Insights on hunting that you won’t hear from Abby.
Having been the outdoors editor of a 150,000-circulation newspaper in eastern Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years, I regularly used questions from readers in my version of “Dear Abby.” Instead of advising and commenting on affairs of the heart, however, I tried to share information on life’s more rewarding endeavors such as deer hunting and other timely sporting topics about which Abby doesn’t know beans. Following are a few of my favorites.
DEAR TOM: It’s been my lifelong dream to go on a moose hunt. Now I’ve saved enough money to go to British Columbia and I’m target shooting so I can shoot straight when the time comes. My question is: Where’s the best place to shoot a moose? — Clark from Oshkosh
DEAR CLARK: I once asked the same question of an old guide in Alaska. He told me the best place to shoot a moose is near a pick- up truck.
DEAR TOM: I’m about to set out on my first wilderness camping trip. Do you have any words of wisdom for the unknowns that I might encounter? — Adventurous from Allentown
1) Never set the water bucket near the latrine. 2) Never make fun of a game warden’s hat. 3) If you’re in bear country, take someone along who runs slower than you do. 4) Never ask for directions from a guide with missing fingers. 5) If you find that you’re really lost, watch for a yellow glow in the distant sky and walk toward it. It’s probably a McDonald’s.
DEAR TOM: My Uncle Harold likes to tell deer hunting stories, but this year he came up with a real whopper. He was appointed camp cook for the day, and when he came downstairs early one morning to start the coffee, he looked out the window and saw a 10point buck. Uncle Harold said he grabbed his gun, stepped out on the back porch and shot the buck in his long-johns. I don’t believe him. — Marvin from Missoula
DEAR MARVIN: I wouldn’t believe him either. How in the world would a 10point buck ever get into Uncle Harold’s longjohns in the first place?
DEAR TOM: I am sick and tired of reading about how you socalled “sportsmen’’ go out every year and slaughter deer. My friends and I really put it to you jerks last year when we got together on the first day of deer season and ran through the woods blowing horns, clanging pans, beating drums, blowing whistles and shouting to warn the poor deer. We had them on the run all morning. How does that grab you? — Antihunter from Athens
DEAR ANTI: Yes, I heard about that. The fellows in the area where you performed were quite grateful. One of them got a 10pointer and three tagged 6-pointers, all before 9 o’clock. They meant to thank you, but when you walked by their stands you couldn’t hear them because you were making too much noise. They said to tell you that next year they’d like you to start about an hour later.
DEAR TOM: My husband recently started taking me deer hunting and I love it, but my feet get cold. I saw some electric socks advertised in a hunting catalog. Since they only cost $12 a pair, is it worth buying them? — Frigid in Eufaula
DEAR FRIGID: The socks are a pretty good buy at $12. Trouble is, the extension cord could easily put you back $100 or more, depending on how far from camp you plan to hunt.
DEAR TOM: What is the fastest way to get a deer skinned? — Future Husband in Philadelphia
DEAR FUTURE: Marry a gal who grew up on a cattle farm.
DEAR TOM: My husband owns five shotguns, nine rifles, three muzzleloaders, four binoculars, two treestands, three bows and four arrows. I think this is ridiculous. What do you think? — Disgusted in Decatur
DEAR DISGUSTED: I agree. Your husband’s selection of equipment is strange, and he needs a good talking to. Anyone with two bows certainly needs more than four arrows.
DEAR TOM: I am a rich 72-year-old and recently started dating a 26-year-old woman. I am very happy except for one big problem. She says she’s in love with me, but we never get to go out together because she spends almost every weekend fishing and hunting. She’s 5 1/2 feet tall and has long blonde hair and measurements of 372436. To tell you the truth, I never liked the outdoors, and I never did like fishing and hunting. Can you help me out here? — Lovesick in Lubbock
DEAR LOVESICK: Please send your girlfriend’s phone number and I’ll see what I can do to straighten things out.
DEAR TOM: I want to buy a new shotgun for my husband for his birthday, but I know nothing at all about shotguns. I heard him mention to friends something about an over-and-under and a side-by-side. I know you’re an expert on the subject and would like you to explain to me the difference between the two and which is best. — Clueless from Columbus
DEAR CLUELESS: You’re correct in that I am considered an expert on the subject. Coincidentally, I own both an overandunder and a sidebyside. Basically, they work like this. Let’s say you’re aiming at a speeding mourning dove. If you use an overandunder, the top barrel will shoot over the dove while the bottom barrel will shoot under it. On a sidebyside it might already be obvious to you that the right barrel shoots in front of the bird and the left barrel shoots behind it. I’ve found that they work equally well on pheasants and quail.
DEAR TOM: I’m a senior in high school, and when I graduate, I’d really like to get a job like yours where not much education is required. You know, hunting and fishing and stuff. Can you tell me something about payment for an outdoor writer’s job? — Aspiring Outdoor Writer from Freeport
DEAR ASPIRING: You’re right. The job certainly has its benefits. As for money, my payment is $125 a week. My boss wants more but it’s all I can afford right now.
– Our friend Tom Fegely has passed away, but his writing will endure for all time.
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This article was published in the August 2009 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Subscribe today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.