Thursday, August 2, 2007

Unloaded Guns-- Just a Memory

This was so many years ago I can't remember the year, however I was still young at heart and full of hunting ideas by the time hunting season came along that year. A good friend of mine ( Mike Matthews ) and I decided to go to a cabin I had access to in Manchester, Tennessee. We left out for the cabin on Friday afternoon and I described the 400 acre farm as best I could to Mike as we traveled. Mike took everything in except the part where I told him to load his gun as soon as we got into the field. As luck would have it we jumped two big bucks out of the creek bed as we drove back to the cabin in the middle of the farm. These two bucks ran across the road in front of us went across and over the hillside before either of us could get out and load our guns for a shot. We followed the bucks carefully over the top of the ridge hoping for a shot at at least one of the bucks but they had both eluded us that evening. We made it to the cabin, had supper, stoked the wood stove for the night and went fast asleep with hopes of taking a buck the next morning. Before daylight Mike and I got up and discussed where we were both going to hunt. Mike decided to hunt the same area as the two bucks where in the evening before and I decided to hunt behind the cabin up on the ridge top. By the time we were ready to leave the cabin we had 6-8 inches of snow on the ground and flurries still coming down. The ridge top I was going to hunt was so steep I had to pull myself up the hill by the barbed wire fence at the property line. Once I reached the top I sat down by a large oak tree and waited for about 2 hours before deciding to give my grunt call a try.With just three grunts of my call a nice ten point came over one side of the ridge and down the other before I could even rise my gun. I got up looked over the side of the hill for the buck but he was gone or hiding in the brush very well and not about to move from his cover. As I returned to the cabin I found Mike still had not returned so being worried that he may be lost in the snow covered woods I began easing my way through the woods to where Mike had told me he would be hunting. As I got close to his stand area I found Mike on the third ridge from his stand looking carefully across the fields below him. By now it was 12:30 p.m. and I got to Mike and ask where all the deer were. He explained that he hadn't seen anything all morning and just then we both spotted something crossing the field below us. I scoped it out and it was a skunk which in those woods were notorious for having rabies. I decided to shoot the skunk just in case and burned it by the cabin then buried it across the stream. We discussed our options of hunting the evening and next day or going back home to hunt there. We decided to go home so we loaded up the Volkswagen and slid on out toward home with nothing to show for the trip except a great memory to talk about for years to come and pass on to our children/ grandchildren. Thanks Mike Matthews for one more memory for my collection.


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