Billups wins ham at turkey shoot

Published 8:40 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Jayton Billups competes during a turkey shot at the Bronco Club last week. Jayton won a ham.

Well, like I said before, we have not heard the last from Jayton Billups. Check out this picture taken at the Bronco Club turkey shoot last Friday night. For his efforts, he took home a Southampton County ham. Keep it up, Jayton.

I guess most of you must be too busy in the field to submit any interesting stories. How about you Mommas? If I remember correctly, when I was a young boy, I wanted to be able to put dinner on the table, and I wanted my parents to be proud of my efforts. What better way than to submit a short story and a picture to The Tidewater News?

My e-mail is You can also send information to The Tidewater News at

This weekend, my 16-year-old twins, David and Robert, and I will be trying to do that. You see, even at my old age, I still want to put dinner on the table.

Now a story from my childhood.

We had a very small creek running through the woods behind our house in New Bedford, Pa. I used to chase crawfish and minnows and go home wet and muddy.

I also developed my skills at building dams, although I decided that was not going to be the job choice for me.

One day, I found three huge catfish that were about 12 inches long each. Well, I ran home with the news and to get my fishing pole. My momma didn’t believe it. I returned home that night with all three of them.

I still consider that one of the proudest moments of my life. We ate real well that night. I also found out that catfish can still clamp down on your fingers even when their head is detached from their body; I was probably 7 or 8 years old at the time.

When I got older, I found out that the creek was actually an outflow from a large community lake about a mile upstream. When it rained really hard, the fish would wash out and occasionally make it all the way down to my country.

Here’s another story. My brother, Greg, and I were fishing one day at that same community lake. He was 3½ years younger than me, and we did not get along very well.

We were fishing off the dock. Since he didn’t have the tackle that I had, I was letting him use one of my poles, a Zebco 202. Well, on his first cast, he just let go of the pole instead of the release button.

Greg went home wet that day. It took me all day casting, but I finally snagged that pole, and it went home too.

One more. I was 16 and hunting deer alone for the first time. I was using my grandfather’s rifle, a Remington 760 Gamemaster in a .270 caliber. This was a big step up from what I had been using.

I had found a tree stand. In those days, it was just a piece of wood stuck in a tree. Sitting in the stand, I saw about 10 deer running toward me. I started shooting; you do know that is a pump gun, and I unloaded it.

After the smoke cleared, I looked around. I was pretty sure I must have hit one of them, so I got down to find out. Sure enough, I found blood. I tracked that deer right into a guy cleaning it and no other shots had been fired.

I went back to my stand; I was only 16 years old. About four hours later, I decided to get back down again and see what it was that had caught my attention all afternoon. It was white in color.

I guess that 760 had done its job twice because I had another deer on the ground. When I got back to camp, my grandfather was both proud and mad. He really wanted to discuss hunting with the guy who had taken my other deer.

Now, if I can do this, you can do this. Paint me a picture with words and I’ll get it in the paper. It also helps to have an actual picture to go along with the story.

Until next week, please make safety your first concern, keep our playground clean and lastly send me your stories, unless you want to hear more of mine. This is your column too.