Turkey In The Driver’s Seat

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors

July 1, 2009

Turkey In The Driver’s Seat
Sometimes the stories here at The Outdoor News Hound just seem to write
themselves. Take the tale of the New York state truck driver hauling a load of
manure who found himself in deep you-know-what when a wild turkey flew into his
open tractor/trailer window last week. You’ll also read about how the social-networking website Facebook helped locate a missing angler, and more!

The Manure Hit The Fan
If you were to make the assertion that manure is Scott Fisher’s bread and
butter, you’d be correct. You see, Fisher, 38, of Lisbon, N.Y., makes his
living hauling livestock waste with a tractor/trailer rig.

But this week, the semi driver found himself in deep you-know-what of a
different order, so to speak.

J.R. Absher

Fisher was cruising through Oswegatchie, in St. Lawrence County near the
Canadian border Monday afternoon, enjoying the pleasant breeze wafting through
the open cab window on the driver’s side of his rig. And you can bet the farm
this trucker knows how and when to enjoy fresh air whenever he has the

About that time, fate turned the tables on Fisher. It hit the fan, you might

According to the New York State Police, an airborne wild turkey burst
through the open truck window and began flopping around inside the cab. In the
mayhem that ensued, Fisher tried his best to remove the crazed fowl from truck
while struggling to retain control of the moving rig.

Unfortunately, he failed on both counts.

Veering off the roadway, Fisher’s rig clipped down a row of fenceposts
before sliding into a ditch, finally coming to a rest on its side. In the
meantime, the bird managed to escape from the semi cab, leaving behind only a
few keepsake feathers for Fisher, who was uninjured in the mishap.

Watertown’s WWTI television interviewed the New York State Trooper covering
the accident, and he offered an astute and profound understatement:

"That doesn’t happen every day," he observed.

No (kidding), Sherlock!

Facebook Leads Coast Guard To ‘Missing’ Fisherman
An Internet-savvy U.S. Coast Guardsman’s use of the online social-networking
site Facebook June 21 helped locate a fisherman thought to be missing and
prevented the launch of a search mission that could have cost taxpayers as much
as $30,000.

An angler was presumed overdue June 21 after a ranger at
Cobscook Park in Eastport, Maine, reported a lone vehicle with an empty trailer
parked at a launch-site parking lot. Using the vehicle’s license plate, the
Coast Guard’s Northern New England sector office located a name, address and
phone number, but attempts to contact the tardy owner were unsuccessful.

Before ordering a full-fledged search involving Coast Guard aircraft and
cutter vessels, Paul Conner, the officer in charge of the case, opted to do
some online searching via the popular networking site, Facebook. He was able to
locate an e-mail address belonging to a relative of the missing man, and
subsequently discovered the boater/angler had simply opted to moor overnight at
a different location than where his vehicle and trailer were parked.

"Sometimes we have to be very creative in our information
gathering," Conner said later. "A simple Internet search can often
help us locate a missing person before a boat or aircraft is even on the scene."

Bid To Politicize Louisiana Hunting Seasons Fails
Controversial legislation aimed at allowing the Louisiana state legislature to
review — and potentially reject — hunting season dates, bag limits, and
restrictions set each year by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission
passed out of committee, but did not receive a full vote prior to the end of
the session last week.

The bill, sponsored by Leesville Rep. James Armes, would have essentially
given elected state lawmakers the power to manage wildlife and hunting seasons
in the state, something that concerned many Louisiana sportsmen.

Supporters said it would have allowed the Legislature to serve as a check and
balance to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, which sets seasons
in consultation with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Opponents
said the current system kept the state from political management of its natural

Hunting Heritage Protection Act Introduced
Companion bills introduced last week in the U.S. Congress aim to protect the
rights of sportsmen to hunt on federal land and recognize the importance of
hunting as a vital part of American conservation ethic.

The Hunting Heritage Protection Act, is comprised of Senate bill 1348,
sponsored by Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and H.R. 3046, sponsored by
Representative Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.).

Specifically, the measure proposed by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and
Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) would require federal lands, to the maximum extent
practicable, to be managed in a way that supports, promotes and enhances
hunting opportunities, according to a joint press release from Baucus and
Tester. The bill also calls on federal agencies managing federal lands to
submit an annual report to Congress describing any limitation of access for
hunting on federal lands. Additionally, agencies would be required to submit
prior written notification to Congress before any limitation affecting access
to hunting on 5,000 acres or more becomes effective.

According to a press release from Rep. Rehberg’s office, the bill would
prevent federal bureaucrats from making public lands off-limits for hunting.
For example, under the bill, federal agencies would have to report to Congress
when they plan to ban hunting on large tracts of land.  Additionally, the
bill would require annual reports from federal agencies on all actions they’ve
taken during the year that impact recreational hunting.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include U.S. Sens. Chambliss (R-Ga.),
Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike
Crapo (R-Idaho), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mel Martinez
(R-Fla.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

Quote Of The Week
"Every angler has bad days, except those few called lucky-stab anglers,
for whom the fish seem to crawl out on the bank. Some anglers have a bad season
now and then. But I have never met an angler who had the same brand of
misfortune that haunts me. In a way these spells resemble those batting slumps
I used to get in college and professional baseball days. I would be hitting at
a high clip around a .400 average. But then one day I would hit the ball just
as hard, but right at some fielder. The same would happen the next day."
-Zane Grey
"At the Mouth of the Klamath"
“Tales of Freshwater Fishing,” 1928

.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

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