Friday, November 14, 2008

Deer Season Opens Tomorrow!

Attention all deer! Southern New York's deer hunting season opens at sunrise, Saturday, November 15, 2008. Now is the time to get your affairs in order, 'cause my hunting buddies and I are coming after you!

Opening day is perhaps my favorite day of the year. Even with all the modern gizmo's that hunters now use, stalking a large, fast, smart animal in its native habitat is still a challenging activity. It involves sitting for hours; slogging through mud; walking through cornfields over my head; crossing creeks; walking slowly and stealthily; keeping the snow off my glasses; taking good aim with stiff fingers; field-dressing the animal; and, finally, dragging a heavy carcass back to the van. In one form or another, men have been doing these things for eons. Hunting connects me to history in a very basic way.

I always look forward to performing the other rituals of hunting: assembling the clothing, boots, firearms, ammo, and snacks; sharpening the Buck knife; charging the radio; and, getting up very early in the morning. And, without fail, checking my license and making sure the bores of my weapons are clear.

We four gather near the woods at 5:45 a.m. to say "hello" for the first time since last December. We pull on our tall rubber boots. We drink coffee from our thermos and maybe eat a donut even though we already ate breakfast at home. We check our radio's and confirm our starting positions. At 6:15 we walk out, and by 6:25 we're in position, waiting quietly for the sun to rise and our quarry to, perhaps, blunder into our sights.

When the sunset finally comes, I'll be tired. I'll have walked several miles wearing heavy clothing and boots and carrying a weapon. I may have helped drag a few deer to a road. We'll walk cross country back to our starting place, have a cold beer, and talk about the next hunting day. Some of us will then transport their deer to the processor. My first deer is donated to Foodlink, where it will make lots of meals for those who have a lot less than I. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just remember the Dick Cheney Rule: the beer is for after the hunt, not before! ;)