Originally written on Oct. 5th in the bush during Gerard’s Hunt
Perseverance has brought me home. Success on the hunt finally came after a grand finale of a day, with multiple sightings interspersed amongst the erratic transitions of nature from rain to wind to sun.
It was providential that I got this young bull. Circumstances beyond my understanding brought him to me, giving room for ethereal musings, even awe.
It had started as another day of frustration: cow after cow. The only visible reminder of this earth’s existence of bulls, were their telltale tracks. And those tracks are seductively dangerous, for they lure one further and further into the land of impracticality, the places where one man alone should not shoot a moose.
This was just not working, so I blasted off to another region altogether, a little archipelago of islands, a little oasis off the big river. Instantly, I saw a huge bull…much larger than I wanted or thought I could handle. But, despite that, after him I went, exhibiting all the logic of manhood. I tried sabotaging him from the back of the island. I tried calling him out. I tried motoring upstream, then quietly and unsuspectingly drifting back. I gave it a rest and went elsewhere, saw another cow.
Then the weather turned nasty. Rain and wind and a black sky were the harbingers of what was most certainly snow. As it was getting on in the day, this was incentive enough to seek shelter, set up camp, and brace myself for the storm. Quite fortuitously, my search for ideal shelter steered me back in the neighborhood of the large bull sighting.
I called a little, while setting up camp. I was surprised to hear the bull rustling and grunting in response, something new to this year’s experience. So I sat in the moored boat, gave a grunt and watched the bull come running towards me. But, it was not the large guy at all. Rather, this bull was young, of manageable size and intent on walking close to the water’s edge. He was clearly offering himself and I thanked him when he fell.
It wasn’t until the next afternoon that the work was done and I left for home with the dressed moose in the boat. During the whole process, I couldn’t stop thinking about how fortunate I was that this guy showed up. If I had shot that monster moose, there is a good chance that I’d still be there…