A recent post in Rifle Hunting about killing a deer with a .22 reminded me of this funny story which really happened to me about 30 years ago. I hope you have a hardy laugh!
When I was a taxidermist, a hunter once brought me a medium size black bear that he had killed with a .22. He had been hunting squirrels when he heard a commotion in the top leaves of a nearby tree. Thinking it was squirrels jumping around, he approached the tree, only to see a bear backing down the trunk. Because he had passed on a bear years earlier, and hadn't gotten another chance since, he decided to shoot it with his .22. He aimed at the bear's head and fired, dropping the animal dead at the base of the tree.
I was astonished when I heard the story. On a nearby table, I just happened to have a cleaned bear skull. I picked it up along with a Mini-mag flashlight. Then I shined the flashlight into the opening at the base of the bear skull. It was clear from the light that we could see shining through the bone on the side of the skull, that the only area that was thin enough for the bullet to penetrate, was about as big as a nickel, about half way between the eye and the ear, (like the temple of a human). I told the squirrel hunter that he had been VERY lucky to have a dead bear, instead of a really angry bear, coming off the tree trunk.
Now, you may not think that story is so funny, but here's the punch-line:
Just as the hunter who had killed the bear was about to leave, another squirrel hunter showed up. He handed me a totally black
gray suirrel that he had shot and asked, "Did you ever see a squirrel like this before? To which I couldn't help responding with anything but, "Yes, this guy just brought me one, but his is a whole lot bigger!"
Pictured below, a much younger Onehorse skinning the world's biggest (black )gray squirrel.