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Bear Hunting with Crazy Feet

It all started innocently enough. Three friends exploring the island for fish and game. Crazy Feet held two black bear tags, while Mac was focused on the Prince of Wales blacktail. Wally was there to catch coho, and couldn’t have cared less about the island’s game. As the week progressed Crazy Feet turned down several shooter bears, and at about 2 p.m. on departure eve, he spotted one that was worth taking. Mac agreed to help with the bear, but told CF that it was now or never. Instead, Wally and CF held position in the SUV, jamming to tunes and belting out off-key lyrics. Meanwhile Mac set up shop in the muskeg, hoping for a buck to step out of the timber. As the light began to soften and dusk settled in, Mac felt certain that a deer sighting was imminent. That’s when he heard the first gunshot, followed by a second accompanied by a loud yahoo, quickly followed with a third shot and louder yahoo. Mac’s first thought was those lucky road-system hunters had taken a deer. That’s until he heard the SUV coming to get him.

The first few days of the adventure based at Alaska Fishtales Lodge in Whale Pass were idyllic. Plenty of salmon brought to hand and Rainier beer brought to lips. Somehow the beer tasted way better than it does on the mainland. And that’s what prompted the Lighfootean Hypothesis that all things are reversed on the island—bad beer is good, good fish turn into pinks, good bears become real bad. After repetitive testing of the hypothesis, it’s now known as the Crazy Foot Theorem. So when that SUV came looking for Mac, he knew that the Theorem dictated that CF had just shot a bear.

As darkness descended, Wally tried to illuminate the path down the mountain with his cell phone flashlight app, while Mac and CF rolled the 400-pound bruin over downed trees, snags and old-growth stumps. Both men grunted, groaned, sweated, swore and finally managed to get the old bear down to the road. Thankfully there were a few Rainers stashed in the rig, and the first barely lasted 20 seconds before Mac was cracking the next one. By the time that one was finished, Mac’s irehad vanished and was replaced with bemusement over what CF would now have to do to get the bear processed and sealed before the flight out in the morning. Luckily, Gregg Cook and his boys are seasoned hunters, and were able to step in and bail out Crazy Feet.

As for the moniker, Crazy Feet had spent most of the indoor soccer season guarding the net for their team Picked Last in Grade School, stationed in goal much like a bear lording over a downed blacktail. More often than not, Mac was an obstacle in CF’s field-of-vision, rather than an obstacle for the oncoming striker to navigate. CF needed a break from the constant onslaught of soccer balls, and asked coach Wally if he could remove the keeper vest for a run around the pitch in the forward position. As the ball moved down field, Mac sent a long ball into the left corner for Crazy Feet. From Mac and Wally’s perspective on the defensive side of the field, it appeared that his feet were operating independently from the rest of his body and the nickname Crazy Feet took life.

If you need a road warrior who will gladly drive every road from dusk until dawn in pursuit of road-system fish and game, then he’s your man. Just remember that if you are sitting in the woods at dusk, in a choice location to intercept a feeding buck, and you hear gunshots followed by shouts of joy, then don’t walk out to the road unless you want to haul a black bear down the mountain.

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