For my birthday, my dad gave me this birthday card: which is in reference to my one and only hunting experience.
I can’t remember if my older brother was still in high school at the time, but I know I was. My father wasn’t a fanatical hunter, but he loves the outdoors and took the opportunity to enjoy it with his buddies every hunting season. This year, my brother and I were invited to join them.
Now, dad and his friends got up there the first day of the season, spent the week getting up at 4 AM, getting up on the ridge and working hard to stay downwind from the deer. They had not got a single deer in their crosshairs by the time my brother and I showed up halfway through hunting season, in the middle of the night, relatively unprepared. The next morning all the adults were up bright and early, scouting for good spots. We, the teenagers, on the other hand, got up at the crack of noon, had a hearty breakfast and headed out to hunt in the afternoon. We’d been walking around in the woods for an hour or so, talking the whole time, just kind of wandering around, when we came upon a clearing right on the ridge of a hill. We sat down at the edge of the woods, at the top of the clearing, to have our mid-afternoon snack. Joking around, I said to my brother “In about 10 minutes a deer is going to stop right there (pointing out into the clearing at the edge of the ridge), look right up here at us and stand there and let you shoot it.” About 15 minutes later, with my back to the clearing, I see my brother’s eyes go wide, he stands up, aims the rifle and says “The deer, right there!” Yeah, right. I’m not that gullible. Until the shot goes off right next to me.
So, to recap:
We show up in the middle of the hunting season
We come in in the middle of the night
We get up at noon, start hunting in the afternoon
Spend an hour wandering around the mountain
Get the first deer of the group
Leave, with a deer, before the end of our first day of hunting.
We were never invited again.