Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Some things just aren't meant to be...

Many of you know I hunt. I started seriously hunting in 2000, in order to have a reliable source of venison. Bob's penchant has changed from shooting deer to getting his friends their first buck. We do get a share, but a whole deer is better yet! So I threw myself into it, read everything I could, spent time in target practice, got a feel for what guns I like, scouted the 68 acres we own up near Clarion, PA, and learned everything I could. But no deer. Usually just never saw one - in season! I also took up archery, and in fact am even a little better shot with an arrow than with a gun.

In 2003, I became the first woman to score a bull tag in the PA Elk license lottery, and subsequently the first woman to bag a bull elk in the modern hunt, maybe the first ever.

But all these years, I have yet to bag a PA whitetail - unless you count the one I got with my Exploder out on Rt 228...

So I was convinced that this year was my year. I took a week's vacation for archery season, had my treestand up, bow tuned, was making every shot at every distance, had all sorts of stuff to eliminate my scent, went out that first morning, un-scented, fully camouflaged, KNOWING that if that big 10 point I saw last year came anywhere near me, he was MINE.

I went out before dawn to where my stand was. I looked and looked, and could not find it. "Well Jan," I said to myself, "Some mighty hunter YOU are, you can't even find your own stand, you moron!" So I went back to the house, waited for light, then came back to find...

It was stolen. I couldn't find it because IT WASN'T THERE! Someone had come on our property, seen it, left, come back with bolt cutters and an ATV, and cut the chain (we had it padlocked to the tree) and took it away. Now archery hunting from the ground is not impossible, but I had estrus scent planted, and you don't want to be on the ground when a buck in the rut comes near. So between that and the rain, my week of hunting was pretty much ruined.

Oh well, there's always gun season. Unbeknownst to me, my dear, sweet honey bought me another tree stand. So I had one day left of vacation, and I took it on opening day. There was my new stand, right where my old one was! Yippee! That morning, I saw lots of deer, but nothing I could put antlers on for sure, and I only had an antlered license. I went up to the house, Bob and I did some walking, he flushed some deer out of the briars where they were hiding, and I headed back to the stand to wait for them to come down my way. As I settled in, something just didn't feel quite right. I looked down to see the ladder bowed out at a bad angle. OK, I'm getting out of here! So I slung my rifle across my back and started down the ladder. I got down about 2 rungs (so really still up there at 16 feet), and the one strap holding the stand to the tree let loose and the stand swung around in an arc and crashed to the ground, along with me. :)

I landed on my back (and my gun!) and stared up at the sky. Well, I'm still conscious, that's encouraging! Slowly I took inventory - fingers and toes, arms and legs, back OK - let's try to stand up. Did that, felt OK. Not good, I could definitely tell I fell hard, you know that feeling - not pain exactly, but not nice, either.

"BOB!!!!!!!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. He was already on his way, having heard the crash from the porch. "I guess you're OK?" he asked. "From now on," I told him, "I will supervise the setup of the treestand!"

So I am battered, bruised, and sore, but OK. And I have decided someone is trying to tell me something, having one stand stolen and the other fallen - I'm done hunting for this year. Some things are just not meant to be, lol!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The disappearing blogs

I've noticed lately a trend lately... certain blogs I enjoyed, or referred back to, have disappeared. Good thing Google takes a snapshot, and good thing I know how to save them for posterity... I've been forced lately to re-evaluate who my friends are, or ever were, and these saved blogs come in handy. Pity people try to hide who they are/were. Pity people can't come right out and say what their agenda is/was, and allow the rest of us to make a decision and stick with it. Pity that politics have to come into play at all.

I am enjoying this time off from showing, and plan to come back in the Spring with some awesome bunnies. Not yet quite what I am striving for, but on my way. More and more I realise that the breed of bunns I deal with takes time to evaluate with certain characteristics. Weight and shoulders need time. Wool I have a pretty good handle on right away - as in, from 3-6 months. Other faults show up right away, and do not improve with time. I hope that, if my observations and notes hold true, in 2 years or so I will have some truly awesome Giants.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shearing party report

Well, I think it was a success. We still haven't figured out quite the best way to use electric clippers, but Cheryl and I were able to help Michelle, Heather, and Sherri with the shearing questions they had. We also had a visit from Cheryl's friend Julie. I sold Mopsie to Cheryl, and Pewter, my wooly French Lop, got a badly needed hair cut. I used her to show the ladies a technique I have developed to get those matted-to-the-skin areas safely shorn. Pewter is the perfect demo animal for this, as her wool mats no matter what, but she is patient and sweet while I fuss over her.

We also worked on spinning with a wheel and with drop spindle. I forgot to bring my new mini combs, so they'll have to wait for next time.

Next time? Yep, we had such a great time, we want to do it again! We're thinking after the holidays sometime. Let me know if you're interested!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lame Duck Congress Passes Animal Terrorism Bill - Senate Calls Needed to Stop Horse Slaughter Bill

A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

Dear SAOVA Friends,

Some form of the anti-pet breeder Santorum-Durbin Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) will be introduced next year, but we have one more task to finish *right now*. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (S3880) passed the House yesterday afternoon, to the dismay of many animal activists and dangerous zealots. The remaining piece of work for us in this Congress is to insist the Senate bury HR503, HSUS's ill-named "Horse Protection Act" amendment.

HR503 places emotion ahead of animal welfare and public health, sets dangerous precedents of Federal interference in animal owners' end-of-life decisions and establishes a special, quasi-human status for a livestock species. It also results in less, not more, protection for unwanted equines and places significant financial burdens on state and local governments. That's why the American Veterinary Medical Association, most horse groups and the National Association of Counties oppose this bill.

Please *CALL or FAX* your two Senators *TODAY* and urge that they reject HR503. Contact phones numbers may be found at http://www.congress.org/


House OKs bill aimed at animal activists
Associated Press

WASHINGTON- Animal rights advocates who threaten scientists conducting animal research or companies funding or affiliated with it could be fined and imprisoned under a bill the House passed Monday and sent to President Bush.
Current federal law makes it illegal for activists to damage animal research organizations, farms, zoos, pet stores and other similar operations.
The legislation extends those prohibitions to interfering with third-party organizations such as insurance companies, law firms and investment houses that do business with so-called animal enterprises. Supporters said the bill is aimed at protecting people and companies from animal rights terrorists.
Violators could be sentenced up to a year in jail for economic damages of less than $10,000, and up to five years in prison if a threat produced a "reasonable fear" of bodily harm. Prison sentences of up to 10 years could result if someone is actually injured.
Although the bill specifically condones peaceful animal rights protests, critics said it comes close to infringing on advocates' constitutional rights.
"I am not for anyone abusing their ... rights by damaging another person's property or person," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. "But I am for protecting the First Amendment and not creating a special class of violations for a specific type of protest."
The bill passed the House on a voice vote. The Senate passed it in September
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Bob Kane Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -Working to identify and elect supportive legislatorshttp://saova.orgFrustrate the Anti's - Take your children to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and a Rodeo

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tattoo day

I moved all but one of Antje's 8 babies into new digs today, bucks in one 48x30 cage, does in another. I had 5 bucks and 3 does, so the littlest buck got to stay behind with Mom. I also weighed, tattooed, and evaluated them. One fault I really need to work on is pinched lower hindquarters. Ironically, the runt of the litter has the best body so far, and nice wool, too. That big doe I've had my eye on since birth has not disappointed me, either. So I am going to hold onto these 2 for awhile. There was another buck I liked alot, the biggest fellow, whom I've also had my eye on since birth, but he's a bit pinched you-know-where - in that lower HQ. :(

I took Betsy out today to tattoo her, as well. At 6 months of age she weighs 8 lbs. I was hoping for more, I'm toying with the idea of shearing her. Being in short coat stimulates the appetite. She is so gorgeous right now, she is in full, prime coat. I went to take a picture of her for the website only to find my batteries are dead. :(

Well, I'll get new batteries and use her for my grooming demo bunny at the shearing party next Saturday. I'll probably use her for my shearing demo, too, as she is so laid back and cooperative. Of course, now that I've said that, she'll probably behave like a holy terror, lol!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Have you noticed...

... the golden silence since the election? No screams of voter fraud or intimidation, no recounts other than those required by law. Just mature acceptance of the results.

Do you think if the other side had lost, they would have had the same reaction? History says "NO". Apparently, when our parents taught us how to win and lose gracefully, only some of us paid attention.