Many of you know that I teach Hunter Education for the State of Colorado. This story is one of the reasons I teach.
It was a rainy dark day in the first week of September, the opening week of bow season in the Missouri Ozarks.
I was hunting in the Ozark National Forest, just over the fence from my brother-in-laws farm. I learned a long time ago that the guy that just keeps walking sees very little. So my technique of hunting is walk a little and look a lot. I walk about 20 yds or so, depending on the terrain, and then stop and use the binoculars. Most hunters walk by more deer than they ever see. I was looking for a little spot of white or a horizontal line in the woods. If the sun had been out the reflection of a polished deer antler would have given a hidden buck away. I had heard someone shooting with a shotgun an hour or so ago, over on the other side of the valley but nothing for quite some time. As I moved slowly around the bowl of the valley began to see dead birds and chipmonks laying on the ground. This puzzled me because they were song birds and no one ever shoots at chipmonks.
Then BOOOM!! A gun went off on my right. I felt the shot pellets hit my right side of my face and shoulder and the shock of the blows knocked me to the ground. I crawled over behind a bush and hollered,"Don't shoot, Don't shoot, People down here!" And the shotgun blasted again, this time at the bush I was hiding behind. I crawled to a big tree and stood up behind it. I could barely make out a figure sitting on cap rock about 25 yds away. I hollered again, "Don't shoot, Don't shoot, People down here!" And the figure swung the gun and shot at the tree I was hiding behind, blowing pieces of bark into the air. Now I am a easy going guy but in my painfull opinion that guy was trying to kill me. Three times he shot at me so now he should be empty. I nocked a broadhead and stepped out from behind that tree and let it fly, aiming as best as I could with my left eye. The arrow came down to the right of him hitting the flat rock he was sitting on. Shooting right handed and unable to see out of my right eye for the blood running down my face I was shooting off. I saw him jump up and run uphill. I got another arrow in the string and let a full draw move that broadhead up the hill. This time I compensated for my left eye error. The arrow went "CHUNK" into a tree right behind his back.
I took off running. When I got to the top of the hill I heard a car door slam. I increased my speed and when I came flying out of the woods my good eye saw a white Caddilac on the shoulder of the road and then a barb wire fence right in front of me. I tried to jump the fence because I surely couldn't stop at the speed I was going. My foot caught the top strand and down I went. My arrows and bow underneath me. When I picked myself up I could see my arrows were broken. I frantically searched and found a whole one. Nocking and shooting as fast as I could I let it fly at the car as it drove off. The arrow came down right in the middle of the truck lid and stuck there quivering. The car continued off at a high rate of speed.
I was totally exhausted and bleeding still but managed to make it back to the farm. When I got there my brother-in-law took me to the local town hospital and then the police station. I had 14 pellets in my right arm and the right side of my face. One pellet the doctor missed and it is still there above my right eyebrow. When we got home my brother-in-law and I drove back to the site of the incident. We found an empty 6 pack of malt liquor, a empty bottle of whiskey, another of slo gin, and another 6 pack of beer with one can missing. We also found 2 empty boxes of shotshells and 2 full boxes of shells. It looked like he was shooting at anything that moved judging from the dead animals and birds laying around.
The police never did find him nor was his white Caddilac with an arrow sticking out of the trunk lid ever seen in the area. I just wish that damn tree hadn't got in the way.