All I want for Christmas is a rifle


Although the Scottsdale Gun Club has yet to start selling Christmas cards showing baby Jesus cradling a machine gun in the manger, or the Magi bringing gifts of frankincense, myrrh and crates full of extra ammo, the club did offer its members a unique photo op: posing with Santa Claus while holding military-style rifles. Choices of accoutrement included an $80,000 machine gun or tripod-mounted rifle AR-15, complete with an attached grenade launcher, reports The Associated Press. The gun club's military take on the holidays inspired the blog The Westerner to suggest slightly reworded Christmas carols, such as: "Silencer Night," "I saw Mommy Shooting Santa Claus," "Joy to the Winchester," "Rudolph, the Rifle-Totin' Reindeer," and that old favorite, "Jingle Shells, Jingle Shells." Readers were invited to submit their own rewrites to [email protected]

An embarrassment of riches brought together two families of grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park: delicious piles of guts discarded by hunters, plus numerous carcasses of elk and the carcass of a bison. Unfortunately, the late-November reunion -- like many others this holiday season -- did not always go harmoniously, reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide. The two heads of the families -- the larger, dubbed 399 by researchers, and 610, her daughter from 2006 -- tussled several times over the spoils, rolling "in the snow during one brawl," said photographer Tom Mangelsen, who kept a close watch on the action as it unfolded. He said the sows' cubs, five in number, tried to join in, and one of 399's cubs was "a real scrapper," not just charging at the other cubs but also chasing its grandmother. "The scene made for amazing wildlife viewing," Mangelsen said, but if the two grizzly sows had not been related, he speculated, "it would be a fight-to-the-death sort of thing."

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