John's Journal...

Deer Camp Clowns Make Great Memories for any Hunting Club

Day 2: Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears and His Icy-Cold Revenge on a Coon Hunt

Editor’s Note: Every hunting club I’ve ever belonged to has had a camp clown – the guy each person in the club can tell at least one funny story about and always smile when he mentions the man’s name. Fortunately I’ve hunted with and shared great memories with some of the world’s best camp clowns. Space won’t allow me to mention them all, but here’s a few.

Click for Larger ViewI’ve always considered my friend, J. Wayne Fears, a nationally-known outdoor writer from Huntsville, Alabama, one of my favorite clowns and have known him as a chief prankster for many years. One time Fears invited me to go to a top-notch dove hunt at his hunting club. Since we rode to camp together, I’d put my camo clothes, gun, shells and vest in his truck. lick for Larger ViewWhen we reached camp, we had lunch and then drove to the field to hunt. I asked Fears for his keys to get my camo gear out of his truck, and he gave them to me. After getting my equipment out of his truck, I put the car keys in my pocket and then took my camo clothing out of the trunk and changed into my camo pants and shirt. I put the clothes that I’d worn down to camp in the truck and then shut the door. Minutes later, Fears asked me, “Give me the keys to the truck, John. I need to get my gun and shells out.” I slapped my front pocket where I’d put the keys but didn’t find them. When I looked down at my pocket, I realized I’d put the car keys in the front pocket of the pants that I’d locked in the truck. I tried to explain what had happened, but with a frown on his face, Fears said, “The only thing I can do is borrow a car, go back to town, get my spare keys and come back.” When he got back and realized he’d missed one of the best dove shoots ever, he looked me square in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you back for causing me to miss this fine shoot.”

Click for Larger ViewTwo-months later, we went to Fears’ deer camp. I thought he’d forgotten about my locking-his-keys-in-the-truck episode. Although we’d hunted hard all day, Fears wanted to go coon hunting that night for a little while. After about 30 minutes of driving around looking for coons, Fears said, “John, get ready. I’ve seen a huge coon in this area the past couple of weeks. If I spot him tonight, you can jump-out and shoot that big ole boar coon with your .22. I really want to mount this coon he’s so big.” Gun in hand, I watched through the windshield as Fears shined a light in a huge oak tree right beside the road on the passenger’s side of the car. lick for Larger View“There he is, John. Get him, get him, get him, he’s going around the truck,” Fears yelled. “The coon’s moving around to the other side of the tree. Jump-out quickly, so you can see him and get a shot!” I pushed the truck door open quickly and jumped-out. In less than a heartbeat, I found myself airborne, and then I hit icy-cold water. When my feet touched the bottom of the creek, I pushed-off, came up out of the freezing water and waded nearly frozen to the bank with my .22 in hand. I climbed up the embankment and saw the bridge where Fears carefully had parked right on the edge.

When I lashed out at Fears with, “You fool; you stopped on the edge of a bridge,” Fears laughed so hard he almost cried. Finally, when he caught his breath, he said, “Remember the day you locked my keys in the truck at the world’s greatest dove shoot?” Dripping wet, I smiled as creek water still streamed down my face, “Ok, J. Wayne, you got me back.” The more I thought about what I’d done and how Fears had retaliated, the funnier the whole mess became.

Tomorrow: The Case of the Purple-Poop White-Tailed Buck

Check back each day this week for more about "Deer Camp Clowns Make Great Memories for any Hunting Club "

Day 1: A Deer Hunting Club Member Develops a New Purpose for the Dog Collar to Keep a Hunter from Getting Lost
Day 2: Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears and His Icy-Cold Revenge on a Coon Hunt
Day 3: The Case of the Purple-Poop White-Tailed Buck
Day 4: The Mystery of the Awfulest-Tasting Drinking Water at Deer Hunting Camp
Day 5: Where Did Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears Put Deer Stomach Content?

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Entry 630, Day 2