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Jungle Jim

August 11, 2012

Jim, my husband of nearly 25 years, loves to hunt. He hunts big game…whitetail deer, elk, moose, bear, antelope; you get the idea.

And while he’s hunting, he has to be able to see. That means elevated stands, no ground blinds. And, back in then he liked them up about high. Sometimes as high as 24-26 feet, depending on the surroundings.

Quite a distance to fall, and gravity is a force to be reckoned with…just ask Jim. He knows. First-hand. More than once.

This one was before my time, but he tells a good story. And he’s believable…remember, I’ve stuck with him for nearly 25 years. I know him. And the people who were around back then corroborated the tale.

Anyway, Jimbo was bow hunting for Whitetail deer. From an elevated stand…up about 12 feet in a pine tree. And he shot his first buck so he was really pumped. He’d already waited and watched the animal come into bow range (twenty feet, max), then waited some more for it to turn and present a good broadside shot. He held it together for the shot, even though his heart was pounding so loud he thought the deer would hear it.

Then he sat back and smoked a cigarette to give the deer a few minutes to die before he got out of the stand. And he saw where it breathed its last. He’d seen it fall. The buck was laying in a heap next to a fallen log. Not too far away.

Jim had done everything right. Everything finally came together for him. He was soooo happy. You could even say he was ecstatic.

But adrenaline’s kind of a funny thing. It gives some folks super-human strength, and others the ability to run like the wind. Some get the shakes. Some get scatter-brained, and some think they can fly.

Jimbo, he gets forgetful. If he’s lucky, he’s forgotten his knife, or maybe a drag rope. Sometimes he forgets his gloves. And that’s before he’s even left the house.

This time was no different. He remembered his knife & rope. He had his cigarettes and lighter; his gloves and cap. This time was different…he’d forgotten a crucial bit of information.

Like the fact that he was 12 feet off the ground. He just stood up and walked straight off the stand. It had to be like a Warner Brothers cartoon…maybe Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner. He just took a step straight out into mid-air and hesitated a millisecond as he realized what was happening. Thank God he had the presence of mind to throw his bow and quiver (which held three or four more arrows).

Then gravity had its way with him…and down he went. He hit the ground hard. Good thing he had that adrenaline rush going on…he felt no pain. Then. The next few days were probably a different story, but the important thing at the time was harvesting the buck. So he shook if off, dragged himself to his feet, figured out which way was up and staggered over to his kill. A perfect 8-point buck.

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One Comment
  1. Being gravity-challenged, I totally get it. It’s amazing to me how slow time is between the time you realize you are falling and when you hit ground. I always have time to think, “Oh crap, this is gonna hurt”.

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