07 / 365 – Bugling


Someone thought they heard that animal call again. I’m sure it’s an elk bugling. Other people think it sounds like an elk bugling, but I guess nobody who’s heard it has ever heard an elk. They don’t live around here, elk. I can’t remember the last time somebody saw one anywhere up this way. People who haven’t heard a bull elk do that, that high wail, say, “That can’t be an elk. It doesn’t sound like a bugle.” There’s a guy from that crackpot church, Oberfell, kind of a survivalist type, who said he heard it one night while he was walking back from his barn to his house. Insists it has something to with UFOs, he says it’s so eerie. That church is the one that’s insisting the world is going to end on December 31 at the turn of the milennium. I’ve heard him say some stuff about that over at the cafe — he’s in there sometimes. I said, Get your story straight. Is it UFOs or is it Jesus? But he’s all right. He’s got a cache full of guns, he says, he’s been stockpiling stuff, getting ready. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the milennium doesn’t really start until next year, until 2001. It doesn’t matter. I’ve seen him hunting before. He has some big guns, big deer rifles with those really long sights, but I don’t think he’d hurt anything. There are some militia guys around but I don’t think he’s part of that. Some of these other guys, though, I don’t trust ‘em. Lot of guys around here like guns, have a lot of them. I think they think a big elk would be fun to shoot. I’m not talking about the militia guys, just the guys who like guns, like to make them go bang. This is the part of working for Natural Resources I don’t like all that much, going after poachers, these guys that just want to shoot at things, they don’t care what it is and they don’t care what happens to it after it’s down. Get something big and beautiful and they just want to shoot it dead. I don’t, I don’t have a lot of patience for that right now. I’d rather just be doing the bird counts, how big is this migration. But no, we got some lost elk or something strange, bugling up along the river northwest of town and it’s got everybody’s blood all worked up.


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