Hunting and bright white belly Essay
Hunting and bright white belly
It was a chilly, brisk four a. m. morning. We could see our breath in our dim flashlights as we hopped out of that green Chevy pickup. Grandpa and I were all camouflaged out, with our orange vests and hat of course. Hand warmers and “toasty-toes” ready, we headed to our deer stand, “The Penthouse”. Walking to The Penthouse is always pretty nerve racking for me. Its pitch black, no flash lights. Just me, Grandpa, and nature. The crunching of leaves under our feet and the occasional hole I would step in because I wasn’t as familiar with the land like Grandpa was.
Sometimes you could hear animals stirring since it was so calm. There were a few times where I thought there was an animal literally walking right along with us. Finally, I can see The Penthouse, it always seems like the longest walk ever. It’s a little lighter out now so Grandpa scopes out the field in front of us before we walk into the clearing. We crawled up the ladder into the box made of ply wood and spray painted different shades of green, which sits on four creaky wood posts. A few hours pass and all we have seen is some squirrels and I think we saw a coyote too.
By this time my imagination gets carried away and every sound I hear I pretend it’s a creature never before discovered. Something like a zebra crossed with a goat that’s bright yellow. Sooner or later I start drifting off to sleep and then all the action starts. A deer, not just any deer though, it was a buck, the size of my grandpa’s truck! 20 points on the antlers at least, definitely was a non-typical. It was kind of a weird shade of tan, I had never seen anything like it before. I reached for my rifle.
While doing this, the butt of my gun bumped into my chair and startled the buck a little. It just looked up in our direction for a few seconds, which seemed like 30 minutes to me and Grandpa. When this beast looked back down to the corn on the ground, I propped my rifle out the window of the box on stilts. Making as little noise as possible, I cocked my gun and put the cross airs right behind the shoulder blade near the chest area. Trying to steady my shot was the hardest part, my adrenaline was sky high and causing me to shake.
I finally slowed my breathing and was ready to take the perfect broadside shot, when Grandpa nudged me and quietly said “Hey Sis, there’s a nice 9 out there, wake up! ” Well as you can imagine I was kind of upset but didn’t have time to explain to my grandpa why. I went ahead and grabbed my rifle and propped it out the window. My adrenaline seemed even more sky high than in my dream. I couldn’t stop shaking. I had to sit back from the rifle’s scope and take some deep breaths and try my best to relax. However, I had to somewhat hurry, this buck wasn’t sticking around much longer.
I finally relaxed like in the dream with the beast and lined the cross airs up perfectly. I took the shot and the whole forest came to life. Black birds filled the sky, rabbits bounced all around the corn stalks, squirrels scurried up the thick tree trunks, a few deer at the back of the field ran into the thicket for shelter and protection. My nice 9 point buck ran a few yards into the forest towards the rushing creek next to us. We waited patiently, listening to him run then heard a subtle “thud” on the ground.
Now any deer hunter would tell you to wait a good fifteen to twenty minutes before going on the search for your deer. This was my first deer and Grandpa could tell I couldn’t wait that long. We waited about five minutes and climbed out of The Penthouse. Quietly and contently listening for anything that we could’ve stirred up with the shot, Grandpa looked at me and said “Let’s go get him! ” Walking along the creek, we finally spotted that bright white belly and dirty tan antlers on the ground. “Sis! There he is! ” Grandpa said to me.
Cautiously, but excitedly, we made our way towards that bright white belly and all of a sudden that buck got up and started to take off in the opposite direction of us! It only made it a couple yards and started to stumble, exactly like a drunk. I had to take another shot and put the deer out of its misery. Perfect shot. In my family, there is no messing around when it comes to this sport. My grandpa and grandma have land in the country that just goes on for miles. All of it is feed plots with a pond and a cute little cottage-like house where they live now.
Almost every one of my familymembers hunts out there and hardly ever leaves empty handed. There was always this pressure I felt that if I don’t get a deer this season I will be a disappointment. I always looked up to everyone in my family that hunted and always wanted to be like them. Hunting is such a hard sport and people don’t realize it. Hunters go through every climate change sometimes. Cold and snowy, cold and dry, rainy and hot, humidity, sleet, any imaginable weather pattern, you can bet it has happened to a hunter. All of these weather changes are so hard on a person’s body and most people don’t understand that.
A lot of people also think that hunting is purely for entertainment. For some people it is just for entertainment. I’ll admit that the feel of the gun in your hand and feeling that power over something is a really cool feeling and experience, but that’s not what it’s all about for me. In my family, we use almost all of the meat. If we don’t see that big buck we really want this season, we will shoot a doe so we can provide food for our families and also control the deer population. We’re doing our part to protect drivers and others from hitting a deer with their vehicles.
This experience with my grandpa Ole made us a lot closer. He has shown what hunting really means to our family. It’s not always about getting that trophy buck. He also came to realize that we really do have a lot more in common than we used to. I have matured more and I love to be outside doing things with him. However, sometimes it can be awkward because we don’t talk much, we always find a way to have a good time together. Hunting is a way that we can both be together and not have to try and carry a conversation. It’s a quiet, calm, and relaxing experience.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017