The Woods

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Locked Up

"This buck was found by Luke Laha, who is a wildlife management teacher in Kansas. The buck found was carrying around the head of one of it’s rival bucks. Apparently the two bucks had become entangled and the coyotes decided to make a meal out of the loser, leaving it’s head attached to the living buck’s rack. It took a while before Luke Laha and his class were finally able to trap the buck and free him of his “trophy”."

Powassan, Heartland And Bourbon Spread By Ticks

"Over the past 60 years, the number of new diseases cropping up per decade has almost quadrupled. The number of disease outbreaks each year has more than tripled since 1980."

"The U.S. is no exception."

"The country is a hot spot for tick-borne diseases. In the past 50 years, scientists have detected at least a dozen new diseases transmitted by ticks."

Muskrats are a Lenten delicacy for some in southeast Michigan

"While the Lenten season usually signals a break from guilty pleasures like red meat, social media or alcohol, some Downriver communities are counting their lucky stars that Muskrats don't fall on that list."

"Yes, Muskrats."

"In fact, Trinity Lutheran Church in Wyandotte still holds an annual Muskrat dinner to kick off the Lenten season. Don't worry, spaghetti is offered as an alternative. "

"The exemption for eating the semi-aquatic rodent falls under a Catholic notion dating back to the 1800s that since Muskrats live in the water, they should be viewed as fish. Hour Detroit Magazine reports the Archdiocese of Detroit said "there is a standing dispensation for Catholics Downriver" to the eat animal on Fridays, even though there is "no documentation."

Maple Syrup Taps, 1997-2012

This graph shows how many maple taps were driven in for each state. New York State and Vermont are the nation's biggest maple producers, but there are several other states that have smaller numbers of trees tapped. This is a consolidation of county level data, those counties with only one farm reporting maple production, were not included in the survey results, which depresses tap counts in states that are marginal maple producers.

Data Source: USDA Agriculture Census, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012. Maple Taps. Counts. https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/

Don’t Feed the Deer: How Corn Can Be a Killer

The old saw “killing them with kindness” was at play this week in the northeast. According to this press release issued by New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game, citizens in the town of South Hampton found six dead whitetails in a wooded, suburban lot on March 20. State biologists and a warden responded to the call and, after a brief search, discovered an additional half dozen dead deer. After examining the animals at a nearby veterinary lab, authorities confirmed that at least two of the whitetails were victims of enterotoxemia, a condition directly linked to feeding deer—primarily corn—in winter.