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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Tue Sep 18, 2012, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 18,318

About Me

I have been on DU since 2006 under \"SteveM\" and later \"SteveW.\" Due to an account mix-up and a computer crash, I have \"rejoined\" as Eleanors38, but my history at DU includes the names cited.

Journal Archives

Re-cycling plastic bottles to use in hunting/outdoor excursions:

If you are like me, you don't bother with the bladder & tube re-hydration system in many hunting day packs. To me, they seem overly complex and tedious to remove for washing and maintenance. Instead, I re-cycle plastic bottles. But not all of these bottles are the same.

The concensus among those who have looked at the health consequences of re-cycling is that #1 bottles are safest in terms of preventing leach off of harmful chemicals into your water. Indeed, all the bottled water bottles I have seen are marked #1 (look at the base of the bottles). Trouble is, the water bottles are made of very thin plastic which will snap, crackle and pop once they are empty or partially so. Deer will rightly conclude some human doofus is in the field. Draining the bottles in one sitting -- recommended both for meaningful rehydration, and for preventing the noisy slosh of half-empty bottles -- is no solution as packed out empties are noisiest of all, even tucked deep below rags and a roll of toilet tissue. What to do?

Try a Coke, Pepsi, or other pop bottle which has a thicker hull, but still rated #1. The thickness may be due to the need to withstand the pressure of carbonation. These bottles don't crackle when partially or fully empty on the tote out. If you have doubts, just squeeze the Charmin.

The only other concern is proper cleaning. Some have suggested that using very hot water and excess dishwashing chemicals more than offset any lessening of environmental degradation attendant to repeated purchases of new bottles. I think this is specious. Just begin your nightly (weekly??) dishwashing regime by soaking in the usual heated solution, scrubing around the cap threads, and within the caps themselves. Now, wash your dishes in the soapy water as you would normally. Finally, rinse in the usual manner. No special purpose washing needed, and no more tipping off deer at a hundred yards!

Quail populations rebounding in Texas & other locations.

According to the latest issue of Outdoor Life, bobwhite quail have increased in numbers over the last two years, marking a reversal in the bird's generally dismal fortunes. The reason is increased rains in Texas and elsewhere. The numbers are still a fraction of what they were a few decades ago. The rains seem to be more a transient phenomenon as numbers in the deep South are still low, but rain is abundant. Here, a greater problem is at work: Land use. As old ag practices (leaving land fallow with attendant quail-favorable regrowth of desired foliage) are abandoned in favor of center pivot agriculture, land does not go fallow, and native grasses are not regenerated. Rain has limited effect if land conditions are unfavorable.

Not memtioned are the big fires in Texas a few years back which burned off improved cattle grasses and a lot of mature timber growth. Subsequent regrowth has made for grass which quail can negotiate (they are primarily a "running" bird) and use as protective cover. In other parts of Texas and the Southwest, scaled quail have also bounced back.

I used to hear quail in some places in Texas 10+ years ago, but things have gone silent. Now, I hope to hear them again. Maybe we will come closer to the day when you could kick quail up in North Florida without even the use of a dog!


100,000 protestors
Animal eyes shining
Tonight, we make love.

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