It had been three long years since I’d gotten a moose, and the freezer was clatteringly empty. We hadn’t done so well with fishing this year, either, so it seemed like a good time to shake things up. As I hopped in the truck to go, I didn’t realize that someone I didn’t know was just down the road brandishing a gun and threatening to shoot police officers. This guy’s escapades caused one of the oddest beginnings to a hunting trip I’ve ever had.
A few weeks ago, our good friend Andy Johnson emailed to ask whether we’d like to get a bunch of fresh New Mexico chiles. It sounded great, so last week when we met at the American Ornithologists’ Union meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, we transferred 40 lbs. in a large gunny sack from the trunk of Andy’s car onto my shoulder, and I marched off happily in the dark to put them in my room. All during the meeting my room smelled fantastic. I rotated them every day to keep them as fresh as I could, then packed them into a recycled box I found behind the dining hall and checked them as baggage for my return flight from Denver.