I was talking to a friend, I ride out at his ranch, and he started telling stories about being a guide on elk hunts in the Rockies.
They’d go in on horseback, set up camp in the mountains and then hunt for elk. My friend’s job was to make sure the horses were all online. He liked it well enough because he loved horses and the wilderness, but sometimes they didn’t just get elk, they got bears.
Millionaire Socialist Taken by a Bear
A bear would attack out of the forest and have to be shot, either you or the bear. When that happened, they’d clean the bear and put the skin on a pack horse. No easy thing, because the horses didn’t like having a bearskin on them. The trick of it, apparently, was to get them used to the smell of the bear. And so they rode out, bear, elk and whatever else, through the mountains.
“I didn’t know you were a bear wrangler, old chap,” I remarked over a beaker of vintage port at the club. “Well I was,” said my friend, sipping an ice tea because of his Baptist nature, “Yes indeed. Some of these boys that’d come out to shoot elk were from Dallas and not too fit. In fact they were pretty fat, which comes from sitting behind a desk all day and no exercise. And they’d get up there and have a heart attack. Honest to God, every year it’s a deal, elk hunters getting a heart attack.”
Chastened by reference to lack of exercise, I arranged for a ride next week and, to be honest, I’d like little better than a week or so’s go at it in the Rockies. Bear and all.
Your Old Buddy,