There is a bear #6. Back to the beginning

by david on November 30, 2019

Now back to the beginning of my story.  The sky had just gone from black to purple when I could start to make out the field or at least the rows of pine trees that formed its boundaries.  A few minutes after that, I could start to see the remnants of the harvested corn a few feet in front of me. Next, I could see patches of vegetation out in the middle of the field.  I wondered why the farmer had left them there and was just about to ask Josh when one of them moved. “Bear”, he whispered. In the next few moments, there were lots of bushes moving and most were easing their way towards us.  There were literally bears, lots of bears “over there”. I wanted to look over at my younger brother, but I was afraid to take my eyes off of the shapes in front of me lest they disappear. Movement on my left tore my gaze away from the field in front of me.  I looked over to see Zack motion for Doug to raise his rifle up and point at something just off their left side. All I could see was a black, blurry shape move from the field into the road and then into the sanctuary. Evidently Doug could not see it well enough either to risk a shot.  When the blur ambled just beside their stand and back into the shadows behind us, I watched the rifle go back down. Even though no shot was fired, my heart was beating so hard I could hear it. That bear was within ten feet of us. It had no idea anyone was in the stands it had been walking past on a daily basis for the last month or so.  It was close enough for us to hear its breathing as it went by. When I turned back to see Josh’s reaction, he moved his index finger and thumb closer together, grinned widely, and whispered, “only 500 lbs. or so”. Dang.

Within the next few minutes, there was enough light to see out into the field.  There were still six to eight bears out in the spread out in front of us. There were some smaller bears on the fringes, staying well away from the larger boars.  There were several large bears scattered about and one monster feeding all by himself still in the middle of the field. With the bears still out of range of our whispers, we held a brief board meeting.  The gist was the monster bear would more than likely be the last to come our way, if he came our way at all. He could go in any direction he wanted to. Odds were he would come back to the refuge, but no guarantees.  If we waited on him, the others would most likely be past us and into the refuge before Mr. Big got close enough to offer a shot. Did we want to gamble, running the risk of losing any opportunity for a double to wait on a true monster bear?  It took me about half a heartbeat to make up Doug’s mind. I told him, “That monster is yours if it comes this way”. I would wait for another day. His grin was all the response I needed, and we settled back in our chairs to wait

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