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False Foxes Put Fear In Pheasants
Pheasants don't wait for popcorn to be popped. They eat it right out of the row, and that bugs Jim Iverson. A researcher for the Crookham Seed Company, Iverson is responsible for evaluating new popcorn varieties. That's tough to do when the seed doesn't even get a chance to germinate.
"Pheasants love the stuff," explains Iverson. "They'll get on a row and eat most of the kernels in it."
In an effort to keep pheasants out of the research plots, he has tried everything from cannons to kites to fire crackers. When he ran across an old shaggy lap robe at a yard sale, he decided to use it to make fox scarecrows. In the end he didn't use the robe.
"I make fox bodies and legs out of scrap wood with a tail and ears out of light sheet metal," says Iverson. "I build the heads up with foam and then carve them back down. The fur is fiberglass insulation that I staple on and spray red."
Eyes and eye placement is important, he suggests. He buys large plastic eyes from a craft store.
"I think the large eyes mounted down low make the foxes seem more real," says Iverson, who also gives credit to the tail for added realism. "The large tail will wave back and forth with the wind. The foxes are realistic enough that people will stop on the highway to look at them."
Iverson now has nine of the fake foxes, and they seem to be doing the job. Since installing the first one several years ago, he hasn't had problems getting a uniform stand of popcorn.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James Iverson, 15190 Osprey Pl., Caldwell, Idaho 83607 (ph 208 459-6051).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4