Four of us caddied yesterday. Good guys and plenty of laughs. But the main focus was that yesterday was also the final day of deer hunting season running dogs. Mississippi is one of the few states that dogs may be used in flushing out prey. Pitiful, I know. You would think a gun was advantage enough.
It was Wednesday and we usually don’t hear the dogs and gunfire until the weekend but the last chance to let loose the hounds explained the prolific barking echoing from the Desoto National Forest that boarders Fallen Oak.
As we were standing on the fourteenth tee, a par three situated at the farthest point from the clubhouse, a shot rang out that had everyone flinch. Seemed it couldn’t have been more than 100 yards into the trees. Don’t know if Bubba hit his mark but we couldn’t wait to move on to the next hole and start heading back.
When we reached the green on sixteen, I looked to my right and saw a buck exit the tree line and start across the twelfth fairway coming in our direction. Before reaching the other side we were noticed and he was now posed with a dilemma. Keep going or return towards the approaching hounds and flying bullets. It didn’t take more than a few seconds to opt for retreat, eschewing sanctuary of the course, and continue running a gauntlet of desperate hunters and their trackers.
By their sound, it appeared the dogs were just out of sight. Could their masters be far behind? I waited for the report of the firearm that would end its life. It never came.
Maybe lady luck was on that buck’s side. We’ll never know. Sad to think our presence may have sent him into the light. Then again, I could maintain a ray of optimism and believe he was a lone survivor.
Then there was this: