Back on the river, Gerard’s writing from Oct 4th:
I’m writing this using a carpenter’s pencil I found in my jacket; a subtle reminder of my unfinished shed project. The paper is the unused margins of the 2017 Yukon Hunting Regulations booklet. Don’t say I’m unprepared.
It’s a glorious afternoon to drift on the river. For the moment, this is my new stealth tactic, after failing at motoring, tracking, climbing, spotting, calling and calling and calling. I feel that this will work. Why wouldn’t it? Everything else has only improved the lot of local moose, as they inch their way to the end of the hunting season.
It’s cold and a bit windy. I do calisthetics to keep the monotony and chill at bay, something my father passed down from the generations of sailing and fishing in Newfoundland.
I saw two more cows this morning. No sign of the bull after tracking for a couple of hours. These are evasive creatures, capable of silently disappearing in the smallest droke of trees. Amazing.
There was no trampolining mouse last night, nor were there owls. In fact, other than the hopeful raven and eagle, the river is practically devoid of birds. The rare Merganzer, no geese, two paired swans. It’s late in the season, I’m guessing. Maybe late for moose, even… But, the land is big, capable of harboring a wide variety of hidden life. I saw a small brown bear that seemed to be this year’s cub, yesterday. No mother in sight. This morning, I saw a large grizzly.
There is a wisp of orange on the tops of the cottonwood, and some willows are hanging on to their foliage, in stubborn denial of the season. It’s a game of patience, this. One swings from despondency to hope, simply by the sighting of a moose, or even a burst of sunshine through the grey overcast. My mood is fickle. Food might help. I think I’ll try that thing called Tomme, which looks like a dairy derivative. Maybe it’ll make my spirit soar.