Funny Things from Yesterday: Hunting boots

Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

It is almost time for hunters to get out their guns and oil and polish them up. They also need hunting clothes and a good pair of hunting boots.

I hunted sometimes with my Uncle Walker, my mother’s brother. We usually hunted squirrels.

To hunt squirrels, you have to go into the woods and find trees that produce hickory nuts or acorns. You get a good place to sit and stay very quiet and wait for the squirrels to appear. I don’t remember ever shooting a squirrel. I have gotten to the time in life that I feed the squirrels on our back porch instead of shooting them.

When we went rabbit hunting my Daddy usually went, too. We would go to Uncle Kermit’s house. He was my Daddy’s brother-in-law, as Aunt Ivalene was Daddy’s sister. The reason we went to his place was that he always had hunting dogs. I guess I probably killed a rabbit or two, but I was just not a great hunter.

I went quail hunting with Rudene’s brother, Cois, a time or two, but I just did not have the quickness needed for quail hunting.

Now I will tell you about the hunting boots. One day we had gone to Uncle Kermit’s house for a hunting trip.  I had a new pair of hunting boots. The soles of the boots had little treads on them to keep them from slipping when you were in a slick spot. I was proud of them. There was a little damp and slick looking spot in the yard. I thought I would walk on it and show how my boots worked.  It was cold and we were standing around with our hands in our pockets.  I walked over to the slick spot and it had a little slop to it. I took a step on the spot and boom I hit the ground. With my hands in my pockets I was not able to catch in any way. I fell flat on the ground and even my chin hit the ground. My cousin, Ray, was next oldest to me, enjoyed seeing me flat on the ground and I think he laughed the hardest. I was embarrassed as well as being disappointed in the failure of my boots. That may be when I quit hunting.

A few years went by and one day before Thanksgiving I decided to go to a turkey shoot.

You don’t shoot live turkeys, you shoot at a target, and the closest shot in the middle of the target wins a dressed, frozen turkey. I shot three or four times with my double barreled 12 gauge shotgun and didn’t come near the middle of the target.

A friend that I had worked with at a fruit stand years ago said to me, “Try my single barrel 16 gauge and see how it shoots.” I took his gun and on the first shot I hit the target right in the very middle. It made me wonder if my double barreled was built a little off center.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter because I don’t hunt anymore. I am content to feed the squirrels on the back porch.


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