In November 1981, my son Greg and I went hunting for the first time. We hunted at Brown’s Point, on Kings Point Island north of Vicksburg at the invitation of Willis Dykes, the camp manager. Before going out on the first hunt of the day we were told to shoot any deer, buck or doe, as long as it was two dogs tall. Greg and I were together in the stand when we turned and saw two does crossing the path. I had a double barrel shotgun and Greg had a .3030. I asked Greg if he thought the deer was two dogs tall and of course he responded with a, “yes Dad.” I said, “let them have it.” Greg hit and killed his deer on his first shot and I shot both barrels at my deer. I was shooting a 30-yard gun at 60 yards. The deer ran into the woods turned back and ran across the same path that he had just come from. I was wearing a shooting vest and I had shot shells, deer slugs and bird shot all on my vest. What I was going to do with all that, I don’t know! I’m short, squatty and muscular and I looked like Elmer Fudd. I grab my gun and chased my deer…I was shooting and running at the same time. Starting with my buckshot, my bird shot and my slugs. I cleaned myself out. On the last shot I had one slug and my deer stop and looked at me and I let it have it in the neck. (When I skinned the deer out, I found one hole in it and had missed the other shots). Greg and I pulled our deer together and rested our guns against them to take a picture. At that time, the man who manages the dogs came riding up on his horse. His name was “Wild Man.” He had a long beard and half the teeth on his right side were missing. He was intimidating! I asked him what he thought of our deer and he looked at the deer and deposited the results of his tobacco chew on the head of my deer. He then turned and rode away into the woods, never saying a word to us. I turned to Greg and said, “son, we are in trouble.” All the hunters gathered together on the road and one of the hunters came up and said, “I didn’t know what was going on with all that shooting - I thought that the Yankee Bob Phillips wanted to start the Battle of Vicksburg all over again.” We all went back to the camp and hung up the deer. We had never done that either and gutted them and that is when the hunters picked up the blood and put it on us. (See picture). After that was all over, we went into the camp house to eat lunch and Willis said, “well TWO DOGS TALL, you got your deer and you got your southern nickname all at one time!" My license plate on my Toyota Tacoma is – you guessed it! TWODOGS
Greg and I getting blooded (initiated)!