My Dad really tried to determine if I would like to take up deer hunting; first try was on the Goree State Prison Farm, see my November 5, 2010 post, “[My First Deer Hunt]”. My second hunt was easy to remember because I got so, so cold! Three weeks after my first hunt, in the rain, on a Friday afternoon my Dad and I drove down outside of El Campo, Texas to visit with one of his friends and then hunt with him on Saturday morning.
We visited Friday evening and were up way before sunrise on Saturday and his friend prepared us a hearty breakfast. During the meal my Dad’s friend told us to go ahead and shoot a buck or doe, hmmm I thought, I knew doe were protected and no bag limits existed. “Doe are OK”, I asked? My Dad’s friend only reply was, “Camp meat”! Being 12 years old I didn’t continue this line of questioning and went back to my pancakes.
The rain had stopped during the night, but it was cold and drippy wet as we went out the back door, unusually cool weather this close to the Texas coast, but all 3 of us slogged the one, mile plus to our spots beside a wooded, flooded, boggy creek. We were all armed with 20 gauge shotguns loaded with #1 buckshot. My Dad got the first spot, a makeshift tree stand, six-feet off the ground and I was placed on a stump 75 yards up the creek. My Dad’s friend went on farther up the creek and not hearing him sloshing around, I figured he had found a good place.
Light was breaking and I noticed my feet were getting cold, everything else was OK; full sun up, my feet were now real cold even though I had on wool socks and rubber hip boots, back then I had no idea that the rubber boots were champions at conducting the cold right to my feet. My hands were getting cold too, my wool lined, leather gloves not doing the job.
Two hours in, my hands and feet were too cold to worry about deer hunting when, plop, plop, a pair of beautiful, wood ducks dropped into the creek not 20 yards to my right. They swam in tight circles, the male with his colorful plumage, the female almost drab next to him. Since they were to my right, to try for a shot, even with bucks, I had to swivel 90 degrees and as I swiveled, with a splash, off they took!
Murmuring to myself as I walked back toward my Dad, “Enough of this fun” and passing him, I called out, “I’m going back to the house and get warm!” Soon my Dad and his friend came in, neither having seen a deer and after a couple of sandwiches, we headed back to our house in West University.
Having sufficiently warmed up, as we drove back toward Houston, I said to my Dad, “Daddy, this deer hunting isn’t too much fun. I believe I’ll stick to quail and doves” and I did for the next 28 years!