Maui’s Cowboys

I’D BEEN LIVING ON MAUI FOR ABOUT a month before discovering the cowboys. Not far up the Haleakala volcano, off Olinda Road, there’s a ragged little rodeo-arena called Oskie Rice, and there they are, all belt buckles and spurs, roping cattle on a quiet hillside barely 30 kilometres from the stacks of beach condos below. Continue reading

The Wild Moose Chase

Winding down the Yukon’s Big Salmon River, I discover my inner hunter

SEEING ANIMALS IN THE WILD HAS ALWAYS made me feel better about the world, a reassurance that despite the planet’s ecological woes, there are still patches of wilderness humans haven’t trampled. But standing here watching a moose lazily blink and chew grass, my heart is breaking. My hunting guide, Clayton White, is a few metres ahead, tiptoeing across the hummocky slough with his .300 Winchester Magnum slung over his shoulder like a guitar case. He looks back and motions for me to keep up. There’s a steady drizzle so I’m in full Gore-Tex regalia, probably the noisiest outfit I could’ve chosen. To keep from swishing, I walk slow and exaggerated, like I’m a teenager sneaking past my parents’ bedroom at 2 a.m. As Clayton and I inch closer, the moose periodically pricks up his ears. We freeze. He freezes. Then, when he’s satisfied he’s alone, he resumes chewing. Apparently moose can’t see well, but have bionic skills when it comes to hearing and smelling. Luckily on this cool September afternoon our prey is upwind and, so far, unsuspecting. I secretly hope it somehow hears us and bolts. Though I’ve come to these Yukon wilds to experience my first-ever hunt, I don’t feel ready for what comes next. Continue reading