Saturday, June 25, 2016

One of My Favorite Texas Singer Song Writers

Sunny Sweeney is a great talent and writes some lyrics that hit home hard.  She is from Texas and can often be seen and heard on the Texas Music scene.  Here are a few of my favorites for you to enjoy.  Wild Ed


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Observe Fawns From a Distance

I left the house yesterday right after sunrise headed to town.  I was on my way to help my uncle move some lumber from his house up to his place in the country.  On the way I was treated to the rare sight of a Hill Country White-tailed Doe nursing her fawn.  I see lots of fawns throughout the spring and summer but it is rare to see one actually nursing. 

It reminded me that I needed to post a warning about touching these little fawns. This is the time of year that people come across these darling little creatures and want to pick them up or feel they are abandoned and think they are saving them.  Do not touch it, if you get your scent on it the doe may not take it back when she returns.  Deer bond based on smell and if that smell is strange she will not accept the young deer as her fawn.

Not only are fawns found out in the countryside but also in city neighborhoods as we encroach into their habitat with housing developments. In Suburbia the deer are quite at home with living on the forage found in large yards and greenbelts. Several generations have been raised among the houses and traffic and thus it is normal for them. What is not normal are the numbers of fawns that are picked up by well-meaning souls that find them laying in the yard or on the edge of a hike and bike trail. A doe will place her fawn somewhere she feels is secure and go off to feed. She will later return to check the fawn and nurse it as needed. So many city folks that run across these fawns think they are abandoned or the mother is dead and take them. Not being equipped nor trained in raising deer they either have to get help or try to raise it themselves. Many cannot get the little fawn to nurse or give it the wrong kind of milk and start it towards a cruel death even though they had good intentions. Rehabbers in our area have an overabundance of whitetail fawns they are raising because of the well-intentioned people that have picked them up.

Remember that if you find a fawn leave it where it is unless it is covered by fire ants or is actually in real danger. Do not get your scent on it. The doe will return and retrieve her fawn later. If you really think it is abandoned come back and check on it later just before dark. Ninety-nine percent of the time the doe will have moved it. It is illegal for you to possess a fawn in Texas so if it truly needs help you should go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and locate a licensed rehabber in your area. They will take the fawn and give it a chance to survive. Feel free to observe the beautiful wildlife of Texas, but do it from a distance, Wild Ed

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Take a Kid or a Kid at Heart Fishing

My wife and I lease 100 acres from one of my uncles that borders our place.  Just about 11 months ago we stocked a pond on the place with Channel and Blue Catfish.  The fingerlings were only 4-6 inches long at the time we released them.  Through drought and flood we fed them almost daily.  At one time we thought the pond was going to dry up and just before we were going to have to seine all the fingerlings and take them somewhere else, it rained.  There were times in the last few months that the tank ran around the dam from all the rain and we lost a few fish to the raccoons and water birds.  Cormorants, Herons, Banded Water Snakes, Turtles, Raccoons and other predators have taken their share of the fish but quite a few survived and they grew bigger on the commercial catfish feed. They are now up around a pound with a few even bigger.

We decided to take our 3 1/2 year old grandsons to fish in the pond for their first fishing trip and it was quite an experience.  One loved it and other hated it but a good time was had by all involved.  The next week I took my 76 year old uncle who is an expert fisherman but does not really get to go anymore to the pond and let him fish.  It is really just harvesting the fish more than fishing because they hit almost instantly.  I can tell you that my uncle was all smiles and laughter the whole time. We kept a dozen of the fish he caught and filleted them out for a few catfish dinners.

If you can take a kid out or someone that doesn't get to go fishing anymore, do so, it will make their day and create a memory. I spent most of my time removing hooks, untangling line and putting on fresh bait and it was worth every moment.  By the way those home-raised corn-fed catfish fillets were wonderful.  Wild Ed