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    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2010 edited
     

    I'm going to be analyzing December's data during the next few days. Without even looking at it I can tell you that deer sightings are way down from October and November. Because there is year round food on the preserve, and no hunting pressure, you might expect the deer would not leave the area, but it appears they do. One reason why is probably the weather. The deer may be migrating to areas where there is mor protection from cold winds. Or, they may have moved to areas where there are abundant "preferred" winter food sources.  

    Although the state wildlife department suggests that bears do not den up until February, and that between the pre-denning / feeding phase and actual denning, the bears go through a lazy or sleepy stage, where they do not move much, and often stay near water, I think that , due to the lack of sightings as early as October, the bears den up earlier than the experts believe. I'm not sure when the last bear was seen, but I'll go through the comments and find out. I'm also going to contact the state bear biologist and ask what they think of our data,  and my conclusions.   

    It looks like our Mute Swan either returned to its former haunts (probably up north) or it may have kept going south, but they generally stay in their summer areas year round. It would be interesting to radio collar, or at least neck-band our bird, to see where it goes in the winter, or where it ends up in the spring and sumner. I'll see if we can't find a wildlife agency that might want to take on such  a project. Lets' keep track of how many  trumpter swans over-winter here over the next few years. I suspect numbers will grow as more pairs raise more young, and bring their young with them on their winter nigration. 

    We can all see that the numbers of eagles greatly increase in the winter, due to waters being frozen where the birds spend the summer. And it is interesting to see the nmber of younger birds  compared to older birds we are seeing. It suggests the the northern populations are doing very well. We need to  see if we can get a total for last years numbers, or at least keep yearly winter totals  from now on.

    NOW - As you can see, I could use some help on all of this. If someone wants to take on the Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan or Bald or Golden Eagle project, or just help out, basically to contact state agencies to see if they would consider tracking our birds by some means, or to help keep track of the #'s of birds seen each winter, it would be a great help.

    If someone wants to get involved in the deer, bear or turkey study - let me know.

    God bless,

    T.R.  

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2010
     

    I just found this bit of information, on an Arkansas Fish & Game site, which contradicts what is said on another of their sites.

    "Arkansas bears start searching for dens in early October, and most have denned by late December."

    That explains whey we have seen such low numbers of bears in November and December - the other site says they do not "begin" to den until January ... (wrong)  

    • CommentAuthorMobley
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2010
     

    Looking forward to seeing the data you have piled together.  I have already leaned so much.  I truly appreciate all of the time you put into your studies.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     

    Why white without pink skin or eyes (leucistic), albino, black (melanistic) and golden (xanthistic) deer generally are so rare in wild populations.

     

    There is a good article on Wikipedia on genes and skin color, but it may not be by professionals - so be skeptical, unless I wrote it. LOL. I did a lot of breeding of tropical fish when I was in the pet trade, specifically guppies, in which we find that many body colorations and patterns, not normally found in nature, are recessive, shown to be recessive by genealogical records and breedin grecords. The simple fact that there are so few deer in the wild strongly suggests that white and skewbald colors/patterns, which can be (and often are) two different genetic traits, are recessive - otherwise there would be a lot more white deer in the wild. The reason why it is so prevalent in captiviity, is that white deer do not succumb to predation like they do in the wild (another reason for the white gene to BE recessive). I think the elk breeders have definitevly shown that white is recessive in elk, due to the fact that geneaological records show that generally speaking, white F1 offspring are the result of a mating between two elk with known white genes in their geneaology.

    I suspect the same holds true for white-tails, but I cannot support that belief with a scientific citing. White is recessive in horses, and if we look at many wild animals, such as tigers, lions, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese, bears, elephants and numerous other species, we will see that white specimens are extremely rare, suggesting that white is recessive.

    Where we see white animals is primaily among the domesticated species, in which they have been purposely bred to be white or skewbald. Skewbald (white and any other color spotted) has been shown to be separate recessive gene in horses, so I suspect skewbald has nothing to do with a breeding of, and resultant mixture of colors, of two different dominant skin color genes. There is no evidence to support such a belief.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     

    Differences in Monthly Deer Sightings

    Monthly deer sightings were 176 deer.

    October monthly deer sightings were 285.

    November monthly deer sightings were 1498. I suspect that part of this increase in deer sightings was simply the fact that the rut was on. But, even though several bucks seen in August and September were not seen from October through December, I suspect part of the increase in monthly deer sightings was due to an increase in the number of deer using the preserve during the breeding season, because of the abundant natural forage, and the feeders.

    It might also hve been because we had more people watching, and spending more hours watching. A comparison with December sighitngs will be interesting.

     

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     

    More evidence on white deer.

    The orivinal web site. http://whitetail.realtree.com/whitetailology/whitetail-insider/deer-different-color/

    e0mil teh biologists at whitetail@realtree.com

    More information:

    http://atlasobscura.com/places/seneca-white-deer

    "For years, rumors have circulated about the strange herd of white deer living in the former Seneca Army Depot in Seneca County, New York. Many people have speculated that the "albino" breed of deer were freak-accidents in an army experiment gone wrong. Others have attributed the animals' appearance to an underground supply of radioactive military weapons. Neither of these rumors, however, are true.

    The white deer were first spotted around 1941, when the U.S. Army fenced off 24 square miles of land for the Seneca Army Depot, a munitions storage site. Under the protection of the security fencing, the deer population thrived -- and, along with it, a recessive-gene for white coloration. Though the animals appeared to be albino, they were in fact White-tailed deer who carried the recessive-gene for an all-white coat."

    And this from http://www.senecawhitedeer.org/history/whitedeer.php

    "It appears one or more of the brown whitetails originally confined with the CA, carried the recessive gene for white coloration. Over time and with protection from the military, this normally recessive gene continued to manifest itself."

     

     

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2010
     

    I saw a picture of those deer last year posted in the Hancock forum & just had to research them

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2010 edited
     

    This is info for you Bald Eagl lovers (who isn't?). It is copied off the Natural History Magazine on my website at www.TRMIchels.com/TMOAdventuresMagazine.htm.  There are a lot more interseting facts, on a wide variety of species and subjects, over there, but be sure to come back here to learn and take part in the research project here on USeeWildlife.com.

    There are approximately 1,312 bald eagle nests in Minnesota. Eagles may begin courtship flights in January, nest building or repairing in February, mating in March, and since eggs hatch in about 35 days the young hatch in mid-April. The young may be seen in the nest by May, and may be seen sitting on the edge of the nest by June. They may fledge (fly) by the end of July, and may be fed by their parents into October. Although they generally nest in trees, with nests reaching 10 feet across and weighing a half ton, they will nest on cliffs, with grass surrounding the nest.

    Along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers in the Twin Cities Metro area, they usually begin arriving from the north by October (dependent on frozen water up north) and they often stay through March (dependent on open water up north).

    One of the largest wintering populations of these birds can be found along the Mississippi River from southern Minnesota to northern Iowa. In some years hundreds of these great birds can be seen along the river, but numbers depend a lot on the weather. There were 697 bald eagles seen along a 15-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, between Lake City and Wabasha, MN, on a single day in 2000.

    Because fish are one of the major food sources of bald eagles, they need open water where they can catch fish. When lakes, rivers and streams freeze up in many areas, hundreds of eagles may be seen on the upper Mississippi from December through February.

    In the US, only Alaska has more Bald Eagles than Minnesota.

    God bless,

    T.R.  

     Here is an adult feeding a fully fledged 7 month old bird.

      BaldEagleFeeding1416.jpg
    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2010
     

    From the book, Handbook of Waterfowl Behavior, by Dr. Paul Johnsgard.

    Typical Dabbling Ducks

    Subfamily Anatinae

    "Females of most and probably all species have Decrescendo Calls (Lorenz, 195 1-1953), ranging in the number of syllables from one to twenty or more. Females of all species studied have similar Inciting displays. Males of all or nearly all species have several displays in common (Burping, Introductory Shake, and Turning-the-back-ofthe-head). Precopulatory behavior in all the species studied to date consists of mutual vertical Head-pumping. Postcopulatory displays vary somewhat, but the male always calls at least once (Burping or Bridling), then turns toward the female "or swims away from her (Nod-swimming in the mallardlike ducks.) Females of all species simply bathe after copulation. "

     

    The Decrescendo call is a series of quacks, commonly refered to as a "high ball" by duck callers. As the name suggests it starts out on a high note, and descends  in pitch. It also starts out fairly loud and gets softer, as the ducks runs out of breath.

    Burping is often a loud burp, or in the case of mallards, it is a short whistle; peep. Bridling is when the duck tucks its bill in close to its chest, as if someone was pulling on the reins of a bridle.

     

    If you have questions - fire away.

     

    God bless, T.R.

     

     

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2010
     

    I've been a bit remiss, pertaining to our bears. Of the 18 subspecies of Black Bear, the bears in Arkansas are/were classified as Louisiana Black Bears (U. a. luteolus). But, you will find very little information about them, because in the mid 1900's their population may have been as low as 25 in number. However, with the introduction of bears from Minnesota (U. a. americanus) it remaines to be seen whether further genetic testing will show that the luteolus designation will hold up up, because as many as 200 americanus bears were introduced to Arkansas. It is probable that these bears will eventually be designated as U. a. americanus due to several generations of bears breeding with americanus genes. 

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     

    According to Myron Means, the AR state Bear Coordinator, the bears we are seeing are not Louisiana Black Bears, but bears with Minnesota DNA (Ursus. americanus americanus). How fitting that I am the one studying them.

    I'm hoping to get a little insite, and input, from Myron on our study. It is always nice to work with local researchers.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2010
     

    This is from Myron Means:

     Typically in Arkansas, bears will begin to exhibit denning behavior by early November.  Generally, by mid-November most female bears will be in their dens or have very limited daily ranging that will most likely be limited to their denning area.  Males bears can and often do stay out a little longer and will have tendencies to "roam around" on warm days for the next 2-3 months. 

    The onset of bears entering the den can be slightly shifted earlier or later from year to year depending on food availability (i.e. hard mast production) for that fall.  Pregnant sows will typically be the first bears to enter the den and the last to leave the den for obvious reasons (den cycle mid-Nov thru early April).  Sows with yearlings will typically emerge from their dens earlier in the spring (mid-Nov thru early March).  Males denning cycles are usually more similar to females with yearlings. 

    Sows in Arkansas will usually have their cubs in January. 

    So, it looks like we can expect to see sow bears with yearlings, and boars, possibly in early March.  We'll have to wait and see.God bless,

    God bless,

    T.R.  

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2010
     

    Think we'll recognize the bears from last season

    • CommentAuthorBEVERLY
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2010
     
    I recieved this note from TR's wife.  I told her I would post here so his friends could know what is going on.  Please keep our friend in your prayers and thoughts.  Beverly
    He had an epidural steroid shot for his hack and arm pain. We wont' know if it works for about a week. He sees a doctor on Thursday about artificial disc replacement so he does not have neck and arm pain. He also need sot get an epidural shot for his lower back, and talk to the doctor about ways to either cutoff the nerve in his face, or have and experimental electric stimulator implanted in his back and face to alleviate he pain in his face. 

    It is going to be a rough couple of months for him - I know that the pain and the prospect of numerous experimental surgeries weigh heavily on him. It has been about 25 years since he last had surgery. He has some very hard decisions to make, and a long road to  recovery if he decides to he surgery. 

    Thank you very much for your concern - you can share this with the others if you want. 

    Diane 
    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2010
     

    Please his wife Diane for leting us know. We'll all keep him in our thoughts & wish him well

    • CommentAuthorMobley
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2010
     
    Thanks Beverly for keeping us updated. I sure do miss him being on here and another site he told me to join. He and his family will continue to be in my prayers as he has been.
  1.  

    Thank You for letting us know about TR. He will continue to be in our prayers. and his wife also.

    • CommentAuthorBEVERLY
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2010
     

    I went ahead and put the next note on the DR site because we need people to see it and post for him.  We also need to post details of what we see for our other member who is blind.  This website sure does help alot of people.  It is not just watching the wonderful wildlife on here but it gives so many peace.  Thank you owner and staff!  We all do appreciate it.

    • CommentAuthorMirage
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
     

    I just read this post, and want to say that TR is in my prayers as well.  I really hope there's some way to alleviate the pain he's in, and that goes for the others on this site who have chronic pain.  All are in my prayers.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2010
     

    TR asked me to tell you that he hopes you continue posting everything you see, especially with the deer, bears, turkey, swans and eagles. I wil copy every post and put it on his computer, so he can continue his research when he feels bettter. 

    When we saw the doctor on Thursday, he said TR's neck is so bad that he cannot have surgery, it would only make things worse. He suggested either a morphine pump injection to the spine, or an electric nerve stimulator to the spine. Both of these would have to be implanted under the skin.  

    So, he has a few decisions to make, because there can be serious complications with both procedures. And he  still has to decide what he wants to do about the pain in his face.

    Thank you for your prayers, I know he appreciates them.

    Diane

    • CommentAuthorBEVERLY
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2010
     

    TR and Diane, you are both in my thoughts and prayers.  I know you have some hard days ahead.  Your decisions are not going to be easy ones but at least you have some choices.  Our doctors have come such a long way in our treatments that I feel they can find something to give you relief.  I pray that God will lead you to chose the correct one.  And that will be the best one for you.  Know that you are missed and your friends here care about you and your loved ones.  It is not easy for our loved ones to see us in pain so I have Diane and your family in my prayers also.  I hope Diane will keep us up to date on how you are doing and when you can, please post!  But in the meantime I am trying to put in what I am seeing for you. 

    Beverly

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010
     

    Diane, I hope TR is doing all right. Thoughts are with your family

    • CommentAuthorBEVERLY
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2010
     
    I just got this note from TR's wife.  I thought I would post it here for his friends to know how he is doing.  Please keep on sending up those prayers for our friend. 
    Due to extreme pain in his neck, shoulder, back and face, a severe skin infection ob his bskc an right arm, and edema of his feet, T.R has to lie flat most or the day and all night, he is in a lot of pain and canmot use his computer becaue he has to lie down, with his feet elevated.
     
    We are hoping the Doctors can find some cures for his ailments, but he is basically ok otherwise. 
     
    Thanks your for your concern.   
     
    Diane 
    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2010
     

    My aches & Pains are nothing compared to what that poor man has to live with. I hope somewhere there is someone who can help TR. Will keep you in my thoughts.

    • CommentAuthorMobley
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2010
     

    I am so relieved that we received an update from Diane. I so wish the Lord would hear TR. I agree eiguoc, I am having severe pain in my hip and back, but I have said it before, I would rather everyone pray for TR than for me. I sure do miss his wisdom and making me laugh sometimes with his posts. I will continue praying for him.

    • CommentAuthordorcon61
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010
     

    Bev, thanks so much for  posting about TR's condition.  It seems empty here without him.  My prayers will continue toward his recovery.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2010
     

    Okay, I'm back for a few minutes. Will  someone see if Malvin has the records from March 19 (which was my birthday) to now, because many of them are not on the site - and I need them. If he or anyone has them, please e-mail them to me at TRMichels@yahoo.com. ---- Do not expect answers from me - I'm not up to it yet.  ----------------

    Thanks for keeping good records for me - I really appreciate it, and it is what will help get me back on my feet. It seems my kidneys shut down - due to all of the pain meds I was on - and I may have had a heart attack ... I was very close to dying. -----------

    I'm still really weak. I also have gone deaf in my left ear, I have tinitis (ringing) and vertigo (dizziness), and cannot stay up very long. So, please keep up the excellent commentary on sightings , gobbling etc. and we will try to get it all copied - so that when I feel better I can compile and analyze it all. It is what will make me feel useful until I get back to somewhat of my old self.
    ---------------
     I miss you guys, and thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

    I'll be back as soon as I am able.

    God bless all of you,


    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2010 edited
     

    Checking my e-mail from Bev, the first bear appeared on March 23, 2010. That is not much of a rest when you consider the bears (at least the boars) probably did not den up until November or December in AR. 

    Our bears here in MN usually den by November, and usually do not come out until about now (mid  April to mid May). 

    Hibernation is mainly way to stay alive when it is either too cold or there is not enough forage available for the bears to eat to kep them alive - which means in warmer climes, they do not have to hibernate as long as they do up north.

    This has been a warm and early spring, which accounts for some of the early bear sightings in AR.  

    IIt will be fun to chronicle some of the bear activity this pring and summer.

     

    Turkey Behavior

    I suspect the turkeys down ther are just coming out of the second gobbling period, which means  there  should be some breeding going on again. Toms gobble less when breeding occurs, because they are busy breeding. And they gobble more when there therr are few hens about, because they are trying to attract any willing hens. Check the Peak Gobbling Dates Chart on my website, it will explain a lot more.

    Once thei second breeding phase winds down, I suspect gobbling by older toms may decrease, while gobbling by younger toms and jakes may incrase, as the testosterone levels of the yonger males begins to rise. In many ares this means there may be a third (and possuibly even a fourth) gobbling peak.

    If it was a cold or wet spring, and there was poor hatching success, or poults died due to hypthermia or lack of forage (mainly insects), hens will re-nest at least 2-3 times. So we may end up with poult of several different sizes during the summer.

    Any questions - fire away. I' baaack.

    God bless,

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010
     

    WELCOME BACK TR>

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010
     

     How likely is it that a bear could get rabies if so, how often can something like that happen?

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2010
     

    I've also been putting the pics of bears into the Wildlife study section so that they are all together. Makes it easier to see them all

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010
     

    Any animal can get rabies, provided there is another animal in the area, that bites the next animal, or possibly leaves saliva on food eaten by another animal. But, it is not that common,

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
     

    One of the things to figure out is - is a bear full (of corn) when it leaves a feeder (after 1 hour or more), or does it leave because it is not full, and wants a different type of food?

    Inquiring minds want to know ...

    What do you think??? Look it yup on the internet ...

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2010
     

    If any of you newcomers are wondering what the Wildlife Study is all about, I'm looking at a number of different things, many of which I have studied before, but need supporting data for; 1. The time of day the animals are most activer during different months. 2. The number of animals seen during different months. 1. The meteorological conditions durng which the animals are most active - including temperature. windspeed, light factors, precipitation, Barometric Pressure 4. The Lunar Conditions (Moon Phase and Perige/Spogee Cycle) the animl;s are most active during. 5. The months when animals breed and give birth/lay egges/hatch. 6. The monthst when antlers begin to grow, velvet is shed and antlers fall off. 7. When bears come out of hybernatiaon and go hibernation. 8. When some species migrate. ...

     

    So, you can see why every bit of information you provide me with, is important, and being precise makes a difference - because, eventualy I will present research papers to other researchers, and write articles - which will be published in the 50+ magazines, newpapers and websites I write for - and hopefully the information gained here, will help other people understand the animals better. ---

     

    What you profide me with is very important,

     

    Thankyou.

     

     T.R.  

    • CommentAuthoreiguoc
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2010 edited
     

    TR, would a bear that was young last year visit the same feeder this year or would he venture out to a different feeder? would even the older bears come to the same feeder as last year. I've grouped all the bears I've saved from last year by cam

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
     

    The latest Bear Activity Graph for our study is up. Go to www.TRMichels.com, go to the bottom of the page, and click through to Page 3 of the WARP study.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
     

    Older bears may use the smae feeders they did last year. Yearlings, because they have not set up home ranges yet, maybe not.

    God bless,

     

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010
     

    Here is the Gray Fox I saw at about 3:15 last night.

      GrayFox060.jpg
    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010
     

    We had our first live-viewed bear breding of 2010 today, when "half -stripe" the boar and "dark-face" the sow showed utp at Dogwood Mountain, for two encounters of the closest kind. Both were begun and over in the blink of an eye. 

     

    If and when the sow becomes pregnant, the fetus will experience "delayed implantation" in which it becomes a minute ball called a "blastocyst", which will  not implant in the uterus wall until the sow goes into "torpor" this fall. The fetus generally implants in the uterine wall in December, and the sow will hibernate until spring.   

     

    Black bears do not "hibernate" in the true scientific sense of the word, they go through "torpor". Google Hibernation, and Torpor.  

     

    God bless,

     

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010
     

    You know, I see my wife completely left out the fact that I went into the hospital about March 20, 2010, because my kidneys shut down and I may have had a heart attack. They tell me I almost died. It was a rough couple of weeks, much of which I do not remember.

     

    Thanks for all your prayers, even if they were not for kidney failure and a heart attack. God knows what is needed.   

     

    May God bless you and yours,

     

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010 edited
     

    Photos of pied White-tailed Deer doe taken 2010-05-30 18:00:37 at Hidden Pond.

     

     

      PiedDoe062.jpg
      PiedDoe066.jpg
    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010
     

    UPDATES:.

    Bears typically den up in Arkansas in early October, with most bears denned up by late November, the same as they do in Minnesota. For some bears this may be because they were transplanted from Minnesota.

    By the 1930s, less than 50 black bears were thought to remain in the state, with most residing in what is now the White River National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission successfully reintroduced 254 black bears from Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada, into the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and 161 animals released in northeast Louisiana and the Atchafalaya Basin–inland Louisiana. Some of these bears carried the gene for brown coloration, therefore brown colored black bears do occur in Arkansas. Colors other than black typically do not occur east and south of Minnesota. Most Bears in Arkansas are the upper midwest subspecies (Ursus americanus americanus).

    We saw our first spring bear on March 23, abaout 5 months after normal den up time. Cubs are typically born in February, in the den.

    On May 30, 2010 we watched as a large boar and a smaller sow bred twice, live on camera. Mating typically occurs from mid-May until mid July.

    Resources:

    Encountering Black Bears In Arkansas

    http://www.agfc.com/pdfs/nuisance/nuisance_bears.pdf 

    The Black Bears Fur

    http://www.americanbear.org/FUR.htm

     

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2010 edited
     

    Get your Lily & Hope updates http://www.bear.org/website/ click on "Lily & Hope" - and then "upatdes".

     

     

    That is me wearing my own "Total Camouflage" on top, and "Konifer Camouflage" (formerely in Cabelas catalog for 5 years) middle; and my own "Field Stalker Camouflage" (formerly in Herter's catalog  for 5 years) bottom.

    Far as I know, I'm the only person besides Toxey Haas (Mossy Oak) and Bill Jordan (Real Tree) to have more than 2 camouflages on the market. And I'm just a little guy ...

      TR PR Photo.jpg
      TRAspenRub.JPG
      TR2GooseField.JPG
    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2010
     

    Here it is - early June, and the middle of the bear breeding season.  When I think about it, we may be seeing very few large boars at the feeders, because it is the mating season, and they have large territories to roam, where they may find neighboring females. And if those females do not frequent our feeders, we will not see them, or the boars, for a few weeks.

    It is a thought anyhow, we'll see if more boars show up in a few weeks.

    This is what research is all about, lots of field work, data, findings, supposition, hypothesis, and eventually, theories.

     

    God bless,

     

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2010
     

    Black bears generally stay with their mothers until they are 2, so, generally speaking , when we see medium size bears by themselves, we can assume they are at least 2 years of age. Black bears are capable of breeding at age 2.5, we have to assume that some of these medium sized bears are males, unless we see them with a boar, and can then identify the female for later ID. Not seeing a 2.5 year old bear with a boar is not a sign that it is a male, because after a sow is bred, it then becomes fairly solitary - like males of the same age.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2010 edited
     

     First bear is the sow we saw with the boar at DM, that had a nose stripe that was wider nea the nose. I call her "wide nose". 

    Second bear is the boar at DM, withe nose strips that only went half way down his nose. I call him 'half-stripe".

    Third bear is the medium bear I see at LF, that eats and runs, eats and runs, I call him "'nervous". --- I am not sure if this is the bear with the really dark nose and sides of the nose, white lips - or not.

     

     

     

      DarkNoseDMSow059.jpg
      Half-stripeDMBoar.jpg
      yearlingLostField057.jpg
    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2010 edited
     

    In 1988 there were 175 pairs of Canada Gese in AR - that is about the population in southern Minneapolis. In 1990 there were over 250,000 Giant Canda Geese in the state. Authorities in Rochester try to keep the resident poulation at under 200 pairs, but there are 35,000-40,000 there during fall migration.

    From AR fish & Game:

    "Description and Distribution Arkansas has three kinds of Canada geese. All three are the same species (Branta canadensis) but each is a different subspecies. The giant Canada goose (subspecies maxima) and the interior Canada goose (subspecies interior) are large water birds, measuring 35 to 43 inches in length. Giant Canada geese may have wingspans exceeding 4 feet, while the Branta canadensis interior subspecies usually has a wingspan of about 3-1/2 feet. The giant variety can weigh more than 15 pounds, while the interior Canada goose seldom weighs more than 11 pounds. A third subspecies, Branta canadensis parvipes, is even smaller than the interior Canada goose, and makes up a very small portion of Arkansas?s total Canada goose population.

    Giant Canada geese live in Arkansas all year and are found almost entirely in the western half of the state. This type of Canada goose was once thought to be extinct, but the discovery of a small population in Minnesota in 1962 led to reintroduction of the subspecies in Arkansas and other states. The giant Canada has been re-established throughout its original range and now thrives even in some areas of the southeastern U.S. where it wasn't originally found."

    There are currently over 1 million Giant Canada Geese in NA.

    This suggests that the Canada Geese in NE Arkansas are B. C. interior (Todd's Canada Goose).

    While I'm thinking about waterfowl, the Trumpeter Swans we have seen here the last few years, are probably wayfarers from the Heber Springs/Lake Mangeness area, where several swans have been wintering in recent years. The male Mute Swan may be a wandering bird fron the Michigan State area. Look for those birds this fall.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2010 edited
     

    Here are some interesting small animal facts from AR:

    During the 2000-2001 fur-taking season, 29,044 pelts valued at $245,582.26 were reported sold in Arkansas. Compared to the 1999-00 season, while the total number of pelts harvested increased only 3%, the total value of the harvest increased 53%.

    Harvests for the 2000-2001 season and percent change from 1999-00 season were: raccoon 12,592 (-7%); opossum 530 (+111%); muskrat 714 (-20%); mink 665 (-63%); beaver 11,144 (+33%); gray fox 330 (-11%); bobcat 503 (-6%); coyote 66 (-38%); nutria 488 (-31%); eastern spotted skunk 1 (0%); river otter 1,956 (+21%); striped skunk 8 (+167%); red fox 47 (+176%); badger 0 (0%); and long-tailed weasel 0 (0%).

    Note frm T.R.: For some reason, we are disproportionately seeing more coyotes than gray fox. I suspect it is because gray fox are primarily night time hunters.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2010 edited
     

    Black bear cubs are usually born in January, and typically emerge in late March or April. Cubs normally remain with their mothers for 17 months and are commonly self-sufficient at 5 months of age (by July), and instinctively construct their own dens in the fall. Cubs raised in captivity and released at 5 months to 6 years of age have reportedly shown good survival with few instances of nuisance problems. By the second July following their birth many cubs are on their own.

    So - most small bears, that are alone, are about 2 years old. Small bears with a large boar can be assumed to be females tht ar ner to or in estrus. Once they are out of estrus they will mormaly become solitary. By three years of age many of the artificially fed females here (in AR) have bred and they will be with cubs.

    However, research shows that sows that do not hve access to artificial food sources, typically have cubs when they are 4 years old, while 3-year-old sows give birth when they have access to human-supplied food. While well-fed young sows might be reproductively ready to have cubs, they are inattentive mothers and may lose their cubs or simply walk away from them.

     

    I'm going to have to put all of these Bear Facts together.

     

    God bless,

     

    T.R.

    • CommentAuthorTRMichels
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2010
     

    Since bears have established territories, we can expect to see the same bears at the same feeders on a semi-regular basis. A to how long between sighitngs will depend on how large the bear's territory is, how long it takes to cover that territory, and how close the bear is to the feeder that day. It will also depend on the availability of preferred food sources and the "phase" the bear is in.