|Montréal, 17 février 2001 / No 77||
by Scott Carpenter
The wind whispered through the golden aspens as I slipped silently along a ridge above the river. The heavy smell of a rutting bull touched my nostrils as I stopped to glass a distant hillside for movement.
Tonight on CBC news...
Government study finds only 2.2 million gun owners left in Canada. Spokesmen for the Canadian Firearms Centre say that the licensing phase of their program is a resounding success with over 80% compliance.
I'd seen the cow and her calf the year before in the eskers above the valley. I knew he was near.
Patience my father would have said.
Take a few steps. Wait. Listen. Pay attention.
Keep your eyes open.
The CFC also reports that over 43% of all gun owners are over the age of 55 and that the vast majority of respondents were male.
I stopped to sit at the base of an old pine atop a knoll overlooking a small gully. Two trails entered from the east and the west – both were littered with his tracks.
As good a spot as any...
A Japanese Air Gun team was detained and had their rifles confiscated this week while entering the country for a shooting match. Customs agents were unavailable for comment.
I was watching the gown of colours that dressed the northern sky when the sound of snapping twigs and rustling leaves interrupted the silence of my frosty September evening.
I sat up, chambered a shell and waited...
Today, Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz announced that the Liberal government was considering privatizing the firearms registry. Liberal Justice Minister, Anne McLellan, denied the accusation stating that her office and the CFC would remain accountable for the enforcement of the controversial new gun law. However – they would continue to outsource the technological aspects of its administration.
He appeared in the gully like a ghost through the fog.
Amazing that a beast so large could be so invisible.
I raised my rifle and clicked off the safety.
My heart began to play an ancient rhythm...
In British Columbia this week the NDP banned Grizzly bear hunting for non natives. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh stated that the moratorium was an important step towards understanding grizzly bear population growth and biology in the region.
There is something about the time between the moment when your finger caresses the trigger and your rifle replies.
It is an eternity.
Steady. Breath. Relax.
My heart does not listen.
Through the scope I notice that his dark coat reflects the evening light.
Time stands still. Then is freed.
His last breath hangs in the autumn air.
Pro firearms organizations estimate that the rate of non compliance in regards to the federal government's new gun laws is much higher than the Justice Department and the CFC have estimated. Hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of gun owners have become instant criminals.
I ran my hand through his coarse hair and had a seat upon his wide chest.
He smelled of swamp water and urine.
I remember reading once:
And I begin to think.
So is life.
Blood courses through me.
I am alive.
The federal government issued a warning today stating that non compliance with its new gun law is a serious crime with possible repercussions including jail terms as long as ten years. They cautioned gun owners without licenses to either get rid of their guns or to have them deactivated.
The sun is setting and the work starts.
My heart settles too.
It becomes clear.
I too shall not obey...
Such is the nature of my hunter's heart.
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