Wednesday, October 16, 2013


   I have a pine tree out my back door. Since I bought the place I've hung my kills in that tree. The lower branches sport ratted twine that I use for turkeys. And if I attach a come-a-long to the upper branch I can hang a big buck. In normal October weather I'd string it up, hose out the gut and let it hang for a couple of days before butchering it. Suffice it to say this is not normal fall weather. Savage and I no sooner hoisted the buck than flies began to cluster around the eyes, nose and open gut. I had no idea how long that deer had been laying dead in the woods. It could've been as much as 15 hours before we found him. I didn't dare let him hang. So Monday afternoon I skinned it, cut out the tenderloin and strap, and quartered it. Then i put it in big plastic garbage bags and stuffed it in the fridge. Now I could take my time with the processing.
    Once the meat was in the fridge I put the head inside the outhouse, to protect it from the flies. I hadn't  decided what approach to take with my trophy, but didn't want it writhing with maggots in a week. Now the tree was empty and I was not able to admire that beautiful wide rack from my kitchen window. So, yesterday, late in the afternoon, I went to the outhouse to see how the head was fairing with the flies. I opened the door and peered in. It looked fine. But when I moved it I noticed a wet blood skid on the rough cut floor boards. I should put some plywood under it, I thought as I stepped inside and grabbed the horns. What happened next is a little blurry.
   I either slipped on the blood or stepped on a dangling cord, with which I had tied my tag onto the horns. In any case I tumbled backwards off the outhouse porch, the rack tangling between my legs. I hit the ground and the sharp point of the G-2 went through my pant leg, goring my calf, my full weight plunging the antler into my flesh. If it didn't hurt so bad, I would've died laughing.

    Today is Shewho's birthday. Last night she spent doctoring my puncture wound, and not getting any sleep, as I tossed and turned in pain. I told Savage of the mishap and he didn't skip a beat. "That deer is getting back at you for gut shooting him." I believe in karma. I think he's right. That horn could've hit my femoral artery, my balls, chest or gut. I could've died a painful death, on my front lawn, impaled on that big G-2. It's the kind of story that ends up in the Yahoo news feed. I thank the LGM and my lucky stars that the spirit of that buck did not seek more vengeance.  A sleepless night, a sore leg and a good woman who nursed me through my bizarre stupidity, is more than I deserve. I will try to stop the next buck, and promise to never again take a shot in such low light (even if it's still legal). Now, if I can only stand up, I'll have that deer butchered up by dark. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHEWHO!



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