Slim Randles' Home Country
A deer hunter's safety notes
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Coffee always tastes perfect before daylight on the
opening day of deer season, Dud Campbell thought as he sat in
near-total darkness in his kitchen. He was being extra quiet so as
not to awaken Anita. Turning on a flashlight on the kitchen counter,
Honey, I'll be up Pine Canyon, hunting up a feeder creek 1.4
miles to the right. The truck will be at the campground. Doc and
Steve both know the area I'm hunting. I'll be back no later than 10
p.m. unless I call.
An hour later, Dud quietly got out of the
pickup and left a note under the windshield wiper:
Hunting to the west between here and the ridge. Should be back
here no later than 9 p.m.
Dud was sitting on a rock outcropping as the sun rose, feeling
the warmth spread from inside out as another great day of
anticipation came. He smiled, and then prayed. He always did during
hunting season. His prayer wasn't wishing for success, but simply
expressing gratitude for this special time. This was the success.
Sitting here in the sun, hunting yet another year. An actual deer
for the freezer is simply gravy on this feast.
After lunch, Dud decided to try a different location, so he
returned to the pickup and left a different note. He got home about
9 p.m. and raved to Anita about the wonders of the day in the woods.
[to top of second
"You left me that note, Dud," she said, "but I don't even know
where that is."
"No. But the sheriff's department does, and search and rescue
knows, and both Doc and Steve know."
She still looked puzzled. "You're a good outdoorsman, though,
"Well, yes, I am. That's why I left the notes. Anyone can twist
an ankle or fall up there."
He smiled at her. "Hunters have an old saying, Honey. If you take
crutches with you, you'll never break a leg."
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
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