Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Big what?

Yes, the latest in a string of events, marketing ideas, and PR moves.  Cowgirl Cash is sponsoring a Big Buck contest.  Most of you know a Buck is a male deer.  Many may not know that Eastern Oregon mule deer rifle season is Oct. 2-13.  However, few know that as a kid my family deer hunted every year. Fall has always been back to school... and deer hunting season.  Camping trips that included friends, grandparents, cold chilly dark mornings and lots of laughs and stories around the campfire. 

It was actually my mom's parents that were the hunters.  She brought her Portland bred husband home to Redmond, put a gun in his hands, and the love affair has never ended...my father and hunting.

To be clear, I do not hunt.  I also brought home a Portland bred husband, and the connection to the woods and the sport of hunting big game did not click. I wasn't passionate enough about the sport to pursue it on my own. But, I do appreciate hunting. It takes time, money, patience, forethought and dedication.

You don't just grab any old gun and head to the woods.  There's the business of tags, and setting up camp, and sighting in guns, and time off work.... The end results are different for every hunter, but for some it's camaraderie, time in nature, the thrill of the hunt, and organic, local, fresh meat for your family.

And of course stories. 

The story I dislike the most, and hear the most is the one when I was 12.  It was my first year to carry my own gun.  We went out before light, and as the sun rose we came across a small herd of deer. Among them were 4-5 bucks.  I got myself into position to take a shot and when I went to put a bullet in the chamber soon discovered I'd left my bullets back at camp.  Damn. That's when you just sit down and eat your candy bar and your snack pak pudding.  Staples in our hunting back pack.

I was with my Grandma Helen when she shot her first buck at 70. We were in Eastern Oregon by the Big Muddy Ranch and the Parr Norton Ranch near Ashwood, Oregon.  It was me, my dad, and my grandma.  We spotted a deer about mid way up a small hill.  Grandma Helen had a nice rest and had a steady aim at the deer.  We were all certain we'd seen antlers on this deer, small, but present.  The small buck was turned uphill and was walking away from us.  My grandma knew if she didn't get a shot off soon it was going to be out of range.   Slowly she pulled the trigger and the gun went "click" not "bang".  The safety was still on.  Luckily, the buck heard the click and turned broadside to listen, giving my grandma a clean shot.  She flipped off the safety, pulled the trigger, and brought down the buck.

The tie between Cowgirl Cash and big buck contests? Cowgirl Cash is a unique store bringing together old Bend and new Bend. Old boots and newer boots, vintage clothes and like-new clothes.  It's an interesting mix that's authentic, practical and beautiful.  Kind of like spending time in the woods with your family hunting for deer.

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