Bear Brook…….Life Lessons

by kfrego

There is no comfort in the world like that of a remote or wilderness camp. The warmth, smells, and security just wrap you up in good feelings. This was how my adventure at Bear Brook camp remains in my memories. It also turned into a good learning experience.

Dad loved to hunt and fish. He was notorious for getting to the best hunting and fishing locations before anyone else. On our first day at Bear Brook my hunting companion was Uncle Bob. Dad had a special stand and wanted to get on it before anybody else left camp. He was out the door before breakfast was half cooked. Uncle Bob hunted along some old burn areas with a lot of young growth trees and shrubs while I quietly followed. There was a good frost on the ground when we left camp. By mid day the sun carried a lot of warmth. We stood on a low hill watching a fairly clear area in the warm sun. Uncle Bob said “Kenny, if I was a big old buck I’d be laying down in the sun and taking a nap. We should do the same thing.” He found a downed log to recline against while facing the sun and made himself comfortable. In no time Uncle Bob was sound asleep. His nap lasted about twenty minutes and my eyes were continually scanning the area looking for deer. As I look back Uncle Bob had his priorities in order.  The deer probably did too. There was no way, however, you would catch this thirteen year old napping in the middle of the day.

Dad taught me a lesson in animals and living on this trip. We were watching for deer on the edge of a beaver pond. A beaver’s nose broke water in the middle of the pond and the beaver immediately slapped a warning with his tail and swam away underwater. It sounded like a cannon going off in the quiet of the woods. Dad explained the difference between a beaver’s behavior and a deer’s behavior. The beaver is very familiar with his surroundings. When it surfaced it immediately knew something wasn’t right, because we were standing near the pond. The beaver sounded the alarm and went away. A deer in the same situation would react completely different. If you remained motionless and downwind the deer would never notice you. If it did sense you were there, the deer would curiously approach to confirm your presence. The disparity between the two animals is also very distinct in some people. Certain people have a very high awareness level and sense of alertness. Others just plod through life with very little awareness and let their curiosity get the best of them.

These memories with Dad and Uncle Bob were special…………..and the persons names Dad used to illustrate his lesson will never be told.