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.