Outdoorman's plea to the jolly old elf

I don't want to brag, but I think I've been pretty good this year.
Dec 18, 2013


Dear Santa:

I don't want to brag, but I think I've been pretty good this year.

OK, so maybe I muttered a naughty word or two after I missed that easy shot on a big gobbler on the last day of turkey season, but the sun was in my eyes, the gravitational pull of the moon disrupted the shot pattern, and hunting buddy Clarence sneezed just as I shot.

I've got more excuses, but I know you're busy.

The point is, it was just one little slip, and it was a really big turkey.

That shouldn't get me crossed off your list, should it?

I might as well confess -- since you probably were listening anyway -- to another little no-no when I lost the monster smallmouth bass.

Santa, did you see the size of that thing?

I had it right up to the boat when my lunk-head partner Bob Sherborne tried to net it. If I've told Sherborne once, I've told him a thousand times: put the net in the water and lead the fish into it! Don't try to scoop up the fish in the net.

So what does lunk-head do? He tries to scoop it up.

The net hits the line, the fish thrashes, and suddenly it's gone.

Be honest Santa -- you'd have called Sherborne the same name I called him if he'd cost YOU a smallmouth bass that size.

So that's it -- two little no-nos.

Well, maybe three.

I probably shouldn't have used that certain word when I slipped and fell in the Caney Fork while trout fishing back in the spring. Santa, do you have any idea how cold that water is?

Frankly, I was tempted to shout it again when I bobbed up, but by the time I crawled up on the bank my teeth were chattering too much to say anything else, naughty or otherwise.

Seems like I should be excused for using a little blue language, since the rest of me was blue too. Hypothermia saved me some additional demerits.

That's about it. Well, except for the dove shoot.

Surely nobody can be held accountable for anything they say during a dove shoot. Have you ever gone through two boxes of shells trying to knock down a four-ounce bird?

"Bird of peace" my foot.

Frankly, Santa, I thought my remarks in the dove field that afternoon were relatively restrained -- and I was careful to make sure no children were in ear-shot.

As for naughty? Hey, I didn't leave that box of nightcrawlers and chicken livers in the trunk of Sherborne's car during last July's heat-wave on purpose -- it was dark when we got home from catfishing. For Sherborne's sake, I hope you weren't listening and taking notes when he found the mess a week later.

Are we square, Big Guy? If so, toy list to follow.

P.S., one final thing, Santa:

You'd better be careful driving those reindeer through these parts on Christmas Eve. Deer season's open, and Dasher looks to be about a 10-pointer.

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