November 8, 2007

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

While a watched pot may eventually boil, even though they say it wonít, Iím pretty certain that an unmanned bow stand will never produce a trophy deer.

Sounds like some messed up venison recipe, but what Iím trying to say is that I probably could have boiled water myself, without the benefit of a stove as my patience was truly put to the test Friday night.

As I loaded in my truck to make the trip to Marceline I couldnít help but say to myself that it would be a wonderful night to go bow hunting. It wasnít that I was giving any thought to playing hooky, but instead I was simply observing the perfect weather, which I envisioned would have the deer moving about.

My mental picture didnít have to last long, as I got to see the real thing up close and personal, off and on for the next two hours as I commuted to the game.

At first it was harmless enough. I saw a couple does in the field across from the roadside park. Then it was a lone buck, who was more concerned about sniffing the scrape along the edge of the field just before the conservation parking lot, than he was about the roaring traffic zooming past him.

The youngster wasnít that much to look at as far as a rack, but his actions added more fuel to my fire that this was the night to be hunting. Granted I was just a few miles from town and I still had time to turn around, grab my gear and head to the woods, but I pressed on to my original destination.

I turned at Baring and saw several more deer as I headed to Kirksville.

The second buck I spotted was just south of Kirksville. I was motoring down Highway 63 on the edge of town when I looked over to the east and caught a glimpse of a nicer buck walking down an open path enclosed on both sides by tree lines. He too paused to lift his head and catch a whiff of scent left on an overhanging tree limb dangling just out of reach of his outstretched nose.

Fortunately for me I was on the section of road that is dual lanes, so I didnít run off the road as my truck wandered to my right along with my eyes as they yearned to be in the woods closer to that deer.

I regained my composure and traveled on down the road, noticing a few more deer here and there but nothing major. That was until I got close to Macon.

I just happened to glance to my right at a tree line adjacent to the highway. The small bean field had already been cut, allowing me a clear view of the deer standing along the edge of the trees. By the looks of him, that stand of timber was soon to be minus one tree, as this huge buck was trying his best to either knock it over or to turn it into sawdust with his rack rubbing up and down itís length.

My truck brakes work. I slowed from a high rate of speed (exactly the posted speed limit if any law officers are reading) down to a crawl as I had to pry one hand off the steering wheel to pick my lower jaw up off the floorboard. What a deer! It reminded me of the Dell Reeves song ďGirl on the BillboardĒ about the scantly clad female on a sign that caused all kinds of car accidents. I donít think the car behind me was nearly as impressed by the deer or with my driving for that matter. They used their horn and a few assorted hand gestures to salute me for my erratic driving.

I finally made it to Marceline for the football game. I guess I was lucky it gets dark sooner, as the 7:00 kick off fell after sundown, when I could no longer be slowed down by the roadside distractions.

I moped around for the first few minutes of the game, telling myself I missed the night to be deer hunting. Of course a few pad-smacking hits had my attention back on football as I forgot about pouting and got down to work snapping pictures and taking notes.

It wasnít until I arrived back in Memphis around 11:00 p.m. that it dawned on me that I didnít see a single deer on the way home. Funny, I was awfully disappointed that I was unable to go hunting that night, mostly because of all those deer that taunted and teased me on my way to the game. I wasnít nearly as disappointed when I got home, counting it a blessing that all of those deer has been witnessed during daylight and not via my headlights as I attempted to avoid a collision with them. Iíll have plenty of time this week to try my patience out in the stand.

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