Emergency Situations While Hiking or Hunting

No matter how well you plan, emergencies arise.  Are you ready?

Snake Bites 

If you remember the rhyme, " ... red & yellow kill a fellow, ...." you know this is not a venomous snake!

If a snake bites someone in your party, the day’s agenda will change!  The most important job you have is helping the injured party.

First, let’s dispel a few myths.  Rattlesnakes don’t always rattle before striking.  They may not rattle if they have just shed their skin.

You don’t have to worry about bites because you have chanced upon a mom snake with her babies.  Generally, snakes are live births and the babies strike out on their own rather quickly.

Solutions to Your Snake Problem

  • Is the snake venomous?  If you don’t know, don’t assume!
  • Keep the victim (and the rest of the group) calm.
  • Discourage folks from sharing gruesome snake stories!
  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • Keep the victim quiet and discourage them from walking around.
  • Keep the bitten area (usually a hand or foot) below heart level.
  • Take the victim to the nearest medical facility.
  • Don’t waste time trying to kill the snake; many secondary bites happen this way!

Animal Bites

This is a rare occurence in the field — but it does happen. How do you handle this?

  • If the skin is broken, wash the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply pressure to the bleeding, if any.
  • Determine if the attack was provoked.
  • If the animal attacked without provocation, you must consider rabies!
  • Notify the authorities as quickly as possible (county sheriff, etc.).
  • Seek medical attention for the victim.

Insect Stings and Spider Bites 

Black Widow = Shiny with Hour-Glass Shape on Lower Abdomen; Brown Recluse = Violin-Shaped Mark on Top of Head

Bees and wasps are common pests in the outdoors.  Solutions include:

  • Wash the sting with soap and water.
  • Put a cold pack on the injury for 15 -20 minutes.
  • Give aspirin (acetaminophen to children) and apply cortisone cream.

Some folks have an allergic reaction to stings/bites:

  • Their wound swells quickly – beyond normal bounds (toe sting swells the whole leg, etc.),
  • they can have shortness of breath,
  • have a sudden drop in blood pressure,
  • become anxious and restless,
  • have a rapid pulse

THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY! Get medical help immediately!


Black Widow Spider, Brown Recluse or Scorpion

  • Clean the wound with soap and water,
  • Apply a cold pack,
  • Seek medical attention ASAP!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Hunters: Quick Action Needed!

If there’s anyone left in the US who isn’t a member of TalkHunting.com, I’m going to give you several reasons to join – NOW!

The “Quick Action Needed” refers to the last 2 headings!

Southern Anniversary Party

A 3 day party?  Where do I sign up?  Liberty, MS is the place and the dates are:  Friday, July 23 through July 25th.  Believe it or not, attendance is free. Just bring a dish or some finger foods!

Saturday morning gets serious with a 3D Archery Shoot!  For more details, go to:  http://www.talkhuntin.com/index.php?board=296.0

You’ll even find hotel info and telephone numbers, to make your reservations.

Northeastern Anniversary Party

Not to be outdone, Pennsylvania will host the Northeastern Anniversary Party.   New Stanton is the place and July 30 to August 1, 2010 are the dates.

Mark your calendars for another free party! As above, the folks at TalkHunting.com have already rounded up the hotel reservation info in one place!

Get the details (3D Archery shoot and a .22 shoot are planned) at:  http://www.talkhuntin.com/index.php?board=295.0

Whitetail/Blacktail Deer Hunting Championship

TalkHunting has begun their sign up for their annual championship!  You have between now and July 13 to be part of the fun!

It matters not where you hunt!  What matters:  You must be a member of TalkHunting.com in good standing (geek-speak for: 50 or more posts*).

The news you can use:  http://www.talkhuntin.com/index.php?board=298.0

TalkHunting Goes to Kansas for a Deer Hunt

Get your bunny-suit, toothbrush and rifle ready! TalkHunting has 3 heavily discounted tickets for a deer hunt (dates:  December 1 – 5, 2010).

These hunts include lodging and meals (but no bunny-suit). Each ticket is $2000 — instead of the regular $3500.   The license and tags are an extra $400.

If you are interested, get a move on!  Up-front money is needed to reserve one of the 3 spots.   Visit http://www.talkhuntin.com/index.php?topic=18317.0 for more details.

Two Turkey Hunts in Kansas in April 2011

These turkey hunts are heavily discounted and only TalkHunting members are eligible. There are 11 total spots available and are on a first pay, first reserve basis.

This is a great opportunity to hunt in Kansas for a very low price! It’s also a chance to spend some quality time ‘talkin’turkey’ with other TalkHunting members.

If you want to go, act quick because at these prices, it won’t take long to fill these spots! Visit  http://www.talkhuntin.com/180.html for more information.

Questions?  Send a PM to Hunt Master  (on the site) or an email to huntmaster@talkhunting.com


* The beauty of ’50 posts’ is that it also makes you eligible for monthly prize drawings!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm  Comments Off on Hunters: Quick Action Needed!  

Help! Where’s the Missing Article?

Dear Readers,

Folks are clicking on a page on my website with a broken link:

“Articles: Rear Window Decals – News You Can Use!>

This article does not exist.”

The article does exist.  This is obviously a broken link.

If you have been sent to this page with the error message, will you please tell me what page sent you to this message, so I can fix the link?

email = marylouise at GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


add it to a comments box on any page

Thanks in advance,


Published in: on April 24, 2010 at 12:29 am  Comments Off on Help! Where’s the Missing Article?  

Readers: Free Monitor Cleaning!

Those of you who are regular readers:

You know this blog is on the cutting edge of all that is new!


I’ve just learned that it is VERY IMPORTANT that you occasionally clean the inside of your monitor.  As you might imagine, this is a difficult thing to do.


With NO thought of the expense  and trouble this might be … I have purchased some amazing software!


Free Monitor Cleaning


As a Valued Reader, You Are Invited to Receive

One free monitor cleaning!


This free service will not last long!

Get your monitor clean now!



Just click on the word “here” (high-lighted in hot pink above) and presto the inside of your screen will be clean!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm  Comments Off on Readers: Free Monitor Cleaning!  

What are 3 Important Factors in Buying a Knife?

A knife is a very personal purchase. It’s something I would never buy for another person.


Form Follows Function in Knives

Form Follows Function in Knives


If well-chosen, it becomes part of a person.  However, a poor knife choice soon joins others in the “junk drawer”  — never to see daylight  again.

“Cute-Ability” vs. Function

Before making your first decision — avoid making a knife choice on its “cute-ability” factor.  Impulse purchases, based on eye-appeal, are usually poor choices in the long-term.

Remember, that’s why manufacturers create so many styles and looks. If you choose by looks, you have eliminated choosing by function (what you need the knife to do).  Function is the basic reason you have decided to buy a knife.

What Do You Need a Knife to Do?

You may need a knife for several reasons. Make a list and decide which is the most important. For example: You may need a knife many times a day to help you repair things or cut twine, rope, etc. In another example, you might want a knife when you are fishing — to cut line or fillet fish.

In the first example, you will probably want a pocket knife, because you  need it available constantly. In the second example, a fixed-blade knife in your fishing toolbox may meet your needs.

By zeroing in on your most critical need, it helps you determine …

Fixed-Blade or Pocket Knife?

This is a significant decision — and not just because it eliminates looking at about 1/2 of the knives in a store.  What are you most comfortable with — something sheathed and attached to your belt or a smaller tool in your pocket?

Pick out several. Try walking and sitting  down with samples of each type.  If the sheath is uncomfortable, move it on the belt and/or  try another style.

Does the pocket knife feel comfortable? Is it easy to use?  Does it feel like a large rock in your pocket?  How about one of the newer clips that attach the knife to a front or back pocket?


I believe selecting a knife has gotten much harder in the last couple of decades.  We have literally gotten to the point where there are too many choices.

There are so many gorgeous items (attractive to the eye), that I have a hard time remembering why I’m looking at knives. Maybe you have that problem too?


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Shotgun Shell Patterning



Anatomy of a Shotgun Shell

A Tight Spray Pattern

The choke on your shotgun and the shotgun shells you use determine the spray pattern. (Yes, I know wind velocity and other things have an effect.)

If you are a Newbie, it is important to understand that the shells used in one gun may create a completely different pattern in another gun.

A 30 Inch Target

Firing a few shells will give you the opportunity to determine if that particular brand is going to give you the ‘tight pattern’ you want for hunting.

Basically, there are two things you want to

Check the Shotgun Pattern

Check the Shotgun Pattern

know. (1) Do most of the pellets fall within the 30 inch circle? If they don’t, can you modify your choke to concentrate the shot or spread out the pattern?

(2) In looking at the pattern created, are there ‘holes?’ Holes are areas (inside the  30″ ring) with no pellet shots. Depending on the size of the blank areas, it may indicate that if an animal was standing in that spot, it would escape being your supper.  Will a different brand do better?

Game and Shot Size

Each shot size is effective for certain game.*

Game               Lead/Tungsten        Steel Shot

Pheasant          4 to 6                                     2 to 3

Turkey              4 to 6                                     2 to 3

Quail, dove      7 1/2 to 8

Rabbit                6 to 7 1/2

Squirrel             6

Ducks, low        4 to 6                                  2 to 3

Ducks, high       2 to 4                                 BB to 2

* This graph and the picture of the shotgun shell were extracted from Wikipedia, “Shotgun Shells”

BTW, US law requires the use of non-toxic (steel, bismuth. tungsten, etc.) shot while hunting waterfowl.

Lead vs. Steel Shot Sizes

Lead is heavier; it flattens and deforms on impact. Lead tends to create a wider pattern and carries farther.

Steel is lighter and does not deform on impact. It creates a narrower pattern, but does not carry as far as lead.

Shot size Equivalence: Steel vs. Lead

Steel            6-4           2           BB         BBB        T

Lead              6              4            2

Did You Know?

Ammunition requires careful handling. I am not referring to locking it up separate from weapons — to protect kids.

Certain things can be dangerous to ammo: excessive heat, contact with sharp objects or high impact. Be sure to check the condition of your ammo before loading.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: ,

Turkey Hunting: Choosing the Right Load for Your Shotgun


"This Bad-Boy's Body Can Absorb/Repel Puny Shot!

"This Bad-Boy's Body Can Absorb/Repel Puny Shot!"


On 9 February, I wrote the following:  ‘The goal in using a particular shotgun is to get a tight spray pattern up to 40 yards.’

Getting that tight spray (to kill the turkey – in the head, not the body), requires your shotgun and ammo to work together.

Popular Shot Sizes and Loads

The pellets in the load must be large enough, and powerful enough, to fell the turkey immediately. A body shot is not optimal; turkey feathers can absorb/repell. Take a look at a gobbler – he’s well-padded.

According to MDH, * Lead Shot #4’s or 6’s seem to do the job well. (Remember, the smaller the #, the bigger the pellets are – in the load).

A Useful Graph *

To clarify my meaning —

— — — — — — — — — — — — The # of pellets in a load — — — — — — — — — — — —

Lead Shot             1 oz. load     1.78 oz. load     2 oz. load     2.25 oz. load


# 4                                 135               253                    270                  304

# 6                                 225              422                    450                   450


* This graph is from The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, by John Trout, Jr. 2000, The Lyon’s Press, p. 46.

Back to Our Goal

The same load in two same gauge shotguns may produce very different shot patterns. The best way to be sure of shot placement is to practice – until you get the shot scatter you need.

However, MDH says most hunters (he knows) go in for on-the-job testing. In other words, many hunters assume it works (or have enough experience to know what works) and don’t really practice.

A Sight for Your Shotgun?

If you shoot turkeys at less than 50 yards, you probably won’t need a telescopic sight. They may be helpful for seeing turkeys in dim light or while trying to find the big birds in the brush.

Another group that finds a low-powered scope to be helpful are those hunters with poor eyesight.

Generally, MDH’s friends use an open sight.

Your Homework

Are you still practicing your turkey calls? Unless you plan to wait for turkeys to cross your path, you’d best invest in some turkey callers — and start practicing.

Gobblers spend so much time strutting, spitting and preening, they aren’t usually in a rush to find a hunter. Unless you are good at calling, you may have a long wait before the “big boys” take a stroll past your hiding place!


* MDH = My Dear Husband or “He Who Likes to be Obeyed” ….But Rarely is!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Which Gun Will You Be Using to Shoot Wild Turkeys?



Taking Aim at Turkey Season!


Bringing down a wild turkey is one of the great highs in hunting. Your adversary is cunning and fast.

In order to be successful, often you must convince a gobbler that you are a hen, pining to mate with him.  Practicing your turkey calls is an important pre-season activity.

In many situations, your turkey calling expertise will mean the difference between failure and success.

There are lots of tools available to help you perfect  a range of calling patterns.  Pre-season (now) is a perfect time to be honing your calling skills.

Shotguns and Gobblers

Although it is true that it is legal in some states to use a center-fire rifle, most hunters prefer to use a shotgun. Although gun makers offer a variety of shotguns specifically for turkeys, you may have one that will work fine.

The goal in using a particular shotgun is to get a tight spray pattern up to 40 yards.  Generally, your old, full-choke shotgun  can do this well.

Aiming at a Wild Turkey

So we are all on the same page, do you know where to aim your gun?  Unless you shoot a gobbler at less than 20 yards, a body shot will probably only cripple the animal.

Remember, a turkey’s feathers can absorb a lot of shot. It is better to shoot at the gobbler’s head and neck; a tight pattern will strike the vital organs and fell the animal immediately.

The Choke on Your Shotgun

If you are not getting that tight pattern with a full choke, you may be able to change out the choke tubes to an “extra-full choke.”  Remember, the goal is to kill the bird quickly, not injure or cripple him.

Single, Double, Pump or Side-by-Side?

Which shotgun do you prefer?  Gobblers “take their own sweet time” coming into view.  While you are waiting for “just the right shot,”  a heavier gun can quickly become a liability.

According to some hunting experts, today’s favorite turkey hunting shotgun is  “a 12-gauge with a three-inch chamber.” *

Come back tomorrow; this subject is too broad for a single posting.

Next time: Adapting Guns for Women and Children

Soon: Choosing the Right Load for Turkey Hunting

Soon: Archery Equipment for Turkey Hunting

Coming: Turkey Hunting Clothes and Accessories

And Several Other Items ….


* This is the conclusion of John Trout, Jr., in The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, 2000, The Lyons Press.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Survival Skills Turkeys Use to Stay Out of Your Oven



Turkey Survival Tricks 101 *


Turkeys have brains the size of a walnut. But don’t let that fool you — they use every trick they can to survive a meeting with a hunter.

Gobblers are Sociable

The group provides warnings of danger for its members.  The good news is that there are lots of  ‘false alarms.’

Ultimately, each gobbler is responsible for his own safety.  When an alarm sounds, everyone pauses and checks the nature of the danger.

If the bird does not see any danger, he returns to feeding.  The bad news is that turkeys lack a single gene of curiosity! If the noise concerns him, the gobbler leaves.

The Gobbler’s Senses

The sense of smell in a turkey is about the same as ours.  Their hearing is not much better than ours. However, their eyesight is another matter.

Because of the particular placement of their eyes, their peripheral vision is excellent.

Turkeys & UV-Brighteners on Clothes

Frankly, I hate to open this can of worms again.   Deer and turkeys see colors. They are adept at seeing the UV-Brighteners in hunter’s clothing.

If you want to learn the full story on UV-Brighteners, please refer to these articles:

Hunting News: Why You Just Might Not Get a Turkey or Deer this Year

A Few More Facts About Deer Hunting (actually covers deer and turkey issues)

Anyone Out There? Questions for My Reader(s)!

UV Brighteners: We’ve Got the News

Why I Don’t Care About UV Brighteners

In those articles, I’ve protested that  someone is making a wonderful income by preying on hunter’s fears.

(In the last article, I name names — there are companies that produce laundry products that do not add UV Brighteners to hunter’s clothing. They are available on your grocer’s shelves.)

Biologists have proven that turkeys are not startled by bright colors — ONLY COLORS THAT MOVE!

They’ve placed bright objects in front of these big birds.  In one test, they put bright orange hats on turkey decoys. Turkeys strolled amongst them with no concern — unless the orange hats moved!

Biologists theorize that bright colors abound in nature. Turkeys are used to random brights and darks in their habitat. They are only troubled by movement — not the colors.

There’s scads more to talk about, but UV-Brightener discussions wear me out.   😉

* Photo is from Wikipedia!


There’s one resource that I’ve used extensively in this series: The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, by John  Trout, Jr.; 2000, The Lion’s Press.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Mosey On Over to January’s Highlights: Did You Miss Any?


020061L_Distant Thunder

Round-Up of the Best!



Perhaps you have just joined this brilliant band of blogites and have only read a few posts. Well, I’d like to tell you about this month’s hottest!

Most Hits This Month Hands down, the most popular article this month was: Good Grief! A 30 Point Deer! Shot with a Handmade Long Bow!” Over 2100 people viewed this photo in the last 30 days.

“Amazing Photos” – Most Popular Category

Lots of you are into “Amazing Stories.” This month, I posted three photos from Louisiana (thanks to MDH*):

Great Photos: That Wild Boar was Where?” This has been the most active posting of an item presented this month!

“Removing the Gamy Taste” Blogs Are Popular

The set of 4 ‘Removing the Gamy Taste blogs really struck a chord with readers. The daily readership (of one or more of the articles) has been great!

On the recipes front, ‘Deer Chili in a Slow Cooker‘ has been very popular this month. With all the cold weather we’ve had, lots of folks have fired up their slow cookers!

“Turkey Hunting” Series

This series is moving right along. I’m writing about a season that doesn’t start for a more than a couple of months because I’ve learned that the hunters who prepare for the season are more successful than the average hunter.

I was surprised to find out how much there is to learn about turkey hunting. I’m learning as I write; biologists have really broadened our understanding of these big birds in the last few years.

Turkeys may not be the brightest boys on the block, but they are noble adversaries — wily and shrewd are two words that come to mind.  As a hunter, the more you know about them, the better your chances are of feasting on one of these great birds! Thanks for reading. I love writing!


* MDH = My Deer Husband; also known as “He Who Likes to be Obeyed” – sadly he rarely is.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 7:50 am  Comments Off on Mosey On Over to January’s Highlights: Did You Miss Any?