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Monday, April 16. 2007
Once outside, being five years old, the first thing I did was go right up to the dog and try to play with it and it responded, not very playfully, by jumping up on my chest and biting me! Inside I ran bleeding and crying, not caring about all of the â€œwe told you soâ€™sâ€ heaped on me.
The shots saved my life, but by the third morning, I resisted the shot so bad, that before it could be administered, it took four adults to hold me down. This went on for the next eleven shots and scarred me forever. I now have a terrible case of â€œwhite frightâ€ whenever I go into a doctorâ€™s office. My blood pressure goes up twenty to thirty points and my heart rate up twenty beats or more per minute. I have fainted getting a shot in my arm.
I was laughing about this, my â€œwhite frightâ€ and my rabies shots, one day while talking to Mickey Donahoo, a softball playing buddy of mine who retired, with his wife Doris, to the Goldthwaite area shortly after I did, and he casually mentioned, â€œâ€You know, Jon, I have had rabies shots too,â€ and then began one of the most bizarre hunting stories I have ever heard!
Mickey and Doris, were spring Turkey hunting on their hunting lease outside of Ozona, Texas, crouched down in a â€œhideâ€ trying to lure a tom Turkey into range. Mickey had a shotgun and Doris her trusty .243. Mickey had been calling, soft clucks imitating a hen, with no success and they decided to move along a nearby game trail and make a new â€œhideâ€.
Walking down the game trail, hearing noise in the brush, Mickey and Doris, were shocked to see a Bobcat running down the trail toward them. Bobcats are shy, mostly nocturnal animals, but this one kept coming and was soon almost on Mickey and as the Cat closed on him, Mickey kicked it as hard as he could, under its chin, knocking it up in the air. Then the Cat surprised them both, while up in the air, before it hit the ground, it spun around and viciously attacked Mickey!
I own a big, house cat, Bo, and some times he will try to grab me around the knee and wrap his paws around my leg, playing of course, but this Bobcat meant business, attacking Mickeyâ€™s knee area, wrapping its paws around, and planting its razor sharp claws, firmly into Mickeyâ€™s leg and began biting at his knee. When going for a kill on large game, Cats will, almost always, try to disable a leg joint, slowing the animal down, before the kill. Someone famous once said, â€œIf you want to study Lions, but think it may be too dangerous, study small cats first. Cats are Cats.â€
Trying to grab the Catâ€™s throat, Mickey drops his shotgun. Afraid of hitting Mickey, Doris canâ€™t shoot the Cat with her rifle nor can she club it for the same reason. Her next choice is taking off her ball cap and whacking the Cat with it. This whacking and Mickeyâ€™s continued pressure on the Bobcatâ€™s throat forced it to let go and retreat into the brush. Mickey and Doris had dropped their guns during the melee and couldnâ€™t retrieve them in time to get off a shot.
Through his shredded pants, along with the blood, he could see, and feel, numerous puncture wounds and they both knew that he needed medical attention quick, the closest being a clinic in Ozona. Driving to the clinic and recounting the attack, they thought it strange that the Bobcat smelled like a skunk and that it had no fear of them. Rabid animals have no fear of humans!
At the clinic Mickeyâ€™s wounds were cleaned and bandaged and the Nurse told both of them, â€œBased on your allâ€™s story, the Bobcat was probably rabid and you canâ€™t take a chance, and should start rabies treatments within seventy-two hours!â€
Today, treatment for rabies consists of five shots into a muscle, which he had, just like a normal shot, but in his case, to prevent infection and assist healing, each of his, over one hundred, puncture wounds had to be injected with Gamma Globulin, a thick liquid that doesnâ€™t â€œspread outâ€ like a normal injection and is painful when injected and remains so for hours. I hate all shots, but having had one Gamma Globulin shot myself, I can only imagine what over one hundred would feel like.
Mickey and Doris have hunted big, dangerous game for years, having made eight trips to Africa after Lion, Cape Buffalo and Elephant, but the encounter with the Bobcat, and the following rabies treatment are etched forever in their memories.
Do you think Mickey has â€œwhite frightâ€ now?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:53 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, January 22. 2007
Jack Shindler and I had narrowed down the best place in Arizona to hunt Gambel Quail and it was in the Tonto National Forest on the south side of the Tonto Basin, along the west side of the Salt River Canyon.Â This was our â€œPlaceâ€ and it was an â€œeasyâ€ drive from our Paradise Valley homes.
This particular hunt Jack and I were taking a good friend, Tommy Walker, who was in Phoenix for a business meeting which ended the coming Friday.Â Tommy was excited at the prospect of some real good Quail hunting!
Our â€œplaceâ€ was off of the main road from Payson to Roosevelt Dam and on to Globe, Arizona.Â Once on the Payson, Globe road, heading east, we would take a dirt road south for eight miles before it turned into a four wheel drive only road for four more harrowing miles, following the west rim of the Salt River Canyon.Â When the four wheel drive road ended, we were at our â€œPlace.Â Â We probably made six or seven trips to the â€œPlaceâ€ and never saw another soul there.
Â The â€œPlaceâ€ began as a wash feeding into the Salt River and continued west up into the hills for several miles, turning into a mini canyon almost two hundred feet deep, with nicely terraced sides along the north rim.Â We, our dogs and hunters, would spread across the wash and head up it until the coveys of birds were found.Â The coveys were enormous, at the time, one hundred to two hundred birds and needed to be seen to be believed.
Back to our story, Tommy, Jack and I, along with our four Brittany Spaniels, arrived at the entry point to the â€œplaceâ€ just at sun up, checked our gear, made sure we each had canteens of water for us and the dogs, trekked a quarter mile in, spread out and began the hunt
Once the birds were found, we pursued them up the wash into the small canyon, splitting the coveys into more manageable groups, then the shooting really began, up the canyon, up the terraces, back down the terraces, up the terraces, not for the faint hearted!Â The dog work was excellent, the shooting bordered on fantastic and the Arizona desert hills made for a perfect setting.
We hunted two dogs for two hours then circled back, took a break and got two fresh ones, then, around noon we broke for a quick sandwich, sat a spell enjoying the scenery, counted our half limits of birds and headed back up the north rim of our little canyon.Â We saw the birds running on the ground ahead of us, before seeing them flush wildly over the rim to the bottom of the canyon.Â These were a group of birds that flew up here when we broke up their covey earlier this morning.
Jack said, â€œIâ€™ll take the dogs and go down into the canyon and try to drive them up on the terraces.â€Â I said, â€œIâ€™ll take the middle terrace,â€ knowing that I could come under fire from Jack if the birds flew straight up the canyon wall. Â Me better than Tommy being there.Â He wasnâ€™t used to the rough hunting terrain, and especially to the erratic behavior of Gambel Quail when being pursued by dogs and hunters.Â It was safer for him to be up on the top sixty yards or more from Jack.Â He was to walk slowly and mark the birds that flew up and out of the canyon, and I had already told him that I would not shoot at a bird flying up the canyon wall toward him.Â
The dogs pointed a group of twelve to fifteen birds, Jack, in the bottom of the canyon, letting me know of the point (Tommy hearing the exchange), walked in on the birds and they went everywhere.Â bam, bam, two shots from Jackâ€™s, twenty gauge, over and under, which whizzed over my head as I ducked down and then heard Tommy yell in pain, â€œIâ€™m hit!â€
Scrambling up the thirty yards to where he was, down on his knees, holding his eyes.Â Oh no, not his eyes, I thought!Â Up comes Jack, â€œWhat happened to Tommy?â€ He exclaims.Â â€œLooks like he got some shot in his eyes,â€ I answer.Â Tommy says, â€œI heard you and Jack say a few words and I got curious and walked to the edge of the canyon and looked down just as Jack shot, and I think Iâ€™ve got some shot in one of my eyes!â€
I checked his pulse, it was normal, his skin felt normal, one eye definitely had one or more shot in it, the other was normal.Â No apparent signs of shock, for now.Â We had him lay down and elevated his feet, while we figured what to do and how to get him out the two plus miles back to the truck.
We figured if we bandaged his eye we could lead him out OK.Â The only problem, no bandages, some in the first aid kit in the truck, but none with us, so we improvise.Â We take the back of my tee shirt and Jackâ€™s clean hankie, tie them together, and oops, to cover his injured eye, we have to cover his good eye too.Â We donâ€™t have any tape with us.Â It is in the truck, too.Â Covering both eyes, we tie the â€œbandageâ€ off in the back of Tommyâ€™s head.
We start back to the truck and it is hard to guide Tommy, so Jack and I take turns, one carrying all three guns, the other guiding Tommy, by having him lean on and put an arm around our neck.Â He told of being wounded in WW II and didnâ€™t feel like he was anywhere near to going into shock, our main worry.
The dogs, bless their hearts, hunted all the way back.Â Tommy couldnâ€™t see with both of his eyes bandaged, but he could hear us talking.Â â€œHey, Jack look, point up here.â€Â â€œJon, hereâ€™s a point.â€Â Whirrrrrrr!Â A quail takes to a hurried flight.Â Tommy said, â€œGuys, set me down here and you all hunt these birds.Â You can come back and get me.â€Â â€œNot a chance, Tommy,â€ we both echo.
Tommy was a load, weighing about two hundred pounds, and carrying the shotguns for two miles sounds easy, but remember there are no handles, or slings, on them and no easy way to carry three guns at once for any distance.Â Our two mile jaunt took us almost two hours, but our first goal, the truck and the four wheel drive road, was reached.Â
We still had four, hard, four wheel drive miles, at least two hours, to cover before we got to the dirt road.Â Jack drove and I sat with Tommy in the back of the SUV.Â The dogs were packed into two kennels behind the second seat.Â We were all tired, and Tommyâ€™s eye was beginning to throb, as we bumped the four miles to the dirt road.Â Our second goal was reached.Â We could make this eight mile leg in about thirty minutes.Â It had been over four hours since the accident.
The sun was setting as we reached the hard top road to Payson and it had been almost five hours since the accident.Â Jack and I knew there was a small hospital in Payson, twenty-five miles ahead, and we hurried on into town.
No cell phones then, so we stopped at the first convenience store we came across in Payson and called the hospital, alerting them of the accident and getting directions. We found the emergency room and checked Tommy in.Â There was a short wait for the local eye specialist.Â An hour later the doctor comes out and tells us that he had removed the shot from Tommyâ€™s eye, but he was concerned that the vitreous fluid could leak out, causing Tommy to loose his vision in that eye.
The doctor would end up keeping Tommy in the hospital for a week.Â His eye healed and he returned to shooting and hunting almost as soon as he got back home.Â Â I hunted and shot skeet with Tommy for the next ten years and all of us started wearing shooting glasses!Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Continue reading "Walking Wounded"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 16:52 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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