Hunting Season

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Hunting Season

A Short Story of the Healthy Benefits of Being in the Wild

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Photograph: The Author

 

Early in the fall, setting out with my husband to track deer for the coming hunting season, there is a new freshness, coolness; crispness, that I haven’t experienced since last fall. It’s exciting to be rolling along in our battered Ford truck, surveying logging roads.

There are bracken and the smell of decaying, now golden, leaves surrounding us having settled earthward, crunching as we crawl along. Past its prime, there are cranberries yet on bushes. There is a slight breeze, but the evergreens, the willows, and bushes shelter the area.

We trek deliberately forward tracking down scat and imprints of various species; pushing away intruding branches as we proceed. A grouse darts up to a nearby tree startling us momentarily. An avid hunter, skilled with a bow and throwing knife, as well as rifle, Doug throws to spear a grouse, one of many we encounter, for an eventual stew. There are rabbit tracks and the small split tracks of deer. We are anticipating the larger tracks made by elk. Since we aren’t in a marshy area today, we don’t expect to spot a moose.

We have a thermos of hot soup and coffee to warm us up, as we stop for lunch. Time spent in the outdoors always allows an opportunity to converse undisturbed. We anticipate this “ rendevous” —though rustic.

I retrieve my camera, not interested in hunting, but photograph the surrounding mountain scenery, foliage, and the rabbits, squirrels, birds I encounter. Finally weary, I relax nearby while I anticipate my husband’s return. He is provoked by the oncoming season, so he will delay his return until the day’s end.

As if he knows it’s not hunting season yet, a large elk rushes suddenly, adjacent to the truck. I infer that this is the zone to re-examine exponentially.

How amazing the day has developed! A male elk with an eight-point rack had never been so familiar. For anyone successful enough to draw an elk tag this year, this will be a trophy animal. For me, it is just a wonderful day in the wild, hiking, camera in hand; enjoying the shots I produce.

 


Submitted: June 16, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Shirley M. Langton. All rights reserved.

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