserve the nickname ďspeedgoatĒ. They do have some sort of permanent underlying structure that the new horn-like sheath covers yearly, but Iíd still like to know exactly what to call these particular animals. I wonder what qualifies them for whatever and exactly what they are. Anybody know?
Our "antelope" in the USA are not a true antelope, but a whole other species.  Where I live they are common, and I've taken a few with my archery equipment.  They have bone core that the "horn" sheath made of hair and a glue like substance to hold it together grows around.  Many times we've found their "sheds" in early November after the September rut.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Don P on June 15, 2021, 06:50:44 PM
@tmarch (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=25417) Well that got me looking where you were from. Crawford, NE, man that sounded familiar... Ft Robinson, Toadstool, The buffalo jump. You've got a few "did you knows"  :)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: tmarch on June 15, 2021, 08:23:08 PM
Yep, not much for typing so not much for responding.  Kinda a hobby sawmill operator, but I have learned a few things in my 72 years of hunting and wildlife experiences. ;)  Interesting things the experts have brought up here, and I appreciate that.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 15, 2021, 10:58:06 PM
tmarch,

  By all means share that wealth of knowledge with us. We'd all love to hear from you on the unusual things you've encountered. One thing I can share again is unless you have always wondered how you'd look with an earring - be sure to put down that skinning or fillet knife before swatting when cleaning fish and game and buzzing and biting insects are in the area. ::)
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 16, 2021, 01:20:36 PM
   Did you know they have barbel runs in the Okavango Delta in Botswana when huge schools of barbels (African name for catfish) hunt in packs? Apparently they surround schools of bait fish and demolish them. Lots of tourists come over to fish for them and the locals get out and catch them. I remember one episode of Monster Fish Jeremy Wade went over to try to determine the cause of death for a boatload of local tribesmen and they discussed the barbel run and even showed a bunch of them attacking bait fish. Jeremy was wondering if the barbels turned the boat over and killed the people. I think they finally decided it was more likely hippos than barbels at fault. I was fishing with ultra-light tackle and a small jig spinner catching baby tiger fish till a mother hippo and her calf drifted into the area and we had to leave. I never got another bite after I left that spot.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 17, 2021, 12:34:55 PM
   Did you know that a flathead catfish will normally only bite a live bait? If fishing for them do not use cut bait although they will bite a worm and you will sometimes catch them on an artificial bait that mimics a live bait. Channel and blue catfish will bite a live bait but they will also bite cut bait and we used to even catch them on Camay, Ivory or Octogon bar soap. I guess they are attracted to the oil/fats used in making the soap. My dad used to mostly use shrimp for bait on his bush hooks and sometimes cut mullet till he learned they would bite soap. After that that was all he would use because he did not catch any turtles, eels, gars, bowfins, etc that he considered trash and a nuisance. I used to bait with mullet then I would use the "trash" fish I caught and cut them up for bait so it was a self sustaining project. After the first night I'd catch enough bait to keep running my lines as long as I wanted to do so. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 18, 2021, 10:51:29 PM
   Did you ever encounter a Mayfly hatch on your local lake? Where they are common they hatch by the millions and land in clusters on the bushes over the water. Many fall in the lake where they are consumed by waiting fish. Around here during a big hatch it will look like every square foot of the waters surface will have either a dead mayfly or a mayfly shell.

When the hatch is at its peak a really exciting and fun way to catch bluegills and such feeding on the mayflies is to run your boat next to a bush covered with mayflies and give it a sharp rap with a paddle or long cane pole. The air will be filled with flying mayflies and many fall in the water causing an absolute feeding frenzy on and near the surface. Back off a few feet and toss a topwater fly or cork popping bug on a fly rod under the bush and stand by! Or toss a piece of a worm or cricket on a long shanKed wire #6-10 cricket hook under a float with a bb shot set from 1-2 ft deep. Another option is to toss a jig spinner on ultralite tackle into the mix. I prefer to use a piece of crawfish tail, cut chunk of a minnow, cricket or worm on the jig hook instead of the plastic twisty tail. I find the spinner attracts the fish then the "meat" seals the deal. Good luck and good fishing.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on June 19, 2021, 03:04:21 AM
WV, that whole sneak up and catch the blind skunk by the tail bit sounds like, well a tale😂 Can you share with us when you've actually tried the technique? If you're talking about bush hooks I can tell you know plenty about them to be giving advice, however not many stories related about catching skunks by the tail...
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 19, 2021, 09:08:07 AM
Barbender,

I had showed and described the skunk catching to my son and when he was in his teens he was driving home with his buddy and spotted one about a mile from home. There was a high bank there it was having trouble climbing so he jumped out and caught it by the tail and hung it out the passenger window of of our old Pontiac Catalina and let Josh drive home. When he got home he rushed in to show to Ruth a former Norwegian exchange student who was back for a visit. Ruth was less than thrilled and told him to get rid of it. He went back out along the walkway with the dog fences on both sides and the dogs were barking and the skunk started to climb up its tail so he put it down for a better grip. In the process it sprayed the walk and stunk up the whole yard and it bit him on the R index finger then escaped into the pasture. Because it escaped he had to get the Rabies shots in the finger then one a week in each quadrant for 4 weeks. (R arm, L arm, L hip, R hip). After insurance our medical co-pay was $800 so my wife was less than thrilled again.

About a year later he caught 3 baby coons on his way back from fishing and they got loose in the house as soon as he walked in. I grabbed one, he grabbed one and Josh grabbed one. My wife yelled at him "Sean, you're going to mess around and we will all get rabies!" He immediately replied "Not me, I've had my shots." Not the smartest reply he ever made!

The last time I personally caught one was on a field exercise at Camp LeJeune NC near Jacksonville in 1989 not long before I left the USMC. We had several in my supply dump and in the camp and I caught one next to the G-1 tent (A WM LtCol) who wanted it gone. My son caught a baby one here after they had killed the mother. We tried to get it de-musked but the vets would not do it without a permit and DNR would not give us one. They did give Sean one for his pet coon.

EDIT: BTW - it distresses me greatly that you would challenge the veracity of my recollections in such a fashion. :( >:( :D
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 19, 2021, 09:14:26 AM
   Did you know whitetail deer have different colored coats in the summer and winter? This time of year they have a very red colored coat. In early Fall their color changes to brownish grey which makes them very hard to see in the winter foliage background colors. I understand the darker color being a good defense mechanism but do not know any advantage of the bright red colors which make them very easy to see this time of year.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: barbender on June 19, 2021, 02:58:15 PM
WV, that's more like it. Details. I was just looking for details😊 That response of your son's😂😂 My Grandpa had a friend that had a de-musked skunk. He said it kind of acted like a cat, and was quite friendly. Also that the older it got, the wider it got in the hind end and got to be a pretty good wedge shape from nose to butt, it would always get itself wedged in and stuck between stuff in the house and require assistance😂
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 19, 2021, 04:59:49 PM
  My dad said he he had a co-worker who offered to sell a de-musked skunk to one of the foremen for a pet. The foreman bought it and put it in his car at work and came back and found it had sprayed  his car. They said he tried to get the smell out but never could and finally sold the car because of it. He said they all joked with him about it but said he'd get mad every time somebody mentioned it.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 19, 2021, 05:04:12 PM
 My dad said he he had a co-worker who offered to sell a de-musked skunk to one of the foremen for a pet. The foreman bought it and put it in his car at work and came back and found it had sprayed  his car. They said he tried to get the smell out but never could and finally sold the car because of it. He said they all joked with him about it but said he'd get mad every time somebody mentioned it.
I’m not sure why anyone would want a pet skunk lol hilarious
Raccoons I sort of understand but they are still horrible as pets imo
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 19, 2021, 05:20:46 PM
   From everyone I ever talked to who had a pet skunk they said they make great pets. I think a boiled egg is their favorite treat. We've had coons and squirrels, flying squirrels, possums, rabbits, a red-bellied woodpecker, a screech owl, and a pet deer which was free to come and go. The coons had about the most personality but the deer was the sweetest pet. Possums smile a lot but they drool too much and are really dumb pets. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 19, 2021, 05:24:57 PM
  From everyone I ever talked to who had a pet skunk they said they make great pets. I think a boiled egg is their favorite treat. We've had coons and squirrels, flying squirrels, possums, rabbits, a red-bellied woodpecker, a screech owl, and a pet deer which was free to come and go. The coons had about the most personality but the deer was the sweetest pet. Possums smile a lot but they drool too much and are really dumb pets.
The woodpecker and screech owl sound like cool pets, Iím not a fan of red squirrels, gray squirrels are alright because they are quiet lol 
There was a guy not far from me who ďwent viralĒ on YouTube for feeding about 30 coons at once with a couple pounds of hot dogs. They sounds fierce and savage but they didnít kill him for them lol 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 19, 2021, 07:44:56 PM
   I caught another coon in a live trap last night a relocated him up to the lake. He is lucky I did not just send him to Happy Mountain. He is pretty dumb to get caught. I guess he was stealing Sampson's food as that is where I had the traps set. He could have walked 100 yards or so up the creek and had all the catfish heads and guts he could eat and have been doing a community service. The coons, possums, buzzards and bears need to clean it up before my wife finds  where I dumped it in the creek instead of back in the woods or she will be all over me.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 20, 2021, 01:30:15 PM
   Did you know the most obvious difference between a moth and a butterfly is their antennae? Butterflies have straight antenna with enlarged clubs that look like of like a match head at the end. A moth's antenna looks like a wide TV antenna with many fingers sticking out. An excellent example of a moth antenna is over on the sister thread Jeff posted about "Something Beautiful" where he posted pictures of a big colorful moth and you can clearly see the antennas. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 21, 2021, 07:45:34 AM
   Did you know that the quills on a baby porcupine and the spines on a hedgehog are soft and flexible at birth? They harden shortly after birth. I guess if not it would be an awful painful childbirth.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Old saw fixer on June 21, 2021, 01:35:41 PM
I remember hedgehogs from when we lived in West Germany, but have never seen any here in America. Maybe we are too far South?
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 21, 2021, 02:51:10 PM
   The only place I ever lived/worked where they were present was in Saudi Arabia. Then again, I am way south and east of any porcupines too. Since I have commented about moose and bears and other critters that don't live here I figured I'd add it here. 

   The intent of this thread is to list observations about the outdoors (animals, plants, insects, etc) no matter where they come from. If you've noticed we have members here from all over the world and I'd love to see comments from everyone. It is amazing to compare the similarities and differences from other places. I know I was amazed to see a cow waterbuck in Kenya acting exactly the same way our old whitetail does do here. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 22, 2021, 09:49:07 AM
   Did you know malaria is caused by mosquitos biting an infected host, flying to another person and injecting a small amount of the infected blood into the new host causing them to catch the disease too? Did you know people used to think it was caused by breathing swamp air in infected areas and was called Blackwater fever in Africa. In the southern US States it was called ague. Before doctors realized it was caused/carried by mosquitos they thought it came from breathing the "Bad air" hence the Italian name Mala aria which means bad air.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 23, 2021, 09:20:30 AM
   Did you know a bobcat or bear will sometimes get into a parked car searching for food? We had a half-grown bobcat get into a Willy's station wagon in N. Fla we had left an old boat in and evidently it smelled fish and was looking for a meal. I heard one guy said he knew of a bobcat getting into a ragtop Jeep in Alabama then getting scared and ripped the cover to shreds. We had monkeys get into the back of our pick-up in Namibia. I started to load some gear and it charged and I ducked and it jumped right over me to escape. Be careful to be sure to keep those windows and doors closed when you park outdoors.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 23, 2021, 10:51:35 AM
  Did you know a bobcat or bear will sometimes get into a parked car searching for food? We had a half-grown bobcat get into a Willy's station wagon in N. Fla we had left an old boat in and evidently it smelled fish and was looking for a meal. I heard one guy said he knew of a bobcat getting into a ragtop Jeep in Alabama then getting scared and ripped the cover to shreds. We had monkeys get into the back of our pick-up in Namibia. I started to load some gear and it charged and I ducked and it jumped right over me to escape. Be careful to be sure to keep those windows and doors closed when you park outdoors.
Phew, good thing I donít got any MONKEYS, just hanging out in my woods!  :D 
Bobcats are everywhere here you wonít ever see one though. Winter time their tracks show. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 23, 2021, 12:03:03 PM
Hemlock,

   Monkeys are bad. Baboons are worse because they are so much stronger and more dangerous. We had monkeys get into our back porch and open a fridge and steal fresh veggies on Kruger when we visited there.

   On that same trip the monkey jumped over me we got up and asked our guide what we were doing for breakfast and he said "We have half a liter of milk, one egg, some kudu sausage and 3/4 loaf of bread." I told him "Sounds like French toast to me" He had never heard of it so I mixed the egg and milk, dipped the bread in it, fried the sausage and fried the toast in the same skillet. It was very good. We had eaten all but one piece of toast and one piece of sausage was left. We were all looking at it wanting it but being too polite to take it from the others when a vervet monkey came down and settled the question by stealing both and running up a tree. The owner of the campground would walk through with a paintball gun and as soon as the monkeys saw him they scream and run to the tops of the tall trees. They had a sign in the office "Don't feed the monkeys - they already eat better than the staff."
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 23, 2021, 12:07:31 PM
Haha! Thatís funny! Thanks for sharing, I chucked lol 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 23, 2021, 12:10:00 PM
Itís been awhile since Iíve travelled abroad and Iím a ďhome bodyĒ in the sense I donít like leaving the community but dang after all thatís happened in the past 2 years I could use a vacation down south. Cuba was my favourite. Iirc they opened up to Americans recently.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 24, 2021, 07:46:09 AM
   Did you know woodpeckers can hear the grubs and insects in/chewing on  the wood? People get made when woodpeckers peck on their houses and say they are damaging their homes (Which they are) but it was already damaged before he started pecking. He heard the termites or carpenter bee grubs in there before he started pecking.

   I read somewhere, maybe here on the FF, where a woodpecker started pecking on a lady's house outside her kitchen. The finally relocated a new electric wall clock to another wall and the woodpeckers quit. They had heard the tiny electric motor in the clock and thought it was grubs chewing in the wood.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 24, 2021, 10:47:08 AM
You can visually see them listening when they pause, they will tilt their head towards the wood and turn their head different ways, I suspected they could hear them but this confirms it. 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Magicman on June 24, 2021, 05:08:30 PM
Sooo now I need to figure out why they are hammering on my stove pipe.  I thought that it was because it made a nice sound, but now I should suspect "rust ants"??   :D 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: HemlockKing on June 24, 2021, 05:11:24 PM
Sooo now I need to figure out why they are hammering on my stove pipe.  I thought that it was because it made a nice sound, but now I should suspect "rust ants"??   :D
Yup sounds like you got a bad case of stove pipe ants!  :D

Or stove pipe beetles 
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 24, 2021, 05:40:05 PM
Lynn,

   Back before the earth's crust had cooled and I was in high school we had a tennis court at the school and we had a red headed woodpecker that used to peck on the metal light covers on the tennis court lights. You could hear a loud "ding, ding, ding, ding, etc." I don't know if he just liked to disturb the rest of us or liked the sound it made. We used comment how stupid he had to be to peck on a metal light cover. I think he was a re-incarnation of a famous politician but I digress...
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: Texas Ranger on June 24, 2021, 10:09:34 PM
We have large metal power poles with a flat top, woodpeckers will land on top and hammer away. I have no idea why.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: KEC on June 24, 2021, 11:41:36 PM
Woodpeckers do not sing like many birds do. When they drum on metal or dry wood it is to advertise territory and attract a mate, much like a singing bird does. Sapsuckers have a very distinct cadence when they are drumming.
Title: Re: Did You know - outdoor edition
Post by: ljohnsaw on June 24, 2021, 11:43:41 PM
I have this one woodpecker that taps for a while every morning on the far top corner.  Nuts.

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