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The Rest of the Story
April 1999
Gerhard Schroeder

In the previous edition I had shared with you last fall's deer hunt my brother and I had enjoyed. Aside from both of us bagging our deer, my brother experienced an even more memorable hunt during those two weeks.

I did not want to share with you 'the other event', because my wife is one of those emotionally driven animal lovers, resulting in at least three cats running around in our house. And I was convinced that 'the other event' would simply set her off. Well, it was a lose/lose situation, and in the end I did lose. She did find out, by looking for a coupon in MY truck, and in the process finding the receipt from the taxidermist. She did go ballistic, I'd say equivalent to something with at least a belted case to it. But the roar from that AD is mostly gone now, and I might as well share with you the rest, actually the beginning, of the story.

On our second day in the Prescott woods, early in the morning we walked along a dirt road that hugged a fairly steep hillside. To our left, the terrain climbed sharply. To the right it followed a narrow but deep gully. Out of there, and near a switchback, something suddenly hauled ass up the opposite bank. I could not immediately recognize the critter, and since Helmut's drilling was already off his shoulder, I just picked up the binos. The gully was in full morning shade, and I still could not clearly tell what was not wasting any time to get up and out of there.

Then the fatal mistake. Reaching the road past the switchback on the other side, the critter paused, behind branches from my position. When I recognized it as a bobcat, Helmut's rifle barrel shattered the eerie silence, and in the same instance I saw the cat get thrown against the embankment. "He's down (Der liegt)!" was his quite accurate assessment of the situation.

We hurried along the road until the cat was at our feet. It was down indeed. As it would turn out later, his 30R Blaser had done '40 extra dollars worth of pelt repair' damage. That hardly mattered now, however, because to Helmut this was another 'Trophy of a Lifetime', a bobcat (Luchs)! Something that many a German hunter would pay big bucks for, traveling to eastern Europe or Russia, with no guarantee of success, since these critters have no fixed habitat, and are difficult to find, let alone to get close to one.

Our joy was even greater when we arrived at the taxidermist. Before getting to my house south of town, we stopped by Glenn Sampson's to hopefully get the cat to a taxidermist, and not even bring it home in the first place, so my wife could not find out. Luckily, one of Arizona's best was right around the corner from Glenn. And the friendly folks at 'Wildlife Creations' then made it quite clear that we had one of the largest bobcats they had ever seen. That 'made' Helmut's hunting vacation right there. The 3x3 buck on his last day was simply icing on the cake.

We plan to visit Germany in August. Hopefully, the bobcat mount will be done by then. Hell, since Sherry knows about it now, and loves cats, I wonder if she'd mind taking the stuffed feline as carry-on luggage, and holding the beauty on her lap? It's only a 20-hour trip.

(Just in case I'm misjudging this again, can anyone recommend a sharp divorce lawyer?)

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