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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hunting, Crossbows and the Funny Stuff

Success --- you have taken a nice animal and it's picture time. Some of the best memories are the funny things and the funny people you meet along the way before the photos are taken. When in Africa and being introduced to my PH (professional hunter) by the Head PH, he said you will enjoy hunting with Frans - we call him the "human bush." That was a strange name. It was a few days later before I realized the significance of the nickname. When Frans was leading the way, he was such a big man that no one could see past him - hence, the "human bush" moniker. Missing a shot always involves mysterious forces that magically appear to disrupt perfect execution. "Tetonka" as he is affectionately known at Kodabow still hunts Indian style with a pull back bow and arrows with feathers. He stalks quietly through the woods and when he sees deer, he can get very close. It doesn't mean that the shot will go as intended. Just as the arrow is released, a strange force can surface that pulls a sleeve into the string path and the arrow is pulled far left. The story may begin with the phrase, "You are not going to believe this" and can end with something as unusual as "if you see a big 8 point with a broadhead stuck in his antler, let me know." The most common supernatural force is the dramatic appearance of a small sapling between the archer and the intended target that sucks an arrow directly into its wooden trap. Many a deer walks today saved by a tree. The two most important words in the crossbow hunting world are PAY ATTENTION. When a hunter pays attention, he/she has the best chance of circumventing a disaster in the field, earning a nickname, and avoiding mental anguish. Yes -- last Saturday, a hunter we all know quite well sat for two hours without realizing that there was no arrow on his crossbow rail.Thankfully, Mr. Big did not show up. And then later, our good friend who stopped by Kodabow in full camo describing the excitement of his morning hunt with his Kodabow until we advised him that deer season closed two days earlier. He narrowly escaped a major problem. Opening day of Deer Season one year was very memorable for an old friend named Jim who had high anticipation for sunrise the next morning. The cabin decided to turn in at midnight to get a good nights sleep. As Jim dozed off, the alarm clocks were set back to ring at 12:45 AM instead of 5:30 AM. As the bells rang, the rest of the cabin quickly jumped out of bed with high Opening Day spirit and began getting dressed acting as if 6:00 AM had just arrived. Yes ...it was 5 hours early but Jim didn't know. Every hunter had eyes on Jim. For some reason, his quiet remark loosely quoted as "Gee, I feel like I just went to sleep" brought boisterous laughter across the mountainside. Then we all went to bed. (I guess you had to be there!) The nice pictures are great but all the stuff that happens before the camera goes off are equally memorable and often the reason we enjoy being in the field so much.
Wishing you a good, safe and funny winter hunting season!
Your Friends at Kodabow

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