November is here and in my house that means one thing – deer season. There may be a few preparations weeks in ad-vance but this week, a lot of talk and work is put into getting ready for the hunt. We get out the totes of hunting clothes, find our boots and gloves, and stock up on food for sandwiches and meals.
Every year my husband and I think about no longer hunting, but as the sea-son gets closer, we decide to go one more year. The fact that we can now hunt with our grandchildren as well as our son and son-in-law is a big factor in that decision. We want to see them learn to enjoy the hunt and have all the great memories that we have.
It is a fun and exciting ten days but I am usually ready to see it come to an end. Those early mornings and late nights make me very tired and if we get a deer, that means a lot of cutting and wrapping. It is nice to fill our freezer but a lot of work to get there.
Even though I complain about getting up early, sitting outdoors and watching the sun come up is my reward. Some mornings that sight is spectacular. Other times, the weather doesn’t cooperate. I also like to listen as the world around me comes to life. You hear the pheasants and geese waking up for their new day. Rabbits, squirrels and even mice begin to scurry around. On rare occasions you might spot a fox or other larger animal. You just don’t get to see that when sitting at home in your recliner.
I can’t talk about deer hunting without one of my favorite parts and that is get-ting together with our hunting party. We have built such a close bond and made many wonderful memories. My closest buddy and good friend, Marcia Greiner, has been at my side when we have shot a deer, shivered in the cold and mostly, missed that perfect opportunity. We talk a lot! Which could be why we don’t see as many deer but we have to catch up on an entire year of events. We also talk about our party members who are no longer with us, sometimes laughing, sometimes filled with sadness.
After the hunt, when we gather at either her house or ours, the stories are told and retold. For the younger hunters, it might be the first time they hear it. For the rest, we may notice how things change with each telling. That is just part of building bigger and better tales. By the tenth year, a six point buck may have grown to ten or twelve points depending on how our memories work.
Then as our children and grandchildren add tales of their own adventures, I sit back and smile. This is why I continue to hunt. They are creating a history and a bond that will never go away.