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A tale of the huntMy good friend Brian and I love hunting. We've been chasing the elusive Whitetail deer all across the fields and woodlands of our home state of Massachusetts. Now, Massachusetts isn't regarded as a great hunting state, but there are deer here, you just have to gain access to the privately held lands that are a goldmine for hunting. This is what happens when two guys with a knack for getting into trouble stumble upon a supposed good thing.
Brian called me up one evening early in the fall of 1992. He had stumbled upon the fatted calf of deer hunting property. The Huneywell Estate bordered the towns of Natick and Wellesley and contained several dozens of acres of prime woodlands. Brian and his brothers had been doing a barn restoration for the Huneywells and spent his lunch hours scouting and perusing the woodlands in this fine estate. Well he had worked up the courage to ask Virginia Huneywell for permission to hunt on her property this upcoming hunting season. Ms. Huneywell agreed, on top of that Brian got to drag along number 1 sidekick; ME!!.
We prepared an intensive scouting foray into the woodlands in order to cut some fresh trails parallel to the deer paths. This would allow us to stalk quietly and limit out exposure to all the thorns and briars that inhabited the lower woodlands. Brian had given me some initial data pertaining to the land in question and we had made our plan. We had permission to machete two paths that ran along her horse farm about 100 yards deep into the woods. We took my truck over and parked it on the corner of her property and walked into the woods. Now I've been in some nasty scrub before, but these woods were a nightmare. There were bogs, underground springs which made huge muck puddles before forming into a creek bed and more thorn bushes and briars then I had ever seen in my life. After an hour we managed to hack our way to the first path. We cut a small trail about twenty feet beyond the path and then began hacking our way next to the trail. These thorn vines seemed to be made of iron, and didn't; cut too easily. We both began to sweat and drew every blood sucking mosquito around for miles. We were both carrying packs full of gear in order to set up two observation stands where we could glass the deer and study their movements. We had cover scents, treesteps and our stands along with all kinds of other hunting crap that only two morons addicted to deer hunting would even consider carrying around.
As I said, our progress was painfully slow, and we lost the sunlight. We were right in the middle of this huge expanse of woods as twilight faded and darkness ensued. "Wonderful, Brian! Where the Hell are we?" I asked as I fumbled for my mag lite which had migrated to the bottom of my pac. We looked at our compass and kept heading due east. Well, as if cutting through dense brush was bad enough in the daylight, doing it in the dark was twice the fun. Perhaps two hours later we stumbled onto an unlit road that seemed vaguely familiar. "We're on South Street" I reported in disbelief, "Two miles from where we parked the truck." So we started walking, two muddy, sweaty guys in camo clothing and large machetes. Well, we passed the time talking and kibitzing like to old men at a gas station, all the while I would swing my machete performing some katana techniques while explaining each movement to Brian as we walked along. We ignored the headlights from cars as they passed us and basically just tried to make the best of a bad situation. We got turned around somehow, the two great hunters and trackers extraordinaire (we vowed to keep that little fact a secret...until now). Next time, we are hiring a hunting guide!