Category Archives: Colorado Outdoors

Outdoor news from Colorado.

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.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I still haven’t decided whether I’ll spend some time after sage grouse this weekend.  In Colorado, in North Park (up along the Wyoming border, around Walden) the season is pretty much one weekend.  But these are big, fast, tough birds, and I’d like to hunt them, although I understand attempting this without a dog can be a real challenge.  Open-country birds will often run instead of flying, and that can mean running after them.  But my Citori stuffed with some high-brass #5 loads I have should reach a ways to bring down a big sage grouse.  It might be fun.  We’ll see.

Sage Grouse

Now then:

On To the Links!

This is long overdue.

In the words of Groper Joe, this is a big fucking deal.

Squirm, Kamala, squirm!

High intensity physical activity in early adolescence could lead to stronger bones in adulthood.  Hell yeah – try throwing around hay bales when you’re twelve.

Groper Joe’s back-door deals exposed!

In a generation, we’ve gone from limousine liberals to limousine rioters.

As usual, Dr. Victor Davis Hanson is a national treasure.

Are Democrats planning a coup?  Well, I’d advise them to bring guns.  They’re gonna need ’em.

Again with California:  Rules for thee, not for me.

And again:  Seriously, what the hell, California?

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Frida Ghitis is an idiot.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, gives a staggeringly idiotic interview.  Seriously, why does anyone talk to this old drunk any more?

In an egregious act of idiocy, the Mayor of San Francisco lays down covering fire for Queen Nancy.

Robert Reich is an idiot.

Here’s an idiot, but one that at least will make you laugh.

And So:

I don’t really have anything to add, so here is a particularly non-PC piece of rock&roll history; from Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, here is The Band with the wonderful The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.  If this song offends any Marxist revolutionaries, I cordially invite them to go fuck themselves.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Last Saturday Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. got up early and headed up to Grand County, where we engaged in the pursuit of Colorado dusky grouse.  Our efforts fell far short of hardcore, as we were more interested in enjoying a day in the mountains, away from the stress, strain and noise of the Denver area where we make our home.  In that sense the day was a roaring success.  We did see grouse, but only on private land on the drive in to the hunting area.

Typical of the country.

Again, not that disappointing.  A day in the mountains cannot be disappointing.  But the dusky grouse of the western mountains is indeed worth pursuing, especially early in the season.

Dusky Grouse

Early in the season these plump birds are eating grass seeds, grasshoppers and berries, and are very tasty.  I always recommend making them into a casserole or cooking them in a crock with a can of cream of onion or cream of celery tossed in; they are tasty but very lean, and if you cook them like chicken they’ll be tough and dry.  Later in the season, along about late October or November, the birds have moved into the heavy timber and are eating needles, which can give them an unpleasant taste.

Early in the season, again, the birds are pretty tame.  Mrs. Animal and I generally hunt them with .22 pistols, to make it interesting.  These grouse will often just sit on the ground looking at you, or if they fly, they generally fly up to a low branch and sit looking down at you.  In those circumstances they are very vulnerable to a well-placed .22LR standard-velocity target load.  I have a 12-inch .22LR barrel with a 2.5x scope for my Contender, and can hit birds out to 75 yards with that rig very easily.

Next weekend is North Park’s one-weekend sage grouse season.  I haven’t yet decided whether I want to go up and have a go at those big open-country birds.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, enjoy your day off, True Believers!

Animal’s Daily Gun Sales News

It’s been an interesting year, and here’s another interesting bit; June 2020 saw the highest number of gun sale background checks ever conducted, just short of four million.  Excerpt:

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, June 2020 saw the highest number of gun purchases since the FBI started keeping track 20 years ago. Further, this year’s June number increased over June 2019 by 135.7 percent. According to the unadjusted number from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, 3,909,502 background checks were conducted.

“These figures represent the highest June on record since the FBI began conducting instant background checks more than 20 years ago. The sharp increase in Americans buying firearms in June continues a trend we saw start in the spring. Civil unrest, rioting, looting and calls to defund police are unquestionably motivating factors of why this trend is increasing. Americans are right to be concerned for their personal safety. It’s entirely reasonable that law-abiding citizens are exercising their Constitutional right to purchase a firearm to protect themselves,” NSSF Director of Public Affairs Mark Olivia released in a statement.

But wait!  There’s more!

In addition, the numbers for the first quarter of 2020 already far outpace the entirety of 2019.

“The second quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 5,451,599 reflects an increase of 92.8 percent over the 2,827,606 figure for first quarter 2019,” NSSF data shows.

Meanwhile, the Colorado primary election has an interesting wrinkle; five-term Congressman Scott Tipton has been unseated by an insurgent, Lauren Boebert, she of Shooter’s Grille fame.  Excerpt:

Image from linked story

Lauren Boebert delivered a stunning upset victory knocking off five-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in Colorado’s 3rd U.S. Congressional District in the Colorado Primary Election on Tuesday night.

Boebert, who gained notoriety by openly wearing a pistol holstered to her thigh, has attacked the incumbent from the right for not standing up forcefully to object to left-wing members of the U.S. House, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

According to unofficial results from the Colorado secretary of state’s website as of 9:55 p.m., Boebert had 55,237 votes, or 54.38% of the vote, compared with 46,340 votes, or 45.62% of the vote, for Tipton.

Given the makeup of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, at least some Coloradans (yr. obdt. sadly not among them) are soon to be represented in the House by a lady who may be the staunchest 2nd Amendment supporter in Congress; an honest-to-gosh pistol-packing lady who would surprise no one if she strode into the House with her Glock in its customary place on her hip.

So what does this mean?  Well, as I see it, a couple of things.

First:  Gun control may well be a dead letter for a while.  All of these new gun sales must have a hefty percentage going to first-time buyers, especially given the recent unrest in our major cities.  It’s going to be hard, after the recent waves of rioting and looting, to convince many folks to meekly lay aside their arms, convinced that their local governments will protect them.

Second:  What’s driving all these sales?  What are these folks concerned about?  Well, if I were to guess, I’d say is was the aforementioned rioting and looting.

I’d bet a few shekels that the next wave of rioters and looters may have a harder time of it.  For a while there was some talk of the fomenters of the unrest expanding into small-town and rural environments, but the idea was quickly dropped, as the prospect of facing armed rural folks had a chilling effect.  But now, the next wave may well find themselves facing similarly well-armed city and suburban denizens.  Their masks will be a dead giveaway; in the words of one of my personal heroes:

Col. Cooper

Let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.

Colonel Cooper also said:

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

I think that maybe, just maybe, recent events are turning more folks to a similar point of view on both counts.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Colorado big-game drawings have happened, and once again, eleven years into the process, I haven’t drawn a moose tag.  I did draw a September bear tag for the area south of Eagle down to Basalt, encompassing several Game Management Units (GMU) and loyal sidekick Rat and I have black-powder season buck deer tags for a GMU down on the New Mexico border.  The black-powder season is in early September, so weather down there should be beautiful; a certain change of pace from last year’s rather cold and snowy hunt.

Shiras Moose.

The moose tag thing is a little frustrating, though.  It takes ten to twelve years, on average, to draw a bull moose tag in Colorado, and I should be damn close now; but Alaska beckons, where there are more and larger moose, so I think I’ll give this application process one more year before I give it up, along with my Colorado residency.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

On To the Links!

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?

As of earlier in the week, it was sure looking like a V-shaped post-plague recovery, although that data was pre-looters.

Everything’s better with beer.

Remember how the French Revolution ended?  Lots of people being guillotined.  No thanks.  The problem idiot “revolutionaries” frequently have is that they always think they’ll be the ones standing around with clipboards instead of tied to posts, staring at rifles from the wrong end; ask Maximilien Robespierre how well it all worked out for him.

Our latest weapon in the fight against Kung Flu:  Cows.

A Georgia State Trooper:  “I only kneel for God.”  I may not share your belief, sir, but I sure as hell admire your convictions.

This Week’s Idiots:

Here is an Aussie porn star who is also an idiot.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is an idiot.

CNN’s David Gergen is delusional, and an idiot.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is an idiot.

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender is an idiot.

This woman is quite likely a dangerous idiot.  Seriously, how stupid does one have to be to loudly proclaim and broadcast your rage at the fact that small business owners have taken up arms to prevent one from looting?  What a horse’s ass.

And So:

I don’t have any more deep thoughts at the moment, so here’s something from the archives to further brighten your day:

With that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.