RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "ice fisherman"

Ice fishermen seek protection from rampaging Bighorns

(Blue Mesa) Hundreds of ice fishermen have filed grievances with the state and federal government after a series of attacks on vehicles by Bighorn sheep living nearby.

     Although no person has been directly threatened it is feared that personal assaults may be next. The sheep, usually found at higher, more remote locales moved into the area west of Gunnison a few years back, apparently liked it, and stayed. Bighorn activity has increased in the area since 1980 but more

aggressive tendencies within the herd have only surfaced this year.

     A more radical element of the ice fishermen, Bait Nation, with suspected links to Aryan groups all over the West, has threatened to shoot the animals if the situation worsens. They say the Division of Wildlife should control their wards and that any damage to cars parked near the shore is the responsibility of that agency.

     Meanwhile the confrontations continue to mount. Just over the weekend three pickups sustained damage when charged in three different incidents by the same large ram. Although all of the aforementioned vehicles were operable after the onslaught one lost a front bumper and another a windshield. Some door damage was also reported. One ice fisherman asked why the authorities had done nothing.

     “Belligerence towards anything connected to humans has definitely escalated since the holidays,” said Hugo Montelbann, of Vulcan. “Can’t the Curecanti rangers see a trend here? Are they waiting until cars and trucks are stolen and people are the target of this puissant pugnacity, this territorial tumult?”

     Dr. Montallban, a retired professor of English at Western State University and College has been ice fishing for over fifty years. Close friends say his is given to superficial alliteration and drinking cold beer. 

     Animals behaviorists, working with the freshmen class at that same institution, say the animals are known to be quite docile except during the autumn rutting season when head banging and testosterone levels rise. They say many young rams crash heads with each other all year round but that most of the time it’s just for fun.

     “Have you ever glimpsed the dazed look on their faces after a head to head collision?” asked Dr. Martha White, a marine biologist on loan from Cal Amari Remedial College in Santa Barbara. “While it looks painful to us it represents ecstasy to them. My expertise is really in another field,” she explained. “I don’t even know the distinction between sheep and goats. They all make the same baaa sounds don’t they?”

     White went on to say that she still follows the advice of a noted anthropology professor at Cal Amari, Dr. Everett Pennywhisyle, who often said,

“Don’t let the fact that you know nothing about a specific subject keep you from presenting a lengthy dissertation on that subject.”

     A spokesman for the Division of Wildlife suggested that the ice fishermen abandon their regular haunts until the sheep settle down.

     “Something here has gotten their goat,” he laughed. “It might be better if these local anglers fished the Taylor or San Cristobal until this quandary is resolved. I hear Mexico has great fishing this time of the year.”

     In the interim, fishermen have been urged to avoid wearing bright colors or making quick movements so as not to further provoke the sheep.

– Suzie Compost