November 15, 2001

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

When all else fails blame it on the super natural. That's right, I must be jinxed. I was sure this was going to be the year I finally bagged that trophy buck, but it never materialized. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining opening weekend of deer season but it just didn't have the fairy tale ending I was hoping for. I even tagged along with my father-in-law Sunday afternoon and brought his luck down as well after tales of lots of big deer the day before.

I saw plenty of deer, probably a good two or three dozen alone on Saturday afternoon. The little bucks put on a show for me, sparring near my stand, chasing all the women in sight and paying little attention to what sounded like a war movie going on around me as plenty of other hunters were obviously filling their tags. I had some fun teasing a fork-horn. A couple rattles from my direction stopped the youngster nearly in full stride as he threw on the brakes and came charging back my way. Apparently he hadn't met the big boys yet because he was not a bit afraid. After about 15 minutes looking like a bloodhound searching the timber for a fight, the little guy finally gave up and ran away.

He was just one of many little bucks that I saw. If they can hang around for a few years maybe my fortunes will change. It just hasn't been meant to be, at least not yet, for this year. And it has not been for a lack of trying. I spent more time in the stand the opening two days than I ever have. Top that off with the fact that I was awake at least 90 percent of that time and it should make you believe I'm jinxed.

Well the fighter isn't the only one in the woods who has not seen the big boys. Four full-length outings left me with a few glimpses of a pair of smallish eight-pointers but no trophies. The lone wall hanger I saw was in my headlights as I drove up the hill from my hunting spot. He dashed in front of me and paralleled the fence before finally leaping to safety. No matter how badly I want a wall hanger the thought never even crossed my mind to stop and try a shot.

However after the fact I was a bit curious if my comprehensive insurance covers deer hits where the vehicle actually speeds up to impact the deer? I know they always say don't swerve to miss a deer because if you wreck and don't actually hit the deer, your insurance may not cover it. My luck I would have missed the deer.

When I came back to town Sunday evening I felt like I was on the wrong road. I must have missed a turn somewhere and got on the freeway by mistake. The headlights were wall to wall on the way out of Memphis as our little town's population probably was cut in half as the mass of hunters began the exodus back to their homes. The lucky ones will be around all week, using up vacation time to get some quiet time in the woods. All the drivers made me think that our highway issues could be solved pretty quickly if those in charge of Highways 61 and 136 did their traffic counts on opening weekend of deer season. Shoot, if that was the case Highway 15 might even be four-laned.

I may not have been the only one who did not get the big one. This is the first deer season I can remember that no one stopped me on the highway, called me out at the farm or stopped by my house to take a picture of their big deer? Surely there were some trophy deer harvested. Maybe the hunters are just camera shy.


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