Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Perfect Storm

Redneck Adventures
by Skeeter

Well it’s been a while since our last story and in my case I have no new adventures to tell about. Deer season to say the least has pretty much sucked, so far I’ve yet to kill a deer with horns much less a racked buck! The new thousand dollar “Matthew’s Cap” I got before bow season never came through either!!!

Christmas  came and went, but was some what uneventful. Now don’t get me wrong, I was together with family and friends which is always a blessing. We shared food and gifts, socialized some, and remembered Christmas’ of long ago; but “Sany-Claws” was a big disappointment!  Now I’d seen one of them rigs that fastens on to your four wheeler that lifts stuff up on your rack, was called a HOOKER LIFT. It looked like a pretty  handy device to have, so I started hinting around  to my wife that I would like to have one. She let me know right quick that I best not be fooling around with no hookers and that I sure as heck didn’t need no lift to be picking them up with!!! You know what she got me? She bought me an “anus extractor”…you know …a “butt reamer”…for the skinning shed!!!!!!!!

Today, it is the eleventh of January  and we had a little snow and ice, but not too much, not as bad as some of the “ice overs” in past years. As I sat around the past couple of days watching out over a green field I have planted just beyond the back yard, I thought back about a big ice storm we had back in 1973, could have been 1974, but it was one of them years. Anyway, Dad, myself and an assortment of friends and family had spent the weekend over in the “Needham’s Bottom” hunting, we had camped in an old school bus that Dad and the guys had fixed up for such times. It had a gas stove, lights, bunks and a table, even had a gas frigate, pretty nice!

Everyone knew the storm front was coming in that Sunday night so we all left out pretty early that afternoon with the exception of Red, Terry, Lenard, and Joe, they didn’t have to work the next week and had decided to tough it out in those mountains and hunt  until they could get out, a couple of days at the most…leastwise that is what they figured. At that time I was living and working up in Birmingham and Dad had told me that I had to leave early to beat the storm, but I could not stand the thought of Red hunting  all the next week whilst I had to work!! So we hatched out us a plan, a couple of the fellers were going to make a trip into town before the storm hit to procure the basic supplies

they would need for a couple of days. You know things like bread, eggs, bacon, coffee, can goods, dog food and last but not least  BEER had to have beer. In the mean time I’d leave mom and dad’s on my way back to Birmingham, but instead I would “rondayvue” with the guys. Now I knew the plan would work until they missed me at work and called mom to see where I was, but by then it would be too late. The ice would have us blocked in with trees bent over the road and more importantly it would have Dad blocked out….What a plan!!!

Everything went off just as planned, that night it started raining and then turned cold, by morning we were in a winter wonderland. The rain had turned into a thick sheet of ice which was a lot heavier than we had expected. What was planned as a couple of days hunting adventure turned into a solid week, one that we’d all talk about for years to come!
That first day, we realized that we’d probably “bit off” more that we could chew, but there was nothing we could do about it. The amount of food and beer we purchased was not going to be near enough, so we decided to start rationing that first day, especially the beer!

Now we were on a hunting expedition, so we had our guns and plenty of ammo so we would just supplement our diet with wild game. This was a good plan in theory, but the animals had plans of their own. All the critters had gone into the “layup and hibernate” mode. That first day even the dogs, Ole Roho, Patches, and Snuffy, didn’t want to leave the dog box. Everything was dead still, no sound at all, cept for an occasional limb breaking from the weight of the ice. We had another truck besides the old bus, but it was of no use since the roads were blocked by ice laden trees so we were stranded, the only mode of transportation was afoot. Normally this would not have fazed me and Red, but since we were camped on top of a high ridge covered with ice, walking about was a little bit treacherous, specially if you went down one of them hills and had to climb back up.

The first day we pretty much just layed around the camp playing poker and nursing an occasional cold one planning our hunt for the next day.  That morning we turned the dogs, but they were not able to jump a deer so by lunchtime we were all back at the camp, pretty much worn out from all the climbing those icy mountains. Later on that afternoon, me and Red took John M. and Lewis P. and hit the woods looking for “tree rats”. I don’t recall seeing one squirrel moving, but we did shoot into several beds and sure enough most of them had squirrels. That night’s supper was fried squirrels, gravy, and hot biscuits, wow..show was good. After a few hands of poker and maybe a couple of cold ones, we all hit the bunks with anticipation of better luck hunting the next day.

Day three, we were up early and after a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and coffee, we all scattered out along the ridges and saddlebacks. As best I remember, Lenard turned the dogs loose and in a few minutes Ole Roho, Patches, and Snuffy were running hot on the trail of a deer. A few minutes more, I heard one shot and the dogs hushed. We all begin making our way toward the sound of the shot by the time we got there, Joe was just finishing up field dressing a spike buck. He had a smile on his face and a steaming deer liver in his hand! We all whooped and hollered, slapping one another on the back, cause we had food. Then we realized we had about a half a mile drag to make..UPHILL..in the ice. About that time, Joe (still grinning and holding onto that steaming deer liver) said “You boys get him back to the bus and I will go ahead and cook lunch”. So Joe took off with the liver while me and Red and Terry started to climb with that hundred pound spike buck.

Now Lenard being a little older and somewhat wiser never left the top of the ridge, so when me and Red and Terry got there with that three hundred pound spike buck he was grinning from ear to ear. By the time we got that five hundred pound spike buck back to the bus and hung up in a tree, Joe was hollering to come and get it…now I have never been much of a liver eater, especially deer liver, but that morning that fried deer liver between two pieces of loaf bread tasted like manna from heaven!!

The next day the ice had begun to melt, but it weight had taken it toll on all the smaller pine trees and they still blocked our departure. For the next several days we stayed fat and sassy eating deer and playing cards. We would just lower that hundred pound spike buck down, cut off what we needed, then hoist it back up. We did more hunting and did kill a couple of small bucks, but nothing to brag about. On Saturday we heard chain saws running off in the distance and by that afternoon, Dad, along with Uncle Ronald and Uncle Jerry had come to our rescue. I had figured that Dad would be pretty pissed, but since he and I were cut from the same cloth, he just grinned and said  “Well, I hope you got it out of your system for a while”.



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