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Ready, Willis and Able – Hunter blows his own horn (Jan. 21, 2015 issue)

It was the hunter’s third day to deer hunt in Willis Cove. The previous two days, all he had seen was a leg, a horn, and a white tail that had disappeared before he could pull the trigger. Meantime, his nephew Randy Arrowood had already made several rounds of jerky and pot roast from the deer he had killed in the Cove during muzzle-loading season. And to beat it all, it had been the young whippersnapper’s first day out. Maybe he should buy himself a muzzle-loader, the hunter thought. But heck, his trusty old 30-30 deer rifle had brought down 19 deer. Today, could be his turn, he reminded himself as he eased his truck to a stop within short walking distance of his deer blind.
As he sat in his truck, the hunter scanned the area. Then he slipped on his orange deer hunting cap that had never had any of the luck washed out of it and eased his old 30-30 rifle from its scabbard, loaded it, and made sure it wasn’t cocked. Making as little noise as possible, he eased the truck door open, lifted the plastic crate where he kept his other deer hunting gear, stepped out, and set the crate on the ground. Then he reached in the truck and eased the keys out of the ignition switch without making a sound.
Mr. Buck could be nearby and take off at the slightest noise. Pleased with himself, the hunter slipped the keys in his pocket and bent over to pick up his gear. Then he nearly had a heart attack. WHONK! WHONK! WHONK! The hills around him rang with the sound. What on earth? Then he realized that his pocket knife had jammed against his keys and triggered the truck alarm. He had probably alerted every deer and hunter in the cove and clear across the mountain on Coffee Ridge.
Disgusted, but still determined, the hunter trudged on to his deer blind, settled into the old jeep bucket seat that served as his deer stand, and looked down the field he and the nephew had mowed all summer. Something moved. What was it? The hunter eased up, looked, and sure enough it had antlers. And it was running straight at him. The truck alarm must have addled it. The hunter whistled. The deer stopped. And with a single shot behind the right shoulder, the buck fell.
Now the hunter is claiming that he and the young nephew both killed four-point bucks. That one of the points on the nephew’s five-point buck had been knocked off. Sounds like a technicality to me. And of course, I’ve been teasing the hunter about blowing his own horn. But truth is I’m very proud of my husband and nephew for being responsible hunters. And I’m glad the bear with the head big as a dishpan, that Leo called up during turkey season, didn’t show up for deer season.