Thankful November 2018 – Hunting Books

Mountain hunters from western nc

Eric Evans and his Dad after a successful hunt in the mountains of Haywood County NC

The White Stag written by Estelle Rice

Pap was the best shot
in Cherokee County.
Kept his gun
spit and polished
on a rack
by the door.

Fed his folks
better’n anyone.
Never killed a creature
they couldn’t eat.
Said deer, bear,
and squirrel
were God’s gifts
to his hungry children.

Pap got old,
forgot many things
walked with a limp
saw more shadows
than light. But he swore
he was still the best hunter
within a hundred miles.

Early one morning
‘for his old wife
woke, Pap eased
out of bed,
dressed and took
his gun off the wall.
He trudged up the hill
‘spite the pain
gripping his chest.

He sat a spell
‘neath the oak tree
and waited.
‘Fore long he heard
crunching leaves.

Pap’s eyes cleared
better’n ever.
Then he saw
the white stag.
Blood dripping from wounds
on its side.

The stag and Pap
looked each other
straight in the eye
not as hunter
and prey
but as friends.

The stag pawed the earth.
Pap now free of pain
smiled
and put his gun
on the ground.

—-

I hope you enjoyed Estelle’s poem as much as I do. It reminds me of my Papaw putting on a big trench coat he got from somewhere telling his grandsons he’d show them how to out smart the wild turkeys, but he didn’t. It also reminds me of James Evans-he’s the gentleman on the right in the photo at the top of this post.

The boy on the left is one of James’ sons and The Deer Hunter’s best friend, Eric.

Although they don’t get to hang out together these days as boys they were always together. They could usually be found in the woods hunting, fishing, and camping. Those were the things that made them happy. Each boy was taught a great love of the outdoors by their father.

About 20 years ago, James, like Pap in the poem, went into the woods. And like Pap in the poem his ticker gave out on him. He wasn’t hunting game that day-it was ginseng. His family said that’s how he would have wanted to go being in the woods with his family. I remember the honor and heartache of the ones who carried him out.

I embrace and appreciate the memories Eric and The Deer Hunter have of times spent in the woods together; of times spent in the woods with each of their fathers; of the bond of hunting that continues today even though they live many miles apart.

Today’s giveaway has been donated by Jim Casada: “Tales of Whitetails – Archibald Rutledge’s Great Deer-Hunting Stories” and “Remembering the Greats: Profiles of Turkey Hunting’s Old Masters.” Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of the books. Giveaway ends Monday December 3.

Be sure to jump over to Jim’s website and look around you can check out his other books while you’re there any of which would make an excellent Christmas gift. When you visit don’t forget to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

Tipper

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    aw griff
    November 30, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Beautiful!!! I can see in my mind’s eye the old man and the stag and understand how that could happen. Many of us when we get older grow alittle soft. Got me to thinking about my Mamaw. If I was around she would ask me to kill the chicken for dinner. It definitely wasn’t that she couldn’t do it if she had to but she didn’t want to be the executioner and I didn’t mind at all. Loved her fried chicken or chicken and dumplings.
    I grew up hunting and we ate everthing we killed. I hunted deer when I got older and at the risk of sounding horrible I never did develop a taste for deer but my growing son loved it as well as beef. My hunting passion was hunting grouse and quail. Mostly grouse. I feel blessed that I got to bird hunt with my Dad for 40 some years. We hunted together so much we knew what each other would do. When a grouse flushed, most of the time one of us would have a shot. at the risk of bragging the bird might as well flew back to the truck and stayed there. We made a great team, and we always used bird dogs. Dad has been gone over 8 yrs. and I think of him ever day and the many hunts we made together.

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    November 29, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    That was a good one.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    November 29, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Loved the story. Just awesome. My dad, brothers, grandkids are all huntets here in the thumb of Michigan. Would love the book. I’m a nature girl.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 29, 2018 at 11:11 am

    My Dad and I spent many an hour working in the fields but our best times were hunting for rabbits, squirrels, Quail, grouse and deer. Like many others have commented it wasn’t sport but a way of putting meat on the table.

  • Reply
    Jeanie
    November 29, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Recovering from a mild stroke and reading a lot as can’t do much else. I loved the poem. Enjoy each daily post.

  • Reply
    Allison B
    November 29, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Great poem.
    A favorite quote of mine, by Ralph W. Emerson I think, says ‘In the woods we return to reason and faith’….
    I love the woods myself.

  • Reply
    Susan
    November 29, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Never read The White Stag, but will share it with my deer hunter and his hunting buddies. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    November 29, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Make sure The Deer Hunter leaves a comment here so that he can be included in the drawing. Maybe someday he will write his own book about whitetails and we can enter a drawing for a copy.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 29, 2018 at 8:34 am

    That is how I hope to go; just take a walk in the woods. Only thing is, I wish I could pick who finds me. And I would plan not to make it too hard a job to get me out.

    Archibald Rutledge’s stories are great. He just didn’t write enough. His ancestral plantation home near Georgetown, SC is a state historic site. Portions of it date back to the 1700’s. I have not been but I want to go.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 29, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I carried my brother out of the woods after he cut his knee with a chainsaw. Thankfully he is still alive and still enjoys being in the woods. (hunting – without a chainsaw.)

  • Reply
    Emily Lott
    November 29, 2018 at 8:13 am

    So sweet, Tipper. Reminds me of my grandaddy.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    November 29, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Still try to take Grandson to woods as often as I can. Knees won’t let me hike like I used to. Good hunting stories are always good to read.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 29, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Like the Deer Hunter, Eric was a fine boy, gently and easy spoken. I ran into him a few years ago in a resturant in Asheville and there was the same gently air about him that had been there in the child.
    Men and their hunting, it’s not a sport it’s a way of life and a way to feed their family through their own efforts, not just a trip to the grocery store…it’s a tradition!
    Thanks for the picture and the memory two little boys!

  • Reply
    Jack Yates
    November 29, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Simply this: A fine, grand way to leave this world, doing something you like…

  • Reply
    William P Dotson
    November 29, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Great story, Jim is a great writer

  • Reply
    carol harrison
    November 29, 2018 at 7:24 am

    the men in my family would all appreciate reading books on hunting deer, bear and turkey. i always enjoy your daily posts.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    November 29, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Lovely story

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