Posts Tagged ‘Debt’

Silence Of The Lambs

November 19th, 2022

It is an unwelcome surprise to suddenly find you are not alone in the woods.

You’ve worked hard to get away from it all, driving and hiking for hours to escape phones, pagers, people, or cars. It’s your annual elk hunt, and the whole forest is your private refuge. Sneaking along in the woods, you begin to feel like the only soul for miles around.

Then suddenly another hunter pops into view and you both jump! Surprise is followed by dismay at being intruded on. Then you try to guess whether the other fellow wants to talk or be left alone. It’s an odd, awkward moment.

Sometimes it’s very awkward.

Like one particular day of last year’s elk hunt. After hunting on foot all morning and finding no fresh sign of elk, I saddled up my big black and white paint, Chief, and headed out on an eight mile ride through new country. For the first hour we just side-hilled through the trees, following nothing but random game trails. Presently we found ourselves on a long abandoned logging road, threading its way through tall aspen. It was easy traveling, hindered only by the occasional fallen quakie, or washed out switchback.

Rounding a bend, we were suddenly encroaching on some hunters setting up a new camp. They looked up, startled and dismayed. Then their southern hospitality took over and they waved us in for a chat. I reined Chief down off the roadbed and into their construction site. Plastic tarps were strung up for shelters and camping gear was scattered everywhere. It was tricky, but we got in close enough to talk with low voices. Three fellows were plainly in view and from the activity on the other side of camp I gathered there must be a couple more.