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Posts Tagged → disease

Turkey season finally arrives

Spring turkey season has finally arrived. No, no, we are not talking about the season of the political turkeys, the various state governors around America who are artificially extending their unconstitutional stay-the-f*ck-at-home “lockdowns” into July without any merit or cause. What we are talking about is spring gobbler season.

No, no, no, not the Cookie Monster-type of gobbler, like California politician Nancy Pelosi eating her wall freezer full of gourmet ice cream while Americans can’t buy flour or toilet paper.

We are talking turkey here, a gobbler being a wild male turkey that gobbles to locate hens he can breed with. He gobbles as he walks through the woods and fields, and hunters call to him with hen calls, to lure him close enough to shoot with a shotgun. In the head. It is a huge challenge with a hunter success rate of about 5%-10%. Not a real high probability of success, but nonetheless by the end of May, when the season ends, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania turkey hunters will be walking disasters. They will have gone out daily at 4AM, hunted until 7:30 or 8:30AM, whereupon they will have gone to work for the day, and done it all again day after day. Until they get a bird or they are haggard skeletons and cannot function any longer.

Spring turkey hunting is demanding and tough to do well, and even the best callers get skunked. It is nonetheless a challenge that so many hunters gleefully embrace, however, because the rewards of simply trying are so high. Nothing else is like it.

One of the challenges facing spring gobbler hunters especially is a fairly new one.

Pennsylvania’s turkey populations are way down from historic highs about 15 years ago. Some biologists attribute this measurable decline to a continuing maturation of Penn’s Woods. That is, the continued growth of Pennsylvania’s mature forests, which provide good food, like abundant acorns, but very poor cover habitat for wild turkeys. Heavily cut forests that result in areas of impenetrable thickets of brambles and small tree saplings provide the kind of safety and nesting cover that wild turkeys require. Unfortunately, most timber logging is done more for the appearance of good looks, like lots of low-value trees left behind, than for valuable timber regeneration or wildlife habitat.

A second factor that has caused turkey numbers to drop is the relatively new presence of the fisher. The fisher is either a huge weasel or a small wolverine, but it is fully representative of the ferocity and toughness of both its cousins. It is a native predator here in Pennsylvania, but it was wiped out by the late 1800s like so many other cool animals that competed with new farmsteads built to feed families. Capture-and-release programs in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in wild fisher populations expanding their territories and populations across the east coast. And if there is one word to describe the fisher, it is voracious. These things eat and eat and eat! They are especially adept at hunting animals in trees, like roosting turkeys.

So over the past ten years or so, turkeys have become less vocal in order to avoid being detected and targeted by predators. For hunters, this means a tougher time locating turkeys and doing the classic back-and-forth call where the gobbler struts in to within range gobbling, strutting, and all fanned out. These days, hunters can easily call, hear nothing, and after ten minutes stand up because they think nothing is moving, only to see a gobbler rocketing its getaway through the woods.

Gobblers and hens alike are coming in silently to hunters’ calls more and more, which requires hunters to just sit patiently and wait, and wait some more. No movement at all. No sounds. Just wait. Patience will kill more turkeys than all the fancy calling can. Make a few clucks, a few purrs, and just sit back and wait.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission staff have studied the stomachs of fishers, and they have reported back finding very little evidence of turkeys in them. Well, why would anyone expect to see evidence of wild turkeys in the stomachs of fishers if there are so few turkeys left? A single fisher can and probably will, given the chance, kill and eat dozens of wild turkeys every year. It would not take many fishers to put a choke hold on wild turkey populations. How many of those successful fishers were studied?

In any event, turkey hunters noticed a dramatic decline in wild turkey numbers beginning precisely with the expansion of the newly released fishers. That is a strong statistical correlation that is simply impossible to discount, regardless of what a handful of fisher stomachs have yielded up.

Finally, pathogens like Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) and West Nile Virus are known to be affecting turkey and grouse populations in different areas, and Pennsylvania is in a region where both these diseases are represented. LPDV is hammering wild turkey populations in New York State, so it may well be hurting ours, too.

Good luck to all the turkey hunters out there. Hunt safely (with your back up against a tree, a root ball, a big rock), don’t stalk turkey sounds but rather call the turkey to you, and only pull the trigger when your eyes have confirmed absolutely that the shotgun barrel is pointing at a live red, white, or blue turkey head with a beard attached to it. Have fun, and if you are like me most years, and you have near-misses and run-ins with wily tom gobblers, enjoy the time afield for what it is at its simplest – a walk with God, enjoying His incredible beauty at the time of Earth’s re-birth.

Fisher or fisher cat, provided by concealednation.org

Wild male turkey, “gobbler,” photo courtesy of adirondackalmanack.com

 

 

 

Flumageddon shines spotlight on failed US bureaucracy

The Wuhan Flu aka coronavirus has resulted in a Flumageddon hysteria that has damaged America’s economy and forced millions of students to stay at home, supposedly “study online,” and pester their working parents.

Flumageddon has shut down public meetings, schools, and work environments coast to coast. Almost everything that Americans take for granted has been stopped cold by it. Entire cities on both coasts are entering constitutionally questionable lockdown status, where the citizenry may have to “shelter in place” just like the ancient Hebrews did in Egypt, as God’s death plague worked its way through the first born of humans and animals alike.

Why are we here? What on earth happened to bring the freest, most technologically advanced nation to this point?

Was America really, truly unprepared for this moment?

Two things happened that got us here.

First, China has been doing everything it can, in literally every way possible, to undermine, hamper, damage, and take over America. China is a socialist tyranny, and so they have been able to direct hundreds of millions of Chinese to sit at keyboards all day every day with the goal of filing fake Trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in DC, and to hack into credit card companies, and to hack into everyday websites, and to post antagonistic messages on websites, and to play around with ordering and then canceling American products and services, and so on. Not to mention the 500,000 Chinese fake “researchers” posted at American research institutions. They are spies, really, stealing our knowledge out from under us in the phony name of open-ness and tolerance and diversity and other meaningless nonsense.

The tentacles of China are long and many, its parasitic sapping of America’s strength a long-held accepted fact.

And nothing allowed China to wreak its havoc on Americans more than people in BOTH Democrat and Republican parties allowing it to do so openly and in plain view. Because a handful of ultra wealthy wanted to be even more ultra wealthy. And they share a bit of that wealth by giving it to re-election campaign funds of careerist politicians, who hold on to power and do China’s bidding in American policy and law. Thus were American jobs and factories outsourced to China, and basically everything good America has or had was literally handed to China. All for thirty pieces of silver, on top of the thirty pieces of silver that had already been handed out a million times before to just a handful of highly placed recipients. Traitors to America, really.

So China’s Wuhan Flu is a direct product of the artificial and unhealthy economic relationship between our two nations, maintained by a billion people in China and just a few thousand people in America. Wuhan Flu spread through the world, and into America, because of an unnaturally open one-way relationship, and a criminally porous American border.

Second, Flumageddon happened because American bureaucrats are an incompetent and lazy bunch, artificially protected by artificially way-way-way over-generous personnel rules.

Career bureaucrats at Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Drug Administration have been unprepared for this moment for decades, despite plenty of warning shots from SARS and Swine Flu before. Instead of developing flu testing kits and extensive steps for combating Wuhan Flu, career bureaucrats at CDC, NIH, FDA and a host of satellite agencies and state offices, all took long lunches on the forgotten taxpayer’s dime. They posed and preened and presented themselves as dispassionate arbiters of public health interests. And in fact, when the moment of truth arrives, we see that they are simply lazy and incompetent. In China, which so many of our federal bureaucrats love because of its ruthless efficiency and all-powerful government, they would all have been shot in the back of the head by now for their failure.

Instead, we are treated to a host of foolish talking heads from CDC and NIH who are, in fact, partisan political activists using their public positions to advance a political campaign to discredit the one person who has absolutely no blame for Flumageddon: President Donald Trump, who, unlike 95% of Congress and 100% of the federal bureaucracy, has NOT been in government his entire career.

Flumageddon is not even Obama’s fault, though he did experience at least one, arguably two, fatal flu public health events, and, therefore, Obama could have directed CDC and NIH and FDA to begin making testing kits and vaccines. In anticipation of future outbreaks. Nope, the fault really lies with our open borders mentality, which carries nation-ending risks, and with our lazy, incompetent, over-protected, entitled, unaccountable bureaucrats, who then cement the open borders risks into stone.

In order to pound down Americans even more, and make us more pliable, more amenable to their supposed solutions. Which are always more and bigger and more powerful government intervention into our lives.

Interesting how this works. The symmetry was so clean and easy. Until Trump came along and challenged it. Cue the hysteria…

 

Obama’s Ebola gift to the nation

Obama’s administration has actively opened the borders and suppressed efforts to curb illegal aliens.

His administration has released hundreds of violent criminals into American communities, because they were illegal aliens.

His administration has allowed illegal aliens to bring typhus and other dangerous diseases into America, and now his gift to us is Ebola, the kill-you-now disease from Africa.

This list of Obama’s malfeasance reads like the list of indictments of King George in our Declaration of Independence, but it may be worse.

Obama’s War On America is designed to create as many new welfare voters as possible.  Legal immigrants are not what he wants, but rather people who have no stake in America, no contributions to America, and no commitment to America, other than what they can get for free from our taxpayers and then demand more.

But many voters are awakening to what this really means.  When Ebola arrived from illegal aliens and from foreign travelers who should have never been allowed into America, more and more Americans now recognize that Grievance Politics is dangerous.  It’s not just vote dilution.  Now it is public health threats on a massive scale, and Obama is purposefully introducing a toxic cocktail of diseases that threatens everyone.  He hates America that much.

Let us hope that our collective love for our nation is stronger than his executive-action hate.

Forget sexy issues like “climate change,” let’s solve real environmental threats

By Josh First

Pennsylvania’s forests are suffering from a one-two punch-out by both invasive bugs and pathogens that kill our native and very valuable trees, and then by a following host of invasive vines, shrubs, trees, and other plants that are filling the void left after the big natives are gone.

Today yet another bulletin arrived from PSU plant pathology / forestry researchers, noting that ‘sudden-oak-death disease’ was detected on a shipment of rhododendron from Oregon.

Oregon got it from Asia.

Pennsylvania’s forests are becoming full of non-native, invasive plants, bugs, and pathogens. Each of our valuable tree species now has its own specific attackers. God knows what our native forests will look like in ten years.

The Asian emerald ash borer is literally making ash trees go extinct as a species. I see whole stands of forest, hundreds of acres, where not one ash tree is healthy. Dutch Elm disease killed off most of our elms in the 1980s. An Asian fungus killed off the once incredible and mighty American chestnut tree. Forget pathogens and bugs, because lots of aggressive, fast-growing invasive plants are taking up room on the forest floor, pushing out and overwhelming needed native plants. Few if any animals eat the invasives, which are often toxic and low value.

Human-caused climate change?  It is a sexy political issue, and it is highly debatable. But forest destruction from non-native invasives is a real, tangible, non-debatable, non-politicized issue we need to address immediately. So many people and wild animals depend upon our native forests, that without them, our rural economies could dramatically fall and our wildlife could disappear.

Forester Scott Cary had this to say, tongue somewhat in cheek: “With the 1000 cankers disease in Walnut now in southeast Pennsylvania, that area is quarantined…maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on black birch and red maple [low-value native species long observed to be acting like aggressive, non-native invasives, and therefore harvested aggressively by responsible forest managers], that may be all we have left to choose from. Of course, Asian long-horned beetle may get the maple, so that leaves us black birch, the tree of the future.”

That is a sad place to be, folks.  And to think that so much money is wasted selling the phony issue of human-caused climate change, while real environmental disasters are actually happening…it shows you just how dedicated the environmental Left is to political dominance, not useful solutions to environmental problems.

What Would Nixon Do, or Do Americans really want to recover from this?

Obama’s “re-set” with Russia empowered Putin to become Stalin II. Russia is expanding un-checked in all directions as it re-creates the totalitarian Soviet Union, sacrificing airliners full of civilians along the way, with impunity.

Obama’s apology tour in the Middle East empowered Muslim imperialists to go to war against everyone, including the very European nations that have increasingly hosted them.

The Middle East is breaking apart everywhere and along every ideological fault line possible.  The West’s sole outpost there, Israel, is surrounded by enemies, desperately conducting a non-war of non-defense, under circumstances where the World War II Allies carpet bombed and incinerated hundreds of thousands of their enemies in a single day, in battles fought day after day.

At home, Obama illegally trucks in hundreds of thousands of sick, diseased, poor illegal aliens to help bolster his political party, in economically depressed areas already loaded with broken communities.

If Richard Nixon resigned because of a failed nonviolent office break-in to get psychological files on an American traitor, then what should Obama do?

What will the Republican Party do to protect America from its enemies, foreign and domestic?

Is anyone paying attention?  Do more than a handful of Americans really give a damn what happens to America and its representative government of checks and balances?

Do Americans want to recover to the great nation we were before, or are they satisfied to watch Western Civilization crumble around them, come what may?