Saturday, January 11, 2014

Trouble of another kind

Sometimes trouble comes when you least expect it.  A couple of nights after I made the last post here, I was awakened in the early AM hours.  I was gasping for breath and wringing wet with sweat - no pain.  I staggered out of bed, took an aspirin, and made the 911 call.  A short time later the paramedics arrived in an ambulance and hauled my carcass to the nearest hospital some 25 miles away.  I spent 2 days there while they built me up enough to transport me to a larger hospital, approximately another 75 miles away.  I spent another 2 days there and was finally operated on to replace a valve in my heart which had simply worn out.  After several days to recuperate from the surgery I was transferred to a nursing facility a short drive away.  I was finally discharged yesterday and allowed to go home.  It has been a hard fight with a short stick, but I am finally gaining ground.  I can feel myself getting stronger every day.  I went into the surgery expecting pain, but what I wasn't prepared for was the loss of strength.  I had little choice about the surgery.  The options were few - have the operation or die.  Some choice!  For several days after surgery, I couldn't have whipped my way through a box of new born kittens!  I wasn't allowed to get out of bed without at least 2 people holding onto me for support, not that I could have made it to my feet anyway; but they soon had me up in a walker for short walks in the hallway.  Once I transferred to the nursing facility, there were physical therapists there who exercised me every day.  Although I am home now, I am still a long way from getting my full strength back.  Have to take it slow and easy while still trying to stay as active as possible.  How long it will be until I am able to take short walks in the woods, and do a little predator calling, is anyone's guess.  My dog, big Bear, is with some good friends in Nevada who were kind enough to drive over and pick him up.  I was obviously in no condition to take care of him, so that is a big load off my mind.  So that is about it for now, until I have something more interesting to write about.      

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coon update


The new trail cam has arrived, and I now have a better idea of what has been going on around here.  When I caught those youngsters I thought that I just had Mama coon to deal with.  Turned out that I had more of a coon problem than I knew about.  Count the coons in the video!  I have them locked out of the dog food now, so hopefully they will move on to greener pastures.  I know of at least 3 of my neighbors who leave cat food out at all times, which is probably what drew the coons in the first place.  Let the coons go pester them.  I wonder if they realize how many coons they are feeding in addition to every feral cat around.

Now I know why I couldn't catch these coons in my live trap, although I suspected as much.  Look at the size of these guys!  This video shows one trying to squeeze into the trap.  Now the door is messed up and won't close.  I put it away for now and will fool around with it later.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Coon troubles

A short time ago a critter began to make nightly visits to my tool shed where I keep dog food and grain.  The grain wasn't touched, but whatever it was had a real taste for dog food.  Although I hadn't seen a coon around here in years, that is what I suspected the visitor to be.  I keep the feed in metal garbage cans, but coons are pretty handy with their front paws and could get the lid off the can.  I have a live trap that I have used several times to catch skunks, but I had my doubts about it being large enough for a coon.  Imagine my surprise when I caught not 1, but 2 youngsters.  The video is pretty much self explanatory.

Since catching and transplanting these guys, I have continued to set the trap every night.  Mama coon still comes around every night, but the trap is obviously to small to catch her.  I recently ordered a new trail cam to replace the one that was stolen awhile back.  I'll try to get some still photos and video of big Mama before I cut off the food supply.  I put a heavy concrete block on top of the lid of the dog food can, and that has her locked out.  The only treats she is getting here now is the bait she is stealing from the trap.  Once that is cut off I imagine she will quit coming around.   


I'm back

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here, so I suppose a little explanation is in order.  It all started almost a year ago when I slipped on some ice last winter and messed my back up in a big way, which I have never fully recovered from.  Since then I've had to make several changes.  I can no longer walk very far which leaves hiking out of the picture.  I've had to find a new home for my horse.  I can no longer swing up into the saddle, let alone ride.  Sis went to a good home where she will make some kids happy playing "baby sitter", and will be well cared for the rest of her life.  I only have 1 dog now; my buddy and almost constant companion, big Bear.  So that in a nut shell is where I stand right now.

I'm beginning to get back out for a little predator calling now and then, although I've had to make some changes there too.  Since I can no longer walk far, I've had to adapt my calling procedure somewhat.  Also some of my old "hotspots" have become so over grown with brush and small trees that they are no longer practical to use.  I'm experimenting with calling directly from the pickup, or at least very close to it.  The attached video illustrates that.

When I shot this, I was sitting on a camp stool right in front of the truck.  Bear was in the cab of the truck on the seat, and he could see the foxes, which is why you can hear him bark.  An electronic call was placed a few yards down the dirt road where I was parked.  The foxes left several times, but I would change sounds on the caller (remotely) and they would come right back.  I played with them for about 15 minutes, but they were so active that it was hard to get the camera on them.  This short video is all I came away with.


Sunday, October 07, 2012

Backyard visitor

Backyard visitor

A doe and her fawn have become almost daily visitors to my back yard.  There is another doe with twin fawns in the area, but I haven't seen them lately.  A neighbor tells me they are up at his place.  Here the little guy (or gal) is eating what is left of some zucchini plants left from this summer's garden.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun with a fox

I went out to play with a predator call yesterday.  Actually it was the 4th time this week.  Deer/bear season opens this weekend, and I wanted a little woods time ahead of the hunters.  The first 3 times I couldn't call in so much as a blue jay, but the 4th time was a charm.

Sorry about the jiggles, but I hardly had time to get set up before Bear saw it and spooked it off.  The funny part of the whole deal was the fox wouldn't leave.  Gray fox can be that way.  Once they are convinced there is a rabbit there somewhere they hate to give up on it.  This fox stayed back in the trees where I couldn't get the camera on it again and barked at me.  As long as I continued to call the fox continued to bark at me.  I tried being quiet for awhile, and the fox was quiet.  As soon as I tried to call it back again it would bark at me.  This went on for quite awhile until I conceded it was a stand off.  At least I know he's still out there, and I'll probably call him again sometime.   

Friday, August 31, 2012



Yesterday I was over on Quartz Hill, across the little valley where I live.  This photo was taken looking back across Quartz Valley toward home.  Yes, there is a mountain over there - somewhere.  The fire isn't anyhere near home.  The smoke is coming from the Seiad/Happy Camp area, on the other side of the Marble Mountains from here, but we are getting our share of the smoke.  The last I heard, some homes in the Seiad area were under orders of manditory evacuation. 

While I was over on "the hill" I set up a couple of calling stands, but didn't have any critter responce.  I saw a small bear track in the dusty road, and a pile of scat where it had been eating manzanita berries, but that was all of interest that I saw.  I haven't been getting out much lately, just trying to get caught up on chores around home, but small game season opens in another week.  I'll start prowling around more then.  It sure feels like an early fall.

Saturday, August 04, 2012



A new batch of chicks just out of the nest.  I'm sorely in need of some replacements.  With all the varmint trouble I've had this year, I'm down to a bare minimum of chickens.  Hopefully most of these will turn out to be hens, but with my kind of luck the whole darned bunch will be roosters!  The hen was setting on a mixed batch of eggs, some of which didn't hatch, but it looks like most of these are Araucana with a couple of Cornish thrown in.

I only have 2 other hens laying right now.  If one of them will get broody I'll see if I can beg, borrow, or steal some eggs from someone to slip under her.