This week I’ve spoken to several people in the publishing industry and also to a film maker who is interested in producing a documentary based on the book. All of it is very exciting….
The following excerpt from the manuscript jumps ahead to Chub’s relationship with his first girlfriend in Montana and also mentions Hobo, a horse he had broken and trained while he was working for Oklahoma rancher Pat Scudder. When he jumped bond in 1990 he took Hobo with him, first to Mexico and then to Montana. During my visit to Alder, Montana I documented this section of the book through interviews with Sherri and Chub’s other friends there, all of whom had no idea who he really was.
“In his free time Chub and Sherri frequently went out riding and hunting in the mountains together. On one occasion they made camp after a long day and were out scouting for camp meat on horseback when Chub spotted fresh elk droppings. He had handed Sherri the reins to Hobo and walked just a few feet when he heard a limb break in the brush straight in front of him. Sherri’s horse started to paw the ground and he shouted for her to jump on Hobo as he unsnapped his 44 magnum off his hip. Hobo had seen it all before- he had been on several bear hunts and Chub had worked his horse around the smell of bears often tying pieces of bear skin on his saddle. Sherri’s horse was reacting like most horses would- the smell of the bear was making him go nuts. Sherri couldn’t hold him and breaking away; he turned and ran back in the direction they had come from. Chub had briefly turned his attention toward Sherri and the runaway horse- when he turned back toward the brush he found a large grizzly bear staring him in the eye from no more than fifty feet away with the bloody leg of an elk held firmly in his mouth. With his pistol out Chub tried to move slowly backwards to Sherri who held Hobo steady and had begun to pull at the ties that held his rifle in the saddle scabbard. Chub’s hopes of getting to his rifle were short lived as the bear dropped his kill and charged. His first two shots did nothing to slow the charge but he kept his aim steady. The third and fourth shots hit something solid; the bear moaned and turned in full retreat. After a couple of more shoots to the bear’s behind Chub knew he could safely check on Sherri and retrieve their runaway horse. He was in no hurry to chase after a wounded bear and he knew it wouldn’t get far. After catching her red roan he followed the blood trail to the spot where the bear had died. It was a massive grizzly, one of the biggest he had ever seen. He would gut and skin this one, hauling it back to Sherri’s where he could properly tan the hide as a gift for his daughter.”