This past weekend marked one of my favorite holidays-- the opening weekend of deer season. For years this has been one of the most special weekends on my calendar. Each November, I head back to my parents' home in south Arkansas for several days of jam-packed fun. Here's how it went this year:
On Thursday I arrived at Mom and Dad's place around 8:30pm to find a full pot of my mom's homemade chicken 'n' dumplins. Each spoonful is an emotional experience, one which words simply cannot describe.
On Friday, Dad and I test fired our rifles, and then we enjoyed lunch at the Backyard BBQ. You'll not find a better kept secret in slow-smoked delight. After lunch we went out to the farm to put out some persimmons and to do a final check of our stands. My cousin David and his son Ryan met us there, as did my buddy Nathan. Once we got everything ready for the big hunt, we all went home to another inspiring meal by Mom.
Saturday we arose at 4:00am and headed out into the fresh, cool dark to prepare for the hunt. Though we all saw deer, Ryan was the only one to bring one home on this morning. We got off the stand for a great lunch that my mom and aunt made for us. We then all headed back out for the rest of the day, making time for Dad and me to grab a quick nap. The afternoon brought no reward for our efforts.
Nathan and I then headed out to our buddy Andy's deer camp. We stayed out there on Saturday night and arose at 5:00am the next morning. This day was also packed; in addition to all our stand time, we also had a Bible study after lunch. We even managed to have a little more success than the day before. I killed a little doe, but Nathan really stole the show. He killed a doe in the morning, a doe at lunch (while we were all sitting around talking!), and then a huge 6point that evening.
All told, it was a great weekend! For those of us who participate, it really is about a lot more than simply getting a deer. The times of raucous laughter, shared meals, working together, catching up with each other and old-fashioned storytelling make the Fellowship one of the most special things I get to experience. (Sorry I don't have a pic of Dad, Andy, David or Ryan).