A Fitting End
Life On The Back Page - February 2023
Daryl Gay | January 31, 2023
As frequently happens, the first things that caught my eye were those looong legs!
That was my left eye. My right was laser-focused on the swaying hips. Kinda reminded me of a girlfriend back in high school: walking away decked out in Dodge County red, she looked just like a box of Valentine’s candy!
(Seemed appropriate for this month. And if you’re reading this early enough, there’s still time to go purloin that chocolate and not have to sleep with the dog.)
But enough of hips; let’s talk hams. Because that’s what was genuinely on my mind…
The final weekend of deer season every year is usually mine. Alone. I’ve put in my time with friends and family, we’ve hunted a certain buck or two fairly hard, tried to work out new territory and let a few dozen walk. But after taking a long hard look at my freezer, I made the decision that this was not even to be a hunting trip.
This was killing. Calling PETA already? I happen to have the number right here: 1-800-GET-A-GRIP!
(And for you deer stalkers, this is usually about the time you discover how devious whitetails truly are, as in pint- to mid-sized young bucks sashaying by while celebrating season’s end—knowing you ain’t gonna shoot.)
Well, probably; unless you’re like me…
Most of the hunters I hang out with have been hung up for years on all them points added up by the likes of Boone & Crockett, Me? Jes’ gimme Spoone & Crockpott, and I’m good to go!
And good to go is exactly what I’m thinking as those long legs motivate past about 80 yards out through the hardwoods.
Oh sure, I’ve been legitimately concerned all season about those youngsters with the up-and-coming racks, mainly because I wouldn’t want to see all that potential wasted. Not to mention the fact that my sons would larrup me with a shooting stick if I whacked one before his prime. Besides, the hams on them little bucks don’t exactly suit me.
As the old Aetec slides forward to check off that next box—no headgear—I’m hoping the old gal in the crosshairs has had a good day.
Because it’s about to get a lot worse…
Did I mention that the Simmons Aetec scope was old? Yeah, that’s but the first of several rather goofy items that go racing through my mind just before we go BOOM!
She really DOES have some long legs.
Which are about to get knocked out from under her.
How many deer/bear/hogs have I watched through this scope?
What century was the .06 made in?
And how many 165-grain Silvertips have been run through it?
Funny how I don’t even remember shouldering the Winchester. Do you ever recall moving the shifter to D?
That’s what it’s like; an extension of my right arm. Things slide into place, crosshairs settle, trigger somehow gets pulled… (And it’s perpetually cool how oncoming gloom frames fire burgeoning from the barrel.)
Where’d she go? Last I saw in my mind’s eye she was partly on the grill, or possibly swirling in stroganoff; maybe even feeling a mite spicy inundated amongst a Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit. (Pardon me; the guy’s one of my few heroes, both for his Cobras and his chili; but ditch the masa flour first…)
If this smokeless powder smoke ever clears, she should be reclining nicely right… over… there! Ah yes, seems I see a white belly shining.
For reasons possibly conjured up by my miniscule brain only, I often find myself asking a rhetorical question such as, “Did she even hear the gun go off?”
Some of you astrophysicist numerical guru types factor in the speed of a 165 as opposed to sound and get back to me. Like, you SEE lightning before you HEAR thunder, right? (I rest my case; you just thought I was dumb!)
And while we’re adjudicating, throw this into the mix: how far I gotta drag this heifer? She ain’t making a right smart use of them elegant limbs forthwith, and while hunting by my lonesome has for decades admittedly been hard on the deer herd, it ain’t perzactly easy on vertebrae, either.
Maybe I should have aimed just a leetle further back so as to coax her into propelling herself a mite closer to the truck.
(You should see some of the nasty looks I get from the Aetec/Model 70 combo after thoughts like that!)
Let’s see now… I’m rather a novice at this, having been in the Yanking & Heaving business only 47 years. Eighty yards, with nine bamboo-equipped trees per yard, comes to approximately… TOO MANY!
Any idea how much zigging and zagging dragging that is? I got a better idea: go get the truck.
On the walk out is when I get a call from one of the Knuckleheads informing me that he’s headed this way because he had it figured what was going to happen when I lit out with no warning.
“Don’t kill yourself dragging it out…” So how long have I been doing this again? Oh yeah.
There wasn’t a WHOLE lot of paint scraped off onto the trees, and those legs were the perfect length for allowing me to leg-press her onto the tailgate instead of bending my back. And, oh boy, check out those hips…
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