By Buddy Hazell
Special to The News
Let’s go back to the 1960s once again. I killed more deer on our little 5 ½ acre place every year than most people kill on their $1,000 deer leases. The deer ate out of our garden and our yard at night, we could look outside late in the evening and there would be as many as 5 or 6 deer around the house.
Three acres of our place was wooded and fenced with hog wire, and I used it as a hog-pasture when I had sows with young pigs. Just about any time you walked out there, you would see deer eating out of my hog feeders. It was easy to keep meat in our freezer.
We had a young Probationary Pipe and Ladderman at our Station who had never killed a deer. I told him that if he wanted to kill a deer, on the next day we were off duty come to my house and I would put him where he could see a deer. However, the killing would be up to him; but to call before he comes.
A few days later he called and I said be here before daylight. The next morning, he pulled in the driveway just before it broke daylight. I took him to the back of the hog pasture and put him in a stand about 25 yards from a feeder, and told him that I would be back when I heard him shoot.
About an hour passed, the sun was coming up and I heard three shots, one after the other. I didn’t hear any of them hit anything, and told my wife, “Surely he couldn’t miss three times.”
About five minutes later I heard it again, “POW, POW, POW.” I told Lulu, “I better go check on him;” I eased down the fence line, and when I got close to his stand he called out, “Watch out, watch out, there’s a Bear by the feeder!” I responded, “BEAR!, what are you talking about boy? There are no bears in this part of the country.”
“There is, there is,” he shouted; “It was right there in that brush a few minutes ago,” he said, while pointing toward the hog feeder.
I thought to myself, “This kid is nuts, he doesn’t know a deer from a bear.”
I walked over to the feeder looking at tracks, there were deer tracks and hog tracks but nothing that looked like bear tracks. Then I thought, “Oh me, I know what he saw,” and I cried out, “Yo, yo, come on, come on,” and here he came.
I had left my Duroc boar in the pasture. He was dark red and came up to my belt line in height. I was glad the kid wasn’t ‘Bear hunting.’ His bear was my boar hog.
Well, I am going to take a few weeks off, to vacation, rest my brain, and just relax. I’ll be back the first of September. Have a good Summer, I love you all.