Sunday, April 1, 2007

Little Tim (the bear!)

Alright, I have to spice up my blog a little bit, and I had a request from someone to tell one of my many hunting stories. OK, so I didn't have a request, but I think I'll tell it anyway.
It all started sometime in September, 2005. I had hunted bear in the previous year, but for whatever reason it was, I didn't see anything. I mean I didn't hear or even smell a bear. Yes, yes, I know I'm not a pro hunter, but that's no excuse for not seeing a bear. I was frustrated, but relentless as usual. I knew before long I was destined to catch up to a bear, and by gum I'd shoot it dead.
The next fall, I got an offer from a friend and her family to hunt on their land. To say the least, I was pumped. They had seen like 3 or 4 bears the one week alone. And they were all different. Ya, amazing. I was ready to get in my car and drive over there right away, but alas, I had to wait for a few weeks for the season to open.
Right, now I wanted to see this land they offered to let me hunt on. I was scared that they were going to make me hunt on this tiny, dirty, you-go-there-and-you-ain't-coming-back kinda land. However, I put aside these major fears and packed up my stuff to go.
Now then, I wasn't really planning on going hunting. I mean, not on that particular day. I was to go.....scouting. For those who don't know what scouting is, it's when you go running around the country, screaming and running away from large animals that are trying to run you down and eat you for being in their territory. Sounds like lots of fun, eh?
Well, I went to their house and picked up two of the "guides" who would accompany me. They weren't much use as guides. It took us about 10 minutes to find a iddy-biddy piece of land with barley in it. But I forgave them because of what was to come (dramatic piece of music please).
Well, I drove into the approach of this field, and turned off my car. I then observed with my shifty, beady little dark colored eyes as the two passengers chatted furiously. One of them was a girl, so you can't really blame her (it comes natural to them).
Well, I start off with Dustin and Kelcie (that's the girl, Dustin is the guy to you slower people), and we walked on top of a hill. Now this was no ordinary hill, for it was covered in waist-to-chest high barley. Most hills are covered in dirt as you may have observed. But anyway, the view was AWESOME! Now I know that awesome is overused and abused, but this was pure wonderful. Below you at some distance was a thin belt of trees, mainly poplar, around you 360 degrees. There is a small patch of water, a wonderfully blue pond on the neighbouring part of land. You can see parts of 3 towns from up on the hill, some more than 20 miles away. OK, well that's my guess anyway. But it was absolutely breathtaking. Then movement at the bottom of the hill caught my eye.....
At first glance at 500 or more years, it was a black blob. I thought to myself "Geez that's a huge dog." and dismissed it. Then Kelcie noticed it and pointed excitedly at it, yelling at me something like "Look, look, what is that!" and nearly blowing me over. Me, being the strong, silent type, gave her a stern look and then threw her my binoculars. I then threw up my gun as she unfolded the bino's and we looked at this...this...thing at the bottom of the hill. All of a sudden my body realized the shape and my jaw dropped open. "That's no dog, that's a bloody bear!" I told them in a hushed but calm tone. Seeing the bear heading up the hill at an angle into the bush, I decided I was going to risk my neck by cutting it off. I looked back and saw Dustin grinning happily as he looked thru the bino's he stole from Kelcie, and I swear I saw a string of drool hanging from his lower lip. "Creepy." I thought to myself as I turned to look at Kelcie, and saw she looked rather pale.
"Kelcie, whats wrong?"
"Oh man, its a bear...what if it attacks us?"
I looked at her amazed, I thought she'd be all excited. In fact, it looked like she had to pee. I decided to ignore her and head down the hill in an attempt to cut this beast off, shadowed closely by the two totally different siblings.
The bear appeared and disappeared a few times, once showing itself within shooting distance. By now Kelcie was dancing a nervous jig, and whispering garble into my ear. The bear had disappeared and was no where to be found! Yes, this was getting twisted.
All of a sudden my razor-sharp eyes (or maybe it was my sixth-sense, who knows?) noticed movement to my left! It was a bear, a freakin' real bear! I stared in amazement at it for a second, as we all did. The bear was only 80 yards away. the bear all of a sudden reared up on its back feet, looking directly at us and...sniffing! Ya, real scary. I threw up my plastic gun (OK, so it has a synthetic stock, but feels like plastic) and pointed it at the heathen animal. The showdown had begun.
Now I have no clue what the bear was thinking, probably something like "What are these ugly, naked things standing up for"? Of course, we weren't naked, but didn't' have hair like it. Get your minds out of the gutter people. Anywho, I was staring at the bear thru my scope, calmer than a cucumber. OK, so my heart was beating like a death metal bands drummer who is trying to kill his bass drum by beating on it faster than the brain can handle. Needless to say, the time had come for one of us to die, and I wasn't planning on dying this fine day.
BANG! I pulled the trigger and three things happened. The bear hurdled itself backwards after the bullet thudded into its chest, my muscular shoulder absorbed the recoil and Kelcie went running at a breakneck pace up the hill. While the wounded beast crawled into the bush, I screamed at Kelcie to stop and take my keys. Her job had gone from screaming to jumping into the car and making sure that the bear didn't cross the road. As Kelcie ran to my car (still yelling) I turned to Dustin, who was looking at me with reverence, which needless to say made me quite uncomfortable. I snapped him out of it by placing my hunting knife into his hands and punching him in the shoulder.
"Dustin, you with me?" I screamed, and he nodded, the same piece of drool hanging there. After a minute, I turned to the lumbering giant of a boy, and the conversation went exactly like this:
"Alright buddy, we have to go in after the bear if it hasn't ran across the road. Now don't get excited, this could be the end of us, a bear that has a bullet in it usually isn't too happy."
Dustin nodded quickly.
"OK, so do you feel like dying young, cuz this could happen ya know."
"Better to die young an' healthy than old an' wrinkly." Farmer wisdom, can't argue with it.
We ventured off into the bush, stopping to look at some blood left behind. As we walked on a fallen tree, I slipped and nearly fell onto the bear! My hand shot to my side, desperately trying to grab the knife that wasn't there. Dustin stood laughing, waiting for me to get mauled by the beast. You know he ain't getting anything out of this, he just wants to tell my parents my last words were "Dustin, you take all my money, OK"? Ya, that's the thanks I get for getting rid of a problem bear. Then I realized the bear was dead, so I kinda calmed down.
As I took the knife to tag the bear, Kelcie ran up. I had blood on my hands, and had a knife sticking in the bear. Some scene you can imagine. She was nearly leaping with excitement, asking me what I shot the bear with.
"My knife." I said in my best impersonation of Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H. Do this day I don't know why she gave me that look she did, maybe it was my accent? I dunno, wasn't too concerned about it.
Anyway, I got the bear home thanks to Kelcie and Dustin's dad, who drove it home. I would have taken it with my car, but I kinda thought it might look weird to a DNR officer and vouched to let Dale (the papa), drive it home in a truck. I grabbed my uncle and he skinned the bear with a little help from me and my dad. It wasn't a monster, but it did the trick. Pretty good for a guy who just meant to scout out the land, eh? Anyways, its now a rug on the back of my couch, and it tends to get more attention that me! I shoulda never named it, maybe that woulda helped. I think that he's sore that I shot him, he keeps annoying my friends when we watch movies. Oh well, what goes around, comes around I suppose.

1 comment:

RACH said...

jim, jim, jim! i'm proud to say that you're my brother! you are a great writer. awesome blog!