Bear Hunting


31 January 2017

“Good morning, Ted.”

“Hi, Dennis. I had a good day yesterday, collected about $70.00. Have you heard what Trump’s doing now? He’s building his wall.”

“Yes, I heard that. I can’t see how that is practical. He could use that same money paying for additional border security officers. If he’s trying to keep out the drug cartels they have access to planes and have been using tunnels for years.”

“He’s also going ahead with the oil pipelines. That’s got to be good for Canada. It will provide jobs and perhaps cheaper fuel.”

I said, “A lot of my First Nations friends are upset because it will violate sacred burial grounds and will increase the possibility of oil polluting the land and the water. For some in British Columbia fishing is their main source of income. An oil spill could devastate them.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that as well. I just see it as providing jobs and hopefully, cheaper fuel. I don’t drive a car now, but as soon as I’m able I’d like to buy an old beater to get me around. I wouldn’t mind having the same access to hunting and fishing that aboriginals have. They’re even allowed to spear pickerell in the shallow spawning beds. They also spear more than they can eat. I’ve often been offered pickerel for sale when I’m near a reserve. I only shoot as much as I can eat and I eat every part of the animal. I’ve dragged a 300 pound bear out of the woods. Mind you, I was pretty stupid about it. I’d left my hunting platform and my ammunition. I was watching a bear cub reaching into a container of donuts. There was a roar nearby, a bigger bear was in the area. The cub ran away. A large male may kill and eat a cub. The bear spotted me and came running. I had my shotgun lined up, but instead of squeezing the trigger I pulled it and the shot tore off his front foot. I only had two shots left The three legged bear was enraged and chased me up a hill. I found a crevice in the rock where I was protected. I fired another shot, but still didn’t kill it, only made it more angry. I got out in the clearing and as the bear came closer I took careful aim and brought him down. I’d never leave a wounded animal in the bush. If I had to track him 10 miles I would. Now I stick to bow hunting. It’s more of a challenge and the season is longer.

“I need to get back on my medication. Last night I found myself crying for no reason. I felt foolish. My worker has all my paperwork sorted now, so I’ll be able to go to a doctor.

“There’s a pizza place where I pan in the evenings. Restaurants don’t give food away, something to do with health regulations. At 9:00, just before they close up they walk right past me carrying about ten boxes of pizza and throw them in the dumpster. I wait until they’ve gone then dive in after the pizza. I freeze most of it, so it can last me about a week. I don’t know why they don’t phone one of the shelters, they’d send a truck over to pick up food that would otherwise go to waste.”

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