Childhood experiences with hunting, fishing

Published 7:52 am Friday, November 5, 2010

Ok, I guess you like my stories for some reason. I’m going to give you three again this week. One hunting, one fishing and an international one.

As a housekeeping issue, my e-mail address has changed to I am now official.

Before I get to the stories, I should tell you that there is venison in the freezer. It was a group effort as so many times it has to be, but I’ll take it. My 16-year-old twins, Robert and David, sat all day and while picking them up, we ran into dinner.


I have two older sons, Chris and Josh. Chris was a hunter; Josh had the brains, but went reluctantly to Grandpa’s hunting camp in northwestern Pennsylvania.

We scouted the area we wanted to hunt on the Saturday before opening day — a Monday. At a point, overlooking fields of corn, we walked into a big buck’s bedroom. If you’ve ever seen one, you know what I mean.

It had it all — scrapes and rubs, torn-up turf and just the smell of a buck.

I told Chris I thought he should be here Monday morning. Well, it was only about a half mile from camp, and Chris thought he’d like to go further into the forest.

Josh was next in line, and it didn’t matter to him where he went, so he got the spot. This was, after all, his first hunting trip.

On Monday, I decided to stay close to Josh and took up a stand a little higher on the ridge while Chris went for a hike. About an hour after sunrise, I heard two shots from below.

About an hour after that, my 12-year-old came up over the hill covered in blood with a smile from ear to ear, but no deer. The next two hours went by quickly. We went back, found the deer, finished field dressing it, walked back to camp, got the quad, hauled the deer to camp, put it on the pole, and I went back to my stand while Josh went in for a nap.

He had harvested the largest deer taken out of that camp in 20 years — a perfect 10-point with 7 ½- inch brow tines and an 18-inch spread. Poor guy is going to spend the rest of his life trying to get a nicer buck.

Just about dark, Chris comes walking up. He asked if I had seen Josh, and I told him I was fairly sure he had gone back to camp early. As we crested the hill behind camp, it was just getting dark, but the light was on the pole, and two men from town were looking at the monster hanging there.

Chris could not believe his eyes; he practically ran down the mountain. When he asked the two guys who got the deer, they told him they had heard a 12-year-old. The look on Chris’ face was something you or I could never pay for. To this day, I chuckle every time I think about it.


It was opening day of trout, and we had found some of the best water ever visited by man. I was 12 years old and my brother, Greg, had just turned 8.

My dad had to put up with fishing our bait out of the hemlocks that lined the limestone-fed stream. Just as the bite hit, my brother let out a scream and started crying. My thought was that this could not be good.

Yep, he had hooked himself under a fingernail. I spent the rest of that day in an emergency room.

Did I tell you that my brother and I didn’t get along very well? Let me get to the story. This is the honest to God’s truth; you can’t make up stuff like this.

While in the emergency room, an ambulance pulled up, and emergency personnel unloaded a guy lying on a door, lying on the stretcher. His mouth was locked on the door knob.

Apparently there was some betting going on at their camp, and he was in the middle of winning his bet until problems were encountered. I also think there may have been alcohol involved, but I can’t testify to that.


I went to Manitoba four years in a row, trying to connect with a record book Canadian whitetail. My first year I left my barrel clean.

The second year, I got my chance at a 190-plus running at 50 yards. My shot missed, but he stopped. When I tried to pull the trigger the second time, I noticed my first shell sticking out the side of my rifle. It had gotten hung up during the ejection process, and my record-book walked into the woods.

What a beautiful and powerful animal.

On my third year, I settled for a respectable 8-point that weighed more than 250 pounds; they do get big up there.

On the fourth year, the temperature never got above minus 40. Do you know that 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the same temperature as 40 Celsius? Forty below zero is cold on any temperature scale. I still haven’t thawed out, and I haven’t been back. I’m thinking that I may have to go back with Robert and David.

Well readers, I have more than 40 years of hunting and fishing stories to tell, but I would really like to share some of yours. Please e-mail me at and they will make it to my column.

This weekend we are going to the Hamtown Pork & Fork Contest. Fifteen Memphis BBQ Network sanctioned teams will be cooking at the Isle of Wight Fairgrounds. I’ll hope to see you there.

Until next week, please stay safe and bring everyone home with all their fingers and toes.