Sunday, January 28, 2007

Here Kitty Kitty

Well, the Trifecta didn't quite come to completion. There was really no opportunity to go back into the Congo with the bulldog to find my deer. It pretty much rained every weekend since the incident. Weather in the Deep South is so unpredictable. It is clear and cool all week, but the rainclouds will always open on Saturday. Not very conducive to successful tracking. At any rate, I did happen to go hunting again with my old hunting buddy in search of another fuzzy forest creature to replace the lost one. We got into our enclosed elevated shooting house very quietly around 3:45 and just like clockwork the deer started coming to feed around 4:00. At first two twin yearlings emerged and then a four-point appeared at the opposite corner of the field seconds later. The trail the buck used was fairly open just inside the woodline so I was able to notice the back of another animal creeping towards the field. We really thought we hit the jackpot. Suddenly the year and a half old buck started getting really nervous. Of course I was thinking old sad daddy (a really old mature buck to you novices) was going to slip in on us. The new guest happened to not be very popular with the party crowd.

Dynamite in a 50 pound package. The meanest, nastiest, gnarliest, bad to the bone, Eli's Coming critter in the woods. These guys don't go to the store to get their Kibbles and Bits, they get theirs direct. You seriously can't intimidate these dudes and you don't want to be in a briar thicket with one. They have a growl (yes growl, they don't meeeow) that will turn even a human's blood cold. As Nicholas (one of my esteemed groomsmen) puts it, "You don't wanna be tied up with one of them. That'll put you in a bind quick." Anyway, little bucky could just tell that he was being followed. He went full alert and started stomping and snorting (of course the whole day was shot now). Too young to know any better, he went to investigate. Adolescents! About two steps later, felis rufus comes over a a small ridge and flicked his claws at the face of the youngster, who happens to be three-and-a-half times his size. Bucky wasn't all too keen on this mess so he skirts on out of the way. In the meantime, the little devil sees the fresh meat in the other corner of the woods so he breaks back on another trail. Seconds later, he eases out across some water that was ankle deep on us (they aren't afraid to get wet either). Being the expert stalker he is, he slips totally undetected less than ten yards behind the twins making not a splash or a ripple trying to get downwind of them. Knowing what I know now, I should have flipped him with the 325 grain Hornady's I was slinging, but it was only 4:15. He never showed his face again, but the twins were restless for the rest of the afternoon. By far the largest and darkest of that sort I had ever seen, he was seriously pushing 50 pounds and was almost pure coal color. I had always heard that deer were terrified of them, but I had no idea until I witnessed this fiasco. Trappers have told that they were the fiercest and fearless of all southern predators. They have been known to pounce on deer from branches and take them down to the ground using their inch long teeth and razor sharp claws, which happen to come five to a paw. The wonders of the Delta flatlands.......

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