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Skinnin' and Grinnin' Buck Tales from Mount Eddy by Sandy Hough Shepard and Tom Hough
Stories of deer hunting on Mount Eddy by and about the hunters

Sandy Hough Shepard, born and raised in Mount Shasta, now lives in Northern California with her husband Jim and Border collie Lucy. Sandy is a retired teacher.

Tom Hough was born and raised in Mount Shasta, hunted and fished from a very early age. He and his wife Patty now live in Montana where he works part time for the U.S. Forest Service and continues to enjoy the outdoor life.

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You are about to read a short history and remembrance of a time when the land was wilder, the deer were more plentiful, and venison was a necessary staple in freezers that got families through the long winter. It is told through hunting stories that have been put together by Sandy, a total nonhunter, and Tom, who has hunted something every season of his life since he was old enough to carry a Red Rider BB gun. We were both born and raised in Mount Shasta, and as Jane Huston said when we asked her why her son Drew wanted to go out with them, “It’s just that in Mount Shasta, people hunt!” That’s the way it is. We have both loved doing this and, believe it or not, we are still speaking!

The timeframe of the stories is from the early 1940s through 2008 and covers about four generations of hunters who loved the Eddys. Over the past year we have gathered hunting friends together and recorded their conversations as they retold stories that most of us have heard since early childhood. Those who couldn’t join us wrote something they remembered and sent it to us. They are wonderful people, awesome storytellers, and could each write their own book.

It may sound like all they do is hunt, but people in Mount Shasta also work—and work hard! These stories are about people who are timber fallers, “Cat” skinners, welders, sheet metal workers, and restaurant, landscape and power company owners. They work for the U.S. Forest Service, UPS, Siskiyou County Road Department, and local schools. These folks help define our community in a quiet, positive way. After reading several of the stories, a longtime friend, Sarah Dahl, wrote, “We get so caught up in the vortex and forget to notice the special moments, however small, that give us a history and help pave our future. You are storytellers and there are few left. I am so glad you are putting pen to paper.”

Is it wise to tell the names of places where everyone hunted? A few fellows shuddered when they recalled a story written by John Reginato entitled, Lucky’s Mumbo Buck. It was published and distributed throughout the state and enticed hundreds of “city” hunters into the Mumbo Basin. It was a good story, but it created a chaotic situation for a while—too many people, and they all thought they could just walk out there and easily get “their” buck! Well, we’re going to take a chance that this won’t happen. This book is filled with Lonzo one-liners, and here is one that says it the way we see it: Tom and Lonzo had brought their deer in to be validated and met up with a couple of other hunters. Lonzo proceeded to tell them the whole story. Tom was quiet, but when they got in the truck to head home, Tom asked him, “Why’d you tell them where you got that buck?” Lonzo’s answer was simple, “Well, that buck ain’t there no more!”

We are dedicating Skinnin’ and Grinnin’ to our older brother, Lonzo, who was the inspiration for the family hunting together for many years. Everett Sattler told us that he felt that Lonzo was one of the greatest people he’d ever been around. That if you went out hunting and you never saw a deer—you had a great time and were always thinking, “When can we go again?” Those days with him are gone, but the love of hunting remains with so many in our family who carry on the traditions. We know these people to be some of the greatest—and here are their stories. --Introduction to Skinnin' and Grinnin'

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Skinnin' and Grinnin' $15.95 ISBN 978-0-9793387-5-5

Click to order Skinnin' and Grinnin' by Sandy Hough Shepard and Tom Hough

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