THIBODAUX -- So just how did the raccoon get the yellow stripe down its back? The Daily Comet launched an investigation in the first week of March with Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to find the answer. And DOTD officials have confirmed, after nearly two weeks, that it was one of their crews that striped over the dead raccoon on La. 1 in the St. Charles community near Thibodaux. "Obviously, it's embarrassing for us," Mark Lambert, spokesman for the DOTD said. "It's unfortunate.".

Deer in Fence

LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County Regional Police worked to release a white-tailed deer that became stuck in a fence on Tuesday afternoon in the backyard of a residence on North Grand Street. Police said the deer had broken through the top portion of the fence and became stuck, and the front end of the deer was on one side of the fence while the back end remained on the opposite side. Police said they covered the deer’s head and began disassembling the wooden fence, and then lifted the deer off the fence. Police said they carried the deer across North Grand Street to release it. The deer ran into the woods and appeared uninjured, police added.–The Sentinel

Raccoon Stripes

THIBODAUX — So just how did the raccoon get the yellow stripe down its back? The Daily Comet launched an investigation in the first week of March with Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to find the answer. And DOTD officials have confirmed, after nearly two weeks, that it was one of their crews that striped over the dead raccoon on La. 1 in the St. Charles community near Thibodaux. “Obviously, it’s embarrassing for us,” Mark Lambert, spokesman for the DOTD said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Giant Catfish

Most kids play video games or baseball during their spring breaks. But Dakota Hinson, 10, did something a little more noteworthy on his first day away from school. Hinson, a third-grader at McLaurin Elementary, caught a new state-record blue catfish Monday. The mammoth fish weighed in at 95 pounds on a scale certified by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Hinson was fishing with his cousin Earl Stafford and family friend David Renfro on the Mississippi River south of Natchez when he thought he had caught his line on a log. But the floating wood actually turned out to be the biggest fish anyone on the boat had ever seen. “I thought I was hung up at first because he was so big, but then the line started coming out of the reel,” Hinson said. “I saw his tail flap way up in the air, and my uncle said, ‘You caught a big one!'” Hinson said it took approximately 20 minutes to reel in the giant fish and haul him into the boat. He reeled him in by himself, but his partners had to help get the monster into the boat. Gregory Hinson, Dakota’s brother, said they weighed the fish on scales at St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge, and he registered 125 pounds. “It’s exactly the same (weight) as me,” Dakota said.


Authorities in Bridgewater, NJ believe the three men arrested for stealing eight guns from a home in the city’s Finderne section on March 3 committed the burglary by distracting the homeowner’s devoted (but hungry) Labrador retriever, intentionally scattering pieces of raw hotdogs around the home and property. Police say they were led to the primary suspect in the case after reviewing surveillance video from the nearby Finderne Twin City Supermarket, where Ronald Elizondo, 20, allegedly purchased the hot dogs used to divert the Lab from paying attention to the trio’s nefarious activities. The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Elizondo and 18-year-olds Adrian McCoy and Tyshiune Haskins were charged with second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, unlawful possession of a handgun and other offenses, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest. Bail was set at $50,000. Among the items reported stolen were three shotguns, two rifles, three handguns and ammunition, along with other items of value.

Wis. Seal

Wisconsin sportsmen and gun owners are well aware of Gov. Jim Doyle’s less-than-stellar track record when it comes to dealing with issues of importance to hunters and shooting enthusiasts. After all, it was Doyle who twice vetoed legislation that would have made Wisconsin the 49th state to allow concealed carry of firearms for personal protection. Only Wisconsin and Illinois do not issue any type of CCW permit to citizens. As another example of his indifference to sportsmen, Gov. Doyle’s 2009 budget proposal released last week included his plan to raise elk-hunting application fees for the state’s limited draw elk hunt from $3 to $10. Trouble is, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has never authorized an elk hunt, and it’s not even certain exactly when the state’s herd will meet its population goal. The DNR wants to attain a target of 200 elk in the state before it authorizes a limited season. The goal may be met as early as 2010, but then again, it may not. When the hunt is finally authorized, the agency estimates more than 20,000 hunters would apply for the draw-only hunt. Applicants would be required to pay a non-refundable fee, which was tentatively set at $3. But if the governor gets his wish, prospective elk hunters will be fleeced for an additional 7 bucks.


Lakemaid Beer, a limited-release collaboration from a Minnesota brewery and the Rapala fishing lure company, is back for its second year and is again being distributed in parts of the upper Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bottle labels of this seasonal brew from August Schell Brewing in New Ulm, Minn. feature the likenesses of 12 different freshwater mermaids (Lakemaids), including Miss Trout, Miss Smallmouth Bass and Miss Crappie. New for the 2009 season is a can featuring the likeness of Miss Walleye. Visit the Web site at The Schell Brewery is the home of Grain Belt Beer, and it also specializes in numerous seasonal beers as well. The beer maker bills itself as the second oldest family-owned brewery in the USA, with five generations of family operation dating back to 1860. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the pictures a little disturbing, to say the least, especially that part of the female anatomy just below the navel, where it transforms into her pelvic fin. Kinda creepy, huh? Makes you wonder what was being consumed during the marketing department meeting when this idea was hatched. Anyway, a portion of the sales of Lakemaid Beer goes to the International Game Fish Association to be used for fisheries conservation programs. And that’s a good thing. Bottoms up!

Feral Dog

COLORADO SPRINGS — Anyone who doubts eastern El Paso County has a dog problem should talk to Dan Gillis. Four marauding dogs attacked his ram in a feeding frenzy at his farm north of Ellicott. “When I found him the next morning, he was still alive, and his whole hind quarter was gone,” said Gillis, who quickly put the ram down. That was more than two years ago, and the problem hasn’t gone away. “The dog problem is more of a problem than coyotes or wild animals,” Gillis said. School kids waiting for buses are frightened of the dogs, which have been seen in packs of up to 100, county Commissioner Amy Lathen said. “They run. They breed. There’s no control,” she said. Delivery drivers have been stranded in their vehicles, cattle stampeded and stockmen have lost sheep, goats, lambs, calves and even pet dogs, county officials say. Gillis said 75 to 100 dogs live at a mobile home park southwest of Ellicott where residents feed the dogs but don’t claim ownership. The dogs that got his ram came from there, he said, their guilt evident from wool stuck between their teeth and gums. The owner was identified when she tried to claim the dog at the Humane Society shelter, he said. “When people leave to go to work, they turn their dogs loose,” he said. “People are afraid to let their kids out to play.” Although Lathen said some of the dogs might have been dumped by owners in the city, Gillis said he rarely sees an abandoned dog. “Most dumped dogs don’t know what to do and will come up to you,” he said. “These (wild) dogs take off running.” According to the Humane Society, dumped pets aren’t a growing problem, despite the worsening economy. It received 73 calls for dog at large in January 2008 and only two more than that this January, said Humane Society spokeswoman Ann Davenport. However, services such as picking up strays and responding to dogs barking have been reduced after the county cut the agency’s contract by more than half this year. That leaves minimal services intact – responding to dog bites and sheltering of vicious dogs pending court action. Gillis has taken the problem into his own hands. “If I see a dog on my property, I shoot it,” he said. “The way the law reads if I have a dog that’s feral that’s threatening my livestock, I have a right to shoot it.”–

Gun Show

Perhaps just as true as the adage, “Never take a knife to a gunfight,” would be, “Never steal guns at a gun show.” Austin Sechler, one of many vendors at last week’s RK Gun Show in Wichita, Kansas, said a young man stopped at his booth and began acting strangely, picking up guns and putting them in his pocket like he wanted to see how they fit. When the man returned to Sechler’s booth later in the show, he grabbed four Smith and Wesson handguns and headed for the door. But he didn’t go far. According to a report in The Wichita Eagle, Sechler jumped over a table and grabbed the man. Soon, two or three others at the show helped hold the man down. “He finally gave up when there was four guys laying on him,” Sechler said. The alleged thief was subdued and cuffed with plastic zip ties until Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies arrived within minutes to take him into custody. Later, Sechler made a profound observation, correctly identifying the venue as “the very wrong place to do this.” Yep, just like taking a knife to a gunfight.

Ice Rescue

A 35-year-old Oshkosh man declined assistance during an attempted ice rescue, telling emergency personnel the fishing was best in the area he was stationed on a slab of ice. Joseph Dake used a ladder to get to the ice slab across open water, which was located 1/4 mile out from the Lake Winnebago shore east of 28 Lake Street, said Lt. John Zimmerman, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.
”It wasn’t a free flowing piece of ice,” Zimmerman said. He added the ice slab was connected to ice that lead to shore, but had a large crack in it that had opened up. 
The Oshkosh Fire Department deployed a rescue boat to the man. He refused assistance, stating the fishing was good in that area.
”He had caught some fish and I think that’s part of the reason he didn’t want to leave,” Zimmerman said. “Apparently, he has done this before.”—

Raccoon Trapper

Glemie Dean Beasley, a 69-year-old retired truck driver who modestly refers to himself as the Coon Man, supplements his Social Security check with the sale of raccoon carcasses that go for as much $12 and can serve up to four. The pelts, too, are good for coats and hats and fetch up to $10 a hide. A licensed hunter and furrier, Beasley says he hunts coons and rabbit and squirrel for a clientele who hail mainly from the South, where the wild critters are considered something of a delicacy. “Coon or rabbit. God put them there to eat. When men get hold of animals he blows them up and then he blows up. Fill ’em so full of chemicals and steroids it ruins the people. It makes them sick. Like the pigs on the farm. They’s 3 months old and weighing 400 pounds. They’s all blowed up. And the chil’ren who eat it, they’s all blowed up. Don’t make no sense.”–The Detroit News

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