by: Eddie Trapp

DECEMBER 19, 2013


      Thursday, November 26. Day five of our ten day deer season in 1970 as reported in a letter to Ronny Glossup in Viet Nam. Normally he would be hunting with me this time of the year. Here we go: After stepping into what I thought was a shallow place in South Sulphur River I went up to my knees, filling both rubber boots with icy water. I was drying my socks after sundown by the fire when Lester Worden came to our camp near the mouth of Morgan Creek at Pop Lile Campground. As we talked it hit me that I had not talked to anyone from sunup to sundown. May be the first time ever for that. After driving up to Charleston we heard the daily hunting news. The owner of the Hefley place at Kensing lets people hunt for ten dollars a day. Two hunters had killed deer there today. I phoned home from the store and checked in. Troy Kern had called and invited Larry and me to hunt at his lease north of Nelta in return for catching wolves preying on his sheep. I called Larry to be at the south end of Ray Wilson’s hay meadow at midnight after he took Kelley home and I would bring him on down in my pickup. I didn’t want him to drive to camp because his car would get stuck. Lester and I got back to camp at 10:00 and we lay down for a little snooze before going meet Larry at midnight. The next thing I heard was Larry saying at 12:35 a.m., “Are you gonna come get me or not?” He had given up on us and walked the mile on in to camp.




     Friday, November 27. Day six of deer season. Troy Kern had invited Larry and me to hunt on his lease north of Nelta and we decided to walk southeast to his lease after crossing South Sulphur and Morgan Creek. We weren’t sure exactly how far it was so we left camp at 2:30 a.m. after only an hour and half of sleep. The weather was fairly warm so we didn’t wear many clothes. Due north of Nelta the county road dead ends at a gate going into the Leonard Ranch. You may remember an old school bus and a thicket of switch canes on the west side of that road by Troy’s lease. Since we both work at times on the ranch we had permission to walk across the southwest corner to get to Troy’s. Afraid we would scare deer in the dark we decided to wait near the gate until daylight and slowly walk to our stands. Walking had caused us to sweat a little and now after stopping, we started getting cold. We lay down on the ground back to back like two wolves and waited for daylight. It was pretty miserable for the next two hours. (In May, 1984 we were on the way by boat to the World’s Fair in New Orleans when a record low, late norther caught us again without enough clothes. Beside the lock connecting Red River and the Mississippi we again lay back to back trying to stay warm.)






     At daylight we slipped slowly to our stands and at 10:00 came down to meet Troy and his son in law, David Sullens. They had hunted this morning on another part of the lease. David shot a five point, 112 pound buck and trailed it a long way before finding it. Troy told us to try to get a three point for a barbecue he was having for Delta County commissioners and a few more since he is going to take office soon as county judge. (Spikes were illegal back then.) Troy was going to drop us off at Charleston on his way back home. I wanted to ride in the back as we drove across the pasture but Troy made me pack inside the cab with the others. All of a sudden we saw a three point very close. It had not heard us because of the high wind. By the time Troy got his gun up it took off. I sure was mad since it would have been an easy shot for my .30-30 if I could have ridden in the back like I wanted. Troy asked us to go back to his lease that afternoon so he picked us up at 3:30 at Tookie’s on Highway 19. None of us saw anything except Troy who ran across the three pointer and now has his barbecue meat.

     Saturday, November 28. Day 7 of the 1970 deer season. My cousin, Carl McMillan Jr., came to camp and hunted with Lester and me. There were lots of tracks but we saw no deer. Came out right at dark, went home, cleaned up, and went to Paris to see Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Sunday I had no desire to go back. I guess all those days with no luck made me take a break. No chance to go Monday since I was teaching then coached a ball game at Ladonia that night. Tuesday I decided to make one last try at finding a buck. Mr. Berry had lots of hunters on the ranch up until today and he told me I could hunt. After school I crossed the channel at Lester’s pasture at Longridge and went south to the old river and crossed at the Tolison Dam. You remember that is where you, Joe Elmore, and I a few years ago ate nearly a whole deer for supper. Spent the night and around the fire in the dark next morning heard Bob Wills song, Big Ball’s in Cowtown for the first time. Today I snuck out in the pasture just before dark and saw a lot of deer on the fescue. My rubber boots were too noisy so I pulled them off and crawled as close as I could to the deer. By the time I got closer it was too dark. There I stood under the crescent moon with cuckleburs poking me through my socks. I howled like a wolf a few times and some answered off toward the Diddy Wah barn. I was over a mile from my pickup, wet feet, in the dark, no light, a river and a channel to cross but I felt like it had been a good season even though I didn’t get a deer.

     That’s the way it was in 1970 for our ten day deer season. Now we have about two and a half months to hunt. See you in two weeks as the Cooper Review will be shutting down for Christmas. This week we said goodbye to a legend, Ray Price. A tear rolled down tonight as I heard him sing “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again.” Merry Christmas from Jean, Purdy, Slobber, Zack, and me.