Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Hunter's Virtue

     Patience is a virtue, unless you are a hunter. Then it becomes a vice. Waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting ....that endless, eternal, mind-numbing waiting which turns usually mild mannered and pleasant individuals into some form of haunted alien beings, glassy eyed men that whisper among themselves of failed attempts, sleepless mortals that plot and plan while waiting for the next offense, driven men refusing to give up until the mission has been accomplished-- that is the nature of the hunter.
     For a solid month, normally sane men  will rise in the dark of night to drive deep into the quiet of the woods, to sit in cubicles of branches and twigs, to shiver on the hard ground of an April frost, only to wait, and wait, and wait, breathlessly wait, for that elusive gobbler to appear. On most morns, their waiting is futile, and the closest they will come to the bird is in the echos of his mating call. Defeated by the fowl, they return home to stare silently at the wall, replaying the scene over and over again, the missed opportunity, the shot-that-never-happened.
     They wait and wait and wait until the new day dawns. The game of sit-and-stare-and-stalk begins again as the determined hunter slips quietly back into the woods to play the next round of waiting. The ritual takes shape as gobbles and purrs are parried back and forth between the tom and his faux mate- the haunted hunter.
      And then, it happens.  The line of defense has been broken, and the great bird struts and dances into sight. He gobbles to his would-be mate, an unknown caller in a hidden blind, a deceptive player in the game of love. Gun silently raised to shoulder, finger steady on the trigger, prayer swiftly sent above, and the mating call becomes a deadly song. Steady aim, shot fired, and the waiting is over.  It has happened.  The trophy has been won. The hunter's virtue has been restored.
     It is a good day, and we shall feast at Christmas.

Pop finally bags a bird.....with only one week left in the season!
A nice set of spurs.....
Measuring the beard.....
Dinner is served.....

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