When it comes to a cowboy's topper, the moniker "Mad Hatter" refers to more than an eccentric character in Alice in Wonderland. The origin of the term comes from the phrase "as mad as a hatter," referring to the neurological disorders some old-time hat makers suffered from breathing vapors from the mercury used to cure pelts. Today, most hats are made in factories where machines do much of the manufacturing, but there are still custom hatters who preserve and perpetuate their traditional cowboy craft.
Sometimes birds can be a nuisance. I don’t care if they’re blackbirds, pigeons, seagulls, starlings or guinea hens.
Starlings have always been a problem for feedlots. They eat a lot of grain, besides desecrating the feed bunks. One particular afternoon when I was having visions of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds, I sent one of the feedlot hands to town to get some replicas of owls. I had read that decoy owls would scare off birds. I left that afternoon before he returned.
The next morning I got a call on the two-way from the boss. He was in a fowl mood (sorry). “What the *(#%@ do ya think this is? Halloween? Do ya think the EPA and the Audubon Society would approve? Are they waterproof? Packing guns? Where did you go to school again?”