Episode-1206- Listener Calls for 9-13-13 — 64 Comments

  1. Is Mulligan Mint doing that thing you mentioned back in podcast 1170-something that it would be a good idea for them to do? Because, yeah, while that move makes sense for them it will sound bad to people who aren’t quite aware of the whole situation.

    Also, you mentioned the new dog killed a chicken. What’s the response to that? I’ve heard that farmers back in the day would put a dog down if it killed a livestock animal, but I don’t know if that’s because it just COULDN’T be retrained or what.

    Man, that bit about the goose carcasses being wasted like that was damned appalling to me. I hate hunting when you waste the meat, then it’s just pointless slaughter.

    • Yea that thing in a much better way then I had imagined! In a way that is pretty damn awesome. I’ll provide details next week.

      Let me say I think anyone that shoots a dog for killing livestock when they brought the dog onto their land on purpose at best should have the f’ing shit kicked out of them. If I ever see someone do it will have to control myself to avoid killing them but I will deliver said beating.

      Shooting a feral dog that is damaging your home is one thing, shooting one you brought to your land and don’t like the way it worked out is ignorant hick bullshit. I can’t tell you how having heard someone say they have done it has made me ready to beat the shit out of them. I never have but I know if I witnessed it, I wouldn’t be able to hold back and I would seriously beat the son of a bitch into the ground.

      None of this is directed at you, you just hit a nerve is all.

      Some people will tie the dead animal to the dogs collar, this is said to work.

      My response, he got whacked in the ass, he knew he was in trouble and that is that. Dogs are animals that largely want to please, long term punishments are beyond their understanding and don’t do much good.

      He is taken with me to the birds every day, we are working on it. He is a puppy, he isn’t ready to be fully trusted yet but the training is my burden.

      Frankly the life of my dog is worth a hell of a lot more to me then the life of one pullet. People that say a dog can’t be trained not to kill livestock once it has done so are simply saying they are personally too ignorant, stupid and lazy to be able to do so.

      • For disciplining pets I use a piece of water pipe insulation. They are light, made of foam and have a hole running through them. You can hit any but the smallest pets without worrying about causing damage, especially if you hit them in an area of mussel. It makes a fair amount of noise and then there is the surprise factor. I’ve even been able to modify the behavior of a cat this way.

        • Good tip and it does no injury and no real pain either. When you use pain in excess you break trust with your animals. They may comply but trust is the real key. An animal that has trust in you, bonds with you and will do all it can to please you. Pain has a place, it is just a minimal place. Very minimal.

    • On Mulligan Mint: HMMM. I’m pretty interested/curious now and look forward to the details.

      On the dog thing: Nah, it’s all good, I didn’t take it as directed at me. I don’t do livestock yet, so the issue has never come up. I’ve just heard a few old timers mention it throughout my life, so I was curious. Even with said oldtimers, I think they were mainly talking about other people, specifically full time farmers, doing it so it was basically third hand information that for whatever reason stuck with me.

      • I’m glad to hear that Rob and crew are hanging in there. I’ve done my part, the check for my latest order is in the mail.

      • I think a lot of it is depression era hold over. Losing a bird to a dog in 1933 for a poor family was a serious thing, that is 300ish eggs a year. Anyone doing it today should be seriously beaten.

    • Jack:
      That’s what my Grandpa used to do, take the carcass and beat the hell out of the dog with it then tie the carcass around their neck until it rotted off and they wanted nothing more to do with the chickens…..In Growing your own Groceries Marjory Wildcraft says that both of her dogs killed chickens and it takes harsh punishment to keep them from doing it again,but, she said it works.
      She never said exactly what she did but maybe you could ask her?

      • I don’t think I will, if she did something like that I don’t want to know because it will tarnish my opinion of her. I have been working with dogs a long damn time. This type of bullshit is what the ignorant and lazy do. Hell if you need to take the correction up, get a shock collar, we have one. Set it at the absolute lowest setting necessary for correction, a one second pop when they are behaving in an aggressive way to the livestock and it works just great.

        You only need to shock them two or three times. The collars have a vibrate setting. Once they know about the shock all you need to do is vibrate it for a few seconds (which does no harm) and they get it.

        Like I said dogs want to please it is up to us to make them understand. I feel a show on dog training coming. I have never done any real phyical harm to my dogs and all have been so well mannered and behaved everyone who visits is amazed.

        Every dog I have owned by the time they were grown you could let a two year old take a bone from them without any concern. Most dogs that would be dangerous right.

        Nothing I do is mean or harmful to the dog or the dogs psyche.

  2. I just started listening to today’s podcast and I have to agree with Jack and the caller about the numerous benefits associated with keeping chickens beyond eggs and meat. When I started building our coop both of my boys were very involved. We’ve had the chickens now since April and they just started laying, both of the boys can’t wait to check the coop everyday and love to let them out of the pen and play with them. I got chickens for the eggs, I never thought they would be so important to the boys.

  3. Hi Jack. I just listened to your caller with a problem with the 100 degree water. His plants roots are not receiving enough oxygen from the water. The hotter the water the less oxygen in the water. If u can cool it by 20 degrees, you will see your plants love life again…
    I am an indoor grower so I have to pay attention to the H2O temp regularly. Just a thought…

    • Hmm I just can’t see the water staying that temp once it dissipates into the soil matrix. But if you deal with this, I take you at your word. The bigger question still is how the heck does this guy have water coming out of a tap at 100 plus degrees in South Dakota?

      • I’m sure the water will cool when it enters the soil, however it will still not have been oxygenated (have devolved oxygen) before it cools. We use frozen 2liter’s of water to lower the temp of the reservoir before it gets oxygenated (with a large air-stone).

    • I really hope this guy follows up. I’m fascinated by the fact that he’s accidentally accessing 100 degree water that far north. Tapping into a hot spring type area somewhere along the way is the only thing that makes sense to me.

    • We rented a house once where someone had run a hose bib off of the HOT WATER HEATER.. because the pipe was CLOSER to where they wanted a hose bib than the cold water pipe (really). Figured it out after we got our first energy bill..

      Worth checking.

      Also, pipe might be running through the attic.. =)

    • I have to agree, being in situations where i had to boil water to drink it, it is known that boiling water takes the Oxygen out of it and gives it a funny taste, mixing it back and forth from cup to cup after it cools makes it taste better from adding more Oxygen, while the water was only 103 degrees isn’t enough to boil it, it might take the Oxygen out of it or he could have tapped into a hot spring and the water cools some as it is pulled from well, just a guess without taking a water sample and having it tested, either that the plumbing is screwed up, I had a house once that was built originally as a deer cabin and built onto, who ever did it had no idea about plumbing and ran the pipes through the hot water heater…cold water and all, my dad is a master plumber and he scratched his head and never figured out how we had semi cold water running out of the sink but we re-plumbed it and it worked fine

  4. Just a comment on the voicemail response on the Communications truck response. Tim Glance indicated for High draw current devices to hook the batteries in series…..he meant in parallel ( positive to positive and negative to negative), Steve Harris would die, then roll over in his grave.


    • It is easy to say one and mean the other. Trust me Tim knows the difference after 30 years as a 63w. What causes guys like Tim and I to occasionally do this is years of working on military vehicles that are 24vdc, with 4 batteries two in series and two in parallel. Anyone hooking up batteries who isn’t sure what to do, should never do it by name anyway without looking up a diagram first. This is really a moot point. If you didn’t know what you know, you wouldn’t know what series and parallel is anyway so you would have to go find out and when you did, you would see what to do.

    • I don’t doubt Tim knows exactly what he is doing, but some people have selective hearing and would not look at the diagram….Plus I just finished watching Steve’s Battery DVD’s and had him still could hear him say ”
      And I repeat DO NOT hook positive to negative or bad things will happen”, which is true, if you are not trying to make a 24V system or have golf cart batteries.

      • Let me explain this one more time. If you don’t know how to do this, you won’t know what series and parallel means anyway. Do you not comprehend this?

        Try this I tell you to hook up the batteries in funkalungo, what are you going to do?

  5. Here’s a story about a 30.06 my grandpa had a 30.06 that was a WW2 barrel and receiver but with a hand made burled stock and was one the most beautiful guns i have ever seen, made for him by one of my uncles friends as a gift, when I was 13 he told me I could use it deer hunting this year and no one ever used it, I went to the stand killed a deer with it and never used it again because I didn’t like the feel of it, I don’t know if it’s because I’m a lefty or what, but, the next day I was using my 1963 Remington model 700 .243 again..just didn’t like the feel of it.

  6. Friday shows are some of the best, the topics are so varied. Trapping, critter target practice and skinning small game are additional skills we picked up in raising chickens and rabbits. Last summer I trapped 8 raccoons in 5 days, that were making it a nightly habit of fresh chicken dinners. My wife confronted a large male that had a dead chicken in each hand, she took that one down with her .22 revolver. The rest we trapped. In Ohio we also have to deal with minx and red fox.

    Our farmhouse was built in the 1850’s and has a 20′ deep x 8′ diameter shallow well lined with small 6″ – 10″ diameter rocks. It still holds the coolest clean potable water. Even when you pump it out and drain it it refills in 10-15 minutes. That has to be a lost skill. The house also has a summer kitchen.

    • When I was a child, I went to an old Baptist baptism in the back woods in Louisiana and people were being baptized in a spring about 5 feet across and 5 feet deep that had been bricked in. It was a spring not a well. Deep and cool. First they took a long stick and stured the water to get snakes and other critters out, then preceded with the activities.

  7. In the north, in addition to the summer kitchen being used for canning and summer cooking, it was also used to prepare meals for the farm hands during summer and fall harvests.

  8. I would like to correct at few things.

    First, the gentleman’s question about DC to AC inverters, I would guess that your question really is, what is the efficiency of the inverter in a steady state at its rated power? The best ones are about 90%, the 10% is the heat you feel coming off the unit. So if you are wanting to make sure you have enough amps, you want to grossly rule-of-thumb it, and say have 120% amp capacity on your DC side and you will never starve the AC side getting to rated power. This is assuming you are running it off your car, not just a battery that is draining lower and lower the entire time. But even if you are running it off a battery it is at best 90% as your DC voltages drops.

    Next, as far as how you transmit power, DC or AC. The absolute only reason DC is a bad idea for the common man is that the voltage level is so low, that makes for high currents which are bad. Please stop buying into the high school physics nonsense ‘the best way to transmit long distances is AC’. In a word, BS. It is only because AC equipment is cheap and transforming from different voltage levels is easy; NOT because you can’t do it with DC long distance.

    As examples, please look up the High Voltage DC grid line running from the columbia river to LA (just over 1,000 miles). Look up any underwater power or communication cable running across the oceans. HVDC is the best way to transmit bulk power. Stop all this urban mythology. It has everything to do with the voltage level; not the method of transmission. AC stepping up and down is just cheap compared to DC.

    • I just looked at the manual of the cobra 800 inverter which is probably the de facto model most people purchase, they actually have the efficiency listed as follows:

      Continuous output power(1hour) …………800W
      Surge rating(0.1second) ………………1600W
      Peak efficiency(12V–1?2load) …………..>88%
      Efficiency(full load,12V) ……………….>83%
      No load current draw ……………<0.5A(12.6V)

      Two things you may realize, they say their units can only do 1 hour at full power, and need to be cooled down for 15 minutes before loading them again. Also, that .1 second surge is not that great, it gets you about 6 cycles before it gives up.

      So if we assume 83% is about right for this unit. This means you need to be able to generate 936 watts on the DC side. If your car is running, you will have generally between 12 and 14 volts, worst case say 12, so you will need 78 amps to get the job done.

      Now the question of how long you need that much power comes down to probably what is in Mr. Harris' DVDs for everyone. It is simple to figure out, but you need to list all your electrical equipment's power needs, how long you want to run them, and then figure out if you have enough capacity sitting under your car hood, or do you need more batteries in series or parallel setups.

      I think the best money you can spend is on a Honda generator when you start to talk about buying what is effectively a power system (extra batteries, big wires, charge controllers, etc.) If you want more redundancy: buy more gas cans and a second honda. And two hondas daisy-chained together can run a window AC unit, now your in business.

      • @Scott, I almost agree on the generator advice. I happen to own this though,

        That is a 7k Genny and while it says 899 on the web, they are often on sale at Lowes for 699-749, the Honda e2000 is a great generator but you are paying 999 for a 2K generator.

        When I bought the Troy-Bilt the budget dictated no more then about 1K in cost. The decision was easy, my generator runs two window units and all the lights we want plus either the fridge or the deep freeze and doesn’t even breathe hard.

        Is it louder then the Honda, yep, is it less “efficient” yep. Running like that it will eat 5-6 gallons a day, but man this place is hot as Hades without AC in summer.

        Actually the e2000 is on my list of things to acquire, if you live in the north and can get by with fans and all it would be a fine first generator. If you camp a lot and aim use it as such, it is far better. But for the person on a budget that wants power, gas ain’t really that expensive.

        To set up our generator as a true back up we bought lots of extension cords including 4 100 footers that are super heavy duty heavy gauge. A tub for them all, those plastic clips that hold the cords nice, several power strips, a crap ton of those orange three way plugs Steve loves, two more gas cans to add to the pile and filled em.

        I got the Genny for 699, by the time I had all of the above I was in about 1050, so for 50 over the Honda I got a 7K gen set and all the stuff to actually distribute the power it can provide.

        I just think for most people this approach is more financially viable. Especially considering I have a pretty good budget to work from and I went this way.

        I will frankly build a 4 GC2 system in a box in my truck before buying the e20001, because I have the bigger generator and it will provide a ton more utility.

        But every situation is different. It is hard to beat the Spirko/Harris box for camping though. Yea I am claiming half ownership of the name because it was my concept. One of those can run lights, PCs, fans, etc all night long and a short drive or idle period in the AM will put most of it back and it is quiet all night long. Since it is in your vehicle it is always available and always where you go unless you end up on foot.

  9. RE: brown recluse spiders – I tend to agree with Jack about getting a professional opinion on this. When treating for brown recluse, it is important to use a pesticide specifically labeled for them. Some chemicals do not kill them outright, but instead act as a neurotoxin and the spiders can lose their reclusive nature and become aggressive. My experience with these spiders is that they are truly reclusive.

    Organic pest control does work well for brown recluse. Even though you are far from their service area, I recommend calling Aztec Organic Pest Control. I think they’d tell you what to use/look for in an organic service because that’s the kind of people they are.

    I question whether a fogger would be effective with brown recluse even if it is labeled for them. These spiders typically move along baseboards and hang out behind and under furniture and such. I’ve never used one but it seems a fogger would not reach the areas where pesticide is needed assuming contact with the chemical is necessary.

    Sticky traps purchased at work well. Save the traps to show a pro for confirmation of what you’ve actually got. I sent a spider off to Texas A&M University through my local extension office for confirmation. I was hoping I was wrong in my ID of the dreaded things.

    Jack mentioned getting rid of the food source (other insects.) Another extremely important aspect of control is keeping a tidy home (no clutter, cardboard boxes, etc.) Read up on their habitat and clean your house accordingly! Also, I make sure no bedding hangs to the floor or touches the walls. A significant number of bites happen in bed. Yuk. Last but not least is a lot of prayer.

  10. In the beginning, I didn’t have chickens. I had VICTIMS. Victims of my ignorance. Due to severe weather I lost 3, then a 4th to mites. I have two left.

    A drenched Spring left my small backyard as a swamp. Then we had a tornado situation and 3 hens were lost to that.

    I’ve extended the fencing down the side of the house for more room plus will be sectioning it off so that areas can recover while the 2 remaining hens are busy in another area. With the limited space that I have, two hens is enough.

    I had gone to a small animal swap meet and brought home a young cross breed laying hen that has gorgeous feathers. I use feathers in some of my artwork projects (turkey and pheasant feather art) and when she molts I’ll be collecting those. But what I didn’t realize is you cannot just ‘bring home another hen’. Flocks are not happy with a new-comer. I had to give her some space that was her own and would bring one in from the flock to be with her for a week and then switch them out. Eventually she was integrated in but was the outcast. Because of all of this she became my little shadow. She’s my buddy. When I go out in the morning she flies into my arms. She wants to sit in my lap and would come in the house with me if I’d let her. I can’t do anything out there without her in the middle of it, inspecting every move I make and often stealing little things, like screws or my pencil for marking a cut line. She loves to have her back scratched and is over-joyed when I bring out a weekly treat of Keifer. She is the one to sound the alarm if there is an intruder in the yard (lots of cats run loose in our small town) and she knows I’m on the way and will give the invader a blast with the garden hose. Of course when the severe weather issue culled the flock…her status level changed. And now with only two, things are of course quite fine.

    As with anything concerning self sustainability (or just life in general)….fall down nine times, get up ten.

  11. #1: Jack, your grandfathers pond/well was probably an artesian style well that was tapped into a high point in an underground spring. question 1: Was it typically pretty cold? Question 2: Did you ever notice (or is it possible you didnt notice because you were a child) a return path as far as piping or something to the spring, or a stream running from it?

    #2: brown recluses: If you notice more than 1 a day on a wall or something, you have an infestation. Many bombs do NOT work, so professional work is suggested. I would consider diatamaceous earth around the perimeter of the home, and the organic DE in corners and closet (and other dark rarely visited places) perimeters. Don’t plan on winter to get rid of them, they are a WAY HEARTY aracnid.

    #3: On the inverter (even if it was beaten to death already). Your inverter will shut itself down if you overload it too much, but the wattage of the load is the wattage that will be drawn from the battery times 1.1 as a good rule of thumb.
    Example: I plug in a 5 watt LED bulb and a 15 watt radio. I (current) = P (watt)/V (voltage). So a total of 20 watts at 120v = .167 Amps of current. 20 Watts at 12v = 1.67 Amps. So basically all current can be about 10 times on the DC side of a basic inverter.

    but remember, I used 1.1 above? So I want to use a 600Watt inverter, fully loaded down. I am pulling 5 amps AC. Remember that the 12V DC will be 10 times, so it will actually pull 50 Amps of current, but for inefficiency multiply that by 1.1 and you get 55 Amps.

    Another way of determining the number is 600W DC off of the battery. 600W / 12V = 50 Amps. Now we know 1.1 inefficiency, so it is 50 x 1.1 = 55Amps.

    If your battery is a 110AH (amp hour, the capacity measure of a battery) you can run the 600W inverter fully loaded for 2 hours.

    600W inverter with 20Watts on it will pull 22 Watts (uses the 1.1 inefficiency on watt instead of current) on the battery side, so the 110AH battery will last 60.1 hours. 22W/12V=1.83A —–>110AH/1.83A= 60.1 Hour

    Hope this was helpful… Jack love your show.

  12. I am surprised to hear that it is even legal in Minnesota to waste the leg meat on geese. Montana, as well as Alaska require you to utilize every consumable part of the game animal or bird to the best of your ability. If they aren’t using it, they are both lazy and wasteful.

    • PA and TX both that rule but it is VERY subjective. We always debreast doves and I have done it talking to game wardens and no issue. The goose thing MIGHT be an issue. But hey are kidneys consumable? When you shoot a deer do you take the kidneys? See what I mean, things get gray in a lot of areas.

  13. Roger sir, I understand your point. Personally…. Goose legs, pheasant legs, large game rib, and neck meat all would obviously be something you could use. Dove legs would be a hard argument, since they are so small. Even grouse are questionable, due to their various sizes. Fortunately game laws here (for the most part) are still common sense….”no wanton or wasteful disregard” for game with be tolerated….organs are not considered consumable, even though most people do take the heart and liver.
    When I pack out large game, I often see people “forget”, or fail to strip the animal to the bone. Sorry to rant, it just irritates me, since I have grown up trying to use every part of the game animal I can.
    Great program, and I look forward to your next episode.

  14. Interesting show. My grandparents had two cased wells within 10 yards of each other. As kids we would drink the cold water and throw rocks down the well to hear it splash below. Have some small springs on my property and the cool water reminds me of those wells.

  15. I just recently ran my flock of chickens through rows of raspberries and peonies. They did a real good job of cleaning out the grass and leaving the raspberry and peony plants alone, other than fertilizing them of course. Letting them in the rhubarb was a mistake as the plants are now gone. I hope they will come up from the roots next year.

    I have a video and more info at my website

  16. Jack, about that water source your grandfather had when you were a kid. It sounds to me like an artesian well. I have a neighbor a few miles away who has one feeding a cattle tank. He says it’s only stopped once, last year when it was VERY dry here (northern Iowa). Or it could be a spring that has been improved.

  17. This is my take on the carcass’ of game animals, especially birds. I always throw them in zip bags and freeze them. When I get enough, I roast them in the oven for about half an hour to 45 minutes at 350, then make stock from them. You haven’t lived till you have had a taste of some stock made from game bird carcass’. I then can whatever I don’t immediately use. Then any time I want stock for something, just grab a jar from the cupboard and rock on. Same thing with venison bones, etc. It’s just a good way to utilize more of the small game birds, because I am with Jack; sometimes, you just have to settle for removing the breast from a bird. Anyway, hope that helps.

    • What is your method for making the stock? I have wnDo you seal the jars when you are done with a canner or pressure cooker. i have wanted to try this for some time…thanks

      • I pressure can it at the same pressure and time I use for meats, since the stock is not very acidic. Can it in quart jars rather than pints, because you will use more than you think each time you cook. As for making stock, every cook has their own take, but I just do the basics. Roast the bones/carcass, throw it in a large stock pot or your largest dutch oven size pot, cover with cold water (never hot water). I then generally add some quartered onions, a few cloves of smashed garlic, some carrots chunked up, and a dash of salt. Sometimes I will throw in a couple sprigs of thyme or some basil, but generally I just do the basics, as it lets the stock go with pretty much anything I want to cook with it. And since you are freezing the bones/carcass’ till you have enough, you can time it to the day when you are canning other things too. Start the stock first, then while it simmers for a couple hours, you can be canning other things. Then when the stock is done, strain it thru some cheesecloth and can it too.

  18. For some reason that did not send all the message….I am not disagreeing with Jack, as I stated in my last post, it is questionable on small birds, and I have tossed the legs on small grouse, ptarmigan, and dove because it was all bone, and the meat was nearly non-existent. I was just pointing out, as Jack did, that goose, pheasant, and some other birds legs can, and should be utilized to the best ability of the hunter. I would be interested in how you make your stock from the birds, as I would like to try it.

  19. or some reason that did not send all the message….I am not disagreeing with Jack, as I stated in my last post, it is questionable on small birds, and I have tossed the legs on small grouse, ptarmigan, and dove because it was all bone, and the meat was nearly non-existent. I was just pointing out, as Jack did, that goose, pheasant, and some other birds legs can, and should be utilized to the best ability of the hunter. I would be interested in how you make your stock from the birds, as I would like to try it.

    • Grouse legs too small to use and not having meat? Going to have to say I disagree with that unless our your way you have some small ass grouse. I cut my teeth hunting squirell and rough grouse and we always cooked the grouse whole and plucked like a small roasting chicken. I have to say the legs have every bit as much meat as a small Cornish hen you buy from the store.

  20. SMALL grouse and doves Jack, small……Ptarmigan, and even quail are sometimes too small to bother with, and are breasted. However, I would like to hear some ideas on canning or stock for best utilization…..

    • Just to be clear, grouse in your area are as small as or smaller then quail? Really?

      Just so you know, this is what I developed my calf mussels into massive rock hard things with in Pennsylvania.

      I am not picking on you just trying to understand. Where I lived in central PA these birds were NOT big but they were not tiny either. Again think slightly larger then a rock Cornish game hen. Drums were say 1/3rd of a typical full sized chicken leg. If you have ever shot wood ducks I would say they are about that size. Where the heck do you live, Ptarmigan makes me think FAR northwest or say Western Canada or Alaska. I always in my head say Ptarmigan as the same as what I shot only turning white in winter.

      Could be a geographic thing too I guess. Deer in PA, whitetails were big, compared to Texas. A BIG buck down here might have 150 class antlers but will dress at say 120. A mature doe in PA was bigger than that. I shot a 7 point buck in PA that was clearly a 1.5 year old deer, first rack buck with a bow at 15 years old. I remember that deer so well because it was such a big deal. It dressed out at 168 lbs on our buddies scale. That isn’t live weight but all innards removed, hide on still etc.

      I have never seen any white tail that big body wise in South or South West Texas so may be that is the issue.

  21. Been in the pest control industry for 15 years, 12 with a company that’s the sole source provider for the worlds largest retail store and preferred provider for the worlds largest meat manufacturer. Pretty reputable company and have done my own hard work learning what I can on dealing with spiders. Especially since I am located in the heart of brown recluse country. So take my opinion for what it’s worth, I do this day in and day out.

    Jacks right, the brown recluse is the one I would worry most about. That said, a few things are in our favor.

    1) they are NOT aggressive. Every time I say that somebody will say “nuh uh, one attacked my granny” or some other bull crap. When working in Tulsa for another company we would set up a booth at the state fair there and people ALWAYS wanted to know what they looked like, both widows & recluse. It was never difficult to have a live specimen of a widow to show. Recluse on the other hand…the fight or flight instinct of all living things, is default to flight with the recluse. I don’t know how much time I spent chasing a recluse around someone’s garage or shed trying to catch it, but I can tell you how many times the thing sat there ready to fight, staying in one place, allowing me to catch it easier…0. Try to chase down numerous recluse before you tell me about granny. And think about the stories you know. People typically got bit in bed while asleep or while putting on clothing that’s been sitting for some time. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out a trapped spider that would rather flee must move to plan B.

    2) most the time they’re misidentified. Even in the center of their distribution area, all the time I’m getting other non poisonous spiders being identified as brown recluse. The local TV news station about a year ago had a guy from the University of Arkansas Entemology Department on, and he said that unless it was a new structure, you are living with recluse in our state. And even then, he said, they’re likely there. So if people living with them misidentified them daily, chances are other areas like Idaho, even the pest guy you call out may mis ID them, not being something he deals with daily.

    3) they are named recluse for a reason. While you may live with them, they stay out of your way if you stay out of theirs. And even when you don’t, remember 1). They are not aggressive.

    But besides all that, let me address how to handle spiders, particularly recluse. For both, I would keep a contact kill product on hand. I keep some at my home that, unlike the fog, is safe enough that it can be used in a food handling establishment, on a food handling surface, sprayed right on, then wiped dry & used to prep food. You can do this because the product is practically a soap. It foams up and suffocates the insect. Keep some of that on hand, but where you get the most bang for your buck is in glueboards.

    My wife was born where the caller now lives (Idaho) and raised in the callers last residence (Alaska). She is also deathly afraid of spiders. And glueboards are throughout the house. I put them behind the couch, under beds, folded into a tent in closets, all the ‘reclusive’ places that these guys would travel. I don’t spray or fog ever for spiders, nor do I use dust formulations. I have access to the best of these there is, and only seen marginal success with any of them, none that would make me want to put this stuff in my home. But glueboards are phenomenal. And a little note on them, they will catch WAY more than the average person gives them credit for. And it’s important to NOT change them out to often. I have a glueboards I keep in the side panel of my truck that has 3 oriental cockroaches on it. Right around those 3 orientals, are about 20 brown recluse. They are not predators, they are scavengers. If you leave the glueboards in place it becomes more productive, but I keep that example because it shows how much these can catch (and there’s plenty room left on that glueboard) and how productive leaving other insects on there is.

    My professional advice, buy up as many glueboards as you can and put them out everywhere a recluse will frequent. Deal with the the ones you see & the widows with a safer contact kill product, and don’t live in fear. If the U of A Entemologist is to be believed (and I think he is) I’ve lived with them in my house for almost 20 years in the south and me, my wife & kids, none have been bit. And as much as I’ve messed with, disturbed them, went into attics & crawl spaces where they’re “infested”, if it were as bad as our fears make them out to be, I would’ve suffered bites numerous times & probably dead. But alas, it ain’t so… 🙂

    • Let me tell you why I have a slightly different view. I was sleeping one night in Honduras, under my mosquito net minding my business. A recluse entered my area and bit me on the damn hand.

      I still have the scar though it isn’t that bad of a thing. It wasn’t cool having to deal with it in the middle of daggon nowhere with no real doctor and only Army “medics” to look after me. I did get evac’d for a day for some proper care, but after that back to the hell hole we lived in called Macora.

      Though I have to say I have seen many and most never bothered me, it is their bite that is the issue.

      I would say to get a Widow to bite you have to screw with it or accidentally grab it or something.

  22. Understand all Jack….. I live in the mountains of Montana and we have several species…including, rough, franklin, spruce/blue, sharptail, and sage. Most of the time they are decent in size and I skin the whole bird and smoke/bake it….sometimes they are incredibly small and are breasted. I know what you mean about the deer. I work with guys from the south that shoot deer the size of my dog. Up here, its common to shoot 150 to 200 pound white tails, with mule deer usually larger. Two years ago I shot a 6×5 Mulie that was 355 pounds. It was about the size of a calf elk. Would love to have you up to the cabin if you ever get the urge to take a trip north.

  23. Thanks Wolf, I will give that a go. Probably try it this winter when I have a plethora of birds and meat in the freezer; and will be ready to can salmon and trout from the ice fishing season.

  24. Not sure thgis will show up right under your comment or not Jack. Hoping it does so its kinda clear what the progression was in our convo.

    I will say this, I know you were in the Hot Springs area and now in the Dallas area, so I know your experience with Recluse is more credible than the average American. Just part of living here. Im in the Northwest Arkansas area, so same geography. And I have worked throughout this state, and throughout Oklahoma & into the south part of Kansas. So I am sure the ones I deal with daily are the same kind you deal with since were in the same “neck of the woods”. But I have never been to Honduras. I have also not been to Idaho, and have limited time in Alaska. Not having done this work in any of those places my information on species in those areas is limited. So with my experience limited I am stuck with what I can learn from books and such. Not that thats totally bad, much of what I’ve read in books was proved in the field, but sometimes not so much…
    But I will say, my first thought in regards to Honduras was that maybe were dealing with a different species whose bite is similar to the Recluse we share our southern homes with. That would explain the difference in temperament that even youve observed between what bit you in Honduras, and what youve seen in TX & AR. So I looked some stuff up. And thats when I read that the Recluse is not just frequently misidentified (as I stated above) but that it rarely gets out of its distribution area. I preffer my “Truman’s Guide to Scientific Pest Control” book put out by Purdue, but I cant find the thing, so I leaned on a website I have used in the past, Pest Web, which linked to PCT, a major trade magazines site. This video is from one of the authors of the Mallis handbook. Not my fav, not like Truman’s, but is pretty good. He talks about distribution and misidentification in the link.

    My guess Jack, is that it was something similar to a Brown Recluse that got you down in Honduras, but not the same as what you deal with at home. Thus the difference in aggression. Based on what I’ve read since my original post I am also doubting the caller is dealing with Recluse in Idaho. But I have been doing this long enough to know, despite what science teaches, if someone believes that they are dealing with a brown recluse, or a silver tongued greenback ticklish death star spider, you just do what you need to do to make the problem go away. I believe my advice will still help with spiders in general for the caller in Idaho, wether It’s the Recluse or the death star variety. And it still keeps un needed chemicals out of his home.
    I’ve mentioned before how reluctant I am to put thesed chemicals I deal with daily in my home. Your a huge part of that Jack. I think the liberal slant that most people came at me with within this green movement kept me from hearing anything. But thanks to you I can say my “chemical” usage is at an all time low. And my supervisors have seen and taken note in the change. Not everything needs to have a chemical answer. And I just want to thank you for your change in my life and how I handle business. On that note I also rewound and relistened after posting my comment hours ago, and would point out how you talked about sealing up your home. Couldn’t agree more…

  25. My 2 cents on the fellow from S. Dakota with the hot water hose bib. As someone commented earlier, the first thing I thought was that someone had accidentally hooked a domestic HW line to the bib. I have been in the mechanical trades for a decade, mostly residential, and believe me, I have seen people do some things that make you shake your head. If he has a different bib on the house try that:) if that is not the case, then that is the most bizzare thing….

  26. Hey Jack-
    I was the last caller on today’s show who asked about charging Eneloop batteries. I apologize, I didn’t do a very good job of phrasing my question. Next time I call I am going to write the question carefully, and then read it. What I meant to ask is”

    Besides Steve’s idea of charging things with my car as a generator, what is a good way to charge my dozens of Eneloop batteries long after it’s impossible to get gasoline. Maybe some sort of mini setup like he designed for lighting and cooling your chicken coop? What do you guys think of the simple solar setups from Harbor Freight? I also want to keep tons of reference books and PDFs on a Kindle, and will want a way to charge that (as well as my iPhone – even if it will no longer work as a phone).

    Thanks Jack, and I apologize for the confusion.

  27. Just listened to this episode… the hot water thing was interesting and the first thought I had was a back flow preventer value (or some valve) had failed and his cold water line was siphoning (partially) water from the hot water tank, thus providing perpetual 100 degree water.

    We saw this actually happen on a shower faucet. Under the right conditions, you could flush a toilet and it would end up filling with hot water. Once that value was replaced the problem went away. A qualified plumber should be able to verify if this is happening.