Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The noise in the woods...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Saw the above pic, and just had to snatch it for the blog...#1 it speaks to my love of books and reading, and #2 "It's 'Story Time' boys and girls!!!" Lol.

But what to tell...what to tell?
That is always the quandary...

Perhaps someday I'll tell my Grandkids the tale of the Winter of 2013 now that we've broken the record for snowfall in recorded history!

I can see it now, sitting in my nuclear powered, hovering zero-gravity Lay-z-boy telling the surrounding little ones:
"This winter ain't nuthin'....why I remember back in ought thirteen, we had snow up to our eyebrows and we survived!!! An we didn't have no damn hovercrafts to drive neither, no sir...we had to drive CARS, that ran on rubber tires...and used GASOLINE no less!!!"

Or perhaps I'll tell them how I heard my first Coyote at age 18 on a bear hunting trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

My best friend Brad Tipolt had family on the West side of the U.P. and when we talked of going bear hunting they offered to show us just where to go. So we loaded up his Dad's camper, dragged his Dad out of his easy chair to go with us, and set off.

Going to Michigan's Upper Peninsula is like going to a different state, neigh on to a different country!

His family had property in Mass City, about 20 miles south of the shipbuilding town of Ontonagon which is on Lake Superior.

The season ran from Sept. 1st. through the 15th. and while the days were pleasantly warm the nights got VERY cold. In my part of the state, in the S.E. corner we don't get hard frosts until late October/November. We woke up to it every morning when we were up there. Heavy, heavy frost that bent the weeds over and made the trees appear covered in white velvet.

The people were different too...largely of Scandinavian stock, mixed with some Dutch and French Canadians, and a few Newfoundlanders thrown in for good measure. There is a distinct "Yupper" accent that is hard to capture with the written word...closest I can tell you is think "Minnesota".

Now I'm not that tall at 5'11" but I towered over everybody we met, and Brad appeared a giant at 6'5"! Everyone up there reminded me of garden gnomes, short...running to the portly, with ruddy cheeks and little turned up noses and sparkling eyes.

When we met his Uncle, he gazed up at us and said:
"Oh by God, yose a couple a bigguns' ain'tcha...I bet yose two could stack a cord o'wood in no time, eh?!?!"
Evidently a common form of defining worth in the U.P.! 

And stack we did...had to earn them showing us where to hunt "Don'tcha know?"

So, our first night out...on the edge of an abandoned apple orchard where the bears came to satisfy their sweet tooth, my buddy and I sat back to back. There were yard high weeds across most of the open areas around the old orchard with clumps of "jackpine" and sumac making islands in the sea of grass.

One such island was right in the middle of our area we were watching, about 25 yards out. Decisions were made...left of the island Brad's, to the right Mine.

As the shadows lengthened and the temperature dropped we waited expectantly for that snap of a twig or rustle of grass that would alert us to the approach of a bear.

Nerves on edge, hyper-alert as this was the first bear hunt for either of us.

When all of a sudden the most horrific sound either of us had ever heard reverberated from behind our "island"!!! A high pitched yowling scream....we about came out of our skin!

"What the FUCK was THAT?!?" I asked

"I have no fucking idea...but it comes out from behind those bushes I say we shoot it!!!"

About then it let out another, even louder...

There we were, literally "loaded for bear" and about to shit ourselves over whatever the hell that was, because it sure as hell was no bear!!!

We never did get a look at what made all that noise...

When finally it was too dark to see, we made our way nervously out of the woods and down the drive to the RV where Brad's dad waited.

As we came in and divested ourselves of our weapons and got out of our hunting clothes, Brad's Dad said:

"See anything?"

"No, but we heard the god damnedest thing we've ever heard in our lives..."

"All I heard was a coyote..." He said

"THAT was a coyote?!? No way...."
We answered in disbelief.

"That's called a "yoddle", they don't always howl you know..." He said with a chuckle "wish I coulda seen the two mighty bear hunters about to piss themselves over a coyote!"

He had a good laugh retelling that one over the years, and looking back it was pretty funny...

So there's today's story boys and girls...hope you liked it.

Be Well!

Beastly Bear



  1. I probably would have shit myself too! Holy crap! LOL

    1. I had never heard ANYTHING like that before in my young life!!!

  2. I'm sure I would have lost all bladder control too.

    1. It should give you an idea how unnerving it was that we had guns, and WE were scared! Lol

  3. Hahahahahahaha! I'd of been shooting into the darkness! Wth? Funny but SCARY!

  4. Don't you mean former best friend?