View Full Version : Best Hunting Memory?
November 7, 2001, 06:42 PM
Share yours with everyone.
I would have to say the second year I went out when I was old enough. I went as usual with my father and my grandfather. It was snowing but just lightly/a little and somewhat dark. You know the kind of day. My grandfather and I standing there together talking quietly about things in general and him looking at me all of a sudden and saying, "Remember this time".
Six months later he had died from cancer. He knew back then he had it but had only chose to tell my grandmother and no one else until the very end.
What's your best memory?
November 7, 2001, 09:26 PM
Well, not to spoil the seriousness of that post, but my fondest and best memories are those with a spot of spontaneous humor attached ... even if it's only funny later.
My maternal grandfather was a Baptist Southern Minister. An Evangelist. He ministered to migrant fruit industry workers and anyone else he could reach with the Word in Florida for 63 years. Lewis E. "Pop" McRae was a fourth generation descendant of a Scottish Emigrant from The Highlands and a Rifle in the Continental Line. A proud Scot.
Pop McRae was a shotgun deer hunter and loved to hunt birds. It was he that taught me that the ultimate firearm for survival in the wild is the shotgun. I was 9 yrs old when this story unfolded. We were in the woods all morning and had seen nothing but squirrels and birds. Since we were hunting deer, it was a fine time but not productive for the reason we were there. Pop suggested we go into town to get lunch and stop by the zoo and he would show me how to stalk a lion. :eek: This was the town of Orlando in the year 1956. After a sandwich at the drugstore, where Pop let me have a cup of coffee (a special treat for a young'un those days!), and off to the zoo. As we neared the lion's cage, Pop McRae held me back with one hand and started a crouching approach. As he came within a couple of yards of the edge of the lion's cage, he began to rise slowly to his full 6' 6" height and take on the stance of a shooter taking aim.
I should point out that Pop always wore a tie. Always. That day he wore a brown cotton hunting shirt with a black tie.
As he moved within two yards of the lioness that he was stalking, she slowly, disdainfully, turned away and slooowly raised her tail and just as he said "Pow!", she said "Shooosh!" ... A stream of lioness urine as big as a garden hose shot out through the bars and caught Pop McRae, Baptist Preacher, smack in the chest!
I was speechless. And that was good, because Pop had enough to say for the both of us. Off to the men's room he went, stripped down and washed everything he had on in the sink and came out completely wet. He walked over to the cage where he had been bagged and got real close to the railing, leaned over, practically in the lioness's face and stared for a long time ... "BOOM!", he fired! She flinched and blinked. He was satisfied. I didn't know what to think. She got up and walked to the nearest part of the cage to Pop and started to turn around ... Pop grabbed me by the arm and beat a hasty retreat, "Stupid beast!"
I think she had his number. :)
November 7, 2001, 10:01 PM
Long story and a bit personal. My Dad died of cancer a few years back - came on in a rush. Sick for a few months and then dead.
We had moved way back in the swamp where we hunted. We were sitting watching a hog wallow. He and I were both backed up to a large tree and sitting down, shoulder to shoulder.
A doe ghosted by with-in 5 feet or so and never noticed us. Very magical and neat. We never spoke about it much, but that was the last time my dad sat in the woods with a rifle in his hands. All the details are clear as the day they happened.
PS. Scattered his ashes in that same swamp four months later.
November 8, 2001, 12:41 AM
The year my daughter was born extremely premature I spent hunting season in the NICU watching over her. The last day of deer season I went out with my dad to see if we could find a deer.
That morning I shot a good four point that measured twenty five inches across. Two hours later my dad shot a four point that was twenty six inches. Two good bucks taken on the same day several miles apart - that was something to remember, but add the conditions of my daughter's birth and that was season that will be etched in my memory forever.
Daughter's 4 now and doing well...
November 8, 2001, 06:36 AM
My most memorable hunt was the one that taught me to think about every shot before I pull the trigger, and not 'haze-out' the rest of the world aound the target.
When I was young, probably 12-13 years old, a 'towny' friend of mine decided to come up to my house. To get away from my parents, I decided we'd go "huntin". I put the word 'huntin' in quotation marks because it was one of those "shoot anything that moves" huntin jags that kids do (remember shootin chipmunks?).
My thought on selecting a gun for him was that he was inexperienced with guns, and probably didn't have the stamina, being a 'towny', to carry a heavy gun up and down gullies all day. I handed him my stepfather's 10/22 loaded with snake-shot, and I grabbed my H&R 22 Hornet single-shot. I figured if he hit me by accident with the snake shot, it wouldn't kill me as bad.:rolleyes:
As I thought might happen, we didn't see anyhting all morning due to his need to be constantly talking loudly and his inability to take a step without crunching leaves or snapping twigs. I decide it'd be best to sit down awhile so the game would come back.
We sat at the top of a creek bank and talked awhile. As we talked, I kept a watchful eye for beasts that needed killin.
He got to talkin about baseball, or somethin that I wasn't interested in, and I turned toward him to pretend I was interested.
Scampering up tree behind him, I saw the biggest squirrel I ever saw, and it was BLACK! I was so damn excited, I pulled up my rifle with one hand POW!!! Knocked that sucker from one tree to the next!!
As my adrenalin dose began to subside, the sight picture all around me began to come back into focus. There was my friend, staring wide-eyed and straight ahead, frozen, white as a ghost. I hadn't put my gun down yet, and that's when I realized what happened...
The end of the barrel of my gun was 4" from the front end of his nose when I took the shot.
When I lowered the gun, he commenced to puking in relief and I got a chill up my spine that would plague me for the rest of my life every time I go hunting with a friend.
November 8, 2001, 08:05 PM
Each 'n every time & reflections back on those that went before always help pass along those sometimes stagnant hours & days when it's not so productive.
I don't when I am more at ease with my own life & the world than when "in the woods" with a rifle in-hand ....
November 9, 2001, 12:32 PM
I guess campfire memories stand out more than shooting memories, insofar as that smug, self-satisfied feeling goes. Sitting around with good friends and family, staying up way too late swapping yarns...Really hard to beat.
I've noticed that really good hunters tell "dumbo" stories on themselves, and brag on the great things done by others.
"Good shot" memories will always be there, but for me it has always been a package of the day itself, the stalk, the shot, and the yakking about it all back at the campfire.
November 9, 2001, 02:55 PM
Oh, & all "the lies" around the campfire .....
Where'rd we be without those .... ? :D
& those who are not self-deprecating have never '"been there" .... or aren't honest.
November 9, 2001, 08:03 PM
A few years back I got hooked of the black powder bug.
These days if it loads in the back, it just doesn't seem right.
Since I started, I've killed a buch of stuff with my frontloader and in the last few years I've been looking for that big buck.
Last year during the PA muzzeloader season I went out with a bunch of guys in that same persuit on a friends farm.
We had snow, the sky was overcast and the woods slightly dark.
Just about lunch time a I caught sight of a doe muching on laurel.
I took aim... She saw my gun come up and I froze.
After a time she stopped waching me and began to eat again.
Guys this was an easy shot. Way to easy.
I decided to not shoot but to sneak. I was sort of hoping a buck was bedded down close by and I would get a shot.
I put on my best Danial Boone and started moving from tree to tree. I would lose site of her from time to time and she would think she saw me from time to time, until I was about four feet away.
I was testing the air as much as she was when I heard a branch snap. I froze thinking it was that buck.
It was one of my friends.
"Hey Will," he says in a loud whisper. "Whacha doin?"
I was pressed up against that tree and I just pointed over my shoulder.
About that time she looked out from behind that tree.
I got the smile and the head shake I thought I would get.
I also got the campfire story.
Most of all I got to be 12 years old again for just a little while.
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