The Argus Observer for Oct. 9, 1952 reported that Ontario Police Chief Walter Walker was the first Malheur County deer hunter to return home with a kill, bringing in a four-point buck at 9 a.m. on the October opening day of deer season.
The chief explained that he had just gotten out of the car and was scanning the hillside with his scope when a hunter shooting up the hill chased the buck right towards him, and he made the kill with two shots.
A man on horseback who appeared nearby helped him carry the deer to his car.
“Luck like that could never happen again,” Walker told the newspaper.
From the cynical distance of more than fifty years, one might imagine a host of other scenarios.
Overall the paper reported that hunters from Vale, Nyssa and Ontario brought in 350 to be butchered during the first week of the season.
The successful hunters included a 13-year-old Ontario boy, Chuck Lane, who also bagged a four point buck.
And then there was Larry McShane, the unlucky city engineer. He felled a buck that began crawling in the direction of his car so McShane simply followed along avoid doing the hauling himself. When the buck finally collapsed, the hunter was standing over the flattened animal thinking of his good fortune when the deer jumped up and raced away, never to be found again – at least by McShane.