It’s the start of pronghorn season for rifle folks. The archery season started a month or so ago. My grandson Kyle drew a 110 tag and, a couple of days after the archery season opened, in between football practices, drove over the mountains with his father Greg and proceeded to put a sharp stick through a stud of a buck antelope.

Sandi did a nice job on her goat opening day too, filling her tag with one shot at around 150 yards. Her little .260 Remington hit the 14” buck low in the chest, taking out the heart. The old boy simply folded and that was that. No theatrics involved. Now she has to decide if she wants to fill her doe-fawn tag or not.

Antelope, if you don’t care for the steaks, make good breakfast sausage, summer sausage and great jerky. The jerky comes in especially handy for snacks when driving long distances or for lunches when drowning worms or floating flies in high mountain streams. Spoiler alert – the big bears are rumored to have a taste for jerky, so be bear aware.

Speaking of bear aware, did you catch the TV news reports on the hunters over in Montana that were mauled? Apparently there were two different attacks with two hunters involved each time. The attacks occurred within a mile of each other, a hour or so apart up in the Gravelly range which lies southwest of Ennis.

In the first attack, my understanding is that the bear was dissuaded by a liberal application of bear spray while it was chewing on one hunter’s noggin. The second hunter’s use of the spray at point-blank range apparently convinced the bear to break off the attack and leave. Good thing you say? Wait for the rest of the story.

An hour later and less than a mile from the first attack, another pair of hunters were attacked by a bear. Montana authorities think it was the same bear. The difference in the attacks is this time the bear was convinced to leave by the judicious application of large bore revolver rounds applied at close range. The bear’s present status and whereabouts is unknown, as wardens couldn’t locate it. However, one fact is evident: there was no “next time” attack after a firearm was used to defend the persons of the hunters being attacked.

I don’t give a red rats rump for those benighted individuals, tribal or not, calling for the great bears to be treated as “sacred” animals. They’re stone-age brutes with an appetite for mayhem and need to be considered as such. Not fuzzy, oversize, man-beast totems.

All of which begs the question of what does a learned jurist know about the science of biology and the real core information our game and fish department biologists are referencing to make their decision that the bears are doing just fine? As in when a judge decides to return the big bears to the threatened species listings. Why would any sane person decide to do that when the science argues against it?

As a layman, that’s a perplexing question. My best guess is that the decision of the court, given an impartial review, is based on some legal aspect of the delisting that was overlooked or, worse yet, ignored by the pro-delisting parties. That’s just sloppy work by the game department’s legal eagles.

When the decision is based on legalities involved, all of the “Ts must be topped, “Xs crossed and “Is dotted. And you bet the antis’ attorneys will go over all the paperwork with a microscope, looking for that one omission or mistake. Then they file a brief, or whatever, based on the law, not the science. It’s the only thing that makes sense to this country boy.

The law may be many things, but haphazard it isn’t. There are rules and rules must be followed to insure an “across the board” uniformity. Sometimes that even happens. And sometimes, because we’re humans – not.

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