LOST + FOUND
KNIVES, GUNS, HEADLESS TORSOS, CURVACEOUS FISHING LURES... THE THINGS WE FIND WHILE HUNTING AND FISHING ARE SOMETIMES MORE MEMORABLE THAN THE ANIMALS WE PURSUE
Ask your hunting or fishing buddies about the craziest things they’ve found in the woods and waters, and get ready for some dandy stories. I did just that a few years ago, quizzing a friend who grew up along Montana’s Yellowstone River about favorite finds in a lifetime afield. One year, when the river was especially low, he was fishing a rocky riffle that had been used as a ford by the Crow and Cheyenne for centuries, and later by buffalo hunters. Something in the shallow water caught his eye. He waded out and pulled up an old rifle. It was a rust-encrusted Winchester, the lever open as though its original owner had been in the process of jacking a shell into the chamber when the gun was lost.
“I’ve always wondered
about that,” my friend mused. “Was it a trapper ambushed by Indians? Was it a hunter making a follow-up shot? Did the rifle slip out of a hand? Or was the shooter killed in action?”
We’ll never know. A dis
covery like that raises more questions than it answers, which is precisely the thrum of a good find.
I asked a number of bud
dies about their most curious finds. A few also told me of memorable losses. Here are their stories.