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Hunting on Thanksgiving Day

 

I awoke, on Thanksgiving, to a dark 5 a.m. morning with the snow still coming down. I turned on the porch light to see how much had accumulated during the night and could see that there was maybe 8 more inches of fresh stuff out there. Not nearly enough to deter any comprehension of stopping me from going hunting on a day that I had off from work, on the first week of buck season here in Berkeley Springs, Wv. My brother-in -law, Herman Mellott, of Needmore, Pa. had been hunting with me each day and we had not had any luck of finding those incredulously spooks of the Mo. Co. woods, of which we were in search of.

The first day, monday, we didn't see any deer at all, which was very unnatural, and only a few on tuesday. The weather was rather warm and dry and they just seemed to be wherever we were not. We saw many very fresh signs but no deer. We were in the old preverbal, "chase mode". There aren't many open fields, except on the western side of our hunt, so we stayed in a pattern of hunting around the ridges just below the crest and crossing the lowering part of the ridges at a crossover to the opposite side of the next ridge. We were always very close but not close enough. The stop and go method had always worked very well previously so that was the way we were hunting. While one of us was on the move the other would stand still. Sometimes one of us would take a circle to see if anything would move toward the other. It was as if they found some place to hide and was watching us go by.

Wednesday, Herman had something else to do and could not hunt with me, so I decided to work at the garage, Truax Auto Repair.. By that evening the weather had suddenly took a turn. It had gotten colder as the day wore on and began to snow just before dark. Herman had planned to join me again on thursday, Thanksgiving Day, but that didn't happen because of the snow. In those days four wheel drive wasn't as poplar as it is today and he didn't have it to bring him down from Pa.

I waited till it was starting to get light before I left the house. I decided to hunt toward the open farm land to the west because I was thinking that maybe they would be out, since the weather was bad. There was probably 10 inches on the ground now and it was snowing very, very heavy. By the time I had made it to where I wanted to be there was 16 inches and snowing still heavyer then before. I followed a fresh deer track accross the field and I probably would have seen it, had I been able to see through the snow. Visibility wasn't very far, with that much snow coming down. I hunted the woods around that area for a while and suddenly realized that the snow was up to my crotch. It was probably three quarters of a mile back to my house and not on even ground by any means. I immediately decided to get started in that direction. What I hadn't been thinking of, was I had been using up a lot of energy in the days hunt so far and I didn't have what was required to get back home. I made it back to the main road at the horse show grounds alright and took a short breather there. My legs were burning like fire and my chest was the same and the snow was now at my belt buckle, and there were no tracks on the road to walk in.

I was thinking about the Thanksgiving dinner we always put on for my wife's side of the family, on this day, and we were supposed to do it today again, but for the snow. Supposing they had all come down and it had started to snow like this after they got here. Would they get stranded somewhere on the road? Would they even make it up Posten's hill? But that didn't happen and they were still at their homes, I hope.

It probably took most of an hour for me to go that last 600 yards for it was, make a couple steps, forcing my very tired legs through that deep, deep stuff and all up hill. What a person will do to hunt deer!

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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