Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bears, beans and beer

Bears, Beans and Beer is the Writing Challenge Prompt.  This happy guy is a permanent resident at our house, a full-size bear rug that hangs above the big screen TV.  Mr. VZ bagged this bear in the Mokelumne Wilderness, in Northern California.  

He scouted the bear for three weeks.  As he hiked back into the back country, he decided to stay alongside a creek.  The day was turning very cold.  When he awoke there was a light covering of snow on the ground.  He struggled to light the campfire to get a cup of warm coffee and ate a three-day old donut.  He walked down the trail and noticed a pile of steaming scat.  He stopped and looked around.  He saw tracks going toward the outside of a clearing.  At the clearing was an outcrop of rocks that ascended about 200 feet. He slowly entered the timber and stayed in the shadows of the trees while watching the clearing.  All of a sudden, the bear started running towards the tree.  He made a mad dash to intersect the bear.  The bear turned and headed back into the clearing, he started to climb up the rocks and then suddenly he stopped.  From the shadows he could see the bear had sensed Mr. VZ's presence and was sniffing the air.  The bear stood up and put his paws on top of a boulder, Mr. VZ raised his gun, the first shot hit the bear square in the lungs.  The power gush of blood came out of the bear's mouth along with a deep roaring scream.  The hairs on the back of Mr. VZ's neck stood up and he could feel the sweat going down his back.  The bear collapsed.  Mr. VZ stood very still and watched to see any movement.  He waited between 5 to 10 minutes to approach the bear.  With pistol in hand, he cautiously approached the bear from behind.  He picked a rock up and threw it at the bear to see if there was any reaction.  There was none.  This is where the real work started.  Mr. VZ hiked back to camp and got his horse. He grabbed a set of paniers and boned the bear out, left the carcass behind and took all the meat and hide.  He smoked the meat with the fire all night long.   

At the time of the bear's demise, he was 12 years old and 450 pounds.  He did not live his life in vain, he was eventually consumed ... with beans and beer.  

Adding a recipe from the 1950 publication Ford Treasury of Famous Eating Places.

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