It’s bow season, a time of year that brings out the most interesting use of the English language. A time when what is said is not exactly the truth or for that matter, anywhere near it.
Never the less, out of sense of honor and understanding, we all nod yes as if we understand and go about our merry way. Here are a few examples. Hold your hand up and move your head up and down if you’ve ever heard these statements and just wink if you’ve mouthed them yourself.
“I was back in the corner of that briar patch we talked about and I did see a buck but he was awfully small so I wouldn’t waste my time back there, besides, the briars are really sharp.”
The guy who just said that had his fingers crossed and toes too. He was encouraging any listener in range to head in another direction. He, unintentionally of course, missed the truth by, say a mile.
In fact, he did head to the briar patch where he did see a buck but the deer was far from small and the briars no more bother than the bent grass of a golf course fairway.
How about the following statement: “I missed a big buck because he jumped the string.”
He missed a button buck, plain and simple. “I missed another monster buck when he ducked at the sound of the string or maybe it was the whiz of the arrow.”
“There must have been a small branch in the way that deflected my arrow.”
And again: “Yes, I practice shooting my bow a lot.”
Hey, a lot to one person is not a lot to another.
You and a buddy are hunting and he says, “stay here and I’ll be back for you in about an hour, maybe a little longer.”
That’s a laugher, a real stretch of the idea that you’ll see this guy again before you retire. One hour turns into two, then three, then darkness. This statement is grossly overused and common among sportsmen.
One has to understand that most hunters are also fishermen, an activity that is based on harmless lies.
Fishermen can make little fish big in the telling and fishermen aren’t going to tell anyone about the honey hole they’ve discovered.
Here’s an example of a sporting misspeak. My buddy, a firefighter at times, carries a pager. We toted a big pile of goose decoys into the middle of a muddy cornfield for an evening hunt.
The plan was simple; we would be set and ready for the evening feed. We placed the decoys carefully and laid down in the mud for the wait. One minute later, his pager announced a fire and off he sprinted.
“I’ll be back as soon as possible” he yelled, jumping rows of picked stalks. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I assumed as soon as possible meant sometime on the same day.
But “as soon as possible” became the rest of the evening and well past total darkness.
Picking up four dozen goose decoys wasn’t an overwhelming problem and several trips later I had all the gear, guns and other heavy stuff shuttled to an access road. Then I found my way to the landowner’s house. Fortunately the North Star was shining brightly.
And equally fortunate, the landowner was home and not at all shocked to see a muddy fellow at his door. After a hefty bowl of ice cream and plenty of conversation about corn, I got my buddy on the phone. I told him I hated to bother him and wondered how the fire was burning.
He explained that they had extinguished the fire hours ago and he was relaxing in front of his TV. Only then did he realize that he had forgotten something.