The End of the Trail
By C.O. Emery, Taxidermist

A gentle rain was washing out the trail of blood as Nick and I followed through heavy dense Canadian bush the trail of my badly wounded bear. The previous evening I shot a broad head hunting arrow completely through the bear that visited my tree stand and along his trail twenty-eight feet of his intestines were pulled out.

I expected to come upon a dead bear the following morning, but if not, I still felt a sense of security with Nick backing me with a 97 Winchester loaded with double buckshot. The wounded bear was a woods-wise critter, backtracking and jumping off to one side to elude trackers in a 300 yard evasive trail that led into a thick entangled muskeg swamp.

The trail passed by the end of an old moss covered log and veered up to a rise. I paused by the end of the log, studying the broken ferns that marked the bear's passage. As I was about to step out from behind the log, I noticed the bear had backtracked once more and was lying in wait for his pursuers just a few yards from the end of the log, soaking his burning entrails in swamp water.

"There he is, and he's not dead," I said to Nick as I brought my bow to full draw and released an arrow. God had opened the sun through the clouds and it blinded the bear somewhat as he jerked his head aside from the arrow's path. Too late, for at point blank range there was no miss.

My arrow sliced through his neck and shoulder muscles, emerging from the opposite side and sinking into a small log. As the bear rose to his feet, the log was pinned to him with the arrow which had gone through him up to the feathers. In an instant he snapped the log in half with one fierce bite.

Then peeling back his lips, hair standing on end, he came for me. As he was fighting to free himself from the log, I pulled another arrow from my quiver and fired it off with a snap shot as he started his charge.

He crashed to the ground one step short of my feet snapping, biting, and bent on destroying those who had caused his pain.

Nick brushed by me and shoved the shotgun in his ear. "Don't shoot unless you have to. I think we got him," I said in a rather high state of emotion.

His eyes got big and wide like he was panicking. He was gurgling internally, somewhat like a cut off garden nose. He also was sagging down like a balloon with a hole in it. When we skinned him, we found that the last arrow had hit the hump and severed the spinal cord, paralyzing all four legs, but not his neck and head.

We tried our shotgun on a pond of algae to see what kind of pattern we would have had if we shot the bear. Bing! The primer goes off but the powder does not detonate, and the buckshot falls out of the barrel. A terrible moan comes from Nick as the realization hits us, like a lightning bolt, that we came within inches of being torn to bits by a very angry wounded bear.

"That bear could have killed us!" Nick cries. "If I would have died, I would have gone straight to hell!"

"Well, I might have made it. After all, I'm not such a bad guy."

"Not me." Nick reaffirms.

The Spirit of God now really moved upon his heart, convicting him of sin and his need of a Saviour. He not only got saved, but became a missionary to the lost Indians. He went back and led 35 families to the Lord and established a church.

Three months later, from Nick's witness, he got me to attend a fundamental Baptist Church. We had both belonged to a liberal main line denomination church, but now for the first time that I could remember, I heard the gospel from the Holy Bible.

Romans 3:10 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one."

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Acts 3:19 "Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Two weeks later under this gospel preaching, I was saved. Three weeks later my wife was saved, and two weeks later my youngest son (16) was saved. Four weeks after that, my oldest son (17) was saved.

God sent a whale to get Jonah. He sent a bear for me. What will He need to send for you?