The Jokes on Dad

by kfrego

My dad was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was often off early and home late in pursuit of game or fish. We had a good hound dog for deer and rabbit hunting. There were times when dad would come home with no dog and no jacket. If the dog got onto a deer that ran away in one direction instead of circling, she might not come back for a couple days. Dad would leave his jacket or wool shirt where he last saw her. Each day he would go to see if she returned, shake out the jacket or shirt if she hadn’t, and come back home. He knew she would come back, but not when. Hunting deer with dogs was legal at the time. The dogs never caught the deer, they only caused the deer to keep moving, and only one dog was used at a time. Most deer would run in a circle and a hunter who was familiar with the terrain could intercept the deer as it moved just fast enough to stay ahead of the baying dog. Hunters could recognize their dogs by sound and calculate the location and direction the deer would travel.

It was an early winter day with a few inches of snow on the ground and a light snow. Dad was off hunting deer for the day. The cow pastures across the road from the house were a mixture of snow and areas of bare grass. Like most youngsters, we frequently watched the snow coming down. The wood stove was maintaining a comfortable temperature and mom was busy in the kitchen. While glancing out the window a movement of something dark in the pasture caught my eye. A closer look revealed an extremely large whitetail buck cautiously crossing our cow pasture. The buck wasn’t running, just walking for a ways and then stopping to smell and listen for danger before walking again.

Mom came to the windows along with all of us kids to watch the deer. Maybe we were the reason the buck kept stopping to smell and listen. There was all kinds of noise and excitement in our living room. The buck was probably 200 feet from the house walking parallel between the road and the river beyond the pasture. We couldn’t wait for dad to get home so we could tell him about our adventure with the big buck. When he finally got home he was mobbed by all of us trying to tell him the story at the same time.

Poor dad took a lot of ribbing for not hunting on his front porch……and the buck had better sense than to return again.