Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland videoed for Mossy Oak and Primos Hunting for some years. Today, Ronnie, “Cuz” Strickland is Mossy Oak’s vice president in charge of television and video production. Strickland probably has filmed more TV shows and videos about hunting and the outdoors than anyone in the industry. Currently he’s responsible for producing 5 TV shows, including “Hunting the Country”, “Deer Thugs”, “Turkey Thugs”, “Inside the Obsession”, and “Game Keepers,” as well as all the videos that Mossy Oak produces. Strickland has hunted all over the nation and all over the world with celebrities and everyday hunters and has seen about everything that can happen in the woods. We’ve asked Strickland to tell us about some of the funniest and strangest hunts he’s been on while hunting across the country.
I was deer hunting with a fellow in Alabama, and we were in a shoot house. Now, in other parts of the country, this structure would have been called a shooting house or a ground blind. But in Alabama, these types of structures are designed, so that one hunter can sit inside the shoot house and be out of the weather and hidden from the deer. These shoot houses are usually erected over green fields. In those days, most people didn’t build ground blinds to accommodate more than one hunter. When I got in this shoot house with my hunter, we were pretty much jammed-up against one another, and I was trying to video his hunt. Finally, a nice buck came out in the field. My hunter got his rifle out of the opening in the shoot house, and I videoed him taking the buck. I also videoed him coming out of the shoot house and walking up to the deer.
I was doing an interview with this hunter and had to change tapes in my old video camera. The whole time we were walking up to the deer, I was concerned, because I couldn’t see an entrance or an exit point of the bullet. But the deer had dropped right where he stood like he’d been shot in the spine. As I turned around to take my used tape out and put a fresh tape in the camera, the hunter took his expensive hunting coat off and put his coat on top of the deer, with part of the coat landing on the deer’s antlers. You guessed it - the deer jumped-up and ran-off with that man’s coat blowing in the wind. Finally, the jacket fell off the deer. We found the jacket, but we never found the deer or any blood. I couldn’t believe how upset that man got. Not only did he lose a really-nice deer, but he almost lost his jacket. I think the bullet probably hit the deer’s antlers and knocked it unconscious, because another hunter, later in the season, took that buck. There were no bullet holes in him or any indication that the deer ever had been shot.
We often talk about the deer that got away. Well, this deer not only got away, he stole the man’s jacket and almost got away with it. Watching that deer run with that jacket blowing off his antlers is another one of those memories I can laugh about today.