If you love gun dogs, the characters you meet at hunting camp and the phrase “tastes like chicken,” you might enjoy a new book by Augusta resident and lifelong outdoorsman Rocky Evans.
How to Hunt Good isn’t really an autobiography, but rather a collection of humorous hunting stories (and some equally humorous observations) from the longtime leader of Quail Unlimited, whose tenure in the conservation industry gave him with plenty of non-fictional fodder.
There are tales of hunting in faraway venues with actors, pro athletes and celebrities – and equally entertaining vignettes about the foibles of some of our local outdoorsmen here in the Garden City.
(By the way, he does use mostly real names, declaring, however, that he changed or omitted just a few names “to protect me from their nuisance lawsuits.”)
Chapters include everything from “Quarterbacks and Congressmen” to “Snake in the Boat” to “Lies, Dancing with the Stars & Football,” with a few extras aptly named “Buckwheat” and “Cold Duck.”
It’s also a story of how humor can help us appreciate life and overcome challenges – which in Evans’ case included a still-ongoing battle with a life-threatening disease.
“Everyone faces challenges and difficult individuals in our daily lives,” he writes. “With all my failures of my early days in the woods, fields and forests, if I didn’t laugh at myself, I’d probably be in a facility.”
More than anything else, Evans wrote, the book is an effort to encourage its readers to live life to the fullest, to appreciate each day (especially those outdoors) and to laugh often.
The book can be ordered through the publisher at www.huntingheritagepress.com/.
NUISANCE GEESE: I got a press release yesterday about how to deal with “nuisance geese” and I found it funny, because putting the word “nuisance” before “geese” seemed almost redundant.
As any golf course superintendent will tell you, the big birds are prolific breeders and equally prolific poopers who won’t hesitate to attack anything that comes close to a nest or their goslings.
“Geese that have adapted to people, either because they are being fed or because they are so close to humans on a daily basis, can become an aggressive pest,” says Greg Balkcom, state waterfowl biologist for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division. “When you have a resident goose population that continues to grow unchecked, you exponentially increase the amounts of feces and feathers found in the area.”
How do you get rid of nuisance geese?
Harassment that includes chemical repellents, mylar balloons or noise makers can help, but they require consistency. If you give up before the geese do, they win.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can sometime help with permits to destroy eggs to prevent population growth, and state officials can also issue permits to allow the capture and relocation of nuisance geese, or to kill them.
Remember though, that whether you love them or hate them, they are protected and cannot be hunted or harmed except by permit or as allowed in Georgia’s migratory bird regulations.
For more information, visit the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site at www.fws.gov/permits. For a brochure on a variety of methods of dealing with nuisance geese, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/game-management/CanadaGoose.
DNR LAW ENFORCEMENT: Georgia’s plan to reorganize the Wildlife Resources Division’s Law Enforcement Section by creating a separate Law Enforcement Division that would also cover state parks continued to raise eyebrows last week.
Although the Georgia Wildlife Federation, Quality Deer Management Association and other groups wrote to the Board of Natural Resources with concerns, Deputy DNR Commissioner Homer Bryson believes it will improve – and not dilute – the effectiveness of the state rangers, or “game wardens,” as we often call them.
“Over the last several years we’ve been looking to streamline and consolidate services within the department so each division can focus more on their area of expertise,” he said. “We feel by consolidating we can reduce duplication of services and have a centralized chain of command.”
The change, he added, would also reduce liability by standardizing the role of the law enforcement officer, and the program would be phased in over five years to avoid unnecessary confusion.
HOLIDAY BOATING: Last weekend’s turnout at local lakes shows how the recreation industry can recover as rapidly as water levels at Thurmond Lake, but there were still some incidents that kept our state rangers busy.
According to a summary from the Department of Natural Resources, the weekend included two drownings (including one in the Augusta Canal), 39 arrests for boating under the influence, for which the blood alcohol limit was lowered this year, six boating accidents and six boating incident related injuries.