Elmer Fudd and the Group of Seven
Every so often something happens in my life that will always get me laughing when I remember it. This particular story does just that for me and my youngest brother, Braden. My Uncle Ken, a very serious hunter and retired police officer, had asked if the two of us would join him on an elk hunt in Kananaskis Country. “K Country” is also called “GB Country” (as in grizzly bear), though at the time the thought of bears did not appeal to me; wrestling one of those big bruins was not high on my list of priorities.
Unfortunately, I had left all of my hunting clothing back in Ontario, so I was going to have to make do with what little I had brought. I had a pair of pumpkin orange coveralls and my security work boots (which might as well have been a pair of downhill skis for all the traction they provided).
On the morning of the big elk hunt, my brother and I were at Uncle’s place full of vim and vigour. Ken had told us we would be going to a place way up in the mountains and that it would take us all day to stalk the bull herd. After a long drive, we finally arrived at the base of the mountain. I looked up… way up.
Are you kidding me? I thought.
Ken always did like extreme hunts, and this was no different. So off we went. It wasn’t long before Uncle, like a pointer on a pheasant, became very excited. He had glassed “The Group of Seven” as he affectionately called the heard of bulls.
Like a drill sergeant, Uncle said, “Boys, we can only go so far and then we will be on our bellies, slithering like a worm, so that I can get a shot.”
“Okay, whatever it takes.” I said.
We stalked the herd for about four hours. You could see this look in Uncle’s eyes… almost as if he was possessed. We were slithering, and slithering closer to the herd. We just needed to be at least another twenty-five yards closer to get the shot. What took place next was completely unexpected, and still baffles me to think about.
“Arrrr! Arrrrr! Arrrr!”
We looked down the ravine and here was this beagle running a deer! Behind him was some clueless Elmer Fudd. One thing I know for sure is that you cannot use dogs to run deer in that area. Period.
As soon as the herd of elk heard the dog they ran off to their hideaway over the other side of the mountain, never to be seen again.
Every expletive that could be used on “Elmer Fudd” was thrown in fury. Uncle was fuming! Twenty-five stinking yards and we could have had our shot.
Although the hunt was over, our adventure was not; the part of the story that makes us all laugh to this day came from heading back down the mountain. Earlier, I told you that I had a pair of security boots that I thought would be okay to hunt in. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
As the sun started to set, we started our descent down the mountain. Things started to get slippery as the temperature dropped. I took one step forward, and—“Ohhhhhhh, heeeeeeelp!” I yelled as they looked back at me to see that I was downhill skiing! No kidding!
They just got out of my way and watched. I am well over 250 pounds, so as Uncle and Braden would later say, “We did not know what to do, but we were not going to try and stop you!”
It seemed like I had been sliding down for miles until I managed to grab onto a tree. My brother Braden was in hysterics. He said, “Bear, that looked like something from Saturday Night Live.”
“Geez. Thanks.” I replied.
“You looked like a Giant Pumpkin coming down from the Great Pumpkin Patch in the sky!”
I couldn’t help but start to laugh as well. I had made it down the mountain, sore and ego damaged, but remarkably uninjured.
Uncle said, “Let’s sit under that tree right over there and have some tea and late lunch.” Because he had been so driven to get this big bull, we had skipped lunch and were really about to have an early dinner instead. Uncle looked at my brother and said, “After our sandwiches and tea, pumpkin pie and ice cream anyone?”
This was the one and only hunt I have ever been on with my Uncle Ken. Oh boy, it was one memory to last a lifetime. Braden reminded me of this story just the other day, and I just had to share it with you. Now that I look back on it, I’m so grateful that I made it down alive. If you had seen this mountain you would understand my gratitude. Hope you enjoyed!
Another tale from the Squirrell’s Nest at Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia. Written by Brian “Bear” Squirrell, your hunting and fishing guide for Nova Scotia, Canada. www.bigbearoutfitters.co
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