Porcupine Family

As you can see; this could be a prickly situation.  I came across this family of porcupines while out riding my 4-wheeler.  I’m assuming the biggest one (climbing high in the tree) is the male.  It would seem that the mother is sticking close to the baby, in order to protect the little guy.  The baby has a few quills, and momma has a whole bunch of weapons.  The big one did not appear to have as many quills, but seemed to have more fur than the others.

Nevertheless these guys are nothing to fool with.  Porcupine quills have a barb on the end, and they do not pull out easily.  We once had a dog that got a snout full of quills, and it was a sorry mess trying to get them out.  The barb has to be snipped off, and then it can be pulled out.  If the bard cannot be reached it’s time to see a veterinarian.  Porcupine quills were used extensively by Native Americans for decorations, sewing, and headdresses.  They were also used to write with in the early days of our nation.

I’ve heard that the porcupine was considered survival food by the explores and mountain men of old.  They are slow moving creatures, and can be easily caught if need be.  Whan I was a teenager a friend and I camped one winter, and were on the verge of starving, when I came across a porcupine.  I shot it, and we skinned the critter, and proceeded to cook it.  It was probably the worst tasting wild thing I have ever eaten.  A person would have to be on the edge of dying, before such fare could be consumed, as far as I’m concerned.  Now I just enjoy watching these lumbering creatures, as they go about their business of being their prickly selves!

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