Thursday, November 27, 2008

Deer Hunt - November 22, 2008

Fred's bruise over the left eye!

Fred and Chub O'dell with freshly pulled turnips

Ed Williams, William Wright, Chub O'dell

Two of O'dell's grandsons examine the lake.

In a state of euphoria I heard the alarm sound at the un-godly hour of 4:00am. I quickly shut it off and sprung from the bed into my insulated clothes and quietly but hurriedly heated the home-made chicken soup Frances had prepared for me the night before and packed it in a thermos, together with apples, bananas, licorice and cookies and into the cooler. Finally I grabbed coat, gun, international orange hat and vest and placed them in the truck. Ed Williams was ready and waiting when I arrived at his house at 5:00am. We chatted about everything and nothing as we drove through the dark roads to Chub O'dell's farm about four miles out of Tellico Plains.
Chub and his wife Christine were both in the kitchen cooking a mountain man's breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, with home-made preserves for the 16 hunters who were hunting today. Chub and his family (children, grandchildren, nephews, cousins) were all very polite and cordial with each other and with their elders and made Ed and me feel right at home. There was lots of laughter and expressions of gratitude from all the diners.
After all had been fed the 16 hunters all loaded up in separate vehicles and drove to a part of the farm I had not been to before. Half of us were posted on "stands" while the other half were taken to the top of the ridge where they began their slow walk down to where we all were posted. This was to take advantage of the deer who would see and hear the hunters walking down the mountain, become nervous, move ahead cautiously through the woods and, hopefully, walk into range of one of the hunters at the bottom of the mountain on "stands". Actually these were not stands in the common understanding of the term. It was just a tree or a log or a place where the hunter chose to stand waiting on the deer. Hey - it worked! Three deer walked right into range of my gun about 30 minutes before the walkers came down the mountain. Trouble was the three were does. It is illegal to kill does at this time. Still - it was exciting for me to see them. One was so close I was tempted to shake hands with it!!!
I must tell you about the turnips. As Chub and I were reminiscing about times when I was his pastor back in the '60's, I was reminded of the time we had walked so far and were so thirsty and hungry. We came up to one of his Aunt's homes and she had about 25 or 30 turnips laying on the back porch. She offerred one to us to eat. I had never eaten a raw turnip before that I knew about - but that day I peeled and ate a big one. I discovered I LOVE turnips. Wow. What a sweet tasting vegetable. As I was telling that story to Ed and others, we were passing Chub's turnip patch so he jumped into the patch and pulled up one and threw to me to eat! YES! It was good - but somehow not as good as that one was about 40 years ago.

1 comment:

Favorite One said...

That was a FUN story. I was really getting lost in it & then bingo it was over. I think you should consider writing a book about your adventures when you were a young man - or for that matter I'm sure it'd make for great reading to hear about it from childhood to retirement!

Glad you and Eddie and all the O'Dell family had such a marvelous time.

By the way, your bruise doesn't look so bad - probably hurts worse than it looks.