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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society



by Jon Whalen

          Clay Dickerson and his boys, Darrel and Cheryl, later known to all as Clay, also, were going to hunt deer on their ranch on this particular morning in 1960. They phoned our house, the Walker’s, the night before and asked if any of us would like to go with them.

          Dale and I were getting our hunting gear all ready early the next morning. I had my gun laid out on the bed with the bolt open but shells in the chamber. For some reason Dale picked up my gun and shoved the bolt home and the gun went off, shooting through the ceiling, thank God. But, the bullet took out a rafter and with the rafter went several roof shingles. The shot managed to awaken the entire household for some reason. You would think that we could have been lucky not have to face Pop till after the hunt. I still wonder why we got to go that day but Dale and I went, maybe Mike, too. I do remember Dale being there and trying to help me when it came down to needing help, and you can bet he was a lot of help explaining things to Pop.

          We all met at Dickerson’s on the hill, on what everyone knows as Dickerson’s corner. The house and garage are divided from the barns and fields by Three Pines Road. The deer were showing up in the fields across the road. You have to realize that at that time there were no houses or anything near by on that side of the road.

          The Dickerson place had large open spaces compared to what most property owners had in the area. We were still cutting brush and burning and having wiener roasts, trying to open up our land for fields.

We crossed Three Pines Road and went on down through the field and sure enough, just at daybreak, there were a bunch of deer at the far end. Since we had made such a quiet march the deer were standing at full attention. They all appeared to be does and I am not remembering anything at all about tags, what was legal and what was even proper. All I remember is that for one reason or another I was the lucky one to get first shot. Oh gads, I get to make a fool of myself in front of all these veteran hunters. My only claim to being a hunter was a deer my Grandpa in New York almost had tied up for me, a few Oregon squirrels and birds and a railroad tie. My gun was an imported military type of recycled weapon, and the front sights were supposed to be sweated on or heated on or whatever. In actual use they used gravity and the post dropped down under the barrel if you moved the gun much. I twisted the sights up into position and looked down the barrel at the lead doe, which someone said was the biggest. Hmmm. Not quite right, I thought. I twisted the sights a bit more. Nope...still not right. Twist twist, sight sight...ok, I think this looks about right. I aim at the doe and squeeze the trigger. Never ever heard the gun go off but all of a sudden everybody is talking...the deer is running full bore, straight out, but only for a little ways and she disappears from my view. We all hiked on down through the field to where we all more or less, give or take a couple hundred yards thought the deer had fallen. Finally the deer is located and Dale and I are left to gut and get it field dressed as the rest of the whole party went back to the house. We drug the deer back up through the fields and on up to the barn where we loaded it into the pickup and took it home to hang in the barn. My first Oregon blacktail deer. Dickerson’s ranch.

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society