Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 57

"Who can resist when you have a newborn joey that for Medicine, where for two years he cared for mice, horses and
some reason we had to hand-raise?" he says. "Bottle feeding everything in between.
What he really wanted was a permanent position with
those few critters was always cool."
But his most rewarding experience, he says, involved car- the N.C. Wildlife Commission, but first he would have to
ing for a young joey with a back injury. The vet wasn't sure work his way up the ladder. When a temporary job finally
it would ever walk again; it might even be paralyzed. For opened up, he became a captive cervid (deer) biologist beseveral months, twice a week, McVey drove the baby 'roo fore moving up to a technician post, managing Butner Falls
to a Cummings, Georgia, facility a half-hour away for acu- Lake Game Lands north of Raleigh.
"That was really, really important for my wildlife career
puncture and massage. Back at the center, he became a sort
of physical therapist, helping the joey learn how to move because it showed me how to do the actual on-the-ground
again and take a few steps. It completely recovered and was habitat management, how to do prescribed burns, how to
do plantings," he says.
able to walk on its own.
A permanent job with the Commission was still out of
A year and a half later, McVey and his new bride Ashley,
a teacher, packed up and moved back to
Raleigh.
"Being out there at the Kangaroo Center, with the other keepers, they taught
me a lot about wildlife and introduced
me to [the teachings of] Aldo Leopold
(considered the father of wildlife ecolTHEY'RE NOT OUT TO GET YOU. "Bears don't really want to have anything to do
ogy)," he says. "And I just really got inwith us. They're kind of a more solitary animal."
terested in wildlife as opposed to regular
YOUR FOOD IS TEMPTING. "They're super-adaptable and really smart. They learn
animals."
really quickly so if there's a bear in a habitat with a lot of people, it learns where the
A good place to pursue that type of
food sources are and how to get into a trash can readily."
career, he realized, was at his alma mater.

3 THINGS JUSTIN MCVEY WANTS YOU
TO KNOW ABOUT BEARS

Thanks to his prior experience with both
large and small animals, he landed a job
at the N.C. State College of Veterinary

THEY NEED THEIR SPACE. "Don't be afraid of bears, but respect them as a wild
animal. Never feed them. Never get too close. Observe them from a distance. There's
no reason we can't coexist with bears." -NH

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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 11
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 18
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 21
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 37
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 42
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 51
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 57
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 61
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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