004 Old Trapper and The Snowy Deer Hunt

Tales of the Old Trapper

28-12-2021 • 8 mins

This week’s Tale of the Old Trapper is titled "Old Trapper and The Snowy Deer Hunt" by Shawn Henninger.

About Tales of the Old Trapper:

When I was a young boy maybe 5 6 or 7 My Grandfather would sit me down and tell me Tales of The Old Trapper.  The Old Trapper was a man who lived many years before my grandfather was even born.  The Old Trapper lived on the Land my grandfather had owned that we called the Old Place.

But, Before it was the Old Place it was called Home by the Old Trapper.  This land is where he went on many adventures.  Working with the woods for all the things he needed to food, clothing and shelter.  The Old Trapper was not one for lavish things as he only lived in a single room log cabin he built himself.  Through his adventures he learned many values that he passed on to the community and anyone who crossed his path through his journeys.

So join me as I re-tell the Tales of the Old Trapper just as my Grandfather told them when I was just a child.

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This Weeks Tale:

The Old Trapper Looked out his window as the moon was shining down on the fresh snow that had just finished falling from the sky.  The Old Trapper was up even earlier than usual because he had an adventure planned for the morning.  He was preparing for his big deer hunt. Each year around this time he would get up early, put his chili on the stove to warm up, get his warmest hunting clothes and set out for the day.

This year it was going to be an important hunt as his favorite deer skin jacket was beginning to wear thin.  It had a hole under an armpit and one of his pockets was torn clean off.  He also needed to get plenty of meat to get him through this year's winter.  It wasn’t the coldest or snowest he had seen but still was challenging.  He might even luck out and find a Racoon in one of his traps that he could make into a new hat.

The Old Trapper had been on many successful deer hunts and knew that it took finding just the right spot, being quiet, getting to your spot early, and a little bit of luck.  This year he had been tracking for months in preparation and had the perfect spot picked out.  He was so excited for this year’s hunt that he had trouble getting to sleep.  As he would drift off he would quickly wake up fearing he’d sleep in too late.

The wind was chilly as the Old Trapper walked out of his front door and headed to his spot.  The Snow was only a few inches thick and perfect to track any deer, but it also made a loud crunch crunch crunch as he made his way into the woods.  The Old Trapper loved the quiet of the morning and stopped to admire all that nature had to offer.

The Old Trapper climbed over a log he had scouted out earlier and sat down with his back against it.  This would be a nice spot to sit and wait for the deer to show up.  The Air was blowing harder and the Old Trapper bundled up as tight as he could trying to keep warm.  He could see his breath in the air and small ice cicles started showing up in his beard.  This will all be worth it for my new Coat and meat for my chili.

The Old Trapper was sitting much earlier than he had anticipated as the moon was still shining.  As he sat with his back against the log he moved to get more comfortable and laid his head back.  His eyes began to fill heavy and he felt himself drift asleep.  Just as he was drifting off he heard a big crash of branches and crunching of snow.  The Old Trapper’s eyes popped open as he looked all around expecting to see the biggest deer of his life. His heart was racing and he lifted up his black powder rifle ready to take aim.  But The Old Trapper did not see any deer.  In fact he didn’t see anything at all. He kept looking when he heard small barks of a squirrel.  Standing just to his left was a grey squirrel looking at the Old Trapper.

The Old Trapper Smiled and sat back down as the Squirrel raced around the tree and jumped back onto the branches.  After watching the squirrel for a few moments it slowly disappeared deeper into the woods.

The Old Trapper leaned back against the tree and slowly drifted off once again.  This time as he was just beginning to dream of his famous chili all around him snowflakes began to fall.  First there were a few here and there. But after a while it began to come down quickly covering the Old Trapper.  Now you may think that this would wake the Old Trapper and cause him to get cold, but the Snow actually helped to warm him up as it made a small Snow Fort around him.

Snuggled up the sun rose and started to warm the Old Trapper. This caused him to fall into an even deeper slumber.  Lots of wildlife started coming out for their own early morning adventures.  A Bird flew down to pick the last bit of twigs for their nest.  A Rabbit hopped over the quickly falling snow, and finally a big beautiful buck made its way out of the woods.

Now the Old Trapper’s snores probably sounded more like a deer call and this interested the Buck. It wandered over to where the old trapper was sitting and sniffed near his feet.  The Old Trapper rolled over and laid his head on the fresh snow piling on the log.  The movement startled the Buck as it started wandering back towards the woods.

The Old Trapper feeling the cold snow on his face slowly opened his eyes just in time to see the Buck turn back to look at him.  The Old Trapper tried raising his Rifle but snow had piled around it. The Struggle startled the buck even more but the Old Trapper was able to raise the rifle up and put the Buck in his sights.  When he pulled the trigger there was a loud snap, but no bang.  The Old Trapper watched as the Buck walked back into the woods.  The old trapper checked his rifle and found the problem.  The Snow had melted and caused his rifle to misfire.

The Old Trapper rarely lost his temper but this caused him to become very upset.  The snow was coming down harder so he decided to just go back to his cabin.  As he walked back he heard some children. He was a ways away from them but could tell they were struggling to chop down a tree.  The old Trapper normally would go and see if there was anything he could help with but he was in such a bad mood he was just going to go home.  As he continued on his way he could still hear the children struggling to get the tree chopped down.

Now this is where the Old Trapper stopped and took a deep breath.  Just because he was having a bad day didn’t mean he needed to ignore his values. He was always one to offer a helpful hand to those in need.  So The Old Trapper turned back around and headed to the children to see if there was anything he could help with.

The Children explained to the Old Trapper that they have never cut down a tree and were struggling.  The Old Trapper took his time and explained to the Children how to Safely cut down a tree.  Once it was cut down and chopped up they gathered the wood and took it back to their house. The old trapper helped them stack it neatly in front of their house and accepted an invitation to come inside to warm up.

Once inside The Old Trapper discovered why the children were cutting the tree by themselves.  Sitting with a blanket and a warm cup of water was the children’s father.  “Thank you for your help Old Trapper. I’ve come down with something that has had me stuck in this house for weeks and I haven’t been able to cut any wood to keep us warm.  If now for your help I don’t know what we’d do.  Please join us for dinner.”

The Children’s mother walked in and took the old Trapper’s Deer Jacket with the hole. Upon seeing the hole the Mother offered to fix it.  The meal was delicious and the Old Trapper hated to leave good company but needed to head back to his cabin.  The Family Thanked the Old Trapper once more and the Mother gave the Old Trapper a bag of goodies to take back with him.

The Snow had continued and the trip back was a long one, but with his Deer Jacket fixed he was much warmer than he would have been.  After getting back in his cabin he looked over the bag of items the Family had given him. Inside was a new pair of wool socks, Some deer meat, and a brand new Racoon Cap.  The Old Trapper laughed to himself.  Today was a good day for him as he learned a valuable lesson. Even though he was having a bad day it was always good to remember your values and how good it felt to help others.

The End.