Milo Yield: Hunting stories bring laughs, even when they don’t end well
March 31, 2016
I love old stories that make me laugh. I heard one that fit the bill last week, and I want to share it with you.
It happened decades ago on a chilly fall night in the Flint Hills to an uncle, his nephew and assorted other friends who were raccoon hunting together. You might accurately say the uncle was a "hardcore raccoon hunting junkie."
The hunting party had a good little pack of raccoon hounds and the night wuz going along famously with good scenting conditions for the hounds.
The hunters had already bagged a few of their quarry when the hounds treed again. When the hunters arrived, the situation they faced wuz this: They were standing in the bottom of a rocky, shallow, narrow dry creek. The raccoon was treed in a tree root-anchored at the top of the ravine and it wuz clear that the critter had holed up in a hollow limb that stretched out over the creek bed about 10 feet high.
Some of the hounds were baying from the creek bed and the others were on top, trying to reach the holed-up raccoon from that vantage point.
The uncle appraised the situation and in a few moments decided upon a course of action.
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"Come with me" he instructed his nephew. "I've got a plan that'll work. We'll break that hollow limb off the tree."
So, uncle and nephew scrambled to the top of the ravine on the other side from the tree. From there, they had a unobstructed view of the hollow limb. The uncle yanked out a length of rope.
"Here, tie this end under your armpits and I'll do the same with the other end," he said. "Then we'll jump together, one on either side of the limb, and our weight will break off that limb."
So-o-o-o-o, that's what they did. But what uncle hadn't counted on is that he weighed a lot more than the nephew. So, when the rope caught the limb as planned, the limb creaked, but didn't break, and for an instant the two intrepid raccoon hunters hung suspended in the air over the creek bed.
Then, in another instant, the weightier uncle plunged to the creek bed, where he landed on his feet, but the poor nephew was yanked and wedged up to the limb, where he still dangled with his legs and feet a'flailing in thin air yelling for help.
Help came when others in the hunting party grabbed the uncle's end of the rope and pulled. Yep, it worked. The nephew, the limb and the raccoon all came crashing down to the ground amid a frenzy of baying, snapping hounds, yelling hunters and one angry raccoon.
All's well that ends well, and my report of the story says no one got seriously hurt except for the raccoon. But, in the aftermath, the hunting party got a good laugh and a hunting story to tell for generations — and to thousands of folks who read this column.
• • •
Youngsters say the dangdest things. From a social media posting from the daughter-in-law of my Iowa sheep shearing buddy, ol' Nick deHyde, I got the following funny,
Mother and son, Royce, (Nick's grandson) were riding in the car on the way to pre-school one morning last week. It wuz a pretty, sunny morning after a big storm had passed through and there wuz a hint of spring in the air.
Royce asked his mother, "Spring's just around the corner, isn't it?"
Mom answered, "Sure is."
Royce followed, "Well, which corner do we turn at to get to spring?"
• • •
The goose hunters I talked about recently who have been hunting on my pond hit the jackpot last Saturday morning, the last weekend of the goose season.
The guide had called me the day before to inform me the hunting party wuz coming, so I wuzn't surprised when I saw lights turn into the driveway at 5:30 a.m.
The hunters put out their decoy spread, laid out their camo ground blinds and waited for the geese. As I watched from the kitchen with a hot cup of coffee, I watched the geese start swarming into the decoys just after 7 a.m.
Let me tell you, the sky rained geese. Geese kept coming as the black labs and a wire-haired retriever were in the water retrieving harvested geese and the hunters were still on the bank out of their blinds.
Long story short, at 9 a.m. the hunting party called it quits. The hunters already had their limit of 42 geese. All that wuz left to do wuz load up, go somewhere and begin the arduous process of cleaning 42 geese.
I'm glad I got to watch from our warm kitchen, and I was really glad I didn't have to help clean the geese.
• • •
Got one funny thing to say about one of the Arkansas hunters from an earlier hunting trip about two weeks ago. That morning wuz relatively warm and the hunting was much slower. As I watched from the kitchen, one portly hunter's kidneys caught up with him and he turned his back to the house and dropped his chest waders to do the deed.
When I went down to visit the guys at the end of their hunt, the guide asked me if I saw the hunt.
I said, "Yep. I saw a lot of good shots, but the one I enjoyed most wuz the 'moon shot.'" I turned and winked at the portly hunter.
He slumped and said, "You were watching weren't you?"
"Yep, through the binoculars," I grinned.
• • •
This column ran too long, so I'll quit with these words of wisdom: Folks my age suffer from OCD disorder: Old, Cranky, and Dangerous." Have a good 'un. ❖