LOSE A COUPLE
Here are a few late scores left over from the hunting season. The hunted lost two but did rack up one refreshing upset. The upset occurred in Ontario, where for several years now conservation officials have kept track of wandering moose by utilizing helicopters in the often difficult tagging operation. The chopper pilot locates a moose near a lake and chases it into the water until it is swimming. Then the chopper hovers just over the moose while a conservation officer crawls out on a pontoon and snaps a tag on the helpless animal's ear. At least, that was the procedure until this past year, when the moose markers began to use self-expanding collars with distinctive markings that make it easy to identify individual moose from the air.
Ever try to put a collar on a 1,500-pound moose? It has been reported to us—we regret that we cannot guarantee the accuracy-of fish and moose stories—that one day a chopper crew spotted a big, mean-looking bull moose and dutifully herded it into the lake. The pilot brought the chopper down to hovering position, but as he did the bull found solid footing in the water—maybe a rock, maybe an underwater ridge. He braced himself, heaved his massive antlers upward and flipped the chopper over onto its rotors. The moose, uncollared, swam serenely away while the pilot and conservation man, wet and red-faced, waded ashore.
Returns from other precincts were not as good for antlered folk. Near McCanna, N. Dak., a moose was killed by people shooting nothing more deadly than cameras. Five eager photographer-farmers spotted the moose, who refused to pose, and chased him for three miles in pickup trucks. Now and then the moose faked them out and lost them, but a friend of the photographers, flying in a small plane overhead, kept the ground forces apprised of the moose's location by two-way radio until, finally, the animal fell dead, presumably of exhaustion. "We don't see many moose in these parts," explained the local sheriff ruefully.
And in Rocky Mount, Va., a 22-year-old elementary-school teacher named Dennis Valianos saw a deer wander into the school yard about noon. He and a student went outside and tried to chase the animal back into the woods to keep it from wandering out onto the highway. The deer, instead of running, backed into a fence, and the teacher, instead of chasing it, jumped on it and began to wrestle it. "I don't know what made me do it," Valianos said later, "but about the time I grabbed him I saw his spikes and realized it was a buck. I had thought at first it was a doe."
He let go, and the deer ran around the fence and into a field, where it stopped. Valianos went into the school cafeteria, got a knife and trotted into the field, too. The deer began to run. "He was panting, and I could tell he was tired," Valianos said, "but when he took off running I thought he was gone. So I threw the knife at him." The knife hit the deer in the shoulder and fell off, but the animal stopped. Valianos picked up the knife, jumped on the buck again and, after a few minutes of wrestling, cut its throat. The deer, still not dead, broke away, but Valianos chased it, caught it again and finished the job. It was all legal—even with the knife. It was hunting season, and Valianos had his hunting license in his back pocket.
YELLOW WEDGE, PLEASE
The Bob Hope Desert Classic golf tournament, Feb. 5-9 in Palm Springs, will have red sand traps on par-5 holes, white on par-4 and blue on par-3. For color TV, of course. The greens will remain green.
RUN FOR THE HILLS
KNX radio in Los Angeles currently broadcasts USC football and basketball, Los Angeles Lakers basketball and Los Angeles Kings hockey. But USC, the Lakers and the Kings have been notified that KNX will not renew its contract to do any of their games next season. CBS headquarters in New York has decided that KNX will become a 100% news station. Thus, sports buffs in Southern California have lost an old, familiar radio friend.
Trade rumors say that both KFI and KLAC have expressed interest in picking up the USC two-sport package, but so far broadcasters have not shown much evidence of being interested in either the Lakers or the Kings. It may be a sign of the times. After all, the New York Mets' principal radio outlet is WJRZ, which is a country-music station in Hackensack, New Jersey.