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When the Hunt Party Is a Surprise Party

When the Hunt Party Is a Surprise Party

Harry was slightly irritated when the phone rang. It was dinner time, and he was ready to sit down and eat. It was his son, who had a request.

"Dad, I need help," Peter said. "I wounded a buck and couldn't find it. There's not a good bloodtrail, and I would like you to go along."

Harry was slightly confused. Peter was a savvy hunter, and his hunting spot was literally in the woods behind Peter's house. Several of his neighbors were his hunting buddies, and they'd be willing to help.  But Harry told Peter he'd be right over, and put on his coat and boots.

Harry drove across town and met Peter. With flashlights in hand, they headed for the woods where Peter indicated the beginning of the bloodtrail about 30 yards from his treestand. The arrow was still lying there, bright red throughout, indicating a pass-through. They followed the very sparse blood trail slowly, and Harry worried that the deer was only slightly wounded.

After 20 more minutes of very slow trailing, Peter, who was a few yards in front of his Dad, yelled, “Here  it is, Dad, I found it."  Excitedly, Harry moved up and saw a dead squirrel lying on the ground. Suddenly the woods erupted with an explosion of flashlights, head lamps and lanterns.

"Happy Birthday, Harry!" the group shouted. There was much backslapping and hugging, and the birthday party was continued at Peter's house. Peter chided his Dad for mistaking squirrel blood for deer blood, but Harry didn't care. The squirrel was field-dressed and eaten at a later meal as a wonderful memory of a very special birthday. Harry would never forget his 60th.

As we American hunters know, shared memories of time spent afield with family and friends last a lifetime.

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