Dom: Dom is the star of this tale. Picture a cross between Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio, at 80 years old, and you see Dom. He is genuinely a nice guy and has all the charm in the world, but he hides it with a tough guy image up front. It protects his “macho-ness”. He’s 80, but he’s a young 80. He walks to, and climbs, his tree stand without any assistance. He walks similarly to Tim Conway when Tim plays the little old man….moving his arms at 25 mph, but moving his feet only at 2 mph.
If you cross Dom, he talks as if he’s 40 years old, and threatens to be able to kick your butt, but we all know otherwise. He is quite a bit naïve in modern day matters, but he’ll never admit it to anyone, nor will he act like it. But Dom loves to have fun, and really doesn’t mind being the brunt of jokes.
Most of Dom’s hunting experience comes from his early days of deer hunting in the mountains of Pennsylvania….during the months of November and December. Because of this, he knows little about swamp deer habits and he tends to dress too warmly for hunting in South Florida. He refers to the prairies between the pine islands and cypress heads as “farmers’ fields”. He tries to charm the deer into him with pieces of apples (as if the deer down here ever saw an apple). And, he “keeps the chill off his body” by toting around a flask of red wine in his backpack and hitting it every little once in awhile.
Dom hates to have wet feet and wet clothes. Now, if that really bothers you, then you have no business hunting in the ‘glades. Getting wet, is a given. If, while walking, you stumble on a submerged stone, you often splash yourself. As you slither through the wet needle grass on the prairies, you get your pants wet. As you quietly make your way through the wet scrub oak, myrtle and palmetto bushes, they slap your shirt with moisture.
Dom tries to avoid all this discomfort by sometimes wearing a plastic rain suit…..even if there’s no chance of rain. Further, he likes his snacks fresh. So, in his backpack are usually a few snacks wrapped in aluminum foil.
Since Dom doesn’t like to walk to his tree stand in the dark, he leaves camp and heads out shortly after daybreak. The problem with this is, that the rest of the hunting party is usually on their treestands by daybreak. So, if you’re unlucky enough to have your treestand set up within 100 yards of Dom, between the rubbing plastic legs of the rainsuit, and the steely noise of the aluminum foil unfolding, you might as well have set up your treestand near 800 screaming teenage girls at a heavy metal rock concert. It gets extremely noisy.
In spite of all these mistakes, Dom sees a lot of deer from his treestand. He must be a deer magnet. Either that, or the animals can’t believe what they hear, and they are so curious at all the strange noises, that they come by to take a closer look.
This Page Created 9/30/00 Story by Tony Lepri