Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Homeless man critical following cougar attack

- February 4th, 2014

 

A 50-year old-old homeless man from Perris, California – 70 miles east of Los Angeles – is in critical condition following a cougar attack. It is the 15th cougar attack on a person in California since 1986.

 

Read more:

Wildlife rangers in Southern California were hunting on Monday for a mountain lion that mauled a homeless man at his roadside encampment over the weekend in a rare attack that left the victim in critical condition, fish and game authorities said.

Rangers set up baited box traps over the weekend, scoured the area for cougar tracks and scanned the vicinity with infrared cameras at night from a helicopter, but have so far found no signs of a mountain lion, said Lieutenant Patrick Foy of the wildlife agency.

None of the numerous lion sightings reported by nearby residents after the incident had panned out, but there was little doubt that the man was attacked by a cougar, Foy said, and authorities were continuing their search for the wild cat.

The injuries found on the victim – lacerations, puncture wounds and bite marks at the base of his skull – “are very consistent” with a cougar mauling, Foy said, adding, “We are comfortable confirming it as a lion attack.

A blanket that the victim apparently had wrapped himself in after the attack was soaked in blood, according to Foy.

If the animal is found, it will be killed in the interest of public safety, he said.

Investigators have collected DNA samples from the victim to match with the lion if it were captured, and the wildlife department will make “all reasonable efforts to ensure the actual offending animal is destroyed,” the agency said.

“The first priority of any law enforcement agency is the safety of the public, and we are doing everything we can do (to) find and capture this animal before it can harm anyone else,” assistant department chief Dan Sforza said in a statement.

Residents were warned to be careful with pets and children.

The circumstances of the mauling, including what time of day it occurred, whether the man was asleep when attacked, or whether he fought off the cougar, remained unknown because investigators have not been able to speak with him.

The lieutenant said rangers were awaiting doctors’ approval to interview the man, listed in critical condition following surgery on Saturday night and described by Foy as being “in pretty bad shape.”

The man managed to stagger from his campsite to a nearby home to make an emergency 911 call early on Saturday, but Foy said he believes the victim may have refrained from seeking help for several hours before that.

The homeless man, whose name was not publicly released, is known to law enforcement as having a “history of being mentally unstable,” and has had “multiple violent confrontations with police” in the past, Foy said. He may have therefore been reluctant to call for help.

Mountain lion attacks on people are rare. A 63-year-old man survived an attack in July 2012 in Nevada County. The last fatal attack in California occurred in 2004, when a cyclist was mauled in the foothills of Orange County.

 

Outdoorsguy

Heading off to hunt camp, careful in the out house!

- October 24th, 2013

All those folks (like myself) heading off to hunt camp over the next couple weeks better think twice before going to the outhouse.

Yikes!!!

QMI agency just reported a story about a Norwegian hunter who aimed at a moose, missed and accidentally hit a man sitting on the toilet in a nearby cabin.

The bullet whizzed past the animal, pierced the wooden wall behind it and struck the man, in his seventies, in the stomach, the force told public broadcaster NRK.

The victim was flown by helicopter to hospital but his injury was not life-threatening, said the policeman who led the investigation, Anders Stroemsaether.

The hunter was taken in for questioning in Hvaler district, about 120km southeast of the capital of Oslo, said the force. The moose apparently escaped unscathed.

Makes you wonder about the safety of hanging around hunt camp and just when you thought the outhouse was your last safe haven…

Off to the woods people, that’s the best place to be…

 

Good luck to all local hunters and be safe out there this Fall!

 

Outdoorsguy

Black Bear attack near Havelock

- October 1st, 2013

BlackBear

Looks like old blackie got a little rough in the Havelock area this past weekend. Fortunately for Lynn O’Connor of Peterborough, her faithful companions were by her side!

 

Here’s the article from yesterday’s paper:

(QMI Agency by Sarah Deeth)

Lynn O’Connor, 53, thought she was about to die when a mother bear attacked and bit her in the stomach, but her two dogs saved her life.She is at home recovering from the vicious bear attack near her Belmont-Methuen Township cottage Sunday afternoon.

It was a little after 3:30 p.m. and she was out for a walk with her German shepherds, Jake, 12, and Kyra, 5. Jake is blind, partially deaf and doesn’t move so well, but still loves its daily walk on the 69 acres the couple owns south of Hwy. 7, about 90 minutes northeast of Toronto. Kyra was running in and out of the bushes, chasing squirrels and birds, when O’Connor noticed a bear staring at her.

A few terrifying seconds later the bear attacked.

“It wasn’t interested in the dogs, it just came right for me,” O’Connor said. “It just put me down and just started biting me. The first bite it took, I thought, ‘It’s going to kill me,’” she said.

Jake lunged at the bear and managed to distract it enough to lure it 10 feet away from O’Connor. O’Connor said she heard a yelp. The bear had knocked Jake down, and the dog struggled to get back up. Kyra stepped into the fray, baiting the bear away from Jake, O’Connor said. But the bear was still interested in O’Connor and attacked her again, biting her abdomen, arms and legs.

O’Connor’s husband Jerry, 55, was sitting in their cabin watching a football game when he heard a commotion. He said he hopped on an ATV and followed the screaming. He found his wife in the middle of the path, covered in blood. She had one of her walking sticks in her hand and was poking it into the air, he said. Jake was lying at her feet. Kyra was running down the trail, away from him, but he couldn’t see anything chasing the dog.

Jerry said he put his wife on the ATV, but by then the bear had come back. The dogs continued to protect them, he said, circling the ATV and keeping the bear at bay. Jerry drove Lynn to the cottage and got her in the car.

“She said, ‘We’re not leaving without Jake,” Jerry said.

Out of the corner of his eye Jerry saw something black racing around the corner at them. For one heart-stopping second, he thought it was the bear again. It was Jake. He jumped in the car and the family drove away.

“Those dogs are heroes,” Jerry said. “They were willing to give their lives for her.”

Lynn was released from the hospital Monday morning. The dogs don’t have a mark on them, Jerry said.

 

Although the investigation is ongoing, in my opinion the behaviour of this bear is very much predatory in nature. The fact that this bruin had returned following the initial attack and continued to pursue O’Connor and her dogs were there to protect her, leads me to a couple of conclusions.

1) Without her dogs present, this bear would have killed and eaten her.

2) This bear will, undoubtedly, turn-out to be a predatory male; responsible for  nearly all fatal bear attacks in North America.

The attack does; however, leave one burning question:

Was the bear possibly attracted by Country Music at this summer’s Havelock Jamboree??

 

Outdoorsguy

Ontario petition for Lyme Disease

- May 15th, 2013

 Lyme

Most outdoorsmen have heard of Lyme Disease, and some of them might even understand the life cycle of the deer tick involved in spreading this much misunderstood ailment.

Back in the early 1990’s, my hunting pal Jim returned home from the deer hunt with a large ‘bull’s eye’ like red welt on his forearm. Luckily for Jim, the Doctor knew right away he had been bitten by an infected female deer tick.

Jim was treated right away and suffered no ill-effects from his brush with the dreaded Lyme Disease.

I also have another friend, her name is Kelly, and I’ve worked with her for 15 years. Kelly, her husband and their two kids love the outdoors and camping is an activity they all share. About 2 years ago, Kelly and her family made the mistake of spending time at a campground on Big Rideau Lake. Evidently, there were signs indicating the presence of deer ticks, but they never noticed them.

Poor Kelly returned home from that trip with more than just memories, and unlike my pal Jim, there was no telltale bull’s eye rash to indicate anything was wrong.

Somehow she was bitten by an effected, blood engorged deer tick and contracted Lyme disease without even knowing it. Over the next few months strange things began happening to her – memories loss, lack of energy, general confusion.

The local Doctors were baffled. At one point, they felt very strongly that she had developed MS, but it was Lyme Disease all the time and it had been left untreated for nearly a year before they could finally pinpoint a diagnosis.

Kelly is a beautiful person inside and out and one of the nicest girls I ever met, and in no way deserves the horrors that go along with this terrible disease. She has been on disability from her government job for more than a year now, with regular visits to the United States and 10’s of thousands of dollars spent on meds to help control the disease.

It is felt that eventually she will be rid of this terrible condition but what will it take? With two young children at home and her husband struggling to keep up with the exorbitant costs of meds not currently covered by OHIP.

Please, I urge you all to sign the Petition for Lyme Disease, for people like Kelly, and for the 20-30 others who will contract Lyme Disease in Ontario this year.

Get well soon, Kel..we all miss you and are praying for your full recovery…

 

A Petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

WHEREAS, the tick-borne illness known as Chronic Lyme Disease, which mimics many catastrophic illnesses, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritic diabetes, depression, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia is increasingly endemic in Canada, but scientifically validated diagnostic tests and treatment choices are currently not available in Ontario, forcing patients to seek these in the U.S.A. and Europe; and


WHEREAS, the Canadian Medical Association informed the public, governments, and the medical profession in the May 30, 2000 edition of their professional journal that Lyme Disease is endemic throughout Canada, particularly in Southern Ontario; and


WHEREAS, the Ontario Public Health system and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan currently do not fund those specific tests that accurately serve the process for establishing a clinical diagnosis, but only recognize testing procedures known in the medical literature to provide false negatives 45 to 95% of the time;


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to request the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to direct the Ontario Public Health system and OHIP to include all currently available and scientifically verified tests for Acute and Chronic Lyme Disease in Ontario, and to have everything necessary to create public awareness of Lyme Disease in Ontario, and to have internationally developed diagnostic and successful treatment protocols available to patients and physicians.

Sign here: http://www.randyhilliermpp.com/lyme_disease?recruiter_id=15406 

 

Barrhaven wild turkey mayhem

- March 12th, 2013

Gobblers

The soon-to-be viral video of two wild turkey ‘Jakes’ pursuing a woman in Barrhaven, reminds us all how well our transplanted residents are doing.

Wild turkey numbers continue to flourish in Eastern Ontario and so too does the hunting opportunities for North America’s largest feathered foul.

When April 25th arrives, turkey hunting enthusiasts will be out in full force in search of a bearded gobbler. Since only the male wild turkey is fair game during the spring season, Jakes (young males) and Toms (adult male) are the birds of choice for local hunters.

The problem with Barrhaven, of course, is the dreaded firearms “No Discharge Zone” which prohibits the use of any firearm; thus eliminating any opportunity of controlling bird numbers through a controlled harvest.

DischargeNepeanSouth

(City of Ottawa – firearms “No Discharge” Zone Barrhaven-area)

Ok, so you can’t hunt these Barrhaven birds.  What then can you do to protect yourself from a wild turkey attack?

First off I would suggest, if confronted by an irate gobbler,  be sure to protect your groin-area from an aggressive ‘peck’ or ‘ spur poke.’ Male gobblers have spurs they us a defense mechanism and to fight rival males during the spring mating season.

These spurs can be dangerous if you’re poked with one, although it certainly doesn’t happen very often. So, what is the likelihood of being jabbed in the groin or receiving a spur to some other part of your body?

Just about nil…you are much more likely to be attacked by the dog next door!

Let’s keep it in perspective here people. These are only birds, they are NOT western cougars, black bears or grizzlies. No one has ever been killed by a wild turkey according to my extensive research (Google)

Sure these birds may be a pain, but in all honestly are not really a threat to life or personal property. I know my neighbour’s complain that gobblers make a mess of their vegetable garden, but unfortunately if you live within the firearms ‘No discharge’ zone, there is little you can do to control them.

My neighbours put-up a ‘scare turkey’ which is basically a scarecrow for wild turkeys. From what I have seen, though, it does little to rid their property of wayward gobblers.

I say we just get used to them.  I personally find them to be rather intriguing and neat to watch. (And they’re also darn good eating)

Perhaps a can of bear spray might come in handy for Barrhaven people who live in fear. Keep in mind that shops who sell Bear Spray may have you fill-out paperwork and you will probably be asked your intentions with regards to the product.

In the meantime, keep a hand over your groin and try to avoid these feathered bandits on residential streets.

And hey, don’t feel bad it could be worse. The town of Churchill, Manitoba has to deal with Polar Bears strolling into town each year!

WANT TO HEAR MORE? 

Here is the segment from CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show: [esplayer url="http://storage.ottawasun.com/v1/blogs-prod-media/151/37291/1363279819/JeffMTurkey2-1.mp3" width="250" height="25"]

Outdoorsguy

For a full appreciation of the size some gobbler’s spurs can get, check out the image Iggy sent me:


Gobblerspurs