COWBOY POETRY: Hunting Memories

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life. Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

The first snow of the season always brings back memories of hunters eating
flapjacks, topped with bacon, eggs and cheese.

They chugged down cups of coffee like there was no end in sight. They’d listen to
the guide ‘bout where to hunt at first daylight.

Hunters are peculiar, come from different walks of life. Some are born with silver
spoons. Some just a hunting knife.

But one thing was for certain. They all shared the same desire. A trophy elk to
brag about while sitting ‘round the fire.

Before daylight I’d watch the guide and hunters leave the camp. I’d cinch the
sawbuck saddles, then lead out to cold and damp.

I’d usually ride a mile or so then give a little pause. And wonder would an elk be
downed because of what he was.

Or would the elk be lucky? Fill the hunter with despair? Some hunters got buck
fever and they shot straight in the air.

My father called a bull in only twenty yards away. But the hunter shot high in a
tree. His arrow there to stay.

One year a hunter filled his tag with panniers full of meat. A young horse smelled
the kill, bucked off and stomped it with his feet.

And later on, the same young horse was standing all alone. Someone mistook
him for an elk, although he was a roan.

Most hunters that I’ve known have shown respect for all the game. The
dissidents who didn’t, well, I pegged a nasty name.

Hunters haven’t changed so much since I was young till now. They always want to
shoot a bull but will settle for a cow.

The first snow brings a wave of hunting memories that I’ve seen. When I saw the
snow this morning, I went back to seventeen.

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