What Am I Crowing About Now???
Mar02

What Am I Crowing About Now???

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised at all that I have another obsession. And this time, it is all about crows. I went on my first crow hunt in mid-January, and I could not wait to get back in the woods to take on another hunt with these incredible birds. However, this new infatuation is not just about hunting crows, it is about anything and everything to do with crows. I guess you could say that I was first charmed by crows at a very young age, watching one of my all-time favorite cartoons: Heckle and Jeckle, the two lookalike crows who were always up to mischief. This may be where my rambunctious nature took root. Their names perfectly depicted their behavior as they took on the best characters, even my beloved Bugs Bunny!  However, while I was researching about crows, I learned that Heckle and Jeckle were actually magpies, which are in the crow family along with about 120 other species. Nonetheless, I loved their antics and shenanigans outwitting the other characters they came in contact with. Later, I was held spellbound watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds as an incredibly large flock of aggressive crows massed near a playground full of children. The resulting frenzy created such chaos that the children were led out of the area, most running and screaming to get away. Whew! Seeing the kids being attacked by those birds was certainly terrifying! Crows have long made fascinating subjects for many writers. A poetic term for a bunch of crows is a “murder”—who knew? It is really just a flock, but poets have all that poetic license, right? Folklore passed down from generation to generation has provided us with a lot of great sayings, and most of us have no idea where they originated. One of those sayings is “as the crow flies” and is said to have begun back in the days of sail, when sailors carried crows on their ships and then released them when they thought they might be close to land. The theory was that these intelligent birds would take the most direct route to solid ground. Another well-known saying is “something to crow about,” and this one may have ties to loud, boisterous talking. Nothing that I do, of course!  Besides all the great sayings and folklore, there is so much more interesting things to discuss, such as hunting crows and why it is important. Those of us who often hunt at first light know that the first sound we’re likely to hear in the woods is the calls of crows. They seem to relish the opportunity to...

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Porcupine Encounter! Guest Post!
Feb01

Porcupine Encounter! Guest Post!

When I first posted this picture on social media, I got a variety of comments about it. Some people ‘got’ it and realized how unique the photo was and how it was pretty cool that I was that close to a porcupine. Other people made comments like: “What happened after the picture?” (with the assumption that I shot it after the encounter). Basically it all boils down to time and place; if this porcupine was within a half mile of my farm and the dogs, I would have most likely taken alternative actions. Pests are pests, but porcupines don’t go looking for trouble.   They’re just trying to find their next meal, which this guy proved when he cowered at our approach. I think it would be awfully boring if we didn’t see porcupines in the trees, or magpies calling their crew together over a newly discovered carcass in the bush, or even muskrats swimming through a small water pot in a pasture. If it’s not directly harming me or my animals, it can stay (with the exception of skunks and raccoons.   My hatred for them has been a lifelong struggle as a chicken, pheasant and waterfowl owner).  I’m not saying I’ve never disposed of a porcupine because I’d be lying!  I’m also not a fan of them around the farm yard, especially when my overly curious horse got too close to one.  Let me tell you, pulling 57 quills out of the muzzle of a 1200 pound horse who is trying to stomp you with his front feet while ripping out strands of barbed wire fencing in the meantime, is not my idea of a good time. However, this particular porcupine was within a mile of the south Saskatchewan River, and no where near any farm yards. This great photo op came about when my brother and I were out moose hunting one afternoon and on our way back to the truck, we came across this young porcupine in a stubble field who was just cleaning up some grain that was thrown over by the combine. He wasn’t hurting anyone or anything.   He was just minding his business enjoying his supper. My favorite comment: “You’re lucky you didn’t get stuck with a quill” (I was at least 2 feet behind this guy).  There is a common misconception that porcupines can “throw” their quills… they can’t! The only way that a quill can be extracted from the body of a porcupine is from direct pressure on the quill causing the barbed end to pierce the muzzle/paw/etc of the animal and therefore being released from the back of...

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Corny Coyote!!!
Nov01

Corny Coyote!!!

At first glance this appears to be a hungry coyote… upon further investigation, authorities think this yote is taking the corn to make his own bait pile for squirrels -now that is a “foxy” coyote!!! Thank you Tommy Ruffin for these great photos! Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleRedditLike this:Like...

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