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Hunting Buddies

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The year was, oh it does not matter. It was New Jerseys, second or third ever archery deer hunt. Stosh and Casey were linemen for what use to be called Ma Bell. Their schedules were such that they always seemed to be off at the same time and this meant deer hunting in the winter, and trout fishing in the summer.

Stosh lived in a small house on the side of what use to be a creek. He ran a trap line from Beverly Road all the way down to the Delaware River. The money he made trapping was used for Christmas presents for his wife and daughter. He was an outdoorsman who had taken a 4pt buck a few years earlier in 1952.

Casey was just a plain good hunter. He never walked out of the woods without game and always filled his tags. Casey was not married but owned quite a few dogs. The dogs ate very well.

When Stosh and Casey found out that they could extend their deer hunting opportunities by using a bow, they were on it. They set up a range and practiced religiously. Stosh was shooting a wooden Bear bow, cedar arrows, with the old Bear two blade razorheads. Casey shot an all fiberglass short recurve made by Ben Pearson.

They hunted a mountain they called Turkey Bone Ridge, the original Turkey Bone Ridge. It was their honey hole up in Northern New Jersey. Now you will remember that I have mentioned this name before, reason is that Stosh and Frank hunted Turkey Bone Ridge II which was located in the middle of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Stosh and Casey had arranged to meet up at the cabin the night before and hunt the first day of bow season.

Opening morning found both hunters all ready to go. Both hunters had their own side of the mountain. They headed off to their stands. Don’t know where or how Casey was hunting, but I do know Stosh’s story. He made it to his stand and climbed up into it. While getting situated he just did not feel comfortable with his current shooting lane out of the tree, so he needed to cut a few samplings. He had situated his stand off a known deer trail and wanted every possible direction open.

Stosh hung his bow and started clearing the limbs away and then it happened. WHAM!!! He felt a searing pain across his face and head and he went flying out of his treestand. After he got his composure back and his eyesight, he realized that while clearing saplings, he had cut his bowstring. The bow flew off the tree and hit him and knocked him out of the tree.

He found his bow, checked for cracks, and then put on a new string. Stosh always carried an extra string taped to the inside of the bow limb. He checked his brace height and then climbed back into the tree, for a short time.

About an hour later he saw what he calls the biggest deer he has ever seen, something about maybe 12 plus points. The deer came down the trail, shooting lanes perfect. He drew, anchored, aimed, and released. The arrow went right over the back of the monster deer and he promptly ran off. Needles to say, Stosh was a bit ticked. Five minutes later he hears something coming down the trail, he looks, his are hopes up, gets ready only to see a very large red tailed fox. Since fox’s are legal to take. he takes the shot and puts the arrow right where he aimed. Just to add insult to injury.

Stosh and Casey were to meet at the cabin around noon, eat some lunch and help one another get their deer off the mountain. They had a running bet, the hunter that did not get a deer had to haul the other hunters deer off the mountain. Needless to say Stosh did not get his deer. Casey did. Casey not only shot one, he shot four does. He shot them way up on the top of the mountain.

Stosh being a man of his word spent the rest of the day hauling deer off the mountain. They ate very well that night and Stosh ate his and Casey’s share of tenderloin.

As with all good hunting buddies, times change, situations change, and we all move on. Casey met a woman and fell in love. He moved to Canada with his new wife and from what I heard lived a happy life in the wilderness.

After Casey left, Stosh gave up hunting and started his own business. He sold his bow and arrows, most of his guns, and totally immersed himself into his business. He did manage to go surf fishing on the off season, once in awhile. His daughter grew up and got married. She had two children a boy and a girl.

Stosh’s grandson while growing up took an interest in all things outdoors. When he was eight Stosh bought him a bb gun. When the boy turned 12, he asked his grandfather Stosh to take him hunting.

Stosh then had to get a new bow. Well, he actually had to purchase two but that’s another story.

FVR pulished TBG

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