Old time Deer Hunting


Part 2

Before I tell you about Rosco Hinton’s farm, I must relate another part of the story. I was in the Boy Scouts when I was 12 through 13 at Jones Memorial Methodist Church, until the troop folded. When I reached the age of 15, Camden Baptist Church formed an Explorer Post and I joined that post. The Explorer advisors were Jim Poole and Ernie Young. Ernie had two sons, Larry Young who later was head of the Boy Scouts of Kentucky, and Wayne Young, Larry’s older brother, was the lead guitar in the Carnations and Trendels, of “Look Homeward Angel,” fame. Jim was unmarried. Wayne and some of his band would play at the Explorer parties where we could bring dates. I didn’t meet Fran until I was 16 and able to drive, the summer of 1961.

Everyone was playing music at that time, and me and Frank Howard, Bert Meadows, Sonny Spoo, Jeff Caufield, Mike Meuller and Potsy (I never knew Potsy’s rea l name, but no one else did either) Jack Hickox and David Reynolds all played together and formed little bands, to break up and form others from that same pool of people. It was weird, but fun and every Friday and Saturday night, we played rock and roll, and country music. We once played the Belle of Louisville, and a New Year’s Eve party at Foster Brooks’ house in Louisville. Fran was my groupie!

That, same year I enrolled in Manual Highschool and that summer Fran and I began keeping steady company. At Camden or at Manual, (maybe both) I met Bobby Vanarsdale, who someway became our band’s manager, and he knew Rosco Hinton. I only met Mr. Hinton once, but later was told by Jack Scott, that Rosco owned the land in front of the Meadeville Cemetery I have so often researched. I had been on some Explorer outings to the Hinton Farm, and called to see if I could bow hunt there. Mr. Hinton allowed me the privilege of hunting his land. It was there I saw my second and third wild deer, and learned a valuable lesson, not to be perfected until seven long years later.

There were some ponds for watering stock, and I thought they would be good places to hunt. Though it seems they would be good, I have found watering holes usually are not. It is true deer have to water, but they are most vulnerable to attack when their heads are down and they are drinking. Thus, when they drink its often usually at night. They feed from low hanging tree limbs, and bushes, or knee-high sage, where their heads are up with their ears, eyes, and nose in the air. They don’t have this same advantage when they are at the water’s edge when their eyes, nose, and ears pointed are down to the water, and more vulnerable to attack. This time the God of the hunt smiled on me and as I rounded the wood-line to the first pond there stood two doe deer. The bigger deer was partially shielded by a stand of cattails, while the smaller of the two was fully exposed. I carefully nocked an arrow, and came to full draw on the big deer, an amateur decision. The arrow would have to pass through at least a few cattails, and she was some 6 or eight yards beyond the smaller doe. She was looking right at me, but the smaller deer seemed unaware. The better shot was the smaller deer. My hand was shaking as the arrow flew, passing harmlessly, over her back. Her tail flew up and waved side to side and both deer took off, “to no man knows where!”

I learned two valuable lessons that day; firstly, you must make yourself calm down. You have to want that animal to the point you overcome your own involuntary reflexes. It takes intense concentration to calm your shaking hands while taking deliberate aim, loosing, an arrow in a rush. Bat Masterson once said, in a gunfight you have to take deliberate aim at your opponent, aim and fire, but in a hurry. I know what he meant, and when I talked to older more experienced hunters, they all said about the same thing. Don’t hunt the ponds, but a likely place on the trails from the bedding areas to the ponds. I hunted for the next seven years and never saw a deer. (More lessons, in final part 3, next week.)

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