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Talking it over: Deer Season

November is here and in our house that means only one thing - deer season. This has always been the month which meant hunting and nearly everything else took second place.

When I married my hunter husband and took my place in his hunting family, things were a little different. Deer hunting took place on only one weekend in the month unless you went 'up north' to hunt a few extra days. During the week following that weekend we spent time butchering the deer and probably a hog in order to make sausage. This was smoked, cooled and wrapped with the entire process pretty much done by the next weekend.

Things have changed. We now have a full ten days of hunting around here. If you hunt up north, you have a much longer period. You can also purchase a license to hunt by bow and arrow or muzzleloader. This is all great for the hunter but not for the family. These last two seasons extend nearly to the first of the year.

This means that hunting clothes, hunting equipment, butchering products and everything else to do with the hunt cannot be put away or cleaned up for nearly two months. Every weekend is considered a hunting weekend unless the weather is just too miserable to go out.

These new rules have been gradually added and slowly I have become accustomed to them. However by the end of the muzzleload season, I am more than ready to have hunting season over.

Despite the length, I look forward to the season. We get together with our hunting friends, have a few laughs, eat some big meals and make some great memories. As we get older, the walking part of the hunt is being replaced with more sitting. That is fine with me, but I do like to get in a little bit of exercise during the weekend. I have to have a few sore muscles in order to really appreciate the sport.

When the season is over and the freezer is full, I develop my pictures and write down the statistics from another hunt. I like to record who was there, who shot what and the temperature or other factors that may have affected it. Right about now, it is fun to look back over the last few years and even further to see how we did, who was in on the hunt and who was missing, and what the weather was like. Just those few stats can often bring back a flood of memories.

My focus for hunting has changed a little. I am not as concerned about getting a deer, as I am about everyone staying safe and having a great time. I would rather have the younger hunters see success so they will be encouraged to continue in the sport. As far as myself, I just want the chance to see a deer or two and maybe even get off a shot. Then I will have a story to tell along with everyone else.