Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trees In The News

Study: Big Trees May Deter Crime

"AP) The U.S. Forest Service has found a new branch of crime-fighting.
A study by the service has found less crime occurs in neighborhoods with big trees in the yards and on the streets, and more crime at homes with smaller trees.
Researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station took crime data from the Portland Police Bureau and compared it to information showing neighborhoods' tree coverage.
Forester Geoffrey Donovan says large trees may be a signal to crooks that a neighborhood is well cared for, making it more likely criminals will be caught.
He adds that small trees may aid criminals by providing hiding places for criminals and obstructing views.
The study will appear in the journal Environment and Behavior."

Trees hold dangers for deer hunters

"As deer hunting season gets underway around the country, trauma surgeons in Ohio have a message for hunters: It's not the guns but the trees that will get you.
A 10-year survey of hunting-related injuries at two major trauma centers in Ohio found that falling out of trees is how the majority of deer hunters are injured.
"More and more frequently, we're seeing people showing up in our emergency rooms that weren't shot but who fell out of tree stands," says Charles Cook, a trauma surgeon at the Ohio State University Medical Center and author of the study, which is in this month's edition of The American Surgeon, a medical journal.
Tree stands are platforms that allow hunters to perch between 10 and 30 feet above the ground and wait, out of sight, for game to come by. They're mostly used in the Midwest and the South, almost always to hunt deer. Tree stands first became commercialized in the 1970s, and by the 1990s there were more than 100 manufacturers, says John Louk, executive director of the Treestand Manufacturer's Association.
According to the Ohio study, half of hunting-related injuries that sent people to the hospital were caused by falls, 92% from tree stands."

I used to be an avid hunter years ago up in the northwest. I don't hunt anymore because I don't like killing and because meat is still fairly inexpensive so even though I'll buy store bought flesh I know it's not as good for you as meat you harvest yourself. If times warrant it I'll easily kill animals again, however.
My favorite way of hunting deer was diametrically opposite that stupid 'stand' philosophy. Using a stand means putting yourself up on a platform on a tree or tall ladder where you know deer will pass by. A lot of deer killers will also seed the area with deer food to make it all easier.

When I hunted deer and elk in Oregon I used an entirely different method, one that gave me the ultimate reward and immense satisfaction whether I succeeded in bringing home meat or not.
In the NW on the western side of the Cascades it's much more rainy than to the east and consequently more wooded and brushy. Most of the deer are blacktails, small skittish guys.

This is how I hunted. Since the woods were most always wet during deer season you didn't have to worry about crunching leaves when you walked through them like in a dry forest over the mountains to the east. But I stacked the odds in my favor even more. I wore only several pairs of socks instead of shoes. I 'still hunted', which means I walked very, very slowly through the trees and brush, sometimes taking an hour to walk a hundred yards. Most of the time I used a shotgun with slugs rather than a rifle because I could walk right up to the deer without them noticing me. I must say this type of hunting was absolutely exhilarating, with heightened senses attuned to the slightest noise or movement around me, and my being conscious of my every breath and motion, conscious of every breeze and every slight variation of my surroundings as I pussyfooted around under the dripping trees. I put seven or eight deer and an elk in my freezers this way and never wasted a thing because I skinned and butchered them all myself.

After a while the necessity to prove stuff to myself by killing faded away but the love of that heightened awareness never did. I got into black powder shooting and for a number of years got a hunting license and loaded up a long rifle to prowl around at dawn through the woods. Saying "bang".


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