The holiday season turns our thoughts to family and friends, gratitude, and joy. To begin what I hope will be a regular column, I’d like to share a little joy from my family. My father had few indulgences in life; western movies, chocolate peanut clusters, and hunting. My mother was the editor of the local newspaper, and 30 years ago while dad was off hunting, she ran this timeless editorial in her own regular column.
Deer Hunting – Day One
- 2 am Alarm rings, push sleep button and roll over for another five minutes.
- 4 am Wake up to sound of hunting buddy banging on kitchen door, tell him to go ahead without me, I’ll catch up later, throw on pants, toss gear into pickup and head for deep woods, driving like heck to get there before break of dawn.
- 4:15 am Return to house for gun
- 4:30 am Head for deep woods, driving like heck to get there before break of dawn
- 6:30 am Arrive at hunting location, help buddy set up camp… oh well, don’t need a tent anyways.
- 6:46 am Head into woods, splitting up from hunting buddy to cover more territory and scout area
- 7:01 am Sight eight deer, take aim, squeeze trigger, discover gun not loaded, load gun while deer bound away over far hill
- 9 am Deer obviously not coming back, head back for camp
- 10 am Still heading back for camp
- 12 noon Looking for camp
- 1pm Fire gun into air many times to signal for help, eat wild berries to regain strength
- 1:12 pm Eight deer come by, but ammunition has all been fired into air to signal for help. Feeling ill as deer bound away over far hill. Must be the berries
- 1:20 pm Rescued by three hunters who have already got their deer. Back in camp, head down to pickup to recover from stomach ache, must be the berries. Tell hunting buddy to go on out without me.
- 3:30 pm Feeling better, set out from camp to look for deer
- 3:45 pm Return to camp for ammunition, load gun, set out from camp to look for deer.
- 5 pm Empty gun on dangerous squirrel, head back to camp
- 6 pm Arrive at camp, put on coffee, look up to see eight deer watching me from across creek
- 6:01 pm Load gun and fire at eight deer bounding off over far hill. It’s a direct hit, pickup parked between camp and far hill is almost certainly dead
- 6:15 pm Hunting buddy returns to camp with six-point buck, field dressed and ready to check in, suppress desire to shoot buddy; storm to pickup, take off for town, leaving hunting buddy and stupid six-point buck at camp
- 6:20 pm Pickup boils over and dies; must be because of hole shot in block, take gun and start walking toward town, hat lost, put jacket over head to keep rain off
- 6:21 pm Stumble over tree root on roadside, fall, drop gun in mud
- 6:45 pm Hear noise, see large shadow moving toward me from trees probably a bear, take aim; fire gun, hear cows mooing as hooves thunder awa over far hill
- 10 pm Catch ride with trucker, spend hour and a half listening to him tell how he bags his deer during the first 15 minutes of the season every year
- 12 midnight Home at last, throw gun in closet, go to bed.
Deer Hunting – Day Two
- 12 noon Get out of bed, pop corn, check football schedule, turn on television, tear hunting license into little pieces and put in envelope to mail to game warden
May you find much joy this season!
Friday Gladheart is using permaculture techniques to establish an organic teaching garden in Story, AR., while building a “cabin” out of abandoned junk. She works as a writer, graphic and web designer, and makes herbal creations from the garden such as soap and lip balm.