Have you ever drawn on...an Owl?

No I did not draw on an Owl, but I just came darn close.

My wife and I decided to venture out front to try to spot Neowise. Now of course one needs darkness for that, so I turned off the outside lights and off we went. For the last few months we’ve been hearing a loud screeching sound for several hours each night, and not only was it going full blast it was coming from the trees the other side of our circular driveway. Suddenly there was movement and I could tell something large was coming towards us. Fast. Bear? Mountain Lion? Moose? Neighbors had spotted a moose (which is highly uncommon in Colorado) nearby earlier in the day. A bear seemed the most likely and unwelcome possibility. My hand went to my gun. Finally I could see the outline of a large bird headed our way. Ah, one of our resident Great Horned Owls. She landed in the rafters in front of our garage, a favorite spot for hunting rodents trying to invade our house, then headed back to the tree where the screeching had continued. Hmmm. A little research and sure enough the screeching we are hearing is a hungry juvenile owl calling to its mother for food. Mystery solved. Great Horned Owls were the first wildlife I encountered when we bought the property back in the 90s, and it always gives me great joy to see they are not only hanging around the property but like being right near the house.

When I analyzed my actions right after the event I realized I’d entered and stayed at Condition Orange from just before I realized there was movement until the mother had returned to her baby. My hand had gone to the gun at the first detection of movement, and I’d had in my head that I would draw if either the movement reached the edge of the driveway or I visually identified whatever it was that was coming our way as a lethal threat. I avoided going to Condition Red, but just barely. For an instant, a moment, or a few seconds (time did indeed slow down, so I don’t know) I believed our lives might be in imminent danger. I think back to the feeling and it was a weird mix. I was pissed at whatever was coming at us for making me even consider the need to defend my wife and myself, and completely focused on preparing to do just that. Another observation was that we didn’t retreat into the house because basically we couldn’t. In the dark I would have had to turn my back to the threat and slowly negotiate steps and obstacles (e.g., planters) I couldn’t clearly see. The threat would have reached me before I could get to the house, or even worse I would have tripped and been on the ground when it arrived. The only option was to stand my ground.

And as for something stupid, because we were intentionally trying for darkness I did not grab the 750 lumen flashlight I keep handy for going out at night. Note to self, night means take a light.


The likely assailant playing Peeping Tom this morning


Great Story and well told

1 Like

I love my critters out at the farm. They do take a little getting used to though. I haven’t drawn down on an owl (yet) but I have hit the ground more than once when one of our Giant Ladder Back Woodpeckers lit up a tree. It sounds just like an M-60 getting busy.





LOLOLOL!!! thanks for the chuckle…All I could picture is Joe Pesci in my cousin vinny!!!

1 Like


We have Northern Flickers who like to take on that role. Bastards.

We absolutely love the wildlife. I have drawn, but not fired on, coyotes stalking my dogs. But generally I am happy to have them and other predators about. As long as they show the true apex predator sufficient respect we shall continue to live together in harmony.

1 Like