The second weekend in 2009 was the most memorable hunt. Jack and I hunted Friday morning close to the cabin with no success. Mid-afternoon we loaded up the Polaris 6 wheeler and headed to the bottoms. My bottom stand is about a mile from the cabin. Jack dropped me at the path to my stand and he took for the crossing that cut through the creek. He had about 500 yards to drive before the 200-yard walk to his stand.
I’d been in the stand for about 20 minutes when I hear a scream “BROUSSARD”! I pretended like I didn’t hear a thing, but then it came again, “BROUSSARD”. Dejected, I left my stand and started walking back to the road. I met Jack at the intersection and he is on foot. I questioned him about screaming in the woods during hunting season and you know we both have cell phones and where is the 6 wheeler? Well, he left his cell phone in the cabin and had to scream because he stuck a 6 wheel drive Polaris in the mud. After walking on a fallen tree across the creek we finally came to the very stuck Polaris with its back axle off the ground.
So we start the mile plus walk, back across the creek on the tree, through the woods, and up the hills to the cabin. We get my truck and head into town to get enough stuff to unstick the Polaris. Jack bought cable, not chain or straps, with all the clamps and a come-a-long. Back to the woods, we go, across the creek on the tree with all the gear we need to free the Polaris. Once the cable, clamps, come-a-long, Polaris and good tree are all attached, I told Jack to hop in and start the 6 wheeler. Jack “ I left the keys in the cabin”. So off we go across the creek on the tree, to my truck, up the hill, and in the cabin to get the keys. By this time it’s dark. Grab flashlights and back to the bottom we go. So, Jack starts the Polaris as I start cranking on the come-a-long. The Polaris starts backing out of the bog when 2 (that’s right, 2) cable clamps fail and get flung into the darkness of an East Texas creek bottom. We could hear the clamp flying through the trees. The Polaris slides back into the bog as the cable goes limp. Demoralized, we head back to the cabin for a meal and a new plan. Jeff and Chuck had shown up and have dinner going when we make it back to the cabin. Neither of them has what we need to do a vehicle recovery. A phone call to Richard, who will be here at first light and we are good to go.
Saturday at 9:00 AM the Polaris is free. We go back to the cabin, clean up a bit, get in my truck and head to town for breakfast. An enjoyable meal with good friends when we realized we have no firewood. Now, remember we are hunting in 500 plus acres of woods. But we decide that the most expedient thing to do is buy firewood. We drive all over town and can’t find anyone selling any firewood. So we head back to the cabin to cut firewood. As I complete a U-turn the front right tire slides off the asphalt onto the dirt and sinks to the control arm. I’m stuck. Not as bad as the Polaris but stuck none the less. Finally, a gentleman stops and gives Richard a ride to the property where he has about a mile walk (uphill) to get his truck so he can pull me out.
We all get back to the cabin and the wood cutting is underway. At 3:30 PM I decide to get a rifle and take a walk in the woods. Jack wants to come but decides not to carry a firearm. No big deal. I head south to the property line because most everyone sees deer around this area. With the wind in my face and doing my best stalk around a bend in the trail and being so quiet, I hear a sound that is not from nature. Just for a moment, I thought “that sounds like someone opening a can of beer”. I turned around to see Jack taking a drink from a freshly opened can of Budweiser. I just stood there looking at him when he said: “you want some”. Laughter was all that came out of my mouth. We had a nice walk in the woods.
That night was about good food, drink, conversation and cigars with friends in the woods. No one hunted the next morning. After breakfast Richard, Jack and I hopped in the Polaris to fill feeders before we leave. The last feeder filled is mine, the one that’s in the bottoms. Once topped off with Antleremax we get back in the Polaris and, it won’t start. The battery is dead. So off we go on the mile walk to the cabin. We pull the battery out of Chuck’s truck (the smallest battery), grab a trash can and head back to the bottoms in Richard’s truck. With the battery in the trash can we carry it and a set of jumper cables through the woods to the Polaris. We get it started, drive it back to the cabin, put the battery back in Chuck’s truck and finish the rest of the coffee.
That story might sound like a bad weekend in the woods, it was not! The problems that were encountered were, for the most part, of our own doing. My friends give me a rash of crap about getting my truck stuck. I would do the same for them. We also give Jack the same hard time about sticking a 6 wheel drive Polaris. But what are friends for?
I hope everyone has a safe and productive season. If you are slinging corn from your feeders you might try Purina’s Antlermax 20%, Antlermax 20% Watershield and Antlermax 24%. It just happens to be on sale this month. Have a good season and keep the wind in your face!