Fun Stuff – bear call.

Hello. Officer Snort here. Can I help you?
I have a problem.
Yes?
I have a bear. It Belongs to you.
OK…
Come get it.
I beg your pardon?
Come and get your bear. It’s been hanging around for a week.
Why is it hanging around?
Probably hungry. You need to feed them.
We dont feed them.
Well, you should. It’s gotten my bird feeders every night. And tried to get into the house when I was baking a pie. It got the bag of dog food too.
You need to clean up your place.
Come and trap the bear! Take him somewhere else.
There is not somewhere else to take him. You need to clean up the trash and dog food, and he wont be a problem.
You come and do it.
What?
Come over and clean up the stuff. And get your bear. He’s here now.
What’s he doing?
Rolling in the trash.
You need to clean up your trash.
You come and haul it away.
We don’t do that.
Why not? When we lived in town, they came and hauled our trash. You come and take it away!

 

 

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken  Ps 62:5-6

 

Kids and Eagles!

Yesterday I was driving along the river near town, and saw a truck stopped, taking photos. I looked in that direction and saw a Bald Eagle sitting along the river bank, posing. Made me think about Eagles and Kids. The eagle he was photographing was one of two that have been wintering here for the past 5 years. I see them every winter. The year before they showed up, I got a call on a sick eagle upstream about 10 miles. Usually, those calls mean the eagle has eaten too much, and can not fly. That is very common. Give them a day and they take off just fine. Gluttons…but then, who can turn down a good dinner? I’m the same way, especially around Thanksgiving.

But this eagle was visibly sick. It could not stand on its own nor hold up its head. Normally, when handling eagles, one must take care not to get a talon in the arm or hand, or a beak in the eye. These birds are big, but not too bad to handle, compared to owls. Nothing is worse than an owl. (Whomever came with the old one-line response to the question: “Are you Serious?” : “Serious as a tree full of Owls” – knew what he was talking about.)

But this eagle was big- and sick. I think it was a female, due to its size. Females are larger than males. And this one was large. The wingspan was the same as the width of a queen size bed. How do I know that?

Well, I wrapped the bird in a blanket, tied its feet together with rope, picked it up and laid it in the pickup – it took up most of the back seat. Home it came, and immediately Lynette – the horse lady in the family, fell in love with it, and begged me to let her vet it until it either died or recovered. Since it was Friday, and I could not get the bird to the rehabber until at least Tuesday, it was either that or put it in a large box somewhere and wait for whatever would happen. She insisted on taking the bird to her bedroom to care for it. She consulted with the vet, and what she did in there with the bird is not known, but she spent hours with it. Not much change until Sunday night. In the middle of the night, there came some very strange sounds from the bedroom- and an excited call: “Dad, dad!” I ran in to find the Eagle had come undone from his shackles that kept its wings folded and his feet together, and was dancing around the room, hopping on and off the bed. Lynette was squealing gleefully “She’s alive, she’s alive!” The bird was sitting on the bed, wings outstretched, staring at me defiantly as I came through the door! Oh great…. now what? Bald Eagle in the bedroom. Live, angry, defiant, and capable killing machine bald eagle in the bedroom. In the BEDROOM???!!!!!!

Well, with the help of a blanket and a stocking over the eyes, we were able to subdue the creature. By that afternoon it was unmistakably obvious that the bird was recovered, and hungry. And still angry about it’s current condition. So, we took it out to the South Platte River and Lynette released it. We have a video of this monstrous bird flying out of her grasp, climbing, and making a circle then landing in a nearby tree. There it stayed for a short while, then flew up the river. We watched it for the rest of the winter. Since that winter, it, or what I assume to be the same bird, has returned to this stretch of river, with its mate. In fact, last year these birds stayed around until May. That is very interesting, since Eagles nest in the early spring, and we’ve never had Balds nesting this far north. Apparently, they did nest here, and I will watch for a third bird to show up this winter…the fruit of a successful nesting endeavor.

I did not stop and tell the tourist, who was taking pictures of the bird, the story behind the little secret that we shared with the bird, but I did call Lynette and tell her that Baldy was back.

“Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” – William Penn

Rejoice and seek the Lord today – for life is almost always too short!

More Music – Celtic Woman – almost no words to describe this. Give it a minute to load…..

Some Culture, and a Thanks To Rodie

I thought I would share a poem I wrote about my dog, Rodie, who I had to put down last  November.  After 17 years with me day and night 24/7. slept and ate and rode with me every day. You never left my side except when I was on the motorcycle. Even for the few times I rode an ATV, you was there on the tank. Finally old age caught up with you….  Funny, I never noticed that the trigger weight on the Glock was 200 lbs before…

But, I do have this, and a few photos, and a lot of memories. Thanks, Rodie! you were a living example of God’s faithfulness to and love for, us!

Don’t Pet The Dog

He sits on the truck cute and cuddly.
From soft eyes his innocence drips.
His tail that’s a stump wags invitingly,
But don’t be fooled, that ain’t a smile on his lips.

Don’t pet the Dog
You’ll pull back a stump if you do.
Don’t think you’re his buddy,
It ain’t a bit funny,
You’re forewarned, Don’t threaten to sue.

He rolls over, and shows you his belly,
And he’ll bait you with those baby brown eyes,
He’ll whine and he’ll purr like a kitty,
But the stories you heard ain’t all lies.

‘Cause the pickup’s his pride and possession
Don’t think that it’s state property,
Be sure that he’s marked and he’s claimed it his own
It’s his castle, his sanctuary.

Don’t pet the dog.
You’ll pull back a stump if you do.
Don’t think you’re his buddy,
It ain’t a bit funny,
You’re forewarned don’t threaten to sue.

So just go on about your own business,
And pretend that he doesn’t exist.
Don’t act like a threat, an outlaw or worse
It’s a temptation you surely can’t risk
“The road is long, with many a winding turn”

Stacey’s Ride

If you have not seen this…..PLEASE do so. Brings tears to my eyes every time. Thanks Stacey!

More music

OK, folks, if you have not heard this yet, you might take a couple of minutes. It’s the Prairie Rose Wranglers from Kansas, singing Dont Ever Sell your Saddle. Great job!!!

Blogs and Black Goo

Ok, I cant say I haven’t been warned. Blogs!! Who was it told me to start a ‘Blog’? They said it would be fun! FUN! I told them no way, I knew about them things, and I was right. Blogs!! Whoever thought that they would be fun has never experienced one personally.

This afternoon I was tired of work…or what passes for work, and I thought I’d go check the cows. And the water. This time of year, the water get as scarce as the grass, and I really DO need to get them moved to new ground. Very soon. I took the stud out to ride the pasture, because…. just because. OH, he has not been ridden in a while, since he does not get to go where there are other horses we dont know. Being a stud and all, one has to be careful. But he is a good boy, and does real well around cows. I saddled him and watched the snow covered ground for fresh prints…a clue as to where I might find the cows. Nothing. No prints, no nothing. Ok. We rode through two pastures and around a good sized hill, and in the bottom I found water running. Good! That means they will not die of thirst. The ground was frozen and snow was patchy, but water was running just a little.

Out through the big meadow we went, watching for more water, when there they were – cows. Bedded down nice and quiet, but I knew that would not last. They don’t see horses too often, especially with a rider and a dog, and they know that normally means it’s time to be harassed. Not today, but they did not know that. They were spread out, but not far enough that they could not communicate with each other. Some were lying around chewing. Others were standing watching us – talking about something important, Im sure. I knew any minute they would break and run toward the back fence, and hopefully not through it. But no…they just stood there, and laid there and watched. And talked to each other. What were they saying? What were they thinking? ( I use that term loosely when it applies to cattle ).

I actually rode right past a couple that did not move. What??? Most of the bunch were on the far side of the creek, and I would have to get past them to head back toward the truck. It seemed that something was on their minds….but not much. They knew that I would have to cross the creek to get through the gate, where they were bunched up. Between them and us was what use to be an old pond that had grown in during the past few year’s drought,and was covered with grass pond vegetation. They watched… The ground was frozen solid, so I didn’t think a thing about it when the Stud started across toward the cows. They watched. Right in the middle of the old pond, the frozen ground we were walking on gave way and in we went – belly deep in the blog! Not just any blog, but this one was six feet deep in the blackest, smellyest, stickiest goo I’ve seen in a long while. Even the dog fell through. Great..I wasnt about to get off, and the horse sank down near to his belly, flailing around and trying to move forward. We looked like a Monster Truck Jamboree, flinging black goo 10 feet in the air with all four tires.

That is a scary feeling not knowing if the horse is going to get out with a broken leg or what. It sure scared him too. I turned his nose toward the closest clump of what looked like solid ground, and we paddled and flailed over and eventually he climbed out, none the worse for wear. I looked down at what use to be my nice new brown saddle, and it was totally covered in black goo! Everything was covered in the stuff, and there’s no brushing it off, since it sticks to EVERYTHING – especially warm fingers. Black slimy, stinky, goo from the blog! I got off and found it lodged in saddle bags, on my hat, in my pockets… and how did it get between my seat and the cantle? As I glanced to my right, my eye caught something on my right shoulder. A Black glob from the blog, the size of a tomato! Aggghhhhh!

Across the valley were the cows…laughing and talking to themselves. The miserable bovines had this planned the whole thing!!!!! “If we can just lure him into the blog, we got him!” Their laughter is still ringing in my ears. Blogs, Black goo, and bovines!! What an afternoon. Time to start the washing machine.

Remember, Snort says: Ninety-nine percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Blessings all ova ya!
Till then keep your powder dry and keep ‘er pointed north

Mule Deer, and Blessings from God.

It’s quite an experience to be used by God to bless someone. Makes you glad to be alive. The thing is, most of the time, we’re not aware of what is going on. Sometimes we learn about it later, and sometimes not. But it’s best that way, because we have a tendency to start looking in the mirror…when in fact we’re really just the tool that the Lord uses to put himself on display.

I was working the tail end of deer season a while back. In the early morning, I met a father-son duo driving a White Chevy blazer. It was the son’s first hunting season, and the they were excited. Deer numbers were down then, and I knew it was going to be a hard hunt. I wished them well, and suggested a few places that they might try.

The day went by uneventfully, but just at dark, the Sheriff’s Office called regarding a hunter who had been caught by a landowner on private property, and was being held by the same landowner at gunpoint. Oh great, another small war to quench. I arrived, disarmed the landowner, and took the deer, the hunter’s gun, and anything else I could tie to the crime, or thought might be evidence at a trial.  But, the biggest problem is often what to do with the deer. You cant’ keep it for a trial and this was an open and shut case, so it was free to be donated. I photographed it, and put a seizure tag on it. After all the paper work was done, I returned his .30-30 to the landowner, sent him on his way, and released the hunter with a summons, and minus some personal possessions.   Now, the deer…..

It was the very last day of the season, and most hunters had gone home. I was thinking about how long it would take me to hang, and skin it, then find someone who might take it. And it was already about 10 pm. Going to be a long night.

At the state Hwy, I stopped at the stop sign, and my lights lit up the traffic passing by, heading back to town. I recognized a white Blazer, and pulled in behind it, lit it up with lights and siren, and they pulled over. The driver had his license out, and the son watched me with wide eyes. I told him that I stopped him because I had recognized him from that morning, and asked if he was interested in a 4 point buck deer. The youngster could only stare at me with wide eyes. Dad told me that they had been praying all day for a deer, but had seen few. At the end of the day, son was asking dad why God had not answered his prayers. Dad was encouraging his son to not give up, and God always had a plan, and He always hears our prayers when we trust him. They had all but given up, and were going back home empty-handed in the dark, when red and blue lights put fear and questions in their minds.. .

“Dad was right – he said keep praying. God always hears our prayers when we trust him”, said Jimmy, with tears running down his cheeks.  “And Thank you, too, sir.”

They went home that night with a renewed faith in God, and a deer for Thanksgiving dinner. I when home with a renewed faith in God and an anticipation of a good night sleep.

Is 55: 8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Buck Snort says: “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday!”

Elk, and Fall Game Warden Fun

September and October! It’s always special time of year in the mountains. Cool evenings and warm days, grass turning. And the Aspens! Wow, not just the colors, but the smell! Wildlife loves it too. Everything seems to come alive with a burst of energy that will be required, to get them through the cold months ahead.

You can do things in the fall that you can’t do the rest of the year. Like interact with the Wildlife. Yesterday I stopped to ‘help’ a beaver, as he was dragging a branch across the Tarryall Road toward the river – winter food to be stashed underwater ’till later.  His tail was covered with ice- white in the headlights of the truck.

You can interact with elk…if you have the nerve. Elk are doing their rutting ritual: bugling and fighting and squeaking and snorting. Quite an experience. I like to go out at night, with a bright moon, and sit and listen. You can quietly walk down among them too, but THAT takes courage! It’s frightening, really. They are big animals and you’re out there with them fighting and yelling. No place to hide, if you are suddenly detected and challenged. I had a fellow police officer from town with me on one such occasion, and when we got close, and the elk were filling the night with their music, I turned and he was gone! No where to be seen. I couldn’t call to him, so I slowly made my way back to the truck and there he he was- in the truck. “No way!” was all he could say. “No way!”

One such occasion found me sitting in a grove of mature aspens, moon shining brightly. The archery season had ended and we were waiting for rifle to begin. I was in a 12,000 acre property that was closed to the public, awaiting ‘development’ as a Park. The elk were lucky enough to have it all to themselves. I was sitting against a large Aspen, bugling just to see who answered. In a few minutes I saw a movement in the trees. Was it…? No, just my imagination. I waited, and bugled again. There it was! It DID move! Something did…. What? It wasn’t an elk. Bear? Na…
It waited. I waited. One more quick cow call, and it moved again…angling toward me. When it stepped slowly into a flash of moonlight, I could make out an silhouette! No, couldn’t be…..

I felt, to make sure I had my pistol on my hip, rolled over on my stomach, slipped around behind the tree, and crawled back to my truck that was parked behind me about 30 yards, in the dark. I slipped behind the wheel, quietly took it out of gear, and rolled silently downhill very slowly. About 20 yards from the silhouette, I turned on my spotlight and lit up a man! Dressed in full camo, head to toe, almost invisible. He was carrying a crossbow! I had bugled in a HUNTER! Well, not a hunter, A poacher!

Later that night, in handcuffs, at the sheriff’s Office, he explained to me how he and a friend had decided to kill an elk on the State property, out of season, because they were sure they would never ever get caught. With the crossbow, a silent and deadly weapon, it was as easy as picking flowers.
.
We never did find his friend that night – but he was back at the cabin at first light. Both men appeared in court and paid their fines. I still see them around occasionally, and we have a good laugh. Or, at least I do. Theirs is more of a controlled grimace.

Ah, yes, fall colors. Brings out the best in man and animal alike.

Remember, Buck Snort says: “The shortest distance between two points is riding with a good friend”

My sister lost the breast stroke swimming competition…..learned
later that the other swimmers cheated – they used their arms!

Llamas and Black Baldies

We were checking hunters on the opening day of Elk season. By ‘we’, I mean I had a  rider –  a temporary Parks officer who is trying to get hired by the Division of  Wildlife,  who wanted to see what we do.  After our boring opening day, he might change his career objectives.

We were traveling along a Forest Service two track when. off to the right we saw a  herd of about 60 cows and calves with frantic, exhausted looks on their bovine faces running hard toward our truck. We just watched them as they ran through a fence, flattening it without slowing down. “Maybe they think they are  going to be fed,” Darvin said.   “Maybe.” But they veered off before flattening my new truck.  We drove on, and Darvin said, ”I just saw some orange in the trees.” I looked, and sure enough, a hunter with an orange vest, horseback. I flashed my overhead lights at him, since I had a suspicion of who it might be. He began waving at us to come over to him. I drove on, looking for a two-track, but did not see any.  I stopped, and he yelled, “Come on.” I drove cross  country, which I never do, to Bobby Genua sitting on a roan mare. Bobby is a  retired Air Force Paratrooper, but looks like he’s been herding cows for 60  years, and chews tobacco with a voraciousness I’ve seldom seen. He said,  “Buck, (spit) I have a problem! I got a big problem. Did you see my cows, Buck? (spit) Did you see ’em? They are wild as elk! They are crazy. I’ve  never seen them that way. I’ve been running cows for 23 years, and I’ve never seen ’em like this. You got to help me, Buck.” (spit)

“What happened?”   “It’s that llama! It loves cows, and it’s been chasing  mine all over the country. You got to do somethin’, Buck.” (spit) “Do
you want to borrow my gun?” I asked. “I have a pistol, but I can’t shoot it,” said Bobby. “Let’s rope it,” I said. “I’ll dally  it up and it’s little head will just pop off”. “Na, I already called Linda and she’s chasing it around.” Suddenly, the White Beast appeared in  the trees, heading our way, with a halter and lead rope dragging behind it.    From somewhere in the woods, a faint female voice yelling “George, George! Here, George.” I looked at Bobby.  Bobby shrugged. (spit) “I tell you, something’s got to be done. That thing loves  cows and the cows are terrified of it.” I said I could relate. We chased  the llama back toward Linda. All was silent in the woods.

Bobby said, “Now I have cows all over the forest everywhere. You got to help me, Buck.” (spit)   “And now I have to go get my trailer and return
that stupid llama.” We cut the fence so he could get his horse through it,   and Bobby said he’d fix it later, since the cows had gone through it several
times anyway, and he was now wanting to ask the roan to step over the wire. As  we were talking about how BBQ llama compares with Beef Brisket, a white Dodge pickup  drove down the county road, with the white Llama tied in the back, it’s skinny  head and neck sticking up like a periscope. All was silent in the woods. I  looked at Bobby. Bobby looked at me. “Did you see that, Buck?” (spit)  “Did you see that? That llama was tied in the back. No stock racks or  nothing.”  I said, “Yes- I guess you can get your cows now. I’ll go get a horse and give you a hand.  Can I bring the 30-30?”

It was a quiet day looking for hunters anyway.

Buck Snort here, wondering: “To what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”

Of Lions and Horses.

I don’t fear lions…at least not when I’m sitting in my office typing on the computer. Let’s just say that a healthy respect for anything weighing 120 lbs., that has the stealth and strength to bring down a full grown horse, without making a sound, is the Webster’s Definition of ‘prudence’. Tonight I was riding a fresh, half broke filly in some very wild, rock country, where lions are seen with regularity by the local populace. We rode until it was too dark to see. Every time I do that, I seem to recall what a Lion is capable of doing. Interesting thing is that they are almost never heard or sensed, by their prey, before the prey dies of a broken neck. If a horse does manage to shake the cat, it is most often unable to survive the encounter. But horses rarely sense their presence either by smell or sound.

Until just about 10 years ago, Colorado had never recorded a human attacked by a Lion. Very few were ever seen in the wild, except by houndsmen. But in the last 10 years, Mtn Lion encounters have become alarmingly common in some places, and at least three persons have been killed by lions in the state. Colorado is so concerned that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has now begun a Lion study program to try to track and document movements of lions that live in close proximity to humans, and who have become habituated to human interactions. We are trapping, radio collaring, and tracking lions along the front range.

I could tell a lot of lion stories… but suffice this: In early 2011, a Lion entered a residence, through an open sliding glass door, after dark, with the owner at home, but in an adjoining room. The cat attacked the resident yellow lab dog, and escorted it outside. The owner came back into the room to watch the ending of the Bronco game, and found his dog missing. He looked outside in time to see the cat leaving with Fido in it’s grasp.

I have had the dubious honor of having a full grown lion on the end of a lariat, and can attest to the unbelievable speed and reaction of a cat: Even a cat that had been injected with a ‘normal’ dose of Rampun and Ketamine. However, the reaction of a lion to a tranquilizer can not be determined with any degree of scientific accuracy. Apparently, they have not read the book. And, for the record, it is not as easy as the movies might depict to remove a lariat from an target. Especially when the target is a live, angry, very alert Mtn. Lion: a killing machine with 10 razor blades mounted on lightning fast arms. But then, ropes are expensive….

Kenosha and I made it back to the truck in the dark, with no moon, and were greeted by Roxie, the Border Collie in the back of the truck, with enthusiastic dog-words, something to the affect that she had been worried, and was sure glad to see us. I breathed a sigh of relief and told Kenosha that she had done very well! And there, on the front seat of the truck, was my trusty pistol, just where I had left it. Makes me wonder if I will ever learn…

Beauty is not in the guidebook.
Adventure is not on the map.
Seek and ye shall find

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