Pranks are to a hunting crew what funny hats and tiny motorcycles are to Shriners. From nailing someones fanny pack to the camp floor to swapping out a hunting coat with one three sizes too small to itching powder in the long johns ... there isnt much that hasnt been thought of. Oh, how I love a good prank. There was the time we slathered crunchy peanut butter inside my uncles PB&J just to watch him howl in pain as he bit down without his false teeth in. Then there was the time we slid a cardboard disk into the middle of a stack of morning flapjacks before handing them to my Grandad. But perhaps my favorite came the weekend my Dad succeeded in selling a member of the crew his own hunting boots. It all began when my Dads chum Joe left his boots in my fathers truck after a weekend at camp. Mind you none of us ever missed a weekend at camp. The term hunting widow was coined on the Boreas Road. So when the following weekend rolled around and Joe returned to camp, his boots were nowhere to be found. Dang namit, Joe bellowed when his boots werent under the camp stove with the other 11 pairs. Wheres my boots. Calm down my father said. I have an extra pair in my truck. Meanwhile, Dad had taken the boots to a local cobbler earlier in the week to be repaired and laundered. Such care had been taken that Joe never recognized them as he slide his ratty wool socks into the worn leather. At the conclusion of the days hunt, Joe was tickled with the perfect fit of the boots. Well, my father said, they are an extra pair. I suppose I could sell them to you. How much, Joe blurted back, going for the wallet partially protruding from his rear pocket. Hmmmmm ... hows $15 sound? my father said pensively. Done, Joe said, handing over the cash. We never let on to Joe the he had actually purchased his own boots back from my Dad, and the cash went silently into the camp fund to pay for necessities like crunchy peanut butter, itching powder and the like. On the Deer Search front Its official - I received my leashed tracking dog license from the state in the mail the other day. My pup is very young and probably wont be of much help in tracking wounded game this season, but Im anxious to get her some badly needed training. To do so, I need to get her out on some blood trails, so Id very much appreciate a call should anyone knock one to the turf. As I said, shes still in the learning stages, so the heavier the blood trail the better, and it doesnt really matter if the deer fell in sight, or if you gutted it and brought it out. I just want to get her some paws on training - so to speak. I also use deer blood & small pieces of hide to train her, so any contributions along that line would be greatly appreciated as well. My goal is to have her well trained for the 2009 hunting season. Feel free to drop me a line with any of the above. My home phone number is (518) 962-8434. Thanks, and until next week - happy hunting. John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.