A few weeks ago, my youngest son, Skeeter, said, “Dad, I want to go deer hunting.” I was delighted since Skeeter has never shown much interest in anything except computers and foreign languages. I took him to a stand opening morning, got him set, and left. I figured he might see one but that he sure as heck wouldn’t kill one.
Two hours later he came up and yelled that he needed help to find “these deer” he shot.
“These deer,” I asked?
Sure enough, he’d shot a doe on one side of the stand and then waited fifteen minutes whereupon another walked out and he shot it, also.
We took Fox, the chocolate Lab and Jigabells the mutt, as trail dogs and went looking. In short order, Fox found the latter one and it turned out to be a spike but we never found the doe.
I think he missed the first shot and lucked out on the second.
As I dressed the spike, I explained that it doesn’t work this way all the time; that he may go ten more times before he sees another one, but this advice fell on deaf ears. Skeeter figured since killing a deer posed no challenge that I might as well go in his place and leave him to his study of languages. Around this same time our new priest asked if he might go hunting and, of course, I agreed. You gotta do for the preacher you know, and since he had no gun I loaned him one and showed him another stand that I thought was not nearly as good as Skeeter’s hot spot. In other words, I was selfish. In retrospect, this was my downfall.
Each time the preacher went hunting, I went, telling him I was just being sociable and that I really didn’t think I would see anything since I was giving him the best stand. I figured I ought to be able to outdo this gunless greenhorn with ease except I forgot one minor detail; the preacher had an unfair advantage in that he had the Lord with him, officially and with papers.
It has now been six weeks and the preacher has been 7 times and so have I. He has killed 5 deer, missed one, and on the seventh hunt, He Rested, and just watched a flock of turkeys, read the Scriptures and communed with nature. When he told me about the turkeys he really started to get on my nerves, for during all this time I had seen nary a hair of a deer or turkey; I hadn’t even seen a JoRee.
Needless to say, I was getting frustrated when, one night, the preacher called and asked if the stand was open the next morning, saying he “felt lucky.”
“Yes,” I said and I lied, saying I was “feeling lucky”, too.
I knew I had to go if he was going so I got up at 4:30 a.m. and got ready, muttering all the while about this cottonpicking lucky jackleg of a gunless preacher. It was near freezing and my teeth were chattering so bad as I sat there, strapped to the side of that lonesome pine, that no deer would have come near me anyway, and even if one had I could not have harvested it since my hands were shaking so bad.
Arriving back at home, I discovered the preacher hadn’t come so I called to ask why not and he said, “Do you know how cold it was this morning? Thirty-two! I wasn’t about to sit there in that stand and freeze. I’m not crazy. I hope you didn’t go! I think I will come this afternoon when it is warmer, if that is alright, Brother,” he said innocently. Jackleg preacher!
He showed up that afternoon and we went to our respective stands. Exactly one hour later, I heard the borrowed 264 Win. Magnum go off--- again! I, on the other hand, saw nothing; not even see a Tom Tit.
I’ve either got to move to another church or put in for a new preacher. If it is the latter, I will pay for his membership in PETA.