Stocking myths persist in Pineywoods

first_img There never has been a timber rattlesnake stocking program in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.According to TPWD endangered species specialist, Ricky Maxey, the rumors have been floating around since the 1990s.“I used to work in the Big Thicket area out of Beaumont and we used to get questions about rattlesnake stockings frequently. And it seems the rumors are still pretty rampant,” Maxey said.“Someone could have seen Forest Service officials capturing the snakes or releasing the ones fitted with transmitters and the rumor could have started there. Then again, it could be the case of a true story getting less and less truthful as it’s told,” he said.I remember back in the 1980s, there was a rumor TPWD stocked Canadian lynx in East Texas. The story I heard had them releasing these beautiful cats into the woods around Lake Livingston and in the Big Thicket National Preserve around Sour Lake.When I was a kid, it sounded believable.That was until I began studying the habits and rage of lynx and other wild cats and learned they have never in recent history at least ever been native to Texas or anywhere near our great state.And I am the first one to say wild animals do not know boundaries and most wildlife guides are inaccurate in terms of the geographical distribution they give animals but lynx are not a animal of Texas.TPWD or any other agency is not in the business of stocking predators where they are not indigenous. Lynx are doing pretty badly in their native range in the north, so stocking them here would make no sense.How did this rumor get started? There is really no telling and I could find no original source but it could simply be that some bobcats, which are common here have larger tufts on their ears than others do. This gives them a more lynx like appearance and perhaps someone added Texas-sized story telling to the mix and that spawned an alleged stocking.Finally, in recent years there have been persistent rumors TPWD has stocked black bears in East Texas.This is not true.Black bears are returning on their own and while sightings have increased they are not the result of released animals. Louisiana over the past few decades have released bears in various parts of the Bayou State and some of those animals have wandered across the border but TPWD has done no such thing.A few years ago they created a black bear work group to deal with bear management and looking into stocking as a viable option was on the table but it has not happened.There would have to be much red tape cleared before stocking of any of these kinds of animals could occur in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at [email protected] You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.) I say “story” but the truth is I have heard numerous tales of rattlesnake restoration efforts in the Pineywoods of East Texas. One gentleman even told me his uncle’s brother-in-law had some released next to his farm near Crockett. Hundreds of them.Where did these stories originate?Well, rattlesnakes have technically been “released” into certain areas in the Pineywoods. However, scientists did not breed them in captivity and they are not part of some secret restoration effort.These “released” rattlesnakes are simply ones that were captured as part of a radio-telemetry study conducted by officials with the U.S. Forest Service. Timber rattlesnake were captured in the wild, fitted with radio transmitters and released back into the wild so researchers could track their movements. The story goes something like this.In a secret effort to replenish diminishing timber rattlesnake stocks, government officials have been stocking captive-bred specimens of the venomous reptiles at various locations within Texas’ National Forest land.It is unclear as to which government agency is responsible but some reports indicate it could be the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) while another rumor has it linked to a clandestine Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) project.center_img Over the next three Sundays we will be exploring myths and misnomers commonly reported in the outdoors world.One of the most persistent has been the stories of mysterious stockings of timber rattlesnake stockings in East Texas.In fact we were the very first news outlet to break the true story of this (not-so) urban legend back in 2006.last_img read more

EMS Provider Returns to East Hampton Six Months After Surgery Left Him Paralyzed

first_img Former Amagansett Fire Chief Mark Bennett drove a fire truck in the parade. East Hampton Village police in the parade. Randy Hoffman waved to the procession of fire truck and ambulance as it went by his house in East Hampton on June 19. An Amagansett ambulance Rand Hoffman was all smiles. Randy Hoffman waited for a parade of friends in the EMS fire service on the evening of June 19 with, from left, his best friend, Jim Jowers, and his sons Nick Hoffman, 22, and Ozzy Hoffman, 19. Share Randy Hoffman holds up a gag gift a friend gave him. Jim Jowers, Randy Hoffman’s best friend, gives the thumbs up as Hoffman waves. Randy Hoffman waited for the parade to roll by. Amagansett’s Second Assistant Chief Michael Steele A Sag Harbor first responder and ambulance drove by. East Hampton Village Ambulance Association Chief Lisa Charde organized the parade. Randy Hoffman waited for a parade of friends in the EMS fire service on the evening of June 19 with, from left, his best friend, Jim Jowers, and sons Nick Hoffman, 22, and Ozzy Hoffman, 19.Last week, six months after a surgery that left him paralyzed from the neck down, Randy Hoffman walked out of a rehabilitation center and returned to East Hampton.With his hands on a walker and masked nurses surrounding him, one of them told him he could not walk over the threshold because it was metal. “I said, ‘We’ll see.’ ” Sure enough, he crossed that threshold himself, the hard-fought victory seen in his smile like the sunlight on his face.Back on December 5, 2019, Hoffman, well-known throughout the emergency medical service system on the East End, underwent what is considered at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to be a routine spinal procedure, an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion to correct nerve damage in his arm.“It was supposed to be a two-hour surgery—out the next day. They do hundreds of them a week,” Hoffman explained. His mother and his sister flew in from Colorado to be with him, but he felt it was “no big deal.”A 12-year advanced life-support provider, Hoffman knew something was wrong when he woke up from the procedure and he was still intubated. He recalled how his hands were crossed on his chest and he was told to move them. All he could wiggle was one finger.MRIs showed there was bleeding around his spinal cord. Hoffman ended up undergoing more surgeries—in all, four surgeries in 30 hours.When he fully came to, the doctor told him he was in spinal shock and essentially paralyzed from the neck down, but he was told, “ ‘I expect you’ll fully recover, but it’s going to take a lot of time because the compression has to go down.’ ”By the way, Hoffman noted, the pinched nerve never got fixed.To be expected, his memory of those first few days is hazy, but he remembers vividly his dreams, right out of “Alice in Wonderland,” he said. “Machinery, like metalworking machinery, were developing faces and talking to me.” It was from the Dilaudid, a morphine-derivative that produces a high similar to heroin distorting the very machines he works with in his East Hampton shop. “It was so realistic and so deep and so real.”In the coming weeks, Hoffman was transferred to Mount Sinai, acute rehab facility. He regained the use of his hands. As the nerve endings returned in his hands, it was so painful he had to ice them. There was progress, albeit he felt it was slow. Then he read something that referred to him as a quadriplegic. “That’s when I really got very upset, because then I was like, shit.”There was a program on his floor at Mount Sinai where patients would get together, and transitioning into society in a wheelchair was discussed. He attended once and quickly left. When he was asked to come back, he said, “I’m not going to be in a wheelchair.”Hoffman, 59, had been in great shape. He cycled 20 to 30 miles every day before the surgery. A self-employed custom cabinetmaker, he also built, restored and raced classic motorcycles, all while running ambulance calls. He lost 38 pounds while his muscles atrophied.While he regained feeling and later mobility in all four of his limbs, the East End community sprang into action, raising more than $100,000 for him between online fundraisers and spaghetti dinners at local firehouses. He has ridden on every ambulance, at one time or another, between Montauk and Southampton, and his friends in EMS, as well as people he has cared for, rallied to ensure his regular bills and whatever medical costs not paid for by insurance would be covered.Randy Hoffman waved to the procession of fire truck and ambulance as it went by his house in East Hampton on June 19.Over the winter he was transferred to San Simeon on the Sound in Greenport, a sub-acute facility, which while mainly known as a nursing home has the kind of physical therapy he required. Plus, he longed to be closer to home, even though he had a steady stream of visitors in the city.About a month after he arrived back on the East End, the novel coronavirus would hit New York. San Simeon very quickly closed its doors to visitors, successfully keeping COVID-19 out of the facility. For nearly three months, Hoffman had to go without visitors, and his focus was solely on rehabilitation.He surprised even his caregivers with his progress. Three months ago, his primary physical therapist asked him what his goals were. “I said I wanted to walk out the front doors with a walker, and she didn’t say anything. And then two months ago, she said, ‘We really need to sit down and talk about realistic goals.’ And I said, ‘I told you what my goals were,’ and she said, ‘No, no.’“That’s when I got really depressed, because she said, ‘You’re not going to walk out of here with a walker, or there’s a good chance you won’t,’ he said. It was a brutal blow, but the reality was, he said, it did not look like it was going to happen.Hoffman considers himself a generally positive person—sarcastic, he admits, but someone who looked at the bright side of things. The experience brought him to depths he had never known before. Yes, even suicidal thoughts, he freely admitted.There were times he lashed out, where he recalled yelling  out loud, “It can’t end this way.” Other days he just cried. “I mean just days, especially weekends were just difficult, I didn’t have physical therapy on Sundays. I would just cry and cry and cry,” he said. Finally, he agreed to go on Paxil, an antidepressant.How did he pull himself out of it?“I took a step between the parallel bars,” he said with a smile. “That did it.”During a P.T. session, he managed that first step while standing between parallel bars. A few days later, he took a couple more steps. Soon he was able to walk across the room with the walker, turn around, sit down and stand up again.“Now that’s functional walking,” his primary physical therapist told him.He hopes to be walking more in the next few months, and his new goal is to go back to racing in February.On Friday evening, just days after returning to East Hampton, his friends in the EMS and fire service paid him a visit—but not because he was in need of assistance. The East Hampton Village Ambulance Association, of which he is a member, organized a drive-by homecoming parade. Ambulances, fire trucks, first responder vehicles and EMTs waving signs passed by one by one to welcome him home. There was that smile once again, as he waved and blew kisses.Now just one question remains: When will he back on the ambulance, helping others?Soon, he [email protected] Randy Hoffman had a big group of family and friends at the end of his driveway. An Amagansett fire truck was also in the parade. An East Hampton truck passed by. Randy Hoffman takes a look at a sticker given to him in jest. Many EMTs in their personal vehicle also joined the parade.last_img read more

Shelby breaks open a tight game in second half, beats OV in girls basketball

first_img × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $0.00 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant LocalSportsJournal.comThe Shelby girls basketball team broke open a close game in the second half on Monday and defeated Orchard View in a non-conference tilt, 58-44.The Tigers led 28-24 at halftime, then used a 13-10 edge in the third quarter and a 17-10 advantage in the fourth to claim the victory.Jenny Beckman led Shelby with 22 points while Jaren Smith added 16 and Tori Mussell had 10.Makayla Rennells and Denyah Oakes scored 14 and 10 points, respectively, for Orchard View. Shaq Carr snagged nine rebounds, Janaya Ferrell had eight rebounds and Morgan Gates dished out eight assists. Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY Other Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Share Displayed poorly DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $19.38 ENDS IN Bestseller Twelve Add Comments (Max 320 characters) × Displayed poorly × Report a problem This item is… (35309) Other DEAL OF THE DAY Report a problem This item is… Inappropriate / Offensive (32825) $14.99 Report a problem This item is… Shop Now Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets, Citru… × Not relevant ENDS IN Not relevant Other $22.99 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Report a problem This item is… Bestseller Other × Inappropriate / Offensive Report a problem This item is… Inappropriate / Offensive FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… Inappropriate / Offensive $9.99 Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly 0 × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Bestseller Add Comments (Max 320 characters) (3879) DEAL OF THE DAY $0.00 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Fox Sports Go Not relevant (8133) Other Shares Other (975) Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Other NBC Sports ENDS IN Share $0.00 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant Mail Report a problem This item is… Other Bestseller Sports Illustrated Not relevant Displayed poorly Bestseller Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… Bestseller × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $20.00$233.61 Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly (1445) (832) Lemedy Women Padded Sports Bra Fitness Wo… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Bestseller (5153) Ads by Amazon ENDS IN × DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly Displayed poorly Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Ads by Amazonlast_img read more