Deer Hunting Stories
Fact or Fiction??
By Keith Gibson
It has been a known fact that fishing stories tended to get better and better with passage of time, along with the passage of alcohol into the story teller. This also occurs with deer hunting stories.
The distance that the hunter brought down his quarry, increases by several yards with each additional drink.
My father used to counter these stories by stating that he always treated his bullets before the hunt began, so that he could shoot at extremely long distances.
He would dip them in olive oil, then salt and pepper. The oil would lubricate the barrel, thus allowing the bullet to go faster, increasing the range. The salt would keep the meat from spoiling until he could get there and the pepper kept the flies away.
The McGill Club and the Victory Club in McGill were the favorite watering holes for hunters to regale others with tales of their hunting and shooting skills.
There were of course many funny stories that actually happened.
One true story was related to me by Tom Dotson (91) who was raised in McGill. He told me that his father was quite the deer hunter and supplied the family with plenty of venison during the 1930s and 1940s.
His father, Tim, would gas up their two door Model A Ford sedan and head for the hills whenever the supply of meat was running low. Sometimes he would open the deer season a few months ahead of schedule, if necessary.
In such cases he had a master plan. The Model A had a back seat that had lots of leg room. He would place the deer on the floor in front of the seat and then pile lots of mahogany branches over the deer. Everyone knew that he heated the house by burning mahogany. After covering up the deer, he would head for town. He always parked in front of the McGill Club. He could then slip into the post office and get his favorite out of town newspaper and then because for some unknown reason, the U.S. Post Office was located near the Club he automatically ended up at the bar. He liked to have a couple of boiler makers and then get a bucket of beer to take home.
He was in this procedure one time when a friend, Al McCubbin came into the bar and announced, loudly, that Tim needed to get his Model A and the load of mahogany home quickly, because it was bleeding all over the street.
The many hunting tales told over the years may have been exaggerated to a large extent, but a tour thru the McGill Club may dampen such thoughts. A good look at the deer mounts on the walls dating back to the 20s, 30s, etc. is a good indication that many of those tales were true. There are some fine old mounts there.
I remember a lot of us kids walking around town in late October and looking at some of the huge bucks hanging from the rafters on the north side of the houses. Andy Morel’s house was a certain one and so was Growler Munson’s and Dick Crane’s.
The deer were wrapped in several layers of cheesecloth to keep any flies out. After a few weeks of aging they were taken down, skinned and cut and wrapped for the freezer. There were no large freezers in the homes at that time, but most folks had a rented freezer locker in the back of the McGill Commissary.
Such were the deer hunting times in the past.