Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Deer Hunt

This story was told to me by my dad. It is about a hunting trip my dad had with his stepdad, whom we called Pappy.

Now Pappy, when he was a younger man, was 6 foot tall, worked in the oil fields, and was a wildcatter.

My dad, at the time of this story, was in his teens. It took place here in Colorado, up on the Gore range. My dad, Pappy, Uncle Fay, and some friends were hunting for deer one hunting season. They had stopped to take a break and rest for awhile. They were almost at timber line level, on a ridge, when my dad spotted this little two or three point buck down the ridge a-ways.

My dad pointed it out to everyone, and Uncle Fay said it was too far away for a shot. My dad asked Pappy what he thought, and Pappy said, "Hell, I can hit him from here!" So Pappy found him a comfortable spot on a rock looking down the ridge, took aim while everyone else was telling him that there was NO WAY he was going to hit that buck. They said that it was a waste of time and ammo. But that didn't seem to matter to Pappy. He wanted that buck.  So Pappy took his time aiming, and was thinking he has adjusted for the range and angle of the ridge. He pulled the trigger. BOOM!

Several seconds later, they all watched as the buck made about two steps then fell over. Everyone said it was a damn good shot! Pappy stood up and looked at all of them and said, "I told you I would get him." As everyone stood and watched, Pappy took off down the side of the ridge, going from one rock to another, trying to not start a rock slide. When pappy finally got down to his deer, he laid down his rifle, straddled the buck, got out his hunting knife, and leaned over to slit the buck's throat.

All of a sudden the buck jumped up with Pappy on his back and started to run down the side of the ridge. (I can't say here what Pappy was hollering while on his ride!) So, there was Pappy on this deer's back as it ran down the ridge, with a knife in his hand, and trying to slit its throat. When Pappy told the story, the knife was dull at the time; he said that he forgot to sharpen it before they left camp that morning.

Anyway, Pappy finally brought down his deer. All the while, everyone on top of the ridge was hollering and laughing their heads off. As Pappy was cleaning out the deer, he could not find a bullet wound. Then he rolled the deer over and he found the wound. It seems that he -- how should I say it? -- Pappy hit him in his marble sack. Took it right off!

By the time everyone else got down to Pappy and brought him his rifle, he was nursing some bumps and scrapes. Everyone told him what a great shot he was, that it was the greatest shot they had ever seen! While all this talking was going on, some of the guys were looking at the deer and asked pappy where he had hit the deer (they didn't see any wound.)Before he could say a word, someone rolled the deer on to its back. Everyone looked and saw that the buck was minus a certain part, and they all started to giggle, and then full-on laughed. Poor Pappy, red faced, trying to tell them all that he shot the buck that way on purpose to save the meat. That the angle was off. That if he had hit him elsewhere there would not have been much left of the buck.

I heard it years later and I asked pappy about this story. He turned beet red, lit his pipe, and admitted that it was so. Pappy was a great man, humble and loving. Even with all of his faults. He had a side that was fun, and his eyes would light up if you asked him a question about his life. I truly miss him, as I'm sure he is missed by others.

But he sure left me with a bunch of great stories!

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