Thursday, December 25, 2008

17 Oct 08

Everything is going fine and fairly uneventful (ground-hog day). There were a couple of events that were kind of "interesting". About 3 weeks ago, one of my teams came up on a black bear. He turned tail and ran into the woods and didn't look back. Of course the gun is in one of the bags on the 4 wheeler. I felt it was a good time to pull said gun out and display it in a more appropriate fashion for self-defense. Editor's note. One of the leaders during this escapade was Bear. Picture yourself trying to turn Bear (the dog) away from Bear the black bear. I needed a scotch after that. Last week, while running my second team we came up on a cow moose with 2 calves. Now as I saw the cow about 10 yards off the side of the trail. After I got the team stopped, I assessed the situation and then saw the 2 calves. The cow's ears were back and she appeared pretty pissed off. If I went forward, the cow could panic and run down the middle of my team as she had the angle. As I thought about turning the team, she charged my leaders. The leaders went completely submissive and laid as flat as they could on the ground. This saved them from being stomped. The cow continued across the trail and went about 5 feet into off the trail and started to turn around to mount a second attempt at my leaders. Editor's note: I keep a broken axe handle, from a 3/4 axe, bungeed to the top rack on the 4-wheeler. It's pretty much the handle without the head to the axe. It is there for quick access to fend off varmints like porcupines or to break up a dog fight. It's pretty self-critiquing the first time you try to break up a dog fight with your own appendages. Yes I have scars to prove it. Also, for those wondering about the gun, it's in the same spot as the bear incident. Back to the story. As the cow made her first attempt at the leaders, I jumped off the 4-wheeler yelling and screaming like a mad man and grabbed the axe handle. As the cow turned to come back at my leaders, I fashioned a charge at the moose that would have made General Picket proud. Normally I have plan for just about every situation and as I came up next to the team dogs behind swing, the moose was directly in front of my leaders. I realized as I was in a full sprint, that I am running directly at this beast with a broken axe handle and the gun was tucked nicely away in the 4-wheeler. Now in 2 seconds I need to figure out where is the best place to be so as not to get the ever living crap stomped out of me and still be able to inflict some damage to convince this moose to get away from my dogs with only a piece of wood that is shorter than my arm. About the time I got even with the swing dogs still yelling and screaming, the moose continued across the trail and about 15 yards into the woods. Her calves were never in any danger and were further off the trail. I check my leaders out and they were very fortunate that nothing happened. I walked backwards to the 4-wheeler eyeing the cow in case she makes another charge. This time, I display the gun in a more appropriate fashion. I get the team ready to go, I noticed the cow's ears were back again and she was positioned as before to charge the team. This time I draw said gun and am ready to defend my team and myself. As the team went by, she took a couple of steps forward, but decided against another run. Since then, I wear my gun and hopefully I won't have to use it. During tonight's run, I have Timber and Cyphers at lead. This is Cyphers first year running and neither of them have never lead. Bear is recovering from a pulled muscle and will be back next week and something is going on with Bogey. He will run, but is pretty flat at lead. Could be the 2 girls in season on the other team. We are about 4/10 of mile into the run and my glasses have partially fogged up. This happens until I cool off. I see a brown flash coming from the woods heading directly at my leaders and make out a moose without antlers. This time, I start yelling and screaming and by the time I am even with the wheel dogs, the gun is out and cocked. As she gets about 5 feet from my leaders, I have the gun pointed at her and she simultaneously stops and goes back into the woods. That's it for the last couple of weeks. The teams are up to 7 mile runs and we will most likely increase that next week. The trails are still muddy.

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