09 January 2013

This “Son of the South” was Singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”

No, this article has nothing to do with football. I have a young friend who lives in the metropolitan area of the city of Fort Deposit, Alabama and who is an avid deer hunter. He comes by it naturally. I remember the first time I visited his family who lived at that time in rural Butler County. His father, Malcolm, took me to the back yard and showed me a collection of antlers of some of the deer he had harvested over a period of time. I was mightily impressed. He had a ‘clothes line’ from one tree to another and it was loaded with some of the finest antlers I have ever seen in one collection. I think he only shot deer with 8 to 10 points on the antlers. His oldest son Benjamin (Ben) inherited his father’s genes because it was evident by his collection of large antlers. The latest set (20 inch spread) was atop the biggest deer he has ever killed.

Ben is from Benjamin and one definition in Hebrew of this name is “Son of the South” and you can’t get much further south than Lowndes County, Alabama. His surname ‘Callen’ is Irish in origin. Now I don’t really know if Ben can carry a tune in a bucket but I can just imagine he was either whistling ‘Dixie’ or singing ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’ because of what he was looking at after he found this buck. But here is his story in his own words.
"I've killed several deer over the past few years of this caliber. It comes from long hours in the stand and from passing young bucks. Funny thing is on this deer is I was coming home from working with dad in the woods and decided I'd stop by and check one of the several game cameras I run almost year round. I had several minutes of shooting light left so I decided to park and walk to the first camera spot I was going to check. I usually don't see many deer in this spot but as I rounded the corner in the road to where I could see the field and it was in there I saw several doe and a young basket rack buck. They caught my wind and left the field. I changed the memory card in my pocket and headed to the next camera location. Upon walking up to it I spotted this buck standing under an oak tree in the edge of the field with his head down. Immediately I could tell he was a shooter buck. I propped my Sako .270 on a corner fence post and centered the crosshairs and squeezed off on him. A puff of smoke came out of my barrel and I couldn't tell whether I hit the deer or not but as I looked up out of the scope I caught a glimpse of him running into the thicket so I knew which way he ran. I walked back to my truck and drove into the field. I searched around where he was standing for awhile for blood. Unsuccessful I decided to make a short circle out through the woods. Luckily I stumbled up on him about 50 yards from where I'd shot him. He was a great buck. No ground shrinkage at all and one of the biggest bucks I've ever killed. I actually had this deer on camera last year also and took a shot with my bow at him and missed. It's funny as many hours as you put in the woods hunting hard that it always seems to be when you least expect it when you stumble upon a big buck."
Oh, did I mention that this seasoned hunter is only in his mid 20s?!

The Mule That Could
Old timers will remember that way back in the 1950s there were mules in the movies and on television, Francis and Ed who could talk. Now if you believe that, let me tell you about this farmer who had a mule that could point a covey of quail. A gentleman from the city came to see his farmer friend and was informed about the unusual ability of this mule. The friend didn’t believe that any mule could ‘point a covey of quail.’ Well, the story goes that the farmer got the mule out of the barn and the three headed for the cover of weeds and tall grass where quail could be found. All of a sudden the mule stopped and pointed with its long snout. The farmer assured his friend that the mule had located a covey of quail. The friend still did not believe that a mule was able to accomplish such a feat. The mule then stomped with its right hoof and up flew, believe it or not, a covey of quail. The mule continued to point out birds until they came to a creek. The friend suggested they cross the creek and look for birds on the other side. The farmer replied that it was impossible to do so and his friend asked ‘why’? The farmer said that his mule would never make it across the creek and his friend with a big question mark on his face again asked, ‘Why’? The farmer replied in no uncertain terms, ‘because he is a better fisherman than he is a hunter.’

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