Pioneer Potluck: About Gail’s bear

  • By Grannie Annie
  • Tuesday, September 2, 2014 5:12pm
  • LifeFood

Nikiski, Alaska




I was helping my friend Lonna with a Democratic or Republican rally at the Lamplight Bar. I have never been into politics, but enjoy the fun of having friends – no matter the political view-get together and chew the fat and eat the goodies that were provided. There was a large crowd and a band was provided – consisting of a man singing and playing the guitar and drums. When he got tired, the jukebox blared. Everyone was having a good time talking to neighbors and catching up on the latest gossip. Lonna and I had a hard time keeping up with the demands of the beer drinkers.

I came around the corner of the bar with a tray full of drinks and almost ran into my daughter, Gail. I did not see her come in. She lived on a homestead at Boulderpoint about 7 miles as the crow flies from the bar.

She said to me as I was passing by – “Hi Mom. I just shot a bear.” In my hurry I said “Oh that’s nice, Gail.” I was not paying to much attention-until I took a few steps and the “shot a bear” sunk in. I whipped around and said “YOU did what?” She repeated “I just shot a bear. He was stalking me in the yard.” I regained my tipsy tray and my speech. “Are YOU ok??” I asked. She replied “Yeah- but I did not know what to do with the thing so I skinned it. Do you want a roast or something? I am going to tan the hide.” I told her thanks but I was not into eating bear roast and I knew Bob would NOT! “Are you sure you are OK?” I asked again. “Let me deliver these drinks and you can tell me what happened.” By that time the whole crowd was quieting down but acting like they were not eve- dropping on our conversation!

She had trouble with this particular bear stalking her goat and pigs for a few days. Her horse was deathly afraid of bears and went into wild hysteria, letting Gail know there was a bear in her yard. This day the alert button went off in all the animals. She grabbed her “bear gun” and looked over the yard. She did not see anything. She walked toward an old car in the yard. The bear stood up. He was stalking her! She ran around the side of the car – opened the door slammed it shut and poked the gun out the other window and shot that bear – dead!

Then she had the task of gutting, skinning and cutting it up. She did this by herself because most of the time her husband was working on the slope.

When ever she tells this story to travelers and visitors, as she is a great story teller like my Dad, she can make the hair stand up on your head. Mine did! Still does!

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