Thomas, aka, Tom is the resident mascot at the ranch and key socialite. He always enjoys keeping company with family and friends. Thomas enjoys the sound of gun fire and is always close by when the shotguns, rifles or pistols come out. Today he & the kids learned an important rule of safety at the range.
Be aware of your surroundings. When you are handling a firearm, always be aware what is in front of your gun. When you are at a shooting range, always stand clear of the firing line.
Thomas needed to be aware that the kids were shooting and stay behind the firing line. The kids needed to be aware that the range wasn’t clear.
A shooter must make sure the range is clear before even lifting the firearm to shoot at their target. Thomas and The Little Gal learned that it is not safe for Thomas to stand in front of the shooting bench.
The rules were explained to Thomas and the kids. Always stand clear of the firing line. Thomas stepped behind the fence and quietly watched his friends as they practiced good, safe shots.
Firearm safety rules (according to NRA gun safety rules):
Always point the gun in a safe direction
Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
Always keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it
Always know your target and what is in front of or beyond
Always learn how to use the fire arm safely
Always know your fire arm is safe to use (undamaged, clean & operable)
Always use the correct ammunition for your firearm
We have many animals at the Anstine Ranch. We have horses, mules, an occasional steer or buffalo, dogs, an emu and then we have two characters you have to see!
One of these characters you have to meet is Thomas, aka Tom. Tom, of course, is a turkey. What else would you name your pet turkey right? He has been with us for nearly two years. He was a grand champion at the 4-H auction in 2009. Just look at him now!
Tom has survived attacks by skunks, raccoons, and even coyotes. He is a little rough around the edges, but if you ask him, he is the most beautiful gentleman a hen would ever see. He must weigh over 30 pounds. It is amazing his little legs can carry him. We tried getting him some friends, but none seem to survive. Yes, a couple have been Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but many others have been the unfortunate victims to bobcats, mountain lions and the like (and you wonder why I hunt these predators). Tom is the sole survivor. He is a tough guy and keeps on keepin’ on.
“Spend more time with your family and friends, whether it be outside, hunting, at the shooting range or around the table, savoring all life has to offer.” MM
Last fall we had our eyes set on another 4-H trophy. We love to do what we can to support the kids. We have a friend whose daughter lost two sheep and a goat to a bear. The bear got into their barn the week before fair and the unfortunate girl lost almost all her hard work. We decided her lone remaining animal would be the item we bid on in the auction. Hank doesn’t like to eat goat so I knew this might be another animal to add to the collection we have at the ranch, but buying the goat is for the benefit of the 4-H-er, so I said let’s do it. The goat was a svelte young lad, and we bid until we decided we were at our maximum. Guess what?! No one else bid any higher, so we were the proud new owners of “Buster Brown” the goat.
We brought Buster Brown home and didn’t know what we would do with him. We argued over having him for a family get together (yes, bar-b-que), but I along with several other friends lost the debate. Buster instead became part of the Anstine family just like Tom.
Buster and Tom have become wonderful friends. The two emerge from their coops in the morning and run to greet each other. Well, Buster runs and Tom waddles. Tom with his missing feathers and then there is Buster. Buster is twice as round as he once was in the show ring, and he has hair that is about two inches long covering his entire body. The tips of which are silver-colored creating the appearance of frost on his back and sides. They are a sight to behold. The two former show animals that run amuck at the ranch.
Buster and Tom spend early morning hours tormenting the hunting hounds. It is somewhat of a “Foghorn Leghorn” moment as Buster stands just out of reach of the dogs. He butts his head forward and stomps his front feet in front of the dogs. They bay and howl and hit the ends of their chains. Tom stands aside and cheers (gobbling) at the antic. Little do the two of them know. It is the hounds that have kept the predators at bay. There have been no new incidence or attack since the hunting hounds came to the ranch.
Last weekend Buster and Tom tried out a new adventure. They joined the Little Gal and her friend as they skated and played on the lower pond. What a sight to behold! The gorgeous, or maybe not, 4-H animals slipping and sliding across the pond!
Ahh, the joy these two characters bring to the community. We are pleased to have them in the family. We are happy they have become great pals. Now off to chase the predators who keep taking their friends!