Deer Season.

Posted: October 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

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I’m not a deer hunter, I’ve never sat in a tree stand on a chilly early Fall morning. I’ve never killed Bambi. I don’t decorate with antlers. But I grew up around deer hunters and I love venison chili and jerky.
My Dad was a deer hunter.
My Dad and me were completely different. He liked to hunt and work in the garage.
I liked to draw and daydream. It took us a while to just accept each other, eventually we even quietly celebrated our differences. I’m sure he sometimes wanted to change me, but He didn’t try to mold me into someone that I wasn’t. I appreciate that. Some parents do great harm by trying to resculpt what God has crafted. Parents try to sometimes recreate their kids in their image. That was never part of the deal. We were created in God’s image. That looks different on each of us.
To my Dad, deer season was better than Christmas. He grew a beard every October, as the whiskers grew so did his excitement. He was upbeat, he didn’t get frustrated as easy. He laughed more. He grunted and yelled less. We always wished he would keep the magical mood altering beard all year long, but he always shaved it off at the end of the season.
Dad would get up at an ungodly hour and go out in the woods with his buddies. They would pack Cheetos, Pepsi and Vienna sausages. They wore camouflage and sprayed themselves with something that made them smell like deer pee. They hunted with bows, rifles and muzzleloaders.
The rest of the family loved deer season too, for totally different reasons. When Dad was hunting, we got to do things we NEVER did when he was home, we ate Patio Mexican TV dinners. (After working all day, Mom never seemed to mind that she didn’t have to cook). We got to watch what WE wanted on TV. We sat in Dad’s chair. It was like a month long staycation!! Mom’s birthday and anniversary are during deer season, she sacrificed those days so that her husband could go hunting. In return, she got to wash his dirty camouflage pants and decorate her house with mounted antlers. Mom is a Saint!
Eventually, the hunters would come home late at night, usually with a big buck or two. I remember the excitement in our garage as they butchered their prey. I remember the steam that came off the carcass as the hide was pulled off. I remember the smell of blood, cigarettes and men who had been in the woods too long. I remember the happiness that came with seeing my Dad happy. I remember the year that Mom got a bigger deer than Dad with her Dodge Dart.
This time of year, I crave deer jerky, Patio Mexican dinners and camouflage sweatshirts.
I’ve never spent an hour in a tree stand, but I love deer season.

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