Life On The Back Page - May 2023
Cows are just rude. Not to mention unsanitary. There ain’t a tree within 40 yards. I ain’t quite as spry as I used to be…
Sorry, but you’ve been to this page long enough to know how I think. (Warning: seek psychiatric help immediately.) All that zipped through as I stood in the middle of a very large pasture… but we’ll come back to it. First, a little background…
“So, what are we going to hunt?”
Ah, decisions, decisions.
Earlier in the week, it weren’t no trouble; but then, at the last minute, my youngest, Myles, had to slip grease into my brain’s gearbox. So I packed accordingly, meaning that there was enough varied ordnance in the truck to hold up half the convenience stores on the 300-mile round trip. Or, depending upon one’s point of view, to prevent a passel of would-be hoodlums from doing same.
Since he moved to pretty-near Alabama, I’ve learnt what an addict feels when he needs a fix; if the kid and me don’t hook up and hit the woods or some water or a baseball field after two or three weeks, I go into them good old delirium tremens.
And even turkey season provides prompt relief!
Y’all know I’m that guy who wouldn’t give you a nickel for every pea-brained gobbler east of Eufaula. Unless, of course, I haven’t seen Myles in a while. In that case, April turkey hunting becomes my favorite frolic!
So when he calls and mentions that he’s on spring break and maybe I need to motor southwest—armed for turkey—it’s time to grab the ol’ custom squawk-box.
Hey, I never said I disliked CALLING turkeys!
“Oh, and by the way Pops, I’ve seen hogs every time I went scouting…”
Now why did he have to do that?
Because he knows I’d dearly love to kill every hog east and west of Eufaula! (Which, by the way, is about 30 minutes from his house, so I’m good for trip-taking all summer…)
For the novice, here’s how it goes: if your aim is to terminate a turkey, hogs will climb into your lap. Hog you’re after? Gobblers strut past two by two, nary a care.
(I CAN carry rifle, shotgun and pistol to the woods at the same time, but it gets kinda bulky. Also, any quick-draw intentions are severely hindered. All of the three, however, are infinitely better than none…)
You bearded wonders, by the way, get a pass this time since we did finally come to a decision: hogs.
So here’s the Model 70 and its accompanying box of ought-six rounds—of which I hope to use every one. Over there is the 16-gauge Model 12, beside a box of Express Long Range 4s. (We might change our minds, and if I ever do kill a turkey, it will be with that gun, simply because it has already taken ‘most everything else.)
Bertha’s gotta go, for no other reason than Bertha goes everywhere I do. In case you haven’t been introduced, she’s a Dan Wesson .357, 6-inch barrel. Her playmates are 158-grain copper-jacketed hollow points. Only two boxes with me, plus the extra 50, just for jollies, plastic-bagged in the console…
Oh, did I say three? Forgot Little B. She always finds a way to slip unobserved into my pocket. S&W Defender, .38. Pouts if I leave her home. Her box of Blazers is somewhere in here…
That seems to be it. Just hope we don’t run into more hogs than we can handle. On the other hand, I forgot Myles is also well-armed.
Off we slip… He’s seen hogs here, he says pointing, and there, as well as the back side of this big pond to our right, and when we get to the top of this rise, ease up slowly, because you never know just what will be on the other side…
Right you are.
Remember I mentioned “pasture”?
You do know what hangs out in pastures, right? I mean besides cows.
And you do know that you just never know with them, right? I mean bulls.
Why do bulls always look at me like I have designs on their wimmenfolk? Recall your landlord’s face when you were two months behind on the rent? He stole that scowl from a bull.
My immediate thought—well, maybe only slightly behind the one that I DID have a rifle in my hands—was to protect Myles from any unwanted bovine attention. Being my brilliant kid, however, he already had it figured that outrunning me was his sole task; no way that bull was gonna catch us both.
Now there’s really no way to modestly state this fact, but I’m, heh-heh, among the world’s best at ticked-off t-bone avoidance. Experience, you see. The trick— and I don’t mind if you pass this on to your buddies—is nothing more than sweet sibilance:
“OK, you overdeveloped bowling ball,” I whispered to him, “remember those three holes for fingers and thumb. I can add that same number to you before you even start rolling down the alley…”
Looking back, I maintain that it was strictly this conversation that mollified the big stack of sirloin. Nothing more or less, and I’m sticking to it. As a proviso, I’ll state that he DID take his eyes off me and shift to Myles—who was rolling around in extremely unsanitary conditions, holding his ribs and cackling fit to bust. When I finally got him upright, we moseyed one way, Burger the other.
Lest you not have kids afar and haven’t figured out the truth of the matter yet, be advised that any season is a good one to hang out with them. Dove’s up…