This Takes Talent!

Daryl Gay's Life On The Back Page, May 2018

Daryl Gay | May 12, 2018

And you think YOU’RE going crazy waiting for deer season to open… What do you think these idle summer months are doing to the whitetails?

Let’s take a look at a recent episode, from a couple of viewpoints; both of which prove that you’re never too old to learn.

In this age of trail cameras, live video feeds to your phone and year-round “supplemental” feeding, it can be fairly simple to keep up with where deer are and what they’re doing at any given time.

Or so you thought.

Truth told, I’m a firm believer that most deer hunters don’t realize how deep-down devious and blackhearted their quarry truly is. After all, how many times have you come within a finger-flick of a bow release or trigger, only to see that buck suddenly, inexplicably turn sideways and haul freight, not even presenting a decent Alabama Brain Shot? Just before you began hurling things, both physically and verbally? (And he’s chuckling under his antlers while sliding off into the sunset…)

Know what whitetails are in May?


It’s that simple. Unable to challenge the sanity of hunters this time of year, they turn to alternative outlets.

Drivers, for instance.

And here, let’s flip the coin to the other side.

For several decades now, I’ve marveled at the antics of one Jeff Hutcheson, who has his own several chapters in Rabbit Stompin’ And Other Homegrown Safari Tactics ( Won’t go into them here, but there have been so many times with this character when I’ve had to slam the mental brakes, whoa-up and ask myself, “Did that really just happen?”

And now, out of the blue, comes a revelation: he got it honest!

Jeff’s dad, James, is a prince of a guy that I’ve known for 40 years—without realizing how truly talented he is.

Few weeks back, James decided, innocently enough, to go fishing. Easing down the highway, boat in tow, he spots a trio of yawning whitetails directly ahead on the asphalt.

In these cases, there’s never enough time to decide: Dip? Dart? Brake? Accelerate? Abandon ship?

None, however, will make the slightest difference: because the trap has been set…

You may see three, but there’s always that maniacal fourth to consider. And she’s got plans: to hitch a ride.

This doe, evidently experienced to the point of knowing better than to argue with a radiator at 55 mph, decided to lunge in from starboard.

Alas, she had failed to adequately research “side windows.”

Now, I was impressed with the fact that, even under sideways assault, James didn’t capitulate to the point of totaling his truck; but the moment of true awe set in when I realized that the deer flipped backward, right into the boat!


Unfortunately, the only remaining upright witness was James, and he’s saying, “All you have to do when this happens… yada, yada, yada.”

I’ve heard it all before. From Jeff.

The acrobatic, not to mention felonious, hitchhiker had no comment; nor was she in exactly tip-top shape when interviewed.

Her co-conspirators, possibly inspired by squalling brakes, a pair of sudden, loud thumps and shattering glass, lit out for Lithuania and have not been heard from since.

And so, the jury’s still out on which of the parties involved is tops in the talent department. My sole take so far is that I ain’t taking no fishing trips with Hutch—elder or Junior—until at least some semblance of sanity sets in—say the middle of October…      


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