Chapter 10

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“There’s something out there, I just don’t know what yet.”

Daniel placed the chewed moose antler down on the table in the Fish and Game office. Then he took out the rough plaster cast he had made and placed it down beside it. One of the local officers picked up the antler and looked at it closely.

“Are you sure it wasn’t a bear, or maybe rodents chewing on a shed?” The officer picked up the plaster cast and turned it over a few times in his hands, his brow wrinkling in concentration, “and are you sure what this is? It’s not very clear, could be a young black bear.”

“I’m pretty sure, that track looks more like a wolf track to me, I tried to find more tracks and looked all over the area but couldn’t find any. And that doesn’t look like any bear track I’ve ever seen. I have seen wolf tracks and that looks a lot closer to them. I think one may have migrated down here from Canada, but I’m not sure. I’d like to stick around if I can and try to find whatever made that, I know these woods like the back of my hand and I think I could be helpful.”

“Well what about coyotes? We have plenty of them around here to chew up antlers,” the officer retorted.

“The track’s too big for that as far as I can tell. Look, I’d like to stick around and be sure. If wolves are back in NH I’d like to know, especially if they are around here.”

The officer still didn’t look convinced, but Daniel didn’t care. All he cared about was getting permission to stick around for a little while until he could get a few things straightened out. He took the antler and cast back, giving the other officer a shrug.

“Look,” he said, “I have family down here that spends a lot of time in those woods, not to mention tourists. I’ve grown up in them and know them better than most of the guys you have working for you. I’m not saying it is a wolf and I’m not saying it isn’t. I just want to go back out there and setup some trail cams and look around some more, make sure there’s nothing out there that may be dangerous. I’m sure they can handle things up north without a rookie anyways.”

He was getting worried that he was going to be sent back up north anyways. It didn’t look like he was convincing anyone here to keep a rookie around just for the possibility of a few wolves back in the woods; they could handle that themselves and Daniel knew it. Finally, he let out a sigh and shook his head, “do me a favor and have Linda give the two hikers a call, let them know we have their packs if they want to come get them and that there’s nothing to worry about. At least think about letting me stick around for a bit to help, call it a personal favor if you want.”

“Yeah, I’ll think about it. I hope you’re wrong though, it’s only my second year here and I don’t want to be chasing wolves around all summer, way too much red tape when it comes to relocating them. Want me to drop that stuff off for you?”

Daniel nodded and put them back down on the table. He wanted to change before he took off anyways. “Yeah thanks, I owe you one.”

The officer nodded and picked the antler and cast off the table. “Don’t worry about it, just try to make sure you’re wrong and I’ll be happy. We have enough work to do finding lost hikers.”

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