When I was a boy, a popular way to hunt deer was “the drive.” Driving deer was a simple procedure where several hunters hunkered down along a woods road or along the edge of a cut-over piece and waited while others walked through the woods, driving any deer into the waiting guns.

My brothers and I went on a drive near Otter Pond once with Dad and some of his friends. He got us up in the dark, and as we ate our bacon and eggs, he explained the workings of a deer drive and what we three had to do.

We dressed warmly, put on red vests and were soon getting our instructions from the hunters before they drifted away into the gloomy darkness of an old woods road. One of them had given me his watch and said to wait 30 minutes, then follow the road to where it started downhill. Once there we were to spread out and walk down hill barking like dogs.

When we had taken our positions we began to bark. I was a great gray wolf looking for a mate, while Stevie howled like the coyotes in the cowboy movies. Chuck added the high-pitched whine of our neighbor’s little pug.

Before long we had so many barks and yelps going we began to giggle. Then a shot rang out and we went down and waited for the all clear.

Dad soon called to us and we trotted down the hill to find the men gathered around a large buck. They were congratulating him on his fine shooting and we were filled with pride as we realized the deer was ours.

The men dragged the carcass out to the car, and after it was draped across a front fender, one of the men asked if we kids were available on Monday for another hunt. Of course we had school, and he said that was too bad, because in all his born days he never heard such a racket from only three boys. The men hooted and laughed and tousled our heads, and we felt so proud to be part of such a successful hunting expedition.

The big buck hung upside down in the wood shed for several days before it was sent off to be processed. We took the opportunity to invite our friends over for a look, and did a little bragging about the part we played in the hunt.

Grandpa extracted the antlers and mounted them on a pine board then nailed them up in the wood shed where the prized horns remained for years, a reminder of that cold November morning and The Canine Kids.

(Driving deer is now illegal in Maine.)

— Special to the Telegram