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The Three-Minute Outdoorsman

Wild Science from Magnetic Deer to Mumbling Carp

2014
Author:

Robert Zink

The Three-Minute Outdoorsman

Curious facts and fascinating insights into nature from scientist outdoorsman Bob Zink

A writer who humorously bridges the gap between esoteric information and nature as we know it, Robert Zink distills the latest science news into three-minute bursts of lore for the layman. In these engaging essays readers will discover, for instance, how deer use the earth’s magnetic field for orientation and how porcupine quills are advancing new ideas about delivering inoculations.

Robert Zink may be the perfect outdoor nimrod, an awe struck beginner with an inquiring mind. This book makes an old woodsy veteran like me pause to think about the fascinating and mysterious world in which we go forth to hunt and to fish. . . . all the while pretending to be experts.

Ron Schara, host and founder, Minnesota Bound

There are days when, if we hunt or fish or watch birds, we just want to be alone with our thoughts. Other times, however, contemplating the great outdoors that contains so many unknowns, we may wish to learn about moaning moose . . . or mumbling carp . . . or magnetic deer. And this is where Robert M. Zink enters the scene.

A writer who humorously bridges the gap between esoteric information and nature as we have come to know it, Zink distills the latest news from the world of science into three-minute bursts of irresistible lore for the layman. In these brief, engaging essays readers will discover, for instance, how deer use the earth’s magnetic field for orientation; a long-gone tradition of hunting loons in North Carolina; how porcupine quills are advancing new ideas about delivering inoculations; and why deer antlers can model bone regeneration for amputees.

How do predator–prey cycles get started? Should we worry about black bear attacks in the woods? Zink has the answers—often to questions we didn’t think to ask but wish we had. This is the outdoors at its mysterious best, as the experience of nature and the findings of science combine to educate our sense of wonder and tickle our fancy—to say nothing of our highly unscientific funny bone.

The Three-Minute Outdoorsman

Robert M. Zink is Breckenridge chair in ornithology at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, where he also serves as the curator of birds and is professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior.

The Three-Minute Outdoorsman

Robert Zink may be the perfect outdoor nimrod, an awe struck beginner with an inquiring mind. This book makes an old woodsy veteran like me pause to think about the fascinating and mysterious world in which we go forth to hunt and to fish. . . . all the while pretending to be experts.

Ron Schara, host and founder, Minnesota Bound

Robert M. Zink will capture the hearts of outdoorsmen with a touch of science, a touch of common sense, uncommon wisdom, and a warm sense of humor. The Three-Minute Outdoorsman is a must read for anyone interested in nearly every aspect of the outdoor world.

Babe Winkelman, America’s Premiere Outdoorsman

This book answers both typical and exotic questions about nature in a plain and non-condescending manner.

ForeWord

The Three-Minute Outdoorsman

Contents

Preface
All Things Deer

1. A Short History of Deer in North America
2. A Message From Our Native Birds: Deer Hunters Needed
3. The Science of Chronic Wasting Disease and Its Relevance for Management of White-tailed Deer
4. Urban Deer: Hunting vs. Birth Control
5. It’s Taken Centuries, but We Now Know Why Deer Don’t Ask to Use Your Compass
6. Why are Medical Researchers Interested in Antlers?
7. Isn’t It Obvious Why Deer Have Antlers?
8. A New Kind of (un)Natural Selection on Deer Antlers: Hunting
9. My Deer Doctor: Take Two Acorns and Call Me in the Morning
10. Trying to Out-fox Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease
11. Deer and Their Subspecies: Fact or Fiction?
12. Can Game Managers Control the Number of Deer?
13. Mountain Lions, Prions, and Sick Deer
14. The Rut: Maybe More Than You Wanted to Know
In The Woods
15. Hunting Spots for Wild Turkeys at the Last Glacial Maximum
16. Wolves, Coyotes, and Deer
17. Lead, Lead, Everywhere?
18. Politics and the Lead Ammo Debate
19. Getting the Lead Out (of Chukars)
20. Sounding the Alarm, Mourning Dove Style
21. Moaning Moose and Topi Lies
22. Turkeys and Love: What’s Actually Happening Out There in Spring?
23. Looking Back at the Turkey Season: What You Might Not Have Seen
24. When Black Bears Attack!
25. I Wouldn’t Have Seen It if I Hadn’t Believed It: A Look at the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Controversy
26. Recent Developments in the Climate Change News
27. Night of the Dead Birds, or Too Much Hitchcock?
28. Eagle Attacks Toddler! Then Again, Maybe Not
In The Water
29. Recreational Fishing Alters Fish Evolution
30. Duck Hunting in the Low Country, or How’s Your Kooikerhondje?
31. Predators and Ducklings in the North Dakota Prairies
32. Long-Term Sexual Tensions Between Male and Female Ducks
33. Vigilance in Ducks: More Than Meets the Eye(lid)
34. What Little We Knew About the Labrador Duck Just Got Littler
35. Mumbling Along: Lessons From the Past About Stopping the Spread of Exotic Species
36. What You Don’t See Under Your Boat
37. Never Be a Baby Bird
38. Oh No! Duck Hunting Videos Might Not Be Realistic!
39. Snow Geese and Polar Bears: Collision Course?
40. Species Conservation at the State Level: A Fish-Eye View
Animals And Us
41. Reconsider Your Walk with Fido?
42. Loon Hunting: A Bygone Tradition
43. Market Hunting and the Demise of the Eskimo Curlew
44. The Ethics of Baiting and High-Fence Ranch Hunting: A Perennial Debate
45. Hunters and Conservationists at Odds Over Shooting Shorebirds
46. A Conversation About Hunting in the Netherlands
47. Back from the Dead: Mother Goose Goes to the Poor House, Cooked
48. Cats Outdoors and Native Birds: An Unnatural Mix
49. Five Million U.S. Residents Don’t See the Problem with Their Cat Killing Just One Bird a Day
50. Cats on Birds: A More Insidious Side
51. Some We Love, Others Not So Much
52. RICO, the Circus, and Conflicts Between Hunters and Non-hunters
Animal Intelligence
53. A New Respect for Porcupine Quills
54. Outfoxed Again: Foxes Use Built-in Rangefinders!
55. How do Ground Nesting Grouse Ever Breed Successfully? An Oily Subject
56. Our Chickadees are Smarter than Theirs
57. Neck Deep in Guano: A Recent History of Chimney Swifts
58. Shake, Rattle, and Spray, Doggie Style
59. Drahthaar Follies
60. “Trash Birds”, the Law, and Some Amazing Biology
61. The Dating Game, Antelope Style
62. Camouflage: One of Life’s Universals
63. One More Cup of Coffee

Postscript: Confessions of a Three-Minute Outdoorsman
Index