Category Archives: Colorado Outdoors

Outdoor news from Colorado.

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.

Animal’s Daily Urban Outdoorsmen News

Denver police are going to resume enforcement of the city’s camping ban, in spite of its overturn by an activist local judge.  This is good news, a commodity that is in short supply regarding public policy in Colorado these days.  Excerpt:

The Denver Police Department will resume enforcing the city’s urban camping ban, the Denver City Attorney’s Office confirmed Monday evening. A county judge struck down the ban in late December. 

The judge, Johnny C. Barajas, argued the ban violated the Eight Amendment.

“The County Court ruling related to the ordinance did not overturn or prohibit enforcement,” the city attorney’s office said of the judge’s decision.

The city attorney’s office did not say when enforcement would resume.

Since the ban was struck down, the homeless community has set up tents in public places previously off-limits to camping, such as Civic Center Park.

The city attorney’s office says an appeal of the judge’s ruling has not yet been filed, but a notice of appeal has been submitted in district court.

Here’s where the stupid creeps back in:

(Notorious leftist)  Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca said last week that she wants to repeal the ban through City Council.

“When you’re a city and starved of public dollars, and you have a ruling that a law you’re enforcing is cruel and unusual, you should repeal that law,” CdeBaca said.

It’s certainly more cruel and unusual to leave these bums on the streets.  Forget about the possibility of harm to themselves; they made choices that led them to this status, and nobody else is responsible for their predicament.  Many, if not most, of them have mental health and substance abuse issues, and they pose a direct threat to the urban environs they infest.  Look at Los Angeles, where they have had outbreaks of various communicable diseases among their urban outdoor population, including leprosy – leprosy, for crying out loud!

Allowing bums to camp in city parks does no good to anyone; not to the people of the city, not to public sanitation, and, no, not to the bums themselves.  If we are going to have city property, then the city should keep the bums out of it.  Denver’s appeal will almost certainly result in the ordinance being upheld, and that (hopefully) will be a rare victory for common sense in our courts.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the first Rule Five links of 2020.

This fall, we’re likely to see a Colorado ballot initiative on the re-introduction of wolves into the state.  One former wildlife commissioner thinks that’s a bad idea.  I like wolves, but I’m inclined to agree with his stance here. Excerpt:

Rick Enstrom, former Colorado State Wildlife Commissioner from 2000 to 2008 and Chairman for three years is an expert on wolves in Colorado. Enstrom also served on the first wolf working group that developed the wolf plan for Colorado in 2004.  He warned against the reintroduction measure in an interview with Complete Colorado on Thursday.

“You only have to look at what happened to the Wyoming elk population,” Enstrom said. “Their herds have been knocked back to 10 percent of what it was.”

“I know folks in Wyoming,” Enstrom continued. “The past director of the wildlife commission in Wyoming said there are two big problems; Grizzlies and wolves. ‘Don’t do it, don’t let it happen’ he said to me.”

Predation is hardly the only problem with wolves in Colorado says Enstrom. The biggest issue is money. The proposed initiative calls for wolf management and predation compensation to be paid out of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wildlife cash fund “to the extent that they are available.”

The wildlife cash fund pays for all wildlife operations of CPW. It’s replenished primarily by hunting and fishing licenses, and it’s always over-budgeted says Enstrom.

Where compensation for livestock losses will come from when there is no money available in the wildlife cash fund is left unstated.

According to the state’s fiscal impact statement on the initiative, just setting up the program will cost nearly $800,000.

“There are two issues,” said Enstrom. “One is the effect on the people in the pickup trucks doing the Lord’s work for the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who are in short supply on both sides. The other big problem is that the funding structure is predicated on the sale of big game licenses.”

“That’s the money we [use to] manage everything, from greenback trout to Prebles meadow jumping mice to stocking trout, to the establishment of state wildlife areas and their management,” Enstrom said. “Any time you do anything to a budget they just start taking it out of other budgets because there is no extra money.”

Enstrom said the state Legislature is tired of allocating money to the CPW, which is supposed to pay its own way.

“We went back last year with a big increase again. When we sold that to the state legislature, there were more than a few legislators with their fingers in my chest saying, ‘don’t you ever come back here again.’”

And that’s the problem:  Money.

Many years ago, I took an extended solo canoe trip through the Boundary Waters area in northern Minnesota and southern Ontario.  It was a wonderful time, and one of the neater things was the number of nights I heard wolves singing somewhere out there in the woods.

But the wolves in the  Boundary Waters area were  already there.  It’s a vast stretch of wilderness, and wolves belong there.

Colorado’s different.  Much of the state is heavily settled now, and what isn’t housing is farmed and ranched; cattle even graze on the National Forest and BLM lands.  Wolves would certainly have an impact on livestock and thus the livelihoods of ranchers, but the major expense of this idea would be the reintroduction and management itself, which as Enstrom points out, would put a major strain on the wildlife department which is supported almost completely by hunting and fishing license revenues.

Yes, wolves once lived in Colorado.  Yes, human activity is why they don’t live there now.  But this ballot initiative is misguided.  Like many of its ilk, it’s based on emotion, not solid analysis of policy.  As pro-wilderness as I am, I’ll vote no.  We simply can’t afford it.

Animal’s Daily Big Cat News

Mountain lions are causing some problems in the Colorado ski town of Edwards.  Excerpt:

Colorado wildlife officials issued a warning for the residents of Edwards this week after discovering a pride of 8 to 10 lions has been “roaming” neighborhoods in the area.

In recent days, residents have stumbled upon several animal carcasses and at least two attacks on dogs have been reported. The recent increase in mountain lion sightings prompted officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to alert the Edwards-area to be on high alert.

“This is a troubling situation and we are very concerned for the safety and welfare of the people in this area,” CPW Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke said in an online statement Thursday. “We ask everyone to take this warning seriously.”

The CPW encouraged locals who spot a big cat in a residential area to alert them immediately and to keep a safe distance.

“We urge residents to be extremely cautious because lions are large, powerful predators and can be very dangerous if they’ve lost their natural fear of people,” CPW District Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita added in a statement. “We are monitoring the situation very closely.”

Based on information they’ve recieved so far, officials believe there are two female lions that are each traveling with a litter of 3 to 4 juvenile lions — though the young lions are “nearly full grown, as large or possibly larger than their mother,” the CPW said.

First of all, this isn’t a “pride.”  Mountain lions are solitary creatures, excepting when a mother lion still has kittens with her.  This is two female cats with almost-grown kittens who happen to have overlapping ranges, which isn’t unusual.  These are also the least likely lions to cause trouble with humans, being smaller and less aggressive than the big toms, who have larger ranges and tend to stay away from humans.

But it’s still concerning.  Small children and most pets are well within the prey size range of a 100-pound female lion, and like most apex predators, lions see other animals as either a threat or potential prey.  In most of Colorado, lions aren’t threatened by humans.

In all my years of woods-bumming in Colorado, I’ve encountered black bears several times but have only laid eyes on two lions, both at a distance, although I’ve tracked a couple for a ways before being “made” by the lion.  The answer for the boonies is simple; carry a sidearm.  Shooting an overly aggressive lion or bear isn’t often necessary.  Especially in the case of a lion, the noise of a major-caliber pistol fired into the ground will most often see them off.

The best answer, though, is for the Colorado Division of Wildlife to loosen restrictions on the hunting of lions.  As noted above, apex predators see other animals as either a threat or potential prey.  Historically, mountain lions aren’t a threat to humans when they see humans as a potential threat.  Hunting the lions will have that effect.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Mountain lions don’t attack humans often, but they do sometimes.  And it frequently ends up bad for the human.  But not in this case.  Excerpt:

A Colorado jogger fought off a mountain lion in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain on Monday, suffering severe bites before he killed the wild animal in self-defense, authorities said.

The man, who was not identified, was jogging on a trail on the West Ridge of the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a mountain park about 66 miles northwest of Denver.

The mountain lion attacked him from behind, biting and clawing the man’s face, back, legs and arms, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources said in a joint release, late on Monday.

However, it was not disclosed exactly how the jogger managed to kill the animal, and no one from the CPW or the Larimer DNR was available for comment early Tuesday.

Responding to a question on Twitter about whether the jogger had used any kind of weapon against the create, the CPW confirmed that he had not. 

Instead, he fought the animal off using just his bare hands.

This was a lucky jogger, for a couple of reasons.

A mature lion.

First, the lion was a juvenile.  So smaller, and inexperienced.  Experienced lions kill by ambushing their prey and delivering a precise bite at the nape of the neck, severing the spinal cord and killing instantly.  If this had been a 180-pound, three or four-year old tom instead of a yearling, this guy would have been dead before he knew what hit him.

Second, because it was a juvenile, it was likely wandering and looking for a territory, and therefore probably not in very good condition.  Plenty of young lions die of starvation or disease while looking for a territory, and it’s not unusual for young lions to take on prey outside their normal range.  Like people.

At any rate, this anonymous jogger did good; he kept his wits about him and fought back, which is recommended in lion attacks.  Fortunately he’ll come out of it with no more than some scars worth bragging about, and a great story to tell.  I for one would gladly buy him a beer just to hear that story.

Animal’s Daily Hunters For The Hungry News

I reckon most of today’s news coverage, commentary and bloggery will concern the election.  Since all you True Believers will face an embarrassment of riches on election news, I figure I’ll bring you something different; namely, Georgia deer hunters feeding hungry folks.  Excerpt:

One in seven Georgians struggles with hunger, according to Feeding America. More than 500,000 of them are children.

Food banks supply Georgia’s 1.6 million hungry residents with canned goods, dried grains and other pantry staples, but they rarely offer high-protein options, like meat.

Georgia Hunters for the Hungry aims to bridge that gap.

Venison is an ideal option to nourish the food insecure, because it’s high in protein and low in fat, Stowe said.

“We have the food banks calling us wanting more, wanting more every year,” he said.

Stowe coordinates with about 20 meat processors throughout the state who accept donations on behalf of the organization. He’s spent years recruiting more hunters and meat processors to help to fill Georgia’s ever-growing need for protein.

Resources are limited, though.

The Georgia Wildlife Federation reimburses processors $1.50 for each pound of meat they butcher. Once the meat is ground up and packaged, it’s delivered to the Georgia Food Bank Association, which distributes the venison to communities across the state.

Incidentally, you can read about my 2018 deer hunt here (my family and I eating all of our venison, though.)

It’s important to note that hunters donating game meat to food banks and homeless shelters isn’t a new thing.  None other than Ted Nugent pioneered the practice and helped set up some of the first programs.

And, yes, this is precisely how charity should be done.  Voluntarily, locally, no Imperial interference, much more efficient, much closer to the people in need.  It would be manifestly A Good Thing if more charity programs were similarly designed and carried out.

Rule Five All Politics is Local Friday

This bright morning finds Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. back in sunny Colorado, where moments from now loyal sidekick Rat and I will climb into the inestimable Rojito and go afield to do battle with antlered ungulates.  As mentioned earlier, watch for some more Teutonic totty as placeholders whilst we are afield; normal news posts should resume a week from today.

But for now, here’s some Colorado news.  We have a gubernatorial election this year, and as is often the case, the Democrat candidate, one Jared Polis, is having trouble explaining how he would pay for his ambitious agenda for our fair state.  Excerpt:

Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s clear goal was to call U.S. Rep. Jared Polis “radical and extreme” as many times as possible in their hour-long gubernatorial debate Monday night at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Polis, the Boulder Democrat, didn’t bristle at the steady barrage from Stapleton, but neither did he answer it with what the GOP candidate demanded— details on how Polis intends to pay for an ambitious agenda that includes affordable health care, free pre-school and kindergarten classes.

Polis, who is a multi-millionaire from starting and selling companies, said he would work as governor to lower prescription drug prices, find other solutions in providing better care and could even work with President Trump.

“The time for name-calling is passed,” he told Stapleton, who clearly didn’t think so.

“If you will tell these people how you will pay for it, I’ll stop calling you a radical,” Stapleton shot back.

Polis denied he was either radical or extreme, saying Oklahoma provides free pre-school to students “And if Oklahoma can do it, we can do it.”

Now, to be fair, Colorado has changed politically in the thirty years I’ve lived here, but it hasn’t been Californicated to the point (yet) where a Ocasio-Cortez or Pelosi could be elected to statewide office.  Our current governor, John Hickenlooper, is as close to a moderate Democrat as you’ll find these days.  And, while I’d prefer to see Walker Stapleton win this fall, smart money in our increasingly-purple state tells me we’ll probably be dealing with Jared Polis for the next four to eight years.

But moderate (hopefully) though he may be, Jared Polis still has one failing common to Democrats and, to be fair, to plenty of Republican as well – he has a lot of big ideas, but honestly very little idea how much they will cost or how he plans to pay for them.

But here’s the catch:  Colorado’s Constitution demands the state’s budget be balanced.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like that at the Imperial level?  Don’t  hold your breath, though, until Congress votes to tighten up those vote-buying purse strings.