People are so weird.


Big news yesterday was that a bear wandered down from a mountain to the East, walked along my fence line and then through a neighbors garden then up the mountain to the South of the house.

Nothing at all unusual about that, well not to me at any rate.

I live in a canyon on a mountain. The peak to the south of me tops 8000 ft (maybe higher, I don’t  feel like digging out the topo maps for an exact altitude.) I live at 6250 FT above sea level.

In this area we have bears, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional cougar (mountain lion). We also have rabbits, raccoons, deer, bats, owls, and hawks. Not to mention a variety of snakes, poisonous and non poisonous.

Part of the reason I like living here is that there are birds in the trees, and wildlife is pretty abundant.

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I get a kick out of the way people down below get their panties in a bunch when they see a critter.

On the one hand they’ll oooh and ahhh and protest about the destruction of the Brazilian habitat and yet they’ll freak out when they encounter a Coyote on a trail near their tract homes.

God forbid a Bear should walk through a neighborhood…  Mountain Lions? You’d think that a T-Rex had been found alive.

(Down Below… That’s how we refer to the areas which are not Mountain towns. Yes it sounds effete and I guess it is, so what? Even my Orange County friends live on the top of a mountain, Yes, we do look down on some areas.)

I understand that these people are so disconnected from nature that the only way they ever interact with wildlife is via the Discover Channel, Green Peace, or a nice safe zoo.

Their support of environmental causes doesn’t do anything to minimize their blatant hypocrisy. There are times when I want to slap them and point out that protecting the environment starts at home.

Maybe people should tear down some of their 15FT high concrete walls around their homes. How about creating easements so that critters could once again migrate to better hunting grounds and sources of water easily?

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Oh I see, that’s too scary… You’d have to be responsible and keep an eye on your kids & pets.

I get it, it’s the same mentality that says “put criminals in prison, but don’t build the prison near me.” Or “I want cheap clean electricity but it can’t be nuclear and solar panels are so ugly… Thank goodness my homeowner association won’t let those in our development.”

I got to thinking about these things because a neighbor has family visiting. The family is from one of the most artificial warrens of humanity I’ve ever seen… New York City.

The Grandmother was so freaked out by the fact that a bear had been sighted she’d been keeping the children inside for fear that the bear would carry them off and devour them.

She kept asking why no-one was concerned and why didn’t we contact animal control or the police? (I heard it all through the open windows, sound carries here in the canyon.)

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She just assumed that the locals (us) didn’t have a plan.

Obviously we were ignorant savages because we weren’t freaking out about it. (Hummm now that sounds familiar… in what other context are people presumed to be too unintelligent to handle their own affairs?)

We do have a plan. When we see a bear we contact those people we know have kids first. Then folks with small pets. We inform each other that a bear or other critter is in the neighborhood and to take appropriate action.

Often this results in families gathered on their decks well above ground watching the critter pass harmlessly by. It’s a great show and we feel privileged to have been able to watch.

Then when the critter has gone, the kids, and dogs go back outside to play and life returns to normal.

We’re prepared, we keep our garbage in special containers and we don’t leave edible things outside to attract critters. We also know that most critters aren’t at all interested in us.

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Coyotes & Hawks keep the rabbits, mice, and other rodents in check.

We don’t as a rule have to worry about gophers, squirrels, or rabbits, getting out of control in our gardens.

Sure, we might have to replant a few plants one morning but the telltale blood on the ground tells us that the rodent met it’s end.

Replanting a few plants is a small price to pay for not having to poison the environment.

Notice I said, “out of control”… I lose a few raspberries, blackberries, and apples each year to rodents and birds. I’m content to share, they have to eat too.

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FYI there is nothing like watching a Hawk snatch a critter off the ground and fly off. It’s amazing. Yeah, I feel sorry for the critter but it’s not going to suffer.

I do my part, I accept losses in my garden so that I can witness hawks and snakes doing what comes naturally.

Watching coyotes hunt in the evening or the early morning is a study in teamwork. It’s very interesting to watch and surprisingly often, the prey slips between the coyotes paws and the pack goes hungry.

I enjoy the acrobatic flight of bats snagging insects out of the air.

When I get to watch a bear wander around. The light on their fur makes them look shiny. The last bear I saw had dark black fur but the sunlight playing across its shoulders hinted at a reddish undertone.

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You think about bears and cougars as being somewhat monochromatic but they’re not. They have variations and each one is unique, just like people.

You can’t really appreciate that unless you get to watch them in their natural habitat.

All of these things are worth the minimal risks. The kids learn a lot more practical lessons and hopefully appreciate nature a little more than the denizens of glass and concrete.

My neighbors were trying to explain all of this to Grandma, but she was having none of it.

This was wild and uncontrolled (therefore dangerous) and we have to protect the children! I knew for sure that Grandma was from a big city when she said that.

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Protecting children is obvious, for the most part instinctive, and even those like myself without children will go out of our way to protect them.

(“Protect the children” as a phrase has lost all meaning as it has been overused to forward an agenda. I personally believe that agenda will in fact increase the danger that children face. I’m a believer in knowledge and experience being far better protectors of children than fear and insulation from the world. That’s another completely different story, for another time.)

I couldn’t help but think about the noise that kids make. They’re loud and active and every animal on the planet knows that where there are young… Mama’s not too far away.

Nothing is more dangerous than a mother protecting her young. So between the noise and the mama rule… Critters are going to give the area a wide berth.

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I thought I could have some fun by pointing out the wide variety of poisonous snakes and insects that no doubt existed where the kids had been playing. And that the kids were far more likely to break bones or come to other harm by running around barefoot in the yard.

Thus far I’ve refrained.

No sense in terrorizing Grandma, she’d just make it harder on the kids.

My neighbor pointed out to the Grandmother that I tended to keep an eye on the kids too.

I’m sure that raised eyebrows because so many people nowadays automatically assume the worst. At least it gave her something else to fixate on.

I notice the kids are outside running around enjoying themselves again.


Busy bodies win

O dammah1

Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based animal-rights organization has succeeded in Imposing their will on Texas Ranchers.

A federal court has banned the hunting of exotic animals on private land. While these moronic animal rights activists have managed to have the hunting forbidden they have doomed the 3 species they sought to protect.

The scimitar onyx is extinct in Africa and has been since 2000. But these creatures have thrived in Texas on private ranches. The Texas ranchers using their skills in animal husbandry managed to grow a population of 32 oryx into a population of over 11000.

The rarest of the 3 species is the dama gazelle Their population in 1979 was 9 there are now over 800.

The last species to be brought back from extinction is the addax. There were only 2 in 1971 there are now 5000 of them living in safety on Texas ranches.

Well they were living in safety…

The ranchers allowed hunting of these creatures. To the tune of anywhere between $7,500 to $12,500 dollars.

This extremely high cost was paid by a relatively small percentage of the hunting population. They gladly paid because they got to hunt without having to go to Africa, where these creatures don’t exist anyway.

The cash went to the ranchers and they in turn used the money to continue their breeding programs, feeding, watering, veterinary care and any number of other things required to maintain a heard of animals.

This business model makes sense!

It F1GOD00Zwas in the best interests of the Ranchers to have and maintain a vibrant healthy heard of animals that would otherwise be extinct. The numbers show that that is exactly what was going on.

Friends of Animals… Has no fucking clue. Their law suit and subsequent win has now made the herds a liability.

Given the numbers of the herds, if you had 100 taken by hunters a year then you have probably only equaled the natural predation that would have occurred in the wild.

Although if all these creatures were returned to Africa they would probably be extinct inside a year.

Their former territory has become a desert. There are literally thousands of people starving in those areas, does Friends of animals really think that starving people won’t hunt every last one of these creatures down and eat them?

And since WHEN does the federal government have the right to say to a private land owner what they can and cannot do with and on their property?

YES! Folks… these animals are the property of the ranchers. They bred them, they fed them and in that way they are no different from cows.

So they can’t be hunted anymore…

But I’ll bet they can be slaughtered and turned into meat.

And who could blame the ranchers? They have to make a living. Who’s going to pay for the maintenance and upkeep? These ranches have to turn a profit. These creatures had a higher sales price than cattle. But NOW cattle is the only option the ranchers have to be able to feed their families.


Does Friends of Animals think that the ranchers are just going to keep shelling out what must be at least tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain these creatures?

Really? Maybe Friends of animals should start  fundraising and PAY for the maintenance themselves.

How long then until FOA decides that the costs are too high?

Our country is supposedly a free country.

When I see stupid stuff like some socialist fucking morons in Connecticut who have NEVER spent a day at hard labor like the kind you do on a ranch or a horse farm, I loose my mind.

Our Country and our world would be a DAMN sight better if people kept their noses IN THEIR OWN BUSINESS!

These idiots have no clue about the level of work and dare I say it love that these ranchers have for these animals.

Yeah, the ranchers allowed hunting but they knew that typically ONLY the old, slow, blind, or otherwise infirm would be killed. That’s the way of nature… I don’t care if these animals are inside a 50,000 acre enclosure. It still requires some level of skill to track one and eventually shoot it. ( I am opposed to hunting them from vehicles. Hunt them… on foot. Pit your hunting skills against the animals avoidance skills. Be an Apex predator, and remember even the cheetah doesn’t get a kill every day.)

Animal conservatorship and husbandry is about maintaing a balance between what your land can support and the number of animals  that land can support. I don’t see any lions, cheetahs, leopards or for that matter any apex predator except man wandering these ranches in Texas. If these herds are allowed to grow uncontrolled they will eventually starve. That is a stone fact.

The ranchers now have to choose… They’re going to choose cattle.

I hope Friends of Animals is pleased with single handedly causing the permanent extinction of these three beautiful species.

I for one will be ready and able to POINT out that Friends of Animals and a socialist court system are responsible.