Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hunter or the Hunted?

I wanted to share an incident that happened to an associate recently. He is an avid hunter, and prefers to even the playing field for the animal by hunting with a bow. Over the last weekend, he and his son and a third friend were out on an Elk hunt. The three of them were quite spread out, and he had set himself up at the top of a draw. He could hear some elk moving towards him, so prepared to make a shot. Soon, two bulls and several cows came into view. It seemed like something had spooked them a little bit, so he thought that one of the other hunters must be coming up behind them. His best shot was at the smaller of the two bulls, so that is the one he shot at. No sooner had he hit it, and it dropped to the ground, than a large Mountain Lion ran up to his just downed Elk! The elk and the lion were only 30-40 yards away. He said the lion walked up to the elk and licked its face, then kind of walked around it surveying the scene. The third hunter of the three was a Game Warden friend, and they were in radio contact. This associate of mine called on the radio to ask what he should do. Could he legally shoot the lion too, or would he have to give up the elk. The Game warden said, just try to scare it away—throw things at it, or try shooting into a tree nearby, you can’t shoot it unless it charges you. He had a gun which most hunters carry for protection, and fired into the tree near the lion—nothing, not even a flinch. So picking up branches and rocks from the ground around him, he began to throw things at the lion, and finally it began to slowly walk away. He said the most frustrating part of the entire incident, was that his camera would not work. The cold temperatures had drained the charge from the batteries, and even though he tried warming them in his hands, he could not get a picture before the lion left. He said it is an experience that he will never forget. His son is an art teacher, and paints and sketches from real life, so with his son’s camera, they took a picture of the elk and the surrounding area before they moved anything, and he has asked his son to paint the picture as it was—with the lion near the head of the elk.

My only comment was, who was hunting who?

Take care. Stick.

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