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Archive for March, 2016

Better than Trump Steaks

Venison backstrap from this deer, marinated in soy sauce and Bourbon glaze. Put on a little A.1. rub, salt, and sage.

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And pan fry in butter for three minutes on each side. Medium rare and smothered in sauteed onions.

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Coyote vs Dog track

If you need help telling dog from coyote tracks, here are some examples. I wish I had a better sample of dog tracks, because sighthounds tend to have very coyote-like feet.  However, coyote tracks always look like this. They maybe bigger or smaller, depending upon whether you have an admixed Eastern coyote or a pure Western coyote.

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Domestic dog (from Miley).   She’s quite a bit larger than a coyote.

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Deer in the gray thicket

Got some nice footage of some deer on the trail camera this week.

One is a bit goofy:

The other is a beautiful scene as trio of deer come through the thicket after a rainy night:

There is a major deer bedding area under the red oaks on the opposite ridge. Last weekend, I spooked twelve of them off their beds.

These are heavily pressured deer, so it’s pretty hard to get decent photos and film of them without using trail cameras.

I try, of course, but you’ll never get closeups like the one in the top video with a regular camera!

 

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I purchased a diaphragm coyote call a few months ago from MFK. I wanted to liven up the blog with some possible coyote photos and videos, and coyote hunting is one of those things I’ve always wanted to try.

It’s much harder than it looks, especially if the coyotes in your area don’t howl that much and are generally unresponsive to howls and other vocalizations.

However, I eventually did get lucky. I set up about 100 feet deeper down an Allegheny bench. I howled three times and let loose a few bitch-in-estrus whimpers.

I noticed some movement to my right. Something yellow was advancing across the bench opposite mine across a small ravine.

That’s when I knew it. I had a coyote coming in. I just got ready for him to come up from the ravine. What follows is, well, pretty hard to believe. If I didn’t have the photos and the video proof, I still wouldn’t believe it.

This is not a zoo animal. This is backwoods West Virginia, and this is a very wild Eastern coyote from a population that is as pressured as any on the East Coast.

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So calm and relaxed that he stops to scratch an itch!

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He paced around me for about ten minutes. He was looking for the bitch. If he started to wander off, I would just whimper a bit through the diaphragm, and he’d come back.

This is one of those moments when you realize how great it is to be alive.

Too look into those wild yet sagacious brush wolf eyes is to be taken back to a time when the only dogs were wild ones.

It was  my pleasure to have had this opportunity.

I met a wild one.

And it doesn’t seem real.

 

 

 

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Rascal fats

Big, fat boar raccoon:

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This is a skill they’d better perfect if they wish to survive.

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Wood frogs announce spring is coming

The wood frogs are spawning now. I caught these two in amplexus.

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Wood frogs are the first frogs to come out. This is the species that freezes in the winter and comes out fine as soon as it starts to thaw a bit.  They have blood that acts as sort of an anti-freeze agent that prevents the tissue from being damaged.

They can lay eggs in frigid water, and the tadpoles will be fine.

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Winter is slowly fading from us. The wood frogs are the first sign.

 

 

 

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