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Alone, I slip quietly into the black of the night. The cool breeze nips at my neck. However , today the wind is my ally as it blows from the west. Together we will attempt to fool the nose of the wily old buck.

Guided by instinct, and the light of the moon, I weave my way deep into the hollow. As I pause for a breath, I can not help but give thanks. For most, being alone in the dark and the cold would cause trepidation, but I am at peace. Theres no other place I’d rather be.

Again I stop, this time near the head of the hollow. A weary old elm, resting against is neighbor, sings an eerie song in the morning breeze. I’ve used this tree to find my stand on more than one occasion.

Safely strapped in, I anxiously await daylights arrival. My thoughts turn to fallen friends, past hunts, and how I am blessed. As the woods come alive, the excitement is high, the anticipation hitting on all cylinders.

The crunching of leaves announce the arrival of my woodland hosts. The doe and two fawns feed nervously to my right. I go through my routine, just in case opportunity knocks. I practice my draw and settle the pin. The deer feed on, unaware of the predator lurking above.

Again movement catches my eye. Four longbeards cashing in on the white oaks bounty. I make a mental note to be back in 3 weeks, for chasing fall gobblers can not be beat. The turkeys and fox squirrels amuse me as they compete for sweet fruit of the white oak. Although the red oaks are also full they go mostly untouched.

His sudden appearance, not unlike a ghost startles me. He has arrived for his breakfast of acorns. My breathing grows heavy, pulse goes to overdrive. Adrenaline has got me again ! slowly I stand on wobbly knees, telling myself over and over to breathe. Instinct takes over.

The end comes quickly as I’d hoped. The excitement and slight sorrow all balled into one. I lay my hand on the top of his head. As his spirit exits I can only hope some is transferred to me! Once again life’s cycle is repeated.

I am a part of this hollow. I know it in and out. When the farm dogs act up I know deer will soon cross the ridge. When the wind is from the south , the pines are the place to be. Once again my presence has been felt. As I make my way slowly back to the truck, I inhale deeply and give thanks once again.

God has looked over me throughout the years. My families been safe and freezer stayed full. So as the seasons are upon us once again. Please take moment, take a step back and take it all in. This is our greatest harvest, the sights, sounds and memories made. For we, as hunters are truly blessed!

Bonz
10-1-08
 

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Bonz , I would rather read your posts than Game News - and Game News is pretty good ! Thanks for putting us right there and I especially like the respect you give the game you have taken .A mix of remorse and joy are a natural blend for me. Good job !...Finn
 
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