$100.00 – $1,500.00
Badgers are the most beautiful member of a whole family of strikingly beautiful creatures called mustelids. Mustelids are all aggressive predators that have evolved to fill a diverse array of niches. They range from river otters which catch fish in fresh water, to pine martins which catch squirrels and chipmunks in heavy timber, to skunks which catch mice and insects in grasslands, to a creature that can dig like a backhoe after ground squirrels and rabbits–badger. I came upon this badger one pleasant, quiet day in October while hiking near Gardners Hole. Usually a badger runs away from people surprisingly fast on short little four inch legs. This individual and I studied each other for a couple of minutes. Then he settled back into the grass where I had first seen him. I watched him for at least 45 minutes while he slept. If people had wondered what I was doing, I could have told them I was working, learning a lot about badgers. It was easy for me to be patient because the day was perfect. I had not had a chance to watch a badger since I was a kid on our cattle ranch. After a while, he moved around and dug briefly in some loose dirt and disappeared down a nearby hole for a minute or so. When he emerged, he sniffed the breeze coming from the west. Before he took off in the tall grass, he sat down and gave himself a good bath. He cleaned the insides of his hind legs, scratched under his front legs and chin, cleaned his belly and yawned and shook himself thoroughly. He had cleaned, combed, and wiped most of his spectacular black and white striped face and his beige and rust colored belly looked fluffy, soft and fresh. Even his long curved claws were clean and ready to move some dirt.