Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The next day dawned clear and cold. The Delhi bank clock, right before you make the turn to go to Oneonta, read eighteen degrees. Bird and I were heading for our annual hunt with Ray Key and crew up in Cooperstown. It had been like pulling teeth to get him to come along. He moaned that the drives had gotten shorter and shorter (which they had) and we were seeing less deer (which we were). I wasn't hearing it. I told him that it was the social event to be cherished and I didn't know how many hunts I had left in me....He wasn't biting. But then, after I took him out to White Sulfer Springs with the supermodel, he changed his tune. Guess he figured if nothing less we could use the supermodel story to impress the old timers, and tweak the younger ones.
The other reason I was going to Cooperstown was to get trapping tips from Ray Key. The farm across the road had lost two llama, two emus, two goats and one pet whitetail named Princess to coyotes. I'd decided to trap them, but wasn't having much luck. So far I'd trapped three coons, one opossum, one red fox and two hawks and no coyotes. Ray was more than happy to share his trapping expertise. "You know what you do if you trap a skunk?" he asked. "Shoot him in the head, wait three days, then bury him with his tail sticking out." I answered like the good student. "Drives 'em crazy." Ray said with a knowing nod. Then he gave me a tail skinner, some fox urine, and a nasty skuzz covered scraping knife he found on the floor of the garage where he skins, and stretches all his hides. You wouldn't want to walk through this place with the lights off. But, we're burning daylight. Let's get deer hunting.
Ray, Ted and I were standing and Bird, Davie and Tommy were driving. This was the same drive, where 13 years earlier I had shot and wounded a deer, only to follow it into the lake in a snowstorm and.... but wait this is about this drive- November 25, 2007. I had two little spikes come right up to me and saw a couple more running far off, through the woods. I heard a shot and then nothing. My radio didn't work so I just stood there waiting. Then, after maybe an hour and a half i heard voices, and Ray hollered to come in. When I got to the truck Bird and Ray were in the front seat, grinning ear to ear. "Look in the back." Ray said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. I could see the rack through the dirty glass. A nice eight pointer. As I admired my brother's deer, Ray got out of the truck and went to take a leak. As he fumbled in his heavy clothes, tugging at his zipper, bending his knees and releasing a steaming stream of piss, he grumbled "3 inches of pant and 2 inches of dick. That is one fine deer. You should get it mounted." Then we piled in the trucks and went for lunch, where we told everyone about the supermodel who was putting on drives for us.


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