Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh, deer....


      Today is the day that is officially known in these parts as "Deer Widow Day".  Yes, rifle season opened in our state today.  I woke this morning to the sounds of gunfire.  I looked out on Main street to see it rather empty, except for those who had already made their catch. The local hotel (with it's total 8 rooms) is booked all weekend, as is the local bed and breakfast, each with pickup trucks loaded with four wheelers cramming their parking lots.    As we drove to the bank later on, there were many pickups driven by blaze orange cap wearing drivers, and their friends.  I didn't see any deer in the back of the pickups.  'Must not have been a good day.
     The local high school holds a craft fair for all the deer widows.  It's a fun time for the ladies to get together and showcase all the crocheted potholders, plastic canvas items and pom-pom decorated crafts that they have been working on all year.  I have been involved in these craft shows before, and the funny thing is, that you usually don't sell much. Everyone that is there looks at your items and quietly whispers, "I could make that."  So, unless you have a craft that is highly unusual, or a talent that no one else could duplicate, you are pretty much out of luck.
     This is also a big day for churches to hold their annual "Deer Hunter's Breakfast".  They are advertised on the radio for about a week in advance.  They start at 4:00 a.m. so the hunters have a chance to eat and get in the stand before first light. They are always touted as "free", so I guess the churches just hold them out of the goodness of their hearts, and so the wives don't have to get up and make breakfast for their hunter.
     It is somewhat of a crazy habit to those of us who don't understand the lure of hunting.  These men, who usually won't sit anywhere but their heated Lazy boy, suddenly jump up out of bed at 3:30 a.m. and start dressing to go sit on a hard, wooden deer stand,  up in a tree, for several hours.  It is usually very cold out.  You sit there in the dark, squinting through the fog, to try and see an animal that God created to be hidden.  You load up on snacks and coffee to keep you awake and warm (my father-in-law says he only goes hunting for the snacks).  So, the minute that you have hot coffee balanced on one knee, a twinkie in your hand and your gun out of reach is when you finally see your deer.  I'm sure many a buck has been scared away by hot coffee or flying donuts.
     I have been hunting once in my lifetime.  Before my husband and I were married, I went with him on his birthday.  We dressed up in the coveralls and boots and coats and the ugly blaze orange cap that was several sizes too big for me.  Then we sat there and talked ( very taboo if you want to bag a deer!) for countless hours until the sun came up and a doe wandered over by us.  Oh, I forgot to mention that it was a record temperature that day-- 80.  To say the coveralls, boots and coats were a tad too much is an understatement.  We didn't drink the hot chocolate we brought.  I craved Gatorade and Popsicles.
     And, then there is the garb..... blaze orange and camouflage.  These are a real big deal.  The blaze orange, of course, is to assure that other hunters don't mistake you for a deer.  Believe me when I say that this has happened before (not sure how you can see a man and think he is a deer).   One of these days, the deer are going to get smart and start wearing blaze orange caps on hunting morning  (hmm, I wonder how hard it would be to attach one to a deer??).   You can buy any clothing article you could possibly wear in either of these colors/patterns.  Supposedly, the camouflage is meant to camouflage you from the deer seeing you (of course), so then, why can you buy trucks, lazyboys, and even prom dresses made of this pattern???   Truth be told, these are not just the colors of the hunter in his natural habitat, but these colors denote the rural citizen, the signal of the true redneck, the emblem of the free..... but you'll get that in a small town.

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