Paynesville Press - October 2, 2002

Community Perspective

Telling my favorite hunting stories

By Steve Lahr

When Mike asked me to do this column, I thought why me. I really don't have strong opinions on many items, I would have a tough time coming up iwth something thought-provoking for readers, and I'm limited on what I know of critical issues in the Paynesville area.

Typically, I try to spend my free time doing things with my family that help me forget about the pressures and stresses of everyday life.

About the only thing I can do well is tell stories, so here goes!

Fall is my favorite time of year and, of course, I can't help but think HUNTING! Usually this time of year my friends and family start to dig up all the good stories from the past. You know the ones...buck fever and the-one-that-got-away.

Probably some of my favorite stories have happened to my mother-in-law. Not that I'm picking on her, but my mother-in-law has hunted for years and years and up until four years ago had gone without ever getting a deer.

Stories like the buck that kicked sod in her face or the story of the time she ran over to my father-in-law's stand to tell him that she had seen a deer. Of course, my father-in-law told her to go back to where she saw the deer, and if he was still there ...shoot him.

I think my favorite story is this one. It was opening morning and like most opening mornings she was in her stand early and waiting for the sun to come up. As daylight started to break, much to the surprise of my mother-in-law a doe walked into open view only 25 yards in front of her.

My mother-in-law, being as quiet as possible, started to pull up her rifle in hopes of bagging her first deer ever. Just as she got her gun up and the safety off, a buck ran up right behind the doe.

This was real luck for my mother-in-law, as she typically doesn't even get to see a deer most hunting seasons. Now fate had smiled on her: she had two deer to choose from.

Of course, the decision was easy. It would be the buck. As she moved her sights to the buck, an unusual thing happened. Well, I guess not that unusual if you are a deer in rut. The deer began to mate.

This only discouraged my mother-in-law for maybe a second. She was still determined to take that buck, so she put her sight on him and squeezed the trigger.

Both deer stopped and did not move for about five seconds and then they went back to mating.

My mother-in-law tried again, but if I remember correctly, her gun did not fire again for some reason and needless to say the deer finished up and moved on.

Of course, when my mother-in-law told the story back in camp, the general feeling was that she maybe would have had better luck if she would have just thrown the gun at the buck.

Myself, I don't think I would have told the story at all. Not that I haven't had bad luck; I just don't like to tell anyone. (Schmitty, Bruce, Schultzy, and Jen...keep your mouths shut!)

I'm sure my mother-in-law will be telling plenty of stories about me over the next few weeks without your help.

Lahr, a 1986 graduate of PAHS, lives in Zion Township

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