Welcome to The AES Elk Tracks Blog. Here you will find latest news, stories and other information important to preserving our wildlife heritage.


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“BB”‘s Candlelight Vigil

BB's Candlelight Vigil

I am totally thrilled with the new technology that’s out there. Recently, “BB” has also moved up the technological list. For our past few meetings, he had been using his Hoofberry to contact me. Well, he finally upgraded and is now using a tInephone . The tInephone has a fairly elaborate set of applications that “BB” has become enamored with. I was somewhat surprised to get a text message from him requesting our quarterly meeting. He had an attachment that utilized the GPS coordinates and all I had to do was follow the pin that kept getting closer and closer as I drove out to meet him. I have to admit, I was fascinated by how well “BB” was adjusting to our new world. As I got closer however, I was treated to something that I never thought I would see in a million years. The whole hillside was covered with flickering candles. Mind you, I was miles from anything, and seeing a shimmering hillside really blew me away. I pulled off the road and parked under a stand of Ponderosa trees.

As soon as I got out of the truck, I could hear “BB” calling my name. “Get up here boy” he said, “I want you to take a video of this.” I walked up to “BB” and calmly asked “Okay “BB”, just what the heck is going on here? “ I could plainly see that there were hundreds of elk and all had candles that were lit and mounted in small rock piles all across the hill. The elk were swaying to some kind of rhythmic beat and I could tell they were pretty emotional about what was going on. “BB” just gave me that loopy grin of his and started with the explanation. “I saw a video clip on my tInephone about a recent meeting that was held at the Sheraton downtown. There were a bunch of people that were holding this candle light vigil for those damn horses. Seems that they don’t want a single horse to be injured or removed from the landscape of the west along with their runty half brothers that are called burros. I decided that if humans could do something that dumb, then maybe we could get a clip sent down to the Valley to show how mean and cruel it is to us elk that you very effectively remove us each year but are showing all this preferential treatment for an animal that was never on this continent until 500 years ago. We deserve the same treatment that those other animals get. We have our rights too!” Continue reading

Opportunity “BB”

Opportunity BB

As each season passes during the hunts, I always think of how my dear friend “BB” is doing. With his weird sense of elk humor and caustic comments, I dread thinking that some lucky hunter has finally taken my verbose buddy to a meat locker. Thankfully, I received a text from his hoofberry that he was alive, well and looking forward to a conversation with me. I packed up the Prius (gas conservation mind you) and headed for the meeting spot.

Since the Prius can’t hit the heavy gravel roads, we arranged for a meeting that allowed me to do a minimal amount of off-road driving. We arranged for a full-moon meeting at a place just outside of Show Low. I was surprised that “BB” had come so far down off the top from Big Lake, but hey, he was doing me the favor. I arrived at the spot just after 10:00 pm and then hiked in through some heavy thickets for about a half a mile. I noticed a glow as I approached the spot and almost fell over as I saw a big production taking place. “BB” had at least 20 bulls and cows lined up with sacks of something draped over their shoulders. “Greetings “BB” I said. He barely looked up from the task at hand but managed to say, “Heard you from the time you left the pavement and smelled you since you locked that little gizmo you’re driving. What the hell is that thing?” I laughed and said, “Why “BB” I’ve gone green. I am now an environmentally conscious person.” “BB” snorted derisively and said, “Yeah, and I’m now a carnivore.” I explained that since I do so much city driving I felt that it was time to drive British Petroleum’s profits down. The fact that I spend about $700.00 per month less on gas was also a small factor. I finally had to ask what the hell he was doing. “Do I have to guess, or are you going to tell me what this big production is?” “BB” smiled and said, “This is what we call a hunter attitude improvement load.” That comment caught me by surprise and I felt a degree of sarcasm from my friend. “Seriously “BB”, what is all this stuff and what are you doing?” Continue reading

“BB” The Philosopher

BB The Philosopher

It had been three months since my last encounter with “BB”. I still remember the stunned look in his eyes when we were standing in two feet of snow just south of Springerville. I knew that he would never forget the moment and I decided it would be a bond between us forever. I suspect that “BB” would have been pleased not to have endured the moment, but heck, he has had more than enough fun at my expense.

It was time for the annual fence removal project at Big Lake and I knew that after 5 years we would be tearing down the last of over 35 miles of fences. I have many memories of that area and I looked forward to being at the exact spot where the last of the fencing would be removed. I had gotten a text message from my furry friend that he would be available after the dinner hours in our usual spot. As luck would have it, the last spot was along a ridge that had a severe drop down to and then a long hike into. The team of individuals who helped were all hard working and we rolled the last of the wire well before quitting time. I savored that last mile as I recalled how daunting the task had been when we started. My thoughts then shifted to “BB” and I hoped that the winter had treated him well. Continue reading

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