Fall deer update; rim fire

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Posted by Annie in Opinion, Organic, Outdoors, Twain Harte News on September 17, 2013

Have you ever had one of those days that is absolutely perfect?  The smoke has cleared tremendously and the weather is cool, just right at 66°F.  The Fire Information truck was making the rounds dropping off maps and an information sheet. While this doesn’t give all the information I would want, there are phone numbers to call for more details.

Red-dyed line of fire retardant stands out cle...

Red-dyed line of fire retardant stands out clearly on this Arizona hill. Drop was against the Alambre Fire.

We are all so thankful to the firefighters for working so hard save our homes and businesses.  However, that doesn’t mean all the residents are happy with the forest service, their policies and the other personnel working the fire.  There were a great number of concerns brought up at the last meeting.  The people running the meeting tried to provide answers, but there were a lot of questions remaining.

I was very happy that one lady brought up the fire retardant.  This is our forest – we live here – and we should know what chemicals are being used, what they are comprised of and any long-term effects of it’s use.  Yes, I realize it’s a trade-off, using chemicals to protect homes and such, but is it worth it to save a few homes if the chemicals used leech into our ground water and poison all of us – even those as far away as the bay area who use our water?  I’d rather be homeless than have our water polluted. At any rate, we should be making informed decisions about it, instead of having this conversation when it’s too late to make a difference.

But how many of us knew there was such a thing as fire retardant that could be used on such a massive scale?  I have never heard of it.

Now is a perfect time to come visit if you’ve been waiting for the smoke to clear. The crowds have gone home. It’s “sweater weather,” that’s for sure.  Bring a jacket to be on the safe side.  Jeans are back in style, unless you’re staying in Sonora.

I’ve been doing some canning, I highly recommend it.  It feels good putting up your own fruits, vegetables, even meat.  I canned some pinto beans which will be used for homemade refried beans, and I canned bread and butter pickles.  They could have been a little thicker, but otherwise they were good.

English: Deer Mtn. Fire

Deer Mtn. Fire

Yesterday, I had a surprise, as I was feeding the chickens some lettuce here comes ten deer into the yard, all at once. It was more than a little unnerving. Did you know deer love lettuce?  I have to plan feeding the chickens around the deer visits.  Deer are smart and they hide, laying in wait for something they want.  Droves will show up as soon as I get the lettuce out.

This morning around three a.m., two huge bucks came by, a 12 point and an 8 point buck.  They were an amazing sight to behold.  They had been scraping their horns and the horns were really rugged and marked up.  I had never seen these deer before.  We have a group of three bucks that come through a couple times a week.  There is a group of young females all with a dark coat, which means they were probably siblings. They are each pretty large.

I’m not seeing a lot of young bucks right now, but it could turn out that some of those “does” are actually bucks.  One never knows.

Please respond with your questions or comments.  What do you think about the fire retardants?  Should they be used?

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Majority of Fawns have Tumors

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Tuolumne County on September 8, 2013

Tumors Deer 045

We had a group of deer come through our property yesterday.  I’ve been watching these fawns since they were born. They have a nesting spot not too far from here.  I’m worried about them.

I’ve been an avid deer watcher since moving to Twain Harte around 2000 or so.  This is the first time I’ve noticed any tumors.  Out of the four fawns who came by yesterday three had tumors.  They were born with them, the tumors weren’t something that came up overnight.

Tumors Deer 044This is the worse one. This little guy has tumors on tumors.  I wonder if it has to do with radiation?  It couldn’t be due to the retardant used on the Rim fire, since these were born before the fire even started. They are only three to four months old.

The tumor on this deer is under the chin.  You can see him here eating a lettuce stalk. Could this be from eating GMO food?  Is it something else?  I did a search on google images for deer with tumors.  Notice that they are white.  It was not pretty.  Did I mention I was worried sick?

This seems to indicate that the causes are abscesses, but these fawns were born this way.

Deer 025Why Do Fawns Have Growths on their Necks and Chins?

According to DFG Veterinarian Dr. Ben Gonzales, deer can have multiple lumps due to cutaneous tumors (aka papillomatosis or fibromas) which are thought to be induced by viruses.

The location you describe of these lumps makes him think they are more likely jaw abscesses which can develop from a broken tooth, or more likely from the migration of grass awns or foxtails. Foxtails migrate forward and find the path of least resistance. The body tries to fight this foreign body by delivering white cells (neutrophils), which collect, die and form pus-filled abscesses. The abscesses also find the path of least resistance between tissue layers and thus can end up on the upper neck. Since this is the time of year when foxtails are dry and are easily picked up and ingested during feeding, my best educated guess is that you’re seeing foxtail-induced abscesses.  [Read More]

Tumors Deer 024

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Deer Season Closes

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Tuolumne County on October 30, 2011

Today is October 30th and marks the last day of deer hunting season in California.

California Mule Deer - Image by Alan Vernon.

Just moments ago I watched an 8 point buck grazing in our yard. He is a magnificent creature with bright, alert eyes that watch my every move. I pray that he survives the last day of hunting season, while at the same time, I know he would provide many meals for an adept hunters family.

Twice this week I was blessed to observe a rare sight: traveling together was a young forkie buck, a doe with a young fawn having recently lost her spots. It isn’t very often you find young bucks in the wild, roving with a doe. Generally, bucks travel two or three together. The elder bucks guiding and teaching the younger ones. The bucks are so mighty and graceful to watch — I’m not sure I have the heart to take one down during a hunt.

Shortly the deer will begin to rut and motorists will want to pay extra attention as deer tend to act more erratic than usual during rutting season.

Stay alert: Steer clear of deer during rutting season – It’s true that the activity level of deer is rising this time of year as rutting, or breeding, season peaks in November, said Tom Micetich, deer project manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

It’s the rutting season, the time when our forests come alive with deer. Deborah King picks up their trail.

Deer rutting season: Stand and stare

Behold the rutting season, the time when male deer are driven by an urge to reproduce. From October until early November strange groaning and belching sounds will echo from clearings in the woods. The clash of antlers will be heard as males show off their virility to potential mates and, like gladiators entering an arena, they parade around showing off their armoury of antlers.

Apparently, avid deer hunters enjoy the sport of rut tracking.

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