View Full Version : Critter Sanctuary

Art Eatman
December 26, 1999, 04:44 PM
I have a clock-feeder going year-round, right near the house. Keeps the quail and doves fat and sassy. "House rules" are that thou shalt not shoot no pets within, say, 100 yards or so of the feeder. Wellll, the quail, anyhow.

I also add a little scattering of grain in front of the porch, just to watch the little doofers wandering around. My "feral chickens".

But things are going from "sorta natural" to "plumb weird". It doesn't bother me for the racoons to come up in the middle of the night, fighting to get into the grain bucket for a freebie. Funny to watch, particularly one coon who's too big to get down in the bucket; he has to do a handstand. I tap on the window; he "struggles" himself out and then goes back in; I tap on the window...You get the picture. It's far better than primetime.

I've been somewhat puzzled by a couple of foxes who nibble corn from under the feeder, and then come onto my porch at night and deposit evidence that foxes don't digest corn...Is there some deep meaning I don't understand?

But when coyotes run around the joint at High Noon (yesterday), and the quail just step from the line of Don Coyote's charge and then walk toward him and call him names! Huh? He just wandered off, looking disgusted...

What brought all this on was a few minutes ago, I look out the window and see a fox sitting in the shade, on the porch, in front of my front door. Is this arrogance, or what?

DENNIS! You wuz gonna come out and do sumpn about this! Well? Huh, huh?

:), Art

Long Path
December 27, 1999, 03:06 AM
Foxes and coyotes disturbing your blue yardbirds, Art? I tend to think that makes 'em M-12 fodder...

Soon you'll have those Mexican eagles setting on your porch like parakeets, and the local "kitties" will curl up on your front door mat like a little tabby-- start leaving you javelina at your doorstep...


Wishin' I were back in Brewster Co., where the world is civilized--


Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


December 27, 1999, 01:28 PM
AWC sells very QUIET solutions to these and other problems.. but foxes on the porch sound cool.

On the other hand, maybe someone is trying to tell you something... ever tried your hand at ship building??

Is your middle name Noah??



Art Eatman
December 28, 1999, 11:16 AM
Dr. Rob, my house is some 200 feet above the Terlingua Creek floodplain. If ever I find out I should have bought flood insurance, I'll bet that Las Vegas, Dallas, Knoxville and Pittsburgh will become major seaports!

:), Art

December 28, 1999, 02:37 PM
Best watch it there, Art. Last year, an aquaintance of mine who's a geology professor at Sul Ross showed me a piece of meteorological equipment that had been torn up by a black bear down in Big Bend (Pine Canyon area). That's still a ways from you but I'd keep that .30-06 loaded and handy. Some other folks I've talked to are saying the bear are pushing further north every year.

Who knows? It might behoove me to carry my S&W 629 loaded with Randy Garrett's bear stompers on the Elephant Mountain dove hunt I keep promising myself (one of these years).

Long Path
December 28, 1999, 05:36 PM
Much as it would tickle me to death to hear that the black bear were getting so profligate down there that a man would run a decent chance of seeing one, I suspect the chances of undergoing a real live bear attack in Brewster County are pretty much on par with Art's need for a boat 80 cubits at the beam parked outside his front door. From what I hear from the rangers in the park (where people run the highest [by far] chance of encountering the bruins), the bears are pretty durn respectful of people; when folks arive, they git! You'd have a better chance of getting attacked by a mountain lion in that area (and boy, there's a few down there...), and that' awfully unlikely. I'll bet Art is familiar with every attack in the county in the last 20 years, and they don't amount to many.

Still and all, the opportunity to carry your 629 should not be passed on simply because you're not imminently under attack by bear-- in that country, sometimes yonder rock at 200 yards just begs to be taught a lesson. (Or at Art's, 495 yards...)


Regards to all,

December 28, 1999, 06:40 PM
I've heard stories of ranchers from So. Brewster and Presidio suspecting lion predation and know 2 people who said they've seen the big cats (yes, seen) in the Big Bend area.

Heard any bear stories, Art? Or better yet, seen any evidence where you are?

As for hitting a rock at 200 yards with the 629, I know the gun is capable of it. I'm still learning to stay on paper at 25 yards. Best distance shooting I've been able to do is put 4 out of 6 at 100 yards into a 1" steel plate about 30" across.

Art Eatman
December 29, 1999, 02:43 AM
Lions? We're bum-deep in lion-poop around here. wuz up north about three miles from my house with a buddy, meddlin' around; found tracks of five lions within a two-mile stretch. All fresh tracks. A young, grown male (scrape); momma and cub; and two young, grown lions.

Just before Thanksgiving, we found tracks back in the Lefthand Shutup of a momma and cub, plus a BIG male lion.

Then there's my scared-of-guns ex-Canadien who was upset over the elderly lion hanging around his house, laying up underneath his double-wide.

Tour-guided a lady biologist/river guide back in the Shutup country a year or so back. We found some 20+ pile of scat which she said were bear-poop. Believable; no wild persimmons nor buckeyes for some three miles, up and down the creek.

Quite a few bear in Big Bend State Park, now. Some have been moved in from "trouble spots". Saw fresh poop and tracks over west of Terlingua Ghost Town, during last year's deer season.

There was a bear wandering around the golf course, up in Alpine...They didn't say if he broke par...

:), Art

December 29, 1999, 01:22 PM
Sounds like that country is even wilder than when I left it. I haven't been to Solitario/Shutup area since it was "de-privatized" and turned into BBSP (late 80's-early 90's?). The missus and I get back out that way a couple of times a year but usually only as far as Alpine/Ft. Davis.

I'm gonna have to start subscribing to "The Avalanche" again, I didn't hear the bear/golf course story.

BTW, I didn't make to my buddy's Sierra Blanca place for mulie season this year; maybe Dec-00. Anybody want to start a thread on W. TX mule deer '99? Art, weren't you all hot and fixed up to go?

Art Eatman
December 29, 1999, 02:34 PM
ckurts: Yeah; Long Path made it out for a brief weekend. At least he got a first introduction to the country. Dadgum deer didn't cooperate. It didn't get cold enough to get them moving around very much. And I just didn't pick out good "walking-areas".

Most folks just can't get the time off to spend much time out in this country. All my old bunch of playmates finally had to go to work for a living, and others just got too danged old. I'm stuck in this betwixt and between stage, I guess.

I'm up for a bunch getting together. I'd join in on a whitetail lease in the Uvalde area, preferably north of Hwy 90, since it's not quite as flat...Maybe work some trading-out.

Keep in touch!