Days GON By January 2018

Cobb County's first coyote; deer found dead stuck between trees.

GON Staff | January 1, 2018

Each month we turn back the clock to see what was being reported in the pages of GON, 30, 20 and 10 years ago. Here’s a look back at what appeared in GON.

30 Years Ago: January 1988

Cobb County Coyote: Larry Cook, of Kennesaw, killed a coyote in Cobb County, and it was front-page news 30 years ago. The song dog was trying to get into his chicken house.

January 1988: Larry Cook, of Kennesaw, couldn’t believe his eyes when he woke up in the night to find a coyote raiding his chicken house.

According to Game and Fish Biologist Bill Cooper, four or five coyotes were killed in Cobb County in 1987. Cooper stayed busy tracking the rapid expansion of the coyote’s range in Georgia. It was reported that 130 of the 159 counties had reported coyote sightings by 1988, although it was speculated that the song dogs were living in pretty much all counties.

“We just haven’t had verified reports from some of the other counties yet,” said Cooper.

It’s believed the coyote’s fast expansion across the Peach State is a tribute to their versatility.

“They are notorious for taking advantage of anything that’s available,” said Cooper. “They’ll eat just about anything from meat to vegetables to fruit—that’s the reason they have spread. They are very adaptable.”

January 1998: Long-time GON friend and advertiser Capt. David Newlin with some ducks he shot on the Georgia coast with GON 20 years ago. Today, David is still offering duck hunting and coastal fishing trips for clients.

20 Years Ago: January 1998

Deer Mortality: There’s a lot of things in the woods working against a deer, but a forked tree wouldn’t be on top of the list. Eddie Whitmire sent in a picture of a Baldwin County doe that lost its life between a tree.

“We found the doe after it had tried to jump across a ditch and got hung between two trees and died,” said Eddie.

January 1998: This Baldwin County doe got stuck between two trees as it tried to cross a ditch.

10 Years Ago: January 2008

Deer With Pointy-Toed Hooves: Doug Carter, of Nichols, sent GON a photo of a Ware County deer with extremely long hooves.

“The deer came up behind me and came under my stand,” said Doug. “I didn’t notice him having any problem walking, and when I shot him, he ran off. I didn’t notice the hooves until I started to drag him out, and all four hooves were the same way.”

The button buck was in good shape other than its unusual footwear. Doug’s father, a farmer, wondered if the deer was getting too much high-protein feed and not enough roughage, a condition that can sometimes cause the hooves of livestock to grow too rapidly. Doug said there were hog and chicken operations in the area where feed might be available.

“There are several things that can cause excessive growth in hooves,” said WRD Biologist Charlie Killmaster. “Lack of sufficient abrasion. Hooves, like fingernails, are made of keratinized epithelial cells and continue to grow to compensate for wear. Unusually long hooves is most common in areas with lots of marsh.”

An excess of a particular nutrient that stimulates growth of epithelial cells and/or keratin and a genetic defect were two other possibilities for the crazy-looking hooves.

Hunter Makes Feathered Friend In A Tree Stand: Even with the photos to prove it, the story of Mark Walls’ Nov. 16, 2008 hunt is still hard to believe. The 16-year-old hunter was sitting in his stand on an afternoon hunt when a hawk swooped in and landed on a limb in front of him. Close encounters with predatory birds are not all that uncommon for hunters in tree stands, but what happened next was pretty amazing.

“At first I thought, ‘Oh gosh, there is a hawk right in front of me,’” Mark said. “I moved my hand, and the hawk saw me move, so I lifted my arm and the hawk jumped on my hand. I sat in surprise, almost not believing what was happening.”

Mark started snapping photos with his cell phone. Mark said the hawk stayed with him for about 20 minutes. When Mark got down, he left the hawk in the tree.

“I think it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that will probably never happen again,” Mark said.

The hawk was most likely a trained hunting raptor or a wild bird that had been rehabilitated.

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