The Outsider: So long and thanks for the apples
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | December 14, 2017|
And, so, my fare reader, you may, depending upon your leaning towards or sway against the hunting of deer, be glad to know that the season is all but over.
And as such, I will be putting pen to paper (so to speak) on the matter just this one last time.
My missive this week is with regard to the fact that while the anti-hunters among you may be glad to see the back of the deer season, the deer around where I hunt will, I imagine, be mightily disappointed.
They will bemoan the passing of Dec. 15 and they will miss the human-scented boot prints of mine that have trodden through their forest for the last month. The whole herd of white-tailed beauties will listen in vain for my crackle and crash as I stalk silently to my stand, and they’ll lift their noses, sniff and realize that their olfactory environment is suddenly somewhat bland, missing as it is the myriad man-made scents that I have dragged with me through the bush each time I crept to my secret spot.
And, speaking of this secret spot, this tree stand disguised so that no creature could distinguish it from any other ladder leading to a seat in a tree, the deer will miss visiting and checking it out at regular intervals. But, if they did this, why did I not shoot one with rifle or bow, you ask? Because my lovely reader, the deer, whom I have come to think of as absent friends, visited only when I was not there.
I could tell, you see, by their many many footprints, their scrapes against the nearby trees but mostly by their mug shots caught on my camera. Photographic evidence no less, and not just passing glimpses either. No, these pictures were portrait worthy. Two does grazing naturally in the morning light. Frolicking fawns, one in mid gleeful jump. And, most majestic of all, an eight point buck standing tall and proud in the golden sunshine of a November afternoon. I say majestic but it could have been sarcastic because I swear there was a smirk upon his face as he stood looking straight down the lens of my camouflaged trail cam.
But why will the deer miss me blundering about in their patch of Haliburtonian wonderful wilderness? They’ll miss me because I brought them treats. I plied them with goodies. I bribed them to come to my spot with apples, carrots, a salt lick and molasses soaked corn. My deer ate regularly and they ate well during the hunting season and now that it’s over they’ll miss me I’m sure.
It would have been nice to have a visit with them while I loitered in their woods but as yet I am too ignorant of their ways, too clumsy, too smelly, too noisy, too eager for our first encounter. Maybe next year we’ll get to meet. Maybe next year my deer will be less flighty but until then I’ll be savouring the prospect, and continuing to purchase ground beef from the grocery store.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider