Category Archives: General Outdoors

Outdoor and nature news from all over.

Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-BearAnother hunting season over – this one cut short, as the inestimable Rojito developed some sort of electrical trouble and remains even now in an auto shop in Granby.  Mrs. Animal cheerfully drove up from Denver to rescue loyal sidekick Rat and yr. obdt., but we returned to the city with nothing to show for our efforts except, as always, great memories of time spent outdoors.  The one outstanding thing in this abbreviated hunt were the numbers of Shiras moose evident in our mountain stomping grounds; we saw no less than four on opening day, a young bull and three cows.  That bodes well for yr. obdt. if I ever manage to snag a coveted Colorado moose tag.

And, on this return to regular blogging, let me once more thank Robert Stacy, Smitty and Wombat-socho for the Rule Five links.  Appreciated as always, guys!

Speaking of that return to regular blogging, here’s an interesting bit of commentary from Forbes on the United States’ two very different “gun cultures” and how at least one county sheriff sees the two:  How Gun-Control Legislation Is Affecting This Election.  Excerpt:

Actually, a majority of sheriffs in New York and Colorado publicly oppose the new gun-control laws. Sheriffs are in a unique position to speak out, as nearly all of America’s 3,080 sheriffs are elected. These sheriffs aren’t standing alone like Gary Cooper in “High Noon.” Polls show that a lot of the men and women who protect us support the Second Amendment. In 2013, a survey of police officers by the National Girls with GunsAssociation of Chiefs of Police found that 86.8 percent of those surveyed think “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport and self-defense.” Also, a survey done by PoliceOne.com of 15,000 law-enforcement professionals found that almost 90 percent of officers believe that casualties related to guns would be decreased if armed citizens were present at the onset of an active-shooter incident. More than 80 percent of PoliceOne’s respondents support arming schoolteachers and administrators who willingly volunteer to train with firearms. Virtually all the survey’s respondents (95 percent) said a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds wouldn’t reduce violent crime.

Cops – at least the cops surveyed here – are people of uncommonly good sense, probably in part because of the inexorable onslaught of human stupidity they deal with on a daily basis.  An old retired state policeman once told me that every criminal he ever dealt with had a combination of three personality traits, greedy, mean and stupid – that proportions varied but all three were universally present.

These, of course, are the people that will completely and totally ignore any gun control legislation, no matter how well-intentioned, that ignorant state or Imperial legislators may pass.

user-girls-guns-550-29There is a gun culture in the United States, a culture of responsible, law-abiding shooters and hunters.  Some keep guns for recreation, some for sport, some for defense, some (like yr. obdt.) for all of the above.  Of all the nations in the world, only the United States, in its Constitution, recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as an inalienable right that we retain by virtue of being free, law-abiding citizens.  And those of us who choose to own guns, for any reasons, don’t like seeing politicians who are utterly ignorant of the differences between citizen and thug try to abrogate those rights.

That’s why three former Colorado legislators find themselves unemployed now.  That’s in part why Governor Hickenlooper finds himself in a tight race against a GOP challenger now.

Rule Five Friday

2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (1)Since today marks the beginning of our annual excursion afield in pursuit of a winter’s venison, I thought I’d present a few thoughts on the hunt, yr. obdt.’s history in such, and the state of hunting in America today.

I was born into a family of farmers and outdoor people.  The Old Man hunted and fished most of his life.  Both of my grandfathers were outdoor types, and fishing trips with both of them are among my earliest and fondest memories.

2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (2)Since I was old enough to carry a .22 rifle in the woods, I did so – almost constantly.  Growing up in the hills, woods and fields of Allamakee County, Iowa presented plenty of opportunities to do so.  The endless summers of youth were long, in part because of my anxious awaiting of the opening of squirrel season in late August, the first of many small game seasons to open.  Hunting squirrels with a .22 teaches a boy to be quiet in the woods; it teaches him how to look over the terrain, to plan and execute a stalk, and how to shoot carefully.

2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (3)Later in the year, I always laid aside rifle for shotgun when seasons for ruffed grouse and later, pheasant and Hungarian partridge opened.  In December, it was deer season – and hunting whitetails on the Old Man’s place in Allamakee County stuck me with a love of big-game hunting that has stuck with me ever since.

Moving to Colorado when I left the Army in 1989 was the icing on the cake.

2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (4)Folks hunt for a variety of reasons.  Some hunt for trophies – and as every state requires, by law, the removal of all edible portions of a legally taken game animal, ‘trophy hunting’ as such should carry no animus.

Some hunt simply because they like to spend time wandering woods and fields, and that’s fine too.

Some hunt because they like eating wild game.  Why not?  It’s additive-free, lean, healthy meat – you don’t get any more ‘free-range’ than an animal you’ve hunted and killed in the wild.

I2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (5) have hunted for 40 years or so for all of those reasons, mostly the second and third.  I like the chance at a big buck or trophy bull as much as anyone, and it’s no secret I like to eat.  You won’t find any better eating than an elk steak cooked over an open fire.  And, there’s no better way to kill a few days than bumming around mountains, fields and forests.

So tomorrow starts the annual ritual.  The bloodwind calls.  It’s time to hunt.

2014_10_17_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Hump Day Meat-Eating News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Here’s an interesting tidbit from PJMedia’s peripatetic undercover man-on-the-street Zombie:  I Am Ashamed To Be A Vegetarian.  Excerpt:

I’m a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in 20 years.

Up until this morning I was OK with my dietary choice.

But then I saw this video just uploaded by “Direct Action Everywhere,” a radical vegetarian activist gang, and now I am ashamed. Ashamed to be associated with them. Ashamed that everyone I meet must think I’m some sort of anti-meat revolutionary. Ashamed that mean-spirited lunatics have hijacked my personal food preference and turned it into rallyng cry for passive-aggressive bullying.

Watch and weep, as a contingent of vegetarian fascists burst into a random restaurant in San Francisco and try to pull some kind of creepy mind-game on the bewildered diners:

Watch the video.  It’s a hoot.

Speaking as the guy who actually wrote the book about these people, this protest is typical – factless, clueless, and achieving nothing but an unearned sense of moral superiority on the part of the protestors, with no real effort on their part.  (See my own PJMedia article on the topic of “ethical veganism for some idea of what a real effort might entail.“)

Moose
Protein on the hoof.

Personally I prefer to hunt my own protein.  Only last Sunday all of us here at the Casa de Animal enjoyed venison burritos for supper, using up some of the last of last year’s fat meat muley.  This coming Friday loyal sidekick Rat and yr. obdt. will pack up high-powered rifles and sidearms and take to the field again to pursue wild ungulates, with the intent of killing and eating them.  Don’t like it, “vegans?”

Tough shit.

But, I digress.  Let’s get back to Zombie’s protestors.

The proper reaction on the part of the restaurant owner in this case would have been one sentence:  “Get the hell out.”  The incident described took place in looney San Francisco, however, where rational reactions are the exception rather than the rule.

breakky
Breakfast.

Make no mistake about the ultimate goal of these people; given the opportunity, they would use the force of law to prevent you from eating meat.  The “vegan” movement is, at its heart, fundamentally anti-choice; they are fundamentally against that very basic bit of individual liberty.

Fortunately they are a small part of the nation’s lunatic fringe.  Let’s hope they stay that way.

Labor Day Blues

2014_09_01_Goodbye Blue MondayNot really a blue Monday, but some traditions are too good to ignore.  And speaking of totty, thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!  Make sure to check out the extensive Rule Five linkfest.

No links or news today – off here in a few minutes to enjoy a (for once) work-free Labor Day.   But it’s worth noting that here we are on the first of September already, in the ninth month of a year that seems like it has only just begun.  Where the hell does the time go?  Upon a time it seemed the summer lasted forever, or as close as made no difference.

2014_09_01_Blue Monday II
Fall colors.

What happened?

Within the next few weeks the aspen will be turning in the high country.  Elk will start to bugle, the sage country mulies will be shedding antler velvet, and gangs of yearling grouse will be fattening on berries and grasshoppers, making them toothsome and ripe for the frying pan.

The year may be going by too quickly, but there is one consolation – some of the best eating of the year is coming up.

Animal’s Daily News

Smiling BearI think I may need one of these.  Relevant quote from the site:

TrackingPoint precision guided firearms, developed by military experts and a team of over forty engineers, have virtually eliminated shooter error and adverse conditions from the firing equation. Our Tag-Track-Xact system can more than double the proficiency of a skilled shooter and let them take shots they’d never before even attempt, while capturing it all on video. TrackingPoint precision guided firearms increase effective range, maximize accuracy, and almost entirely eliminate the possibility of errant shots. We’ve combined our technological innovations with the best hardware in the American gun industry has to offer, fusing our integrated trigger and groundbreaking scope system with 7.62, 300 BLK & 5.56 Semi Auto Platforms along with  .338 Lapua and .300 Win Mag bolt action rifles to create a firing system unparalleled in the world today.

This one in particular catches my eye:

750_newest-use-me

The TP 750 300H long range hunting rifle provides fighter-Jet Precision for 300 Winchester Magnum, a high performance long distance cartridge popular for hunting moose, elk and bighorn sheep, amongst other game.

The company’s other offerings have an overtly “tactical” look, but the TP 750 300H looks like a hunting rifle – the enormous high-tech scope notwithstanding.  Much as I would love to play with this form the standpoints of my peripatetic gun-nuttery and techishness inclinations, there are possible issues for this as a hunting gun.  What might those be?

There are two ways of looking at this from the standpoint of hunting ethics.  First:  Does this violate the rules of fair chase by removing a large element of required marksmanship skill?  Or does it actually improve the chance of a quick, clean kill and thus enhance the ethical aspect of the hunt?

It’s an interesting problem, and one that I haven’t wrapped my brain around yet.  It hasn’t stopped me from wanting one of these rifles – although I suspect the price tag might.