Turkey season is upon us again. My name has again been drawn for a special hunt out West, so my plans have changed a bit. I will hunt there for Merriam on March 15 before leaving for Florida on March 18. This year I will hunt Osceola in the southern part of the state, then Eastern in the northern part, while making my way to Kansas and Nebraska. But first some finishing touches on our stories of hunters thinking they would like to rope a whitetail deer.
We all got a laugh from my friend Jerry Bronsky of Montana, but I have also received several stories from local people, so let’s touch a little on them. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy passing them along to you. My longtime friend Gaddy Wayne Hall of Jackhorn was a good hunter and a great taxidermist. He has since retired from both. Gaddy Wayne’s dad, Albrow Hall, who is now 92 years old and still going strong, has been in my life as long as I can remember. So I need to say hello to my old friend before we get started on Gaddy.
Gaddy at one time had a nice captive herd of whitetail that he kept on his property behind his house. I remember being there one time when Gaddy was cutting off one’s antlers. I inquired as to why he did that to such a nice buck. He looked at me and smiled and said, “Steve, how long do you think he would last, even behind the fence with season opening?” Enough said. Well Gaddy with his brother-in-law — I suppose it was Jay Wright — decided one of his deer needed some medication. So a needle was filled and the two proceeded to give the deer a shot. Gaddy got the deer roped and into a chute. Jay was to give the shot. The deer, according to Gaddy, was only a three-point buck, so he wasn’t great in size. But what he lacked in size he made up for in strength and determination that he wasn’t going to receive the medicine. He knocked Gaddy around like a rag doll, lifting him into the air and butting him with his head. Gaddy’s buddy couldn’t do anything but stand and watch.
The deer, after he had almost body slamed Gaddy, ran his leg down the back of Gaddy’s pants. By this time Gaddy knew he was on the verge of just trying to save himself and forget the medicine. But the deer had him, not the other way around, and he couldn’t get the deer’s leg — with, by the way, hoofs as sharp as razors — out of his pants. Gaddy was on his last breath when the shot was finally given. Next he needed to figure how to get the deer off him. Just when he was on his last yank on the deer’s leg, it came out from his paints.
Gaddy, battered and bruised, decided it wasn’t worth all that as he limped back to his house. I can’t begin to think what was on Gaddy’s mind at the time. If you see Gaddy, you won’t need to tell him not to try and rope a deer. He has already learned.