The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Pheasant hunt'n, EPA, and how to carry your cause to the end!"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

I'm a hope'n everyone is enjoy'n these nice fall days we've been have'n and gett'n their work caught up as it suits "em. A few fields of corn remain mostly by design, not "cause they haven't been supplied enough time and good weather to get "em harvested.

Last weekend was the opening of pheasant season in Illinois. Iowa's pheasant season opened a week earlier, and South Dakota earlier, on the calender than Iowa.

South Dakota calculates 200 million dollars of revenue brought into the state "cause of pheasant season. Plane routes throughout the nation are rerouted opening weekend "cause of air traffic take'n hunters to South Dakota.

When I was a young lad, we used to raise and release over 1,000 pheasants on our farm and surround'n community. The state helped in the effort. We had farmer maintained game preserves. These were mainly hedge rows with fenced off areas 30 feet wide on both sides of the osage orange trees. Inside the fenced off areas were release pens and plants for habitation and food plots for the pheasants and other wildlife critters.

Some farmers would fence off the corners of their fields to protect wildlife from livestock and maintain habitation for pheasants, quail and rabbits. Young boys and some girls used hunting as a primary sport during hunt'n season. They would rush home, by foot from our one room school house, grab a single barrel 410 shotgun, and hunt for an hour "til darkness settled in.

Then the young hunters would walk home in the dark and do their multitude of chores. Moms and dads welcomed the gathered pheasants (a bag limit of 3 per person) for the families needs. The game hunter was expected to clean their game. Rabbit and quail were abundant and considered a delicious treat.

In those days we would boil water, properly dunk the bird and pluck the feathers, just as we did chickens.

Everything was saved, includ'n the favorite, which was the heart.

Mom requested we save the best and most colorful feathers for her to make hats out of. These were given to friends and family. Maybe you've seen some of these at old household auctions, one time cherished by the owner.

A friend of mine was hunt'n last Saturday and up sprang a huge cock pheasant. He felt it was a little past safe distance to obtain a good secure kill and chose not to shoot and risk simply wounding the bird for ultimate later death and waste.

The friend watched the beautiful sight of the flight of the bird and ultimately it set its wings off in a distance to glide in for a landing, as pheasants frequently do. Suddenly, a hawk came from high out of the air striking the pheasant's back and beating it to the ground. The hawk immediately circled and landed on the stunned pheasant sinking its talons deep into the bird causing its death.

I have seen hawks strike a rabbit right in front of a combine as it was flushed out by the machine. They seldom miss their prey.

Hawks have cleaned out the cardinals and other song birds in our house yard area. I've watched it happen. Quail and rabbit are also victims. Hawks are skilled killers. It is not unusual to see many hawks, now a days. I remember doing spring field work one year and counting 28 hawks circling within eye distance of my machine.

Maybe if'n the state would once again release pheasants, hunters would bring their pocket books and come back to our state. The revenue could be phenomenal to a state so deeply in debt.

Young people could practice the hunt with their father and mother and develop bonding unequal to other individual sports. Boredom, for some young folk would be minimized and love of the outdoors, with conservation, would be encouraged.

A friend of mine, Gary H. Baise, sent me information recently on EPA's desire to regulate farm dust. Gary is an Illinois farmer and a trial attorney specializing in ag and environmental issues. EPA is building the case to further regulate farm dust, or what the agency calls a standard for thoracic course particles, otherwise known as PM10.

A number of agricultural organizations are suggesting, based on their review, that such a new standard, "would be devastating for agricultural and other resource-based operations".

A court has ruled the evidence of danger from course particulate matter (PM) is inconclusive and that the clean air act (CAA) permits the administrator to, "err on the side of caution". This language from the court allows the EPA virtually unlimited discretion to regulate farm dust.

EPA staff concludes that the clean Air Act (CAA) tells EPA to set standards, as a must, which will keep the public from being exposed to, "unacceptable health risks."

There is virtually no evidence showing that rural dust was a cause for concern. Even EPA's preamble to the rule said evidence of health effects from rural dust was weak, in fact relying on only one study, which was questionable.

Now it appears that because EPA is relying on what is called, "The Precautionary Principle" it wants to regulate more stringently our farm dust produced by tiling, harvesting, using unpaved roads, and feeding livestock.

This is another major example of EPA moving to control as many aspects of farm life as possible. So far, no participation or input has come from the USDA.

I've shared this information with the boys down at skunk holler and they are very concerned for the affects EPA could have on how we live our rural lives and practice our livelihoods.

Think of the affect this would have on township budgets which have quite a few miles of gravel roads within their boarders.

This is just another example of government rules come'n administratively rather than legislatively, and the affect it would have on our taxes.

Sandy Bob shared with the boys an obituary, received from his home town paper, of Mr. Ronald Charles Unsworth, age 78, of Charlton Street home.

Characteristic of such announcements is listed the funeral arrangements in the Thomas B. Griffin Memorial Chapel of Daniel's Funeral Chapel, with Rev. Bert Brooks officiating. Visitation hours were listed as 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. the day before the funeral.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully asked that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society or to the campaign of whoever is running against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Well, it seems some folk will carry their dislike for current policies of President Obama's EPA and his administrator, Lisa Jackson, right to the end.

The boy's are taken all this under advisement! Meself, I'm a think'n on it also.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Bruke