The Saga Continues

Dec 22, 2014

Well, the story I’ve been waiting to write since the ultrasound nurse detected an extra appendage will have to wait at least another week, as my son and I are continuing our time-honored tradition of not shooting deer. The good news is, our sorrowful story is getting out and my friends in the hunting community are stepping up and inviting us to their farms, where we subsequently shut down all deer activity for the next 24 hours.

Terry Shands and Damon Secoy from East Prairie, Mo with some Illinois slabs

Terry Shands and Damon Secoy from East Prairie with some Illinois slabs

It is not out of the norm to ask permission to dove or rabbit hunt on someone’s property, or even ask to duck or goose hunt if no one is hunting there, but you simply don’t ask someone to deer hunt on their property. In Southeast Missouri, if there are deer there, someone is hunting them, or at the very least watching them until next year when they’ll resume hunting them.

Fortunately I have a few friends who are familiar with our plight, and Kevin Murphy invited us up to hunt with him in what I believe is northeastern Scott County. Being that we hadn’t hunted there before, I thought there may be a few deer that were not yet familiar with our scent.

As Kevin and I were planning what time to meet, he asked what time it gets light, and during a complete lapse of judgment I repeated the question to my wife, whom I know has a terrible track record at such things. “6 AM” she said confidently, and we decided on a 5:15 meeting time, which had us in the stand by 5:30, an hour and 15 minutes before it was light enough to shoot…

My son was a bit more difficult to rise than usual, and he was open about the fact that he was quite tired, possibly from our late night viewing of Tim Allen’s Santa Clause trilogy. I wasn’t concerned, as he has a form of controlled narcolepsy and possesses the ability to stop anything he’s doing and declare that he’s taking a nap, and fall into a deep sleep within minutes, so I knew he’d catch up on the ride.

We arrived a bit early at Casa de Murphy, and I managed to wake my son long enough to get him from the truck to the Bad Boy, were he resumed his slumber. We had a very short walk to the stand, and while I’m not positive, I believe he stopped on the 4th rung of the 15 ft ladder for a quick cat nap. I nudged him and he lumbered the rest of the way up.

He barely got his butt in the seat and was dozing off again, but our stand had a bit of a forward lean, which kept his head bobbing irregularly and offbeat, and occasionally jarring him enough that he’d open his eyes for a second and say “what?” I pondered a decent simile, and how I imagine Joe Biden at a Jay Z concert came to mind, if that makes any sense.

I don’t mind him sleeping in the stand, the boy’s slept in more trees than a band of gypsy coons, and it usually allows us to stay out longer in cold weather and with little activity. I can intently scan the area while he is still and quiet. However with our stand’s forward tilt causing his awkward head bobbing, still, he was not. As it finally became light I let him lay down on the seat and I stood up. Unfortunately after he became comfortable, his deep sleeping caused the loudest breathing those woods have ever heard. He sounded like an obese chain smoker who was one spot away from a blackout jackpot at the VFW’s bingo night (no offense Memaw).

Needless to say, although we were on a beautiful farm sitting over a classic natural funnel, we never saw a deer. Fortunately for Kevin we were only there for one hunt, and deer activity resumed to normal the next day. I have received another invite from another sympathetic landowner in a new county, and we will be trying every chance we get over the next week!