Hunting is full of mishaps and humorous situations. One weekend bow hunt with friends went from frustrating to hilarious quickly.
Ya know that phrase from Forrest Gump, Crap, it happens? Let me describe something, the weekend of October 29th, 2011 crap certainly did happen but luckily I had three good friends there to live through it with me. Being the last weekend in October, the whitetail rut was beginning kick in, and my hopes were high for arrowing a big woodland buck here in the southern tier of NY. But Murphy’s Law decided that it would have its way with us. Before I even reached camp I was pulled over for a blown headlight, that’s not the worst part, I fixed the light in front of the cop and he still gave me a correction ticket. Spirits partially deflated I eventually pulled into camp and parked alongside my Dad’s truck on our steep mudslide of a driveway, that’s ok right? Wrong! We would find that out later.Leaving my troubles behind, the five of us enjoyed a fantastic dinner of spicy nacho plates at the local steak house however, revenge of the nacho plates began happening as soon as we reached camp later in the evening.
Murphy’s Law decided to have a little more fun with us by dropping six or seven inches of snow on us over night continuing to snow consistently throughout the next day. I’ve seen snow down there, heck I’ve got stuck in it several times, but that much snow in October was a bit mind boggling. I saw a few does on the Saturday morning sit and no one else in camp saw anything except black capped chickadees and a few squirrels. Just before the afternoon hunt Dad had to bail from camp early due to a family emergency leaving me, my youngest brother Ben, cousin Ryan, and best friend Andrew by ourselves for the remainder of the weekend. This was a potential recipe for disaster.
Saturday evening, Murphy’s Law decided to haunt us furthermore when Ryan and I had our hunts ruined by a guy walking his dog. I knew who this guy was and exactly where he was going to walk, right by Ben and Andrew. Since it was early in the afternoon I scrambled out of my stand and sprinted up the mountain trail to catch him. While rehearsing a few lines over in my head to kindly ask the man not to walk down towards the other guys, I spotted him and his dog standing near a picnic table at one of the properties’ scenic overlooks. Just as I was about to tap him on the shoulder and say, Hey Mister, when a sudden a stream of urine was hitting the ground just a few feet from me. Whoops, awkward! I took a few steps back and turned around silently laughing at the hilarity of the situation. After a brief conversation and explanation the man left the woods and I hiked to a different stand. Andrew and Ben nearly had chances at deer that night that would have been ruined by Mr. Urinator.
Thus far in our trip, the inconveniences which we had encountered were easily dismissed. While making dinner though crap began to happen which we could not dismiss. Andrew’s mother had made us two dozen rice crispy treats. The only problem is he had left them in his car on the other side of the mountain. No problem, while our dinner of elk meat jumbalia was simmering, two of us would go around the mountain for the Tupperware container of melted marshmallow goodness. Remember how I said I parked alongside my dad’s truck? In order for me to back out of the steep driveway I had to back up and turn the truck left in order to get on the solid part of the driveway. From the moment I put my Toyota Four Runner in reverse I could tell I didn’t have much if any control. I tried in vain to pull forward and gain traction, but the ground was so soft and greasy, I slid back and back and back as if being swallowed by some horrific beast. We were about to meat that beat.
My tires were creating deep grooves in the soft earth and my treds where completely filled in. Essentially I had bald tires. There was mud flying everywhere. Important lesson, don’t stand in direct line of the tires as your best friends floors the truck. To make matters worse I was in danger of tearing my right mirror off the outhouse. After assessing the situation and failing to pull free with industrial strength traction aids, we called off the rescue effort until morning. This was a real issue, if we couldn’t get free then how where Ben , Ryan and Andrew going to get all their gear to Andrew’s car and get home by tomorrow night. Although we were slightly concerned there was way too much laughing going on for us to care. Mother Nature really blessed us that night with another couple of inches of snow and temperatures down in the twenties. While most of us had warm clothing, it was discovered that Ben had been wearing a pair of Ryan’s sweatpants which he promptly demanded back. There was a slight problem; Ben had not packed any other pants or warm clothing. To add to the hilarity, after a short argument Ben gave the sweats over to Ryan which left him with nothing but boxers on. Ben hovered over the small heater as I scrounged a pair of cameo jeans from my mess of a truck. As the four of us sat and ate the re-heated jumbalia, we became really hyper from the effects of soda and decided if need be, we would eat Ben to keep myself, Ryan and Andrew alive. The following is an excerpt from the camp journal.
October 28,2011, Ryan, Andrew and Jason are the only ones left. We are the Donner party of three. We got the truck stuck in an effort for Rice Crispys, its cold, Ben has no pants, we decided to eat him, we added him to the jumbilia, don’t eat the leftovers!
The next morning we decided to forgo the morning hunt to try and use the frozen ground to our advantage. In order to avoid ripping my mirror off on the outhouse, we were forced to tip the outhouse over and lean it on a tree. Unfortunately this exposed all the waste which had flowed from our bowels following the Friday super spicy nacho dinner. It was hard to imagine that anything this foul could have come from humans.
Although moving the outhouse saved my mirror it did not help our overall dilemma. The truck continued to slide backwards no matter what we tried. Pushing from the back, pulling forward nothing would work, there was mud literally everywhere. We were covered in mud, my truck had mud smeared on the windows and on the sides. This didn’t make me feel to bad when my truck was egged on Halloween two days later. The camp drive way had, well let’s say we gave it some new edging We were out of options, any further back and we would crash off a small bank or smash into a tree. The truck wouldn’t even consider going left to freedom and couldn’t go to the right either, the revenge hole.
We were stuck between a tree and a crapper. The statement “hey crap happens” took on a whole new and literal meaning to the four of us. In a last ditch effort, Ben and Ryan walked about a mile over the hill to our friend’s farm. They were able to get in touch with the farm hand who agreed to come get the truck out with the tractor. I felt bad having to ask the guy since this isn’t the first time I’ve had to call him. The only problem was he was in the middle of something and Ben, Ryan and Andrew needed to get on the road back home soon. In a fit of brilliance Ben and Ryan drove the farm’s John Deer Gator over the hill to the camp in which we piled all their gear and us into. The gator was overflowing, we looked silly. Instead of going back through the woods we decided to take the main road around the mountain which is about two and a half miles total. Note that the gator travels a max of around twenty miles an hour and my cousin was fifteen at the time, no seat belts, no airbags, no license plates, not a licensed driver at the wheel, no turn signals and the headlights where off, all loaded up and illegal. Just imagine if a cop had pulled us over, what would we say? Our best lines in case of a situation were, Where is the parade at?, and Hey what do u think of our float?
Eventually we arrived at the farm and sent the boys on their way. The farm hand showed, pulled the truck out from between the tree and the crapper and I headed to my stand narrowly missing a chance at a bruiser buck.
Since that ordeal, the four of us have wondered, was it really worth going for the Rice Crispys? We may never come to a conclusion but one thing is for certain, when crap happens it’s better to go through with good friends, but also hurts after spicy nacho night. Oh and one more thing, those Rice Crispys were delicious.
Where Eagles Dare, Pushing the Wild Limits.