Afraid To Hunt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Boyfriend and girlfriend, out huntin' coons', become the hunted instead.

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to tell this story, about a run in, my girlfriend and I had about five years ago. It happened on the land where I live, just south of Scottsboro, Alabama, which is east of Huntsville. My family have owned that land for over seventy years, my grandfather, my dad and I were all raised in the that house, which I now own, and will pass onto my kids someday. 

 

Anyway, it has always been a tradition in our family to go raccoon hunting every first day of summer, now, raccoon hunting is legal all year around, just like opossum, yet we always went on that day and that year was no different. This year it was just me, my girlfriend and my huntin’ dog named Trixie, now she was a medium sized dog, had shorter legs for her breed, but she made up for it in tenacity, I mean, she’d fight a bulldozer if she saw fit to. 

 

That year, we decided to go a little bit later than usual, normally we take off around sunset, but this time we waited until about 11 p.m. My girlfriend got off of work around nine, and we started getting packed up and ready to go. We were headed to the far south-east of our property, which borders old man Johnson's property, he’s a good old boy, and he don’t mind us killin’ a couple coons on his property either. Mr. Johnson raised horses and he had some beauties too, which he kept in a huge fenced in area, about where we were going to go that night. 

I got my rifle, plus, I always took my .38 just in case, sometimes we have seen black bears out there, but it’s rare.

 

We took a six pack of beer, she doesn’t drink, some sandwiches, just in case we got hungry, plenty of water and food for Trixie, plus some chips and some cookies. Trixie has an oversized dog carrier that I put in the back of my truck, but she doesn’t like it, I always have to catch her, pick her up and put her in there and shut the door. I told my mom we’d be back around 6 a.m., she said be careful and then we hit the road. 

It was pitch black that night, and even though the moon was almost full, it was still pretty dark. I did bring a big flashlight, same one I always used and it had never failed me, until this night. We parked the truck and headed down the trail and made plans to stay right, follow the fence, then when we hit Lewis creek, we’d start heading back to the truck, all in all, about a six-mile trek and this place is usually packed with raccoons.

Now if ya never eaten raccoon before, it is a bit gamey tastin’, but if it is cooked right, boiled, then BBQed, it is right tasty. As we started out, it was a typical night, now I have been going out that way hundreds of times, for most of my life really, I could probably walk it with my eyes closed, that is how many times I have been there. 

 

Trixie led the way, as always, then me and my girlfriend was right behind me, I had the flashlight and usually Trixie would run off ahead barking and it wouldn’t be long until she would tree a coon, but it was about twenty minutes later, that I realized that this time was different. Trixie wasn’t barking and was staying kind of close, and I started getting this weird feeling, I can’t describe it though, but something was different. Just then Trixie stopped and started whining, like an under the breath whimper, she turned and looked at me, and when hit me, I mean hit my nose. There was this strong and very pungent odor, like a wet, dirty dog, mixed with some strong ammonia smell, like a super dirty kitty litter box. 

 

Both my girlfriend and I looked at each other, and she said, “What’s that smell?” “I don’t know, I have never smelled anything like that before” I replied. Just then, Trixies whimpers, turned to some low end growing, I mean super low, I had never heard that from her before. “Be still” I told my girlfriend, “It might be a black bear, one that needs a bath bad!” I laughed a bit, but I was the only one laughing. Trixie now was barking and staring off to the left and ahead of us, but she didn’t move. We thought we'd keep walking, just nice and slow, following the fence, I had pulled out my .38, just in case, and just then, my flashlight died. “Son of a bitch” I said out loud, “I knew I should have changed the batteries!” Luckily, I had brought a second one, but this was much smaller, it’s the one I keep in my glovebox usually, but had taken it out a few days ago, to check something under the dash and forgot to put it back. I am glad I forgot, because I wouldn’t have seen it, or picked it up. 

 

Just as we got to the top of the crest, Trixie took off in front of us, like a bat outta hell, barking like crazy, finally, a coon, I thought to myself and started loading my rifle, just then, as quick as she took off, Trixie came running back toward us, yelping and carrying on, ran past us and never stopped. “What the hell was that?” I said out loud, then we saw what Trixie saw. About 20 yards in front of us, half behind a tree, was a tall animal, broad shoulders, long arms, stood about 8 feet tall and had eye shine, from the moon, like a yellowish green color. It was at that point, the wind must have changed, because that same smell came back and was twice as strong. I was kind of sure it was a bear and I told my girlfriend not to run, but start backing up real slow. Just over the fence, we could see a group of Mr. Johnson’s horses, all huddled together, in a tight group, not moving a muscle and was staring in the direction of the creature. 

 

A couple of the horses saw our light and turned to look at us, but would quickly look back at whatever that thing was. When I turned back to look at it, it had stepped out from the tree, and its silhouette was as plain as day, it was too dark to see a lot of details, but that was no bear! At that time, I told my girlfriend to pick up her pace, then we heard foot steps behind us. Then the footsteps got a bit quicker and that’s when I told her to run like heck. Just before I started running, I fired a couple warning type shots into the air, hoping to distract it maybe and I don’t know if it did or not, because I was too busy running. We ran back to the truck, using the path along the fence and with the help of the moon light, we made it there plenty quick. 

 

All that time, I was wondering about Trixie, what happened? Where is she? Then I heard her whimpering again and when I shined my flashlight in my truck bed, there she was, in her carrier, balled up in the back corner, which is something she had never done before. “You two want to save hellos for later? Let's get out of here!!” my girlfriend said quite firmly. She was right, although I didn’t hear any more foot steps behind us, it was really dark, and I had no idea what that thing was or where it was. I jumped into the truck, we spun out of there faster than Dale Earnhardt in a NASCAR race! We pulled into our driveway and wasn’t even to the house yet when Trixie jumped from the truck bed and ran off to the barn, which is where she always goes to be alone. 

My mom, who was still up, met us outside. “Why are you two back so early and why all the dust!? You're making a mess on the windows, I just washed them!” she said sounding displeased.

 

After we got out of the truck and caught our breath, I told her what happened, about Trixie, the smell and the creature that we saw and that chased us. She stood there for a little bit, then said, “Sound’s like it’s returned” “Returned!!??” I said still breathing hard. “What you described, sounds exactly like what your great uncle Lewis saw, about sixty years ago or so, back in that same spot almost. Was it over by Mr. Johnson’s horses, just over the hill?” I shook my head yes, because it was easier than talking, my girlfriend had already gone in the house and after getting my stuff, my mom and I followed. 

Needless to say, I got zero sleep that night, we stayed up talking about what happened. Crazy thing is, I didn’t see Trixie for almost two days, and she never would go hunting again, the best coon dog I ever had in my life, was now, afraid to hunt. 

 


Submitted: June 09, 2021

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Serge Wlodarski

Good story. I've done some hiking in Desoto state park. If Sasquatch doesn't get you, the chiggers and skeeters will.

Thu, June 10th, 2021 12:05pm

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Reply

....hahahaha, right....and thank you for the compliment sir...

Wed, June 16th, 2021 1:27pm

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