November Comes and Goes Too Fast
Sitting here next to a campfire, reflecting on my past week spent in isolation from the chaos gripping much of the world, I am thankful for opportunities to head into the wilderness. Every opportunity for escape to the refreshments of nature is cherished. I only wish for more days in the month of November.
Opening weekend of firearms season for deer has come and gone. Since I can remember, this has been one of the most important events of the year. This season was extra special for me. I was fortunate to kill a nice, young buck and donate the meat to those in need.
Historically, hunters were members of a community or tribe who provided meat for their people. Programs today allow deer hunters the opportunity to donate a portion of their deer, or their entire deer, to those in need. Doing so provides healthy, nutritious meat to families that otherwise may do with such nourishment. It also sheds a positive light on hunters in general. It’s hard for anti-hunters to convince the public that we’re a bad lot, when hunters are donating hundreds of thousands of pounds of protein to those less fortunate.
But, I can hear some of my super serious deer hunting friends saying why would you kill a young buck, especially if you aren’t going to eat it yourself. If you figure 60 pounds of meat from the buck and 1/4 pound per meal, that buck will put 240 meals on plates in homes. To me, that is more important than antlers.
After punching my tag, I was excited by the invitation of friend to spend a few hours floating a river. With sunny skies and temperatures pushing into the high 70s in the middle of November, it was an absolute wonderful day to be on the water. We saw many hunters along the shore. A lot were in places only accessible by boat. When you hear folks say they have nowhere to hunt, they simply aren’t being as creative as these river hunters.
At one point, we came upon a pair of bald eagles. After downloading my photographs, it was easy to tell one was a juvenile. I never tire of seeing eagles.
I’m now back in the real world. After spending seven days without cell phone service, I feel refreshed and less connected. I am longing for a few more days without hearing one politically charged correspondent on television or the radio. Without worrying about what the next email is going to say. But you know what it’s like when you get back; everything is stacked up like punishment for leaving. But as I dig through the pile, my mind will drift back to the wild. I’ll see the eagle soaring down the river. I’ll hear the crunch of the leaves giving the buck away before he ever crested the ridge. I’ll smell the wood fire, and hear the wind whistling down the holler.
For so many people, deer season is about so much more than shooting deer. It is the one time of year, for a very short window, when hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers put aside the stresses of everyday life to focus intensely on time outdoors. Again, I only wish for more days in the month of November.