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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HOM: Other Times With Jim

After Gordon died Jim Pierson & I hunted together for a few years, and not just on wilderness trips. I have a lot of happy memories from those days. ----- Jim, his son Shane, & I went out shooting. Jim wanted to try the little Charter Arms .44 Bulldog revolver I had acquired so we found a quiet spot off the road and set up a target. The pistol was a noisy little beast when it was fired. I had one set of ear protectters along and Jim, as the shooter, wore them. I stood back and put my fingers in my ears, figuring that would help. Shane looked at his muffed-up dad, looked at me with my plugged ears, looked at the .22 rifle in his own hands, and did some quick thinking. A second before Jim touched off the little cannon Shane handed me the rifle and plugged his ears. Yeah, I was the one with the unprotected ears and a dumb look on my face. What did you say? Sorry, I can't hear you. ----- When Shane turned twelve and was able to go hunting he got serious about doing things the right way. He'd heard me talk about wearing soft and quiet clothes in the woods, so he showed up on the first trip wearing the softest pair of pants he owned -- made of corduroy! When I was a kid, such pants were called "whistlebritches" because of the constant noise they made when you were walking. Not a good choice for quiet stalking. He got a lot of teasing about that episode. ----- The three of us went hunting one snowy day up above Bitteroot lake and were poking along when Jim spotted a nice buck out in a clearcut and decided to shoot him. I've mentioned how poor visibility can make small deer look big, now I better mention that putting a big buck on the side of a treeless and snow-covered hill makes it look a lot closer than it really is. Four shots later the deer was down. Jim didn't miss -- he was just hitting it in the legs instead of the body. Jim & I were gutting out the deer and told Shane to watch so he could learn how, and he observed the whole thing except for the part he missed when he turned around and lost his lunch. Yeah, he got teased about that, too. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)