September 2020 vol 81 no 5

Page 6

Feature Story

Boone & Bo: The Autumn of Their Years

B

o was a beagle and beagles are usually rabbit dogs but he was all squirrel dog and cared nothing about rabbits. He loved to chase and tree squirrels around the farm. Creeks, barbed wire fences, briar thickets or even a brake-squealing car couldn’t keep him from his mission. Treeing squirrels was his job and he was good at it. He would do it all day long before finally coming back home to supper. When finished he’d curl up on the porch completely worn out from his days adventures. Bo was my Grandpa Boone’s dog and both were as independent as they could be. Boone was in his 80s and I was 12. He enjoyed taking his grandson hunting and was teaching me to be a squirrel hunter too when the time was right. Back then we were poor so it was important not to waste a bullet. It would take a while to save enough to get more.

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CONSERVATION FEDERATION

Getting a couple of squirrels was our supper. With Bo’s help that was never a problem. I still remember how good those fried squirrels and grandma’s homemade biscuits and gravy were. Boone had worked hard on the farm all his life and his heart was beginning to wear out. He slowed down a bit, took his medicine, and kept hunting squirrels with Bo and me. Like Boone, Bo was in the autumn of his years. Bo’s gray muzzle reminded me of Boone’s gray beard. For Bo, chasing and treeing was the game. It was fun to watch him go after a squirrel. When it would run up a tree he would climb part way up it in his excitement to get at it. As soon as he gave up climbing he would sit at the base of the tree barking until Boone got there and shot the squirrel.


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