Monthly Archives: March 2012
As each season passes during the hunts, I always think of how my dear friend “BB” is doing. With his weird sense of elk humor and caustic comments, I dread thinking that some lucky hunter has finally taken my verbose buddy to a meat locker. Thankfully, I received a text from his hoofberry that he was alive, well and looking forward to a conversation with me. I packed up the Prius (gas conservation mind you) and headed for the meeting spot.
Since the Prius can’t hit the heavy gravel roads, we arranged for a meeting that allowed me to do a minimal amount of off-road driving. We arranged for a full-moon meeting at a place just outside of Show Low. I was surprised that “BB” had come so far down off the top from Big Lake, but hey, he was doing me the favor. I arrived at the spot just after 10:00 pm and then hiked in through some heavy thickets for about a half a mile. I noticed a glow as I approached the spot and almost fell over as I saw a big production taking place. “BB” had at least 20 bulls and cows lined up with sacks of something draped over their shoulders. “Greetings “BB” I said. He barely looked up from the task at hand but managed to say, “Heard you from the time you left the pavement and smelled you since you locked that little gizmo you’re driving. What the hell is that thing?” I laughed and said, “Why “BB” I’ve gone green. I am now an environmentally conscious person.” “BB” snorted derisively and said, “Yeah, and I’m now a carnivore.” I explained that since I do so much city driving I felt that it was time to drive British Petroleum’s profits down. The fact that I spend about $700.00 per month less on gas was also a small factor. I finally had to ask what the hell he was doing. “Do I have to guess, or are you going to tell me what this big production is?” “BB” smiled and said, “This is what we call a hunter attitude improvement load.” That comment caught me by surprise and I felt a degree of sarcasm from my friend. “Seriously “BB”, what is all this stuff and what are you doing?” Continue reading
It had been three months since my last encounter with “BB”. I still remember the stunned look in his eyes when we were standing in two feet of snow just south of Springerville. I knew that he would never forget the moment and I decided it would be a bond between us forever. I suspect that “BB” would have been pleased not to have endured the moment, but heck, he has had more than enough fun at my expense.
It was time for the annual fence removal project at Big Lake and I knew that after 5 years we would be tearing down the last of over 35 miles of fences. I have many memories of that area and I looked forward to being at the exact spot where the last of the fencing would be removed. I had gotten a text message from my furry friend that he would be available after the dinner hours in our usual spot. As luck would have it, the last spot was along a ridge that had a severe drop down to and then a long hike into. The team of individuals who helped were all hard working and we rolled the last of the wire well before quitting time. I savored that last mile as I recalled how daunting the task had been when we started. My thoughts then shifted to “BB” and I hoped that the winter had treated him well. Continue reading
The fortunes of winter had provided a blanketing of deep snows that had buried the Big Lake area. As expected, herds of elk had been driven off the mountains with some migrating all the way to Springerville and Eager. Commonly called Round Valley, the twin towns were suffering from the elk that were mowing down trees, shrubs, hay and whatever else they could munch their way through. After some deliberation, The Arizona Game & Fish Department decided to hold a “Population Management” hunt. The hunt is unique in that it is in a very small territory and you have to be very careful to be at least 450 yards from the nearest home. I was somewhat surprised to get a phone call from the Department informing me that my name had been pulled for the hunt. The tags were for bulls only and we were made aware that the odds were pretty tough to get a bull. I decided to take the chance and bought the tag. I tried to contact “BB” to see if we could possibly hook up, but I had no idea where he was or what direction he had taken during the storms. I half wondered if during the hunt we might run across each other, but decided that chance was pretty slim. The Valentine’s Day weekend turned out to be a memorable one for both “BB” and myself. Continue reading