This is the Meat Eater podcast coming at you, shirtless, severely beaten, in my case, underwear, less than half 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, everybody, Yoni's there's a note from Yoni's in the notes, Janis's note, can we please introduce all guests at the beginning of the podcast?
This is Ben Yoni's four years, four years, all that man wants.
Johnny, I like to have this I don't introduce them because I like to create a suspense, because I think a lot of people just listen because they're like one of Brodies. They're. Right. OK. Well, I just want you to know that there's another man sort of sitting on my shoulders that's talking to my ear all the time, as you're not introducing the guess, you can probably guess who that is.
It's the same man who thinks you should not. He. Birthing tubs. With Suvi devices, correct, your father? Correct. Do you like in movies, do you like if you watch the movie, do you want to know right when the movie starts, what's going to happen? No. I can tell you who would, though, it would be my kids, we've recently started to introduce them to Star Wars and so we watched four or five, six over the last two weeks.
And they cannot take it if they they get that feeling of anticipation just a little teeny, teeny bit. They cannot stand it that they know something is about to happen and they don't know what it is when, you know, after we met.
You know, the after we met, I don't know if he talks about this, though, anyways, I was watching where the red fern grows. And then Old Yeller. With my kids and before we got into it. I told them, listen, these dogs, you know, the dog dies in the end, right? I just want you to know this up top. So I knew that would be upsetting to him. So watching the movie, they're just enthralled, they love those movies, they get to the end and I'm thinking, well, now that they're sucked into the plot.
They will. You stick it out now that they know because they're so engrossed in the story, but it gets up where you can kind of smell what's going to happen. The dog is going to die. And. They just they want to turn it off and walk out of the room. I thought for sure they would be like, wow, what the hell? It's tough it out, but now they're like, Oh really? He's going to die now.
OK, click. Done. I don't think they want to deal with the emotional trauma. I'll tell you right now, I'm right there with them. Now, when when when my kid senses something coming up on a movie he doesnt want to watch, he plugs his ears and runs out of the room because he doesn't want to want to hear it, see it.
Nothing is like, oh my God, Luke Skywalker is going to keep his arm in my mind. Mangy old yellow dog Keoni.
Introduce everybody then you know this one goes out. Yoni's dad.
Oh, jeez. All right, all that we have here, Browdy Henderson has going to pop up on years ago in Colorado, it's maybe 20 years ago, dude, it's 20.
I got news for you hailing from the great state of Pennsylvania, Browdy under some gals.
Good. All right. You know, dealing cards, I'm just going to pretend like John is right here on my right hand side. So I'm going to continue to deal cards there. Steven Rinella at the head of the table. Ryan Callahan, yellow, Corinne Snyder, you remember Snyder or I think she's a schnieder, I am a schnieder.
You like to fill a lovely podcast's engineer and then the esteemed author, John Mu alum, who we had on, I guess, three years ago or so to discuss his book, The Wild Ones. Yes, yes, yeah, nailed it. That was bad. We're going to discuss oh no, it's not tell which book we're going to discuss. You do like a little suspense a little bit.
It just Yoni's dad wants to know who's there.
He doesn't want to know why are we leaving out the mystery guest for now? Yeah, right.
Just to keep you on his dad at the agency, just keep him irritated.
So there is a little surprise for people coming later on.
I just got home last night from Mexico. We went down for spring break. We go every year. We go to yeah, I guess I could say every year. Now, for a lot of years we've done this.
We go down to escape. So Southern Baja Peninsula and fish and just sit on the beach and stuff. It was fun, but I almost got I'm almost not here reason I bring this up because you now right. You have to show that you haven't had covid.
To get on a plane and they got this big testing facility set up at the airport, bars like a big tent, results in 30 minutes. The tricky part is, you know, there's like false positives and stuff from the thing, so it's a little unnerving if you have a family of five where you feel like you're rolling the damn dice.
Yeah. And you and you've had it. Well, that's the trouble. So I had my my paperwork from the health department, the county health department, and I had my paper, all an official stamp on it, official signature on it.
And it said, like, what day, you know, whatever what day you had it and this and that. And it says you can resume normal activities. In my case, you can resume more normal activities January 15. But Delta, while normally a fan of. Won't accept it.
They said, oh, you need a letter saying that you're cleared for travel and I'm like, but it says right here I can resume normal activities on January 15th, nor can you find. Point to me a website that says that spells out that requirement that traveling isn't normal activity. I'm not putting this on you, Brody, I'm just mean, like no one could point. Yeah, so. It's Sunday. I can't get hold of it. You call it you call your doctor's office and it'll be like, you know, if it's an emergency call or whatever, if it's going to leave.
My whole family now has their tests, so I go down, I go to the 10. And you know, it's my fault I don't speak Spanish, I'm not I'm not blaming anybody, it's like I'm not blaming myself, but it's very hard to convey my concerns.
And I going to do the rapid test, and the thing is, once you've had it, like you can get these residual positives.
So I take the test and be like, I'm either going to be in Mexico for a couple of weeks, beach mom and fishing. Yeah.
Minus my family or. And thankfully, it came back negative and I was able to get out of that plane, so you were trying to say, like, listen, I need a test, but here's my unique situation. And they're like, you need a test or you don't need.
I was like, why do you think what? Like, what's your take on this situation? You know, can you, like, barely swab my nose, you know? And they are, man, they were just it was very binary. Oh, for sure.
But it's hilarious because you could suck out the language part, put you on any place in the planet in that situation.
And I guarantee that person's going to be like, bro, I'm not here to think about your situation.
I'm here to Swabia or not.
I want to know if it was the family upset or were they just ready to leave you there? Yeah, I don't know. It wasn't like that the kids were they get they get a little they get a little anxious about stuff like that.
Right. You know, be like, that's whenever we see each other again. They were getting a little anxious, especially the oldest one, he kind of he was track and what was he was track and what was going on. It was not like and what he is hearing is not quite old enough to be like, listen, I have a boarding routine and I just need to get into my routine.
You deal with you, Johnny. Remember how I was telling you about all about. This thing in Germany that I was that I don't really know what I was talking about, but I had heard I had heard that in Germany, you put your dog in a barrel with a raccoon and they duke it out.
You remember this? That's right. OK, well, a guy and I and I got around equating this to Naved, which is the North American versus the Hunting Dog Association, of which my friend Ronnie is you know, he's always been very involved there.
And the the president and member.
I just want to see if I can clear my name.
I remember feeling I remember being a little incredulous, a little skeptical of your statement.
Well, oh, I had heard this German thing a bunch for me. No, not from you.
I don't want to get into how I know about it, but I know about it and I know it's. Here's the list typically associated with Droutsas.
Go ahead. Yeah, and it's like, oh, no, that is it's one of those dogs, it's like a shade of a hair of a difference between a German short haired pointer Navidad. This is Ryan Callahan. You can come on after me for this statement because I'm going to do my apology.
And then you come with him. You got to back up about why you'd put your dog in a barrel with it.
Schoon in Japan, it's like the sharpness, like a barrel. Better a sharpness test here. I don't want to get into, like. I didn't make this, so I don't wake up one day and make up such a thing is I don't want to fight it. I believe it's something people would do to why would they do it? That's why I'm saying to treat it like that. He's got the disease that his blood got sharpness. Right. Sharpness, which is like a which is a which is a soft term for having a lot of girls.
Yeah. You Spirit, you want your coon dog run away from a raccoon.
It's just a way to test like that. That dog is. The high test fighter, yeah, OK, I did not wake up Ronnie, Ronnie had explained to us that historically when they haunted farms, game farms in Europe, they wanted their upland bird dogs if they came upon a vermin to kill it.
Well, he's coming on the show pretty soon. Can you remember that, Ron? You could talk about this whole thing because he's got me all the possums, raccoons, skunks, egg and things.
Feral cats. That's right. Anyhow, he wrote in, he's fired up, very friendly. David, Trayon, Traian, Trayon, president, president, North American Birdsell Hunting Dog Association wants us to know that this sort of thing.
He said that I made what sounded like a vague, factually incorrect reference to the sharpness test used in some German testing systems that are unrelated to Nevada.
And he is know where I'm getting this old barrels of the raccoon thing anyway, so he's like, you got that wrong.
And then you got the fact that this has something to do with Naved or wrong says it's neither condoned by Naved nor to the best of my knowledge, practiced by any of our members.
We're concerned that listeners who are unfamiliar with Naved, our goals and our mission might come away from that discussion thinking that is done at all or worse, thinking that it's common practice. And that would be truly unfortunate. And he goes on to say they have 85 chapters, ten thousand members, U.S. and Canada.
And although some aspects of our testing system are based loosely on those used in Germany, Naved does not evaluate dogs performance related to hunting mammals of any species.
Rather, we focus exclusively on upland and waterfowl hunting. And they are dedicated to treating all animals, including dogs, and gain with respect and dignity. So. Cleared that up. Remember remember that show, Happy Days? Yes, I do. Fonzie was not was he wasn't able to say wrong.
He'd be like I was who I was. Yeah.
I mean, I was wrong. Like I was wrong. Hey, you corrected it. But, you know, it's all good.
I was wrong. I should have still a little bit there. Enough is going my way. It's not a barrel. It's a sack. No, I was wrong. OK, I'll tell them about the mothballs. Oh, boy. OK, so apparently if you're an aquarium enthusiast, you buy these moss balls to drop in your aquarium tank. And this is something that's distributed through like all these national pet store chains. And it was found that there are some zebra mussels inside mothballs.
Zebra mussels proliferate at a high rate. They are bad for native ecosystems as a non-native species like like transform it, like what, zebra mussels in the Great Lakes if.
If you're worried about wolves in Colorado, you should be worried about zebra mussels in your neck of the woods, but there are Great Lakes, zebra mussels, sympathizers.
So here's one scenario. Here's one scenario with dirty water, with all due respect. OK, go ahead. There are yeah, but the Great Lakes, they're like an experimental aquarium anyway, it's like it's already almost there, but go ahead. I'm saying I'm I'm done. I'm going to talk about this rabbit Fevre deal with this little girl. That's it.
Mussels, they filter feed the zooplankton and phytoplankton. So in a system where we see maybe just dirty water, that can oftentimes be a shitload of food that all of our fish, including game fish, when they're at a very young age, they depend on that zooplankton phytoplankton to get large enough to where they can then start being more fun.
Fish catch if you're just worried about game species. Right.
What zebra mussels can do is they proliferate so heavily they can clean the system so much to where that water is crystal clear and you're like, oh my God, how pretty the lake is. Must be, must be good. Must be good. That's what I was taught.
But it can be very, very scarce on life. And then you can get in all this other stuff that like the sun, the sun's rays are penetrating way deeper in the water column than they used to be. And then other things that can proliferate and the oxygen can go way down in the lake and then everything dies.
Yeah, OK, you get aquatic get aquatic vegetation to places you never had before. Yes.
And then it's only suitable for what always lives, which is carp. Anyway. Your aquarium mothballs, moss balls, OK, old mothballs don't, I would think.
Don't just pitch them out in the yard. I was calling them zebra balls on the podcast.
I thought that was cute. Don't pick them out in the yard or just throw them away if you have purchased some of these things.
I'm sure this is a brand name. Is there?
I didn't see a brand name, but these are apparently like ubiquitous among, you know, national pet store chains and things like that.
So take them throw them all in the freezer for a good 24 hours. Or like most people do, they'll just forget about them for several months and then then buy the next time you come across them. Then you're cool to throw them away or, you know, you can like selling and bleach and then throw them away.
But the worst thing you can do is like, don't flush them down the drain or throw them out in the storm drain or something like that.
One of the broadest Tomball zebra mussel sympathizers, I'll tell you who's not is industry in general because like filtration systems and stuff like that.
Yeah, they clog them up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, water, power plants, stuff like that.
Yeah, like I don't know what the actual number is, but it's like a billion dollars a year just managing things. Yeah.
Cleaning and cleaning them off. Yeah. So like Montana, you know, there's water, there's watercraft check stations all over the place in the summer months.
And one of the things they're looking for are zebra mussels inside the the bilge area of your watercraft. And then if you look at this stuff online, you'll always see like these kind of stereotypical pictures of zebra mussels being stuck all over old boat props in the bottoms of boats.
And, you know, and and then like in the Great Lakes especially, you get like on the Loch Systems just.
Yeah, I mean, somebody is making good money cleaning off zebra mussels.
So if you got mothballs, bleach, bleach, bleach your balls.
OK, this is for Easter little tularemia story for Easter. I got a listener wrote in. He says he's got a public service announcement, so he's apparently a tanker truck enthusiast.
That's how this starts, correct? Yes, he's a tanker truck enthusiast and wakes up and checks on Craigslist and sees that there's a kid selling a bunch of tanker trucks.
So him being a tonker enthusiast. It was funny. I we have a lot of tanker trucks, and I was a kid and I imagined my mother's attic being sort of. This repository of amazing vintage, perfect tanker trucks that must be up there, and I got my kids pretty excited for a trip to Grandma's went up, there is just not what I remembered.
Did she get rid of them or they just weren't as cool as you like by a bunch of tanker trucks?
I mean, there's one that's not a tanker truck. It's got three tires. Not sure what happened over the last 30 years. It's not the attic I imagined it being.
He's a tank enthusiast. So he goes to the guy, he goes by, he goes to this kid's house by the tanker trucks, makes his purchase. And the kid mentions like, hey, I also raise rabbits. So meet rabbits, guy raised meat, so he buys a meat rabbit. And the trucks and brings the rabbit and the trucks home. But the meat rabbit, he gets through a seven year old and the meat rabbit scratches, the seven year old barely drew blood.
Everyone goes about their business.
Now, imagine is now so we know where this is going, but but picture that he gets a rabbit, rabbit scratches a kid 20 days, goes by her lymph nodes swell up.
She gets a high fever. Go to the hospital in Oregon. They keep focusing on has she been scratched by a cat? Cat scratch fever, burnout about. Dedini. First time that I got so keep basketball cats, they give us some antibiotics, do nothin, lymph nodes grow to the size of an egg.
They do a surgery on the poor girl. They remove her tonsils, they remove her lymph nodes, they leave a three inch scar on her neck. A month goes by, the fever returns, oh, the lymph nodes swell again, they go to UC Davis again. You've been scratched by a cat. Again, they say, oh, I forgot to mention this in Oregon, where you scratch my cat. No, but she was scratched by a rabbit.
UC Davis was scratched by a cat. No, but she was scratched by a rabbit, all of a sudden they realized this poor girl has had tularemia and it was not diagnosed. So they do more surgery, remove, remove two more lymph nodes, a cluster of necrotic dead lymph nodes deep inside her neck, some dead tissue and skin around the area. Put her on the right by right antibiotics, save her life. They nick a nerve that controls their smiles and our smiles off, it's crooked.
She's got a six inch scar below the three inch scar. The guy's father in law goes and kills the rabbit. Later, someone from the Center for Disease Control in Sacramento calls to interview the family, they thought she maybe had plague. Doesn't and then expresses disappointment in the family for having killed the rabbit and they hung up on the person.
Horrible Guy says with Easter coming up soon, I know people who buy buying rabbits for their kids. They should be informed of this disease. Now, we talk about tularemia extensively in the wilderness skills, but.
Yeah. All the different ways you can get it, you know, there was a guy I don't know if we mentioned this, did we mention this in the book, a guy that hit a desiccated rabbit, dead, dessicated rabbit with a lawnmower and contracted a airborne tularemia in his lungs?
Yeah, I think we may have. And there's actually I think we mentioned that there has been talk of weaponized tularemia because you can aerosolize it, you know, scary. Scios says. This will give you he says this will give you something besides seaweed's to talk about. Then he goes on to say, if you have any health issues. He says you call your local trapper before seeking medical advice.
I wonder if they wiped out the the other Miraval if they went to the kids. Oh, it. Yeah, I would think so. He probably went back and he was probably selling tanker trucks with Ravid the bad. Oh, man. Oh, that's awful. That story is man, watch out for tanker trucks. But in your long and illustrious cottontail hunting career, how many? Have you come across that you suspected of having to. No, I don't check them, but you know what?
I used to hunt Cottontails with a guy that had gotten to the from Cleanin Cottontails.
I make a point of looking at the liver. I've never seen what I. I haven't checked. She was a bad one. This guy's name was Ken.
He's a hay farmer. And he had gotten tularemia and his old man got tularemia and he still hunted rabbits. What's the lever supposed to look like a sick bodied, like yellow or white spot, so I believe. I used to make rabbit tempura with poor can, make rice cook a bunch of vegetables, make a sweet sour sauce, cut the rabbit little strips, make little tempura rabbit strips, put it on their sweet and sour sauce all over it.
Sounds good. He liked it.
Yeah, it had something fried with a bunch of sugar on it. Yeah. Most people are going to dig that one.
There's also that rabbit hemorrhagic disease that's still going around all horror, which is nasty. But that's just another observation thing. You know, call your local Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Game and let them.
Yeah, there's a lot of good county by county maps where you can see, like, if all of a sudden you seen all kinds of dead rabbits. So this new hemorrhagic thing cruising around. Yeah, we should talk about that more extensively sometime. All right, John. Well, be ready. Yeah, OK, let's briefly recap the book we had you on about last time.
Last time I was here talking about a book called Wild Ones, which was about endangered species conservation.
That's the most boring way to put it. Yeah. And the more interesting way to put it is it's sort of about how America has treated and thought about its wildlife throughout its history. So, you know, why do we why are we a country that at the beginning of one century we want to kill all the bears and at the end of another century when we want to make sure that the bears don't go extinct. So there was a lot of on the ground reporting about the kind of Byzantine efforts to save the last, you know, Lancs metal Mark Butterfly at an industrial site in California and things like that.
And then a lot of history about sort of, you know, different eccentric characters throughout American history. You've had, you know, very unique ideas and sometimes progressive ideas about our sort of obligations to to wildlife.
And in that conversation you hinted at, because I think you were working on this back then.
You were working on this book. You're working on your book that became This is Chance.
Yeah, I've been working on that book. This is Chance took me about six years of work. So I've been just amassing, you know, historical research for years and years. So it was very much always on my mind. And I probably, you know, took any opportunity I could to just start downloading the things I was I was finding out at that point.
When you started working to tell people what this is, this is chances. And then when you tell, like, explain what you were. What you were getting at when you started working on it, and it kind of became different than what you thought.
Yeah, well, this is chancers a book about the great Alaska earthquake in 1964. Sometimes it was the Good Friday earthquake. It happened on Good Friday evening, right as the sun was going down. And the book basically tells the story in in pretty intimate detail, just the narrative of these first three days in the city of Anchorage. So this was a time you know, this is just a few years after Alaska statehood when Anchorage was kind of, you know, beginning to feel like a real metropolis in Alaska.
I sort of saw itself as as fulfilling the promise of what Alaska was going to be. And suddenly you have this nine point two magnitude earthquake that shook the city for four and a half minutes and, you know, just causing all kinds of destruction, but also really upending people's sense of of their of their community.
That's the part that's one of these that blows my mind about the the earthquake was the biggest earthquake in U.S. history, right? Yeah, that's correct.
The second most powerful one ever measured and and the most powerful one in the U.S. But the fact that.
I felt one once that was like it was over before you could tell what you were feeling. But the fact that it lasted longer than a rock song. That you'd almost like settle into it. Is kind of. It's hard to imagine makes four and a half minutes seem very long, very long. Yeah, that was definitely the first thing that grabbed me about it. One of the first maybe the first thing I found about the earthquake, which I had never heard of.
You know, I grew up on the East Coast. It's happened 15 years before I was born, 14 years before I was born. It just it just kind of went over my head that there had been this this disaster.
So one of the first things I found was just this big report, you know, a 400 page report of individual people's, you know, recollections of this is what was happening to me during those four and a half minutes.
And you see a lot of like mental gymnastics of, you know, first, not like you're saying, not knowing what the hell is happening. And that can go on for a minute. You know, 30 people think it's the Cold War. People think it's a nuclear attack or whatever it is, judgment day. And then there's a kind of bargaining phase. You know, they're coming up with different different explanations. And some people, you know, just it seemed like they just kind of gave up hope that that they were ever going to kind of make sense of this thing.
You know, there was enough time that you could kind of go through, you know, certainty and fatalism and all these kinds of emotions and just lock on to these these different bizarre images that as your mind's trying to to make sense of them trying to make some kind of story about what's happening to you.
John, I have a question. Yeah. Did anybody any one of those reports ever say that? Oh, at minute three, I just settled in. You know, there are definitely I don't think anyone put it so explicitly, but you definitely you could there were there are definitely accounts where it was like, you know, I tried to hold on to this and that didn't work. So and they would go through four or five different things, you know, and or, you know, at first I was trying to keep my car from jerking into the opposite lane, but then the steering wheel was wrenching my wrists, and that seemed dangerous.
So then I decided to hunker down here. So, yeah, there was it's it's amazing, you know, I mean, I recommend you actually just sit with a stopwatch for four and a half minutes and see what that feels like, because you can go crazy when the earth is not shaking, you know.
So yeah, it's that psychological part of it, the reality of it and the disorientation. I still can't really get my head around.
You know, when you mentioned growing up not knowing about that earthquake, it's still lived. You know, my brother lives in Anchorage, has been there for a very long time now.
It still feels like I don't want to say it's a daily part of life, but it's it's just like it's the earthquake and, you know. We used to go hunt ducks in a place that used to be agricultural fields. But it fell whatever. Eight feet. And became a marsh and are still pieces of equipment and stuff sticking out of the water, you know, it's like people just like talk about it as a as this thing that are still all the trees from the areas that slumped into the ocean, trees sticking up.
Yeah, yeah, there were a lot of you probably talking about Portage, there was this whole yeah. Whole whole little community that just exactly just sunk and got inundated by by the the salt water.
But, yeah, I think that that's what struck me too. And I went to Anchorage. There's there's places that, you know, they just couldn't really rebuild in the way they wanted to, you know. So there's an earthquake park, which was basically the the luxury neighborhood of Anchorage at the time that just lopped off this ridge onto the shoreline.
And now now it's a park you can hike through. They've got a little interpretive signs and things. Yeah, it's very much a part of the identity of the city. I think it's a city that is really proud of its history and it doesn't have, you know, as long or, you know, as crowded of a history as some other, you know, cities in America. So, yeah, it's a real touchstone for people.
One of the things I liked about the book is it explains a little bit about it. I know it's hard. We'll get to what the book narrows in on. But. Richter, like you always here, you know, the Richter scale, and I remember in early college, I had to take geology 101 or something and.
They explain how that scale is exponential, so a nine is 10 times worse than than an eight, but I guess you thought you thought it was worth putting in your book. Talk about what?
Rechter like the guy Richter. What he was doing and how this earthquake kind of played into his work and life. Yeah, I love that you asked about that. I mean, I know that as a writer, you know, you probably read that I knew exactly what what was going on, which was, you know, there's not a lot of science in the book, but I started reading about Rechter and I was like, I got to get this guy in here.
So I was like, yeah, you like doing a book.
You sometimes you like. I don't care how I'm jamming this in.
Yeah. I don't care where I put it. That was definitely it. I was like, you know, it's OK. I'll give him two pages, OK. Oh, you don't like that, Ed. All right. How about one fish? How about having a fish. But yeah, but I got him in there and then you, of course, zero right in on it. And that's the first the first thing we're going to talk about.
But yeah, Charles Richter, I didn't know anything about the guy, but he was a he was an odd duck.
He was he he you know, I sort of I sort of had this image of him as this kind of like someone who's exceptionally good at the science he's doing and kind of exceptionally bad at every other facet of of social existence, you know, and he he was in a kind of polyamorous relationship for a while and wrote a lot, you know, which seemed not so sensitive about it, didn't have the great, great sensitivities about it.
He was dappled in nudism, I believe. In any case, he was.
Don't we all? Yeah, well, when I you know, every time I take a shower. Yeah.
He he wrote some really, really bad poetry, which I had the pleasure of, of reading.
Explain the polyamorous relationship. You know, I don't actually know that I can go to too much into depth and that at the moment I like your radio suicide. But butthole. No, I just don't remember all the details that there was a lot of there was a lot of consternation from his wife that he lived with in my memory. So, you know, he wasn't really good at juggling everything as far as I remember.
But yeah, but the thing that I the thing that I loved was that he enters the story. This is why I could justify putting him in the book. Oh, yeah. When you're that he enters the story in this very kind of representative moment where he's you know, he works down in Southern California running to his lab and he's sitting at home about his he and his wife have cocktails poured and they're turning on the radio to listen to a broadcast of a concert.
And he's got this giant do that. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't happen anymore.
No, no, it doesn't.
I mean, it kind of I feel like it's kind of happened this last this last year a little bit. We're kind of all our grandparents sitting in our chairs side by side. You know what's on the livestream tonight, honey? But, yeah, that's that's the kind of the kind of a mood that they were setting.
It was a really mid century, you know, elegant living room. I've seen pictures of it and kind of this, you know, a gorgeous Southern California home. And he has been pissing off his wife by installing a bunch of scientific instruments in his living room right in the middle of the living room so that he can, you know, measure earthquakes and stuff. And she does not like this, although he in his telling, she's she's grown accustomed to it and is fine with it now.
But you kind of have to question that.
And they're settling down with their concert and all of a sudden the needle starts, starts jumping, measuring the great Alaska earthquake, you know, a couple of thousand miles away. And he he turns to his his his wife and he says, oh, that's a that's a great earthquake, you know? And and she and she doesn't she doesn't respond, you know, so because because he's talking over the concert. So but I like that moment, I guess.
And the reason why I felt justified to cram it into the book is because I tell that that little anecdote, just as a kind of note to a kind of panorama of all of the destruction and chaos that's happening in Alaska and then reverberating out, you know, until it's getting smaller.
You know, these actual with the shaking is getting smaller and smaller and people registering is getting smaller and smaller until finally you come all the way down the coast and you've kind of just got this dweeb in his living room, just kind of pausing between sips of his cocktail saying, oh, look at that.
You know, somethings are shaking, you know. Yeah. So that's where seeing is being destroyed. Exactly. It seemed to me to reveal something, you know, kind of profound about suffering, I guess, something that happened during the concert.
I always remember that concert because why did so few people die?
Yeah, that's really good, because it seemed like. You know, and reading, I mean, it plays out when you read it, it plays out, Yanni wouldn't like it because you don't really know what's going to you don't know what's going to happen to his daughters.
But you're thinking that. That like thousands of dead people? Well, yeah, like the whole luxury neighborhood ends up on the beach.
That to me is like literally like someone cleared a table and said all the houses down off the edge of the table. Yeah, yeah, it's I mean, that's the key point for me was that it took days to realize that fewer people had died than anyone imagined. That, to me, was the real drama of this. The story was like clawing their way back from this complete disorientation to just figure out the most basic information about what just happened.
Right. You know, how many of us are dead? That seems like a pretty fundamental thing to get your head around after something like this. But, yeah, there's a couple of different reasons. I mean, first of all, the there were you know, there was just just over 100 deaths. The numbers kind of up in the air still. But and a lot of these deaths were the majority of them were actually in native Alaskan villages that just had a tsunami from tsunamis, resulting tsunamis.
You know, entire villages were just kind of a race by those waves. And so you had, you know, sadly, that was where a lion's share of the deaths were. Wow.
In Anchorage itself, the is a lot more complicated because on the one hand, it's you know, it was Alaska's, you know, greatest metropolis. It was also not a very densely populated place. Right. And there weren't a lot of tall buildings at all. There's a lot of, you know, small single family wooden structures which which fared, you know, not exactly well. But you didn't have complete, you know, pancaking all over the place.
And then the other the other reason, which I found most fascinating was a lot of people survived because there was this great burst of energy all around the city right after the shaking stopped to go find people in the wreckage. So, you know, this search and rescue, you know, I mean, even call it that makes it sound way more organized and methodical than it was at first. It was just this scramble to pull people out. You know, you had people just passing by outside the J.C. Penney building, working in teams, bringing in tow trucks and other equipment, cutting torches to get people out of cars that had been buried in the rubble of the collapsing facade.
So whereas in, you know, a lot of disasters, you know, a lot of the deaths are people that, you know, they're not killed immediately by the disaster itself. But, you know, they're they're killed by some you know, they're trapped or something like that. A lot of these people are being pulled out right away and taken to get medical care.
So it's a much more complicated story than that.
But those are some of the reasons that I that I really latched on to as being kind of illustrative of what was happening in the city of. If you're a turkey hunter, you know, springtime means listening for some gobbler 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 on another gobbler going off. I love it. Well, Phil's game calls has been building professional grade Turkey calls for years from seasoned veteran Turkey callers and competitive Turkey callers down to beginners to Dusit struggle to learn how to master calling.
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You know, John, I don't know, it kind of surprised me. To I'm trying to figure out why, I'm trying to say it surprised me, it surprised me a little bit because a lot of ways the books seem to have this had almost. Libertarian ethos where it would be that all these like structures we put together, you know, like like organizational things and officialdom and bureaucracy, right. So that we're all set when shit hits the fan.
But in this case, you go you almost make this kind of like, you know, it almost seems like you're enthusiastic about the fact that that stuff doesn't work. And what doesn't work is just people. But doing what needs to be done and it kind of seems strange to see you, you know, this is like prepping when you wrote it was pre pandemic. You know, I wonder if you'd look at it differently now. When you see that, you know, like how we've responded to the last year in terms of our reliance on bureaucracy and government and following the guidelines in this book, being like, dude, guidelines don't Wortman.
Police here and then, you know, I mean, that's that's something that I've been I've been thinking about a lot, obviously. And and to be honest, it's not it's not as easy to resolve for me as it as it might seem. It kind of reminds me of. So there's a there's a big portion of the book that's about sort of sociology sociologists who study disasters. And and there's a great book by Rebecca Solnit called A Paradise Built in Hell.
And if you guys have read that. No, but it's it's explicitly about that. It's just about this field of sociology that's showing what you're talking about, that, you know, it's people band together and do write. And I remember I know Rebecca and she she had started working on that book. She published a piece sort of about that premise in Harper's, I think. And it came out the week of Hurricane Katrina. And I remember talking with her then and and she's she's putting forward this thesis.
You know, people are good. They band together. And on the TV, you know, you're seeing just, you know, kind of chaos unfold. And I think she had the presence of mind to know that, you know, she's looking at it in a on a different time scale and that also a lot of that media stuff is is incorrect when it first comes out. And it took her years to piece together the the story, the kind of true reporting to show that that her initial instinct was true.
I don't know why I'm going on about her, except for just I think she's an amazing writer. You know, my book owes a debt to her, to her book.
But in any case, yeah, I think you're right. Absolutely. That what's happening in the book is you have a lot of Cold War bureaucratic structures in Anchorage and elsewhere that are set up to handle disasters. But what they're really set up to handle is like nuclear war and no one set up to handle nuclear war, you know, so so you have in the place of these kind of official agencies kind of unraveling or being slow to adapt to the situation.
You have individual people, including Jenae Chance is sort of the main character of the book who are who are kind of rising up and meeting the problem in front of them. And then not only are they meeting the problem in front of them, but then they're banding together and forming kind of ad hoc organizations to solve even bigger problems. And it just keeps going like that all weekend. And I think that is absolutely true. And that's absolutely characteristic of of what tends to happen in disasters.
You see that when people have studied the responses, you know, in all kinds of different kinds of natural disasters all around the world.
What we saw this year, I think, is, you know, a lot of that, you know, we can talk about that, too, because I've actually been involved with a group like that where I live.
But but I think what you're referring to is we've we've also seen, you know, this there's some elements of a disaster that only government can address. Those people are going to kick in. The ordinary people are going to kick in right away and start digging someone out of rubble or organizing search and rescue or getting food to people, things like that. But there's also things happening on a grand scale that only government is going to be able to solve. And because my books only dealing with those first three days, I'm not talking necessarily about a lot of those things.
I'm not talking about rebuilding a city. Yeah, that's good. Sure, the water system is safe, things like that. And so I think the thing about I mean, we we kind of got to see it in real time at the beginning of the pandemic or even through the middle of the pandemic where you had people doing as much as they could, you know, staying staying home, sewing masks, doing 3D printing face shields, you know, all sorts of things.
But when you have a government response that's just not kicking in on a problem of this scale, those people are only going to get you so far.
So I could have told a lot more of the story of how the government, especially the military being that there was, you know, this huge military presence in Alaska. They had a lot to do with making things run smoothly after the earthquake. But to me, for those three days, the most interesting story to me and and the most surprising story was the story of these people who were in many cases surprising themselves and really managing to get shit done in ways that they wouldn't have been able to predict beforehand.
Explain how did I slap that away, did I not defend my thesis successfully? Yeah, I think I think that you you tackled it. Well, I do not view this as an anti-government manifesto. All right, good. It was good, though, to see, because, you know, at the beginning of you can only you can only equate a. Pandemic and an earthquake, like the comparisons, you kind of run out of comparisons pretty quickly, but.
Right early in the pandemic, I did see a lot of folks, including some people who I like, their initial thing was I'm going to get ready to start killing my neighbors when they come for my food. Right.
Like there are some folks that that's whether that's just where they go. And it's sad that that's where they go, but that's where they go. And other people are like, I wonder how I can help my neighbors, you know? And you really see in the three days that you describe, you see overwhelmingly.
Is what can I do to help my neighbors, not how can I get ready to kill them all when they run out of water?
But talk about how how Jenae Chance enters the thing.
And like, you know, the book's called This is Chance, which is named after which you wouldn't guess looking at the cover necessarily, but named after a particular person who really emerges as this star player in this in this drama.
Why did you choose not to introduce Jenae Chance on the cover when when her name so clearly on the cover?
This is children. I like to I like to torment children who can't stand suspense and need to plug their ears when scary things happen in movies. Yeah, I mean, Jenae chance for me, discovering Jenae Chance and discovering the earthquake happened simultaneously. That report that I mentioned, you know, just collecting individual people's accounts of those four and a half minutes, that was something Jeannie did. So Jeannie was a part time radio reporter, working mother in Anchorage at the time, which was a pretty rare thing on on its own.
And she was just, you know, completely tenacious person. And she ended up by sort of a quirk of luck, but also, like her own persistence, winding up in the heart of everything, you know, immediately after the quake, right at the police station where information was starting to come in, the official city response was starting to take shape. And she had this mobile radio unit in her car that she used to report as a kind of roving reporter around Anchorage normally.
And so she was able to get on the radio again once the station was up and running and relay a lot of that information. And at first that was a very simple job. And over the course of these three days, it becomes a much more important job and a much more elaborate job where she just kind of, you know, stumbled into being a really integral part of of the whole community response and also like a voice that was guiding a lot of people in town through it.
So even, you know, saying like we need a diesel fuel over here or we need a doctor in here, that was her giving that information. And then also people who couldn't were separated from their family members, just, you know, hours of just reciting people's names and saying, you know, your mother's looking for you. You know, give us we'll come here, we'll get a message back and relaying those those back and forth over there.
But that report that I mentioned, that was that was all her doing. That was after the quake. She went back and interviewed all these people to just kind of collect an oral history like that. And I had found that report. And in the very beginning, there's a little author's note that says, you know, the author is a part time radio reporter who was on the air for 59 hours after the quake. And her family recorded a lot of those broadcasts.
And, you know, I saw that and and my my, you know, journalist Spidey sense started tingling. And I just thought, I got to find these these tapes, which which I did ultimately I found found a lot of hours of of broadcasts from the radio station, Katie and I, and that that was kind of the backbone of this book. It allowed me to to really tell it in a minute by minute kind of way. You got to imagine how the book focuses in on a few days, but when?
It toward the end, it doesn't because I mean, it's very much about like the day of the quake and the immediate aftermath, but we don't need to go into this to a high level of detail because people need to go read it and find out.
But for her. It never ends. You know, I mean, it's like there's these handful of people that that this becomes sort of the defining thing in their life and then shapes and kind of in unhappy ways.
Yeah, that being like this pinnacle moment. You never eventually, I guess, you kind of stranded on the the pinnacle, you know, for her. Yeah, I don't know that I'd put it exactly that way. I mean, I think that she you know, when you think about what it would have been like to be like a working mother in 1964, I mean, she was dealing with a kind of sexism that is just almost funny to to see it now.
Like you feel like it's a satire, you know, the way people would talk to her. And so during the quake, for her to just ascend to this position of of, you know, where she's just so obviously competent and getting stuff done and being so valuable to the community, without question. I think that really it kind of freed her to to just accept her own, you know, awesomeness, I guess, you know, like it was sort of like the last the last thing she needed to feel like, why am I wasting my time, you know, with other people's expectations.
So in that way, it was a kind of door that that opened for her. And she went on to have this career in the legislature and and did a lot of really, you know, important work there. But, yeah, there is there is a moment in the book where when you kind of just fast forward through the rest of her life and you do realize that that, you know, it was a very sad, you know, last phase of her life for a variety of reasons.
And that was something I just really tried to keep in, keep my eye on as I was going through the whole process of researching this book was is a very weird thing to write about three days that happened 50 plus years ago because your head so in the minute by minute drama of that time and then you look up from that and you say, oh, I wonder what happened to this guy. And nine times out of ten, you hit an obituary, you know, and you realize that these three days were just a sliver of time in these people's lives.
And and that really shaped the whole feeling of the book for me was to think that there's this kind of intensity that kicks in in these moments. But a lot of the the feelings that that come up in those times and a lot of the the possibilities that come up in those times are things that kind of haunt you or you carry on for the rest of your life. So you could have someone at the top of their game, you know, like Genie, you know, in this moment.
And then you sort of you want it to last. You want it to say, oh, yeah, yeah, that's a real life. And, you know, it keeps going higher for a while. But, you know, eventually kind of all our stories end in the same way. And somehow that just made the whole story of the quake more poignant to me. This idea that your life can be disrupted, you know that violently at any minute.
Well, you know, in the end, it's kind of we all kind of get get the, you know, stripped out from under us, I guess.
OK, tell folks, you know, the title subtitle.
Can I get can I get in one more question. Get in, everybody go. Man. John, what did is put you in any sort of like a like a different space to spend six years in three days.
Yeah. Yeah, it really did. I don't even really know how to how to talk about that. I mean, it was it was insane. Like it's just an insane thing to do in retrospect, you know, like like I remember one night somewhere in the middle, like we were having having dinner with the family and we're doing that, you know, who would you living or dead, who would you like to have to dinner? You know, Jantz, you know, like, you know, and it's you know, it's like it's not only is there any chance, it's like it's like, you know, the the the second in command at the National Guard because I really wanted to know, like, where where were you standing when you said this, you know, like it's not they were not normal concerns, you know.
But yeah, I think that it's it definitely made me think about my own life differently in the sense that I think any time you have the the luxury of really trying to zoom out and realize that, you know, this this moment that we're in is is just going to be this little narrow, you know, speck of a much longer line. It really starts to mess with your head because I just don't think we normally have the tools to, like, integrate all that information.
But definitely I feel like I mean, even the other day I was I was just like standing on my front lawn looking at this this maple tree. And I was thinking like, oh, yeah, it's starting to look a little unhealthy, like, yeah, maybe maybe twenty years from now it'll it'll keel over. And and also this used to be a tree farm. So I wonder if this was you know, this came up after they cleared all the furs or what.
You know, just suddenly seeing these moments on a much huger time scale, I think is something that I may never stop doing, just kind of instinctually because I spent so much time kind of stuck in, you know, stuck in the past. I don't know if that makes any sense. It's it's something I'm still trying to unpack for myself, honestly. Are you doing a new book now? I wish no, I mean, this year has been just completely strange professionally.
So I've been kind of dabbling on a couple of things. But I'm one of those people that kind of just had to pump the brakes a little bit and deal with, you know, kids and and keeping my family life working. So so now, just in the since the New Year, I've been I've been really starting to look for what my next project is going to be. But there were a few months there where I was like, there's a whole part of myself was was deactivated, you know?
Do you have to restrain yourself from turning to the kids on, like, all their events? Right. And being like, well, you think about it, it's not that big of a deal.
Yeah. Yeah, I think I think I do. I mean, I have to do that to myself too. But yeah, I agree about the time. Right after I finished this book I did before I had come out. But after I was done with it, I did a story about the the campfire in Northern California in 2019. So I did a big magazine story about that. And that was another similar situation where I basically just told the story of like six hours and was, you know, had videos of multiple angles of different things and was just, you know, just like even more compressed than three days of an earthquake was the six hour, you know, evacuation of this one this one car.
And I definitely started like looking around at, you know, the trees on my property and noticing which ones are going to fall in the driveway and all that stuff.
And I made the mistake of kind of like talking about that a little too much with my daughters. And I think, you know, I really it was not good parenting. You know, I sort of loaded them up with that kind of awareness of peril that I don't think was was recommended. But, yeah, you got to you got to put up some walls sometimes. And I'm not necessarily very good at it.
I made the mistake one time of explaining to my kids how the sun will burn out, you know, and I was telling them that the earth kind of in a mid-life crisis like, you know, four billion year old planet, like the sun is going to peter out. And maybe about that long, and they just can't comprehend the times on their mind, it's like any moment are they they check. Do they look at I told you won't know until eight minutes after it happened.
So but now they feel like at any moment it's just going to go blue.
Yeah, well, I remember I'm going to blame you a little bit, Steve, because I remember I think maybe I heard you on an interview. I think it was an I don't think it was a conversation we were having where you were talking about your son. Just love in your truck and knowing that everything that you need to survive is in your truck.
Oh, yeah. And and and I feel like that's what that's what I was aiming for. You know, I was aiming for that kind of like we got this kind of vibe that you didn't. But I don't think I carried it off and I didn't carry it off the same way you did. I've got to get to work on my own or something. You know, it's messing with me on this is.
I think a huge part of me is like, don't be in a city center, don't be in a in a place where the infrastructure is so built up when these disasters occur. And it's really blown me out that the you know, the superstructure, the less.
Native villages on the coastline were the ones that had the highest mortality rate rates, that is just like not it was lack of is not the warning, not the narrative you want to hear.
It's not. It's not.
Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, there is a school of thought that the you know, if you stop thinking of people as problems during disasters. Right. As as chaos that needs to be controlled or avoided and you start seeing them as parts of the solution, then that suggests you want to be around as many people as possible because mutual aid and all that stuff, it's just you've got more to work with. And and then again, you know, so this is what I live on Bainbridge Island, which is next to Seattle.
So it's a I think it's twenty seven thousand people community, you know, and I've been I've been really blown away by a lot of the things that volunteers in this community have been able to do during the pandemic's. I've been working, volunteering at the vaccination clinic they were running. They just did their 10000 dose yesterday, which is insane for community this size. And they're doing, you know, people from all over this part of the state. And I think that maybe there's also a sweet spot where you have a community where, you know, it's small enough that people feel a part of it and feel like the problems are manageable and that they can step up and actually make a difference with that.
But it's not quite too small where, you know, you don't have that kind of critical mass of of human energy to get things done. But, yeah, I agree. I mean, it wasn't it wasn't that people in those villages weren't weren't taking care of each other. They were I mean, they were really heroic in terms of, you know, trying to get everyone, you know, clamoring up these hillsides, keeping kids warm overnight, things like that.
But they were just up against that. That was more geography, I think, than sociology. They were just up against a giant wave that was that was coming on their on their coastline. So I'm trying to trying to reassure you you're doing a good job.
You're doing a good job. OK, I'm practicing for my kid.
And John hit us with all the all the detailed information. All right. The book is called This is Chance The Shaking of an All American City and a Voice that held it together and just came out in paperback from Find People at Random House Books. And you can buy it with your money.
Well, good pitch. Tell everywhere.
I mean, you can find it anywhere you can find. I want to I want to see if I want to see how you walk this delicate line.
Where should people find the book, John?
You can buy it from from Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Go on there. Go on their website and tell them. Johnson that was very that was that was very diplomatic. And anywhere else books are sold.
Yeah. Yeah. All right, man, we'll talk to you in six years when you get another one. Thank you.
I appreciate that. Dig, you guys. You got to find something to happen to one day because then maybe it'll take you just two years to do it. Yeah. Or like a couple of minutes maybe.
I'll just I'll do a book about this podcast. I'll just retrace our interview to find out what it was. Your interior monologue is going on as we as we speak. All right. Look forward to reading it.
Thanks, man. Come back anytime you got something, you got to plug it in for just a magazine article.
Cool. I'll do that. Take care. Thank you very much. To talk to all of. Carol, are you hip to the whole deal about how you look like the guy from Ram Jam? No, you're not that.
No, no one showed you this. I mean, who's looked into Ram Jam deeper than the song Black Betty, right?
Well, that's how we know about it. Right. You haven't seen this?
No. Friend, do you mind? OK, you don't know about this.
Holy shit. That guy looks like you, but you don't look this like is it a black and white Votizen?
This is No. That brought up.
We actually found Calahan. Callahan is a collaborator and lyricist. For the Grateful Dead named Robert Hunter, who weirdly died at 78, even though you're sitting here right now, if you show that is cool.
Oh yeah, it's unbelievable. All right.
There you can you can you can you fold your hands and rest your head. I have advice for men. This is my advice for men. In photographs, keep your hands away from your face, but for me, if you don't mind, can you rest your chin on your hands?
Is that what he's doing? OK, right here. Right here. We need to play like, yeah, where can we put in all the other direction, the other direction from your equipment and look at me. Look at me. No, no, you got to have your. Yeah, homier.
For the for the audience out there, we are looking at a photo from if you got a Rolling Stones magazine that is Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, sorry, Rolling Stone magazine, I was reading the Rolling Stones magazine and I turned up a picture.
It's a Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead collaborator and lyricist, dead at 78. We ain't getting richer because we can't get a picture to cover its own debt.
It's unbelievable. Anyhow, that gets me to thinking about wolves.
Johnny, Johnny, does this qualify as a book? Can we just qualify as a book report? We play our book report jingle, yeah. What the hell? Yeah, Johnny's book report.
But first, before my book for you got to introduce our guest joined us now as our own party.
And you do that all the time. Go ahead, Johnny. No, I asked you to do it. Oh bro. Do you do it.
Wow. That just went to hell real quick. Because because. Because bro, your main you're mainly friends with our guest.
Yeah. Carl knows him too well. Our mystery guest is Gaspar Paracon, joining us from Colorado Bar. Introduce yourself. Thanks, guys.
Yeah, I guess for Paracon. Appreciate the opportunity to join. You guys have been in the hunting and angling space for most of my professional career and happy to join the conversation today.
And you're your neck deep in wildlife politics. For reasons passing, all understanding, yeah, I work for a group called Freestone Strategies and we're a full spectrum public affairs firm and a large portion of my portfolio is involving, you know, the greater realm of wildlife politics. Yeah.
All right. I think it's important to note also that you formerly served on Colorado's Wildlife Commission.
Yeah, I was actually I started my tenure when it was the former Division of Wildlife. Obviously, Parks and Wildlife merged under the Hickenlooper administration. And I continued to serve under the newly formed Colorado Parks and Wildlife for four years after that. So my my work continued kind of in that space when I became the legislative director for the Department of Natural Resources under Governor Hickenlooper. So like like you indicated, have been neck deep in this stuff for the better part of a decade here in Colorado.
Gurnani Lightcap. That was wonderful. OK, now, yeah, you do is Yoni's book report. John's book report.
Who whose verbiage. Whose verbiage Crenn is is escaped. About a wolf that escaped. The island. The articles, huh? Go ahead, Johnny, real curious about that, that word. Yeah, this is Canadian Broadcasting, they use the word escape. It's interesting. Well, anyways, yeah, there was a radio collared female, Wolf, on our route that she was brought there from Minnesota and. Everybody remembers I can't go into too much detail.
I'm not going to remember properly, but I believe there is too many moves on our out and they brought in some wolves to take care of the wolf problem or the moose problem and so on and so forth. I'm guessing this is probably part of that.
Yeah. Hey, do you because you grew up in Michigan, did you grow up saying Isle Royale or we would always call Isle Royale. Isle Royale. Probably Royale, I guess, I guess I maybe I maybe never said it until I was 30 years old. And he's long been gone from Michigan. Got it.
Yeah, you do want to get too much detail, but like a long time ago, that island, which is on Lake Superior, sits between Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Canada was like a Lynx Cariboo.
Dynamic Eco-System, yeah, and then because it freezes now and then new stuff shows up and leaves and Moose got out there, there's like some speculation that I don't think people know.
There's some some people think says it freezes. He means the lake freezes. Yeah. Sorry. Which is how wildlife got out to the island and occasionally leaves the island.
Yeah. So had it's kind of hard to believe that there's like Cariboo out there at one point in time, like not like a I mean, in modern times there was Cariboo.
And then, you know, everybody's always dying off and in someone new walks out there and then most recently became like tons of moose. They don't want anybody to run out there, which and so they're trying to control, that's actually a whole other story we're going to get into at some point here. And we've talked about a little bit trying to like open up pressure the Park Service to allow hunting to. Bring the numbers back down to a more manageable thing, but right now what they're trying to do is truck wolves out there and you think like the wolf would be the happiest wolf on the planet.
Going back to your escape thing, I think it's it's the notion that it was collared, captured, brought there. So the idea is that, like, that's where it's supposed to be because it was biologist's intentions to remain and then it escaped. It had different.
Friday has sort of a feeling of escape because it was put on an island surrounded by, you know, hundreds of miles of water. And and you would think that there'd be no way this Wolf, would ever leave that island. But in twenty nineteen came the polar vortex, which when I read this, it got me thinking, how come the crazy storm that we had like a month ago that killed probably thousands of birds in Arkansas and South and all kinds of crazy animals in Texas, it never got a big crazy name like the polar vortex.
Hmm. Yes, good point. Yeah, you guys, I didn't I didn't know that they should have dubbed the Great Chill the the great Tony 20 die off. Yes.
On another. So she leaves Isle Royale or Royal, depending on what part of Michigan you're from, and travels all around across the US Canada border a few times, all in all, travels thousands of kilometers until like 20, 20. At some point her radio collar dies. And from what the people there were watching her can tell you, that she kept on cruising around and the last time they had her was near Thunder Bay, which is like north west part of Lake Superior.
So, yeah, a lot lots of traveling, just pretty and kind of through.
It seems like it's out of whack because she went back home more or less, but then it was like something got the wires got crossed, man, and just became a wanderer. Right, but does this next story will assure you they like to wander? This next story is about a two year old Wolf that was collared in BAMF and he traveled all the way from. Alberta to Montana in five days, three hundred miles. Yeah, pretty amazing. It's not even stopping to eat, man, or like if you're eating, you're eating on the go.
Like scavenging, I'd imagine I don't imagine you heard it. I don't know, maybe you run into a pack of deer and get lucky.
It'd be cool to see his line of travel like, was he just straight line in it for Montana or, you know.
Well, yeah, because, I mean, that whole Akutan country is not flat, right country.
It's mountainous, heavily timbered and some big water in there to 300 miles.
Yeah, the hunt, the the wolf was killed by a hunter legally here in Montana. And that got a lot of people's attention, but what about the chief scientist for a nonprofit called Yellowstone to Yukon says, which you should focus on is how cool it is that that Wolf was able to do that. And then it shows this amazing. Like corridor and connectivity for wildlife, that it can still happen and if a wolf can do that, then grizzly bears can connect between, you know, the wilderness of Canada and the Yellowstone ecosystem as well, which is really neat.
And it's a hard thing to figure out unless you have a dead wolf in this circumstance.
That's the thing I always think about. This is how many animals are actually run around the collar, like when we are caribou hunting this year, I take my boy Caribou one. We saw hundreds of caribou go by.
I saw one with a collar, and that's an intensely studied herd where it's that they have a ton of collars. They have people that in the winter full time track them. So you watch hundreds of things and one goes by the collar in an area where it's like they're doing a collaring study.
How many things go unnoticed because no one has a cholera, but then every week there's some crazy stuff about something wearing a collar and doing. Well, you know, it's a journey, so all the all the unsung there's a lot of unsung heroes out there. Yeah. What's going on we don't know about. But there's that theory tutors, that theory that the college scrambles the brain.
Exactly. There's a lady in Wyoming, her dog bra outside of Meeteetse, Wyoming, heard her dog brought her a recently deceased black footed ferret. Right. This is like the rediscovery of the of living black footed.
Yeah, that's that. I mean, a while ago. Oh, yeah. This this was a while ago. But it's like that Discovery served a huge purpose that just kind of came back to light recently.
And it was because of a dead ferret that a dog picked up. Yeah, right. It's like it's just funny how things work. You got to start with some dead sometimes.
Yeah. And they can. And that's like the problem. That's like the real Bigfoot problem. Right, no dead ones. We've got a call or one, then we'll know you put a collar on one of those sons of bitches. Also, he's going to wind up, you know, you're going to collar him up wherever, like in Washington where they all live. And he's going to wind up dead on a road in Connecticut that you can call around his neck in the back of a van.
You'll just be like, I don't know, dude. They put that collar on me that just went for it.
They started walking.
But walls move in and us moving wolves around is why we got gassed by our own Jesus.
Brody See that, Johnny? Oh, Johnny, here's a question for you about your book report. I've always been familiar with the group, the Yellowstone to Yukon or Yukon, Yellowstone, Yellowstone, Yukon. Which is this, you know, maintaining this travel, trying to imagine that you're maintaining a wildlife travel corridor that would connect the greater Yellowstone ecosystem with the, you know, the Canadian wilderness and then the vast boreal forest. But the wolves didn't make it.
To Yellowstone in isn't a big problem with the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, how do you connect sort of the glacier ecosystem like the connectivity between the glacier flathead? Eco-System, northern Continental Divide, Eco-System and Yellowstone like it now, if some guy had shot them down by Yellowstone, then I think he'd be like, oh, the corridor works.
But he had it was hundreds of miles. He didn't make it to Yellowstone, they made like halfway it's probably at least 300 miles to go, do you think?
Yeah, he still had to cross in 90, which is proving not. As difficult like, yeah, it's a barrier, a couple of wildlife overpasses on 990 would would do some serious wonders, but you know that, Wolf, sniffing distance from running all the way down the street and, you know, not having too much of a gap between cross and a15 into the guy.
I could see it. Yeah.
And the wolves made it across Interstate 80 from Wyoming into Colorado. Yeah, they did the impossible already. Yeah.
I brought grizzly bears have done that too. Right. Well, let's not go there yet.
We have run run bitterer. Yep. Down.
No, no, no. I have gone from southern Wyoming into Colorado. Oh.
By a government helicopter. Well, and catapult. Yeah, oh, yeah, government catapult that we don't know, making fun, but we do know about the wolf.
OK, Brody and Jani run this whole program here. So last year, gas bar, when did that go through this year? Twenty two last November.
So there there is a ballot initiative that passed in Colorado to reintroduce wolves.
Not really, though. You already messed up. I don't think that that's true, what's not true about it? I thought it was like it's not that level of specificity.
Well, I can let Gaspar, you know, talk about it. But anyway, we'll clear that up. But at the same time, there is a pat now, a breeding pack of wolves established in Colorado, which is, you know, it was too late for that to have any impact on. The measure that passed, but we've got these two things happening concurrently and we're past the point of. Like the reintroduction is happening, but Gaspare, you want to explain to Steve what what happened?
Like, yeah, like, OK, then what was the Dharma Initiative, Proposition 114?
There you go. Look at this. Now he's got the number. Yeah.
So, you know, you're both right here. And following this continuous trend of ballot box biology that we've seen throughout the West, Colorado voters narrowly passed Proposition 114. That requires the state to reintroduce the northern Greywolf into Colorado. He was totally right.
Well, yeah, there's some caveat to this, though, of course, you know, it isn't as simple as to say, you know, we we passed the proposition. Now we go buy a bunch of wolves and drop them off in the state. This gets a little bit complicated on it, on account of a couple of different timing things that happened, most predominantly the ruling that came out of Secretary Bernhart last year de-listing the wolf in the lower 48.
That happened also concurrently, of course, while the ballot measure was in place. So there's a real unique convergence of events that is unfolding for the first time and not a lot of precedents on how to navigate this. And we can get into that in detail, if you guys would like. But effectively, what Proposition 114 required was for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create a plan to reintroduce the wolves. And what they need to consider is the details for restoration, including specific selection of donor population, the place, manner and schedule of reintroduction actions necessary or beneficial for maintaining a self-sustaining population, and details for management, including distribution of state funds to compensate for livestock losses.
So, you know, the commission has some lateral in how they go about developing this management plan. They recently just approved about a month ago, a broad scope outline that put some bookends on the process. And that requires the formation of three things, the first of which is the hiring of a third party facilitator, the second of which is the creation of a working group, which is kind of the social element of all of this, and then a scientific technical group, all of which will advise the commission and the development of that final plan.
Hey, Gas Barkan, before we get too deep into that policy stuff. Do you want to talk about kind of the wrenches that we're getting thrown into the process like just recently in regards to what Pollice Governor Polla said, as well as how it was going to be? There was some speculation that hunters and anglers were going to fund this thing. And these are the reasons why a lot of people were upset.
Yeah, I think that's exactly right. And I I share that sense of frustration. The language in the ballot was relatively arbitrary, associated with who was responsible from the fiduciary and financial perspective to pay for the implementation of Prop 114. And while it does allow for donations and contributions from third parties, as well as the opportunity for an appropriation for from the General Assembly to the division to pay for all of this, absent any of that action, the plan has to be implemented on the backs of dollars generated through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
And, you know, that's a frustration does not only because I think it flies in the face of this general underlying sentiment of pitmen. Robertson and Dingel Johnson. You know, it's worth noting, of course, that sportsmen have a long history of being willing to underwrite wildlife and conservation programs so long as those revenues go back to the perpetuation of the sport. That doesn't seem to be the case in this instance. And so last year during the legislative session, shortly after the passage of Prop 114, we went to a couple of members in the Colorado General Assembly and had asked them to draft and pass legislation that would have required the General Assembly via taxpayer dollars to come up with the revenue sources for the implementation of Prop 114.
Unfortunately, covid does what covid does and got in the way of it and destroyed the whole process. So here we are again this year back at the legislature with a similar bill requesting that no general or I'm sorry that no sportsmen dollars be made available for the implementation or the restoration of wolves. Want to be clear, though, that, you know, this is not an effort to effectively relitigate or overturn Proposition 114. It is merely a way to identify an alternative revenue source.
Let me let me hit with a couple of questions here just so I can understand this better. Why did the arrival of wolves walking in on their own four feet? Into the state, why did that not sort of negate and undo this whole conversation, like if the goal was to reintroduce wolves, why would you not be just. Ecstatic. That it happened, I'll say naturally, I mean, it happened on the back of the Yellowstone reintroduction, but those long time ago.
It's accepted now you had a natural reintroduction. Why, why, why is that not just viewed as a victory and that it puts to end the conversation? I think from our perspective, it is kind of viewed as a victory, you know, that discovery occurred after Proposition 114 was on the ballot. What simultaneously happened, as I mentioned, was Secretary Bernhart issued a rule de-listing the wolves in the lower 48. And so where we stand now is the commission has got this obligation by the people of Colorado to move forward with a plan.
Because we are in a scenario where the wolf is not listed and back to the point that you had raised Brody, the governor had made a request of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to expedite the timeline for the reintroduction effort of Prop 114. The reason and the thinking behind that, I can assume, is that I don't think there's anybody who is of the opinion that the wolf is not likely to find itself back on the list in the near future.
And so there's this narrow window of opportunity where you aren't subject to the endangered species laws and rules that govern reintroduction like took place in Idaho and Wyoming. And so, you know, hypothetically, there's nothing legally that would preclude them from just going and purchasing wolves and dropping them on the landscape. Fortunately, the commission, I think, saw good wisdom in pursuing what they're calling a preliminary tingay, which is a section of the essay. But it effectively would establish a plan that in the occasion the wolves were to get relisted again.
It would give some give the states some flexibility on the management prescriptions, particularly with respect to lethal take. So, yeah, you know, there's a question as to, you know, what a determination from US Fish and Wildlife Service would mean, because these reintroduced populations traditionally have been non-essential, separate populations. But now that we have an established population in the state, there's a question as to what does that mean for a reintroduction effort. And we're in uncharted territory here.
It's relatively unclear what U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service might say about that.
So you guys think that the Biden administration is going to turn around and is going to turn around and inre like relist wolves, they did include it on their rural review coming out of.
So every year, an incoming administration has the opportunity to take a look at the rules that were issued under a previous administration. And they do have the authority to overturn those. I think what's more likely to happen is that a judicial determination will result in them going back on the list.
No, as far as the it's not just as far as like the feds to use the broad term, but like the GSA in regards to reintroduction, it's not just the presence of wolves in the state, but it's the health of that population. Right. So isn't there a lingering question of like we're going to do some. Some some damn. Studies this spring and see if we can't haul up a bunch of wolf puppies in the state of or in the state of Colorado.
Yeah, I think those are still slightly separate discussions, though, right, because the statutory mandate that came from the voters is a question that's disconnected from the evaluation of the essay. Right. There's not necessarily a scenario where a fish and Wildlife or a Fed decision in this case would have the effect of circumventing the responsibility that the Parks and Wildlife Commission is tasked with right now. So I think they, you know, exist independently and how they come together and ultimately approving a reintroduction effort is the question.
And it's anyone's guess how those two will be evaluated concurrently by the feds.
Gas fired just recently. Correct me if I'm wrong. We found out that. It's not going to be a situation where they just start cutting wolves loose this year, that they that like Governor Paul suggested, like they have to follow the planning and procedure process that was outlined in the initiative.
Yeah, the thinking is that this will occur over a three year timeline. And there's a there's a huge social element to this, as you might imagine, just given the politics that surround reintroduction efforts, particularly with respect to wolves, of course. But yeah. So the science and technical committee presumably will dedicate a lot of time to identifying what is suitable habitat, how the interplay between the existing wolf population in the state and this wholly separate introduced population might exist.
And, you know, collectively, that that social element and the science and technical element will help script the ultimate management plan. And the thinking is that that'll be that'll take place over roughly a three year timeline. The statute or the language in the proposition says that they need to take the steps necessary to introduce wolves by the end of twenty twenty three. That doesn't necessarily imply that wolves need to be on the ground at that date, but that the process for the reintroduction needs to be concluded and the effort needs to commence quickly thereafter, you know.
I'm going to get to a rumor I heard as beyond rumor, but an idea about different. Strains well, some people call subspecies of wolves, but before I say that, I'll point out that historically wolves existed in a continuous. Band. You know, there weren't gaps in populations, right, so you had these large, you know, these large gray wolves in the north and then you had what we've come to call, you know, much smaller Mexican gray wolf from the south.
And and you had these variations, but there weren't hard edges between the populations. Isn't there some issue in Colorado where it seems that the people that are really driving for the reintroduction would have been angling toward having it be Mexican gray wolves in the south, but the ones that showed up on their own are, you know, a larger, different northern animal.
Is there is there some friction there on that? Because I know the proposition doesn't get into that. But wasn't that the intention would be that it would be Mexican gray wolves?
There's been a lot of discussion around that. It's interesting because the all of Colorado is in the historic range of the northern gray wolves. That is not true for for the Mexican wolves. And so I think from a, you know, essay standard perspective, the recovery of the Northern Gray Wolves is a is a more likely scenario in Colorado. But, you know, there there has been a lot of conversation about, you know, what it might mean in the occasion that they were to cross pollinate.
You know, if if Northern Gray wolves were to migrate to the southern part of the state, would there be conflict between the Mexican wolf population? And so, you know, there have been even comments from some of the members of the commission seeking to shift this thinking from the northern gray wolves to to the Mexican wolf. As it stands currently, I think it's more likely that the pursuit for reintroduction will likely fall with the northern gray.
And there's another level of conflict, right, because the Mexican wolf is listed and the recovery efforts are like. There's a legal conundrum there, and it's like, well, no, you're legally bound by the USA to recover this, Wolf, in these areas, like how it's written.
Yeah. And what happens when gene pool start getting mad? Well, that's an answer. Like all that all the hassle they put in over the years. And, you know, I don't it doesn't bother me.
Of all the work we put in over the years to identify range, get source population animals and reestablish the Mexican wolf to then it ain't it's not far from the San Juan mountains to you know, it seems like it seems like you'd probably you know, I guess some people might point out and be like they don't really care about those level of details.
Right. If it's wolves as well.
But then you got to stop calling them Mexican wolves. Right. You need the your high school dance, biological chaperons out there.
Oh, you, too.
If you if you had, I'll say bye, Chris. Like to my crystal ball question for later. Go ahead.
Oh, I mean I think we've we've hit it pretty good as far as what's going on.
I mean, why did you Colorado people decide to put this up to me?
I'm a registered Montana voter, Jack. But yeah, I spent a lot of time there and I was happy to live in a state where I didn't have to compete with wolves to kill an elk, you know, but then up here, it's like.
You know, there's plenty out getting killed, I know, I know, I we get crucified for saying that, that you're here. Here's how I always explain it to people.
Alaska has wolves across 90, some ninety five ninety nine percent of their historic range. They have grizzlies across the entirety of the historic range. Why does everybody want to go hunting in Alaska? I don't know.
I always tell people you would like and don't like it. You would like it. This was a law to place things with teeth every year. Wolves, they were. So there must not be any animals there. But I do have, you know, ended up there for Wolfie, but everybody wants to go there and hunt. So it's like it is a hard thing for people to explain that you'd be like wolves will be the end of hunting in Colorado.
And for a while it'll simply come on hard because because it there's a learning curve, there's a learning curve on the elk.
Like when they brought them into the when they brought them into the Greater Yellowstone area, I mean, yeah, you saw it two thirds dropoffs an elk populations. I mean, they, they do not understand like, hey, look at that dog and son.
Yeah. So my my my concerns in Colorado are they have there are these large elk herds that right now they can't figure out what the hell is going on.
Like the calf recruitment is very poor. And these all Kurds are their numbers are going down. And those elections are in areas where wolves are going to end up for sure. Oh, it is going to. Yeah, it will. It's like no more thing you'll miss out, OK, but I don't think it'll knock the piss out of them. But there won't be the end.
No, no. Jani, you moved? Yeah, I do. We've got our furnace is getting fixed finally, we've been out of here for like two weeks and the dude's coming over. So he's going to be in the basement where I was at graduation's.
What else do we need to know, guys? Oh, sorry to point out, though, about your Yellowstone, you know, northern herd of Yellowstone. It dropped by two thirds. There was other factors. They think now there was like a perfect storm of habitat, a super high, unhealthy population, and then the wolves coming in that produced that precipitous drop. And then you can't just say because the wolves showed up that that's what did it. It was there was some coincidence there.
Well, there is never one thing. But when you throw one more thing on top of those herds that are hurting in Colorado, I mean, the end result is not going to be good, I would imagine.
Well, Janice, you touched on an interesting point there. A lot of the proponents of this have been using this trophic cascade as the baseline for why this makes sense. And, you know, I think by all accounts, some of the trophic cascade argument has been overblown. You know, we've learned since the introduction.
Can you explain trophic cascade, please? Yeah. Trophies. Cascade is effectively this idea. And as far as I understand it, it originated out of this this concept that predators and the relationship that they have with prey can improve the ecological conditions of a select environment. I was reading the other day a study about some of the early thinking about this, and they were talking about the relationship between spiders. You scared grasshoppers, improving grass conditions in a unique area.
And of course, you know, when wolves were introduced into Yellowstone, that that scientific theory was quickly overlaid. And a lot of the ecological improvement in the Yellowstone area has been attributable alone to the reintroduction of wolves. There's been a subsequent series of studies that have indicated that, well, yeah, they certainly have contributed to a degree of the improvement. It seems a bit overstated to claim that a social species is accountable for all of the improvement that we have seen at Arnet.
He's the chief scientist for Tsipi was explaining to me that, you know, wolves very seldomly change their eating habit habits or their food preference, specifically with relation to Aspen and Willows, which a lot of the trophic cascade argument has been based on, on account of wolves being present.
And so, you know, undeniably, there could be circumstances where wolves dispersing wildlife populations to other areas and disrupting the concentration that we see in winter grounds might be beneficial to to the health. The other piece, too, that the proponents have been talking about is the potential benefit of the introduction of wolves to the problem that we have in Colorado. And again, you know, very likely may be the case. You know, I think it's relatively fair to say that that wolves have this innate sense of ability to peel off the weaker prey in a population, as far as I'm aware.
And I need to state that I'm not a biologist, but it seems a little bit far fetched to me as well to think that, you know, the introduction of wolves in Colorado would result in the stop of the spread or a wholesale turnaround in the conditions that we have. So, yeah, could there be some benefit? Sure. I just don't find those to be the baseline scientific explanation for the reintroduction that others have claimed.
Oh, that the C D thing is a joke, man. We've talked about that before, too, is like the animals. The animals are infected. For sometimes years before symptoms. Right.
It's such a joke and then this thing that they you know, and I'm not an anti-war person, but let's at least talk with a little bit of like, you know, have it be slightly reality tinged when we talk about it.
Decided that, you know, this Farley Mowat oversimplification that came from the movie, you know, the never cry wolf thing that they like trem disease from the herd Halmet. They prey on calves.
And pregnant females of pregnant females, your most valuable animal, it's like a. it's like it's kind of like wolves, but why can't we just keep just like them as what they are and not act like there's like these magical creatures or the trophic cascade argument is does have a very strong correlation to systems in which people have been removed.
So this is not a joke that it's like, if you can, the trophic cascade argument in in a vacuum in which human beings don't exist works great.
You apply that onto a system that's highly, highly managed for wildlife over human use interaction like a national park. You can see it like applied there and see how, yep, these dots can connect, but it doesn't do us all that much good in working situations where. You know, human beings are active on the landscape. Yeah, it's like that quote we talked about before, describing Yellowstone as blank, square miles of paradise, surrounded by reality. Brody got in on an interesting point where Brody talked about not wanting to compete with wolves, and I think it's funny that how.
It's funny how much people tiptoe around that. Sure, I mean, but I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that. I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that that I value having a resource be available to people, at least acknowledge. I'm saying like, yes, I think that I like having elk and like, I'm fine having elk and deer on the landscape because people want them. And we have like regulated legal hunting for them, and so I'm fine having it be that we acknowledge that, but people act like it's like it's a taboo perspective.
I like eating elk, and I think that there's a lot of people in the wolf reintroduction world that don't mind are in the back of their head, they'll never admit it in the back of their head. They do kind of like to stick it to hunters a little bit. Sure. Like this is one guy like the one of the chief marketing officer is like the CMO of the Wolf world. Even what he calls he talks about the recreational big game killing industry, like that's his viewpoint on hunting.
And he's like he used to hunt and then he quit. And that's like how he typifies the hunting world to say, like, oh, the only people that don't want a bunch of wolves is the recreational big game killing industry as though it's like nobody to go hunting.
But I can say this because at one point I did hunt, so. Oh, that's right. I killed a pheasant or something. Yeah. Well, I don't know, man. Tell me why. Give me your perspective on it, like, can you talk like as a person or do you got to stay all official, Gaspar?
Oh, now hit me. What's your question? Sell me out, not like wolves in Colorado unless you don't even care to sell me on the.
Yeah, I think the discussion we're having here really is whether or not a reintroduction is appropriate. Right. Look, I mean, wolves are coming down. They've migrated in. It's not going to be long before we have an established PAC in Colorado and they're going to coexist. I think that question is a foregone conclusion at this point.
You know, I'm sympathetic to what you said. Look, you know, I'm a big game hunter. I spend a month in the field or in archery season chasing elk every year. And it's my passion and it's what I like to do. And I would be lying if I said anything other than I'm worried about the impact it will have on the big game populations. But I don't think you can evaluate all of this in a vacuum either. Right?
Brody touched on it. We've got yeah, I live in northwest Colorado and we've got tremendous problems with both our deer and our Ellacott up there at the moment. You know, it's accountable to changes in habitat loss. Drought conditions were incredibly severe last year. Our calf recruitment somewhere in like the low 30 percent at the moment. The expanding outdoor recreation is having devastating impacts on that piece as well. And so to layer one additional component that will add strain to the herd, seems to me like we're getting pretty close to the to the tipping point.
And I come from the vantage point that we need to take a holistic perspective of all of this. Wildlife management doesn't exist in a vacuum. And, you know, my experience has been that the proponents of of the wolf reintroduction are interested in exclusively that piece. I don't think they have give an honest assessment to the impacts across the board. And, you know, I'm relatively agnostic as to whether or not there's a population of wolves in the state.
I would prefer that they come in naturally and that the state maintains management authority. You know, call me a skeptic, but I am skeptical of of the reintroduction process. I mean, when you look through the timeline of the listing and listing decisions that occurred with the introduced populations in Idaho and Wyoming, and in some cases they were taken off and put back on the list, you know, upwards of six different times. And we have far, far exceeded the recovery objectives and all of those cases.
So, you know, to think that the plan that we come up with as a state is going to have some long lasting effect and won't be affected by the long history of litigation efforts that we've seen, I think is is a foolish perspective. And so, yeah, I'm skeptical of the reintroduction effort on that account. You know, by way of example, I think there was like thirty one wolves that were introduced in total in Idaho. That was like in 95, the state didn't get the ability to hunt them until 2009.
Their recovery objective, if I remember correctly, was ten wolves or ten populate or ten packs are ten packs or 100 plus wolves. And by 2009, when the state finally got the management prescription and the ability to harvest them, the hunter, there was something like eight hundred and fifty wolves. And so, yeah, to to think that once the recovery objective in the state is achieved in the state at that point will assume full management authority and we will be able to keep the population in check.
From an ecosystem perspective, I just I don't have much faith in that outcome.
No doubt they'll they'll they'll they'll dick you around so bad you'll never see the end of it. It's like they it's kind of the playbook. And, you know, I would play dirty, too, if I was trying to get what I wanted around wildlife. But they'll it's a playbook that they're like, oh, no, no, no, no. It's just going to go like this. Then we'll hand it over to the state. It'll be like this.
No. And there won't be these kind of restrictions. And then you get it. It goes way longer. And then there will legally block you in the courts from ever getting what the concessions that were supposed to be made. In terms of the reintroduction, yeah, and you're talking about an initiative that what was a gas bar like 54 out of 64 counties voted against. Yeah, so it passed in only 12 of the 64 counties statewide and, you know, remember that the the initiative said that introduction could only occur west of the continental divide.
So, you know, effectively the western half of the state and only four of the counties west of the continental divide supported it. But, you know, look, Boulder County supported it with a margin of 68 to thirty in Boulder County is kind of our liberal hot spot in the state, whereas real Blanco County, a location that's very likely to be picked as a reintroduction location, denied it. Eighty eight to 12, the average no vote in counties in the area that would be affected was sixty two percent.
This is a trend that we've seen in all of the ballot measures, you know, dating back to to the the constitutional ban on trappin, as well as the the bear hunting restrictions that we saw in the state. And so, yeah, it's very much an urban rural divide.
Huh? All right, so now it's time for the crystal ball question. Do you think that. I don't know why you wouldn't think this, but do you think that in whatever three years, whatever, they will be opening up crates? And cutting loose new wolves, or do you think that somehow the existing population that's got there on its own? Would you know, it would develop, expand, become healthy and self-sustaining, and they would somehow magically be like, oh, never mind, we're going to stick with what we got, or do you think that this is like happening man is going to go down?
I think the latter part of what you said is going to be true under either circumstance. The population that's here is going to continue to breed. I do think that the Parks and Wildlife Commission will develop a plan for reintroduction of wolves. They are pursuing what's called this preliminary tingay. It's never been done. Colorado will be the first state that has actively, from a state initiated perspective, pursued a reintroduction of a wolf population on the assumption that the wolf goes back on the list in the next three years.
And I think that's a high likelihood. I think there are serious questions that remain as to whether or not U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ultimately approve a reintroduction plan in light of the existing wolf population in the state. And the wolves are almost screwing themselves.
The wars that we're going to be dropped are probably the wars that we're going to get dropped off into the happy hunting grounds, they're like, man, I probably pissed about the wolves that walk down there, but the wolves, the walk down, they're going to be tough.
Yeah, they're forged by firemen. Yep. Ummm. See new Disney, but, you know, gas brought up a good point to me, which is like it's all over, but the cryin right there coming. So hunters, should they just need to accept it, right?
Like, you've got to, like, accept it and kind of be part of the process. Oh, yeah, you're right, man.
The worst thing you can do is the smoke pack day philosophy. Right.
You know, it's like, oh, I should tell you what I do is the three of you better show will be a part of the conversation in a meaningful way.
Yeah, there will be a lot of people that'll get like, you know, there's some people that that it's to say the crowd that quit waterfowl hunting when they had to stop using lead.
There will be people joke's on you guys.
There will be people that that don't have a lot of girls and will like up.
And it's all over. Yeah. I'll be like, oh, I quit hunting by God when the wolves and then there'll be people who are just who get after it and figure stuff out and they'll keep doing well.
But I'll tell you man.
It'll be, yeah, a shock to the system, right? They eat seven pounds of meat a day, so just get a calculator out, right? It's just a reality.
What a what is the is there an initial number that they've got to go for? Well, no.
And, you know, this is really where the meat and the potatoes of this plan comes together and why sportsmen need to continuously engage themselves in this process. Right. Because there are questions about how many wolves will constitute a recovery objective, where they will be reintroduced. You know, all of these questions are going to be crafted by the commission over the course of the next three years. And my hope is that we as a sportsman community can engage in this rather than just throw in our suckers in the dirt and being upset about the fact that we lost at the ballot and engage in the process to to develop what could be the most thoughtful and well thought out plan.
But we broached this discussion last year and the legislation we were trying to craft and I've heard numbers as high as two hundred and fifty. I think from our perspective, we're looking at a closer a number closer to around 50. The precedents in other states, of course, was ten packs or 100 wolves. Now, when you over the lay the landscapes of Idaho and Montana versus the western half of Colorado, I think it lends itself to a lower number.
So, yeah, we got 50.
I got way more habitat here, man.
Yeah, exactly. And so but it doesn't matter because they'll say, here's the thing. It doesn't matter because you'll agree. Let's say you agree on one hundred guy. You agree on one hundred hunters. Good number. Everybody can live with a hundred and then you'll get two hundred and fifty, two hundred and so will be like OK, we're going to delist and go to state management and then you'll fight lawsuits for 20 years and then it just doesn't matter.
Like that's the worry. Yeah. It does not matter. It will never, you'll never get it undone. It'll just be, it'll become like a thing that gets litigated to the point where it'll just it'll find it's no I mean, it took forever here and it's so tenuous here.
The history has indicated that. And unfortunately, whatever plan we come up with won't supersede, you know, federal statutes under S.A. Right. And so our plan will continuously play second fiddle to the ongoing national essay discussion around listing and listing. And it's an unfortunate reality because, as you mentioned, Steve, they're on their way here. We're going to have a population of wolves in Colorado in the next couple of years before any of this is implemented.
You know what cracks me up about the the like the wine. Yes, Wolf. Protection crowd is that. You know, like you look at Wisconsin, right, where they hit recovery objective. You know, eons ago, they get way over recovery objective, but then they have a hunt and they set a quota and they go over to quota and everybody's all upset. Like, when did you people start caring about quotas? You never cared about the recovery objective, no.
That became a completely like you never cared about surpassing that.
But also when they go over a quarter, everybody acts like they're married to these numbers. So you don't care about the numbers. Yeah, like what just unfolded, it was it Wisconsin, where they went over there? Yeah, but like they went way over like but you guys have we've been over the quota that you liked for 20 years. Right.
And, you know, like to like all of a sudden, like, you really care about all the numbers being right.
You don't give a shit about the only care about certain numbers.
Oh, it's indefensible to you because you also have to be like, you know, you guys really screwed up because all the other times, wildlife science, wildlife management deals in perfect scenarios.
There are no mistakes when it's done right.
You know, when you're dealing with wild animals and social science at the same time, like kills me, which is why all these discussions need to take place within the state game and fish agencies. Right. We've seen an onslaught of legislation all throughout the Rocky Mountain West this year trying to address specific pieces, not just, you know, well outside of the scope of wolf reintroduction, but trying to to manage hunting and angling as a sport, wildlife populations in general through through legislation.
And I just do not find it to be a proper venue for wildlife management discussions that, you know, those discussions need to be led by wildlife professionals, founded on the best available science at the time. Sure, a social element needs to be incorporated in it. And I don't mean to undermine or or discredit the importance of that. But it's been my experience that the legislature has not always yielded the best wildlife management strategies or policies.
Oh, it's the same thing. The state of Montana is just like makes you want to throw up right now. It's like very clear that wildlife is a vehicle for vendetta.
Not like you're telling me. You can look me in the eye and say that this legislation is for animals somehow, or is this for who you're talking to? It's a people thing, not an animal thing.
And, you know, look, there are some scenarios where it's been beneficial to particularly on funding. We've seen it be advantageous in Pennsylvania and some of the eastern states on Sunday, hunting and blue laws. And so I don't mean to demonize it across the board because there have been occasions where it's been beneficial.
I like it. I mean, I don't like it, but those are like those are social sites, like social legislation.
It's not like wildlife management.
No. Right. Right. That's good point.
This is a tangent to this, but I was looking at lawsuits to undo the Bernhardt's de-listing, I'm going to end up missing that guy and more than a handful of ways, but.
Lawsuits looking to undo the the delisting now that we've hit recovery objectives and how U.S. Humane Society pop up. It's funny that because they do the nice stuff for dogs, people never realize that it's one of the most powerful anti hunting a. a. trapping groups out there like far and away their dogs that Murdocks like Murdocks ranch supply you. You like doing the thing and asked if you want to donate something at Murdocks. They ask if you want to donate to Humane Society.
Oh man, we were driving.
This is like a weird like you're talking like a ranch community, whether they want to donate to the leading animal rights or like the leading animal rights organization in the country.
I felt like I think like someone they kind of slip by someone we're not about bringing it up with the cashier.
We're driving south of town and there's one of those anti trappin billboards out that way.
And my kids are like, well, what is that? I'm like, you know, some people don't like it.
Yeah, they masquerade as dog helpers. Yeah. But hey, Steve, I did bring it up to the cashier, you did, and, you know, it is interesting because she said, yeah, it's like a very hot topic because everybody in there is like what? This doesn't make any sense. And it's like the local. Humane Society, which is like a different thing than the US, is that right? Yeah, but they're not connected.
They should rename because I think that there is no I think that there is a connection, man.
Well, no, because I don't think that the owners of Murdochs and all the employees there would allow that. You need to you need to get your little producer cap on kernel, sniff it out.
All right, Gaspar, you were born in the US. I was, yeah. I'm asking for you. Yeah. Yeah. Gaspar Paracon. I just feel like, you know, I don't know, like in Spain, Sicilian namesake is a Sicilian. Yeah. Yes. That's my people. I know. I know. We're good people. We're here.
Are you were your were your folks from Sicily or you guys built us for a long time. Yeah. Third generation. Well American and it's a little throwback name.
And Gaspar. You're the only Gastar I know. Well. If you remember, I said to my grandfather, I am as well. OK, thanks for coming on and explaining this Wolf deal, man. You'll have to come back a whole bunch. Keep us up to speed on it. Be happy to. Thanks for the time, guys. Thanks, guys. Thanks. I'm not totally happy. I mean, you did a great job.
I just like I just me and stuff kind of. You got some lingering questions, no, no questions, I just did something about it like. Well, I wish they would have done it. I wish they would have done it like this.
Run around what their opinion about it is, you know, it's interesting that you guys can pull off calling all those guys out of the parks in Denver and feeding them to the food shelters without putting that up for a public vote.
Yeah, there's a bit of duplicity in some of the regs on the books I'd be denying if I said otherwise.
Yeah, the voting, the voting on this stuff. I know this will never happen. I mean, just to be ridiculous, to demonstrate ridiculousness is will it be like someday they'll be like, we're going to have a vote and we're going to see everyone in the state should the limit be two or three? That's the way it's going.
I mean. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, we have allocation questions before the legislature here right now. There's a bill out there trying to limit the nonresident tags available. And, you know, again, we periodically as a wildlife commission have gone back and taken a look at season structures and license allocation distribution between residents and nonresidents. And, you know, those take a couple of years. They're among the more contentious conversations that occur in the state.
And, you know, here we have kind of just a blanket, one size fits all approach that would set in statute that distribution requirement. And it's drawn confrontation on on every side of the discussion. Right. Which I think just underscores that the venue is not suitable for those type of conversations that we got one for extending Wolf season here in Montana.
Right. And it's like you talked to a public vote.
Well, no, this was some legislation, OK? And it's just just funny, right? Because they're like. These folks who introduced this legislation, they don't understand how bad hunters are killing wolves, and it's like, yeah, we can we can make wolf hunting season. Year round, the people who kill wolves are trappers, but they only want to do it in the first good. It's like, you know, the biological basis is not there is the social basis that is the point, right?
Well, and like when they opened up Idaho's Wolf Harvest for the first time, you know, I think they gave out something like your listeners may tell me I'm way off on this. No, but, you know, it was several thousand tags, right?
And they ended up killing like 130 or 140 of them, which was like the best hunting season I think Idaho had. Right. When she dropped off the table after that, once the wolves were like, oh, getting shot at now, trying to move off the road.
But with just under a thousand wolves on the landscape, you would expect that Hunter harvest percentage to be a bit higher than that. Yeah, it's a testament to the difficulty of the Hunter harvest approach and management.
All right, man, thanks a lot. Thank you. I'm back looking at this picture of now.
Am I gonna take it easy, buddy? I appreciate it. To wrap up. Kel, plug your deal. Oh, so I guess the day after this podcast will be the Louisiana episode of Carol in the Field Cal's Week and reviewed my my podcast, but something you can see visually on our Meat Eater YouTube channel.
So the first episode was trapping live, trapping grizzly bears with Idaho Fish and Game.
If you see some freak, if you want to see some amazing grizzly bear footage that. It's good, it is good. A big grizzly in a trap and they work it up and process it and.
And eventually let it go and yeah, it's like it's incredible, good example, like the internal frustrations of being out on something like that, there's just like an overwhelming amount of cool stuff happening and an endless amount of things we could talk about. And it's like but here's like. The most concise version that we could get out, you know, that was episode number one, which is turn it up on YouTube.
Either it's been sitting there and episode two is Idaho Fisheries, where we're talking about getting rewarded for catching rainbow trout, which is is a goofy deal like bounty hunting rainbows, bounty hunting rainbows.
Yep. Yeah. On the South Fork of the Snakes, another fun one. And then Louisiana. We do all we fish for this really cool species called Atlantic Triple Tail, which is a giant perch and super tasty fish.
And you learn about the citizen science going on with fish that people have been catching in the Gulf of Mexico forever, but only got on regulations on Gulf fisheries regulations within like the last five years.
That really surprised me because it's such a highly esteemed eating fish. Yes. And such a prized sport fish. But people who like to catch it, it surprises me. There's just one of those fish like, oh, yeah, they're always there. Yeah. Never mind those things.
I think it's because there's no, like, specific commercial soda.
I was going to ask, like, they only show up as bycatch, right. Bycatch.
Some folks target them, but you really got to target them with with hook and line. Yeah. So, you know, it's like, is it worth people's time to go after them in a market sense? And I think it's just kind of an interesting thing that even now it's like there's so much life in the ocean. That we're still getting around to, like, properly identifying, doing some I mean, I talked to the one person who's really researched triple tail, Scott, Jim Franks is awesome.
There's two fish in this world that I want to catch that I've never caught and tails one of them. The other one I came out of, it's like a weird mental problem, I can't remember, but I always have to ask Johnny, what's the other fish I want to catch real bad? Oh, there's three fish I want to catch so bad, you're going to have to give me just a little bit of a hint. It looks like a little shark, but it's not cobia.
Yeah, they're good to man a tail and a cobia and then a fish. Oh, yeah, I'm a fish.
One of you, too. Yeah. Yeah. And then we. Yeah, go all over Louisiana, hunt hogs, hunt Galán you, which is emersion, and just look at the effects of saltwater intrusion and an erosion in Louisiana and, you know, super wild fun trip to Louisiana.
So when you're shooting at the pig, it looks like you're rating a rating, like you're rating a target out of a like pretty tight with a shotgun and thick brush.
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
You know, the idea is to go in without any judgment and experience things the way people experience them in their places. Yeah.
And yeah, I felt a little I'm a downer.
I know it's a little odd being like so loaded shotgun bow the both under under power, which is the worst storm in there. Yeah.
And you're just going to plow me into a bunch of bushes and that's how we're hunting hogs.
But yeah, it's like, it's like that. It's like Apocalypse Now and the tiger comes. Yeah. I just got like firing into some grass. I mean you could see what you were doing. I'm not trying to make it like it was unsafe, but it's just it's a it's a good clip.
But, yeah, you know, trying to take a look at some different conservation issues, see how folks, you know, are exploring their spaces as they change over time and different parts of the world.
And it's been super fun and always very interesting.
So. Good work, everybody. Check it out now how I feel like if you wanted to find it, like how people actually find stuff, you'd go Khail in the field. In the YouTube search engine would be real easy on the field.
Yep, start with a smart thing to do would be go to YouTube, search meteoroid meat eater and hit that subscribe button who fill out the.
And that's smart. It's. Bill, thanks. Thank you. All right, everybody, thanks for tuning in.
We got a man to you. A lot of titillating things we didn't talk about, but we'll talk about them later, including you're going to do it like how they do it in real shows, man.
Like you do a teaser next week on and the next week, but including same sex relationships and critter's. I was waiting for Koreans like musical outro, but thanks, everybody.