© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Elk Hunters “Meet Again” Through Time, Sort of! : Memory declares it was 1973 or 1974. Two hard hunting fellows hunted in our area with fame. They were ultra- minimalists. They slept on the ground wrapped up in a handmade quilt under a sheet of Viscane or shower curtains for snow protection. We referred to the two horse-wander tough guys as “The Indians” who would horse-ramble wander looking for prime bulls. Those two fellows shot a lot of elk, including a great bull during the first season at our second season campsite. The carcass was an entertaining magnet for ravens, magpies and coyotes - until warm weather set in and the stench arose. The hunters’ names were Herman and Louie, hardly good Indian names. They became our friends. We gave them hot coffee, buns and sandwiches. They in turn hauled some of our hindquarter meat out when they rode to their valley base camp for supplies. That base camp was a center of hospitality. Herman and Louie helped many people, which was their natural way of living the kind of people who practiced what was preached in church. Fast forward to 2014 to the head of the Dry Sweetwater campground. I was solo hunting. Linda bowed out to save what was left of her knees after thirty years of bucking elk country snow. My son was in California raising his family. I came early to backpack up and cache my camp so that I would not interfere with first-season hunters. A new outfitter had declined to sherpa my camp in for lack of enough available horses. There was something vaguely and hauntingly familiar about a father and son at the base campground. Their utter friendliness and joviality compounded my recall confusion. My amygdalin wiggled in my head enough to comprehend we had met long before somewhere, some place, sometime in some dimension. The fellow graciously volunteered to take this crusty old man’s camp into the backcountry after they first-season hunted. August 2017, I got a call from Frank senior. He and his son failed to draw their favorite elk area and would again hunt my area. He offered to take up my camp as he did three years earlier in return for some campfire storytelling and a smile. I met the outfitter along the road, and in chatting disclosed friends were packing in my camp this year. The curious outfitter later came to Frank’s base camp and quizzed my flabbergasted open-giving friends about how much they were charging me for the sherpa service. Hiring someone to pack in camps located in the outfitter’s Forest Service license concession area was a felony. Both my friends and I would be fined, and perhaps stripped of hunting privileges. Fortunately, I later had occasion to defuse the outfitter concerns, and explain the benefits of true hunter bonding and long-lasting friendships. The fellows helping me were the son and grandson of “Indian Herman” of thirty-four years earlier. Like passing on the joys of hunting, Herman had also instilled the open, deep friendliness to his son. In addition, the son did some philosophical good nature transfers to his offspring. So when we I first met Frank, we were not really strangers. I had been recognition-confused by wonderful, lovable clones of “Indian Herman”! The Cargo Blast : Evolution be Damned ! The following scenario probably occurred even when Neanderthals stalked the earth perhaps it is in our residual 0.08% Neanderthal genes to delay exiting our shelter to heed nature’s call. A friend related his embarrassing catastrophe for the benefit of others. He was reluctant (warm sleeping bag laziness) to answer the nature call in the wee cold morning hours. The scenario started about 2:00 AM with stomach growls, agitating sleep until 2:30 AM, and manifesting into tossing and turning until the snow had deeply accumulated at about four in the morning. About then Bernie tried to discretely and silently edge out some gut gas. Behold! The cargo blast ruined the morning hunt. Bernie had to scurry butt-naked past his dressing companions to take a predawn snow bath and bury his undershorts. Now what to wear if also your long johns were compromised - your tee shirt? In my book, I discuss the potentials for getting an upset stomach. Bad water with organics and wood acids, poor or unusual food, unfamiliar freeze dried low-fiber victuals, poor camp hygiene, altitude sickness and desiccating alcohol at high altitude are a few of the culprits. Bottom Line Advice: relieve yourself as soon as possible to avoid “cargoing”, to get a better night’s sleep, and remain a good camp mate. The night is not going to get any warmer the longer you wait to “answer nature”. Game of Throne: The big wind-driven snows during the second 2001 hunting season caught quite a few unprepared hunters by surprise. They scrambled to find shelter in scattered campers and welcoming elk camps. Can you imagine seven guys huddled three days in a pickup shell? Tent campers at the Deep Lake Camp ground found their wind-raked tents uninhabitable. Some blokes afield managed to wait out the storm in the fortunately unlocked outhouse, marooned above the “pit”(photo). The lost souls built a fire on the bathroom floor to provide heat for the concrete sanctuary, which must have been drafty because the door faced the wind. Did the fellows agreeably rotate turns siting on the only commode chair? Fifteen years later the soot still bleeds through the many coats of Forest Service paint. I ponder what tragedy might have happened if the wind slammed closed the door closed when weary hunters dosed off, turning their sanctuary into a mausoleum. Always go prepared for rapid, extreme weather changes.
Hunting stories - G
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
Hunting Stories - G
Elk Hunters “Meet Again” Through Time, Sort of! : M e m o r y declares it was 1973 or 1974. Two hard hunting fellows hunted in our area with fame. They were ultra-minimalists. They slept on the ground wrapped up in a handmade quilt under a sheet of Viscane or shower curtains for snow protection. We referred to the two horse-wander tough guys as “The Indians” who would horse-ramble wander looking for prime bulls. Those two fellows shot a lot of elk, including a great bull during the first season at our second season campsite. The carcass was an entertaining magnet for ravens, magpies and coyotes - until warm weather set in and the stench arose. The hunters’ names were Herman and Louie, hardly good Indian names. They became our friends. We gave them hot coffee, buns and sandwiches. They in turn hauled some of our hindquarter meat out when they rode to their valley base camp for supplies. That base camp was a center of hospitality. Herman and Louie helped many people, which was their natural way of living the kind of people who practiced what was preached in church. Fast forward to 2014 to the head of the Dry Sweetwater campground. I was solo hunting. Linda bowed out to save what was left of her knees after thirty years of bucking elk country snow. My son was in California raising his family. I came early to backpack up and cache my camp so that I would not interfere with first-season hunters. A new outfitter had declined to sherpa my camp in for lack of enough available horses. There was something vaguely and hauntingly familiar about a father and son at the base campground. Their utter friendliness and joviality compounded my recall confusion. My amygdalin wiggled in my head enough to comprehend we had met long before somewhere, some place, sometime in some dimension. The fellow graciously volunteered to take this crusty old man’s camp into the backcountry after they first-season hunted. August 2017, I got a call from Frank senior. He and his son failed to draw their favorite elk area and would again hunt my area. He offered to take up my camp as he did three years earlier in return for some campfire storytelling and a smile. I met the outfitter along the road, and in chatting disclosed friends were packing in my camp this year. The curious outfitter later came to Frank’s base camp and quizzed my flabbergasted open-giving friends about how much they were charging me for the sherpa service. Hiring someone to pack in camps located in the outfitter’s Forest Service license concession area was a felony. Both my friends and I would be fined, and perhaps stripped of hunting privileges. Fortunately, I later had occasion to defuse the outfitter concerns, and explain the benefits of true hunter bonding and long- lasting friendships. The fellows helping me were the son and grandson of “Indian Herman” of thirty-four years earlier. Like passing on the joys of hunting, Herman had also instilled the open, deep friendliness to his son. In addition, the son did some philosophical good nature transfers to his offspring. So when we I first met Frank, we were not really strangers. I had been recognition- confused by wonderful, lovable clones of “Indian Herman”! The Cargo Blast : Evolution be Damned ! The following scenario probably occurred even when Neanderthals stalked the earth perhaps it is in our residual 0.08% Neanderthal genes to delay exiting our shelter to heed nature’s call. A friend related his embarrassing catastrophe for the benefit of others. He was reluctant (warm sleeping bag laziness) to answer the nature call in the wee cold morning hours. The scenario started about 2:00 AM with stomach growls, agitating sleep until 2:30 AM, and manifesting into tossing and turning until the snow had deeply accumulated at about four in the morning. About then Bernie tried to discretely and silently edge out some gut gas. Behold! The cargo blast ruined the morning hunt. Bernie had to scurry butt-naked past his dressing companions to take a predawn snow bath and bury his undershorts. Now what to wear if also your long johns were compromised - your tee shirt? In my book, I discuss the potentials for getting an upset stomach. Bad water with organics and wood acids, poor or unusual food, unfamiliar freeze dried low-fiber victuals, poor camp hygiene, altitude sickness and desiccating alcohol at high altitude are a few of the culprits. Bottom Line Advice: relieve yourself as soon as possible to avoid “cargoing”, to get a better night’s sleep, and remain a good camp mate. The night is not going to get any warmer the longer you wait to “answer nature”. Game of Throne: The big wind- driven snows during the second 2001 hunting season caught quite a few unprepared hunters by surprise. They scrambled to find shelter in s c a t t e r e d campers and welcoming elk camps. Can you imagine seven guys huddled three days in a pickup shell? Tent campers at the Deep Lake Camp ground found their wind-raked tents uninhabitable. Some blokes afield managed to wait out the storm in the fortunately unlocked outhouse, marooned above the “pit”(photo). The lost souls built a fire on the bathroom floor to provide heat for the concrete sanctuary, which must have been drafty because the door faced the wind. Did the fellows agreeably rotate turns siting on the only commode chair? Fifteen years later the soot still bleeds through the many coats of Forest Service paint. I ponder what tragedy might have happened if the wind slammed closed the door closed when weary hunters dosed off, turning their sanctuary into a mausoleum. Always go prepared for rapid, extreme weather changes.
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