August 18, 2007
What the Bears -- and Boars? -- Will Be Eating
Maybe only wildlife biologists and hunters have kept the word mast in their vocabularies.
When I hear it -- or use it -- I feel transported back to the days of William Twiti, huntsman to Edward II and author of the earliest hunting book written by an Englishman, early in the 1300s.
To him, mast was food for swine wild and domestic. Here in southern Colorado, the oak mast is food for turkeys and bear -- although once, maybe eight years ago, I swear I saw a feral pig south of Pueblo Reservoir, standing next to Highway 96, black and lean. That sighting remains one of my wildlife mysteries.
If there were huntable numbers of wild boar, more people would be talking about this year's excellent mast crop, which just now is falling from the oaks.
Syre hunter, what schall be don to þe borre?
When þe borre is takyn, he schall be vndo all heerid.
Sir, what does one do with the Boar?
When the Boar is taken, he shall be undone in his hairy hide.