How Drought Affects Your Pets … and You!

It seems as if 1/2 the country has too much rain and the other 1/2 doesn’t have enough!  We live in the part that is in a drought.

Coral Snake: Remember the jingle - 'Red & yellow kill a fellow, red & black venom lack.'

Earlier this summer, I moaned about having 145+ days without rain.  Then we got a break and the skies opened and gave us almost 2 inches of rain.

Our part of Texas should have already had about 30″ of rain so far this year, but we are hovering around 10″ of the wet stuff.  Veterinarians are warning about the consequences of so little rain.

Snakes are Biting More Pets

Rattlesnakes are the most likely biter of man and animal! You know what the rattle sound means, but your pet probably doesn't!

The next time Fido goes outside and comes back inside limping, you might want to check your pet.

Our younger pet (a Bassett-Hound) loves to snoop in our stacks of fireplace wood.  He can chase a gecko, or other lizard, for hours.

Unfortunately, the drought has brought all kinds of animals, reptiles and insects closer to homes.  Why?

They are searching for water and food.  As the rodents and insects move closer to homes, they bring snakes … and anything else that eats them as food sources.

Our Bassett came back in with a lump on his right haunch and seemed agitated.  He couldn’t find a comfortable sitting position.   He couldn’t lie still.

Sure enough, the vet confirmed that he’d been bitten by a snake.  Even with medication and a shot, it was several days before Porkchop (our Bassett) was back to his happy self!

How Can You Lessen the Chance of a Snake Bite? 

1) Remove tall grass and piles of trash in the yard.

2) Make wood piles “off-limits” for the rest of the drought. (We put portable fencing around our wood.)

3) Pay attention to your pet. A lump and strange behavior are indicators of trouble.

Next Time:  Save Yourself, or your Children, from a Bite!

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

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Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 11:26 am  Comments Off on How Drought Affects Your Pets … and You!  
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There’s Little You Can be Sure of While Hunting Turkey

Here are some items that may help you be more successful while hunting turkeys.  Before I get to them, however, I need to mention an important fact ….

As the mating season progresses, the gobbler's calls get more strident and insistent – as more hens leave for their nests and the incubation period (26 to 28 days).

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Nothing is 100% True (All the Time) With Turkey Hunting

These wily birds stay alive by using their wits.  When you are in a life-or-death match with a turkey, my money is on the gobbler!

He’s lasted as long as he has because he learns and adapts to new situations better than humans do.  After all, his life is on the line each time he meets a hunter!

Understanding Turkey Behavior

Well, it is getting hot out in the field.  The tom is full (for now), and he wants to go back into the woods to rest.

Where do you think he will choose to enter the woods?  Look for a spot that offers a clear line-of-sight for 50 to 100 yards.

A gobbler isn’t stupid.  He will not enter the woods where there is a thick cover; and he cannot keep an eye out for those pesky 2 and 4 legged predators.

Convincing a Gobbler to Go Against His Best Interests

Folks, it isn’t going to happen.  Trying to call a gobbler to you when he’s just entered a field for feeding — is against his best interest.

It will be a waste of breath to call him. He’s hungry and he’ll stay put until he’s eaten.  It’s a better plan to call him after he’s full and looking for a new place to rest or loaf.

When a tom is surrounded by his hen harem, he’s not going to leave them to search for a single hen that is calling him.  Why should he disappoint all his girl friends to wander after some shy chick – who is probably some hunter calling him with a few “sweet nothings?”

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FYI:  Be Careful Where You Step!

I found a water moccasin in my greenhouse yesterday morning — looking for a way out.  Snakes are on-the-move in Texas because of the drouth.  They are looking for water!  Be extra careful hunting in dry areas.

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“Turkey Dream 2′ is used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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

Bear & Snake Dangers in the Wild

Most of us look at hiking, camping and hunting in the woods as “a walk in the park.”   However, if you run into a hungry bear or angry snake, you need to know how to handle yourself!

Tips for Staying Alive Around … Bears                           

Bears don’t require engraved invitations to cause you grief!  Bears have learned that man travels with many things that will satisfy the bears’ love of sweets & natural curiosity.

You Should…

  • Keep your campsite clean.
  • Bears have learned to follow man because a meal is “such easy pickings” at dirty campsites, near refuse cans and trash dumps, etc.
  • Be cautious near berry patches.
  • Bears are especially fond of streams and lakes.

Things That May Cause Bears to Attack

  • Being startled;
  • Wanting food;
  • Being wounded;
  • Having their cubs in tow.

How You Can Stay Safe

If you are a hunter, hiker or camper in bear country, avoid putting out the “welcome mat” by:

  • Keeping your camp clean;
  • Hanging food or “sweet-smelling items” at a distance from your tents and camp. *

Other Ways to Stay Safe

  • If you’re not hunting, make noise while moving
  • Stay away from their feeding areas, and
  • Never get close to bear cubs!

When A Bear Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop, then move slowly away
  • Talk quietly
  • Do NOT make eye contact
  • If the bear attacks, fall to the ground, curl up and protect vital organs
  • Yelling, hitting and kicking are your (poorest choices and) last option

* Take a look at a great article – “Hanging Food & Bear Camping Tips

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Staying Alive Around … Snakes with Venom

Any snake worth his venom would rather run than bite!

You Should…

  • Keep your eyes OPEN in the woods.
  • Snakes can be sunning themselves or hiding or hibernating.
  • Watch for them in woodpiles, rock piles, in areas with dead, rotting leaves, trees, etc. **
  • They lie in grassy regions, around rim-rock, in shallow water and in woody areas near water. In other words, they’re just about anywhere!

Things That May Cause Snakes to Attack

  • Startling a snake
  • Bothering a snake
  • Not allowing a snake to escape

How You Can Stay Safe

  • Make noise as you walk, if you aren’t hunting
  • Use a walking stick
  • Wear snake leggings or tall leather boots

When A Snake Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop and allow the snake to slither away.
  • Walk around the snake

If Bitten … Get medical attention ASAP.

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** Try my “snake finding” test: Be Careful – Surprise in the Leaves!

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