I guess most people would say there’s not much to do in Hope. I guess that’s why most of our stories revolve around hunting. In case you’re wondering, we do it not just for sport or to have something to do, we do it for food. Everyone around here eats venison. Needless to say, we would all love to kill a trophy buck but the only one that’s ever accomplished the task is Bob and no one’s ever seen his.
Remember Bob, he’s the four-year-old, well, he loves hunting as much as the rest of us. We have “hunting houses” built in various spots around the property. So one day, when he was three, I took him out to one of the houses and we sat down to wait. As we were waiting, I explained to him to watch the creek beside of us, “because one might come up out of it” and to watch the field in front of us, one might come out to feed.
Well, the little feller sat diligently all evening waiting for his big buck to appear. When it got dark, we headed home, still hadn’t seen a thing. We reached the house and my oldest daughter was there waiting on us. “What did you get Bob?” She asked. “Sixteen point.” He replied with a straight face. “He come up out of the creek and I put him down.” All of this was told with much waving of his hands, showing her how the deer came up out of the creek and how he went down. By this point, my daughter is getting really excited. I look at her like “Really? You’re talking to a three-year-old.” He continues to regale her with his tale. My husband walks in the front door. Bob runs up to him and commences with the telling of the tale. “You gotta take the four-wheeler and get my deer.” He implores. Now, my husband and my daughter are both wondering if he really did shoot a deer. Especially one of such epic proportions. I finally can’t stand it any longer and burst out laughing. It dawns on them that Bob has told them a “big ‘un” and they sit down to listen to him enhance the tale. So the story goes on for a little while and then Bob, who I think convinced himself that he really did kill such a deer, starts really aggravating Randy to go fetch it. About this time, one of the neighbors knocks on the door. He’d dropped by to show off the antlers from a deer that he’d killed that morning and taken to the packing house. As he walks through the door, Bob accosts him. Grabbing for the antlers, Bob is screaming, “He’s got my deer, he’s got my deer.” Unfortunately for the neighbor, Randy and I were too busy laughing at the sight of our three-year-old hanging from the antlers and kicking at him to bother about getting him off. Finally we caught our breath long enough to save the neighbor. Bob pouted for several days over that deer and the guy stealing his horns.
The next year, when deer season rolled around, he was ready to go again. I took him again during the weekend youth hunt. We went back to the same house and set up to wait. This time, we had better luck. Right before dark, four does entered the field. Bob raises up his head, points and yells, “There’s some deer Mom.” Maybe these were deaf deer because the outburst didn’t phase them. They continued to graze in the field in front of us. We watched for a few minutes and I asked him if he really wanted to shoot one of them. “Yes.” He was emphatic. So, I fix the rifle on the sandbag on the shelf in front of us. I sight in on the largest of the does. As I get things all settled, I tell him it’s time to pull the trigger. He leans over and looks through the scope and pulls the trigger. CLICK! He looks at the gun, then at the deer (who is still grazing), then at me and back at the gun, all as if to say, What just happened here. Unsure of what had happened, I didn’t want to try at different shell, so we got our gear together and headed back to the house. This time, Randy and our son Daniel were out in the driveway. The other kids were crowded around. Daniel had gotten a little buck. Stephanie was making pictures of the kids with the deer. Bob runs up to them and tells Randy that his gun clicked. “I was shooting a fourteen point and my gun went click, Dad.” Well, I guess even if your gun goes click, you still kill the deer and it grows antlers according to Bob. So everyone has a good laugh about Bob’s hunting experience, and I tell them that he really did try to shoot a doe. So, several mornings later while Bob was still asleep, one of Randy’s friends stopped by to show Randy the skull of a buck that he’d found dead by his tree stand in Ohio. It was a big ten-point. He’d put the head in acid to eat the flesh and hide off of it. He then painted the skull white. He left the head with Randy. Bob woke up and spotted the skull and antlers sitting there. “Dad, you went and got my deer. You cut it off.” He hugged Randy then ran for the skull. He carried that thing around for days, showing everyone “his” deer.
Bob is even so bad that I caught him “holding court” in WalMart one day. I had stopped in the health and beauty section for a few items and Randy informed me that he and Bob would be in the hunting supplies. As if I couldn’t have guessed. Well, as I approached, I knew immediately which aisle they were in, it was the most crowded one. Randy was talking to one man, looking at deer pictures from a trail cam on the man’s phone. But the main attraction in the aisle was Bob. He was surrounded. All the men were enthralled with his tale of killing the fourteen point buck. He told them he killed it up in the “holler” and he shot it with a shotgun. He was pointing to the shelves, showing them which items worked in the quest for a big buck. He really needs his own hunting show, well only if they don’t have to have an actual deer to show. I just wonder what he’ll kill next year.
Now, our son Daniel, really did kill a deer. Randy took him out and had him sitting in a blind. Right about dark, four or five deer came out, all smaller bucks. Randy was trying to tell him how to shoot it when BOOM. He’d fired. The deer dropped in place. Daniel turned to look at his Dad, “How many can I get?” he asked. “Just one,” replied Randy. “Well, the other kids got tags.” Daniel responded petulantly. Randy managed to get him to stop with the one.
I love to go hunting as much as the rest of the bunch. I’ve not killed a deer in years but I still love to go out and sit in the woods and just be. But sometimes it gets dangerous. One year, Randy and I went hunting. I sat down on the power line (the major huge ones that run through the woods). He went around the ridge to hunt. I sat there until a couple of hours after daylight. The only thing I’d seen had been a couple of squirrels playing around. Randy called my cellphone and asked if I’d seen the deer that he’d ran toward me. I told him that I hadn’t seen a thing. About that time, coming around an old logging road was a deer. I whispered to him that the deer was coming and hung up. I watched as it picked its way toward the clearing beneath where I sat. I readied my rifle, ready to take the shot if the deer got in the right position. He slowly made his way to the spot directly below me. As he reached the spot where I would have had a good shot, he turned and ran right at me. He came to within a yard of my lap as I sat there on the ground, too stunned to do anything more than look into it’s eyes. He stared at me for a couple of minutes, then turned and ran back the way he’d came. I was too stunned to even attempt a shot.
Randy will never let me forget the time that I was hunting with him and a miniature pony walked out into the field in front of me. Well, at least that’s what it looked like to me. When it stepped out of the woods, I looked twice at it. “I wonder who’s miniature pony got loose.” I thought to myself. But then as I continued to study it, I realized it didn’t look quite right for a pony. Well, maybe it’s a dog, I thought. By the time I figured out that it was a deer, and a buck at that, it was entering the brush on the other side of the field. Causing me to miss my chance to get a shot off. And the only deer I saw that year walked away. But at least I didn’t see pink elephants. 😉
I knew Santa should have heeded Bob’s warning!!