The Herald Bulletin

August 15, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Squirrel season brings back memories


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Squirrel season opens today and I won’t be going. There was a time when I would not miss this most important day. Now, that day is the opener for deer season.

The first picture I drew in school was that of a boy aiming his rifle at a squirrel in a walnut tree. That boy was my older cousin Jay, and the tree was in a fencerow along the edge of Sugar Camp.

One of my most memorable hunts was on a Sunday morning in the Sugar Camp. Sunday hunting was not allowed so I gave myself one hour to hunt. I must have been 14 years old.

Wearing the old Army cammo pattern, I eased through the maple, wild cherry, and oak. The forest floor was made quiet by an overnight rain, and the squirrels were cutting on this cool morning.

As I made my way along a flowing branch, a squirrel began barking at something far up the hill. I stopped and waited. Here came a beautiful red fox down a winding trail. In a get-even scheme, the squirrel had betrayed the enemy.

With the click of my safety going off, the fox turned sideways, giving me the perfect shot. In one hour of hunting, I had harvested four squirrels and one fox. There was a bounty of five bucks on fox, and that was a lot back then.

I haven’t walked the old Sugar Camp in years. It was a magical place for a young boy. It was full of wild game, flowing springs, blackberries, wild apples and pears.

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You have heard “God works in mysterious ways.” Throughout my life. I have experienced the truth of that phrase many times. It happened again this week.

Someone I have helped in the past sent me a check for $500. It was a surprise and much appreciated. I immediately thought about buying a Native crossbow. The check was in the mail on Saturday. Monday I would deposit the check in my account.

Sunday night I arrived home from working the Indiana State Fair. I have to wear beige colored pants and an orange fair shirt. I emptied my pockets and took a shower.

“Better wash these tonight,” I thought.

Tossed the three outfits in the washer and retired. The next morning they would go in the dryer.

When I got ready to go deposit the check, I could not find my billfold. I looked everywhere. Finally, I checked the shorts I had worn the day before, now all clean and dry. My billfold was still in the back pocket, everything soggy. I laid the contents out to dry including the $500 check that I would not be depositing this day.

Tuesday, I forgot the check and Tuesday night I received a call from the sender. She wanted to know if I had cashed it.

A thousand miles away, a mutual friend was in great need. I agreed to not cash the check. This will be an investment in a young person’s future, and it did not come from me.