25 September 2008

Careless From Carbon Hill

Now my ole hunting buddy is a bright, intelligent gentleman from the backwoods of Walker County . He can explain in detail Einstein’s Theory of Relativity but sometimes he just plumb forgets. Take for example the time the two of us went hunting on a cold dreary day alongside Pea River in Coffee County, Alabama . Of course we didn’t kill anything, and when we got back to his car we took off our heavy coats and put them in the trunk of his car. About that time my good friend said with sadness in heart that the car keys were in the big coat he had just locked in the trunk. Well, he stood there in a moment of silence and a long way from anywhere with thoughts of “I wish I had not done that.” So we had to walk a country mile or two to find someone who had a telephone so my friend could call his Georgia Peach wife to bring him a key for the car. Now that isn’t the end of this here story about my careless friend from Carbon Hill. Here is the rest of the story~

Somewhere, and at sometime, he had a rock to hit his car’s windshield while driving down the highway and caused a crack in it. Soon after this incident my friend went to a deer hunt down at the Blue Springs Management Area south of Andalusia. He left his car at the Ranger’s Station and rode with others to be placed as a standard during the deer drive when the dogs were turned loosed. It was nearly noon when the group arrived back at the station and my hunting friend wanted to get into his car for his lunch. Well, you guessed it. The car was locked as tight as a small girdle on a large woman. He had left the keys in the ignition. Being a person of ingenuity, my friend borrowed a tire tool to use on that broken windshield. He got on the hood of the car and began swinging that tool in a professional manner. The only problem was that the game warden who saw him breaking the windshield did not know that my friend was going to have that windshield replaced that very afternoon. Now you talk about a fellow who had some tall explaining to do when that officer demanded an explanation, my friend did. The sad ending of this story is that my friend passed this carelessness on to the author of this tale but that will be left ~ for another day.

I was born in the beautiful town of Trion, Georgia when my family lived in the community of ‘Hot Town’. We later moved to ‘Frog Town’ which was next to the Chattooga River that ran through the middle of town. While we never lived in ‘Happy Top’ we did in fact move up to 'Welcome Hill' which was out in the country. It was there that I began to attend school next to the Welcome Hill Baptist Church. This was about one mile from where we lived in a big roaming house. I walked to school every day. The winters in Northwest Georgia could be very cold. In fact, we would often have freezing weather and we were privileged to have snow just about every winter. I remember well that there was a small pond on the way to school. Some mornings me and my friends would find the pond frozen over and we would run and skate on the pond. This simply meant that we landed on the lower part of our anatomy more than we were able to keep our balance very long when ‘skating’.

Late one evening I noticed that a flock of geese had landed on that pond for the night. Well that night we had a hard freeze and it is my understanding that the pond froze over so quickly that the geese couldn’t move. The next morning on the way to school I looked and that whole pond was gone. I couldn’t believe my young and innocent eyes. What had happened to that pond? Later that day word was received from kinsfolk on Sand Mountain, near the town of Henagar that the flock of geese had taken flight with that frozen pond and had landed in a pasture nearby. Now you might think this story is for the birds but how do explain that new pond in Uncle Sam’s pasture?

Willard, my older brother, was a game warden in the state of Georgia for many years. He became an officer in the Game and Fish Department and had six counties in northwest Georgia under his oversight. In the section of Chattooga County, our home county that included Lookout Mountain, he discovered a real problem of some unethical deer hunters who were killing deer out of season. They were hard to catch in their dastardly deeds. My brother knew about where the men were killing the deer but had failed to catch them in the act. This was before you could use a decoy legally in the state of Georgia in order to catch the persons. He got permission from the Attorney General’s office and borrowed a ‘deer’ from a friend that was made of material similar to plaster of Paris. My brother put some artificial eyes that would reflect light on the deer and then he carried it to a pasture near the edge of the woods in a beautiful valley at the foot of Lookout Mountain, a spot where he thought the illegal deer hunters were killing the game. He and his buddy staked out the place late one evening and it was not long until they heard a truck coming down the dirt road. It was soon afterwards that they heard three shots being fired by the hunter. They drove fast to the place and arrested the man. Willard put the man in his car and drove to Summerville, the county seat, to make a case against the man. While they were on their way, the man in the back seat kept on mumbling to himself, “I know I hit that deer but it would not fall.” Later my brother returned to pick up the ‘deer’ and sure enough the man had hit it three times with his 30-06 and had really damaged the ‘deer’. My brother had finally caught the rascal and with a big smile on his face he loaded the ‘deer’ and took it back home for repairs.

While scouting for a place to hunt deer near Pea River in Coffee County , I found a small stream of water where deer undoubtedly loved to drink water and cross over to their bedding down area. I found a holly tree nearby and it was then that I made the decision to get up in this lovely tree early the next morning. It was before I had a climbing tree stand but I did have a lock-on seat. Well, early the next morning before daylight, I climbed that holly tree to the height I thought would be high enough and then I pulled up the seat and attached it to the tree. When daylight came you could find me sitting high above the ground with a panoramic view of the area. I was just waiting for that 200 pound 8 point buck to come get him a drink of water on his way to his favorite bedding down place. But what I have not told you was the weather was freezing cold, especially for south Alabama. And I mean cold! After sitting perched up in that holly tree for a couple of hours I was so cold I was getting numb. But the tough deer hunter that I am, I was determined to stay long enough to bag me a trophy deer. After such a long time in that freezing weather I began to shake uncontrollably. I didn’t realize that I was freezing to death. I shook and I shook for the longest time. In fact I was shaking the whole tree so violently that the beautiful red berries on that tree began to fall to the ground. I shook so long and hard that every berry fell off of that holly tree. It was then that I looked down to the ground beneath me and there were so many red berries on the ground that you would have thought the earth had the measles!!! I considered writing a song with lyrics like “Have a holly, jolly Christmas, etc” but I never did. Neither did I kill a deer that morning. Furthermore, it took the rest of the day for this ham to thaw out.

1 comment:

Me said...

I love this page!! By the way, you've been tagged :) are you feeling brave?