John's Journal...

Deer Camp Clowns Make Great Memories for any Hunting Club

Day 3: The Case of the Purple-Poop White-Tailed Buck

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 deer camp clowns. Space won’t allow me to mention them all, but here’s a few.

Click for Larger ViewJD, a member of our hunting club, always enjoyed playing jokes on other hunters, acting silly, pulling pranks and telling wild stories. But the day he came in with the purple deer poop, he got all of our attention. “Look at these purple deer droppings,” JD said as he held them in his hand like a beachcomber who had just found five gold doubloons washed up on the beach. “Have you ever seen purple deer poop before?” All of us agreed that we hadn’t. “I bet there’s a purple deer out there,” JD said, and we all laughed thinking that JD had used food coloring to dye the droppings purple. All weekend long JD kept talking about the purple deer poop, and the purple buck that must’ve left the poop. lick for Larger ViewWe all had a good laugh, but JD insisted he would set-out on a serious mission to find and hunt the purple deer with his bow. He wouldn’t tell us where he hunted, but he swore that he’d spent his time hunting the deer that left the purple poop. Yet he failed to take the deer that weekend. The following Friday night, JD told us, “I’ve hunted the purple deer during the middle of the week, and I know it’s a buck, because I found his rub.” He told everyone he planned to take the buck either on Saturday or Sunday, because he’d figured the buck out and knew why it had purple poop. We all laughed and kidded JD about his purple buck.

Click for Larger ViewAt 10:00 am on Saturday, JD showed-up at camp with a Ziploc bag full of purple poop and a big smile on his face. “I got the purple-poop buck, and I know why he left purple droppings. You want to see him? Come outside!” A fine heavy-racked 8 point lay on the back of JD’s ATV, not the purple deer we’d expected, but instead a deer the same color as all the other deer. “Okay, JD, what’s the story on the purple-poop buck?” we all asked. You can tell when a great storyteller plans to call on all his mental resources to produce a tale that will tweak the interests and dazzle the curiosity of his listeners. A storyteller will have a twinkle in his eye and often roll his eyes from side to side before he starts talking, which JD did. “I have this one white oak tree that I usually always take a buck from during bow season,” JD explained. “However, when I went to the white oak tree this year, the tree wasn’t producing any nuts. Click for Larger ViewBut, all along the trail that went beside the tree, I found this purple poop. Last weekend, I followed the purple deer poop out into a 50-acre, 2-year-old clear cut where I found a big patch of poke sallett (pokeweed) with purple berries – an abundant herb that grows in North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand. Deer had eaten much of this poke sallett, but there was enough left that I could see that the deer were eating the greens and the purple berries of the poke sallett. Saturday morning, I set-up just inside the tree line on the edge of the clear cut. I reached my stand before daylight, and just as the sun started to come-up, I spotted antlers. This nice buck came-down the trail that went out to the poke sallett patch. Now y’all have all heard the song Poke Salad Annie, and this was the poke sallett buck.”

We all had a big laugh. From then on during the early part of bow season in Alabama, when we’d discover purple deer droppings, we’d start looking for poke sallett to hunt over. If anyone asked, we’d say, “We’re hunting purple deer.”

Tomorrow: The Mystery of the Awfulest-Tasting Drinking Water at Deer Hunting Camp

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?

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 630, Day 3