DEER HUNTIN’ WITH PAPA
“Where are the deer, Papa? Maybe we should go another place if there aren’t any deer here.”
When you’re 7, and have been sitting in a deer blind for at least half an hour, patience may not be one of your strongest traits.
“How about if I walk over the hill to where my Dad is? Maybe the deer are there.
“Can we have a snack?
I brought some granola bars.”
Food may help pass the time, of course. And there’s seldom a shortage of amazing things to see.
“Squirrel! Look, he’s coming down that tree. See it, Papa?
“I thought I saw a bald eagle . . . And there’s a blue jay! There it goes.
“I heard another bird. Was it a woodpecker?
“Can I look through the binoculars? The trees look wiggly. Maybe the deer are coming! Or is it just the wind?
“I don’t think the deer will come. Can we go back to the house now?”
Maybe we’ve reached the limit of the attention . . .
“DEER! Papa, look! Down in the trees? Can you shoot it?
“There’s more. They’re running up the hill in the grass. There’s a BUNCH! Are they close enough? Are you going to shoot at them?
“Here come some more. See them across the ditch?
“Tell me when you’re going to shoot and I’ll put my fingers in my ears.”
“You got it, Papa! You got it!
“Hey! Here come some more. Look!”
“Did you get it, Papa? Where’d it go?”
Good question! Where DID that deer go? Time to take a closer look . . .
“Here’s some blood, Papa! I’ll follow the blood . . .
“Papa, I found the deer! Here’s the deer! You got it, Papa.
“It’s still warm. It’s ears are so soft. And it’s hair is so smooth.”
Together, we admire the whitetail. But shooting the animal is one thing. Now for the next step. Field dressing might not be so pretty . . . Still, the questions continue:
“Is that its stomach? It’s nose is shiny. Why are its eyes still open? It has a lot of guts! Will the coyotes eat them?”
Finally, the excitement begins to wane, temporarily, with the more mundane task of loading the big doe into the truck for the short trip back to the house – where it’s time to tell the story all over again!
“I saw the deer for Papa, and I followed the blood trail. We got two deer!”
Then, after an early supper of – what else?! – chili made from last year’s venison, it’s almost time for bed. But what’s that noise?
“Coyotes! Are they eating our deer guts?”
“Can we go hunting tomorrow, Papa?”