True Story – The Black Bear and the Ranger

Every now and then, this story springs to mind. I still find it interesting after all these years, partly because the story is true. It happened many decades ago at Crater Lake National Park, where I lived at the time. It involved a male black bear, a ranger that I’ll call Ben and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. To fully grasp the story, a person should understand that black bears have an exceptional sense of smell. Many¬†biologists feel that it is the best sense of smell in the animal kingdom and the American Bear Association states that a black bear’s sense of smell is at least seven times better than that of a bloodhound. It happened on a nice warm day and Ben’s duties for the day were to simply stock all the campgrounds in the park with cut firewood for campfires. To do this, all he had to do is drive his pickup from one campsite to the next, stack up some wood out of the back of the pickup and move on. Ben liked the job, though others thought it was boring. Still, Ben hadn’t been working at Crater Lake for long. At close to noon, Ben parked his pickup in the shade and decided to eat his lunch. It was a sack lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Ben rolled the windows down a couple inches and got out the sandwich, then decided to take a cup over to the water fountain to get Continue Reading →


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How to pluck and clean wild turkeys

Wild turkeys originated in North America and it was from wild turkeys that the domesticated variety came from. Now turkeys are raised in many different countries for consumption. Wild turkeys also exist in a wild state in many other nations. This is befitting a bird that often gets quite large and is great tasting. A 20 pound wild turkey is quite common in most of the places where it lives and the bird can sometimes get larger than 30 pounds. This easily makes it the largest game bird in the United States. It is also one of the most popular birds to hunt in the states. They can be wily and difficult to hunt. This adds to the adventure of bagging them. Assuming that you can successfully bring in a wild turkey, it makes sense that you¬†might want to know how to process and pluck it. For best results, this should be done as soon after the turkey is killed as is possible. Turkey plucking Different hunters can have differing opinions about whether the bird should be cleaned or plucked first. However, plucking it first has the advantage of getting rid of the feathers before the body cavity is opened, lessening the chance of some of the feathers ending up on the meat or inside of the bird. There are several ways that wild turkeys are usually plucked. The first is the simplest, especially when the bird is still warm. It is simply to grab onto the feathers and pull Continue Reading →


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Being a Good Hunter Isn’t Gender Specific

I’m regularly reminded that many people think that to be a good hunter, you need to be a man. As absurd as it might sound, there are a lot of people who actually believe it. In fact, there are people who can’t imagine a woman who can possibly handle a deer rifle. I can tell you that there are many who can and they can often out-shoot male hunters. I’m going to tell you about one of them, my mother, Freda. She was born in the 1920s, and she had two sisters and five brothers. She was the second oldest. My grandfather was a jack of all trades and there wasn’t a lot he couldn’t do, from running heavy equipment to growing corn to building houses to driving an ambulance. He was a big man, at six feet six inches and around 250 pounds of mostly muscle. He also definitely looked Cherokee Indian, which was his heritage. Much of the meat that was served to feed his big family came from game that was brought down with his deer rifle. He’d learned to hunt from an early age from his father, who was a US Deputy Marshall, Texas Ranger and Arizona Ranger. My grandfather also served in WWI as a sharpshooter. My grandmother, on the other hand, was short in stature and wasn’t much of a hunter, but she could clean, butcher and cook almost anything that was brought in. My mother, who had a big boned and tall stature Continue Reading →


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Understanding What the Greenhouse Effect is

It seems like every day, there is something regarding greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect mentioned in the news. However, many people are a bit confused when it comes to the greenhouse effect and what it is. With the amount of data that disproves the many global warming theories, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at what the greenhouse effect is. The simple fact is that without the greenhouse effect, the Earth would probably be an uninhabitable ball of ice. While NASA has confirmed that average global temperatures have been dropping, over all, for about 30 years, it is the greenhouse affect that has prevented the record cold of 2013 that was experienced in most countries from being far worse. Defining greenhouse effect In its simplest terms, the greenhouse effect occurs when the rays of the sun pass through the atmosphere, reflecting back up from the ground, water, snow, ice and plant life, and are then prevented from escaping back into space by various gases and dust in the atmosphere. This is very similar to what happens in a greenhouse, where the light and heat from the sun shines through the glass of the greenhouse, but the heat is prevented from leaving by the glass. If this didn’t happen in our atmosphere, more of the heat would be likely be reflected into space than the Earth receives Wavelength The radiation from the sun reaches the earth in a broad spectrum, defined by specific wavelengths. these range from very Continue Reading →


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Ridding the Home and Garden of Skunks

Having skunks in the garden or around your house can lend new meaning if someone tells you that your place stinks. They may mean it literally. Skunks can actually be helpful animals to gardeners and farmers, since they eat many other pests, such as rodents. However, they can also be troublesome and smelly, especially if they seem to delight in walking beneath your bedroom window many nights in a row. They are also omnivores, so they might dine on some of the plants growing in the garden. Trapping skunks Many agricultural extension offices might recommend either trapping them and disposing of them or drowning them. Not only is this rather inhumane, but also anyone trapping a skunk who then tries to dispose of them in any manner, is likely to be very sorry that they tried it. An angry or injured skunk is not to be trifled with. They are active predators and can bite viciously, have very sharp teeth and their main defense, the spray, can be ejected accurately to around 20 feet. Anyone being sprayed by a skunk will know how difficult it is to get rid of the stink. Getting sprayed in the eyes can temporarily blind a person or pet. In any event, it is not a pleasant experience to go through. Sense of smell of skunks Skunks have a very acute sense of smell, as surprising as this may be to many people. In the wild, they use this sense to find prey and food. Continue Reading →


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Where does household dust come from?

When people think of dust, they most commonly think of the small airborne particles that might be blown about during windstorms, made up of many materials and fine dirt. However this is not where the majority of household dust comes from. It’s worthwhile to take a look at the leading causes of dust in the home. Dust from dead skin Every day, each person in the household loses tens of thousands of dead hair and skin cells. This is a normal biological function, and it occurs regardless of how often a person bathes or showers. The accumulation of the dead flakes of skin is surprisingly rapid and large. Pet dander As with humans, all pets produce daily amounts of flakes from dead skin, hair and feathers. The more pets there are in the household, the faster the particles will add up. Some pets produce more than others, but it is common to all of them, even reptiles. Molds and food particles People are often amazed by the amount of mold spores and food particles that make up household dust. Though usually not in amounts as great as the particles produced by pets and animals, this source can be substantial. Plant particles As with pets and people, plants also produce tiny bits of debris which adds to the dust in the home, particularly if there are a lot of house plants in the house or plants growing near the house. Most people are aware of one kind of plant bit produced, Continue Reading →


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