Notebook: Allen a heady hunter

Jared Allen has been enjoying the offseason with his favorite thrill-seeking pastime – hunting. He found a number of ways to pursue his prey: in the bitter cold, with bow or with a spear from a tree stand. With his pursuits on video, it's become a hit around the Vikings blogosphere. Plus, we check in on's first power rankings of the year and more.

Jared Allen's list of goals is long. Besides wanting to become the best defensive end in the NFL, he is looking to be feared by many species of wild animals.

His hunting pursuits are becoming the rage of the blogosphere of late with a couple of recent trips. First up was wolf hunting in Canada. As he tells the tale on his web site,, he spent five cold Canadian days getting shut out on that pursuit.

That didn't stop him from making a bold appearance on ESPN's "Jim Rome is Burning" show, where he spent 99 percent of interview with a coyote pelt on his head, claiming he needed the warmth for dealing with the desert cold of Arizona evenings.

Rome went hunting for interesting answers on the Vikings' pursuit of Brett Favre and Allen reiterated his line of thinking when asked about it last week.

"I think if the circumstances are right – if you've got a guy like Brett Favre, it's hard to pass up," he said, adding that, "our goals aren't determined whether we have Brett Favre or not. Our goals are the same. Our goal is still to win the division North championship and make sure those Lions don't go to the playoffs."

At least we think that's Allen said, although it was a bit distracting to watch the limp paws of the coyote sway on each side of his face while he talked.

"It would be nice to have (Favre) there, show his face a little bit. .. But I think at some point it's got to be determined yes or no. He's either got to work with us or we go without it," Allen said when asked about the timetable for the shoulder-impaired quarterback.

"My whole point of view is – who cares? – one way or another, we're going where we're going, no matter what.

Allen said he'll be in Minnesota for organized team activities, which start next week, and minicamp, which starts on May 29.

Before that, however, he made another stop in the Midwest on his way back to Arizona from Canada. Taking a little detour, Allen had arranged for another hunting fix. This time the target was elk in Central Illinois.

In one episode for the hunting show "Relentless Pursuit" (which sounds like a perfect description for Allen's style of attack on quarterbacks), he is perched high in a stand on the game preserve waiting for an elk. When the animal gets below him, Allen tosses the spear into the elk.

"I feel like Geronimo right now," Allen says to the camera as the elk runs off to face its final fate.

After tracking the elk and seeing his kill, Allen says, "I want to swear right now, but I can't. We got a little primitive on him, went back Native American style with a little spear. It's the only way to hunt. I'm addicted now. Hunting with spears. All you bears out there, watch out – you're next."

Allen might want to consider that bears can climb trees, elk can't.

The thrill-seeking defensive end was part of another episode of "Relentless Pursuit." That time, he shot a buffalo with a bow.

"I am now going to have buffalo strength because of this frickin' meat," Allen says after the buffalo is hung to dry. And just like they did on ‘Dances with Wolves," I ate his heart. Now the buffalo runs through me. Tatonka."

More of Allen's videos and adventures can be found on His interview on "Jim Rome is Burning," coyote pelt and all, can be seen below.

LUCKY SEVEN?'s Adam Caplan released his first power rankings of 2009, with the Vikings checking in at No. 7. Caplan remains unconvinced at a couple of positions that will be seeing new starters – center and safety – believes depth is needed at defensive tackle while thinking competition could be had for right guard Anthony Herrera.

"This team has what looks to be an average offensive line again," Caplan wrote in his summary. "Can they handle the loss of Matt Birk? Can Percy Harvin stay out of trouble and prove to be worth a first-round pick? They have to find a reliable nickel back."


During free agency, numerous Vikings faithful were curious if the team would pursue Packers free-agent offensive tackle Mark Tauscher. Before the team drafted Phil Loadholt, there was plenty of speculation on Tauscher.

The Vikings likely checked out the Tauscher possibilities, but he is still considered a medical risk. He might not be ready to play until mid- to late October, according to the News Chronicle. Tauscher, who remains unsigned, tore the ACL in his left knee Dec. 7.

"He had a really bad injury last year," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy told the paper. "It was the second time he's had knee surgery. He's in a situation where he doesn't have a contract for next year, and we really are waiting to see how his rehabilitation on his knee comes along."


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