The next weekend, after signing up on our new Deer lease in McCulloch County, my sons, Brad and Randy, and I headed right back and begin construction of two sturdy tree blinds. The boys have the blinds since I prefer to hunt birds, but, eight years later, by the time we left the lease, I will be hooked on deer hunting.

Brad’s blind, later named “The McCulloch County Hilton”, was a two level affair by a cross fence of the back trap, as the rancher called each pasture, right beside a big, rock, water trough. Randy’s blind was less spacious, but set near the property’s back fence. From their elevated positions, both boys could see each others blind.

Early in the morning the day before deer season opened, my boys and I rushed, as much as you can with a fifty-five miles per hour speed limit (another bad idea forced upon us by a politically correct government), up to our lease and began the annual ritual of making sure the deer feeders were full, checking equipment and sighting in the guns. We finished by late afternoon and began helping with the communal dinner, when the last two hunters arrived.

Mac handled the introductions and my boys and I met the Taub brothers, Ralph and Dennis. Ralph, the oldest seemed like a good guy, but brother Dennis seemed like a jerk. It is funny how first impressions are, so many times, correct.

Supper, steaks, potatoes and green chilies, hits the spot and after dark we retired to the side porch to swap lies, when we saw headlights moving down the road by the railroad tracks that bound the east side of the property. Then from the vehicle we saw a spotlight searching out over our east trap – poachers!

Brad has an M-1A, a predecessor of the M-14, and Jerry Thrash, a lawyer and private eye, came up out of his kit with three .308 Cal. Tracer rounds. I loaded them into the M-1A and prepared to welcome the poachers to our lease, when the legal uproar began.

“Don’t shoot,” “You may hit them,” “We may be arrested,” (do they think we were shooting at law officers), “We may get sued,” Bam, Bam, Bam, I let loose with the tracers, three rounds over the poachers heads.

Results were immediate. As the reddish/orange tracer rounds arced over their car, the spot light went off, their car lights went off, they did a quick uwey and sped off for safer poaching grounds. Poachers never bothered us again for the eight years we were on the lease!

The legal uproar continued, but my boys and I went on to bed.