A hunter when he goes in the forest or woods, there are always a chance of facing the danger, especially by the animals that live in the forest. When a hunter enters their territory, it has become a threat for them.
One moonlight night when I was coming home kind of late-you know how it is-I had a feeling that I was being followed. Maybe you know the feeling-nothing you can put your finger on, yet something that keeps turning your head in nervousness. Once, turning my head, I caught a glimpse of something on the trail be- hind me. It couldn't be a bobcat, because they are harmless. But are they? I had heard tales of their at- tacking men, but that is all hogwash, I thought. Just the same, what would I do if I were a bobcat on the trail of a man? Well! I would go to a tree and wait my chance to jump him from above. Then I remembered a big maple tree a short distance ahead and I thought what an ideal place for a jump! The tree had a limb which extended out over the trail under which I would have to pass.
Now in those days, I was not afraid of man or beast and never turned my course for either. I was king of my domain, whether armed or not. When I came to the large maple and saw an unfamiliar swelling on the limb, I walked bravely under the cat. I kept my eye on it and when it left the limb, intending to land on my shoulders, I stepped to one side. I had good reflexes in those days, and as he went past my body, snarling because he had missed a meal, I caught him by the tail, swung him around in the air, and dashed his brains out on the tree trunk. I never got a scratch.
What's that, Sumner? Washington County cats don't have tails? Well! You ought to know. There is plenty of cat bait in the county. I don't know what else sardines are good for. But I always stick a can in my pocket when I go into the woods. Who knows, I might get hungry enough to eat them!
Speaking of sardines reminds me of the time I back- packed a whole case twenty miles in to my trap line. When I opened the case I found that they were packed in mustard sauce. Bobcats wouldn't look at them and I thought that I would have to throw the whole case away, but I used them. You know, 'coons wash their food before they eat it.
Say, Chick, put another log on the fire. Not that one, but that piece of yellow birch-the one with the solid red heart. Most people think wood is wood, but there is a difference. You take beech, now. It is a good hot wood, but you don't want it in a fireplace. Oak has got a lot of heat, yet it never seems to dry out. It will simmer, stew and boil, even if it has been dried under cover for five years. Give me yellow birch for a fire- place. Old growth that will throw a lot of heat and yet last as it burns with a pretty flame.
Well boys, I think that I had better quit for the night. I am getting kind of tired, and when I get tired I am apt to start drawing on my imagination, and I don't want to do that. I want to stick to the solid truth. It doesn't pay to exaggerate. I think that this old dog will step outside and see if he can find a convenient tree.
Boys, it is time to hit the sack. It is snowing outside and that means a deer tomorrow. But it means getting out at daylight, and daylight comes mighty early, if you sit around for half the night. No, no more for me.
I want a steady head and good reflexes for tomorrow. It doesn't take much of that stuff to throw me off. But I declare, you boys drink mighty fine liquor! Some- times I wish that I lived in town so that I could enjoy some of it more often. Well! See you in the morning.
It is very important for the hunters to be aware whenever they are in the woods or in the forest, as the danger can come anytime and in any kind of situation.