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Outdoors & Environment

All in a Name: Woodchuck, Ground Hog or Whistle Pig

AUBURN, Ala.—Will the woodchuck see his shadow? How much wood would a groundhog chuck? It is not a case of mixed metaphors, but rather multiple names for the same animal. Dr. Mark Smith, a wildlife scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says the barrel-shaped mammal answers to a number of names. “The Latin name is Marmota monax, but people ... Read More »

Got to Go Geocaching

geocaching

AUBURN, Ala.–Television and movies are filled with adventurous hunts for missing treasure. Have you ever wished you could take part in it? What if you can? What if there is hidden treasure all around you? Geocaching is the modern-day treasure-hunting game. Geocaching utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) to navigate players to a geocache location. “The geocaches are usually located ... Read More »

Re-purposing Your Christmas Tree this Season

Christmas Tree

AUBURN, Ala. – When the Christmas season is over and you have packed your decorations away for another year, you still have to figure out what to do with your dried up, old Christmas tree. Many people chip their tree into mulch for use in planting beds but this year find a new purpose for your tree. One way to ... Read More »

Outdoor Etiquette: Mind Your Manners

outdoor etiquette

AUBURN, Ala.-People think of etiquette as something used at a dinner table, but etiquette is an important element of many outdoor activities. Hunting, fishing, hiking and even walking your dog all have an etiquette that you should follow. When you are hunting, do you know where you are hunting? Do you have permission to be on that property? Are you cleaning up ... Read More »

Furor over Kissing Bugs Unwarranted

kissing bug

Kissing bugs and Chagas disease posts and shares swept across social media like wildfire just before Thanksgiving. Alabama Extension professionals across the state were inundated with calls, emails and texts from citizens worried about both the disease and how to identify the insect. “People saw a headline or the title of a post and really reacted strongly and quickly,” said ... Read More »

Oh Deer: The Benefits of Hunting

Saturdays are filled with football, candy corn has returned, and the nights are getting cooler, which all can only mean one thing: hunting season is right around the corner. Soon the boys will be cleaning their rifles and the girls will be tightening their bows, all in hopes to tag the buck they’ve been watching on their trail camera all year. Unfortunately, it is ... Read More »

Hunters Beware of Ticks in the Woods

AUBURN, Ala.— Before venturing into the woods this hunting season, it is important that hunters are educated on the dangers of ticks and know how to avoid them. “Many hunters are complaining that ticks have become a fact of life in the outdoors,” said Dr. Xing Ping Hu an Alabama Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. ... Read More »

Insect Invasion: The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

AUBURN,Ala.—Multicolored Asian lady beetles, more commonly referred to as ladybugs, are generally thought to bring good luck but it’s not so lucky when these tiny spotted insects invade your home. When the temperature begins to drop, ladybugs want to find warmer ground to hibernate. They are notorious for congregating in hundreds or even thousands on the sides of buildings and ... Read More »

Keep Pests Out of Your Attic

AUBURN, Ala.–By not doing one minor house repair, you could potentially be offering an open door to unwanted visitors such as squirrels, bats, raccoons, rats and snakes in your home. Many people that have this issue ask the questions — How do these animals get in? Why do they get in? What are the possible threats? How can I tell if I ... Read More »

Food safety when Dressing and Preparing Deer Meat

AUBURN, Ala.–With deer hunting season quickly approaching, hunters need to be reminded of some basic food safety tips to ensure they prepare venison properly. Janice Hall, a regional Extension agent in Food Safety and Quality with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, has some hints to prevent contamination and improper food handling when dressing and cooking deer meat.   Always wear gloves ... Read More »