2017 Summer Games Yellowstone National Park

Billy Lightpaw Middle weight contender for the Broad-jump – Summer Games Yellowstone National Park.

 

As long time readers of the BigShotsNow blog you know that every 4 years Yellowstone National Park holds the Summer Games in preparation for the Wildlife Olympics with entrants from around the globe. This year the games are being held in Yellowstone once again with venues at Gibbons Meadows, the Madison river, Hayden Valley, the LeHardy Rapids, the Lamar valley and the Blacktail Flats area.

This is always an incredible experience with visitors attending from all over the world. As usual most of the events are standing room only as tickets have been sold out for many of the big events for the last two years. However most events have roadside observation areas set up to accommodate the overflow crowds. Be prepared for Bear Jams, Wolf Jams, Buffalo Jams, Otter Jams and every other jam you can think of as the various contestants make their way to the different events, while those attending Yellowstone for the first time slam on their brakes, throw open all four doors where  applicable, and race out to greet and get their first up-close view of the different contestants, leaving their vehicles unattended and blocking the roadway. This impacts traffic bringing it to a standstill for hours. As this also usually results in the arrival of the First Responders stationed throughout the park to take care of the maimed and wounded that occur from way too close encounters with animals that are wild and have never heard of Disney, it takes awhile before the visitors cars can be impounded and hauled off to be shredded. Prepare for long waits depending on the popularity of the contestant being viewed.

This years games are truly spectacular with many new participants such as one of the real contenders in the light heavy-weight broad jump, Mr. Billy Lightpaw, here shown settling into his patented “Squat and Jump” starting position. Mr. Lightpaw also known as Billy the Bumper to his friends ,currently holds the amateur broad jumping record of 32′ 8″ set last fall at the pre-hibernation games outside of Ottawa and is considered to be a gold medal frontrunner. Notice the coiled spring like action of tucking his head in and rolling back on his powerful haunches prior to his launch. Simply incredible. This is why he’s a crowd favorite. This event has plenty of accessibility due to the wide open Hayden valley floor. Binoculars are highly recommended.

The Madison river will have a new event this year, in fact it’s the first time this event has been offered in the summer games and it is likely to be a huge crowd pleaser. It is the “Calf Drop” and it’s a doozy. There are no front-runners in this event due to the fact that only first time Buffalo mothers can enter. Those due to drop their calves during  the week of August 11th and August 22nd are automatically entered. As mentioned before there are no front-runners yet but the likelihood of twins and even in the rarest of circumstances triggering an automatic Gold medal, triplets, might be expected. There is a lot of interest in this event by the press and mothers around the world.

Another fun event for the whole family is being held at LeHardy Rapids this year. It’s the “Otter Fish Off'” and this event is one that ESPN has scheduled for prime time coverage. As you know from previous games this one is fast paced and exciting. Upstream at the top of the rapids, barrels of trout averaging 26″ to 41″ inches long and weighing up to 96 lbs.each are released to streak down the rapids where the contestants wait at the bottom. The Otter that gets the biggest fish with the least amount of personal  injury is scored on tenacity, conviviality, ferocity and good manners. This is a high interest event for the entire family and you may want to arrive a few days early to get a good seat.

The “Wolf Run” or “Elk Calf Take Down” is an event that is best watched on TV or the various Jumbo-trons set up along the highway as much of the action is out of sight due to the rugged terrain through the ponds and small streams in the heavily brushed area that is Blacktail Flats. This year we’ll have extra coverage as the various networks are employing their new “Wolf Drone” cameras which are able to follow the wolves as they run down the elk calves and drag them out of the buck brush where they like to hide. Odds on favorite this year is of course the Blacktail Flats Pack for their intimate knowledge of the area.

Gibbon meadows will again be the site of the contestants housing area, media outlets, Torch lighting, and the entrance and closing parades. A Special “I Paid A Lot Because I’m Special” Pass is needed to access this area. If you don’t already have one you might as well forget about it. There’s none left. Sorry. Seems like everybody is Special.

The Lamar valley is again host to one of the all time favorite events, “Buffalo Herding”. This event has been a staple of the Summer Games for as long as I have been making them up. It is not someone herding the Buffalo but instead the Buffalo proudly showing off their skill at being a herd member, their ability to ‘herd’ as it  were. There are synchronized marching exhibitions, where the different herds show off their ability to walk together with all four legs synchronized, which if you’ve never seen it before is mesmerizing. There is a herd bull “Bellowing” event where the different herd bulls get on opposite sides of the valley and bellow at each other until one runs away in shame. There is a new event this year where the herds travel along the valley floor with the newborns running alongside ( the little orange ones ) to see how long they can run with their tongues out. And last but not least the contest that pits the different herds against each other to show who can make the trip up the Gibbons Narrows to the meadows above the slowest. The resulting length of the traffic tie up from the buffalo jam decides the winner. Last years numbers to beat are eleven and a half miles and five hours to make the six-mile trek up from the bottom of the falls to the summer grazing. Everyone travels at Buffalo speed for this one.

These are just the highlights of the summer games there’s plenty more so start packing and head on up to Yellowstone for another amazing year of the Summer Games at Yellowstone National Park. We’ll look for you there.

Note From Yellowstone

2051-11-01BullElkRut2371

For Immediate Release: Subject: The Rut : Special Interest: MMA fans : General Public

This just in from Yellowstone National Park. The Rut is still in full swing. The annual Battle of the Antlers can still be seen and heard throughout the park. There’s bellowing along the Madison, grunting and heaving in the Hayden valley, total chaos up at Mammoth as these big boys show their stuff.

This is no holds barred cage fighting without the cage. Shown here is Evvie Stepper, Evvie is short for Everett, a contestant from the upper Lamar valley Steppers, a herd well-known for producing big mean bulls. Here he is making a splash as he comes down to challenge any comers. Don’t call him Everett and don’t laugh when you say Evvie unless you’re wearing Kevlar.

So if you’ve been staying home because you thought things were over, think again. Jump in the car and come on up for a front row seat at any of the venues. Entrance fee good for all fights.

Close: For Total Distribution: TV and Cable: Good for Still Release : Subject Tie In: Elk; River; Nature; Good for all ratings

The Rut

Yesterday was the official opening of the Rut. As you know, the Rut is where the bulls gather cows together called a harem and battle each other for breeding rights. This goes on for weeks and is the highlight of the Elks life, both cows and bulls. There’s usually a big opening ceremony down on the Madison river with hor’s d’oeuvre, some wine, the boxed kind mostly, there’s a lot of elk here for the opening, and we still haven’t fully recovered from the recession, a big banner across the meadow saying “Welcome back Bulls! Get to it!”. The press is on hand to do a shoot of the prominent bulls, They want to feature who’s the biggest, the baddest, which bull is going to kick the most bull butt, who’s going to collect the most cows. There’s always a breakdown sheet on the individual bulls stats. Who fathered the most calves, what was the bull calf ratio to cow calves born, etc. It’s like Yellowstone does Vegas.

There’s actually a pari-mutuel betting window set up down near 7 mile bridge for those so inclined. Last year their crowd favorite was a bull named Edwin, normally a shy reclusive bull in the off-season but a holy terror during the rut. He’s been ranked 1st with a 71-3-1 record. This year the money’s on a new bull named Thug. ( see image above) There’s not much known about Thug other than the fact that he put his antlers through the door of a Prius and made the driver embarrass himself. The Park staff gave him a written warning, which Thug promptly ate, and told him if he did it again they’d saw his antlers off. That got his attention for a minute. That’s like a death sentence during the Rut. Thug listened but showed no emotion. You’ll hear comments like “Dead bull walking” when he goes by now. It didn’t seem to phase him however as he promptly flipped the hor’s d’oeuvre table over during the weigh-in just to rattle Edwin. This should be a Rut of the century coming up folks.

Normally The Director is on hand to oversee the festivities and act as an unofficial Master of Ceremonies. This year there was a problem getting away from The Institute which can’t really be told in complete detail, but it had to do with our on going Animal Modification program. This is one of our most secret programs, not because it’s illegal, but it is to protect our investment and to keep our procedures under lock and key until we can file the proper patent papers and get everything trademarked. We can’t take the risk of losing the T-Shirt sales and other merchandising items we have planned by letting someone beat us to the punch.

We can relate the situation that occurred without giving away the details on our gene sequencing procedures or our use of a reconstituted and safe red-dye #2, that it was our work with Wolverines that went all over wonky of a sudden yesterday and caused the cancellation of our trip. Our purpose is to modify the Wolverines behavior so they can be sold as house pets. There has been a lot of heat on the puppy-mills lately and we frankly see a huge decline in cute huggable puppies in the not too distant future. That’s where we feel we could really capitalize on our new, gentle, genetically modified and recolored wolverines. With our new breeding programs in place, normally wolverines who are so mean one of them has to die in the mating procedure, can now mate safely, actually enjoying the process rather than ripping each others appendages off. We think we have reduced wolverine meanness to a more manageable level. That’s good as that means baby wolverines by the boatload and that means big bucks.

Briefly, our problem happened as we were loading the research vehicles to leave for the opening ceremonies, one of the interns was throwing a dead moose into their confinement area, the wolverines not the interns confinement area, for their evening meal and did not close the door and activate the remote tracking weapons and all of the wolverines got out of their cage. These were the unmodified wolverines. This created a real bad situation right now, we mean an awful one, and anyone who was caught outside was immediate wolverine food. Fortunately The Director, who is lucky that way was climbing up on the roof of the Mothership, our primary research vessel, and was able to pull the ladder up where he was safe but trapped. Several hours later one of our slow thinking interns remembered the tranquilizer gun and was able to dart two of the guard wolverines that were securing the door of our shed containing our bite proof wolverine recovering proximity suits.

To make a long story longer we got the suits, we rounded up and caught the wolverines, which is a whole battle by itself, and much of what we can’t tell you about, and got the area secured again. By then it was too late to leave and we were all tired so we said to hell with it and went in and had pizza and watched “Yellowstone – Super Volcano – Will it Blow and kill Everything and Everybody All Over the Place ” on TV. For those of you who haven’t seen this documentary, apparently it will. So after some thought we decided to pass on the Rut this year and wait and see if Yellowstone is still there in the Spring. But if you’re not doing anything the Rut goes on for a while and you can take it in. Let us know how it goes.