I sent an urgent message out to “BB” in hopes that he would be able to meet with me. The previous week I had traveled up to the Hon Dah Casino outside Pinetop to attend the USFWS final public meeting regarding Mexican gray wolves specifically and the proposed delisting of gray wolves across the northern states. “BB” was one source that I really wanted to get input from and time was getting short before final comments would be received by the USFWS. Finally, early in the midst of our first cold front, “BB” sent me a Tine-mail laying out a time and place to meet. Continue reading
The morning sun was slowly beginning to heat up the forest and I was busy trying to finish skinning out my elk before it became too warm. I paused in my work and set down my Havalon knife to once again admire the beautiful animal that lay before me. I am always amazed at the huge size of a mature bull and this one was no different. The forest seemed to have a magical quality as I went about performing the ritual that had played out for so many generations before me. As I was thinking about my part in this life cycle a voice from directly behind me shattered the stillness. “Damn boy, that’s 3 for 3 out of this here unit for you!” I darn near had a heart attack from the scare as I whirled to see my old friend “BB” staring at us from the top of the hill. “Damn “BB”, don’t sneak up on me like that. You scared the crap out of me!” “BB” started chuckling and moved down the hill toward me. He carefully looked at the animal at my feet and pronounced, “He was a darn fine bull. A couple more years and he would have been a real contender for being top bull on the reservation side of the fence.” Now my curiosity was hiked up by that statement. “What the heck are you talking about “BB” I asked? Continue reading
Just prior to the end of June “BB” sent a message by text that he wanted to meet in an unusual place. He asked that we meet just outside the Black Mesa Ranger District offices. To say that my curiosity was piqued would be an understatement. The meeting time was scheduled for a full moon, so I knew that a midnight meet was possible. Considering that it was on a Monday night and that the folks in Heber roll up their sidewalks after dark, I knew that “BB” felt safe. I wondered long and hard on the ride up what he was up to. Meeting in what constitutes downtown Heber meant I did not need the Tundra, so with fuel savings in mind I headed up the Beeline in my Prius.