CAWTHON'S CATHARSIS - Chug-a-Lug and Shoot: A Popular Event at the Big Puf Mountain Hunting and Drinking Club


By Jack Cawthon

I found an interesting story in the Herald, dated March 3, about a recent meeting of the Bear Fork Hunting Club. I was amazed at the business-like conduct of this club contrasted to the one I know best: Big Puf Mountain Hunting and Drinking Club, whose motto is "We're always hunting a drink."

I had been invited to Big Puf meeting from time to time to hear guest speakers such as Lester T. Archabald IV, coal baron, whose topic was Pregnancy and Pollution: A Little Big Goes a Long Way. Since that speech Archabald has fallen on hard times and the last I heard he was driving an over-loaded coal truck over on Little Wheeze.

Then there was the meeting where a representative of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) attended to explain the DNR hunting regulations. The poor fellow became so agitated that he ended up hospitalized under psychiatric care.

What struck me most about the Bear Fork club meting was the banning of drinking on the shooting range. One of the more popular events at Big Puf is the "chug-a-lug and shoot" competition whereby members chug beer and shoot at a moving target at 200 yards. The one doing the best at both wins a prize, which often consists of weapons still in U.S. Army packaging. Last year, as I recall, a grenade launcher was presented.

However, according to Arley Cleeter, club secretary and former archivist-he was suspended from the latter post after an usually severe winter when he ran low on fuel for his stove-the chug-a-lug contest may be curtailed as there is too much time spend in each meeting in silent moments for departed members.

Arley told me that Bobby Gene Bubba, Big Puf's big delegate, a heavyweight in the Legislature at 300 pounds, appeared at the last meeting to explain recent activities by the lawmakers in Charleston. But, Arley said, Bobby Gene was vague on most issues as he said they were still under interpretation by Ed Hamrick, DNR director. He said the Legislature used to expend vast amounts of time trying to interpret the laws that they pass but now find it far easier to get on with business and let Hamrick decide what they mean, such as the Sunday hunting law.

Bobby Gene said danged if he didn't believe that the delegates intended for counties to vote IN Sunday hunting but if Hamrick said that they had to vote it OUT, well, that was fine with him as he never could understand some of that legal jargon. (There have been reports that Hamrick wears black robes to his office and that underlings refer to him as "your honor.)

There was some disruption at the last meeting, according to Arley, when Crazy Ted who still insists that the hunting regulations allow automatic firearms on certain days of the season became agitated and fired a few rounds into the clubhouse ceiling. Last season Ted "harvested," or as some members bluntly put it "blowed to hell," either 27 or as many as 39 deer as there wasn't enough forensic evidence to put all the pieces together.

Ted hunts alone. He declares that if the DNR wants to thin the deer herd to sustainable levels he is just the man for the job. Ted has won the chug-a-lug contest several times but was recently disqualified as the loss of members was hurting the treasury, which depends on dues-paying memberships.

I suggested that the Herald's Bob Weaver be invited to the next Big Puf meeting as he has been named an honorary member of the Bear Fork Club and will serve as club archivist and historian. Arley thought that was a good idea and that Bob may be able to pick up some ideas to take back to his club. I told him I hoped not.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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