This has not been the greatest of deer seasons. One good thing is that I get to spend some time with two of my Central Michigan University (CMU) roommates, Gary McCrimmon and his brother Grant, along with Gary’s son Jason, Grant’s son Scott, and another long-time friend, Jim Melvin.
As far back as the 1970s, Gary, Grant and I have gone fishing and hunting together. Fishing usually occurs up in Canada. Hunting usually happens up near Marion, between Cadillac and Clare. We seem to always get deer, some with horns and some without, but some years it takes longer than others to bring home the venison.
Since I have only seen two deer in two full days of hunting so far, this year is shaping up to be one of the “longer than others” years. Regardless of seeing or not seeing deer, in other ways it has been an interesting deer season.
On the second day of deer camp, Tuesday morning, one of the guys noticed that my truck had a flat tire. I must have hit a branch or something that punctured my right rear tire Monday night while driving back to camp. When we took the tire off, it was slightly more than a puncture—about a four-inch gash in the inside sidewall. From the size of the gash, I was fortunate to make it back to camp before the tire went flat. My spare was good, but it’s still a $125 tire that wasn’t so good.
The second piece of bad luck involves my face meeting up with my scope. We hunt in woods surrounding a cedar swamp. When things are really slow, someone volunteers to walk through the swamp, hoping to stir up some lazy deer. We call it “making our own luck.” It was my turn to volunteer.
A few years ago, a high wind storm went through the area and blew down many of the cedars in this swamp. They are twisted every which way, making it very difficult to get through. That’s why the deer are in there hiding. It’s quite an effort, but we are often successful at getting the deer moving.
As I was picking my way through, I came to a spot where I couldn’t go under or around the downfalls. I had to go over the top. I climbed up on a log and grabbed a branch to sturdy myself. The log was slippery and the branch broke so down I went. “Down goes Frazier” is Howard Cosell’s famous fight call as George Foreman knocked down Joe Frazier and won the World Heavyweight Boxing title. Well, “down goes Coon” gave me a taste of what Joe must have felt like on that day in 1973. My gun scope hit me in the face and split my lip. My head hit the log on the way past, causing an instant headache, and my back and knee met with something hard on the ground. Ouch! Everything hurt! I will be okay, but no laughs, please, if you see me out in public!
A split lip isn’t going to stop me from hunting. It will stop me from climbing over any further cedar downfalls.
This week we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We all have plenty to be thankful for. Allow me to detail some items that come to mind.
As I previously mentioned, I have been hunting and fishing with my friends since the 1970s. I am thankful that we live in a country where we have the right to enjoy the outdoors. We can hunt and fish and, as long as we buy the proper licenses and follow the rules, our enjoyment is not curtailed.
I am thankful that we have a stable neighboring country in Canada to our north. Imagine if we had a country with a government like Iran to our north.
I am thankful for the education system in this country. I was able to take advantage of that system to attend CMU. My daughters, Kim and Stephanie, received a fantastic education in the Rockford Public Schools system and have gone on to college and beyond.
I am thankful that Deb and I are able to live, raise our family, have friends, attend church, and earn a living here in Rockford. This community is something special. Our state of Michigan, even with its economic troubles, is something special. Our nation, even with all of its current federal government issues, is something special.
Over 200 years ago, our Founding Fathers started something special. We are still benefiting from their bold and brash move to create a free country. I am thankful that it was an experiment that worked. They relied on their faith in God and their fellow countrymen to set up a system of government that has stood the test of time.
This Thursday, we all should take time to reflect on just how thankful we all should be that we live in the greatest country on the face of the Earth. This is Jerry Coon signing off.
Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent. He owns Action Tax Service in Rockford. Contact Jerry at www.actiontaxservice.com.