First I have to tell you, if you are squeamish about hunting or talk of shooting wild game, Please bypass the next couple of paragraphs. I will end this dis-claimer with a "stop" and I will capitalize "start here" when reading will be safe. Scroll quickly!
OK, it's small game hunting season. I did not mean to hunt, it was an opportunity! I had just got back to the cabin after taking Myra to Yentna Station (more on that later). I brought the ATV up the trail from the boat and decided to drive around back to check for the bears. I got around the back corner of the cabin and there it was, a Ruffed Grouse. I stopped suddenly watching the bird, and it is watching me. I am making a decision here and I think the bird knows what I am processing. It starts to walk away, under the cabin. OK it's "ON" bird, I shut off the ATV and climbed off, walking slowly, stalking the bird, it clucks at me and walks out the other side of the cabin. I stepped around the corner and there it is, between me and the door. My only shotgun, a 12 ga. is inside, and it was loaded with slugs for the frequent visitor. To big to use anyhow, so no shotgun is accessible. The 308 moose rifle is in there too but that would be a little over kill also. I own a BB Pellet gun but it is still in the trailer at Deshka Landing. SO Now it's me and the bird, I am 20 feet from it, it is 6 - 7 feet away from the cabin. It stopped and just stood there. I pulled out my 44 Magnum with 300 grain, hardened point bear loads, took aim at the birds head and fired. I missed it by "that much", the bird stood there, now with that blank deer in the headlights stare. I aimed again, shot and blew up the dirt right beside the bird, it stood there, I think it was laughing at me. I aimed again this is my third shot, all the sudden this thought crosses my mind; "damn these bullets are expensive (over two bucks a piece) I don't want to miss again, this is going to be one expensive dinner for myself, even if I do get it". So, I aim lower on the head, pulled the trigger and poof, half the flippen bird disappeared. No shit, did not see a sign of it for six and a half feet in any direction. The reason I started seeing signs of it at six and a half feet is because thats how far it was from the cabin.
I gotta do one picture, it's not to Gross but still not safe for the squeamish.
DON'T ASK QUESTIONS about this picture if you are not reading the above story. I will tell you where to start. MOVE ON DOWN the page!
Yep, those are pieces of the bird on my window. I was able to pick up the other half of the bird. It was pre-gutted and partially skinned. All I had to do was walk to the river and rinse it and finish peeling the skin and cut a few joints. I had a perfect half bird. It was the perfect meal for one. God really had a sense of humor when he gave me these abilities. With so many things that come natural to me, hunting instincts surely do not! It was fun.
OK "START HERE" it is Safe:
I ran Myra to Yentna Station today so she can help out there for a few days, they had a lot of traveling and work to do. She will not be here until Wednesday night or Thursday. On my way back I was blessed with the site of another bear along the river. This one is actually on the shore on the opposite side of the river for a change. This second picture shows how steep and high the bank is that the bear is grazing on. Yes I set and watched it for a while and it was going from bush to bush eating part of them. I was too far away to see what parts.
I am here at the cabin alone for a few days, for the second time sense we moved here. I had a wild game dinner (above story) and am experiencing a solitude that is not often allowed any person. Me, the dogs, cats and wildlife wherever. How does one explain the quiet, the inner self? To live this life of ours, to go from the aggressive business environment to this. It is amazing what god can give you if you listen and you let him (I believe you also have to do your part, he does not do it all alone). To live this is the story books and Disney movies of childhood. Yep, it's a lot of work. Yep, I get scared as hell of what I don't know is coming this winter or around the next corner. Isn't that the suspense part of the movies and the reason we went to watch them.
It is also wonderful to feel my confidence grow (not cocky) in reading the river, recognizing more of the trees and berries, beginning to read more of the different animal trails and see the signs of which animal and what direction they went. Often there are no tracks in the ground, just bent grass, weeds and brushed trees. The awareness of my environment that I am in, instead of blanking out all that I don't want to hear or see.
How do I describe the gratitude that is felt from every fiber on my being. I give gratitude God and to ALL things and people that have touched me in my life for this is what made me who I am and where I am. The gift of living in this moment is beyond explanation.
Thank You for letting me share,