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Birdshot in my blueberries!
Old 07-04-2018, 06:51 AM   #1
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Birdshot in my blueberries!

I made a smoothie this morning with almonds, almond milk, yogurt and blueberries. The blender was really loud, I figured it had a hard piece of almond.

Started drinking the smoothie and as I got to the end, I could hear a distinctive sound of a ball rolling on the cup bottom. Sure enough, it looks like a piece of shot.

I'm no hunter, but I presume birdshot? Was the farmer shooting the birds on his blueberry trees? Is that plausible? How about some nets instead?

I mean, how does this happen? Should I stop going local and go back to some nameless factory farm where apparently they think a little?
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:56 AM   #2
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Especially if you're shooting at birds on the wing, shot can travel quite a distance. Probably unrelated to activity near the blueberry grower.

They didn't charge you extra for added mineral content, did they?
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:59 AM   #3
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Especially if you're shooting at birds on the wing, shot can travel quite a distance. Probably unrelated to activity near the blueberry grower.

They didn't charge you extra for added mineral content, did they?
Nope. Free bonus!

So, that's a possibility. Good old boys shooting next to the farm. How far can shot travel? I always thought it was a pretty close-in thing.

I know nothing about shotguns.

EDIT: I googled it. 200 to 500 yards, depending on variables. I guess I just learned something about shotguns.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:05 AM   #4
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Nope. Free bonus!

So, that's a possibility. Good old boys shooting next to the farm. How far can shot travel? I always thought it was a pretty close-in thing.

I know nothing about shotguns.
Max effective range ~ 50 yards (a little less with steel shot), but can travel over a hundred yards.

I would stick with local. Likely a very rare fluke.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:08 AM   #5
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Max effective range ~ 50 yards (a little less with steel shot), but can travel over a hundred yards.

I would stick with local. Likely a very rare fluke.
I'm coming around the fluke idea. I envisioned the farmer blasting away at the birds roosting on the trees, but that makes no sense! If he were doing that, the blueberries would be juice.

There may have been a shot or two up in the air to scare off the birds. A lucky terminal velocity shot ball coming down and lodging in a berry is possible.

Somehow, I feel like I won the lottery.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:25 AM   #6
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Little lead in your diet never hurt anyone. Now steel shot you might break a tooth.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:44 AM   #7
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Is it perfectly round? I’m thinking more likely a ball bearing from the factory? Bird shot isn’t going to just sit on a leaf and wait for harvesting. I guess anything is possible, but that seems less likely than production equipment failing. Could also be an a-hole of an employee no matter what it actually is (ball bearing or bird shot).
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:59 AM   #8
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a blueberry penetrated by birdshot would likely have gone bad while on the bush, unless it happened pretty much the day of harvest. Squeeze the shot with pliers, smashes flat its lead shot, won't smash then its probably a steel ball bearing.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:02 AM   #9
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Could be a BB.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:23 AM   #10
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I needed a project, so I took extreme close ups. Before smashing with pliers, and after. So it is lead. It is shot or bb.

This is a family farm. a-hole employees are possible, but unlikely. Since this is not a ball bearing, it isn't equipment.

I don't think it just stayed on a leaf. It either penetrated a berry, or it was contamination during harvesting. Maybe the boys shot a little skeet or something on their break.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:55 AM   #11
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But is your blender ok?
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:15 AM   #12
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But is your blender ok?
Yep. Nothing like dropping a steel spoon in there. Since it was lead, there was little danger of dulling things, and the blade must have missed it most spins.

I did probably drink a few lead specks. Oh well.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:01 AM   #13
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Yep. Nothing like dropping a steel spoon in there. Since it was lead, there was little danger of dulling things, and the blade must have missed it most spins.

I did probably drink a few lead specks. Oh well.
At our age eating a little lead is no big deal. It's worse to breathe than ingesting especially when you are mature.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:45 AM   #14
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I'm no hunter, but I presume birdshot? Was the farmer shooting the birds on his blueberry trees? Is that plausible? How about some nets instead?

I mean, how does this happen? Should I stop going local and go back to some nameless factory farm where apparently they think a little?
Blueberries are grown on bushes, the biggest getting to about 6'. As I have several bushes in my yard, birds are my competitors for my berries. It is possible, that a shotgun was used to scare a flock off, and some birdshot ended up in your container. Nets work for my bushes, but won't work for a field. Some farms, if big enough, use falcons, but it runs about $15,000 for a team of falcons to patrol vineyards in California. Shotguns are much cheaper.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:47 AM   #15
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A coworker of mine grew up in central CA. He has fond memories of riding his bicycle to the farms and orchards. Farmers would leave out boxes of shells for teenagers to use on the birds. Sounds awkward to me, but I suppose you could cradle a shotgun in your arms as you rode a bike or even strap it to the rear rack. Some farmers would even pay a bounty, according to him.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:48 AM   #16
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Squirrels attack DW's tomatoes (they usually just take one bite, but that's one bite too many). I have two second floor windows giving me near 100% view of garden. I keep the pellet gun with a 4X scope at the ready (no kids in the house-doors locked upstairs for additional safety). This is how it ends up as we get in to July and the tomatoes are ripening.

http://http://www.wideopenspaces.com/best-crock-pot-squirrel-recipe/
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:19 PM   #17
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A coworker of mine grew up in central CA. He has fond memories of riding his bicycle to the farms and orchards. Farmers would leave out boxes of shells for teenagers to use on the birds. Sounds awkward to me, but I suppose you could cradle a shotgun in your arms as you rode a bike or even strap it to the rear rack. Some farmers would even pay a bounty, according to him.
Fascinating!
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:25 PM   #18
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A coworker of mine grew up in central CA. He has fond memories of riding his bicycle to the farms and orchards. Farmers would leave out boxes of shells for teenagers to use on the birds. Sounds awkward to me, but I suppose you could cradle a shotgun in your arms as you rode a bike or even strap it to the rear rack. Some farmers would even pay a bounty, according to him.
I grew up in central CA where farmers would pay 75 cents a head for Magpies. I spent a few weeks hunting them, but never got close enough with my trusty Cross BB gun. Also, I recall at the time pondering how I would cut their heads off. Fortunately, never had to find out.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:31 PM   #19
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Squirrels attack DW's tomatoes (they usually just take one bite, but that's one bite too many). I have two second floor windows giving me near 100% view of garden. I keep the pellet gun with a 4X scope at the ready (no kids in the house-doors locked upstairs for additional safety). This is how it ends up as we get in to July and the tomatoes are ripening.

http://http://www.wideopenspaces.com/best-crock-pot-squirrel-recipe/
That recipe doesn’t even use tomatos.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:59 PM   #20
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That recipe doesn’t even use tomatos.
Those squirrels are sneaky.
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