WOODS AND WATERS: Missing the deer season opener

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 2:00 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011

There’s an old saying that “what’s past is prologue,” so I trust it is true in this case as well.
You see, for the second year in a row I can’t participate on the opening day of firearms deer season. Perhaps that will change in the future, but for now I’ll settle for a day or two at our deer camp sometime during the season.
As I write it is the day prior to the season opener, and as you read from right to left the season will be about half over.
You see, an illness in our family is keeping me home-bound for the moment, but family is much more important than any day of deer season.
OK, I can just hear a reader or so muttering, “Well you poor thing! So what? Look at all the seasons you have been there.”
And you know what? They’re right. Except for a few years overseas with the Marine Corps, I believe I haven’t missed an opening day of deer season. And that has included about emm-hemm years.
Now, this sounds like I’m complaining, but really I’m not.
You know, as we get older, or more mature in my case (ha), most of us don’t really get the thrill we used to get when we harvest a deer. Unless it’s a real wall-hanger, of course. What we do enjoy most actually is being at camp with our usual hunting group, and the fun and camaraderie of those days.
Fact is, if they’ll care to admit it, many hunters have passed up great opportunities to shoot a deer. Some do tell me about it so I know it’s true. I know it’s a fact in my case, as several times have I sat in my stand or ground blind and merely watched deer romping or sneaking about within my bow or gun range. Also, if one has already got a deer, what’s up with shooting several more? I’ve never found a thrill in that.
As said earlier, for many of us it’s simply the excitement of being at deer camp. That’s whether we get a kick out of the evening poker game, cleaning up the cabin or tent, or even burning the morning’s bacon and eggs to a crisp! And as some of us know, the first guy to complain about a meal is targeted to be the next day’s cook.
I don’t say these things for readers who will be hunting, but mostly for those who are at home holding down the fort. And some of those now at home will surely get in a day or so at the hunt, as will I.
There now, enough of this tear-jerker and feeling sorry for oneself. If you’re out there hunting, good luck and remember to hunt safely. After all, the only ones that aren’t supposed to enjoy deer season are the deer … eh?

Ed Gilbert is the outdoors writer for
The Daily News. His e-mail address is gilbertoutdoors@netpenny.net.

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