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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
Human Dogs by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...

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Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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By Danny Batson
Jan. 10, 2013 8:45 p.m.



Every November in our part of the state of Missouri… the hills are alive with the sound of … gunshots!  It's deer season.  As a young boy my dad taught me how to hunt deer. We put a lot of venison on the table throughout winter; it was a rite of passage to manhood, or so it seemed to me.

Every year we would prepare a month in advance so we would be ready for that first (always cold) morning of deer season. We woke up long before sunrise and found our way in the dark to a stand; where we would sit in silence until deer passed nearby. My problem was sitting completely still after the sun came up. I roamed the woods looking for tracks, Dad called me his tracker. I have happened upon many a deer in my lifetime. Most of the time we would scare each other and the deer would take off before I could shoot.

One day I was walking along a crooked path in tall willows when… there I was face to face with a big doe! We had looked up at each other at the same time and we both froze. My gun was at my side pointing down.  We stared at each other knowing that at the slightest movement, it would be over.  It’s the last day of the season and I really wanted this doe. So I'm thinking about how I'm I going to get my gun in place. I stood there for twenty minutes in that trail with that doe and she never moved her eyes off me so I could move my gun. I finally gave in and said "Go on, get out of here" and she turned and ran off the same way she came.

But that's not the deer hunting story I wanted to tell you about this time. It's about Human Dogs.

After the morning hunt, Dad and friends would drive around looking for other promising places to hunt. They would look for timber-lined creeks or small timbers. We found a good tree line to run up in Amish Country where we knew the farmers and decided to try it out.  My cousin Mike and I were the young, designated Human Dogs; in that were to run the deer out of the timber and directly into the line of fire. The timber was about one mile long so they dropped us off at the start of the trees and told us to wait for fifteen minutes and start driving the woods and scare any deer about toward them.

Now my cousin Mike was older than I and had done this before. We started walking through the woods about fifty feet away from each other. We had gotten almost to the end of the trees when I saw six deer lying at the edge of the woods near me. I signaled Mike and put up six fingers.

As he reached me I whispered to him that we should scare them out by yelling because we don't know exactly where the four men were in front of us. My concern was that if we shoot at them ourselves that we may hit someone. This turned out to not be a concern of the four adults.

Also, we did not know that on the other side of that open field were four more Amish men. We decided to shoot in the air and yell to scare the deer…and then we waited… about one minute and later the woods were singing with high powered rifle bullets. We heard them flying by us and we hit the ground with face down.

I felt like I needed to dig a hole… l couldn’t get low enough… I heard many bullets zip by… just inches above my head. After about forty shots there was a pause and so we rose up… only to hit the dirt again… they had reloaded and started shooting once again! When it was finally all over we walked out of the woods to find a lot of excited people and they told us their version of this tale.

All said and done, we somehow survived without a scratch and no deer… for anyone. The deer were so scared with all the hunters and noise that they had moved and jumped way too fast for anyone to hit them.

I almost cried… I told them I would never be a Human Dog again for anyone. Should someone ask you to be their Human Dog; you tell them to go jump in a lake!

Hunter safety is a must, NEVER hunt with fools.

 DB

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