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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Tall Tale Safe Space



The old man got a gift from DU in the mail today. It is delightful. A miniature decoy. I have several on display in a spare bedroom.

I am a memory pack rat. I save the strangest things. On the dresser shelf in the spare bedroom there is an old, old plastic container that electrician’s tape is packaged in. That is the set up for this story.



Years ago the Dear One and a brother bought me a muzzle loading double barrel shotgun. I used to carve my own decoys and hunt ducks, geese and pheasants with it. I even sewed my own leather purse. Bag limits were small and there was nothing good anyone could say about steel shot back then. Ask Dad or Grandpa. When lead shot was finally banned from muzzle loading shot guns I had a gunsmith put leaf sights on it. The barrels were not in line but it was good enough for a smooth bore. A .715 patched round ball, a fiberwad, remember this is December. Enough said. I have never been a good shot with a rifle. I did not like my 50 cal Hawkins. It was end heavy. The shotgun was not and I could carry it all day. It had two shots. I once had the fun of trying to load a 50 cal with a big buck standing close enought for me to touch it. The shotgun seemed like a good choice. Was that the day a coyote ran through the woods so close to me that I tried to kick it in the ass? The guys I hunted with would post for an hour in the morning and then mostly walk, drive, all day. Perhaps sit in the late afternoon, enjoy a quiet sunset.



We were making a drive beside a lake in western Minnesota. Ahead of me a doe got up, ran toward the lake. It looked good. I let the trusty left barrel go. Shortly after I fired the deer was out of sight. Did I hit it? Miss? No deer was to be found. As we continued our drive a mile or so down the lake we saw no signs of a wounded deer. We looked, did what we were supposed to do. It was time to head back. Walking on the lake was the good choice. We meandered in toward shore, out on the lake. One of the boys found something interesting. It was a big round lead ball with the frozen patch still on it. With amazement he asked, “Where did this come from?” “It’s the lead ball I shot at that deer”, I said. He could not believe me. My response was, “No one else could possibly be stupid enough to use a smooth bore double barrel shotgun to hunt deer with”. With that he handed me the lead ball. It has been in that electrician’s tape container for longer than most of you guys have been alive. Memories are a precious thing guys and gals. The wonderful thing about hunting and fishing stories is that, at least among friends, most of them are true.



The old man would love to hear some of your unusual stories. The ones that you are still laughing about, shaking your head in disbelief about. The ones that are too good to be true.



Happy New Year, The Old Man
 

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Half my good stories are ones I don't necessarily want written out. Haha.

I'll have to think about it for a bit. Most of the stories that make me smile don't really have anything to do with the hunting, but more about the company and what happened or was said during the hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Old Man thanks x rated, sorry about the misspelling x, and goldfish for your post. " Most of the stories that make me smile don't really have anything to do with the hunting, but more about the company and what happened or was said during the hunt." Quote from Goldfish. You are on to something Goldfish. Oh dear, oh dear. Goldfish, would you be willing to start a thread about "If the duck blind had ears"? Stu has some doozie, some include The Old Man, I hope He will embarrass The Old Man no more than necessary. A reminiscing Old Man
 

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Half my good stories are ones I don't necessarily want written out. Haha.

I'll have to think about it for a bit. Most of the stories that make me smile don't really have anything to do with the hunting, but more about the company and what happened or was said during the hunt.
The classic “should have been here yesterday”


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Great story, I’m sure I have plenty of stories to share…. But does anyone really want to hear them lol

I can share a story from this last week…. Visiting the family back in Maryland I have been bringing a bow with me since they have a January archery season and I do prefer the taste of a corn fed deer vs the deer in the UP surviving on shrubs; the effort is far less, and the deer movements are far more predictable; I just walk out the back door of my parents house to a tree stand about 90 minutes before dusk and wait… it’s so convenience it’s hard for the wife to complain about. After sitting 4 different mornings and evenings this trip without even seeing a deer (very abnormal) My archery hunting was stopped by a 3 day late shotgun season and so my dad said he hadn’t gotten a chance to hunt with a 12ga he got for his birthday in June and he’d hunt that morning if I was looking for deer meat…. Only 20 minutes into the hunt he walks back to the house to get the tractor and haul his kill out of the woods. I got to tell y’all, he makes deer hunting look too easy, and a lesser hunter would be a fool to think you could match the success he’s had, it’s like he speaks deer, know what’s they’re going to do….. (My old man was a very dedicated deer hunter in his youth through his 50s, now in his 60s and his knees not being what they were it’s more a leisure activity to get outside with little attention to success anymore yet still manages to take game almost on demand). Well he then tells me to take his newly zeroed 12ga out back for the evening since the conditions seem good, and so I did…. Only 40 minutes into my hunt I get 3 deer to walk down the game trail and under my stand…. I wait for the biggest of the 3 a doe and pull the trigger…. Well the deer kicks… trots about 20 yards, stands there for a few second and falls right over, with the events unfolding I send a text out to a group chat of friends acting somewhat cocky with the message “didn’t go 20” which is the first time I’ve ever referenced Rut Daniels lol …. Well I get out of the stand and approach the deer for it to look at me and run off… what a lesson in humility lol. I did back out of the area and a few hours later we found it dead about 80 yards away. The 2 harvested deer ended up providing 4 nice backstraps, tenderloins and 43 lbs of burger, a successful trip, unfortunately it wasn’t with my Bow and instead a shotgun that harvested 2 deer it’s first day on a hunt. That’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes, just got to take what you can get and be humbled occasionally


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the great story. Stu will often remind me of this or that day when all went well, back in town after the pictures, we ask ourselves, why did we shoot this many? Those days slip my mind, it is the odd, weird, funny things, the stories that could have ended in tragedy. The people we have met, The two really old guys from willmar that car topped two canoes, and a Johnson 3 horse each. The old gray buck at 30 yards and a frozen flintlock. I can never get enough of stories. The Old Man
 

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The classic “should have been here yesterday”


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I'll have to have someone else tell that story. About all I remember is that we had a good day, and the next day when you showed up it was a ghost town.

For as much as I love the outdoors, and try to get out in it as much as possible, I'm not all that great at my pursuits. Most of it would boil down to me not doing my due diligence, be it proper scouting, practice, just not paying attention to what the animals are telling you, etc. I have too many stories to keep track of that fall into that category, but this one at least has a heartfelt ending.

I have been deer hunting for as long as I can remember. Before I could shoot, I was sitting in the stands with my dad and uncles watching for the deer. Once I was old enough to shoot, it came fairly easy for me. So much so that I kind of got bored shooting deer in the woods with a rifle. If you could see it, it was put down. So I picked up a bow and decided to try and challenge myself. I practiced over the summer here and there and was confident up to 40 yards. I figured that was plenty. That fall I did all the other bird hunting until it came to firearm deer season. I brought my bow up to the farm and Saturday morning I brought my climber out and shimmied up a tree over a deer trail. I had read in a magazine that when it's cold, you should pull your bow back in the morning to get all the creaks out instead of it doing that when there's a deer right in front of you. This deer season was a colder one. Temps were in the 20s or so, and so I was all bundled up. Between the big clothes, the cold, and not shooting the bow for over a month, I couldn't pull it back. I just didn't have it in me. My heart sank. Not very much longer a couple does walked around my right side and behind me. Too far to shoot at with a bow anyways, not that it matters at that point. They walk to the south and then run west. I hear a grunt come from that direction.

Boom. Heart starts pumping, adrenaline kicks in, and her comes a buck. Nothing big, a 6 point, but not bad for a first archery deer. And he's walking down the trail right at me. I go to pull the bow back and sure enough, those endorphins worked. I'm ready, waiting on him to get closer. I'm watching him thru the sights. I had 5 pins on my sight, for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards. He was at 40 yards when I pulled back at first, so that's the pin I put on him.

I never changed which pin I was looking at.

He walked to within 10 yards, perfectly broadside, munching along as he strolled. I let the arrow fly... right over his back.

He jumped a couple steps, and went back to normal. His path taking him behind a pine tree to where I could not get a second shot. Away walked my perfect chance at an archery deer. To this day I still haven't taken a deer with archery (I've since switched back to gun hunting deer because I chase birds far more than deer so I want the deer hunting over as soon as possible).

How does this story end in a heartfelt manner? That buck continued on his path, right to my cousin. She got him, and it was her first deer ever. She was ecstatic about it. Hard to be mad about that.
 

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That sounds like a classic Goldie story!


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Isn't it though? I swear I'm always just one thing away from epic hunts/fishing. Like I can see it, and see what I did wrong after the fact, but to get it done before hand to be able to capitalize on it? Na. Not this guy.
 

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I have to many duck and deer stories than i want to type out. But hereone from this year and ill keep it short. Last day of slug season and still needed to fill 2 of 3 deer tags. About an hour in to the hunt i punch my buck tag on a smaller 8 ptr then a few fawns bed down right under my stand the whole time giving play by play with a few other friends out deer hunting.
All of a sudden a big doe runs by and i am think stop please stop about 5 minties later it appears about 40 yards away, i double check to make sure its not a button buck and blast it. The fawns get up look around stand there for 5 minutes and take off running. Here comes a coyote on there trail i shoot it too. All the mean while texting my buddies telling them i have 2 deer and a coyote down. Needless to say i missed the doe completely no blood to be found- i am pretty sure i hit the only branch in the shooting lane. It was definitely humbling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A FRIEND’S FIRST MINK



I have not thought about this story for many years. The father and mother of one of my chilhood friends grew up in west central MN. His dad was a world war 2 veteran. His family was hunting and trapping enthusiasts. Pre-world war 2 trapping income was of utmost importance. My friend had a trap line in the Minnesota River bottoms. After school, his mother would drive him to the river bottoms to check traps. Mom’s plan was to meet him at the road at sunset. One afternoon, I went with.



Several minutes into the walk I went through the ice. Late 1960’s there were no cell phones. What to do? We did what all of you would do. We walked fast, very fast. I did not stop. Our ride was an hour or more away. Because I was wet and cold, we ventured off the normal trap line trail, to shorten the walk.

What did we find? A mink laying dead in the snow. The mink was in the trap. It had some how got free of the steel spike that should have held it in place.



Mom was there to pick us up, I got home safe, not warm, really cold, a bath full of hot water, yes it hurt.

Was my friend’s first mink a result of me going through the ice? I can not decide, can you?

A remembering Old Man
 

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2nd shots my old man, a lot of you know that and some of you have met both of us, anyways this thread is about stories, stories are fun, I’ve got a bunch, here’s a quick one. Back when I was 6, maybe 7, this was when we had a 30 day season, maybe the last, or 2nd to last. Anyways the lake we hunted was froze over the last weekend, which was late October to early November. Early freeze up. There was an open patch of water in the middle of the frozen lake, a few ducks using it. I don’t remember who the whole crew was that day, but definitely me and my old man, and some of his freinds, anyways we walked over (shallow water) thin ice out towards the patch of open water. Some of the casual friends you make at the landings in the morning were posted up on an island close to the open patch. Second shot has me stay with them while him and his buddies crawled out towards the open spot then laid on the ice to pass shoot. I think they layed on the ice and covered up with bed sheets for camo. I was super young and memories get fuzzy. 2nd shot can comment and say if this happened as I remember
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
THE POOR DEAR HELL DIVER



Not all of our memories are nice. Nature can be cruel.

Winter will often come early to western Minnesota. Years ago an early winter limited our hunting options. Some days the best we could do was a late breakfast and a car ride. And this was one of those days.

Imagine, a small slough on the edge of a gravel road. Less than a quarter acre. It was almost frozen up. To our amazement there was a small patch of open water, perhaps 10 square feet. A poor Grebe, hell diver, frantically trying to keep the ice open. We did not laugh, A Grebe, hell diver, is a lot more loveable than a Cormorant. We shook our heads in disbelief.

That was not one of my favorite memories. I prefer to remember the morning Stu and I were fishing up the river. The sun was behind us. An early morning mist. There was no wind. Just past the quarry, we turned the corner. In the cool of the morning, blinded by the sunlight, was a huge beaver, sitting on its tail and warming itself with the new day’s sun. It did not see us. We got within 30 feet before we startled it. A Walt Disney moment. Was that the day The Old Man caught 3 walleyes in less than an hour that were within an inch of my height? A trying to remember Old Man
 
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