My Dad, the Bird Hunter
By Margaret Thomas – Special to the Navarro County Gazette
Corn Silks and Cotton Blossoms
My Dad was a dedicated bird hunter. Deer hunting was not his thing for several reasons. The primary reason was you had to sit quietly in the woods alone, awaiting the deer to come nearby and in the dead of winter. You only visited with other hunters after the days hunt at the Camp House.
He was not the quiet type at all, and loved to be with others, conversing about things in general.
Dove hunting and quail hunting were his choice. Quail hunting required ownership of bird dogs. Ours were in a kennel at our home. Exercise was an important requirement for the dogs that were kept in the kennel.
That meant frequently going to various pastures in the area, allowing the dogs to exercise by running and being free for a period of time. One day he carried them to property the family owned along Richland Creek. It was a combination of cropland and pasture land. On the east side of the property there were three or four houses along the country road going towards the now lake development, Grandview.
Later that afternoon after exercising the dogs and returning home he shared with Mother his experience that day exercising the dogs. He said when he let the dogs out, they all took off over the fields running and playing, except for one dog. This dog would circle around in the area for a short distance, then come back and fall in front of my dad, rolling around, slobbering out his mouth, refusing to run and exercise with the other dogs.
Gently, Dad would encourage him to get up and run like the other dogs. He would respond, but then in just a few minutes, be back at the truck, fall on the ground and roll over, all the while slobbering at his mouth. This went on the entire time they were there.
When he called the dogs in to return home, he briefly walked to the edge of the small branch near where his truck was and lo, he spotted something strange at the edge of the woods. Walking closer to get a better look, to his shock he discovered a whiskey still in operation. Immediately, the earlier question he had regarding why the one bird dog refused to run and exercise with the other dogs was answered.
Who knows what the man who checked his still the next day thought when he discovered some of his whiskey was missing.
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