It's deer season and for a lot of folks around these parts opening day of deer season -- and we've talked about this before in this space - ranks right up there with the opening day of baseball season or maybe even their wedding day for a couple of fellows who will go unnamed to protect the guilty.
A lot goes into preparing for opening day. Guys will go out and scout their hunting area (and no, I don't mean bait their hunting area). They will sight in their rifles and make sure they've got the scope set right. Depending on whether or not they will spend several days in the deer camp or not they will make sure they've got enough provisions. Most hunters will make sure they've got a good deer scent to cover their tracks in and out of the woods. And most will make sure their deer stand is ready to go as well.
It's a lot of work, but not real work, to get ready for deer season. I haven't deer hunted in about 20 years or so, but have some good memories (except for that one time I fell getting out of the tree) from those times. It's a little like a golfer that goes out to hit practice golf balls and "working" on their game. It's not real work, but still take a lot of time.
A lot of times a hunter will hear a deer coming through the woods before they actually see it. It's important to be quiet for that reason. And although deer don't really hear any better than humans, an out of place noise in the woods catches their attention. Just ask any hunter who has spooked a deer with a sudden case of "buck fever."
When deer season opened this year Randy Caldwell was ready to go. He had done all of his preparations and was after a trophy buck. Randy was sitting in his tree stand wearing enough camouflage clothing and paint to hide from an entire herd of deer and probably a couple of flocks of turkeys as well.
A group of about five doe had walked up on him. Randy was just watching them. Truth be told, Randy really wasn't interested in them so much as that big buck he just new would be following along behind all those females. Randy was sitting perfectly still, barely breathing less the buck see a little puff of breath escaping as he exhaled in the cool morning air.
And then...his cell phone went off.
"What are you doing?" came the question across the skies, bouncing off of several cell towers scattered around southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas. Seems his wife was just checking on him and wanted to make sure he was okay.
Randy whispered, "I'm watching five doe and waiting on a buck to come up."
When she heard him whisper Paula couldn't resist. The lower Randy tried to talk the louder Paula got. And yes, for the record, Paula knew exactly what she was doing; messing with Randy.
She thought that was funny and just giggled the whole time she was telling me the story. I'm wondering if Paula's going to be giggling when Randy gives her that lump of coal for Christmas?
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Right now I'm wondering if there's going to be enough coal to go around this year. One of the pleasures of a good Thanksgiving dinner is the nap that comes after the meal's been eaten and the dishes cleaned up.
Happens every Thanksgiving at just about every house. The family gathers in, enjoys good food, fellowship and, usually, over-eats. Then it's off to the recliner.
All is well and good until someone tries to be a smart-aleck and do something like take a picture then put it out there on the Internet for several thousand folks to see.
If Randy has any coal left over from filling up Paula's stocking he might call Towny Sparks. I imagine Towny will need a lump or two for his son-in-law, Mark Ellis's stocking.
For those of you that see a pattern here, Arch Coal company stock was trading around $14 per share on Friday.
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"Do your Christmas shopping early -- get the worry off your mind -- enjoy Christmas when it comes. At this store you will find the broadest, choicest stock of desirable gifts to be found anywhere. Everything is fresh, bright and new. We want you to frequent our store on your shopping tours. Come in, look around and get suggestions for Christmas...Below are a few items picked at random from our immense stock:
"Women's sweaters, $1.50 -- Mixed wool, coat-style. White, blue, brown and red trimmed in contrasting colors. Have 2 pockets. All sizes. A special value at ... $1.50
"Women's Petticoats, $4.50 -- Made of soft taffeta silk in blue, red, green, brown, tan, grey and black with 12-inch flounce and corded ruffles. Cut along narrow lines and made exceptionally well. Really worth $6.50. Special for Xmas, Each ... $4.50
"Men's kid gloves, $1.00 -- Splendid values in kid and Mocha dress gloves. Light and dark tans, brown and grey. They're made to fit and fit to wear. A full run of sizes, 7 ½ to 10. You will be surprised at the quality of these gloves at, pair ... $1.00"
The W. F. Shelton, Jr., Store Company was making these bargains available to area shoppers on December 8, 1911 and the DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated historian, Vivian Helton uncovered the bargains on page nine of that edition.
Bud Hunt is regional vice
president, publisher of the
Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and
North Stoddard Countian.