Tomorrow (that would be 2 days ago in Blog time) around three AM I am going to drive 11 hours into the much deeper South for a weekend with my old hunting buddies. Opening Day in Mississippi. I’ve worked my enjoyment of hunting into several of my books because it is a part of my life that is just plain getting back to my basic nature. I now the Bambi lovers (I actually am one) are cringing, but only those who have never done it before. I’m not going to say deer are happier dead, but I am happier when I have a freezer full of venison. It’s the other red meat.
A few days before I go, I start getting things together. Yesterday I rewired my trailer with new wires and lights. During the year I use the trailer around the place and beat off the lights. On the trailer I have my four-wheeler for tough terrain, and to keep from walking. Also I put the deer I harvest (kinder image than knock down) on the back. On the trailer I also have a five-foot tall galvanized, three-dimensional steel rooster which I will drop off in Nashville. Long boring yard-art story.
The best part of the annual hunt is that I get to spend quality time with my old friends. There is wine and scotch involved. We tell stories around the fire, and then go inside.
I don’t many authors who hunt, but the time I spend sitting alone in the deep woods is something I can’t imagine living without. It charges my batteries. I have talked with both my editor and agent while I was watching deer graze. I do write in my head as I sit in my stand.
Shooting is no challenge. I’m a good shot and I go for a clean shot or I don’t shoot. I eat what I shoot and that is why I only hunt deer.
Anti-hunters have all sorts of reasons why I should let the slaughterhouses handle this end of the food chain. I won’t get into why that is worse than taking an animal that is in its environment when it goes and not in a line of panicked beef that… Remind me to tell you the story about visiting a commercial slaughterhouse when I was a cub scout.
So, what I’m saying here is I find my trips invigorating, stimulating, and when you read this I’ll be in one of my stands watching and listening and living my life. No apologies offered.