I don’t know if my hunts were always planned so far ahead, or if I just started to notice.
Last April, an outfitter friend of mine contacted me about putting together an annual hunt — this being the first — as a way to stop us hunters from completely losing our minds between the end of deer season and the start of turkey. I told him to go for it. He contacted me again in August, for my deposit.
In the meantime, I had ask my brother Rick, who lives in North Carolina, if he would like to go. Of course his answer is always the same — yes. But keep in mind the only thing you can count on from Rick is that you can’t count on him. I was in shock when the outfitter contacted me and told me that Rick had sent his deposit. I thought, well he just may go.
And go he did, although he was to arrive at my house by noon the day before the hunt, but didn’t arrive till almost midnight. At least he was here. We hit the floor at 4 a.m. for the three-hour trip to the outfitters. Everything not only was running smoothly, but he was with me. It is always nice to hunt with your family. As we started walking up the steep mountains along the Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia borders, it was one step up and two back. Snow covered the mountain and walking was almost impossible. At a fork in the mountain, Rick and I split up, even though I knew neither one of us was really in shape for such a hunt.
After taking my time, I finally arrived at near the top of the mountain. Thirty more yards and I would be on level ground. All of a sudden I heard a scream that almost put me in shock. Going by me at about 50 miles an hour, backward down a mountain that a goat couldn’t climb, went Rick and the outfitter on the outfitter’s ATV.
I watched in disbelief as they went out of sight. Seems as though the outfitter picked Rick up, but had failed to lock in the four-wheel drive. At the top of the mountain they started to slide, the farther the faster.
I saw Rick again at about 2 p.m. He was still white and said, “I saw my life flash in front of me.” I said, “Did you have fun? If you did that is all that counts.” I think Rick’s hunting days with me are over!