As of today, gun season in Ohio ends. It's been a fun week. There's been a big pickup truck parked in our turnaround, smack in the middle of it, nobody able to get by, and that includes us and the paper delivery guy and the myriad other delivery people who use it. There's been a series of hunters perched in a tree stand a stone's throw off our driveway most of the week, too, all hunkered down in flame orange. We haven't come out of the house even to walk to the mailbox, figuring we might look a bit too much like whitetails. I'm still haunted, years later, by the memory of the woman in Maine who wore white gloves while hanging out her laundry in her own backyard and was gunned down by a hunter just inside the woods. He thought her hands were a deer's tail. A deer that was hanging up sheets on a line. Buck fever is a weird thing. So needless to say, all hikes were canceled for the week. Which makes me just a tiny bit cranky. And ever so slightly crazy. Like this post.
warning...graphic photo coming up.
On the third morning, there was this,
parked right where Liam and Phoebe wait for the bus every morning. Phoebe, at 13, is cool. And it was dark when she got on the bus, and I saw it, but she didn't. Liam, at 10, is not cool. And neither am I. I am not cool about a truck full of corpses in my driveway where my tender-hearted boy is concerned. Hmm. What to do?
The trick was to keep him from seeing them as we waited for the bus. (No, he doesn't read my blog). So, knowing this vision awaited us at 7:45 AM, when the sun would be coming up, Bill and I kept sweet Liam facing us in the car, engaged and gabbing, and then we flanked him like Secret Service agents as we walked him to the bus, and somehow we kept him from seeing it.
Helicopter parents? Hardly. We just know our boy. If I had seen that in my driveway at age 10, I would probably be the vegan CEO of PETA right now. Or ninja black, blowing up things for Earth First! And though I'm sure those are interesting life choices, I'd rather my son not start his little day with a bunch of dead deer in his driveway. He loves deer.
On the fourth morning, the hunters left, leaving only footprints, a pile of plastic trash, a bunch of reflective flagging, some bloody latex gloves, a few candy and snack wrappers, a badly barked tree, and a huge gutpile under where they'd had their tree stand. That's how we could tell they were all done. If you hope to shoot some more deer, you don't leave a gutpile under your stand. Hey, it's their land, and they can do what they want. It's not what I'd do. I'd pick up after myself. As we will pick up after them. At least the crows are enjoying the innards.
But you know, I hunt, too. I especially like hunting bucks. Like this one, who came into our meadow the first afternoon of gun season. Sweet little six-pointer. Had 'im dead to rights.
And I shot him again, as he plunged into the purely theoretical safety of our 80 acres of posted land. I particularly enjoyed taking that last shot.
Bill posts the borders every year. He takes it seriously. Here, he's using the newspaper delivery bag with which he delivered the Marietta Times as a teen.
Since he's taller than most anybody around here, and he stands on a joint compound bucket when he posts, trespassers have a harder time ripping our signs down now. Learned that one the hard way.
I got a real nice ten-pointer last week. Baited him with sweet talk. He came right in. Lung shot.
Another lung shot
and then a flank shot
and a parting shot.
Never did manage to drop him. Never wanted to.