The more years a person goes deer hunting, the more memories are collected.
Hunters love sharing their stories, good and bad.
The lucky shots and bizarre twists that lead to a fallen trophy ... the kick-yourself-for-a-year failures and blown chances ... and everything in between.
Even the most frustrating hunts don’t seem so bad as the years go by. In fact, they make those occasional moments of success even sweeter.
Here’s a collection of my highlights and bloopers:
1. The cat’s meow
Around age 15, I was bow hunting alongside a cornfield behind my parents’ house in rural Green Lake.
As I crouched in some tall grass, two deer appeared several hundred yards away. They fed for some time, and then started making their way in my direction.
Closer and closer ... 200 yards became 100 ... then 75 ... then 50. My heart thumped when I realized they were heading for a deer trail that crossed by my grassy hideout.
When they got within 20 yards, I prepared to make my move and draw the bow.
What the ...
Are you kidding me?
It was our cat, Rascal. She was rubbing against my thigh and yowling. Loudly, of course.
Good old Rascal — whose heart was bigger than her brain — had apparently seen me leave the house hours earlier, and came looking for me.
At the worst possible time.
The deer sensed something was amiss when the tall grass started fidgeting and whispering QUIET!
They trotted off in another direction ... Read more bizarre hunting anecdotes in the full column — in the Oct. 31 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.