On this particular day since I did not have a rifle to use and was too young to hold one steady so dad told me to keep the fire going and watch the stuff in camp. I didn’t mind, all that walking made me tired anyway. There was nothing but trees and grass for me, no excitement there. Now of course I could enjoy a good day just setting there on a rock watching nature go by without any reservation at all.
But back then, youngsters quickly loose interest unless there is something going on that interests them. The day turned out to be real nice, clear blue sky and much warmer temperatures after hanging by the fire all morning just to keep warm.
All I did was wander around but not too far, making sure I could still see camp. There were not too many trees anyway, just lots of sagebrush. Occasionally a car or pickup would come down the dirt road full of gear and hunters, but that was about all that was going on, I had played around with the fire until I was tired of that, I already had a good supply of wood stacked up and I really didn’t have much more to do.
But by noon time, those scrambled eggs and sausage had decided to become a problem for me a so it was off to the old beat up out house about fifty feet from the camp. It was the main reason we stopped out in the middle of this area in the first place, no one liked the idea of hanging their cheeks off of a log.
It’s hot outside, so I took off my coat and started for the one holed wonder. Being an old farm kid, I was used to this kind of thing and therefor the accommodations were not surprising. Wisely, I had taken along some old newspaper we used to start the campfire with, knowing there would be a need for it. Once settled down inside I did spot a yellow jacket nest right under one of the two by fours holding the side of the out house together. I figured I could use a rolled up piece of newspaper to kill the five or six bees that were hanging on the nest.
I was busy setting there on the hole and swatting bees so I didn’t hear the truck coming down the road. But as they got closer, I could definitely hear them. The truck came to a stop and I peeked out between the cracks in the boards to see what was going on. It looked to me like they had stopped and were getting out. I thought they were going to come over and use the facilities so I stayed put, hoping to get done and go. That was maybe a minute or so before I heard the first boom. I thought these guys saw something. I thought they were shooting at it until some of those little wood chips suddenly hit my bare leg. They saw something alright, and their target was the outhouse. They were shooting at it and I was still in it!!
Just as the second shot went off, the door flew open and out I came trying to pull up my pants and run as fast as I could across the clearing, with the newspaper flying. I was so scared, I did not see what those guys were doing, but I bet they panicked too. They probably scrambled like lightening struck rats back into the pickup. All I was left with was a case of nervous tummy after they roared off. I was shaking so bad, I almost piddled in my drawers. I am sure they were scared just as bad as I was.
When the rest of the hunting party came in for the evening, I quietly told dad about what had happened.
Immediately we went out to the old out house and found two new bullet holes in the side about 2 feet above where my head would have been. Luckily for me they were shooting at an old flattened out tin can someone had nailed to the upper side of the outhouse.
It was recommended that from now on, anyone going there would leave the door open so you could see or hear anyone on that road. As for me, I stayed out of it, I found me a convenient tree to use, no more bee swatting either.