Reflections on a pastoral weekend

I spent this past weekend, like a majority of Bearkats I’m sure, down at the deer lease for the opening weekend of deer season.

Before you animal lovers “jump the gun,” I hunt for food, not for trophy, though the trophy is an added bonus.

Every year I look forward to deer season more than probably anything in my life. The three short months of deer season always pass by too fast and take forever to come back around. I’ve spent the bulk of my life, since I was four to be precise, at the deer lease each year.

Never missing an opening weekend, or many weekends for that matter.

Much like a character in a Shakespearean play, I feel that the deer lease is my escape into the wilderness. Fleeing the corrupt court-Huntsville, class and work-to gain a transformation of sorts in the forest, so that I may return a better individual and more adept to handle the stressful life of upper level college courses and 40 hour work weeks.

To me, there is nothing that can compare to watching a sunrise over the vast field of pine trees from the confines of my deer stand. The bittersweet symphony of high powered rifle shots, right after dawn and soon before dusk, from fellow hunters in the distance hoping their aim is true. The way my heartbeat increases significantly when I’m about to take my shot. The overbearing, numbing cold that follows the long fifteen minute ATV drive to and from my unique spot in the woodswell that one isn’t always so pleasant.

Call me crazy, but there is something majestic in the wilderness and the solitude of spending countless hours in a deer stand. It gives you time to reflect, gather your thoughts and see life more clearly. It’s like a rebirth of the mind.

Deer season, to me, is more than brute killings of poor little Bambis, as I’m sure is the way with all hunters that take part in the yearly ritual.

It’s about being in the wilderness and the feeling that it brings. The companionship with other hunters around a campfire, burning the midnight oil and telling stories of “way back when.”

To all the hunters that hunted this past weekend, I hope your aim was true and that you “bagged” the big one, and like me you enjoyed your weekend thoroughly.

I did. I succeeded in bringing down a nice seven-point. Seventeen and a half inch spread.

Good luck on future hunting escapades.

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