You can’t blame my hunting partner, “Tatonka” for our 2010 poor results. We have been successful in the past .
Tatonka told me ,”we are leaving at 2 AM so be ready to go…. because the truck pulls out at 2 AM. ”
Naturally, I made sure to be sitting in the right front seat of Tatonka’s truck in his darkened driveway at 1:59 AM…. 2:00 AM …2:03 AM…..2:08 AM ……. because the truck “was leaving with me or without me” to quote Tatonka.
Finally, Tatonka sleepily strolls out, opens his truck door, and jumps about 12 feet surprised to find human life in his vehicle at such an early hour.
For the next three hours, Tatonka will relate EVERY SINGLE HUNTING story that I have heard 25 times already. I can finish most of these stories and do so just to move through the sequence a bit faster. I bring a pillow and attempt to appear to be in deep slumber several times as we make our way to the mountains but the tales continue nevertheless. No radio. Just hunting stories that are enjoyable and go nonstop until we arrive at the creek to unload the canoe in the dark . The wind is blowing at 88 mph and the temperature is 50 degrees below zero. I spend the next 30 minutes doing hypothermia calculations and closely counting the number of strokes required to reach the bank in the event that Tatonka and I go for a swim if the canoe goes bottom side up. We make the trip. We always do.
To make a long story short, Tatonka is a hunting machine and these trips are adventures. We usually head in different directions once we reach our hunting destination but will touch base via the miracle of the cell phone a few times during the day to keep each other advised of our location and hunting plan. Over the years, Tatonka has been the teacher of many valuable lessons. Foremost is the requirement to carry a small can of Sterno in the back pack and to take the time at midday to cook up a nice hot lunch. Beans must always be part of the meal.
As the sun lowers in the skys and darkness begins to arrive, the canoe is loaded and the 3 hour trip home looms ahead with one more hunting story to be now added to the list.