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Pork Chops

By Gregory Burns

It all started the opening day 2013 in November.  I was up early, 0500 as I’ve done every year, but this year.  I rode to the big oak tree as always. I was sitting in the family’s tree stand waiting on Zeus to show his face.  The weather was warm, but not too warm.  As I sat and watch out on the open field I saw little doe speed through about 80 yards out.  It was on!  The deer was moving!  I hit my Black rack antlers together, waiting to see if a deer would come out.  Nothing and I mean nothing showed for an hour or two.  It was now going on 0830 and I was getting anxious.  I waited and there in the brush I saw a big doe come out, I didn't shoot.  This year was going to be different.   I wasn't going to shoot a doe until I shot a big buck.  I watched the doe walk around without a care in the world.  She started towards my stand looking at something.  Was Zeus?  I was getting nervous and trying not to breathe too hard or too fast, fearing I may scare him away.  I slowly looked around and saw another doe right under my tree stand.  I mean she was 10 yards, if that, away.  She was walking and eating with no worry. 
I began to fawn bleat to see if I could call her in closer.  I began to hear a something in the bushes behind me.  Again I go anxious thinking it was Zeus coming to see what is going on.  Once again it was not.  This time it was big ole doe with a baby beside her.  She was looking for the fawn she thought she heard as I was fawn bleating.  I watched as she eased back into the forest with the baby trotting behind her. The first doe continues to walk towards the tree and once again she looked up and begins to stare into the bushes with her ears perked very hard.  She begins to backup while staring at the bushes.  I got my Remington model 770 30-06 ready to fire when he comes into view, but low and behold it wasn't a deer at all.  It was a big red feral hog trotting by my tree. 

I sighed big, because it wasn't a deer and then said screw it, took aim and let her rip, POW!! The hog ran off and I thought I hear him fall by the side of the road. I didn’t, I missed. The second doe run off as well with their tail up waving the white flag.  I continue to sit for another couple of hours hoping to see something, but thinking I blew my chance when I shot at the hog.  I was right nothing.

Weekends past and now it was thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.  I got up early to fry three turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. I was in the kitchen hanging out with family when all of a sudden we heard a car horn in the distance.  It begins to get closer and louder, it was my cousin.  I opened my parent’s front door, as to say what?  Why are you blowing your car horn so early in the morning?  People are still sleeping.  He pointed down the road in front of his car, there was a huge hog. People called Ghost.  He was called Ghost because he was white and no one could seem to catch or kill him, no matter how many times they tried.  Well, he was on my turf this day.  I ran through the house trying to get dressed and get my rifle.  I ran out the front door with one leg in my pants, trying to get the other leg in.  I chambered a round as I ran down the road.   Ghost had attempted to go down a black topped road, but couldn't because of the cattle guard.  He swung around and we look at each other. I threw up ready to shoot, he comes towards me and stops as if to say, give it your best shot.  I did, POW!!! I hit him, but there wasn't an exit wound. I thought I'd missed.  He runs down the road, stops and spunCedar Branch Whitetails in the middle of the road and falls dead right there.  I got him.  Ole Ghost met his match Thanksgiving morning 2013.  He was the biggest hog I’d ever seen.  He could fit in the front end loader of a tractor from side to side.  Team CBW did it again.  Always ready for the shot!

2013 was a great year for me I was able to get Zeus later that season and cap off my best season yet.