Number 44 and The Racetrack Buck


Ah yes, the good old days.

When you were kids and you left all of the worrying about bills to your parents.

With our seven in our family, thank God for the wild game that was provided or else we would have gone to bed hungry many nights. My Pops loved his stock car racing, he also loves the colour pink, which in hindsight, really was why this one particular buck gave him the look, while he was racing. My Pops chose a Hudson to drive #44, yes like a Sherman tank it was, not very fast but hey, he was only out to have fun. Every week the fans came out to see the races, and in typical fashion, he always came in last. They thought that was funny.

We were living in Smithers, BC, at the time, and this racetrack was a good old dirt track, it was also in a very remote location, so that the noise was kept to a minimum. We had some pretty good crowds, as Smithers was not that big  and it was a great way to fill in a Saturday. Races started in the afternoon and ended by about 6 pm or just before dark. On this one particular race day, Pops was doing his warm up laps, before the races began, and happened to come up high on one of the corners, yikes he almost lost it , but what he saw, well, it turned out to be a Buck that was no slouch and probably really loved the colour pink. The Buck stared at Pops, as much to say buddy are you kidding me? A pink race car?

It also happened to be a week before the opening of deer season, so after sharing this story with my mom and us kids, Dad went and picked up his buck tag.

Pops had a plan, we would go up the night before the opening of hunting season, stay overnight in our trusty vintage automobile, not the stock car, and wait for Mr Big to show up. Pops was convinced after looking at the area, and seeing the rubs and scrapes, that this was his home turf. We all thought it was funny, but hey it was not the first time that things have been a bit Squirrelly in our family, trust me. We just loved to go hunting and any idea to get out hunting was fine by us.

Something happened, that we were not able to go up early, as I recall. So Pops said,  “Lets get up in the morning and see if we can find him in the same area.” We of course were disappointed, my brother Ken and I , but still we were going no matter what, which was a good thing. So up we got and headed for the track opening morning, opening day, not expecting anything just an outing with Pops. We were almost too late getting into the track as it was now shooting light…when what took place startled us all. We rounded the corner, and with two mighty leaps the Racetrack Buck, a solid eight pointer jumped about twenty yards in front of Pops car.

Are you kidding me? I thought.

Some things are  just meant to be, I talked about luck in earlier stories. This was to be one of those days.

Pops being a sharp shooter, said to us, “Hand me the gun son…very slowly, the 30-06 BSA  (Man what a rifle!! I still have it to this day). Slowly he opened the door and the Buck stared right at him.

He seemed to say, “I know you…you drive that silly pink race car!”

Pops squeezed the trigger and said, “There, you will never ever laugh at the colour of my stock car again!”

We were stunned…the hunting was all over in fifteen minutes . As typical Squirrell luck in hunting would have it, we gutted the deer, put it on the roof, and went into town to get some gas. All of the locals commented on what a nice deer we had and so early in the season.

You should have seen the look on Mom’s face, she asked us if we had forgotten something as we were back so early.

I can still see the pride on Pops face as he said, “Patty, we are going to be eating good.”

As she looked out the window, a big smile came over her face… “You are kidding me right?”

Pops laughed and he said,  “Told you, I had a vision of that Buck being there… but one thing, he said, “I startled the buck!”

Mom said, “What?”

“I think he expected me to be in my #44 pink stock car, I sure fooled him!”

Another true tail from the Squirrell’s Nest by Brian “Bear” Squirrell your hunting and fishing guide for Nova Scotia, Canada.


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