TALES OF BOB ROBERTS / BOB HOFFMAN (cont) - Cornfield Venison - My first deer - Haddam Neck
Pansy & Bob Roberts - NC Tarheels - Mgr, Canada Dry Plant, Hartford Ct.
Arlene & Bob Hoffman - Midwest - Recently hired Congregational Minister.
The Selden Brothers - Long time Dairy Farmers on "The Neck" - both in their 70's.
Roberts' / Hoffman's / Langdon's. All about the same age, newly arrived on Haddam Neck, where most families were multi-generation residents. Each of us with young children. We were the "younger set" - newcomers in the community, tho my folks had owned the "farm" as a summer place since before I was born.
Bob Roberts and I carpooled to work (due to gas rationing in the 40's) alternating the driving. One evening Bob came back to our house shortly after dropping me off, all excited.
El, there's several Deer in Selden's cornfield. Think we could shoot one?
- I don't know Bob, let me check with Leonard or Thomas - (never say Len, or Tom!)
-- Leonard, El Langdon here, are all your Cows in the barn?
--- Yay-ess ( 2 syllable, phonetic, New England twang for "yes")
---- Elwood - is anything wrong?
----- No Leonard. Bob Roberts saw Deer in your Cornfield. Is it alright if we try to shoot some Venison?
------ Waa-aal, Yay-ess Elwood. Just you and Mr. Roberts be carefull.
Got my 30-30 carbine, drove to Bob's - past the Cornfield - sure 'nuff, looks like a herd of Deer grazing. Back with Bob and his gun, and, sure 'nuff - they're still grazing. Now it's twilight and the Deer are silhouetted at the crest of the hill.
STRATEGY SESSION (neither of us ever shot at a Deer) -- Let's pick that 2nd one from the left - Think we should aim right behind the shoulder - and both shoot on the count of three, OK?
One, Two, Three - KABLAM !!! That short barrelled 30-30 deafens you! Ouch!! Bob was not sure whether his smaller bore, 32-20 rifle had fired, couldn't hear it go off.
Walked up to the crest and yep, there is a Deer on the ground. Hustle it into the car trunk (that reminds me of another story) stop by to thank Leonard, and off to Bob's house - where Pansy and Grace, along with Bob and Arlene Hoffman greeted us for a celebration.
-- Happy Hour Time - helped along by some of the Roberts' fine Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and a generous supply of genuine N.C. Corn likker that happened to be on hand for special occasions..
Celebrating taken care of properly, Bob Hoffman, Minister volunteered to do the honors (gut the Deer). "Hang it up in the shed and let me clean it, I never had a chance at that" We quickly learned that "hanging" to gut a deer was a mistake. As soon as Bob-Minister - stuck the knife in and drew it down about 8", a lot of bloody goo seeped out all over his hands. Ugh! Bob ran outside, and lost all those good Happy Hour snacks and libations. A very nice guy, a fine young Minister, but definitley not cut out to be a surgeon or deer butcher.
So we lay the deer back on the ground and finished the job. With Bob Hoffman watching at a safe distance. -- Just like doing a Squirrel, or Rabbit - only larger. Next nite we skinned and quartered it - took a front quarter up to the Selden Brothers, with thanks. I took a hind quarter - and the Roberts/Hoffman duo split the other half. The Roberts great black Belgian Shepherd, Smudgie, got the heart and liver. Great dog for squirrel hunting - that Smudgie..
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