Big Canoe Writers Words and Wit for the Ages
Browsing all posts in: Fishing & Hunting

When the River Ran Backwards

January 8
by Jim Smith

Abner had about 10,000 acres of the best timber land in the County and was obliged to sell some to pay his taxes. He was tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season. On this Indian Summer day I dreaded trying to deal with him but did give him enough to pay his taxes, all while he complained that I was taking unfair advantage of him. After we struck a deal and signed the timber lease, I stopped at the Last Chance Café in Springfield, Georgia for lunch. The menu never varied from a choice between two meats and a plateful of three vegetables and as much ice tea as you could drink – all topped off with the customary banana pudding.

Pete Clifton hailed me from across the dining room and invited me to join him. He had seen me with Abner and asked if I had been fishing in Abner’s pond. I said, “Hell no!” Pete was the affable County Agent for Effingham County. His motto was “Fish more, work less.” He fulfilled that ambition admirably. In fact, the coat rack in his office had a sign on it – “If my hat’s not here, I’ve gone fishing.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Old Cabin

January 29
by Bill Booth

Late afternoon. Walking home through dry broom grass and fresh, soft snow. Shotgun feels like a bar of lead. Everything as far as I can see looks like a black and white photograph, 95 percent white.  Bare, black trees stand like sentinels against a pale blue sky. Feet started hurting three hours ago. Now feel like blocks of wood. Will be painful when they thaw. Hope I don’t lose any toes. I am tired.

Old cabin’s dark outline is a welcome sight when it appears just before the sun reaches the western horizon. Home at last!
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Pocketknives and Slingshots

August 22
by Travis H. McDaniel

It’s easy to see why I loved pocketknives when I was a boy.  They were solid, had a nice heft to them, and the bone handle felt good and smooth when I turned the knife over and over in my right front pocket.  Other pockets might hold things like an “aggie toy” that helped win marble games, a lucky creek rock to rub whenever I made a wish, my favorite arrowhead, and other invaluable stuff like that.  And another thing about a pocketknife, it’s just the right size to take to bed with you every night.  Little boys like to sleep with at least one of their valued possessions.  But of course, you already know all these things if you were born before World War II and lived in the country, or a small town like I did.

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Adventures With Mike

August 4
by Bill Booth

In the early 1950’s, most children in the deep south attended public schools and shared a spirit of adventure that carried over from the recent World War. I was no exception. Much of my youth was spent in quest of exploits like those described in books by Mark Twain, Jack London, Zane Grey, Jules Verne, and similar writers. These were tales boys thrived upon … stories of outdoorsmen, heroism, soldiers, and cowboys. They were about the kind of Americans we emulated.
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The Pipe Pike

May 20
by Jim Elliott

We knew we would need a lot of room for the load of fish that would be coming from the pipe so Bob and Dave manned the seine about ten feet back from where the pipe ended. I went to the other end of the pipe, looked in and it was creepy. All I could see was a circle of sunlight at the other end and lots of spider webs. Bob and Dave didn’t care about it being creepy. They told me to get in there and drive those fish into our seine.
Read this story as published in the
January/February 2010 Michigan History magazine.

Hog Hunt at Hamilton Ridge

April 20
by Jim Smith

In October 1975, Peewee Bolen, a long-time friend, and I were spending a week together at Union Camp’s hunting camp, Hamilton Ridge. The camp was located on a 15,000 acre tract of land on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River. About 5,000 acres of the tract were in the Savannah River swamp. Late one afternoon, we decided to explore a point on the Savannah River that was formed by a large bend of the river.

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Down on Caddo

April 3
by Bill Booth

Sunlight reflected off the blue metal, and its smooth, stained wood felt like silk under my fingers. I closed my eyes and sighed with pleasure as the clean smell of gun oil floated to my nose. It was a thing of beauty. The single thing I wanted most when I was ten years old was finally mine: a classic Red Ryder BB gun.
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The San Pedro Bonefish

February 4
by Bill Booth

Dialect, as most of you know, can be difficult both to read and to write. While I cannot claim to be a native Cajun, I HAVE spent most of my life in southern Louisiana, the heart of Cajun Country. Cajuns have a distinct, musical way of expressing themselves. They may use a colloquialism in one sentence, then pronounce the correct English equivalent in the next (‘dem and them, der and there, e.g.). They speak most colorfully when trying to relate a story. “Cher”, French for “friend” is pronounced “sha”, as in shack. It is one of the most commonly used words in Cajun French.
I hope you will enjoy my attempt to relate an event in the manner of a Louisiana Cajun.
The setting is the small town of San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye in northern Belize.

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