Thursday, May 24, 2007

untitled (Formerly Coooper's Corner)

I apologize to you the reader about there not being a “________________” the past two weeks. Your cards, letters and e-mails of anger and hatred were well received. We have yet to come up with a new name so I have left the title blank. Feel free to make up your own title for my weekly rant.

In this week's “____________________”, I will shine a beacon on a northern sport and introduce you to a sport and a world that many of you may not be familiar with. This week’s topic is the realm of bear baiting and bear hunting. Finally I have a bear story for you Hutton.

I was recently introduced to the world of bear bating and hunting by some co-workers here in what we call “The Nip”. On a side-note the nickname “The Nip” is not just a shortened form of “Nipawin” like many of you may think. It is actually an ancient Cree term derived from the fact that many of the women in town have quite erect nipples in the fall, winter and spring, due to the fact that it is so bloody cold here. In fact on the way into Nipawin from the south there is a statue of a giant nipple wrestling a bear greeting visitors. It bears a motto in Cree, which roughly translates into “Welcome to the land of erect nipples, disgruntled bears and tax free cigarettes”. It is quite a marvel to behold, it truly is.

I digress. The sport of bear baiting is not as hard as one may think, yet also not as easy as one may think. You do not simply go out into the woods like olden times, placing many large steel claw like traps, and then go back once a week to see how many bears you have trapped or killed. Provided is a step by step guide which may or may not be accurate, the locals who I interviewed on this subject are shady folk, and also were quite inebriated, as was I.

Step 1: In a large barrel, either wood, steel or plastic, insert a multitude of rancid, expired meat. Not deli meat but wild game. Deer carcases that you picked up during the winter hunt or scraps from the local abattoir will do just fine.

Step 2: Find and shoot yourself a beaver to put into your barrel with the rancid meat. Apparently bears have an insatiable beaver fever like most men do, and some women. The combo of rancid meat and dead beaver is a terrible stench. Very nauseating.

Step 3: Cut out some holes in your barrel large enough that a bear can get its snout into so it can feast.

Step 4: Find a spot in the woods to place your barrel. I cannot stress the importance of placing it in the woods, as opposed to say a playground or shopping centre. Once your barrel is placed wait a few days to check on your barrel to see if it in fact is being used by a bear. If so come back the next day and wait. Be prepared to wait a long, long time.

Step 5: When said bear comes to dine, kill it. Simple as that. Your method of execution is entirely up to you. Most people use a firearm but don’t be afraid to employ other methods like bow and arrow, spear, or pick axe – a favourite tactic of the Colorado School of Mines hunting club. I myself find the pick axe awkward and heavy to use however.

Step 6: After bagging your bear I was surprised to find that you do not eat any of the bear. Apparently all that rancid disgusting meat gives a bear a gritty, garbage like taste, similar to hobos of yore. The only use for the bear is it’s fur which is used to make a kick ass rug on which you can lay your lady down in front of the fire and make sweet, sweet love too. Can’t wait to get mine back from the taxidermist.

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