By: Bears Butt


There is no doubt about the benefits of cleaning up around the house, painting, sprucing and just plain de-junking.  Sherry was cleaning out the top drawer of our bedroom dresser yesterday and she laid a bunch of my junk up on top for me to look over before it got de-junked into the “it ain’t comin back” container.

When I got the chance I picked up the first item.  An old leather wallet that my son Windy made me back in the 8th grade.  A very nicely decorated hand tooled wallet with the words “Willow Creek” and an eagles head all painted.  As you can see from the wear, I had that in my back pocket a long time.  Enough so to wear a hole in the one end (folded).

That was a great reminder of how wonderful my life has been, but then I opened it up and what I found set me back 50 years!  Yes 50 years!  Was it a $20 bill?  Nope, but it is worth a whole lot more than $20 I’ll tell you that.  What I found was something I have thought about for many, many years as I remembered having it but I just hadn’t found it until yesterday.  My hunter safety card from 1963!

As a young boy of 15, the Utah State Fish and Game decided to do a test sample with some volunteer kids on hunter safety and survival techniques.  The man at the helm was named “Lee Robertson”, and I remember him so vividly today.  The training sessions were held in the auditorium of the old Box Elder Junior High building in Brigham City. (At that time it was the High School, but by the time I got to attend there they had built another building for the High School kids).  At the front of the class Mr. Robertson guided us through all of the hunter education items he felt necessary at the time.  He had others who helped him, but I can’t recall their names or what they looked like, only Mr. Robertson’s face and actions are embedded in my brain.  To me he must have been some kind of God-like person to have etched so clearly in my aging mind.

During the course he even dressed in his mountain man leather attire and taught us about muzzleloader rifles, pistols and shotguns.  The man was a true legend in my mind.

The course also covered what was at the time considered a very real threat, one where another country could send rockets across our borders and land on our cities.  We were taught how to safely cover our bodies to protect them from falling debris, how to get to an underground shelter (if there was one close by) and of course first aid should one of our buddies take a hit or get caught up in some of the falling materials.

They taught us about the ill effects of the outside temperatures and the effects of the wind on how those temperatures actually made us feel.

Of course they taught us about the safe handling of weapons and how to conduct ourselves when out hunting and shooting.  And above all else, we had to take and pass a very strict test both in writing and demonstration of our shooting skills.

I remember that I took the class with two of my very good buddies at the time and believe me, that course meant more to us than any math, english or history class being taught by anyone.  And even though it was not going to stop us from getting our hunting and fishing licenses in the future if we failed, failing was NOT an option to us.

I’ll tell you right now that the three of us passed that course with 100% on the written exam and perfect shooting scores on the range.  We were “the men”!  Proud men at that and when they handed out the papers for us to carry the rest of our lives, we put them in a very special place in our wallets, right where I found mine yesterday.

The “blue card” as it has come to be called looks like this:

All of the cards they gave us have been through some really wild times to be in this good of shape.  I guess my body is in pretty good shape considering the abuse I’ve put it through as well.

The other cards mean a lot to me, but not as much as that old blue card:

My second favorite card was one that told us what to do in case we found ourselves “lost” (how can you find yourself lost?).   There was and I guess still are these things that a lost person can do to tell a pilot what their situation is on the ground.  The idea is for the lost person to find a large clearing in the area they are lost in, and place dead and fallen trees, rocks or what have you, in the shapes shown on these cards.  My favorite is the “K” and my note that the pilot will circle 3 times overhead and then fly in the direction that is the way you should proceed to get “un-lost”…A great lesson to everyone and perhaps every outdoors person should make up a card, laminate it and have it in their possession…just in case!

And of course every good Boy Scout knows that they should “Be Prepared” and I suppose I was one of those types of Boy Scouts because I had even written some Morse Code on the back of one of the cards in my wallet.

So there is your proof of my actually passing the hunter education course back in 1963…50 years ago!

Bears Butt

Jan. 15, 2013

Written on January 16th, 2013 , Just more stories

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.