So, to stop the president from being too lenient on illegal immigration, (the GOP wants) to defund the department that secures the border? That’s really like saying, ‘You know, you kids are too horny and over-sexed. So your mother and I have decided to take away all of your clothes. From now on, if your friends want to visit you, they gotta do it in our basement, on the couch, without supervision next to the liquor cabinet while this Barry White album is playing.’
—  Jon Stewart, Punchlines

She was 1010 and chirping at me. So I took her out. She flew GREAT! Full blast to the jacks. I was only able to flush about 5 at the honey hole. But she went full blast and grabbed fur for the first one. She loved flying from the telephone poles. She’s starting to recognize my habits and my calls for flushed game. Near the end she flew over a jack and didn’t pull the trigger. So I called her down and took her home. She didn’t bate at all when I hooded her. GREAT day in the field! Thanks for all the advice, the manning helped her (I’m starting to be convinced it’s a him) get used to me and she was much more comfortable during the hunt.

Behold the tiny mighty wonder that is a daredevil weasel riding a green woodpecker. Actually the little creature is trying to take down the woodpecker - which would’ve made an enormous meal - but the weasel’s Herculean hunting efforts were unsuccessful and the bird was able to escape those incredibly small (but fierce!) claws. This, friends, is the Napoleon of the Mustelid family: a small but very ambitious and ultimately failed conqueror.

This awesome photo was taken by East London-based hobby photographer Martin Le-May while he and his wife were out for a walk through Hornchurch Country Park and heard a “distressed squawking” that directed their attention to this unusual sight.

If you’re finding it hard to believe that this photo could be anything but a Photoshop job, Robbie Gonzalez from io9 has been hard at work researching previous examples of weasels preying on birds. It turns out this behaviour isn’t unheard of at all. Click here to learn more.

Good luck Baby Bonaparte. You might have been bested today, but The Internets will speak of your daring feats for at least as long as its collective attention span allows.

[via io9 and BuzzFeed]

Aachen Cathedral Treasury holds an Olifant from eleventh century, which was long considered the Hunting Horn of Charlemagne. There is also the so-called Hunting Knife of Charlemagne, dating to the eighth century.

The knife, made of Damascus steel is classified as Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian. The associated sheath probably dates to the eleventh century and bears an Old Englishinscription, reading BRHTZIGE MEC FECID (Brythsige made me).

As magical as the internet has been saying this looks, do not be fooled. This is a struggle for life between the prey, a Green Woodpecker, and it’s predator, what appears to be a Least Weasel. 

Weasels are intense hunters and take down prey much larger than themselves such as rabbits and hares—so as strange as this image is, it starts to make sense. 

In the end the Green Woodpecker landed, dislodged it’s unwanted passenger and flew off into the trees. The Least Weasel ran back into the brush.

Original Source.

Die Hard.

Some animals die harder than others. Hunters know this. You can shoot a buck right through the heart with a .308 and watch the animal charge away from the scene as if no worse for wear, only to find him crumpled in the undergrowth several miles away. 

Most of the time, when I’m looking down the barrel of a gun at a living target, it’s because that animal is suffering, and they tend to accept death with a somber readiness. That was not the case with the ram I was asked to butcher at the farm the other day. 

This was a young guy - a yearling, really, but with an awful temper and bad habit of trying to mount the females he was penned with, even when they wanted nothing to do with him. The family who owned him were all worried that he was going to cause somebody real physical harm, and needed him gone ASAP. 

They tied him to the fence, away from the road and other livestock, and laid out some grain for the bully-ram to eat. While he had his head down, I lined up the sights of my trust .22 Marlin 81-DL and fired. 

It’s easy to misjudge a headshot - So many people shoot right between the eyes. But that’s too low to take out an animal like a ram.

My first shot went right where I needed it to go, and I stood back after I’d fired, anticipating that he would fall instantly. I’d seen cows, llamas, and many other large animals go down from a single close-range shot with a .22 to the brain; I myself have pulled the trigger on a few of them.

But to my shock and amazement, the bully-ram still stood, staggering backward. I quickly dropped the bolt on the rifle, releasing the cartridge, and loaded another round, which I landed in the same place as the first. The ram’s knees buckled, but he stood back up again and swayed back and forth, so without pausing for a moment, I unloaded two more rounds into him. 

He finally collapsed, and though I knew he was in his death throes and couldn’t feel anything more, I emptied all the rest of my shots into him, more for my sake than for his. Seeing an animal die so hard, especially one with as much fire in his heart at that ram, haunts me. 

I understand, though, that this was unique situation; the ram was chock full of testosterone which likely sent his adrenaline levels through the roof, and he was not ready or wanting to die. A lesser warrior than him would have succumbed far sooner, but he fought his fate to the very end.

When he was finally gone, I rested my hand on his blood-streaked forehead and said a little prayer of sorts, letting him know that my intentions were good, and promising to use every part of him I could.

The farmers kept his hide, and Danny and I butchered up the carcass for meat. What we didn’t reserve for our own consumption, I gave to the dogs, who have now feasted and are resting well. I removed a bunch of fat (my gods, he had so much fat!) so that  I could render some tallow, and ended up making a bunch of candles, which I’ll be listing soon in the shop. 

I let one candle burn for the ram, bully he was, out of respect for his memory. 

In September, my second month in Shishmaref, native hunters were bringing in droves of seals, leaving their women knee deep in carcasses to clean for eating and for tanning. I looked out my kitchen window one day to see how our neighbors, whose family owns the house I rent, have set up camp to skin just outside.

They invited me out to come watch them work.

As a non-native, it is illegal for me to hunt or work with the raw materials from any marine mammals. As Alaska Natives, most of the inhabitants of Shishmaref are allowed to hunt these creatures as a way of maintaining their native culture but also as means of survival – subsistence hunting, as a way of bringing extra money home – native arts including sewing and beadwork for ornaments and ornamental pieces, and to keep themselves and their children intact through the winter  – sewing warm, waterproof mittens and hats that will keep them safe on snow-mobile rides and hunting and fishing trips during the cold winter months.

Preparing the seals is hard and seemingly unending work as hunters continue to bring them in and women like this one balance time working with the carcasses with their duties as mothers and, often, at jobs at the store or school.

They start by cutting around the tail and then turn it over to cut up the stomach.

Blubber is left attached to the skin to be scraped off later.

After it is cooked or crafted into something, anyone, native or otherwise, will be allowed to eat or use it. One of my friends here has invited me for meals including seal oil, blubber, dried, and cooked meat, and intestine and various organs. It is all pretty good.

Once the skin is free, it is time to scrape.

Because hunting is seasonal, it is important to catch all you can when you can, so hunters keep going out and women keep skinning and working the meat and hides.

Down the street, more work is getting done, this woman is pealing the fat off a skin so she can send it out for tanning.

When the work is done they must wash skins again and again to remove the seal oil before sending it out or the fur will come back stained.

I’ve put off posting these photos for months because I’ve worried about the reactions they might illicit. But here is the simple truth: people in Shishmaref do what it takes to survive. Surviving is hard work and it is our task to find joy in it.