Dang. The Post Office just delivered those DOW hunting guides and we’ve had to institute the “check the caller ID on the phone rule.” If it’s Cousin Ollie, don’t pick up! For those of you who’ve met Cousin Ollie, you know he’s not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but that’s not the problem.
See, the thing is, those hunting guides have the word "Hunting" in them, and Ollie lives for hunting season. As soon as those brochures show up he starts calling everyone to make sure they get their applications submitted in time. All summer he’s scheduling shooting practices every weekend. Then there are the evening drives to “scout for the big ones.” Never mind that the “big ones” didn’t get that way by hanging around the same area for weeks at a time just so the hunters could find them opening morning. No…old Ollie doesn’t let logic like that affect his plans.
A month or so before season starts he plans food and logistics. Over the years this has evolved from how many packages of bologna, loaves of bread, and packaged cinnamon rolls he needs to go with the beer and coffee, to asking who’s bringing the steaks and chops, and which morning will be breakfast burritos and which will be steaks and eggs. But, of course, this has been after years of conditioning by the other hunters who insisted on having actual meals during the hunts. Ollie has grudgingly come to agree, but we still find eight or nine packages of cinnamon rolls stashed in the camper after the season is over.
Now don’t get me wrong. Ollie is a good hunter, maybe even a great one. After all, he’s not the one who was found sound asleep on a comfy flat rock with a couple dozen fresh elk tracks around him one opening morning. Or the one caught with his proverbial pants down by a massive bull elk. His lack of skill isn’t what causes everyone to dread opening day. It’s Ollie’s “enthusiasm.” The kind that says “let’s hunt the deepest, steepest canyon we can find, ‘cause that’s where the ‘big ones’ are.” Of course that’s where they are…no one else is crazy enough to go in there, let alone try to get 800 pounds of meat and antlers out!
For instance, a couple years ago we were all up hunting. My husband, myself and the kids were on one side of a huge canyon (me and the kid’s ‘dogging’ of course - you wives and kids know this term I’m sure - it means “Honey, you and the kids start way over there and walk up and down all the gullies while I sit here on this comfortable rock and wait for you to push the elk/deer/whatever this way”). Well, the kids and I had just woken my husband up and pointed out the rumps of the disappearing elk when one of the kids noticed something across the canyon. We got out the binoculars and were fascinated to see some crazy idiot backing a pink jeep over the cliff with a winch attached to a stout Bull pine. As we stared open-mouthed the guy stopped the jeep completely vertical and proceeded to rope an elk that was hanging off the cliff with his antlers stuck in a tree. It took a while, but the guy eventually got his elk into the jeep and tied down so it wouldn’t fall out, then calmly winched himself back up the cliff and on to flat ground.
My husband and I turned to each other and mouthed the same word, "OLLIE!" He was the only person we knew with a pink Willy’s jeep who was crazy enough to pull that stunt – and stubborn enough to get away with it.
And, as you all know, people who are that much into hunting spend all the off-season reliving that “great hunt" (or hunts), so even if we COULD ever forget Ollie and Pinky, he’d be sure to remind us.