Home sweet home...miss it something terrible. This is a little taste of NW North Dakota...where the Missouri and Yellowstone meet to form the border with Montana. Current is strong and paddlefishing is the sport of choice...at least for about a week (short season). This is a paddlefish in case you're wondering.
My family has been hunting this area since my dad was a young boy, so he introduced my brother and I to the "great outdoors" very early in our lives. I can't remember how old I was this particular evening, but I would guess seven our eight.
I was in a tree-stand that backed up about fifty yards to the water and was surrounded by alfalfa fields and timber. My brother was hunting the edge of the corn field and bordering alfalfa field on the way back to my stand. Dad...who knows...he would drop us off, always in the best stands and I think would go sit with Farmer Don.
Well, this particular evening, something must've been in the air. Both my brother and I, "experienced" well beyond our years of eight and eleven, had my dad scratching his head in amazement when he picked us up.
He pulled up to my stand and found an empty quiver. "What was I shooting at" he asked? "Big buck" was about all I knew. As I got out of my stand, I told dad I "think" I got him and to follow me. As we started walking out into the alfalfa field, my dad kept looking back to the stand...twenty yards, forty yards, sixty yards. Now, I will say I was a pretty good shot, but my old Bear didn't even have a forty yard pin, so dad finally asked. "Did he run this way?" and I replied "No, he was standing out here". Dad couldn't believe it when we finally reached the point where my arrows came crashing down...down perfectly verticle! To this day, I don't know why I had to shoot at that buck. Really can't even call it shooting...I was just raining arrows down around him. I surely knew better, but I had a "clear" shot and maybe it was my first taste of "buck fever".
Well, if that wasn't enough for my pops, we pulled up to get my brother who also had an empty quiver. Dad, asked the question, "Are we tracking?" and my brother replied "yes, sir". Excitedly we started out on the bloodtrail and it didn't take long before we realized my brother had experienced a "brain cramp". We came upon his "trophy" walking ahead looking like a pin pushion. This poor porcupine was my brothers practice target for the evening. Now, I don't consent to mindless killing, however, Wikipedia does define porcupine as "rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators". "Rodent", that makes me feel a little better about the situation. Anyways, if you didn't already know, porcupines have a tough outer shell and the quills make it almost impossible to retrieve an arrow. At least I was able to retreive my arrows I thought.
Now, I can't remember anything my father said that evening, however, there are a few things I do "know".
- My brother was a real good shot...poor little rodent.
- I still think I could've made that 100 yard shot...not.
- Neither ever happened again.