Look Out For the Bear

This story by Slim Randles put me in mind of a deer-hunting experience that my husband and I had one Autumn early in our marriage. We were both avid archers at the time, but we only had one bow and one quiver for arrows. I don’t even remember why that was as we both eventually had bows, and I don’t recall why we decided to split up with me taking the bow and the quiver, leaving him with just a few arrows. 

Not long after my husband settled against the trunk of an ancient oak, he saw a large buck enter the clearing, not more than 50 feet from him. 

No bow. Just a handful of arrows. What was he to do?

Telling the story later, my husband always chuckled when he said he considered tossing the arrows like darts.

And later thinking about the moment, I was glad that the buck got away to live another day. I always figured it was meant to be.

I invite you to have a cup of coffee and a sweet roll and enjoy Slim’s story. 

“’Bout time to hit the woods, boys, ya think?”

Steve, our tall cowboy-type on philosophical duty this morning at the world dilemma think tank, sipped and smiled.

“Yessir,” he said. “Nothing makes a day go by faster than a good bow hunt in the woods.”

Herb looked up at this. Herb is our veteran bow hunter and local champion archer. He can arch with the best of them.

“I didn’t know you were a bow-hunter, Steve …” Herb said.

“Oh sure I am. You know how it is, Herb. Stalking silently along on winter trails, taking one slow step after another in search of prey. Man oh man! Nothing like it.”

It was Doc’s turn. “It’s winter, Steve. What do you hunt this time of year?”


“Around here?”

“Absolutely. You see, the way I do it is simplicity itself, boys. I go stalking silently along the trails over by Miller Pond … you know the ones. Then I wait until a bear comes down the trail towards me and WHAM! Bear meat on the table.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” asked Loretta as she topped off our coffee mugs.

“Of course it is, Darlin’,” he said. “That’s what makes it fun.”

“But Steve … there hasn’t been a bear in these parts for a hundred years,” Doc said.

“You are right, yes you certainly are,” Steve said.

“And if we did have a bear season, it would be closed by now. Any bear left around here would go to ground.”

“Now that does make it more of a challenge, Doc. But you see, that’s why I enjoy bear hunting so much.”

We waited.

“Hunting for bear, around here, in winter means lots of hunting but no shooting. So that saves me having to skin the thing and saves me having to practice with the bow and lose arrows and all that stuff. In fact, I have it worked out so I didn’t even have to own a bow or arrows for my hunts.”

He grinned. “Just think of all the money and bother I saved by being a winter-time archery bear hunter.”

Cowboy logic is sometimes scary.


Listen to the Home Country gang (even Windy Wilson) on www.homecountryshow.com

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” that is featured in 380 newspapers across the country. He is also the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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