Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for December, 2013

Cheating the Tooth Fairy

Posted by todblog on December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013

What does a tooth go for nowadays? I remember getting a quarter for a baby incisor and maybe a dollar bill for a molar. That was a LONG time ago. With inflation over the years, does the tooth fairy dish out more moolah for a molar? Well, teeth are pretty expensive when it comes to repairing them, especially if they’re the permanent kind. I learned that lesson way back in Wilson Elementary School when I was patiently waiting my turn to get on the swing that was being used by Suzy Morreira. I wasn’t paying attention when she jumped off the swing and it came back and the chain link smacked my front tooth. I looked down and saw a small white piece of my tooth in the dirt. My tongue felt the rough edge of a broken front tooth and the cold air whooshing past the nerve endings sent a chill up my spine. The dentist cemented a white porcelain corner onto my front tooth and that lasted a few years before Darius Hao put me in a headlock and popped it out in 8th grade. More glue and I was back eating apples in no time. Finally, in college, I had the corner chip knocked out one last time while trying to start a cold outboard motor before a morning duck hunt on the Willamette River. Pulling on the starter cord time and again, the hard plastic duck call hanging on my neck lanyard swung up and whacked me on the tooth and sinking in the mud was my porcelain corner. Being an Oregon State University Beaver your sworn enemy is a University of Oregon Duck, now I hated them more than ever. A week later I was getting a crown put on the front tooth and saying goodbye to a porcelain corner. I’m sure I helped put that dentist’s kid through college, or paid his mortgage that month or helped send his staff to Carribean retreat. Anyway, the bottom line is teeth are expensive to fix and we should do what we can to prevent such accidents. This applies to my family as well since I cover their dental insurance. One area that I can address is the food we eat and eliminating any hazards that might be detrimental to their teeth. Case in point…steel shot.

Ever since 1992, waterfowl hunters have been required to hunt with non-toxic shot. There are many different kinds of waterfowl ammunition that one can choose from however, none of them is very forgiving on your teeth. The best remedy for saving your teeth is to go through your meat slowly and carefully following any feather trails that may indicate a pellet has entered the meat and taken a feather along with it. Cutting meat into thin strips is another way to expose pellets trying to hide in a thick chunk of breast meat. Then there is the final precaution, take your time and eat slowly treating every bite as if it might be about to come down on a solid piece of steel. That’s easier said than done especially if you are eating some tasty gourmet waterfowl dish. Another way to rid of the shot pellets altogether is by using a metal detector. You could stuff your pants with meat and go through airport security and leave it up to TSA to find shot pellets for you or go out and buy a metal detector. I started off using one like the that pictured below from Harbor Freight for about $39. It runs on one 9 volt battery. I spent a lot of time trying to increase the sensitivity of it by turning an adjustment screw and it still had a hard time finding a steel BB unless it practically touched it. Hmmmm…. not gonna work for BB’s imbedded in meat. So, I went back to the store and returned it for the next higher model ($45) like the ones you would use on the beach combing around in the sand. It was much more sensitive and found a steel BB within 3″ from the sensor. However, I also noted it didn’t detect alloys as well as it does steel. So, with this particular metal detector, if you’re game bird has something other than steel shot in it, be careful.

Scanning goose meat for steel shot

Scanning sliced goose breast meat for steel shot. Not working very well.

Metal detector on counter top. Sensor is covered with a plastic shopping bag.

Metal detector on counter top. Sensor is covered with a plastic shopping bag.

Testing sensor with a steel BB. Lifting up and down & side to side.

Testing sensor with a steel BB. Lifting up and down & side to side.

Sliding a thinly sliced goose steak around the sensor.

Sliding a thinly sliced goose steak around the sensor.

Pressure cooked goose thighs and drumsticks in Lipton Onion Soup Mix...melts in your mouth!

Pressure cooked goose thighs and drumsticks in Lipton Onion Soup Mix…melts in your mouth!

Posted in 2013, Hunting, Recipes and Stuff | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Black-tailed Deer Study

Posted by todblog on December 24, 2013

Decemeber 22, 2013

This is year two of our black-tailed deer study in Western Oregon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife chose to study deer in four wildlife management units in western Oregon. The Indigo Unit is one of them and the goal is to radio collar 30 deer per year in randomly selected areas. Deer must be collared in a variety of landownerships: federal lands, large private, mixed private/public, & small private. The radio’s being utilized by the study are GPS radios which are programmed to collect a location waypoint every six hours for an average of 10 months. The collar also has a mortality sensor which gives off an alert for employees to retrieve the collar and determine cause of death or if there was a malfunction. These collars will provide a lot of information on deer movement and survival, more data than any other black-tailed deer study has produced before. The data will provide insight into what kind of habitat deer prefer, if they move seasonally, etc. Department personnel have been trying to capture these deer using a number of different methods. One method shown below, involves sitting in a tree stand with a dart gun over a bait pile.

Donated apples and pears from the suppliers of Harry & David. It's gourmet bait.

Donated apples and pears from the suppliers of Harry & David. It’s gourmet bait.

The table is set with corn and freshly sliced apples
The table is set with corn and freshly sliced apples
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Old fashioned trail camera… Deer are coming to the bait!

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Setting up the tree stand

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Another view of the tree stand being placed over the bait pile.

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Treestand set up overlooking the bait pile

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Setting up trail camera to find out what and when are the deer coming.

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Successfully darted a forked horn black-tailed buck. Radio collared, ear tagged and some blood and tissue samples taken.

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Posted in 2013, Stuff I Get To Do | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas 2013

Posted by todblog on December 9, 2013

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Lums!

This is a video of Jessica singing “Angels’ Lullaby” at Wellspring Bible Fellowship’s Christmas Special- Hope is Born

Posted in 2013, Family, Stories | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jessy’s Christmas Tree Hunt

Posted by todblog on December 7, 2013

November 30, 2013

Each year we try to pass on the tradition of decorating a nice Christmas tree in our home. That tradition includes going up into the attic, dusting off the boxes of decorations, walking out with the boxes hunkered down and bumping your head on the roof trusses, and of course taking a day to head out in the woods to find a nice Christmas Tree. There are thousands of acres of trees in the Umpqua National Forest and I feel compelled to do my part in opening up the forest to get more sunlight on the ground (see Trading Elk for Turkeys) even if it means cutting a small Christmas Tree. Hey, I gotta do my part when I can and at $5 per tree permit that’s a great deal. Well, this year we ran into a time crunch and decided to find a tree close to home and visited Bailey’s Christmas Tree Farm just a few miles away. Mr. Bailey was his usual happy self as he greeted us and sent us out into his farm. It was gonna be a whopping $15 for any tree you wanted and you had to cut it yourself. This year it was going to be Jessy’s turn to cut the tree down using a bow saw. Being the newest bowhunter in our family I felt it rather appropriate. The trees were nicely sheared, very plump and smelled great. We saw other families coming and going to cut their own trees and I’m sure they were also trying to pass on Christmas traditions to the next generation as they hauled their prize tree back home to be decorated. I was happy to hear politically incorrect people talking about where on the farm they were finding good Christmas trees as opposed to calling them Holiday trees. Such boldness. They even went a step further and wished others a Merry Christmas. Now that’s a tradition worth perpetuating in my family.

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3ofus     Jesscuttinglow Jesscuttinglastcutsettinguplightson

Posted in 2013, Family | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Tickled Pink

Posted by todblog on December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Sunday marked the end of the Late Bow Deer Season in the Melrose Wildlife Management Unit where bowhunters could take a a buck or doe black-tailed deer. It was a long season that started in late August and stopped in October for rifle deer and elk season and then resumed in late November. That’s a good thing for Jessica, a young girl with a busy schedule that includes school, volleyball, hula, youth group, voice, and time to unwind with a good book and sleeping in late. Somewhere in-between all those things she found time to go out with her bow and look for a deer.

Choosing to hunt with a bow is a real challenge especially for a first-time hunter. The thrill is in the skill. Closing the distance on a very nervous animal that usually has all the advantages of detecting you first is just plain tough. Still, Jessy was up to the task and wanted to give it a try. That’s all I could ask for, get out there and find a deer to bring home.

It was fun teaching and seeing her learn about watching the wind, keeping noise down to a minimum, and anticipating how deer might react to our movements (still trying to learn that one). She quickly realized how much of a challenge it was going to be to take a deer with a bow at close range. I gave her lots of credit for putting out the effort when I know there were a lot of other things she could have been doing with her free time. It was neat to see how driven she was to get a deer on her own with a bow. I was tickled pink.

It turned out to be a season of lessons for both of us. I told her I learn something every time I go out in the field, I never stop learning. At her age I remember learning how to bowhunt goats in South Kona and how much I learned my first year bowhunting. It was a lot of fun and like her first hunt, I didn’t get to bring one home with me but, I vowed to keep trying.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your hunts and for being a great hunting partner Jessy. Keep up the great work!

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Jessy and Greg heading out for an afternoon deer hunt

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Great form and focus!

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Goofing around with the “Killer” face

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Deer in a hazelnut orchard taken through a binocular lens. They’re farther away from her than they look.

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A forked horn buck sneaking off in the fog

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This is my bow!

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Dad, put the camera away, we got deer to hunt!

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Savoring these moments with my little honey girl!

Posted in Stories | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »