Monday, December 6, 2010

Down Memory Lane

I had a good weekend as always....any day I'm on the green side of the grass is a GOOD day! 

This was the last official weekend for deer season (rifle) other than a bonus holiday hunt in December...and I was out in fine form ready, willing and able to put some meat in the freezer.

Alas Mother Nature was very un-cooperative on Saturday with high winds gusting to 30+ miles per hour and Sunday was marginally better.

Sunday morning started out fine, clear and cold with just a hint of a light wind out of the north.  I got into the stand with a light snack, small thermos of coffee and lots of warm clothes to keep the chill at bay.

Daylight broke about 6:20 that morning with the sun finally making an appearance around an hour later.  I my haste...not eaten breakfast that morning but wasn't a long-time friend of mine was coming to hunt with me and I had texted him to bring us some grub on the way over.

As fate would have it, he wasn't able to make it....of course...and by the time 8 a.m. rolled around I wasn't missing him nearly as much as the breakfast he would have brought with him.  In fact, I would have gladly paid ransom prices for a couple of hamburger-sized sausage biscuits on the questions asked!!

The wind had picked up dramatically, and I had a first hand refresher on the benefits of a full belly and the heat it generates.....or in this case....would have generated in my rumbling waistline.

Finally, after three and a half hours....I could stand no more and walked back to the truck to warm up.  The day was not a total loss I picked up several gallons of native pecans from our trees in the pasture...destined for future cakes, pies and the occasional serving....roasted...with butter and salt.

Dad told me a story not long ago about one of the first times I hunted on his place....many years ago when he first bought it.

I was young...probably 12 or 13 and in those days things were a bit different. I've gotten older, wiser and......quite a do I say this....I don't want to perch in the tree like a squirrel!  Today...when treestands are built for hunting they're built large enough for chairs, a roof and half walls. 

This was done for my benefit as well as dads but mostly because my boys are young enough that they just can't sit still for longer than 30 seconds max.  The stand was built in such a way that only their heads are visible to the wildlife and not their squirming arms and legs.  I however, believe it's because dad worships the ground those little boys walk on.  He is strangely mute (with a huge grin) when asked this question...

Back when I was barely a teenager, I was treated to the palatial comforts of a 2X4 board nailed across a couple of branches.  For those of you not of a handyman or woman nature.....a 2X4 is a board that measures approximately 1.5" thick by 3.5" wide. (the true dimensions are because of planing to make it smooth)

A seat 3.5" wide....nailed high in a suitable for a youngster such as I once was and I was happy to be deer hunting. 

Dad was cutting brush and clearing land with the tractor all day and would wave from a distance from time to time throughout the day and afternoon. 

I don't recall whether I got a deer that day...but I do remember when he came to get me that evening....I was stiff and cold and he had to throw me over his shoulder and carry me down the tree!  I had drinks, food and snacks throughout the day...but in my zeal...was not about to get out of the tree for fear of missing an opportunity to get....the BIG one.

All these years later I can laugh about it and am seriously considering installing a heater in the current stand....maybe a little floor heater.....after all....when your feet are cold, you're just cold all over.

What are some of your hunting / gathering memories when you were young??  If you didn't hunt...did you pick berries or wild fruit?  Tell us about it.....

1 comment:

Butterpoweredbike said...

A floor heater! I'm laughing right now, that's great.

I think all of my favorite childhood memories of wild foods are of fishing. I come from hunting families on both sides, but for whatever reason, they were all passionate about fishing. And my best times were always had when they allowed me to go along for the canoe ride. Even though it was aluminum (thus, either very hot or cold), I could spent all day every day in that boat.

p.s. Regarding those pecans... my birthday is in two weeks ;)