A Two Harbors, Minnesota man was knocked off his speeding snowmobile after a barred collided into his helmet’s face mask, sending Chris Hatfield “flat on my back on the trail staring at the stars.” He came away from the collision with “two shiners, a cracked nose, (and) a little whiplash.” The Rochester Post-Bulletin.
At least five people have died this winter after falling into tree wells while skiing or boarding, a reminder that not all mountain hazards come in the form of avalanches. Tree wells are formed in deep snow, when the boughs of the tree form a hollow space around the trunk as the snow builds upside outside it. In places where the snow is ultra deep and there isn’t much skier traffic, wells can be over six feet deep. If a skier or boarder falls into one, they’re often upside down, with skis or board above, and the snow tumbles on top of them and suffocates them. Read more
During an aerial survey in late December, biologists in Yellowstone National Park counted 4,635 elk, a 24 percent decline from the 6,070 animals counted a year earlier. While the one-year decline seems dramatic, Doug Smith, Yellowstone’s wolf project leader, said a number of factors lead him to question “how good this count is.” National Park Traveler and Jackson Hole News & Guide.
A Washington nudist “recreation” club has sued to block the building of a public shooting range near Sultan, claiming an improper transfer of state forest land for the range to Snohomish County. ”We’re thinking it’s not a good idea to have a shooting range a mile away from a social camping club,” said Jodi Halfhill, secretary for Lake Bronson Club. Everett Herald.
Get along, little doggies. The Columbus Zoo has established a “Prairie Dog Hotline” for citizens who spot one of the five wayward critters still on the lam after 11 escaped from temporary quarters at the facility a few weeks ago. Jack Hanna, where art thou? Columbus Dispatch.
You people suffering under the current global warming need this to ease your pain. The VanKat may be our ultimate hybrid thanks to Ford power, Thiokol chassis, and 80’s Dodge Ram good looks. It carries 16 passengers with plenty of headroom thanks to a canvas panorama top, and the filled wheel wells and scalloped paint scheme has us almost as stoked as the guy inside. For sale at Peak Adventures, a backcountry operation that is liquidating their snowcats, in northern Idaho for $30k. Read more
(AP) — The head of Russia’s fisheries agency says a fishing trawler that disappeared last week after sending an SOS either has sunk or sent the distress signal to disguise its escape from the Asia-Pacific region. Read more
Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died. Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight. Read more
For the second year in a row, and for the third time in the last four years, Yellowstone National Park has set a new annual visitation record,with more than 3.64 million people visiting in 2010. Recreation visits in 2010 were 10.5% higher than recorded in 2009—which itself was a record year—when nearly 3.3 million people visited. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
After receiving a 911 call Friday, Orange County, FL firefighters spent more than an hour trying to capture and remove a raccoon from a mobile home. Emergency workers finally relented, telling the homeowner to call animal control to have the raccoon removed. WKMG.
In July 2009 Ruger announced that they had discontinued the Ruger Frontier rifle, a rifle that was close in concept to Col. Coopers scout rifle. It ‘warmed my heart’ to read that Ruger is now offering a true scout rifle in collaboration with the Gunsite Academy (the school founded by Col. Cooper). I wonder if it comes gold plated like the one Cooper was buried with. Sometimes Jeff went to far. Read more
Better order up some Ammo. I find it amazing how the California Government does not trust it’s citizens and even more amazing that the citizens put up with it. Assembly Bill 962 on ammunition in California restrictions will take effect Feb. 1, 2011. Authored by Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, the bill bans direct shipping to Californians who buy bullets via mail order or over the Internet. Instead, any ammo they buy would need to be picked up at a licensed handgun ammunition dealer, similar to the way guns are currently bought and sold.
Friends venturing into the backcountry will no longer be out of reach…well, not entirely. You still won’t be able to contact them, but they’ll be able to send you text messages, Tweets and update their Facebook status. A new SPOT Connect tool uses satellites to send small amounts of data around. You can send one-way text messages and reach social networks, just don’t burn out all your batteries before you need to use its SOS feature. The machine costs $170 up front plus $100 per year.
By Rocky Thompson
Newly sworn-in Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has reappointed Ken Mayer as acting director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife following Mayer’s abrupt firing by former Gov. Jim Gibbons when he showed up to meet with Sandoval’s transition team Nov. 22. Reno Gazette-Journal.
The woman arrested at gunpoint by Brookfield. Wis. Police in July after she openly and legally carried a holstered handgun in church has settled a lawsuit against the city and the officers who arrested her for $7,500, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Krysta Sutterfield and Wisconsin Carry, Inc., sued the city and officers in October.
Lonnie Dupre of Minnesota is attempting to become the first person to complete a solo climb of Denali in the month of January, when conditions are at their worst. Winds can hit over 100mph, and of the 9 expeditions that have gone up the mountain in winter, only 16 people have made it to the top. He’s currently hanging out in Talkeetna waiting for the weather to improve enough for a flight. Between Lonnie and Erik Larsen, it would seem Northern Minnesota is the new ‘hip’ place for polar explores to be from – the Scandinavian countries have had their day. Via Backcountry
The last Episode of Rawhide aired today in 1965.
Organizers of the Swan Crest 100-Mile Ultramarathon held for the first time in 2010 say they’re not sure they’ll apply for a permit to hold the race in Montana’s Swan Range again, but Chris Servheen, FWS grizzly bear recovery coordinator, says he’d advise against another race, likening it to holding a skateboard contest in the Sistine Chapel. ”It’s human arrogance about human behavior in natural systems,” he said. Hungry Horse News.
Arnold Richardson, a Montana angler who landed a short bit part as the elderly Norman Maclean in the hit 1992 fly-fishing movie “A River Runs Through It,” died in December at the age of 96. Richardson’s response to a casting call in a Livingston newspaper led to his brush with fame. The Helena I-R. Hat tip to Midcurrent for the story.