Taxpayers Are Sliding Down the Budge Hill

First, a little cowboy poetry: “In Jackson Hole on a scenic spot the Budge family built their home, This was the place they chose to live, no more to ever roam. This hill was perfect for its panorama of scenic downtown Jackson, The home, the hill, the mountain views, gave them satisfaction. Then one fateful day a crack appeared inside their domicile, It gradually grew a bit each day, expanding all the while. ‘Til finally it was plain to see their family must get out, The home was doomed, sad to say, beyond any reasonable doubt. The fighting began over…

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Grousing About Ravens

When I was a kid, we were so poor that sometimes for Sunday dinner we would have Sage Grouse Shadow soup. Some neighbor had killed a sage grouse, but before cooking would loan it to us. We hung the grouse above boiling water so its shadow was in the pot. We would boil it, then return the grouse to its owner. The soup was delicious. There is a big controversy going on right now about Greater Sage Grouse management. Some want to list them as a threatened species, ostensibly because rural development and oil and gas drilling is destroying their…

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Whitewater Cowboy

The grandkids called me up one day and said “to the Snake River” they was headed to play. They urged me get off my pony and come, to ride on their raft and have lots of fun. Well, I been workin’ quite hard, I could use a break. Fixin’ fence and buckin’ hay are making my back ache. So against my better judgement I decided to go. “Come on, Grandpa Jonesy!” they pleaded. I couldn’t say no. We met at West Table Creek, according to plan. They was wearin’ swim togs and had a beautiful tan. My western shirt and…

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The Rule of Law

When I was a Cub Scout leader the boys enjoyed playing “Calvin Ball”. It was tag/dodge-ball with no rules. Or, rather, the person who was “it” got to make the rules on the spur of the moment. It was chaotic with no predictability. Perfect for eight year olds. We have a bunch of mental eight year olds running our country. We have leaders who deliberately ignore, misquote, misinterpret, or misrepresent law to get their own way. Here is the law which trumps all other laws; “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance…

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Living in the Land of Oz

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Fed) met in Jackson Hole on August 28-29. Annually a bunch of egghead economists try to impress us with their knowledge of how to direct monetary policy. They promise us free Bubble-Up and free Rainbow-Stew because of their smarts. This year they had competition. The American Principles Project hosted the First Annual Jackson Hole Summit entitled “Central Banks: The Problem or The Solution”. You can watch replays on website JacksonHoleSummit.org. It was held at Hotel Terra in Teton Village and at Diamond Cross Ranch in Buffalo Valley. This cowboy had the privilege of…

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Nature Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

I think we need to go ‘back from nature’. I know, I know. The saying is supposed to be ‘back to nature.’ But I propose that ‘natural’ isn’t always better than how man can alter the environment to improve it. Nature doesn’t necessarily know best. Take the current drought in California. I was recently in conversation with a man who farms 35,000 acres in California. He has spent thousands over the past year drilling new wells because the aquifer has dropped. He said, “The real problem isn’t drought. It is that environmentalists won’t let us build any more dams. So…

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What Really Happens if Elk Feeding Ends

There are those who advocate the elimination of elk feedgrounds, including the National Elk Refuge. I call that ideology foolishly impractical. I challenged them to submit their plan. In response, they delivered a research paper to me entitled “What Happens When Elk Feeding Ends”. In this treatise their main claim is that since many other places throughout the west have viable elk herds without artificial feeding, then northwest Wyoming can do the same. This is not a valid argument or comparison for the following reasons; 1) Our harsh winters are much worse than any other elk area. 2) No area…

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TAKE YOUR GUN TO CHURCH

As they escorted the young man out of our worship service, I immediately thought, “What if he goes to his car and returns with a gun? We are sitting ducks!” It was obvious the man was not ‘all there’, having some kind of mental illness. He could be upset that he wasn’t allowed “to preach to the people” as he had expressed an intention of doing. Revenge was a possibility. I looked at all possible means of defense. Nothing more formidable than a hymn book or bible was at hand. I sweated out the last 15 minutes of the service.…

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The Grinch, himself, carved the roast carrot

A strange thing happened to me the other day. On a late hunt I was in pursuit of the wily wapiti. I was following a fresh set of tracks, which looked like they could have been made by a bull elk, but they looked a bit strange. Just different, somehow. Finally I got a glimpse of a grayish-tan hide through the bushes. Gray? It should be reddish brown, but I’ve seen odd-colored elk before. There!! The tip of an antler! I started to shoot, but my training kicked in; “Positively identify your target.” The antlers had a strange configuration. Palmated…

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BLM Lacks Horse Sense in Managing Mustangs

Horse sense is sadly lacking where management of the wild mustang is concerned. I see that a Judge dismissed the suit that Wyoming brought against the BLM for having too many cayuses on the range. It seems the critters are competing with Wyoming cattle, not to mention damaging habitat meant for native wildlife such as camelopes, muleys, and wapiti. The Wyoming Governor is quoted as saying the BLM “fails to comply with applicable law.” Well, you can pass all the “applicable law” you want, but the biological urge to reproduce trumps any law you can concoct in the hallowed halls…

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