Wyoming Wolves

by Woodsbum

It appears that a Wyoming court has finally used some common sense. The wolves that have been decimating the native wildlife are finally going to be regulated. Good job!!!

 

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/court-rules-wyoming-wolves-stripped-federal-protections-012455855.html

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By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) – Wolves in Wyoming should be stripped of Endangered Species Act protections and management given to the state rather than the U.S. government, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday, a decision that opens the door for hunting of the animals.

U.S. wildlife managers in 2012 determined that wolves in Wyoming had rebounded from the threat of extinction and that the state plan to oversee the creatures was adequate to ensure their survival.

But conservation groups sued, contending the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had acted in an arbitrary and unlawful fashion in finding Wyoming’s plan acceptable. They argued the state would fail to maintain the animals at certain population levels and would subject a portion of them to being shot on sight.

A U.S. district judge sided with environmentalists in a 2014 decision and the several hundred wolves in Wyoming were once again placed under federal safeguards.

  The state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency and others appealed that ruling and, on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia reversed the lower court, finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had indeed “exercised its judgment in a reasonable way” in concluding that Wyoming’s management plan would provide wolves with sufficient protections.

   “The record demonstrates that the Service reasonably and adequately responded to concerns about the reliability of Wyoming’s management plan,” the court said in the opinion.

  The decision was quickly hailed by Wyoming’s Republican governor, Matt Mead, who said in a written statement, “This is the right decision for wolves and for Wyoming.”

  Mead said the state will once again assume management of wolves once the 2012 delisting rule is formally reinstated but the time frame was not immediately clear.

   Conservationists decried the ruling, which they said they were still reviewing.

  “But we’re going to continue to fight to protect wolves from hostile and extreme state management policies where they exist,” Tim Preso, attorney for the environmental law firm Earthjustice, told Reuters by telephone on Friday.

Wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction in the Lower 48 states before coming under federal protections in the 1970s.

They were re-introduced to the Northern Rockies in the mid-1990s over the objections of ranchers and sportsmen, who feared wolves would prey on livestock and game animals favored by hunters.

  In 2011, wolves in Idaho and Montana were delisted through an unprecedented act of Congress. Both of the Northern Rocky Mountain states have liberal hunting and trapping seasons tied to wolves.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)

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Avian Cholera in WA State

by Woodsbum

I received an email notification that I felt I should pass along:

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WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

January 27, 2017
Contacts: 
Kyle Spragens, (360) 902-2522
Dr. Katie Haman, (360) 870-2135

Tests confirm outbreak of avian cholera
in dead ducks found near the Tri-Cities

YAKIMA – State and federal wildlife-diagnostic centers have confirmed an outbreak of avian cholera near the Tri-Cities, where more than 1,200 dead ducks have been reported in the past week.

The disease was confirmed in dead ducks found near Burbank, Wash., and tested by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab. The birds tested negative for avian influenza, a different disease fatal to waterfowl and other birds.

Avian cholera is caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida and is one of the most common diseases among ducks, geese and other wild North American waterfowl, said Katie Haman, a wildlife veterinarian at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Humans are not at a high risk for infection with the bacterial strain causing avian cholera, though infections in humans are possible,” Haman said. “We advise people to avoid handling sick or dead birds, and to report any they find.”

Reports can be filed online (http://wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/observations/sgcn/), by email (Wildlife.Health@dfw.wa.gov), or by calling 1-509-545-2201.

According to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the bacteria kill waterfowl swiftly, sometimes in as few as six to 12 hours after infection. Live bacteria released into the environment by dead and dying birds can subsequently infect healthy birds. Avian cholera is highly contagious and spreads rapidly through bird-to-bird contact, ingestion of food or water containing the bacteria, or scavenging of infected carcasses.

“As a result, avian cholera can spread quickly through a wetland and kill hundreds to thousands of birds in a single outbreak,” said Kyle Spragens, WDFW waterfowl manager. “The bacteria are hardy and can survive in water for several weeks and in soil for several months.”

WDFW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to minimize the spread of the disease through careful carcass collection and disposal to reduce the amount of bacteria in the environment.

Signs displayed by infected birds include lethargy, convulsions, swimming in circles, and erratic flight. They may also show mucous discharge from the mouth and nose, and soiling of the feathers around the vent, eyes, and bill.

Wildlife managers encourage waterfowl hunters in Walla Walla, Franklin, and Benton counties to clean and disinfect gear, such as waders and decoys to help minimize potential further spread of the bacteria.

A 10 percent bleach solution or warm soapy water can be used for disinfection. Leaving the gear in direct sunlight for several hours will also kill the bacteria. Waterfowl hunters are advised to use gloves when cleaning harvested birds, and if white spots are seen on the liver, err on the side of caution and discard the bird directly into a garbage bag.

Although bacteria from wild birds do not typically cause infections in mammals, dog owners should prevent contact between their pets and sick or dead birds encountered. Additionally, vehicles that have accumulated mud should be run through a commercial car wash.

For more information please visit: https://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/field_manual/chapter_7.pdf andhttps://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/fact_sheets/pdfs/cholera091102.PDF

 

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Mossberg 464 SPX

by Woodsbum

This last weekend I finally got a chance to get out and put some rounds down range with my new Mossberg 464 SPX. For those of you who are not familiar with this rifle, it is most easily described as a “tactical” lever action 30-30. Here is a picture of the rifle from the Mossberg website.

Mossberg 464 SPX

Mossberg 464 SPX

When I first saw this rifle, I really wanted it only as a joke. It is ugly, feels like an over priced novelty, and really made me think that a bunch of engineers were disgruntled when they pushed this out the door. Since I really wasn’t expecting much from this rifle and my reasoning for buying it was to annoy anyone who needed to borrow a deer gun, I let it sit untested in my safe for over 5 months.

Let me first start off this review by reiterating how ridiculous this thing is. The lever feels like it is going to break. The fit and finish is more like a $100 Savage .22 than a $500 30-30. It really is just a rifle that no one should ever own……

Then you fire it……

Holy crap! This is one of my new favorite rifles to shoot. The angle and ATI padded, adjustable stock look hideous, but makes it where you can barely feel any recoil. After the first handful of reloaded rounds I actually began to snicker at how well it performed. Then I went back to the basement and grabbed a whole pocket full of loads. There were cartridges with 110, 150, 170 and even a couple 200 grain bullets and every one seemed to hit the snowballs I was shooting at. After this pocketful was gone, I ran back to the basement for more cartridges. After I had shot up all my father’s reloads (about 70ish) I pulled out a couple factory boxes with 150 grain round nose.

Shooting the SPX

Shooting the SPX

This rifle is an absolute riot. By the time I froze out and needed some time snuggling with the wood burning stove (it was about 25 degrees not accounting for wind chill), I had shot over 100 rounds through this thing. When I got inside and thawed out, I realized that I had done nothing to this rifle but take it out of the box. It was taken from the store to my safe, then from my safe to my father’s (in the back of the truck with my dog) to shoot. There literally was no love given to this rifle before the initial test. Of course I used the “official” rifle testing stance: shooting it one handed, into a hillside, wearing welding gloves, from around a tree, eyes closed, and other hand covering my nether region for protection.

Again, the rifle feels like a WalMart special and looks like it was the unloved child of a rocky, one night stand between an AR 15 and a Winchester 94. It is truly a terrible looking and feeling rifle, until you shoot it. All the looks, fit and finish are immediately out the window once you pull the trigger. My brother, who only likes the “traditional” lever rifles like his Winchester 94 in .32 Winchester Special, was giggling like a little school girl while running around too look for more rounds.

Okay, here are a few of the really good things about this rifle:

  • The stock geometry reduces the recoil to an almost negligible amount. Whatever recoil is left is well absorbed by the ATI stock.
  • The sights are amazing. They are fiber optic 3 dot sights that almost glow even in really low light.
  • Even though the lever feels flimsy and I was concerned about the action, there was never even a scuff on the brass or slightest of issue with cycling. The rounds just glided into the magazine tube, out the tube and into the chamber and then easily expended into my hand to shove back into my pocket. I never dropped a single round of loaded or expended brass in the cold, nastiness in which we shot.
  • The angles are perfect and it is very easy to just toss this rifle up to get a good site picture. There is none of the “head migration” thing that needs to take place until you get a comfortable spot to rest your cheek. It is simply a comfortable rifle to shoot.
  • This thing is also quite lightweight. I could see myself collapsing the stock and strapping it to a backpack.
  • With the matte finish and plastic furniture, the weather does not have that much of an ill affect on this rifle. My brother had to Barrocade the crap out of his .32 before and after shooting to keep rust off of it. I just tossed mine into the back of my truck and dusted it off when I got home.
  • It annoys the hell out of anyone that doesn’t shoot it. This is a huge plus when you shoot around the “Name Brand Elitists” that hate anything that didn’t get all 5 star reviews from AR15.com.

I would have to say that I now highly recommend this rifle. It is very enjoyable to shoot and mine functioned flawlessly considering how poorly I treated it……

Just so everyone knows, I am going to clean it up and give it a spa treatment tonight. It deserves it.

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Apple Pie

by Woodsbum

With Christmas right around the corner, it is time for me to start making my specialty booze. I normally make Apple Pie, Amaretto, and Kahlua. This last weekend was my Apple Pie run.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

My recipe is essentially the following:

  • 3 frozen apple juice concentrate cans
  • Apple cider
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups Capt Morgan Spice Rum
  • High proof grain alcohol
  • Cinnamon sticks

What I do is the following:

  1. Mix the apple juice cans, about a quart of the apple cider (if using 180+ proof grain alcohol), and the brown sugar in a large pot and bring it to the spot where it is almost, but not quite boiling.
  2. Add your Capt Morgan Rum
  3. Remove the pot from heat and move it to a place AWAY from flame or hot burner. Add your grain alcohol. If you are using single run moonshine, you might want to cut down on the apple cider at first. Try to eyeball a mixture that will give you about 45% – 50% alcohol by volume. If you are running 180-190 proof booze, you need to just do about a 50/50 mix. If you are using 120 proof stuff you might want to sub out some the cider for an additional concentrated juice can to do a more 2/3 booze to 1/3 boiled stuff mix.
  4. When you get it all added and mixed, move the pot back to the heat. Heat it up again to the point where you are starting to get some decent steam, but NOT boiling.
  5. Take off the heat and put in Mason jars with a cinnamon stick or two. I use 1 stick per pint of Apple Pie. This seems to give the best flavor in my opinion.

(Optional) You can add a vanilla bean or two to each jar if you wish. This gives is a nice, smooth finish. When I use vanilla beans, I go big and put in several. I figure the cinnamon and vanilla can just fight it out to see what flavor rules.

Once in a jar, make sure you let it sit for a few days at least. The longer that it sits, the more mellow and smooth the drink is. Some stuff I have had that was sitting for almost a year was so smooth that you couldn’t taste the alcohol, but was still sitting at over 100 proof.

When I start on my other boozes, I will add those recipes as well. My Kahlua is really incredible.

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Sick Again

by Woodsbum

Long story short………. I have been sick as a dog, again. The last time I was seen, I was given an antibiotic via injection. Well, come to find out, the clinic also slipped in tetanus and flu vaccine into the same syringe even though I declined them. Yes, you heard that right. They slipped in the vaccines into the same syringe that held the antibiotic. I wasn’t told about it until after I saw the paperwork and questioned them. They literally SHRUGGED when I reminded them that I had declined the flu and tetanus shots.

Flu shots ALWAYS make me very susceptible to each and every bug that passes my way. It has always been that way for me and I suspect that it always will. Suffice it to say that I have been stuck with yet another bout of the “crud”.

I am sorry for the sporadic posts, but when I feel like a bucket of smashed assholes the last thing that I want to do is start typing for my own pleasure.

Some good news, however. I ripped the engine to my old Dodge apart and found out why it was not working. My cylinder heads had to be rebuilt, will be replacing a few pistons and swapping out all the piston rings in the next week or two. Once that is done, my truck should then run. In hindsight I really should have just ripped the truck apart and rebuilt it myself. It would have saved me a few thousand dollars and I would have had it back on the road already.

There will be a post in the next couple days about what I found on my engine, the great work that Tom’s Performance did on the heads, and rest of the work I am doing to fix the damage of the long block I got from S&J.

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