Most of the stories told at a family reunion are of the belly-laugh variety.
Occasionally . . .
My cousin’s son-in-law worked with his dad, a contractor.
Said SIL and a friend were scouting out an area in the remote woods, looking to build a new oilwell site.
Friend was carrying a bow and arrow.
SIL was carrying a rifle.
They were walking through the Great Canadian Woods. They brought the weapons for protection.
Spoiler: They would need them.
As they were hiking, they suddenly smelled something very dead.
The two men stopped. Obviously, they were near a bear’s cache.
Should they back up?
They chose to keep following the path, thinking they would simply by-pass the cache.
It didn’t work that way.
Ahead of them, waiting in the bushes, was a very large, very real grizzly.
With a very real attitude.
The bear went for the man with the bow, who immediately commenced running.
SIL fired three shots. Emptying his gun.
With little effect.
In fact, the only thing it did was cause the bear to change course.
From his friend.
Suddenly, he was staring into the teeth of a large omnivore and all he had to defend himself was an empty gun.
In one panicked movement, and almost without thinking, he shoved his gun, barrel first, down the bear’s throat. Right up to the scope.
It was at that moment the bear keeled over.
At least one of the shots had finally found its mark.
The two men called Fish and Wildlife to report the tragic incident.
And received a lecture entitled: Grizzly Hunting is Really, Really Against the Law.
Something, in other circumstances, they totally agreed with. They didn't want to shoot the bear. If there had been an alternative, they definitely would have taken it.
Fish and Wildlife officers came out and surveyed the area, mapping the men’s tracks through the snow.
Studying the bear’s.
Examining the bite marks on the gun and scope.
And concluded, finally, the men were telling the truth.
The men were then informed that they were free to take the bear and have it stuffed. But once it was done, they weren’t allowed to keep it and, instead must turn it over to the government.
They learned something from this experience.
If one’s job necessitates walking through the more remote parts of the Great Canadian Woods, always, always take a Fish and Wildlife officer.
Preferably one you can outrun . . .