Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

The River Sportsman


***Please note that the comment section in this theme layout is at the top rather than at the bottom as it used to be. Click on the “Replies” button. I look forward to your comment.

In the town of Campbell River, above the banks of the Campbell River, is a wonderful sports shop called The River Sportsman. In one corner of the store you can sit almost on the river while you have a coffee and decide which fly rod you want to mortgage the house for.

Oi veh! My tongue is in my cheek as I notice the camo gear on the right. You may remember my post about camo gear. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2018/03/09/camo/

Inside the store are many samples of wildlife that have been mounted (taxidermed) – (stuffed animals). The lighting is very bright and the glass cases in which some of the mounts are kept reflect the light, making it difficult to get a good photo.

The first is a grizzly, which is not USUALLY found on Vancouver Island, although several instances are recorded of grizzlies who have obviously swum across from the mainland, most likely island hopping and making short swims to finally reach Vancouver Island.

This is not a particularly large grizzly, but I wouldn’t want to meet him just the same. Intimidating teeth and claws, in spite of his pretty smile.

Another bear we don’t have here is the polar bear. Of all the bears, I think he is the most dangerous and close to the size of the Kodiak (which, like grizzlies, are a subspecies of the brown bear). The largest polar bear on record weighed 2209 lbs. and stood 11 ft. 1 in. on his hind legs. The bear on this photo is nowhere near that record, but I wouldn’t want to get a bear hug from him.

Another animal we don’t have on the island is the Rocky Mountain goat. It makes a handsome addition to the zoo in the sports shop.

Now we come to the animals that are prolific on Vancouver Island. Cougars are all over the island. I can’t imagine why I worry about black bears  when I’m mushroom picking, when I really should be worrying about these cats instead. They are much more likely to attack a person than a black bear is, especially if that person is walking alone or with a small pet.

The sports shop is full of birds and mammals on the walls and in glass cages. One of the walls has a wolf mount, but I didn’t feel inclined to take its picture. Now that I’m writing about the prolific cougar, I’m wishing I had a wolf picture to place with  the cats. Wolves are also plentiful, especially on the northern part of the island. I have no illusions about what a wolf can do to a deer or a lamb on a sheep farm.

The visit to The River Sportsman was entertaining for me while my friend shopped till she dropped. Maybe they put these animals in the shops on purpose to keep customers in the stores. It seems to be working.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

42 thoughts on “The River Sportsman

  1. We have lots of bears here, mostly black, but also now a hybrid polar/grizzly known as a grolar. With their environment under threat, the polars are finding other ways to survive. I haven’t seen any but we apparently have them in the area. Wolves and bison are also plentiful. The wolves are amazing – large, healthy, really majestic. No sheep for them here though. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What beautiful, majestic animals.
    The romantic in me wishes that one day all these animals will be tame, so we can enjoy them as friends, as we do enjoy dogs and cats as loved companions, full members of our families 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon, Hans. But I know the feeling. I used to wish that my pet house cats could be the size of cougars and still be as friendly as they were.


  3. That’s more like a trip to the Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, than a store. One of our local carpet stores has a HUGE bear that the owner brought home from a hunting trip out West.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrific close-ups of the wild animals. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are surrounded by man’s trophy kills and you worry about what a wolf would do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, I know! I abhor trophy hunting. Really, I do. But it’s a bit like the question of whether a zoo is a good thing. If we didn’t have zoos (at least in the years before technology and videos), we wouldn’t know about these animals and learn to care about them in order to stop destroying their habitat, etc. I felt myself falling into this trap as I took the pictures in the store. I was fascinated by the animals, and yet I felt bad that they’d been killed and mounted. And yet…I wouldn’t be able to see them if they weren’t. I don’t like the idea of hunting just for the sake of the trophy, but I do believe in hunting for food in a limited and regulated way. In the end, I just plain don’t like killing, but as long as I like eating meat, I have to allow that some animals will get killed (domestic or wild). It’s a huge issue, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good morning, Anneli,
    Dangerous as these animals may be, I hope they’ll survive. A hope that I especially entertain today, on Earth Day.
    Have a wonderful Sunday,

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Personally I have a big problem with trophy hunting. Trophy hunters (and their guides) concentrate on taking only the biggest and best of each species which removes the very best genes from the gene pool, weakening the quality of the species.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hadn’t read your comment when I answered Pat’s comment above, but if you read it, you’ll see that I agree with you. What do you think about the argument that the older and often weaker animals (say, in the case of sheep, deer, moose, and elk) have the biggest racks and by shooting those, you allow the younger generation to breed with more healthy genes? I’m not sure what I think about that because it still falls into the bracket of trophy hunting and I would still be happier without it. Personally, I think it’s an ego thing for men with something to prove, but now I’ve probably struck a nerve with the trophy hunters out there. Oops!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Those animals keep the customers for a long time in the store – good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have to tell you a little story that is slightly related to this, because your post reminded me of it. You might get kick out of it. My friend and critique partner sends out a newsletter to her readers. It’s sort of like our blog posts only in a letter to fans (she’s an excellent fantasy writer and has a good amount of subscribers). Recently, her newsletter was about her trip to Texas with a photo of some steer (cattle) she took photos of and how she loved eating Texas beef. Well, one of her subscribers sent her a complaint letter about how crude and evil she was sending pictures of cattle that were about to be slaughtered. Of course, the person was a vegetarian.

    I hope that person who wrote my friend doesn’t find your blog post. LOL I told my friend to send her a photo of a lion attacking a zebra or deer for its dinner. Talk about a slaughter. Of course, I was only joking (about sending such a photo). But, the way this sporting goods store has these animals in wildlife animations, it just goes to show that, unfortunately, on this plain of existence, there is a food chain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not much of a killer (except in my books!) so the idea of murdering and displaying wild animals never appealed to me. (Hunting for food is another story). But what an interesting shop. It certainly does have a hunter’s mystique!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here. Funny how people are fascinated by the mounts though. For many, this is as close as they’ll ever get to seeing what the animals are like. It’s an odd way to feel. I looked at the mounts with admiration for the animals and yet, I don’t approve of the trophy hunting that brought them there. Almost the way we have a fascination with crime and coroner shows these days and yet we are horrified by the real thing. Your stories have some pretty horrific scenes in them, but we HAVE to read on. A psychologist would have fun with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It sounds like an amazing shop to visit. A mini museum. I’ve got to get to the Island at some point!


  12. Watching the mountain goats when we went to Jasper was always fascinating. Their balance on little ledges astounded us. Bears we tried to stay away from, but came closer than we liked at Miette Hot Springs. We also backed off from moose and deer – pretty to look at, but still wild.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a wonderful shop! Thanks for sharing it, Anneli! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sounds like a nice place. We have a cat like that whose hanging out in our backyard!!!
    I like this theme! Did you want your photos to be bigger?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We don’t have any stores like this in Boston! (Or at least none that I’ve seen). I can understand why you were fascinated by it. Thanks for the photos and the info on you Island’s animals – I agree. A cougar sounds scarier than a bear!
    Love your new look and the photo of the bird is magnificent. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Unusual place. The owner of this store is very creative. Apparently, he is fond of his business.

    Liked by 1 person

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