It ain't about killing something

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When my son was nine years old (he is 33 now) he developed some sort of neurological disorder that caused him to lose the ability to walk. We took him to specialists all over the country and finally got a diagnosis of transverse myelitis which is kin to multiple sclerosis. He was told he would never walk but he proved the doctors wrong. At 14 he was just beginning to walk again. He had built his arm strength up rolling his wheelchair but not his leg strength and he had very little balance. It was necessary for him to lean on someone for him to walk and by the way he had gotten up to almost 200 pounds. I was going deer hunting one weekend and he told me that he wanted to go with me. No way was I going to say NO I was determined to figure out a way. I didn't have time to scout a place to take him as where I hunted would have been impossible to haul him to. I had an idea about a pipeline ROW at the State Woods (WMA). I had schooled him on muzzleloaders some but mostly he had just shot his.22. I had shown him how to back the hammer while holding the trigger back to eleminate the click. I loaded up 2 five gallon buckets to sit on, my shooting bag, a fanny pack full of snacks for him, a back pack with assorted hunting gear, a large piece of camo burlap and my White Mountain Carbine (with a sling on it) and a New Englander. We got to the woods way before daylight, grabbed a;; our gear and took off through the woods with me carrying everything while holding him up and trying to navigate to the pipeline. When we popped out onto the ROW we found a dewberry thicket that I cleared an area in and set up our bucket seats and draped the burlap over the vines and thorns. We are in Mississippi and the state bird is the mosquito, they get as big as small turkeys. I've heard a rumor that they arrested 2 mosquitos in the next county for molesting chickens but I think that may be a lie since I know the lawmen over there and I don't think they are tough enough to bring
"em in. They had sucked so much blood from us we were starting to get anemic so dug out a cap with a net and pair of gloves for him to give him some relief. He was worn out from all the walking we did so he lowered his head and went to sleep just before dawn. I closed my eyes and may have dozed a few minutes but when I looked up 25 yards in front of us standing broad side licking a branch and urinating in a scrape that Lady Luck had put us on was a beautiful 8 point with about a 16" or 17" spread. We were concealed pretty well and he was busy letting the girls know he was avaliable so I tapped Johnny on the leg and pointed toward the deer. He raised his head and looked, nodded like OK and then put his head back down. It all processed and he jerked his head up and i motioned for him to shoot it. In the excitement and with gloves on he grabbed the hammer and pulled it back with a resounding CLICK to which the buck whirled around and in a very few bounds was on the other side of the ROW but he stopped and looked back at us. I couldn"t contain myself any longer, I screamed SHOOT HIM but he didn't feel comfortable with the shot so he let it go.
He went into remission at 15 and his boy parts started demanding all of his attention be aimed in another direction so he left ol' dad to hunt alone again. He has led a relatively normal life, Married with 2 kids. If I am not too old maybe the youngest grandson might become a hunting partner for me.
 
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Fantastic story. We all kill by proxy. At least those of us that eat animal products. If I ever get the chance to hunt with my kids/grandkids, I won’t have any expectation that they pull the trigger the first or even the twentieth time they have game in front of them. This is a very special thing that we do and the fact that most of us don’t have to do it makes it more special. Kind of hard to put into words why. I know that I have less reservation to kill (game animals) than some folks, but that seems like not such a great thing. At the same time I am grateful and sorry for killing animals, which I think is a virtue. Third it seems like this is something that people are meant to do for physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Anyways, thanks for sharing that.
 

Snake Pleskin

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When my son was nine years old (he is 33 now) he developed some sort of neurological disorder that caused him to lose the ability to walk. We took him to specialists all over the country and finally got a diagnosis of transverse myelitis which is kin to multiple sclerosis. He was told he would never walk but he proved the doctors wrong. At 14 he was just beginning to walk again. He had built his arm strength up rolling his wheelchair but not his leg strength and he had very little balance. It was necessary for him to lean on someone for him to walk and by the way he had gotten up to almost 200 pounds. I was going deer hunting one weekend and he told me that he wanted to go with me. No way was I going to say NO I was determined to figure out a way. I didn't have time to scout a place to take him as where I hunted would have been impossible to haul him to. I had an idea about a pipeline ROW at the State Woods (WMA). I had schooled him on muzzleloaders some but mostly he had just shot his.22. I had shown him how to back the hammer while holding the trigger back to eleminate the click. I loaded up 2 five gallon buckets to sit on, my shooting bag, a fanny pack full of snacks for him, a back pack with assorted hunting gear, a large piece of camo burlap and my White Mountain Carbine (with a sling on it) and a New Englander. We got to the woods way before daylight, grabbed a;; our gear and took off through the woods with me carrying everything while holding him up and trying to navigate to the pipeline. When we popped out onto the ROW we found a dewberry thicket that I cleared an area in and set up our bucket seats and draped the burlap over the vines and thorns. We are in Mississippi and the state bird is the mosquito, they get as big as small turkeys. I've heard a rumor that they arrested 2 mosquitos in the next county for molesting chickens but I think that may be a lie since I know the lawmen over there and I don't think they are tough enough to bring
"em in. They had sucked so much blood from us we were starting to get anemic so dug out a cap with a net and pair of gloves for him to give him some relief. He was worn out from all the walking we did so he lowered his head and went to sleep just before dawn. I closed my eyes and may have dozed a few minutes but when I looked up 25 yards in front of us standing broad side licking a branch and urinating in a scrape that Lady Luck had put us on was a beautiful 8 point with about a 16" or 17" spread. We were concealed pretty well and he was busy letting the girls know he was avaliable so I tapped Johnny on the leg and pointed toward the deer. He raised his head and looked, nodded like OK and then put his head back down. It all processed and he jerked his head up and i motioned for him to shoot it. In the excitement and with gloves on he grabbed the hammer and pulled it back with a resounding CLICK to which the buck whirled around and in a very few bounds was on the other side of the ROW but he stopped and looked back at us. I couldn"t contain myself any longer, I screamed SHOOT HIM but he didn't feel comfortable with the shot so he let it go.
He went into remission at 15 and his boy parts started demanding all of his attention be aimed in another direction so he left ol' dad to hunt alone again. He has led a relatively normal life, Married with 2 kids. If I am not too old maybe the youngest grandson might become a hunting partner for me.
So glad it worked out for both of you
 

Snake Pleskin

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When hunting deer in Upstate Pa, it was snowing like heck and I was sitting on the side of a decent slope that went down to a point. I was sitting on one of those big fat red cushions, full of some kind of stuff that were supposed to generate heat etc? I was carrying a Marlin 1895 , 45.-70. I was squirming around and all of a sudden my feet let go and i am sliding down this hill on the stupid cushion at about 20 mph!! I land at the bottom in a large snow drift with a mighty thump and snow flying every which way. As I look up and try to brush the snow out of my face ,i see two does and a buck standing about 30 ft away staring and sniffing in my direction, trying to figure out what just landed in their lap! I slowly moved the marlin towards the buck and YUP, I thumbed back the hammer and you could probably hear that "click" all the way to Phila! 300 miles away! Those deer went straight up that Mt. like it was nothin, in a NY min! Gone! I didn't have time to do anything.
 
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When hunting deer in Upstate Pa, it was snowing like heck and I was sitting on the side of a decent slope that went down to a point. I was sitting on one of those big fat red cushions, full of some kind of stuff that were supposed to generate heat etc? I was carrying a Marlin 1895 , 45.-70. I was squirming around and all of a sudden my feet let go and i am sliding down this hill on the stupid cushion at about 20 mph!! I land at the bottom in a large snow drift with a mighty thump and snow flying every which way. As I look up and try to brush the snow out of my face ,i see two does and a buck standing about 30 ft away staring and sniffing in my direction, trying to figure out what just landed in their lap! I slowly moved the marlin towards the buck and YUP, I thumbed back the hammer and you could probably hear that "click" all the way to Phila! 300 miles away! Those deer went straight up that Mt. like it was nothin, in a NY min! Gone! I didn't have time to do anything.
I got this Chevy Chase picture of you sliding down the mountain on that cushion! 🤣
 

Sidney Smith

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Wonderful story. I've told my son's, hunting isn't always going to be exciting. You aren't always going to get something. Understanding that at the start and you will enjoy the sport no matter what.

Nothing better than enjoying an outing with your son. Even though that hunt lasted only hours, the memories last a lifetime.
 

Snake Pleskin

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Wonderful story. I've told my son's, hunting isn't always going to be exciting. You aren't always going to get something. Understanding that at the start and you will enjoy the sport no matter what.

Nothing better than enjoying an outing with your son. Even though that hunt lasted only hours, the memories last a lifetime.
When I hunted on a regular basis in NW Penna., it was usually with 4-5 guys that my brother knew from work and between us we would get 3-4 deer. Someone would always got "skunked". It is what it is. We would share the meat among all of us, which worked out fine. The years I did not get a deer were just as good as the years that I did. I donated my deer each time, to the local Sr Citizen Ctr. or the Local Orphanage. Both were more than please to get the free meat! there was always enough 'meat" to go around and since my "other half" was not fond of "game" I never needed alot! (LOL) Happy wife ,happy life!!:doh:
 

Loyalist Dave

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SO..., for me it's about seeing something. When I was first getting into BP hunting, it was all traditional in those days btw, I didn't mind not getting a shot, as long as I saw a deer, or whatever I was after that day. I liked just knowing the critters were out there and I had a chance..., I just needed to get better at hunting.

Then I read The Still Hunter by Theodore S. Van Dyke. Now this guy hunted in California at the beginning of the 20th century with a modern carbine, but he was limited by his ammo as we are, and he was in thick brush very much like the woods a lot of us find ourselves with today. He was also at one point a guide for Teddy Roosevelt, not a slouch as a hunter, so I figured this guy might know some good stuff. So I learned about moving and about what the deer behavior is in brush, and wind, etc.

Which caused me to "see" more. When I started, I looked to see the animal(s)... to feel I had a good hunt. So not getting a shot wasn't a bad hunt, but not actually seeing the game animal, was kinda "deflating". BUT after reading that book, a couple times, I started to notice much more in the woods. I didn't "see" the animals, but I saw where they had been, and how recent. Where they had slept, where the buck had rubbed his antlers free of velvet, or worked out his frustrations on a helpless sapling. I saw other critters too, as I was much better at moving through the woods and sitting still as well.

I've seen birds of prey make a kill (well at least somebody got something that day LOL) and watched chipmunks have territory disputes. I've been visited by chipmunks who perched upon my toe and looked up at my while munching on a nutmeat, and gazing up at me with curiosity in their eyes. I've seen several species of woodpecker, found what was left of a yellowjacket nest after a skunk had breakfasted on them (I kept the nest pieces as wadding for my rifle). I've found field mouse tunnels beneath crusty snow, and where one of them mice was unfortunate enough taken by an owl or a hawk (well not unfortunate for the bird-HA). I've seen black bear, and I've seen an odd yellowish stump at a distance that turned out to be a bobcat..., I've seen fox, and I've seen fox kits at play. There have been turkeys that move amazingly fast on their feet when they saw me, and there are bald eagles now, where there were none when I was not yet old enough to drive. I've seen some strange as heck insects, too, all of this and more things, beaver, a piebald deer, sandhill cranes, ... because I have learned how to see.

Come to think of it..., I can't go into the woods and avoid seeing something interesting these days....

LD
 
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Enjoyed the original story very much. Due to a dibilitating degenerative bone disease, one of my buddies was confined to a wheelchair. His bones would break for no particular reason and over the years he became disfigured. Unlike "normal" people who let things dissuade them from even attempting things, Bobby never did. Until his death in his late twenties, he was a blues guitar virtuoso - played with the "name" bands locally by invitation, etc.

Though sometimes I had to carry him a bit when we couldn't get his wheelchair to a spot, he never complained and we made the most of what he could do. Frogging in my little jon boat was a favorite, as was shooting at the range, bank fishing, drinking beer underage, etc. Never, ever, hunted, fished, shot with anyone who had more fun than Bobby.

Thanks again for this thread. Just because someone has a handicap doesn't mean they won't get a kick out of going to the woods, range, or fishing with you. Still miss my little friend and the stuff we made happen.
 
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Its amazing what you see in the woods, all you have to do is look. Most hunters when hunting deer especially look for the whole deer, if you take the time and just look for things like a ear or tail twitch your observation skills will greatly improve. Slight movement both bye the deer and hunter is the skill set one has to develop and that comes with experience in the deers habitat, remeber you are in his living room and he knows everything that has or is going on in his area. ( if deer could shoot back there would be no deer hunters) It amazes me when hunting deer I can look a area over and go to the next area scanning then look back to where I started and there will stand a deer. For me the whitetail deer is the supreme epic of hunting. I have hunted the western states and will again in 2023 for Antelope and mule deer totally different concept most of it is spot and stalk. If you want to hunt try a whitetail. A bad day in the woods is still better than a good day at work.
 

Snake Pleskin

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Its amazing what you see in the woods, all you have to do is look. Most hunters when hunting deer especially look for the whole deer, if you take the time and just look for things like a ear or tail twitch your observation skills will greatly improve. Slight movement both bye the deer and hunter is the skill set one has to develop and that comes with experience in the deers habitat, remeber you are in his living room and he knows everything that has or is going on in his area. ( if deer could shoot back there would be no deer hunters) It amazes me when hunting deer I can look a area over and go to the next area scanning then look back to where I started and there will stand a deer. For me the whitetail deer is the supreme epic of hunting. I have hunted the western states and will again in 2023 for Antelope and mule deer totally different concept most of it is spot and stalk. If you want to hunt try a whitetail. A bad day in the woods is still better than a good day at work.
I have been looking at a deer in the woods, watched one slowly browsing and walking and then it is just gone! I can't believe it. It is like it vanished. i keep scanning, looking and maybe 20 yds away, there it is again, same thing all over again. I have been sitting very still, I mean very still. Got up to go take a leak, and found deer tracks literally 10 ft behind me, never saw or heard them etc. Amazing! I generally have only seen one when they move. Flick an ear, twitch a tail, lower a head to browse etc. The way they blend in is truly one of natures best kept secrets!
 

Stykbow

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Just being in the woods is good for the soul, but sometimes things happen that are not necessarily good for the reputation. We ALL have had our "Woody Allen" moments that we'd prefer that nobody is around to see it. :ghostly:
Well, I have always been the picture of stealth and death incarnated when I’m in the woods. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!😉
 
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Shot a decent buck one year at my Father in Laws place. His 40 acres are mostly a small valley [hollow] with fairly steep sides. Killed the 9 pt in a field on top of one of the sides. Started to drag him down the hill to a place I could to it with the truck. Going done the hill the deer got real easy to drag, then passed me on a really steep part. I had one of those drag ropes with a harness for your shoulder so I was tied to him. He pulled me off my feet and we both started rolling the rest of the way down the hill...into the creek. I was thoroughly wound up in the rope and literally tied to the deer, in the creek. Took a bit to get it sorted out and go back to find my rifle. Finally got him in the truck and back to the house where my wife nearly died laughing.

\Don
 
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