Tales of ‘hunting’

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Finally! Spent all of the last week at my cabin “hunting.” Did not actually get out and hunt but had a great time. Saturday, looking out my picture window and watched the mountains, camprobbers, deer, etc. for hours. Had a great stretch of weather too. Two nights below zero, one day of snow, a lot of rain and even some sunshine. Really enjoyed visiting and was invited out for dinner six nights out of eight. All topped off my two unusual events.

The first was two days of watching a grizzly bear. The first day started with a neighbor calling on the radio and telling us where he saw it at 8:30 in the morning. Another neighbor reported the bear at the same spot in the afternoon. Despite the fact that it was snowing pretty heavy, I grabbed my camera and drove to the spot. Sure enough, the adult grizzly was still there!

Took six or eight shots from about 50 yards, but they were pretty low quality. Still, it was fascinating. The bear stood up, laid down, even put his head on the ground like he was taking a nap and then stood up and sauntered slowly away toward the river. Completely ignored me despite my hollering and honking the horn, the bear didn’t run off. In fact, he did not even look at me.

Additional attraction was three mature bald eagles circling and probably 20 or 30 ravens in the trees and on the ground 100 yards away. Altogether, worth the drive and sitting there for thirty minutes or so.

The next day another neighbor reported the bear was in the same spot. Packed up the camera and drove down again. Now snow or rain this time and the bear cooperated with some good poses. Took another eight or 10 pictures, two of which were really sharp with the bear looking right into the camera. All photos were taken with a telephoto lens from inside my car.

The other unusual event was, I think, nearly being arrested. I suppose that could have cost me money and a loss of hunting privileges.

Again, I was sitting in my window and a friend stopped in to tell me they saw two bull elk on my property. Like I said, I was “hunting,” but not planning on shooting anything. In fact, I was still wearing my slippers and never did see the elk. Anyway, I thanked the friend and got on the radio, called a neighbor and told him to come up and bring his rifle.

Never thought I was breaking the law and when the game warden arrived five minutes later, I thought he was pulling my leg. At least until he showed me the regulation and explained. The law is actually clear. You may not use a radio or cell phone to help someone kill a game animal. If my neighbor had shot an elk as a result of my call, we would both have been ticketed and I would have been eligible to join the poachers club and been the butt of off-color remarks due to my stupidity. I consider myself lucky.

What do you think?

Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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