Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

November 29, 2015

grandkids fishing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Freddie Keel @ 10:03 am
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lukie-fk-112715Lukie with pond perch


shea-fk-fishing-112715Shea with her perch


lukie-shea-fishing-112715They enjoyed fishing.


shea-fish-112815and Shea loves her Papaw’s fried fish

November 19, 2015

No more rooting in our hay meadows for this guy


Our hay meadows are constantly being destroyed by wild feral hogs.   This was one of about fifteen that entered a meadow just before dark.  He was too large for my atv to handle so I used the loader of our tractor.

hog-tusk-111315He had some nasty looking tusk.

November 17, 2015

Our daughter harvested a nice deer

cat-buck-110715It tried to sneak by her just before dark on opening day.

The healthy nine point had inside spread of little less that 14″.

Age was estimated at 3 1/2 years of age.

She dropped him using a Remington 25.06  Bolt Action.



November 13, 2015

Another pesky critter removed from our farm

Filed under: farm — Freddie Keel @ 10:50 am
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It is a growing problem across East Texas.      The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. The animals are resourceful. Only humans can match their aptitude in changing their environment to meet their needs. Since beavers are so dependent on the water, much of their life is spent ensuring they have a steady supply.

Going back in time a million years or so, the beaver is the descendant of an 800-pound prehistoric rodent. Adult beavers, which average between 30 and 60 pounds, may seem rather puny by comparison, but they still rank as the second largest rodents in the world, right behind the South American capybara (kap-ah-BARE-ah). A record beaver found in 1921 weighed 110 pounds, and heavyweights that tip the scales between 80 and 100 pounds still are caught occasionally.

Beaver historically have been a valuable economic and natural resource.  During the past 20 years their populations have increased throughout the United States due to lower demand for beaver products and subsequent decreases in recreational trapping.  This growth has positive impacts, such as increased wetland habitat, as well as negative effects from dam building and tree cutting.  Beaver dams back up water that floods and kills valuable timber and destroys or damages cropland, roadways, sewer and septic systems, and water treatment and electric utilities.

Dams may also negatively affect fish populations by changing the movement and temperature of stream water.  Beavers cut down trees that are valued for timber production and landscaping.  Texas Wildlife Services conducts beaver damage management to protect flood control structures, roads and bridges, and private property. Beavers concentrate around road culverts and bridges and their bank dens can cause the complete failure of flood control dams. Beaver damage management is an important activity, especially in the eastern third of Texas.

They have decided to use our young pine plantations as a source of dam building supplies.  They have also cut down many desirable hardwoods along the creek that runs through our farm.  Thanks to a grandson, there is one less beaver on our farm.  Now he has a nice beaver pelt.



November 4, 2015

A “Murder’ of Crows eating our Deer corn!

Filed under: Birds — Freddie Keel @ 10:06 am
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Crow Facts Crows are members of the Corvidae family, which also includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays. Loud, rambunctious, and very intelligent, crows are most often associated with a long history of fear and loathing. They are considered pests by farmers trying to protect their crops and seedlings. Many people fear them simply because of their black feathers, which are often associating them with death. But research demonstrated in A Murder of Crows proves crows are actually very social and caring creatures, and also among the smartest animals on the planet.

Where do crows live?
Crows live all over the world, except for Antarctica.

What do they eat?
Crows are predators and scavengers, which means that they will eat practically anything. Their diet consists of various road-kill, insects, frogs, snakes, mice, corn, human fast food, even eggs and nestlings of other birds. An adult crow needs about 11 ounces of food daily.

How many species are there?
There are about 40 or so species in the Corvus genus. These range from pigeon-sized birds to ravens, which can be as much as 24-27 inches long.

Social Environment
Crows are very social and have a tight-knit family. They roost in huge numbers (in the thousands) to protect themselves from enemies like red-tailed hawks, horned-owls, and raccoons. Crows also use at least 250 different calls. The distress call brings other crows to their aid, as crows will defend unrelated crows. Crows mate for life.

Close Relatives
The Corvus genus includes the common American crow, ravens, rooks, and other variations, and the wider family (Corvidae) includes jays, magpies, nutcrackers, and other birds.

Crows and West Nile Virus
Crows are susceptible to West Nile virus, and their deaths are used as early indicators of potential human disease in an area. West Nile Virus has killed 45% of American crows since 1999, though they’re still listed as Least Concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

What’s a murder of crows?
A group of crows is called a “murder.” There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions.

For instance, there is a folktale that crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.

Many view the appearance of crows as an omen of death because ravens and crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies, battlefields, and cemeteries, and they’re thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people are expected to soon die.

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