Wisdom from the WOODS-Memories of Richard

During the funeral service for my brother Richard last Saturday, I had a lot of memories flash back through my mind about hunting, fishing, and even canoe racing. This time I will write about a rabbit hunt that Richard always talked about with a big grin on his face.
He and Jerry Leach, one of his buddies that he grew up with on the East side of Poplar Bluff, took off for a hunt, walking out the Frisco Railroad tracks. After a while, they had reached the levee east of town and were hunting down the levee toward the old “Cat Tracks” of the Mo-Pac Railroad.

The dogs were hunting along the ditch beside the levee and after a while, Richard said they turned around and saw someone coming towards them on top of the levee. Jerry said “It looks like Lefty Gray, the game warden!” When the guy got closer, Jerry said he did not have a hunting license, so they made up a quick plan.

Richard had a license and took off running when Gray got close. After a good chase, Richard let the warden catch up with him and he produced his license. Gray asked why he was running and Richard quickly replied that he thought he was the owner of the adjoining farm, Ed Ehlers, who had told them that he didn’t want any hunting on the levee or his property adjoining the levee and he didn’t want to get caught.

When Gray turned around to go back to where he came from, Leach was nowhere to be seen. He had left the levee just a s soon as the warden had run past him, chasing Richard.

The pair got together in the woods later and spent a long time in the woods as they figured that Gray knew he’d been tricked and would hang around, waiting for the pair to show on their way back home.

They both knew several ways to get back home and used that knowledge to avoid Jerry being ticketed for hunting without a license.
One thing I failed to mention earlier was the baseball games we played while we were in our teens. Our East Side Mud-Hens had a game just about every weekend. Richard pitched a lot of the games and I was the catcher. We had enough adults that played with us so that we had transportation for away games.

Richard had a wicked curve ball and threw pretty hard for a little guy. My catching mitt kept my hand from hurting too much following a game. There will be a few more events involving my brother in future articles.

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Paul Woods

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Paul is a lifelong area resident. His career was spent as a newspaper typesetter and columnist. He is an avid outdoorsmen and resides in Butler County with his lovely wife of 60 years, Elaine. Paul may be contacted at: paulwoodsoutdoors@yahoo.com

  • Awesome story about my dear friend! ! Loved it!! Made me smile! Can’t wait to read more upcoming stories!