Monday, November 27, 2006

Deer Story

We saw a young deer this morning as we were drinking our coffee. She was down in the orchard having her way with some apples that had fallen off the tree. I tried to get a picture but the light wasn't right and she moved on to more promising food further down in the hollow.
It reminded me to get some feed corn because it's supposed to start getting cold this weekend. A lot of timber has been harvested around us so they come to our property for safe haven.
They've only started doing this the last few years. We built a fence and we keep our dogs fenced during the daylight hours. Before that, our dogs would tear out at the first whiff of wildlife and chase it to Indiana.
I love to watch deer. I went deer hunting with my dad when I was a kid, but I made it a point to never shoot one.
The coldest I have ever been in my life was one November when I was 16. We went to Sumter County on some land leased by a friend of my dads'. I wasn't that cold when we arrived but the skies were overcast and the wind was out of the west. Not long after I got to the stand, it started raining/sleeting and I got soaking wet. My dad had told me "what ever you do, don't go walking anywhere until we come back for'll get shot!" So I stayed put and what started out as a little shiver turned into full blown shaking. I was chilled to the bone and it seemed like it took hours for them to come and fetch me.
I found an old beech tree that had a deep hollow place in the trunk from a long ago forest fire. I crawled in there and covered myself with leaves and straw. I was in that tree about an hour when a deer as big as a Buick came right up beside the tree and walked close enough that I could have petted him. The wind was blowing from behind me and carried my scent in a direction away from his ever alert nose. I just sat still and never raised my gun. All of a sudden the deer started and ran away in the blink of an eye. A few moments later I could hear the Jeep coming for me.
I didn't mention the deer until dad and I were on our way home. "Why didn't you shoot it!" he asked. I stretched the truth and told him I was too cold. The truth was, I couldn't bring myself to shoot such a magnificent animal.

1 comment:

  1. That reminded of my first and only deer hunting trip. I'll have to try to recall the details and add it to my blog. I do remember almost freezing to death.


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