It’s a long overdue report, but here it is…looking all the way back to May.
Bear hunting was a quite dissimilar than what’s been the past 10 years. A new spot that including camping high and looking down for the bears instead of the prior routine that was the reverse. Another novelty this year was the pollen in the air and on the ground. Pollen clouds would puff up at every step as we climbed through the forest till our brown leather boots were completely green in color. And the slightest breeze would blow pollen off the spruce trees like it was snowing. All of which attributed to Joel’s allergies and keeping the handkerchief moist. It was better up above treeline, but the tents still needed a rinse off when we got home as they had a solid coating of pollen dust on them. We immensely enjoyed the alpine slopes, gallons of hot coffee, hikes with good friends, naps, Louis L’amour books (8 books were read cover to cover by the party) and fresh meat now in the freezer at home.
Our goal was to not see another person and this place offered such solitude. We didn’t see many bears but enough that we were able to bring one home. After a short stalk, the bear was in the bag and added a bonus to what had already been a great weekend out. 180 yrds, straight downhill, it was a fun shot after a good stalk. It was entirely like sheep hunting including some scrambles on all fours in the craggy rocks to gain the high ground above the feeding bruin.
Mountain man bread cooked over the fire definitely tasted better when fried in bear fat as compared to bacon grease and we were pleased to take enough fat home to render down into several jars of lard. Pie crusts are in our future!
Having the boys along for the trip was good if not with a reminder that we don’t have much time left with these guys for these kinds of trips before college and life provides the potential to have education of a different sorts demand their time and efforts.