Archive for the ‘hunting risk’ Category

SQUIRREL ATTACK DURING HIDE N’ GO SEEK FATHER-DAUGHTER’S BONDING STORY

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
All my daughter’s friends were over for their little party.
These eight or so girls, all about 7 years old were playing crazily. You see wintertime had broken in Minnesota, and the summer was near.  But it was one of those days you live for there, vibrant blue sky, gentle breeze, and life’s passions greening up.
Well, the little girls had played on the playground equipment for quite awhile, and in the sand making “things.”   They were drawing chalk style hopscotch boards on the sidewalks, and had jumped rope without any bruises.   Such a great day, such harmony in family and friends with nature watching.
My daughter and her little friends decided it was time to play “hide n’ go seek."   No one better to hide than dad.   Their collective eyes leaked with sincerity of request.   How could any father turn such princesses and angels down for this next fun event, on such a great day, in such prime weather, in Minnesota ?
The "search and rescue" group of small girls began to count.  
ONE. TWO.
Meanwhile, my scurrying about reminded me to tell them to, “Count Loud” and “NO peeking."    They, in unison, guaranteed this with giggles and laughter.
THREE.   FOUR.
My eye scanned the topography.   Where to hide?   How long would it be to hide quickly, yet stealth like?   Scanning the local yard’s horizon, a brilliant idea now could become reality.   Ha ha ha.   Those little ones will never see me there.
FIVE.
Quickly, quietly, and with ease my legs jumped up into the tree.   This tree was strong.   It could hold an adult, even a hidden stealthy adult.   Lots of those huge Minnesota leaves that would cover all the color of the “hide n’ go seek” secret agent.   So covert.
SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT.
Hurriedly my arms pulled my body into location, in the tree.   Knowing how to quickly judge and climb a tree was like riding a bicycle or swimming to me.   All those hours building huge tree houses in the skies of tall ash or elm trees now would pay off.   All those limb evaluations of size versus strength and caliber were emblazoned in this climber.   This was a confident spot.
NINE.
As my arms lifted me into position, with my sitting spot almost prepared, the little girls were starting to rustle.   Shifting my seat gently as not to be heard by doing a pull-up on the branch above, suddenly my stealthy world changed.
TEN.
As my pull-up ended, my line of sight was slightly diagonally upward.   A loud noise, a squeal.   Then heard of buffalo, a covey of quail, and a wild horse stampede came right at me! My ears were frozen on the word, “TEN” that the little princesses had yelled.   My eyes were beyond frozen to see eye to eye with it.

Squirrel attack !!!   

Yes, man to female animal, face to face, and eye to eye there it was.  No time for a counterattack.   It was cold.   It was heartless.   The attack of the mother squirrel was like no other.   Brutally shown teeth, larger than a shark – claws drawn, sharper than the griz.   Lightening speed, out of no where.   An ICBM loaded and launched at the intruder.   No early warning system for the unprepared “hide n’ go seeker.”   BAM.   The war was on.   Knowing my face had been hit, a cover was needed.  No where to hide now.   Too far up to jump, as a youth might attempt.   Age and wisdom prevented that action quickly.   Swiping away the blood, my fight was limitless but so ill directed.   Not once was there a hit on the enemy despite readjusting my coordinates while in the leaves.   Retreat was the only option.   Cut the losses.   Sooner, not later.   This mother wasn’t retreating from the nest she had so preciously prepared for the family.

The gaggle of girls was coming down the sidewalk.   They too had heard the noisy breach of the stealthy sacred safe place.   It was over…almost.

The “hide n’ go seeker” now did what all attacked, retreating, and severely mentally and physically injured “hide n’ go seekers” do.   Swing out of the tree.   With two great leaps of caliber-calculating swings, my feet hit terra firma.   Solid.   Looking around quickly, the attack was over.  

All the faithful players of the “hide n’ go seek” family game came running. My position was still of a prepared martial arts stance, ready to counter strike as if a secondary push might occur.

“We see you,” they all yelled.   The girls approached quickly to prove they had seen me.   But as they received their victory in game, they realized what was different.   Suddenly, they all began screaming at the top of their choral lungs, high pitched in fear, yelling and running away faster and faster.  My daughter said, "Daddy, you have blood,” and she ran away too, to the safety of the flock.   Reaching up to my face, it was warm, and slippery.   Looking at my hand, realizing my sweat from the environmental battle was not red – it was blood.   Wiping away the blood from my hand to my pants, the flow of blood continued.   A painted warrior of sorts.

My wife came outside to see how things were going with the “hide n’ go seek” game.   She had come around a corner just as the girls were approaching. “My goodness,” she said, “Why did you fly out of that tree…to scare the girls…They were yelling so loud…And YOU looked like a gorilla flying out of the tree… AND you are bleeding!”   “What happened?”  
Re-living it…worse….
 

As my eyes close yet to this day, that mother squirrel is in my view forever.   Everyone survived. A family moment. A father-daughter memory forever.  And now you know why my 20 something daughter sends reminders once in a while, and why she sent me a shirt with a squirrel on it that states the rules:  “ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL.”  

WEST NILE VIRUS UPDATE – IDAHO LEADS NATION DISCUSSION CONCERNING PANHANDLE DISTRICT

Friday, June 15th, 2007

IDAHO LED THE NATION IN 2006 AND WAS THE HARDEST HIT AREA IN THE USA FOR WEST NILE VIRUS.  996 cases of WNV were diagnosed in 2006 with 171 neuroinvasive type and 825 fever – and 23 deaths.  (neuroinvasive = meningitis, encephalitis, neuro complications during and after diagnosis)

As of June 2007, GEM COUNTY has identified the first positive mosquito pool in Idaho.

Hospitals, physicians, health professionals, and labs must report probable and confirmed cases.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND PROTECT YOUR KIDS THIS SUMMER. 

The biggest problem in the Northern Idaho region that I talked with Panhandle representatives about is the standing water drainage systems.

It appears that the Planning and Zoning, government maintainence such as roadways, and the health departments are NOT talking to each other.  The ground water grassy swales that are imposed are now the breeding grounds for such mosquito populations.  This water is stagnant until it filters down through the ground to protect our ground water.  The drains typically are set 8 inches above the level of the ground to allow overflow in heavy rains or runoffs, but this is the rub.  The swales stay wet.  Hopefully all parties will begin to plan for such health disasters at the early stages of future developments.  Revising the swales may need to become a priority.

Review WNV and WNV-birdflu-hunting at the these sites:

http://www.castmd.com/?p=35

http://www.castmd.com/?p=45

OR

www.cdc.gov

www.westnile.idaho.gov

 

YELLOW BELLIED MARMOTS AND CASTMD BATTLES OF EPIC PROPORTIONS

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

 

Manage albums

 

Those darn "yellow-bellied" marmots.  Yes, my wife and I did talk with the Minister of the Blog-O-Sphere last Saturday at the Shabby sale.  I was telling him, while my wife laughed WITH me, not AT me the infamous tales of the marmot wars going on at our home.

 

 

Manage albums

We live up on a hill.  It has always been peaceful.  Then one day, while playing my guitar sitting on the deck…I see what??  This big flowered plant in my wife’s garden area is shaking back and forth.  What??  Did my eyes deceive me??  Looking around the lawn and into the aspen trees, no wind was noted.  Then suddenly, like someone had yelled, “TIMBER” in my ears, the plant fell over..crashing into the lawn.  Now one might think I was crazy.  But, I carefully placed my guitar on the stool…walked over to the now fallen beautiful comrade.  Yup…eaten flat across…sharp dissection as with a scalpel blade…less bloody in vision, but more bloody in revengeful feelings.  Let the war begin! 

Manage albums

We had been having trouble with some of our plants and flowers.  It continued randomly until more lakeside building below us happened.  These marmots, cute, furry, and cuddly, are quite the resistant critter.  What to do.  One of the local varmint guys said, “All’s you can do is shoot ‘em.”  In the neighborhood I thought?  Hardly.  Plus, they’re stealthy and quick.  They watch for you.  A squeak from a door alone will alarm their defensive dive into the ground.

 

We saw an ad or product about keeping the varmints away.  They were these submarine-torpedo looking aluminum rods.  Standing about 20 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter, with batteries loaded, you push them into the ground.  At random times, a signal is sent shaking the earth…maybe similar to the new movie, Ocean’s 13.  Well, anyway, we had these avenger rods throughout our garden and greenery.  Day after day…the plants were felled like a clear-cut in the woods.  What were we to do…?

 

We thought there was a rather large family reunion of these varmints, marmots now called of the squirrel family…near one of our home-grown rock planters.  I paid my son and his buddies years ago, a dime for every rock bigger than their hands, to build these planters.  This area became ground zero.  So, the water hose it was, "water boarding," I thought.  We waited and stalked the critters.  Flushed for hours, trying to make their life miserable.  What did I see?  I swear to the Almighty, one of them sliding down the hillside, like kids on a Slip n’ Slide®!

 

Now knowing that my enemy was strong and well fortressed, it was time to talk with more professionals.  Well, my attention was directed to the smoke bombs.  These things are more powerful than Superman, more web entangling than Spiderman, and more dangerous than CatWoman.  So I purchased a sleeve of these poisonous smoke producing rods.  Well, off to the planning stage again, securing a savagely strategic plot against those critters.  No more buying flowers and plants redundantly.  Think of the money to be saved.  Early retirement I thought.

 

So, I carefully inspected the hillside.  Monitoring each and every move by these unwelcome visitors, THIS plan would become the "Mission Accomplished.” 

 

While holding my breath literally, I lit one of these smoke bombs and slid it into the hole.  Then number two into another, then number three, and lastly number four…like torpedoes being called from the master.

 

I thought this will be it.  Victory so close to grasp. 

 

After about three to four minutes, happily watching from my perched binocular position, an amazing universal, near existential experience was witnessed.  My whole hillside now smoked, not the four holes…but hundreds.  Like the exhausting sulfur gas fields of Yellowstone and Glacier, the property was steaming with this poisonous smoke. 

  

Within a few minutes, I thought, someone is going to call the Fire Department due to all the smoke.  Outlet after outlet, the rising smoke then diminished.  It was over.  The offensive was over.  My observation keen.  Success.

 

Call me crazy, but thinking back, I swear the smell of cigar smoke was amongst the gas-smoke smell.  Could those little furry varmints have been sittin’ back with a cold one, smokin’ a cigar in their cozy dens, watching the doctor’s next strategic play? 

 

The next morning, about three more plants had been felled…But soon, new construction left huge rocks and boulders about a block away.         

It seemed they found a new territory.

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Manage albums

 

 BREAKING TV NEWS AFTER MY BLOGPOST: MARMOT INVASION

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FIREARMS AND GUN SAFETY: BOTH SIDES “SPIN” RESEARCH BIAS

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

One of today's newspapers in Spokane Washington opined in the Editorial entitled "Too Many Guns"  that one of the handgun-firearms issues regarding background checks at gunshows should be done.  Despite this not-so-bad idea, the editorial went on to list the "X-factors" of risks of the biased anti-gun and gun ownership data.

Many groups have "researched" the issue.  Many groups only rely on the news they wish to portray.  Going into the data bank on the issue of bias in this area led me to two reasonable rebuttal articles and summaries. 

 

FIREARM SAFETY

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=120&issue=009

 

WHAT DO OTHER MEDICAL GROUPS SAY ABOUT FIREARMS STUDIES?

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=119&issue=009

 

ANIMAL POISON CENTER HOTLINE * DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO FOR YOUR FAMILY PET’S EMERGENCY

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

KNOW THIS NUMBER OR WRITE IT DOWN:

animal poison center

785 – 532 – 5679

Kansas State University's College of Vet Med – Board Certified Veternarians on call for your pet emergency.  This 24 hour a day FREE service hotline is headed by Dr. Fred Oehme, vet and professor of toxicology and pathobiology.

WHAT TO DO:

  • CALL…BE PATIENT…ONLY ONE VET IS ON AT A TIME
  • CALL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IF YOU THINK YOUR FAMILY PET IS POISONED OR TOXIC
  • FOR INGESTIONS KNOWN, HAVE THE PRODUCTS OR LABELS AVAILABLE FOR THE VET
  • WHAT TO LOOK FOR:  ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR, UNEXPLAINED VOMITING, FROTHING, EXCESSIVE SALIVA, CONVULSIONS, UNCONSCIOUSNESS.

 

AND REMEMBER:

FOR HUMANS OR IN DOUBT CALL THE NEW NATIONAL HOTLINE POISON CENTER NUMBER

1 – 800 – 222 – 1222

HUG YOUR PET TODAY !

 

(numbers may change without notice as posted)

V.P. CHENEY STUMPS IN COEUR D ALENE IDAHO ELECTION 2006

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

SENATOR JOHN KERRY RECEIVED A LITTLE IDAHO GOP LAUGHTER DURING THE VP STUMP STOP IN COEUR D ALENE, IDAHO YESTERDAY.  WITHSTANDING A COLD, WET SLEET AND DRIZZLE, HARDY IDAHOANS WITH WIND AT THEIR BACK, CLEARED THE SECRET SERVICE CHECKPOINTS AND CHEERED ON THE VP.  A GROUP OF THE DEMOCRATS ALSO WITHSTOOD THIS ZERO DEGREES WINDCHILL TO OPPOSE THE VISIT BY VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY.

IN CASTMD.COM, A FEW MONTHS AGO, I WROTE ON THE INFO RELATED TO "HUNTING RISK."  LAUGHTER COMES TO MIND ABOUT THE VP'S GREAT HUNTING EXPEDITION, SO I THOUGHT MAYBE A NEW BLOG ENTRY ON "HUNTING SAFETY" MIGHT BE IN ORDER.  GLAD NO ONE WAS INJURED SEVERELY AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN. 

CASTMD.COM  IS HEALTH RELATED.  HOPEFULLY THE VP WILL REALIZE THAT HE FLEW OVER ONE OF THE TOP EPA SUPERFUND SITES IN THE USA.  AND THAT THE REGION IS STILL DEALING WITH THE 100+ YEARS OF TOXIC WASTE IN THE REGION.  WITH SPOKANE NOW "COVERING UP" THE RIVERBED FOR ABOUT A MILE, FOCUS STILL NEEDS TO BE ON THE ENVIRONMENT… ALSO, HIS TRIPS OVER THE WYOMING AND MONTANA MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS SHOULD REMIND THE VP OF THE SEVERE ENVIRONMENTAL DISCORD MANY COMPANIES LEFT IN THE WESTERN USA.

CASTMD IS NEUTRAL FOR THE ELECTION.  ALL THE "REPUBLICRATS AND THE DEMOCANS" NEED TO RE-EVALUATE THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT, TAXATION, AND REPRESENTATION.  REMEMBER, NOT SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS IN THE PAST LED TO SEVERE CHASMS IN OUR AMERICAN PSYCHE AND SPIRIT..WILL THIS SCOURGE REPEAT ITSELF…

THE RISING TOLL OF THE UNINSURED, UNDERINSURED, ILL-TREATED MENTALLY CHALLENGED, HOMELESS, DRUG ADDICTED, METH ADDICTED, AND UNEMPLOYED WILL CONTINUE TO HAUNT THE SAFE AND HEALTHY GROWTH OF THE USA. 

TERRORISM IN OTHER NATIONS RELIES ON SUCH DEPRESSION OF THE PEOPLE….THE WIDENING GAP OF THE LOWER CLASS AND UPPER CLASS CONTINUES… SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?  VOTE !!!

POLLUTING THE COEUR D’ ALENE SKIES ——– WE STILL CAN’T BREATH !!

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

WHY AFTER LOSING A LAWSUIT TO THE MANY FOLKS THAT HAVE ILL EFFECTS FROM FIELD BURNING – DO THE GRASS FARMERS, THE LEASERS OF THE LAND, AND THE OWNERS OF THE LAND CONTINUE TO DO SO……LABOR DAY WEEKEND IS ATROCIOUS…..IN THE IDAHO PANHANDLE……

WHY  SHOULD THE PEOPLE SUPPORT THE GOLF COURSES, THE CASINOS, THE FARMERS OF THIS PRACTICE…..MAYBE A SERIOUS BOYCOTT SHOULD START……….IN THE COUER D ALENE – SPOKANE MARKETPLACE ? 

THE EPA IS GETTING MORE SERIOUS ABOUT THE MASS OF DEBRIS YOU CAN BREATHE…WILL THE EPA BE TOO LATE? 

IT HAS BEEN TRIED BEFORE AND SHUT DOWN BY THE LOBBY OF THOSE PROFITEERS THAT GAIN….

DON'T BET ON YOUR NEXT BREATHE……IT MAY BE FULL OF SMOKE WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE AT THE CASINOS…OR YOU GET A HOLE IN ONE.

IT IS TIME TO STOP THE FIELD BURNING THAT CONTRIBUTES TO AIR POLLUTION…ARE NOT THE NATURAL FOREST FIRES ENOUGH? THE PEOPLE OF THE AREA DO NOT DESERVE THIS TREATMENT INFLICTED BY SO FEW AND BY THOSE THAT PROFIT FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL ABUSE, ESPECIALLY OF THOSE THAT CLAIM TO BE PROTECTORS OF THE EARTH AND HER SPIRIT…..

hunter risk and west nile or bird flu

Friday, September 1st, 2006

 

Recently Nick asked some great hunting questions.  Here is my researched answer to your question.  This is on West Nile Virus and Bird Flu….Thanks for the question  * Dr.  Jim Winter  www.castmd.com

 

West Nile Virus

Q. Can you get WNV from eating game birds or animals that have been infected?
A.
There is no evidence that WNV virus can be transmitted to humans through consuming infected birds or animals. In keeping with overall public health practice, and due to the risk of known food-borne pathogens, people should always follow procedures for fully cooking meat from either birds or mammals.

Bird Flu Virus

Since 2003, a growing number of human H5N1 cases have been reported in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. More than half of the people infected with the H5N1 virus have died. Most of these cases are all believed to have been caused by exposure to infected poultry. There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission of the disease, but the concern is that H5N1 will evolve into a virus capable of human-to-human transmission.

More on Bird Flu

Human Infection with Avian Influenza Viruses

 

“Human influenza virus” usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. There are only three known A subtypes of influenza viruses (H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2) currently circulating among humans. It is likely that some genetic parts of current human influenza A viruses originally came from birds. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, and other strains might adapt over time to infect and spread among humans. The risk from avian influenza is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. H5N1 is one of the few avian influenza viruses to have crossed the species barrier to infect humans, and it is the most deadly of those that have crossed the barrier.

Most cases of H5N1 influenza infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry (e.g., domesticated chicken, ducks, and turkeys) or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions from infected birds. So far, the spread of H5N1 virus from person to person has been limited and has not continued beyond one person. Nonetheless, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, scientists are concerned that H5N1 virus one day could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another.

In the current outbreaks in Asia, Europe, and Africa, more than half of those infected with the H5N1 virus have died. Most cases have occurred in previously healthy children and young adults. However, it is possible that the only cases currently being reported are those in the most severely ill people, and that the full range of illness caused by the H5N1 virus has not yet been defined. Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress), and other severe and life-threatening complications. The symptoms of avian influenza may depend on which virus caused the infection. Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. If H5N1 virus were to gain the capacity to spread easily from person to person, a pandemic (worldwide outbreak of disease) could begin. No one can predict when a pandemic might occur. However, experts from around the world are watching the H5N1 situation very closely and are preparing for the possibility that the virus may begin to spread more easily and widely from person to person.
For the most current information about avian influenza and cumulative case numbers, see the map on this site’s home page.
For more information about human infection, see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/avian-flu-humans.htm