The first photo is one taken on our road that we see every day on our walk. We have watched the color change and thought now was the right time to capture the color.
The following photo is pretty dark but if you look in the center of the photo you will see a bull elk silhouetted. This was taken at dusk and this big old boy had been gathering his harem from the other side of the road across from the front of our house. If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see this huge bull better.
This photo is also pretty dark but you can see two of the dozen or more turkeys that were in our front yard at the same time the elk were crossing the road. The turkeys were up at pre- dawn this morning and I could hear them yelping out next to the house.
We hear elk bugling all up and down our mountain and the regretful part is that other's can hear them too and they draw poachers. We are the last house on our road for several miles and a favorite spot for poachers since our road is on the perimeter of the community.
We live in a community where some think they can do what ever they want. Laws and rules do not apply to them. Other's will then back them up and support their activity. They are partially right because they are so bold they have gone down our road with poachers sitting in the back of the truck holding their guns, and clearly road hunting. They will also drop a line of poachers off along the road and then come back and pick them up. Some of their markers are still in place. License plates are either covered up or taken off. By the time you call the game warden and he gets here they are long gone. We have concluded the game warden has no stomach to deal with them and would rather arrest or issue tickets to us legal residents for putting out bird feeders. We have had vultures circle around a certain area about an eighth mile down our road, along with a flock of crows, where the poacher or illegal hunters either left a carcass or gut pile a week and a half ago. It is on someone's private lot down from us.
It is a catch 22 situation for us because if we could see the license which we can't from our deck, the plate it is either smeared with mud, dust, dirt or covered up . If we confront them and shoot one, we would be the one's arrested. If they come into our house the "Colorado make my day" law would cover shooting them but otherwise we will be the criminal.
Our association tries to deal with them but fails to have a viable plan and risks the same charges we do if they would shoot at or hit one. We have our property posted but still find evidence that they are crossing it to shoot game. We had one not far up behind our house a week ago trying to grunt an elk down. When we go up (always armed) they can slip off down the mountain side. We are going up the mountain and they go across the mountain which makes it easier and faster for them to get away.
We haven't been able to figure a way to catch them and even though the association probably knows who some of them are, no one seems to want to tackle them. Our fear is some legal hunter will get lost and would be shot by mistake. We had two illegal hunters shoot an elk about 200' from our drive way and they had a winch in the back of their truck, and winched it up a ramp and were gone in minutes. By the time the game warden got here ( about 3-4 hours later) the evidence was gone and he couldn't find a trace of them. I could hear them on their walkie talkies arranging the pick up.
We will be glad when the snow finally comes and gets deep enough that they can't poach successfully. In the meantime if they even look like they are hunting on our property they better beware. If they even look like they are aiming our way we will meet force with force. We will need some proof though or again the honest people will be the criminals.
So while we enjoy fall and the colors, the smell in the air, we do have certain unsavory things to deal with.