column By: Staff | August, 19
As South Dakota prepares for a second century of pheasant hunting, Gov. Kristi Noem signed the pheasant habitat funding law.
The fund, formally called the “Second Century Habitat Initiative,” allocates $1 million in state money to preserve and expand South Dakota’s pheasant habitat. The state funding may be matched with private donations and federal conservation programs.
The “Second Century” name builds on the state’s first 100 years putting South Dakota on the map as a pheasant hunting destination, according to Noem.
In recent years, however, pheasant numbers have dropped, and habitat lands have diminished. Noem said in a statement, “The bill is a step to reverse those trends. By investing in habitat preservation and expansion, we can preserve our outdoor traditions and ensure the second century of pheasant hunting is as great as the first.”
For more on conservation efforts in South Dakota, see Jodi Stemler’s article (page 32).
Michigan’s DNR has released the 2018 annual report for its “Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative” (MPRI). The goal of the initiative is “to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat, populations and hunting opportunities on private and public lands.”
Much of the focus is placed on developing “cooperatives,” which DNR Upland Game Bird Specialist Al Stewart says to think of in terms of “a neighborhood watch.” For the MPRI, these groups of neighbors band together “to do good things for pheasants.
“The areas we improve might include state lands, such as if a collection of privately owned properties border a state game area. And since everybody likes to see pheasants, the partners in a co-op might be hunters and might invite hunters onto their lands; or they might be people who just like to see pheasants.
“The overall goal of the program is to both maintain and increase the pheasant population. There is a simple formula for achieving that. Habitat is the name of the game.”
The other thing to consider is the trickle down effect habitat improvement has on the rest of the environment. For example, some of the projects for pheasant restoration will lead to improving the quality of the water in local streams.
“Not everybody is going to love pheasants,” says Stewart. “But everyone can agree on the need for clean water. If we clean the water that flows from the streams into the Great Lakes, that’s something everyone can get behind.”
The MPRI report offers up the following facts and figures:
• 12 – number of cooperatives actively working to expand and improve pheasant habitat at the end of the year
• 441 – number of landowners to whom Farm Bill biologists provided technical and financial assistance to improve grassland habitat for wildlife
• 1,540 – acres of food plots planted
• 2,238/389 – acres of grasslands enhanced/restored
• 111/4,406 – acres of grasslands enhanced/restored by partner groups (Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
• 4,231 – acres of new habitat for wildlife planted using seed drills
• 5,490 – number of young people who attended education and recruitment events
• $61 million – amount the MPRI Coalition received for incentive payments to landowners to benefit pheasants, mallards, monarch butterflies and other grassland wildlife
For more information about the program: www.mi.gov/pheasant.
It seems readers aren’t the only ones who have been paying attention to Dr. Hank Clemmons’s advice on first aid for sporting dogs. Editor Tom Carney looked at the list of items to include in a first-aid kit and had a question. So he asked his personal doctor, “What else would a guy need to make this first-aid kit suitable for humans?”
The doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, replied, “This is a very comprehensive list. Hank did a good job. There are maybe a few things I would add to a human first-aid kit.”
Here’s his list:
• Bandages of various sizes
• Gauze wrap in addition to gauze pads, including non-stick, Telfa gauze for cuts
• Elastic band or something similar to use as tourniquet
• Hydrocortisone 1 percent steroid cream
• Antibiotic ointment
• Calamine cream
• Saline to clean wounds
• Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for allergic reactions
• Tylenol (acetaminophen) and/or anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin (ibuprofen) for pain or fever. Be sure to keep these separate or otherwise mark them so you don’t accidentally administer them to your dog, per Dr. Hank’s warning (per the Bird Dogs – Health Matters column).
“There would not be anything on Hank’s list that I suppose couldn’t be used for humans, other than medication specific for dogs.”
It seems if we’re going to be prepared for emergency medical situations our dogs might face, we should also be ready to act if they stick their faces into “skunkal” situations.
One of popular skunk rinse calls for 32 ounces hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap. It’s unwise to keep the mixture on hand, though, because it’s volatile. It has to be prepared on the spot.
Here’s an idea for assembling a “skunk kit” that will be ready to go when you need it.
Hydrogen peroxide comes in quart bottles (32 ounces). Dawn dishwashing liquid is available in a small bottle for a dollar, and it’s easy to estimate a teaspoon’s worth when the time comes. Add a premeasured amount of baking soda, and you’re kit is complete.
A rectangular, 2-quart food storage container is the perfect place to mix the ingredients. And ... a stroke of luck ... a bottle of hydrogen peroxide fits nicely inside it, as do the rest of the ingredients. Plus a nice, big sponge.
And presto! You have a one-time-use kit you can keep handy in your vehicle for that time you hope never comes.
About an hour’s drive northwest of Dayton, Ohio, sits Eukanuba pet foods’ Pet Health and Nutrition Center (PHNC). Recently, the folks from Eukanuba invited a group of journalists, veterinarians, dog trainers and breeders to visit the center in an effort to teach them about nutrition concerns in dog food development. That proved to be such a complicated topic you can expect a feature article on it in a future issue of The Upland Almanac.
However, we thought you might find these few points that were delivered during the tour to be somewhat interesting, possibly helpful:
Eukanuba was originally a spin-off brand from Iams. Now it is part of Mars Petcare, the largest division of Mars, the candy bar people.
Iams brand dog food was developed after World War II by Paul Iams, a self-taught nutritionist. The area west of Dayton was known for its mink farms. He developed a mink food and on visits to the farms noticed some of the dogs looked very healthy with shiny coats. Farmers told him the dogs were eating the mink food. And so … he started developing dog foods.
The term eukanuba comes from American jazz and means “supreme,” “top of the charts,” you know, “swingin’.”
“Joint health,” says Russ Kelley, Science Lead/Service & Working Dog Research Manager at the PHNC, “is a vague term. But that’s as far as the FDA will let you go,” on packaging and marketing claims.
For Eukanuba foods, “joint health” means joint support gets a boost. The “support” doesn’t exist at the “therapeutic level” in the food, says Kelley, but rather it works to repair joints from a day’s work and to prevent long-term injury.
Vets usually advise dog owners to make sure the dog foods we purchase have the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement on their packaging. What the statement means, however, is that the food meets the minimum standards, that it is sufficient but not necessarily optimal.
The law forbids a dog food company from putting “Exceeds AAFCO standards” on a bag of dog food.
The law also forbids companies from adding the digestibility rating of foods to the packaging.
Says Kelley, “There’s no way anyone can look at a label and tell anything about the quality of the dog food.”
Eukanuba claims its tests are more stringent than those performed by AAFCO.
Kelley advises, “Water is often ignored, but it is the most important required nutrient.”
Kelley’s tips for feeding dogs on hunting days:
• Morning: If the dog will be hunting right away and you want to give it a little food or a snack, give a cupful or less; if there is at least a two-hour wait before the hunt begins, give a little more.
• After the hunt: Maybe ½ cup of food and as much water as you can get them to drink.
• “You don’t want to feed a hot dog until they cool off.”