A BETTER MAN THAN I
I am not worthy. When I compare myself to the people around me I am always reminded of my shortcomings. I have a quick temper. I'm prone to stew and bitch, moan, groan and complain. Then when all else fails i just shut down and get depressed. In other words I'm a mess, and always have been. My one saving grace is my ability to surround myself with people much more enlightened and level-headed than I, while constantly trying not to alienate them to the degree that they run in the other direction. Over the years i've been pretty good at this. Let me tell you, it helps when you live in my head to have others you can depend on . Then, of course, I have the good fortune to have been born into a wonderful family. My ancestors may have been slave-owning, murdering, Indian scalpers, but the Osterhouts I know are pretty nice people. And one of the best is my little brother Bird (Mupp.) Let me give you an example.
Bird scored a couple of days ago with a nice wide 8 pointer. He'd been in the stand all afternoon, seeing nothing and climbed down about 4:20. There was still shooting light, so he pussy-footed home, scanning the woods for movement. When he hit the wood road he caught sight of a body coming towards him. The buck saw him at the same time, bolted, snorted, wheeled around and stopped about 100 yards away. Bird had one shot and he took it standing up, no rest and dropped the buck in his tracks. The best shot he'd ever made. But this isn't the deer story i want to tell.
Yesterday, Thanksgiving morning, Bird went back in the stand to take a doe. At 6:30 am he caught movement way down in the paddock. He pulled the scope up and saw a couple of does moving through the thick stuff. He saw a large deer and thought maybe it was a buck. All of the sudden he caught sight of another doe coming from a different direction towards his stand. As that deer moved in, the large deer bolted and all he saw was horns coming through the woods. It was a giant 10 point buck with split brow tines, the largest deer he'd ever seen his life. The doe ran behind his stand and the buck stopped 50 yards broadside in the open. Bird tried to steady his nerves, settled the cross-hairs on the buck's vitals, fingered the safety and......never took the shot! You heard me.
He had been explaining to his grandson the rules and regulations of deer hunting all week. "You see Mathew, you are allowed one buck during gun season and as many does as you have permits for. Then in muzzleloader season you can take another buck." These words streaked through his head as he looked at this majestic creature, that a lesser man would already have on the ground. We all try to be legal in the woods. As I get older, I try harder. It's really easy when you don't see any deer. But, I have to admit, if I had shot a decent buck early in the season and was hunting does and a monster stepped in front of me, I don't know if I would have the great fabric of character it would take not to pull that trigger. All of us, Savage, Milawyer, and every supermodel that ever met my brother recognizes his dignified countenance, and respectability. He sets the bar very high for us mere mortals. I'll say it again- I'm not worthy. It will take all the restraint I can muster not to "hunt does" where that giant is roaming. And if my nephew reads this, you better steer clear if you knows what's good for you. Blood only runs so deep.