Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Raught Handed Through the Pole Pines

I'm rather new to the blogosphere, so please bear with me.Hunting camps and hunters need humor, and I find that humor can come from us or at us. Sometimes it's both. Sometimes it's hard to tell who is the jokester and who is the horse's ass.About 20 years ago, I worked in a hunting camp as a guide and the primary mule packer. I had developed "Dennis' Law." It stated that if a hunter or guide got an elk (or deer or bear or sheep) that the hunter or guide had to go along to find the game. I had had plenty of experience trying to find an elk over near "the ridge."

Anyway, one of the guides didn't pack--at all. I'll call him David. One day his hunter got a five-point bull and David didn't want to show me where it was. We got in a pissin' match and he went to the outfitter, who said David wasn't going. (I guess Dennis' Law was more like Dennis' Theory)David started to tell me how to find the elk. It must be noted that David is from North Carolina and even for a North Carolinan he had a different slant on the world. He could also tell a pretty good joke.

He began, "Ya take the cut-across trail towards Dryden and when ya git to the second meadow, turn by that old fir stump. Go to the top of the meadow and head for the pole pines. " (I already knew what pole pines were, only we always called them peter poles or pine thickets. They are patches of Lodgepole Pine that are so thick you usually need to turn sideways to get your shoulders through.)

David continued, "Ya head right-handed through the pole pines and come to that rock about the size of a jeep that looks like Mount Rushmore, 'ceptin there ain't no faces on it." I got hotter by the minute.

I said, "David, I've been here for several years and I've never seen a rock that looked like Mount Rushmore around here--with or without faces."

He replied, "Well ya can't miss it. It's raught there. Then, when ya git to the rock head for the ridge goin' up Beartop. Follow that ridge three-eights of the way and the bull is raught there." David knew that he had pulled my chain, but never let on.

I said, "How far EXACTLY is three-eights of the way, David?"

His grin started immediately and he said, "That's a little less than haallff!"

At the time I wasn't as tickled as David, but as the years have gone by it has become one of my favorite stories.

Although, I'm not sure who was the horse's ass.

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