Sunday, March 30, 2008

The hunter

I drove a man in his late 20s, along with his wife and three daughters. While bringing them to the Hampton Inn near Rosecrans and I5, I asked what the man did for a living.

He lives in Western Wyoming and leads hunting trips into the mountains, mostly for elk. We talked about this for several minutes, and I wish I could have recorded the conversation.

I have been to the mountains of Wyoming, and few places in the world are more beautiful. He and his brother-in-law use horses and pack mules to lead hunting parties in search of game. It sounded like a fantastic job -- completely the opposite of the 9-to-5 grind that so many people endure.

He talked about how elk behave, and how it differs from mule deer, another popular game animal in the mountains. Mule deer tend to be solitary animals, while elk are herd animals. He said with elk there are usually a dozen cows, more or less, with an obvious leading male. Also there are usually several younger males, who stay off to the sides of the main herd.

He said hunting during the rutting season is a unique experience, because the bull elk are strong and aggressive. He can call for an elk, and the bulls will reply. If he keeps calling, they often come straight for him, sometimes within 15 feet.

The guy and his family are from one of the most sparsely populated states, and from one of the most sparsely populated areas of that state. They were somewhat quiet and reserved. When they had all gotten out of the taxi and he bent down to the window and paid, he said: "Y'all have a nice town here."

I'm certain my writing doesn't do justice to the exchange. They were good folks from an extraordinary place few people get to see.

1 comment:

roy said...

Not a big fan of hunting for fun , for food ok, even to eradicate vermin, but not killing for fun