Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
Back in 1968 my hunting buddy and myself decided to take our groundhog hunting to a new level. The year before we had hunted an eighteen mile diameter circle and took a lot of chucks out of that area. Now we were ready to expand.
This year we was going to run a loop down to the Arkansas border and back. About one hundred thirty miles from where we lived. My .243 had three years under its’ belt, and it had knocked the dust off many groundhogs hide during that time. The Sierra 75 gr. H.P. had been my mainstay. We both had the same day off work each week, so unless it was pouring down rain, we was hunting. My young eyes was trained to the point I could spot a groundhog mound four hundred off the road even while dodging every pothole in the gravel road.
On one of our weekly hunts we was close to a little town at noon, so Jack suggested we swing by for some lunch before heading out for that afternoon. He mentioned hunting the “strip” as we called it. A three mile stretch of gravel road between to highways, it wound its’ way thru a series of alfalfa fields in a creek bottom — truly groundhog heaven.
We stopped in at this little restaurant we knew well, saw an empty booth and took a seat. Within a couple of minutes this cute little waitress brought us a couple of menus. Jack noticed as she was leaving that my attention seemed to have shifted off his conversation and onto her.
“You okay?” Jack asked.
“Sure, why do you ask?” I asked.
“Well the last time I saw that look on your face was when we was in the gun shop and you spotted that custom Swift,” Jack said.
“Yea, I’m fine. Where are we hunting this afternoon?” I asked.
“I just told you five minutes ago, the ‘strip,'” Jack repeated.
The little waitress is coming again with a glass of water for each of us, and Jack sees the same thing again.
“You sure you’re alright? You seem a little distracted,” Jack asked.
“Yea man, I’m focused. Where are we hunting after lunch?” I asked again.
“THE ‘STRIP’!!!!!!!” Jack shouted.
In a couple of minutes the waitress is back to take our order. Just as she was leaving I lost it.
“Are you busy Saturday night??” I asked her.
“No, I’m not,” she said.
“How about you and me going to the movies over in Seymour? I heard it was a good one.” I said.
She gives me this stare for seven or eight seconds and I’m beginning to think I’m either going to get slapped or be wearing that glass of water she brought earlier.
“Sure……….okay!!!” she finally said.
“Pick you up about six?” I asked.
“Perfect!!!” she exclaimed.
Jack is already laughing at the expression on my face before she even disappears.
“She said yes!!!” I said.
“Yep, she sure did!” Jack said.
“Oh no!!!” I said.
“Now what??” Jack asked.
“I don’t even know her name or where she lives,” I said.
“Don’t worry, I know her. Her name is Joyce and I’ll show you where she lives as we’re leaving town,” Jack reassured me.
“Great!!! I’ll pay for lunch. Now……where are we hunting this afternoon????” I asked again.