Thursday, August 25, 2011

The wind gusts bringing with it the scent of rain, a chill touches my skin as the first cold drops of rain mixed with sleet begin to fall. Up here in the high country these storms come and go with the ferocity of a charging grizzly. lucky for me a thick stand of limber pine protects me from the onslaught as the rain turns to sleet and coats the meadow with a white blanket. The soft drumming of sleet on my stetson drowns out the sound of why I am crouched here. At the far end of this alpine meadow a five point bull grunts his challenge at a rival hidden in the deep timber. His challenge is answered by a crescendo of cow calls and one growling bugle from the shadows. Suddenly the dark timber is exited by a small group of cows and calves followed by a wide racked, heavy horned bull. I raise my bow very slowly and await the opportunity that is sure to present itself as the herd passes by at twenty yards. The old bull is covered in scars, his left eye is blind, the blue grey color tells me the story of his injury. Both antlers are huge, heavy mass and wide long main beams. he stops at twenty yards and bugles one more time, I wonder as I draw my bow, if he knows that this may be his last bugle on this earth.He must know, I can tell by the way he raises his head and bellows a perfect wilderness song. Long and majestic is his growling bugle, followed by a sharp and perfect three part squeal. I feel the arrow and string slip from my fingers, the flight of feathered death seems so slow as it races toward the the old warrior. He reacted so fast I can hardly believe my eyes, one minute sure and sudden death is upon him, the next he is in a complete spin. My arrow grazes the front shoulder, opening a small slice about eight inches long and just barely through the skin. I watch as he barks an alarm to his harem and melts back into the forest like mist along a morning river. Adrenaline combined with cold mountain wind invigorates me as I rise from the ground raising a hand to the creator, thanking him for the hunt... I pick up my cast arrow and touch the crimson line across the razor sharp point. So close ! I bet many hunters, predators and adversaries have thought the same thing about the old warrior throughout the years. The rain/ sleet stops as I merge with the shadows along timber line. A ragged bugle drifts up to me on the wind, the five point is still on the fight, I put the wind in my face and move forward .... Still remembering a blind eye, scarred hide and lightning quick reflexes... yep that old warrior bull reminded me of my dad only slower and less alert.. Hawk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful writing Hawk... Thanks for sharing.