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BEARKILLER
$16.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

D. J. gives an overview of the book:

Do you believe in reincarnation? BEARKILLER is a fast paced adventure novel that takes a man from the present to over two hundred years in the past, to possibly a past life! Jeff Barkil has a passion for hunting. It seems to have been an integral part of his being since he was a boy. But he has never known why he is so drawn to it.Maybe after this he will. On a solo elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains, Jeff discovers something very peculiar. Although he's never even seen this place before, he seems to know all the landmarks. Somehow he's able to guess exactly what is in the next valley or over the next hill. Dismissing these amazing perceptions as a fluke, he carries on with his hunt-until he is attacked by a vicious grizzly. Using a great deal of natural skill and determination, Barkil manages to kill the bear and survive. But he is badly injured; he feels close to...
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Do you believe in reincarnation?

BEARKILLER is a fast paced adventure novel that takes a man from the present to over two hundred years in the past, to possibly a past life!

Jeff Barkil has a passion for hunting. It seems to have been an integral part of his being since he was a boy. But he has never known why he is so drawn to it.
Maybe after this he will.

On a solo elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains, Jeff discovers something very peculiar. Although he's never even seen this place before, he seems to know all the landmarks. Somehow he's able to guess exactly what is in the next valley or over the next hill. Dismissing these amazing perceptions as a fluke, he carries on with his hunt-until he is attacked by a vicious grizzly.

Using a great deal of natural skill and determination, Barkil manages to kill the bear and survive. But he is badly injured; he feels close to death. With no one to help him, he struggles to get himself out of the mountains. On the second morning of his ordeal, he awakens with his mind in a blur. All he knows for sure is that he is young…in his late teens…and that he has just killed an attacking grizzly.

While he is trying to clear his head, he discovers that he has traveled two hundred years back in time and a hunting party of Blackfoot Indians has taken him to their village to honor him for his bravery.

Soon he is regarded as a splendid warrior and is given the name "Bearkiller." In the boy's subsequent adventures stealing horses and waging war against the Shoshone and the Sioux; he encounters and learns the landmarks he will recognize over two hundred years later as Jeff Barkil.

In due course, Bearkiller rescues the beautiful daughter of a chief, falls in love with her, and takes her as his bride. But the life of an Indian in the 1780's was often brief. One day in a fierce battle, the old grizzly wounds are reopened and he is defeated. With blood pouring out of his body, Bearkiller lies down to die…and wakes up in a Forest Service rescue helicopter, as Jeff Barkil.

The woman attending him, a doctor from the Blackfoot reservation, is fascinated that he has come out of unconsciousness speaking fluent Blackfoot. He's even calling her by her Blackfoot name. It's also the name of Bearkiller's wife.

As the events of his life as an Indian slip rapidly from his mind, Jeff Barkil wonders if what he experienced was real. Was he dreaming? Or was he reliving a past life? What will always remain clear is the image of a great grizzly standing over him, looking down at him as if from the top of a mountain, seeming to know his soul, somehow communicating to him without saying the words:
“Until we meet again, Bearkiller.”

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One evening, shortly after they had set up camp, Smiling Otter came to the lodge of Bearkiller.

“You are a warrior now, Bearkiller, but you have not yet had your vision. You must fast and pray for the help of Old Man to give you a vision.” Smiling Otter told him. “Only through this vision may you know if your medicine is strong. Most warriors do this as young boys when they begin to reach manhood. You came to us already a man, so you missed this opportunity. It is necessary that you do this before the Sun Dance at summer’s end.”

“I will go tomorrow Father and hope Old Man smiles on me”.

The next morning Bearkiller began his preparations. He started the day as he did everyday, with his swim in the river and a prayer of thanksgiving. Then he went to the sweat lodge where he stayed for quite some time, giving thanks again to Old Man.

When he emerged, Smiling Otter was waiting to assist him. Together, they painted Bearkiller with white clay from head to toe. This was to symbolize purity.

“Father, will you care for the red horse while I am away?” he asked Smiling Otter.

“I will keep him at my lodge and care for him as my own. Go with care, My Son.”

Wearing only his breechcloth and moccasins, Bearkiller left the village. He had decided to go into the canyon at the opposite end of the meadow from where the village was located. There he would seek a secluded spot where he would fast and wait to receive his vision.

As he walked along the trail on the side of the canyon, it started to rain. Instead of being upset, Bearkiller accepted it as a sign that he would have a good vision. The inclement weather would make his sacrifice that much greater, therefore more pleasing to Old Man.

A mile or so from the village it began to thunder and lightening.

“Evil One, why do you try to discourage me? You know my medicine is strong,” he shouted into the sky and continued on.

Suddenly the whole sky lit up and Bearkiller was thrown to the ground! Trying to figure out what had happened, he got to his feet and looked around. Just twenty yards from where he stood, he saw where lightening had struck a tree.

The lightening had burnt a strip the full length of the bough. It was still smoldering.
“Go away Evil One, you cannot frighten Bearkiller!”

Within in a short time, the rain stopped and the sun reappeared. He proceeded on again.

Soon Bearkiller found the spot he had been hoping for.

“This will be good,” he said with reverence.

There was a rock shelf that jutted out of the canyon wall and overlooked the river.

As he climbed down to the ledge, he could see the river below formed a deep pool. The water was clear and teeming with fish.

After reaching the shelf, he sat cross-legged and started to softly chant. It was a wordless chant, meant only to relax him and prepare him to receive his vision.

Bearkiller remained this way, without food or water, for three days and two nights. He was becoming concerned, wondering if he was going to receive a vision.

On the third night, as he prayed to Old Man for help, a huge bear appeared on the far side of the river. Having no weapons, Bearkiller tensed.

The grizzly rose up on its hind legs and sniffed the wind.

“HO! Bearkiller! It is I, the Great Bear you sent to the Sand Hills.”

Bearkiller said nothing, but sat and stared as the Great Bear spoke.

“By defeating me, you have inherited my strength and wisdom. Use them well and you will be a great and famous warrior, performing many deeds of courage. Many times you will be asked to be chief, but you must decline and name friends in your place.” The Great Bear went on. “Bearkiller, you will fight your wars alone, as when you faced me. Your medicine is strong; share it with your people. I will keep watch over you. If you ever need help or counsel, you have but to ask.”

With that, it dropped back to all fours and walked into the forest.

Bearkiller was elated. Rising to his feet, he faced the sunrise and extended his arms and gave thanks to Old Man.

His prayer finished, he dove from the ledge to the pool below, where he washed the remainder of the white clay from his body.

Refreshed and excited, he started for the village to tell Smiling Otter of his vision.

Walking through the forest, he was daydreaming, recalling the vision and the words of the Great Bear. He wondered what great deeds he would do.

A tremendous roar snapped him back to reality. He had walked up on a she bear and her twin cubs. She was just a short distance to his left. The cubs were directly in front of him. The old sow rose up, bellowing her rage and pawing the air.

Bearkiller froze.

“I mean you no harm, old woman. Take your young ones and leave me be,” he shouted.

The bear dropped to all fours and charged. Bearkiller didn’t move. After coming on a few yards, she swerved and ran to the cubs. Cuffing them on their rumps, she hustled them off into the brush.

Scolding himself for getting caught like that, Bearkiller glanced around, fully alert now. He saw the tree that had been hit by the lightening.

“You see Evil One, the medicine of Bearkiller is strong!”

d-j-stephens's picture

Note from the author coming soon...

About D. J.

I currently live in the North West Suburbs of Chicago with my wife of forty-one years. 

I was born in a small farm town in Nebraska.  Shortly after my birth, my Dad sold the farm and moved us in near Chicago so I could go to Shriner’s Crippled...

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