Split Decision

My partner and I were hunting cougars in

Colorado’s Book Cliffs. Our hounds treed

a cat at dusk, but some were baying near

a cave. I leaned into cave and struck match

right in face of a bear. Though supposedly

hibernating, big bear and her cub were not.

Big one walloped me, nearly breaking my

shoulder. Groggy, I saw bear poke head between

my legs. I moved fast. The hounds said the cat

was still treed, so I unholstered my .22

revolver and began firing. I had to empty the

handgun at lion before it crashed to earth.

After skinning the cat we started the 15-mile

hike to our truck, leaving bears to hibernate.