4. Unusual winged things
A. Peacocks make scary
One fall Ralph and Doug had a hunt set for Sacramento Mountain,
near Capitan, New Mexico. Doug's plans changed and he couldn't make it,
so Ralph asked Bill to go. Bill was an experienced camper, but had never
hunted big game. Ralph loaned him a bow, filled him in on bow hunting
as much as possible on the way. So with 600 miles of instructions Bill
started deer hunting with a bow. Once on the mountain, they got to see
quite a few mule deer and Ralph made a good heart shot on a young buck
after a couple of days. He ran across the open basin and into the woods.
Then he ran out again and back toward Ralph for a few yards before he
piled up. Ralph dressed and hung him. It was the first deer Bill had ever
seen field dressed. For Bill the whole trip was a great experience. The
next fall Bill was asked to join Ralph and Doug along with Dennis and
Bob on Mickey's place, a new lease for bows only. Those four were experienced
hunters. As for Bill, he knew which end of the arrow should point out
and that also that he was thankful for compound bows. He used cobbled
together camo from dyed khakis, a green tee shirt and net camo sleeves
that his wife made for him. Hunting started in September, always hot and
with lots of bugs and flies. On one of his first hunts, he found setting
absolutely still on the stand, the Cardinal rule of bow hunting, was difficult.
Sweat was running in rivulets down his neck, and he was concentrating
on not moving and on the silence of the woods. From what seemed immediately
behind him came a bloodcurdling scream. It was incredibly loud and he
nearly jumped off the stand. It was like nothing he had heard before.
One scream, sounding not so much like fear as it did panic or lunacy.
There was not another sound, no moving in the bushes, nothing. At dark
he climbed down the ladder and went to the house. At his telling, everybody
grinned. They knew what a peacock sounded like.
B. We thought he looked a little squirrelly
Ralph on the tripod and the owl
C. Sonic Booms & helicopters
Being close to Fort Hood, all of the leases were able to
hear and see artillery and night operations. A sonic boom when you were
sitting as still as you could be on a bow stand was as disconcerting
as a peacock. It could literally shake your tree. Some of the planes
came over so low that you made eye contact with the pilot. I'm sure
the envy of those contacts went both ways. Helicopters would play leapfrog
across the country side with one coming to the front, hovering, and
keeping watch while others would pass him by and take over the lookout
for him, further on.