Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time:

An old dog does learn a new trick

Hunting season is over for me for 2018. I no longer hunt deer, and that may be a clue that my time spent in the great outdoors is winding down.

We have always been told, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I have wondered about that saying all my life — until this past weekend when I changed my way of thinking.

Last year I got the notion to go after a deer, a black bear, and a wild turkey all on the same hunt. I packed my trusted bow and off I went on an all-day hunt that almost killed me. The weather was as bad as I have ever hunted in — rain, wind, and cold. I was the “true” hunter, hunting from daylight to dark, never leaving the mountains and still not seeing anything, not even a squirrel.

Well, this year this old dog learned a new trick or two. First, I just went after a black bear and turkey. The rain and wind started, and it got colder by the hour. I got in Whitesburg and talked to my lifelong friend who has let me hunt her land for over 20 years. I got an animal report while watching a dozen turkey hens in her yard. Note to all my readers: Don’t kill hens, although they are legal in the fall. Please, just don’t do it. We all will pay the price in the future if you kill hens.

Anyway, I went into the mountains and did some scouting. The wind and rain had picked up and the air was really cold. I was hoping for better weather on opening day, although last season was still heavy on my mind. I left the motel well before the sun would come up and drove to my friend’s place. Although I knew it looked like an all-day cold rain, I never second guessed myself, and off I went.

Here is where this old hunter did learn new tricks. Instead of hunting in that weather until dark, I went inside my friend’s house — she is like my sister — and had coffee with her. It was noon. I learned from last year the weather was not going to clear. I was wet, frozen, and my zeal was gone.

So who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? Good luck on your hunts for the rest of the year.

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