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  • Writer's pictureSteve Sorensen

Icky's Halloween Costume

Kids love holidays, and are always looking forward to the next one. This time of year holidays start coming in a rush. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year's Day, it's the holiday season.

We not only look forward to holidays. We also look back on them. Here's a look back on a Halloween from long ago. Whether the story is true or not, I hope you enjoy reading it in the Jamestown Gazette, “Icky's Halloween Costume.”

Photo: A fake ghost hanging in the tree for Halloween? Boring! (Photo by Steve Sorensen)


To access more of my writing on hunting topics, go to the home page of my blog, Mission: Hunter.

Icky's Halloweenn Costume

Steve Sorensen

Fake ghosts aren’t scary, especially not on Halloween ’cause that’s when people expect fake ghosts. Decorating with fake ghosts would be better on Valentine’s Day because that’s when they would surprise people. But on Halloween, my mother always hung a fake ghost in the oak tree in our front yard. Boring.

I finally got tired of boring decorations, so I told Randy, “Let’s get a deer and hang it in the front tree to scare the kids for Halloween.” Randy said, “We can do even better! Let’s put Icky inside it!” Icky was Randy’s little cousin. We told Icky we were going to dress him up as a buck for Halloween. What little kid wouldn’t like that idea?

Randy shot Icky’s costume on October 30. It was a nice 7-pointer. After school the next day we took down the ghost and hung up the buck. It was the perfect size for Icky, who was five. A small five.

Whenever Randy and I used Icky to play pranks, we never got caught. Like the time I sent Icky into the bank lobby wearing a red bandana on his face, twirling my toy cap gun on his finger. I got caught that time. Then last summer I got Icky to steal clothes from girls at the town pool. I got caught that time too. But whenever Randy and I worked together we didn’t get caught, so our plan was to not get caught this time.

This was genius. Randy told Icky, “We only want to scare little kids, not junior high kids like us. Junior high kids always mess things up.” I added, “And if you go along with this, the little kids will get scared and drop their candy. and you can have it all to yourself.” I was just kidding about that last part.

We hung the deer head-down and I started to put Icky in head-down, but Randy worried about the blood. He said if Icky was in there too long it might rush to his little head. So we put Icky inside, head-up for safety. I dumped a big bottle of ketchup on the grass under the deer and squirted some on the deer’s sides to make it look like fresh blood.

I whispered to Icky, “We need to make this spooky for the kids, so when trick-or-treaters get close listen for Randy to hoot like an owl. That’ll be your signal to start moaning and wiggling so the kids will believe the deer is alive. It’ll scare the daylights out of them.”

Randy and I hid in my dad’s garden shed and cracked the door so we could watch. We were all set, but then the didn’ts started to happen. We didn’t count on parents being with the kids. And we didn’t expect our first candy candidate to be the game warden’s daughter. Randy didn’t hoot, but Icky didn’t keep from squirming anyway. And since deer are the warden’s business, he didn’t overlook the buck. He checked for a tag, but Randy didn’t remember to tag it.

The big problem with game wardens is they have instincts. He knew instinctively who set this up and that we would be watching. After he got Icky out of the deer he walked toward the shed.

We came out and he lectured us about abusing animals. He was against it. Even dead ones. “This is going to be bad,” he said. “You might lose your hunting licenses for 10 years, maybe even forever if you live that long.” He said he would tell our parents, except that this was a special night for his daughter, and he wasn’t going to let a couple of criminals ruin it.

Then he wrote each of us a ticket, Randy for not tagging the deer and me for abusing it. “Within two weeks you’ll get a letter telling you when to go to court.”

Three weeks went by and the warden showed up at school. We thought he would arrest us for skipping court, even though we never got the letter, but he was there to give a nature talk to our class. Then he left.

When school let out, the warden was waiting beside our bus. We pretended to ignore him, but he called our names. Then he made another big speech and all the kids started gathering around. He told us what the fine was. Randy, who was good at math, said, “That’s more than five years’ allowance!”

The warden kept right on talking. “I want to teach you a lesson.” That’s when we thought he was ready to lower the boom and take us straight to jail. “So on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I’m going to forgive you.” I heard something about forgiveness when I went to church with Randy, but now I learned forgiveness is a really big deal.

Being certified outlaws, we could feel the kids on the bus staring at us. We never said a word all the way home, except when Randy whispered, “Let’s not put Icky inside a deer again.” The next Halloween Icky was too big anyway.


When “The Everyday Hunter” isn’t hunting, he’s thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting. If you want to tell Steve exactly where your favorite hunting spot is, contact him through his website,


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