Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland of West Point, Mississippi, is a legend in the outdoors. Cuz started his outdoor career as an outdoor editor for the Natchez, Miss. newspaper. Then when the world discovered video, Cuz was a cameraman and vidiot for Primos Game Calls. Today, Cuz is vice president of Mossy Oak television and video productions. Cuz has been a bowhunter for as long as he can remember and once shot tournament archery.
Because of all the technical developments that have taken place in the hunting industry and in the video industry, hunting is a lot more fun now than it once was. I can remember one hunt that I went on in the Low Country of South Carolina. Toxey Haas and I went South Carolina, because that state had the first deer season that opened anywhere in the nation. Since we’d never been on an early deer hunt like this, we went to Estill, South Carolina, to find out what an August deer season would be like. On the day we hunted over a corn field, the temperature was 95 degrees. Although the corn was brown and ready for harvest, the landowner hadn’t cut the corn yet.
After scouting, we found two places in that corn field where the deer were coming out of the woods and into the corn field like crazy. Each one of those two places was on opposite sides of the corn field. We sat in our tree stand, and the mosquitoes were so bad that I took out my PVC rain suit (back then we didn’t have cool rain suits like we do today) and I put that rain suit on to keep the mosquitoes from picking me up and throwing me out of my tree stand. I bet I sweated off 6 pounds sitting still in my tree stand that day. This hunt was the most-miserable hot hunt ever.
Finally, after 2-1/2-hours of misery, we spotted a racked buck coming into the corn field to our left, down the edge where he’d pass in front of Toxey. Toxey was the shooter, and I was the cameraman. I told Toxey, “If you get a shot, take it. I'll hand-hold the camera.” Toxey drew his bow to shoot the buck, but before he got the bow all the way back to his anchor point, the bow exploded. I assumed that the bow had absorbed so much heat that when Toxey drew it back, it just couldn’t stand the pressure. Bows weren’t as good back then as they are today. Of course, the deer took off running when the bow blew up. Luckily, Toxey didn’t get hurt. This hunt in Estill was the hottest, most-miserable hunt I'd ever been on in my life. But we actually put that hunt on one of Will Primos’s earliest videos.