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The night Aunt Mable died

Hunting camp was for me more than just a place for the guys to gather for camaraderie and male bonding it was a spot were tall tales were spun like spider webs beneath the dull glow of the gas lights. No doubt it was these very discussions that helped kindle the fledgling writing career waiting to spill forth from my impressionable little mind. Some of my favorite narratives were those of days long past times when the need to put food on the table was rarely superseded by the fairly lax game laws. Game protectors, themselves making barely enough to feed their own families, hardly ever overstepped the bounds of the inalienable right to a freezer full of venison. My Dad told a story about riding to school on a bus driven by a burly man who threatened bodily harm to any kid who dared squeal on his road hunting ways. Deer shot from the drivers seat would be dragged aboard by older students and stuffed in the back of the bus for later retrieval under the cover of darkness. He said hed break your legs if you told anyone, my Dad said. We never did, he said with a quick smile. I liked my legs. Perhaps my favorite story was one told about my own great grandparents, who found themselves in a precarious position one cool autumn night. Faced with feeding a family in the lean winter months, they too had taken advantage of a roadside offering. Problem was a game protector had happened upon them, and now followed closely behind their car, lights and siren wailing. Meanwhile, the deer they had taken lay on the floor in front of the back seat. Thinking fast, my great grandmother Daisy clambered between the seats and sat the deer upright, pulling her raincoat around it. Her floppy rain bonnet completed the attire just as my great grandfather eased the car to the side of the dirt road. Where you heading in such a hurry, the game protector asked. Oh, were just out for a Sunday stroll, my great grandfather responded. And, who have we here, the game protector pressed, motioning to the deer in the raincoat, sitting beside my great grandmother. That would be my Aunt Mable, Daisy replied sweetly. Shes in town from the city. Ohhhhhh, the game protector said. Well I see you got the looks in the family, he said to Daisy coyly. Then, with a tip of his hat, he turned and sauntered off, leaving my great grandparents to deliver Aunt Mable home for supper. John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com. Annual NRA banquet planned Don Sage forwarded a flyer to me advertising the upcoming banquet of the Lake Champlain Friends of the NRA on Friday, Sept. 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the K of C Hall in Port Henry. The event which helps raise funds in support of wildlife and natural resource conservation, youth and hunter education, range development, firearms training and more will feature great food, auctions, drawings and door prizes. Items to be raffled include unique NRA merchandise such as a Weatherby Orion DItalia over/under shotgun, framed wildlife art, NRA guns and merchandise and unique jewelry. Dinner packages vary from a super sportsman package of one dinner ticket and $100 in bucket tickets for $110 to a couples ticket package of two dinners and $100 in bucket tickets to a big shooter package of eight dinners, 3x$20 in game tokens, and a liberty sponsorship for $400. A single banquet ticket can be purchased for $30. All tickets must be ordered before the banquet, and special dinner packages must be purchased two weeks in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information or for reservations call Don Sage at 585-7250, or Tracy Hanchett at 532-7953 or e-mail hanchett@nycap.rr.com.

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