Happy Thanksgiving Everyone;
Thanksgiving seems like it’s the forgotten Holiday. Stores start selling Halloween stuff in August and then comes the Christmas season. Last year several stores opened for “pre” Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. Really? I respect those stores and companies that let their workers enjoy time with their families. Thanksgiving is a day that we need to stop and give thanks for the blessings that we have been given this past year. Friday, is another story. Let the Christmas music begin.
At the time I was writing the last blog, we were getting ready for two special deer hunts. I know many of our followers are not hunters and may disagree with the next two stories but we will have to agree to disagree.
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge manage two deer hunts on the Lost Mound Unit, formally called Savanna Army Depot. The main purposes for the hunts are to control the herd size and monitor Chronic Wasting Disease. (Thankfully, none of our samples have come back positive). Deer harvested through this program places venison on family tables.
Thirty-four hunters from four states participated in the Youth Deer Hunt that was held on October 7-8. One-third of these hunters were young ladies. Five hunters travelled from out of state: Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A total of 5 deer were harvested that included 3 bucks and 2 does. Four of the five deer were taken by the young ladies including 10 old Irelyn Chapman and 12 year old Jaycie Keith that harvested their first deer.
November 11-12 brought the season’s first snow fall which briefly blanketed the landscape as the peak of the deer rut welcomed hunters to the Lost Mound Unit. Quadriplegics, paraplegics, amputees, and other physically challenged hunters participated in this special deer hunt.
Sixty-eight hunters harvested 21 deer that included 15 bucks and 6 does. Wounded Warrior Michael Liscomb harvested his first deer ever that was the largest buck taken, a 5.5 year old 11 pointer with field dressed weight of 193 pounds. Two non-profit organizations, Midwest Experience and the Travis Mills Foundation, sponsored Michael’s trip from Maine.
Another distinguished participant was Charles Melton. He earned a silver medal in the 2016 summer Para-Olympics in Rio as a member of the American rugby team. Charles harvested an 8 point buck weighing 170 pounds field dressed.
Scott Hansen from Muskego WI harvested an 8 point buck weighing 187 pounds field dressed and expressed his appreciation “Thanks guys for doing this, you would not believe how much this hunt means to me. Being in a wheelchair it’s almost impossible to go out on the national forest and deer hunt. And all you guys make it possible for us to go out and maybe get a buck of a lifetime.”
The Refuge and Down Deer Recovery, a certified United Blood Trackers provider, entered into partnership this year to help hunters recover wounded deer. Co-owner Seth Nelson, and his bloodhound Colt, successfully tracked several wounded deer.
An intriguing part of the hunt is the personal stories of the hunters. Dave fell out of a tree stand while deer hunting and was paralyzed. Scott was a city worker that was pinned between a sewer cleaning truck and a car, requiring both legs be amputated. Ten disabled veterans participated.
Trio Bald Eagle Nest Update
All three have been seen working on the nest throughout the month. We had a visitor, a 3 ½ year old, for a couple of days that did a little house keeping. This isn’t an uncommon site this time of the year. However, as it gets closer to the nesting season the trio will be more protective of the nest.
We have had many folks wanting to know the name of the new female. The locals will have a chance to vote on the new name at the Clinton Bald Eagle Watch that will be held on January 6, 2018. So, what are the names that are being considered? In no particular order: Belle, Unity, Glory, Starr and Spirit. I will let you know the results next year.
The trio cam has been online since October 30, thanks to the work of JCWifi. The streaming software runs on Adobe Flash, which is the reason why some of you are having problems watching the cam. We are hoping to have this upgraded in the future but in the meantime we have to deal with the challenges.
Tips to viewing:
PC: Make sure your Adobe Flash is up to date and enabled. Many browsers are flash friendly and may not need to be enabled. Chrome is one that you need to enable each time it updates. The browsers that we have found to work pretty well, without many issues are: Internet Explorer, Mozilla (Firefox) and Vivaldi. Chrome is a pain, and I will not use to watch the cam.
Mac: I’m not a mac user but I have been told that Firefox, Chrome (flash enabled) and Safari is working pretty well.
Mobile Device: We are encouraging folks to use Puffin. It is super-fast and saves data usage. Dolphin works well also.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us on how to get linked. We are not IT specialist but will do our best in getting you connected. In order to answer your question, please provide us with the following information: What browser are you using, PC or Mac, and what operating system (Windows 7,8,10, XP etc). Here is a helpful link for those that are having issues with Flash. Flash Player Help
Fall is quickly turning into winter with temperatures plummeting into the 20’s in the evening, creating a sheet of ice in backwaters. Waterfowl migration has been pretty steady throughout the month. Many of the dabblers are moving on to less stiff waters while the divers are making their way through the area. Hundreds of Tundra Swans have arrived a couple of weeks ago and can be seen feeding on waste grain in neighboring fields and flying back to the river in the evenings.
From the family of the “Stewards” to yours have a Happy Thanksgiving!