Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deer Hunting 2009

I’m going deer hunting on Saturday morning. Haven’t missed a deer season since I was twelve years old, and that goes back to a time when we wore red coats rather than blaze orange. I hunted with my dad back then, and walked miles from farm to farm—no trespassing signs in those days. Not many deer either.

People say to me, “You still go deer hunting?”

“Yup,” I answer with a smile. And they look at me like I’ve lost a marble or two.

“Why do you do it?” they ask. My cynical answer is because I still can. But the reasons are more complicated than that. I hunt deer because my family has hunted for generations. My dad still hunted when he was 92. Deer hunting season is when I see my brother, and my three nephews, who all hunt. My son has hunted with me since he was twelve.

And it’s one more opportunity to be outdoors, in the quiet of a late November morning when the countryside is saying goodbye to fall and waiting for winter. The smells and sounds of fall are all around when I sit on the edge of a field on the back end of my farm.

Oh, I still enjoy a slice of venison sausage. Nothing better, especially if it’s home grown.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There are no shortcuts to important places.


December 7, 1:00 p.m. Sugar Creek Camp, Ferryville, WI. Stories From the Land.

December 12, 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Fireside Books, West Bend, WI. Book signing. Presentation at 10:30 a.m. Blue Shadows Farm.

January 4, 11:45-12:30. Wisconsin Public Radio, Ideas Network. Telling Wisconsin Stories. (With Larry Meiller)

January 14, 6:30 p.m. Madison History Round Table. West Side Business Men’s Association. Old Farm

January 19, Noon luncheon. SAIL (Supporting Active Independent Lives) Black Hawk County Club, Madison. Telling Stories—Why and How.

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