Well, the cold is here. Didn’t used to bother me much, but as I get older it really does start to creep in on me.
It will not stop me from doing the things that I enjoy outdoors, but unfortunately it will slow me down.
I remember one hunt, way back when, I had gotten to my hunting area late on a Friday night. I always left after work on Fridays.
From where I left my car, I hiked about half-way around this lake toward where I wanted to camp. It was already dark so I wasn’t real sure where I was.
So, I decided to put my sleeping bag down on a spot which was mostly clear. I put down a plastic cloth, layered down on my sleeping bag, leaned my bow against a bush, got into my sleeping bag and pulled the plastic sheet over me.
It was very cold outside, but I was quite comfortable and snug.
Well, morning came without me knowing it until I was awakened by some commotion. I threw back my bag and the sheet, and there stood a nice six-point buck pawing and stomping the ground.
My bow was too far to reach so I had to get up.
Of course, he was gone. Well, not only was it cold there but there was one inch of snow on the ground, so I jumped back into my bag for a few minutes.
It was already late. I sat up to put my boots on and there on the other side of me stood that very same deer. I got up and started looking around, and discovered I had camped in a well-defined deer run.
I guess Mr. Deer did not approve. I tracked him for some time which did me no good. The snow was gone an hour later, so I packed up my gear and moved to another spot.
On another hunt years ago in a different area, I had hiked way back in an area that I was not familiar with. I don’t think many others had been back this far.
I found an excellent tree which was easy to shoot from and comfortable sitting in. Just before sundown along comes a monster buck. I had never seen a deer with so many points.
I was so excited I forgot to count them. He walked into some tall brush about forty yards from my tree and laid down.
Okay, he will soon get up and move on when he rests a bit. Well, it was getting late and the legal hunting hours were drawing close. The buck got up and walked away in the opposite direction.
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So, since it was getting late and the buck didn’t cooperate, I started to climb down from the tree. Before I could even start lowering my equipment, here came a whole bunch of coyotes.
I counted twelve. Most of them were young pups, but there were three adults with them. Being young and no experience with them, I stayed in the tree.
Thinking they won’t be there for long, I just settled back for awhile. It was getting later and later, and I didn’t want to lose my way back to my camp since I was in an unfamiliar area.
So, I thought I might shoot a couple of them and they might run off. They were moving around a lot, and I didn’t hit a single one. And it did not seem to bother them at all.
So I sat there and waited. Finally they did leave. It took me some time to find my way back to camp. I had no light with me, so i just had to hope I could find my way.
On another hunt, many years ago, I was in a familiar area which I had hunted a few times before. I climbed into a tree I had used before and waited.
Around 10 a.m. a nice six-point came by. He was about 45 yards out, and I shouldn’t have taken a shot, but it had been so long since I had seen one that I decided to take a chance.
I watched where he went so as to track him after awhile. He ran into an open field about 200 yards from where I shot him. That should make it pretty easy to track since the ground was wet from rain a short time before.
I still wasn’t sure if I had hit the deer or not. After a reasonable wait, I climbed out of the tree and walked to the last place he was seen. From that point I followed his trail into that open field.
In that field was one lone tree right in the middle. Well, the tracks led right to that tree, and then no more tracks.
I searched and searched but found no more tracks. I did my best to figure out where he could have gone.
Finally I gave up, but after looking around to be sure no one else was in site, I just had to look up in the tree.
That was dumb. Must have been aliens that took the deer! Well, I guess I can laugh at myself, cause someone else will laugh at me at that way I can laugh with them.
I found the arrow, and it was a total miss. Enough said.
Just a few memories that came to mind. I’m sure most of you have similar stories.
I enjoy hearing such stories. Share your stories with others.
(Tom Boydston lives in Neosho, Mo., and can be reached by text at 417-439-6048.)