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RICK AND BUBBA'S BIG HONKIN' BOOK OF HUNTIN'
By Rick Burgess Bill "Bubba" Bussey Martha Bolton
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2008 Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWHY HUNT?
Why do we do it? Why do grown men (women and kids, too) wake up in what is the middle of the night to most people, dress up like a tree, and go out in the freezing cold to either stand in a hunting house or climb to a tree stand and spend the next several hours hoping and praying that some doe or buck will come out into the clearing? Why do we hunt turkeys, quail, wild boars, and other such animals?
Here are just a few of our own personal reasons:
First, when you're that far out in the wilderness, no one can reach you on your cell phone. That fact alone should have every man in America running to the nearest sporting goods store to suit up. Men, until you've experienced it, you have no idea how precious that "no cell phone" kind of silence can be. No matter how cool your ringtone is, it is even more wonderful not to hear it for an entire day ... or even longer.
Another reason to go hunting is the fact that baths and showers are optional.
The women may not appreciate this, but kids and most guys think it's great. It's freeing to allow your body the liberty to emit whatever kind of odor it wants to-a freedom experienced by far too few of us Americans these days (and one seemingly enjoyed only by "that guy" who sits down next to us for a ballgame, movie, or ten-hour plane flight).
One more cool thing about hunting is that it gives you the rare feeling that comes from eating something that you hunted for that day. Such satisfaction cannot be experienced by bringing home dinner for your family from the drive-thru (unless you happened to hit a buck rounding the corner). No, grilling what you've just hunted takes a man back to life on the frontier, or perhaps even the caveman days. Only, today, you don't have to worry about a T-Rex showing up and carrying off both you and your kill. You just have to worry about your wife showing up and making you go back home to mow the lawn. (Cavemen didn't know how good they had it).
Never having to talk about where to hang a picture or what color and style of curtains should go in the kitchen of the hunting lodge is another reason why many of us guys like to hunt. Hunters don't worry about such things. To this day, neither one of us can say for certain if the hunting lodge we go to even has curtains. This is information a hunter doesn't need to know, and quite frankly, shouldn't know.
Hunting also helps us do our part to help in the great circle of life. Ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden, man has had to live off whatever he could grow on the land and whatever animals he could hunt. So, although places like Kroger and McDonalds have streamlined the whole process, in a sense, hunting helps us keep connected to our ancestor Adam. When we're on a hunt, we know what it feels like to have to go out and find our dinner. During less triumphant outings, we've also experienced the agony and shame that comes from succumbing to temptation and scarfing down that last Nutty Buddy bar-the one the whole hunting party is depending on for survival. But while Adam immediately felt remorse and went and put on some leaves, we were already in camo, so we just licked our fingers.
But we did feel bad.
Another reason why we hunt is that we get to shoot a gun without getting arrested. Usually. (More on that later.) For now, just heed this warning: When hunting, you should always be aiming the rifle toward an animal. You are not allowed to just start shooting at anything, like your hunting buddy. Sorry, Dick Cheney. (You can't write a hunting book and not mention the vice-president at least once. Or twice. Or ... well, read on.)
Hunting also gives you an excuse to play with some really fun toys even after you've passed the forty-years-of-age mark. Neither one of us have ever truly wanted to grow up. We're like Peter Pan, without tights. But hunting lets us continue to play with cool toys like rangefinders and binoculars with inbuilt cameras, even as we're fast approaching AARP status. Hunting also lets us drive in the mud. On purpose. And without anyone yelling at us to "Miss the pothole!" As a matter of fact, we actually look for potholes, as that's where the most mud tends to hang out. Women just don't understand this need in a man. The fundamental need to get mud all over your car and shoes and wherever else it happens to splatter. We, of course, don't watch mud wrestling, but if we did, it wouldn't be for the women. It would be for the mud. Mud is fun. We've been told (by an eavesdropping worker at Dairy Queen, no less) that this connection with mud goes back to our childhood. It makes sense. We loved playing in the mud back then, and we still love it today.
But for some reason, as soon as a man says "I do," he is expected to give up this part of himself. He has to wash his hands before dinner and keep some sense of personal hygiene. Through trial and error, we have found that hunting is one of the few activities left where a man can actually cover both himself and his truck with mud and nobody makes him jump in the tub or run his truck through a quick car wash. More often than not, nobody even notices the layer of earth he has encased himself in. And believe us, it feels great!
And finally, one unintended positive by-product of hunting, and another reason why we do it, is the fact that camo can make you look thinner. We didn't realize this was the case, but every time we put on camo, the change is too obvious to miss. Especially if we're standing in front of a tree or bush. A hundred pounds or so just disappears right before your eyes. It's the strangest thing. Instead of looking like two sexy fat guys, the camo makes us look like a couple of giant oaks.
Sexy oaks, of course.
TEN ELEVEN WAYS TO GET IN SHAPE FOR A HUNT
1. Practice packing your backpack with food of different shapes and sizes to ensure that on the day of the hunt, you will be able to use the space to its fullest potential. There is no reason to shortchange yourself of one more sandwich due to underdeveloped packing skills.
2. Practice eating in all sorts of weather (you may have to sit on top of your heating and air-conditioning vents to accomplish this.) Experienced hunters know that freezing weather can render the mouth useless if you haven't tried it a few times prior to the hunt. If the vents don't work, ask your local grocery store manager if you can have a picnic in his walk-in freezer, or take a Big Mac meal with you to the tanning salon. (Eating in front of an oscillating fan is good practice too, for days when the forecast is calling for wind gusts of up to thirty miles an hour. But hang tight to your sandwich. It doesn't take much for a ham and cheese to become airborne.)
3. Load all your gear on your back and practice climbing up a tree over and over until you can successfully make it up without dropping anything. There is nothing worse than getting all the way up the tree, sitting down and getting yourself situated, only to discover you have dropped half your stuff on an unsuspecting family of squirrels at the bottom. If your lunch was among the scattered objects, chances are you are now watching your boloney-with-mustard being carried up a neighboring tree to what you could swear is a chorus of giggles.
4. Practice answering the call of nature by using various plastic containers. This is so you will be ready when you're in that tree stand or shooting house and you suddenly feel the urge to, well ... you know. A tree stand is not the place for a novice to first try the plastic container technique. There could be occasions when you might be some twenty feet up in the air. Do you really want to die that way?
5. Put on all your gear and test important gadgets like your range finder, grunt call, binoculars, and camera while they are all hanging around your neck. Work on bringing each one up separately and using them correctly. Trust us, there is nothing worse than looking through the grunt call to count points or trying to take a picture of the deer with a range finder. Proper use of equipment must be second nature to the hunter, and it has been well documented that an inexperienced hunter could easily strangle himself if these various maneuvers are not rehearsed and mastered.
6. Practice survival techniques for whenever you are dropped off on land that you haven't hunted before, even if everyone assures you that your tree stand will be easy to find. You might want to scout out any bodies of water ahead of time, and it is wise to get used to the taste of bugs. If you've ever found yourself wandering in the darkness for two hours before giving up and just sitting by a tree waiting to be picked up, then you know how important these survival techniques can be. It's also a good idea to make sure that you leave on good terms with the people who drop you off, so they will be more inclined to come back and pick you up.
7. In front of a mirror, practice this saying for the other hunters at the camp: "What? I didn't shoot." Shrug your shoulders like you have no idea where that gunshot came from. And try to look convincing.
8. Practice getting in and out of the back of a truck or ATV, especially if it's been a while since you have done anything athletic. (Watching golf on TV doesn't count).
9. Practice hiding a spike that you just shot when you thought you were shooting a doe. If possible, find a deer of the roadkill variety, put it in the truck, drop it off in your yard and go through your hiding techniques with the young buck. The neighbors might wonder why there are antlers sticking out of your mailbox, but you can just smile and wave, and then walk on back into the house. (As for the other incriminating, uh, evidence pointing to the deer's sex, cross your fingers and hope no one looks).
10. Time how long it takes for you to get your truck packed and backed out of the driveway before your wife asks you to do something around the house. With daily practice, hunters have been known to shave three or four minutes off of their escape.
11. Practice faking interference on your cell phone for when your wife calls you in front of the other hunters to tell you about her day with the kids. Example: "Honey, I love you ... you are breaking up ... bad reception here ... I can't hear you ... looks like I'll have to call you later ..."
TEN WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOU GET UP WHEN THE ALARM GOES OFF ON HUNTING DAY
1. Sleep in Bubba's room because with Bubba's snoring, chances are you'll still be awake when the alarm goes off.
2. Set the alarm to the music of The Culture Club.
3. Program your alarm to emit the exact sound of bacon cooking (some "smart" models may be able to give off the scent as well).
4. Sleep with the alarm in the pocket of your pajamas
5. Go hunting with Rick, Bubba, Speedy, and all their children. In this setting, no adult can oversleep ... even if he wanted to.
6. Eat something the night before that was cooked by one of the members of the hunting club.
7. Sleep with one of the hunting dogs.
8. Attach electrodes from the clock to some part of the body (place may vary by the individual).
9. Sleep in the truck that will drop you off at your stand.
10. Use your alarm as a pillow.
IDEAL SNACKS TO PACK FOR A HUNTING TRIP
1. Peanut butter crackers (man's ultimate survival food)
2. M & M's
3. Beef jerky (or old boloney, if unavailable)
6. Take a Buddy Bar, cut in half with a butter knife, add more peanut butter, then put back together and place in a sandwich bag. (Trust us, you will thank us for this one).
7. Chocolate chip cookies
9. Porterhouse steak (aged 28-30 days)
12. Chex Mix
13. Chocolate pretzels
15. Four granola bars (to brace rear tires of truck in place)
RICK AND BUBBA'S BUMPER STICKERS FOR THE HUNTER
White Tail Deer-the original organic free range meat
Ask me about my Trophy Bucks.
How's my hunting? Invite me by calling 1-866-WE-BE-BIG
I am proud of my buck-slaying honor roll student!
I send my money to Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Yes, my car is junk, but you should see my ATV.
I Brake for Trophy Bucks ... then park, get to a tree, set up, and shoot 'em!
Help me! My future son-in-law doesn't hunt.
What does any of this have to do with hunting?
Life is what happens in between hunts.
TEN QUALITIES OF THE IDEAL HUNTING PARTNER
He or she:
1. Always says, "You pick your spot first, then I'll pick mine."
2. Always says, "Hey, I love to field dress a deer!"
3. Brings home-cooked snacks from his perfect hunter's wife
4. Always says, "Let's take my truck!"
5. Has access to great hunting land at a moment's notice
6. Better yet, owns his own outstanding hunting land
7. Has beautiful hunting lodge that he never has enough time for and wants you to use
8. Owns a major line of hunting equipment
9. Keeps saying to you, "Hey, go ahead and keep that four-wheeler, I've got plenty."
10. Has the last name Boone or Crockett
RICK AND BUBBA WEATHER REPORTS
"Rain expected throughout the day" means:
You'll be sitting in the lodge hearing every hunter say "Hey, I killed a big one in weather just like this." But not one of them will ever leave the lodge to prove he believes it.
"High winds" means:
You'll be in a shooting house or a tree stand hanging on for dear life seeing nothing, while the same guy in the example above will be at the lodge still in bed saying to any others who were smart enough to stay behind, "Hey, I killed a nice one in wind just like this."
"Freezing temperatures ... a low of 12 degrees" means:
Still warm from energetic discussions of "Hey, the deer will move in this weather," you sit at your post, waiting to kill a big one. Then, an hour or so later, as three of your appendages approach frostbite, your grand visions of deer have been replaced by dreams of the fireplace back at the lodge.
"Unseasonably warm" means:
You'll be sweating in full body camo, fighting off bugs, and wondering if you are sitting with a snake.
You'll never leave the lodge due to grown men losing the will to hunt due to the sheer joy of an all day snowball fight. (Snow ranks second only to mud.)
Excerpted from RICK AND BUBBA'S BIG HONKIN' BOOK OF HUNTIN' by Rick Burgess Bill "Bubba" Bussey Martha Bolton Copyright © 2008 by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey. Excerpted by permission.
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