Most of the time while on hunting trips, I can’t think of things going as crazy in my friends’ world as they do mine. But as I read of the things that they put up with, the funny things that happen to them, the sad things that happen to them, and what goes on in their hunt, I know some of the same things that happen in my world are also part of theirs.
A few years ago, while deer hunting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a big black bear climbed my tree stand. I had to kick and stick my arrow into its nose to get it to climb down. Every time some of my friends saw me after reading about it in Struttin’ Time, they would laugh, and say, only that could happen to you. Well, I went back after that black bear during bear season, and haven’t seen it to this day.
But it can, and did happen to someone else — it happened to my friend Shelia Connelly. Shelia and her husband Will have been friends of mine for too many years to count. They are fine people, and anyone that knows them knows they put hunting at the top of their list of things to do. This Struttin Time’ is about a day of hunting with Shelia.
First, as I understand it, they were heading into the woods on some sort of a side-by-side to do some deer hunting. Story has it Will’s crossbow fell off and into the mud while Shelia ran over it in their truck. Could it have been placed so it would fall off to give her an advantage? We will never know. Will doesn’t have the time to start an investigation, and Shelia isn’t talking.
More into the woods, a skunk appeared and you guessed it, Will suffered the blunt of its wrath. Could this skunk have been placed there by someone who was trying to get a heads up. again, we will never know.
At around 4:30 in the morning, Shelia had just gotten into her tree stand when she heard a noise. Could it be Will trying to get back at her? It never took her long to find out. There in the predawn hours stood the meanest of all the animals in our woods, a mother black bear with her three cubs. I know, without a doubt, what she was thinking, been there done that, what am I doing standing here with two pieces of stick?
Lord feet, don’t fail me now.
She jumped up and down, shouted, and was trying to climb the tree farther, and all the while Mommy was getting madder by the minute, the cubs running up and down the trees, not knowing what to do. Finally it was a standoff, and Mommy Bear just left.
I wasn’t there but I know Shelia sat down, and had to break out the Charman. She knew she had run off every deer in the mountain, but she was also thinking, did Will have that Mommy bear planted here?
We will never know, because Will isn’t talking.
I love these two people.