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Ramble with Storm: Bears

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

It’s beginning to feel like one of those falls where I have to check the Chicago Bears schedule when I am planning hunting or fishing trips.

I don’t just mean because the Bears are 3-0, but because their games are fast becoming must-watch TV.

Speaking of Bears, try black bears.

There aren’t many things I have left that gnaw at me in terms of the outdoors. But I would like to shoot a black bear.

While muskie fishing with Steve Statland for a week last week on Lake Vermilion, we had a lot of time to talk about a lot of things.

One of the things that came up was my desire to shoot a black bear. He mentioned how he can’t stand the idea of shooting a bear over bait.

I absolutely agree. If I ever get a black bear, I want it to be because I hunted it on a feeding area or trail and got lucky.

I have been hunting the same mountainside where a black bear has been shot, but I have never come close to seeing a bear during bear season.

Set out in the predawn near darkness this morning, which may explain the relative lack of wildlife or birds.

Other than three groupings of Canada geese–a pair, three and six–flew over.

At the ball field on the edge of town, 18 Canada geese grazed and crapped all over left field. And gave Storm and me a good honking to.

A lone mourning dove sat on a wire as we crossed over the side rail that separates the town from the wildness of the town pond. A couple more doves picked grit on the fringes of the extended ramble.

For some reason, I looked at the trees lining the edges of the extended ramble and realized they have dropped something like 75-80 percent of their leaves. Not turned color, other than a dying shade of brown, but just dropped.

I wonder if the lack of rain has something to do with it.

The cockleburs along the fencerows on the extended ramble were all brown. They are quite obvious now with their round stickers.

A pair of big fish surfaced on the north old clay fish. I was a bit surprised on a cold morning in the 40s, cold enough to pull a surface fog off the town pond.

Tom the Fisherman’s pickup was there again, but I did not see him.

On the edge of town, in a first in a long time, not a single dove or pigeon sat on the wires or picked grit by the grain elevator.

At the alley by the bus barn, a handful of doves flew around the wires.

At the base of our neighbor’s gnarled old elm, the meathead chased two gray squirrels up the tree. They had been so involved in their cavorting that he nearly caught them.

Made me wonder what he would have done if he had caught them.

Sometimes you have to be careful what you chase in life.