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Beep, beep, beep, the alarm’s going off. As I roll over to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, I fall off the bed. Waiting for me at the bottom is my dog, Loosey. I get off the floor and make my way to the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal.
As I am eating my cereal, my dad comes down and gets a bowl with me. He grabs the Co-Co Puffs and pours a bowl of milk and cereal.
After eating breakfast, I ask my dad if I can go elk hunting. He says only if I am back by five o’ clock. I say five thirty, and he sys ok, five thirty. So I go to the barn to grab my 30-30 rifle. Then I go to the locker to grab a box of shells and I am off to the woods.
I have been sitting down for at least three hours now. There is a huge bull elk about 100 yards from me. I hit the call to try to bring him in, but no luck. He is just ignoring the call. I pull out the antlers and start to rattle. That gets his attention because he look up and start this way. I pull up my rifle and wait for him to stop so I can make a good shot. He is running now, and I don’t know if I can stop him. I yell HEY at him. He stops dead in his tracks.
I pull up my rifle and put the cross hairs on his heart. Then I squeeze the trigger. Boom! The bull runs about 90 yards, then it drops over dead.
Next I go to claim my trophy. As I am cleaning the elk, I look up and I am shocked at what I see. I see one of the biggest bears in my life. This bear is standing on two legs, and is watching my every move. As I stand up and take a step left, the bear’s head turns left, and as I take a step right, the bear follows.
As I am standing there, shock, there is a sound coming from the other side of the woods. Is it my dad looking for me? I hope so. All of the sudden the sound stops. Then a tall man comes out of the bushes.
I think to myself, I am saved, until the bear jumps on the man and started to rip his guts out. Finally I think I am safe, so I start to run. Then the bear looked up at me. I start to run even faster. But I stand no chance against a mighty bear.
As I am running, suddenly I am tripped up by something. It is a tree root, and the bear is gaining on me. For the last time I think that my life is over. Then the bear comes up to me and starts to growl, there is a loud bang and the bear fell over. It was like a bus or something hit it.
Then out of nowhere a helicopter is flying over me. One of the men in the copter has shot the bear. Then a basket comes down from the copter, and I grab a hold. For the final time, I know that I am safe.
As the helicopter drops me off at the hospital, I suddenly realize that I am missing my left leg. As I start to panic, the doctor comes in the room. He says that there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I am going to be ok. But the bad news is that the bear torn my leg up too badly and they couldn’t sew it back on. The doctor says they could give me a prosthetic leg. It will take a while to get used to walking again.
It is November now, and I can use my leg pretty well. But I am not sure if I am quite ready for this hunting season. As I am walking up to the barn to shoot my bow, I look over and my dad is shooting his. I go over with him and get my bow. We both start to shoot.
As we are finishing up our shooting, my dad says that he talked to Tim (my dad’s friend who owns a hunting ranch). He says that Tim asked if we would like to go to his ranch and go hunting for mountain lions.
My dad says we can, but he will have to see how my leg is doing. I say that my leg feels fine, but I still don’t have the best balance.
“Clayton, come on,” my dad says as we are getting on the plane. A few hours later I look out the window of the plane, and I am about to get sick. All I can see is clouds and a blue collar, and it is a lake.
As we are arriving in South Dakota, there is a tall man waiting for my dad and me. He is our hunting guide for the hunting trip. As we arrive at the log cabin, it is about 9:30 and it is almost dark. My dad and I go inside the cabin to sleep for the night.
Day two and I did not sleep well last night. By the looks of my dad, neither did he. It is about 5:30 now and the sun isn’t quite up yet. My dad and I get in the jeep and we go to the ranger station to get our hunting tags and gear.
I get one mountain lion tag, two moose and two wolverine tags, and a tripod stand with a call and scent cover, a rain poncho, and a deer decoy. My dad gets the same, except he gets two badgers instead of wolverines and a tree stand instead of a tripod.
It is about 6:24 now, and it is time to get to the woods and start hunting. I set up my deer decoy, and then spray some scent cover on it so that the deer won’t smell my scent. Next I set up the tripod stand and start to rattle.
My dad is about 200 yards from me and he does the same. After waiting for about two to three hours now, I am about to die. I hear some ruckus in the east by the lake. I think it is a bull moose, but I am not for sure.
About 20 minutes later a moose comes running out of the woods. It is being chased by a mountain lion. I did not know which one to shoot, the lion or the moose. I guess the horns on that moose took control of me, because I shoot that moose.
It runs about 90 to 100 yards and falls over. The lion runs towards my dad and he yells at it. It stops and he shoots it. As I am going to claim my moose, my dad come over and congratulates me. I do the same for him.
As we are walking back to the jeep, my dad and I heard a voice, but we just ignore it. About five minutes after hearing that voice, we hear someone yell. We both run over to where the voice was, and there is a cliff. My dad and I looked over the cliff and there he is, a man lying in the rocks about 40 feet down.
My dad gets on his cell phone and calls the ranger station… about 10 minutes later the rangers show up. My dad says that there is a man at the bottom of the cliff. The ranger manager goes to his jeep and grabs the tow strap. About 20 to 25 minutes later we get the man up from the edge of the cliff.
At camp my dad and I tell our hunting stories along with other hunters. Mine is pretty good, but I like Tim’s. It is about 8:00 now and it is dark. As my dad and I are heading to our cabin, Tim says, “Hey, hope you guys are ready for the hunt tomorrow.”
“Clayton, Clayton.” Get up!” “What?” I ask. My dad says that it is time to go hunting. I get out of bed and go to the kitchen to eat breakfast. After eating my dad says that we should go and shoot our guns at the shooting range, since he didn’t make a good shot on his mountain lion.
“Good shot,” my dad says as I hit the bull’s eye. We both decide to use our bows instead of our guns for the moose hunt today. We have been shooting our bows for a while and my dad has already knocked two arrows. I am doing pretty well, too.
“It’s noon,” my dad says. “Time to go to the ranger station and get some food”. In the ranger station our guide comes up and asks if we are ready to go on our hunt. After eating lunch, we meet the guide outside the station. We get in the jeep and go to the woods.
About 15 miles into the woods, we set up our stands. Mine is on a hill, and covered pretty well by some trees. My dad put his in a cove where there is a game trail. About 20 to 30 minutes later my dad calls me on the radio and says that he sees a bull by my stand. I don’t reply because the bull was looking right at me.
My dad calls me again, but this time it scares the moose. It runs towards my dad and stops about 60 yards in front of him. But he only has bow, and that is a long shot. He hits the call and the bull starts to make its way to him. When the bull is about 20 yards from him, my dad draws back and shoots.
It looks like he missed, so we go down there to look for blood. We find a lot. The bull is running towards the woods and it looks like it has disappeared. As we are going to the woods to look for the moose, we see a dark spot. We walk over to the spot and it is the moose.
It’s about 6:45 now and we are heading to the cabin to sleep for the night. We didn’t get all the animals that we wanted, but we both got a BIG moose. It came out to be a 15 by 13 point, and I think that this hunting season was pretty successful.