By Sigurd F. Olson
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Additional resources for Open Horizons (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series)
The animal came very near, its big eyes liquid and brown, its ears moving constantly. At the creek it stopped, drank daintily, and picked its way carefully through the shallows not more than twenty feet away. It must have caught my scent then, for it stopped, head held high, blowing air sharply through its nostrils. With a bound it cleared the bank and vanished. At that moment I was one with the Deerslayer and with all the old hunters I had heard about. These men killed only for food, fought bear, wolves, and mountain lions, lived off 23 O P E N HORIZONS the land and scorned the softness of settlements.
It was a time of joy that I have never forgotten. The Pipes played softly all the time and our hearts were full. There was nothing to disturb the quiet, nothing of moment or pressure, no distracting tensions, influences, or problems. No adult can ever know such sustained contentment, but there are moments that do come all through life if they can be recognized, moments that hark far back to the first dawning awareness of what removal actually means. Years later on a rocky, windbound point in the far north I caught the sensation again.
An old logging road wound through the aspen grove, grown with clover, its edges sand and gravel. Here was the best hunting of all, and as I walked quietly down its center, I 27 OPEN HORIZONS looked ahead for the dark forms of birds that had come out to feed. The instant I saw one, I waited until the tense outstretched necks relaxed and the feeding began again, then slowly stalked my prey. It never occurred to me to shoot on the wing, as bullets were far too costly for that, so I crept forward until close enough for a shot through the head, sometimes twenty feet, but never over fifty.
Open Horizons (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series) by Sigurd F. Olson