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Old 10-02-2010
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Default A few questions about being in the field.

So I did not get the ACO position back in Jan/Feb of this year. I didn't give up because I knew in June the budget would come out and if that were the case and approved they would open a position for a Field Aide. Which should be classified as an ACO I but that's a different story. The budget was approved and they opened the position for a Field Aide I was the only one interviewed and hired. It's been almost two months now and I feel that I have never been happier. I do wear a uniform in which I don't know why it says Officer on it but I won't question that. Drive the biggest truck in the fleet. I was sworn in and commissioned by the Sherriff. My job duties involve sick or injured animals and picking them up, picking up strays, backing up Officers out in the field, and picking up deads whether on the street or at vet clinics. Actually I do everything an Officer does except write reports.

Last week I did Chemical Capture training. Which was intimidating because I have never held a gun before or using the PC term Projectile. I didn't do bad but I also didn't qualify either. So I was thinking about rifle shooting ranges for practice and would this be a good idea? Tranquillizers weigh different than bullets so I don't know if it would be useful.

Also I was sent out on an sick skunk call. When I asked every Officer "How do you catch a skunk without getting skunked?" Noone had an answer as I found out I would be the second person to ever catch a live one. Arrived on scene and "winged" it. It was a teenage skunk with distemper. I used my stretcher to block the skunk and tried to coherse him into a cat carrier. When he/she slipped thru a hole. I just picked it up with a plastic bag (very thick one) and put it in cat carrier and lined everything with plastic. So I was told later that you make sure their tail is down but what do you put on their tail to keep it down? Foot? It's still not going to help when loading it. And no I did not get sprayed. Of course I am the only person who doesn't find the smell of the skunk to be a putrid one.

Then there is the question of deads. I am having a hard time with deep freezers at vet clinics. I CAN lift 90lbs. But if you have to bend over to pick a dead dog up that is frozen solid. This becomes and issue for my back. All animals are in plastic bags. I bought gardening gloves that would have a better grip. This is somewhat helpful. If there is a better way advice would be great.

Oh and yellow jackets! Dead animals seem to attract these. How do I bag a dead with Yellow Jackets on it? Without getting stung? I have been tapping the dead then putting a bag over it and then letting the bees out one by one. If there is a better way. Would love to hear.
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Old 10-02-2010
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...you like the smell of skunks???

I don't use a tranq. gun but I am somewhat of a gun nut. I would think it would be a big help to practice with a small rifle. Of course the projectile will behave differently but practicing with a rifle will be good for learning to use the sights and develop a good trigger pull.

A bolt action Marlin .22 is pretty cheap, would be a good gun to learn with, and would also be handy to have in the truck for eunthanizing (if you live in a rural area). A BB gun, if nothing else, would also make for some good practice and may be more like shooting your tranq. gun.... ...even a airsoft gun would be good practice and you could use it in your house as long as you're careful, shoot at a box or something.

Sorry, I dont' have any suggestions for your other problems. I have some Mechanix "Covert" gloves that are pretty handy, they're cheap and have that uber tactical look to them.... ....other than that, "lift with your legs, not your back"???? Again, I don't have much experience with frozen dogs, sorry.
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Old 10-02-2010
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for the yellow Jackets, red wasps, Bees, fireants, dang near everything i use PT 565
and its pet/Kid friendly all natural


http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/search.aspx
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Old 10-02-2010
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I find shooting a T-gun is quite different then a regular gun. The trigger pull is slightly different and the projectile is different. The darts tend to fall/arch quite a bit. For practice we set up a coyote target and use practice darts. But going to the range or take some sort of shooting class will teach you how to hold the rifle as well and basic safety. I use the same respect for the t-gun as I do with my firearms.

You should see if there is a training program you can go through from a different agency. Shooting the animal in the wrong spot or using too much air pressure could kill them.

Cheers, Scooterchic
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Old 10-02-2010
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We have wildife cages, and can not use domestic carriers for wildlife. For a skunk, i find the best way it to grab a skunk is a thick blanket and cat graspers.
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Old 10-02-2010
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"Sick" skunks? Pop 'em in the spine with a .22, then they can't spray. Then walk up and put one in the brain. ONLY if it hasn't bitten anybody. If it has, body shots only.

Apparently healthy skunks, live trap. Then hold up a sheet or tarp in front of you while slowly and quietly approaching trap. Skunk will usually not spray. Place sheet over trap, then you can load it up and haul to a more suitable area for them to live (if relocation is allowed in your jurisdiction). Keep a long string with a clip on the end to attach to trap door, and prop open the device that prevents door opening. Pull string from a distance (in the truck with window cracked is good) and watch him scamper away.
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Old 10-02-2010
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I had been shooting BB guns, pellet guns, .22 rifles, handguns and black powder rifles and handguns for years before I ever saw my first dart gun, so it was a fairly easy transition for me. A BB gun is probably the closest, but even it will shoot flatter than a dart gun. What I have always done was to take cardboard boxes out behind the shelter and spend a half hour putting practice darts through it.

Getting dead things from a freezer, aside from the obvious of grabbing legs or tails, to do it safely is a two person job. If somebody else put them in, they can sure enough help pull them back out again. I have been I the situation where I had a big dog stuck in a freezer with no help to unload it where I unplugged the freezer and laid it on its side to pull the body out. Be very careful though, if the compressor come on with it on its side, then you done bought somebody a new freezer.
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Old 10-02-2010
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I use a catch pole on skunks, and put them in a transfer cage quickly, then cover the cage with a blanket. always stay on the head side of the skunk. that's how you don't get sprayed. usually sick ones are too sick to spray for the most part though. if they are so sick that they are completely immobile, I'll just walk up and throw a towel over them and scruff them. the skunks you have to worry about are the ones that are healthy but stuck in a "rescue" situation, such as down a hole or in a fence that you have to remove them from. they are bound to be angry and spray. just try to keep a blanket in between you and the skunk and stay away from the business end.
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Old 10-04-2010
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Using a projector is different than a rifle. You can try practicing with a rifle, but I would go buy some CO2 cartridges and ask your supervisor for some practice time with some dummy darts. I make my guys qualify with the projector every year before the rut.
Skunks! Congrats on not getting sprayed. I have had 14 in my truck and have yet to be sprayed, yet? The best thing to do is keep a white or light blue sheet in your truck for this type of call. Open it up in front of you then walk REALLY, REALLY slow up to the skunk. You need to be a happy little cloud to the skunkís point of view. Once over it, drop the sheet over the skunk. If youíre lucky itís already in a trap. Have your bite gloves ready. Slow and easy is the best way to go with skunks.
Deep freezers, ask for help. Only your chiropractor likes it when you donít ask.
I never had to deal with yellow jackets they way youíve had. I would just keep the raid that can spray 20 feet away and spray from the truck.
Good luck
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Old 10-04-2010
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Default Field Questions

First off congrats on the job. As far as dealing with skunks, try getting a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and getting them in there, sometimes that works, or if not if you have live traps, cover the trap with a plastic bad(heavy duty) and get the skunk in it, that way its already covered for you. Good luck with the skunks!!

The dead in the freezer is another story, if this is a courtsey pick-up from the department, most vets have people who can help you, don't be afraid to ask for help. If no one is going to be around when you come by see if they can't leave the big ones laying outside of the freezer for you. If not you may need to talk to your supervisor about the problem and explain, that you can pick them up with no problem its just getting them out of a freezer that may be a problem due to the fact of what you are lifting and the way you have to lift it, maybe he or she can offer you some help.

As far as tranq guns we don't use them.
Good luck in your new job, remeber be safe, and have fun!!
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