Being an outdoors person this time of the year can be really difficult. The problem is that there are so many things to do and so little time to do them.
The weather has warmed up enough to make river fishing tolerable and this time of year it normally is great. The Lake Superior whitefish are biting around the Polson bridge for you shore anglers. Call Dick Zimmer at 675-0068 for tips on how to catch them. Also, the anglers who haven’t put their boat away for the winter can find some pretty decent fishing on Flathead Lake for lake trout and pretty good trout fishing over on the lakes north of Helena on the Missouri River.
Big game season is winding down, and if you haven’t got your elk or deer tucked away in the freezer yet, you are hoping like I am that some nasty weather will set in before closing day on Dec. 1 to get the bucks and bulls moving.
The whitetail and mule deer rut should be in full swing right now, so the big bucks should be out and about. Elk need that little push of snow and cold that will help them head to the winter ranges.
And, to top it off, waterfowl hunters haven’t yet seen the peak duck flights migrating through Montana’s Pacific Flyway. That could start anytime, and will probably happen sometime before mid-December.
What to do? What to do? And so little time to have all this fun and get it all done.
DOG FIRST AID
Speaking of birds and duck dogs in need of more time hunting, that brings me to another subject. Have you ever heard of a dog first-aid kit?
I must admit I hadn’t heard of one until I was talking to Ryan Screnar from Missoula last weekend. Screnar, who was raised in Helena, loves to hunt birds with his dog.
He told me about three weeks ago that he and others were hunting near Deer Lodge when his dog came across a barbed wire fence and came away with a 5-inch cut that went through its hide into his leg.
Screnar said the dog still wanted to hunt but Screnar was reluctant until he could do something for the leg. He called a buddy who was going to veterinarian school and asked him what he should do.
“Make sure the wound is clean and then apply some Crazy Glue to edges of the skin and pinch it together. Then wrap it with vet wrap,” his friend said. “If he still wants to hunt, he should be fine.”
I asked Screnar if he was pulling my leg, and he said no.
So I did some calling around to check on this information. I called Dr. Earl Pruyn, a longtime vet in Missoula, and asked him about the glue. He said that was, in fact, a good way to heal a wound because if you stitched it, the animal would constantly try to gnaw at the stitches.
Of course we all know father knows best, but just in case, I thought I would call Minott Pruyn, one of the Pruyn boys who still has the practice in Missoula on Brooks Street. Minott said he uses a skin stapler. “Put the opposite surfaces of the skin around the wound together and staple the wound shut,” he said. “Glue will also work OK, but you can’t get it into the wound, that’s why I recommend the stapler.”
The stapler costs from $10 to $15, according to Minott. I then called PetSmart and asked them if they had such a thing as a dog first-aid kit.
The representative said they did and then told me what it contained. Scissors, first-aid lotion, gauze pads, alcohol pads, cold pack, vet wrap, iodine ointment, magnifying glass, gloves, eye wash, emergency blanket, iodine prep solution, tweezers, a roll of gauze and triple antibiotic ointment. All for only $36.99. You also might ask your veterinarian to put together a kit for you, too.