It’s not often disputes over who shot a deer occur but occur they do.
Many years ago I lived in Ashley county Arkansas in the small town of Hamburg. I worked at a lumber yard and at the Ashley County Sheriff’s office. These jobs didn’t offer a lot of time to hunt but I found the time.
One particular Saturday my good friend Shawn showed up and said he had a spot down by Lake GP just ripe for taking a deer. I loaded up my 870 and down we went. Shawn dropped me off on an old skidder track. I traveled the track about a ¼ mile into where their old log set was and it made the perfect opening to set up shop for my deer.
An hour had passed when I heard the unmistakable bawling of a hound hot on the trail. In the opening a young fat doe busted out in a dead run with a big old Walker hound on her heels. My 870 sprang to my shoulder as if it was on autopilot. Two shots and the doe went down but up again she sprang and over a hill into a ravine.
I walked over the hill and followed blood down into the ravine. I went about 100 yards and saw 2 men standing over my deer looking down at her. These fellows were straight out of the movie Deliverance complete with missing teeth and jaundiced eyes. I smiled and hollered hello. They just looked me up and down and the eldest of the two spat his tobacco juice my way. I said “it looks Luke you found my deer, thank you”. The elder fellow looked at me and grinned a semi toothless grin and replied “I don’t have no clue what yer talkin bout. This here’s our deer boy”. The two guys were way better armed than me and a deer is not worth getting shot over. I looked at the deer and said “well I’ll be danged. That’s a doe. I shot a big old buck. You fellows haven’t seen it have you”? They laughed and mumbled something incoherent between them.
I told them I had to go look for my buck and left about as quickly as possible while watching my back trail. I have encountered everything from poachers to outlaws but these were the first outright deer bandits I had ran into much less ones I thought truthfully might just as well shoot me as a deer. When I got to the truck my buddy asked if I had shot. I relayed my story leaving out a few key details. To this day I still get a chuckle out of the deer bandits. I just want to know how they figured on eating that deer. They didn’t have 6 teeth between them and 3 of those were in their pockets.
Story by Jeff Stewart