Well it was like this.
My brother had rights to hunt on approximately 2,000 acres of land because he rented a house on the property and had a good relationship with the owner. That owner died and her heir was not as friendly toward my brother, but we at least could continue to hunt there for a nominal fee - $400 for us both.
About three years ago, my brother (who long ago quit actually hunting) fooled around and forgot to renew the lease. As a result it passed on to another tenant who was even less amicable than the owner. I was real upset since the property has always been prime hunting land and I didn’t have to share hunting rights with anyone. I had the entire 2,000 acres to myself.
I managed to wrangle a spot in the “new” hunting club for myself and my 15 year-old son to the tune of $300 each per season. It really sucked because now there were a total of six hunters that I had to share space with, and I was considered the junior member. Consequently we got what were considered the poorest stands. (They actually weren’t, but the newbies to the property didn’t know the area as well as I knew it.)
Last season, my son and I were walking along a dirt road about mid-morning after coming off our stands. Josh was carrying my lever action Marlin 30-30. He is a really well trained shooter/hunter, and I long ago stopped worrying about such things as gun safety around him.
Up ahead of us the club’s managing partner came around the curve in his truck headed our way. When the man was maybe a quarter of a mile away from us, my son had an accidental discharge with his rifle! I was horrified naturally. It was totally out of character for Josh to be that careless. A moment later the club’s manager stopped his truck where we were and asked if we had just heard a shot nearby. With great trepidation I lied and said that I heard one down in the deep thicket to our right. We talked on another couple of minutes and the guy went on his way.
A couple of days ago my brother called to say that the club manager had stopped by his house and asked him to let me know that I needed to pull my stands off the property before the season opens up. He offered as his excuse that the club had gotten “too big”.
Well I know why he did it. And guess I don’t blame him. He couldn’t possibly know that Josh is not generally unsafe with firearms and that it was really an aberration. But the end result is the same. I have no place to hunt for the first time in 25 years.
Your offer to hunt up there in Maine sounds mighty tempting.