Monday, December 1, 2014

Weather or Not

There was one time when the weather or no matter how I was feeling, I would have gone buck hunting this morning, but several things changed my mind. The first was that I awoke with diarrhea and stomach cramps. The second was that this year I would be hunting alone. My hunting partner got his deer in archery season and it isn’t nearly as much fun as hunting with friends.

Another reason is that my granddaughter Hannah is visiting. I love the time I can spend with my grandkids. A final reason is that I have an appointment to have my lawn mower serviced before I park it for the winter.

The weather in past hunts has ranged from weather similar to today’s rain and fog to cold and blustery. One winter, it was so cold that the water bottles we had in our pockets froze. We had to build a fire and set them beside it to partially thaw.

I always carry something to build a fire. Matches are essential as a fire starter. The other thing is that I carry either Tootsie Roll or Bit-O-Honey miniatures. They serve a dual purpose. They are good to eat and they are wrapped in waxed paper. The waxed paper makes a great fire starter and will burn hot enough to get damp slivers of wood to burn.

I have so many great memories of hunting with my grandfather, brother, and father. Memories of wading thigh-high snow, sitting quietly and listening for movement, and treading through the woods often come to mind. I think of my dad who was upset because he thought someone was sitting in his favorite spot. Later he found that someone had left their orange hat behind after using it on a behind.

Other memories include seeing poopcicles on low hanging branches. Drips marked the spot my dad had visited and vacated, or should I say evacuated. I have memories of marching up and down steep hillsides, riding a four-wheeler and the freezing from the below zero temperature, as well as days of sunshine and light snow.

Then there are the acts of butchering and cutting up our own deer. I find it more preferable than taking it to a shop where I am not sure how long they will keep it, how clean the facility is, if I am getting the same deer or the same amount of meat that you gave, and by doing it myself, I know who to blame if there is hair on it. The final reason is that I cut the meat away from the bone, because venison bones are more fragile, will shatter, and I hate splinters.

Good memories can be made in all types of weather, whether good or bad.


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