I was at dinner last night when I had a chance to chat with a friend. I would say “old” friend, but at this point in our lives we tend to get a little sensitive about that term. He is an avid outdoorsman who hunts, fishes, hikes through nature, and used to ride his unicycle around the base we worked at. This is his story, if I err or embellish in its retelling the fault rests solely with me.
I had asked him how his hunting has been going and he related an episode during a recent Elk hunt. It was bow season, and they were astride horses when a Grouse flushed and flew into a nearby tree. He told his mates he could take that Grouse with his bow and arrow. They, of course, doubted his ability so the challenge was laid.
As he notched his arrow and as he began to draw the bow he slipped just a bit and the arrow flew into the brush near the ground. He mentioned these were $20-dollar arrows with broad-head tips.
He notched a second arrow, took aim, and let fly. It sailed true, but clipped a branch and struck the limb the Grouse was sitting on. The bird took off but came to rest just a few feet away, apparently satisfied that William Tell was done. We are now at the $40-dollar investment level.
But he was not done… Taking the third arrow, he took careful aim, considered John Wayne’s advice to Marian McCargo, who played Ann Langdon, in the 1969 movie Undefeated, “windage and elevation Mrs. Langdon, windage and elevation” and let loose a third shot. This one sailed past the Grouse as well, but the bird fell to the ground. He told his comrades he had shot the head clean off the bird, they laughed, until he dismounted and retrieved the bird, sans its head.
So, this is how a Grouse dinner comes to sixty (plus) dollars on an Elk Hunt.