Backcasts archive: Through Sept. 5, 2008

Blog calendar: Sept. 5 | Sept. 4 | Sept. 2

posted Sept. 5, 2008

You've heard of pot brownies. Now we have a pot blackie, and Utah's thankful

Great lead on the Associated Press story today about the black bear that scared off the operators of a pot farm after so many repeat visits: One Utah community is cheering a special bear – but don't call him Smokey.

In addition to a terrific piece of writing, the whole thing is just hilarious, especially the quotes from Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins.

"If I can find this bear I'm going to deputize him," said Perkins, the AP reports from Panguitch, Utah.

"Our county is so tough on drugs that even the wildlife are getting in on the action."

The large blackie apparently made its mark all over the Boulder Mountain site of the secret camp.

In addition to the 4,000 "starter" sacks of pot and 888 young plants, according to the AP, food containers were torn apart by the bear and there were cans with bear teeth marks, claw marks and bear prints.

No, don't call it Smokey, but we know there's a new moniker a-bruin somewhere in Garfield County.

For now we'll just call that bear hungry.


posted Sept. 4, 2008

Shark-bitten angler suggests next time to pick up "the blunt end"

What's worse than a shark bite?

For one angler in England it would be the flight to the hospital he took in a whirlybird.

It all started when Stephen Perkins hooked a shark, thought to be a blue, and was bitten on the forearm while trying to retrieve it, according to the Web site of the North Devon Gazette, which serves the large county of the same name in southwest England.

Perkins, 52, from South Glamorgan, was rescued from his small boat near Lundy – the largest island in the Bristol Channel, off the coast of Devon – and flown to a hospital, then transferred to another facility, where he underwent surgery and was released two days later, according to the Gazette.

Quotes of the week abound as Perkins explained his misfortunes. Take your pick:

"We don't harm the sharks we hook. We just take their picture and put them back in the water," Perkins said, the Gazette reports. "The one I got was pretty lively and having put its jaw around my wrist, then let go. The scariest bit was going up in the helicopter.

"This won't put me off fishing, but the next time I will take care to pick them up by the blunt end."

Yes, Mr. Perkins, we think that's very sound advice that all shark anglers should heed: pick them up by the blunt end.


And we are most pleased that you're going to be OK, and we hope you'll be out fishing for those toothy denizens right quick like.

The Gazette reports that a hospital spokesperson said Perkins would require follow-up treatment and physical therapy.

Good luck to you, good sir, and tight lines … tight lines that are much more than an arm's length from the maw of your next blue shark, that is.


posted Sept. 2, 2008

Are we ever really that far from the evil ways of the menacing kangaroo?

To the list of animals that present a danger to joggers (think bears, deer, bees, slugs – you know, the slipping factor) we now can add kangaroos.

Perhaps similar to getting between a sow and her cubs, this incident involved an Aussie man apparently running between a male and female roo, the Associated Press reports from Melbourne, where even in the island nation's second-largest city good folks can't escape the menacing hoppers.

We could go on about the kangaroo's renowned boxing abilities, but, alas, this isn't as lighthearted a matter and we might presume.

The jogger, who emergency personnel said was in his 50s, was taken to a hospital after suffering a gash on his head and minor claw scratches to his chest, arms and hands, according to the AP.

And to think the occurrence in suburban Sunbury took place in broad daylight – about 1:30 p.m. yesterday – and near the jogger's home, no less, according to the Web site of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Are they watching us, those killer kangas?

"The man fought off the kangaroo and made his way to a neighbor's house," an ambulance spokeswoman said, according to the article on the Morning Herald site. "The neighbor called triple-0."

0-0-0 is the Down Under version of our 9-1-1 (as in the zeroes are down under on the telephone keypad).

Seriously, though, let's be careful out there after we lace up our running shoes.

  • Got a similar take or differing view? Post on our Message Board or our Mailbag. And if you have a news tip, send it our way.

    About the author: Brett Pauly spent nearly six years editing and publishing ESPNOutdoors.com before moving on to produce the ESPN.com Sports Travel site. He is a national award-winning writer and editor with 14 years of experience in the newspaper trade, including stints at the Los Angeles Daily News and Seattle Times. The Evergreen State is where he now makes his home. Click here to email him.

  • Check the Backcasts archives for previous blogs.