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The Many Delights Of Deer Hunting Season

By Matthew Knoblauch

Now that the New York deer season is officially closed, I would like to sincerely express my wishes to you that it was indeed a good one. Perhaps an unforgettable one.

I hope you had your season filled with the same things that were similar to the autumn of my own, another season that gave a bit of purpose to the months. Past times that now brim with sweet memories of a November rut or a familiar tree stand on the edge of Uncle Ben’s farm.

I hope there was time spent afield with people that we might not have much time left with, and for all one knows, perhaps memories of a great buck heard of only in fiction and campfire fairytales.

I hope that you lived a fairytale this fall. One of the ones you might have read about when you were a boy still daydreaming about the times when you’d be able to walk proudly with your own Winchester Model 70.

I hope it involved a walk through crisp autumn darkness and beneath a sleepy screech owl in a tree while the ground lay dusted with snow, but only up high in the hills where such a fable is best. The owl should keep business to itself in the hollow of the oak because it knows, too, of a storied buck that roams in the morning light.

I hope your spot was as lovely as any, somewhere beyond a ridge with the rolling hills stretched far beyond the fog. Your home may be somewhere down there, tucked away between the trees and farms of a distant valley, and if you look carefully, you’ll be able to see the smoke from your chimney, too.

I hope the fog rolled free from the fields and the sun crept over the trees just enough to add a touch of taste to your fairytale as your trophy buck came in from behind a doe.

I hope that your shooting was straight and your heart was filled.

I want to think (cause that’s what I do best) that your season was safe beyond measure. I hope your boots cleared over every log that had the potential to be too high and every head-high branch stayed free from your eyes (which I am sure didn’t matter, knowing you obviously had shooting glasses on).

I hope you brought all the right things with you, too. Like the thermos, the one that doesn’t leak, or the one that doesn’t go cold in just an hour. I am sure you forgot the one in the back of the cupboard behind all the others, but I hope you didn’t.

I know those pockets of snacks from the kitchen cupboard tasted better than they ever have, granted that you remembered them. Or the muffins you grabbed…


The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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