The first day of rifle deer season is upon us here in the laurel highlands of Pennsylvania!
Or as my father has been known to quip ‘The high holy day for hunters.’ My dad is quite a quipster let me tell you!
Now before we get into this entry I`d like to take a minute to address something if y`all don`t mind? Generally my goal with this blog is to try to entertain by showing the humor in our day to days, and the downright funny things we experience with a small farm and its critters. I tend to shy away from controversial subjects when I blog because frankly in this day and age I feel we all appreciate some levity and a few chuckles.
I know hunting is a HIGHLY controversial matter with strong supporters on both sides.
I also am a hunter (albeit not a great one) as is my husband and now our daughter. Hunting is part of our lifestyle. It provides us with food for our freezer. It teaches our children the importance of stewardship and ethics. It passes on a gentle kind of education of our state flora and fauna that a textbook just cannot.
But perhaps most importantly it enables mentors… be they uncles, aunts, family friends, grandfathers, elder brothers or parents to spend TIME with a child as they pass along those valuable life lessons surrounded by nature. Time without texting or video games or a television running. I think they call it quality time and it`s something many in the younger generation are sadly denied due to the hectic lifestyles many live.
Hunting is a part of who we are. If this entry should offend anyone I do offer my apologies but hunting for us is a cherished way of life and this blog IS about our lives on the hillside. Please feel free to skip over this entry if it isn`t your cuppa with my blessings, yet do come back! I`d miss your company if you stayed away too long!
Okay now that I have that taken care of I`ll dive into this entry. (Finally huh?)
Once our daughter turned twelve she was old enough to take the hunter safety class our game commission dictates any would-be junior hunter attend. I am firmly behind this concept for education about firearms is crucial for a novice hunter as is the maturity of the requirement age.
When I decided to take up hunting after spending years as a hunting widow (I bet a few of you ladies can relate) I attended the classes myself. As an adult our game laws didn`t demand my attendance but I felt the more knowledge the better! The classes run on average three nights and last roughly four hours each night. I think I was the only adult in my class several years ago save for the W.C.O. `s (Wildlife Conservation Officers) that taught the class! Talk about a fish out of her middle-aged waters!
But I enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal about trapping, archery, gun handling and safety in the field as did Miss Yodeling when she and her father went to her classes in early September of this year. Despite my husband`s many years of hunting experience he did learn a few things and got to spend time with our girl to boot!
Monday morning here in PA dawned damply. Perhaps dawn is a misnomer… pre-dawned is more accurate since the alarm rang at four-thirty. Mr. Yodeling and I are used to this wake-up time but our child is not.
Having to deal with twin zombie-type females. She did roll out rather quickly though considering the time and darkness outside the windows. She downed her bowl of cereal and the two commenced the ritual of getting ready to go hunting. For anyone who hasn`t experienced this ritual it goes something like this…
“Okay, where did I put the shells?”
“I can`t get this boot up!”
“Now where did I put my gloves?!”
“Ouch! This blaze orange stocking cap is catching on my earrings!”
“Wife! (Substitute your name of course) Where did you put my hunting license?”
“Mom? (This title is universal so no substitutions are required) Do you know if Super Hero Squad is on tonight?”
And so on….
Finally they completed the ritual and were all ready to head out into the rain showers and climb the mountain across the creek. I gave them both a wave and a guttural mutter of ‘brains’ as they went out the front door, rifles in hand, to track the elusive white-tail. I had a doctor`s appointment at eight for a yearly lady check-up so I trundled about and did chores then set off for town in the gentle yet chilly November rain.
As of this time which is dinnertime for we yodeling goatherders, my daughter has returned home empty handed and more than a wee bit damp around her collar. Although she may have struck out in putting some venison in our freezer on THIS excursion the time spent sitting side by side and talking of things that only a dad and daughter talk about I`m sure make up for the lack of back strap.
There truly are some things that money can`t buy.