Last weekend on Good Friday my father and I went turkey hunting at the cabin. Upon our arrival the area had received close to 5 inches of rain in the previous 24 hours and all the creeks, branches and streams were way above normal levels. Knowing this my wise father recommended we get up extra early to check everything out in case we would have to walk into the woods using an alternative route.
At 5:10 am Dad and I headed to the woods only to be stopped be a raging creek. At first glance, although the water was moving swift it did not appear to be impassable. We headed across the roaring water only to come up short the last 3 feet. The far shore had been eroded away by the water and left about a 3 feet hole, of which we slammed into. The truck came to a complete halt and I was certain we had broken something! Trying not to panic, Dad without his glasses was trying to put the truck in 4 wheel drive, but could only manage to turn the heat up. Fortunately, his Lasik surgery graduate son was able to locate the 4 wheel drive knob. With a little gas and some rock flinging we made it out without a scratch.
Now what do we do? Dad knew of an alternative route we could take that would require a little more walking and would mean we would not have to cross the creek. Problem solved. Well, like many John Lewis plans there were some important details left out. The most important detail was that even though we did not have to cross the creek we had to pass this “dry branch” that was also gushing with water. So at 5:20 am in the pitch black dark, with nothing by a small head lamp light I sat down and began taking my shoes and socks off to walk across the water. With gun and boots and hand I delicately walked across the branch and trotted to a flat spot to put my socks and boots back on. Right before I sat down, my head lamp caught a set of eyes about 20 yards in front of me. My first thought was it is a deer or coyote. But upon second glance, I notice the eyes were about waist high; so I naturally assumed it must be a deer. I decided to talk at it to make it move away. Upon saying the traditional “Hey, get out of here!” method I noticed a sincere lack of response from the set of eyes. No worries, I am standing next to loud water, I am sure it did not hear me…”Hey…Hey….get out of here!” this time the set of eyes slowly turned its head to the left and slowly turned its eyes back to me. OK…I have officially discovered that whatever this is, it is not scared of me. I began to panic. Keep in mind, it is pitch black dark…I am barefoot…and dad is in the middle of the creek. I immediately dropped my boots and pointed my gun at the eyes and continued to ask it to leave. I took a step forward to see if my light would pick up a silhouette of the animal. It did! It was a bear!!!! My panic increased. Thankfully Mr. Bear decided he had something better to do and decided to mosey on down the road. Huge sigh of relief.