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In hunting, what can go wrong very often will

By golly, we've made it. Hunting season. Have you been reminded of what wasn't working correctly or needed replacing from last year yet?

Every time I think about what can and will go wrong, I think about my hunting buddy Mike May two or three late Septembers or early Octobers ago.

Mike and I were at our camp in Madison Parish on a Friday evening. Squirrel season would open the next morning for me and archery season for deer would open for Mike.

Before plumb dark, Mike blurted out, “I better shoot my bow; I haven't shot it since last year.”

Well, we gathered a target, positioned it at an appropriate distance, and the exercise commenced. Mike's first shot hit at 3 o'clock, about 2 inches out. “I must have pulled that one,” Mike stated.

He shot arrow number two. It impacted the target area at 9 o'clock, maybe an inch out.

“Let me try one more,” Mike insisted. Now I was looking dead at Mike to check his “follow through.” Ever hear a bad sound like you have never heard before? I heard it. You ever see someone walk up to something they weren't supposed to and kick it and see it come alive with bumble bees or hornets?

Mike looked like he was fighting bees. He couldn't let go of his pet Mathews bow and yet it looked like it had him. He came down the steps flailing his arms around his head like something was on him.

When we finally met up, he hollered, “Is my (right) ear torn off?” Well now, it appeared to me old Mike still had both ears, and I couldn't see any blood coming out of his ears, nose or mouth.

“No, it there's nothing wrong with your ear,” I explained.

“What? I can't hear you,” Mike hollered. I'm telling you, he thought he had ear or head damage.

We finally got a mirror and Mike saw that his ear indeed was still fully attached to his head.

Then we began our investigation. Nothing appeared to be wrong with the little bow. The arrow was not in the target. It was then that Mike noticed his release. The jaws would not function. Apparently while at full draw, the release gave way and came back, striking Mike all around the head and ear.

There's no way he would have stayed on the platform of a climbing tree stand. That's the way things happen.

Please don't get in or on a motorized vehicle with a loaded firearm.

Please don't climb a tree or a treehouse ladder with a loaded firearm.

Take care of your equipment, don't abuse or misuse your valuable “stuff.”

This time of the year is just grand. It's fall! We're getting to go to the camp. We're cooking all the good stuff, we're getting to take a nap at the camp. It's just a good time to be alive.

With Christmas just around the corner, now might be the time to hint to your spouse about what you need for hunting.

If you don't have a really good pair of binoculars, this might be your year. Look for:

Waterproofing — this should mean submersible waterproof. If they are that waterproof, there's a better chance they will not fog up.

Center focus — this is the “wheel” between the barrels that lets you focus on and at various objects. (Some new models have a pre-focus of such. You merely focus each barrel to your eye and supposedly you are good to go. I much prefer center focus.)

Magnification range — 8X-10X is the norm. Less than 8X and you're straining; over 10X and you need to be standing in concrete.

Objective lens — 42-50 mm. This is what allows the image to enter your binoculars and go to your eyes. Again, 42 mm is at the upper middle of the spectrum while 50 mm is tops.

You'll have a choice of American, Asian, or European. Stick with American or European if at all possible. Expect to pay $750 to $-1,500.

If you get a chance, take a kid fishing or hunting. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy our outdoors. Some of the best meals and friends are made “at the camp.”

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