Didn’t know this would become a blog to educate you flatlanders how to speak and understand the Vermont way. Ah, well, seein as yur all -he-ah…
Today marks a most sacred time in Vermont, a blessed season filled with hushed tones and the sound of buckshot being loaded in the basement. Today, deer huntin’ begins. Throughout homes, long before any have the right to be awake, kitchens are brightly lit, the smell of bacon’s wafting through the air and way, way too much plaid is being worn by men and women who’ve nothing more on their agenda then to stalk the woods in search of their elusive prey… the mighty white-tailed stag.
It’s a tradition that’s been passed down through the generations in my family. From father to son, each have their favorite places to hunt, all have stories about how they took the “big” one down. Most have mounted antlers hanging in their living rooms.
Or, as in my father’s case, his garage.
Dad? I said the last time I visited. What’s with this tiny rack?
Barely a spike horn and soooo pathetic.
That, he said with a sparkle in his eyes… that was my first deer. Got it when I was a kid.
Wow, it’s like an antique…
Okay then, what’s with these other not-so-large racks?
He pointed each one out with the patience of a saint and a man with a memory of a kid…
This one, Tudes, this I took with my bow up on Dole Hill. And this, he went on down the line, came from Bessie’s house five years back. Bessie got her deer then, too.
Bessie, Dad’s girlfriend. You know, the one who rides a motorcycle and can fly a plane?
Bessie still hunts? I had to ask. Her heart was weakened from some pain medicine years ago – one that’s since been recalled. Now, the merest exertion makes her struggle to breathe…
A’yup. She sits in her stand and I drive the deer toward her with the four-wheeler. His eyes were sad when he thought of that proud, independent woman needing help to take a damned deer.
A grey squirrel emerged from some brush nearby. I watched my dad watch that squirrel, then he turned to me with a wink.
You know, Tudes, squirrel season started last week. Little bastards, he added and his grin made me laugh.
So, whether or not you believe in the hunting process; whether you wish Bambi luck and all hunter’s a poor aim… I want to give a toast.
Here’s to my family – a clan of hunters; mighty warriors who roam the woods looking for a deer or at least a good story to tell. May you find that which you’re looking for, may your toes stay warm and your belly full.
May you git yur deah.