Monday, April 4, 2011

Cazadora's Top Tweets: bald eaglets, bikinis, turkeys, ethics and Darth Vader

When I first started this blog, I used to write a lot more about interesting hunting- and nature-related stuff I found on the web, but once I started a Twitter account, I shifted a lot of those tidbits to the Twitterverse.

Twitter, with its 140-character limit, seemed like a great place to share something that's interesting, but not necessarily worth a whole blog post. That's still true, but I've found increasingly that I've wanted to share some of these things with blog readers who aren't on Twitter (or don't stay glued to it every waking moment).

So, behold, my first installment of Cazadora's Top Tweets: a sampling of some of the stuff I've been tweeting about in the past week. Here we go:

Decorah Eagles: My foodie friend @CarolBlymire turned me on to this one, which has been utterly consuming: There's a webcam trained on a bald eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa, and you can tune in day or night to see what's happening. Two of the three eaglets have hatched so far, so it's not too late to try to catch the final blessed moment.

The live footage, courtesy of the Raptor Resource Project, has been utterly fascinating to watch: the partnership of the parent eagles (they tend the nest in shifts), their odd little way of rocking when settling down on eggs and/or eaglets, the way the stronger eaglet bullies the weaker one, and the incredible collection of dead animals piling up on the nest to keep the little ones (and the eagle on nest shift) well-fed.

If you love nature, you'll love this. And if the live action is slow when you tune in, scroll down and it'll take you to replays on YouTube. The replays could stand to be edited down a bit - I'm a cut-to-the-chase kind of viewer - but they do catch key moments.

A hunting television show we don't need? Steve Sarley, a columnist for the Northwest Herald in McHenry County, Illinois, tells us there's a new hunting TV show in the works: Bikini Buck Shot. It's about three Chicago city girls going out to the country and attempting to hunt.

Sarley planned to do an interview about it until he watched a video one of the participants had posted on Facebook. You should check out what he had to say about it, but the short version is it didn't seem terribly ... serious.

Of course, I could be wrong about this show - it could be an amazing way to get urbanites into hunting, which is something I'm actually quite interested in. But if that's the case, the word "Bikini" in the title really doesn't serve it well.

Yo producer, are you reading? If you can make a case for this show being serious, email me.

Mean old hunters: columnist Stacey Cole wrote a column this week about something that really bugged her, and the headline says it all: "Careless hunter left arrow in living turkey."

The arrow was sticking through the bird's chest, close to its neck (ow).

Cole, who says she's not anti-hunting, writes, "How a bow hunter could hit a turkey with such a direct body shot and then not follow the wounded game until it could be retrieved, is a bit beyond me. It certainly appeared to me that this was not the action of a hunter who was interested in a quick, clean, kill."

Sigh. It never ceases to amaze me that when people see a wounded animal, particularly one with an arrow stuck in it, they tend to assume that the hunter was mean, negligent or cruel.

Sadly, there is no comment function on that website (though, for some reason, the site lists Cole's address). If there were, I would happily point out that most hunters really want to kill what they shoot at, and when the animal doesn't die right away, they generally work really hard to get the animal and finish the job.

Unfortunately, most animals run faster than we do, and turkeys can actually fly away, which really makes it a challenge to give chase. Sheesh!

Field & Stream ethics column: Field & Stream announced Friday (yes, on April Fool's) that it's starting an ethics column. For real.

The editors are inviting readers to pose questions for the column to address, click here if you'd like to add to the pile.

Straight-up funny: Hank (@Hank_Shaw) turned me on to Darth Vader vs Hitler. Epic Rap Battles of History 2. Nothing to do with hunting or nature or food - it's just funny as hell. Be warned, though: There's a bit of inappropriate language, so if your kids' ears are pristine and you'd like to keep it that way, check this out after you've put them to bed for the evening.

Want to follow me on Twitter and get these updates as I tweet them? Go here, and if you already have a Twitter account, just click on the "Follow" button. If you don't have an account, it's easy to start one.

© Holly A. Heyser 2011


Phillip said...

Twitter? Not gonna do it. Read my pixels.

Eagle nest cam? Hmm. OK. I guess it's cool if you're into it.

Bikini Buck Shot? Creo que no. I read the column as well as the producer's response at the end. Important hint to would-be producer... if people have to contact you to figure out what your show is about, then you're missing the boat. Sounds like that Paris Hilton thing, where she and her friend move to the boonies.

The turkey with the arrow? Not sure which one she's referring to. I've seen two photos running around in the last year or so. Both of them were sporting field points, not broadheads or even judo points... and not likely the work of "hunters". More likely the work of some 13 year-old kid (or an adult with the same mentality). Nevertheless, unless Stacey Cole has ever tried to blood trail a turkey, even one that is fatally hit, she needs to hold her judgement. When it comes to trailing a wounded bird, it makes following a wounded hog look like child's play. Tracking and then catching one that's only lightly wounded is a pipe dream.

Field and Stream ethics blog/column? A fiery disaster if ever there was one. I'd like to hope for better, but my naivete has worn a bit thin.

Haven't watched the Hitler/Vader vid yet. Will check it out later.

But I'm still not gonna Tweet.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I don't blame you - Twitter can be a timesink, for sure. I try to be a good twitizen but putting stuff out there that people will want to read. But occasionally I partake of the conversations that seem very one-sided unless you follow everyone in the conversation. It's a crazy world.

Bikini Buck Shot: LOL, for once I didn't dive into the comment field, so I didn't realize she had replied. I think she needs to take the "Bikini" critique seriously. Having seen far, far too many "hunting websites" devoted to babes in camo bikinis, that word sends the wrong message to me, and likely to a lot of other female hunters I hang out with, both in person and online.

Turkey with arrow: Good point! (Pun belatedly intended.)

F&S ethics: I think it's an excellent step to take, and I was under the impression it was going to be for the magazine, not the blogs, in which case it probably wouldn't be a disaster.

The video: Dude, just hit play. I guarantee it'll make your day better.

Ingrid said...

Holly, I hope it's okay to add that a bit closer to home, there's the Peregrine nest cam on the San Francisco PG&E building (by the Santa Cruz Predatory Research Group that also monitors Peregrines in San Jose). There are obviously heartbreaks associated with watching the fledglings trying to survive in a glass-reflected, human world. But it's educational in terms of truly understanding what it takes for these magnificent raptors to coexist and thrive among skyscrapers and us. And there's a dedicated team of researchers and volunteers on "fledge watch" each year, to help the youngsters if they encounter urban troubles. (link: ttp://

Ingrid said...

On the topic of the turkey with the arrow, as a non-hunter and wildlife person, I can't help but reiterate that this is why I have such a tough time with bow hunting, plain and simple. It doesn't matter whether cruelty or recklessness was involved. The end result is pretty awful when the animal gets away with an embedded arrow.

I don't know if you all have ever seen the aftermath of a bird like a turkey who's been living with an arrow for weeks or months. It's painful beyond description. A group I trained with rescued one such turkey and I can't begin to describe what it entails to capture such an animal, and what the animal endures. It's very hard for me to accept this type of "collateral damage," as it were, in a sport (bow hunting) that's often taken on by hunters for extra personal challenge. It's tough to reconcile personal fulfillment, with the types of injuries that occur by bow. That's my two cents but you wouldn't expect any other POV from me, I realize.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Ingrid, I don't know if you'll be happy or dismayed to know I've taken up archery. What might make you happy is that my plan is to get really good at it before I ever aim at an animal.

I also plan to start with small game, which I think will have two benefits: First, when you hit small game, I'm told there's a high likelihood the arrow will pin the animal to the ground. Second, a shooting error that would mean an ugly wounding in a big game animal would be a clean miss with small game.

As for other fledgling raptors: I'm told that even in the wild the percentage of fledglings that live to age 1 is incredibly low - they live a very dangerous life. I can only imagine, though, how a glass jungle would heighten that danger.

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

I LOVED the Darth Vader vs Hitler video. I think I happened to be on twitter when you re-tweeted it or something. I passed that sucker on and it went around like the plague. It makes me smile just thinking about it! Man, now I will hvae to hit it up again before I leave for the next blog.....

NorCal Cazadora said...

One of my former students was VERY jealous that I found a viral Star Wars-related video before he did. I LOVE that thing!

Live to Hunt.... said...

Glad you're writing these things here for our enjoyment. Twitter is just stupid.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Well, Twitter is a pain, and it does take a lot of time, but it does an amazing job of spreading news to interested parties very quickly (I'm thinking Egyptians and Libyans are partial to it).

Jason S. said...

Love your weblog writing (great photos, too).

Turtle Bay in Redding has an eagle cam that's been streaming nest video since '08 (?). I think eaglets have hatched each year and there's new eggs right now.

Also saw this post about a hawk nest cam in Manhattan that went live today:

Pretty cool.

Twitter is an absolutely fascinating source of info. Plenty of interesting people are using it (maybe even an archer or two). Hope to get back on one day.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Thanks, Jason! Watching these eagles, and hearing about the more urban ones that you and Ingrid mention, are a cool reminder of the incredible resilience and persistence of nature. Whether it's hawks nesting in skyscrapers or lettuces growing in cracks in the pavement (most people know them as "weeds"), nature doesn't waste opportunity. That's one of the things that gives me hope.

And if you like my photos here, you should check out my boyfriend's blog (if you're into food). I don't do all of his photos, but I do most of them, and that demand has been the driving force of my growth as a photographer.

Angie Kaiser said...

Yo Norcal,

This is the Bikini Buck Shot producer responding to your article! You hit the nail on the head when you made the mention of "an amazing way to get urbanites into hunting" which is one of the objectives in our marketing strategy, hence the name Bikini Buck Shot. While I can understand some people not liking the title, the intent is use bikini as a paradox to capture attention from a diverse group of people and also to symbolize an all-female show.

With regards to Steve Sarley’s article, I must say that I was very disappointed in the lack of journalism on his behalf. Steve made a snap decision/assumption about our show without doing the research to better understand our vision and message. He watched a 15 minute YouTube video that was intended for a few production companies to simply display our personalities and nothing more. This video had absolutely nothing to do with our pilot, the vision of Bikini Buck Shot, or our ability/desire to hunt. Had Steve reviewed our Facebook page, looked at our pictures, and read our profile, he would have had the information he required to write an accurate article.

You made a mention in your article that if I can make a case for this show being serious to email you; well, what I can offer is this: Bikini Buck Shot is not meant to be your typical hunting/outdoor program. I watch a lot of outdoor programming myself and am ready for a fresh perspective! I am all about breaking stereotype and proving that big city girls can head out to the country and learn to be just as successful as those that call themselves “professional”. Our show will have the humor element added simply because the ladies are embarking on this journey without any previous hunting knowledge and/or skills. While one may be offended that we need a map to locate our hunting grounds, or the fact that we make light of our situation and have the ability to laugh at ourselves, the truth is that anyone who classifies themselves as a hunter had to start out somewhere and the ladies journey is starting at the very beginning. I, myself am very proud that these women-urbanites would take themselves completely out of their element, have enough faith/trust in me to teach them something so foreign to them and give it their all.

Bikini Buck Shot just finalized filming our pilot this past weekend and I can assure you that there was no mockery made with our 3am wake up calls, 10 hour hunting days, and tons of turkey activity. I look forward to releasing the video so all the naysayers can retract their ignorant comments and so the world can be introduced to the next generation of female hunters!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Hey Angie, thanks for writing (and I'm sorry you got stuck in the spam filter for a while there).

Wanna share the Facebook page or any other links so we can all check it out?