Into the Woods

Slim Randles is making a visit to the blog today with a nice story about hunting. My interest in hunting tends to follow that of Jasper in this story. It’s not that I have anything against hunting, and have even done some in my past, but that was more for the pleasure of being outdoors on crisp autumn days. I preferred to leave the killing and dressing-out to more experienced hunters who were willing to share their bounty.

Two of my brother-in-in law ground up venison with port sausage and the end product was amazing for chili and spaghetti sauce. I believe it was a 50/50 ratio and I’d give anything to have a few pounds of that in my freezer right now.

For more about my approach to hunting, check my older post It’s Time For Hunting, published a couple of years ago.

Now, here’s Slim and Jasper. Enjoy…

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Old Jasper Blankenship bought a deer license again this year, just as he’s done every year since Eisenhower was President. He sticks nickels and dimes in a jar all year long and smiles each time he contributes. By Fall, he’s saved up enough for a deer tag.

Jasper lives full-time out at the diggins with his dog, Arthur, of course, so he has only to walk about 100 feet from the cabin to do his hunting. That’s one of the marvels of it.

If he sees a nice buck, he might shoot it. Hey, he enjoys venison like everyone else, of course. But he might not shoot it. He had two good shots last Fall and didn’t take either one of them. He’s tried to justify this inactivity to himself, but has come a cropper each time.

So off he went once again with his rifle to sit against that one certain tree, kinda scrooch around in the pine needles until he was comfortable, and waited.

The squirrel came down a nearby tree and chattered at him for a while, and then left. The blue jay flew to a branch above him and looked down. Didn’t stay long, though.

The soft music of the mountains began along about four in the afternoon, resembling at first just the breeze in the tops of the aspens, but later taking form into a melody no composer could ever create.

A legal buck came along just about sundown, but he just waved at it and watched it bound off. Didn’t want to shoot one on opening day, anyway. Still five days to go. Maybe tomorrow.

We’ll see.

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Brought to you by The Backpocket Guide to Hunting Elk, Practical Advice from a Guide and Outfitter, by Slim Randles. Now sold throughAmazon.com.

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page 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.

2 thoughts on “Into the Woods”

  1. Loved this blog! Reread It’s Hunting Time and it brought back all those awesome memories. Dad and I did a lot of hunting together. l was always so happy when he’d ask “what time should we go out?” Yes, I have tears in my eyes.

    1. The few hunting trips I did with you and your folks were so special. I have the fondest memories that bring a smile along with the mist in my eyes.

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