This just in from the Times ...
A Nov. 4 ballot question that would bar the use of dogs, bait and traps for bear hunting in Maine has outside groups pouring money into the state on both sides of the issue.
My dog, Irby, as you can imagine, is up in arms ...
Even though he doesn't look particularly upset in the picture.
In case you're not totally in the loop, Irby's a redbone coonhound. And redbones excel at treeing large animals -- cougars and bears in these parts. Plus the occasional raccoon, which doesn't qualify as a large animal but try telling Irby that. He looks so damned pleased when he trees one that I just don't have the heart to give him any shit about it. I just shoot the damned thing and make a nice frickassee later.
In any case, nothing Irby likes better than standing with his paws against the trunk of a tree and baying at the bear residing temporarily therein. At which point I pull out my rifle and blow that motherfucker to kingdom come. The bear, not the dog, obviously. Mmmmm -- good eating. Julia Child has an outstanding beef bourguignon recipe
that works great with bear meat.
This is my weapon of choice ...
When you put it together it's a Holland & Holland 375 magnum. Double barreled. An elephant gun, really, but as Daniel Boone might have said, had he had one, "It'll do for bar." A really nice one goes for about $150,000, bullets not included. But that's okay -- I'm a firm believer in owning a few nice things rather than a bunch of crap.
Irby and I like to go hunting with my boy Harbour, who, ironically, can't hit the broad side of a barn but he always brings a flask or two of outstanding Scotch. So we tolerate the air being full of misguided bullets.
[Editor's Note: If you don't read these pages often, I am obliged to tell you, under the Truth in Blogging statute, that none of this is true. None of it, except the story in the Times. Which is true. Otherwise, none of it. The dog is imaginary. Likewise the rifle. The jury is out on Harbour. And no animals were harmed in the writing of this post. So don't be writing in about shootin' bars in trees.]