There is a bear #9, Checking in, Hot breakfast, and Monsoon

by david on December 4, 2019

There were two other bears back at the skinning shed when we arrived.  A young lady from NC State University was there doing some research. She asked if she could have parts of a few organs and to take some measurements.  That was plenty good with us. The local taxidermist was there, making sure the bears were properly prepared for whatever trophy work the clients wanted.  There were two butchers there to process the carcasses for packaging and transport back to the hunter’s home. All busy working and all suddenly stopping when Josh backed his full-size pickup in with a mound of black fur sticking up over the top of the bed.  When he dropped the tailgate, everyone gathered round for an even closer look. Dang big bear. Everyone was still huddled round when we got the bear hooked up to the winch and scales. 618 pounds was announced in bright red letters on the scale. Really damn big bear.  A few more bears came in while Doug was talking with the taxidermist and the butchers. Doug had just made it over to where I was leaning against a post holding it up when we heard someone mention there was a hot breakfast waiting for the folks getting back early. Upon hearing that, my belly growled like a big, ole, grumpy bear, reminding me I had not the good sense to recollect the food in my pack.  It was now 9:30, about five hours after we had pastries and coffee. A hot breakfast sounded good to both of us, and up the hill to the lodge we went. After filling the bottomless pit I call a stomach, we went looking for Josh and Zack. One more Mattamuskeet Outpost board meeting was convened and the afternoon plans were set. We would head out midafternoon to look for a bear for me.

With bellies full and plans made, we went to stretch out for a while, and the possibility of a nap was very real.  In no time at all, I dozed off, probably dreaming about chasing bears or bears chasing me. I awoke about 1:00 PM to the sound of raindrops pounding on the roof.  Not just a few intermittent drops, but a freaking monsoon. The alarm was not supposed to go off for another hour and knowing this made me inclined to go back to sleep.  Laying there listening to the rain and wondering what the rain was doing to my afternoon hunt proved problematic to any effort to sleep. With my subconscious all worked up with what ifs, my body was just not willing to go along with my conscious inclination to take a nap.  I may have watched the insides of my eyelids for a few moments, but I mostly lay there and listened to the rain. Well, it rained hard, then steadily, then it poured again. This continued until it was time to meet for the afternoon hunt. I had already decided that I was not going to sit in a rainstorm looking for bears that were not going to be out and about.  They had fed well overnight and were probably in a den somewhere dry and warm and not likely to venture out unless they had to. I did go down to find Josh and let him know my thoughts. He concurred and we made plans to leave about 4:30 AM tomorrow.

The proof is in the scale The proof is in the scale


Still Grinning Still Grinning


Although not grinning as broadly as younger brother, big brother sure is proud and should have left his hat on. Although not grinning as broadly as younger brother, big brother sure is proud and should have left his hat on.

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