I’m not afraid of the dark when I’m sitting in the light. I suspect most people feel the same way. But I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been afraid in the dark before. There was that time a screech owl tried to murder me…. that’s happened almost twenty times now. Then there was the time that I visited a city at night. That was very scary. There have been other times, too, but my first morning hunt of the year tops them all.
My deer season has gotten off to a slow start, there is no denying that. New Hampshire archery season opened on September 15th, but I was not able to hunt for the first time until the 25th and it was in an absolute downpour. It was a halfhearted attempt because of the weather, and I was mostly interested in taking the opportunity to check some trail cameras I’d set out a few weeks prior anyway.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many bucks over the years. Their pictures take up space on my phone and cover the walls in my office. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few them. Every detail of our relationship is easily recalled in my mind at a moment’s notice. I know I’m not alone here. Why is that? Remembering the items my wife told me to pick up at the grocery store only minutes before is next to impossible. But that big buck I saw three days after the season ended back in 2001 has stayed with me to this date.
Good, solid hunting mentors like I had growing up are in serious demand these days. Without them, kids are content to sit inside, warm and dry with their faces glued to electronic devices. I never had that opportunity because electronic devices didn’t exist yet. I was forced to play outside. The out of doors, as near as I can tell, was the modern-day parental version of screen time. “Go outside!” my mother would often say with a sweet and kind tone to her voice. An aging group of mentors and kids growing up with no desire to step foot in the woods is a bad combination!
I have yet to find a good explanation for why the month of January exists. Everyone is on edge. Deer season is over, cold weather has set in, and our esteemed state legislators that seem hell-bent on taking away more rights and increasing restrictions are back on the job. It sure would be nice if they had the opposite goal. Seriously, who wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “What burdensome law can I come up with today?” And why does it have to be cold?! AND WHY DID DEER SEASON HAVE TO END?!?!?!
Forgive me for the outburst. It’s been rough around here lately.