Categorized | Opinion

Misadventures in the Great Outdoors

By Josh Gowan

Dakota Ivie, 14, and Caiden Luke, 7, pose with two big-North Missouri bucks.

Dakota Ivie, 14, and Caiden Luke, 7, pose with two big-North Missouri bucks.

It is strange what an outdoors-person will do to pursue our game.
While all of us go about it in different ways, there is often more time spent in preparation than in the pursuit itself.
I spent the last six days in northeast Missouri, or “NEMO” as they call it up there, bouncing around from farm to farm, chasing the majestic and elusive, trophy buck! During those six days my wife jokingly calls my own personal vacation, I averaged two showers, one load of laundry, four hours sleep, and two miles walked per day, I loved it but was anxious to get back to work so I could relax!
The week really ran the gambit when it came to weather, starting out at 14 degrees with a 15 mph wind which required every article of clothes I brought to keep from freezing, and ending with a balmy 65 degrees and 50 mph winds, along with getting caught in the most intense hail/wind storm I have ever had the pleasure of driving through.
Unlike like last year when I arrived home to cheers and ovation, a hero in my own household with a trophy buck in tow and enough meat to last through the winter, this year I moped into the driveway, downtrodden and defeated, with nothing more than a sack of leftover honey buns and eight loads of dirty clothes. But alas, it was a great trip, I filmed a ton of young deer which will be on my YouTube page in the next week or so, there are still a few more opportunities to hunt, and my family was still happy to have me home, even without the trophy!
Now on to the bad part… To add injury to insult, on my last hunt on Sunday morning, I managed to impale my eyeball with some sort of mid-evil, thorn-based projectile, which has almost completely incapacitated me for the past 24 hours.
Allegedly I will be back to normal in a few days, but until then will have to put anti-biotic goop in my eye and wear a wad of gauze the size of a hamburger patty, pinned down with enough medical tape to hold down a faulty hood on a Lincoln Town Car. My local eye-docs, apparent graduates from the Tombstone School of Optometry, have prescribed a healthy dose of aspirin and Elixir #6 for the constant pain and discomfort, which is nearly as effective as my deer hunting preparations…
I shared this personal story on Facebook last week, and got many requests to put it in the paper, so here it is, more of my misfortune for your entertainment!
Last Monday night around 1:30 a.m. that cold front pushed through, bringing 20 mph north winds that found a limb up against my bedroom window that raked up and down the shutter like a washboard player in a bluegrass band. Being a man, I laid there for 30 minutes hoping it would either break on its own, or a couple guys with a mandolin and a didgeridoo would join in, but neither happened.
To compound matters, every tool I would generally use in this sort of situation, boots, big coats, flashlight, limb saw, all were packed tightly in the truck since I was leaving early for the woods. So I scrounged some clothes from the bedroom floor, in the dark so as not to bother my wife, and went into my hunting room and retrieved my 28 inch black machete. I hadn’t packed it, because seriously, why would anyone outside the Amazon need a machete that big?
Anyhoo, outfitted in pink pajama pants, house shoes, a thin coat, and a white knit toboggan I slipped out in the Artic gale and went behind the bushes up against the house.
Without blooms and in the middle of the night, I reached out and grabbed the limb firmly, forgetting my house is surrounded by unbelievably thorny rose bushes…
So freezing cold, slightly bleeding, and dressed like a teenage girl with a two and a half foot machete, I commenced to going Edward Scissorhands on the back-end of this bush. Satisfied with my pruning job, I headed back around the house to find a locked door… I was positive I hadn’t locked the door, but I headed out to get the spare/hidden key, which was not without incidence, but I can’t expound without giving up my hiding spot. I unlocked the door, took two steps inside and was confronted by a furious woman, yelling and demanding to know where I had been.
Apparently my wife, who normally sleeps like she’s on a NyQuil/chloroform drip, woke up and couldn’t find me, called me multiple times (no phone) and opened the door and yelled for me (I didn’t hear) and came to the conclusion I’d left, possibly with a bus full of cheerleaders since both vehicles were still there, and the best course of action was to lock the door and continue calling me while getting angrier.
While picking thorns out of my hand I finally convinced her of what I was doing in the middle of the night, shivering, bleeding, and dressed like a teenage girl with a two and a half foot machete, although neither of us found the humor in the situation until the next morning!

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