The River Sportsman

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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.

42 thoughts on “The River Sportsman

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross

    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. 😉

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’ve never heard of a hybrid polar/grizzly. I suppose all things are possible. There’s no accounting for love. I hope I never meet one of these guys though. Each of them is scary enough on their own.

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  2. Hans Susser

    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 🙂

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      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.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It makes a great “draw” for getting people into the store. The Cabelas stores have a lot of that. I only wish I hadn’t had to deal with the glare of the overhead lights and the reflections when taking the photos. I don’t think they would have appreciated me asking them to turn off the lights though.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      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?

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      1. pat

        It’s a very confused and emotional issue. I do like the occasional beef sandwich. And I abhor what feedlots do. I wish I could choose where my beef comes from like folks do with eggs.

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  3. Pit

    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,
    Pit

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. montucky

    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.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      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!

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  5. Lori

    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.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I agree. We eat meat (most of us), so animals have to be killed. I guess the argument here is whether the animals I’ve shown are killed for food or show. Thanks for sharing your story, Lori. I can relate to it.

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  6. D. Wallace Peach

    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!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      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.

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  7. Darlene Jones

    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.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Yes! Bigger. I found another theme I liked (Rosalie) but I don’t want to pay more when I’m already paying for Premium with WordPress and I have a webpage that I’m also paying for. So a free theme is what I’m after.

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  8. roughwighting

    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

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