Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Eleventh Hour Boar- Matt Cahoon

After the entire season without seeing a single bear, it was time to go all in on the last day of the season. During an exhausting and uneventful four-hour sit, in a stand better suited for a small booster seat, discouragement started to creep in. I thought maybe I’d go a fourth year without having an opportunity on a bear. After a quick lunch break and the debate if I should call it quits, I decided to head back to the stand. From 3:00 to 9:00 there was nothing but “Angry Birds” and hungry squirrels to keep me entertained. As the sun went down I thought about breaking the cardinal rule of getting down at prime time to make the long trek home, when out of the silence a branch snapped.

With my 1979 Ben Pearson recurve patiently sitting in my lap, I caught a glimpse of a large paw under the pine limbs. This was it. As he cautiously made his way to the bait site, I picked a spot to send my Magnus tipped stick. When the shot presented itself all of my instinctive practice kicked in. I do not remember any strain from the weight of the bow or anchoring my index finger to the corner of my mouth but there I was at full draw, bearing down on a solid boar. Finally, after four unsuccessful years and hours in the stand that day, it was the moment of truth. Charged with energy of glass and wood, the arrow soared and plunged deep into the bears back. Tearing off to the safety of the dense forest, he only made it 15 yards before the effects of a perfectly placed shot took its toll.  Within seconds he was crumpling into a ball and rolling down the hill.  He let out a slight moan and then fell silent.  From the release of the arrow to the once again silent woods was less than 15 seconds. I patiently sat 11 long hours and finally, in the eleventh hour, the deed was done.