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 with Rob Miskosky

Signs of Strange Minds

Those that know me—and those who humble me by following me here—know that I will often speak my mind, maybe sometimes too often. In doing so, I regularly repent against an environmental movement that has no answers to their own vision of a new world order that bears an ugly side worthy of inspection.

Some consider me anti-environment, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Others just figure me brash, and maybe so. These same people believe I put hunters and hunting at the top of the sacred totem pole and would never speak poorly of our brethren or our hunting pursuits. And in many instances, they may be correct.

Using the grizzly bear as an example, in my eyes, somebody has been telling a big lie about the number of great bears wandering the Alberta countryside. I’m not a bear hunter but believe the grizzly should be hunted in several areas because its numbers are far greater than what we are being told. And, I am far from being the only one who believes so.

On a recent hunting trip to Robb, Alberta a local resident chimed, “If there are only 700 grizzlies in Alberta, then 699 of them are right here,” she said, after telling of several different bears “right in town.” Talking with other hunters in the area and after being raven-led to a fresh grizzly kill, I can understand her sarcasm. Recently discovering the telltale tracks of another great bear just behind Baptiste Lake in WMU 510 also further cements the fact that the grizzly is doing just fine in many places and not on the cusp of extinction as so many of the environmental cartel would have us believe.

I also believe there are few who account for their actions better than hunters do because for the vast majority, we are a solid group who do far more than we are given credit for.

However, I digress, because too often I am left disappointed.

Acts like this severely tarnish the image of hunters and gunowners. The culprit in this instance, needs his firearms licence revoked.
On that same recent trip to Robb, I was sickened by the number of road signs in the area that had been used for targets. All manner of road signs had been unloaded upon with everything from rimfire’s to shotguns to high-powered rifles. Often the manner in which the signs had been shot gave question to the amount of precaution taken by the weapon-wielding wackos. Bullets certainly can’t steer themselves and with the amount of construction taking place in that part of the world one had to wonder it amazing nobody had been shot.

However, for me the most distasteful act of sign shooting came in the form of the sign on this page.

Now, I’m not sure what the shooter’s mental capacity was in this case but I’d be willing to bet that “Bubba” failed the common-sense test and couldn’t be considered the swiftest bullet in the box by any stretch. Not only was the act of shooting a child between the eyes sickening, just as stupid was the lack of thought that went into the shooting as heavy equipment that offers several bullet deflection possibilities, had been abandoned for a considerable amount of time directly behind the sign. Bubba is lucky he didn’t receive a deflected bullet and hole between his eyes.

As another hunter so graciously put it, “The last thing we need is the media portraying the pro-gun crowd as a bunch of hillbilly retards that ride around in their 4x4 trucks blowing holes in signs and not stopping to think of where that bullet would land.” And, “These guys are obviously idiots, because they are willing to risk their right to own guns by doing stupid and illegal acts.”

Need I say more?

On the same end of the spectrum, the bowhunter who manufactured the signs shown below was leaving other hunters in the area a little nervous. Not only were these signs proudly on display, but other, stranger signs like arrows and numbers built of sticks and laid out on roads and cutlines, mud puddles with freshly dug trenches, sticks stuck upright in mud in all manner of design, and an assortment of items hanging from tree branches were Twilight Zone material at least.

The maker of these signs may have had good intentions, but other actions cast serious doubt on his judgment and had others concerned. - photos Ken Colwill

After being greeted in felt packs with crossbow in hand by our ruffled sign builder on a road near his camp, both my hunting partner Ken Colwill and I were told that if we looked behind his rock monument we would find another sign, built by his hand, announcing, “If you are chicken hunting and target practicing F___ Off!” A sign that both Ken and I were aware of because the sign had been erected for another hunting partner, Ken Marlatt, who had been hunting grouse and rabbits the weekend before and had been confronted by our nefarious friend.

The sign stayed up until a local Fish and Wildlife officer, obviously having received complaints, made our bedraggled sign builder take it down.

Signs give us insight into the minds of those who erect them, and those who react to them.

Are these the signs of strange minds?

You be the judge.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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