Tag Archives: Recommended Reading

The Improbable White Beast Of Another Big Adventure

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skeeze / Pixabay

 

June 15, 2015

By Michael Patrick McCarty

A seasoned and wise old billy of the mountain goat kind is many things, yet above all things, an extreme and elemental force defined by chilling winds, lightning,  and mother nature in all her raw and naked glory. He can be found, if you dare, in that dizzying land of avalanche chutes, jumbled boulder fields, and rarefied air far above timberline. And find him you must, for he will not find you.

Add to this mix a man who longs to do just that, yet wonders if the body will still follow the wishes of the mind. Somehow the mountain slopes have become even steeper over the years, and the realities of the inevitable aging of flesh and bone are fast approaching like ominous, black-dark thunderheads over the peaks. This combination of animal and man may or may not be  a match made in heaven. But it is a miraculous association none the less,  built solidly upon a foundation of hope and lofty dreams.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was successful in Colorado’s annual big game application lottery this year, and I don’t mind saying that I must have been a perplexing sight at the Post Office a few weeks ago. Only another big game hunter would recognize the shell-shocked posture, wide open mouth, and classic thousand yard stare of a person holding that coveted, newly printed tag.

 

A hunting license permit issued by Colorado division of Wildlife for Rocky Mountain Goat GMU 12 Game Management unit 12, for my rifle goat hunt in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness
A Most Valuable Piece of Paper

Ten years are a long time to wait for a hunting permit, so I hope you will forgive me for not being able to think too clearly just yet. The receipt of what is most likely a once in a lifetime permission slip  has a way of immediately reorganizing one’s pressing list of priorities.

You might say that the mere thought of this adventure gives me considerable pause, as well as a strange and vague uneasiness in the innards. After all, mountain goat hunting is not for the faint of heart under almost any circumstances. Stories of its practical difficulty and sheer physicality are legendary, and in fact, sometimes terrifying.

Just two years ago a goat hunter died not far from where I will be hunting, and I doubt that I will be able to discount that kind of fact. He had been successful too, but then fell from a cliff while packing out his goat.

My license is for Game Management Unit 12 in the Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness Area near Aspen, and it would be hard to find a more picturesque backdrop for a backcountry expedition. It may also be one of the more challenging units in the state due to limited access and other factors. In other words,  it is brutally rugged and unapologetically unforgiving.  The goats are a long, hard hike with a heavy pack from most almost any trailhead.

Legally, I may  harvest a male or female goat, and it is a rifle tag. However, in Colorado the regulations allow me to hunt with a bow & arrow if I so choose, and I do. I was born a bowhunter, and a man must stay true to himself in matters such as this

Perhaps it is testing the fates to leave the rifle at home, since it is not easy to get the job done no matter what the weapon. I would also like to locate a mature billy and place myself within range of my recurve bow, a short-range instrument to say the least. But I’ve never had trouble creating boundary stretching goals for myself, and there’s nothing wrong with setting the sights on high.

It would be easy to become overwhelmed with all of the logistics involved.  A great deal of contingencies must come together to be successful, which means of course that a lot of things can also go wrong. It would be fair to say that this hunt begins when you open that long-awaited envelope, and I suspect that I will never really feel fully prepared. And the fact is, even though I hunted them in Alaska forty years ago, I really don’t know all that much about goats.

Luckily, Douglas Chadwick does.  A wildlife biologist, Chadwick spent many years studying this fascinating animal and famously called him “The Beast The Color of Winter”, in his book so aptly named. He was the first biologist to immerse himself in their everyday doings so completely, and to read his words about his life among the goats leaves one in awe and admiration of an animal that frolics so easily upon a place of such majesty and formidable beauty.

Every aspect of a mountain goat is improbable. At first glance their outward appearance can severely contrast with the splendor around them, for they do seem to be built from an odd and incongruent collection of body parts.  They perform highly impossible, unbelievable feats in impassable terrain, clinging to tiny footholds on cliffs where even angels fear to tread.

Few people get to spend much time with them, if at all. If you do the encounters are more like the desperate escapades of a tethered astronaut who must return to base after a measured length of  time, or face terminal consequences. To hunt them is a hard-won and precious gift.

Yet, Chadwick also refers to them as creatures of habit, perhaps to a fault. Throughout the year they move from winter and summer ranges as conditions dictate, returning to the same areas each season. In late summer and early fall they will often feed in the same sunlit meadow in the early morning, and then return along a well-worn path to bed for the day on the same protective ledge.

skeeze / Pixabay

That’s a very exciting bit of news, since I am a creature of habit myself. I also have a large reservoir of patience, gathered over a lifetime of hunting experiences.

There’s some other things I know too. Concealment and ambush are the bowhunter’s stock in trade, and it is an extremely effective hunting strategy under the right circumstances. It is one of the few advantages in our little bag of tricks, and if you know anything at all about the severe limitations of archery equipment, you will know that we need and welcome any advantage that we can find. It’s not much, but it is…enough.

And so, the time is at hand. The exercise program and the preparations have begun.

“Let the games begin”, I cry, and I pray that the arrow flies swift and true. I plan to savor every breathless, lung-busting, leg-muscles-turned-to-jelly thrill of it all.

A photo of an example of the type of terrain that you can expect to find when mountain goat hunting in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area in Game Management Unit 12 gum 12 in colorado
Just Exactly How Do You Kill a Mountain Goat Here? Hard to See, But Three Big Billies Are Escaping Up One of the Center Chutes.

You can believe that I will be in that special place called mountain goat country this September; watching, high on a ridge where brilliant blue sky crashes hard against rock and snow. I shall sit with back to granite, eternally waiting for that great white beast to turn in my direction. Hanging there on the mountain, part of it, with a shining smile upon my face and a razor-sharp shaft on the string.

Wish for me to possess, if just for a moment,  the fortitude and wilderness spirit of the goats themselves. Wish me the providence and predatory skills of all high country hunters everywhere, be they two-legged or four.  I am no doubt going to need all the moral support I can muster, and perhaps a portable oxygen tank to go.

It is what mountain dreams and big adventures are all about, and it looks like I am on my way at last, god willing…

By Michael Patrick McCarty

P.S. Stay tuned for more goat hunting updates to come.

Recommended Reading:

A Beast The Color of Winter: The Mountain Goat Observed. Chadwick, Douglas H. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, Ca., 1983.

We generally have a copy in stock, and for sale. Quote upon request.

 

a vintage photo of legendary archer Fred Bear, one of the father's of modern bowhunting and manufactuer of archery equipment, posing with a mountain goat trophy he took on a bowhunting expedition to british columbia with a recurve bow
* “The Spirits of the High Places” – Quote Taken From An Old Fred Bear Bowhunting Film

You Can See The End Results of Our Hunt HERE

https://steemit.com/hunting/@huntbook/the-improbable-white-beast-of-another-big-adventure

Jim Kjelgaard – Patron Saint of Dogs, Boys, and The Great Outdoors

Stormy (Paperback)

Allan Marley and his father have lived together  in the untamed wilderness of the Beaver Flowage all  their lives. But when Mr. Marley is jailed because  of a bitter feud, Allan suddenly finds himself on  his own. Then he meets Stormy, an outlaw dog who  has been accused of turning on his owner. Allan  knows that the big black retriever has been  mistreated, and he works hard to win the noble dog’s trust  and affection. As allies, Allan and Stormy overcome  every danger they encounter in the unpredictable  wilderness…but can their bond protect Allan from  the viciousness of his father’s human enemies?

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big red dvd of book by Mr. Jim Kjelgaard Patron Saint of Dogs, Boys, And The Outdoors, movies
A Boy and His Big Red Dog

BIG RED – BIG FRIENDS

 

I often wonder where I would be were it not for a man called Jim Kjelgaard.

More than likely I would not have become nearly half the man I am, or strive to be, had we not been introduced.  Nor would I have lived the life of a hunter, biologist, an outdoor writer, or an ever hopeful wildlife photographer.

I probably would not have left my home in the New Jersey Pine Barrens for the wide open views of the Rocky Mountains, either.

Chances are you may not know him by name, though his reach and influence continues to this day. His work captivated a generation of young boys, soon to be men, searching for the soul of adventure and the heart of the wild outdoors.

Wikipedia defines Mr. Kjelgaard as an American Author of Young Adult Literature, which in my way of thinking is like saying that an ocean of water is very wet. As an author of forty novels and countless short stories and other works, he was certainly that, and more. Much, much more. He meant everything to a young boy bursting to learn what lived beyond the outer limits of his own backyard.

I have always been a reader, blessedly so, and born for it I suppose. I took to books like black ink yearns for the creative freedom of an empty white page. My face became well-known in any library I could enter, until I had read almost everything on animals and fishing and all things outdoors from their limited selections.

And then an angel of a librarian handed me a copy of “Stormy”, a story about an outlaw Labrador Retriever and his owner, written by this fellow with the strange name. It was unlike anything I had ever read and I was hooked deep in my insides like a catfish on a cane pole.

I was to discover very soon that dogs were a prominent feature in a Kjelgaard story. It’s easy to see why, since there is something completely natural and magical about young boys and their dogs. The combination just begs for adventure and open space to run and roam. They encourage each other on and on, over the hill to the next discovery,  past the bend in the ever beckoning road. Together, there is nothing a boy and a dog can’t do.

I have read a little about the author’s life and I am convinced that he understood and loved the outdoors with a passion that even he could not convey. You can feel it on every page and in every character of every sentence. He had a remarkable ability to put you in the moment, in and of the scene, as if it were written just for you. He tells you that you can experience it too, if you chose.

Don’t wait, he says, just get out there and listen to the music of the hounds between deep breaths of pine and sugar maple under the brilliance of a harvest moon. His books hold the waving fields of marsh grass and the woods full of white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail and the screams of brightly colored blue jays. He shows us boys with guns, back when it was a natural and good thing that made you smile, knowing that some lucky family was sure to be enjoying a meal of squirrel or cottontail rabbit very soon.

Open to any page, and you can hear the sounds in your head as if you were standing there yourself. It was a guaranteed transport to a technicolored world of motion and light with a dog by your side. A world defined by the movements of animals and the rhythm of the seasons, punctuated by the sounds of drumming grouse and the chorus of frogs in the evening.

The comforts of family and home life ran strong throughout his stories. It was what made it all work.It was the knowing that safety and the comforting hearth of home stood solidly back where you had come from, when you needed it, which give us all the strength to be brave and venture out and abroad.

Sadly, Jim has been gone for some time now, just like the world he once knew.  He was taken from us much too soon, by illness and despair, and though that world he inhabited may be gone his voice is as relevant today as it was back then. In fact it is even more important than it ever was. He is a beacon of light for the spirits of young boys and their four-legged companions, filled with the quest for exploration and the simple, unmitigated joy of being a boy.

Of course I never met him personally, though I wish I had. Sadly, he was already gone when I was barely born. I would give much of what I have just to thank him for all of his precious gifts to me. It is because of Jim Kjelgaard and men like him that I have wandered the wilderness and spirited air, and lived a life filled with my own stories to tell.

Turning to face the world, what more can a young boy hope for?


To hear an excellent audio reading of this post, listen at  ADVENTURECAST.

 

Trailing Trouble, Dave and His Dog Mulligan, Big Red, Swamp Cat, Fire-Hunter, A Nose For Trouble By Jim Kjelgaard. Most Pictured Here are First Edition Copies With Dustjackets and Are Highly Collectible. From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
A Prized Collection of Jim Kjelgaard Titles. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

Jim Kjelgaard books are prized by collectors. First Edition copies with dustjackets in collectible condition are extremely difficult to find. They can be expensive, too!

Signed First Edition Book Fire-Hunter by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated By Ralph Ray. A Rare Autographed Inscription to Kjelgaard's Former School Teacher and Librarian. From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
A Man’s Best Friend! From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty

This amazing inscription reads: “All best wishes to the best darn teacher – librarian, and best friend in the world. Jim Kjelgaard”.

Something tells me that this teacher was very proud of the student!

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*Many of Jim Kjelgaard’s books are still in print across the globe, and he is a pre-eminent favorite among those who wish to home school. So, if you somehow missed him, it’s not too late. You may also want to track down a copy of the 1962 Walt Disney film “Big Red”, named after that marvelous and unforgettable Irish Setter of the same name. It will make you want to run out and acquire an Irish Setter too!

A photograph of Jim Kjelgaard and His Irish Setter, Taken from The Dustjacket Biography of Dave and His Dog, Mulligan. Illustrated by Sam Savitt
One Hell of a Dog

 

See Our Post About Stormy, by Jim Kjelgaard, HERE

See our book catalog for Jim Kjelgaard Titles HERE.

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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The Dustjacket Biography of Jim Kjelgaard, Found on a First Edition Copy of Dave and His Dog, Mulligan. Illustrated by Sam Savitt
A Brief Biography of Jim Kjelgaard

THE BOOKS OF JIM KJELGAARD

 

Forest Patrol – 1941, Holiday House

Rebel Siege – 1943, Holiday House

Big Red – 1945, Holiday House

Buckskin Brigade – 1947, Holiday House 

Snow Dog – 1948, Holiday House

“Born in the wilderness, the puppy had to learn the ways of survival like any other wild thing. Staghound and Husky ancestors had given him speed and stamina, but it was his own courage and intelligence that brought him through when a weaker dog would have perished. He learned to hunt, to find shelter, to protect himself from enemies”.

The Dustjacket From a First Edition Copy of Sow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Jacob Landau
The Dustjacket From a First Edition Copy of Sow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Jacob Landau

 

The Endpapers From a First Edition Copy of Sow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Jacob Landau
The Endpapers From a First Edition Copy of Sow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Jacob Landau

Kalak of the Ice – 1949, Holiday House

A Nose for Trouble – 1949, Holiday House

Wild Trek – 1950, Holiday House 

“Wild trek is an adventure story involving Chiri, the half-wild hero of snow dog, and his trapper master. Their problem is to find and rescue a naturalist whose plane has been forced down in the Caribou Mountains, deep in the Canadian wilderness”.

The Dustjacket From a First Edition Copy of Wild Trek By Jim Kjelgaard
It’s all About The Trek
Illustrated Endpapers From A First Edition Copy of Wild Trek By Jim Kjelgaard
Illustrated Endpapers by H. K. Faye From A First Edition Copy of Wild Trek By Jim Kjelgaard
An Autographed Copy of A First Edition of Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard. Dedicated to Roberta Forsyth, One of The Author's Teachers. A Unique Association Copy.
A Very Special Double Dedication

Chip the Dam Builder – 1950, Holiday House 

Irish Red, Son of Big Red -1951, Holiday House
                                               – 1962, Collins Famous Dog Stories

Fire-hunter – 1951, Holiday House

The Endpaper Art From a First Edition Copy of Fire-Hunter By Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Ralph Ray. From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
Saber-tooths and Bears and Wolves Oh Boy!

“This is a story of the days when sabertooth tigers and wooly mammoths roamed the earth. When men lived in wandering bands and stalked their prey with spears and clubs. When fire was their greatest friend, and human hands and brains their only advantage over wild beasts”.

The Explorations of Pere Marquette -1951, Random House

Trailing Trouble – 1952, Holiday House

Outlaw Red, Son of Big Red – 1953, Holiday House 

The Spell of the White Sturgeon – 1953, Dodd Mead 

A First Edition Copy of The Spell of The White Sturgeon by Jim Kjelgaard, Showing the Front Panel of the Dustjacket. Art By Stephen Voorhies. From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
The Sturgeon Abides!

“The vivid, action-packed story of a boy from the New York waterfront who sought adventure on tempestuous, yet fascinating Lake Michigan when the Midwest was growing hardily and fishing was the chief energetic industry of that great body…and he found too, that the giant white sturgeon who cast a spell of fear over the sturdiest fishermen whenever it appeared, could mean good fortune for him”.

"To The World's Best Librarian From The World's Worst Writer Jim". A Uniquely Personal Inscription, Found On a Signed First Edition Copy of The Spell of The White Sturgeon By Jim Kjelgaard. From The Book collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
“To The World’s Best Librarian From The World’s Worst Writer Jim”. A Uniquely Personal Inscription

The Coming of the Mormons – 1953, Random House

Haunt Fox– 1954, Holiday House 

Cracker Barrel Trouble Shooter – 1954, Dodd Mead

Lion Hound – 1955, Holiday House

Collins Famous Dog Stories

The Lost Wagon – 1955, Dodd Mead 

Desert Dog – 1956, Holiday House

Trading Jeff and his Dog – 1956, Dodd Mead

Wildlife Cameraman – 1957, Holiday House

A First Edition Copy of Wildlife Cameraman, with Dustjacket, by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Sam Savitt. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
A Book That Inspired a Generation of Wildlife Photographers

 

The Endpaper illustrations of a First Edition Copy of Wildlife Cameraman, with Dustjacket, by Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated by Sam Savitt
Wilderness, a Camera, and the Promise of Adventure

Double Challenge – 1957, Dodd Mead 

We Were There at the Oklahoma Land Run – 1957, Grosset & Dunlap 

Wolf Brother – 1957, Holiday House
                         – 1963, Collins Famous Dog Stories

Swamp Cat – 1957, Dodd Mead 

The Wild Horse Roundup-Collection of Stories by Western Writers of America, 
                            Editor – 1957, Dodd Mead 

Rescue Dog of the High Pass – 1958, Dodd Mead

Hound Dogs & Others-Collection of Stories by Western Writers of America
                          Editor – 1958, Dodd Mead

The Land is Bright – 1958, Dodd Mead

The Black Fawn – 1958, Dodd Mead 

The Story of Geronimo – 1958, Grosset & Dunlap

Hi Jolly – 1959, Dodd Mead 

Stormy – 1959, Holiday House

Ulysses & his Woodland Zoo – 1960, Dodd Mead

Boomerang Hunter – 1960, Holiday House 

The Duck-footed Hound – 1960, Crowell

Tigre – 1961, Dodd Mead

The Front of Dustjacket Illustration by Everett Raymond Kinstler, Found On A First Edition Copy of Tigre by Jim Kjelgaard, From The Book Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
The Front of Dustjacket Illustration by Everett Raymond Kinstler, Found On A First Edition Copy of Tigre by Jim Kjelgaard

 

“Pepe, the youthful Mexican goatherd, had many battles to fight…and hardest of all, against the killer tigre or jaguar which had taken the life of Pepe’s father and threatened to destroy the family herd of goats, their very livelihood”

Hidden Trail – 1962, Holiday House

Fawn in the Forest & other Wild Animal Stories – 1962, Dodd Mead 

Two Dogs & a Horse – 1964, Dodd Mead

Furious Moose of the Wilderness – 1965, Dodd Mead

Dave and his Dog, Mulligan – 1966, Dodd Mead

“…his great wish was to become a game warden…Dave had a second big dream for the future. He wanted to prove that hunting the “varmints” – the coyotes, the bobcats and lions that ran rampant in the nearby countryside – could prove a challenging, diverting sport to the countless hunters who swarmed into the area each open season, mostly in quest of deer. This would also put a stop to the reckless placing of poison bait by certain ruthless sheepmen whose flocks were being raided by the varmints”. (From the Dustjacket Flap)

Internal Illustration of Buck White-tailed Deer by Sam Savitt, Found in the Book Dave and His Dog, Mulligan by Jim Kjelgaard
Illustration By Sam Savitt, From a First Edition Copy of Dave and His Dog, Mulligan

Coyote Song – 1969, Dodd Mead

Front Cover of Dustjacket of A First Edition Copy of Coyote Song By Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated By Robert Maclean
Front Cover of The Dustjacket of A First Edition Copy of Coyote Song By Jim Kjelgaard. Illustrated By Robert Maclean

 

See Our Post About Stormy, by Jim Kjelgaard, HERE

See our book catalog for Jim Kjelgaard Titles HERE.

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

https://steemit.com/hunting/@huntbook/jim-kjelgaard-patron-saint-of-dogs-boys-and-the-great-outdoors

Stormy – The Dog That Led Us Into The Wind

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Stormy, by Jim Kjelgaard, is one of his most popular, and more collectable book titles. It is the story of an outcast labrador retriever, and his young owner. With lots of duck hunting and outdoor adventure.
Bring On The Storm!

A BOOK FOR ALL TIME

 

I have always been a reader, blessedly so, and born for it I suppose. I took to books like black ink yearns for the creative freedom of an empty white page. My face became well-known in any library I could enter, until I had read almost everything on animals and fishing and all things outdoors from their limited selections.

And then an angel of a librarian handed me a copy of “Stormy”, a story about an outlaw Labrador Retriever and his owner, written by this fellow with the strange name. It was unlike anything I had ever read and I was hooked deep in my insides like a catfish on a cane pole.

It was big, eye-opening reading for a nine-year old.  The world suddenly opened to wild possibilities, and the book is one of the reasons that I went on to earn a Wildlife Biology Degree in College. Jim Kjelgaard helped me to become a hunter too, and not just any kind of hunter, but a waterfowl hunter at that.

I have since come to love biting wind and snow squalls and white-capped waves in an icy marsh. I owe it all to an outlaw dog named Stormy, and a writer that knew him better than the dog himself.

For Sale:

Stormy. By Jim Kjelgaard. Published by Holiday House/Scott, Foresman, 1959. Hardcover, without Dustjacket as issued. In Very Good condition. This is not an X-library copy, as is more commonly offered.  Uncommon in this Edition.

“Allan Marley and his father have lived together  in the untamed wilderness of the Beaver Flowage all  their lives. But when Mr. Marley is jailed because  of a bitter feud, Allan suddenly finds himself on  his own. Then he meets Stormy, an outlaw dog who  has been accused of turning on his owner. Allan  knows that the big black retriever has been  mistreated, and he works hard to win the noble dog’s trust  and affection. As allies, Allan and Stormy overcome  every danger they encounter in the unpredictable  wilderness…but can their bond protect Allan from  the viciousness of his father’s human enemies? ”

Offered for $65 postpaid in U.S. Please contact us to purchase (Subject to prior sale).

For More on Jim Kjelgaard, click the link HERE

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Backwoods Freedom! – and Dogs Too.

Michael Patrick McCarty

*See our catalog HERE for a fine selection of Jim Kjelgaard First Editions and Autographed Works. Enter Kjelgaard in the author field.
A Close-up of the Artwork on the Endpapers of the Scott Foresman and Holiday House Edition of the Book Stormy By Jim Kjelgaard, with a Flock of Ducks fFying Fast on the Wind.
Sometimes A Duck Hunter Can Only Set The Gun Down and Watch. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

Out of the Wind

https://steemit.com/hunting/@huntbook/stormy-the-dog-that-lead-us-into-the-wind

The Promise Of Deer

A doe white-tailed deer on alert, watches for movement.
Watching Deer – Watching You

 

October 15, 2015

 

“One hot afternoon in August I sat under the elm, idling, when I saw a deer pass across a small opening a quarter-mile east. A deer trail crosses our farm, and at this point any deer traveling is briefly visible from the shack.

I then realized that half an hour before I had moved my chair to the best spot for watching the deer trail; that I had done this habitually for years, without being clearly conscious of it. This led to the thought that by cutting some brush I could widen the zone of visibility. Before night the swath was cleared, and within the month I detected several deer which otherwise could likely have passed unseen.

The new deer swath was pointed out to a series of weekend guests for the purpose of watching their later reactions to it. It was soon clear that most of them forgot it quickly, while others watched it, as I did, whenever chance allowed. The upshot was the realization that there are four categories of outdoorsmen: deer hunters, duck hunters, bird hunters, and non-hunters. These categories have nothing to do with sex or age, or accoutrements; they represent four diverse habits of the human eye. The deer hunter habitually watches the next bend; the duck hunter watches the skyline; the bird hunter watches the dog; the non-hunter does not watch.

When the deer hunter sits down he sits where he can see ahead, and with his back to something. The duck hunter sits where he can see overhead, and behind something. The non-hunter sits where he is comfortable. None of these watches the dog. The bird hunter watches only the dog…”

From the chapter entitled “The Deer Swath” in A Sand County Almanac”, by Aldo Leopold.

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I read this for the first time many years ago, and the basic premise of it has stuck in my mind ever since. It is classic Leopold, whose writings always seems to leave behind more thought-provoking questions than he answers. He was, and still is, one of the preeminent teachers of the natural world.

Looking back, I realize now that I have always sat with shoulders squared up to something at my back, watching.

Perhaps I am just a deer hunter at heart. It is the promise of deer, for which I wait.

Where do you sit?

Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also See The Aldo Leopold Foundation

You Might Also Like Our Post called The Gift

https://steemit.com/nature/@huntbook/it-is-the-promise-of-deer-for-which-i-wait

 

Vintage photo of what looks to be a 30" plus trophy mule deer, taken in Nevada during rifle season in the mid 1960's
Trophy Nevada Mule Deer Taken in the Mid-1960’s. Photo courtesy of David Massender.

There’s a Lot of Desert in This Sheep

Leupold Bx-4 Pro Guide Hd 10x42mm Roof Shadow Gray (172666) (Sports)

Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD Binocular 10x42mm Roof Prism Shadow Gray 172666

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Don Waechtler of Slim's Taxidermy in Glenwood Springs, Colorado poses with a Desert Bighorn Sheep, taken in The Sheep Range near Las Vegas, Nevada, while hunting with Jim Puryear of Nevada Guide Service in 2015
There Are Some Truly Magnificent Animals in the World – And a Desert Bighorn Sheep is Surely One of Those!

Obtaining a Desert Bighorn Sheep permit from almost anywhere in North America generally requires a towering casino jackpot of luck, and that may be the easy part of any sheep hunt. However, it takes much more than wishful thinking and a lucky roll of the dice to harvest a really large trophy ram.

Don Waechtler took this stunning specimen in the Sheep Range near Las Vegas, Nevada in November of 2015, while hunting with Jim Puryear of Nevada Guide Service & World Safaris.

This is not just your average Desert Bighorn ram either. With a green score of 169 inches, it just may meet the Boone & Crockett minimum score of 168 inches when officially measured early next year. No doubt there may be some finger crossing here and there while Don waits for the end of the required 60 day drying period. But hey, what’s an extra month or two to matter when you have already waited thirty years for a tag?

Either way, it is a big game trophy of a lifetime, and proof positive that not all things that happen around Las Vegas stay in Vegas. Sometimes, you get to bring your winnings home.

Congratulations Don!

By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

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The Desert Bighorn: It's Life History, Ecology, and Management, Edited by Gale Monson and Lowell Sumner.
Everything You May Ever Want to Know About A Desert Bighorn

*We have some copies of “The Desert Bighorn” in stock, as well as other sheep and sheep hunting titles for sale. Please email for quotes and availability.

You Might Also Like To See Some Interesting Colorado Bighorn Sheep Pictures HERE

*Don Waechtler, aka Slim, is a master taxidermist from Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He has been in business for over 35 years, and I highly recommend his work.

**Don is now retired, but I understand that he may do some work on a limited basis. Congratulations, Slim!

 

Don Waechtler, Slim's Taxidermy, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
But First You Gotta Get Em

 

You Can find More Information on Nevada Guide Service HERE

You Might Also Like Rams of the Fryingpan

A Taste of High Country Summer

A fisherman poses with a stringer full of brook trout, caught while flyfishing on a high mountain stream in colorado in the summer.
Brook Trout Put A Smile On Your Face. Photo Courtesy of Rocky Tschappat, Aspen, Colorado

 

Few things go as well together than brook trout and a clear mountain stream, unless of course it is a hot cast iron pan and some freshly caught fillets.

I am told that these beauties had perfect, firm flesh and that beautiful orange color of wild fish. Apparently, these brookies  never saw any wrapping paper either.

Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Thank God For Summer!

 

RECIPE FOR COLORADO COWBOY TROUT

  • 8 small trout
  • 3 apples, sliced thinly
  • 1 sliced onion
  • honey
  • 3 slices of precooked ham, chopped
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon

Stuff trout bodies with apple, onion, and ham. Drizzle some honey on stuffing; add lemon juice and season to taste. Seal in doubled-up heavy-duty foil and cover in hot campfire coals. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serves four.

Keep in mind that if you are making this recipe, you are definitely doing it in the right place and are probably in a fine state of mind.

Enjoy!

*Adapted from The All Trout Cookbook by Rick Taylor. It is a great trout cooking recipe book, and I highly recommend it if you can find a copy.

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Flyfishing The High Country by John Gierach.
It’s Definitely Worth the Walk

Flyfishing the High Country by John Gierach. With Chapters on the high lakes, beaver ponds, the high streams, tackle and flies, the Frying Pan River, and more.

We generally have copies of this in stock, as well as other John Gierach books. Please email for availability and price.

Hope To See You In The High Country Soon!

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty