Buddy Simmons

Let me state for the record that I love to go fishing and hunting whenever I have the opportunity.

You'd think that a man who'd been raised in Alabama would be one of the world's greatest fishermen, but I have to confess that I never quite learned the knack of making that worm look like steak to a fish.

Also, I'm not the world's most patient man, but as long as I can just get a bite, no matter how little the fish is, I can hang in there with the best of them.

Now, you'd think those would be the best qualifications of all to be a good fisherman, but alas, in my case, just the opposite is true.As far as hunting goes, just being in the woods is what I enjoy most about the experience.

I have no qualms at all about killing animals for meat. I just rather leave them for the more avid hunters to pursue.

I'm so fumble footed in the woods that any animal within range or sound automatically says to himself, "Yeah, there comes Uncle Buddy," and immediately they start to lay traps for me.

One incident comes to mind, when as a boy, we'd go coon hunting at night in the swamps and bottoms in Alabama.

One night while training a young dog, he jumped a trail which he proceeded to follow while telling everyone in that sound that only a hound dog can make that time's a wasting.

Anyway, the other dogs held back, not even interested, but you know how youth can cause a person to overlook good judgment.

I heard the dog give the tree bark way off in the distance, sounding real put out that he was having to wait on me. I could almost read his mind, "You better hurry up, or this critter will get away. "I didn't aim to let that happen, so I picked up the pace a little faster.

As I got closer to the spot where he'd treed, I saw that the dog was all the way into a hollow log, except for his rear end which stuck out of the log, tail just a switching. I thought to myself, "That's an awful dumb animal to get trapped in a log like that."

WRONG! It turned out that the critter knew exactly what it was doing, because about that time, I heard a sound; WHOOSH; and that dog turned a flip coming out of the log, head over heels.

A cloud that looked like fog surrounded the log and the dog started to roll over and over in the mud, whimpering like he'd got hold of something he wished he could turn loose of.

By the time I realized that the critter was a POLECAT, it was too late. In case you don't know what a polecat is, it's a souped up stink bomb. Some people calls 'em a skunk.

To make a long story short, the dog saw me laughing and jumped into my arms before I knew it, and I'll tell you right now, if you ain't had the smell of polecat on you, don't fret yourself about it. You ain't missed a whole lot.

I'd heard it said that the only thing that would take off the smell of skunk is fresh Cow Manure. It didn't sound logical, but anything was better than this.

Then I remembered we had a milk cow at home.

Believe me, it don't work, but that's another story, which I'll get into later.

One thing I learned by this whole experience, though. You notice that skunk has an arrow on his back that points out his rear end.

That's the good lord's way of telling you to steer clear of this little critter.That's good advice!

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