It’s Time For Hunting

Every year when hunting season is upon us in many states, I always look forward to what Slim Randles and the guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop have to say about their plans. I was never an avid hunter. I’d go along with whoever was venturing out, just for the experience of tramping through woods and learning about the quirks and movement of deer from hunters who knew such things. 

I did enjoy archery, and at one point joined an archery club at school. It was also always great fun to go out in the backyard of a neighbor family and practice shooting at a deer he had fabricated out of wire framing, and perhaps paper mache?  I don’t recall what the body was made of, but maybe my friend Jan will clue us in. It was her father who had the practice area in their yard.

It was her father who was also the best shot of us all, and he was the one who taught us all the hunting lore we needed to know.

All of the hunters I know, or have known, hunt for the sport, but more importantly, to put meat on the table. And venison ground with pork to make a sausage, is the best meat for chile I’ve ever used. 

So if anybody near me goes hunting this year… I’ll buy the pork sausage. 🙂

Okay, enough of me. Here’s Slim and the gang. Enjoy.

“Feel that crispness in the air this morning?” said Dud. “Just about time to go hunting, don’t you think?”

“I’m always ready,” said Steve, smiling. “I’ll go right after fall branding this year. But I’m going to be hunting differently this year.”

We all looked at Steve and waited.

“Well,” he said, “you know how different cultures and different countries have their own way of hunting, so I thought I might try one of those this year.”

“Whatcha have in mind, Steve?”

“The Swiss way,” he said. “You know … crossbow? William Tell? The Swiss way.”

“I’ll be using a regular bow again this year,” said Herb. “I really enjoy the earlier season and more time to shoot. I can practice with a target in the back yard every day.”

“Must be something in the coffee here this morning,” said Doc. “Everybody’s going for a new way … or old way … of hunting.”

“I’ll be going back in time myself this fall,” Phil said. “I’ve never used anything but a modern rifle, so this year I bought myself a muzzleloader. One shot. You just get one.”

“That’s a good challenge,” said Dud. “Now how about you, Doc? How will you be hunting this year?”

“Glad you asked, Dudley. Yes, I joined the trend myself this year, and I’ll be hunting deer by the Amish method.”

We looked at Doc. “Amish method?”

“Sure,” he said, grinning. “You just go out and find a buck you really like and build a barn around it.”
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Brought to you by The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List.  In the book you’ll find more than a hundred top spots and tips on the best equipment to use. See it at

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country, that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy, and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program. 

8 thoughts on “It’s Time For Hunting”

  1. What fun memories you have revisited. If my
    Memory is correct, that deer was stuffed with straw and covered with burlap. Dad loved hunting season and was always ready with a story from his last hunt or one from years ago. Autumn was always a great time to test the skills he taught!

    1. Your memory is better than mine, Jan, but now I can see the deer form covered in burlap. I’d forgotten that it had to be stuffed with straw so the arrows wouldn’t go through. That is if we hit the target. LOL Those were fun times practicing in your backyard.

    1. We could always tell he was loving the time teaching us, even when he would shake his head at some of our antics.

  2. Pingback: Into the Woods – Maryann Writes

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