The hunter had positioned his tree stand on a little knoll above a well-used deer trail, and upon mounting the stand to survey the area, noticed an old cemetery at the top of the hill behind him. Being a tad superstitious, particularly with Halloween right around the corner, he was considering moving the stand, when a couple of does appeared, feeding up the knoll. Our hero readied his bow in trembling anticipation.

However, just as the does moved into range, he noticed a movement in a switch cane thicket behind them, and a moment later caught a glimpse of antlers. A trophy eight-point was trailing the does, as bucks so often do. The hunter remained frozen as the does fed by him and continued uphill, hoping that the buck would follow in their tracks, which led almost up under his stand.

And so it happened, almost too good to be true. The buck never suspected an alien presence, and the hunter made a great shot at close range, the broadhead piercing the eight-point’s heart. Dead on its feet, the buck broke into its death dash, jumped the low fence, and collapsed in the cemetery, never knowing what had hit him.

Hurriedly scrambling down the ladder and nocking another arrow just in case, our hero approached his fallen trophy, but no coup de grace was needed. That’s when the hunter noticed the fallen tombstone.

In its blind final run, the deer had knocked over one of the old grave markers, a heavy one at that. Not only had the stone been rolled away, so to speak, but the buck’s heartblood had splashed all over the white marble. Glancing around fearfully to see if any ghosts had been disturbed, the man saw that several other tombstones also had telltale red droplets staining their pristine faces. Grunting, he reset the fallen stone.

Obviously, all kind of questions spring to mind when confronted with this type situation: What are the laws concerning graveyard desecration? Would the hunter, or the deceased deer, be charged as an outlaw? Were any of the bloody tombstones marking families that he knew? Or worse, his own family? Were the residents of the cemetery liable to rise up in fury over this intrusion into their peaceful sleep? And most important of all, would darkness catch him before he could make restitution?

Quickly loading his deer on his nearby four-wheeler, the hunter headed full speed for home, where he dumped the trophy in the yard with his bow, grabbed the needed supplies, and high-tailed it back to the scene of the crime.

So, if you were out in the woods just at dusk one evening, passing by an old cemetery, and happened to notice a camouflaged person feverishly scrubbing tombstones while glancing over his shoulders in rising panic at the horrible things that were gathering to wreak vengeance upon him for the desecration of their peaceful resting place – well, now you know.

And by the way, he says a mixture of one part bleach to three parts water works quite well for cleaning tombstones.

However, there was one other problem, he discovered when he visited the scene the next day during full sunlight. One can’t just clean a few of the stones in an old graveyard; the contrast between the newly bleached markers and the rest of the ancient tombstones was too evident. For the rest of the deer season, he cleaned a few more old stones each time he hunted, until now it’s the gleamingest old cemetery in the whole South!

And just to be safe, he moved his stand a couple of hundred yards away, even though it had produced a trophy buck on that spot!


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