The everyday decisions we make can have monumental consequences if we make a mistake in judgment. A politician will make decisions affecting millions. Throughout history, poor judgment has allowed politicians to create the instruments of their own demise and it often happens before he realizes it is happening. Once the wheels of fate are allowed to gain momentum, there is often no option but to devise an escape.
I put myself in mortal danger once as a young man, an experience I reflect upon on a regular basis. It was early December, I had helped several hunters get elk and moose and a couple of grizzly, but the seasons except for moose were over and I needed a moose for my family’s meat supply for the year.
The snow was about a foot deep and the daytime temperature was thirty below. I was riding a horse to cover more ground in the snow. The snow helped disguise the noisy movements a horse makes and an old wool military trench coat slit high in the back so that it covered my legs and the horse’s ribs provided a lot of heat from the horse.
It was snowing and I was headed back to the ranch house when I saw a three year old bull about a hundred yards away. I slid from the horse and started to get my cold stiff body loosened up and ready to fire. It was a fairly easy shot, my old 8 mm Mauser with a receiver chambered for an ’06 brass barked and I saw the bullet strike home through both lungs missing the heart by several inches. The young bull staggered and began blowing red bubbles through his nose, he was slowly bleeding to death. I let him bleed out for a few minutes before risking a killing headshot. The moose head is huge and the brain is small, a misplaced shot could cause the animal to run for miles before giving up the ghost, making recovery much more difficult.
Once the bull showed signs of weakening, I finished him with the headshot.
At this point, the real work of the hunt begins: the internal organs must be evacuated, the blood drained from the body cavity, and the hide must be skinned before it freezes to the body. This animal was probably 6’ 6” at the withers and weighed close to 1500 pounds. I built a fire next to the carcass so that I could warm my hands and cook moose nose and liver for dinner along with some onions I had in my saddlebags. A billycan sat next to the fire to boil water for tea, in a few minutes, I would have a feast suitable for a bush ape and that would be me.
Actually the warm food and tea would give my body the strength needed to survive the intense cold that was settling in.
The moose nose was hung over the fire with a forked stick. I was always amazed at how God arranged the little things like designing the nose to be impaled through the anatomical features with a forked stick to facilitate cooking over an open fire. A one-pound chunk of liver, a small portion of the massive liver, would be roasted directly on the coals and I would cut the onions in half and lay them cut side down directly on the liver for the last two minutes. The tea would be boiling continuously and I would stop to warm myself with the tea now and then.
I had to wash my hands in the snow before eating and they were becoming numb. When the black hide covering the nose split and peeled my gourmet meal was ready. The wind was increasing and I was becoming worried because with the darkness the temperature was dropping much quicker than normal. I dug through the snow and cut some dry grass and vetch, and crushed some small poplar branches for my horse, it wasn’t as good as my meal, but he would have feed in his belly for the ride home.
One of the problems with field butchering is that you must work without gloves so my hands were beginning to suffer from the extreme cold. My knife handle was slippery from the blood and fat from the moose and just before I was finished, the knife slid back in my hand and I cut my index and my middle fingers fairly deep. I washed the hand in clean snow as well as possible and poured tea over the wounds for antiseptic. I then wrapped the fingers in a clean sock and put a leather mitten over the hand and finished the moose using my left hand.
Injuring the hand weakened me, now I was tired, cold, and in pain; in the meantime the temperature was still dropping. That is when the shooting started; although, there are no guns involved, it is the sound caused from sap trapped in the spruce and pine trees freezing and splitting the wood in the trunks from the expansion. It sounded like there was a bunch of 30-06 rifles going off all around me, it means that the temperature had dropped to 55 below or colder, my situation had become dire.
There wasn’t enough snow on the ground to make a snow cave and expect insulation from the extreme cold. I didn’t know if the horse and I could survive the ride back to one of the line cabins and that’s when I decided to try something desperate. I placed a two-foot stick under the top hind leg to open up the carcass and crawled inside, yes, it was tight but there was enough room for me to get inside. I placed my blanket roll from my saddle over my horse to help protect him through the night. I lined the body cavity of the moose with the moose hide so that the hair side would be against my body. I crawled inside and felt an immediate warmth course through my body. It actually began to warm up in my temporary moose carcass motel. I soon drifted off into a peaceful slumber for several hours.
I awoke in the morning and immediately sensed that something was dreadfully wrong. During the night, I had probably pushed against the hind legs with my feet and the stick that was holding the upper leg up in the air had fallen away so that the hind quarter had fallen down and now my legs were locked beneath the frozen meat of the hind quarters and I was entombed in a frozen moose carcass.
I tried not to panic while I surveyed my situation; I was on my back wrapped in a frozen raw moose hide about three eighths of an inch thick with four to eight inches of thick coarse hair that dulls a knife in minutes, my hands had some movement, my feet were trapped beneath a frozen hind quarter that weighed at least 150 pounds, my shoulders are wide for my 6’ 2” 230 pound frame, so there was no chance of rolling over, my face had 3 or 4 inches of breathing space, my Buck knife, dull from field dressing the moose was on my hip beneath my old Marine issue great coat.
I had two options: I could work methodically to escape or I could wait for hypothermia and die. I decided to try for life.
My immediate goal was to retrieve my knife in its case on my belt. With my right hand that was now very sore from last nights’ accident, I worked my way into the pocket of my great coat, I then began to wear a hole in the pocket with my thumb nail. I was cursing at how the Corps could make some articles so well. When I had a hole large enough to insert my thumb I pulled down hard and ripped the pocket and felt for my knife, alas I found the scabbard and pulled the knife out.
My exertions and heavy breathing while doing these normally simple procedures caused the moose cavity to steam up making it even more uncomfortable; but it would help in a few minutes.
When I tried to pull the knife out of my pocket, the pocket would follow my hand so that I was caught in the South East Asian monkey trap as well. I had to open the knife with one hand and cut my way free of the pocket. Most bush apes open a Buck knife routinely with one hand, but not in a pocket. It worked and I set about destroying my beloved coat from the USMC.
Once my knife hand was free from the pocket, I made a length wise cut to my right, through the moose hide, of course the thick hair was falling everywhere, making it harder to breathe. My moisture laden breath helped thaw the hide enough that I was able to push it towards my feet.
I now could work on the rib cage, I sliced between each rib as far toward the sternum as possible. It was a welcome relief to get fresh air in my cocoon; but there was a heavy snow above me, so ventilation was limited, it was daylight because light was showing through the snow.
After making the slits between each rib, I began cutting through the ribs a few inches from the spine. This was before the saw blade knives and the process was painfully slow. A moose rib is three times the size of the beef ribs you see at the barbeque joints, but it still isn’t large enough for my hand to push the rib through and break it at the sternum, so the first ribs were pushed out two at a time. Now the snow fell in on top of me and it was necessary to keep pushing it out and away since there was several feet of snow above me. The process of cutting through each rib and pushing it up and away was a long and laborious process, but perseverance pays off.
Eventually, I sat up with a great feeling of freedom, even though my feet were still trapped. I reached forward and grabbed the lower leg of the top quarter that had me trapped and leaned back with all my weight and I was free, free at last!
My daylight was disappearing quickly, my saddle horse seemed glad to see me, probably figured I would make sure to get him some good feed. I saddled him and we rode home to the ranch. I would get a good night’s sleep before taking three packhorses to load up the moose the next morning.
Although it was a desperate struggle to get out of that coffin, in the back of my mind I was thinking about the odd grizzly that wakes up and goes for a walk looking for something to eat. The moose and I would have looked like a warm burrito to a hungry grizzly.
Obama is creating his own frozen moose sarcophagus with carefully scripted moves. While he revels in his success and temporary adulation he forgets that he owns these dubious bills. He will no longer be able to blame Bush, he is the one that has created the astronomical and ever increasing debt.
The English have not adopted the trillion dollar term, they are content with the one thousand billion term. Unfortunately, American taxpayers are more comfortable with the trillion dollar debt than the one thousand billion amount. The naiveté and stupidity of the voting public is facilitating our destruction.
Its true that the average voter doesn’t understand the significance of signing over our sovereignty through treaty negotiations relating to the cap and tax bill, designed so that the United Nations can tax us into oblivion and reward the Marxist dictators and war lords of third world countries with untold hundreds of millions; but eventually they will realize the difference, as their standard of living and ability to buy food slowly erodes away.
We sit around and watch the price of gold reaching record heights without realizing that gold isn’t that high, our dollar is just that low. Hyper inflation is beginning to set in and America is about to find out what the Weimar Republic, Peron’s Argentina, and Zimbabwe have gone through. In Zimbabwe, money is being printed in ten trillion dollar notes.
Even wealthy Liberal Marxists will feel the pinch when their fortunes are reduced to less than 1% of their former value within a few days. Yes Obama the dilettante is creating his own frozen moose cocoon, yet he wouldn’t last 24 hours in the bush, he is destroying himself and the country we love while he crawls into his own frozen carcass and dragging us with him. Whether it is his intention to destroy this country or he is pursing some idealistic ghetto concept of Marxism, the result will be the same, destruction of our economy and of our way of life.
There will be no carving an escape from this frozen carcass, this time we will be waiting for the hungry grizzly and mankind’s descent into barbarism for hundreds of years.
It takes courage to look death in the eye, this old bull has confidence, but knows to be cautious.
Epilogue: This was one of my first posts at FA. I was reviewing it for my book “Skook, A Canadian Cowboy, Loose In America” and I realized that those early predictions were not far off the mark. I couldn’t resist, so here it is again at one of these critical junctions of our nation’s history. Hopefully, it will help you cool off during the heat wave.
A professional horseman for over 50 years, Skook continues to work with horses. Skook has finished an historical novel, Fifty Thousand Years, that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The story follows a line of courageous women, from the Ice Ages to the present, as they meet the challenges of survival with grit and creativity. These are not women who whimper of being victims, they meet the challenges of survival as women who use their abilities without excuses or remorse, these women are winners, they are our ancestors.