Hampshire

While I wasn’t at Pigeon River more than a few months, in my time there I noticed Jeff was never much on using words when they weren’t necessary.

Jeff on safe use of the portable sawmill:

“See that? That’s sharp. Don’t get your hands in there. If it hits your leg it’s so sharp you won’t feel it, it’ll just pull you down. Which is handy because then you can kiss your ass goodbye.”

Jeff on proper use of the State vehicles:

“Don’t speed or do stupid shit in the State vehicles.

Jeff on performing with an audience:

While I was at Pigeon we had to collect tissue samples from deer carcasses to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease. Sometimes these samples came from deer brought in by the State Highway crew. Being roadkills the carcasses weren’t always as pleasant to work with as what the hunters brought us. One day a truckload of deer were brought in and included a particularly rank deer—one that had been out for several days in 80+ degree heat. We had an audience by the time we reached this last deer, one or two of our own employees, some hunters, and the highway crew. The deer was so mangled that neither of us could find the gland we needed and the stench was somehow getting worse. I usually don’t have a weak stomach, but I was working very hard to keep my lunch down when Jeff quietly said, “Cut something out and put it in the jar so we can get out of here.”

My best memory of Jeff and working at Pigeon came just a few days before I left to go to Pokagon. We were in the campground doing a count of geese sitting on the Mongo Mill Pond in the hopes of getting a late goose season introduced. I noticed a large black bird circling overhead. At first I thought the bird was a Turkey Vulture, but it was too big and it had white tail feathers. Jeff asked me, if I’d ever seen a Bald Eagle. I told him no, I hadn’t. “Well, get a good look, because there’s one.” No one else saw the eagle that day and I’m sure they still think we made it up.

Amanda Tikkanen

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