August 10, 2006

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Iím no interior decorator, but I must admit that I believe the redesigned interior of the Memphis Democrat is lacking something. Before I take a kick in the shin from the designer, my wife, let me clarify that comment. Iím also further motivated to explain further as I donít want readers of an outdoor column to question if the writer has gone soft by talking about wallpaper and curtains.

I think my wife did a perfect job, picking excellent colors and the perfect carpet and tile. What is lacking are wall hangings. Prior to the remodeling project, we werenít nearly as concerned with appearances. I was the same with my vehicles. Before I got a new truck several years ago, one would have never seen me at the car wash. Now Iím probably one of the top customers. Well now that we have new walls we are proud of, I need to get to work decorating them.

Iím a regular at the area wildlife forever type banquets. Iíve got framed prints from Pheasants Forever, Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and so on. With that said, itís easy to understand that we will have a nature-based theme in our decorating. Thatís where this theme ties into this column.

As I was gazing at the open spaces remaining on the walls, I couldnít help but think that I had discovered a natural display area for my wildlife mounts. I use the plural form of the word there liberally, as I have just two.

Iíd be the first person to suggest transplanting my largemouth bass mount from home to our office. Iím extremely proud of that big fish, which tipped the scales at over nine pounds when I landed him nearly a decade ago.

Weíre not big entertainers, so my home doesnít receive a lot of traffic. The few folks that have seen my fish are regulars, so they are all bored having to hear me tell the tales over and over again. I need some new spectators to brag to. Maybe then people would start coming back to my house if they knew they wouldnít have to hear the fish story again.

Unfortunately my deer mount is not quite as impressive. Itís a 10-point buck, the first buck I ever harvested. The rack is fairly wide, out past the ears, but the mass is lacking, as the deer was a year away from being a monster (a point Iíve been informed of on numerous occasions).

The mount still looks very nice. I would just have to find a spot where it would always be facing the most viewers. Like I say, the width of the rack is fairly nice. The problem is when you get a side view and see not only is the mass lacking, but also see that the rack needs to be much further extended toward the deerís nose to make it a true trophy-caliber animal.

Of course, I could always just bring my wifeís deer mount in and really add fuel to the fire for those observers needing additional ammunition to attack my hunting skills. Letís just say her deer towers over mine in every aspect.

But even with all three displays of modern taxidermy, I have several more spots to fill. I know I could have had not one, but two additional openings covered last year. Would have, could have, should haveÖ

The positive note is that both those big deer may still be hanging out in my neck of the woods. If not, there are some replacements as we are beginning to see on the trail cameras that have been out for a few weeks now. Itís hard to believe, but bow season is just a little more than a month away. I guess if my hunting luck doesnít improve I can always try a few more fish.

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