I get lots of emails from people wanting to know all about Thunderhoof. Is he real or a myth? Am I crazy or is the beast some kind of mischievious spirit? If he is so famous, how come other members of your camp haven't met him? Oh, but they Have!
I had kept the incredible bowhunting adventure quiet until I thought I was going to bust that year. In fact, I had never been so dedicated to shooting a deer and hunted at every chance I got to get another crack at the Gigantic Deer. The season dragged on and I had no luck. The season finally ended and Spring, Summer, Golf and Fishing were upon us.
That Spring I finally told Mark (in confidence) all about the Monster Deer and he thought it was a big joke. I insisted that it was true and that when I dragged that big SOB in with a backhoe that I wouldn’t let him be in the picture because of his sorry attitude!
He laughed it off. He laughed it off until the weekend of our annual golf and fish trip that we share during the crappie spawning season
We had spent the morning playing golf at Benton, then had come in and made sandwiches to take to the lake with us. We had cokes, pretzel, dip, beer, the sandwiches and chips. We were ready to hit the water..
We loaded everything into the 10 ft. flat bottom boat, secured a few life preservers and managed to get onto the lake without mishap.
An hour later, in the hot sun, we had caught a few fish and a few beers when we decided to break out our lunch. We were fishing in about 6-8 feet of water as we drifted along about 20 yards off the bank and I put my rod down, and opened the cooler. I got out the sandwiches and chips and started putting it together.
Marks’ voice had an odd quality to it as he said “Remember that Giant Deer you told me about a few months ago” I said “Yeah”
Mark said “ahhh…Look to your left”
The damn deer had walked out of the woods and was moseying along the shoreline right in front of us. His massive antlers were shining in the sun as he held his head up a minute, stopped, then looked at us. He was not 30 yards away. Mark and I sat frozen as the deer moved toward us and got his front foot in the water.
Mark did not move but out of the corner of his mouth I heard him violently whispering “Crank the motor, crank the damn motor, get us out of here” I could not think and sat there unblinking as the Giant Deer waded out to us and looked over the side of the boat.
The damn varmint reached out and ran it’s tongue into the potato chip sack about twice and they were all gone. Then it started on the bowl of pretzels I had put on the top of the cooler. Mark and I did not move. We did lean back to avoid the horns a little as the damn thing flipped open the cooler with it’s nose and rummaged through there. He then ate our sandwiches, including the one I was holding in my hand. I was afraid he was going to drink our beer too, but he stepped back, shook itself (almost turning us over) blew it’s nose at us in dismissal, wandered back to the bank and disappeared into the woods.
Mark and I had not moved or spoken a word the whole time.
I finally managed to croak a voice and asked him “you catching anything?”
All he could get out was “Quick! hand me a beer and keep ‘em coming!”