I found this while surfing the net and just had to share. It takes place in an area near where I hunt, so it has a bit of special significance to me: When We Stole A Deer! James C. Gates This story is about an incident some 50 years ago this Fall. I suppose everyone involved is either dead, or too old to give a damn anymore! Our deer camp was situated in a shallow sand mine off the old Lecanto to Homosassa sand road in Citrus County, Florida. In those days the Citrus WMA was a game preserve and allowed no hunting. The pastureland around the Preserve was leased. We were hunting the old Charlie Dean Tract, which adjoined the Preserve. There was another Florida Cracker camp about 100 yards over in the flat woods. Now for the story! It was a beautiful fall late afternoon! Our group was heading in from a hunt. We had lost some dogs and knew us young folks would be riding the road after dark looking for them…a standard procedure! I was riding with two brothers in a fixed-up 1931 Model A coupe with an empty dog box where the trunk used to be. We came out onto the hard road at the Paul Noble’s curve. The curve cut through the corner of the Preserve and hunting was allowed within the Right A Way. Things have sure changed! There was a big crowd and a bunch of parked hunting rigs. We were afraid there had been an accident, so we all pulled over, and got out. There was a little dead buck in the westbound lane. Back then there was a 5” length on the horns to be legal. This one was about 3 ½” to 4”. There was a young game warden really chewing out the young Cracker kid that was about 14 years old. The kid had been given a Savage bolt action 30-30 by his grandfather and the game warden had it. The game warden was a young “Transplant” that was sent down to be trained to replace the older warden. The older warden was sick that day and this “Transplant”, with his gun and badge, was really shining-out. The kid, in tears, was telling the warden how big the buck looked to him and begging the warden not to take his rifle The crowd was getting pretty pissed off indeed. If the older warden, a real Southern Gentleman, had been there things would have been different. He would have told the kid to take his deer to camp, but be more careful next time. That would have been a Florida way of handling the situation! As all this was going on, the crowd was moving around. It was now well off the pavement and on the shoulder. As I moved forward to hear it all, I stumbled over the little buck. I looked at the two brothers, and with a grin, we had the little buck in the dog box pronto. Away they went in that Ford! Then all of a sudden someone yelled, “Where is the Deer!” Things went downhill fast! No deer, no case! The kid ended up with his rifle and the “Transplant” pulled out! Uncle Wesley was parked by the road in his old hunting car and saw the entire thing. He picked me up and we went to camp. The brothers had taken the little buck out into the flat woods and gutted it. It was cool enough to let it hang. After a big supper, we decided it was time to visit the kid’s camp. Four of us young fellows headed over toward their fire, carrying the little buck. We laid it down and called the camp. When they said come on in, we did. The kid was sitting on a log with his head in his hands. We gave a wink to the older hunters and they had figured out what was going on indeed! After they poured us some coffee, we asked the kid what was wrong. He told the entire thing about seeing the deer jump the fence and how he thought the horns were long enough. The Right of Way was only 66’ and he dropped the deer in flash! With tears in his eyes, he said “And Someone Stole My Deer! We then told him that no one had stole his deer and it was laying just outside the fire’s light. He ran out, found his deer, and brought in into camp. That kid had the biggest toothy grins I have ever seen. We helped him skin his deer and then watched his grandfather smear some blood on his face. The old-time tradition was finished and we went back to camp! For many years the story was told about how a deer had disappeared that day. No body really knew what had happened then. Now, after 50 years…the tale has been told!