I f you are a hunter, you have stories of crazy things that have happened to you either in the field or on your way to the woods. Me too . I think I love the funny things that happen more than the hunt itself. Here are a few of my funniest, fondest memories:
Where I come from, ice and snow during bow season were not uncommon. I hail from central New York and I think we held the record for the most snowfall in the entire state. As MY luck would have it, the cold winds blew out of Canada, picked up moisture over Lake Ontario, then came to MY house and dumped all the snow there.
My hunting buds liked to hunt in a valley we call the meadow. We had noted that whenever a snowstorm headed in our direction, the whitetail deer left the comfort of the hillside and headed for food in this meadow. Tha snow was so deep on the hill that they were “pushed” downhill to greener pastures. Hunting in this weather was not for the faint of heart.
As a matter of fact, it was more for lunatics who would do anything for a shot at a deer.
This brings me to my friend Jay. One evening I received a call from him telling me of a storm in the forecast and that we should give it a try in the morning. I am just as crazy as he is, so we decided to go. It normally took about an hour to drive to our spot. To our surprise, although this morning was very cold, the snow had not yet started and the roads looked clear. They looked clear.
Jay was driving and I was enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee when, as we rounded a curve, the car started to spin out of control. We were on black ice—a sheet of ice that had formed on black pavement and could not be seen.
As we went spinning around as if on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, all I could hear from Jay were a few choice words probably not in Webster’s dictionary. Meanwhile, as I was spinning at extreme G forces, I kept my coffee cup as level as I could.
When we finally rested up against a huge pile of snow, I realized that my coffee cup no longer had coffee in it. I looked over to Jay to see if he was all right and he looked at me with coffee all over his face as well as on the steering wheel, shift, radio… in fact, when he traded the car in, he was still finding coffee stains.
One season, Jay decided to scout hard on what we called “Heart Attack Hill”. This hill was so steep that at times you needed to grab small trees just to get up it—hence the name, but it was loaded with deer—big deer. It was a big temptation for any deer hunter worth his salt.
After just a few days, he saw a nice buck and planned his ambush. One morning, everything was set. The wind was right, perfect weather and all that was needed was the buck to appear, and appear he did .
I should point out that at that time, many of us used a string tracker on our arrows. Basically, a tube of nylon line was attached to the end of your bow (where a stabilizer would be), and the string was attached to the arrow that was ready to go. When you released your arrow, the string would pull out of the holder as the deer ran off. Then, all you needed to do was follow the string to your deer—sounded good.
Unfortunately, although the wind was light, it was enough to blow some extra string out of the tracker tube and get tangled on a twig.
As the big 10-point buck came into bow range, Jay came to full draw and readied for an easy 20-yard broadside shot. But when he released his arrow, it went 12 inches from his bow and headed straight down to the ground.
The 10-pointer stood there and looked at Jay as he unscrewed his string tracker from his bow and promptly threw it at the big buck.
It was gun season, and bow season was now just a memory. Back then, we had a large hunting party that consisted of both young and “not so young” hunters.
It was a ritual for all of us to meet on the eve of opening day at what was referred to as a hunting camp, but really was just a home for mice and other rodents. But for one glorious weekend every year, it was our home.
One year, we had a newbie in the group. He was a young lad excited to experience what it was like to be “one of the guys.” He just wanted to be a part of the camaraderie he had heard so much about. Looking back now, I might have gone too far with a joke, but I will let you be the judge of that.
The hunters were many and the sleeping cots were few, so we had to double-up on the wider fold out beds. Each guy who had been there a few years had his own “spot” that he used every year. Ron and I had such a spot.
The new guy had to sleep on a single cot in the middle of the room. Ron and I were in the double bed next to our newbie hunter. This was not a large place. I have been in hotel bathrooms that were as large.
As the lights went out, Ron and I waited about five minutes then proceeded to make sounds in the bed that you might only hear behind a honeymoon suite door.
I don’t think it took more than 30 seconds before the young lad said in a loud voice “Oh My God!” In the pitch black of night, everyone heard a loud thump and the sound of a body hitting the floor.
When we turned the light back on, there on the camp floor lay our newbie hunter after he ran smack into a support pole in the cabin. None of us could hold the laughter in any longer. He started laughing as well. He actually thought something was going on right next to him. When he found out that it was all planned—well, let’s just say it was an initiation that he will never forget.
These are just a few of the funny stories that I can remember. I am sure you have your own with hopefully many more to come.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]