The October news is brought to you from snowy Minnesota, where a foot of snow converted wonderful fall weather into winter overnight. Meanwhile above freezing temps persist in Bethel with 40 degree highs still hanging around. That is a continuation of last year's winter pattern where the Midwest had a rugged winter while much of Alaska had a very mild one.
October is the month when hunting cases get filed, and this year ALO has become involved in an interesting moose case out of Homer. Read the details of the charge in this news article. Basically, the question becomes what can a hunter do in order to find a wounded animal? Many folks commenting on the article seem to think any means are reasonable, but the state is indicating this case will go to trial, based on the hunter's efforts.
Wildlife photos are always part of the ALO news, and this month is no exception. The mandatory moose photo comes from the Boyette family yard in Anchorage.
Polar bears make a guest appearance each fall in Kaktovic in northern Alaska. They are attracted by whale carcasses left on the beach. A tourist trade has developed around the annual event and this news report demonstrates the appeal. This event is fairly recent, caused by retreating sea ice which makes marine mammal hunting more difficult for the polar bears.
Wildlife viewing was outstanding on the farm during October. Canada geese were the most common sighting, with up to 300 birds in a small pond along the driveway.
They were joined by about 100 mallards on some days, plus swans and cranes. Bald eagles watched over the pond, and finally swooped in when the ice formed to harvest birds that were unable to fly. Pheasants are somewhat down because of weather issues, but a covey of sharptail grouse made an appearance, no doubt attracted by the renewed prairies on the farm. This black squirrel shares the pickings under a bird feeder with grey squirrels and flying squirrels, but apparently he gets more than his share.
The elk industry continues to flourish. This article explains why. Long Pond Elk Farm can't keep up with demand, and is considering changes to its marketing to adapt to the current situation. This year 13 adult animals were harvested, and that number is likely to go down as younger animals are sold to other producers. Many happy customers, mostly long term, might have to make new arrangements in coming years. Speaking of the farm, this photo was recently discovered by a family member.
It shows the Angstman family of 15 in about 1908, a few years after they showed up in Princeton. Grandfather Jacob on the far right lived only a short time after this photo, and Emma raised all 11 on the farm. That would be quite a task for any mother, but considering that most of the 13 were fun loving pranksters even as adults is was likely an overwhelming job. Emma must have spent most of her time inside with her two daughters, leaving the sons to police themselves outside. Come to think of it that pattern has never really changed on the farm.
Of course October was dominated by political stuff in advance of the election. A favorite political figure at ALO is Sen. Bernie Sanders, who not surprisingly is an independent. This quote from him captures an interesting fact about the election.
Big money interests want more big money, and they are willing to extract it from people who really don't have it. Many of those folks vote in a way contrary to their own best interests. Speaking of big money interests, the Koch brothers made the news frequently before the election. This article pretty well sums up who they are. Does anyone with billions of dollars really have a need to control the political process so they can make more?