Last week I shared the truth about my hunting activities. I enjoy telling everyone that I enjoy hunting and I really do…but the truth be told that typically I am a lazy hunter. I enjoy the THOUGHT of hunting and I enjoy being around everybody at the camp house but when it comes to actually having to get up and go out in the field of game I become lazy. Here is what I thought was going to happen to me when I ended my story last week: I showed up at the ranch for this weekend to deer hunt. I got up early well before sunrise Saturday morning to head out to my stand. After several cups of coffee and a bathroom stop I decided to take a quick nap before walking to my stand and didn't get up until noon.
Well, actually I am pleased to tell you that it did not happen that way and I am also excited to announce that I had the most HAIR RAISING and EXHILARATING hunting experience of my life! No, I did not get a deer but that does not matter. That would have caused me to have to clean the thing but here is what did happen.
I arose early Saturday morning well before daybreak. The younger hunters had sat around the campfire until the early morning hours and I heard them come in about 2 AM. I was laughing to myself cause I was going to sneak out of the house, shoot my deer and have it hanging in the tree field dressing it before these young ‘en's ever got out of bed. When I got up I had that nasty yucky mouth feeling so I grabbed my toothbrush and stepped outside with a bottle of water to brush my teeth. The moon was absolutely beautiful and bright. I stepped to the back of my truck and dropped the tailgate and placed my items on the tailgate and the moon was so bright I could actually read the toothpaste tube. I figured that because of such a bright moon the deer had probably been feeding all night and that hunting would probably not be too good.
I grabbed my gun and headed toward the woods. The moon was so bright that walking to my stand was nothing. I took a small, little, rinky dink, double AA battery powered pen light with me. I had just enough light that I could double check my stand for critters before I climbed in it.
As I left an open field and headed into the woods, I could still see the moon light as it broke through the canopy of the tree tops brightly shining my way down the now wooded trail leading to my stand. About fifty yards from my stand I suddenly heard a rustling to my right and an immediate sound of an animal passing gas. I could tell from the sound that something had been bedded down and as with us men, animals tend to expel the nights build up of noxious odors as soon as we stand up from the nights slumber. (Women do too but they don't talk about it like we guys do).
No sooner than I heard this loud rumble of gas, I heard a swishing sound like a deer makes when it has been spooked.
"Great", I thought to myself. "I've done jumped a deer bedded down next to my stand" when suddenly this awful rustling sound came thrashing toward me in the darkness. The hair on the back of my neck stood tall as this noise was multiplied numerous times and I thought the whole woods had come alive with creatures of the night!
I grabbed the stupid little pen light I had in my pocket with one hand and had raised my gun to my shoulder with the other. My life was flashing before me because I thought Satan had been awakened as this thundering, thrashing and swishing sound, came toward me in the darkness! I knew I could not shoot because my target was not identified, but I figured if something bites me or tries to maul me I was going to shoot because I would then know it was not a cow or human! My dumb little pen light did not have the power to light up an ants behind, but I kept waving it toward the noise and then like a little girl I even let out some kind of sickly yell! I was petrified when suddenly in front of me in a moonlit spot, four hogs came barreling across the trail. Even then and after knowing it was hogs, my life continued to flash before me because now I wondered if the boar was stalking me! Then, as suddenly as the sound had began, it faded away into the still darkened night.
Weak-kneed and perspiring and hoping my drawers were still clean I made my way to my stand.
It was a great hunt! One I will never forget.
P.S. Several years ago I told a story about seeing a beautiful black panther at the ranch. Most people scoffed at me. My son and I both saw this animal on Saturday in hot pursuit of a group of deer! I now have a witness!