Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on September 15, 1974 · Page 20
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September 15, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 20

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Sunday, September 15, 1974
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Page 20
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M · Northwctt Arkantas TIMES, Sun., Sept. 15, 1974 rAYITTKVILLI, AKKANtM «ifflmiB»miiiwii!itiii[iiiiiiiiiiii]iiii!iiiiiiraiiiiiiiiiiiii!irara Aubrey Shepherd Squirrels Prosper In Ozark Habitat The hills and mountains of Northwest Arkansas are fine squirrel habitat, because of their covering of mixed hardwood forest. Not all the hills are good, but most have at least one good squirrel area. Over the years I have questioned zoologists, foresters, farmers, and old time hunters. Not one has given me a complete explanation for the fact that certain parts of each mountain have the bulk of the life -plant and animal -- on the mountain. Specifically, the most productive trees often seem concentrated in certain areas. Acorns, walnuts, hickory nuts, paw paws, and persimmons -- many of the foods on which wildlife thrive -- are frequently found concentrated on steep, rocky northern slopes and on points below cliffs and bluffs on the northwest corners of mountains. Many explanations have been suggested: soil type and amount, light angle and amount, the fact that rough terrain is belter for the safety of rodents, and they bury their favorite foods near safe ground to create unintentionally a safe, home grove. For whatever reason, southern slopes in this region snem, on the average, less productive. Every hunter knows of exceptions, but the rule is well known. Really rough southern areas such as points with broken boulders and unusual details may be as good as any other place on the mountain. By learning the terrain, a squirrel hunter may find that he can move quickly between productive areas, spending no time searching fruitless trees. One good method is to walk swiftly along the ridge tops and then quietly climb down to known productive areas. Every productive squirrel spot has its best approach route. For some spots, however, the best approach is not good enough and the hunter will consistently frighten the active squirrels when he approaches. For such a place the only solution is to find it in the dark and sit quietly until dawn. This is easy to do with a flash light and thermos of coffee. Approach From Above On the hillsides of Northwest Arkansas, the hunter Is likely'to gain an advantage on the squirrels by approaching productive areas from above. However, certain high ledges may be difficult to approach from above. Here one may walk directly to the base of the cliff or bluff and climb slowly and quietly to the ledge. Many times the climber will stick his head above the ledge and find himself practically surrounded by squirrels. Now out of breath from climbing and excited by his quarry, he must relax and be quiet. By waiting at least a minute or so the hunter should be able to calm himself, catch his breath, and plan how to make the most of the effort he has made. Whether his weapon is a shotgun or a .22 rifle, the well- positioned hunter may take more than one from any group of squirrels. But he must think a moment before ht fires. Firing his shotgun may get.him,,one squirrel, but -h)g second and third shots likely will be directed toward running squirrels, which are very difficult targets. Because a running, wounded squirrel may quickly reach a hole where he cannot either be .killed or have any chance of recovery, the hunter must be able to decide quickly whether his shots are likely to result in a clean kill. No decent person would willingly allow a wounded animal to suffer and die needlessly when he has the choice of either holding his fire or taking a high risk of wounding an animal. The hunter's eyes should remain on the first animal he tries to shoot until he is convinced that that animal is actually dead. A tumbling, grasping squirrel is the result of a poor initial shot, and the guilty hunter must try to shoot the squirrel before it hits the ground. Most shotguns hold three shots; therefore, the hunter may have one more chance to kill the squirrel before it can run ·way. Once it hits the ground, the wounded squirrel may bf hard to stop. In this situation, the shotgunner has the advantge of being able to hit the moving animal, if h* ii well positioned. Rifle Vs. Shotgun The skilled rifleman knows that he can get several more shot* at a wounded animal if he is quiet, for the .22 makes a sound which only slightly alarms the squirrel. In fact, a hunter wearing camoflage and sit, ting very still may harvest several squirrels from a group without disturbing all those present. Some serious squirrel hunters use a combination weapon, with a rifle barrel on top and a shotgun barrel on bottom. Such a weapon provides the sport and economy of a single shot rifle and the security and firepower of a shotgun. When starting out before sunrise, some hunters move eastward until the sun comes over the mountain; then they turn back toward their starting place with the sun to their backs. The factor of sunlight must be considered in relation to other factors such as terrain and wind. While wind often prevents moving squirrels from being seen, the hunter may move about quickly without alarming the squirrels. During a high wind squirrels may be especially active on the ground, and the alert hunter may find them moving along their normal routes to and from feeding areas, except that on the ground they are now actually more accessible. Ozark squirrel hunters are learning the value of Vibram cleated soles for their hunting boots. These hard rubber (or whatever) soles allow the hunter to climb more easily than ever before. Forty-Three Southern Bald Eagles Born For Comparison With lead Shot Refuges To Tesf Ammunition Climbing Boots Vibram soles are available on a wide variety of shoes and boots. Everything from hip boots to sandals may be found with vibrams. But the hunter is likely to be Interested in 6-12 inch boots wit ha layer of insulation and thick Vibram soles. A few pair of used boots of this type may be found In certain stores in Fayetteville. The hunter may purchase these inexpensively and either use the boots as they come or separate the soles from the used hoots and have them placed on his favorite hunting boots. New Vibram soles are available for 10-15 dollars a pair. But used waffle stampers (lightweight hiking boots) with Vibram soles may be found for from three to eight dollars. These may be purchased and installed for less than the price of a new pair. Old waffle stompers are safe and inexpensive wading ihoes. The rough-out leather dries out to be somewhat stiff, but may be wet and dried often without being destroyed. ATLANTA -- 150 active nests of the Southern bald eagle produced at least 143 young eagles during the 197374 nesting season in Florida. The date resulted from t h e work of a cooperative bald eagle committee. The committee, comprised of personnel from the Florida Audubon Society. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. National Park Service. U.S. Forest Service and 'the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, was formed in the fall of 1972 as a cooperative venture to gather information on Southern b a l d eagles in Florida. The Florida survey is part of a nation-wide inventory to determine the overall population ,ot the birds, which are included among the species threatened with extinction. The survey was initiated from, concern over an apparent decline in the number of bald eagles, but no reliably accurate estimates ot the number of birds or rate of loss were available. Three basic reasons for the suspected decrease were: (1) Pesticidie pollution, which results in reproductive failure or direct m o r t a l i t y ; ( 2 ) Habitat destruction and human disturbances or intrusions at mest s i t e s that discourage nesting and interfere with incubation; (3) Shooting. A similar survey by (lie committee during the 1972-73 nesting season showed . that Florida is the only southeastern state with a significant number of nesting Southern 'bald eagles. Of a southeastern total of 105 active nests producing 84 young, 96 of these, producing 77 young, were in Florida. In comparison with the lower 48 states, Florida's population and production represented about 15 per cent of the nation's total. RESULTS HIGHER Although the results of the latest survey are significantly higher than the initial one in the 1972-73 nesting season, most of the increase is attributable to better and more complete coverage of eagle nesting habitat in some areas of the stale. There are exceptions, but most ot the birds select isolated locations in coastal areas around lakes, and along rivers to construct their nests -- each pair often b u i l d i n g several nests. Remote sites such as this require that most of t h e survey be done by air. At least two flights are made, the first to locate nests and the second or subsequent ones to assess productivity by counting the number of young birds. FAVORED LOCATIONS Although nests were found in most sections of the state, with -ihe exception of the western panhandle, certain locations appeared to be the most attractive for the eagles. Dr. William Robertson, a biologist with the Everglades National Park, found 50 nests that produced 37 young in the Park and along the lower west coast. Doris Mager. with the Florida Audubon Society, and James Ouzts with the O c a 1 a National Forest, reported a total of 39 active nests, from which 46 young were fledged, for the forest and the surrounding counties of centra! Florida. Steve Fickett, a biologist with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commit sion, surveying the gulf counties from Levy to Pinellas, located 30 active nests that produced 18 young. Another survey is planned this year, with the ultimata formation to determine whether the eagle population is actually decreasing, holding Us own, or possibly increasing. RAISES QUESTIONS While the survey has attempted to answer some basic questions about the status of the Southern bald eagle in Florida, it has also raised some additional questions as well. The data clearly indicates that the average number of young fledged from active nests located in the inland areas of the state is considerably higher than the average number of young produced from active nests along the coastal areas. Similar conditions were apparent in surveys in Maine and around the Great Lakes--but the cause or reason for these differences is not yet known. Raccoons and great horned owls have been see nin eagle nests by several of the c o m m i t t e e members, i n several instances after the eagles had started nest activity earlier. WTiile It is assumed 4hat raccons rob eagle nests of eggs, and great horned owls lake over eagle nests for their own use, there is no information on how often this h a p p e n s or its overall effect on the eagle population. From appearances some eagles undergo a "false incu- batioin" similar to false pregnancies in mammals. Several of the committee members reported seeing adult birds in the nest apparently incubating eggs -- the adult, when incubating, assumes a different position in the nest than it docs when merely resting or loafing -- yet on subsequent observations the nest would be empty or abandoned w i t h no indication of predation, broken eggshells, or lorn up nest. This could be a significant factor, Twenty-four National Wildlife, Refuges in all four migratory 1 waterfowl flyways will field test steel shotgun ammunition this fall to compare its effectiveness lead shot for duck and goose hunting and to acquaint liunters with its capabilities and gather their opinions. Lynn A. Greenwalt, Director of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service, said this is the third year such tests have been conducted, but this year's program will be far more extensive than earlier efforts. The Fish and Wildlife Service in July published proposed regulations banning the use of l e a d shotgun ammunition starting in the Atlantic Flyway in 1976, in the Mississippi Flyway in 1977, and in parts of the Central and Pacific Flyways in 1978. The proposal designed stop further dropping waterfowl of lead habitat. pellets Spent lead pellets ar» often eaten by ducks and 'geese, resulting in lead poisoning and death to tens of thousands of birds each year. Steel is the only practical nontoxic substitute for lead currently available. The tests are being conducted as part of a continuing process of collecting scientific data on Teal Season Teal season opened Saturday in Arkansas and Oklahoma and is September The limit is four per day and eight in possession. Legal shooting hours are from sunrise until sunset each day of the special season. cad poisoning of waterfowl. In 1972, tests were held at seven refuges; in 1973 at 16 refuges, and this year at 24 refuges where over a quarter of a million rounds of steel shot will 38 fired. EMPHASIS ON TESTING In this year's program, emphasis will be placed on testing shotgun loads for 'geese by providing hunters unmarked shells of both lead and steel and observing the results. Moreover, duck loads will be tested again to gain additional information. In 1972, over 70,000 rounds of steel shot were used. The number of birds bagged by each hunter was very close to number expected if lead had been used. Downed buj, unre- trieved birds occurred with Indications that more shots were fired for each bird bagged steel loads t h a n would have been the case with lead. In 1973, over 80,000 rounds of steel shot were used, and again the effectiveness of lead and steel shot for ducks was nearly identical. Too few geese were included in the samples to 'show significant differences between lead and steel shot. The results, however, suggest that lead was more effective as 124 geese were dropped per 1,000 shots fired with steel and 163 geese per 1,000 shots of lead. Empha- similar programs at Stst« Hinting sties. In addition lo Ihe firiifg tesls at refuges the Fish and Wildlifa Service will collect data on what degree and rate ducks and geese ingest spent steel shot pellcls on areas where steel li used. being placed geese this year to better document this aspect. addition the tesls National Wildlife Refuges this fall, the States of Maryland, In- about the same frequency asidiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Colo- expected for lead shot. There|rado, and Oregon will conduct Duck Stamps The Springdale postoffice has duck stamps for sale, and the Fayetteville jiost office expects "have its supply this week. The of stamps beautifully engraved stamps illustrate pair of wood ducks In flight. The duck stamp costs $5.0!) this year, and its purchase is an ecologically sound practice, regardless of whether or not a person plans to hunt or even watch waterfowl. WAL-MART DISCOUNT CITY WAL-MART DISCOUNT CITY WAL "You Really Can't flfford to Shop flnywhere Else" MON.-WED. W A L - M A R T Bear No. 2161 I Grizzly Bow Shakespeai X-18 Quachlta HUNTING BOW « Leoltief eurow test. H a f l d - c o n t o w r e d qrip with thumb *st. Choke of weiqhtc. .8 i It on «c*H»i* H*W- 4* bow lot th» btgfo- at vtoaoMif Mlnd*d t*r. That Man* Qoa- e MU tti* blU fof ofwod :K on* *jKlLlrgly cxcltr- M* 188 52"-46 Ho, OJQW. Ben Pearson No.759O-3 COUGAR HUNTING. x-i tfcol *» *· M». * ud BO fc. icy* Alumirv m Arrow Converta-Pofnt Bears famoui Kodiak aluminum arrow with converla-polnt 4 Blade razorhead equipped. 8»ft4o.37O Hunting Be a/No. 335O master Been No. 75OO ftrcheru) $$ j± *t * · · · -- - - - · niincriij Rrm Guard GLOVE TPPGFTC l(r a *Irf.t« Ml p*i.i ttM , Fully lln.. 1 V J f c V X T !· I rllV^C I O kalWf far huMliig. Spr!*g «·#! »toy. j^ *# 4,^ hf ^mftM. IfcMftC VwtHok*o*»t«U«lH ft*--two-lad T*w+*d}i«tabF» *k.»U ·bap* book botk. (owd-**d Up*. V»k/e» doww. tigrti. ^^ fnITinan. Co'dava*bfown, Hfc, $[(·# W2. Co* b» vMd ifgkt 01 [*ft S 48 3 38 96 C 'r' Beo/ FIELD ARROWS cvi SfmkesptforfTVW Bear rrruKuspvor nt-Y£ ;I u^ai CHp-On It Cedar Hunting QUIVER | fiRROW Owens DEER ITIUSK [ Pram*) qualify U port Orfwrf «fa( ej- / i towt thrigiwd to taU rfawn rt* big R*a! ft*t NU | 501* VHfi *« »*»* «p«*4, MBMMCf Ott« . I ratil n*«il»( iin lfm» fui !!·· L^_ Each 138 Each [i m 1 or 2 Piece Camouflage, Suit A *oH {ot *· a**** ktntet, tough dwabU fabric KM* and lati(.OuM«fla3*«afcwbr«r\rflftf«ff«iljj *ff4*» 166 Jones Style Camouflage HUNTING we sat KM LESS WAL-MART Discount City ^ SATISFACTION / . G U A R A N T E E D ,

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