10 March 2009

‘Keep Your Powder Dry' Or, It Is So Sad To See a Grown Man Cry
Now I have this here friend who is one of the best deer hunters and is one more marksman. He shoots skeet and has won several contests and probably a couple of million dollars, more or less, in shooting clay pigeons. He owns a 50 caliber black powder rifle that is an accurate shooting gun. Why, even I shot the thing at a target one hundred yards away and nearly hit in the center of the bulls eye. That surprised my friend and me. A few years ago he killed a buck 140 yards removed from where he was standing on an icy winter morning. He even borrowed a range finder from the company where his lovely wife works to find out the exact distance of that excellent shot that brought the deer down. He has killed his share of deer over many years and has the antlers and mounts to prove it. I just wanted to relate all these facts to you to let you know that I am not talking about a novice in this deer hunting story.

I don’t think it wise for me to tell you the name of my friend that I am talking about in this here tale; but, I will say that his sweet wife’s name is the same as the sister of Mary who is mentioned in the gospel of Luke, chapter 10. The company she works for really has a lot of power behind it.

Well, anyway, this friend of mine was in this here shooting house that was located amongst the pines and shooting lanes wherein there was all this green grass for deer to feast upon when here came a nice 8 point buck a-chasing a cute doe. They would run in and out of the pines a-frolicking and my hardy (strong, healthy, brave?) friend decided that he would just shoot that nice buck the next time he came running out in the open. He began to turn to look at the exact spot where he was going to shoot the poor thing when all of a sudden he saw what looked like an elk right here in Autauga County . Why my friend declares that buck was the largest deer he had ever seen in his life and he has seen a-plenty. He said that he could count at least 6 points on one side of the moose’s rack that protruded out for maybe 3 feet from its head. I am telling you this fellow don’t lie. Now he does get excited sometimes and has a tendency to embellish matters somewhat (I like that word embellish, don’t you?).

Just to show you what a compassionate man my friend is, he even permitted the deer to eat his last supper (do you sense a tinge of religion just here?). Why he would not shoot the creature until he raised his head up from eating the green grass of home (I feel a song coming on). He waited twice on that deer to eat its last morsel of grass. The way he tells it you will have tears swelling up in your eyes when you understand his compassion for God’s creatures. Well, he put the cross hairs right behind the humongous buck’s shoulder and squeezed (now this hunter does not pull) the trigger and smoke from his black powder gun blinded his vision.

When the smoke cleared all he saw was that twelve plus point buck a-high tailing it for the pines. My friend said the deer was standing only 50 yards away and that there was no way he could have missed that deer that close. He got down out of the shooting house and began to look for blood, hair or anything that might tell him he had shot that deer in the boiler room (that is an expression deer hunters use meaning the lung/heart area of the deer). But the more he looked and didn’t find any blood the sicker he got. I don’t remember but he said that he got his son-in-law and maybe the Autaugaville Rescue Squad to help him look for his lost deer but to no avail. Now how could this professional hunter who is a marksman miss a deer that maybe (now I say maybe) weighed between 200 – 400 pounds and standing still only fifty yards away? Now that is a mystery.

My friend later realized that when he fired his trusty gun that it did not kick him as hard as usual and that it did not sound as loud as it usually did in times past; so, here is his theory as to why he missed this trophy deer. He explained to me that he had loaded his black powder gun a year ago for deer season and had not fired it. He said that he had the gun in damp, wet weather last year and this year. His theory is that the powder in his gun had gotten wet and when he fired the gun and the powder being damp, the projectile left his gun at a slower speed and did not therefore have enough gitty up and go to reach its target. Now I buy that theory because my friend is as honest as the day is long (according to Daylight Central Standard Time). I just wish I could have been up a nearby tree and watched that ball roll out the end of the barrel and hit the ground about five feet from the shooting house.

When you see him now, he has a blank expression on his face and a stare in his eyes. All that he can see is that gigantic buck bouncing off into the woods. He doesn’t count sheep any more at night but all he sees are these unbelievable large deer jumping over a fence. The last time I talked to my friend he was still ‘sick as a dog’. Now all you nice people need to do as the good book says and that is, “to weep with those that weep.”

A Man For All Seasons
This story will make you proud that you live in our great state. You will also be able to recognize the quality of education our children are receiving in our schools. Why it will make you proud that our children recognize what is really important and that they are not being influenced by the liberal educators. It is said that a teacher of a third grade class in one of southwestern counties in this great state was giving a comprehensive test to her students. Question number eleven asked the students to list the four seasons of the year in order. Now here is the real kicker. Sixty-seven (67%) answered: 1. DOVE SEASON. 2. DEER SEASON. 3. DUCK SEASON. 4. TURKEY SEASON. Ain’t that just wonderful? It is enough to make grown men (especially us real men who are hunters) cry to know how smart these children are. It’s about time we got back to the real basics of education in our schools.