Fall’s hunting season here in Maine. Bow hunting takes place in October, and come November, they bring out the heavy artillery. So if you’re out walking in the woods, be sure to wear your blaze orange vests, hats and what not. I know, it’s not in my color wheel either, but sometimes you gotta forgo fashion for safety. Why, even our little dog Scamp wears his colors. Got him a blaze orange bandana and vest, and boy, oh boy, does he ever look cunnin.’
Hunting season always makes me think of my Grandfather, Fredrick Gilbert. Grampy was a Registered Maine Guide. Folks from away would come up to Maine to go hunting and fishing, and they’d hire him to take them to places they couldn’t find on their own. What a character he was, with his French accent and that battered green fedora.
Heck of an outdoorsmen, too! Always dressed and ate what he killed. Or gave it away to people who could use a little extra. And my Grammy baked the best minced meat pies ever; you know, the real kind, made from venison.
Though he was a good shot with a rifle, Grampy Gilbert really liked bow hunting best. “Takes finesse,” he’d tell me. “Bringin’ a buck down with a gun’s one thing, but with an arrow, that’s something else all together.”
“I come ‘round this stand of birch, and there it was, not thirty feet away, lookin’ straight at me. Mon Dieu, my heart was poundin.’ All of a sudden, it stands up. The thing’s as tall as me, I’m thinking. I don’t know, somehow I set my arrow, aim and let her rip. To my surprise, I dropped it right there! Then, I go see. Turns out it’s a female, maybe a hundred fifty, two hundred pound. Makes me sad, eh, that little bear. But hey, at the time, I figured it was either me or her!”
Grampy went on to explain that a bear’s hair stands on end when it’s alive, adding about four inches all ‘round to the bear’s size. When it dies, though, the bear’s hair mats back down, making it look much smaller.
That was the end of bear hunting for Grampy. “With the deer, what you see is what you get. Besides, your grandmother, she says bear meat’s too gamey, and I think maybe she’s right.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Coming up this fall:
October 19: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, 7:00, to benefit the Friends of the Bridgeton Public Library, Magic Lantern, Bridgeton, ME
October 22: Finding Your Inner Moose Book Reading, 6:00pm, sponsored by Simpson Memorial Library, Golden Harvest Grange, Carmel, ME
November 7, 14 & 21: I Married an Alien, 7:30pm, Camp Calumet Women’s Retreat Weekend, West Ossipee, NH