That’s not a raincloud.
It’s wildfire season, and we’ve had one cooking about sixty miles away for some time. Until this morning it was a subject of no more than mild interest.
Then this morning I showed up at Geiger Counter Central to find GC Guy all in a tizzy. Seems he woke up in the middle of the night to the dogs’ clamor, went outside, and at first thought Comet the colt had gotten out. Except he couldn’t figure out how Comet had grown two axe-handles across the shoulders, or why he would be going through the garbage cans. It turned out to be an enormous black bear, and since GC Guy’s shotgun was loaded with birdshot he wisely refrained from shooting it. It wouldn’t go away when he yelled at it, but it left like a rocket when he fired the 12-gauge into the air. This morning he learned that one of our more distant neighbors had a bear break a window and try to come into his house. He drove it away with a 9mm: GC Guy’s mom, watching the action from her RV, swore she saw a “red dot” on his bear’s side. Those two locations are mighty far apart, and it’s hard to believe the same bear would hit both – especially while carrying a couple of 9mm hollowpoints. But that’s maybe not quite as unbelievable as two bears hitting two places on the same night, when bears are very rare here.
So I don’t know if it was the same bear or not, but clearly the fire’s got the wildlife on the move.
So GC Guy is suddenly interested in upgrading his bangsticks. He’s got the shotgun and an AR: I told him he could buy some slugs for the 12-gauge, but that personally I prefer a .30 cal and that I’d be happy to lend him my bolty. He’d already gotten the same advice and offer from his ex-cop neighbor, but now he wanted to own his very own. He wanted to go gun-shopping right frickin’ now, and would I mind coming along?
Lemme think: I can spend several hours wiring the insides of geiger counters together, or take a trip to the happiest place on earth and buy a rifle. Which shall it be?
They boresighted his new rifle, and after work this afternoon we took it out to the range and tweaked it in. He feels better now. Oddly, I’m sort of fixated on the fact that I live almost directly between the locations of the two incidents. Am I and my dogs now in the territory of a big, aggressive black bear? I think maybe it’s time to put away the AK and bring out the M1A.