© Rankton LLC Copyrighted Material 1988,1990-1998, 2000 - 2016

Buck Fever

Extraordinaire

contributed by Kip

“Rodney and two others tracked it in the morning and found it dead. He insisted that he should take it home, as it was his first deer.” email: Kip@abZorba.com

“She promptly told him it was the

deer or her. He had 3 seconds to

decide…”

Ahhh, Rodney. He had buck fever bad. Reeeeally bad. How bad was it, you might ask? Well, set right down and let me tell ya about it. I’d started hunting in northwest Minnesota with a work friend and his extended family, taking a break from the mid-state area. This group was very laid back. They’d play football in the field next to the “Jack Pine” camp if the deer weren’t moving. That building alone warrants at least two stories. They enjoyed getting out and were truly an odd collection of souls. One was Rodney. It’s easier to describe him by the events he lived while hunting. He was a source of great debate and good- natured discussion around the camp table. At home, I’m not sure if my tears were from laughing or crying. My first experience with Rodney was probably his first hunting trip. He was lent a 12ga shotgun. He practiced with slugs and got pretty good. He’d been given good instructions like: "...Shoot broadside about 1/3 of the way up behind the shoulder..."; "DON’T take any quartering shots" and above all, "NO gut or rear end shots!". Well, he was up in a stand with one of the experienced hunters, Rodney saw a deer and shot it while it was running away, lengthwise, despite the yelling in his ear NOT to shoot. Rodney and two others tracked it in the morning and found it dead. He insisted that he should take it home, as it was his first deer. So, he “cleaned” out the deer while the other two guys sat a good ways upwind. They say he “cleaned out his stomach” three times from the stench. Rodney had to hang his deer about 20 yards away and downwind from all the other harvested deer. I remember hauling the deer to Rodney’s home with the deer on the farthest back corner of the flat bed trailer. We let him drag the deer off the trailer, up the driveway, and we sped away before the wind shifted. Later, I asked my buddy from work about Rodney and the deer. He just about split a gut laughing, saying that after Rodney hung the deer in the garage, his wife came out to see (smell) it. She promptly told him it was the deer or her. He had 3 seconds to decide. It must’ve been heart wrenching for him, his deer or his wife. Well, he put the deer in the garbage container and later got charged extra by the hauler, adding insult to injury. A few seasons later, Rodney was loaned a 30-30 lever action rifle. He was set up in a stand at the edge of a field. Another one of the group still hunted with Rodney and was standing below him on the ground. You may wonder why. I’ll let you be the judge. The hunter below noticed a deer walking the far edge of the field and got ready to finish the job after Rodney shot. Note the shotgun event above. Perhaps you remember the 30-30 carbine? It ejects straight up? The hunter below suddenly had shells raining down on him. Live. Unfired rounds, ejected without the trigger being pulled. Some might wonder, some might quake, I tried to think of Rodney as focused. Yeah, that’s it, very focused. After a few years break, my father-in-law and I hunted one more time with the northwestern group. Al and I were walking in late after legal hunting was over and met up with Rodney. We were on a farm road, walking slowly, about 20 yards apart. Rodney lead and I trailed. To our left was a harvested field with about 1” of snow on it. A hedge separated us from the field. Suddenly, Rodney shouted out “DEER”, leveled his rifle and shot. Not once, not twice, but three times. Al and I saw the deer running left across our line. We looked at each other and with a shrug, sent out a pair of rounds each, missing with each one. We figured the deer might have been wounded and turned to talk to Rodney. He wasn’t to be seen. He had shot at the deer through a hole in the hedge, and then followed after the deer through that same hole. We had to walk around the end of the hedge, because we found out it was thorn bush, with 1” thorns. Meeting up with Rodney on the other side, we discovered he was wearing a nicely shredded orange suit and didn’t even feel the cuts from the thorns. A quick discussion about being responsible hunters led us to form a line to walk the field, looking for blood. Topping a small rise in the field, a deer bolted from a large rock pile with some small trees on my right. It’s important to note that Rodney was on the far left, then Al, then me. We were about 25 yards apart. Rodney took the first shot across the front of us, unloading his rifle. Al and I took one shot each. Mine took the deer through the heart. Al’s broke a front leg and drove the deer to the ground about 75 yards away. Al had seen the deer jerk with my shot. In this short time, Rodney had emptied and reloaded his gun and the deer hadn’t even stopped sliding yet. Whooping and hollering, waving his rifle in the air, Rodney ran to the deer, shouting, “I got one, I got one”. Al and I looked at each other and he said, “You know you shot the deer, don’t you?” I looked him square in the eye, replying, “Yeah, but he’s got a loaded gun. Let him have the deer”. Did I mention: “focused”? We left him in the field with the spoils of his hunt and went back to the cabin. We left that night, before Rodney came back, three nights early, 21 years ago. It’s bitter sweet that I haven’t talked to my old work friend since, but I had to tell him what happened. We didn’t feel safe being in the same forest with Rodney, even with 6 square miles of State Forest to hunt in. I still feel my pulse quicken and my focus tighten when I see a deer, but I’ve learned to not let that quickening control me. True story lessons like Rodney don’t come around very often and need to be shared. They tell a great story, give us a good laugh, and let us have a safe place to think hard about ourselves. The human element is the weakest and the strongest part of the hunting experience, not the clothes, the gun, or the electronics. Learning about me has been the best part of hunting, but, still, I enjoy telling folks about Rodney. Do, Be, Live. If you don’t move, you’ll rust.
abZorba Hunting - Camping - Fishing
© Copyrights 1988, 1990-1999, 2000-2006, 2010-2016 Leatrice Productions Unlimited, Inc

Buck Fever

Extraordinaire

contributed by Kip

“Rodney and two others tracked it in the morning and found it dead. He insisted that he should take it home, as it was his first deer.” email: Kip@abZorba.com

“She promptly told him it was the deer or her.

He had 3 seconds to decide…”

Ahhh, Rodney. He had buck fever bad. Reeeeally bad. How bad was it, you might ask? Well, set right down and let me tell ya about it. I’d started hunting in northwest Minnesota with a work friend and his extended family, taking a break from the mid-state area. This group was very laid back. They’d play football in the field next to the “Jack Pine” camp if the deer weren’t moving. That building alone warrants at least two stories. They enjoyed getting out and were truly an odd collection of souls. One was Rodney. It’s easier to describe him by the events he lived while hunting. He was a source of great debate and good- natured discussion around the camp table. At home, I’m not sure if my tears were from laughing or crying. My first experience with Rodney was probably his first hunting trip. He was lent a 12ga shotgun. He practiced with slugs and got pretty good. He’d been given good instructions like: "...Shoot broadside about 1/3 of the way up behind the shoulder..."; "DON’T take any quartering shots" and above all, "NO gut or rear end shots!". Well, he was up in a stand with one of the experienced hunters, Rodney saw a deer and shot it while it was running away, lengthwise, despite the yelling in his ear NOT to shoot. Rodney and two others tracked it in the morning and found it dead. He insisted that he should take it home, as it was his first deer. So, he “cleaned” out the deer while the other two guys sat a good ways upwind. They say he “cleaned out his stomach” three times from the stench. Rodney had to hang his deer about 20 yards away and downwind from all the other harvested deer. I remember hauling the deer to Rodney’s home with the deer on the farthest back corner of the flat bed trailer. We let him drag the deer off the trailer, up the driveway, and we sped away before the wind shifted. Later, I asked my buddy from work about Rodney and the deer. He just about split a gut laughing, saying that after Rodney hung the deer in the garage, his wife came out to see (smell) it. She promptly told him it was the deer or her. He had 3 seconds to decide. It must’ve been heart wrenching for him, his deer or his wife. Well, he put the deer in the garbage container and later got charged extra by the hauler, adding insult to injury. A few seasons later, Rodney was loaned a 30-30 lever action rifle. He was set up in a stand at the edge of a field. Another one of the group still hunted with Rodney and was standing below him on the ground. You may wonder why. I’ll let you be the judge. The hunter below noticed a deer walking the far edge of the field and got ready to finish the job after Rodney shot. Note the shotgun event above. Perhaps you remember the 30-30 carbine? It ejects straight up? The hunter below suddenly had shells raining down on him. Live. Unfired rounds, ejected without the trigger being pulled. Some might wonder, some might quake, I tried to think of Rodney as focused. Yeah, that’s it, very focused. After a few years break, my father-in-law and I hunted one more time with the northwestern group. Al and I were walking in late after legal hunting was over and met up with Rodney. We were on a farm road, walking slowly, about 20 yards apart. Rodney lead and I trailed. To our left was a harvested field with about 1” of snow on it. A hedge separated us from the field. Suddenly, Rodney shouted out “DEER”, leveled his rifle and shot. Not once, not twice, but three times. Al and I saw the deer running left across our line. We looked at each other and with a shrug, sent out a pair of rounds each, missing with each one. We figured the deer might have been wounded and turned to talk to Rodney. He wasn’t to be seen. He had shot at the deer through a hole in the hedge, and then followed after the deer through that same hole. We had to walk around the end of the hedge, because we found out it was thorn bush, with 1” thorns. Meeting up with Rodney on the other side, we discovered he was wearing a nicely shredded orange suit and didn’t even feel the cuts from the thorns. A quick discussion about being responsible hunters led us to form a line to walk the field, looking for blood. Topping a small rise in the field, a deer bolted from a large rock pile with some small trees on my right. It’s important to note that Rodney was on the far left, then Al, then me. We were about 25 yards apart. Rodney took the first shot across the front of us, unloading his rifle. Al and I took one shot each. Mine took the deer through the heart. Al’s broke a front leg and drove the deer to the ground about 75 yards away. Al had seen the deer jerk with my shot. In this short time, Rodney had emptied and reloaded his gun and the deer hadn’t even stopped sliding yet. Whooping and hollering, waving his rifle in the air, Rodney ran to the deer, shouting, “I got one, I got one”. Al and I looked at each other and he said, “You know you shot the deer, don’t you?” I looked him square in the eye, replying, “Yeah, but he’s got a loaded gun. Let him have the deer”. Did I mention: “focused”? We left him in the field with the spoils of his hunt and went back to the cabin. We left that night, before Rodney came back, three nights early, 21 years ago. It’s bitter sweet that I haven’t talked to my old work friend since, but I had to tell him what happened. We didn’t feel safe being in the same forest with Rodney, even with 6 square miles of State Forest to hunt in. I still feel my pulse quicken and my focus tighten when I see a deer, but I’ve learned to not let that quickening control me. True story lessons like Rodney don’t come around very often and need to be shared. They tell a great story, give us a good laugh, and let us have a safe place to think hard about ourselves. The human element is the weakest and the strongest part of the hunting experience, not the clothes, the gun, or the electronics. Learning about me has been the best part of hunting, but, still, I enjoy telling folks about Rodney. Do, Be, Live. If you don’t move, you’ll rust.
abZorba Hunting - Camping - Fishing