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Put together another short story...

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by brndirt1, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Thought you guys might enjoy.

    Over the years I found few things, like hobbies or pass-times, that I enjoyed that my father and I could share outside of organized sports, but hunting was one of them if done on his terms. Those terms were literally, go out on the Montana "flats" and take the game; deer, antelope, or bird. Field dress it, take it home, butcher it out, and salt it, dry it, or freeze it (originally he and Mom tried canning antelope in the mid forties, but cooking its meat stunk and it didn't keep like domestic "canned meats").

    The idea of a night in the "woods" left him quite unimpressed, and to the best of my knowledge he only took one such trip, in my youth (at fourteen when I had my new NRA approved license to hunt), and that because he was more or less badgered into it by one of his own contemporaries. He was, and probably continues to be a "damn fine shot" even into his eighties. The time he and I went out with his "buddies", he cut the throat on a “mulie” buck at around a hundred yards with one shot with an iron sighted Winchester 30/30 after they had taken numerous shots at the animal with their own rifles, scopes and all. I have this suspicion that the shot itself was extreme luck, and he lead the animal by about two feet too much as a heart/lung shot (his expressed favorite shot), but when we got down to the animal his statement was to the effect of, "just how I planned it, cuts down on the blood drain time don't ya know". But then again, I have witnessed him scare up and hit running "jack-rabbits" and cotton-tails with single side arm "flanged" rocks, and tell me where he was going to catch 'em before he threw the rock. " I'll hit 'em in the eye, watch 'em jump when it hits, (confident giggle, snort)" And it happened more often than not.

    I (on the other hand) later, had discovered the "fun" of going hunting not so much for a kill, as to enjoy the comradeship of my friends in a setting outside of a living room, city or town. Father's idea of a night in the woods included a Winnebago in his older days at the least. The idea of using a four wheel drive for something other than spraying crops or fixing fence was not entertained, so pitching a tent or sleeping under the stars in a spot inaccessible to others was definitely out by then (he had done it in his youth, didn’t want to do it anymore). I did share this experience with my now deceased younger brother, Jeff, on more than one occasion, but only once with both he and the youngest little brother, Jon. But that is another story. This next recounting doesn't include either Jeff or Jon, and was far from an ideal hunt in itself.

    The time that comes immediately to mind, is when I didn't bag a deer but did manage to shoot my (read Dad's) two year old ' 72 Chevy 3/4 ton 4X4 in the engine. On this occasion my then brother-in-law (Ean), had just recently married to his third wife Sally, and her two younger brothers had come to the "Big Sky Country" from somewhere in the south expecting to do some deer hunting. Ean had "volunteered" my assistance in this venture, and in the name of familial peace, I had agreed to take them out and try to bag a mule buck deer or two. Before the three of them showed up to go out and "do the Hunt", I had called some of the people up in and near the foothills of the Little Belt mountains to the west of our farm, and gotten permission to hunt their land. Now the infamous "bagging" of the '72 Chevy 4X4 happened like this, a totally true tale, to the best of my recollection.

    Since both Ean and this (new) group of relatives were rather "slight" as compared to me, we could all four fit into the cab of the Chevy with little trouble. The problem occurred when we attempted to "safely" store our rifles inside of the cab with us. There was the ubiquitous gun rack of course, but it only held three rifles which left one 30-06 (mine), "upholstered" as it were. There is however a pocket in the front of the Navajo seat cover on the seat which holds one rifle quite nicely, so, problem solved for the 25 (approximate) mile trip to the foothills where the "mulies" live. In this instance a quick trip into the area, a quick kill, and a return to the farm were the main plans (my father's idea of hunting) of the outing.

    After we had gotten through the six or seven gates necessary to get into "mulie country", I had spotted a herd of fifteen or so go down into a deep coulee about half a mile or so from us, and told the "great white hunters" that what I had in mind was for the three of them to stay on the high ground and move up to the area, and when I saw they were more or less in position, I would enter the coulee on foot from the bottom and "flush" the deer toward them. Told them to all stay pretty much together in a line abreast, and not shoot down into the coulee, only onto the flats where the deer should run out. If they had been any kind of shots at all, the deer hunt would have ended, they weren't, and it didn't.

    When I had almost finished walking the coulee, and heard them shooting up a storm, I emerged to find no dead deer, only the three of them cussing each other and throwing blame around like "**** from a shovel". Got them all together again and walked back to the truck, giving each a little ribbing as we went, the mood had lightened up by the time we reached the pickup and after they had stored their weapons in the rack, I placed mine on the seat between one of them (John I think) and myself, instead of putting it back into the sewn-in holster in front of the seat as before as I should have, I didn’t. Here is the starting point of the debacle.

    Also instead of removing the live round from the chamber, as I should have, I just opened the bolt on the ‘06, and placed it muzzle down with the butt between he and myself. Feeling that it was entirely possible that the same herd may appear "in a heart-beat", I wanted at least one rifle readily at hand.

    As we bounced over the open country scanning around for our intended "victims", my ‘06 kept shifting around, and John and I took turns in sort of reaching down and realigning it in a muzzle down attitude. At some point during this operation, or set of operations two things happened; first one or both of us managed to close the bolt without noticing, and when the two of us reached down to do the job another time, we both reached at the same time. While there is a great deal of room between the trigger and the trigger-guard for a single finger on a Remington 700 model 30-06 of 1950's vintage, if two digits hit the area simultaneously, the trigger is tripped.

    Now don’t laugh too hard here guys, but picture it, closed cab (its mid-November and "brisk" outside), the muzzle pointed at an area between everyone’s feet (thank God), and a high-powered rifle goes off!! Loud does not cover the sound, deafening gets close. Four guys boil out of a cab, each one tapping and or clapping his ears with his hands, and looking at each other with that "whadda****" expression that cannot be produced without something of this sort occurring.

    When our hearing returned, I realized that the truck was not running. Ean had next to no mechanical skills, and these young kids were as useful as he in that regard. When I popped the hood of the Chevy, I knew we were in deep kimchee, the bullet had ricocheted off of the transfer case, demolished the side of the bell-housing, blown off the dipstick and tube for the automatic tranny managed to cut three of the FOUR spark-plug wires on the right side of the engine. The bullet had then run out of inertia, and "shrapnel dented' the whole inner fender liner after it cut a brake line to the right front disk brake. Yikes, we were between 10 and 12 miles from the nearest occupied dwelling, and now apparently afoot. Not an undoable thing as to walking out, but an embarrassing thing at the very least. "How is it that you are afoot Clint?" "Um, I shot the truck".

    I told Ean that I thought I could make this sucker run on four out of eight cylinders if I could re-distribute the firing-order of the plugs in such a fashion that equalized the power from side to side on the V-8 rather than all those on one side firing and the others just sitting there. So I started figuring out the firing order, and how to get it to fire on alternate banks by moving around some of the still intact spark plug wires, and because I also feared that with the bell housing cracked on the top, it was entirely possible that the starter could just "fall off" when I tried to start the engine up. About an hour or so later of trying different setups in my head, I realized that was never going to happen without changing the cam timing and so just used the 5/8 “peanut plug” spark plug wrench to remove all the plugs on the right side. This was the first of the small block Chevy engines we had on the farm with this new plug size, so the one and only socket wrench for them was kept in its glove box. I finally gave the sucker a try. Voila!!! Engine runs, runs poorly but runs, sounding like an out of balance Maytag on spin, but running.

    As we proceeded back through the gates on our way back to civilization, we came up with a plan to cut down the possibilities of remaining stranded out on the road somewhere, and decided that when we got to the first place, I would go in since the people knew me and didn't know my "hunting companions" and call my wife while they kept it running, and then ask her to come up and meet us on the main road if we didn’t show up in a reasonable amount of time. That way if it died in the last twenty miles between there and our place, she would find us and take us home to where I could start figuring out how to tow the truck home. When we arrived at the Wertheimer's house, Ean stayed in the truck and kept the rpm’s up while I went in and borrowed the phone to call his sister; my wife ("the Sammer", given name Colleen).

    We got home OK, and then sat down and sucked some suds, and related our story to Sam and Sally, laughing nervously at our near stranding. My son Jason, Ean's adopted son Dustin, and Sally's daughter from her first marriage (can't think of her name) were there, but I'm not sure that any of them remember the incident much at all. Every one of them was pretty young at the time. I know that I spent the next three weeks getting that pickup back together so that it would not be an apparently "shot" unit. Took some time, and some creative "splainin' " to my Dad (the new floor-mat was the tough one), but it got done. Thank the good lord that I had a real fine friend whose father ran what most would term a “junkyard”, and all the pieces except the spark plug wires, floor-mat and the dipstick for the automatic tranny were readily available and cheap. I don't think he ever knew that I had shot the truck.
     
    belasar and Marmat like this.
  2. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    ... especially someone's personal history come to life.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    I say you survived a Gremlin attack. The foothills are crawling with 'em...Just had some antelope jerky. Buddy says it was a lot of work trimming it, but it was very tender and tasty....Some good ol' readin' there Mr Clint. I'm sure most people's kin have shot a truck or something they didn't mean to every now and again.
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Don't know about how it is in Yankee country, but down here we begin a story like this as "You ain't gonna believe this Sh$@, but...".

    May have to start a new sub-forum, Family Ledgend's!
     
  5. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    We have a very similar lead-in, in fact the same one. That is only one of the stories I have to tell, and it isn't even the most goofy one. One of the few in which I had non-family witnesses however. The successful hunts and fishing trips don't make good tales, but some of the others are only backed up by my word, or somebody in the family. Another "hunt" that wasn't mine, but totally successful had a humorous part in it and since it is a short one I'll include it here.

    The same friend whose father owned the "junkyard" (Pete), had learned use a compound bow and was dying to go bow hunting since they get to start well in advance of the firearms group. He had teamed up with an experienced bow-hunter from Wisconsin who took him out the first time. Now, Bud (real name Frank) took Pete into the Little Belts and supplied him with a tree stand system he himself had designed which braced itself somehow. Bud told Pete, that if he got drowsy or fell asleep while sitting for a long time period and fell out of the tree, the first thing to do is "throw the bow" so you don't land on the dang thing and either break it or pierce yourself with an arrow or something.

    So, the second day of the hunt Pete did fall asleep sitting on the tiny tree stand, and fall out of the tree. He started laughing as he told me this; "So there I am, waking up falling. The first thing I remember is Bud's telling me over and over to Throw the bow! Throw the Bow! So I landed flat on my back, and then threw the bow".
     
  6. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    I'm thinking in Yankee Country that story would start with "Once upon a time ...", end with " ... and he turned into a handsome Prince", whereupon the story teller would say "Cross my heart ...", and of course it would all end with disclaimers:

    “No animals were harmed during this story”, "Please drink responsibly”, "Please do not attempt or try this at home" and "If you have an erection that lasts for more than four hours, please consult a physician."

    I'd rather hear the gritty Montana and Texas versions, where men are men, and the sheep are ... with urqh.
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The latest of the bumper stickers I saw concerning "men are men" that made me laugh, went like this; "Montana, where men are men, women are scarce, and those sheep are dam*ned LIARS!"
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    bump
     
  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Oi...I didn't know I was mentioned in this thread....By a Marmat of all things...

    Clint used to chat with me about sheep by the way...
     

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