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Patrick F. McManus

Old 03-26-2011, 05:48 PM
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Default Patrick F. McManus

For those of you that have never read, or heard of Pat McManus, here's a story he wrote (and I blatently copied from his website, I hope he'll forgive me) I hope that you'll enjoy it, I know that I sure did..


The First Deer

People often ask me how I ever became such an awful hunter. The answer is my first deer. I never fully recovered from it. Many years ago I reported on this incident in a column for Field & Stream Magazine. I believe that column was collected in my first book, A Fine & Pleasant Misery. I could tell you for certain but I would have to get up and walk across the room and check the book. Anyway, the report went something like this. Although my memory may be a little shaky, everything about this report is true.

When I was 14 years old, there was nothing I liked better than deer hunting. But I had one problem. I had never been and had no one to take me, because my father had died when I was very young and all the neighbors were afraid to be around me when I was armed. So one fall day I decided to take matters into my own hands. I tied my deer rifle to the handle bars of my bicycle, put a little sack lunch in the basket, got on and started pumping up the mountain in quest of my very first deer.

About half way up the mountain I came across a real hunters’ camp. It was beautiful! Just like one of the illustrations of a hunting camp in an outdoor magazine. There were big white-wall tents, men walking around in their beautiful hunting gear, big four-wheel drive vehicles—oh, it was absolutely wonderful! When the hunters saw me, pumping my bike up the mountain in quest of my very first deer, they thought I was the funniest thing they had ever seen and they started hooting and hollering and teasing me. I said to myself, “You guys just wait! You’ll be surprised when I get a deer before you do!”

Well, just as I crested the top of the mountain a beautiful four-point buck stepped out of the brush and stood there looking at me. I didn’t know what to do—I’d never shot anything before, but finally I managed to snap off a shot. That deer dropped like a rock! I was amazed! It had been such a difficult shot, too. The rifle was still tied to the handlebars!

I rushed over to the deer to look for a bullet hole but couldn’t find any. Then I noticed a big chunk had been taken out of one of its antlers. I had hit it so hard in the antlers that I had killed it! My problem then was how to get the deer home so my grandmother could dress it out for me.

I somehow managed to drag the deer over to my bicycle. (Deer are a whole lot heavier than you might think.) First I tried draping it over the rear-fender carrier but its hind legs dragged on one side and its head and front legs on the other side, so I knew that wouldn’t work. Suddenly I remembered that I often carried friends of mine astraddle of the rear-fender carrier! Yes! I thought. I twisted the deer up and around and finally got it sitting astraddle of the carrier. Then I tied each of its front legs to either side of the handlebars. Finally, I wiggled in between its legs and got on the seat. I now had the deer’s head draped over my right shoulder. I started to pedal—it’s a lot harder to pedal with a deer on a bicycle than you might think.

Just as the front wheel of my bike went over the crest of the mountain and we started down the steep decline, I heard something strange. I had never heard anything like it before—it sounded kind of like--I don’t know exactly what--kind of like --a snort. I turned and looked at the deer. It was blinking its eyes! Right away the deer panicked—its first time on a bicycle—but there was nothing I could do about that now! The bike was picking up speed and bouncing over rocks and around logs and the deer was thrashing around and blowing deer slobber all over my face and it was terrible.

Just then we passed the hunting camp. I could see the hunters were surprised I had got a deer before they did.

We continued on down the mountain and suddenly I realized I had made a serious mistake. I had forgotten to tie down the deer’s hind legs. As it thrashed around it somehow managed to get its hind hooves on the pedals. And then it caught on to pedaling! It started to like it! Now we were really flying down the mountain! If you think a deer can run fast, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a deer of a bicycle! When we reached the bottom, I threw myself off and lay there on the ground as I watched the deer disappear over the horizon with my bike!

Later I heard that it was shot by police--while holding up a liquor store--in Tacoma, Washington--with my rifle!

I think that first deer is the reason I never became a very good hunter.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:00 PM
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Funny story! Good read. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:03 PM
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They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:11 PM
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That image is too funny for words!
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:15 PM
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:23 PM
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Great read!
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by C5 Pewter Coupe View Post
Although my memory may be a little shaky, everything about this report is true.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:42 AM
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This is a Fine and Pleasant Misery. I believe I'll go check my Grasshopper Trap. Oh, look - Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs; it must be time for a Modified Stationary Panic!

Pat is one of the best, if not THE best, outdoor humorists of all time. He and Mark Twain would have gotten along famously.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:01 AM
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Funny story...
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:19 AM
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The night the bear ate goomba is one of my favorites.

Pat is a local boy and many of his stories are located in actual areas around here.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:37 AM
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Read just about all of his stories.
I even found a novel he wrote.
Not bad.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:34 PM
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one of the funniest writers of all time, i have had tears coming out of my eyes from his stories. my father in law was a very stoic man when we were first married and he borrowed a couple of these books from me and a few days later i got a call from my mother in law wondering what they were because he was laughing so hard he was crying.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:53 PM
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Love Pat Mcmanus
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:35 PM
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Pat could tell you one of his stories and keep the straightest face you ever saw.
Now here is a true deer hunting story. Another avid deer hunter where I used to work went deer hunting with a fellow worker who was from Pennsylvania. He was really happy because in Ohio you can't use a center fire rifle, but you can in Penn and he owned a 30-30. I went deer hunting in Ohio the week before he left and I took a 6 pointer that year. He also took a small 8 pointer and stopped off at the plant at closing time when he got back to show off his kill. He took a four wheeler on a trailer behind his truck for hunting and he tied the deer onto the four wheeler as if the deer was driving the four wheeler! That was the position it was in when I got off work and saw his deer. He was proud to be a successful hunter and told me he got a lot of looks and people slowing down to look at his deer riding the four wheeler. One guy offered to buy his deer from him but of course my friend declined. It is the funniest thing I've seen so far when deer hunting.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:15 AM
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Very funny story - got my laugh for the day.
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