My good friend Brian and I love hunting. We've been chasing the elusive Whitetail deer all across the fields and woodlands of our home state of Massachusetts. Now, Massachusetts isn't regarded as a great hunting state, but there are deer here, you just have to gain access to the privately held lands that are a goldmine for hunting. This is what happens when two guys with a knack for getting into trouble stumble upon a supposed good thing.
A tale of the hunt
Brian called me up one evening early in the fall of 1992. He had stumbled upon the fatted calf of deer hunting property. The Huneywell Estate bordered the towns of Natick and Wellesley and contained several dozens of acres of prime woodlands. Brian and his brothers had been doing a barn restoration for the Huneywells and spent his lunch hours scouting and perusing the woodlands in this fine estate. Well he had worked up the courage to ask Virginia Huneywell for permission to hunt on her property this upcoming hunting season. Ms. Huneywell agreed, on top of that Brian got to drag along number 1 sidekick; ME!!.
We prepared an intensive scouting foray into the woodlands in order to cut some fresh trails parallel to the deer paths. This would allow us to stalk quietly and limit out exposure to all the thorns and briars that inhabited the lower woodlands.Brian had given me some initial data pertaining to the land in question and we had made our plan. We had permission to machete two paths that ran along her horse farm about 100 yards deep into the woods. We took my truck over and parked it on the corner of her property and walked into the woods.Now I've been in some nasty scrub before, but these woods were a nightmare. There were bogs, underground springs which made huge muck puddles before forming into a creek bed and more thorn bushes and briars then I had ever seen in my life. After an hour we managed to hack our way to the first path. We cut a small trail about twenty feet beyond the path and then began hacking our way next to the trail. These thorn vines seemed to be made of iron, and didn't; cut too easily. We both began to sweat and drew every blood sucking mosquito around for miles. We were both carrying packs full of gear in order to set up two observation stands where we could glass the deer and study their movements. We had cover scents, treesteps and our stands along with all kinds of other hunting crap that only two morons addicted to deer hunting would even consider carrying around.
As I said, our progress was painfully slow, and we lost the sunlight. We were right in the middle of this huge expanse of woods as twilight faded and darkness ensued."Wonderful, Brian! Where the Hell are we?" I asked as I fumbled for my mag lite which had migrated to the bottom of my pac.We looked at our compass and kept heading due east. Well, as if cutting through dense brush was bad enough in the daylight, doing it in the dark was twice the fun. Perhaps two hours later we stumbled onto an unlit road that seemed vaguely familiar."We're on South Street" I reported in disbelief, "Two miles from where we parked the truck."So we started walking, two muddy, sweaty guys in camo clothing and large machetes. Well, we passed the time talking and kibitzing like to old men at a gas station, all the while I would swing my machete performing some katana techniques while explaining each movement to Brian as we walked along. We ignored the headlights from cars as they passed us and basically just tried to make the best of a bad situation. We got turned around somehow, the two great hunters and trackers extraordinaire (we vowed to keep that little fact a secret...until now).
The time passed rather quickly as we yapped and laughed. We approached my truck, finally, and spotted three other cars parked nearby. It was too far away to determine who they were so we just both took note of the cars and approached with a little more care. I admit that I held my machete a little tighter as we got closer to the truck. As we came close enough to make out the cars I realized that they were police cars, and that there were officers standing beside the cars."Dude, they're cops!" I whispered in a panic.Before I could say or do anything else, a voice ordered us to drop our weapons."What weapon?" I shouted suddenly realizing that I was holding a 28 inch razor sharp machete.Realization spawned panic and panic spawned fear. I dropped the machete as did Brian. We were ordered to approach slowly with our hands up. As we got closer I realized that two of the six police officers had guns pointing at us. Thankfully I had relieved myself a few times in the woods and it saved me the embarrassment of losing the entire contents of my bladder right there on the spot. I glanced up at Brian, and he seemed totally oblivious to our dire predicament. He was trying to engage the police in conversation and that's when it happened. He reached inside his camo jacket for the note from Virgina Huneywell. Everything moved in slow motion at that point and I prepared my body to be violated with burning slugs of lead. I flinched and closed my eyes and awaited the inevitable while the cops were screaming and yelling. The next thing I remember was one of these fine police officers introducing me, face first, to the hood of my truck. I was stripped of my stand and hunting pack and told not to move. Barney Fife started rummaging through my pack like he was expecting to find drugs or God only knows what sort of illegal contraban. He shouted something an pulled out a glass vial."Oh Shit" I whispered. "Don't open that!" I advised more strongly than I should have. Barney deliberately ignored me, opened the container and took a big sniff... of Doe piss. He swore and gagged as he dropped the glass container on the pavement shattering it and spilling much of the contents on his pants and shoes. There went the $25.00 I paid for this special Doe in Estrous pee fresh from the doe farm. I swear I tried not to laugh, but the other cops were laughing and I couldn't help myself.Barney came across another spray bottle and studied it. He looked at me as if awaiting an explanation."Mock Skunk gland extract" I announced. "It's a potent scent mask, just a tiny spray covers and masks human odor during a stalk." ($14,95 from Gander Mountain in Appleton WI)Barney rolled his eyes and took the plastic top of the sprayer. "Sir, please, it's really.." Too late! PSSSSTT!! Barney let loose a full shot and had all of us gagging.Brian was having better luck than I was, and the police officer he was talking to was too busy laughing his ass off as he studied the letter that I was convinced would have killed us both."They're harmless Mike; give 'im back his stuff before you make more wonderful smells everywhere."Mike tossed my pac at me and I caught it, grateful for being allowed up off the hood. The other officer informed us of the calls that had inundated both the Natick and Wellesley police stations about two crazy knife wielding maniacs running amok in the night. The Officers claimed that each call was more panicky and exaggerated than the prior and that they had no choice but to assume that the threat was real.
After they ran our ID's , ran the plates of my vehicle, we all shared a good laugh as they recalled the look on my face when Brian went for his note. I confessed that I was convinced we were dead and they all laughed again. Everyone but Mike, he still smelt like Doe Pee. I told him the stuff washes out but he didn't seem to amused. We quickly departed and headed back to Brian's house. Between getting lost and being detained, I was long past due going home. I debated about telling Mrs. Esper this tale of woe. She's often observed that whenever I go off with Brian to do stuff, bad things always seem to happen, like the time we went Turkey Hunting and were being hunted ourselves.... But, that's still another story for another time.