This is the Meat Eater podcast coming at you, shirtless, severely beaten, in my case, underwear, as a Meat Eater podcast, you can't predict anything presented by Onex Hunt.
Creators of the most comprehensive digital mapping system for hunters. Download the Hunt app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Know where you stand with Onex. All right, she has to start right out with with a with a segment. Actually, can I say, I trust that Phil is going to put in the the the jingle, the jingle, the continuing adventures of Chester, the investor comes in my.
I said. Come on. And there's a there's it's not an inside joke, there's a very obscure joke. Built into. The intro for Chester, the investor. Yeah, I think that if you if you if you know what we're talking about, you should write in and explain what the the joke is.
Once you listen to it. Not you, Chester. I told you, yeah. All right, so, yeah, where are we at yet? Is there a wall or do you own a wall? I vote no.
I do not own a wall. I vote slowly but surely. It is looking good. Eventually, eventually, it will be fish and Steve and crack and a few cold ones.
So since we last spoke, how's your how's your bitcoin investment. So Bitcoin right now is volatile, as my brother would say. It's, you know, up and down. A lot of people are selling and buying and selling and buying. And it was down.
They have weak constitutions. Yeah.
They're not strong. You got to stay strong in the Bitcoin game. But it was down a while. Kind of. February, like late February, Bitcoin was down a little, but as of yesterday, kind of rallied again and and it's starting to go up.
So earlier I was asking Chester about his thinking on this. If he as he does this thing to get the Walli vote as he returns, manipulates his Bitcoin. Not manipulates, invest in Bitcoin in order to get a wall. I was asking them, does the initial investment get thrown in toward the boat?
Yes. So so that money is committed to the wall.
I vote yes. But again, like I said, when I get there, I still will probably consult with you being included in that. Just to make sure I'm not the right time. Yeah, I feel that if it shot up and you got to a basic wall I boat, you might drag your feet and think you're going to get a sweeter walleye boat.
Yeah, I mean, over the long term of Bitcoin, that would happen. Like you would wind up with like a.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you look at the the percentages, it's like 200 percent return that anyone that's like, you know, if you invested seven years ago or something like that in Bitcoin, it's pretty darn. But do you want to wait seven years for that? Well, I hope you do. While I might not even get around anymore, we got a fish. Now, they they are saying that it may triple.
Well, I read that to you this morning of CNN. Yeah, they're saying somebody's saying it.
Now, listen, let me tell you something here for Sean Weaver.
Wrote in. Friend of ours, hey, Sean, he was listening to he was listening to a previous edition of Chester the Investor, and he wrote in to say this in econ professor of mine in college talked about the role of sentiment in markets and how it's an important part of a market trying to find equilibrium. There's an investing there's an investing strategy based around it, around being a contrarian. The basic logic is the time to buy is when everyone thinks it's a horrible investment in the time to sell is when everyone thinks it's great.
Now, here's what he has looked kind of a weird dig on this show, like he takes a pot shot at, like insults the show, huh? Yeah, he says he says, I got a good chuckle today because I can't help but think the Meat Eater podcast talking about Bitcoin is a good signal to sell for contrarian investors, which is like a dig, meaning like if we know about it, it must be that the cat's out of the bag.
No, that's not what he means. Well, yes, that's what he means. Oh, but I would say that's not the case at all. I'm the only one sitting here who's invested in Bitcoin, but I got jealous this morning and texted my wife to see if I could buy some Bitcoin. And she said that ship has sailed.
No, I don't think it has. I do not think it has. Because, like I said, none of you guys in this room, as I'm aware of, are invested in Bitcoin. So many people are skeptical, which is understandable because a lot of this stuff is right over my head and I don't even understand it. But luckily, I have somebody to consult with that, you know, keeps me calm and keeps me in the game. Your brother.
My brother. And we just had a long conversation with him on the on the ride here about it. And the guy knows his stuff.
You can you can ask him about anything you're saving up for.
A Lond doesn't have to be alone. But no, I like them both. They are nice boats. I like them. That 18 footer that you run in Alaska.
Get a little simple Outboard Tylor Tambov fishfinder right next to me, Seth Suzan's just 17 here, just over seven thousand dollars for that hole with trailer.
I think so, yeah. Wow, I'm I'm I was I'm getting there, I was looking out of my life until until I found my boat.
What's your chart like? So we're going to keep the segment going until you get the damn boat. The segment could last years. The show could let this segment and that fills jingle and everything. We make it years of material out of this investment.
You know, if it triples this year, maybe maybe I can still keep some stuff in Bitcoin and still get the boat and then we'll change the segment and it'll be a segment about your Walli adventures.
You know, come try that. Can you put on the continuing Walli Adventures of Chester into the into U.S. it. Yeah.
Mountaineering adventure, the continuing the continuing Walli Adventures of Chester, the Investor Week.
Mike and I have the first first idea for it, I'm coming down to New Mexico and we're going to chase and New Mexico. Yeah, Mike, you were saying this is the southernmost wall I hear in New Mexico.
Yeah, southernmost and in. North America, as far as I know, what's your title again? What's my title? He tells you gotta keep secret. Well. Let's just say I work in fisheries. He's a fisheries bigwig, fisheries bigwig that makes him more ambacher that's cropped up. Yeah, I explaining that, let's say one was in fisheries. Sure. You will find that the common feedback from the public is that they would what they would like, more bigger fish.
It's very it's really very simple. Yes.
Oh, here's another thing to touch on quick before we get into everything else ourselves. Soulsby doing first lights, new foundry.
Breeches, the foundry pants are out, these sons of bitches pants. Suspend you, but you probably are looking on jealously, oh, very jealously this I'm not joking. Trying to figure out how to say this, that people recognize I'm telling the truth. It is the foundry pants with the knee pads built into them. Ah, I'm not shitting you like are the best. Hunting pants that I have ever. Ever had on my body? Ever. They have an iPad in them.
It's like a very lightweight. Well, integrate an iPad, you can take it out to Washam. But it's in there so well, it's like it doesn't bother you hiking around, you do not know what's there. But when you get out of your tent, on your knees in the gravel or you're on your knees glassner, you're crawling up on something is such a game changer. And they got a.
Very like like a very durable blend of fabrics. I've got I don't know, man. I've been wearing a born like a pair of them all fall. I've got well over 60 days into them. They're comfortable and they have side zippers. So. If you get first light zip on long johns and you get the side zipper on these pants, you can undo the side zipper on the pants. And through that little hole, unzip your long johns and actually pull your long johns off like a magic trick.
Have you seen me do this? Yeah. Never have to drop your drawers. Your name drop. Yeah. You don't even drop your drawers. You unzip a zipper, reach in there and unzip another zipper.
This is like a magic trick, also understanding a whole new long John. Damn good pants like the just in terms of durability, comfort, pocket configuration, knee pads, side zipper fit, even the right amount of belt loops in the right places, like the best pants I have ever worn. Now, quick word about Vaseline and tampons, a woman from Ashley Netrunner that she's from. Her name is Ashley. She's from Austin. She wrote in to say it, to have this to share about the media guy, the wilderness skills and survival, which is available now at Amazon.com in there, make it very spirited argument for using as your fire starter.
You go find a friend who dips. And get one of their use dipped Hynde's. Right, Chewton. And then you take cotton balls and rub Vaseline into those cotton balls and pack that Chewton full of cotton, full of Vaseline infused cotton balls because they make wonderful fire starters, it doubles as Vaseline. If you need like you get chapped lips, braided skin, and TSA guys don't steal it from you, because when you're toting around any kind of accelerant, like all those sort of fire starters from the sporting goods store, the TSA guys will take them from you and potentially find you.
We got fined seven, not not for a fire started, but we had a 7000 dollar fine from a isobutane fuel canister, my body. That showed up in the security line with a loaded pistol that he didn't know he had in his bag, had less of a fine. Then a Jebal. Cannister. Which our lawyer got it knocked down to half that. How do you know you have a pistol in your bag that's loaded? I don't know.
And I thought this is the feedback I provided for him. I said, I think the fine for having of trying to get on a plane with a loaded pistol.
You didn't know you had to be that you get shot with the pistol. Sounds right. Somewhere you can pick where, you pick where. But that's the fine is you get shot by it.
And wasn't your fuel in checked luggage like not. Yeah. So. We're flying home from a trip, and one of the one of you know, we checked all the gear and also one of our guys. They paid them to come down security. It goes down the security to the TSA dudes and the like. Hey, we found this fuken in your bag. And he's like, oh, sorry, man, you know, just go and throw it out.
You know, if you don't need it, go. And then some period of time goes by and also and here's this big stack of paperwork with that fine, right? Yeah, and my body to try to bring his pistol was loaded pistol on the airplane and it was all said and done.
A thousand dollars. Right now is going to go like in the cabin with him. He did lose his pistol. We lost our fuel can can see the injustice. It was Ashley from Austin writes in what quote got me on that. Oh, yeah. Why you carry y y like gasoline if you're traveling person. She was saying that she had this interesting piece, feedbag. She didn't have cotton balls, but she had tampons and Vaseline. And to start a fire took that tampon material kind of like crumpled it up, put Vaseline on there, and she says it's a phenomenal fire starter.
Think that. Whatever works, we talked recently on an episode where a guy was saying, see a long time ago talking about.
How people how Cabelas is Bass Pro Shop, which is the same thing now, and it is Sportsman's Warehouse, right? No, yeah, I didn't hear that. No, I heard that, yeah, they did, that's it. Yeah, so like Bass Pro Basketball is that entity bought Sportsman's Warehouse. So if you're, like, walking into a sporting goods store, it's probably owned by the same dogs.
Yeah. We got to talking about when people sell, like, where's all that taxidermy come from? You know, you go to Bass Pro or whatever, they sometimes have these massive dioramas of, you know, you know, he's sort of like stuffed menageries.
And we're talking about the market of of when you get like an exceptional specimen of an animal, the market of selling it to to wind up in these things. How people can make that might be if Bitcoin doesn't work out for you, Chester, you might get that walleye boat by shooting giant stuff and sell it to sporting goods stores. Well, I have to. Get out hunting and actually kill some, so I got to step my game up. So this guy was saying that one of these, the Cabelas, offered his old man 70 grand for an albino porcupine.
And. I think someone expressed even the idea that they weren't even buying it. Even the existence of the porcupine and he sent in and it's damn sure looks like an albino porcupine to me. What do you think of Murphy? Cutest little porcupine I've ever seen. I've seen a few porcupines my dogs have tangled in, lolls with porcupines, ever seen an albino porcupine? Never heard of one cutest damn animal on the planet. Never heard like that little guy.
Super cute. Here he is chewing on antler. Now, that is going to report on this, which is that this is an insane yeah, this is one of the most upsetting things I've looked at and forever.
Yeah, it's it's it's like I hate looking at it, I think for someone, you know, what do you want to put it on your Instagram so that people can go see for themselves? Yeah. OK, so. So you've got to get up. You've got to realize you're making the commitment here and you got to let people down. We mean, if you don't do it, yeah, I'll put it on my highlight reel where I put all this stuff, don't put it on the main thing or not at all.
Oh, can't you do both? You should put on yours because more people will see it. OK, and I have a certain. Certain esthetic I keep with my Instagram. Explain that to me. Well, if you look at my Instagram, I don't explain. It's all high quality photos that are it's all fine art. Yeah. You don't want to put some hairy eyeball, dear?
No, not unless I take a picture of it in fine art style. Yeah. I'll put it on mine. OK, go and tell everybody what's going on. It's one of the more upsetting things. I will have it, I guarantee damned I'm sending a note about this right now. Go ahead. Tell everybody. So it's a thing it's a deer that has I believe it's pronounced Cornhill. Dermot's Oliker. Yeah, Dermot's.
So it was an individual that or there was someone that saw this deer and reported that it was like the deer was circling. It was going in circles, it had visible bleeding, lacked awareness of people around it, and had something on its eyes, it turned out to be this Kornfield Derman and what it is.
It's like abnormal growth of skin and hair follicles on areas where skin and hair follicles don't grow and just happen to grow over its cornea to gradually.
We've seen as much to gradually wear. If you look at this picture, it's a buck. And where you'd expect his eyeball to be. Like, not his eye, but what's the part in the middle of your eyeball? Your cornea, your cornea, that's the part that you say like you got blue eyes, what are we talking about? Oh, I think so, yeah. Is hair. Yeah. Gradually, gradually, gradually, it grew into where he eventually became blind and he has a hairy.
Hairy eyeball, a hairy eyeball developmental glitch. Where the cornea tissue fails to form and it defaults to skin if you get it, because the mud can get it. Yeah, Limblifter Samoyed.
Hair shaft's over your eyeball, you people out there. Yeah, yeah. Oh, I wonder how I wonder how often that happens or has happened before. Well, Karyn included, Corinne included. If you go down, there's a dude's eyeball who's got hair growing out.
Oh, yeah. So that looks pretty young.
I was that book born with or is included a beer, a bunch of extremely disturbing photos.
Doesn't say if it was born with it or not that I'm interested in that. Right.
Like if it, if it onset once the animal's got some edge to it or if it's born with I would think its onset because there's no way a deer I mean this you can tell in this photo that the book has antler growth. So this trial is a year old. I don't think a deer that's a year could survive in the wild, a whole year being blind. But that's just one I said both eyes, I think the other thing it said, it was both eyes since it was both last year.
Yeah, even a blind squirrel fund every now and then. That's true.
You got to check out this deal with the person feeding the grizzly bears. The old story now in Grand Teton note. So once people sent this into us. Some more there's a neighborhood, there's a there's a subdivision in it's called Solitudes Subdivision and Grand Teton, Wyoming.
And some neighbors report this lady for feeding grizzly bears. And you're that famous like there's that famous grizzly a little bit. It's problematic.
We have a famous grizzly, but this looks like this three nine nine grizzly. Grishin number three nine nine, she's spent her whole life out, now she hangs out in town, everybody's all worked up. This bear has all this offspring and these offspring are all eaten in this lady's backyard.
So they got to talk to her be like. You're feeding bears, she's very excited about the fact that the bears are here. She explains that she has an aura. That allows her to communicate with bears and that prevents her from being hurt by bears. And she's feeding many grizzlies in her yard, grain soaked in molasses. But you are allowed to feed moose. So all she has to they're not prosecuting her because she says, I'm feeding moose. It's not my fault.
That all these grizzlies are in my yard. And while they're standing there, the agents that come visitor, they're staying there, there's five grizzlies eating off her back porch. But they're saying there's not going to. Because she's feeding those. Difficult time, prosecutor, sounds like sounds like they need to go ahead.
It sounds like that one guy who got killed in Alaska, kind of he wasn't feeding them. What?
That guy was a bad ass, though. Timothy Treadwell. Yeah.
He don't camp anyone in this room. Why didn't you change the rule that you shouldn't be allowed to do anything?
Well, yeah, but that's the whole thing of Wilmuth. Like what? They're feeding their elk fitty elk and deer feeding stations. I mean, they've created this weird problem and then locals talked about this quite a bit is.
They at a time, you know, hunters wanted more game, yeah, right, in Wyoming, like people wanted to big healthy Ellacott and me to right. So people won a lot of elk and having a lot of elk in Wyoming as elsewhere. Would cause enormous amount of strife with agricultural interests because where are they going to all go?
So they live up in the mountains in the winter or in the summer and winter comes. They come down in the big riparian areas and they're on cattle grazing lands. They're in they're on croplands, doing all kinds of damage. So at a time, people did this, you know.
Calculus in their heads that we're if we're going to have herds of tens of thousands of elk in these areas and we don't want to be a huge problem for landowners, we need to find something to do. And so they fell into the habit of feeding, making, feeding grounds and to to support what some people claim is like a artificially high number of elk. They feed ungulates, you know.
Through the winter, the surrounding states don't, but they do and they're staying true to it, what's finally drawing it into question now is like seedbeds transmission. Yeah, where you got from hundreds of square miles. You have a magnet that sucks all those deer and elk, and so they. Stand around in groups of thousands for the whole winter eating feed, so it's illegal to feed, it's legal to feed in this. Woman here is taken advantage of with grizzlies, which is really weird, and then when they pointed out that it's dangerous, she accused the agents of being, quote, wimps.
They cloned a black footed ferret. The first U.S. endangered species, black footed ferret, they had a specimen. The died 30 years ago and people were just getting into, you know, people are starting to realize the potential around genetics. They froze this ferit. And the US, so the US Fish and Wildlife Service is raising a black footed ferret in Fort Collins, Colorado, that is a genetic copy. Of a ferret named Willa, who died in 1988.
Think of that. I think I like the name. Think Will is a cool name, but let me go name your daughter. Yeah, that. Actually was one of our plans if we had a girl, so right, yeah, well, having a boy instead we are going to name that boy. I don't know yet. Cody Hunter. Well, no, I don't think either of those you're not going to have a Cody or Hunter, dude.
Everybody needs their kids. Cody and Hunter. No, no. OK, but I think it's amazing to use, you know, technology like that to clone an animal that's that's gone to try to bring some genetics back into the. Existing population. Yeah, it's like we had a we had a if you go way back in our library, we had an episode called Cloning Mammoths, I think.
Yeah. With remember, with the ancient genetics, you know, DNA specialist.
And she can't explain what they're really getting at some of the some of the ethical and practical limitations.
Because the real I think the thing everybody's aiming for is that you would that we would bring back the passenger pigeon. Right. And people point out that. What makes the animal OK, so passenger pigeons, things that were in flocks of millions. Right. You know, and if you made one and had one, you could, like, put it in a cage, like, that's a passenger pigeon, like, is it? Do you mean like is it really, you know, does it qualify as a passenger pigeon?
Like, would you ever be able to bring that back?
Right. But but I think in this situation with ferrets, what you're talking about is an existing population of endangered ferrets, that there's active conservation work going on to try to bring them back on the landscape. Right. And then you have, ah, you know, a ferret from not all that long ago, but that is very likely different or hold some genetic diversity that no longer exists in ferrets. And I don't know this for certain, but I could imagine I'm guessing it has to do with diversity.
And and so you're not you're not really trying to you're not trying to take that one ferret and repopulate North America. You know, the plains with ferrets, you're trying to capture something that was essentially lost that could potentially bring genetic diversity back into those populations.
Yeah, we've talked we've covered this before that black footed ferrets are what's called Lazarus.
What's known as a laser is species like lasers from. Was let's in the Old Testament, the New Testament. Thank you, man. Yeah. Anyways, in the Bible, there's a fellow named Lazarus who comes back from the dead. And the black footed ferret is a Lazarus species. People thought at a time that we had we humans had wiped them off the face of the earth, and as the story goes, one day a rancher in Meeteetse, Wyoming, sees his dog carrying something unusual.
And it was a black footed ferret. And they found the prairie dog colony that was supporting this black footed ferret and that, in fact, they were not going right.
And so from that, though, right. You can imagine how narrow the Angelie the genetic diversity of that species could have gotten. And, you know, again, I don't I don't know anything about ferret conservation, but I can imagine from other things I know more about that being able to go back in time and and grab some genetic material from an individual that was you know, it's been gone for a long time now and bring that forward in order to incorporate, you know, into captive breeding or, you know, even into the wild could really be of a lot of value.
Oh, yeah. Did I sound like I'm down on. No, no. I'm super into it.
Just that it's not just it's very different than saying like, oh, we're going to bring back passenger pigeons, right? Yeah. They're gone. If, you know, if you had millions of specimens with, you know, well preserved DNA. Could you potentially clone each individual that you have out there and end up with millions of passenger pigeons and somehow maybe I'm right, not likely, but different than something that they're actively working on? Yeah.
When we talk about the passenger pigeon thing, it's interesting getting this idea of what is the public's appetite like, let's say because the last passenger pigeon to die, I think died in 1913 or something.
And his name was Martha Wright, I know died in the Cincinnati Zoo.
But to be weird, like it's funny to think about it, there was. That people knew it was the last one. This is it. You could go to the zoo and they'd be like that, right there is the last passenger pigeon when she dies. That species comes to an end. Maybe she died in 2001 when you boys figured that out. They're just sitting there.
I just Googled and I was like, oh, Lars-Erik, New Testament or New Testament, like, you just read.
They blink out, right, and let's say you could.
Let's say you were able to get them, make new ones and propagate them and you had some plan where we're going to be like, no, no, no, we're going to reintroduce and there will be flocks of millions of passenger pigeons that will descend on your crop field.
How does everybody feel about this? 1914 14, what did I say, not that 1920, I guess you're 21, anyone else thinking like. Yeah, yeah.
Passed away September 1st, 1914. Good job. That would be an interesting test of public will. Because people will, like, be inconvenienced by wildlife. Generally, you know. It'd be a hard sell for people, some people some people would be like, I would like it from a hunting perspective. Sure. But I think you would probably encounter a fair bit of resistance if you were really going to do that.
Yeah, and you may encounter some ecological drivers. That would be hurdles to it as well. I mean, it's, you know. The landscape, things have probably changed quite a bit since they were really at their peak, and I you know, I've often heard overhunting cited as a reason for their demise. But, you know. That it was a different world and yeah, right, the late eighteen hundreds when they were really starting to decline. So who who knows if the ecological conditions still exist to.
You know, would still like to recover, I think the last big shoot I read this morning, so I think the last big slaughter was around Alpena, Michigan.
Interesting was one of the last places where they really got on and shot, you know.
Right, hundreds of thousands or millions of them was in Michigan and they would descend when trees were when mass-producing, trees were coming in, they were just ascendants stripped the trees and people discussed, like so many Lanegan branches of trees at the trees, branches would be snapping.
And I've also read that it was some people point out that it was probably those huge numbers were probably not hadn't always been that way, but it was like some perfect storm of decimation of other wildlife agricultural practices at the time.
And maybe it made this sort of image. That's what it's like or like that. That's what it's supposed to be like. But in fact, was a complete anomaly, right, to have those explosive numbers of those.
Well, yeah. And that's part of why I mean. Right, it is. Think about Eastern forests. You know, that the timber harvest that happened through the nineteen hundreds, like in Pennsylvania, you know, completely changed those forests from was a white pine dominated to. Anyway, from from, you know, coniferous forests or cabinets really messing up the sound. No. Change those forest changed from coniferous forests to deciduous forests just based on timber harvests that happened all across Pennsylvania, and then also consider what's, you know, like what happened with chestnut.
Right. Chestnut blight came in just that were predominant species all up and down the East Coast and chestnut blight completely wiped them out. And so, again, I don't know anything about the ecology or natural history of passenger pigeons, but you could imagine a situation where those you know, they played something like that.
That has completely changed now, played some key role in their ecology, and it just wouldn't be around anymore. Yeah, that's why I think that the.
I think that the black footed ferret. Is a prime specimen for rehabilitation. Because you have we still have massive prairie dog colonies that people spend a lot of money trying to control. But they control it with poison. Still, it's weird, like as much as we hear about in the old that, you know, during the periods of predator annihilation in the late 80s and early 90s, they were, you know, indiscriminately poisoning carcasses to kill foxes, coyotes, wolves, whatever, mountain lions, bears to sort of like depopulate predators was all through poisoning campaigns.
It's still use prairie dogs like you go out and.
Seed prairie dog colonies with poisoned pellets, and that's what's credited with killing off black footed ferrets, is they're getting they're eating poisoned prairie dogs.
But it's interesting to think like here you have this surplus of food that's available if you can get these things on there and then somehow prevent them from but then not use poison control, which would then turn around and kill the Blackfoot ferret.
But I don't know of black for the ferrets ever are effective enough to actually control prairie dog populations, because when you read historical accounts like the entire Great Plains of the prairie dog colony.
Yeah, well, it's not like they were killing them off, right? Yeah, to be clear, I'm way out of my depth.
Oh, no, you don't need to test you don't need to be given expert testimony. Prairie dogs or. But I'll tell you this. You guys brought up Pennsylvania. This is a good thing from Pennsylvania. We had arborists.
We had this squirrel guy on the episode is called The Squirrel Doctors in the Squirrel Doctor like a Ph.D. in squirrels. And he talked a lot about how they're so good at not dying. When they fall from trees in an arborist road in. Western Pennsylvania arborist, he was saying he has seen realistically 50 squirrels jump out of trees over 75 feet high. Some out of 100 foot trees. He said that three out of four he's seen this is when he's ascending a tree to prune it embossed squirrel out squirrel can't come down because he's in it.
He said three out of four of them. Hit the grass, bounce three feet in the air and land running, he had a fox grow one time, jump 80 feet. And he said there was a two inch or two foot diameter puddle of water, a fox girl jumped 80 feet and hit that water pool. Like it was, he said it was like it was aiming for it. But he says another time he was not in a tree.
He was just sitting in the driveway minding his own business in a car. And he sees a fox squirrel fall out of a tree and hit a phone line 10 feet from the ground.
Died right before his eyes. He then another girl came down, full-grown squirrel. Hefted up his dead friend and carried him back up into the tree. What eyewitness account? That's crazy. It's good friend. I see them for just I've been walking through the woods and just squirrel hits the ground.
Like, it just fell out, you know, it hits the ground, takes over. No. Yeah, I've definitely seen where they just come out and iguana's. All right. Inexplicably fall from trees now when it gets you know, if you see this like now and it gets super cold, you know, they got the invasive iguanas in Florida during that big cold snap that just happened. They had to put out warnings about fallen iguanas.
No shit. No. Yeah, as you mess you up, but when we're just in Arkansas, we found we can tell you about this mike rule. We're just in Arkansas. We found a lot of birds that it froze to death during that cold snap. Oh, really? One day we found three froze to death woodpeckers and one day. Just not a mark on them. No, just like a live woodpecker, but it was dead laying on the forest floor.
Mike, we had a Big Bird die off here in New Mexico. Do you recall what that was? It was from was it the cold spell?
Was it drought? My understanding was that it was a it was mostly cold. Was that I think it was that October. There was a cold snap earlier this year. Those birds didn't have a lot of fat on them, I think was what I heard, and they died of exposure, though they had way to go for Bird. If you're a turkey hunter, you know, springtime means, oh, listen, for some guy, we're off ripping, birds chirp and frogs making noise, taking a big ol nap in the afternoon, out in the woods, waking up, got a tick.
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So we're recording right now in. Now, suppose it does matter. Yeah, absolutely, we're in Deming, New Mexico. And we're down here because I had a stellar year on my permit draw. To say the least. Now, listen, here's the thing. A lot of people are like, oh, yeah, they give you special treatment because they're like, you have a TV show, so you get all the Firmage.
Listen, I apply for everything in every state, OK? I apply for everything in every state.
And every year, like, you get something, but I'm applying for everything in every state. You know, like this year in Alaska, Drew, nothing. Last year in Alaska drew nothing, OK, but I just so happened to hit and I don't know if it's that you guys can tell me how extraordinary it is.
I happened to in one year in New Mexico draw and what's called an off range oryx. Tag and drew a female or immature? Billy IBEX Teg. All in one fell swoop. One year draw. The. New Mexico doesn't do bonus points, and we've explained 100000 times, but bonus points are like if you apply for a permanent don't get it.
They sort of reward you as a repeat customer by giving you like a point and then your name goes into the hat.
Basically, like your name was in the had an additional time the next year, and it's like kind of like beat you in to keep you active, New Mexico doesn't engage in that. So I could be applying for an orange tag for 50 years and some whippersnapper comes in and applies for his first time. And the 50 year veteran in the Whippersnapper have the exact same odds as drawn the orange tag. But I had put in quite a few years for an organic, but by drew the orange tag off range.
And we talked about this in the past.
And it's that on range means white sands missile range and off range means the rest of the damn state. The IBEX had. That I drew is for the Florida, not Florida, but the Florida mountains in which the New Mexicans want to talk through.
How this came to be, why this is the thing, why Ebix hunting is a thing like Holwell, like how who?
Well, Jerry, can you say where you work? You have to not work?
Yeah, I work for the National Wildlife Federation on the regional connectivity coordinator. See that, Mike? Yeah, just comes right out and says it rolls right off and try to act like he's in the CIA.
I know a few fishery's, but yeah, I mean, you know, going back to. But you know what? Before you do that, tell people more about what you're about your work.
Well, I work mostly on on landscape wildlife connectivity issues across the West. So looking at landscapes and how well connected they are, most folks, you know, one of the best ways to describe that and put that in a perspective is through the lens of migration corridors. So ungulate migration corridors, you know, looking at that landscape and how well connected it is, one of the first measures you can do to look at how well the landscape is connected is by looking at the barriers, right.
So roads, fences, urban development, things that can impede and and serve as barriers to to movement of wildlife in ensuring that landscapes stay connected. So a lot of my work is working with multiple stakeholders. Right? Wildlife. No, no boundaries for the most part.
So when wildlife are migrating across jurisdictional boundaries, it's important to work with those both those multiple engaged stakeholders, from tribes to private land owners to federal agents, land management agency, state wildlife agencies. You know, it's important for folks to be on the same page and to manage accordingly for those species because we want to make sure they're they're around. Right. We don't want to be having these conversations about El Cameleer that we're having about black ferrets and passenger pigeon.
You know, we're closer to the border than you can see the surveillance blimp. Right. Do you when you're doing kind of activity stuff, are you working with Mexico as well?
So I'm I'm not as far south in New Mexico, so I don't really work with Mexico, but I do have colleagues who do and they do things like a black bear cougar. Also birds. They do a lot of avian species of migration.
I know the Montezuma Quail is is a is a species of hot topic there at the border. But for the most part, I have not been focusing most of my work on on wildlife border issues.
Do the people that do work on the connectivity issues across the border, they've probably been spending their recent years, like, focused on one thing.
Which is the border wall? Yeah, absolutely, I mean, as I was mentioning, right, like. Barriers, barriers to movement, there's no bigger barrier than a border wall. Yeah, it was funny about that, too, as most barriers you talk about when you talk about wildlife migrations are things that are sort of like accidentally a barrier like no one like is like let's put in a highway. That'll be a good barrier. Yeah. It's like let's put in a highway exit.
Sweet, because you can drive around real good and then someone later is like, oh shit, it's a big barrier. But there you're like, let's make a barrier. It's very purpose built. Yeah. Yeah, it's well distinguished.
There's, there's purpose behind it. And you know, during the construction of the border wall, I think there was a lot of controversy to those exact issues on what they would do to the ecological state of that landscape and providing for a well connected landscape for various species. You know, and the argument still out there, I think I think it's safe to say that it was the border wall has been pretty invasive in those landscapes where where they have been constructing it.
And so I would go as far as saying that, you know, when you do something of that magnitude, there is going to be consequences or there are going to be repercussions in some way, shape or form. And, you know, sometimes the wildlife for the ones who are the recipients of that.
Yeah, I know. Like I'm talking about I'm talking this is me talking right now. This is not Jeremy talking like I'm going to talk now and I don't want you to be guilt guilty by association. But the thing that it's so funny I follow with people and talk about the border wall is. People that support that a wall. Are very uneasy if you bring up if you even point out. A. Problem with it, they want to act like that doesn't exist, you could still look and be like, no, no, I like all things considered, all things factored in.
I'd still like the wall, but they get a rate. If you suggest what the implications would be for wildlife, it's like they get mad that you bring it up. Instead, like I would imagine you would take the approach of, oh, yes, totally, I understand this is a big problem for wildlife, but my I'm giving priority to the human issues, to the economic issues. And even though it's not ideal for wildlife, I'm still deciding to support it.
But people aren't like they don't look at it that way, like if you bring it up, you're a bad person to bring it up, which is sort of emblematic of a general reluctance to sort of a general reluctance these days just to like, discuss and debate things and consider them in their totality.
Jamie, it's been really the guy that people get, so if we run articles or post articles about wildlife issues and the border wall, people just get pissed. Well, it's a political issue, too, right? There's a lot to that argument, and I would I would think about it, as is the new border wall that's been constructed.
There was a border wall there before and that didn't prevent a lot of things from happening. And even with the new border wall, things are still happening. Right. I think I just I just read an article the other day about an SUV carrying, I think it was 20 passengers that wrecked on the highway and they got through a hole in the border wall. So to what level is creating a border wall? Actually solving the issue. Mm hmm. And with that comes all those arguments, right?
Yeah, and I think, like I do think it's worth talking about, but let's say you point out, let's say you're planning a family vacation, OK?
And like, I think we should go on a family vacation. And someone says, you know, if we go on family vacation, we will have less money because we'll have spent money on our vacation, no one gets mad at that person. Instead, you be like, yes, correct. We will have less money, but the vacation is important, so we're still going to go on a vacation like you don't get pissed the people for bringing up.
The considerations. Except this. Then if you're a bad person to bring up it just it's kind of I know this is like a side pet peeve, but I do want to return to IBEX, but it just remains in my mind. And any time I'm down here looking at the border, I start thinking about it again.
I mean, it's it's real time here, you know? I mean, the border, there is a day to day issue that everyone here has to interact with for the most part. Yeah, it winds up not being like, look up in the north Eulalia, you know? Southern border, I mean, there's a wow, there it is. I mean, there's places on our border where there is not a border wall. There has never been a border wall.
Yeah. All right, back to the IBEX. Well, you know, the IBEX IBEX were introduced in New Mexico, in the Florida mountain range back in the 70s with the whole exotic push that our state took, you know, utilizing some of these barren landscapes to have hunting opportunity. And in doing so, they saw one of the game commissioners at the time, through his travels across the world, saw these various species. And as I as I mentioned on previous oryx talk, he saw the opportunity to introduce some of these exotic species into New Mexico.
Right. So, Steve, you had the opportunity to hunt and oryx. That was one of the species. One of the other ones they tried to introduce was also the Koutou that that never took. And then they also introduced IBEX to species five six. In fact, one was the Siberian IBEX that was introduced into the Canadian river drainage folks probably know that is the Sabinas so wilderness.
And then they also introduced the Persian IBEX. People also call that the bezoar Ebix and that was introduced into the Florida mountain range.
Well, was this coming from one individual? Is there like a person who's kind of like a Johnny Appleseed of exotics in New Mexico? Yeah, I don't recall his name, but he was a state game commissioner at the time. And he just saw this opportunity. He said, you know, my my home landscape doesn't hold animals and I want to be able to have the same opportunities of hunting these exotic animals that I was overseas. And from what I got from my researches, he worked with the other game commissioners to propose the idea.
You know, there's there's obviously, I think, an economic driver behind it. You know, you want to create hunting opportunities. And in doing so, they they assess the landscape for those species that would seem more appropriate in the they seem to find them.
You know, in New Mexicans are not New Mexico and New Zealand. There was actually committee's. Of people. That that the focus of the committee was to. Make the Forna. Similar to Europe's interesting. It was just to make it familiar and bring in like Red Deer and, you know, all that kind of stuff. So it's like it's Duffie not. You know, it's not like exclusively a New Mexico thing, but it's interesting that three things took so well.
Oh, yeah, I mean, you know, oryx or bricks and other and various other exotic species are not in Yudin, North America.
Right. You look at Texas, there's a high fence ranches that have Warrick's other types of oryx as well as other exotic species. But New Mexico's a unique place where we have free ranging exotic animals. Right. That are largely on public land, all predominantly on public land. The only ones that aren't on public land, for the most part. You know, you got BARBREE running around private land, but you also have Oregon Department of Defense land on the missile range.
Other than that, most of those most of those exotic species are calling public land home.
Yeah, Jerry's coming off of an exotic trifecta. In one week, one week, I was fortunate enough to harvest a Barbareschi and then a colleague of ours wife had a once in a lifetime oryx hunt on range.
And so last Sunday, Saturday, I helped out and was fortunate enough to be a part of that little excursion where where my buddy's wife harvested her once in a lifetime oryx. And then I hustled down here to meet you to finish the trifecta for chasten Persian Ebix get into a little bit about.
How many of those, like how many IBEX came to be in this mountain range and what conversations had to come out about? You know, we're other interested parties started to have an opinion about this because it's it's the interesting thing that you see time and again with with wildlife politics and.
Yeah, yeah. So let's let's take it back to kind of the initial reintroduction. So New Mexico is a state where you cannot introduce animals from outside of the state onto the public land. Right. So in order for the state to introduce Persian, Ebix oryx, Siberian, Ebix, they had to do they had to reintroduce there or introduce their progeny.
So a lot of these animals, when they were brought to New Mexico, they were held in holding facilities long enough to have progeny. Once that progeny was old enough, then they introduced them into these different landscapes. So for IBEX, for example, I think the total number was give or take 40 Ebix that were introduced on onto the Florida mountains. And since then, that population rapidly expanded. I think within I think it was within four years of the initial introduction, they were offering hunting opportunities on the Florida.
Yeah. I want to give people some idea when we talk about the Florida mountains, when you go to download a map on Onex, people are familiar with and actually know that.
When you go to download a map for offline use, you can download a map 10 miles wide, OK? And it's taller than it is five to 10 miles wide and normally going to hang out somewhere you want to, I usually wind up taking like the center of my activities. And I'll download for and I'll use that as like the center point, and I'll do like a square, a square square in the square and they all meet at that middle point.
And that's what I'll do to get the area I'm going to be in without just to give a sense of scale here.
When I went to download a map for this hunting trip, I put the center of the Florida mountains on the center of the 10 mile square map and it fit very elegantly.
Top to bottom, side to side, it was like and I had a good buffer of flat desert, but it's like a stunning pile of. Clift's. That just rise up out of the desert, man, I mean, like. The Jagadeesh, it's like it's like a weird sort of crazy castle constructed out in the middle of the desert.
Yeah, I think I think we figured when we were sitting on the top of that mountain that we were gaining somewhere of 3000 feet in elevation as we were climbing. Going about a mile. Going about a mile. Yeah, yeah. Give or take.
Incredibly steep, mostly rock five five, five miles wide on that Onex map and 3000 feet tall. I mean, it's just it's like it came out of nowhere. Yeah. And that mountain range is just straight up, like you said, it's it's unforgiving. It's a basically a granite face with sheer cliffs, everything. They're cuts and tears up your boots, pokes you, stabs you, cuts you.
It's just a unforgiving landscape that Ebix just look right at home. Right.
And yeah, it's funny because there's no there's no North American animal that would. Do it quite like they do it in terms of living on Cliff Face. Yeah, I don't think there's a norm basically eating gravel, basically eating gravel.
And I mean, I've seen I've seen Ebix on a 200 foot cliff eating just the tiniest little bush possible. And you're wondering you're you know, you're asking yourself, looking 200 feet below where all the vegetation is, once that animal standing 200 feet up the cliff, just well, it's what ibex do. They walk around over a cliff. They like to walk on vertical cliff faces.
And then when so perfect kind of little spot for them and they don't mind what happens, they put 40 in and it just blows up.
Yeah. So they put 40 in. It blew up. As I was saying, you know, within I think four years they were offering hunting opportunities. And then, you know, when it comes to how many years you get home, I think it was within four years of the population being introduced. They were they were already opening up hunting.
And that's a pretty impressive growth, man. It is. I mean, to put that into perspective, when Ebix when I have kids, right, billies nannies, kids are cool kids. It's common for nannies to have twins and sometimes triplets. So you can imagine how quick that population, if it's not being if it's not being managed through through hunting opportunities, how quick can can explode in the topography isn't really conducive for anything outside of a mountain lion.
I mean, you know, lines and Ebix, anything, anything that needs to run down its prey isn't going to kill anything, right? No. I mean, occasionally we'd see the Yule Cottontail ground squirrel up there. But other than that, you know, Lions and Ebix seem to feel right at home there.
Mm hmm. And it blew, so at a point, though, someone points out that, like the Land Management Agency points out that man who got to me these damn things wrong. Yeah, no. Yeah. The you know, the BLM and I'm sure at the court with coordination with the game and fish, determine that the carrying capacity for that mountain is about needs to be around 400.
And so realizing through through various surveys that that number was was well above the carrying capacity of 400 animals, they started to increase the hunting opportunities to control that population. And so previous to the the tag that you draw, Drew, the immature male female tag, there were hunting opportunities, population management hunts where folks could come in and harvest two nannies. And it and my correct me if I'm wrong, that that was probably over a five, seven year, seven year span.
And I got another question from, like, the record.
Yeah. I don't know that Mike would have any exposure into this, but do you have a sense, Mike, how they count the IBEX?
Well, yeah, I know how that kind of thing. I know some people who.
Well, before before you know, the bouncer, you sleep with one.
So. So. Counting and quantifying the number of Ebix on the landscape has barely been described. Yeah, this is a good quote that's been described. I was watching a a talk about these exotic species in the big game. Biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish does a great job, she said.
The best way to explain to folks how to count IBEX is by taking a large barrel of ping pong balls and throwing it off a cliff and trying to count every one of those ping pong balls as their bounce and flying all over the place damn near impossible.
So with that, they do both aerial surveys with helicopters and ground surveys, with lots of observers around the mountain range. Oh, so they do they.
I knew the aerial part. So you send a bunch of people up with Biennials. Just try to count IBEX. Yeah.
I just like imagine the glassing spots that we use this year. Yeah. You're basically on, you know, for a day or two surround the mountain with lots of folks who are experience that, that glassing those things up. And that seems perfect because how.
The skill, like the skill set required of glancing up IBEX observer bias, just observer skills, is that.
Yeah, no, I mean it's all survey is imperfect, right? I mean there's no it's you don't get perfect numbers, but what you do build up over time, of course is is. Count data that as long as things are being done in the same way you get what relative pictures, what folks would call an index of abundance, you know.
And Mike, I think when I when I was watching that talk, they had explained that the aerial surveys were good at getting an idea of numbers. Right. Quantifying the amount the ground surveys were giving a better perspective of sex and age.
So, yeah, I believe that, God, you are right.
It's easier to classify sex running than it is to count Ebix running and determine what sex it is. Right.
And then when when it got to be there are so many Ebix, they really got serious about trying to kill them off. I think that they found that like the difference in a male ibex. But there's a difference in a belief in a nanny is stunning because the BILLI will throw a up to like 50 inch horn.
Yeah, and Beeks considerably larger. When those buildings get mature, they get the old fashioned billy goat, gruff goat. They get these big sweeping, you know, up to 50 inch horns and the samurai sword coming out of his head.
They change a completely different color. Those those mature billies, they get a lot wider. They get this big prominent black cross around their chest and their back. And when you see mature Billy there on the mountain, you know, it's a mature Billy. They're distinguishable, different than the rest.
So it's got a skull on. Any person would want to put on their bookshelf. It'd take a hell of a bookshelf, but I mean, like an insane looking animal. But then the nannies are. 40, 50 pounds. Yeah, I think, you know, they said 90, too, because it's like no one wants to shoot them. So they had to, like, incentivize people to start shooting Cybex. Well, I meaning that the little tag drawer thing, yeah, I don't know if they were I don't know if they were offering nanny hunts prior to focusing on managing the population.
But in doing so to manage the population, they focused on nannies and immature males. And they've I think it's safe to say that they've been pretty effective at knocking down the the population to that caring capacity, because when they were when there was a ton of them, they were blowing out into other mountain ranges.
Oh, yeah, absolutely. When when there was that when there was that high level of density of IBEX, they were looking for other areas. And so, you know, when I was when I was in college, I saw two billies 40 miles from the from their range.
And it's not you were allowed to hunt them. You can hold those. Yeah. So that's interesting. Right.
So, Billy, Ebix on Ranger draw only hunts now being that they want that population centralized on the Florida mountains, they offer an unlimited Ebix tag for off range anywhere outside of the Florida mountains. So when I did see those billies, I made a beeline back into town to go get an off range. Ebix tag came right back out the next day and never found them. How long did you look for him? Two and a half weeks.
I never could find him. Never, never could find them.
I your guess is as good as mine. The area I was was just the fact that I even saw them there.
It was unbelievable. It was, you know, flat land country with just this single lava rock mine mound. And on the top there they were.
And, you know, it's not uncommon for for hunters or individuals to see Ebix around some of these surrounding mountain ranges. Right. Every now and then, you'll get a hunter who kills a Billy or an nanny off the Floridas. And that's that's a feat. I mean, that's an accomplishment, right?
Those they're small. They're hard to find.
And so, you know, I think two years ago when I did draw the archery tag, I feel like there were a lot more Ebix just two years ago, two years ago.
And mind you, you know, the archery tag and the rifle tag are different. Archery is is a little at the beginning. So they're not as pressured. So they're probably more you know, they're not as spread out as they are. But from from my experience, I felt like there were a lot more Ebix than than this hunt we were on, which which is, you know, a testament to the management approach that the game department has taken in increasing the number of tags offered in hunters have been successful in bringing the, you know, the population down.
But it's a big mountain, right? I mean, 400 animals like we were talking about on a on a mountain like that, mind you, you know, the Onex map, high resolution map doesn't put it into perspective. It covers that whole mountain range. But once you're on that mountain, there are crooks and crannies and thick vegetation that could hide a lot of Ebix going into it.
I was not inspired by the count. No, once I saw the mountain range. And knowing that they're running around in groups. I was like that, like if you had four of them, 400 of them, and you told me to stay in his own little spot, you know, it'd be one thing. But the fact that are groups, I was like, man, it's not that there's a lot of places that don't have an IBEX. Yeah.
I have friends who, you know, probably within the last five years have seen groups of Ebix well, you know, 50 to 100 in one in one group. When you look at it from that perspective to where we're at now, it's quarter of the population and one big group. Now, you know, I don't think there's large groups like that at the moment, but. But there were and. And it's a. It's a big mountain. I think there's a lot of places for Ebix to to hide Jeremy lay out the season because there's like a bunch of different seasons for these, right?
Yeah. So there's when can you start hunting them? When and when does like the last season.
And so this hunt right now is the last I believe this is the last hunt and it's an immature male female female hunt.
Now, before that, you have opportunities for archery for Billy or either sex archery tags or either sex tags.
And that's that's the club you belong called the 98 percent or the I.
I belong to the 98 percent club because 98 percent people who draw that archery tag do not feel it and do not get a Beeliar or an IBEX for that matter. So I am a proud member of the 98 percent club.
And that starts in October. That starts in October. So you have an archery hunt for October and January. And then in between there you have a multitude of once in a lifetime Beeley rifle hunts for those who are lucky enough to draw. You have youth muzzle loader hunts, rifle hunts, I believe. But it kind of just, you know, varies like that. And then it goes into more of what we want to call population management, which is immature, immature, male, female.
And in order to kill an immature male, it has to be less than 15 inches. Ebix or small judge, a 15 inch Ebix can be difficult.
Yeah, I was surprised how spooky they were. Oh, my God. But then Jerri brought up that they've been people have been hunting these things since October.
Yeah, it's March and they've been getting hunted since October. Yeah.
But touch on that. They are exceptionally spooky. But I've seen a few things like I've seen, I've seen, I have seen few things is touchy is they are touchy and they're like that in October.
I mean, you know, there might be a lot more Ebix that you have plays at because they're not as pressured, but they are still on edge. They are still just as sketched out CGY. I mean, it's it's it's the same show you those animals when they want to get up and go and run to the top of the mountain for no reason. They do it. They hear a rock fall, they hear a backpack slide, for instance, for instance.
They don't like it.
They don't like it. It's really incredible. And then they have that. They have that mountain goat thing to wear. You know, a white tail hides like a white tail hide kind of where they can see. But they're also comfortable hiding where they can't see much. But nothing can see them at times, you know, but these things have a real knack for picking some spots to hang out.
Yeah, they picked it. Makes it. I have a cliff behind me. That's vertical. So if you're on top of it, you can't look down and you're not going to look down and see me down here and then I see everything in front of me.
Yeah. And if you're on the bottom, you know, chances are you're going to be so high up there, you can't even look up and see them. Yeah, they're good at, like, picking their spots.
Yeah. There's for that archery hunt. There was a lot of times where I was underneath cliffs on Billies, you know, and you're looking straight up like I could hear them up there and their overhang and the cliffs coming over you and there's just no way you're able to get a shot.
We had times of crawling up, like a lot of times you spent a lot of time going up toward a ridge or saddle or something that's going to give you a view, a new country. And one day we had a few times when you'd get to the crest and you're like you're prepared for the fact that you're going to be looking at some new ground.
And it's intense sun, so you got a lot of shadows, there's a lot of brush and you be like, here's the perfect place to pop up. I'm going to crawl up under this juniper and use the juniper is shade cover and there's a rock and I'm going to like belly slide in and do everything perfect and I'm going to slowly raise my binoculars. And you do that and you meet eye to eye.
Some ibex is 400 yards away, like, very aware that you're there.
Yeah. Yeah. You know, we were talking about it.
I feel, you know, those IBEX, they're they're so smart and they're so cagey that I feel like they they bear or reside in areas where they know they can see danger, whether that's from prior history or interactions or that's just the natural wiliness ability of these ibex to position themselves in areas where they can feel vulnerable. And that's exactly it. Every time we came into a saddle where we thought we were going to have a great opportunity, I bet, for looking at us, I mean, they had us pinned down.
You know, it's funny, too, is we found we found a dead read the remains like a portion of dead. It we found two horns.
Yep. The skull was gone, but we found two horns under a cliff. And what we count, like there wasn't that big, but we counted seven growth rings, seven growth rings, you start hunting IBEX season start in October, they run into March. He's been alive seven years. That is that's a lot of data to pull from for that animal. He probably lays there. He's like, you know what? When I'm here, I always watch that spot because that's where some asshole always climbs over, like they probably get a very detailed sense of like where right.
Like how things move.
Yeah, I think because that mountain has what the. Yeah, what the.
Because it's it's very there's not many ways to get around. Right.
It's either cliffs or finding these little trails and cuts to get to saddles, you know, find those little grooves in between the cliffs to make your way. And I think those animals know that. I think they know most prêt most predators or or others.
Other species aren't going to be on the cliffs, so where are you going to be looking off the cliffs. These little it's like most places, not a lot of the places up there. That you can access on foot, there's one way to get there and one way to leave, there's not there's not like through there probably are somewhere, but it's not like a place. There's a lot of like through hunting. It's like you got to kind of go up and finagle your way through.
And then when you go to leave, it be like the only way you're going to leave is to do exactly that.
Yeah. I mean, it doesn't make sense to to try to find an alternate way out. Right.
You want to a bunch of places. Yeah.
That mountain is so dangerous, especially when you're burning light. You want to be able to get off that mountain safely. And if you're trying to bushwhack and find a potential way to get off that mountain that you haven't previously taken, there's a good chance that you're going to get Clift out here and get put in a tough spot and you're going to run out of light and you're going to have to make the choice of either hunkering down, continuing your path, are going back the way you came, which, you know, is a safe route.
And that's always something to factor in when you're up on that mountain. Right. I mean, there are numerous times where we probably could have kept going. We probably could have threaded the needle and pushed it to pushed it to nighttime and walked off that mountain on the dark, in the dark. But even even at that at night, everything looks different. Even if you have your track going up that mountain, everything looks different.
And so it's a it's safe to say you want to get off that mountain with ample light to be safe about it, because the last thing you want to be doing is getting stuck in a spot where you have to make the decision, am I going to stay here? Am I going to walk back the way I came? Because it's going to be a lot farther. You're going to be doing it at night or do I do I push forward and hope that this path I took leads leads to an exit?
So I looked at the harvest data that's available through New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and. There were according to that, there were no ibex harvested outside of the is on the statewide over the counter tag last license here and there were two Baily's harvested the license here before that.
So it's not a rich hunting opportunity. Right. So like Jeremy saying, if you find some off range, you know that that's not something that happens all the time. Don't tell anyone to get on it.
That's right. That would be, to me, one of the cooler things to do, man, if you could find one and get it.
Yeah. Like that. Oh yeah. That's bad.
As him live here with the crystal ball question, then we're Kevin Murphy about rabbits. Take mountain goats, regretable mountain goats for a minute. Here's a native animal native to the continent, right? So mountain goats are native to coastal Alaska.
Some of the interior ranges in south central Alaska all down through B.C., OK, native to portions of Washington. Portions of Oregon, native to western Montana, there's some other areas that are debated native to the eye. They were historic populations in the Idaho panhandle. OK, so like it's the least from the continent. Over time, motivated by the same factors as they did to introduce Cybex to increase hunting opportunity. They put mountain goats. A neighboring mountain ranges like sometimes really that meaning that put them for whatever you can understand why like why are they in this mountain range but not this mountain range and people just help mount by.
Bumping him over a mountain range. OK, and and now in Grand Teton National Park Olympic National Park, they're taking steps to bring in. Using public hunters, using government sharpshooters, all kinds of things, they're bringing in efforts to eradicate mountain goats. Off of some of these mountain ranges where they weren't historically, even though they were 100 hundred miles off in some other direction. That makes it seem like in my mind that, like things don't bode well for the IBEX because you can't even make that argument for him.
They're from another continent, man. Yeah, look, I feel like it's more some people are like your buddy Carl Malcolm love him to death. He's like, oh, we need more voices in the room, more stakeholder. You know, those people are not going to be too sympathetic to the Ebix. They're not going to be like, well, you know, those guys like the honeymoon, let's keep them around. It's just not going to be what their view is on it.
You could picture in a year or two, in a decade or two, someone saying they got to go. I mean, I'm sure it's happening right now, but are they where are they hurting deser bighorns Blackhorn. Habitate. So they're yeah, there are bighorns in the flurried is not in the Floridas.
And I'll be the first to say that I am stepping out of my zone right now.
And so the conflict would be native bighorn sheep habitat similar. And correct me if I'm wrong to go to the mountain goat, right?
Yeah, that was native Grand Teton. So an Olympic national park. I think it's like a vegetation they're using. It's a vegetation issue in Grand Teton. It is Rocky Mountain Bighorn conflict. But one might look and feel that those are proxy arguments.
And it's more of an argument about the the kind of audacity of moving non-native species in and then you that is offensive to someone. And they'll look and be like, well, what's the big deal?
And then you go like, oh, wow, this.
Yeah. I mean, and it's like a proxy fight. My my personal thought is, is, you know, back in the 70s when they were having that that discussion, there was the you know, that was the time to to really, you know. Have to talk about is this. The right thing to do or should we be focusing our resources and attention into reintroducing native. Native fauna to the landscape, right, so let's get bighorn sheep back in there, but that wasn't the case we got we got to deal with what we got to deal with now.
Right. And the fact is, is that Persian Ebix are on that mountain. And according to from what I know from our, you know, biologists and listening to the department is the IBEX and the bighorn sheep. There are no there's there aren't any potential issues there as far as, you know, disease transmission. As far as complicating reintroduction efforts of bighorn sheep, there's been considerable efforts to reintroduce desert bighorn sheep in some of the surrounding mountain ranges, and they've been very successful.
And in doing so, the Game and Fish Agency has has and the public as well have have warmed up and accepted the IBEX Persay to call that mountain range home. I personally like IBEX.
I personally like the opportunity to go chase IBEX now if you put me in the room.
Back in the 70s, I would have advocated for bighorn sheep to be on that mountain and they were there. They were they were there before, I don't know, pre 70s.
I think like most everything here, Desert Bighorn. Well, you would think yeah.
I mean, I would say that's probably a safe assumption, but I don't know entirely if the Florida mountain range was was home to to desert because sheep when we we were having a very similar conversation about Neal Guy and I live in South Texas.
And I use someone's quote where someone described them as being an honorary native, and boy, did I get a lot of feedback from biologists about calling them an honorary native, including me.
Yeah, you're. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's enough of that.
One of my favorite stories about about you, because I said whatever I said about using that term honorary native and then somebody said, like, basically, you're an asshole. Steve Rinella would never want to hang out with you.
Oh, yeah, I guess.
I guess before we move on, we want to the last thing I would say about hunting Ebix is, you know, next to making sure you're careful and getting up that mountain safely and back down safely is it's frustrating, trying to say the least. Ebix hunting is frustrating. And the reason I say that is you you bust your tail every day. You're climbing a thousand, you know, plus vertical feet.
Damn near, straight up. Hands, feet are always usually on a rock, if not on a rock or getting poked by a cactus, and it is just a difficult mountain to hunt.
And so when you have an opportunity to lay your crosshairs on an IBEX, draw your bow back and see that 100 yard pin on an IBEX, you have to you have to factor in other factors that usually don't in other hunts.
Right. And the biggest one is, am I going to be able to recover that animal? You know, these animals are standing on cliffs. They're in sketchy places. And, you know, it's it happens more times than not where hunters see that opportunity as, oh, here's an animal, I can harvest it. And they take that shot only to find out that they cannot recover that animal.
Yeah, we had opportunity. You know, it was like. Yeah. Yeah, we had situations where we were looking at animals that one could have shot at for sure, and being like you just not going to get to despite Dartmouth guaranteeing I can get there, that you would get there with a rope in a harness guarantee of it.
I personally, I like not to see you looking at Garrett like I know. Yeah, but that's unless you got a helicopter, you're putting the helicopter in the mix. I don't buy it. I want to watch it from here.
Is he and Jeremy, you were pointing out spots in the mountain where there are still ropes hanging. Yeah, cliffs.
Absolutely. So, you know, folks like I mentioned hit Ebix. They go die in these precarious areas on the top of a cliff. And hunters will actually hire rock climbers, you know, to go up there and climb up to the top and rappel. They're there, go down for them. And, you know, sometimes they bring their ropes down, sometimes they don't. And so it's not uncommon to as your glass in these, you know, nasty cliffs see these ropes tethered and just hanging down to the bottom.
You just know someone scaled up there to the lower and ibex down.
Yeah. Rick Smith read an article about some guy that killed a Billy eight hundred thirty yards and then hired climbers to go find it for him.
That's the problem, right. Is like that's like I'm just not going to get right. Not interested in the work. Yeah.
And that's like that's a hard conversation to have, right. When you're when you're GLASSINE and Ebix and it's well within shouting distance. And you say. I don't think you should take that shot. I don't I don't think we can recover that animal. And that's that's a hard concept to grasp. And you just busted your tail to get up to that that saddle to have that opportunity. Just come to find out that, sure, you can shoot that animal and it's going to fall 200 feet to the bottom.
Is that even worth it? I mean, that animal's going to be so beat up, there's not even any meat to recover. Yeah, the one we got fell, we think, 40 feet. Yeah. If that is scrambled, it's got real good, but the meat unscathed. But I mean, it's like stomach contents where it was pretty beat like like its innards had been homogenize. You couldn't tell, you know, it was just everything was going on.
Everything was everything.
It was inside its innards and that and you know that that Billy that Billy fell. Like you said, maybe 30 feet landed in vegetation, which was fortunate, you know, and that landed right in New York, right on the back, a little bit of a cushion and worked out perfectly. You know, we saw right where it went in. We and to the point where I'm saying is, you know, making sure you can recover. And Ebix, as we were looking at that.
But, you know, where is that? When when you take that shot, where's the likelihood of that?
And we're going to go and we were certain that if he took that shot, we are going to be able to recover that animal. The two.
Yeah, two instances where like two, just to give people an idea or Tombo, there's one instance where there was a shoot that we could pretty much picture getting to the shoot and it was in the shoot. But if you follow the shoot up, it was like, man, you probably could pick your way up that shoot.
But there's a big Raiders of the Lost Ark, older than it at some point in time, fallen off the mountain, ran down the shooting and got wedged.
In the shoot, by Means Borzi, 12, Fihi. Crammed in there. And I was like, man, you could if you can, and it seems like you came on that sure. Get up the chute. You sure as shit not get past that boulder. Whether it would dirt guarantee or guarantee we work with a like with a harness in his harness in the saddle, he guaranteed he would be able to retrieve it. And the more we looked at that from more angles, I was really wish we could have taken him up on his bet.
The other one we're looking at as we're looking at IBEX, and you couldn't really picture where it would quit falling, but you like how far it go, but it would wind up in a chute. And I was like, oh, shit, you can definitely go up that chute. But then I raised myself up to follow the chute down more and realize that the chute just ends at a cliff. But had I not done that in my head, I was like the easiest thing in the world and there's no way to come in from the sides into that shoot, I shouldn't say no way.
But you weren't. And then it was far enough away that once you shot and it fell from its cliff, it was going to vanish into the brush. And so you'd have to finagle your way over there, which should have been the hours long job. And then be like, I don't know, it's somewhere in the 500 yard expanse from that cliff down to here in this brushy absolute.
You're not going a blood trail at. Frustrated, you might find, like Toff's, a hair stuck on stuff here and you know how to endure the size of a Labrador. Yeah, I mean. So small that when we went to we wanted, you know, like when you retrieve a body, a carcass, you want to move it somewhere nice to gut it. I grabbed his back foot in my hand and then bent it up and grabbed its horn in the same hand and lifted it up and carried it down and set it where I was.
Yeah, it was it was it was like just passing passing the billy down to our to our spot where we can carry like a suitcase.
I mean, and even packing it out was was pretty interesting. You know, if if there's if there's an animal to pack out hole and leave it fully intact, it'd be an ibex. Yeah.
We put the whole thing, the whole thing fit in my backpack and it just all came back like not a large game bag that you would fit in our quarter in a small bag like a game or a quarter game bag.
We slid a hole Ebix into it, took the Herve's up to the head and just kind of hunted man. Yeah, it was fun. It was it was brutal.
And add there, Mike. No, Mike was my glass and buddy. Meanwhile, we were down at the bottom pouring the coals to it. Yeah, which which is important, right?
Like to say it again or to add to the the the the whole experience.
It's like having a team and having people that can. Have eyes on the mountain for you and say, you know, Ebix or Ebix are still there as you're hiking up and down these hills and through these crooks and crannies, it's it it helps in it.
It's really beneficial to have someone with Samisen on the mountain.
Oh, just to have people I mean, just even in the morning, just to try to find some. Yeah.
I had heard from a guy that was saying in the earlier season there was a lot of people not finding any at all, which I could very easily picture. So we got fortunate. All right, Kevin Murphy, you ready? I'm ready, I'm ready when we were this is this is called the saga of Kevin Murphy, the saga of Captain Murphy's Beagle's when we were.
Uncorks is June and Jeremy Micra there? I was kind of flabbergasted by the number of rabbits running around. And we talked a bunch about why don't people have Biegel Beal's? Out in the desert and how many rabbits you'd kill with your beagles? Because all over the place. And I started getting Kevin interested in how he ought to come out and bring his high test rabbit, high test beagles out here and run rabbits. How'd that go, Kevin? Well, it was an experience, you know, when you asked me about that as well, I don't know for sure.
I said we did take a trip two years ago down to North Carolina to hunt some marsh rabbits with two of my friends that are beagle manias. That's what they live for, is getting on chat groups, talking about rabbit hunting. And we packed up and went to what's your guys favorite chat group in the community.
Now, I don't stay connected like that, so I don't know. I'll find out for you. Oh, they're so cute. I don't know.
But we loaded up, went to North Carolina and sandy soil, but moist down there. And so we would get after some rabbits. And I was running like for my dogs and they had probably four.
So I had 12 beagles out there trying to run some rabbits and we ended up killing just a few. And then, like in the third day, I was sitting around the couch just like we are now talking. And they said, where else is? You know, we read a lot about this, that dogs come coming from up north and going down there to run. Had lots of issues and lots of problems run in the rabbits.
You know, typically you jump a rabbit up and it's going to if you just post up there, be quiet, look at the landscape and the terrain.
He's going to make a circle around a huge circle.
Yes, some some. I mean, when I was with you on swamp rabbits, I mean, they'd go so far you couldn't hear the damn dogs anymore.
Now, Swamp will go further than a regular cottontail, but sometimes initially they will go out and they'll come back in just one time and then the next time they go out of the country. I mean, out of here, out of here, and then when they start coming back and I didn't learn this to I got a garment astro, they'll start they won't make us just a continuous circle. It's a spiral. Little short circles in there.
And you remember when we're down on the bend, honey, I was looking at my GPS and the dogs just running and running and running, but never running back to us. And I told you, we're going to have to go after that one. I don't know if you remember that, not because I said this is what he's doing.
And I had learned that, honey. And before that, they start making these small spiral circles and you just have to go in there and try to figure out. Now, when we hunt rabbits snowshoe hare on Drummond Island to kill one snowshoe hare, usually the dogs have to run four to six miles.
So that's like. It's it's not that the dogs are running the rabbit in a circle intentionally. It's like the rabbit is going in a circle. He doesn't want to leave his familiar territory. Yes, that's what I think.
So when we go to Drummond to hunt up there, look at the GPS and figure out how well this rabbit has crossed like three times because a snowshoe, he'll run in the shade in the dark.
And I didn't realize it the first time I hunted those was up around Benedikte, Maine. And we get out there in that fir forest and try to look for him and like and I can't you know, you just got to get right on top of him. So you're shooting line is reduced, very small.
I didn't really know what I was doing up there.
We hired a guide and we ended up killing seven or eight. A little bit different condition than the drum. And you said you've been on the run before. It's a glacier.
Yeah, we used to hunt snowshoe hares. They're just still hunting them, which meant you could spend a lot of time, that you could spend a lot of time on great sign and not kill shit.
But you look at your GPS and you say, well, this this hair is come through this little trail out here like three times, maybe four. I'm going to go down there and get set up and maybe just have a 15, 20 yard shot. No further than that is a long ways when you're in that forest like that.
And then all of a sudden he crosses 50 yards down there. He heard you or saw you. You weren't you weren't still enough. But, you know, you can completely run a dog down if you're not careful. I know the second morning that we were there, I've got a faster dog, Lucy, the little track color blue.
Take Beagle. She's getting some age on her now. So I turned her loose that that morning. And we had the best races of the day, but not one o'clock. She had shut down and we carried her out in the back of our game bag that afternoon. Completely recovered. But that's tuckered her out.
Yeah, she was just she just ran and that's what a beagle to do. They you just run and run and run to. They got nothing left in them.
So we we came up here, you know, we had the discussion finances.
I don't know how my dogs are going to do in this dry desert terrain. And I said I'm a little bit concerned about. But can you back up a minute?
What do you think? Like the give me the North Carolina example. What do you think the problem was for the Beagle?
You know, I don't know. I don't know if it's the sole down there that Sandy saw because it was damp.
You know, we're hunting these marsh rabbits, which were very similar to the swamp rabbit, but a little bit smaller, not near as big.
They would leave their side latrine stumps and logs. So we saw that sign in there.
But I do not know what the trouble was down there. I don't know why the beagles.
But they had remarked that people.
Yes, from the the rabbit dog chat groups remark that they had taken their dogs down there in they had trouble running the rabbits in that moist sandy.
But are there dudes down in North Carolina? They have beagles that do good. I'm sure there is. You know, I went black bear hunting down there one year with with a bear guys, and their dogs could just pound those bears. But I mean, they all live down there and they were acclimated to that's what they were used to hunting.
Yes. So, you know, in it sometimes it is hard to to pack a dog up in like we did. We drove two days, 100 miles to get here and then open up the dog box and say, go run my rabbit.
You know, even myself, after four or five days, I feel better. I see more out there. I learn more, you know what these rabbits are doing. And it just takes a while. Maybe if I spent two or three weeks here or whatever, maybe they could pick it up. I don't know. It is so dry. I mean, this this air here is like some kind of ozone generator. I mean, I cannot believe just smelling fresh, you know, the rabbits have no smell to them.
It's just a different landscape and, you know, atmosphere.
What is the if you're going to lay out the best ground conditions for a beagle to smell a rabbit, it would be what? Snow grass? I want a melting snow, melting snow from my days of running. Bobcat's with dogs, not a falling snow or frozen snow, but a melting snow. It seems that is the ideal conditions sticky for. Oh, yes, yeah, yeah. That is releasing something or whatever.
But they can really run on a melted snow. Or damp and wet, not to to to wear, but, you know, a lot of us dog people there, when you let the dogs out in the morning, they go over there and take a crap and you smell that. It's like right in your face tight.
It's going to be a good morning to hunt. I don't know if that Santa is just laying, you know, low on the ground and not not rising up, but.
So you're saying if your dog goes out and takes a growler in the yard and you could smell it real good, it's just like it smells right in your face.
Yes. That's you know, it's a good hunting down day. Yes. Huh. Because the smell is going to be sticking around. That's the only thing that, you know, adds up for me. Yeah. So that's that's an astute observation.
Like, I you know, I will be 62 in September.
So I have been following dogs probably since I was, you know, seven, eight years out and trying to put, you know, what I see together. Sometimes I'm right. Sometimes I'm wrong, but just smells like crap.
It's going to be a good day.
You know, when the winds from the south bulls the you got to make up one of those things, man.
I'll be working on that. I'll be working on that.
So here, it's like very definitely not melting snow.
It's dry, dry gravel and along with a lot of a lot of rabbits, lots of rabbit and just tremendous amount of rabbit sign.
You know, everywhere you look, you see a because nothing decomposes here, man.
Right. Right. It's like you're looking at 300 year old rabbits shit. Like what would happen to it is like you lay it out on the ground, zero moisture laying on gravel.
It's like every rabbit turd that's ever hit the ground here is still laying here.
And probably like, I don't know, I'm not going to argue with. Yeah, I noticed. Just think of that ungodly amount. I don't think anything happens to it dissolve like that.
But some of that rabbit shit we're looking at could have been two years old. We need I wish you could radiocarbon date and it wasn't as expensive. We could find a hole, but it does. Reasons that wouldn't work with something like that would be interesting. I think that you're looking at you're looking at a great history of rabbit droppings. You know, a rabbit is a critter. I forget the the scientific term for that could eat its own waste.
And you'll see that sometimes.
Oh, it's apophatic. OK, Urgo might rule Khafaja, you know, where he's in the wildlife business or something like that. Is that what he's saying? Oh, no.
I mean, you could picture on his picture Kapper. Fadge, you eat poop.
Yeah, but they poop.
You know, you say some that are really green and then you see some back home this way because, you know, you see some really green and then some that are very light color in just the same way. That is one he's probably eat because everything brought back out. You know, we've got fifty inches of rain per year. I looked up here and I said eleven.
And then yellow said, that's kind of high. You know where my Fish Shack is?
Probably you're up there like sixty one hundred and sixty nine.
Oh yes, 13 feet of rain, I'm sure.
We have no place for a clothesline now. It's like fifteen years worth here.
So I'm saying this rabbit peels droppings out there, you know, just everywhere you look in some places and.
Jeremy gamae week we arrived here in on Sunday afternoon, we went honey shared three Onex points with me. He says this would be a good location here, here, in here.
So we hit it out with one and we jumped a bunch of rabbits. And there we had the dogs. They were getting the mesquite thorns in them and they may have like a little mesquite branch, you know, three or four inches long. You know, it's sticking out on both sides of the aisle and they keep hobbling with it. You know, I've got a bird dog. It was raised out west and she gets a thorn in her. She just stops and pulls it out.
You know, we had the discussion and I was saying, I don't know how my fingers are going to do around all these cactus and thorns. And then you said, well, people bird hunt with her dogs here all the time. I got to thinking, well, he's right about that. But I took the beagles out here and, you know, we spent they didn't get as many as what I thought they would get.
But when they got one, they never you had to actually pick them up, you know, and pull it out.
And sometimes it would just be a single thorn. And then sometimes it would be like a part of a branch that hadn't learned they had they wouldn't even look it tried. They just kept on, you know, hobbling and trudging through that.
So we went that afternoon, they would get after a rabbit and in the grassy part or there's some vegetation, they could smell it good. And they jump some and they run them to they got to the sand and a gravel.
And after that, they just could not smell them enough and you'd go and put their nose in where it was. We saw one awesome jump up one and take and go down the chute there. And I called them. I give them my rabbit cowwarr. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You know, and they all come running over there and put them in is like nothing, not even a tail wag or anything. They just could not smell it.
A buddy of mine who's a Housman who's a lion hunter. I brought this up to him ahead of time. I'm sure you talked to plenty of people to put. Absorbed in what we were fixing to do, because he used to be a big man, too, but he's now a lion, Housman, he hunts Bobcat's lions. And. He he. He didn't know, but he was more thinking about the acclimation. He wasn't like that it would work or wouldn't work.
It was just that. What are they accustomed to? And when he pointed out was.
If you have lying hounds in the north. And you run lines in the snow. OK? And then he's seen where those dogs have gone down to try to hunt. Dry conditions, and they just can't do it. But meanwhile, you have the exact same dogs, like exact same breeds and lines. Not lions, but the same breeding lines of dogs that are reared in those conditions and they excel in them. And so he thinks it's just a matter of it's not that it can't be done, it's just a matter of his skill set is is not adapted to this and that over time they would start to piece it together.
But you're just asking too much of them.
I agree with you on that. It's just like in my country when people come in, they may come from the eastern end of the states in order to go swamp rabbit any. So take them down into the river bottoms in there. A lot of little swamps and and water ditches and the hill dogs that come out of eastern Kentucky are not used to running in water in swamp rabbit. He put enough pressure on them. They'll hit the water, swim across.
And it's the neatest thing in the world to see a swamp rabbit swimming because they make no weich. They've got these little bitty you know, their fate. They're just barely paddling right there in. They see this rabbit and it's like he's just gliding out across the water. But they'll bring their dogs down that are not accustomed water and they'll trail a swamp rabbit to the edge of the water. And maybe they wait out just a little bit and then they won't go swimming, you know, after those those swamp rabbits.
And that a lot of times it's warmer. We just go out 10, 20 feet, ten yards or so and just squat down in the water and just just stay there sometimes just with her head, just barely, barely submerged have I have not seen one. But they will go underwater, too. I have talked to people that have seen them do that like a Rambo rabbit go underwater.
And so I've got a friend of mine. His dad saw one do that one time, but I have seen him on three or four occasions, swam through swamps across the Clarks River and some little bitty waterholes just go in there. And it's the neatest thing in the world to see that.
But I see people bring their dogs down that are not accustomed to the water and they won't follow a swamp rabbit through through the swamps in or across the river to the other side, which my dogs are got Lucy out there. And when she was a puppy, I just would give her out there to follow me around and get her swimming into the ponds, get him accustomed to water as soon as I can. So they're not afraid to go out swimming to no degree.
I tell everybody she's half river otter because I've got a real neat picture where Raymond and Jason, you met Jason and you met Jody.
We all bolted in to the KUOW.
I think it's about three or four years ago, the river was coming up in. Raymond hunted that ever since he was a kid. He says Murphy, I'm pretty sure it's going to probably push a bunch of rabbits up into this. Hield And it's all flat river bottom line anyway so we can boat in about four or five hundred yards and go in there and hunt that big area.
It's to be a couple of hundred acres and it's not flooded out of about a I think it's about 5000 acres down.
Okay, so you're concentrating all those rabbits onto that one. Yeah, that one patch. So we went down there and we killed eight swamp rabbits. That on that hunt and after it was all over 40 pounds, was already pretty much after that hunt, Ramesses, I thought we might kill one or two, you know, down here in that city, concentrated, pushed them all up there. And we had a really good hunt.
Couple of them hit the water us and got away. Didn't get those. And we're going down through there.
And all of a sudden we see this blue kayak coming out across water. And Raymond looks at me and says, who in the hell is down here in a blue kite? Must be some bird or something. Well, they say yes. And they start started paddling.
Well, it's Raymond's brother, Mike, and he is down there deer hunting because he knows that, like I said, they wanted this place since they were kids.
Like you were going to be up there. Yeah, he's going to be the deer up there.
So we're all sitting sitting around through there looking. And all of a sudden Mike says there's something swimming way out there. He says it's a swamp rabbit. So Raymond wheels around there and shoots. And he's only won that war chest waders that they luckily he did that because my boat wouldn't start that morning. So, Chaser, beware of U.S boats.
Well, you could tear it up. He's going to out with a brand new boat on that big plane.
OK, so so Raymond shoots this. I mean, he's way out like 50 yards or so. So he goes out and picks up and I take a picture of him. He's got an orange head on. It's just a little bitty spange is all. It is a Rimon out there. So he comes into the to the bank with this the swamp rabbit.
So he got his brother there and the blue kayak got Jason in the jodis all down there.
So we got the whole gang out out killing swamp rabbits that morning. And I can remember when I was working at the power plant and there was a boy from LBA before they flooded it. And he said when we was kids, the crops wouldn't be in.
And that's the Cumberland River running through system. The grownups would be talking about the rivers getting ready to get up and we don't have our crops out. He says all us kids was thinking about, man, the river gets up and the swamp rabbits are getting in there. We're going to take a tobacco stake in there and go on or Wiliam. So, you know, they were all excited that he's going to flood because they could get to go hunting.
But, you know, the adults were concerned, you know, just like adults should be. You know, they were going to lose their corn crop.
But all the kids were ready to go, honey, because it pushes that game.
So we're with these boys, these these tribal, you know, Amerindians in one of these areas in South America and. They were telling us death, that's when they hunt. Is when everything flooded and they just go island hopping. Because the deer and these big you know, they hunt these nocturnal rodents down there like hell, they call those things. Like, there's the well, there's they call it a Poca. But Gasconade Naadam name an agouti, you know, it's different than agouti.
Either way, Carrathool was very good eat. We had a bunch of tastes. It's like it's like very pork, like anyways, then they come when it floods. And that's in their mind when to go hunting because it's so easy. You just go check all the little islands and everything that everything that needs to be there is all in the same place. And they talked about sometimes you can go up and just club stuff. That's what they would say, it's Solstar.
Yeah, they don't just with a stick. One of my friends, he saw well, you know, that morning that we went to a swamp right behind a boat, there was three quail sitting on a log in the backwater. No kid.
So and then a friend of mine, he was out checking on his duck yesterday. He sent me a picture of a swamp rabbit up on them on a log.
I think I shall show that two people can go water. Yeah.
And that was just yesterday. Our river system is coming up to a foot today. So it's on a really big rise. And that's, you know, the river down to where Leon lives. You know, it's about two miles wide down there now. Yeah. So that's a tremendous amount of water that I live around.
I know these guys that lived in the area in Elberta where it was legal. You could hunt beavers like an army camp. You can hunt beavers for the markets. And they would in the spring floods everything. The water gets so high that all the bank dens and lodges would flood and they'd go out in a johnboat with a twenty two.
And he was telling me one time, I can't remember. I remember he said something they wanted two days because like 99 beavers or something like that with a 22. All because they were everything was flooded out of his house. That's a tremendous amount of skin in there if you kill that man two days, pure misery, man, pure misery. Let me ask you this, though, Kevin. Do you do you regret coming out of New Mexico with your dogs?
Oh, now now it's been a pleasure.
I met Mike and Jeremy, you two new guys, Seth and Chester, and see you again. Now, you know, we met the first time, I think, in 2012 in St. Louis. So here we are.
We're at this. I was signing something another year at the NRA convention. Yeah. You know, and I come up to you and start talking to you. So maybe you need to get some kids into small game, honey, because I can go right out the back door with them.
That's not what that's not what attracted me to you. What attracted me to you. And, you know, doing that, you talk in all kinds of people. And after a while, it's hard to keep track. But the reason you and I, that's not the reason we became friends, but the reason I began to correspond is you were the first person in my life.
To ever come up to me and start making a guess about whether the squirrel hunting would be good this year, and you were looking forward to the squirrel season because you felt that the masked crop was looking pretty strong in your area. And in all my years, I've never had someone come up. And predict to me. And try to like make a guess to me about what the squirrel season would look like based on mascara, and I said, that's a special man.
It's all about food with rodents, not people all day long. A lot of good antler growth, which is fine. That's great. But I've never had someone come up and be like, there's a very strong mass crop and I think it's going to be an exceptional Squirtle year. And I said, I want to be friends with that person. Where we are, we've all got a lot of states now, man, yes. Kevin Murphy. You know, I mean, an American treasure, I've just got to get that joint technique down, right.
Kevin, if you spent enough time here with your dogs, do you think your dogs would would adapt to the landscape and. Second, if he took them back to your home, do you think they would perform better? Oh, well, that's a good question. I like that. That's a great question.
Would they be like, shit, Kentucky, if I can run a brand in New Mexico or backwards?
You know, we left out let's see, last Saturday we could go Saturday it was got up as a minus four degrees. Windshield and I had two friends down and was going to go squirrel hunting and we had, I think 14 days below 30 degrees. It was a cold spell for us. I think it was like the fourth longest on record from so-and-so there.
But it was the sun was warming up and the. I felt the squirrels would come out, saw my friends just wait till about dinnertime, so we went out and we we killed some squirrels.
I think, you know, if I stayed down here for a month or so and figured it out, I think my dogs would get better.
I feel if I raised a generation of dogs out of those same dogs, they would have no trouble down here with some Teflon booties. Yeah, they'd get toughen up with that.
But, you know, my dogs are used to run in and muck and mire in leaf litter, not abrasive grit and gravel and used to all these sorts. You know, they'll go right through blackberry bushes, the brambles, no problems at all. You know, little short, but these low mesquite.
Yeah, I don't think so, but I think they would get better. I don't think they would be ever be great. But I think I could raise a litter of pups down here. Now if I took those back home, I think they would be lost.
Oh look, because they're not used to the water unless I train that went to the rivers and got him accustomed to swimming. You should start started.
Kevin Murphy, Southwest Division. I mean, have it be that you have a division of you that lives here with rabid dogs.
I would love to hear from some local rabbit hunter beagle guy or somebody that frequents here.
I got on the Internet and looked around and tried to find rabbit hunting in New Mexico with dogs.
There was nothing.
That's why I was so intrigued by it. When you brought it up, I was like not only yes, but hell yes, because I've never heard anybody doing that before.
I got another I got another follow up question for you, Kevin. Based on what you now know with your Beagle's, what do you feel would happen? Would you be more or less enthusiastic about bringing out your squirrel dogs for about squirrels? Or would you be like, I've learned my lesson ain't going to happen?
Oh, I'm coming because I've got I've got a plan.
Children not even tell me about it.
Well, Aybar, sons of bitches. Here's the difference between what you said. They didn't buy it. Oh, yeah. Here's the difference. You think in my general plan, a road trip? Yeah, man. Get some real squirrel man out here.
A beagle is in the way you want to be. Nose knows pretty much 95 percent. That's what it uses. It's using. And that's where if you've got a good squirrel, dog is using its ears, its nose in its eyes. So if we go with those big Ponderosa pines, they're the squirrel dogs that I have will be able to see those. And so when they see them, they're going to be able to trim. They're not going to worry about them.
Jump into the next pine tree. Right. I mean, the landscape that I haven't seen it in person, but just look and they're going to be in that probably you'd feel you'd have more luck. Yes, yeah.
Yeah. I'm I'm I'm coming. You know, I'm going to do that, too.
I want to go so bad I and tell me let's do it. I did tell you about how many a squirrel I know you did not be like, oh, I'm planning a trip with cabin one for squirrels. He's planning a walleye trip jet. Well that's completely different.
Yeah, I was exposed to that. Oh. Anybody you know. But I was exposed the plan. He wasn't a sneaking off in the Bush has a plan to avert squirrel hunts nut.
We'll see how things shake out and we'll call you if you know there's room there as well. I think I think I'll be an amazing thing to try to do. I bet it would really work. I think I work a lot better than Bengal's in the flurried is there's going to be a lot less rocks, cactuses, pokey's.
Yeah. And in the audio, the audio visual. Is interesting. That's a good point. Oh, man. Kevin, thank you very much for coming out. Appreciate it. You're you're an inspiration to me as an adventuring spirit. You'd like to go do stuff, I like to go out and leave, I'm in the fourth quarter of my life and I want to see the world.
You know, I find it amazing. You know, I'm looking out and seeing things and I'm asking, like Jeremy said, what kind of plant is this here? What is this animal mound here? So, I mean, those small things intrigue me. I'm just not about going in. I'm going to kill this animal or this one. I want to see everything that's out there and try to figure it out and try to put it together.
Yeah, I just love the world.
How Mother Nature makes things all interact, the desert quail to see those things out there, you know, what's it going to take to make them. Thanks flagellate.
I mean, are they harmful? Roadrunner You know, I got into two bunches of them.
So you guys, you know, pushing those down and they were just like run and run and run. And and I saw Kirby the other day and I tried to get on top of them and I just saw them one time and I was gone in a little drain area over by the two water tanks. But yeah, yeah, I've enjoyed this very much.
And I was on a dirt there day yesterday and Dirt was saying if asked if I.
Was the kind of person that felt things will always just work out. And I explained the dirt that that No. I was saying, you need to wake up every day paranoid. And he said, but if you try, they'll always work out. And I said, Oh, absolutely, man, I think if you I think that we live in a land of tremendous opportunity. And I was like, if you apply yourself and try hard and focus.
Things will work out for you, but then I brought up that I was like, there's a thing that happens to people that doesn't get talked about is so many of the people I know that eventually fall into that not it's not working out for them. So often is they become pissed off and bitter. Like, no one talks about the at the no one talks about it. There's a real problem with becoming pissed off and bitter. Like it happens to people.
And then it's just downhill. And the thing I like about you is how optimistic you are. Look, you had to go in here, you got to go in and get a whole new damani and then get better and go get a whole nother knee. Yes, it can be fixed. And you're not even remotely irritated by this because it can be fixed.
You're like a part of life now. I mean, as human beings, we have the power to believe in something better that's out there and we have the power to go after it.
That separates us from the animal kingdom. Animal kingdom just does. It's just instinct. I've got to get some nuts buried up. But we have the power to look out there and say, hey, I can build this, I can do this, I can go over there. Aspirational. Yes. Yeah. I mean, we can we can imagine things that are not there.
You know, I feel like if my knee failed, I would I mean, I would battle it out, but I would have a problem with turning pissed off. It's just in my DNA. Arthritis runs into my family and it's just part of life.
I mean, I'll be 62 in September and it's just, you know, I've got a lot of wear and tear on that knee, playing sports, walking, being outside.
It's just I've used it and I can get it fixed, you know, I've got it on the the healing phase of the moon. So every card I can play, I'm going to play. I've got a really good doctor that cares about me. I put an 18 inch sewer line through his backyard, just the bottom.
You know, this is part of a project that we couldn't get even on some people through there. And they wanted me to go where I was going to have to take out some trees or something. So I said, I've got to go get an injection. So maybe I'm set my schedule, my knee surgery so I can maybe get to talk to him in the contract. He wanted me to talk to him because I had to get an easement from a former mayor that that I used to work for and they wanted me to go in there and talk to him.
So I got it.
And, you know, the worries about politics making deals sitting here, you saying what you need to say? I say what I mean. And we come to a conclusion there for good of me and you both and ah, everybody.
And that's the way we need to stay. But was going through there. And then one neighbor comes up to me and says, let me tell you something about.
Dr Patel. He's my doctor. I don't mind saying his name. I really love him. He says, you know, if you've got a doctor, you don't want a doctor. That's a big duck hunter or a farmer or wants to be an artist. You want a doctor that likes to make people. Well, he said that's what Dr Patel is.
So I just kind of kept my mouth shut and never not till he got the end, because I was all ears waiting to see what he had to say about Dr Patel. And then he said that that really made me charge up and say, hey, yeah, I made the right decision on the doctor. And like I said, a friend of mine, he's 81, had a heart valve replacement.
They were going to put in for stents any he picked out the right healin moonface for the heart and went in there and come out of the operation with a new heart valve in two stents in there. And I'll see him Monday night at the Elbow Sportsman Club meeting. And he's still guiding at 81. He's a fish guide like you might want on him.
You'd better be glad that he made Kentucky and not New Mexico because he would wear your ass out.
So, you know, we all have that power to wake up in the morning and go out and do something good, you know, in work or the you volunteer. If you go through your life.
I'm going to continue working at something I've just seen in the last couple of years. I thought when I retire, I'm going to retire and go hunting and fishing and stuff. Well, you can only do so much hunt and fish. And really the older you get, the less you get.
I mean, I see Jeremy out here. I saying, how much gas you got left? You tank. You said it's full.
It's always full. It's topped off.
So, you know, I can remember I said I can remember days like that, but I'm not like that anymore. I just want to go out and and do my thing and watch other people hunt. I don't have to kill something every single time that I go out. I don't have to get the limit if I can just get one. I'm completely satisfied.
That's all I have today. But yeah, it's good to keep a good, positive attitude and that's what I'm going to try to do to the end of my life. You know, it's just work. Be out in the dirt, outside out in nature and just leave damn straight.
I like it.
Kevin Murphy, thanks so much.
Kevin, thanks, everyone, for joining us. See you soon.