Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bucked, Bruised And Bloodied

This story from the local paper here in Jefferson City about a deer who got a little revenge caused me to laugh.

Wounded deer attacks on hunter who shot him

Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 9:14 AM CST

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) - A Sedalia hunter bagged a big buck on the second day of firearms season, but the kill caused him a lot of pain.

Forty-nine-year-old Randy Goodman said he thought two well-placed shots with his .270-caliber rifle had killed the buck on Nov. 19. Goodman said the deer looked dead to him, but seconds later the nine-point, 240-pound animal came to life.

The buck rose up, knocked Goodman down and attacked him with his antlers in what the veteran hunter called "15 seconds of hell." The deer ran a short distance and went down, and died after Goodman fired two more shots.

Soon Goodman started feeling dizzy and noticed his vest was soaked in blood.

So he reached his truck and drove to a hospital, where he received seven staples in his scalp and was treated for a slight concussion and bruises

Yeah, he got his buck, because bullets give every hunter an uneven edge, but that deer made him pay for it!

Here's my one and only hunting story. When I was 15 I went to visit a friend who had moved from Miami, Florida to rural Georgia. In keeping with his surroundings and new neighbors and friends, he had taken up "hunting", specifically squirrel hunting with a new friend. They asked me if I wanted to go and I said "Sure" because it sounded exciting. Though I had never hunted anything prior to this, I didn't feel all that inexperienced because they hadn't done much more than me, having only been out hunting twice prior to our outing. In those two outings they had returned home empty handed both times.

So out the three of us went with one double-barreled shotgun and one .22 rifle between us, the plan being to rotate the guns around as we hunted. I was told by my more experienced fellow hunters that the one with the shotgun would shoot the squirrel nest, which was usually found about 30 feet up in a tree. If a squirrel or squirrels were inside, this blast would scare them out of the nest and the squirrel would fall to the ground at which time the one with the rifle would shoot the squirrel. The odd man out would simply be watching as this all unfolded, waiting for his turn at manliness.

Since I was the "guest" I was given the shotgun and my friend's friend had the rifle for our first approach to a tree nest we spotted. I aimed the shotgun and pulled the trigger, blowing the nest to pieces. But it was empty. Still, I thought it was so cool that I had shot at "something" and hit it! But now it was time to rotate the guns around and find our next nest.

So, with my friend armed with the rifle and his friend armed with the shotgun, we approached a tree and, looking high up into its branches, spotted a nest. My friend's friend positioned himself beneath the tree, the shotgun aimed at the base of the nest; my friend raised the rifle to his shoulder and sighted along its barrel, ready for the unlucky rodent to fall to the ground. I stood back behind them both, interested in seeing how this whole hunting thing worked.

"Ba boom!!", the loud retort of the shotgun was quickly followed by the nest above us flying apart in small pieces and a larger, squirming-in-midair-piece joined the remnants of its former home in hitting the ground, lying still. My friend adjusted his aim to center on the now homeless squirrel and fired, "Crack!", but the once-still form had suddenly leapt up and, by instinct that all squirrels seem to possess, began climbing back up the trunk of the tree as fast as its dazed and befuddled mind would allow.

At this point, standing back and watching, I was laughing at my friend's poor aim and thinking that this particular turn was over. Next it would be my turn to have the rifle and maybe shoot a squirrel.

But at that very moment my friend's friend suddenly determined in his mind that this squirrel was not going to escape if he had anything to say about it. I watched him swiftly raise the shotgun, aim at the fleeing squirrel who was racing up the tree trunk and, "Ba boom!!", he unloaded the second barrel.

The squirrel suddenly took flight, arcing out and away from the tree, first a little higher than his height on the trunk and then falling like the little gray lump of fur that he was. The three of us were whooping and high-fiving each other as we walked to the brush where it had landed, but as we approached we grew silent.

The shotgun blast had literally blown the ass off the little guy and he was a bloody mess, but he was still alive and thrashing about in obvious pain. We all watched for a moment and my friend's friend said, "He'll die in a minute" but he didn't and after a few more moments I could not stand to watch him in agony any longer. I picked up a heavy fallen branch and hit the squirrel in the head, killing him.

I walked away from the sight in silent disgust with myself and it was at that very moment that I realized I was never going to be a sport hunter.

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