Let me just say, when this post goes live that my wife may not talk to me for a while.
I ended up getting laid off from a job about two months before going on a scheduled bear hunt in northern Canada with my hunting buddy. At my current stage in life I knew that if I didn't go on that hunt that year I would dream about it until retirement rolled around. So I sold my perch fishing boat to go. And we went.
I've only had one thing at the taxidermist prior and call him to ask if he could do a bear. Not only could he but he would give a deal if he could come with us. Talked it over with my hunting buddy, by talk it over he slapped my upside my head and said, "call him right now and tell him yes."
Fast forward a bit, I'm in the tree stand on the forth night, in the middle of nowhere, holding a stick and string and an arrow hoping something three times bigger than me, capable of slashing me in half with one swipe of the paw, walks passed my. And with an hour a light left one black bear did. I let my arrow go, I saw it hit its mark and heard the sound every archer wants to hear, and that bear ran.
Now if you've never been in this situation, let me tell you that ever single cell in your body is listen since you cannot see anything past your shooting lane. And with every cell intently listening and you hear a bear's death moan, its enough to make a grown man pee a little. If you're not familiar with the death moan, basically the bear uses its last breath to scare the crap out of you.
Got my bear, not huge, not a baby, but a bear. Later on the next day the taxidermist rolls into camp shaking, chain smoking, saying he's shot the biggest bear he has ever seen. Poking fun at him we go to help him retrieve his bear. All of us doubt the size of this bear as the taxidermist has never shot a bear before and a lot of people misjudge the size for the first time. But when we saw this bear, OMG. After all the shooting and cheering and some French Canadian speak from the guide died down, I stood with my feet on the belly of this giant and couldn't see my hunting buddy on the other side.
So fast forward a bit more, we are back home over a month now and I think I had enough cash saved up to get my bear mounted. The taxidermist was so grateful for the whole experience he said he would do my bear up anyway I wanted at cost. He came over and we spent about an hour going over forms, mouth pieces, eyes, whole thing. He had everything he needed except the hide. We walked out to the garage, opened the freezer and the stench of deaths was over powering. He grabbed the bag from me and ran to his truck saying I might be able to save it as he drove away.
I walked in and ask my wife what happened? Throughout the past few years she has changed her story a couple times about how or why she unplugged the freezer but she has always taken ownership of it.
Couple days later the taxidermist stops by with a necklace he made from the claws of the bear and was deeply apologetic. That necklace was all I had to remember that hunt. Couple years later, same wife, same bear claw necklace somehow made it to the dogs mouth and she mistook it for a chew toy.
If yo ever get a chance to stop in the range while Candice is there, ask here where the bear mount is and pray she doesn't hit me to hard later.