We liked our guide, Kerry, immensely. He was a true character. He was tundra savvy, an excellent hunter, and went the extra mile to get us into caribou and to retrieve game when it was down. He is one of the energetic guides I have ever encountered. His vast repertoire of tall tales cannot be repeated here, though I grin with the memories as I write this.
He and I shared a solid relationship, but with Rhett he had a special bond. He marveled on more than one occasion at how much ground Rhett could cover and how quickly. Several times he and I sat on a rock glassing as Rhett literally sprinted a mile to try and get in position for a big bull. Kerry intimated to me that Rhett definitely had the overland speed record for several long hikes that generally took other hunters four times as long as our little band.
He chortled incessantly as he watched Rhett’s antics through the binoculars, “He ain’t going to catch thataone”.
Sometimes he would scream into the walkie talkie, “Good bull, good bull, go get um, go get um, run, run, run” and laughed uproariously as Rhett followed his directions a mile and a half out in the never ending folds of the tundra. Even as I chortled at Rhett’s energy, I watched my son with pride and love and recalled those days when only as tall as my belt he struggled to carry his single shot .22 and keep up with me. He had become a fine hunter and conservationist. Rhett was holding out for a big or unique bull, and with one decent animal down I too was set on a trophy or nothing for my second tag.
To be continued….