Friday, April 26, 2013

When Beavers Attack

Several years ago, a friend and I were fishing at the extreme North end of Lake Conroe in a creek that feeds into the lake.  The lake was down several feet and a great deal of the structure along the bank that was normally underwater was exposed.  We paddled the tiny 3' x 10' jon boat past a particularly nasty looking snag which would have been ideal crappie habitat had it been submerged.  As we both commented on the fish holding capacity of the snag, IT happened.

Something exploded from this tangle and plunged into the water like an possessed depth charge, only to disappear into the dark, uninviting waters.  Alligator?  Hippo?  Leviathan?

Here were two yahoos in some secluded backwater in a tiny, marginally sea worthy boat with a large, unidentified creature lurking underneath us.... somewhere.  Was it going to swim away and hide?  Capsize the boat with the amount of water it displaced and then skeletonize our bodies?

We laughed a bit but it was nervous laughter.

After comparing notes on what we thought we saw, we realized that deep in the recesses of this snag lived the biggest beaver we had ever seen.  OK, this made sense.  Ha ha ha.  Beavers are harmless, right?  We fished on with only the occasional reference to Beaversaurus.

Perhaps we should have been more concerned since I had no idea beavers can be so darn dangerous!!!

American Hunter recently had an article about a man who was attacked by a beaver and DIED.  Not a cape buffalo, not a sow grizzly protecting her cubs, not a black or green mamba but a "beaver"... those goofy looking, 30lb rodents with the big teeth and flat tails.

The take-home from the article is:
According to the report, a still unidentified 60-year-old man from the country of Belarus was out with friends when someone spotted a nearby beaver. As he moved closer to the animal in an effort to have his photo taken alongside it, the beaver turned and latched itself onto his leg. The attack severed an artery, and the fisherman bled to death before his nearby friends could get him to medical attention.
Since I'm not aware of Belarusians having a genetic predisposition for large aquatic rodent attacks, I have to assume this individual was an idiot.  In fact, I think we might have a candidate for this year's Darwin Awards.

Just another sad example of folks not appreciating wild animals for what they are... wild.  Reminds me of the Buffalo attacks brought to light last summer.

As an aside, I request that my friends, after the nearly uncontrollable laughter dies down, to PLEASE provide me with prompt medical attention in the unlikely event I'm attacked by a beaver, nutria, muskrat or other wetlands varmint.  And IF it does happen and IF I actually expire as a result, PLEASE make up a cooler story about how I was saving orphans from a burning bus and was drug into the swamp by an 11' alligator or how I was attacked by a bear.  Anything but "he was killed by a beaver"...


A Man in the Woods

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blame Storming: A Decision Tool for our Media

It has been a crazy few weeks.

  • Nutjobs in Boston blowing people up and running from the law.  (Nothing says "my religion is better than your religion" like a nail bomb.)
  • Fertilizer plants in TX blowing up and destroying half a town.  
  • Idiot former Justice of the Peace murdering 3 people over stolen computer monitors.
All of these are unfortunate events.  Our collective prayers go out to the victims and their families. 

I shouldn't be but I have been a bit surprised at the differences in levels of coverage and styles of coverage and commentary from the "mainstream" media related to these situations.  In the continual effort to help, I threw together the following "decision tree" to help assign blame appropriately.


A Man in the Woods

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guard Rail Elk Battle

This is simply too cool not to share.

Note the size of the bull on the right and how they respond to the bugling of another bull off in the distance.


A Man in the Woods (and sometimes in the Mountains.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gun Violence Log: Day 9,307

Date:  4/3/13
Day:   9,307

Dear Diary,

Over the course of the past 2+ decades, the various firearms in my possession have not once taken it upon themselves to kill anyone.  In fact, they have not once "gone off" without me or another human pulling the trigger.

Are they defective?  Are these combinations of metal, wood and glass somehow different from the guns I keep hearing about?

Must check into this soon.

Good night.

A Man in the Woods