Here Kitty, Kitty

Now it’s a good thing the cat wasn’t a man eating variety or I would have been an easy meal that day

A fond memory of ours was a drive we took in my little red racing jeep (my pet name for my first jeep yj). Ally and I headed back behind Brenda mine and South of hwy 97C early one year at least 12 years ago. It was cold but sunny, socked in with fog in the valley, but up there it was gorgeous.

Many km out of Peachland B.C. we were enjoying the day when we came upon this mature Lynx. Such awesome creatures, this cat just crouched beneath a pine and watched us. We took some pics but I felt I needed a better angle so I took off over the snow. Off trail… and I sunk up to my waist. Haha.

Now it’s a good thing the cat wasn’t a man eating variety or I would have been an easy meal that day! But after what I’m sure was a laugh from ol’ Lynx there, and this picture taken by me, it left.

Being that we were on a day outing and had some time to burn we decided to take note of where the wildcat went into the tree line. After my spooking him such as I did he went away then up ahead. Basically it went out a few hundred yards ahead of us, crossed our path and headed into the woods. You’d think that was it, awesome sighting at 40 or so feet away, but over.

Well I knew that area a little from my days up at Pennask Lake working at the hunting/fishing resort about 30 km to the North. So we back tracked a half km then headed South as well. After oh.. a half dozen km we came to a natural gas right of way, we followed up it a ways and we waited. After nearly an hour of near silence, maybe more, at last we see our friend. And it wasn’t alone! There was at least seven of the beautiful cats travelling as a group. Some bigger, some small, it was a sight of a lifetime. So rare to see them in a large group like that, we were wonderfully thrilled to witness it. A blessing for sure.

Of all the big cats I have run into in the bush that was the most spectacular and a cherished memory of my life. Thinking of this always reminds me of a moose hunting trip my late friend Riley and I took up North.

We were a couple hours North West from Quesnel, up in Nazko country. We seen many moose but up to the point of this story we hadn’t harvested ours. We were in a group of four hunters and two designated drinkers, a Father/son team. The elder pitch drinker did end up getting himself a mule deer (during a sober mission up a mountian to cell service) and after we dragged it to his truck he brought out about half his wives’ kitchen knives and asked which would do best. God did I laugh, and handed him my knife…

Any ways back to me and Rye. We were clipping down the road in total Rye style, about 70kph, travelling between chains of lakes when I yell at Rye “Hey there was a Lynx sleeping back there”! He slams on the brakes a moment later and we skidded at least thirty feet. Winds it up in reverse and after a bit I go “Whoa”. There it was laying there under a tree, sleeping soundly twenty feet off the road.

I need a picture. So with this crap disposable camera (pics never turned out)I quietly creep out of the truck and walked right up to the Lynx and snapped it’s picture. Turns out my junker of a camera is pretty loud at ten feet away and the Wildcat woke up. I’ll never forget the look in it’s eyes when it looked up, relaxed a bit, then it’s eyes focused in and it tensed right up. Eyes went wide. Then up and off in a shot it ran 80 or so feet into the open pines and turned to watch us some more.

As I turned around I see Rye with my rifle (I owned both the 30-06 we took on that trip) leveled at his hip pointed right at me. The bugger said he had me covered…. safest cat in the bush that day I tell ya!

I miss Riley dearly, one heck of a mind, one heck of a worker, but after that day I always let him walk in front while hunting. ~Scott