Friday, November 12, 2010

City slickers don't need to be armed in the woods

One day this past week, there was a letter to the editor in The Rolla Daily News that just about made me cry. A woman described how she found her granddaughter's beloved horse, Grey, standing in a field, dying from a shot in the gut.
She suspected the shot was fired by a novice hunter, for she found the dying horse on the first day of youth firearms season. Some young hunter, accompanied by a parent, apparently thought the horse was a deer and shot it.
Was it someone from the city? Was it someone from around here who was not careful?
Who knows?
These foolish mistakes happen. It especially hurts when the animal is a youngster's pet.
I talked to some of my buddies at work about it. They all figured it was somebody from St. Louis who came down here to hunt. They all had horror stories.
One ol' boy said he and his uncle were working outside the uncle's barn one day when a guy in camo came up and asked for help in getting deer out of a creek. The hunter said he had shot the deer; it ran into the creek and died.
The two Ozarkians went along with him to the creek where my friend said, "I didn't see a deer, but I saw my uncle's dead bull."
The hunter didn't believe them. He said, "Well, it's got antlers. It must be a deer."
My friend said he took the guy's rifle away from him, told him those were horns, not antlers, and called the law.
Another friend said he heard--and he swears the story is true--that a city slicker showed up at a deer check-in station, back before everything went computerized. He told the Conservation agent he had a deer in the back of his pickup.
The agent went, looked and said, "That isn't a deer. That's a mule!"
"Yeah," the hunter from the city said. "I know. It's a mule deer."
My friend is serious as a heart attack when he claims that story is true. It probably is.
City slickers shouldn't get out in the woods of Southern Missouri, or anywhere else, with rifles or shotguns.

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