Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Thief in the Night

Young man standing on a bank of a river holding up a 12-;pound steelhead he just landed
David holding up meal for a raccoon?.
The Deschutes River was in good shape and very productive. Everyone in our party had action, but most of the Steelhead were released since they were wild. My son David, however, had caught one nice 12-pound hatchery fish that we planned to have for dinner the next day. After the fish was cleaned, he hung it high on an alder branch to allow the evening air to set up the meat. 

It had been a very successful day. Our spirits were high and the camaraderie was enjoyable, but the long day had sapped our energy. After numerous jokes and stories, we headed for out tents. Suddenly, I noticed that David's fish was still hanging in the tree. Knowing that numerous varmints caroused around at night, I suggested that he take it down and put it in the cooler. However, he and his buddy decided to stay up a little longer to discuss the day's success and plan out tomorrow's strategies. 

The next morning, as everyone was preparing for the morning fishing, David suddenly blurted out, "All right, which one of you guys took my fish?" Everyone just shrugged their shoulders. David started walking around looking for any sign of his fish, and I walked toward the branch where the fish had been tied and called out, "David, guess what? You just got ripped off by a thief in the night!" He asked what I meant and I responded, "Raccoons! They gnawed off the rope." We later found out that there were 13 intruders rummaging around out camp that night--a mamma raccoon and her 12 cubs. It was a good lesson, and for the rest of the trip everything was tightly secured.   

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