My book about hunting, fishing, and other Alaskan adventures during the 60′s and 70′s is still untitled. But, my first chapter is finally re-written to my liking. So grab a cup of coffee, or a beer, and I will share a small beginning with you.
Swiping my older brother’s pellet gun at the age of six was the beginning of my love of pulling the trigger, and the excitement of seeing where I hit the target. On the first day I shot that pellet gun until the little tin box holding the pellets were almost empty. Then my brother walked around the corner and discovered me lying on our front lawn shooting into our white picket fence. He wasn’t upset with me for using his gun, but warned me that our mother would be irate over the holes in our fence. “Hey Sis, mom’s going to kill you for shooting the fence full of holes. Go shoot at some tin cans, for Pete’s sake. If I were you, I’d get out of here before she sees your little misadventure.” His recommendation of shooting at tin cans, and moving farther away from our mother’s view, probably saved me from a well deserved spanking. He generously gave me my first gun that day, so I no longer had to steal it.
Shooting hundreds of pellets at those tin cans lined on the river-bank, there were many more misses than there were hits for several months. Slowly I improved, and a couple of years later my brother and I held daily shooting contests. I didn’t think it was a fair contest because he had a scope and a .22 while I still only had a pellet gun. I made him a bet that if I could use his .22 for a week, I could out-shoot him. If I won I got his .22 if I lost I would owe him twenty dollars. With that bet won, I moved up to a bigger gun. With my new gun in hand, I would hunt gophers all day long. My father was quite happy with my shooting skills as the gophers were abundant and digging fresh holes in our pastures. My mother was not so happy with my shooting as she would have much preferred me to take dancing lessons rather than shooting guns.
The year I turned ten, my uncle loaned me his .25-20 Winchester center fire rifle to go on my fist deer hunt. I was so excited to be included in this hunting trip, but my father quickly ended that exciting feeling. He told me that I had to stay inside the truck because there were too many people hunting that day, and it was too dangerous for me. Broken hearted, and quite angry I sat in the cab of the truck, on the day I thought would be the most exciting day of my life. I ate my lunch, took a nap, and there I sat with my new gun staring out at the trees. As I sat looking at nothing, a monster mule deer buck slowly walked out of the trees. I rolled the window down, stuck a shell in my gun, and shot just as I would have done if it were a tin can. That was the first time I had ever shot at anything other than small varmints, and now this beautiful deer lay dead ten feet from the truck. Hearing a shot from near the truck, my father and uncle came running. I don’t know who was more surprised, them or me, but I know they were stunned, and I was almost in shock by the sight of my big mule deer buck laying there. I think they thought just taking me along was a way to placate me, and I thought it was how hunting worked. If you saw a nice buck, you shot it, took it home, and enjoyed many delicious meals.
Stay tuned and I promise more postings each week, until it is published.