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Man, writing the story about the Wounded Warrior Hunts really brought back a lot of my hunting and fishing experiences from my childhood and later in life. Several of them are still as vivid today as the day they happened. Want to take a walk down memory lane with me? Cool! Let’s go.

There are so many scary experiences like the time I accidentally shot my PawPaw while hunting. Then there was also the time I caught him while fishing. We’ll go the hunting one for now.

My dad and I had been hunting squirrels. I was sitting on one side of a tree and he was sitting on the other. We sat there for hours without seeing anything other than birds, when finally I saw on ole fox squirrel. Now these boogers, I learned soon enough, are ornery critters. I was getting restless before, just from sitting there for so long. Heck I think I might have been ten years old. But now that I actually saw one I had to move. So I stood up to keep an eye on it. And once I did that the ole fox squirrel took off and found himself a good hiding spot. After catching up to the tree he was in, my dad told me to walk around to the other side and to make some noise. This would “make” the squirrel move to the other side of the tree. Haha, yeah he moved alright. He hunkered down in his spot and didn’t move for another ten minutes until my dad made some noise on his side of the tree. I then had him in my sites so I took the shot and missed him. But I did hit the limb he was on. He hit the ground running full speed to another tree with a hole at the base. I shot just as he got to the tree.

fox-squirrel

Well let’s just say that we waited for awhile. Dad kinda upset over me missing what would have been dinner that night. So I went up to the tree and hit it with my gun. The squirrel just starting screeching. I knew it was in there just not how far. Here is where it gets either weird or hilarious depending on you.

I went and got my PawPaw and told him what happened. He goes and grabs some gasoline. He was going to smoke him out.  Well, that did not work. So goofy me decides to shoot the tree and see if that would scare him out. Wrong thing to do! The pellets from the shotgun shell ricocheted and hit my PawPaw in the face. I freaked out and started to cry. But PawPaw was tough. He just wipes the blood off, heads off in the direction of the trailer. He comes back with the chainsaw. Yep, you guessed it! He was going to cut down the tree. Now, you would think with the sound of the chainsaw that the squirrel would come running out of the tree. Nope! So the cutting begins. We cut that tree into sections after it fell down, finally getting to the squirrel. I did hit his legs when he first went into the tree hence the reason he could not get out. But he did become dinner. And that is how I shot my PawPaw.

Then there was the time my best friend, Joey Jordan, and I were running yo-yo’s. Imagine two teens in a boat after midnight with no motor trying to catch whatever. And I do mean whatever. Because we still do not know what one of them was. It got away before we paddled back. We did not want what ever it was anyway. It took the yo-yo and the big six inch thick limb with it. Needless to say we called it a night. Could have been the biggest catfish in the lake or a gator. We will never know. Still the biggest splash I have ever heard.

But there is also the beauty of God’s creation. And though Joey and I are both hunters. we sometimes, love just sitting back and watching the animals without shooting. This was one of those times.

We had been deer hunting around the Pineville, Louisiana area for most of the day. We always meet up to talk about what we saw and just chill before leaving the woods. Well, this time we got comfortable and fell asleep. Don’t know how long we slept. We just remember what we saw and heard upon waking up.

I woke up first. And dead off in front of me was this cute little cat squirrel just chilling. Scrounging around for something to eat.

 Squirrel

I thought about shooting it honestly, as it was still squirrel season too. So I raised my gun but put it right back down. I was so busy watching the squirrel I almost missed what else was around us. I slowly reached over and woke Joey up. Thankfully he didn’t moan or anything because if he had all we would be watching then would be butts with tails. There was a doe not twelve feet away from us grazing just past the squirrel. She was gorgeous.

Doe Grazing In the Woods

We just sat there and watched for what seemed like forever until something else happened. There came a squirrel running on the ground so fast you would have thought someone had lit his tail on fire. He knew what was coming and he was leaving…quickly! Then we hear rustling behind us. The squirrel we were watching, of course, takes off. The doe just looks up. We haven’t moved so she didn’t see us. But once the other sound came she took off as well, The rustling became a crash. Then this loud feral scream! Bobcat!

 Bobcat

The scream brought us to our feet. Up go our guns just in case. It was not legal to shoot a bobcat but if it came running at either of us it would be shot. But it did not come towards us. We heard more rustling as it took off in the other direction towards something else. We just stood there for several more minutes shaking off the goosebumps from the scream and looking at each other with the look of “really, did this just happen” on our faces.

Memories. You make them daily but there is something special to me when it comes to making memories with family and friends in the woods or on a lake. They are priceless!!

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. Maybe I will do this again. What do you think?

Stuart

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