Monday, November 16, 2015

Hunting Sunsets

Tales from a Hunting Journal
(Part XIV)

      The sun had just touched the horizon when the shots broke the silence.  A few tense minutes later the two-way radio hissed to life, "I got one."
     I climbed out of my stand and took up my post at the corner of the trail and the ridge and waited for it......"She went over the ridge."
     My father met me halfway along the ridge trail just as the sun surrendered the woods to the night. 
     "I've got a flashlight in my pack."
     "It's not on the ATV is it?"
     "No, why?"
     The light aided us in following the blood trail over the ridge, down the hill, and into a little valley.  The floor of the valley was saturated from all the recent rain and we sloppily made our way through the muck.  Eyes glowed in the beam of the flashlight.  The big doe lay between two stumps.  My father went to stand over the dead deer, knife in hand, when the lifeless animal sprang up.  The flashlight spun and flew wild arcs in the air.  I shouldered my slug gun and let loose a magnum blast.  A flame erupted from the barrel, briefly illuminating the entire forest.  The deer crumpled at my feet, knocked dead by the concussive wave or simply exhaustion or a display of extreme marksmanship.  Ten yards away the flashlight still flailed.
     "Did you see which way it went?"
     "I think it's right in front of me."
     The light shone down on the doe, "I've got a knife this time."
     With the field-dressing done, the little valley turned into a hollow at the base of a mountain.  I think we've been here before.  And so I dragged that doe up over the ridge to the ATV.  My legs burned, my back hurt, the beer was cold, and the freezer was full.  I love hunting with my dad and the adventures we've had.  I can only hope that my kids have such tales to tell of hunting with Grandpa.  Perhaps someday they might even have some of the same tales about their dad.  I can hope can't I?

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