Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
he will be going into rehab in a couple to four days-ish, so will probably be here for about ten days to two wks yet...... many thanks for your prayers and love....ellen and pete
NOTE* Rumors abound are not true. Pete is Cancer Free.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
When you don't work you find trouble. We (me and Nate) had the day off on Tuesday so we decided to go bear hunting. My first step was to get a bear license and permit from the ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) office. We also stopped to pick up bullets for Nate's gun.
I noticed a consignment gun exactly like one I'd been eyeballing for six months - a stainless steel marlin lever action "Guide Gun" chambered in 45/70. I called my wife to get permission to buy. "Sure, go ahead," she said. She didn't seem to be paying much attention to my request, but I didn't argue with her. I quickly bought the gun and some ammo and we went to the shooting range. We shot both guns and backup pistols for practice, then went to find some bears.
We hiked straight up one mountain and only saw old bear sign. We took a lunch break then drove to the other end of the road and climbed another mountain. Up one side and came down a cliff on the other side. Sore and tired and hungry, we took a break for supper. I'd seen bears while hiking and camping and deer hunting but now that we were looking for one to shoot, there didn't seem to be any around.
After eating, we decided to take out the boat to see if there were any bears on the shore. Katrina came along this time. About one hour later and 400 deer, 100 eagles, 5 seals, 8 sea lions, and a million seagulls, we saw our first bear. We could shoot this one. Actually we couldn't, because she had a cub with her. We watched for awhile then cruised the beach to keep looking.
A little later, we saw another bear but as soon as we slowed down to look at it, it ran into the woods. We decided to call it a night and turned back towards town. Soon we saw another bear and made the decision to give it one last try - make sure it was legal, then go for the kill.
Me and Katrina jumped into our kayak and paddled to shore. I made sure she had a loaded backup gun and extra ammo before the final stalk.
In stealth mode, we went around the corner and found the bear feeding twenty yards away. Heart pounding in my chest, I decided to shoot. Somewhere in all the excitement my sights got bumped off; my first shot hit him in the spine.
His back end slumped and I thought about what I've been told about shooting brown bears. Keep shooting until they can't move. If they can move they can charge you and eat you, or they can get away. Nobody wants to trail a wounded Grizzly. I shot again. The bear looked at us and growled. I got concerned and tried again. "Click." The bullet was a dud, or else my gun spring is weak. I ejected that shell and fired my last shot. The bear slumped over some rocks and growled. I reloaded.
With a lunge, the bear moved towards the woods but I was ready. I shot again and the bear laid down and died. After ten minutes of watching, we paddled out to the boat to swap Katrina for Nate, as I didn't want to leave her alone with a potentially wounded bear. I dropped Nate off on shore, then went back and picked Katrina up again.
All together again on land, we watched the bear from a safe distance. Slowly we got braver and braver and walked up close. I poked him in the eye with my gun and kicked him.
Night closing in, we finally decided he was dead, and figured we better try for some pictures before it was too dark.
We tried to roll the bear over to pose, but he was too heavy. I could only hold his head up for five seconds at a time. His paws were as big as my head and arms as big as my chest.
Then we got to work. If you ever decide to shoot anything larger than a deer, you better eat your Wheaties. It took us three and a half hours to skin it out, and we sweated and fought with 1200 lbs. of bear and 250 lbs. of wet, fat-laden hide in the dark.
Good luck to anyone who attempts to get a big animal anywhere off the beaten path. Two construction workers and one marathoner were licked after three hours and thirty yards to the boat.
Now the skull is soaking in a bucket on our back porch, the smashed bullets we retrieved are sitting on the kitchen table, and the hide is down in Seattle being tanned for our first bear skin rug.