Monday, November 29, 2010
Today is the opening day of the two week Buck season in Pennsylvania. The Keystone state is second only to Texas in number of licensed hunters. Deer hunting in Penna. is tantamount to a religious observance. In many Counties schools are closed because the kids would not show up anyway. Deer hunting is a tradition and set of rituals deeply etched into the lives and hearts of many Sportsmen.The trip is a pilgrimage every year.
The pilgrimage typically begins on Friday after Thanksgiving. This journey starts with the long trip to the Hunting Camp,the slogging drive up the camp road,the unloading of gear, the sighting in of rifles, the scouting for scrapes and rubs and tracks, the card games and whiskey by the fire, the jokes and stories, insults and practical jokes, the woodstove meals of game stew and cornbread, the beer and homemade wine...the sleepless Sunday night before Monday's legal shooting hour, a breakfast of pancakes and homemade scrapple with maple syrup crafted by one of the guys from trees he tapped himself on his land,the hike in the dark to your stand near a cluster of Oak trees in Pike County. The cold quiet of dawn...waiting for the soft rustle of cloven hooves disturbing the dry leaves...and a view through the scope of antlers and ears.
Because of my work schedule, I was unable to make opening day this year.I hope to get out later in the week...but it is not the same. Instead, I offer this hilarious Calvin & Hobbes comic wherein Waterson executes a wonderful juxtaposition on this deer hunting theme.