Category Archives: Colorado Outdoors

Outdoor news from Colorado.

Animal’s Daily Back In The Saddle News

Boy howdy, was it ever cold in Colorado’s high country this week.

Loyal sidekick Rat had a tag for, and was seeking out, a fat cow elk for the freezer, while I just hung out with only a sidearm, soaking up the scenery.  Rat was unsuccessful in bringing in a freezer-filler, and the weather turned on us Friday night; Grand County went from warm and sunny to snowy and cold.

This isn’t unusual in the Colorado Rockies in late October. Saturday morning, opening morning in fact, we woke up to snow, which continued through that day and into Sunday morning.

Camp.

It was a pleasant outing nonetheless. My grandfather always used to say, “it’s not about whether you bring anything home. It’s about being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.”

As usual, Grandpa was right.

The road in to camp.

Interesting to note that the weather in our Susitna Valley home were more clement than the Gore Range during this time.

At any rate, a good time was had by all involved. Regular posts will resume tomorrow.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Some housekeeping notes: Last night I caught a red-eye to Denver, in order to recover enough (which takes longer every year) to leave Friday for Grand County, where loyal sidekick Rat and I will be sallying forth to do battle with antlered ungulates.  More news on that when/if anything happens; in the meantime, there will be some placeholder totty on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  Barring some catastrophe regular posts should resume on Thursday, the 2nd.

Now then…

Continue reading Animal’s Hump Day News

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Turkey country.

Things are going to be a little lean today, as I only returned from the fall turkey hunt late last Thursday and between having visiting family here,  catching up on work business and coordinating some repairs on the house, I haven’t been reading as much as usual.

The turkey hunt didn’t go well.  We were limited to a small (35k acres – small by Western standards) state wildlife area, daytime highs were in the nineties, and the birds were all up higher in the mountains instead of down in this fall/winter range.  So we miscalculated that one rather badly – but we had a nice relaxing time camping out in the boonies for a few days, and that’s never not worth doing.

And so…

On To the Links!

This is interesting:  Differences in sapiens and Neandertal brains.

No shit, Sherlock.

Fucking savage.

Hoaxers gonna hoax.  Why are these “racial slur” events almost always hoaxes?

Ain’t that the truth.

Well, whattya know.

Do we want things to get worse?

We can hope.

Inflation:  8.3% in August.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Chris Cillizza (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Ruth Braunstein is an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer is an idiot.

Juan Williams continues to beclown himself.

The Daily Beast’s Michael Cohen is an idiot.

Illinois is governed by idiots.

CNN’s Dean Obeidallah (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I posted a video from the Japanese girl band Tokyo Groove Jyoshi a while ago, but it’s been a while, so here’s another.  I do enjoy Japan, and not least of what I enjoy is the abundance of lovely young Japanese women.  In this case, the artists mix that loveliness with talent and style – here they are with Funk No. 1.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

First, a housekeeping note:  This evening, I’ll be traveling the Friendly Skies to Colorado, and thence to an area near the New Mexico border.  There loyal sidekick Rat and I will indulge in a fall turkey hunt.  We’ve spent a fair amount of time in the area, and every time we’ve been there the turkeys have been abundant.

783 Marlin

Colorado allows rifles in the fall season.  Rat doesn’t have a suitable piece, but fortunately I’ve got two:  The Savage .22WMR/20 gauge combo I bought recently, and an old Marlin .22 WMR bolt gun I’ve had since I was fourteen.  So, prospects are good.  Watch this space for placeholder totty posts while I’m out, and then for a hunt report on my return.  I have posts scheduled for tomorrow and Friday, along with the usual Saturday Gingermageddon.  Regular posts will resume Monday, September 12th.

And so…

On To the Links!

The GOP needs to get their shit together.

Yes, good riddance.

It wouldn’t be the first time.

This just in:  People are assholes.

So much for “sanctuary” cities, eh?

Meanwhile, Biden(‘s handlers) Administration officials insist “the border is under control.”

I love a happy ending.

Virginia made a winning pick with this guy.

More on Alaska politics.

What a day for a daydream.

I’ll believe there’s a climate crisis when the people who keep telling me there’s a climate crisis start acting like there’s a climate crisis.

NYC banks are closing their ATM vestibules at night to stop bums from shitting in them.

This Week’s Idiots:

Atlantic’s Joseph Stiglitz is an idiot.

California is run by idiots.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

The Nation’s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is an idiot.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is an idiot.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s Julian Zelizer is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Jedediah Britton-Purdy is an idiot.

Charlie Crist is an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I’ve long been a fan of Frank Zappa.

Zappa, because of the compound weirdness of his musical style, is often misjudged as a mere showman, when in fact he was one of the most brilliant and innovative musicians of the modern era, as well as a great songwriter, composer and a brilliant technical guitarist.  He wrote symphonies – and conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in recording his first symphony album, simply titled London Symphony Orchestra – Zappa.  In concert, Zappa would show up with a 12- to 16-piece band and a bunch of different musical genres in his pockets like playing cards, which he would mix, match and play like a poker hand.  Brilliantly.

One of his standard concert pieces was Florentine Pogen, an… interesting piece.  Zappa never performed the same song in the same way twice, but one of my favorite versions of this tune can be found on the 1991 live album The Best Band You’ve Never Heard In Your Life.  This cut really shows off what Zappa could do on a stage, in large part because he always chose to work with very talented people.  The entire album rates a listen, as it also includes some great covers, including Ravel’s Bolero, Stairway to Heaven, and what was rumored to have been Johnny Cash’s favorite cover of Ring of Fire.

But for today, I had to pick one song.  So here is Zappa’s own Florentine Pogen.  Enjoy.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  And, as always, if I’ve missed you in these credits, please let me know in the comments and I’ll include you in the weekly call-out.

Now then:  Due to a family conflict we cut our trip a bit short, but still did manage to see a lot of great Grand and Routt County scenery.  Photos follow.  More regular news and commentary posts tomorrow and the rest of the week.  Enjoy! Continue reading Goodbye, Blue Monday

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This has been a funny year, outdoors-wise.  I didn’t fish or hunt in Alaska at all this year, and you might find that odd, since the fishing and hunting were one of our main draws to move here.  But since there is a one-year residency requirement before you can buy a resident license, and because I didn’t want to pay non-resident fees, I let it go for now.

Fall in Grand County.

A week from today, though, I will be heading back to Colorado to attend the general rifle elk season with loyal sidekick Rat.  I won’t be hunting, just tagging along with a sidearm, but as much as Colorado has gone loony the last few years, Grand and Routt Counties are still for the most part reasonably sane.  Plus it’s gorgeous country, and maybe Rat will fill an elk tag, after which event I’ll try to talk him out of some tenderloin and a few steaks.

We take our outdoor adventuring where we find it, you know?  Now then…

On To the Links!

President Biden(‘s handlers) to oil companies:  “Please lower your prices, and just forget that I screwed you over earlier this year.”  Oil companies correct response would be “Go fuck yourself.”  We’ll see what happens.

10 Ways the Chinese Government Lied, Misled, and Messed Up Early on in the Pandemic.  No shit.

What economic recovery?

Why China Is Alienating the World.  Well, they’re commies.  It’s what they do.

Here’s an interesting bit on why some of our early ancestors left Africa.

The Incredible Shrinking Dollar.

Entrepreneurship may bring down beef prices.

A slow-motion train wreck.

The Biden(‘s handlers) continues to appoint incompetents.  Yeah, this will end well.

Heels-Up Harris may have violated IRS rules on tax-exemption for churches while campaigning for McAuliffe in Virginia.  Let’s be honest; nothing will come of this.  She has the ultimate political “Get Out of Jail Free Card” – a “D” after her name.

You know, this might just work.

Robert Stacy McCain has an interesting piece on how social media makes people stupid.  Granted plenty of people are already stupid.

This Week’s Idiots:

Alexandria “Crazy Eyes” Occasional Cortex isn’t just an idiot, she’s an idiot with a toxic narcissism disorder.

Maxine Waters (Moron – CA) remains the stupidest member of Congress.  And she’s up against some pretty stiff competition.

The daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont is still an idiot.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Asshole – RI) is an idiot.

Representative Adam Schiff (Bug-eyed Loser – CA) is an idiot.

CNN’s Ruth Ben-Ghiat is an idiot.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a cheap hack, and an idiot.

Vox‘s Tim Ryan Williams is an idiot.

The Hill’s Antjuan Seawright is an idiot.

OK, that’s all I can take for this week.  I actually do read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Back in the Eighties and Nineties I was listening to a lot of George Thorogood and his band, The Delaware Destroyers.  I saw him in concert in a small venue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about 1987 or so, and he put on a hell of a show.

His signature piece from that era, of course, was the 1982 tune Bad To The Bone.  In the official music video for that song, George plays pool against one of his musical influences, Bo Diddley (George covered a lot of Bo Diddley songs in his various albums) with real-life pool champ Willie Mosconi looking on.  It’s a fun song, with a lot of Thorogood’s typical rollicking, slam-bang guitar work.  Also, the cigar-ash-tap bit at the end of the last match – priceless.  Don’t forget to check the faces of the female spectators in the concert clips.  Here is that song and that video – enjoy.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time, The Other McCain and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Spent the weekend just past back in Colorado, helping my own dear Mrs. Animal get what’s left of my workshop organized for the movers.  In so doing, I almost certainly spend my last couple of nights in the house that was our family home for twenty-three years.  That bears a moment’s reflection.

First, Colorado:

I moved to Colorado in September of 1988, after a stint in the Army.  Back then it was South Wyoming, although some of the urban rot was starting to creep into the Denver area, and Boulder was already pretty nutty, although the nuttiness was at least contained.  I moved west for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Colorado did and still does have those and to spare; in fact, I’ll still come down regularly to join loyal sidekick Rat on deer and elk hunts.

But the state has gone too far left to suit me now.  It’s East California these days.  Plenty of people are looking to places like Texas and Florida now when dealing with blue-state blues, but Mrs. Animal and I have always been drawn north, and indeed began looking with thoughtful eyes at Alaska since well before Colorado went off the deep end.  So here we are.   We are moving north for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Alaska, even more so, does have those and to spare.

Second, the home:

Mrs. Animal and I actually bought our first house together the month before we got married, a small, three-bed, one-bath starter home in Aurora.  It was a nice little house, but it was a little house.  We had a growing family, so about a year after our youngest was born we started looking for a bigger place.  In the spring of 1998, my career was taking off and we started house-shopping.  We did examine some properties with acreage out on the plains east of the city, but the commute (this was before work-from-home was a possibility, much less a preference for anybody) and the fact that the areas we were looking at were already being zoned up for development deterred us.  “If we’re going to live in town,” Mrs. Animal said, “we may as well live in town.”  So we eventually found this place, the big, rambling, 4600-square foot barn of a house where we raised our family.

Sunset from the house.

Our kids all remember it as the house they grew up in.  To them, it’s home, even though they all have their own homes now.  To Mrs. Animal and I, it’s a twenty-three year store of memories, of our kids, our grandchildren, of work, of happy events and sad ones, of life lived and family loved.  A big part of us will always be there with that house.  When you’ve lived in a place that long you become a part of it, and it, a part of you.

So it’s kind of a thoughtful moment.  But life is water, not stone, and I’ve always been the kind of guy who prefers to look ahead instead of back.  And now we look ahead to our golden years in the Great Land, breathing the free air of Alaska, and knowing some reflective moments but not a moment’s regret – no, not one single moment of regret.

Rule Five Lupine Friday

If you want to see what’s wrong with the current urban v. rural divide in this country, I have one word for you:  Wolf.  Excerpt:

Proposition 114, creating a new statute that requires the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to undertake introducing as many as 500 gray wolves into western Colorado, and orders the state legislature to find the money to fund both the program and livestock depredation claims caused by wolves, has apparently been approved by a narrow margin of less than 1%.

As of Thursday night there are 1,513,237 votes in favor and 1,487,151 against for a difference of 26,086 votes, or a 0.982% margin in favor of the initiative.

The counts are not final, and according to the Secretary of State’s election results website, post-election day tabulations are still in progress, no final tabulations are complete and no counties have certified the results.

Urban counties, including Denver, El Paso, Boulder, Larimer, Jefferson, Broomfield, Adams, and Arapahoe County provided the bulk of yes votes.

The rest of the counties, with the exception of traditional Democrat strongholds including Summit, Pitkin, San Miguel, San Juan and La Plata, voted against the reintroduction.  As the Grand Junction ABC affiliate reports, roughly 62% of Western Slope voters said no to the measure, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Front Range voter advantage.

And:

In a press release, Michael Robinson, a senior conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity said, “This is a great victory for wolves coming on the heels of Trump’s illegal action to remove federal protection, and it will help restore the natural balance in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.”

Opponents and wildlife experts strongly disagree.

“We’re trapping them in their ecosystems up in Canada, where they can roam millions of acres never seeing a human being, and we’re dropping them into a state of six million people,” said Ted Harvey, campaign director for Stop the Wolf PAC. “I guarantee you that there’s going to be conflict, whether it’s with cars, trucks, or ranchers protecting their property. I can assure you who’s going to win that conflict, and it won’t be the wolves.”

Here’s the thing; the people in those urban counties that voted for this don’t give a shit, because they will never be affected by wolves in a populated area, and probably will never even set foot in any of the areas affected.  It’s an emotional thing for them – “People = bad, wolf = good” and there’s an end of it.

The hell of it is, wolves have already spread naturally into Colorado.  Several individuals have been seen in the northwestern part of the state, and if left to their own devices, they’ll spread, naturally, into areas suited for them.  But this introduction probably won’t go the way people think it will.

I’ve spent time in areas where there are wolves.  On the couple of trips I took into the Boundary Waters area between Minnesota and Canada, one of them a solo trip, I heard wolves howling almost every night.  It’s a beautiful sound.  I want there to be wolves – in the wild places, where they belong.  They don’t belong around human-settled areas.

Not only are wolves apex predators and pack hunters, they are a wilderness animal.  Part of the reason wolves spread slowly is that they generally don’t do well around people; being an apex predator, the ones with less innate wariness of humans tend to drift into taking advantage of some of the easy food sources humans provide, like our livestock and our pets.

This ballot initiative was a stupid idea, and most of the folks who voted for it, frankly, have no idea what the hell they were doing.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

We didn’t go out after sage grouse.  Mrs. Animal had a couple of tight deadlines to make for her publishing business, I had plenty of work around here to do to advance getting this Colorado house ready to sell and, to be honest, I didn’t really feel like getting up early and driving up to North Park by myself.

Might could get after some pheasants.

But there is plenty more upland bird hunting to be done; the pheasant population on the eastern plains is doing reasonably well as I hear it, and there are always waterfowl to pick up out there along the South Platte.  So we’ll see.

I might even lease a goose pit for a morning or two.  The Hate Birds, the Birds That Hate may hate, but they also are better than fair eating.

Now then…

On To the Links!

A Medal of Honor is always something special.

In a decision just issued in County of Butler, et al. v. Governor Wolf, et al., Judge William Stickman, IV of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has ruled that “(1) the congregate gathering limits imposed by Defendants’ mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment; (2) that the stay-at-home and business closure components of Defendants’ orders violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) the business closure components of the Defendants’ orders violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”  A glimmer of hope?

Aww, dida po widdle baby getums widdle feewings hurt?

Speaking of which:  If the shoe fits, Queen Nancy.

School choice could be great for rural communities.  And urban communities.  And everywhere.  Hell, let’s just get government out of the business of education everywhere, at all levels.

Now this is a threat, especially given the violence and looting that’s been going on.  Note that this was 2018, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this kind of crap this year; in fact, I’ll be a bit surprised if both sides don’t do it.

Speaking of violence; two LA-area sheriff’s deputies were just shot from ambush.  And some protestors blocked the ER entrance where the officers were taken.  Honestly, at that point I wouldn’t have minded if officers opened fire.  This is the fruit of the “defund the cops” ranting.  Anyone still doubt that civil order is breaking down in our major cities?

Groper Joe’s campaign has been up to some shenanigans.  In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet and cake is fattening.

Round-Heels Kamala accidentally tells the truth.

Speaking of which, the Democrats may try a nuclear option to overturn the election.

Apparently folks have pissed off some orcas.

This Week’s Idiots:

Vanity Fair’s Eric Lutz is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Ibram X. Kendi is an idiot.

Robert Reich is an idiot.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (Commie-MN) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Tom Engelhardt is an idiot.

Queen Nancy goes full-blown New Age loony-tunes.

And So:

No further comments; today I’ll leave you with the woman I believe to be one of the best, if not the best female vocalist alive today.  This is Mary Fahl, with a song based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (the actual story, not the idiotic Disney take.)  This is Ariel.  Enjoy.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Speaking of hot stuff:  Much of the West is on fire, not excluding our own Colorado.  Here’s why.  Excerpt:

In the U.S., forest fire management policies date back to the 1880s, shortly after Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. After a roughly 50-year period in which some wildfires were allowed to burn, in 1935, the U.S. Forest Service formally adopted the “10 a.m. policy.” All forest fires were supposed to be put out by the morning after they were first spotted. To enlist Americans in these efforts to suppress forest fires, in 1944, the U.S. Forest Service introduced Smokey Bear, who would go on to become one of the most iconic cartoon animals of all time.

For over 75 years, Smokey has taught generations of Americans to be responsible environmental stewards with his admonishment, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” But Smokey’s message is predicated on a faulty assumption—that forest fires are inherently bad for people and the environment.

This assumption goes against the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of many Native American tribes who have long used fire as a crucial part of land stewardship practices. In recent years, even the U.S. Forest Service has come around to this understanding and now supports the use of prescribed burns to return forests to a healthier state.

Innovative research by archaeologists working in New Mexico points to the same conclusion: Forests across the American West are desperately out of ecological balance, and federal fire suppression policies are partly to blame. But how have these archaeologists actually gone about providing convincing evidence for this claim?

In other words, one of the major causes of these wildfires is decades of dumb-as-dirt management.

These Western coniferous forests evolved with fire as a necessary part of their life-cycle.  Some conifers, such as lodgepole pines, are pyrophytic, meaning their cones won’t open to disperse seed without first having their outer coating of resin burned off.  Poor forest management in the form of over-enthusiastic fire suppression actually keeps these trees from reproducing.

Pine forest.

But this seeding issue isn’t the cause, just a result.  The worst unintended outcome of decades of fire suppression has been the buildup of forest litter, which is essentially kindling.  Add to that big tracts of trees killed by invasive beetles, and you’ve got trouble waiting for a discarded cigar butt, a misplaced firework or a lightning strike.

We shouldn’t prevent forest fires unless they threaten property; even then, they should just be contained to (hopefully) protect people’s homes and businesses.

Otherwise this endless cycle of out of control wildfires will continue.