Rick Bramwell mug

Rick Bramwell

In a column a couple of weeks ago about hunting Deer Reduction Zones, I mistakenly said you can use a firearm now within a Reduction Zone. You must use legal archery/crossbow equipment until the firearm season begins on Nov. 13. Then, firearms are legal, save for local ordinances, through Jan. 31. A Reduction Zone license is required.

I was told differently, then had something else on my mind when I researched it on the DNR website. When it was drawn to my attention by a fellow writer, I went back to the web and realized my mistake.

In my 51 years of writing, I have prided myself on getting things right. I’m embarrassed.

A week ago Sunday, I had made plans to visit Owen County to set up a tree stand, archery hunt for deer and fish for bluegill. Those plans changed dramatically with a phone call. A former softball player and a longtime friend needed me to pick her and her baby girl up at the Indy airport about 1 a.m. Monday. They also needed a place to stay.

The young woman’s father had an accident and was in a coma. Her twin sister would also be arriving from Michigan.

I had a prayer chain of over 70 people, but God had other plans. Their dad did not survive, and my home became a hub of activity. The last time I saw him was at one of the baby’s first birthday parties. The little cutie was riding on grandpa’s shoulders. He was a young man, just 44 years old.

This tragedy brought me very close to the two baby girls, one 16 months and the other 13.5 months. It got so I could not hold one without the other getting jealous.

I needed a two-seat stroller but managed to slip away with one baby at a time. We went down the road to see the chickens running loose in a neighbor’s yard.

My reward at the end of the bumpy stroller ride is the baby would fall asleep on the way back. I parked them in a shaded area of my drive then sat in a lawn chair and relaxed. The old man and the babies enjoyed their nap time.

And, then, there is my beagle Tramp. The girls loved the “Dog, dog,” and he allowed the hugging and ear pulling.

The babies are absolutely fascinated by the mounted deer on the wall. They like to touch it, and both have learned how to say “deer.”

It has been a hectic two weeks, and I hope the twins and their babies come back to visit for Christmas. I’ve become so attached to these little burgers as well as my great grandson Lucas.

It seems a person is best prepared — that be with patience, time, and understanding — to raise a child in their old age. Life is no longer about you, and the love of a child is unconditional.

The funeral was Wednesday, and by the time you read this, the Bramwell mini-farm will be calm.

The north wind is blowing with a cold bite in the air. The deer will be on the move and this old Hoosier Sportsman in the woods. It’s not so much about the hunt anymore.

I’ll have videos of babies to watch on my cell phone and enjoy the day whether or not a big buck should pass my way.

Rick Bramwell’s column appears Thursday in The Herald Bulletin sports section. To contact him, email rickbramwell@aol.com.

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