1970 DEER AND 2013 ICE     



DECEMBER 13, 2013


     In November, 1970, Ronny Glossup was in Viet Nam really missing home and deer hunting. To try to help him get by I sent a detailed report on our ten day deer season. I kept a copy and will refer to it in this week’s article. He and I had worked on the Leonard Ranch north of Sulphur Bluff and I would probably have been in Viet Nam if a bad Brangus bull hadn’t dislocated my elbow a year or two earlier, leaving me with a permanently crooked right arm. Last week I told of the preseason scouting and the first day of season. More of the 1970 deer season is described here. Parts in parenthesis were not in the letter and are for your better understanding.

     Day two of our ten day season. Monday, November 23, 1970. I sure hated to go to school this morning. It was eighteen degrees and clear. What a day it would have been for hunting. On my bus route this afternoon I stopped at the Charleston Store to hear deer hunting news. Doyle Lile had ridden his horse up on two guys south of Clark Ridge on the Pete Woodard place. They had killed a small buck and did not want it. Doyle loaded it on his horse and carried it home. L. T. Phipps killed a small buck at Kensing. After my bus route I took my eighth grade boys basketball team to Fannindel for their first game of the season and we won by two points in overtime. It was almost a catastrophe since we got the jump ball to start the game and our player got mixed up. He promptly dribbled to the Fannindel goal, making a perfect layup and giving them two points. What a way to start a season. Sure would have been bad to lose by the two points we made for them.

     Day 3. Tuesday, November 24, 1970. On my bus route when I picked up Dan Elmore he told me he had skipped school yesterday and gone hunting with his dad, Pud Elmore, on the Leonard Ranch. Day 4. Wednesday, November 25, 1970. Our last day of school before Thanksgiving holidays. It passed quicker than I thought it would. Second grade presented a program with a lot of Pilgrims and Indians. I called Ray Wilson to see if a few of us could camp south of his meadow at Pop Lile Campground near the mouth of Hopkins’ County’s Morgan Creek. After school I went to Charleston and found Lester Worden then we went to Pop Lile Campground and set up our tents.








     Day 5. Thanksgiving. November 26, 1970. Up at 5:00. Lester and I spent the night at camp last night. He is an electrician at Campbell’s Soup in Paris and had to work until noon so he got up early and left. Seems rough working on Thanksgiving but he was paid two and a half times his regular hourly salary. Before daylight I headed to the woods with my Remington Model 700 BDL loaded with 75 grain hollow points that Ernest Neas at Brashear loads for me. Crossed South Sulphur and walked to Morgan Creek. Crossed and moved on east to a levee on the west side of the Hunt Field. (Back then it was sorta no man’s land. No posted signs. If you travel between Tira and Nelta there is a big dairy on the hill on the east side of Morgan Creek. The Hunt Field is due north of the dairy. I was very familiar with the area since it is the west boundary of the Leonard Ranch where I work sometimes.)

     After sitting from 6:00 until noon I had seen no deer, only two guys sneaking over on the ranch. Back to camp. Fried potatoes and pork chops. Slept until 2:30 then back to the woods. Slipped along taking a slow step then wait about two minutes until taking another. Cat stalking they call it. Stayed in the woods until dark. That morning I left my flashlight in an old stump by the levee and retrieved it for the trip back to camp. To make a short cut I decided to cross the river in another spot. With my light I could see a leaf laying on the bottom and it seemed to be about six inches deep. I stepped out on top of the leaf and went up to my knees in soft, boggy mud. It was solid enough to hold the leaf but not me. The weather had been in the twenties a few days ago and that water was cold. Next week, more of the 1970 deer season.

     Mark Owen and I were sitting out front at Lake View recently waiting on some people to come hog hunt with us. My dogs were tied nearby when a man limped up asking if they were hog dogs. He was surprised to know we knew where his home town of Barbers Hill was located. Told us a story about his limp. His dogs had caught a 150 pound young boar with needle sharp, two inch cutters. As he grabbed a back leg the hog broke loose from the dogs, wheeled around, and cut up his knee. A hog’s mouth is loaded with bad bacteria. E. coli almost led to amputation before they got it stopped. He’s had six surgeries over the last two years and will always have a limp. All you hog hunters out there, respect the teeth.

     For the record. Thursday, December 5 an ice storm invaded our area and deprived us of our luxuries, making us have more respect for our predecessors. They were tough, living without modern heat, water, electricity, and smart phones. Clyde Waters Jr. told Thomas Peters the ice damage to trees was worse in Cooper than he ever remembered. Cooper Bulldogs’ quest for the state championship was put on hold from Saturday until Monday where they played Leonard at Royse City.

     The ice storm blasted us back to the past as far as conveniences were concerned. Here are a few things I remember about this ice storm. No electricity for forty eight hours at our house. Seeing white winged doves, rare in our area, all over Cooper. Jean flipping the switch 73 times as she went into our closet, the only room with no windows. Just going somewhere so you don’t go crazy sitting around wondering when the electricity will come on. Realizing how thankful we should be for one pound electric blankets instead of fifty six pounds of quilts and blankets.