Sunday, October 21, 2012

4-H Wildlife

We had our first wildlife contest last Wednesday and so have been busy preparing for that. Junior didn't want to do the contest (and I don't blame him) but Daisy did. She scored well considering it was her first year (unless you count all that 3 years ago) and it is a hard contest.

So you can get an idea of what was involved, there are 4 parts of the contest: plant ID and preferences; habitat management; hunter safety; and techniques. In plant ID they have 59 or 60 plants to be able to recognize and tell if it is the prefered plant of waterfowl, deer, squirrel, dove, quail and turkey (some plants can have almost all of them and some have none of them). To give you an idea of how hard this is, here is the plant list:

As if that wasn't enough, the hunter safety part is the general hunter safety that would be part of the hunter safety course but also any new thing in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual.

 In the Habitat Management portion they are shown an area and given a story with this area and asked if the area is capable of supporting turkey or deer etc. They are also asked what should be done to make that area capable of supporting the chosen animal. The difficulty with this part is the "experts" giving the contest don't always agree so you have to hope that you think about it the same way as the one judging your answers.

And the techniques are quite possibly the worst part. They can put any animal that has lived in the wild in Texas and ask a question about it such as what type of skull is this, is this animal native to Texas, is this bird wing from a mature or juvenile bird. They also have to be able to age a deer by its jawbone.

She has another contest over this in a couple weeks so we have more studying to do.

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