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Wildlife

Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

I don’t live up in the mountains where one is more likely to see a lot more wildlife than I do here on the ONO. With that being said, I have seen two bull elk just across the road a few years back. There is almost always antelope to view just about anytime anywhere out here. I rode my Harley home late one night from dancing and as I approached the railroad tracks there were about a dozen bison milling around in circles on the tracks grunting and huffing and puffing. Now, I know, according to one Roger Miller, you can’t skate in a buffalo herd. Ride a Harley slowly through them hummm? I tell you gentle readers, I was there, it was now or never, so I just kept one foot down and slowly moved through the bunch with no problems. Yesterday while sitting on the back deck this rabbit comes running around the corner of the house. I found this hard to believe, but he was chasing a ground squirrel through the yard. The little squirrel wheeled around and faced him down. Get this. Then they rubbed noses and the squirrel took off with the rabbit after him. They repeated the nose rub and then went their separate ways. I thought that very unusual. This morning I happen to glance out the window to see an orange, black and white bird (bright orange) feeding a half grown bird with seeds I guess off of pine cones in the tree. That was some fun watchin”. Several years ago I researched if bull snakes and rattlesnakes were compatible. I had always heard that bull snakes would keep rattlers away. However, I read where they sometimes will den up together. I have seen three bull snakes in my yard this year and no rattlers. I may have to change my mind, but I sure like it that way. We have had mountain lions come through on occasion and the reason I know that is my horses went plumb crazy, like Boy Howdy, they would not come in the corral for their oats for a long time. They just ran in circles with heads high and very excited. I had horses react that way on the western slope when we did in fact see a lion in the horse pasture. My neighbor to the west four miles, had a bull moose in his back yard as well as a lion at one time. No, not the two at the same time, different times. Years back I watched a coyote grab a new antelope baby maybe a day old or less. I was sitting on my front porch. Momma came running and pawing and had a friend with her but ol’ Wiley just kept draggin’ that squealing baby away. He would get tired and drop it for a moment, then continue on. The two does did their level best to scare him away but it wasn’t enough, he was gonna’ have that baby come hell or high water and he did! Sad, but a Walt Disney moment it was for sure. I have a resident Bald Eagle that hangs around and hunts on an open section across the road from me. He or she is a delight to watch as they ride the currents and then fall out of the sky like a Superman to claim their prize. I love that stuff. It makes me want to live much longer and be able to witness more and more of it. I’m not sure what kind of wildlife I am, but my governor called me a selfish bastard the other day. I wonder is that a step up from being a right wing, bald headed, conservative, common degenerate? Who knows? I know he said once all of this would be over in June. Julied!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, DO NOT GIVE AN INCH! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖


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