Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors
Aug. 5, 2015
An Idaho woman in her 70s says she experienced the fright of her life during an after-dark ordeal last week when a raccoon entered her home without her knowledge and proceeded to tangle with her two small companion dogs. You’ll also read our latest report on the wandering Hoosier black bear, and much more.
Raccoon Ruckus Rattles Retiree
When the ruckus began around 10 p.m. last Monday, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, resident Penny Inglis said thought her English bulldog, Gus, had cornered a stray cat in her dining room.
It didn’t take long for her to realize that it wasn’t a wayward neighborhood feline, but a full-grown, and very wild raccoon. And it was not happy!
“I could not believe what I was seeing,” Inglis, 71, told the Coeur d’Alene Press newspaper. “He had green eyes and his mouth was wide open. And he was standing up on his hind legs. It was like a nightmare.”
The commotion began when Inglis’ Yorkie-corgi mix, Hazel, was in the back bedroom barking at what Inglis assumed to be the feral cats.
“You know how little dogs bark,” she said.
Inglis said she believes the raccoon slipped a paw under a metal piece on the sliding screen door and let itself in. Hazel tangled with the raccoon for a short time before Gus charged into the bedroom, chasing it into the hallway where Inglis, who is disabled, was seated in a recliner.
“As I got up, here comes a raccoon and Gus down the hall,” she said. “They about knocked me down. All I saw was a gray streak and Gus going after him.”
Bullish Gus took a few hits to the nose, but he eventually chased the intruder out the way it entered.
Inglis subsequently contacted local authorities, who arrived and checked her home completely and secured the area to ensure the raccoon was no longer in the house.
“Of course, I’m screaming bloody murder, I’m frantic,” Inglis said in the aftermath. “The neighbors heard me. I was hysterical.”
Wandering Black Bear Likes Being a Hoosier
A wild black bear we told Guide Outdoors’ readers about in June that’s been roaming far northern Indiana for nearly two months has returned to the state after a short jaunt back home to Michigan, and Hoosier wildlife officials are prepared with live traps baited with bear goodies.
The bruin, identified as a young male, first entered Indiana in St. Joseph County in early June after Michigan DNR officials tracked it from near Muskegon. A scat pile it left in a driveway north of South Bend was the evidence DNR needed to confirm the presence of a wild bear in Indiana for the first time in 144 years.
Last week, the bear re-entered a wooded area near Michigan City, Ind., after spending time in adjacent Michigan, said IDNR’s Budd Veverka. Since its return, there haven’t been any additional reports about its possible whereabouts, but Indiana DNR Fish and Wildlife staff is keeping watch for the meandering bear.
Wildlife officials launched an effort to capture it mid-July after it began making forays onto residential property near Michigan City, about 60 miles east of Chicago. The bear overturned trashcans and bird feeders while searching for food, climbed onto patios and porches, and even pounded on the doors of several homes.
Veverka told the Associated Press the trapping efforts are continuing in wooded areas near Michigan City where DNR staff have set up two barrel traps with doors that close when the bait inside is touched by animals. Those traps, as well as a separate bait station, are all baited with the bear delicacies of sardines, bacon, liquid smoke, honey, and marshmallows.
Father And Son Sentenced For Illegal Deer Trafficking
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that Donald W. Wainwright, Sr., 49, of Live Oak, Fla., was sentenced August 3 in U.S. District Court to 21 months in prison and a $125,000 fine for 12 charges related to violating the Lacey Act, one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. His son, Donald W. Wainwright, Jr., 29, of Live Oak, Fla., was sentenced to four months of house arrest and three years of probation for eight charges related to violating the Lacey Act.
According to court documents, the co-conspirators trafficked in live whitetail deer. Wainwright, Sr. owned hunting preserves in Logan County, Ohio, and Live Oak, Florida; both preserves were named Valley View Whitetails.
The deer herds involved with the illegal shipments were not certified to be free from chronic wasting disease (CWD), tuberculosis and brucellosis. Federal Law requires interstate shipment of deer to be certified to be disease free. An attempted shipment to Georgia was intercepted on I-71 South, about 50 miles from the Ohio River, when Ohio wildlife officers noticed deer noses and antlers inside a cargo trailer and pulled over a truck driven by Wainwright, Sr.’s employees.
It was revealed during court testimony that Wainwright, Sr., placed federal identification tags from a certified deer that had previously died into the ear of uncertified deer they were selling. He then sold breeding services and semen from the deer to breeders around the U.S.
“Trophy-sized white-tailed deer can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece if the animals come from herds that have been certified by government agricultural officials to be free from disease,” U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said. “Farmers are intensely interested in the disease status of white-tailed deer herds because their diseases can be transmitted to cattle and humans with potentially fatal results.”
AG Inquiries Lead to Lifting of Firearms Restrictions in Alabama
An Alabama city, state agency and a county sheriff have reversed restrictions imposed on firearms following inquiries conducted by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
Strange said complaints he received and a subsequent inquiry from his office prompted the Department of Transportation to announce last week it’s reversing its prohibition of firearms at public highway rest areas in violation of state law. In addition, the city of Moulton removed signs prohibiting firearms at Moulton Recreation Center and at H.A. Alexander Park after being advised by the attorney general that the prohibition violated state law, Strange said.
Further, the AG’s office reviewed a complaint that the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office’s pistol permits included conditions that violated state law, allowing concealed carry except in a courthouse or criminal justice center, a place that serves alcohol, or when the carrier is drinking or using illegal drugs. As a result of the investigation, the Sheriff agreed to omit the conditions and include only this language on permits: “License to carry a Revolver or a Pistol Concealed on the person or in a vehicle is hereby granted, except where State law prohibits.”
Quote of the Week
“Establishing oneself in a dog’s confidence is the foundation of training.”
– Archibald Rutledge,
Hunter’s Choice, 1946
J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at email@example.com.